Class of 1969 Fall 2019 Letter

Fall 2019

Hello Everyone!

By the time you read this, our 50-Year reunion celebration will be history.  If you were there, I hope it was a time for renewal of friendships and rekindling of enthusiasm for the mission of Luther College. If you could not be at Homecoming, I hope that our efforts to connect with you will remind you that you are a valued member of the Luther family. Visit to see photos and more for the weekend.

The celebration that we have just experienced becomes an emotional high of sorts, charging us up to don the blue and white and chant the “Old LU!”  But, once the shouting stops, what remains? Beyond the symbols that excite us, what is so special about Luther College? Why is it important that we continue to support Luther?

In attempting to answer these questions, I engage the help of a student.  Riley is a first year student from Whitehall, Wis., who enters Luther as a music education major. First I asked Riley,”What about Luther College had the biggest impact upon your decision to enroll there?”  Riley answered, “I think one of the biggest impacts Luther had on me was the feeling of community I knew I would get if I enrolled. So many other colleges have great programs, but Luther has this sense of community and belonging that no other college really gave me. I also truly believe that Luther can provide me with some of the highest quality education that not many other schools can provide. The high standard of everything was something that drew me towards the college, because I wanted to meet those standards and exceed them.”

Next I asked, “What are your expectations as you begin your Luther experience?” Riley replied, “I’m expecting not only classes that educate in a brilliant manner, but also that teach me to think about problems and issues with an open mind and heart, so that I can not only better myself, but also those around me. Learning something is easy, but being able to use what you’ve learned to better the world is something that not every college makes their primary focus, and Luther has shown that that is their primary focus. I’m also very excited to be a part of some of the best music ensembles in the area. I’m expecting some amazing things to happen with those ensembles that will allow me to grow not only as a musician, but as a person.”

Riley has figured out that Luther is a place where human relationships are an essential element in the educational journey. He has sensed that academic and artistic standards are high, giving him new challenges. He understands that his experience at Luther will help him hone his ability to think critically about all of life. Finally, Riley affirms that he will develop a greater perspective on what it means to live a life of service.  

Of course, we think Luther is the best because we love Luther! But I believe that there is something unique and special about Luther that Riley feels as a new student. He has begun to internalize what Luther’s first president Laur Laursen meant when he wrote: “Aim that the instruction here be thorough; that there be no show or humbug; that everything be pure gold, that it be all wool and a yard wide.” 

Riley and the other members of the Luther Class of 2023 will keep alive the pursuit of excellence that has endured for more than 150 years. As alumni, we are always part of that pursuit as we support Luther however we are able.  We can continue our financial gifts. We can encourage and support current leaders with the input of ideas. We can identify potential Luther students in our schools, congregations, families and communities and look for ways to tell them about Luther. Take them on a campus visit, invite them to a performance ofChristmas at Luther, provide a scholarship to a musical or athletic camp – let Luther speak for itself!

As we move forward from the 50-year milestone, I wish you good health, loving relationships, and whatever makes your spirit sing!

Soli Deo Gloria!

Richard Staff

1969 Class Agents:

Richard Staff
N39101 Tuff Coulee Road
Blair WI 54616-8011
[email protected]

Judy (Miller) Nelson
1315 Pinnacle Pines Court
Bettendorf, IA 52722
[email protected]


Gregory Jones of Asheville, N.C., died Nov. 3, 2017, age 70.

The full obituary of the classmate listed above can be found on the Luther College website at: 

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