Class of 1980 Fall 2019 Letter

Fall 2019

Dear Classmate,

I hope you are celebrating something important in your life. Whether it is retirement, birth of a grandchild, health, travels, personal goal fulfillment, or any milestone, these moments should bring joy and the ability to look forward to new chapters. 

Fall brings change to communities. School begins, leaves change colors, and schedules are full of learning and growing opportunities. This is time for a new chapter, to learn a new skill, or accomplish something that makes a difference not only in your life, but in the lives of others. Do you think of your time as a resource? Your time is valuable no matter what your situation of life currently reflects.   How do you spend your time, talents, and treasures? This often requires a specialist who can help you make good choices.  

At Luther, we had advisors for our classes. There are many stories about how a professor helped keep us on track during those academic years. Do you currently seek out advice of experts on personal and professional matters? Why not? We are constantly learning and growing, which is a right and a responsibility.  

I am working with the Luther College Development Office to begin a scholarship for music students, in honor of long-time band director, Fred Nyline. He was a role model to me and influences and encourages my professional journey as a musician to this day. The personal traits of dedication, quality, reflection, global vision, and keeping connected to friends and colleagues is something I respect and celebrate in professors at Luther College, like Mr. Nyline. I have such respect for him, that I cannot call him “Fred.” He will always be Mr. Nyline, as he earned my admiration from undergraduate days until present. 

I recently was involved in the debut of the Opera on the River, through “Opratunity Theatre.”  Founded by Luther graduate, Obed Floan, class of 1997, and his wife Megan, the vision of bringing quality operatic style music was exciting and new for the St. Croix River Valley in Stillwater, Minn. Collecting the energy of friends, colleagues, community organizations, and arts supporters, the result was electric and positive. I was honored to serve as the conductor of the event that featured five internationally-acclaimed, award-winning vocalists (under the age of 30 no less), an orchestra, and a multigenerational choir. New ideas, visions, commitment, and a strong desire on the part of the leaders to serve the region using the arts was meaningful.   Why get involved? Community, collaboration, new ideas, vision for the future, and a meaningful process of integrating resources led us to make a positive difference in the lives of everyone involved.  

Have you thought about how you want to use your resources to benefit others?  We often think of our families, but don’t forget the people, non-profit organizations, or institutions that made a difference in your life. 

Kris (Skoglund) Tjornehoj

1980 Class Agents:

Kris (Skoglund) Tjornehoj
104 13th Street
Hudson, WI 54016-2074
[email protected]

Barbara (Forde) Linnell
740 E. Decker Street
Viroqua, WI 54665-1802
[email protected]


Julia (Soukup) Casner is an emergency medicine physician at Mayo Clinic Health System in La Crosse, Wis.

Trudee (Petersen) Green is head of performing arts at Chevalier Catholic College in Australia.

Jean (Ylvisaker) Ohman is head pastor at United Lutheran Church in Elbow Lake, Minn. 

Timothy G. Ruff Welch is director of Zapopan Municipal Choir in Zapopan, Mexico.

Mark Werning is vice president of customer experience at Landjet, LLC in Davenport, Iowa.