Class of 2006 Spring 2019 Letter

Spring 2019

Dear Fellow Alumni of the Luther College Class of 2006,

Another academic year is coming to a close on campus and this is one of my favorite times to reminisce about our past experiences as students in Decorah. One fond memory I share with many of our classmates is my time performing with one of the many musical ensembles on campus. As I write to you, Luther student musicians in Collegiate Chorale and Cathedral Choir are just returning 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, be sure to catch Nordic Choir as they sing with the Des Moines Symphony April 27 and 28 (! Very exciting to see the continued traditions of our strong musical talent at Luther!

As the academic year comes to a close, the Class of 2019 and their loved ones will celebrate Commencement on Sunday, May 26 ( It’s hard to believe, but that also 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. Be sure to follow the latest developments on Luther’s various social media platforms for news and to stay up to date on all things Luther!

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. Many of us now have children participating in these summer activities, so be sure to share your photos and fun stories with the Alumni office…you might end up in the next Alumni magazine!

Did you know 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!

Best wishes for a happy spring,

Your class agents,

Jamie Sue (Schultz) Knight
2006 Class Agent
50261 Rebecca Drive
Paw Paw, MI 49079-8420
[email protected]

Chris Bellinder
2006 Class Agent
3236 Hunters Rest Drive
Charleston SC 29414-7533
[email protected]


Celina (Bortz) Alvin earned a master’s degree in educational leadership from Viterbo University; she is a technology integration specialist at Fall River School District in Beaver Dam, Wis.

Angela (Reichert) Griffin is an intensive care unit nurse at Spectrum Health United Hospital in Greenville, Mich.

Kristen (Thompson) Moon teaches orchestra for the Hastings (Minn.) Public Schools.

Laura (Elliott) Nelson teaches K-2 music at Northeast Elementary School in Glenwood, Iowa.

Justin Papka is senior manager of grants and contracts at The Urban Institute in Washington, D.C.

Brie (Corfman) Taralson is director of clinic operations for Allina in New Ulm, Minn.

Veronica (Alzalde) Wells is co-author of the book, The Historical Dictionary of the American Music Industry, published by Rowman & Littlefield.


JOY (STUBER) '05 and JAKE ALSOP welcomed a daughter, Annika, in August 2018. 

MEGAN (FINNEGAN) and NICK KELLEY welcomed a son, Owen Michael, in September 2018.

KIRSTEN (BOETTNER) and REESE SHANAHAN welcomed a daughter, Emilie Grace, in March 2018.

LAURA (TONKIN) and Michael Van Vertloo welcomed twin sons, Cole David and Edwin Jon, in July 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]