Class of 1963 Fall 2019 Letter

Fall 2019

Dear Class of 1963 Alumni,

It promises to be an exciting year for Luther. In November, the college inaugurated its eleventh president, Dr. Jenifer K. Ward. President Ward joins the Luther community with more than three decades of experience as an educator, scholar, and academic leader after serving, most recently, as provost and dean of the college at Centenary College in Shreveport, Louisiana. Prior to joining Centenary, President Ward served in several leadership roles at Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, Washington, including dean of the college, interim provost, and associate provost. She was also a faculty member at Gustavus Adolphus College, where she taught German.          

In a message to the Luther community, President Ward said, “Our work together must be strategic, collaborative, creative, and—most importantly—must articulate what it means to be both grounded in Decorah, Iowa with a face to the world, and set goals for how we can adapt Luther’s past and present for a sustainable future.”

A self-described extrovert and lover of art, film, and literature, President Ward started her duties at Luther July 1, and her official inauguration took place November 1–3.

Learn more about President Ward—including her thoughts on food, art, Twitter, Decorah, and higher ed—on Luther’s YouTube channel (, then search “Luther College President Ward”) or in the fall issue of the Luther Magazine:

Also, while you’re at it, use this checklist to up your Luther social media game:

❏    Follow Luther College on Twitter: @LutherCollege

❏    Follow Luther College on Instagram: @LutherCollege

❏    Follow the Luther College Alumni Facebook page:

And, finally, keep in mind that Christmas at Luther takes place December 5–8. This year’s theme is Whom Angels Greet with Anthems Sweet. Luther would be happy to see you there!

Mariah (Bringer) Smith ’95
Director of Development, Current Gifts
Luther College
700 College Dr.
Decorah, IA. 52101
[email protected]

P.S. Your class is currently without a class agent!! Is anyone out there interested in taking the reins? Or even a couple of you? Many classes have two to four class agents who take turns writing the class agent letters (two per year). If this sounds like something you may be interested in learning more about, please contact Mariah Smith at [email protected], or 563-387-1096.


Tom Berven retired from coaching the Neenah (Wis.) High School varsity boys’ tennis team after 48 years, and last September, Neenah High School named its tennis courts in his honor. In addition to coaching, Tom has run the Neenah Parks and Recreation summer program for 51 years and is a member of the Neenah Joint School District, Wisconsin High School Tennis Coaches Association, Fox Valley Tennis, Luther College, and Austin (Minn.) High School Halls of Fame.


Frances Ann (Joerg) Blum-McCarthy, Esq. of West Palm Beach, Fla., died Feb. 23, 2018, age 77.

George Duder of Decorah died June 25, 2019, age 78.

Kirsten Ann “Kit” Hansen of Madison, Wis., died Jan. 12, 2019, age 77.

Kathryn Elizabeth (Hove) Pixley of Oneonta, N.Y., died Jan. 9, 2019, age 76.

David A. Roalstad of Glendale, Ariz., died Oct. 27, 2017, age 76.

Dale G. Seffrood of Milbank, S.D., died April 7, 2019, age 86. 

Denis Craig Wemark of Ridgeway, Iowa, died March 18, 2019, age 78.

The full obituaries of classmates listed in this letter can be found on the Luther College website at: 

If you would like a printout of the obituaries listed above in their entirety mailed to you, please contact us at: [email protected], or 563-387-1509.