Class of 2004 Fall 2019 Letter

Fall 2019

Dear Class of 2004 Alumni,

Can you believe it has now been 15 years since we graduated!? We came home for the first time in ten years and it was great to see so many of you at our 15-year reunion. It was amazing to see how Luther has changed so much in just a short time. It was our little daughter’s first trip to Luther, but it certainly won’t be her last. She had a great time getting to know this wonderful place. We hope to see as many of you as possible at our 20-year reunion.

In case you couldn’t come out for Homecoming or haven’t heard the news, 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 (, 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:

Please 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!

And, finally, please consider what you can give to keep Luther strong for generations to come. We were supported by those who came before us, so please pass it forward.


Rachel and Dave Bleich
2004 Class Agents
5025 7th Road S, Apt. 202
Arlington, VA 22204-2524
703-399-4685 (D); 240-353-0957 (R)
[email protected]; [email protected]



Sara Bradley is assistant men’s and women’s sprints coach for Track and Field at Ripon College in Ripon, Wis.

Ben Druffel is director of bands at McMurry University in Abilene, Texas.

Ryan Goessl was honored, by the mayor of Seoul, South Korea, as this year’s Honorary Citizen of Seoul for his work in the fields of music and culture. This honor is bestowed upon non-Koreans residing in Korea who have made major contributions to the city. Past honorary citizens have included actor Jackie Chan and NFL star Hines Ward. Ryan is executive director for Camarata Music.

Steve Gritton is an instructional designer and eLearning specialist at HighJump in Minneapolis.

Heidi Hansen is a vascular surgeon at Nebraska Heart Institute in Lincoln, Neb.

Tenzing Lahdon is senior technical assistance specialist at American University and program manager at the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C.

Chad Lindblom is learning solutions representative at Pearson VUE in Bloomington, Minn.

Hollee (Schulte) McCormick is general manager at Allamakee-Clayton Rural Electric Cooperative in Postville, Iowa.

Kristine (Erickson) Noland of Minneapolis is a project manager at Ecolab.

Paul Rea is 9-12 principal at Jesup Community Schools in Jesup, Iowa.

Matt Richardson of Chaska, Minn., is senior director property management at Target.

Monica (Winkel) Rogers is lead administrative assistant at Aegon Asset Management in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Kelly (Crouthamel) Skoda is resource supervisor at Organic Valley in La Farge, Wis.

Trenton Williams is principal at Howe Elementary School in Des Moines, Iowa.



KRISTINE ERICKSON and Brock Noland, Dec. 31, 2018

LEE FRANSON and Corey Wilson, June 23, 2018




GWEN (LYKKEN) '03 and ADAM STRAND a son, Henry John, in January