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Winter 2013

End of an era


14 years of change and growth with the Torgersons

Research in the Black Sea


United World Colleges




Editor Ellen Modersohn Luther Magazine Volume 46, Number 2, Winter 2013

Managing Editor Kate Frentzel

Published by Luther College for alumni, parents, and friends

Designer Michael Bartels

Contributors Dave Blanchard Leah Broderick ’15 Sue (Franzen) Drilling ’78 Allison Gieswein ’14 Julie (Satre) Shockey ’01 Kirk Johnson ’82 Paige Lobdell ’16 Karen Martin-Schramm Ann Sponberg Peterson Judy Riha

Luther Alumni Magazine welcomes articles and signed letters to the editor; submissions may be edited for style, clarity, or length. Inquiries and submissions may be sent to the Editor, Luther Alumni Magazine, Luther College, 700 College Drive, Decorah, Iowa 52101-1045, phone (563) 387-1350. Class Notes submissions and changes of address may be sent to the Alumni Office at the address above. Alumni news may be e-mailed to the Alumni Office at alumni@ Questions and concerns about the magazine may be e-mailed to

Contents Features The Torgerson years


Summer research in the Black Sea


A world of cultures on campus


Homecoming 2012


We look at how, over the past 14 years, President Rick and Judy Torgerson led the team that reshaped campus, boosted the endowment, and put Luther on a path to carbon neutrality.

Students join a Luther professor on a National Geographic expedition, searching for shipwrecks in the Black Sea’s depths.

As United World Colleges marks 50 years—with a Chapel celebration—we learn about how the Davis UWC Scholars program benefits Luther students.

Luther honors outstanding alumni and students during a brisk fall weekend.

Departments Campus News


Editor’s Note....................................................2 Faculty/Staff News..........................................6 Luther Bookshelf.............................................7 Development News..........................................8 Student News..................................................8 Donor Spotlight...............................................9 Athletics........................................................14


Alumni News

Alumni Office (800) 225-8664; (800) 2 ALUMNI


Class Notes...................................................44 Alumni Profiles........................................45, 50 Marriages.....................................................59 Births/Adoptions...........................................60 In Memoriam.................................................62

Endpage 64 Calendar

inside back

Admissions Office (800) 458-8437; (800) 4 LUTHER

Cover: President Rick and Judy Torgerson will be ending their 14-year tenure at Luther this summer. Photo by Aaron Lurth ’08


Opposite: The band fun. performed at Luther in November to a sold-out crowd.

Copyright Luther College 2012

Campus News In his State of the College addresses, Luther President Rick Torgerson often included a word or phrase that captured his thinking about that year. For this issue of the magazine, which includes a look at his tenure at Luther, I’m borrowing that idea, and the word is collaboration. Collaboration happens in all sorts of ways at Luther. One of the things that Kevin Kraus, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the college, recalls about President Torgerson’s first months here is that he asked for the Luther community’s vision for the college rather than pushing his own. The strategic plan that resulted was collaboration on a giant scale. Read about Rick and Judy Torgerson’s years leading the college on page 14. You’ll also find a portrait of the Torgersons painted by Astri Snodgrass ’12. We’re trying to foster more collaboration with alumni and current students, featuring not only articles about them, but work by them. Read about some outstanding faculty-student collaborations—from exploring for ancient shipwrecks in the Black Sea to learning how to musically score a battle scene in a movie—starting on page 20. Another huge campus collaboration each year, of course, is Homecoming. If you couldn’t make it back this year, read all about it on page 28. Stories in this issue also include links to information, videos, and photos. You can find the magazine online, with even more links, at —Ellen Modersohn


Luther Alumni Magazine

Hanna JensEn '15

Editor’s Note

Participating in the dedication of Luther’s new solar energy field on Oct. 27, 2012, were (left to right) Jay Uthoff, manager of trade services; Jim Martin-Schramm, professor of religion; Diane Tacke, vice president for finance and administration; Paul Torgerson ’73, Board of Regents chair; President Rick Torgerson; Larry Grimstad, owner of the solar field; and Tina Yates ’13, Baker Village resident.

Powering the future: Solar energy array moves college closer to carbon neutrality Luther’s new $1.2 million solar energy field—the largest single solar energy production facility in Iowa—went online Aug. 24, 2012. This milestone moves Luther a giant step closer to the college’s goal of reducing its campus carbon footprint 50 percent by the end of 2015 and 70 percent by 2020, and achieving carbon neutrality by 2030. Dedicated on Oct. 27, the 280-kilowatt solar photovoltaic system consists of 1,250 separate solar panels mounted in six rows. Luther is leasing the solar panel array on Pole Line Road from Decorah Solar Field LLC, a corporation owned by Decorah resident Larry Grimstad. Plans are to purchase the array after

seven years. The solar facility is designed to power Baker Village, an allelectric student housing facility that uses geothermal energy for heating and cooling. Once coupled with a smaller 20-kilowatt array, the facilities together will produce all of the energy consumed at Baker Village, making it the largest facility in the state of Iowa powered by the sun. The solar panel array will produce a maximum of 280 kilowatts of electricity while the sun is shining. Factoring in variables such as cloud cover, shadows, and other weather issues, the facility is expected to produce an estimated 355,000 kilowatt hours of electricity annually.

When the panels produce more electricity than is being consumed, the excess will flow into Alliant Energy’s grid to power nearby homes in Decorah. Dragonfly Solar, based in the Twin Cities, designed and built the solar energy production facility. Its solar panels were manufactured in Florida by SolarWorld, USA. Over the next seven years, the renewable electricity credits from this project will be sold to the Winneshiek Energy District for repurchase by other businesses in the community that want to reduce their carbon footprint, such as Decorah Bank & Trust. Once Luther purchases the array, it will help the college

Campus News

Georgianna Whiteley ’13 becomes Luther’s eighth Rhodes Scholar

Luther’s Rhodes Scholars: 1911 J.A.O. Larsen ’08 1914 David T. Nelson ’12 1924 Carl Strom ’19 1951 George Mohr ’51 1959 Anthony Preus ’58 1985 Mary Larson ’85 2001 Phillip Assmus ’01 2012 Georgianna Whiteley ’13

meet its greenhouse gas reduction goals. An investment in campus energy efficiency in 2004 reduced the college’s carbon footprint by 15 percent, and the 1.6-megawatt wind turbine erected in 2011 is expected to bring an additional 15-percent reduction. Carbon neutrality has been a strategic goal of the college since June 2007, when President Rick Torgerson made Luther one of the 70 charter signatories of the American College and University Presidents Climate

In November, Luther senior Annie Whiteley joined an elite group of 32 American college students awarded the Rhodes Scholarship, which provides all expenses for advanced study at Oxford University. Whiteley, a chemistry major and biology minor from Wayzata, Minn., knew as early as high school that she wanted to be a physician. But her interest in global healthcare and healthcare inequity was sparked during her sophomore year of college, when she spent January Term in the anthropology program in Tanzania with Professor Lori (Van Gerpen) Stanley ’80. She returned to Tanzania the following summer, where,

she says, “We spent eight weeks living at a school that caters to mainly Maasai students, and it was out in what we would call ‘the bush’—a very rural area a few hours’ walk from any town and a couple hours’ bus ride to a city. From there, we would travel to bomas, or Maasai homesteads, that surrounded the school to speak with Maasai elders and conduct interviews about their use of traditional medicines.” Whiteley and fellow students used the information they collected to develop techniques for distilling essential oils from those medicines, which a local Maasai school could then use to make soaps to sell to travel lodges.

Commitment. Carbon neutrality, or having a net zero carbon footprint, refers to achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions. Produced primarily by the burning of fossil fuels, carbon dioxide emissions are the primary greenhouse gases contributing to global climate change and its increasingly unpredictable weather patterns.

EPA recognizes Luther among top green power users

Follow the energy production at

Messages celebrate clean energy progress Luther is a perfect example of how colleges and universities can help drive America’s clean energy economy and win the jobs of the future. I congratulate Luther and its students on completing Iowa’s largest photovoltaic solar array—powering your campus with clean, renewable energy for years to come. —Steven Chu, U.S. secretary of energy

As part of its ongoing commitment to using green power, Luther is participating in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Green Power Partnership. The college’s growing use of green power—more than four million kilowatt hours of green power in the 2011–12 academic year—meets 28 percent of the campus’s electricity use. “We are proud to be recognized by the U.S. Environmental

“The Maasai have little to no access to biomedical healthcare,” Whiteley says, and the experience taught her that she “wanted to be a doctor who’s more concerned with cultural competency and also how to bring healthcare to those in the world who don’t have it.” She’s eager to explore these possibilities at Oxford, where she will pursue her master’s degree in medical anthropology. Whiteley, the second woman in Luther’s history to receive the Rhodes Scholarship, would love to eventually work for a public health organization. Watch a video of Whiteley speaking about her opportunity at

Protection Agency,” said Luther President Richard Torgerson. “Green power helps Luther become more sustainable, while also sending a message to others across the U.S. that supporting clean sources of electricity is a sound business decision and an important choice in reducing climate risk.” Luther purchases green power from Luther College Wind Energy Project LLC and also from Wind Vision LLC, which owns a single turbine community wind Continued on next page

I wanted to take this opportunity to congratulate you on the dedication of Luther’s solar energy production facility. I am pleased to see that your college is continuing to do its part in reducing Iowa’s carbon footprint. This new facility on your campus, in addition to your already successful wind turbine, is a giant step in the right direction as we work to become more energy independent and make use of the many great energy resources we have here in the great State of Iowa. —Terry E. Branstad, governor of Iowa

Winter 2013 Luther Alumni Magazine


Campus News

Continued from previous page project in St. Ansgar, Iowa. According to the U.S. EPA, Luther College’s green power

Something to talk about: Speech and Debate Center opens in Preus Library Last fall, Luther students giving class presentations may have had fewer butterflies in their stomachs. That’s owing to the recently opened Speech and Debate Center (SDC). The new center, made possible through funding from the Roberts Endowment for Debate and Forensics, found its permanent home this fall in a classroom in Preus Library. Kim Powell, professor of communication studies and SDC director, says that having a dedicated space for the SDC in the library will give the center more visibility and give users

purchase of more than four million kilowatt hours from June 1, 2011, through May 31, 2012, is equivalent to avoiding the annual carbon dioxide emissions of

nearly 600 passenger vehicles or the electricity use of more than 400 average American homes. The Green Power Partnership is a voluntary program that

encourages organizations to buy green power as a way to reduce the environmental impacts associated with electricity use. Read more at

access to more materials as well as allow the center to partner with library staff and Student Support Services. The SDC is equipped with laptops that allow a speech tutor to film a student giving a presentation. The tutor and tutee then review the footage together and identify what was done well and what was done less than well. The SDC also provides a permanent home for the Luther Forensic Speech and Debate Team, which Jordy Barry ’15 initiated as a first-year student in 2011. “Now we have a haven to promote team unity and practice together,” says Barry, who acts as both the team president and coach. She notes that the Roberts Endowment also supplied the forensics team with funds to travel to collegiate tournaments,

and she hopes that some Luther students will qualify for nationals this year.

sary. These programs become a liability when the presenter addresses the slides instead of the audience, and the audience too often is reading instead of listening. If you decide to use PowerPoint, the basic guideline for slides is the five-by-five rule: for each slide, don’t use more than five lines of type or more than five words per line. 3. Focus on the audience. And, of course, the only way to do this is to practice, practice, practice (see tip 1). Powell also advises that a speaker should work an interaction into the presentation. One way to do this is by asking a question. It’s much easier to keep an audience’s attention, she says, if they’re required to somehow respond or interact with you.

Tips: How to give a presentation The Speech and Debate Center focuses on Luther students, but SDC director Kim Powell’s vision for the center includes faculty and staff and even outreach into the local community. In this spirit, she shared some tips on giving an effective presentation. 1. Practice, practice, practice. Powell advises running through a speech seven to 10 times to learn your material enough to avoid relying on notes and to build confidence in what you’re going to say. 2. Only use Prezi or PowerPoint if it’s really neces-

Parents Council holds fall meeting Luther’s 2012–13 Parents Council held its fall meeting Sept. 21–23. Parents Council is the representative body of the Luther Parents Association, to which all parents of Luther students belong. The council, a liaison between parents and the college, is a means for parents to express concerns and suggestions to the college, and raises money

Senior parent representatives, pictured with President Rick Torgerson and Judy Torgerson: Carrie (Phipps) '82 and Ray Harney '80, Todd and Linda (Larson) Kluge '84, Regan and Mark Allen, Mark and Shari Schultz. Not pictured: Cary and Mary Lewis, Michele (Mertens) '83 and Carter Stevens '83, Mark and Paula Voss.


Luther Alumni Magazine

Junior parent representatives: Wende (Bunger) '81 and Dan Douglas, Alicia Anderson '86 and Bob Skelly, Kristi (Wahlberg) '79 and Kevin Josephson '79, Pete Cochrane, Tim and Pam Alpers. Not pictured: Sandy Cochrane, Chris and Jean Nolte.

for the Luther College Annual Fund through the Roots & Wings campaign. Council representatives send parents fall and spring letters that provide college news, updates, and contact information for council members. For information, call the Luther Development Office at (800) 225-8664 or visit

Sophomore parent representatives: Tracey Hirst, Leofwin and JoBeth Clark, Mary Ann Kliethermes, Susan Anderson-Nelson, Mary Ellen (Palmquist) '84 and Jeff Anderson '84, Linda and Mike Norderhaug '77. Not pictured: Mary (Edwards) '76 and Rich Steinberg '74.

First-year parent representatives: Kristin Swanson '80 and Alan Hecht '80, Sandee (Neitzel) '87 and Jon Joppa '85, Laura and Doug Lambert, Phil and Kathy Pielage, Laura and Brad Nielsen. Not pictured: Jill (Voss) Wachholz '89.

Campus News

Kent Finanger ’54 receives Spirit of Luther Award At Luther’s opening convocation on Aug. 30, longtime Luther coach and professor Kent Finanger ’54 received the Spirit of Luther Award, which recognizes and honors individuals who provide significant, sustained service to the college. “Luther College has always viewed athletics as an integral part of the total student experience. Coach Kent is a living example of that philosophy,” said President Rick Torgerson. “He poured his heart and soul into teaching, coaching, and mentoring young people at Luther and continues to personify the spirit of Luther. “Kent Finanger is known for writing many enthusiastic notes,” Torgerson continued. “Forget that English teacher’s rule about being stingy with exclamation points: Kent’s correspondence is riddled with them. A favorite phrase of his is ‘Wow! Fun! Wow!’ We eagerly gather

Opuni-Akuamoa ’92 amuses, challenges convocation crowd A loud, cheerful laugh erupted from the crowd in the Center for Faith and Life as Marjorie Opuni-Akuamoa ’92 advised the audience, “If all your friends look like you, talk like you, and act like you, you really ought to get some new friends.” Such was the message of the 1992 Luther graduate, as she used her sense of humor and upbeat personality to spread her message of diversity and global

Kent Finanger ’54 received the Spirit of Luther Award at the opening convocation in August. this morning, at the start of a new academic year, to honor this alumnus’s infectious, ‘true blue’ spirit and his dedication to Luther College for more than half a century. ‘Wow! Fun! Wow!’ pretty much sums it up.” As a student, Finanger was named all-conference in football and basketball his junior and senior seasons, a Small College All-American in football his junior season, and conference long-jump champion his senior season. After graduation, Finanger joined the military for two years. He earned a master’s degree in

citizenship during the 2012 Luther College opening convocation on Aug. 30. At the ceremony that welcomes first-year and transfer students, Opuni-Akuamoa received the Luther College Distinguished Service Award. Opuni-Akuamoa, who is the current senior adviser of Evidence, Strategy, and Results at the United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), was recognized for her endless dedication to improving health and economic conditions throughout the globe. Upon receiving her award, Opuni-Akuamoa addressed the audience with her speech, “On Becoming Global Citizens.” Opuni-Akuamoa immediate-

Marjorie Opuni-Akuamoa ’92 delivered the opening convocation speech on campus last August.

physical education from the University of Wisconsin and a doctoral degree in physical education from the University of Iowa. He became a professor in the health and physical education department, chairing the department from 1964 to 1996. As a coach at his alma mater, he logged nearly 90 seasons of coaching or assistant coaching in five sports: football (9 seasons), baseball (17 seasons), basketball (25 seasons), cross country (27 seasons), and track and field (9 seasons). While Finanger was at the helm, Luther track and field teams won five Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference team titles and placed second in the 1965 NCAA College Division National Championships, receiving five All-America honors that season. Finanger’s cross country runners won 21 Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference team titles over a 27-year period, and the coach guided Luther’s cross country team to the 1985 na-

tional title. His teams finished in the top 10 nationally 10 times, placing second in 1978, third in 1980, and fifth in 1987. A renowned sports-clinic speaker, Finanger served as president of the NCAA Division III Cross Country Coaches Association, as a committee member for the NCAA Track and Field Committee, and as director of the International Coaches Team to Iceland four times. Finanger was honored as NCAA Division III Cross Country Coach of the Year once and as the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Cross Country Coach of the Year a remarkable 21 times. He was inducted into Luther’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 1997 and into the Iowa Association of Track Coaches Hall of Fame in 1998. In addition, Finanger served on the Decorah Community School Board for 12 years and is an active member of Rotary, Winneshiek County Red Cross, the Decorah All-Sports Club, and other organizations.

ly connected with students, faculty, and community members as she said, “I remember sitting in your seats.” She delighted the audience by retelling her personal memories at Luther, from attending her own opening convocation to typing her first Paideia paper on a typewriter. Opuni-Akuamoa advised the audience, “Study abroad and learn a foreign language and value your education of the liberal arts.” As Opuni-Akuamoa took listeners on her journey through schooling, traveling, and medical research, she stressed the importance of being a global citizen, respecting and accepting diversity, and understanding being a part of a global community.

Having traveled the globe and witnessed the conditions of surrounding nations, OpuniAkuamoa asserted that people in America do not realize how incredibly privileged they are. She acknowledged there are difficulties in the world, including poverty, disease, and hunger, but said that these setbacks should not discourage people from making a difference. She encouraged the audience to go beyond themselves, figure out how the world works, expand horizons, and challenge assumptions. — Paige Lobdell ’16

Winter 2013 Luther Alumni Magazine


Campus News


Hanna JensEn '15

Alumni join Luther faculty

A fine way to treat a Steinway Ryan Mix, Luther’s music technician, estimates that it’s almost always more cost effective to rebuild than to replace pianos of a certain caliber, such as the nine-foot Steinway Model D that the college recently sent out for refurbishing. John Strauss, Luther professor of music, chose the Steinway at the factory in 1977. With an ideal refurbishment cycle of every 30 years for pianos in an institutional setting, Mix says, this one was a bit overdue for a makeover. “There are pianists that play with such fine technique that they can accelerate the hammer toward the string and knock it out of tune,” Mix marvels. This Steinway already had loose tuning pins, and keeping it in tune was a major problem. Refurbishment on the piano was done in three categories: the finish; the bellywork, which includes the soundboard and the strings; and the action—the keys and all the pieces that allow them to work. This last category involves parts made of wood, cloth, leather, felt, and paper, all of which degrade over time, particularly with frequent repeated movement. The Steinway was sent in late fall of 2011 to a rebuilding company in Plymouth, Mich. When it returned to its home on the main stage of the CFL in August 2012, it was almost a different instrument. Below are before-and-after shots of the fully restored 88. Before After

• Margaret (Fons) Britton ’10, adjunct faculty in music • Andrew Last ’97, assistant professor of music • Meghan (Gesing) Palmer ’06, visiting instructor in nursing • Mark Rhodes ’97, visiting teaching associate in history • Brad Schultz ’07, adjunct faculty in music • Dawn Schweizer ’85, visiting assistant professor of Spanish • Kylie Toomer ’08, guest lecturer in music

Lurth ’08 leads college’s visual media efforts Aaron Lurth ’08 joined Luther staff as coordinator of visual media on Aug. 6. Lurth, who earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in photography and graphic design from the University of Iowa, now leads the Photo and Video Bureaus in the wake of Jerry Johnson’s retirement from his position as director of public information. Lurth worked under Johnson in the Photo Bureau during his four years as a student at Luther. He now oversees about 20 work-study students in the Photo and Video Bureaus, and he plans to continue Johnson’s legacy of preparing students well for life after Luther. “The type of professional-level experience students from this department have come away with has landed them incredible job opportunities,” he says. Among Lurth’s other goals for this year are “to blend a professional work environment with a classroom-like atmosphere” and “to continue to elevate the quality of the videos and photographs we produce” by capturing “intimate and true representations of campus life.”

Creations, honors, and presentations The following is a sample of recent publications, research, creations, and more that Luther faculty, staff, and students produce. Read about more accomplishments each Tuesday at RACHEL WOOLSEY ’14, SAMANTHA SHIMAK ’13, CASSANDRA CHALHOUB ’13, and JENA SCHWAKE ’13 had research papers competitively selected for presentation at the 2012 Iowa Communication Association Conference. The 48th annual conference was Sept. 21–22, 2012, at the Des Moines Area Community


Luther Alumni Magazine

College in Ankeny, Iowa. The conference theme was Digital Directions: Communicating and Learning in the 21st Century. Each student wrote a research paper during the 2012 spring semester in Communications Research Methods, taught by Professor KIM POWELL. Powell accompanied the group and took part in a roundtable session. Woolsey received the Frank Westphal Top Student Paper Award for the conference for her paper titled “Parent and AdultChild Relationships Affected by Alzheimer’s Disease.” Shimak’s presentation was “Operation Iraqi Freedom: How Serving in the War Affects Spousal Communication”; Chalhoub presented on “Life in America:

Campus News

Middle Eastern Identity”; and Schwake’s presentation was titled “‘It Is What It Is’: College Females and One-Night Stands.” Works by composition instructors BROOKE JOYCE and STEVE SMITH ’95 were performed at a festival of new music sponsored by the Iowa Composers Forum on Oct. 5–6 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Also performed were a work by ZACH ZUBOW ’06 and MAURICE MONHARDT, emeritus faculty member. Faculty members JACOB LASSETER and HEATHER ARMSTRONG were guest performers at the festival. BRAD CHAMBERLAIN was recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and American Chemical Society Green Chemistry Institute for being part of the research team at Cornell University that was

awarded the 2012 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award. The head of the laboratory at Cornell University, Professor Geoffrey Coates, received the award in June 2012 for “Synthesizing Biodegradable Polymers from Carbon Dioxide and Carbon Monoxide.” JON JENSEN, associate professor of philosophy, was appointed to a three-year term as director of the Center for Sustainable Communities, which is intended to launch in spring 2013.

Self-Definition in an Emergent Writing Culture (Ashgate, 2012), KATE NARVESON, Luther associate professor of English, analyzes books and manuscripts written between 1580 and 1660 and reveals how Bible reading among ordinary layfolk after the Reformation spawned a nonprofessional writing culture—what she calls the first bloggers. Narveson argues that writing became central to lay engagement with scripture and moved the center of religious experience beyond the church walls.

Luther bookshelf

The Lutheran Writers project recommends the book for reading groups. General Education Essentials: A Guide for College Faculty (Josey-Bass, 2012) has been called “The one book for academics to get up to speed about reforming general education” by a scholar at the Association of American Colleges and Universities. Hanstedt, a professor of English at Roanoke College in Virginia, led a revision of that school’s general education curriculum and then accepted a yearlong Fulbright Fellowship to go to Hong Kong to assist universities there as they shifted from a three-year British system to a four-year American system.

New books from Luther alumni, faculty, staff, or students. In her new book, Bible Readers and Lay Writers in Early Modern England: Gender and

Jodi Enos-Berlage and students make the cover Jodi Enos-Berlage, Luther associate professor of biology, and two of her microbiology students were featured on the cover of the September 2012 issue of the American Biology Teacher. The journal includes an article by Enos-Berlage, “Development of a Water-Quality Lab that Enhances Learning and Connects Students to the Land,” in which she shares the experience of a three-week laboratory module designed to Jake Wittman ’12 (front), connect student learning to a Andrew Weckwerth ’12, and real-life challenge, in this case Jodi Enos-Berlage, associate a local water-quality project. professor of biology, collect water According to the article absamples in the Dry Run Creek stract, through field work, soil Watershed south of Decorah. and water sampling, and analysis for bacteria and nitrate, the group “confirmed the usefulness of comparing real environmental samples, and student surveys and performance data supported the original hypothesis of this study in terms of student learning objectives.”

CALLISTA (BISEK) GINGRICH ’88 published two children’s books, Land of the Pilgrims’ Pride and Sweet Land of Liberty. The latter was a New York Times bestseller. Gingrich is president and CEO of Gingrich Productions in Washington, D.C.

PAUL HANSTEDT ’88 has published two new books, one a travel memoir and the other an explanation of contemporary liberal arts for college faculty. Hong Konged: One Modern American Family’s (Mis)adventures in the Gateway to China (Adams Media, 2012) recounts how Hanstedt and his wife, Ellen, lived in Hong Kong for a year with their three children, dealing with culture clash, hospital visits, bullies, and traffic.

DOROTHY MCINTYRE ’57 has coauthored with Marian Bemis Johnson the historical novel Two Rings: A Legacy of Hope (McJohn Publishing, 2012). The story follows Sarah, a high school senior who is assigned to find a female ancestor who was an athlete. McIntyre says the book is a call to action for Sarah’s generation to step up and get “into the game.” In 2005, McIntyre and Johnson coauthored the nonfiction book Daughters of the Game: The First Era of Minnesota Girls High School Basketball, 1891– 1942. Both books are based on real-life stories of female high school athletes in the early twentieth century, and the controversial decisions of the late 1930s that led to the discontinuation of competitive sports for many young women. The books are available through

Winter 2013 Luther Alumni Magazine


Campus News


Successful sesquicentennial campaign concludes at year’s end The Sesquicentennial Fund, Luther’s five-year $50 million funding initiative, concluded on Dec. 31, 2012. With one month remaining, the campaign had exceeded $54,745,320 in outright and deferred giving. More than 14,700 donors (including alumni, regents, parents, faculty and staff, foundations, corpora-

tions, and other friends of the college) have supported the campaign with gifts, pledges, and planned gifts. Thanks to all who generously invested in the mission and students of Luther College! A series of special events to celebrate the successful completion of the Sesquicentennial Fund and honor the Torgerson presidency will be held throughout the country. (See calendar listing inside back cover.) Watch for a final summary report on key Sesquicentennial Fund initiatives in the Spring 2013 issue of this magazine.

