Class of 2002 Spring 2019 Letter

Spring 2019

Warmest of Wishes, 2002 Classmates,

For those of you in the Midwest, it would be fun to connect on how you have been spending your chilly and snowy days the past couple of weeks. With the extra days off of school, our family has been shoveling, skiing, sledding, shoveling, and baking. It also reminds me of the snowy, fun-filled days at Luther from the cozy movie nights, to baking, to using Caf trays to sled, and the occasional study sessions in the library. Although we do not have the distraction of the Super Bowl in Minneapolis this year, we are looking forward to the Final Four in March. We were also fortunate enough to be able to enjoy the sounds and stories of the Nordic Choir at our church. We hope that many of you were able to catch performances from Collegiate Chorale and Cathedral Choir as well as be able to listen to and visit with the Nordic Choir tour.

A major event happening at Luther is the 50th anniversary of the college’s Black Student union. This year, Luther hosted a number of events to commemorate the 50th anniversary ( Some of the events included visits from several alumni 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.  Please check out your copy of the Luther Winter 2019 magazine for an article by Guy Nave, professor of religion and long time faculty advisor for Luther’s Black Student Union for the impact the BSU has played for students on campus and hopes for the future.

The Class of 2019 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.

Please feel free to visit for events happening at and around Luther.

Social Media

Using social media is another way to stay connected with Luther’s campus. Go to for links to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.

Luther’s Career Network

Feel free to utilize Luther’s Career Network on LinkedIn, a great way to help current students succeed. Go to for more information.

Alumni events

Many events are held throughout the region for alumni, parents, and friends of Luther College. Information can be found at (click on Alumni Events). Contact the Alumni Office at 563-387-1861 with questions about alumni events or tours.

Alumni Ambassador Program

The Alumni Ambassador program ( is designed to connect Luther alumni with prospective students. Every student you refer will receive a $1,000 scholarship (in your name!) each year, for four years, should they decide to enroll at Luther. For more information, contact Julie Trytten, Asst. Dir. of Admissions at [email protected].

Loyalty Society

Luther’s Loyalty Society, which recognizes donors who have made gifts at any level for three or more consecutive years. The best way to make sure a gift is made each year is to sign up for monthly giving. Visit for more details about the Loyalty Society.

Please email or connect with us through the Alumni Office with any old and new memories we can share about your Luther experience and Luther connections. I feel lucky to be able to make connections with so many friends and alumni wherever we go.

Happy Spring!

Julia and Scott

2002 Class Agents:

Scott and Julia (Haugen) Peterson
9681 211th Street
Lakeville, MN 55044
[email protected]

Devon Wendler Alvord
3967 Hendricks Lane NE
Solon IA 52333
[email protected]


Kate (Lawrence) Baker is an agent with Moore Creative Talent and co-owner of Bloom Events in Minneapolis.

Brendan Dolan is dealer relations and commercial contracting counsel at Polaris Industries in Medina, Minn.

Rachel (Johnson) Gens earned a specialist in educational leadership degree from Minnesota State University-Mankato and is the curriculum and instruction director for the Bloomington (Minn.) Public Schools.

Jennifer Gulsvig of Inver Grove Heights, Minn., is a freelance music educator specializing in competitive show choir programs. 

Marta (Lane) and Mark Leach ‘98 live in Shakopee, Minn. She is senior L&D business partner at Schwan’s Company; he is senior supply planner at Cargill.

Stacie Mickens is associate professor of horn at the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas.

Jennifer Putzier is director of the Batavia Depot Museum for the Batavia (Ill.) Park District.

Melissa Willenborg is an orthopedic surgeon at ArnotHealth in Elmira, N.Y.

Mary (Wilgenbusch) Yamoah is principal at St. Michael Catholic School in Prior Lake, Minn.

Sarah (Belz) Zumbahlen is claims legal counsel at BITCO in Davenport, Iowa. In 2017 she won the Property and Liability Research Bureau’s Outstanding Presentations Award for her presentation on Handling Large Liability Claims. She is also the 2019 chair for the Gala for Gigi’s Playhouse Quad Cities, Down Syndrome Achievement Center.


ERIN (HILTON) and Chris Sloan welcomed a son, Harry Addison, in April 2018.

SARAH (BELZ) and Rick Zumbahlen welcomed a son, Jack Andrew, in October 2017.

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]