Spring 2020

Dear Members of the Class of 1959,
 
Like colleges all over the country (and the world), 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.
 
Many of us are making adjustments, sometimes daily or even hourly, to these uncertain times but we wanted to be sure to connect with you and to send you Dave and Walt's letter. We think you'll enjoy reading what they have written to your class.
 
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 ,   I hope you will consider making a gift today.

We hope you and your loved ones are safe and healthy during these times. For updated information about Luther's response to the pandemic, visit luther.edu.

Many thanks for your steadfast love and support.
 
Mariah Bringer Smith ‘95
Director of Development, Current Gifts
Dear Class of 1959,
 
This will be our COVID-19 class agent letter for 2020. We hope you are safely sheltering in place and finding interesting things to do as you watch the confluence of medicine, public health, economics and politics play out in America.
 
Corona virus infection rates are reported in the press to be above average for the 61 plus age group and nobody even mentions rates for our 82+ age group.
 
In a recent class letter, Dr. John Helgeland '62 quoted a 1527 letter written by Martin Luther- “Whether one may flee from a Deadly Plague”- as the Black Death passed through his home town of Wittenberg. The following quote from Martin Luther is definitely timeless. “I shall ask God mercifully to protect us. Then I shall fumigate, help purify the air, administer medicine and take it. I shall avoid places and persons where my presence is not needed in order not to be contaminated and thus per chance inflict and pollute others and so cause their death as a result of my negligence.”
 
You might find the book Deadliest Enemy, Our War Against Killer Germs by Luther graduate, Michael Osterholm '75 to be interesting. Michael is a Regents professor at the University of Minnesota and currently serves on the Luther Board of Regents. He correctly predicted an upcoming world pandemic in this 2017 book.
 
For updated information about Luther's response to the pandemic, visit luther.edu .
 
These are times of exceptional challenges for Luther in the areas of enrollment and finance. We hope you will consider a gift to the college in 2020.
 
Almost 30 classmates returned for our 60-year class reunion last October. Fran Odden welcomed us with very special words and our 1959 class president, Ron Calgaard, inspired us with his words of wisdom for classmates. We are sad to report that Ron passed away on Good Friday. We extend our sympathy to Ron’s family and to the families of all our beloved classmates listed below.
 
Your class agents are working on what to do and how to communicate with classmates after our 60-year reunion. Will you share an email address with walterrugland@gmail.com  or dj1218roslien@yahoo.com . We have a number of questions for you. Your answers will help us serve you better.
 
#1. Is it OK if we communicated to you by email rather than US mail?
#2 Do you have offspring who need to know about Luther—Grand Kids or Great Grand kids or other?
#3. Are you a viable prospect for additional giving to Luther annually or with a bequest?
#4. Have you looked at Luther’s website for campus news and/or sports results?
#5/ Can we help you get in touch with your old Luther connections?
#6. Do you have more to say? If so, say it in your email.
 
Hunker down and stay well until times return to the new normal.
David J. Roslien
1959 Class Agent
602 Iowa Avenue
Decorah, IA 52101
563-382-4597
Walter Rugland
1959 Class Agent
100 W. Lawrence Street
Appleton, WI 54911
920-830-9999
OBITUARIES
 
Charles Edward “Chuck” Aase of St. Paul, Minn., died Sept. 11, 2019, age 82.
 
Ronald Keith Calgaard of San Antonio died April 10, 2020, age 82.
 
Jan Ness Flickinger of Macomb, Ill., died Dec. 27, 2019, age 84.
 
Walter N. Hanson of Council Bluffs, Iowa, died Sept. 8, 2019, age 89.
 
Larry Dee Sorenson of Eau Claire, Wis., died Sept. 6, 2019, age 83.