Sesquicentennial Fund as of 11/30/12





Current Support






Total Outright



Planned Gifts





Grand Total


Pioneer yearbook goes online Starting this academic year, the Luther College Pioneer yearbook will be available as a full-color online version. Thanks to a partnership with Josten’s Printing and Publishing, the Pioneer will offer a high-resolution digital copy in lieu of a print edition, opting for a more sustainable alternative.


Luther Alumni Magazine

“The benefits of going digital include a reduction in paper use, but also allow students access to the book for several years,” Pioneer editor-in-chief Lauren Nielsen ’13 said. “The program also allows us editors to access the book from anywhere on campus instead of simply in the office.”
 The program, provided by Josten’s, eliminates the dependence on PDF files and is a custom tool that will make the online product look and function

The walls are up! New aquatic center is taking shape Construction on the Luther College Aquatic Center began in late August and is progressing on schedule. The walls of this 17,700-square-foot facility were installed the week of Oct. 22. The Opus Group anticipated having the building enclosed by the end of December 2012, with interior (and pool vessel) construction under way January through June. The projected cost for this facility is $6.39 million (compared to the initial goal of $5.5 million). To date, more than $5.71 million has been committed toward the project, with additional gifts still being accepted to fully fund the aquatic center. Luther’s new aquatic center will feature a Myrtha pool, considered very “fast” in the swimming world. The Myrtha design represents the latest in pool technology and is used extensively in the Olympics and Olympic-qualifying venues. When completed, by summer 2013, the Luther College Aquatic Center will be the first collegiate venue in the Midwest to have a Myrtha pool. A dedication ceremony is planned for Friday, Oct. 4, during Homecoming 2013.

like a real book, allowing readers to turn the electronic “pages.”
 The printed, hardcover copy will remain an option for approximately $40 and purchase will be possible through a link on the Luther website. The cocurricular activities fee will no longer cover the cost.
Students ordering the hardcover copy should expect to receive it in late summer, while the online version is expected to be completed by the second week of June.

In addition to the 2012–13 version, the Pioneer is also in the process of archiving every Luther yearbook for the past 100 years.
“We will have cataloged from as far back as 1911 and then from 1920 onward minus the years where they did not print due to the wars,” Fine Arts Section editor Katherine Mohr ’14 said. — excerpted from a Chips article by John Freude ’14. Read the full article at

Campus News

DONOR Spotlight

A passion for education—and sweet corn—fuels three generations of giving

Every endowed scholarship at Luther College has a story. Named family scholarships with three generations of donors, doubly so. Meet Keely and Kevin Oppermann ’06, from the Town of Dunn, near Madison, Wis. Kevin graduated with a management major and joined Epic, the intergalacticsized, electronic health records corporation in Verona, Wis. Kevin is a project manager, as is Keely. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin–Madison, Keely almost every day marvels at the fierce Luther loyalty she married into in the Oppermann family. In a vast sea of blue, she holds her own wearing red. But this story is less about what Kevin and Keely do professionally—they frequently jet off in opposite directions across the country to meet the needs of Epic’s clients—and more about their mutual love of Luther College and their personal support of endowed scholarship. It’s about their love of family, and the family farm. It’s about their respect for the land, and their super-sweet penchant for summer sweet corn. In 2002 Kevin came to Luther, following in the footsteps of his parents, Mary Sue (Stoneman) ’77 and Jim Oppermann ’77. Right after graduation, Kevin started giving back to Luther—quite generously. His first gift (with many to follow) was to the William and Muriel Stoneman Family Scholarship. “My parents, and my mother’s siblings and spouses, established the Stoneman Family Scholarship in March of 2002, to honor my grandparents,” Kevin says. “My grandparents were extraordinary people and gave so much to everyone they encountered. They had a passion for education and were very proud to be a part of the Luther community.” Kevin smiles wistfully as he remembers how honored his grandparents were to have an endowed scholarship created in their name. He knows for certain that Bill and Muriel Stoneman sacrificed greatly to send their three children to Luther—Nancy (Stoneman) Berkas ’74, Mary Sue, and John Stoneman ’83. Giving to the family scholarship feels right to Kevin, and it is his way of remembering his grandparents and honoring family. After all, summers spent with his grandparents on the family farm in

Keely and Kevin Oppermann ’06 Fitchburg, Wis., dramatically shaped his life. “My grandparents started selling sweet corn in 1963,” Kevin says. “After my senior year in high school, my grandparents had considered discontinuing the sweet corn business, due to the physical labor it took to pick five acres of corn by hand every morning.” Kevin asked to take over the sweet corn business as a way to earn money for college. His grandparents agreed, and Kevin learned it all: the technical components of planting, equipment repair, and tracking revenue and expenses. He also learned the nuances of product forecasting—how much did he need to pick on a Thursday when he planned to go to the farmers market, compared to Monday, when he sold only at the farm. This was a straight-up business arrangement in every way. Kevin worked hard, annually harvested tens of thousands of ears of corn, and paid his grandparents rent for the acreage. Stoneman’s Famous Sweet Corn was thriving and expanding. As further affirmation of the worthy enterprise, Bill and Muriel took the annual rental income for the five-acre enterprise and gave it to Luther in support of the Stoneman Family Scholarship. This story just gets sweeter. While at Luther, Kevin’s management efforts went from pride to profit to recognition. He honed his sweet corn business plan and applied for the Erdman Prize in Entrepreneurship. The first year he applied he was selected runner-up. The next year he applied again, was award-

ed the top prize, and through this process was introduced to yet another charitable legacy at Luther College—the exceptionally generous legacy of Audrey (Pederson) ’61 and Daryl Erdman ’61. “My parents and my grandparents were able to attend the reception when I was awarded the $5,000 Erdman Prize,” Kevin says. “It was a wonderful time for us all!” Bill and Muriel Stoneman are now, sadly, gone. Bill passed away in 2004 and Muriel in 2009, having lived lives abundant with the blessings of faith, friends, family, and farm. Before they passed away, they asked that memorials received in their memory benefit the Stoneman Family Scholarship. With three generations supporting this scholarship, the harvest has indeed been great. In just 10 years, 18 students have benefitted from Stoneman Family Scholarship awards. The 150-acre Stoneman family farm remains intact and the business of selling premium super-sweet sweet corn has expanded to 10 full acres—all of which is still picked by hand—more than 50,000 ears a season. The whole Oppermann family is now involved, including Kevin’s brother, Peter ’08; Peter’s wife, Arin (Pershing) Oppermann ’07; his sister, Kayla ’11; and her fiancé, Matt Droese ’11. Despite their very full careers at Epic, Kevin and Keely (who were married on the family farm in 2010) have now purchased their own farm just three miles away. “We’re able to balance our hectic work life, professional travel, farm life, and chores,” Keely says. “We love working with the land to produce delicious, healthy food such as eggs from our laying chickens, along with broilers and Scottish Highlander beef cattle.” The rewards of seed time and harvest run deep. Kevin and Keely give thanks for the land that sustains life and the memories of family much loved. And when it comes to being neighborly, sweet corn is just one way in which this wonderful family shares with others and gives back. —Ann Sponberg Peterson Learn more about giving to Luther at (800) 225-8664 or

Winter 2013 Luther Alumni Magazine


Campus News

Nordic Choir and Symphony Orchestra will perform at these sites in January and spring this year. Nordic Choir Jan. 16—Naperville, Ill. Jan. 17—Fort Wayne, Ind. Jan. 18—Gahanna, Ohio Jan. 19—Ardmore, Penn. Jan. 20—Rochester, N.Y. Jan. 22—New York Jan. 23—Washington, D.C. Jan. 24—Hickory, N.C. Jan. 25—Cleveland, Tenn. Jan. 26—Knoxville, Tenn. Jan. 27—Greenville, S.C. Jan. 28—Jacksonville Beach, Fla. Jan. 30—St. Petersburg, Fla. Jan. 31—Athens, Ga. Feb. 1—Madison, Ala. Feb. 2—St. Louis Feb. 5—Luther Post-tour appearances March 8—Iowa City, Iowa March 9—Fort Dodge, Iowa April 10—Des Moines, Iowa April 21—Edina, Minn. May 18—Luther Symphony Orchestra Jan. 25—Rochester, Minn. Jan. 26—Mahtomedi, Minn. Jan. 27—Duluth, Minn. Jan. 28—Sun Prairie, Wis. Jan. 29—Chicago Jan. 30—Davenport, Iowa Jan. 31—Cedar Falls, Iowa Feb. 3—Luther Schedules are subject to change. For more information, visit the Luther music website at Concert Band will tour Iceland and Norway May 20–31. For companion tour information, see


Luther Alumni Magazine

Christmas at Luther 2012 filmed for public television Twin Cities Public Television taped performances of the 2012 Christmas at Luther: Tidings of Comfort and Joy, which aired on public television and radio stations during the holidays. CDs and DVDs of the 2012 Christmas at Luther concert are available through the Luther Book Shop, (888) 521-5039, or

Photos Courtesy Luther College Photo Bureau

Luther music tour schedules

Campus News

Winter 2013 Luther Alumni Magazine


Campus News

Alexander Platt, donor of the Barbizon prints (right), talked with students and Kate Elliot, assistant professor of art history (center), when he visited campus in November. “Here, in the midst of historic drought, suddenly the Barbizon’s preoccupation with agriculture and animal husbandry becomes a sober comment on man’s direct relationship to the physical world,” he said later.“In our current global economy, with its unprecedented challenges, all those images of peasants, realistic but also idealized, remind us that people are ultimately dignified by their work. Are these images singing the song of European Marxist socialism, or of vintage conservative family values? Perhaps there is something here to inspire dialogue and reflection.” Augsburg and St. Olaf stand for here—they really are the Midwestern version of the experiences I had at Yale and Cambridge and are part of the very bedrock of the great musical traditions in which I was lucky enough to start my career in this country.” Elliott, Luther assistant professor of art history, says the donation gives Luther stu-

Aaron Lurth ’08

“How’s this?” Luther history major Hans Becklin ’14 throws a paragraph he’s just written up on the video screen in Room 119 of the Center for the Arts. Classmates read and nod, “That’s good.” A few more sentences and they’ll have a brief description of their semesterlong endeavor. The eight student collaborators are curating an art show in Kate Elliott’s fall 2012 Art of the Nineteenth Century class— a first for them, and a first for Luther College. Their subject matter is a collection of more than 160 prints done in the style of the Barbizon School, a mid-nineteenthcentury group of artists working mostly in the French town of Barbizon. The prints were collected and recently donated to Luther by Alexander Platt, music director of several Midwest symphony orchestras, who was first drawn to the Barbizon artists as a student at Yale University. Platt calls the gift “a very modest gesture of gratitude to the culture that Lutheran choir-schools like Luther and

Aaron Lurth ’08

Students become curators, creating exhibit from prints given to college

Among the Barbizon School prints that Alexander Platt donated to Luther is this by Henry Hul (1862–1942): Un Moulin (A Windmill), date unknown. It’s an original etching on laid paper, in very good condition.


Luther Alumni Magazine

dents the unique opportunity to put together a gallery show themselves. “Biologists work with plants, music students give concerts, studio artists make art—why aren’t we having students work on gallery exhibits?” she asks. Serving as a sort of coach, Dr. Kate, as her students call her, outlines tasks and keeps the class on track. Ten days in the semester are devoted to curating the Barbizon show. Students sift through the artworks to choose about 25 for the show. They research the prints entirely on their own and decide on their thesis and organizing themes: noble peasants, enobled livestock, and landscapes. “It’s interesting to me,” Becklin says, “to see how we can create a cohesive and specific narrative from disparate works.” Students run much of the workdays themselves. Jess Zottola ’14, an art major with a museum studies minor, says she’s learning a lot about how an exhibition runs and functions, but also about dealing with different

personalities and ideas. On this October afternoon they discuss and begin writing their gallery proposal, a statement outlining their rationale for the show. This exhibit will go up in the CFA’s Wigley-Fleming Fine Arts Gallery Feb. 8–March 22. In conjunction with the show, Gabriel Weisberg, professor of art history at the University of Minnesota and the country’s foremost expert on the Barbizon School, will give the Gerhard Marcks Art History Lecture at Luther on March 13. With a few minutes left in the period, Dr. Kate directs all eyes to a whiteboard covered with yet another list of jobs to be tackled. Who will come up with PR for the show? The exhibit design? Write the catalog essays? Write text panels for the display? At least two students volunteer for each job, and Elliot marvels later, “What other classes do you have where people fight over tasks?” After the jobs are divvied up, more questions follow: Should they do an online catalog? No, they want a printed pamphlet. What should the catalog essays say? Nicole Billips ’14, majoring in art and minoring in education and museum studies, immediately ticks off a list of content points each writer should include, which Dr. Kate reiterates so all can take notes. And how can they raise money to pay for framing? “A bake sale,” Becklin calls out. Zottola adds: “With Barbizon buns!” Kidding aside, the class seeks funding from other sources on campus, and the project seems on its way to becoming a regular feature at Luther. “The 2013–14 gallery schedule already has a spot for a fine arts collectioncurated show,” Elliott says. —Ellen Modersohn

Campus News

interned last year over Jterm with a fashion photographer in New York. Voss put in long days as an intern with Leibovitz, sometimes rising at 5 a.m. and not returning to her room at the 92nd Street Y until evening. Her work varies widely, but she’s usually combing the photographic archives, organizing negatives and contact sheets from Leibovitz’s work over the past several decades. Voss also conducts research for upcoming shoots and runs a variety of errands. Some days she accompanies the team that does prelighting, casting, or photo shoots. Voss says that having access to the archives is a real boon to a budding photographer. “Not just seeing the final, retouched image, but seeing all of the 500 or 600 images that preceded it—how she’s lighting them and the clothing and all of that—is really fascinating.”

She continues, “It’s interesting to see not only how other people are working within photography itself, but also how there’s such a huge team behind Annie and how she needs every single individual in the office to do what they do.” Voss will graduate in May with a double major in art and Spanish. With her years of experience and two internships under her belt, she hopes to buy or rent a space and start a higher-stakes version of her own portrait studio.

hanna jensen '15

For a young photographer, an internship with Annie Leibovitz is as good as it gets. Her body of work is virtually a who’s who of American celebrity, and her portraits grace the halls of major museums and the covers of pop-culture bellwethers such as Vogue and Vanity Fair. This fall, Luther senior Emily Voss ’13 was one of two lucky full-time interns at the Annie Leibovtiz Studio in Manhattan. Before she was selected, Voss says, “every time I got an e-mail from the studio, I would just about have a panic attack. A few times I actually made my mom or sister open the emails for me because I couldn’t bear to read whether I’d been chosen or not.” Those butterflies persisted well into her internship. “Going to work on the first day was so nerve-wracking,” she remembers. “I still go into work every day and it’s just so surreal to me that I get to see Annie on a daily basis and be part of her team.” Nerves aside, Voss certainly knows her way around a camera. Since high school, she’s operated a one-woman portrait studio in her hometown in Wausau, Wis. She also worked with Luther’s Photo Bureau and

Annie Leibovitz

Emily Voss ’13 interns with Annie Liebovitz

Luther’s 2012 Church Youth Fest (CYF) hosted the 100 Wells Tour, featuring musicians David Scherer of HipHop Outreach, Lost and Found, and Rachel Kurtz, at the Center for Faith and Life on Oct. 27, 2012. The tour was a follow-up to the 100 Wells Challenge to participants in the summer 2012 ELCA Youth Gathering to raise $250,000 for clean water projects around the world in cooperation with ELCA World Hunger.

Winter 2013 Luther Alumni Magazine


Campus News

Athletic trainers get technology assist As medical technology advances, so do the options available to athletic training staff around the nation. In the Luther College training room, two methods of treating sports injuries are making their debut this academic year, and both have been well received by student athletes. Last March, the Luther athletic training staff began utilizing Kinesio tape on athletes. “There are four main content areas about how you are going to apply it,” athletic trainer and clinical education coordinator Kris Agena said. “It assists in the function of the muscle, called facilitation, or getting muscle to relax and shut off, which is inhibition. It’s also geared toward improving blood flow as well as pain relief.” The other added athletic training room gadget is a red laser—a TQ Solo Portable Laser by Multi Radiance Medical. This device has three settings that use light waves to positively

— excerpted from a Chips article by Noah Nelsen-Gross ’13. Read the full article at

Luther College PHoto Bureau

Fall sports

Kris Agena, athletic trainer and clinical education coordinator (left), demonstrates a portable laser, used to aid in healing, on student athletic trainer Jason Lentz ’13.


Luther Alumni Magazine

Men’s Cross Country Third in IIAC, 24th at NCAA Luther qualified for the NCAA III National Championships for the 27th time in school history, fourth under the direction of head coach Steve Pasche, after placing third at the Central Regional hosted by St. Olaf College Nov. 10. St. Olaf won the team title with 70 points, followed by Central College with 75, and the Norse with 144. The Norse were led by Marty Mitchell ’13 and Austin Bauer ’14, who earned all-region honors by finishing in the top 35 in a field of 185 runners. Mitchell placed fifth on the 8K course, while Bauer was 13th. Luther placed 24th in a field of 32 teams at the NCAA III National Championships in Terre Haute, Ind. The Norse were led by Mitchell, who finished 66th overall in a field of 280 runners. Completing Luther’s top five were Bauer (131st), Alex Rigdon ’13 (176th), Tyler Broadwell ’16 (183rd), and Logan Langley ’13 (229th). At the Iowa Conference Championships held two weeks

Luther wrapped up with a 14th-place finish in a field of 32 teams at the NCAA III National Championships in Terre Haute, Ind. The Norse were led by Serres, who earned All-America honors by finishing in the top 35 in a field of 277 runners. Storlie (60th), Cole (99th), Pierson (139th), and Lauren Mordini ’16 (192nd) completed Luther’s point producers. Luther placed four runners in the top 15 at the Iowa Conference Championships, finishing second to Wartburg College. Earning all-conference for the Norse by placing in the top 15 were Serres (third), Storlie (sixth), Pierson (seventh), Cole (eighth), and Lauren Stokke ’13 (14th).

prior to the Central Regional, Luther placed third behind Central, which won its first ever league title with 33 points. Loras College was second with 50, followed by Luther with 70. Finishing in the top 15 in a field of 155 runners and earning all-conference honors were Bauer, seventh, Mitchell 11th, and Rigdon, 13th. Women’s Cross Country Second in IIAC, 14th at NCAA Luther qualified for the NCAA Division III National Championships for the third consecutive year, 13th overall, and sixth under the direction of associate head coach Yarrow Pasche, after finishing third at the Central Regional. The Norse posted a team total of 121 points, finishing behind Wartburg College with 72 and St. Olaf with 95.


impact the cellular structure of the area where it is focused and applied. “It assists and causes a photochemical change,” Agena said. “It alters blood flow and cellular regeneration, so it’s going to aid in the healing process. We’re finding it is also very good for pain relief.” While these new treatments are for the benefit of Luther athletes, they are also incredibly important for education in sports medicine.


Tricia Serres ’16 finished in the top 35 among 277 runners at the NCAA III National Championships in November. Individually, four Norse earned all-region honors after placing in the top 35 in a field of 187 runners. Tricia Serres ’16, who led this group with a fourth-place finish, was followed by Christina Storlie ’13 (15th), Jayne Cole ’14 (26th), and Maggie Pierson ’14 (33rd).

Football Eighth in IIAC Playing perhaps one of its most difficult nonconference schedules in recent history, Luther completed the 2012 campaign 0–10, 0–7 in the Iowa Conference. The nonconference schedule included losses to NAIA no. 14 William Penn University, no. 19 Wheaton College, and St. Olaf College, which had received national votes in the NCAA III National Football Coaches Association preseason poll. Linebacker Trent Kerrigan ’13 and defensive back Robby Jewell ’14 headlined a list of nine Norse who were recognized on the all-conference team. Both Kerrigan and Jewell were second team honorees. Kerrigan was an honorable mention honoree a year ago, while Jewell made his second appearance on the second team in as many years. Seven Norse were named honorable mention. This group included defensive lineman Obi Ukabiala ’13, linebacker James Knutson ’13, offensive center Elliott Scheck ’13, running back Adam Bohr 13, tight end Zach Jipp ’13, defensive lineman

Campus News

Women’s Golf Second at IIAC Championships Luther shot a 72-hole total of 1,376 and finished second at the Iowa Conference Championships, Luther’s highest finish at the league’s season finale since the Norse tied for second in 2008. Wartburg College won the team title, shooting 1,330. Individually, Laura Davis ’14 and Katie Gaudian ’14 earned all-conference honors for a second time, each carding fourround totals of 332 and tying for sixth in a field of 41 golfers. Men’s Soccer Third in IIAC Ranked in the top 10 of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) North Region the entire year, Luther tallied an overall record of 10–6–2, 4–3 in the Iowa Conference. Securing the no. 3 seed of the Iowa Conference Tournament, Luther’s season came to an end in the first round when no. 6 Central College advanced to the semifinals, defeating the Norse in a shootout. Tied 0–0 after 110 minutes of action, Central won the shootout 4–3. The Norse have never missed the conference tournament since it began in 1996. For the second consecutive season, James Garcia-Prats ’14 was a first team honoree on the all-conference squad. GarciaPrats, a junior midfielder, was credited with three goals and three assists for a total of nine points. Second team honors were earned by defender Austin


Colin White ’13, and return specialist JJ Sirios ’15. For the second time in two seasons, Ukabiala was named to the 2012 Capital One District 8 Academic All-District Football Team, selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America. Ukabiala is a biology major.

James Garcia-Prats ’14, a junior midfielder, had three goals and three assists for a total of nine points last season. Walther ’13, midfielder Saul Rosales ’13, and forward Brock Arend ’14. Walther, a first team honoree last season, started 15 matches for the Norse and was credited with one goal. He also helped the Norse defensive unit produce a goals-against-average of 0.85, including nine shutouts. Rosales had his best season in a Norse uniform. He started all 18 matches and led the team in scoring. He drove in a team best of eight goals and dished out four assists for 20 points. Arend, a first team honoree a year ago, finished third on the team in scoring. Arend tallied five goals and one assist for 11 points. He also finished tied for the team lead with forward Jon Gednalske ’16 with two gamewinning goals. Gednalske was named honorable mention all-conference. He finished second on the team in total points with 13, recording five goals and three assists. Women’s Soccer Fifth in IIAC Luther tallied an overall record of 7–10–1, 2–5 in the IIAC. The Norse secured the no. 6 seed of the Iowa Conference

Tournament, but were eliminated in the first round by no. 3 seed University of Dubuque, 4–2. The Norse have qualified for every Iowa Conference Tournament since it began in 1996. Midfielder Elly Arend ’15, midfielder Maggie Herrity ’13, and defender Erin Wilson ’15 were named second team allconference. Herrity, a co-captain, had her best season in a Norse uniform. She led the team in scoring, producing five goals and six assists for a total of 16 points. Arend finished third on the team with 10 points, thanks to two assists and four goals, including two game-winners. Wilson, who helped the Norse record four shutouts, led all defenders in scoring, driving in three goals, two of which were game-winners. Women’s Tennis Second in IIAC The women’s tennis team completed its fall schedule with an overall record of 10–1, ranked 13th in the Central Region. The Norse finished second in the Iowa Conference title hunt, posting a 6–1 record. The lone mark on the loss column was a 7–2 defeat to Coe College, which went on to win the league title. At the Iowa Conference Individual Tournament, Elise Allen ’13 and Maggie Helms ’16 advanced to the semifinals of the Flight A doubles bracket before being eliminated. The duo tallied a record of 7–3 during the fall campaign. In Flight A singles, Allen and Cassandra Chalhoub ’13 advanced as far as the semifinals, where their fall season came to an end. Chalhoub, who played no. 1, posted a fall record of 7–3, while Allen posted a record of 11–5 at no. 2. Postseason all-conference honors were presented to Allen and Helms ’16, in both singles and doubles, while Chalhoub

and Lola White-Baer ’15, 6-2, were named all-conference in singles. Volleyball Fifth in IIAC A young Luther squad posted an overall record of 15–17, 3–4 in the Iowa Conference, and made its 15th appearance in the Iowa Conference Tournament since it began in 1994. Following a 3–2 victory over University of Dubuque in the opening round, the Norse advanced to the semifinals for the first time since 2009, but were defeated by top seed Wartburg College 3–1. Middle blockers Sophia Brown ’13 and Hannah Wilson ’14 were named to the All-Iowa Conference team. Brown, the lone senior of the team, tallied 300 kills and led the Norse with 113 total blocks during the 2012 campaign. Wilson was credited with 253 kills, 26 ace serves, and 102 total blocks. This is the first time these two athletes have been recognized as all-conference performers.

All-Academic team announced

The IIAC released the fall sport members of its 2012–13 AllAcademic team Nov. 16. Luther placed 53 student-athletes on the list, second highest in the IIAC, with seven football players, 17 cross country runners (7 men, 10 women), 17 soccer players (7 men, 10 women), six volleyball players, two women’s golfers and four women’s tennis players. All of the names are posted at

Winter 2013 Luther Alumni Magazine


Energizing years by Kate Frentzel

Torgerson tenure remade campus from classrooms to carbon footprint

When friends, students, and colleagues see President Rick Torgerson heading their way, they often brace themselves. “You know it’s coming, and you get prepared for it,” says Greg Fields ’77, a member of Luther’s Board of Regents. He’s talking about Torgerson’s strong handshake. Torgerson’s bear hugs, too, are legendary, as are his back claps and shoulder pats. The man is full of vitality. Energetic, intense, and passionate are other words used to describe the snowyhaired, ruddy-cheeked 69-year-old, who will end his tenure at Luther this summer. With these strong attributes, Torgerson led the capable team of colleagues that reshaped the physical campus; enhanced the finances, nearly tripling the endowment; and strengthened the academic program of Luther College over the course of 14 years.

