Class of 2009 Fall 2019 Letter

Fall 2009

Dear Class of 2009 Alumni,

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:

And, finally, 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!

Justin Madsen
2009 Class Agent
1868 Munstoer Avenue
Saint Paul MN 55116
[email protected]

Julian Stanke
2009 Class Agent
4056 13th Avenue S
Minneapolis MN 55407
[email protected]


Janet (Brenton) Boyes is a dentist at Great Lakes Dental Center in Spirit Lake, Iowa.

Erin (Torkelson) and Jesse Bunge ‘11 live in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. She teaches music at St. Matthew Elementary School. He is visiting professor of choral music and choral music education at Coe College.

Josh Dansdill is small business development planner and grants specialist at Northeast Iowa Resource Conservation & Development in Postville, Iowa. He also serves as secretary/treasurer on the Upper Iowa River Alliance Board.

BreAnn (VanDeer) Drees is a full-time teacher and athletic trainer for the Fort Dodge (Iowa) Community School District.

Jack Franson is senior engineering manager at LiveRamp in San Francisco.

Kaitlyn Hanson is a registered nurse at Sentara Healthcare in Norfolk, Va.

Ashley Johnson is a vice president and wealth planner at Wells Fargo Wealth Management in Minneapolis.

Karl Larson is a PhD candidate at the University of California, Davis.

Peter McLellan earned a PhD with distinction in Bible and cultures from Drew University in Madison, N.J. He is graduate academic implementation manager at Drew University, and an adjunct instructor at Seton Hall University.

Liz (Leicht) Mason earned a master’s degree in social work from the University of Minnesota. She is a Title IX and EO investigator at Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C.

Greg Meirick is a home mortgage consultant at Wells Fargo Home Mortgage in Des Moines, Iowa.

Beth Nimmo is an IT analyst at NovuHealth in Minneapolis.

Matt Orth is a customer solutions analyst for Nestlé in Cleveland.

Cody Ryberg is senior study abroad advisor at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C.

Katie (Sackett) Stadheim is HR manager at East-Central Iowa Rural Electric Cooperative in Urbana, Iowa.

Laura Thompson earned the juris doctor degree from Pepperdine Law School in Malibu, Calif.

Amy (Schneider) Webb is senior public health analyst at Lantana Consulting Group in East Thetford, Vt.

Cody Webb earned an MBA degree from Western Governors University. He is EHS Manager with Stanley Engineered Fastening in Decorah.

Mandy (Wubben) Weister is assistant director of career education and early outreach at Minnesota State University in Mankato, Minn.

Mary Whipple earned a PhD in nursing from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.

Jill (Sundby) Yordy is a research assistant at the University of Colorado in Denver.



LAURA BANDFIELDand Nick McGrath, November 10, 2018

KELLY GAUL and Josef Wolf, October 13, 2018

KARL LARSON and CHELSEA LYNCH ’12, April 21, 2018

ELLEN MILLER and David Sellers, November 3, 2018



EMILY (WALK) and Brett Harris welcomed a daughter, Olivia Margaret, in November 2018.

STEFANIE (BOREN) and Steve Kaylor welcomed a daughter, Lilith Noel, in March 2018.

JULIA (JENKINS) and JOE OLYNYK '10 welcomed a daughter, Dottie Rose, in April 2018.

JENNY (REIMAN) and Andrew Savitski welcomed a daughter, Olivia May, on June 2017.

Jodi and CODY WEBB welcomed a son Walden, in April 2017 and a son, Duke, in February 2019.