Class of 1974 Fall 2019 Letter

Fall 2019

Dear Class of 1974 Alumni,

It’s again a beautiful time of year to walk the Luther campus and think back to the days when we threw frisbees on the Library Lawn, studied or napped under the giant cottonwood tree in front of Main, or sat by the Luther bell waiting for friends to join us for dinner in the Caf. I always get nostalgic about those days when the leaves start to turn colors. 

The upcoming year promises to be an exciting one 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.     

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:

Don’t forget that Luther alumni can play a direct role with the Admissions Office in recruiting the next generation of Luther students. If you refer a student to Luther, they receive a $1,000 scholarship each year, for four years, if they decide to enroll at Luther. This could make all the difference for a student considering Luther.  Visit to learn more.

And, finally, another annual highlight coming up is Christmas at Luther. This year’s concert dates are December 5–8. The theme is Whom Angels Greet with Anthems Sweet. It’s always an emotional experience at a beautiful time of year.  Hope to see you there.

Soli Deo Gloria!

Sue Ness Johnson

1974 Class Agents:

Sue (Ness) Johnson
904 Pine Ridge Court
Decorah, IA. 52101
[email protected]

Julie Wall
2305 Oak Hill Road
Decorah, IA. 52101
[email protected]



Steven Berry retired after over 30 years as medical director at Mercy Hospital in Des Moines, Iowa. 

Jim Bies of Sioux Falls, S.D., retired after 33 years as Augustana University’s vice president for student affairs and dean of students.

Robert Schultz and Binh Danh launched a Kickstarter campaign with the Taubman Museum of Art in Roanoke, Va., to publish War Memoranda: Photography, Walt Whitman, and Memorials. The art book memorializes the U.S. Civil War in a new way, employing photography, poetry, essays, and the fruitful example of Walt Whitman. 


Ellen Jean Skatrud-Mickelson of The Villages, Fla., died Dec. 26, 2018, age 66

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.