Torgerson arrived on the Luther

campus at a difficult time. It was 1999, and the college was reeling from the loss of President Jeff Baker, who succumbed to cancer that March. Says Torgerson, “Clearly the campus


About the alumna artist

Astri Snodgrass ’12 is a graduate student studying painting at the University of Alabama. She works primarily in oils, but is also experimenting with new materials, such as cut paper. See more of her work at

was still grieving, and I acknowledged the fact that they were grieving when I came to interview.” His sensitivity sat favorably with the presidential search committee. What impressed them even more was his résumé. Having been a faculty member for 13 years, an academic vice president for 10, and a chief development officer for eight, Torgerson had worn many hats at many Lutheran colleges and had the right combination of experience to take the reins at Luther. And his wife, Judy, a former elementary school teacher who had transitioned into working with cultural and study-abroad programs at the college level, sweetened the pot. “We gained two wonderful leaders for the price of one, that’s the way I look at it,” says Tony Guzmán ’90, associate professor of music. Becky (Linnevold) Shaw ’71, then chair of the Board of Regents and a member of the search committee, remembers Torgerson’s interview well. “He asked extremely probing and tough questions. . . . He had a good fund of knowledge that surpassed any of us on the committee. It felt a little like we were being interviewed by him!” The Saskatchewan native was a shoo-in for the position. But although he assumed the presidency in July of 1999, he postponed his inauguration until April of 2000 out of respect for the community’s mourning. The weekend he was inaugurated, however, he also launched his first comprehensive strategic planning process. In so doing, Torgerson says, “I affirmed the things that President Baker achieved in the short time that he was here, but I also signaled that we had to move forward.”

Kevin Kraus, vice president

for academic affairs and dean of the college, was also part of the search committee that brought Torgerson to Luther. He admits that

the man’s obvious passion and energy elicited a measure of skepticism. “We could see that this was a man of action, and one of our concerns was, would he be willing to work slowly enough for this community? Would he take input in a thorough way before he acted?

This spring, the Luther community will be celebrating with Rick and Judy Torgerson their years of service. Check out the calendar (inside back cover) to find an event near you.

And I would say that we’ve been delighted with this aspect of Rick.” Kraus recounts an open forum early in Torgerson’s tenure. “Someone said, ‘What’s your vision for Luther?’ And he said, ‘No, I’m not going to go there. I want to know what this community’s vision is for Luther. And I’m going to get you to figure that out. And that’s going to be my vision, and that’s what we’re going to do.’” Torgerson proved throughout his time here that he is a careful listener. He’s also a top-notch strategic planner, and many people, including the president himself, connect the two attributes. “I believe that as you create a vision for a place, it’s really important to involve a lot of people and do a lot of listening,” Torgerson says. “And so we invited 125 people to be a part of that first planning process.” That monumental effort launched undertakings that have become cornerstones of the college: deep renovations of student residence halls, Dahl Centennial Union, Loyalty Hall, and Valders Hall of Science, as well as construction of the Legends Fitness for Life

Winter 2013 Luther Alumni Magazine





Center for the Arts Construction



Dahl Centennial Union Renovation and addition


Sampson Hoffland LEED certified


>> Judy Torgerson’s perfect free day in Decorah would include time to • shop at the farmers market • stop at her favorite clothing store to visit and see what’s new • spend the noon hour in the Decorah pool (while Rick most likely golfs) • take an afternoon bike ride with Rick on the Trout Run Trail • enjoy wine and dinner at a nice restaurant in downtown Decorah • attend a recital, concert, or athletic event at Luther


Luther Alumni Magazine

Center, the Sampson-Hoffland Laboratories, and the Center for the Arts. The plan also put the academic program through serious scrutiny, from which it emerged with increased opportunities for student-faculty collaboration and for learning outside of the classroom. It strengthened the technology infrastructure on campus, created the Center for Ethics and Public Life, and began the process of rewriting Luther’s mission statement. It also raised money for Torgerson’s first fundraising campaign. When Torgerson and his team completed the Leadership for a New Century campaign, which began under President Baker’s administration and wrapped up in 2002, he launched Luther’s most ambitious fundraising initiative to date, the Higher Calling campaign, a $90 million comprehensive campaign designed to fund the initiatives outlined in his strategic plan. More than $200 million will have been secured during Torgerson’s tenure. “One of the most important things that Rick brought to the development process was tying that to a strategic plan,” recounts Keith Christensen ’80, Luther vice president for development. The coupling of the strategic plan and the fundraising campaign meant that Luther’s development team was able to approach donors with requests that seemed logical, rather than whimsical. “They saw it tie into the mission, tie into the plan, and it was clearly down a course that was founded in the strategic plan.” Development work is a major strength of Luther’s ninth president. Torgerson himself frames this gift not in terms of dollars, but in terms of opportunity. “I think most of us have some notion, some philanthropic dream,” he says. “We want to do good, there’s a desire to help, and so people respond to opportunities to fulfill their philanthropic dreams. . . . Fundraising isn’t about meeting needs—it’s about creating opportunities.”

An equal partner throughout

Torgerson’s tenure, Judy, his wife, has earned admiration in her own right. “We hired a president, but we got a diamond of a person

in Judy,” Guzmán says. “Judy’s a gem,” agrees Jon Lund, executive director of the Center for Global Learning, where Judy helped to prepare students for study-abroad experiences from her arrival at Luther in 1999 until spring of 2012. “She is a real servant-leader in the finest sense,” says Marilyn (Haugen) Roverud ’66, a member of the Board of Regents. “Judy never seeks the spotlight or accolades.” While deflecting attention is common among Lutherans, what’s less common is the ability to balance this with an easy social grace, refined poise, and a keen hostessing instinct. Judy Torgerson perfects this balancing act: she’s a skilled public figure, but she’s also warm, welcoming, and humble. Equally important, she counterbalances and supports the president’s ardency. As former regent Rev. April Ulring Larson ’72 sees it, “You can’t have that kind of intensity and that sense of urgency if you don’t have a spouse like Judy, who is so solid and steadfast. . . . Judy is a partner that really makes it possible for Rick to be out there at the intensity he is.” In terms of Lutheran higher education, Judy is every bit as devoted as her husband. Roverud reflects, “I think of her and of both of them and how they have served the college all these years and all of the things they have given up in the process—time with their own children, time with their own grandchildren, special anniversaries or birthdays—where they have put the college in front of some of those personal things. I am deeply indebted to them for that kind of service.” Both Judy and the president serve out of a deep sense of vocation and make it a priority to sustain the Lutheran faith tradition that anchors the college. Campus pastor Mike Blair reflects that Torgerson “takes very seriously the call to be a college of the church.” Blair continues, “This is a living mission and not just something on paper, and he’s helped challenge the community to say, how does the way we’re living connect with what we profess and what we say we are as a community?”



Wind turbine 33% of Luther’s energy



Solar array Largest in Iowa



Aquatic center Multi-use facility

2013 >> Torgerson says that his future plans involve “many -ings. Volunteering, consulting, golfing, reading, biking, adventuring, traveling, grandkidding— many -ings. It’s going to be different. I have always worked 7/24/365, and I don’t know how it will go. Judy’s probably more worried about it than I am!” The couple will take up full-time residence in Edina, Minn., where they have owned a condo for a number of years. “We already enjoy a circle of friends and a church home in the area,” Judy says. “We tend to transition easily, so I anticipate this transition will go well also.”

In 2005, President Torgerson

was elected by unanimous vote—and a standing ovation by the 28 members of the college’s governing board—to a second six-year term at Luther College. Like his first term, this second one saw a number of improvements to the physical campus, most notably the restoration of the 1911 campus plan of world-renowned landscape architect Jens Jensen; the addition of Bentdahl Commons, a large outdoor plaza that has become the heart of campus during warmer months; and a $6.39 million aquatic center, currently under construction, which will feature an eight-lane competition pool. But one of the mainstays of Torgerson’s second term is a focus on sustainability. In 2007, Torgerson became a charter member of the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC). Spurred by his commitment, as well as by the passion of key faculty and staff, Luther has made strides toward sustainable campus practices. All new campus construction will be built to a minimum of the LEED silver standard

or equivalent; biodiesel, electric, and hybrid cars have become standard among the fleet of college vehicles; and a commitment to responsible food-sourcing practices resulted in the fact that 49 percent of food served on campus last summer was locally grown. In addition, Torgerson’s third fundraising initiative, the Sesquicentennial Fund, earmarked funding for a Center for Sustainable Communities, which will serve as a regional educational resource. Also, Torgerson’s second strategic plan included a short-term goal to cut the college’s carbon footprint in half, and in May of 2012 the Board of Regents approved a timetable for achieving carbon neutrality, ideally by 2030. To achieve this lofty ambition, the president and his team had to enact measures that soared equally high—to 398 feet. In 2011, Luther College erected a towering 1.6megawatt wind turbine on a tract of land northwest of Decorah city limits. The turbine offsets about 2.5 million pounds of coal per year, reduces Luther’s greenhouse gas emissions by 14 percent, and is expected to pay for itself within a decade. More recently, in October 2012, the college dedicated a $1.2 million solar energy field—the largest single solar energy production facility in Iowa. The energy it produces travels via a half-mile underground transmission line to Baker Village, where it supplies sufficient power for the 100 students who live there. This visionary thinking combined with meaningful action is part of why the college, under Torgerson, has garnered national recognition as a leader in sustainability within higher education. In 2010 Luther was one of only eight U.S. schools to earn an A on the College Sustainability Report Card, and in 2012 Luther received a Second Nature Climate Leadership Award.

Rick Torgerson lends a hand on first-year move-in day in fall of 2012. Says Emily (Looft) Nelson ’10, “Students at Luther think Rick Torgerson is a supporter and also a friend. … He’s out with the students on campus not weekly, but daily.”

There is no shortage of words that admirers apply to the presidential couple. But in reflecting on how he’d like to be written into Luther’s history books, Torgerson thinks for a moment and pins down his own words: “I think I’d like people to say, ‘He was authentic, and he added value.’ ”

But forget, for a moment, the number crunching and stat hashing. In the end, what seems most remarkable is that what Rick Torgerson projects and what he actually is seem perfectly aligned. He is without artifice or posturing—rare among public figures.

Winter 2013 Luther Alumni Magazine


Voyage by Kate Frentzel

to the

bottom of the

Dan Davis/Ocean Exploration Trust

Black Sea


Luther Alumni Magazine

Students, professor join team researching ancient shipwrecks preserved in the depths Underwater archaeology.

You don’t hear the phrase often, but it’s a passion for Dan Davis, Luther assistant professor of classics. Last summer Davis had a rare chance to indulge that passion during an expedition in the Black Sea sponsored by National Geographic, and, in keeping with the Luther tradition of studentfaculty collaborative research, he brought along two students—Joe Thor ’12 and Jeff Emerson ’13. In round-the-clock shifts, they monitored constant streams of data, worked beside worldrenowned scholars and an international crew of sailors, and explored a dozen shipwrecks, some as old as the fourth century B.C.

Winter 2013 Luther Alumni Magazine


Dan Davis

Ocean Exploration Trust


Liz Smith/Ocean Exploration Trust

It’s a bit of an archaeological paradox, but sometimes the older the shipwreck, the easier it is to date. Pictured above are ceramic jars called amphorae. Used in ancient times to transport wine and other goods, amphorae allow ceramicists to date a wreck—even if it’s several thousand years old—to within 25 years.


ogy, geology, and chemistry. In 2011, Luther’s Dan Davis, who had years of experience in marine archaeology as well as at a land site near the Black Sea, was invited to join the elite team of researchers, engineers, and educators aboard Ballard’s ship, the Nautilus. While it’s romantic to imagine a Jacques Cousteau figure in a copper helmet with a glass porthole, modern underwater exploration relies heavily on unmanned technology. In its surveys, the Nautilus deployed two sonar towfish to scout the seafloor and seek out compelling targets. “Sonar is the flashlight that illuminates the seabed using sound instead of light,” Davis explains. “It looks out to either side of the towfish and can survey a kilometer-wide swath of seabed at a time in a kind of ‘mowthe-lawn’ pattern. You just tow it behind the ship, the ship mows the lawn, and you cover all of the seabed. When we run over a shipwreck, the sonar records both hard sound returns and shadows where sound doesn’t bounce back. The result is a picture of the wreck that looks much like an optical image taken near sunset, when shadows are long.” When the information from the towfish suggested possible research targets, the team sent down one of two ROVs (remotely operated vehicles) to shoot high-definition video, take laser measurements, and collect samples. In this regard, they’re much like the new Mars rovers.

Dan Davis/Ocean Exploration Trust

In addition to the control van, Joe Thor ’12 worked in the data lab, using sonar data to create a mosaic of a five-by-fivemile block of seafloor that showed, at a glance, all the underwater ground the expedition had covered. Of Thor, a history and classics major, Dan Davis says, “When the opportunity came along to take students with me, Joe was a natural choice.”

he Black Sea is an unusual place. It’s oxygen-rich in its upper level. There’s still some oxygen left in the suboxic layer at about 300 feet. But by the anoxic layer at 450 feet, the oxygen is gone. There is H2O down there, of course, but the dissolved oxygen—the stuff that supports life—has disappeared. So anything that dies in the Black Sea simply drifts down to the oxygenstarved bottom and sits there, untouched. Everywhere else one goes in the ocean, there are signs of life on the seabed—little critters wandering around, leaving tracks, digging holes. But in the Black Sea, there is just a layer of deep, black, gooey muck. This is a good thing where shipwrecks are concerned. Whenever a ship sinks in the Black Sea, it too comes to rest in the suboxic or anoxic layers, where there is little or nothing to eat away its organics—the wood and rope and sometimes human remains that accompany a sailing disaster. Coupled with its rich history of seafaring, which dates back thousands of years, this makes the Black Sea a prime site for underwater archaeology. Dr. Robert Ballard—the same Dr. Ballard who discovered the wreck site of a little ocean liner called the Titanic—was eager to exploit this. And as one of a handful of National Geographic’s explorers-in-residence, he was in a position to do it. Ballard designed an expedition that would span several summers and would include not only an archaeological element, but also objectives in biol-

Luther Alumni Magazine

After scientists use sonar data to identify an area of interest, they lower the remotely operated vehicle (ROV) Hercules to get a better look at the target in a process called “groundtruthing.”

“Their work was critical. In this research, one huge file is written that takes all the information. . . . It’s the way we can go back and reconstruct the dive in case we find something.” —Dan Davis regarding Luther students Joe Thor and Jeff Emerson

There’s a second, alarming reason why exploring shallow areas makes more sense: fishing trawlers. Trawlers are vessels equipped with big outriggers that drag giant nets behind

The Nautilus is a 211-foot Cold War–era ship that’s been refurbished into a top-notch research vessel with a rotating scientific complement of 86 and a permanent crew of 17. The ship is equipped—“from the bridge to the engine room,” Davis says—with flatscreens that broadcast in real time what sensors are picking up along the ocean floor.

them at depths ranging from 50 to 300 meters. Because they target bottom-feeding fish, trawlers drag these nets along the seafloor, destroying shipwreck sites and even entire ecosystems. Shallow wrecks are thus more vulnerable and likely to vanish than those in the deep, which, bereft of sea life, is of no interest to trawlers.

Dan Davis/Ocean Exploration Trust

shift, so I would get up at 3:15, shower, caffeinate, and watch the sonar.” In addition to challenging sleep schedules, the high expense of daily operations had another, more profound impact on research. Says Davis, “The anoxic layer starts at around 150 meters (450 feet), but there’s a shelf in the Black Sea that ends at about 100 meters, and then it just drops off. So you’re either going to look in shallow, suboxic waters on the shelf, or you have to go deep into the ‘basement’ of the Black Sea to look for these really pristine wrecks in the anoxic layer. “So it’s a tradeoff: If you work on the shelf, life is easy. You’re near shore, so you’ve got easy logistics. Your raising and lowering times for your sonar and ROVs are short, and the winch [that lowers and raises them] doesn’t have to work very hard. On the flipside, if you work in the basement, you have two or three hours of just lowering and another two or three hours of just raising, so time gets away from you, and time is money on these ships. Ultimately, we deemed it more desirable to find a lot of shipwrecks in shallower water than to find one pristine shipwreck—maybe— in the basement of the Black Sea, which goes all the way down to 6,000—almost 7,000— feet.”

Dan Davis/Ocean Exploration Trust

The Nautilus team identified nine shipwreck sites in 2011 and an additional three in 2012, when Thor and Emerson served as onboard data loggers. Emerson and Thor were part of the cadre that filtered information as it streamed into the control van, an on-deck shipping container outfitted with air conditioning and “lots of fancy electronics that seem like something from a James Bond or CIA-type movie,” Emerson says. The control van is a dark and mysterious den with banks of flatscreens projecting live footage from the sonar towfish and the underwater ROVs. Emerson and Thor collated the footage as it came in, annotating, time-stamping, and taking screen grabs as necessary. “Their work was critical,” Davis says. “In this research, one huge file is written that takes all the information—what video pertains, what still images pertain, our latitude and longitude, the ocean conditions in terms of temperature, current, and salinity—all of that gets crunched into one central station, and it’s the data loggers’ job to process it. It’s the way we can go back and reconstruct the dive in case we find something.” Because a ship like the Nautilus comes with a hefty price tag—it costs between $50,000 and $75,000 per day to operate— surveying and data logging happened 24 hours a day. Data loggers worked in rotations of four hours on, eight hours off around the clock. Says Thor, “I had the 4 a.m. to 8 a.m.

Jeff Emerson ’13 displays a core sample in the onboard “wet lab,” where, he says, “all the science-y things happen.” A chemistry and anthropology major, Emerson used his experience aboard the Nautilus as the basis for his senior project in chemistry, in which he analyzed core samples from different depths of the Black Sea to determine the chemistry of the water and the sediment and how those interact. Dan Davis was keen to have Emerson join the expedition. “Highly scientific minds like Jeff’s are needed in archaeology,” he says.

Winter 2013 Luther Alumni Magazine


Of course, for all the destruction that trawling wreaks, it will occasionally throw researchers a bone—literally. In 2011, the Nautilus expedition discovered an ancient wreck, which they called Eregli E, that dated to the fourth century B.C. It had been trawled over, but in making a pass, the trawler had dug in and under the site, thus bringing to the surface some material that had been preserved in the muck—including human remains. Under its permanent agreement with the Turkish government, the Nautilus expedition had permission to take core sediment samples, but not to retrieve any archaeological artifacts. In this instance, however, the team received dispensation to recover the bones when they came back the following summer. But in 2012, they returned to Eregli E to find that the site had been trawled again, and the human remains were gone. “We were devastated,” Davis says. “Finding human remains on ancient shipwrecks is extremely rare. I can find only four other examples among the almost 2,000 shipwrecks of the Mediterranean that date to the ancient world—and those were found in the early days of marine archaeology, so they were sort of disregarded. With what we know now about genetic testing and the genetic information we can get out of bones, they would have been a treasure trove. Volumes could have been written about ancient sailors, who are basically invisible historically and archaeologically. We could have added 100 percent to the information about them. So”—he sighs—“opportunity lost.” But while Davis might lament that lost opportunity, he has to concede the success of the overall mission—not least because it may have converted two bright young minds to the rare, intriguing art—and science—of underwater archaeology. Watch video, view photos, meet the team, and learn more about the Nautilus expedition at

The Nautilus expedition was featured on a recent five-part series on the National Geographic channel. To learn more about the Alien Deep series, visit /channel/alien-deep.


Luther Alumni Magazine

Meanwhile, back on the Luther campus While Dan Davis, Joe Thor ’12, and Jeff Emerson ’13 were plumbing the depths of the Black Sea last summer, other studentfaculty collaborations were under way back on campus. Many of the partnerships will result in presentations at Luther’s Student Research Symposium in May. Here’s what a few of the students had to say about their experiences. Neil Quillen ’13 says his summer studying film scoring with Brooke Joyce, Luther associate professor of music and composer-inresidence, introduced him to films and scores he’d never seen or heard. “He pointed me in the right direction and made sure I was organizing myself,” Quillen says of Joyce. “He helped me get a good survey of classic scores including Psycho, Citizen Kane, Ben-Hur, and Robin Hood—the 1930s version.” Quillen’s goal for the summer was to score the six-and-a-half-minute battle scene at the end of The General. To do that, he says, “you establish a tempo and you lay out your structure and your groundwork. It’s not always the case in composition, but for film scoring, you’re shaping it around something that’s already been made. Then you write the music, and that has to express, explain, what’s going on in some way that’s complementary to the film.” In September, student musicians recorded Quillen’s music and synched it to the film. You can watch and listen at Allison Wright ’14 developed a way to help students learning Spanish understand parts of speech and polish their pronunciation. Together, she and David Thompson, Luther associate professor of Spanish, developed video/slide shows called VoiceThread that explain a concept and give three practice exercises.

“We researched the concept together, made an outline for the video, and then split up which slides we were going to do,” Wright says. “I got to be really creative and think of my own way to explain something, which I’ve never done before. I also gained a lot of confidence in my Spanish speaking—when you use VoiceThread you have to record, and then listen to yourself right away.” While Wright spent the fall semester studying in Chile—and brushing up even more on her own pronunciation—Thompson surveyed students and faculty on campus who were using the VoiceThread tutorials. Users found the grammar examples and explanations and the verbal interaction helpful, he says. Michael Crowe ’13 created three fiveminute documentary films focusing on how three Luther professors find balance in daily life. He and Thomas Johnson, postdoctoral teaching fellow in communication studies, shared every aspect of the project. Crowe started with readings recommended by Johnson, he says, “and then we just started doing the films—we shot all the stuff together, we wrote all the scripts together, we edited together.” Their subjects were Amanda Hamp ’01, assistant professor of dance; Ben Moore ’02, assistant professor of art; and Novian Whitsitt, professor of Africana studies and English. Each film was divided equally into sections on work, play, and rest, and each segment is equally long, at 100 seconds, reinforcing the concept of balance that the filmmakers were exploring. Crowe and Johnson met through the fall semester to finish the editing. Crowe says, “It was cool to work as equals with him—working with someone who is so experienced, but still having your say.” When the films were mostly done, Crowe and Johnson sent them to Seth Duin ’12 and Neil Quillen ’13 for the musical scoring. The filmmakers planned to enter the films in a number of festivals. Crowe’s films can be found on YouTube.

Maria Da Silva

Students celebrated the 50th anniversary of United World Colleges with song in Chapel on Sept. 21, 2012.

United World Colleges students at Luther bring strong academic talents, diverse cultures


nternational graduates of United World Colleges (UWC) filled a Luther Chapel service with song and stories one morning last September as they celebrated the UWC’s 50th year. UWC students have helped broaden Luther’s student population for the past eight years through Davis UWC Scholars, a program that helps Luther find these students and helps pay their way. Since 1962, the 12 United World Colleges around the world have educated thousands of students from 175 countries. The colleges are preparatory boarding schools leading to the International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma. In 2000, philanthropist Shelby Davis and international educator Phil Geier founded the Davis UWC Scholars Program to provide scholarships to UWC graduates who gained admission through their own merits to participating U.S. colleges and universities. The aim is to advance international understanding through education. Luther has brought 120 international students to campus through the Davis UWC Scholars Program since being accepted into the fold in 2005. Not only do the UWC students gain from a U.S. education, but they also enhance Luther with their strong academic talents and diverse cultures, says Jon Lund, executive director of Luther’s Center for Global Learning. We asked Lund to talk about the Davis UWC Scholars Program and its influence at Luther.

How did the program get started?

Lund: It was Phil Geier’s inspiration, with Shelby Davis’s backing, that enabled all of these wonderful students to get an education. At the time, Geier headed the UWC–USA school in New Mexico, where he was quite successful in raising money for the school. Geier interested Davis in the program. Geier and Davis both believe that one of the ways of promoting peace in the world is through education. So you take these bright students from the United World Colleges and you give them the financial resources to make it possible for them to attend a U.S. college or university.

“Part of education is exposing students to different ideas, ways of thinking, and backgrounds.... Having a more international population is a great thing.” —Jon Lund, executive director, Center for Global Learning

How does Luther benefit from participating?

Lund: Our affiliation with the Davis UWC Scholars Program allows us to tap into a pool of bright, talented international students. They have been studying under a rigorous IB curriculum, which is a nice tie-in to a liberal arts college. That curriculum allows students to make connections across disciplines in ways that sometimes a traditional U.S. high school doesn’t allow. Also, they have to write a 4,000-word extended essay, so they are talented enough to synthesize their thoughts in pretty complex ways. A second thing is that it allows us access to a very diverse pool of students. Part of education is exposing students to different

Winter 2013 Luther Alumni Magazine


ideas, ways of thinking, and backgrounds. So for our U.S. students, having a more international population is a great thing in and of itself. It ties into Luther’s commitment to global programs—nearly 75 percent of our students study abroad prior to graduation—and it feeds really well into our new International Studies major, which is quite popular. It’s good in terms of recruiting students, too. I am convinced that for students from suburban Minneapolis, for example, coming to Luther feels less isolating when they find out what a rich percentage of international students we have. And the Davis UWC Scholars are only part of Luther’s international student population. This year we have a total of 132 students from nearly 50 countries on campus. It all feeds into Luther’s mission to prepare students for a larger world.

The United World Colleges • UWC of the Adriatic; Duino, Italy • UWC of the Atlantic; St. Donat’s Castle, Wales • UWC of Costa Rica; near San Jose • Li Po Chun UWC; Hong Kong • Mahindra UWC of India; near Pune • UWC Maastricht; the Netherlands • UWC in Mostar; Bosnia and Herzegovina • Lester B. Pearson UWC of the Pacific; Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada • Red Cross Nordic UWC; Flekke Fjord, Norway • UWC of South East Asia; Singapore • UWC–USA; Las Vegas, New Mexico • Waterford Kamhlaba UWC; Mbabane, Swaziland


Luther Alumni Magazine

How does the Davis Projects for Peace tie in?

Lund: When she turned 100 in 2007, Kathryn Davis, the mother of Shelby Davis, established the Davis Projects for Peace. Her endowment provides funds to support young people in carrying out their peace-building ideas around the world. Each student whose idea is accepted receives $10,000. Any student at any of the 90-plus schools participating in the Davis UWC Scholars Program can propose a plan. Luther students submit their ideas to the Honors Committee, which forwards two proposals each year to the Davis UWC office. We’ve always had at least our first-choice idea funded.

Beyond the rigorous curriculum and scholarship program, how does the UWC experience help Luther recruit international students? Lund: If it weren’t for a program like the Davis UWC Scholars, it would really be hard for me to find some of these students who are out there. The program allows us to focus and find talented students in predictable places, and that’s these schools, which each draw students from nations all over the world. For instance, the 200 students at the UWC in Norway represent more than 100 countries.

How can Luther afford to participate in the Davis UWC Scholars Program?

Lund: The program provides up to $20,000 for each UWC student who enrolls at Luther—and they get in on their own merit. Donors to the college and Luther’s own funds assist with the remaining financial aid needed; some students require more aid than others. The Davis UWC Scholarship allows us to look not only at geographic diversity, but also economic diversity among our international students. So we can enroll students who come from families of very modest economic means who bring different life experiences and outlooks on the world. We’re able to help educate students from war-torn countries like Afghanistan or students who are perhaps AIDS orphans, or had parents who were killed in some sort of conflict.

