Class of 2001 Spring 2019 Letter

Spring 2019

Dear Classmates,

Brrrr, is all we are saying as I write this letter at the end of January 2019!  For those who live in the upper Midwest, you just survived the Polar Vortex of 2019 with some records set for the coldest temperatures recorded.  The idea of writing a letter to you that is coming out in the spring is so appealing right now! 

This spring, Luther student musicians will be playing and singing at full tilt. Collegiate Chorale and Cathedral Choir will have just returned from tours of the Midwest, and Jazz Orchestra sets out April 12 for a tour that includes South Dakota and Minnesota ( On top of that, Nordic Choir sings with the Des Moines Symphony April 27 and 28 (

This year, Luther hosted a number of events to commemorate the 50th Anniversary ( of the college’s Black Student Union ( The events included visits from several alumni who were invited back to campus to speak throughout the year, including Christie Owens ’16, Maggie (Steinberg) Hagen ’15, Gaone Masire ’82, Emerald-Jane (Aggrey-Appiah) Hunter ’03, Kara (Skatrud) Baylor ’92, Lorenzo Creighton '75, Barbara Fuller '72, Spruiell White ’67, and Maxie (Jones) Rockymore ’82, who will deliver the Don Kemp Memorial Lecture on April 25. The yearlong celebration of the BSU kicked off at Homecoming and will culminate in an alumni reunion April 26–28.

The Class of 2019 and their loved ones will celebrate Commencement on Sunday, May 26 ( It’s hard to believe, but that means we’ll soon bid a fond farewell to President Paula Carlson, who plans to retire at the end of the 2018–19 academic year.

After Commencement, Luther’s campus will start to buzz with summer visitors young and old. Each June through August, Luther hosts thousands of elementary, middle, and high school students interested in everything from music ( to nature ( to sports ( to science ( This summer, the college will also offer its third annual Dance Camp (, an inclusive, empowering, fun, and inspiring week of movement and expression

Luther has summer programming for adults, too. If you enjoy singing in fellowship, mark your calendars for the college’s second annual Dorian Choral Retreat for Adults (, June 28–30. And keep in mind that you can host your own event ( on Luther’s campus. Your alma mater would love to have you!

Please remember every donation/contribution helps past, current and future students of Luther! 

Soli Deo Gloria.

Laura (Ahlstrand) Bunch
2001 Class Agent
1344 Kiefer Bluffs Drive
Ballwin, MO 63021
[email protected]

Paul Hoyem
2001 Class Agent
35130 Mulberry Lane
Glen Ellyn, IL 60137
[email protected]

Joy (Christian) Stevens
2001 Class Agent
37948 Dendal Drive
Peterson, MN 55962
[email protected]


Phil Assmus is senior staff associate at the National Association of Clean Air Agencies in Washington, D.C.

Mollie Busta Lange is the host of a national TV show on RFD-TV, the “Mollie B Polka Party.” New episodes of her TV show will air next year on the Farm and Ranch network. She was inducted into the International Polka Association Hall of Fame in Sept. 2018. She also appears (as herself) in Clint Eastwood’s new movie, “The Mule,” starring Bradley Cooper.

Les Hollingsworth is director of the School of Business at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville.

Melody Jordahl-Iafrato of Indianapolis is a physician and assistant program director at the Community Health East Family Medicine Residency, and is chair of the American Academy of Family Physicians Commission on Continuing Professional Development.

Yuliya Maksimova is lead business system analyst at Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Des Moines, Iowa.

Natalie Mindrum is chief of staff to the chief operating officer of United Airlines in Chicago.

Erica (Rach) Winters teaches music at Meadowview Elementary School in Farmington, Minn., and was recently named Teacher of the Year for the Farmington School District.


PHIL ASSMUS and Priyanka Anand, May 13, 2017

MATT HERRICK and Alissa Fulton, Aug. 4, 2018


Priyanka and PHILL ASSMUS welcomed a son, Kiran Anand in August 2018.


We are pleased to announce Dr. Jenifer K. Ward as the 11th president of Luther College! For more information about President-elect Ward, visit

As you may remember from your Fall 2018 Class Agent letter, Luther has recently completed an extensive brand strategy research process.


As a result of our research and in collaboration with members of the Luther community, we have developed several statements that will guide future communications.

We know that you, our alumni, are often asked about your alma mater. What you say to prospective students and their families about Luther College can have a huge impact on their decisions to visit campus, apply and, hopefully, enroll.

You know Luther well. You matter to us and we’re interested in hearing from you.

We invite you to take a few minutes to preview some of our new statements and share your thoughts. The example statements, as well as a response survey, are available online:

Many thanks!

If you have any questions please email Catherine Dyer, Brand and Marketing Director at [email protected]