I just returned from a glorious weekend at Luther College. The weather was unseasonably warm for early September and it is hard to imagine that fall will quickly be upon us. Luther was in full bloom. The trees have not yet started to turn fall colors and the many planters and pot of flowers were still popping with summer color.
Campus was bustling with activity and in some ways bursting at the seams. The Cross Country team was hosting the All American Cross Country Meet. The Luther Women’s CC Team finished third and the Men’s Team defended their home course and secured a championship! So exciting to watch hundreds of harriers running through campus and listening to the cheers of fans and parents.
The football game with St. Olaf had kickoff pushed back to accommodate all the Cross Country athletes and spectators. Luther Football was returning from California where they lost a hard-fought game with the Whittier College Poets. The Norse lost a close game to the Oles in beautiful Carlson Stadium. Luther College is still blessed with one of the best venues to watch a college football game.
The final event happening on campus was the Luther Alumni Tennis Meet. 50 alumni returned to challenge the current tennis team on the tennis courts that were just dedicated last season. The outdoor tennis courts at Luther are some of the finest in the upper Midwest and gives the Norse fabulous facilities as they fight to earn a spot at Nationals. Last year, the men and women both qualified for their respective national tennis tournaments.
The Luther Class of 89 returned to campus in October for our 30-year class reunion. I hope that you were able to connect with your dear friends and classmates. Decorah has changed so much in the last 30 years and is a great place to reunite with loved ones.
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, 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.
Learn more about President Ward—including her thoughts on food, art, Twitter, Decorah, and higher ed—on Luther’s YouTube channel (youtube.com, then search “Luther College President Ward”) or in the fall issue of the Luther Magazine: luther.edu/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: @facebook.com/luthercollegealumni
And, finally, keep in mind that Christmas at Luther takes place December 5–8. This year’s theme is Whom Angels Greet with Anthems Sweet. Luther would be happy to see you there!
1989 Class Agents:
1362 Camelback Drive
Eagan, MN 55123
Maria (Spieker) Mickelson
2417 8th Avenue SW
Austin, MN 55912-1256
Eric Carlson is the lead pastor at Faith Lutheran Church in Clive, Iowa.
David DenHartog is director of innovative learning for the Green Schools National Network and founder of Pannect Ed, both in Boise, Idaho.
Amy Easton Bingenheimer is Program Manager II at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee.
Whitney Eigenfeld is franchise owner at Liberty Tax Service in Hudson, Wis.
Mark Fahey was elected to the Portage (Wis.) School Board. He talked about his goals for the district in a recent Portage Daily Register article.
Gary Fisk of Americus, Ga. has published a book, Slides for Students, about better ways to teach with PowerPoint technology.
Paul Reimann is retail store manager for J&P Cycles in Anamosa, Iowa.
Darren Riehle is business analyst at LabVantage Solutions, Inc. in Somerset, N.J