How do students get into a UWC school?

Lund: In most places, they apply to a national committee. They indicate which school they want to attend, but the schools may shift them around to guarantee that enrollments are diverse. So if you want to go to the school in Singapore, for example, you may not get your choice because they need a couple of Americans in Swaziland.

From how many UWC schools have Luther's Davis scholars enrolled? Lund: All but one of the current 12 schools. Mostar, in Bosnia and Herzegovina, is the only UWC school that we’ve never had a scholar from, so I’m working on it. It’s a relatively new school that came into being in 2006.

Are UWC students now drawn to Luther via word of mouth?

Lund: Absolutely. I was just at the UWC in Norway, where there were 100 students in the graduating class, and 42 of them interviewed with me.

What is the program doing for Luther’s relationships throughout the world?

Lund: It changes the viewpoint of people and families around the world. I visited a student’s village in India and had a meal with his family, and they just kept bringing more and more food out. The mother and the aunt were both cooking in another room, and the dad was there with the interpreter and the younger son. At one point I looked at the father, and I said, “There’s enough food to feed a village.” There was this long pause, and he looked at me and said, “You’re feeding my son for four years; I can feed you a nice lunch.” The family was very generous. But it’s that sort of engagement that the program brings. The family will never view the U.S. in the same way. How cool for Luther to be part of that.

Afghan student tells story of luck, talent, and cultural contrast

On Sept. 11, 2001, I saw the bewildering images of an airplane flying into a tower. The events captured by those images have shaped our lives in ways we could not imagine at the time. I certainly couldn’t have imagined what they meant. I watched those horrifying images on my neighbor’s TV—the only TV in my apartment building in Pakistan, where I lived along with other Afghan refugees. It was a year later, when I turned 12 years old, that I first learned to read and write. My family and I, along with other ethnic Hazaras, were able to return to Afghanistan after the fall of the Taliban. I had been working since I was 7 years old, but had never held a pen, owned a book, or sat at a desk in school. Because of my age, I was put in fourth grade. It was so hard, I repeatedly begged my father to let me quit school and go back to work. With seven kids, our family certainly could have used the money. Even though my mom and dad themselves never learned to read and write, they insisted I should be educated. Forward a few years to a Friday morning in winter of 2009. I had finished high school. I was home, waiting to hear back about the admission exams I had taken for university, when a friend came by the house. He said he was going to take a test for a scholarship, and that I should come along. I had no idea what scholarship he was talking about, but we got on our bikes and went to where the test was being given. I didn’t even have a pencil with me! Over the months that followed, I kept being called back for several more examinations, including the final one at the Canadian Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan. Then one day, I got an e-mail that

Maria Da Silva

At the UWC anniversary celebration in Chapel on Sept. 21, 2012, several of the Davis UWC Scholars enrolled at Luther spoke about their experiences with UWC, among them Habib Basiru-Ddin ’15.

Habib Basiru-Ddin ’15 I had been accepted to the Li Po Chun United World College in Hong Kong. I didn’t even know where Hong Kong was, so a friend and I went to an Internet club in the city, and he helped me find Hong Kong on a map! Everything in Hong Kong was different: housing, food, language, resources, and people. I had grown up in a fairly homogeneous community, where everyone sounded and looked like me. I was overwhelmed. At first I really felt out of place—a kid from Afghanistan who had barely learned to read and write a few years back, who spoke no English—thrown together with some of the brightest kids from around the world. I was surprised that while I had not even heard of most of the countries they

were from, some of them knew about the particular ethnic group I came from in Afghanistan! A bicycle ride, with no pencil, to take a test for a scholarship gave me two years at the United World College, and now I am starting my second year at Luther College. I have no words to describe how my life has been impacted by these opportunities. Of course, not everything has been easy or good. Every time I am able to talk to my parents on the phone, I must retrace the distance I have traveled—and I am reminded that I am far from the home of my childhood in more than physical ways. For example, my father, who pushed me to stay in school, is willing to sacrifice to help my brothers continue their education, but we argue about the opportunities that should be given to my sisters. Like the images on the one TV in the apartment building where I lived as a refugee in Pakistan, the ever-present screens around us here at Luther carry narrow, limited images about life a world away. Yet with all this information coming at us, I am sometimes surprised about the lack of curiosity we seem to have about what they mean. My experiences at Li Po Chun in Hong Kong and here at Luther have certainly been a total contrast to the images I—all of us—saw on television on 9/11. One portrayed images of a world at odds, where difference means division. The other is filled with images that echo the words we just heard from the Quran, that the earth and the diversity of our tongues and colors are signs of God in the creation.* This latter vision, of the possibility of a world at peace, is at the center of why the United World Colleges were founded. * Quran 30:22— And of His signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth and the diversity of your languages and your colors. Indeed in that are signs for those of knowledge.

Winter 2013 Luther Alumni Magazine


Above and below left: Chilly weather brought out the Luther sweatshirts and caps for Saturday morningâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Homecoming parade, organized by the Student Activities Council (SAC), but could not cool the enthusiasm of parade participants.

Below top: SAC organizers were thrilled with the big turnout for the Flamingo Ball, with more than 1,000 tickets sold. Dancers were entertained by the Paul Windsor Orchestra. Below bottom: Nordic Choir performed at the Homecoming Concert on Sunday afternoon, along with Symphony Orchestra and Concert Band.

Below right: Acting as grand marshal of the parade was Jerry Johnson, who retired last summer after 25 years at Luther, most of that time as public information director.

More than


alumni and friends attended Homecoming 2012


Luther Alumni Magazine

Above: Autumn color set the backdrop for the traditional Homecoming football game, this time against the powerhouse University of Dubuque.

President Rick Torgerson displays a check to Luther donated by the class of 1962, celebrating its 50-year reunion.

Concert Band performed selections ranging from Vanity Fair to Stars and Stripes Forever at the Sunday afternoon concert.

Homecoming spirit warms brisk autumn weekend T

he first signs that Homecoming had begun last fall—from a student’s perspective—were a certain charge in the atmosphere and a lot of people wearing “vintage” Luther apparel. These new faces, smiling and hugging, were strangers to me, a first-year student, but they were completely familiar with each other and campus, of course. Alumni, students, faculty, staff, and community members gathered on campus to celebrate on the chilly weekend of October 5–7. Many events drew all of us together during the weekend, but one of the first was the Homecoming parade. Despite the cold and windy weather on Saturday morning, organizations and clubs piled onto their creative, hand-decorated floats as they passed through the streets of campus and Decorah. People of all ages stood on the sidewalks to watch, from little kids scrambling for the nearest piece of candy, to elderly couples happily waving as the floats passed by. At the Alumni Games later in the day,

many looked as though they had not lost a beat in their ability to compete. An unforgettable moment of Homecoming weekend, for me, was seeing alumni reunite with their former teammates and friends. They shared old handshakes and inside jokes as if they had not been separated for years, their camaraderie encompassing Luther spirit. Following the games, Carlson Stadium was flooded in a sea of blue and white to cheer on the Luther football team, belting out the Field Song and the traditional “LU” cheer. Homecoming is also a chance for the college to recognize alumni for the good works and contributions they’ve made through their careers and lives after Luther, to induct former Luther student athletes into the college’s Athletic Hall of Fame, and to honor current students for their musical achievements. This year, nine alumni received Distinguished Service Awards at Homecoming—Ann Hill Duin ’77, David “Chip”

Norris ’82, Miriam (Strum) ’62 and Fran Odden ’59, James K. Opperman ’77, Kevin Sand ’72, Harlan Satrom ’82, Terry Sorom ’62, and Jennifer Weuve ’92. Marjorie Opuni-Akuamoa ’92 received the DSA at Opening Convocation on Aug. 30. (See page 5.) Inducted into the Hall of Fame were Mel Ashland ’67, Randy Blank ’72, Josh Hildebrand ’02, Jill (Freed) Japenga ’92, Matt Miller ’97, Loran Storts ’87, and Amanda (Smith) Webb ’02. Phuc Phan ’13 received the Presser Award, Bruce Tammen ’71 received the Weston Noble Award, and James Ripley ’81 received the Carlo A. Sperati Award. Read about all of them on the following pages and get a glimpse of some of the Homecoming reunion gatherings. — Paige Lobdell ’16

Winter 2013 Luther Alumni Magazine


Distinguish Service Awa Ann Hill Duin ’77

Alumni honored for their distinguished service Following are condensed versions of the citations given at Homecoming for the award recipients.

Ann Hill Duin ’77 Ann Hill Duin ’77 grew up on the family farm near Ellsworth, Iowa. Early in their life together, Duin and her husband, Doug Duin ’77, served as missionaries in Numazu, Japan, at the base of Mt. Fuji. This was a transformative experience for both of them, and they returned to the states determined to earn their advanced degrees. Duin began exploring the effects of computers on writing at the University of Minnesota, and over time her scholarly research converged on the study of digital technology and its impact on collaboration. Using shared leadership models and collaboration approaches, she has helped IT transform from an organization that provides IT management to a strategic partner and catalyst for transforming higher education. This work culminated in 2011 when Duin served as the interim vice president for information technology and chief information officer, managing more than 400 people and a budget of $71 million. This year she is back in the classroom as professor of writing studies in the College of Liberal Arts; director of graduate studies, Scientific and Technical Communications Program; and senior fellow with the Jandris Center for Innovative Higher Education. Her research focuses on shared leadership and the social construction of knowledge and the impact of digital technologies on information design and the future of communication and higher education. Doug Duin is associate pastor at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church in Hastings, and the couple have two grown children: Erica Hill Duin McDougall and Seth Hill Duin ’12. —Paul Mattson ’81, executive director of Library and Information Services


Luther Alumni Magazine

David “Chip” Norris ’82 Had Chip Norris ’82 chosen Grinnell College over Luther in 1978, he would have become the fifth generation of the Norris family to attend that college just down the road from his hometown of Marshalltown, Iowa. But Norris had been pulled toward Luther for years. His family owned a cottage near Alexandria, Minnesota, next door to George ’34 and Arline Strum’s cottage. It was on the shores of Lake Ida that Norris forged a deep and enduring friendship with another of this year’s DSA honorees, Fran Odden, George’s son-in-law. And, as they say, the rest is history. Since graduating from Luther, Norris has built a distinguished career in banking: 17 years with Wells Fargo, three with US Bank, and five years as Twin Cities region president with Alerus Financial, where he turned a start-up effort with only four employees in 2007 into a thriving multichannel business employing 235 people today. He and his wife, Jari, have many philanthropic and volunteer interests. This year, Norris was elected president of the North Hennepin Community College Foundation. NHCC is Minnesota’s largest and most diverse community college, with more than 10,000 students, 65 percent of whom are first generation. He understands the challenges of tightening state budgets, the incredible need for affordable higher education, and the important role NHCC plays in his community. Chip and Jari have two daughters, Jennifer Gulbrandson and Angela Scheel. —Kirk Neubauer ’76, senior associate director of admissions

Miriam (Strum) ’62 and Fran Odden ’59 Miriam (Strum) ’62 and Fran Odden ’59 have been partners in Fran’s diverse calls as a Lutheran pastor and in Miriam’s work as a career counselor and consultant. Together they have served Luther’s admissions

David Norris ’82

program and been indispensable hosts and leaders for Luther events, funding campaigns, and reunions. They established the Fran and Miriam Strum Odden Scholarship in 1990 and, with their family, the George and Arline Strum Scholarship in 2001 in honor of Miriam’s parents. They have served on their 50th anniversary reunion committees at Luther, and they are members of Luther’s President’s Council, Legacy Trust, and Leadership Trust. Fran served on Luther’s Board of Regents for 12 years and as Luther’s campus pastor in 1988–89, while Miriam served as Luther’s associate director of career services. Miriam received her graduate degree from Cardinal Stritch University and served the university as its career services director. She owns Odden Consulting and, prior to her retirement, served several colleges, universities, and technical schools as a career services consultant. She volunteers for many church, civic, and professional organizations and has been active in all aspects of ministry in the congregations Fran has served. Fran graduated from Luther Seminary in 1964 and completed pastorates in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Ohio. He also served the ELCA in Haiti and as assistant to the bishop in the Greater Milwaukee Synod. In addition to his congregational responsibilities, Fran has always been involved in community outreach programs. He has been a board member and chairman of many organizations, including YMCAs, Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan, Milwaukee Council on Alcoholism, and numerous ministry-related committees and programs in the Greater Milwaukee Synod and in ELCA synods in Minnesota and Ohio. In all his pastorates, Fran worked to serve the poor and disenfranchised and battled against racism, drug addition, alcoholism, and discrimination in all its forms. The Oddens are the parents of Scott Odden and Kari Odden. —David J. Roslien ’59, vice president emeritus for college advancement

hed ard Miriam (Strum) Odden ’62

Fran Odden ’59

James Oppermann ’77

Kevin Sand ’72

Harlan Satrom ’82

James K. Oppermann ’77

Marjorie Opuni-Akuamoa ’92

Harlan Satrom ’82

James Oppermann ’77 met Mary Sue Stoneman ’77 their first year at Luther. It seemed a sure bet they would marry, and they did, one year after graduation in 1977—Jim with a major in accounting, and Mary Sue with majors in nursing and biology. Oppermann spent two decades of his professional life holding accountant and management positions with accounting, mortgage, and data-systems companies. Since 1997, he has applied his financial expertise in the not-for-profit world at Alverno College. Currently, he is the senior vice president for finance and management services. He has overseen two major construction projects at Alverno: an $11 million campus beautification project including soccer and softball fields, and a $16 million Teaching, Learning, and Technology Center. Oppermann has served the greater community as well. He was a member and two-term chairperson of the formation committee for the Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges and Universities Benefits Consortium, a self-funded provider of health, dental, and vision benefits for nine Wisconsin colleges. In 2011 he was honored as chief financial officer of the year by the Milwaukee Business Journal. Oppermann was a founding member of the Luther College Audit Committee, and he and Mary Sue have served as cohosts of multiple alumni events in the Milwaukee area. The couple belong to the Mount Carmel Lutheran Church in Milwaukee, where James has served on nearly every committee. The Oppermanns are the parents of Kevin ’06 (married to Keely), Peter ’08 (married to Arin ’07), and Kayla ’11. Oppermann and extended family members run the Stoneman Family Farm near Madison, Wis., where Stoneman’s Famous Sweet Corn has been a family tradition for 50 years.

Marjorie Opuni-Akuamoa ’92, who is the current senior adviser of Evidence, Strategy, and Results at the United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), gave the opening convocation speech in August. Read about her on page 5.

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader.” —John Quincy Adams, 1767–1848 Inspiring others to dream more? Harlan Satrom ’82 is the master. There is no better example than his role in dreaming, creating, and executing the plan for Decorah’s new Trout Run Trail. And if that was not enough, the native of Page, N.D., has also led or founded other initiatives, such as the Winneshiek Wellness Coalition, working with businesses to encourage healthy lifestyle choices, exercise, and health care decisions for their employees; and the Blue Zones Steering Committee, promoting healthy life choices for all people in our region. Inspiring others to learn more? Satrom is a prolific reader, always instigating the discussion of new ideas, theories, and opportunities with his family, friends, and business colleagues. And then we are graced with his occasional “What were they thinking about?” challenges, a quote his family would suggest they hear way too often after hearing of some far-fetched idea, misguided decision, or wasteful project he has read about. When something is not going in quite the right direction, a leader may need to step in to make it right—and, at least locally, that leader has often been Harlan Satrom. Now to the last component of the Adams quotation—inspiring others to “do more, become more.” Satrom’s can-do attitude and his engagement in so many organizations has been the difference for our area. Our community has many projects with his “signature” on them, which serves as an inspiration for others to follow suit. And even though his commitment to community service is large, he still maintains his professional success. Satrom currently serves as the managing director and financial adviser for Northwestern Mutual Financial Network in Decorah. He achieved Million Dollar Round Table production levels for over 10 years, leading the agency in 2008. He has served as a participant of the strategic

—Richard Bernatz ’77, professor of mathematics

Kevin Sand ’72 Kevin Sand ’72 has been praised for his commitment to rural health care in Iowa by his peers, and he is credited for laying the foundations for local care in Decorah. That this hometown boy returned to serve his community with distinction for more than 30 years is reason enough to honor him for his service as a medical professional. His work spans a generation. Sand said in a newspaper interview when he retired from full-time practice two years ago, “It is amazing to be caring for the children of the very babies I delivered 30 years ago. As a family medicine physician, you become part of your patients’ lives.” When Sand’s work at the clinic is done, his physician’s scrubs are kicked to the corner and he emerges from his home on Whitetail Road wearing the boots, plaid woolen shirt, and blue jeans of a forester. Since his college days, Sand has been planting trees—acres upon acres of them. He cares deeply for Northeast Iowa and about sustainable conservation practices and land management, and he serves as president of the Prairie’s Edge Sustainable Woods Cooperative. In 2009, he was recognized by the state as Iowa Woodland Owner of the Year. Advocates of conservation education, Sand and his wife, Leslie (Smith) Sand ’74, share a passion for providing learning opportunities for others, especially children, who may become leaders in helping protect our natural environment. They are the parents of Jennifer Sand Canales and Robert Sand. —Kevin Kraus, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the college

Winter 2013 Luther Alumni Magazine



Terry Sorom ’62

Jennifer Weuve ’92

planning group at Luther College as well as a member of the Luther College Heritage Club since 2003. He and his wife, Sonja, have three children: Trevor, Thea, and Tatum. —Keith Christensen ’80, vice president for development

Terry Sorom ’62 Terry Sorom ’62 grew up the oldest of four children in the picturesque village of Lanesboro, Minn., in the Root River Valley. Inspired to go into the field of medicine by the town’s two doctors, Sorom enrolled at Luther intent on following that path. He graduated with majors in biology and chemistry. A year after graduation from Luther, Sorom married his high school sweetheart, Suzanne Johnson. They started a family while he completed a medical doctorate at the University of Minnesota. His residency at the University of Oregon was interrupted by the draft in 1967, and Terry joined the U.S. Air Force, serving as a flight surgeon in Panama. He returned to Oregon in 1969 and chose ophthalmology as his specialty. The couple settled in the beautiful Wanatchee Valley, where Sorom joined the Eye and Ear Clinic, and they immediately became invested in their community. Together they raised four sons there: Martin, Ted, Abe, and Jeb. Sorom practiced ophthalmology for 27 years, retiring in 2000. Sorom has served over these many years on numerous boards supporting his profession, health care, education, tourism, the community at large, his church, the arts, and his alma mater. He has been a leader in many different capacities, and both he and Suzanne have been honored as pillars of their community. He has lived his creed: “People who are successful are obliged to help their community because their community has obviously helped them.” —Marian Kaehler, professor of biology


Luther Alumni Magazine

Jennifer Weuve ’92 Most of us—probably all of us—have someone we care about suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. Of Americans 65 and over, one in eight has Alzheimer’s, and nearly half of us aged 85 and older have the disease. Jennifer Weuve ’92 is a very big hitter in Alzheimer’s research. Her most recent study, funded by the National Institutes of Health, found that long-term exposure to air pollution may speed up cognitive decline in older adults by as much as two years and may contribute to an earlier onset of Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia. That translates to about two million cases over a 40-year period. Scientists agree that it is difficult to establish a direct link between environmental toxins and a disease like Alzheimer’s. However, if her findings are confirmed in other research, Weuve hopes air pollution reduction as public policy may help reduce the future population burden and incredible societal costs of age-related cognitive decline. But the best news is this: She is young and still working! When you see her on television or listen to her on National Public Radio’s Science Friday, she exudes the optimism and incredible personal warmth of a kindergarten teacher—a really high-powered one with a doctorate from Harvard. Weuve is an assistant professor with the Rush Institute for Healthy Aging and visiting scientist with the Department of Environmental Health at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston. She is also a consulting epidemiologist for the Alzheimer’s Association. Her completed research grant proposals, and those pending and submitted in just the last 18 months to organizations such as the NIH and the Alzheimer’s Association, total in the millions of dollars. She is also a brilliant mentor to a long and growing list of young, talented researchers. Weuve and her husband, Jeffrey Gitelle, live in Chicago. —Steven Hubbard ’68, professor of mathematics

Seven inducted into Athletic Hall of Fame Seven alumni were inducted into the Luther Athletic Hall of Fame on Oct. 6 in the Noble Recital Hall of Jenson-Noble Hall of Music.

Josh Hildebrand ’02 Joshua Dale Hildebrand was the IIAC champion in the 800-meters in both 2001 and 2002. Two weeks after the 2002 conference meet, he set the school record in the 800-meters with a time of 1:51.59 seconds, which also qualified him for the NCAA championships. There he finished in seventh place to earn All-America honors. Hildebrand was also was part of four school-record-setting relay events, yet his greatest relay performance came at the NCAA Indoor National Championships in 2001. He teamed with Jake Nimrod ’01, Shaun Meinecke ’01, and Stacy Sundet ’01 to win the distance medley relay. Hildebrand’s 800-meter leg of 1:52.8 seconds was the fastest of the 10 teams in the race. Four minutes and 14 seconds later, when Sundet crossed the finish line, the Norse foursome was crowned national champions. Hildebrand teaches elementary physical education in the Iowa City Community School District and is assistant boys cross country coach at City High School. Hildebrand contributes his time and talents to Zion Lutheran Church in Iowa City, helps run the Get Moving for Healthy Kids 5K, and serves as assistant to the announcer at both the Drake Relays and the Iowa High School State Track and Field Meet. He and his wife, Lisa (Dettman) ’01, have three children: Asta, Lars, and Hans. Celebrating with Hildebrand were his parents, Jane (Greene) ’74 and Steve ’73, and brother Jake ’02. —Jeff Wettach ’79, assistant professor of health and physical education


Josh Hildebrand ’02

Amanda Smith Webb ’02

Amanda Smith Webb ’02 At Luther, Amanda Smith Webb ’02 was a four-year letter winner in basketball, team rookie of the year, three-time team MVP, three-time IIAC first team all-conference selection, member of an IIAC conference championship team, WBCA honorable mention All-American second team, D-3 Hoops all west region selection, CoSida academic all-district third team, two-time IIAC academic all-conference selection, and Lutheran Brotherhood Lutheran College All-America women’s basketball team selection. She ranked first all-time in assists, ranked first all-time in three-point field goals made, ranked first all-time in three-point field goal percentage (37.7). She also ranked second all-time in field goal percentage, second alltime in steals, second in games played, and fourth in all-time points scored (1,328). Webb is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Iowa Society of Certified Public Accountants, and an accountant for Hacker, Nelson and Co., P.C. in Decorah. In her spare time, she is a parent volunteer for Nisse Preschool and Decorah Parks and Recreation. She and her husband, Bryan, are the proud parents of Peyton and Payge. —Jane (Greene) Hildebrand ’74, assistant dean of student life

Matthew Miller ’97 Matthew Miller ’97 graduated from Luther with a bachelor’s degree in biology. Miller then attended Southern Illinois University, where he received a doctor of dental medicine (DMD) degree in 2001. Miller now lives in Grinnell, Iowa, where he practices family dentistry. In addition to his family practice, Miller has been a clinical adjunct assistant professor at the University of Iowa since 2009. Miller was one of the most versatile swimmers ever to attend Luther. He graduated with seven school records, including

Matthew Miller ’97

Jill Freed Japenga ’92

the 50-yard freestyle, the 100-yard freestyle, and the 100-yard breaststroke. He also held the 200-yard and 400-yard individual medley records for 15 years, until they were finally broken this past season. Miller was also a member of the then record 200-yard freestyle and 400-yard medley relay teams. He broke four school records in the last meet of his career, including a 200-yard individual medley time that provisionally qualified him for the NCAA Division III championship meet. Miller was team captain and top point scorer for both the 1995–96 and 1996–97 seasons and was twice voted most valuable performer by his teammates. Miller is married to Amy Cheney ’98, and they have three children: Sydney, Cora, and Paige. He serves on the Grinnell Park and Recreation board and is on the worship and production team at Prairie Lakes Church in Grinnell. —Jay McGrew, associate professor emeritus of health and physical education

Jill Freed Japenga ’92 From her first day as a Luther team member, Jill Freed Japenga ’92 single-handedly “raised the bar” for the Norse women. Japenga’s training intensity in the weight room made weight lifting a “big deal” for Luther women athletes for the first time. Another unique feature of Japenga’s Luther career is that in 1990 she married Milo Japenga ’92, who played football and baseball for the Norse. Japenga’s track and field accomplishments at Luther include school records in the 200-meters and 4x100-meter relay; recording the top five performances all-time in five individual events and three relays; seven all-conference title performances, including the 4x100 relay; All-American honors in 1992 in the 4x100 relay, and as a result of finishing in eighth place at the NCAA Championships. A nursing major at Luther, Japenga

Loran Storts ’87

worked as a registered nurse at Gundersen Lutheran Hospital in La Crosse, Wis., following her graduation through December 1998. She now works part time for Mary Kay while working full time for Cedar Memorial Funeral Home in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, serving as a family service counselor. In addition, Jill does volunteer work at St. Michael’s Faith and Life Center in Cedar Rapids. She and Milo reside in Cedar Rapids with their daughters, Kennedy and Madison. —Jeff Wettach ’79, assistant professor of health and physical education, and track and field coach

Loran Storts ’87 Loran Storts ’87 was an immediate success in both cross country and track at Luther as a freshman, and he never looked back. He was recognized as all-conference in the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference a total of 13 times, four times in cross country and nine times in track, in the days prior to indoor Iowa Conference track and field. He became accustomed to competing in national meets, too, qualifying for NCAA Division III championships six times, three each in cross country and track. In Atlanta, Ga., he and his cross country teammates ran on a Norse team that captured the 1985 NCAA Division III National Championship, the only team ever to win a national title in the history of the college. As a senior in the fall of 1986, Storts culminated his cross country career by being named the conference MVP after leading Luther to a fourth consecutive Iowa Conference team title. In track, Storts was a dominant figure in the 3,000-meter steeplechase and the 5,000and 10,000-meter runs. His times in those races during the mid-1980s still rank him among the top six individuals in five events. Storts was a three-time national meet qualifier in the steeplechase, and at the 1986 conference championship he earned gold medals in both the steeplechase and 5,000-meter run. On the track, Storts was instrumental in helping Luther win three straight Iowa ConWinter 2013 Luther Alumni Magazine


Randy Blank ’72

Mel Ashland ’67

ference team titles. His proudest moment in a Luther uniform came in the fall of 1986 at the regional cross country meet, when his mother, Dorothy, was critically ill with cancer. Recognizing her struggle and courage, Coach Kent Finanger ’54 challenged his cross country squad to “Run for Dorothy.” In her honor, the Norse wore patches and rallied to finish second in a meet where they were picked to finish much lower. Storts ran the third-fastest time in Luther history over an 8,000-meter distance. Roy Storts, Loran’s father, established an endowed scholarship in Dorothy’s name. After graduating with degrees in business and French, Loran worked in the financial services industry for over 22 years. He is now the owner and president of IronWorks Fitness, where he coaches and trains athletes from ages five to 65 with a passion. Storts is also a cross country coach for the Dowling Catholic Schools in West Des Moines, Iowa, is on the YMCA’s Men’s Fraternity Leadership Team, and is the founder of iCan, a program that helps people reach their physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual goals through fitness initiatives. He and his wife, Jenny, have two daughters, Samantha and Libby, and a son, Noah. —Kirk Neubauer ’76, senior associate director of admissions

Randy Blank ’72 Randy Blank ’72 reported for football as a 6-foot, 3-inch, 180-pound quarterback prospect and saw some JV time but very little varsity action on a team that won only two games. Blank sat out his sophomore year, deciding to hit the books. Returning to the gridiron in the fall of 1970 as a 6-foot, 3-inch, 240-pounder who ran the 40-yard dash in 4.6 seconds, he was given the number 45, hardly a quarterback number. Bernie Peeters was already the fullback, so Blank moved to the “D” and lined up at strong side outside linebacker. The



Luther Alumni Magazine

1970 NCAA final statistics had Luther’s “D” ranked second in total defense (137 yards per game.), third in rushing defense (48 per game), and ninth in scoring defense (7.9 points per game). And in 1971, Blank was the cornerstone of what many people believe to be the best defensive team to have played in the IIAC in well over 50 years. Blank won conference championships in more than one sport. He also started in center field on Luther’s 1972 IIAC baseball championship team. Blank and his wife, Marsha, reside in Onalaska, Wis., where Randy has been in the automobile sales management industry for 38 years and the owner of Always Buying since 2002. —Robert Naslund ’65, associate professor emeritus of health and physical education

Ashland is only one of three Luther grads, along with Tom Altemeier ’67, and Larry Davis ’84, chosen to participate in the NFL Combine at the Houston Astrodome as one of the top 200 NFL Draft prospects in the country in 1967. He and his wife, Brooke, live in Central Point, Ore., where he is managing partner of Ashland Partners and Co. LLC. —Dale Main ’67, classmate and track and field teammate

Noble, Sperati, and Presser awards presented Luther presented the following awards during the Homecoming concert Oct. 6 in the Center for Faith and Life.

