Spring 2020

Dear Members of the Class of 1998,
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 Joel's letter. We think you'll enjoy reading what he has 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
Community. When I first set out to write this letter, pre-COVID-19, believe it or not, I was going to write about community. Earlier this year, a Luther classmate passed away and I attended the funeral. What struck me was the community of Luther alumni, friends, and faculty, who came together to grieve, tell stories, and rally behind the family. Our shared experience during four brief years at Luther College made such an indelible mark upon us that people traveled hours and hours to see each other and remember a classmate who passed. It was a beautiful moment.

So community was already my topic. And then COVID-19 hit. Since then, we have all seen the power of the Luther community. Virtual bedtime stories from the music department, virtual To Luther hymns, messages of support to current Luther students. An outpouring of love from people whose connection is that at some point we all made the decision years ago that Luther College felt like home.

In these times when we can feel more isolated than ever before, know that you are part of an amazing community, a community that will rally together in the worst of times to lift you up. Take time to think about your Luther community.  Luther College and its students need us more than ever. Not just with our financial support but, also, with our thoughts, our time, and our talents.  After we return to “normal,” whatever that is, the Luther community will be there for all of us. 

Soli Deo Gloria.  
Joel Zylstra

1998 class agents:
Joel Zylstra
12790 Durham Way
Apple Valley, MN 55124-8644
Doug Ross
816 Nina Avenue
Wausau, WI 54403
Himena (Viner) Harris is a nurse practitioner in otolaryngology for University of Iowa Health Care in Iowa City, Iowa.
Sarah (Kipling) Lightner is assistant principal for the St. Paul (Minn.) Public Schools.
Brandon Sampson  is founder of Limb Lab in Rochester, Minn. In Oct. he spoke about "Radical Attentiveness as a Path to Innovation in Orthotic and Prosthetic Clinical Care" at the Manova Global Summit on the Future of Health in Minneapolis. The Post Bulletin published an article, Heard on the Street: Rochester firm opens new clinic in Minneapolis , highlighting Brandon’s accomplishments and vision for the future of Limb Lab. The new Minneapolis location fills a 5,500-square-foot space, almost double the size of the original Rochester office. Limb Lab also has locations in Mankato, Minn., and La Crosse, Wis. as well as Rochester, where the company is still headquartered. Limb Lab also plans to open a fifth location in Lincoln, Neb., this year.
Jen (Roling) Stanley is data lead and volunteer for Moms Demand Action at Trinity Lutheran Church in Boulder, Colo.
Stephanie (Bey) Steines was one of four Iowa educators named a state finalist for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. Stephanie teaches math at Decorah High School.