Spring 2020

Dear Members of the Class of 1975,
Like colleges all over the country (and the world), Luther College is experiencing a spring semester like no other. Our students are participating in remote learning, connecting with their professors and classmates online. It certainly isn't the spring semester we imagined, but Luther is responding with resiliency and creativity.
Many of us are making adjustments, sometimes daily or even hourly, to these uncertain times but we wanted to connect with you and to send you Chris's letter that he wrote to you, the Class of 1975, just weeks before we became immersed in the COVID-19 pandemic. We think you'll enjoy reading what he has to share, knowing, of course, that any events referenced may have been cancelled or postponed.
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 1975,
My internship supervisor, Dr. Phillip Baker, is one of those Energizer Bunnies. At 82, he is still going strong. He is the ELCA representative in Southeast Asia and the South Pacific. He jets all over that region of the world – supporting missionaries, attending church gatherings, and teaching in seminaries.
The father of two daughters who now have children of their own, Phil recently posted a meme on Facebook that read: “You cannot raise your children the way your parents raised you, because your parents raised you for a world that no longer exists.”
The world now seems hardly to resemble the world of 1980. For that matter, the world of 2020 somedays seems hardly to resemble the world of 2019! As if we needed a reminder, the pandemic that has swept the globe – and certainly touched my neck of the woods – has reminded us how connected we all are – from Wuhan to Washington, from Sydney to Seoul. 
Luther, too, is adapting to an ever-changing world. In the fall of 2020, Luther will launch a interdisciplinary program in global health . Students will engage in a variety of studies, looking at health problems from the fields of biology, anthropology, politics, as well as others. They will also be required to take a field experience course during their junior or senior years.
Given the current health crisis, this program comes none too soon. We are ever more linked globally. Our approaches to problems need to include a wider and wider view.
The world changes and time marches on. The time will soon come again for us to share with each other how we have changed. Our 45-year Class Reunion is scheduled for Saturday, October 10, at the South Winneshiek Golf and Country Club, in Calmar. Make your plans now!
On a personal note, I have decided to end my time as class agent. It has been a privilege, these last ten years, to serve Luther in this way and a joy to connect with all of you! *
May you be safe and well! May you find calm in this time so that your best gifts can arise to serve the world!
Soli Deo Gloria!
Chris Lee-Thompson
1975 Class Agent
18100 Fir Island Road
Mount Vernon, WA 98273-7107
*If you are interested in taking over as class agent, please contact Mariah Smith in the Development Office at smithmar@luther.edu or 563-387-1096.

Nevin Linthacum of Paso Robles, Calif., retired after a 33-year career in pharmaceutical sales with Schering-Plough, and the last nine years as an account executive in the home health and hospice industry.
Sue (Berger) Oltrogge is manager of administrative services for Deloitte in Minneapolis, and also manages the Davenport, Des Moines, and Omaha offices, and is a national facilitator for “Introduction to Mindfulness and Meditation” for Deloitte.
Rosie (Almo) Spangenberg of Council Bluffs, Iowa, retired as an instructional strategist at Lewis Central School District.
JAMES OSTGARD and SHELLEY KING '77, Sept. 7, 2019
Lori Elizabeth (Hurd) Patterson of St. Ansgar, Iowa, died Dec. 1, 2019, age 66.
Clarinda “Cleo” Valentine of Chicago, died Oct. 8, 2019, age 65.