Mel Ashland ’67

Tammen ’71 receives Weston Noble Choral Award

Mel Ashland ’67 followed his older brother, Dick ’64, a two-sport Luther Hall of Fame athlete, to Decorah. During his freshman year, Ashland and classmate Tom Altemeier ’67 played second team offense and defense. That was also the beginning of their four-year contest to see who could rack up the most tackles inside the 20-yard line on kickoffs. Luther went 9–0 that year, the undefeated IIAC Championship Football Team. In addition to being an outstanding placekicker, Ashland started at both offensive guard and middle linebacker. He lettered all four years and was elected cocaptain by teammates and coaches in 1966. Although he had bulked up to his 245-pound playing weight by senior year, Ashland ran the 40-yard dash in 4.6 seconds, still an enviable time in the NFL today. He also lettered in track in 1964 as a hurdler. That was part of a 16-year streak where Luther won the IIAC Track and Field Championship.

Bruce Tammen ’71, conductor, educator, and scholar, graduated magna cum laude. A music education major and voice student of David Greedy, Tammen was a member of Nordic Choir for three years. He received a master of arts degree in 1974 from the University of Chicago, specializing in English language and literature, and returned to Luther in 1977 to 1980 as adjunct faculty in the choral department. Tammen received a master of music degree from Northwestern University in 1981, specializing in vocal performance and pedagogy, receiving the Chramer Award for Excellence in Opera. In 1984 he returned to the University of Chicago as senior lecturer in the Department of Music, conductor of University Chorus, and conductor of Chapel Choir at Rockefeller Memorial Chapel. Tammen is married to Esther Menn ’80, professor of Old Testament at Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago. When Esther joined the faculty at the University of Virginia, Tammen became the conductor of


Bruce Tammen ’71

University Singers and Virginia Glee Club. When Menn returned to her former position at the Lutheran School of Theology, Tammen returned to choral conducting, forming the Chicago Chorale in 2001, a communitybased choral ensemble. The Chorale has appeared with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at the Ravinia Festival twice and will return in the ’13 season. Tammen also founded and conducted the University of Chicago men’s glee club. As a chorister, Tammen appeared with the Sixth World Symposium on Choral Music under the direction of the world renowned Helmuth Rilling, conductor of the Oregon Bach Festival. For 11 seasons he has returned to perform with this festival, as well as tour with Rilling’s professional Internationale Bachakademie of Stuttgart, Germany. For 14 seasons Tammen has returned as a professional chorister to perform at Carnegie Hall under the tutelage of the famed Robert Shaw. For three summers he also appeared with the Robert Shaw Choral Institute, Souillac, France, being the baritone soloist on the Telarc recording of Brahms’ Liebeslieder Waltzes and baritone soloist in the Telarc recording of 20th Century Choral Masterworks Appear and Inspire. Tammen and Menn have four children, Kaia, Joseph, Elijah, and Danny. —Weston Noble ’43, professor emeritus of music

Ripley ’81 receives Carlo A. Sperati Award James Ripley ’81 grew up in Lime Springs, Iowa, and attended junior high and high school in Cresco, Iowa. His teachers in these locations were previous Sperati Award recipients, Leonard Upham ’62 and Tom Haugen ’61. His association with Luther College began during these years with attendance at Luther College Junior and Senior High Dorian Music Camps. He later served as a camp counselor and was selected as a Dorian

James Ripley ’81

Phuc Phan ’13

Honor Band conductor. Ripley attended Luther and received his undergraduate degree in 1981. While at Luther, he was principal tuba in Symphony Orchestra and Concert Band. His advanced degrees are the master of music from Northwestern University and the doctor of musical arts from the Eastman School of Music. Ripley’s public school experience includes band director positions in Rockford and Cresco, Iowa, and Rochester, Minn. His collegiate experience is vast. He served as a graduate assistant at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., and also at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y. He held faculty appointments at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona. Having completed his doctor of musical arts degree at Eastman, he then served on the faculty of that school. He joined the faculty of Carthage College in Kenosha, Wis., in 2001, and holds that position now. Ripley has worn many hats at Carthage, including director of instrumental music activities and conductor of the Concert Band and Wind Orchestra, as well as the Chamber Orchestra and Jazz Ensemble. He teaches instrumental conducting and is heavily involved in teacher preparation. In addition, Ripley serves as principal guest conductor of the Sakuyo Wind Philharmony of Sakuyo University of Japan. Ripley has served as secretary for the World Assocation of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles and has been an active arranger and composer. The Ripley family is very musical. Daughter Jacy is a trumpet performance major at Eastman School of Music, and son Erik ’12 performed in Luther’s Symphony Orchestra and Concert Band. Ripley’s wife, Kathryn, a graduate of the University of Iowa, is the band director at Lance Middle School in Kenosha and an active professional flutist.

Phan ’13 named Presser scholar Phuc Phan ’13 was selected as the 2012 recipient of the Presser Award, funded by the Presser Foundation and named in honor of Theodore Presser, publisher of Etude magazine. Winner of the concerto competition at Luther as a sophomore, Phan is well known as a gifted cellist. He has also been a strong, encouraging leader of the cello section and Symphony Orchestra as a whole. His performances with Luther’s symphonic ensembles, with various chamber ensembles and as a solo recitalist have drawn large, appreciative crowds. Phan has also distinguished himself on the piano as an excellent collaborative pianist. After beginning his cello career at age 11 in his hometown of Hanoi, Vietnam, Phan spent the equivalent of the last two years of high school at the United World College of the Adriatic in Duino, Italy. After hearing about Luther from Jon Lund, Phan researched the college and cello professor Eric Kutz, and knew immediately that he had found his next teacher and his college home. He credits Eric Kutz and Symphony orchestra conductor Dan Baldwin for their profound influence on his musical and personal development here. In addition, in his characteristic humble way, he is very thankful to his fellow students for the opportunities they have shared here. His first comment, when informed of this award, was that there are so many of his classmates more deserving than he. He understands what an honor it is to be selected from among all of his friends and fellow musicians. —Jim Buzza, Dorian music coordinator

— Fred Nyline, professor emeritus of music

Winter 2013 Luther Alumni Magazine


Class reunions ADDITIONAL PHOTOS POSTED ON ALUMNI WEBSITE Photos for the classes of 1967, ’72, ’77, ’82, ’87, ’92, ’97, ’02, and ’07—as well as more candids from Homecoming 2012 events—are posted at


Conrad Larson, Sheldon Hermanson, Andrew Larsen


Judy Torgerson, Vonnie Linnevold, Willard Linnevold


Jeanne (Mossman) Wiger, Sylvia (Wisness) Storvick


Sylvia (Vaaler) Vahle, Norma (Quill) Fisher


Bruce Boyce, Mary Ann Olson, Howard Olson


Luther Alumni Magazine


Elene (Hanson) Henrikson, Phyllis Bentley


Ron Martinson


Roger Skatrud, Dave Guetzke


Clarence Reiels; right: Walter Laughlin; back: Dean Tollefson


Jean (Flom) Carlson â&#x20AC;&#x2122;58, Marilyn (Lokensgard) Martinson, Marilyn (Klusmeier) Nelson


Lawrence and Kathleen (Zuppa) Gere

Winter 2013 Luther Alumni Magazine




Front: Richard Sansgaard, Durwood Clauson, Dorothea (Nybroten) Lind, Ronald Nybroten. Back: Ann (Peterson) Sansgaard, Julie (Risdal) Gilbertson, Adrian Johnson, Joel Aarsvold, Stanley Iverson

Front: Laurel (Ness) Gatz, Karen (Johnson) McGarigle, Barbara Steidl, Rogene (Rolland) Hunzeker. Back: Dale Ruosch, Paul Mosbo, Ruth (Bakken) Jeno, Jean (Ranum) Wilken, Nancy (Larson) Bluemel, Beverly (Leonard) Anderson



Front: Carol (Everson) Duit Brader, Karan (Evans) Mathison, Dorothy (Erickson) Stoskopf, Cheryl (Erickson) Mahaffay. Back: Mary (Ylvisaker) Zoroufy, D.K. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Swedeâ&#x20AC;? Syverson, Janice (Matthews) Peterson, Nancy (Hansen) Mahon, Karen (Lunde) Heimer, Sara McGah

Front: Mary Lunde, Alice (Ashland) Rasmussen, Miriam (Strum) Odden, Barbara (Knutson) Spalding. Back: Martin Malmin, Peter Holt, Connie (Wilham) Ryks, Eleanor (Froiland) Andrews, Mary Lou (Greenheck) Baryenbruch, Anne (Marking) Christopherson, Karen Dahlen-Lacivita



Front: Stefani (Monson) Lee, Carold (Odegard) Adams, Lois (Stole) Berg, Louise (Benston) Kjosa. Back: Jon Lee, Gary Lee, John Helgeland, Donald Mills, Terry Sorom

Front: Jack Bronner, Jan (Engle) Gray, Ronnald Farland, Gary Kessler. Back: John Hibbard, John Nesset, Dick Bakka, Terry Anderson, Tom Loughrey


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Front: Al Saterbak, Tim Johnson, Duane Everson, Roger Hegland. Back: Earl P. Lackey, Jerrold P. “Jerry” Lokensgard, Bruce Goetsch, Russ “Duff” Duffner, Paul G. Heltne

David Hanson, Will Schmid



Front: Jim Griffin, Lewis Larson, John Thompson, Chuck Mahnke. Back: Ronald Lee, Leonard Upham, William Davis, Judy (Ream) Davis, Cheryl (Martinson) Spear

Front: Lois (Aaker) Lerum, Judith (Miller) Ranheim, Lola (Pederson) Haugen, Virginia (Landsgaard) Luster. Back: Ken Knutson, Marv Lee, Roger Lembke, Jerry Aaker

ADDITIONAL PHOTOS POSTED ON ALUMNI WEBSITE Photos for the classes of 1967, ’72, ’77, ’82, ’87, ’92, ’97, ’02, and ’07—as well as more candids from Homecoming 2012 events—are posted at

1962 Front: Rosalie (Abraham) Wiebusch, Tom Vaaler, Glenn Austad. Back: Jerry Wiebusch, Charlie Peterson, Karen (Swain) Austad, Roger Halverson . Winter 2013 Luther Alumni Magazine


Alumni News

Alumni veterans gathered on campus for Luther’s Veterans Day program on Nov. 10, 2012.

Luther celebrates veterans with special program, new website Luther hosted the Veterans Day program “A Journey to Freedom” on Nov. 10, 2012. Among the speakers were Vice Admiral Adam Robinson, surgeon general of the navy, retired; Captain Paul Jacobs, commander of the USS Kirk, retired; and Jan Herman, naval historian, retired. The program also included a showing of The Lucky Few, a film that documents the humanitarian efforts of the USS Kirk to


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remove more than 30,000 at-risk Vietnamese and American civilians from South Vietnam in the final days of the Vietnam War. Michael Foster, a sophomore at Decorah High School, helped coordinate the program. Ever since he heard the story of the USS Kirk, in eighth grade, Foster has been deeply invested in researching and publicizing it. A new website now honors Luther veterans. With a grant

from the American Legion of Iowa, Luther has created an interactive, multimedia touchscreen display in Loyalty Hall to honor alumni veterans. The Veterans Memorial Registry and Recognition Display is webaccessible and provides a dynamic information display with flexibility to add stories, photos, videos, and other historical information on an ongoing basis.

Alumni News

work at Wartburg College. Read the article at

Norse in the News

Periodicals highlight work by members of Luther community


JOEY CORBIN ’08 was featured on the September 2012 cover of Viking magazine. The story in which he appears, “Across the Ocean to Oslo,” explores the experiences of young North American professionals living and working in Norway. Corbin is the summer program coordinator for the international office of the BI Norwegian Business School.

TAMMY (ZENK) ’90 and ROB FAUX ’88 appeared in the September/October issue of the Iowan in a piece titled “Old Ways, New Faces: Tradition Yields a Fresh Vision for a Committed Group of Iowa Farmers.” The article profiles a group of four farms that participate in a monthly communal work-day rotation on one another’s farms. Tammy and Rob met at Luther and then obtained doctorates in their respective fields, but after a few years as vendors at a local farmers market, they decided to start the certified organic Genuine Fox Farm in Tripoli, Iowa. In addition, Tammy teaches social

PEG BRENDEN ’76 was featured in Minnesota Women’s Press for the 40th anniversary of her involvement in the court case that contributed to the creation of Title IX, which prevented the exclusion of athletes from school athletics on the basis of gender. As a high school student athlete, Brenden wanted to play competitive tennis at St. Cloud Tech in Minnesota, but there were no women’s athletic teams at her school. Her request became the first court case to challenge the rules that forbade women from playing on boys’ athletic teams. In her senior season, she went 3–2 in five matches for her high school team. Brenden has served as a compensation judge with the Office of Administrative Hearings for the State of Minnesota since 1986. Read the article at

Three alumni tours scheduled this year Luther College offers alumni and friends of the college opportunities to travel domestically and abroad with Luther classmates and friends. For details about tours, visit Upcoming tours include: Concert Band Companion Tour to Iceland and Norway—May 20–31, hosted by President Rick and Judy Torgerson.

Sailing the Wine-Dark Seas—May 26–June 8, hosted by Luther Classics Professor Philip Freeman and his wife, archaeologist Alison Dwyer of the Vesterheim Museum.

Discover Spain and Portugal on the Camino de Santiago—July 10–24, hosted by Luisa and Peter Forsgren ’82.

HARLEY REFSAL, Luther professor emeritus of Scandinavian folk art, was named the 2012 Woodcarver of the Year by Woodcarving Illustrated. Of Refsal’s flat-plane carving, the magazine’s publisher remarked, “Harley’s devotion to preserving

Winter 2013 Luther Alumni Magazine


Alumni News

this traditional folk art is nothing short of inspiring.” Refsal is the author of several books on woodcarving, most recently Whittling Little Folk: 20 Delightful Characters to Carve and Paint. Read the magazine article at

Class of ’16 boasts 71 alumni children COLORADO Colorado Springs Erika Balk, daughter of Karla (Nelson) ’83 and John Balk ’83 ILLINOIS Dahinda Erik Hahn, son of Dianne (Vikdal) Rasmus ’84 and Steve Rasmus, and Michelle and Michael Hahn ’85, Bettendorf, Iowa

Deerfield Diedre Suri, daughter of Joanne Bjerga ’82 and Mark Suri ’82 Evanston Ryan Thorson, son of Laura and Dave Thorson ’87 Lombard Gretchen Strube, daughter of Lisa (Schneider) Strube ’87 and Rob Strube ’86, Lisle, Ill. Megan Wachholz, daughter of Jill (Voss) ’89 and Mark Wachholz


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Armstrong Benjamin Peterson, son of Mary (Tangen) Peterson ’81 and Jack Peterson, Armstrong

Rockford Bryanna Powell, daughter of Beth (Birkinbine) Krupke ’84 and Mark Krupke, and Lisa and Jeff Powell ’85, Merrimac, Wis.

Bellevue Drew Anderson, son of Donna (Reinke) ’90 and Rick Anderson ’89

Sterling Paige Lobdell, daughter of Lisa (Schrader) ’88 and Brian Lobdell

McHenry Megan Feltes, daughter of Andrea (Swenson) ’89 and Eric Feltes

Woodridge Stephen Shatzer, son of Kari (Nottleson) ’82 and Bruce Shatzer ’82

Mundelein Zenen Davismckennie, son of Denise ’82 and Willie Davismckennie ’84

IOWA Ankeny Jenna Dengler, daughter of Chris and James Dengler ’85 Brennen Reysack, son of Amy Larson ’87 and James Reysack, Ankeny

Worldwide Norse! Be part of a Luther video Luther alumni are truly global citizens, and we want to see where you live! The Luther College Visual Media department is asking alumni in the United States and abroad to submit short videos or still images introducing us to you and telling about where you live and work. Your submissions will be part of a video for To find out more and to be a part of the project, go to: /worldwidenorse.

Oswego Andrew Hegseth, son of Lisa (McElfresh) ’89 and Todd Hegseth ’87

Bettendorf Blake Letney, son of Robin and Todd Letney ’87 Cedar Falls Hannah Dailey, daughter of Lisa (Palmquist) ’87 and Alan Dailey Cedar Rapids Abigail Carpenter, daughter of Stacie (Olson) ’90 and Kevin Carpenter ’87 Jenna Myers, daughter of Sheila and Steve Myers ’82 Coralville Reed Johnson, son of Jone (McDonald) ’82 and Terry Johnson ’81

Alumni News

Decorah Samuel Garwood, son of Deb (Stortz) Garwood-Schacherer ’84 and Mike Schacherer, and John Garwood ’83 (deceased) Marea Holkesvik, daughter of Molly (Williams) ’97 and Bob Holkesvik ’96 Aaron Larson, son of Maureen Larson ’06, Santa Rosa, Calif., and Ken Larson, Decorah Peter Lillibridge, son of Renee and Jim Lillibridge ’80 Blake Moen, son of Judy (Finanger) ’83 and Larry Moen Breanne Pierce, daughter of Lori (Phipps) ’87 and Scott Pierce ’88 Andrew Storlie, son of Rhonda (Volden) ’85 and Chris Storlie ’83 Iowa City Bryn Hedlund, daughter of Diane (Gruenhaupt) ’87 and Shawn Hedlund Peosta Cameron James, son of Jody and Brian James ’83 Pilot Mound Solveig Orngard, daughter of Sarah (Austrheim) ’79 and Andrew Orngard Prairie City Andrew McCarthy, son of Mindy and Timothy McCarthy ’84 Ridgeway Leyton Bohr, son of Becky (Butikofer) ’07 and Dennis Bohr Swea City Alex Brandt, son of Mary (Henriksen) ’83 and Lennon Brandt Waverly Hannah Mick, daughter of Lore and Jeffrey Mick ’80 Windsor Heights Carly Rusek, daughter of Kathy Tenges ’82 and Ray Rusek ’81

MINNESOTA Arden Hills Ryan Vijums, son of Judy (Johnson) ’88 and Paul Vijums Austin Matthew Lunning, son of Janene (Chafee) ’89 and Bradley Lunning Jessica Tan, daughter of Tammy Lawson ’83 and Camille and Andrew Tan ’85, Tampa, Fla. Brooklyn Park Ashley Meyers, daughter of Ruth (Ives) ’89 and Jim Meyers ’89 Burnsville Brita Preus, daughter of Martha and Steve Preus ’80 Cannon Falls Jesslyn Hendrickson, daughter of Debby and Joel Hendrickson ’76 Cottage Grove Julia Reimann, daughter of Mary (Vaaler) ’87 and Tim Reimann Eden Prairie McKenna Campbell-Potter, daughter of Deb CampbellPotter ’75 and Ken Potter ’75 Fergus Falls Ethan Taylor, son of Anne (Lysne) ’88 and Sean Taylor ’84 Hastings Isaac Johnson, son of Camille (Clapp) ’87 and Kirk Johnson ’86 La Crescent Katelyn Evenson, daughter of Rachel Fishel and Matt Evenson ’91, Houston, Minn. Kent Sandness, son of Laura (Libbey) ’88 and Stephan Sandness ’86 Mankato Britta Petersen, daughter of Joanna (Swiggum) ’77 and Norman Petersen ’77 Anders Storvick, son of Di (Reque) ’85 and Eric Storvick ’85

Lois Swenson Fund promotes peace, justice, sustainability Lois Swenson ’57 was murdered in her Minneapolis home last June. The police investigation continues, and the case was unsolved at presstime. “We don’t want the focus to be on how she died, but on how each of us can carry on what she was doing to change the world,” says Rachel Hefte ’83, a close friend of Swenson. In that spirit, a close group of family and friends have started a memorial fund and will be advisers to donate money to causes that Swenson supported. The Lois Swenson Fund for Peace, Justice & Sustainable Communities has been set up with the Lutheran Community Foundation. The fund will support individuals or projects that further Swenson’s vision of a world where people live in peaceful community, children learn how to become engaged in creating a just world, and people treat the earth with respect and reverence. To make a gift in her memory, make checks payable to the Lutheran Community Foundation with “The Lois Swenson Fund” in the note portion of the check. Mail checks to the LCF at 625 Fourth Avenue South, Suite 1500, Minneapolis, MN 55415. To make a gift online, go to, where you can also read more about the Lois Swenson Fund. Friends have also created a website in memory of Swenson,, where they have posted tributes, stories, and photographs, as well as many media reports and links to videos. In one of the tributes posted, Liz Erickson ’09 writes: “I’ve known Lois Swenson my whole life. A lot of who I am today is a result of my interactions with her. My earliest Lois memory was harboring her fugitive sheep ‘Mow’ in my Twin Cities suburb as a 5-year-old. We walked him down to the park and met everyone in the neighborhood. It’s funny to think at such a young age Lois was already teaching me to be an environmentalist and create community. “In elementary school, Lois baby-sat my brother and I. She trained us in waste reduction. Once she set us up with a stack of junk mail and instructed us to write things like “return to sender, stop wasting paper.” I always got excited to play with her oddball toy stash that she collected dumpster diving. My bedroom dresser is one she scavenged for me somewhere. She would continuously supply me with books she had saved, and got me hooked on the Trixie Beldon series. “I didn’t choose Luther College because Lois went there, but I know she had big dreams for Luther. Any time she checked in with me she wanted to know what was happening on campus. I’ll always remember her tracking down President Torgerson at the Luther Christmas concert to ask him when Luther was going to start raising chickens on the library lawn. To Lois it wasn’t a matter of ‘if’ but ‘when.’ “She was glad to hear about the change in 2008 that required students to take a J-term off campus before they graduated. Her dream was that all students would have to study abroad before they graduated because travel had been such a transformative experience in her life.”

Winter 2013 Luther Alumni Magazine


Alumni News

Minneapolis Nathaniel Ferguson, son of Stacy Stickney Ferguson ’82 and John Ferguson Minnetonka Sarah Eckhert, daughter of Sheri Brenden ’81 and Phil Eckhert Owatonna Rachel Wiebke, daughter of Polly (Anderson) ’86 and David Wiebke ’85 Plymouth Benjamin Joppa, son of Sandee (Neitzel) ’87 and Jon Joppa ’85 Rochester Madeline Culp, daughter of Linda (Hanson) ’79 and Nick Culp Kelsey Hansen, daughter of Teri (Palmquist) ’86 and Jim Hansen ’86 St. Paul Amanda Jenkins, daughter of Rebecca Lynch ’78 and David Jenkins Nicholas McGrory, son of Martha (Stormo) ’86 and James McGrory White Bear Lake Hailee Feig, daughter of Stacey and Erik Feig ’87

La Crosse Karin Hecht, daughter of Kristin Swanson ’80 and Alan Hecht ’80 Lars Johnson, son of Lee (Knoernschild) ’85 and Kent Johnson ’83 Onalaska Erik Ohlrogge, son of Sarah (Connell) ’74 and Dennis Ohlrogge ’74 Platteville Tricia Serres, daughter of Heidi and Rob Serres ’82 Stoughton Kai Hedstrom, son of Janet and Alan Hedstrom ’74 Wascott Sarah Hermeier, daughter of Julie and John Hermeier ’85 Wild Rose Jonathan Cochrane, son of Carole (Meyer) ’81 and David Cochrane


DALLAS KNUDSON was elected president of the Silver Senate at the National Silver Haired Congress in Washington, D.C.


LARRY FOGDALL is president and CEO of the Brevard Music Center in Brevard, N.C. The organization brings together more than 400 young musicians each summer for seven weeks of music and education.


MARK WARDELL is the dean of Toulouse Graduate School at the University of North Texas in Denton.


KYRL HENDERSON of Decorah produced a short documentary film titled Hand Me Downs. The film poses the question of what we are leaving our children and shows the viewers how trash is passed on through generations. Hand Me Downs was selected for the Iowa Independent Film Festival.

