Class of 2011 Spring 2019 Letter

Spring 2019

Hello Class of 2011,

It is hard to believe that we are already one month into 2019 (as I write this in early February). It has been about a week since the “Polar Vortex” hit the Midwest, resulting in some of the coldest temperatures I have ever experienced.  It brought back memories of J-Terms at Luther and bundling up as much as possible as I trekked to class, the Caf, or off on adventures with friends.

Speaking of J-Term, current Luther students have returned from their programs around the globe.  During J-Term 2019, 367 students and 32 program leaders participated in 18 different courses.  Each course had its own blog that allowed you to follow along on the adventures ( One of our own classmates living abroad, Michaela Hill, met up with Professor Olga (Rinco) Michels and Professor David Thompson in Sevilla, Spain during their J-Term course, “Islamic Science in the Middle Ages Across the Mediterranean.”  Luther connections are everywhere!

Back on campus, Luther has 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 bid 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. I heard great reviews from attendees of last year’s Dorian for Adults!  

Thank you to everyone who supported Luther in 2018.  Be sure to keep the Alumni Office (or your class agents!) updated on the happenings in your lives!

Soli Deo Gloria!

Kelsey (Leppert) Sjoblom
2011 Class Agent
2732 8th Avenue SE
Altoona, IA 50009
[email protected]

Alex Ulfers
2011 Class Agent
501 W. 47th Street, Apt. 3E
New York, NY 10036
[email protected]

Kelsey Wauters
2011 Class Agent
5225 Black Friar Lane
Minnetonka, MN 55345
[email protected]


Katie Deaver is director of music at Marquette Hope – A United Methodist Faith Community in Marquette, Mich.

Braulio Dumba earned a Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Minnesota and is a research staff member at IBM’s Thomas J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, N.Y. 

Lucas Holsten graduated from Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minn., and is associate pastor at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Jamestown, N.D.

Lisa (Harney) Lansdon earned a Ph.D. in genetics from the University of Iowa; she is a laboratory genetics and genomics fellow at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City.

Rewant Lokesh earned an MBA from Symbiosis International University in India.

Kyle McGivney was promoted to corporal and designated assistant zone commander of zone 9, Marion and Ralls counties, for the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

Alex Pehler teaches at Lincoln School in Heredia, Costa Rica.

Charles Rasmussen is on the cello and Suzuki faculty at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music in Milwaukee. He released a solo cello CD, Joseph-Marie-Clément Dall’Abaco: 11 Capricci, on Centaur Records. Information is available on

Karl Streufert is director of finance at Saint Francis Center in Denver.

Katie Terhune and Kacey Wyttenhove are co-owners of Cream and Amber, a new and used bookstore serving Minnesota craft beer and coffee in Hopkins, Minn.

Rick Westermann is vice president of marketing and sales at LCS in Des Moines, Iowa.


LISA HARNEY and Patrick Lansdon, May 6, 2017

SARAH KROG and Shawn Schmitt, Sept. 15, 2018


KATHERINE (OLLMAN) '14 and ALEX GISLESON welcomed a son, George Aarik, in August 2018.

KATRINA (SIKKINK) and Nathan Sand welcomed a daughter, Adelaide Lucille, in April 2017.

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]