Summer 2020

Dear Members of the Class of 1999,
Many of us are making adjustments, sometimes daily or even hourly, to these uncertain times and, for a variety of reasons, a few Class Agents were unable to write their class letters this spring. We look forward to sending you a letter from your agent this fall, but, in the meantime, we wanted to send you an update from the college and your class notes.

Luther College has just wrapped up a spring semester like no other. Our students participated in remote learning, connecting with their professors and classmates online and on Sunday, May 24, we celebrated the Class of 2020 with a virtual commencement . It certainly wasn't the spring semester we imagined, but the Luther community responded with resiliency and creativity.

In the midst of the uncertainty of a worldwide pandemic, in the United States and at Luther, we also confront centuries of racism that has led to oppression, injustices, and inequities.
We must strive to make this world a better place for our neighbors who experience systemic oppression. Luther College is preparing to be a leader in the difficult and painful conversations that will take place over the coming months and years and I invite you to view Pres. Ward's message regarding the college's action steps .

Especially now, gifts to the Luther Fund can make a big difference in supporting students as they navigate all that's ahead. If you can, please consider making a gift today.

We hope you and your loved ones are safe and healthy during these times.

Many thanks for your steadfast love and support.
Mariah Bringer Smith ‘95
Director of Development, Current Gifts
College Updates:

  • ICYMI (in case you missed it): the second issue of Norse Notes is available!

  • Luther is now a Bee Campus USA affiliate, recognizing the benefit to pollinators that Luther has been providing through our sustainability and land stewardship efforts over the years.

  • Luther's Ideas and Creations blog is an excellent way to keep up with what we're talking about in our community. The latest post, What is Juneteenth, by Professor of Religion, Guy Nave, is timely and informative.

  • Luther College and Northeast Iowa Community College are partnering in an effort to meet growing workforce needs in the social work field. The two institutions partnered to create an A.A. to B.A. Social Work Transfer Pathway. This agreement will provide students the opportunity to complete an A.A. at NICC with credits that directly transfer to Luther, allowing them to obtain their B.A. in social work in only two additional years.

  • Beginning in the fall of 2020, Luther College will offer a program to equip students with the knowledge and skills to improve the health and wellness of people worldwide. The new program, global health, is an interdisciplinary field that addresses health, health equity, and socioeconomic concerns of people around the world. Students will be trained to understand the complex interactions among social, political, environmental and cultural forces that shape the health status of populations across the globe.They will be encouraged to understand the implications of inequalities domestically and globally and begin to take steps toward positive change. After students graduate from Luther with a degree in global health, they will be qualified for careers such as health program coordinators or policy analysts in a variety of domestic and international health organizations. They will also be prepared to pursue a master's degree in public health, global health or another health-related field, and have the option to gain further expertise through a doctoral program.


Emily (Petig) Bartels earned a master’s degree in communications sciences and disorders from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and the ASHA Certificate of Clinical Competence. She is a speech language pathologist for the St. Michael-Albertville (Minn.) Schools.
Sara (Boehmke) Brunk is a piano teacher and accompanist in Stillwater, Minn.
Julie (Broker) Moenck is senior project manager at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. She is an instructor in nursing for Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science and an assistant professor in nursing at Winona State University.
Jeremy Owen is paramedic at Fitch-Rona EMS in Verona, Wis. His pre-hospital care team received the 2019 Pediatric Champion Award from UW Hospital for their care of a patient with a severe traumatic facial injury. He is also a State of Wisconsin Certified Firefighter II, Fire Inspector, and Wildland Firefighter.
Michael Walters of Maple Grove, Minn., is president and CEO at Payload Group, LLC.
Michael David “Mike” Shelledy of Norwalk, Iowa, died Feb. 10, 2020, age 43.