WYOMING Big Piney Alayna Nelson, daughter of Beth and Stephen Nelson ’85


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SUZANNE (SVIEN) and RICHARD WELLS are volunteers at Oasis Hospital in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates.


STEVEN MINECK is deputy program manager for TASC Inc. in Washington, D.C.


BETSI (BEAL) KURZAWSKI is the training and documentation manager for Fundtech in Jersey City, N.J.


GREG ERICKSON is the manager of new market relations for ThoughtWorks in Atlanta, Ga.

Class notes


SOUTH DAKOTA Sioux Falls Benjamin Selbo, son of Lorrie and Tim Selbo ’84

Hudson Ehren Kluge, son of Linda (Larson) ’84 and Todd Kluge


KATHY (ESTENSON) CARLSON is retiring from teaching elementary physical education and coaching high school women’s swimming and track and field at Burnsville (Minn.) Senior High School.

ALLAN RICHARDS is president of the Iowa Lincoln Highway Association. The highway was the first to stretch coast-to-coast across the United States. He is an attorney at Richards Law Firm in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Woodbury Erika Storvick, daughter of Sarah and Jon Storvick ’78

WISCONSIN Eau Claire Matthew Boelter, son of Roxanne Litchfield Holey and Eric Holey ’78, and Phillip Boelter, Eagan, Minn.

KRIS MELROE was invited to speak on special education instruction at Dar El Hekma College in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. She is the director of schools at Morningside Academy in Seattle.


DAVID W. PREUS published the book Pastor and President: Reflections of a Lutheran Churchman through Lutheran University Press. In the book, David reflects on his life and the wonders that transpire when one individual makes a difference in the world.

A Sense of Place: A Carl Homstad Retrospective is on view at Vesterheim, the NorwegianAmerican Museum in Decorah, through April 28. The show consists of more than 80 works Carl Homstad ’73 created over a period of 40 years. Oil and watercolor paintings, woodcuts, etchings, and drawings are included in the exhibit. All pieces depict scenes that are within a half mile of Homstad’s home north of Decorah. More of his work and information about the artist can be found at his website,

Luther faculty RACHEL (ANDERSEN) and DAVID FALDET ’79 live in Decorah. She recently wrote an article for the Decorah Journal titled “Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee: Confessions of a Royal Watcher” and is an assistant professor of English. He is also a professor of English. JERRY GILMERE is an instructional services assistant for the University of Iowa Derpartment of Continuing Education in Iowa City, Iowa. NANCY (HAWBAKER) HARMS retired after 31 years of teaching physical education in Madison, Wis. JIM LANGHOLZ, Luther associate professor of education (on leave), is the middle school principal at St. Mary’s International School in Tokyo, Japan.

Alumni News

Under the scalpel, behind the lens: Knutson ’84 photo-documents a woman’s preemptive mastectomy from start to finish.” Knutson, a Minneapolis-based photographer who is known for his portraits of Nobel Peace Prize winners and also for his commercial work, never had a doubt about taking the assignment. “In some ways,” he says, “it goes back to my roots at Luther, where I did more documentary photography. In the years since then, I’d done a few things somewhat like this, but nothing quite to this depth.” Knutson estimates that he’s taken “literally five to ten thousand photos. We’ve covered every angle—the surgeries, of course, but also me spending 24 hours with her family; her relationships with her husband, children, friends, and neighbors; her getting ready to leave the house or taking the kids to school. . . . It’s changed

Doug Knutson ’84

When 39-year-old Melissa Gonzales of Minneapolis chose to undergo a prophylactic mastectomy—a preemptive breastremoval surgery that greatly reduces the risk of developing breast cancer—she asked Doug Knutson ’84 to photograph it. “When she was looking for support groups,” Knutson says, “she found a lot for people with breast cancer, but not a lot of supportive information or groups for those undergoing a prophylactic mastectomy.” Gonzales, whose family history puts her at high risk for breast cancer, wanted to offer a resource to other women facing the same difficult decision, so she invited Knutson to document her experience, from her first consultation, through her tissueremoval and implant surgeries, to her present healing and any subsequent procedures. Before Knutson even picked up the camera, he and Gonzales sat down and talked about what she wanted to accomplish and what she wanted to show. They decided “to do it all, no holds barred, to cover everything,” Knutson says. “Sometimes the exam would roll around and the doctor would say, ‘Okay . . . ,’ as if he was waiting for me to leave the room, but Melissa said no, that I was staying in there

the way I see her as a person. I see in her a strong, brave woman who is really putting herself out there. She’s been direct and honest, and it’s been fascinating to see this and to see her confidence in her own decision-making process.” Judging by the feedback that Gonzales is receiving, the blog and the photographs have become invaluable resources for other women considering the surgery. Knutson says, “Part of what Melissa’s examining in her mind and what we’re examining through these pictures is, how does your life change when your breasts change, and are you still the same person?” He doesn’t have an answer to these questions yet, but his touching and sensitive photographs prove, as he says, “that Melissa’s beauty may have changed, but it’s still there.” —Kate Frentzel Read more about Melissa Gonzales’s story at greaterthanthesumofmy

Doug Knutson ’84

Alumni Profile

See more of Doug Knutson’s work at and

Winter 2013 Luther Alumni Magazine


Alumni News


DAGFINN HØYBRÅTEN was named the new secretary general of the Nordic Council of Ministers. He will begin his work in March. He also serves as board chair of the GAVI Alliance (formerly the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation).


JONATHAN TEMTE is professor of family medicine at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health in Madison, Wis. In July he was appointed chair of the U.S. Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices by the Health and Human Services Department secretary Kathleen Sebelius. The committee establishes vaccine recommendations and policies for the United States.


KELSEY BRUSO of Minneapolis was named Distinguished Engineer for Unisys Corporation, the highest engineer designation at the company. Among its 22,000 employees, Bruso is one of five distinguished engineers. He recently published the paper “RSQRT: An Heuristic for Estimating the Number of Clusters to Report” in Electronic Commerce Research and Applications.

Ron Richardson ’83, pictured with wife Ruth, daughter Elise, and son Jared, received the doctor of worship arts degree from the Webber Institute for Worship Studies in Orange Park, Fla. His degree is in theology with an emphasis on worship and art. Richardson is arts pastor at Epiclesis Church in Sacramento, Calif.


THOM DAVIS earned a doctorate in elementary education from the University of Iowa. He teaches in the department of education at Central College in Pella, Iowa.

at the University of Wisconsin– Whitewater. BRIAN LEEPER of Madison, Wis., was named artistic director of La Musica Lirica, a five-week summer opera program in Italy. He is also the president of the Wisconsin chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS).

BRIAN GILLOGLY is a professor in the department of health, physical education, recreation, and coaching and is also assistant baseball coach

DAVID MOEN is president of Bluestone Solutions in Stillwater, Minn. STEVE MYERS is executive vice president of commercial real estate for Transamerica Insurance in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. TIM OLSON is president of Lean Solutions Institute Inc. in Carlsbad, Calif. BILL SCHROEDER is pastor at Lakeside Community Lutheran Church in Webster, Wis.


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TRACY (SHEPARD) SMALLEY is program manager for Aviva in West Des Moines, Iowa. ANDREW TAN is a medical technologist and bar code expansion coordinator for James A. Haley Veteran’s Hospital in Tampa, Fla. CINDY ZAUTCKE and MIKE OSTERMEYER ’83 live in Mequon, Wis. She is a policy analyst at Marquette University. He was named by his peers to The Best Lawyers in America 2013. He is a real estate lawyer for Quarles and Brady LLP.


GINA SAUER is director of attorney recruiting and development at Oppenheimer, Wolff, and Donnelly in Minneapolis.



In September, the Minnesota Fallen Firefighter statue created by Doug Freeman ’75 got a change of scenery. The statue, which found its first home in the baggage claim area of the Minneapolis–St. Paul International Airport, was removed from the airport in March and hardened at a foundry in preparation for its new outdoor home as part of a memorial near the state capitol. The sculpture depicts a firefighter descending a ladder with a child in his arm, and honors the more than 200 Minnesotan firefighters who have died in the line of duty since 1881.

ANNE (MATTSON) MCANALLEN is an investor reporting manager for GreenTree Servicing LLC in Phoenix, Ariz.

ROSS DUNBAR is supply chain director for Artic Cat in Plymouth, Minn.


CHRIS CARRON (above) was named director of collections for the largest children’s museum in the world, the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.

ROBERT FOSBURGH is the claims administrator and exchange facility manager for Farmers Insurance Group in Olathe, Kan.

Alumni News

Norse online Luther alumni are staying connected

New: Pages that show the value of a Luther degree at New: What’s life like on campus now? Student bloggers keep you up to date at admissions/studentblogs The Luther alumni site, with details on upcoming events on campus and near you, at

Luther College @ Friends are talking about • bleeding blue • sold-out concerts • a new Rhodes scholar

• E-mail or share a story • Link to a wealth of storytelling, voices, and more information • Tell us your own news

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Alumni News

KURT HEINECKE is a freelance composer, working on video projects for VeggieTales, scoring the Superbook show for the CBN network, and occasionally performing on soundtracks for Disney parks. ERIC JOHNSON is a professor in the School of Music at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Ill. He has given lectures and demonstrations on Israeli choral music at both the National Collegiate Choral Organization national convention and the American Choral Directors Association Central Division Choral Organization convention.


AMY (HALVORSON) HOLZWORTH earned a master’s degree in library science from the University of Denver. She is a librarian at the Poudre River Public Library District in Fort Collins, Colo. MARIA MICKELSON earned a master’s degree in literacy and mathematics from the University of Minnesota. She is an elementary school teacher at Neveln School in Austin, Minn.

JOHN MATTHEIS is assistant professor of family medicine at McLeod Family Medicine in Florence, S.D.

(Left to right) Chad McShane ’93, Gregg Luther ’90, and Aaron Romine ’91 competed as Team Norse in the Littlefoot Triathlon in Morrison, Colo., Sept. 8, 2012, placing first overall. McShane cycled, Luther swam, and Romine ran.

DEAN PRIBBENOW is vice president for academic affairs at Edgewood College in Madison, Wis. ROB VEATCH of Dassel, Minn. is regional sales manager for Superior Vision. ANNA WETTERLING is the supervisory information management specialist for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in St. Paul, Minn.

MARTY MONSON (above) was named CEO and executive director of the Barbershop Harmony Society in Nashville, Tenn.

ERICA GILBERTSON is a public service faculty member for the University of Georgia College of Education in Athens. NOELLE (COLLINS) HOFER is a postpartum doula and infant care specialist for Smooth Transitions in Centennial, Colo.


STUART AREY III is a physics teacher at Robert College of Istanbul in Turkey. KATIE (NIETERT) JOHNSON owns Built to Last Masonry LLC in Lansing, W.Va.


ANN ELISE (MONSON) SCHOENECKER is assistant professor of music at Viterbo University in La Crosse, Wis. She teaches diction, song and opera literature, and voice.


MUKESH AGARWAL is the senior director of information strategy and architecture for OptumHealth at UnitedHealth Group in Minnetonka, Minn.

Jim Tripp ’04 and Mira Canion ’90 attended the International Forum on Language Teaching in Breckenridge, Colo., in July 2012, where they each presented sessions. Both have recently published materials for language teachers and learners.


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PAUL BLOM is nonmedical health care CEO of Right at Home, an organization that provides elderly clients with in-home care. Right at Home was ranked first in the Minneapolis Star Tribune’s 2012 survey of top-ranked workplaces.

JOHN HATLE is associate professor of biology at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville. His article “What Grasshoppers Can Teach Us about Food, Sex, and Aging,” based on his research on the effects of reducing feeding and reproduction on lifespan, was published by the Huffington Post. Hatle’s findings indicate that the reduction of one or both decreases aging and increases lifespan in animals such as mice, worms, and grasshoppers. DAVID HEINE is a family physician at the Family Care Clinic in Decorah. He was recognized by Telligen for his efforts and leadership in the transition from paper to electronic medical health records nationwide.


DIRK BUETTNER is the team manager at Bank of America in Westlake Village, Calif. JON FRESE is director of information technology for the Advanced Group of Companies in Chicago.

DEBORAH (DEWEERTH) HOFLAND is executive director at Philips Academy in Charlotte, N.C.

MELINDA (GREEN) HUGDAHL (above) received the 2012 National Secretaries of State Medallion Award from the Minnesota Secretary of State, Mark Ritchie, for her outstanding contributions to Minnesota’s Safe at Home Address Confidentiality Program. She was one of four to receive this distinguished honor. Hugdahl is an attorney with the Legal Services Advocacy Project in St. Paul, Minn.

Alumni News

Annual Fund Impact • Financial aid and scholarships • Enhancements in athletics • Career services

Annual Fund ad

Thank you. Because every gift —no matter how large or small— is important.” —Tyler Wedemeier ‘13 Elementary Education Westgate, Iowa

Tyler Wedemeier ’13

When asked why he chose Luther, Tyler says it was a combination of the beautiful campus, the people, and the sense of community. Some of Tyler’s involvements include basketball, first-year orientation, and the athletic advisory committee. Tyler’s favorite course, Middle School Methods, helped shape his career goals to teach in a middle school and later pursue becoming an athletic director.

Make a gift or pledge at

Winter 2013 Luther Alumni Magazine


Alumni News

McLain-Kruse ’91 promotes healing on horseback tinue riding at her place (she’s been running a second business, McLain Farms Trailriding, since 2002). She sensed the need and responded. “I grow people—that’s really my job,” she states as a matter of fact. “Last winter, Brian moved out of his mom and dad’s home at age 37 or 38. That’s a huge transition.” In addition to functional independence, she also measures progress by how long clients are able to ride and by confidence level, and she receives feedback from group-home and workplace staff about how her riders are doing in other areas of their lives. In addition to her twice-weekly sportstherapy riders, who live with cognitive or physical disabilities, McLain-Kruse serves war veterans and at-risk youth, including children who struggle in traditional schools, children who’ve been bounced around the foster-care system, and even a 12-year-old victim of rape. For now, her work with veterans is limited to a couple of annual events. She hopes to increase opportunities for them, but, as with all financing involved in this high-risk, low-profile venture, the fund-


“Look at me go, Michelle!” calls Adam. “I’m doing great with the reins. I’m taking care of everything!” “Looking good, Adam!” says Michelle McLain-Kruse ’91 from outside the gated ring where the amiable young man is clearly pleased with his horsemanship. Adam, a 26-year-old with Asperger’s syndrome, can tell you the name of every street in America, but he has trouble knowing when to do his laundry. He’s been taking lessons with Michelle for more than six years. Also riding on this mild Tuesday in October are Brian, 38, who is epileptic and developmentally delayed to age six, and Valerie, a petite woman in late middle age who was diagnosed almost a decade ago with multiple sclerosis. The three of them show up twice a week to participate in a therapeutic riding program, Thunder Rode, which McLain-Kruse and a few like-minded people started in 2006. She’d been certified at another organization that allowed clients to ride six times per year. As the sixth time was approaching, people would ask whether they could con-

Volunteer Loreen Houdek assists Alec, a participant in Thunder Rode’s Youth Empowerment program, in learning the drill-team pattern that he will perform at a festival in Minnesota.


Luther Alumni Magazine

Julie Strom ’93

Alumni Profile

ing is hard to come by. “Demand isn’t the issue—it’s funding. Most new therapeutic riding centers don’t make it three years—well, I can see why,” she says as she throws up her hands. McLain-Kruse has managed to beat those odds, but finances at Thunder Rode are certainly tight. Because it’s a high-risk activity, the insurance that McLain-Kruse needs to cover Thunder Rode is pricey—as is the overhead—but the riding fees are modest. In addition to the fees, Thunder Rode sells memberships, holds fundraisers, and receives donations and grants, most notably from the Depot Outlet in Decorah, the Marion E. Jerome Foundation, and the R. J. McElroy Trust. The program also benefits from the help of volunteers, among them some Luther folk, people from the Retired Senior and Volunteer Program (RSVP), and assorted other volunteers. On this particular day, a sunny teenager helps out by confidently leading Buddy, a quarter horse who requires a gentle hand, while Valerie sits astride. Running such an organization can be a vulnerable prospect, but McLain-Kruse has harbored entrepreneurial dreams since her days as a Luther business major, and she argues that slow growth is a good thing because it lets her better control how she runs Thunder Rode. This slow-growth policy also means that she’s a different kind of marketer: “A true professional should never blow their own horn,” she asserts. “If you’re doing a good job, other people will see that.” When asked how she pairs horses and riders—how she knows which temperament will best suit which rider—she jokes, “Tem-

Alumni News

perament—that’s a fun one. By guess and by God! Actually, it goes back to reading personalities,” she explains. “Winnie got all the introverts this year. Buddy gets all the anger-management people. Lilly gets people who are terrified of horses—which is hilarious because she needs confidence. I mean, she will mirror image. Like, if Adam were scared right now, Lilly would be shaking in her shoes.” Or in her horseshoes, anyway. “These animals have a sixth sense,” Betty, Adam’s mom, chimes in. “They know when you’re doing something special like this. I mean, look at Adam. It’s a lifesaver for him. He thrives when he’s here.” Indeed, all the riders seem to be thriving. They’ve moved on to a game called egg-and-spoon, which requires riders to balance a raw egg on a plastic spoon with their arm extended. The exercise improves coordination and balance, and though there are a few mishaps, spirits remain high. After a while, Valerie, who has some trouble with balance and numbness in her lower legs, starts leaning a bit too much and decides it’s time to dismount. “I want you to know that MS is a pain in the butt,” she declares as she’s helped off the horse. “That’s all right,” a volunteer consoles. “If you hadn’t had it, we wouldn’t have met.” “That’s true,” Valerie agrees. The volunteer’s remark might sound like cold comfort, but the connections formed at Thunder Rode—between people and horses, but also between people and people—seem lasting and profound, and more than capable of healing. As the riders and their families prepare to leave for the day, they gather at the end of the driveway with McLain-Kruse and the other volunteers, kicking at the gravel and shooting the breeze, their laughter mingling with the whinnying of horses. McLain-Kruse then rounds up her instructors to review the day’s session. When a visitor remarks that she has such a wealth of stories, she ought to consider writing a book, she laughs, shrugs her shoulders, and says, “I don’t have time to write a book—I’m living one!” —Kate Frentzel



DANA (BERG) and JOEL HASENWINKEL live in Frisco, Texas, with their three children. He is a market executive for Healthways Inc.

MICHELLE (WILLIAMS) DYNES received a March of Dimes nursing scholarship to continue her graduate education in maternal-child nursing. She is a fellow of interdisciplinary global health research at Emory University in Atlanta, Ga.

JON CARLSON was named chief of staff and is a medical doctor at Aurora Health Network in Oshkosh, Wis.


JOHN DAHL is an assistant principal with Prior Lake– Savage (Minn.) School District. SAMEER DIXIT is country director for the Center for Molecular Dynamics Nepal in Kathmandu, Nepal.


BETHANY (BIERMAN) KREPELA wrote the article “A Mentor? Who, Me?,” which appeared in the May issue of the Association of Lutheran Development Executives Wisdom Wednesdays blog. CLINT SCHNEKLOTH was elected to the advisory council for Word and World: Journal of Christian Ministry and Connection, the ELCA Youth Ministry Network magazine. He is lead pastor at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Fayetteville, Ark. HERMAN TIEDEMAN is an inventory specialist at Midwest Groundcovers LLC in St. Charles, Ill.


MATT ANDERSON is a computer consultant for Chameleon Computer Inc. in Decorah. ERIC BOOKMEYER, mayor of Mason City, Iowa, was the 2012 recipient of the Rhonda Wood Smith Award, presented by the Iowa League of Cities at its annual conference in Sioux City, Iowa, in September 2012. The award recognizes exemplary work by young city officials.

KAREN (OLSON) CREWS is a senior scientist for GlaxoSmithKline in Research Triangle Park, N.C.

RACHELLE EVENSON is senior quality assurance analyst for the Caldrea Company in Minneapolis. SHAUNA (WOOD) and ADRIAN HOLM live in Iowa City, Iowa. She is the owner of the Rebel Extreme Cheerleading, Tumbling, and Gymnastics facility in North Liberty, Iowa. He is a gastroenterologist at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. LARS JENSEN has created an iPad application for the aviation magazine HangarSphere, which focuses on aircraft’s most important but often overlooked accessory, the hangar. MARK SCHMID is associate pastor at Shepherd of the Lake Lutheran Church in Prior Lake, Minn. KRISTEN WUNDERLICH is a recipient of the 2012 National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) Foundation Grant. She is an assistant professor of voice and voice chair at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C.


JON STROMMEN CAMPBELL is choral director at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Moorhead, Minn.

MARK PICHELMANN is assistant professor of neurologic surgery at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla.

Bailey, Clarissa, Austin, and Anthony practice a drill-team pattern. In addition to improving horsemanship skills, the work involved in conducting a drill-team performance for the public teaches the participants and volunteers to work together toward a common goal and to respect each other’s space.

AARON STRONG earned a master’s degree in applied mathematics and a doctorate in economics from the University of Colorado Boulder. He is an assistant professor at the University of Iowa in Iowa City. SAM TEIGEN is finance and operations manager for the Greenwall Foundation in New York, N.Y.


ALYCIA ASHBURN met with Luther President Rick Torgerson at American University in Washington, D.C., where she reported for Sojourners Magazine on the awarding of the Climate Leadership Award to Luther College.

Winter 2013 Luther Alumni Magazine


Alumni News

Through the setbacks, Johanna Olson ’01 keeps on running Just over 15 years ago, as a first-year at Luther— a time when most students are concerned with Paideia papers and which PE course looks like the most fun—Johanna Olson ’01 was learning that the spots she was seeing were indications of a brain tumor. Fast-forward past three brain surgeries, radiation, chemotherapy, and another brain tumor to Oct. 7, 2012, when Olson—or Joha, as Luther friends know her—ran the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon. A seven-time all-American for the Norse, Olson has always run not for time, but for love of running, and this race exemplified that. “Life has changed my perception of the importance of time. Part of my latest brain tumor seems to have given me this loss of sense of time. My time was just over five hours, but I forgot the actual time. I am happy with it. Our goal as a team was 12-minute miles, and we were almost exactly on! And my parents (both just over 60) ralked this marathon!” she says. “Ralking,” a combination of running and walking, got Olson through her premarathon warm-up—a 10K in her current home of Bend, Ore. Running for five minutes and walking for two was the plan for the Twin Cities run, her first event since surgery only a month earlier. Olson’s group of runners and supporters, Team Joha, followed her lead when it came to attitude and perseverance. Her sister Marney Olson ’99 says, “Johanna’s attitude is so inspiring. Even though she has had to deal with a lot

of bad news over the years about the tumor coming back and then her inability to drive and now work, Johanna always puts others before her.” True to form, Joha takes the spotlight off herself and puts it on her family, especially her brother-in-law Colin Farbotko ’00, who lost his fight with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) on Oct. 15. “I dedicated my marathon to Colin,” she says. “He showed us all how to face the worst thing with grace and dignity. He was a brother to me and I miss him so much. He made our family whole, made my dad laugh so hard he would wheeze and snort. He gives me the guidance to face this tumor head on, to laugh at it when I need to.” Olson’s love of running started at a young age and was nurtured during her time at Luther. “I still love to race, but I am so happy that through this experience all of the things I love about running, the values I was shown through [high school] when my dad coached me, and Bets [Betsy Emerson] and [Jeff] Wettach at Luther. The reasons why I love to run are still there, still present, and I am so grateful for that!” For an update on Olson’s life, running, tumor-assassination, and family, visit the website Colin created for her, —Julie (Satre) Shockey ’01

After this magazine went to press, Johanna Olson passed away on January 3, 2013, after an 11-year battle with brain cancer. Our thoughts are with her family and friends.

Julie (Satre) Shockey ’01

Johanna Olson ’01 (second from left) runs with family and friends who made up Team Joha in the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon last October.


Luther Alumni Magazine

AMY (ALBERS) PETERSON is senior physical therapist at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City, Iowa. MEGAN (MCCALL) SANDE and AARON SANDE ’98 live in Eden Prairie, Minn. She is lead product development manager at Target. He is a business analyst for Long Term Care Group Inc. JAMISON YOUNG is chief financial officer at Summit Orthopedics in St. Paul, Minn.


TIMOTHY BAARDSETH (above) earned a doctorate in counseling psychology from the University of Wisconsin– Madison. He accepted a postdoctoral primary care and health psychology fellowship at the Edward Hines Jr. VA Hospital in Hines, Ill. LAURA (LINDMAN) BARNARD is a mental health therapist and addictions counselor for Family Counseling Center in Rockledge, Fla. KELLY HOLST is a professor of voice at the Oklahoma City (Okla.) University Wanda L. Bass School of Music. BEN JOHNSON is the financial representative for Thrivent Financial in Edina, Minn. ELISSA (MAGEE) RICHMOND lives in Las Vegas, Nev. She teaches at Sunrise Mountain High School. GRETCHEN SCHEIDEL is a psychology intern at the University of Minnesota Medical School in Minneapolis. ABBY SHUPPY earned a master’s degree in educational theater from the City College of New York. She teaches theater at Leman Manhattan Preparatory School in New York. MELISSA (MANNING) and DOUG SUMMERFIELD live in Mason City, Iowa. She is an ophthalmologist at the North Iowa Eye Clinic. He is a critical care fellow at Mayo Clinic.

Alumni News

Debut CD release blends gospel, jazz, funk, and more This group had its own mini-Homecoming at Luther on Labor Day weekend 2012. (Left to right) Chris Schultz and Sue (Stram) Schultz ’02 with Jacob and Joey; Tim Jacobsen ’00 with Owen and Sonja (Siverson) Jacobsen ’01; Jarid Finstuen ’02 with Jordyn, Kaylee, Leah DeMann, and Alexis; Tara Amundson and Chris Amundson ’02 with Kaia; Leland Schwartz ’02; Laura (Jorgenson) Thompson’02 with Lily, and BJ Thompson ’02 with Ben. HEIDI TORGERSON-MARTINEZ is the program director of Young Adults in Global Mission for ELCA Global Mission in Chicago.

LAURA RIORDAN BERARDI earned a master’s degree in public administration from Drake University.

TANA FIELD is assistant professor of music and director of the Athena Festival at Murray State University in Murray, Ky.


SARA SCHOLTES is an assistant professor of physical therapy at Saint Louis University.

JENNIFER (SHINBORI) GIORDANO is a financial management specialist for the U.S. Department of the Army in Warren, Mich.

is a trauma pediatric nurse practitioner at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota in Minneapolis.

