Class of 1972 Fall 2019 Letter

Fall 2019 

Dear Class of 1972, 

Recently I’ve been doing a little sleuthing, and I’ve discovered that if you attended Luther College for at least one year, you are probably receiving these letters! It seems that a year of enrollment is a useful (albeit sort of arbitrary) way to determine if LC has you in the database as an alumnus or alumna. 

This whole subject popped into my head recently when I was musing about our last reunion in the Fall of 2017. Some classmates came to the 45-year reunion who had not been back for years. Others brought news of classmates who had followed various non-traditional paths. I sensed a kind of collective delight whenever a familiar name was mentioned or someone came up with a “fill in the blank” update. A strong sense of curiosity remains about those of us who arrived on the campus of Luther College, Labor Day weekend of 1968 — a random group of individuals who were to become the Class of 1972. 

Bev has mentioned the online Alumni Directory in a previous letter, so I decided I would search for some folks whose names have come to mind periodically over the years. (my “whatever happened to?” kind of people). With some specific names in mind, I navigated the system and was able to locate two out of three! I also checked my own profile and found a few things I needed to edit. 

If this sounds intriguing to you, here’s a how-to guide for using this useful (but somewhat putsy) data base: 

1)    Go to the the Alumni page on the Luther website and click on Online Alumni Directory. Click on Forgot Password and call the number indicated (1-563-387-1000). You can then ask for your “Norse Key” which is your online ID and password.  (They are bizarre and impossible to remember to save or write them down carefully — you can change them later.)

2)    You will have to verify that you are who you say you are by answering a few simple questions before they give you your log-in info.

3)    The folks at the Help Desk are cheerful, helpful, and pretty honest about admitting it’s a tad more difficult than people expect. But they curate the database and want alumni to use it.

4)    Take a screen shot of the profile of that person you’ve been dying to track down. (In most cases it will provide a snail mail address and current/former employment. )

5)    Check/create your own profile and make any needed updates. You can choose which information is public or not. 

A classmate or friend who is deceased will not appear in that directory, nor will someone who has chosen to opt out. Please add your profile if you have not already done so. 

OK, Luther friends, talk amongst yourselves!


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, andmost importantlymust 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 Luthers 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 13. 

Learn more about President Wardincluding her thoughts on food, art, Twitter, Decorah, and higher edon Luthers YouTube channel (, then search Luther College President Ward) or in the fall issue of the Luther Magazine: 

Also, while youre 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 58. This years theme is Whom Angels Greet with Anthems Sweet. Luther would be happy to see you there!

Marilyn Fritz Shardlow


1972 Class Agents:

Bev (Ulstad) Borgstrom
4870 Saratoga Lane N
Plymouth MN 55442-3013
[email protected]

Marilyn (Fritz) Shardlow
2988 Highcourte
Saint Paul MN 55113651- 651-330-7146
[email protected]


Janice (Olson) and Wilbert Bond ‘70 live in Portland, Ore. Janice is the author and illustrator of Zebra Plays Zither, An Animal Alphabet and Musical Revue, published by Pomegranate Press. Her book will be available in Sept. 2019.

Trina (Smith) Dobberstein of Berea, Ohio, has served Baldwin Wallace University as vice president of student affairs and dean of students since 2005. She was honored with a 2019 “Pillars of the Profession” award by the NASPA: Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education. The award is designed to honor sustained professional distinction and significant lifetime contributions to the higher education field. Trina was recognized at NASPA’s March 2019 Annual Conference in Los Angeles.

Marilyn Draheim of Stockton, Calif., retired from the School of Education at the University of the Pacific.

Kristin (Dumas) Wilson earned a doctor of ministry degree from the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary in Springfield, Mo.