As Nordic Choir alums, Carolyn and I still have ringing in our ears the words from Revelation 21: 1-5, so beautifully and powerfully set to music in the piece And I Heard a Great Voice by Paul Christiansen. The last phrase of the song is “Behold, I make all things new!” In the life of Luther College, these words have great relevance today. Forty-nine years ago, we were NEW students in a NEW place. We had NEW roommates, NEW class schedules, and were making NEW friends as we embarked upon our NEW journey at a place called Luther College. Several more generations of NEW students have also experienced these NEW challenges in the years since we graduated.
There is an important NEW person at Luther and it promises to be an exciting NEW year. In November, the college inaugurated its NEW 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. She comes to Luther after serving as provost and dean at Centenary College in Shreveport, Louisiana. Prior to joining Centenary, Dr. Ward served in several leadership roles at Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, Washington, including dean, 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, 2019.
We would also like to tell you about a NEW opportunity for you around this time next year. We would like to invite you to the celebration of our 50-Year Class Reunion during the weekend of October 9-11, 2020. It will be a great time to reNEW acquaintances and relive memories of our years at Luther. For some who have not been back to Luther for some time, it will be a chance to see what is the same and the many things that are NEW at the college.
Please put a hold on this weekend now so that you won’t have any NEW conflicts and can be at the reunion. We truly hope that all of you can come. We may all be getting older and not as NEW as we were in 1970, but this is a great opportunity to re-experience the ever-changing and ever-reNEWing place we came to those many years ago!
Your classmates, Bill and Carolyn Kobler
Bill and Carolyn Kobler
1970 Class Agents
6729 Millbrook Drive
Rockford, IL 61108-4310
Elizabeth Susan Atherton of Renner, S.D., died Dec. 7, 2018, age 71.
Linda (Satren) Bengtson of Northfield, Minn., died June 20, 2019, age 70.
Mary E. (Wilkens) Jensen of College Place, Wash., Died, Jan. 8, 2019, age 70.
Nancy Elaine (Wade) Lerner of Cross Plains, Wis., died June 27, 2018, age 68.
The full obituaries of classmates listed in this letter can be found on the Luther College website at: luther.edu/in-memoriam/
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.