JENIE FULLER SCHMIDT teaches for the Des Moines (Iowa) Public Schools. KATIE (ANDERSEN) and ROB GERDTS ’02 live in Minneapolis. She is an elementary school counselor for the Osseo (Minn.) Area School District. He is project manager for Kroll Ontrack. LAURA (CAULUM) GRATTON of Prineville, Ore., is an osteopathic physician at Mosaic Medical. SCOTT HORSFALL earned a master’s degree in business administration from Hamline University. ANNE JOHNSON is the program manager and training coordinator for Minnesota Adoption Resource Network in Minneapolis. MEGHANN OVRE-KRIESEL is customer service supervisor for Tornier Inc. in Bloomington, Minn.


KYLE BERRA is director of medical services for the Ho-Chunk Nation in Black River Falls, Wis. ELISABETH (BANDY) and JEFF BIEBER ’01 live in New Hartford, Iowa. She is a lecturer in voice at Wartburg College. He is director of choral activities at AplingtonParkersburg High School. KELLY (GYEKIS) and JEFF BRIGHAM live in Richfield, Minn. She teaches mathematics at Chanhassen High School. He works for US Bank. NATALIE (HELGESON) BRUCHHAUSER is a special education teacher with the Gilbert (Ariz.) Public Schools. JANE (HOOVER) D’SILVA earned a master’s degree in education and curriculum from Boston University. PATTI (ROIKO) DUPONT is the leader of application for technical support for Integrys Energy Group in Green Bay, Wis.

EMILY (THOMAS) HOBGOOD is a stay-at-home mom in Chesterfield, Mo. STACY JOHNSON is senior research analyst for the Improve Group in St. Paul, Minn. DAVID KAPKA earned a master’s degree in management from Wake Forest University. He is the accountant manager of major appliances at Electrolux in Charlotte, N.C. MEGAN (KASTAMA) LOAHR teaches mathematics at Park High School in Cottage Grove, Minn. SUZANNE (HALLUM) MAUER is high school band director for the Albert Lea (Minn.) Area Schools. STACIE MICKENS earned a doctorate in musical arts from the University of Michigan. She is assistant professor of French horn at Youngstown (Ohio) State University in Youngstown.

Ghana-born artist Maame Afon (Alice) Yelbert-Obeng ’03 blends gospel, jazz, funk, and reggae with a dose of African flavor in her debut album, RISE. She majored in French and Spanish at Luther. While on campus, she performed with the Jazz Band, at chapel services, and at the Ethnic Arts Festival. Yelbert-Obeng’s recent appearances include performances at churches in Ghana and California, the Caribbean Heritage Organization’s Salute to Hollywood and the Arts, and the Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco. She has also led music sessions at the African Feminist Forum, the Bioneers conference, and the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. To promote social justice, Yelbert-Obeng has woven music into the program at dinners, galas, workshops, and conferences within the nonprofit sector. She is part of networks such as the Global Fund for Women, Global Women’s Leadership Network, Moremi Initiative, and the African Women’s Development Fund USA. Her music is available through

Winter 2013 Luther Alumni Magazine


Alumni News

BRITA NELSON is the technical assistant specialist for the Iowa Association of Community Providers in Urbandale, Iowa. She is also a partner at Driftless Edge Farm in Decorah.

BENJAMIN DRUFFEL earned a master’s degree in music from Minnesota State University, Mankato. He is a graduate student assistant at Rutgers University. RYAN GOESSL is a member of the Camarata Music Company in Seoul, South Korea. The group recently performed Seussical the Musical and Mendelssohn’s Elijah.

SUSAN (STOCKSETH) and MARK POTVIN ’01 live in Princeton, Minn. She is the band director at Saik Middle School. He is the vocal music instructor at Princeton High School and men’s choir conductor at St. Cloud State University. JAIMIE (RASMUSSEN) RUDOLPH is the claim quality assurance manager for American Family Insurance in Madison, Wis. ANGELA SADAT is a realtor for Keller Williams Premier Realty in Woodbury, Minn. BRENT SEAMANS teaches in the Prairie du Chien (Wis.) School District and serves as a fishing guide for Nushagak River Adventures. JONATHON STRUVE, Luther adjunct music faculty, gave a lecture recital at the 2012 Great Plains Regional Conference for the College Music Society and participated in the 2012 Iowa Arts Festival.

JAMES GREGG earned a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management.

Twelve best friends from Luther got together in Madison, Wis., to celebrate their 30th birthdays last year—eight years after their graduation in 2004. The women have gathered once a year in a different location, although not all have made it every year. (Bottom row, left to right) Carolyn (Younes) Almelien, Jessica (Welling) Seeley, Emily (Martz) Anderson, Aubrey Connolly, Alyson Doty. (Middle row, left to right) Ellie Dolan, Kelly (Hanly) Hubert, Lisa Franek, Sarah Henning. (Top row, left to right) Kelly Flynn Janson, Kaia (Nordal) Sherburne, Chelsey Remme. SEAN HOULIHAN is principal of Casey Community School in Gallon Jug, Belize.

AMANDA (BENEDICT) and JUSTIN OBENAUER live in Lakeville, Minn. She earned a master’s degree in counseling and psychological services from Saint Mary’s University, and is a program counselor for Empowered UCLA Extension. He is a portfolio manager in the Housing and Finance Agency for the State of Minnesota.

ADAM SYVERSON is a family physician with Allina Hospitals and Clinics in Minneapolis. ERICA (DENCER) and CHRIS WEISGRAM live in Plover, Wis. She is an associate professor at University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point. He is information coordinator for the Stevens Point Area Public School District. DEVON WHITEHEAD is a mental health practitioner at Central Minnesota Mental Health Center in St. Cloud.


SAM CHENOWETH is Europe financial controller for Martin Engineering in Walluf, Germany. HANNE GULLIKSEN earned a bachelor’s degree in occupational therapy from Oslo University College. She is a multilingual medical information officer for Professional Medical Information in the United Kingdom. PETER HOESING is assistant professor of musicology and ethnomusicology at Claflin University in Orangeburg, S.C.


Luther Alumni Magazine

ANDY NELSON is campus pastor at the Luther Center in Vermillion, S.D.

JANE (AGGREY-APPIAH) HUNTER (above) won an Emmy award for her work as producer and celebrity booker on the ABC talk show Windy City LIVE. Hunter produces segments in the field and instudio, including the highly rated regular segment Food Fight, which determines a theme and then sends contributors out to find the best food in that category in Chicago. EMILY JESTER earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing and graduated cum laude from the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. AMANDA LINDBERGAGANGA and DEVON AGANGA ’01 live in Ellicott City, Md. She is an attorney at the Maryland Office of the Public Defender. He is a physician at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

LINDSAY (LEHMANN) REITEN is the teaching assistant supervisor at the University of Wisconsin– Madison. MELISSA MAAS RICHARDSON earned a master’s degree in choral conducting from the Westminster College of the Arts at Rider University. She is director of choirs at the American School of the Hague in the Netherlands.


SARA (GOUDSCHAAL) BLESSING is a graduate assistant in music at the University of Iowa in Iowa City. JANELLE (FEINE) and CHARLIE DAHL ’03 live in Jamestown, N.D. She is an obstetrics nurse at Jamestown Regional Medical Center. He is a biological technician at Northern Prairie Wildlife Reserve.

MATT HUCK is a department manager for Menards Inc. in Muscatine, Iowa. KIRSTEN (SPARKS) and BRAD PAULSRUD ’05 live in Hutchinson, Kan. She is a podiatrist at Hutchinson Clinic. He is a territory manager for Cybex. BECKY (KNOTT) PORTER of Eldridge, Iowa, is a business development associate for Spectranetics. ALICE SANDAHL and ANDY MEYER live in Seattle. She teaches French at the Perkins School. He teaches 10th- and 12th-grade humanities at the Northwest School. ANDREW TERRY completed an emergency medicine residency in Columbus, Ohio. He is an emergency medicine physician for Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines, Iowa.


DREW BAHLMANN teaches English at Sigourney (Iowa) High School. LINDSAY BERNHAGEN was one of 10 recipients from a pool of 3,000 awarded the Graduate Associate Teaching Award at Ohio State University. STEPHANIE (NOVAK) BOND earned a master’s degree in forensic science from Arcadia University in Glenside, Pa. LIBBY CHMIELEWSKI teaches sixth grade for the Oregon (Wis.) Community School District. JENN COLLINS is associate pastor at St. Andrew Lutheran Church in Wausau, Wis. RACHEL FAUST earned a master’s degree in social work from Minnesota State University. She is a student

Alumni News

advocate for the Stillwater (Minn.) Public Schools. LESLEY (HIEBING) FRIEDHOFF is a psychology resident for the United States Air Force in Camp Springs, Md. SARAH FRYDENLUND of Hayward, Minn., is assistant dairy manager for Ladwig Dairy. She is also a self-employed artist. KEVIN FULTZ is a technical lead for Fastenal Company in Winona, Minn. JACKIE (DENISON) and TOM GETCHIUS live in Eagan, Minn. She is a therapist and inpatient case manager for CIGNA Health Solutions. He is director of clinical practice at the American Academy of Neurology. ANNIE HENDRICKSON is assistant United States attorney for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of South Dakota, in Sioux Falls. KATIE (CHAMBERS) KADUCE is a financial reporting process analyst for Deere and Company in Moline, Ill.

RYAN KNIGHT earned a master’s degree in business administration from Iowa State University. He is the accountant manager at Ashland Inc. in Wilmington, Del. RENEE (NEAL) and NATE LANDIS live in Ankeny, Iowa. She is the computer services supervisor for Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines, Iowa. He is a software engineer for Team Quest in Clear Lake, Iowa. LAUREN MAYFIELD is a human resources generalist for Express Scripts in Minneapolis. STEPHANIE MUELLER is a graduate teaching assistant for the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at the University of Iowa in Iowa City. MEGHAN MYRON-KARELS is a residence hall director for the University of Colorado Boulder. MISCHA TURSICH earned a doctorate in clinical psychology from Nova Southeastern University. She is a psychology postdoctoral fellow at the University of Western Ontario in London.

Paige (Brant) ’07 (right) and Patrick Burzlaff ’08 (second from right) met with Luther music professors Eric Kutz (left) and Miko Kominami at the Malibu Coast Music Festival.


CLINT AMBROSON is an associate dentist at Family First Dental in Clarinda, Iowa. STEFANIE AUSEN is a registered nurse at St. Francis Regional Medical Center in Shakopee, Minn. ANDY BAKEHOUSE is a technical assistant at Colorado Heights University in Denver. MARISSA BRENGMAN is education program coordinator for orthopedic surgery for Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. SARAH (TWEDT) and JONATHAN CARLSON ’07 live in Decorah. She teaches first grade. He teaches junior high physical education and coaches varsity boys basketball for Decorah High School.

A team made mostly of current and past Luther wrestlers ran the Great River Relay—from Winona, Minn., to Minneapolis—in August 2012, finishing 23rd out of the 316 teams that finished the race. They ran the 198.5 mile course in 25 hours and 43 minutes, for a 7:48 minute/mile average. (Front row, left to right) Wyatt Reyerson ’05, Jeff Patzke ’05, Ryan LeBeau ’05, Lon Welsh ’06, Scott Manson. (Second row, left to right): Micah Ballew ’13, Anthony Smith ’14, Nick Jazdzewski ’14, Jayden DeVilbiss ’15, Billy Barringer ’12, Ben Kissling ’07, and Luther wrestling coach Dave Mitchell.

CASSIE CUMINGS-PETERSON earned a master’s degree in political science from the University of Iowa and a juris doctorate from the University of Iowa College of Law. She is adjunct professor of political science at Coe College and a Pilates instructor for Rivercity Pilates in North Liberty, Iowa. JONATHAN CURRY is digital marketing consultant for Tri State Media Solutions in Platteville, Wis. KARA DONAHUE teaches kindergarten in the BurnsvilleEagan-Savage (Minn.) School District.

ANNA (SILL) ENGELHART earned a master’s degree in nursing from Mount Mercy University. She is an assistant professor at St. Catherine’s University in St. Paul, Minn. MARCOS GRANO DE ORO earned a master’s degree in music for piano performance from the University of Northern Iowa. He teaches at the University of Northern Iowa Community Music School and is music director at first Congregational United Church of Christ in Waterloo, Iowa. ANGELA (REICHERT) GRIFFIN is a registered nurse at Grand Rapids (Mich.) Fertility and IVF. JOHANNE GRINDE is a sign artist for Trader Joe’s in St. Paul, Minn. STACY (GREENE) LONEMAN is a registered nurse at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. KELLY MOORE earned a master’s degree and a doctorate in clinical psychology from Marquette University in Milwaukee. JUSTIN PAPKA earned a master’s degree in international relations from the University of Kent, Brussels School of International Studies. He is research associate for global monitoring and evaluations as well as lecturer for diplomatic training programs at the Intercultural Management Institute at America University in Washington, D.C.

Winter 2013 Luther Alumni Magazine


Alumni News

Moor Musical Arts Center at Bowling Green (Ohio) State University.

KELLY (SCHEMA) and ALEX THORESON live in Lakeville, Minn. She is a registered nurse at Fairview Southdale Hospital. He is a senior project manager for Surescripts LLC.


AUDREY ANDERSON is program officer for Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.


ELISABETH (JOHNSON) and KYLE BARLOW live in Omaha, Neb. She is a registered nurse at Methodist Hospital. He earned a master’s degree in business administration and a juris doctorate from Creighton University. He is an associate at Carlson and Burnett LLP.

PAIGE (BRANT) BURZLAFF is youth pastor at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Bakersfield, Calif. MEGAN (MANTHEY) and ERIC ELLINGSON ’06 live in St. Paul, Minn. She earned a master’s degree in nursing and is a nurse practitioner at United Hospital. He is a secondyear emergency medicine resident at Regions Hospital. ADRIENE ESSEX WILLIAMS of Tupelo, Miss., earned a master’s degree in sport administration from Mississippi State University. ELENA GEIGER-SIMPSON is director of nursing and residential treatment program at Touchstone Mental Health in Minneapolis. COREY HLAVACEK is an auditor for the Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway Company (BNSF) in Chicago. JEFF HODEN is a quality engineer for John Deere and Company in Dubuque, Iowa. KIMBERLY (REICHERT) and MATTHEW HOEGH live in Denver. She is a registered nurse at Barnes Jewish Hospital. He earned a doctor of medicine degree from St. Louis School of Medicine, graduating with honors including Alpha Omega Alpha National Honor Society, Alpha Sigma Nu National Jesuit Honor Society, ACP Coy D. Fitch Book Award, and Graduation Distinction in Research and Community Service. He is an internal medicine resident at the University of Colorado Hospitals. JAMIE HOLMBERG and STEVEN KAIN live in Richfield, Minn. She is a clinical laboratory technologist at Mayo Clinic. He is senior R&D finance analyst at Medtronic Inc. ANDY LANTZ earned a master’s degree in Spanish from Texas A&M University in College Station. He is a graduate assistant Spanish instructor at the university.


Luther Alumni Magazine

Danny Young ’07; James Griesheimer, Luther associate professor of music; and Jared Bendel ’08 converged on Nashville, Tenn., on Aug. 17, 2012, to catch a couple of performances of The Nutty Professor musical, in which percussionist Young was performing. RENEE (SKOW) and DARIN PERSON live in North Liberty, Iowa. She teaches first grade for the Iowa City Community School District. He is a social worker and suicide prevention case manager for the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs. KATIE (KRUSE) RATHER earned a master’s degree in public affairs from the University of Wisconsin– Madison. She is campaign manager for the Wisconsin School of Business with the University of Wisconsin Foundation in Madison. JOANNA SIMPSON is a healthcare information technology consultant at Oxford Global Resources in Madison, Wis. ERIN SMOCK is an ESL teacher for Van Buren Elementary School in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. RYAN SNELL earned a doctorate in chemical engineering from Iowa State University. He is a research chemist for Chevron Phillips Chemical Company in Kingwood, Texas. JENNIE TENOLD is a physical therapist at Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare in Maple Grove, Minn.


KATIE BENEDIX is communications assistant for the admissions office at Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. CHRISTINA DOUGLAS is a selfemployed singer and voice teacher in New York.

LINDSEY (VOTH) DUTCHAK of Red Wing, Minn., is a professional tutor at Minnesota State College– Southeast Technical. TYLER HENDRICKSON was awarded a fellowship to attend the Aspen Music Festival and School for the 2012 season. He was also appointed to the Indianapolis Suzuki Academy, where he is head of piano and viola instruction. ALAINA KELLY teaches English at English First in Wuhan, China. RACHEL (DONAHOE) MARQUARDT earned a master’s degree in public health from the University of Iowa College of Public Health. REID MASON is an accountant for McGladrey & Pullen in Chicago. PHILIP SADLER earned a doctorate in veterinary medicine from Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine. He is an associate veterinarian at Riverside Animal Clinic in Springfield, Minn. JESSICA (HULBERG) SOUTHWICK earned a doctorate in veterinary medicine from the University of Wisconsin– Madison. She is a dairy veterinarian for Marshfield (Wis.) Veterinary Services.

JOSH BLESSING is a cardiovascular perfusionist at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. SARAH COWING is a production assistant for the Washington National Opera in Washington, D.C. AMANDA DAHLSENG is the senior high school youth director at Light of Christ Lutheran Church in Algonquin, Ill. BRANDON FLAATA is lead management specialist at Polaris Industries in Plymouth, Minn. JENNA GIESEKE is associate director of the sustaining fund at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minn. GAOXUE HER is a student accounts representative for inactive accounts at Regency Beauty Institute in Brooklyn Park, Minn. BRIE (KUNKEL) IVERSON is interim program director at Upper Missouri Ministries in Epping, N.D. In summer 2012, she cycled across the country with Cycle4aCause. The trip from Oregon to Maine took 64 days and connected her with members of congregations in order to raise research dollars for the American Cancer Society. LINDSEY JOHNSON earned a master’s degree in vocal performance from the University of North Texas in Denton. JEREMEY KLEIN is the assistant director of admissions at the Art Institutes International of Minnesota in Minneapolis.

MARISSA TORGERSON is a second-grade Spanish immersion teacher for the Minnetonka (Minn.) Public Schools.

SHAYNA LARSEN-NORDIN is a school counselor for the Fort Dodge (Iowa) Public Schools.

AMANDA VAN WECHEL is coordinator of music admissions for

ANDREA (JOHNSON) and ALEX MIERAU live in Minnetonka, Minn. She earned a doctorate in

Alumni News

physical therapy from St. Catherine University in Minneapolis. He is supervisor of purchasing for Polaris Industries. CASEY RIGDON earned a juris doctorate from Drake University. He is an associate attorney for Dunakey and Klatt PC in Waterloo, Iowa. TONYA ROBERTS earned a master’s degree in occupational therapy from St. Ambrose University. She works as an occupational therapist at Mercy Medical Center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. SARA VELDEN is a genetic counselor at ARUP Laboratories in Salt Lake City. CODY WEBB is an environmental health and safety specialist for P.O.E.T. Productions in Preston, Minn.


MAHLET AMANUEL is a program management specialist for Salisbury (Md.) University in Salisbury. JILL BOHLE earned a master’s degree in English rhetoric and composition from Washington State University. She is a technical document specialist for Schweitzer

Engineering Laboratories Inc. in Pullman, Wash. MAGGIE (FONS) BRITTON is a proofreader for Hal Leonard Corporation and an adjunct music professor at Luther. MEGAN (HAMANN) and DAN COFFIELD live in Urbandale, Iowa. She is a quality control analyst for the Principal Financial Group. He is an image specialist for Gannett Publishing. PHUONG DAU published an article, “Functional Tolerance in an Isoreticular Series of Highly Porous Metal Organic Frameworks,” in Dalton Transactions. He works as a research assistant at the University of California, San Diego. SARAH FRANA is logistics coordinator for the Winneshiek Energy District in Decorah. MESHA HALL-JACOBSON and BRANDON JACOBSON ’08 live in Lansing, Mich. She earned a master’s degree in social work from the University of Connecticut. He is a risk consultant with Federated Insurance. TAYLOR HAMMRICH completed a year in South Africa serving rural

Aaron Stenhaug ’10, Jake Vaith ’10, Kelsey Vaaler ’11, Wes Gregg ’10, and Allison Moen ’11 atop Mount St. Helens in Oregon on Sept. 12, 2012.

communities with the ELCA Young Adults in Global Mission program. JAYNA (TANGEN) HARSTAD teaches at Chatfield (Minn.) Elementary School. ANDREA HATLELI is a music therapist for West Music in Marion, Iowa. KRISTEN HAUG earned a master’s degree in horn performance at the University of Minnesota. She is customer support representative for MakeMusic Inc. in Eden Prairie, Minn. JAKE HELLMAN is an accountant for Stueve Construction Company in Algona, Iowa. JANELL MAGNUSSON teaches middle school music and choir at Mount Caramel (Ill.) Middle School. LEE MEIRICK is a professional services consultant working with implementation of PeopleSoft for Cerner Corporation in Kansas City, Mo.

A group of Luther friends attended the first Color Run 5k at the St. Paul Fairgrounds in July 2012 and spotted some other Luther grads in the throng of people at the finish line. An impromptu reunion ensued—complete with the Luther cheer. All were class of 2009. (Bottom row, left to right) Katherine Wolff, Kristin Skaar, Beth Jeddeloh. (Top row, left to right) Rebekah Stadie, Bailey Miller, Kristin Swedlund, Megan Selvig, Sara Jeske. What’s a color run? As the runners and walkers reach different zones along the race, they are blitzed with all-natural paints.

KRISTEN (LINDHOLM) and TAYLOR NELSON live in Lafayette, Colo. She teaches preschool at Boulder Country Day School. He is a swim coach and aquatics instructor at Rally Sports Health Club. ANDREW PETERSON works for AmeriCorps VISTA with AchieveMpls in Minneapolis.

JOSH QUALLEY is senior systems analyst for Methodist Hospital Systems in Dallas. KRISTEN ROBLE is a sales associate for Express in La Crosse, Wis. MICHELLE SAWYER earned a master’s degree in social work from the University of South Dakota. She is a social worker at Avera McKennan Hospital in Sioux Falls, S.D. LAURA (BRINEY) WIGHT works for Iowa Trust and Savings Bank in Moravia, Iowa.


RACHEL ALBERT is a graduate student in anthropology at the University of Missouri– Columbia. MOLLY ANDERSEN teaches English at Anuban Singburi School in Thailand. JENI ARBUCKLE is a software analyst at Software Advice in Austin, Texas. HANNAH BRANDVOLD is an administrative assistant at St. Olaf Lutheran Church in Austin, Minn. JESSE BUNGE teaches vocal music for grades 7–12 in the Hampton– Dumont (Iowa) Community School District.

Winter 2013 Luther Alumni Magazine


Alumni News

LAURA (DAVIS) DAHLKE teaches first grade for the Austin (Minn.) Public School District.

MADESH CHENNAPPA is a quality control engineer for TeamQuest Corporation in Clear Lake, Iowa.

MITCHELL DEMERS is a mental health practitioner at Therapeutic Services Agency Inc. in Pine City, Minn.

CARAH CLAFLIN is the vocal music teacher at Emerson Elementary in Indianola, Iowa, and director of children’s choirs at St. Mark Lutheran in West Des Moines, Iowa.

KARL GILBERTSON is an operator at SurModics Inc. in Minneapolis. BETH GONIA teaches third grade for the Tomah (Wis.) Area School District. ANNA GRINDE is cultural coordinator for the Sons of Norway Foundation in Minneapolis. KARI HOUGHTALING is a member of AmeriCorps and a junior coach with College Possible, a nonprofit organization assisting lowincome students. She helps students improve ACT scores and begin the college-application process. JORDAN LANG is an accountant for Deere and Company in Cedar Falls, Iowa. RACHEL LOEFFLER-KEMP completed a year with the ELCA Young Adults in Global Mission program serving rural communities in South Africa. JESSICA SNYDER is a paraeducator at South Winneshiek Community School District in Calmar, Iowa. KARL STREUFERT is the assistant director and a basic services staff member for St. Francis Center in Denver.

BRUCE CLARK teaches biology at Lewiston–Altura (Minn.) High School. TRICIA (GUNDERSON) CRARY is office manager at South Winneshiek Veterinary Clinic in Ossian, Iowa. ALLISON CROAT is digital editor for Ashdown Broadcasting in Kasson, Minn. ERIN EGGUM is a financial analyst for Rockwell Collins in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. NATHAN GIANNETTINO is district manager for General Motors in Irving, Texas. ALEX GISLESON teaches music and band at North Winneshiek Community School in Decorah. PETER GRAFFY is coordinator of international programs for the Center for Interamerican Studies in Cuenca, Ecuador. DANIEL GRAINGER is director of church relations for EWALU Camp and Retreat Center in Strawberry Point, Iowa.

In June, Kelsey Bausch ’12 (left) and Eric Carlson ’89 (right) traveled on a vision trip to Tanzania, where they visited villages and congregations on behalf of the Southeastern Iowa Synod. Their trip included a visit to a parish in Shighatini, where Elireheme Mwange ’69 (center) is pastor. ASHLEY GROSVOLD is the human resources services recruiter for Logistics Health Inc. in La Crosse, Wis. HANNAH GRUNDHOEFER works for Wells Fargo in Jamestown, N.D., and is an assistant coach for Just for Kix. COURTNEY GUNTLY is a resource coordinator for Family Promise of Northern New Castle County in Wilmington, Del. CHRISTOPHER HANSON is an information technology business analyst for the technology leadership development program for the Hartford in Bloomington, Minn.

AARON HOFFLAND is POS programmer at Menard Inc. in Eau Claire, Wis. JORDAN HUMPAL is a technical support technician for TriTech Software Systems in Decorah. JAKE KESSLER is an associate professional accountant for Cargill Inc. in Wayzata, Minn. KATE KNOPIK is a human resources associate for Cargill Inc. in Milwaukee. JAKE LARKIN is a demand forecast analyst for Best Buy in Minneapolis.

MICHELLE VOIGTS teaches kindergarten in the Esko (Minn.) School District. SARA WALSTON is the lead teacher for toddlers at KinderCare in St. Paul, Minn.


SYDNEY BEAN is a client support services associate at Transamerica Insurance in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. ADAM BERTROCHE is a delivery consultant for Cerner Corporation in Kansas City, Mo. KATELYN BOTTEM is a public health associate for the Centers for Disease Control in Troy, Mo. KATIE CARNES is a project manager for Epic Systems Corporation in Verona, Wis.


