Class of 1966 Fall 2019 Letter

Fall 2109

Dear Class of 1966 Alumni,

One of the joys of this job is receiving all the good news of grandchildren, trips and memories of Luther.  Unfortunately, I also receive the notices of death from relatives of classmates.  These letters are always deeply moving and what I marvel at the most is when I receive a letter from a non-Luther spouse.  These letters are full of the joy their spouse experienced while a student at Luther.  They also generously supported Luther financially.  Luther obviously made a deep and ongoing impact on these individuals.                                          

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!

To paraphrase one of my favorite quotes, What are you going to do with the rest of your life now that you don’t have to do anything?  It is, of course, talking about living in God’s grace, but I think it has such a heightened meaning for any of us who are retired.  Let me know of your plans for the future.

Mary Deters
1966 Class Agent
21867 Deters Drive
Spring Grove, MN 55974
[email protected]


Sharlene Mae (Thompson) Christian of Shakopee, Minn., died Nov. 8, 2018, age 74.

John Gerhard Lygre of Lakeville, Minn., died May 7, 2019, age 75.

Marcia L. (Munson) Sessa of San Diego died April 25, 2019, age 74.

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.