Summer 2020

Dear Members of the Class of 2013,
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.


Jessica Cline teaches seventh and eighth grade mathematics at St. Francis of Assisi School in West Des Moines, Iowa.

Michael Crowe received a regional Emmy Award for Breaking News at the Midsouth Regional Emmys while working at WBIR-TV, the NBC-affiliate in Knoxville, Tenn., in Jan. 2018. In 2019 Michael received four Northwest Regional Emmy Awards for stories he reported for KING 5, the NBC-affiliate in Seattle. The awards were for: Spot News, General Assignment Report - Within 24 Hours, Video Journalist - Within 24 Hours, and Crime - Story/Series - Within 24 Hours, and were presented in June 2019, in Seattle. Michael’s work was also recognized with a regional Edward R. Murrow Award in 2019. His story “Perks of Being Chief” was awarded a regional Murrow for Excellence in Sound.

Blake Funke earned the medical doctorate from the University of Iowa. She is a third year resident physician at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn.

Kirsten Hash earned the juris doctorate from the University of St. Thomas School of Law. She is an associate attorney at Ploen Law Firm in St. Paul, Minn.

Megan Hatfield is a Clinical Nurse III at Duke University Hospital in Durham, N.C. She was selected to narrate and was featured in Duke University’s promotional video: “You're Why: Patients Matter Most at Duke Health.”

Zach Jipp is a chiropractor at Colorado Occupational Medical Partners in Denver.

Annie (Klepper) Neubauer earned the doctor of pharmacy degree from the University of Iowa, and is a pharmacist at Winneshiek Medical Center in Decorah.

Holly (Godar) Neuman is an oasis therapist at Canopy Center in Madison, Wis.

Katherine Perschbacher earned the PhD degree in molecular and cellular biology from the University of Iowa’s Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine, and is a research scientist III at Integrated DNA Technologies in Coralville, Iowa.

Danny Robb is patient appointment service specialist at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

Eric Schoer is a physical therapist at San Luis Valley Health in Alamosa, Colo.

Jena Schwake is director of training at Northwestern Mutual in Minneapolis.

Caitlin Stensrud is a licensed professional counselor Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) at Advanced Therapy Associates and Owner/therapist at Stensrud Counseling in Norman, Okla.

Niki Tryggestad is workspace experience specialist at Marvin in Eagan, Minn.

Cody Tucker is managing agent at American Income Life in Aurora, Colo.

Rose Weselmann of Northfield, Minn., had work on display in Feb-March at the 2020 Emerging Artist Exhibition at Lanesboro Arts.

Stephanie Wick is a resident physician in psychiatry at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.


JAMISON ASH and ANDREA MALEK '15, Aug. 10, 2019

MICAH BALLEW and KATELYN BJERKE '15, Sept. 14, 2019

CHARLES BANTA and Chip Terrell, Aug. 4, 2018

TYLER BREWER and LARA BACON '17, Oct. 7, 2018


ANNA DICECCO and MICAH KUST, Oct. 26, 2019

HOLLY GODAR and Tim Neuman, Sept. 28, 2019

BEN JARVIS and JORDAN JENSEN '14, Oct. 5, 2018

ZACH JIPP and Katie Ingleby, Sept. 7, 2019

EVIN LANTZ and Kiley Boutelle, July 13, 2019

DENISE RICHTER and Brian Rathke, Sept. 1, 2019

ERIC SCHOER and Brittany Mohler, Sept. 1, 2018

JESSICA ULRICH and Dan Chouinard, June 15, 2019

JESSIE ZENCHAK and Eric Petersen, July 13, 2019


Bergen Ann, in July 2019, child of SOPHIA (BROWN) and Ryan Engelman

Tyson, in May 2019, child of ANNIE (KLEPPER) and EVAN NEUBAUER