Luther Alumni Magazine

In June, Luther alumni, family, and friends gathered at the Safari Hotel in Windhoek, Namibia. Luther friends from Iowa and Minnesota traveled to Namibia and South Africa on a philanthropic and cultural journey affiliated with Empowering Learners, a charitable endeavor coordinated by Ethan Schultz ’12 and Ann Sponberg Peterson, Luther director of development, which benefits the schools of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Namibia (ELCIN).

Alumni News

JESSICA MALLAMS is a registered nurse for Iowa Health Systems in Des Moines, Iowa.

MTNA Young Artist Performance Competition after winning the New Mexico Division.

JUSTIN MARSCHALL is a graduate assistant at Iowa State University in Ames. MOLLY MCHENRY is a client services associate for Outcomes Pharmaceuticals Health Care in West Des Moines, Iowa.



JOHN BEAVER and Virginia Thompson, Oct. 1, 2011


SARAH THIMJON and Matt Hauge, Aug. 25, 2012

JENN HOFFMAN and Eric Schulz, Aug. 11, 2012


RYAN BOYD and Tara Houwman, Feb. 1, 2012

LINDSAY HOFFMAN and Joe Stellinga, July 28, 2012 MICHELE INGWERSEN and Jonathan Stanley, Aug. 8, 2012 BRITA NELSON and Jason Skarin, May 28, 2011

COLLIN MEYER is a technology and risk consultant for Deloitte and Touche LLP in Minneapolis.


MITCH OBEY is a research assistant at the University of Iowa in Iowa City.

BOB CARLSON and Connie Wooldridge, July 31, 2011

KATYA OUCHAKOF and Mike Krajewski, Sept. 15, 2012





MATT SHARKEY is assistant manager for Waterway Gas and Wash in Broomfield, Colo. ELISSA STEVENS is an organic preparation analyst for TestAmerica Laboratories Inc. in Cedar Falls, Iowa. HEATHER VISTE is a registered nurse in internal medicine at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

MARGARET JENSEN and Daniel Milkovich, July 22, 2012 ANN BENTDAHL and Roger Smith, June 23, 2012


CHRISTOPHER BOUDEWYNS and Carl Byrd, May 27, 2012 MARK ZABRANSKY and Sue Pribbernow, April 20, 2012

LOUISE VIVANT is an advisory staff member at Ernst and Young in Minneapolis.


KATIE WAGNER is a social worker for the Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire, Wis.


RENEE WEEKS is a tax analyst for Deere and Company in Moline, Ill. KRISTI WIETECHA teaches high school English for Lakes Area Charter School in Osakis, Minn. ALICIA WOOCK is a band director for Music Education Services in Elk Grove Village, Ill. VICTORIA DI YIN is a photographer for the SNS Post and Londo Mondo in Chicago.

NOELLE COLLINS and Don Hofer, Sept. 13, 2012 SAM TEIGEN and Romy Vreeland, Oct. 16, 2010


SHANNON YOUNG and Josh Wegner, Aug. 18, 2012


JEFF BRANSTAD and Patria Lawton, June 1, 2012 MARCY EHLERS and Adam Rasmussen, June 9, 2012 DAVID FLEENER and Sarah Kolden, June 21, 2012 JESSE PETERSON and JON AANESTAD, Sept. 4, 2011


MARK MCCLURG and Gordon Colley, June 5, 2011

SCOTT MEYER and Taylor Mertz, July 20, 2012

ANDREA WHITE and Roberto Marinas, Aug. 18, 2012

STEPHANIE MUELLER and Iván Castellano, Dec. 28, 2011


LIBBY NUSSDORFER and Charlie Chmeilewski, June 23, 2012

TRISTAN COX and Beth Heroux, Sept. 24, 2012 JENIE FULLER and Michael Schmidt, July 15, 2012 HEATHER JOHNSON and Jeffrey Serum, May 19, 2012

AMY HARRISON and Aaron Kline, May 26, 2012 JAMIE HOLMBERG and STEVEN KAIN, Jan. 7, 2012 LAURA JOHNSON and Lee Young, July 30, 2011 SAMANTHA KEMP and PAUL CARLIN ’11, Aug. 10, 2012 KATIE KRUSE and John Rather, Aug. 18, 2012 ERICA OLSON and Philip George, June 29, 2012 MOLLY POGRANT and Travis Brown, June 22, 2012

JORDAN WIKLUND and Rachel Leake, Oct. 27, 2012

KAT SHANER and Jonathan Miller, Aug. 25, 2012

KARI BERGSTROM and Bryan Hull, Oct. 16, 2010

ADRIENE ESSEX and Martin Williams, May 26, 2012

PAUL STELLMACHER and Heather Underkofler, June 9, 2012

ANNA MCDOWELL and Scott Simpson, Sept. 15, 2012

EMILY CRESS and Robert Jaramillo, Sept. 10, 2011

CHEYANNE BODDICKER and Karl Kofmehl, May 5, 2012

MEGAN SHEPPARD and Zach Volk, May 28, 2011

REBECCA JOHNSON and Antonio McClinon, Aug. 17, 2012


TYLER ZEY is a graduate assistant at the University of New Mexico. A clarinetist, he is a finalist in the

KAJSA SABATKE and Joshua Harley, June 30, 2012

JOANNA BEHM and Keith Glaser, Sept. 15, 2012

NICK TORGERSON and Alison Aukes, July 14, 2012 JON TRULLINGER and Kaeleigh Jordan, July 18, 2012


EMILY ANDERSON and Paul Shockley, July 7, 2012 JILL DINKLA and Bryan Borrall, Sept. 22, 2012 JESSICA STINOCHER and Dan Wallace, July 16, 2012


KACIE CLEMENT and Michael Garver, Oct. 27, 2012 MEGAN CRAVEN and Michael McCreesh, Oct. 6, 2012 ERIN DAVIS and NICK GIBBONS ’05, Aug. 4, 2012 RACHEL DONAHOE and MICHAEL MARQUARDT, July 14, 2012 RACHEL DURST and Andrew Riesgraf, Sept. 22, 2012 NORA HAUPT and Reed Robinson, May 26, 2012 ALAINA KELLY and Ross Tuttle, Jan. 7, 2012 JENNIFER LAMBRECHT and Jason Silverman, Aug. 11, 2012 KATIE LANE and Kevin Utoft, July 14, 2012

Winter 2013 Luther Alumni Magazine


Alumni News

KATE PETERSON and Nicholas Sloop, Aug. 11, 2012

ERIN LUNDE and SEAN KEENAN ’09, Aug. 4, 2012

ALLISON POZDOL and Amos Lyso, June 30, 2012

JENNA NANKE and ANDERS LARSON ’11, Aug. 19, 2012

CAROL REECE and MIKE LUDEKING ’07, Aug. 11, 2012

JAYNA TANGEN and Joshua Harstad, May 26, 2012

KATIE ROTSCHAFER and Robert Merriam, Oct. 6, 2012

BEN WEISS and Jessica Zamora, Oct. 12, 2012



DANIELLE WILLI and Nick Bergthold, June 22, 2012


MEGAN ARNESON and Munch Sherman, Sept. 22, 2012 SHANNON BROCKSHUS and STEVE ROSAS, Sept. 21, 2012 JANET DOBYNS and TIM MUNDELL, July 13, 2012 MEGAN HELDERMAN and BLAKE HUMPAL, July 14, 2012 JULIA JENKINS and JOE OLYNYK ’10, Sept. 2, 2012 ANDREA JOHNSON and ALEX MIERAU, Sept. 1, 2012 ALYSIA LAWSON and BRIEN COFFIELD, Aug. 13, 2011 ERIN OTT and Josh Sinram, Sept. 1, 2012 ALICIA WOLBER and Daniel Grindle, June 30, 2012


LAURA BRINEY and Jeremy Wight, Aug. 18, 2012

SARAH BULGER and JON SHRADER ’10, Oct. 13, 2012 NICK NIENHAUS and JARED KRIENER ’16, July 21, 2012 JACLYN OHNEMUS and PATRICK HUSSEY ’12, July 28, 2012 STEPH SUTTON and Zach Fromm, June 23, 2012

2012 CARAH CLAFLIN and MICHAEL HART ’11, Aug. 25, 2012 PAIGE COMENTINO and JAKE SEIBERT, July 28, 2012

EMILY GILLASPEY and JACOB BLAIN ’12, Aug. 4, 2012 KELSEY KITTLESON and Jharred Millonig, July 21, 2012 KATIE MALEK and Travis Mahr, Sept. 1, 2012 JESSICA MIETZ and Joel Maassen, June 30, 2012

EMILY GUEMMER and Casey Turner, June 23, 2012



CINDY SAN and SCOTT BISBEY, Sept. 29, 2012

GINA LEWIS and Tommex Njugunah, Oct. 5, 2011



Lori and RUSTY SCHLACKE, a daughter, Kyler Ann, October 2011


SUSIE COLE, a son, Robert Cole, March 2011

Marita May ’14 Music major Cedar Rapids, IA



LYNDA (HEDRICK) and DAVE SATRE ’90, a son, Asher Elijah, January 2012

TURENA JOHNSON LANE and TODD LANE ’95, a daughter, Taylor Grace, May 2011 Melissa and PAUL ODENBACH, a son, Kai, born and adopted December 2010

Lina Walker and AARON ROZEBOOM, a son, Marcus James, March 2012


TANYA ROSENKRANZ MALLOY and Dan Malloy, a daughter, Greta Rose, February 2012 POLLY PEARSON-TERRY and Allison Pearson-Terry, a daughter, Finley Anne, December 2011



Luther Alumni Magazine (563) 387-1036 (888) 521-5039


CASSIE MOLSKI and Andrew Wolfgram, July 14, 2012


Luther College Book Shop

KRISTI WELLMAN and Zeb Anderson, June 30, 2012



Your Source for Norse Apparel

Margaret Berman, daughter of Josh Berman and Amy Boncher ’97, wears a distinctive cap made by Melissa (Geurts) Barkley ’96.

LINDA (KLOTZBACH) and NATHAN FERRIS, a son, Otto William, September 2012


SARA ISBELL CUNNINGHAM and Bill Cunningham, a son, Samuel Isbell, March 2012

Amanda and JAY KAUTT, a daughter, Audrey Elizabeth, March 2012

ERIKA (CONKEL) and Randy Henkes, a daughter, Elizabeth Ann, May 2012

Alumni News



JENNIE BROMELAND and Marco Agüero Jiménez, twins, a daughter, Rebecca Joya, and a son, Gabriel Ricardo, September 2011

Brooke and SAM CHENOWETH, a son, Jack Samuel, July 2012 EMILY (LARSON) and Steve Forssberg, a son, Miles, April 2012

LIESL (FRERIKS) and BOB CHAPLIN, a son, Arthur, June 2011

EMILY (WENZEL) and Steven Gutierrez, a son, Matteo Peter, July 2012

JEN LEE and Wakiza Gamez, a daughter, Braley Maria Shepherd, April 2011 SARAH MAXWELL LECKBAND and Jesse Leckband, a son, Finn Russell Maxwell, March 2012 AMY (ALBERS) and Jonathan Peterson, a son, Brock Bradley, September 2011 SARAH (TVEDT) and Eric Pool, a daughter, Elizabeth McGavin, July 2012

(Left to right) The daughters of Katie (Fletcher) ’03 and Alex Martinson ’03: Emelia, 2; Olivia, 10 months; Isabel, 5; Abigail, 6. MELISSA (MANNING) and DOUG SUMMERFIELD, a son, Elliott Louis, July 1, 2011


LAURA (CAULUM) and Paul Gratton, a son, Elliott Christopher, February 2012

SARAH WENTE and Jeremy Kuker, a son, Ethan Lee, June 2012


DEVON WENDLER ALVORD and Patrick Alvord, a daughter, Taylor Dean, July 2011

VONNIE ZACHMAN FIEDLER and Luke Fiedler, a son, Marcus Eugene, June 2012

ELISABETH (BANDY) and JEFF BIEBER ’01, a daughter, Elise Julia, July 2012


Anna and NATE CANTON, a son, Brokk Willard, June 2012

CHELLI (TIGERMAN) and Mark Esser, a son, Vincent, May 2012 MARTHA (OLSON) and Tony Jensen, a daughter, Aurora, April 2011 JACI (JOHNSON) and ADAM KIRACOFE, a son, Jameson, October 2011 SHELLEY (KUBITZ) and RYAN MAHANNAH, a son, Ian Curtis, August 2012 JENNIFER (BOVEE) and BEN STANERSON, a son, Bjorn Victor, June 2012

Rakel Evenson and BEN INGELSON, a daughter, Linnea (above), December 2011 KATIE (BOUSLOG) and Ryan Luehrsmann, a daughter, London Janet, Aug. 31, 2012 ROBYN (SIEDSCHLAG) and AARON WANGBERG, a daughter, Cora Louise, March 2012

JESSI (CROTSER) and Nathan Hosper, a daughter, Cassandra Rose, September 2012 SARA KLING-PUNT and RYAN KLING-PUNT, a son, Oliver Martin, August 2012 THERESE (KROGMAN) and Mario Macario, a son, Anthony, April 2012 KATIE (FLETCHER) and ALEX MARTINSON, a daughter, Olivia, October 2011


JANELLE (FEINE) and CHARLES DAHL ’03, a daughter, Ruby, April 2012

MANDY (BOCK) and Dietrich Flesch, a son, Isaac Bock, May 2012

Jessica and TREVOR MILLBERG, a daughter, Finley Judith, April 2012

Leah DeMann and JARID FINSTUEN ’02, a daughter, Jordyn Aileen, November 2011.

JESSICA (JANSEN) and Mike Nicoletti, a son, Michael Joseph, July 2012

Angela and ERIC HAND, a son, Macklin David, February 2012

Kari and PAUL REA, a son, Oliver Eldon, July 2012

LAURA (SCHWAGMEYER) and Troy Kalkwarf, a daughter, Rebecca Joy, born November 2011, adopted July 2012

JEN (MASON) and Derek Swoboda, a daughter, Aniyah Marie, born November 2011, adopted May 2012

KARA (JOHNSON) and Jeffrey Kohn, a son, Zachary, May 2012

Cerrisa Snethen and JIM TRIPP, a son, Eben James, April 2011

HOA NGUYEN and DAN HANSON ’03, a son, Henry Hoai, June 2012


Jennifer and ANDY WAGNER, a daughter, Esme, September 2012

Erin Collins and NICK BERGE, a daughter, Finley Paige, September 2011

AMANDA (SMITH) and Bryan Webb, a daughter, Payge, April 2011 ERICA (DENCER) and CHRIS WEISGRAM, a son, Benjamin Matthew, May 2011

(Left to right) Claire Larson, born January 2010 to Jill (Cooper) ’00 and Eli Larson ’00; Elizabeth Waterbury, born September 2009 to Cristin (Grand) ’00 and Bob Waterbury ’00; and Naomi Dybvig, born March 2010 to Ann (Blado) ’00 and Andy Dybvig ’98. The girls’ mothers were roommates at Luther, Larson and Dybvig for all four years.

DEVON WENDLER ALVORD and Patrick Alvord, a daughter, Taylor Dean, July 2011 JANE (McDERMOTT) and KENNY WHEELER ’00, a daughter, Brooklyn Emery, September 2012

(Left to right) Lana, Lori, and Dean Landis RENEE (NEAL) and NATE LANDIS, a daughter, Lori Renee, September 2012

Winter 2013 Luther Alumni Magazine


Alumni News

JULIE (KNAPP) and Nick Salonus, a son, Hayden Michael, June 2012


AUTUMN (JOHNSON) and DREW BAHLMANN ’05, a daughter, Clara Beth, March 2012 ANGELA (REICHERT) and Kevin Griffin, a son, Colten, February 2012

in memoriam

1934 and 1935

CHARLES “CHUCK” ISTAD of Decorah died Aug. 8, 2012, age 87.

JOCELYN (JANSEN) and Christopher Herby, a daughter, Brooke Martha, July 2012


DONALD GJERDRUM of Mabel, Minn., died Sept. 21, 2012, age 91.

AMY (KRISTAPOVICH) and Joel Logan, a son, George, April 2012 RENEE (SKOW) and DARIN PERSON, twin daughters, Grace Melanie and Norah Renee, September 2012

ERICA (SVIEN) and MIKE SWENSON ’06, a son, Henrik Michael, June 2012 NICOLETTE (DEHAAN) and Nathaniel Kelley, a son, Elijah Craig, May 2012 KRISTI (GOTSCH) and KEVIN KENEALY, a son, Keaton, October 2011 BRITTANY (HANSON) and Tim Sparrow, a son, Rylen Timothy, May 2012

Luther Alumni Magazine

LYNN N. SORBO of Henderson, Nev., died Oct. 18, 2012, age 84.

1953 MARJORY ANN (WOMELDORF) DAVIS, of Lynden, Wash., died Aug. 27, 2012, age 85. STANLEY “STAN” HARMON of Depoe Bay, Ore., died Sept. 7, 2012, age 85.

DALE W. SKATRUD of Edina, Minn., died Oct. 9, 2012, age 82.

1954 RONALD JERROLD SEAVER of Plymouth, Minn., died Sept. 9, 2012, age 79.

1950 1944 AMBER (LEE) HELGERSON of La Crosse, Wis., died Oct. 5, 2012, age 89.

SARA (KAHN) JENSON of Oak Park Heights, Minn., died Oct. 1, 2012, age 88.



KENNETH WINWOOD of Alexander, Iowa, died June 28, 2012, age 89.


BELVA I. (ANDERSON) ESPESETH of Edmund, Wis., died Dec. 13, 2011, age 82.

JUNE (SMEDSTAD) SEVERSON of Northfield, Minn., died Oct. 27, 2012, age 86.

RICHARD SAVRE of Faribault, Minn., died Aug. 22, 2012, age 91.

ELISABETH PETERSEN and BEN PETERSEN, a son, August, August 2012




SARAH GOPLEN and RYAN SNELL, a son, Soren William (above), February 2012

RICHARD CHAFFEE of La Crosse, Wis., died Oct. 21, 2012, age 82.

CLAYTON C. HANSON of Cedar Falls, Iowa, died Oct. 17, 2012, age 90.

Full obituaries are online at

ADOLPH “BUCK” I. BUCKNEBERG ’34, and DORIS “SKIP” A. BUCKNEBERG ’35 of Hot Springs Village, Ark., died Aug. 03, 2012, and Aug. 12, 2012, respectively, both age 100.



EMIL FABIAN “ZEKE” HRACEK of Cuthbert, Ga., died Oct. 5, 2012, age 84. NORMAN T. ROSHOLT of Decorah (formerly of Brooklyn Center, Minn.) died Oct. 28, 2012, age 88.

1956 DAVID W. THRONSON of Ackley, Iowa, died Nov. 10, 2012, age 78.

Alumni News


MARY ANN WALKER of Urbandale, Iowa, died March 26, 2012, age 69.

RAPHAEL “RAY” L. ARTZ of Brillion, Wis., died July 24, 2012, age 77.

DAVID HOYME of Alexandria, Minn., died Aug. 15, 2012, age 76.

1959 GERALD D. “GERRY” YOUNG of Decorah, died Oct. 1, 2012, age 75.

1960 DOROTHY JOAN (HOLTON) BYE of Milwaukee, died Sept. 14, 2012, age 74. ALLEN HENRY KOEPKE of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, died Sept. 23, 2012, age 73.

1961 DOUGLAS M. JORDAN of Washington, D.C., died May 20, 2012, age 73.

1965 CARL JOHNSON of Lake City, Iowa, died Oct. 6, 2012, age 69. ROBERT STEINER of Hudson, Wis., died July 14, 2012, age 68.



1967 BEVERLY L. (BRUENING) WHITE of Decorah died Sept. 19, 2012, age 79.



DEBRA WILCOX JOHNSON, of Waunakee, Wis., died Oct. 30, 2012, age 59.

ROSALEE “ROSE” (NORTMAN) MAHLUM of Apple Valley, Minn., died June 13, 2012, age 65.

1977 SCOTT J. THOMAS of Bolingbrook, Ill., died March 31, 2012, age 56.

1969 ROGER BECKER of New Hampton, Iowa, died Jan. 29, 2012, age 64.

1987 GARY DALE MIKSCH of West Des Moines, Iowa, died Oct. 29, 2012, age 48.

2000 COLIN YUREK FARBOTKO of Minneapolis died Oct. 15, 2012, age 34.

1978 STEPHEN MATTHEW OELWEIN SCHREITMUELLER of Ames, Iowa, died July 7, 2012, age 56.

RANDALL R. GROSS of Barrington, Ill., died July 17, 2012, age 66.

LIZABETH WING of Cold Spring, Ky., died Aug. 9, 2012, age 64.

DEBORAH (TOSTENRUD) WITTENBERG of St. Hilaire, Minn., died Aug. 7, 2012, age 50.

RUSSELL ROSSUM of Waverly, Iowa, died Oct. 1, 2012, age 60.


MARYLOU (SCHMITT) SOLLIEN of Minneapolis (formerly of Decorah) died July 26, 2012, age 80.

ANNE E. OFSTEDAL of New York, N.Y., died Aug. 9, 2012, age 53.

VERNON JOHN JAHNKE of Claremont, Calif., died July 13, 2012, age 63.

1980 CAROLIE BALDER KUEHN of Wausau, Wis., died Dec. 19, 2011, age 53.

Winter 2013 Luther Alumni Magazine




The original Book Shop, established in 1938, was located in Main before the building burned in 1942.

1938: Luther opens Book Shop Before Luther students were able to shop on campus, they bought their books and supplies from the drug store in Decorah. But in 1938, Luther enlarged the student canteen, and it became the Luther College Book Shop. The first store was located in Main, a building that burnedâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;for the second timeâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;in 1942. The Book Shop, now in Dahl Centennial Union, will celebrate its 75th anniversary with an April 26 birthday bash. The Decorah Chamber of Commerce will stage a ribbon-cutting ceremony, and there will be door prizes, birthday cake, coffee, and punch. Previous bookstore managers and employees will be in attendance.


Luther Alumni Magazine

Calendar Reception/Nordic Choir Performance

Sesquicentennial Fund Celebration and Torgerson Tribute

Wednesday, January 16 Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church Naperville, Illinois

Thursday, April 18 The Waterfront Restaurant La Crosse, Wisconsin Saturday, April 20 Edina Country Club Edina, Minnesota Thursday, April 25 The Morton Arboretum Lisle, Illinois

Sesquicentennial Fund Celebration and Torgerson Tribute Saturday, January 19 Home of Molly and Tim Oitzman ’87 Rancho Santa Fe, California Sunday, January 20 Menlo Circus Club Atherton, California

Reception/Nordic Choir Performance Wednesday, January 23 Lutheran Church of the Reformation, Washington, D.C.

Reception/Symphony Orchestra Performance Saturday, January 26 St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church Mahtomedi, Minnesota

Decorah Area Chamber of Commerce Luncheon Monday, January 28 Luther College

Luther College Lunch Connection Friday, February 1 Center for Changing Lives Minneapolis

Sesquicentennial Fund Celebration and Torgerson Tribute Saturday, February 2 Home of Jean and Dennis Flatness ’68 St. Louis Nordic Choir Performance Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis

Luther College Lunch Connection Jen (Larsen) Newburg ’99 and Pete Newburg ’97 talked with Luther professor of music emeritus Weston Noble (center) at a Lunch Connection gathering in Minneapolis on Oct. 19, 2012. Noble was the guest speaker.

Luther College Lunch Connection in Des Moines Friday, February 8 Windsor Heights (Iowa) Community Center

Reception for Alumni, Parents, and Friends Malta and the Mediterranean 2013 Spring Semester Program Saturday, February 16 Sliema, Malta

Sesquicentennial Fund Celebration and Torgerson Tribute Sunday, February 24 Washington, D.C. Monday, February 25 The Yale Club of New York Thursday, March 21 History Colorado Center Denver

Luther College Lunch Connection Friday, March 22 Center for Changing Lives Minneapolis

Norse Athletic Association Golf Outing Eighth Annual Kent Finanger ’54 Golf Classic Saturday, March 23 Tuscany Falls Golf Club at Pebble Creek Goodyear, Arizona

Sesquicentennial Fund Celebration and Torgerson Tribute Sunday, March 24 Home of Shirley Bentdahl ’59 Scottsdale, Arizona Monday, March 25 The Lodge at Ventana Canyon Tucson, Arizona Sunday, April 7 Rochester (Minn.) Golf and Country Club Monday, April 8 Glen Oaks Country Club West Des Moines, Iowa

Friday, April 26 Center for Changing Lives Minneapolis

Sesquicentennial Fund Celebration and Torgerson Tribute Friday, April 26 Milwaukee Yacht Club Milwaukee Saturday, April 27 Blackhawk Country Club Madison, Wisconsin

President’s Council and Legacy Trust Scholarship Recognition Events Saturday, May 4 Luther College

Farewell Tribute to President Rick and Judy Torgerson Thursday, May 16 Luther College

Commencement Sunday, May 19 Luther College

Luther College Lunch Connection in Des Moines Friday, April 12 Windsor Heights (Iowa) Community Center

Luther alumni events are open to all alumni and friends of the college, including parents and other family members of graduates and students. Please note that some dates listed are tentative; specific information about upcoming events will be mailed or e-mailed to alumni, friends, and parents who live near the event sites. If you need more information or if you’re interested in planning an event in your area, call the Alumni Office at (800) 225-8664. We’d love to hear from you!














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Much Ado outside Sampson-Hoffland In October, the Department of Visual and Performing Arts staged Much Ado about Nothing in the Sampson-Hoffland Laboratories plaza. The play was performed in collaboration with Professor Mark Z. Muggli’s Our Shakespeare project, an initiative aimed at deconstructing clichés about Shakespeare. Muggli began the project in 2011 after receiving the Jones Distinguished Teaching Professorship, a two-year appointment that

recognizes a member of the Luther faculty who engages significant issues in the humanities. The Luther Much Ado performance used an abridged script and evoked original Renaissance theatre practices in its high-speed performance style and lack of sets. Above, Holly Fusco ’14 plays Hero and Tyler Hagy ’13 plays Don Pedro. The performance was set in post– World War II America. For more information on the range of activities developed for Muggli’s project, visit

Luther Alumni Magazine Winter 2013  

Luther Alumni Magazine Winter 2013

Luther Alumni Magazine Winter 2013  

Luther Alumni Magazine Winter 2013