Class of 2008 Spring 2019 Letter

Spring 2019

Dear Class of 2008 Classmates,

Cale Nelson here.  Our 10-year class reunion has come and gone.  It was great to see so many people I hadn’t seen since graduation, to catch up and hear how your lives are going.  We had a cool venue for our reunion at the Luna Valley Farm as well.  My thanks go out to the planning committee, the Development office staff, especially Megan Torkelson ’05, and Tom and Maren Beard ’08 (owners of Luna Valley Farm), for their work in preparing for the weekend’s events. Wherever our lives take us, it is great to know we can always come back together and remind ourselves of the great friends we made in college. I appreciate everyone who was able to make the trek to Decorah.  For those that couldn’t make it, hopefully we get to see you at a future Luther event or the next class reunion.    

On the giving side of things, we did a fantastic job. Overall, we collected $43,411 for Luther as a class with roughly a 29% participation rate. It’s the continued support by its alumni that allows Luther to provide the type of quality experience we got during our four years. The support is much appreciated.

Joining the 2008 class agent team is Ryan Fordice, Carl Westphal, and Andrea Kruse who you will see writing letters in the future.

I did want to make you aware of several events occurring at Luther and in the surrounding states related to Luther over the coming months. You can also reference the Luther website or the latest publication of the Luther magazine for events that are occurring in your area.

Collegiate Chorale and Cathedral Choir just returned from tours of the Midwest, and Jazz Orchestra sets out April 12 for a tourthat 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 be bidding 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.    

Remember to stay connected to your Luther friends and family by updating your information with this easy online form:  If you do not already have a username and password, an account can be created by contacting the Luther Technology Help Desk at (563) 387-1000.

Soli Deo Gloria,

Cale Nelson

2008 Class Agents:

Cale Nelson
722 Grand Avenue, Unit C
Saint Paul MN 55105
[email protected]

Sarah Carnes
421 N. Phillips Avenue
Apt. 209
Sioux Falls SD 57104
[email protected]

Ryan Fordice
1234 W. Carmen Avenue Apt. 1A
Chicago IL 60640
[email protected]

Andrea Kruse
3455 Holdrege Street
Apt. 300
Lincoln NE 68503-1429
[email protected]

Carl Westphal
1303 Clifton Street NW
Apt. 4
Washington DC 20009-7015
[email protected]


Jordan Anderson is a security analyst at RAND Corporation in Arlington, Va.

Sadie (Hemmerich) Ash is owner of SE Hemmerich Tax and Accounting Services in Milaca, Minn.

Lindsey (Bulger) Bina is pastor at Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church in Apple Valley, Minn.

Joey Corbin is head engineer for the Department of Academic Administration at the University of Oslo in Oslo, Norway.

Kylie (Toomer) Gougler earned a doctorate in music from the University of Iowa, and is assistant professor of voice at Clarke University in Dubuque, Iowa.

Katie (Meyer) Hunerdosse of Austin, Minn., illustrated the children’s book, The Monster Dog-A Small Dog with a Big Attitude, by Carmen Tribbett.

Kris Klein is assistant professor of planetary sciences at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Ariz.

Rachel (Donahoe) Marquardt is counsel at ACT, Inc. in Iowa City, Iowa.

Nicole (Johnson) Pachon is a Registered Nurse at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis.

Kelly Rodger earned a master’s degree in children, youth and family ministry from Luther Seminary; she is director of elementary ministry at Lord of Life Lutheran Church in Maple Grove, Minn.

Kyle Schroeder is assistant baseball coach at Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant, Mich.

Margit (Severson) Speckeen is a strings instructor at Leithold Music in La Crosse, Wis.

Amanda Weber earned a doctorate in conducting from the University of Minnesota and is interim director of choral ministries at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Minneapolis. For the past three years, she has also volunteered at the women’s state prison at Shakopee, conducting the Voices of Hope choir.



ALYSSA CHEADLE and Paul Pearson, June 23, 2018

JACKSON FELDE and ANGIE PIDDE '11, June 24, 2017

SADIE HEMMERICH and Roy Ash, Sept. 29, 2018

KALLI LEDEL and JUD TAYLOR '07, Aug. 11, 2018


ANNELISE (BERG) and TYLER DRAHEIM welcomed a daughter, Bethany Grace, in April 2018.

KELSEY (O’CONNELL) and BRAD NELSON welcomed a daughter, Ingrid, in June 2018.

MELANIE (THOMPSON) and Brian Johnson welcomed a daughter, Arianna Elise, in December 2017.

REBECCA (FREDERICK) and Sam Jordan welcomed a son, Dominic Finn, in March 2017.

RACHEL (DONAHOE) and MICHAEL MARQUARDT welcomed a son, Jacob, in May 2018.

JENNIFER (LEMBRECHT) and Jason Silverman welcomed a daughter, Hazel Lila, 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]