Class of 2015 Spring 2019 Letter

Spring 2019

Dear Members of the Class of 2015,

As you receive this letter, Luther student musicians are playing and singing at full tilt. Collegiate Chorale and Cathedral Choir just returned from tours of the Midwest, and Jazz Orchestra sets out April 12 for a tout that 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 Untion ( 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. 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,

2015 Class Agents:

John Dahl
5705 Clinton Avenue
Mpls. MN 55419-1455
[email protected]

Maggie (Steinberg) Hagen
151 Q Street NE, Apt. 3422
Washington DC 20002-2290
[email protected]

James Odegaard
3251 Stonecreek Drive #207
Madison WI 53719
[email protected]


Mullen (Wacker) Beisker of Waukon, Iowa, earned a master’s degree in professional school counseling from Buena Vista University.

Leah Broderick Niedermann works in admissions and recruiting for Elon University in Elon, N.C. 

Cassie Campbell of West Des Moines, Iowa, is a home preservation specialist at Wells Fargo Home Mortgage.

Becca Chapin is a stitcher for Bethany Joy Costumes in New York City.

Christine (O’Brien) and Jimmy Deignan live in St. Louis Park, Minn. Christine teaches seventh grade English at Saint Ambrose of Woodbury Catholic School; Jimmy teaches vocal music at PiM Arts High School.

Rigzin Dolma earned a master’s degree in data science from the University of St. Thomas; she is a data analyst at Allina Health in St. Paul, Minn.

Michael Ehrecke is an admissions counselor at Midland University in Fremont, Neb. 

Megan Gelsinger is a graduate student in statistics at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y.

Maggie (Steinberg) Hagen led a discussion on Luther College’s history and her experiences on campus during a public forum in the Center for Faith and Life Recital Hall last October. The discussion, “Here We Stand: Reflections on Luther’s Radical History and Legacy,” was part of Luther’s yearlong commemoration of the founding of the Black Student Union 50 years ago. Hagen is program assistant for workplace justice and education at the National Women’s Law Center in Washington, D.C.

Kayla Herman is an HR generalist for National Flood Services in Chicago.

Dietrich Jessen is a client development and education specialist at Traust Consulting in Minneapolis.

Hanna Knutson is a product and brand developer for Colored Organics in Minneapolis.

Katherine Kust earned a master of social work degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and works as a mental health practitioner II at Fraser Autism Center in Coon Rapids, Minn.

Aaron Kvale teaches high school Spanish for the Howard-Winneshiek Community Schools in Cresco, Iowa.

Katherine Langston is a Registered Nurse at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

Jacob Lembezeder is a business development representative for Sovos Compliance in Minnetonka, Minn.

Tanya Meyer earned a doctorate in physical therapy from the Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences in Rochester, Minn.

James Odegaard is a sales coordinator at Epic Systems in Verona, Wis.

Laura Peterson teaches fourth grade for the Wayzata (Minn.) Public Schools.

Abby Powell is headquarters coordinator at Arlo Hotel Soho in New York City.

Katelynn Richman is a graduate student in the Physician Assistant Program at the University of Dubuque in Dubuque, Iowa.

Kaia Sand earned a master’s degree in music from the University of Oklahoma; she teaches ESL online for VIPKID and is a self-employed freelance oboist and teacher.

Ashley (Brown) Swanson is a psychiatric associate at the University of Minnesota Medical Center (Fairview) in Minneapolis.

Kelli Golinghorst and Seth Vander Horst live in Bettendorf, Iowa. Kelli earned a juris doctorate from the University of Iowa College of Law and is an associate attorney at Brooks Law Firm, P.C. She also published an article in the Iowa Law Review, Vol 103 Issue 3 called Meet Me in the Middle: The Search for the Appropriate Standard of Review for the APA’s Good Cause Standard. Seth is a regional diagnostic sales associate at Snap-On Tools, Inc.

Kaitlyn Wieland is an emotional behavioral disabilities (EBD) special education teacher at Grant Wood Elementary School in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.




AUSTYN POTTERTON and Jon Franklin, Oct. 14, 2017

BREANNE ROSONKE and JUDD LANDERS '14, Sept. 15, 2018

ALDON SEVERSON and Brittany DuPay, Oct. 13, 2018

KIERSTEN SORENSON and Brett Meyer, Oct. 20, 2018

MULLEN WACKER and Seth Beisker, June 26, 2018


SAMMY (BARRON) and Joseph Russell welcomed a son, Barron Lee, 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]