Class of 2008 Fall 2019 Letter

Fall 2019

Class of 2008,

Do you remember how when you were younger, the summers all lasted forever?

Days disappeared into months, into years. Hold that feeling forever. 

Ryan Fordice here. The poetry of Chance the Rapper (feat. Benjamin Gibbard) is not the letter intro I would have expected my future self to use eleven years ago. But that’s life, isn’t it? Things change.

As this summer ends, we in the Class of 2008, are veterans to change, with a full decade of life after Luther to look back on. Many marriage vows have been exchanged, and many Luther onesie-sporting babies have been produced. Depart for Roscoe’s time has become bedtime. And, we all have been carried by time through jobs, people, and places that have formed us.

Whatever experiences and changes life may have brought in the last decade, we share the common and unchanging experience of first being formed at Luther. We all suffered through Paideia and senior papers. We walked the same sidewalks as we formed relationships with professors, coaches, and conductors who still live in our heads and hearts. We drank the same Upper Iowa alluvium water, and still carry those limey-tasting minerals in our bones (bio majors, thank you in advance for not correcting me on this). We all had an opinion on Dole Whip (con) and caf trays (pro). And for four years, we all took our turn carrying on the story of Luther.

As time flows on and days disappear into months and years, it is a comfort to know that the Luther story continues, and that at the end of each shortening summer, another class of what we now call “kids” arrives to write their chapter. As they nervously unload more stuff than necessary into Brandt, Ylvisaker, and Olson, this year they will be welcomed by another excited newcomer in Dr. Jenifer K. Ward, 11th president of Luther College.

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. 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.”

You can learn more about President Ward and the ongoing Luther story on Luther’s YouTube channel, in the fall issue of the Luther Magazine, or on social media:

     Follow Luther College on Twitter: @LutherCollege
     Follow Luther College on Instagram: @LutherCollege
     Follow the Luther College Alumni Facebook page:

Also keep in mind that Christmas at Luther takes place December 5–8! This year’s theme is Whom Angels Greet with Anthems Sweet.

Finally, on behalf of all your class agents, thank you to all who support the college financially. It guarantees that the Luther story can go on, and on.

Hold that Luther feeling forever,

Ryan Fordice


2008 Class Agents:

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]

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

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



Kadra Abdi of Minneapolis is president and co-founder of Iskaashi, an initiative to work with communities to help them navigate making real change in the realm of policy; principal consultant at Synergy, a community engagement and consulting business; and a member of the Metropolitan Council Equity Advisory Committee and the American Relief Agency for the Horn of Africa Board. Abdi returned to Luther last March to give a lecture, “Social Entrepreneurship and Navigating Professional Life After Luther,” celebrating both the 50th anniversary of Black Student Union and Women’s History Month.

Amanda Allen earned a certificate in education/teaching of individuals with autism from Concordia University in St. Paul, Minn. She is a special education teacher at the Osseo (Minn.) Area Schools.

Andrew Boddicker of Walker, Iowa, is founder of a new start-up called Walking Space. He hosts and guides long-distance walking events (currently on the Root River Trail and in Southeastern Minn.) to nurture relationships with nature, others, and one’s self.

Carson Bruns gave a TEDx Talk, “futuristic tattoos that react to the world around you.” A video recording can be found on YouTube. Carson is an assistant professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder’s Atlas Institute and Department of Mechanical Engineering.

Dale Gohl is a work service technician for the State of Minnesota in St. Paul, Minn.

Drew Haefner is assistant vice president, assistant controller at Central Bancshares in Muscatine, Iowa.

Mikel Hansen teaches at the United Community School District in Boone, Iowa.

Tyler Hendrickson earned his doctor of musical arts degree from the University of Iowa. As a recipient of a 2018 Stanley Graduate Award for International Research, he spent five weeks working in the John Blackwood McEwen Archives at the University of Glasgow, in Scotland. Hendrickson presented “Creating the Critical Edition of the John Blackwood McEwen Sonata for Viola and Piano” at the Juried Research Poster Session at the 2019 American String Teachers Association Conference.

David Kinz is a physical therapist at Kaiser Permanente in Denver.

Kevin Kooienga is elementary school counselor at Graded American School of Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Jackie Lentz is product operations manager at Thycotic in Washington, D.C.

Lindi (Archer) Makohoniuk is artist in residence at Youth Emergency Services & Shelter in Des Moines, Iowa.

Andrew Meyer earned a doctorate of podiatric medicine, podiatric medicine and surgery degree from Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science. He is a resident physician at Mount Sinai Hospital/Capt. James a Lovell Federal Healthcare Center in Chicago.

Ben Nielsen is assistant restaurant manager at Jethro’s BBQ in Des Moines, Iowa.

Kaitlin O’Connor of Urbandale, Iowa, earned a master’s degree from Boston University. She teaches music at Casablanca American School in Casablanca, Morocco.

Kristen (Learman) Stengl is assistant photographer at Sean Kurdziolek Photography and Bella Luce Fine Art Portraits in Fairbanks, Alaska.



PAULA HARDIE and Kenny Neuzil, October 27, 2018



BETH (GOSKESEN) and Kendall Christensen welcomed daughters, Lauren Renae, March 2018 and Alaina Jane, February 2019.

KELLY (MOELLER) and Ross Hauschild welcomed a son, Jameson Mitchell, in December 2018.

AMANDA (VAN WECHEL) and Matt Long welcomed a daughter, Ellie Mae, in June 2018.

LAURA (SOUBA) and GARETT MCKINESS welcomed a daughter, Leanna Jade, in November 2018.

BECKY (STIGER) and Kyle Williams welcomed a son, Conner, in July 2018.

Deanna and NATHANIAL YOUNGQUIST welcomed a daughter, Maggie Grace, in June 2018.