Dear Class of 1984 Alumni,
Michele Minske here, Senior Paralegal Analyst in the Law Department at Principal in Des Moines, Iowa. I’m one of the three Class of 1984 Class Agents along with Chris Carron and Steve Wilke. We will take turns writing the Class Agent letters. I’m up but first with messages below from Chris and Steve.  
Lately, I’ve been thinking about Luther, connections, and friendships. First and foremost, my Luther connection means family - brother Wayne Minske ‘80; sister-in-law Anne Koch Minske ’80, and sister Lisa Minske ‘87. When we all go back to Decorah it’s one big fun family and college reunion. My parents would say they had a kid at Luther 11 years in a row and for one year, two kids at Luther at the same time! 
The Covid-19 pandemic changed a lot of things including how we connect. Zoom and Teams meetings are the norm for many. It seems counter-intuitive but it was also a time to build new connections and friendships. 
Speaking of, I have been lucky enough to co-moderate and participate in Luther College Virtual Alumni Book Clubs - "Paideia III" Talk about a great time! Wonderful, retired professors, alumni volunteers, and Luther personnel, including the awesome Kirk Johnson ‘82, Associate Director of Alumni Relations, help to develop and implement these lively book discussions. 
The biggest bonus is the connections and friendships I have made is with alumni book club participants from the ‘70s, ‘80s, ‘90s and 2000s, and more. I may never have had the chance to meet these wonderful alumni and professors and Kirk if not for book clubs. I’m also happy to report that the Class of 1984 is well-represented in the book clubs! 
I was also lucky enough to co-moderate one of the book clubs with one of my favorite Luther professors, Ruth Caldwell, Professor Emerita of French. I took French from Ruth freshman year and she was great! Lively, fun and I learned so much. It was an honor to co-moderate the book The Decamercon by Giovanni Boccaccio with her. I was also co-moderator with Marta Williams from the Class of 2019 for the book, Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Being the joiner that I am, I am co-moderating another book, Shotgun Lovesongs by Nickolas Butler, with another professor who started at Luther after I graduated, the wonderful Alan Carl Lerstrom, Emeritus Professor, Communication Studies Department. We had our first Shotgun Lovesongs session March 15th and it is going great. Please consider joining in Paideia III, Luther College book clubs and build some new connections and renew some past ones. Don’t forget, another great way to connect to Luther is to donate at
From Chris Carron - Greetings classmates! Michele mentioned how much she has enjoyed getting together with Luther alums through the book club, and Steve is in Decorah now, so you can see him when you visit Luther. I’m farther away in Indiana, where Hoosiers have never heard the phrase “Uff da”, but I’d like to extend an invitation to come see what I’ve been up to. I work for one of the largest museums in the country, and it’s a great place to bring your grandkids if you have them (when did that start sounding normal?) In March we just opened four new dinosaur exhibit galleries. If you’re going to be in the neighborhood, drop me a line and I’ll give you a behind the scenes tour.
From Steve Wilke - I'm excited to follow in my mother's footsteps and become a Class Agent. So far, it's been a really easy job. LOL. Definitely looking forward to life getting back to more normal this summer. Although many of you already know this, for those who don't, Ellen Hanusa and I rekindled our freshman/sophomore year flame and got married in 2018. After she assumed she'd join me in Madison and I assumed I'd join her in Des Moines, we decided that we would become Townies and move back to Decorah. It has been a fantastic decision and quite the learning experience as we have learned there is much more to Decorah than The Pub (which is scheduled to be torn down this year), Zahasky's, Kip 'n Dee's, and Mabe's. I know some of my favorites are watching eagles fly along the Upper Iowa, the sunsets, the great restaurants and breweries, all the activities that occur every weekend and most importantly, the people. In news that may not currently apply to any of you, our family has set up a scholarship in honor of my mother and grandfather for education majors from MFL Mar Mac and/or South Winneshiek High Schools. If there is no applicant from those schools, it is available to others. I would also like to second Michele's comments on the Luther Virtual book clubs. They have been a blast and almost always dominated by the Best Class in Luther History. Please join us!
Speaking of connections, please use this checklist to up your Luther social media game:
❏    Follow Luther’s President, Dr. Jennifer Ward on Twitter and Instagram: she’s on
both @jenifer_ward

❏    Follow the Luther College Alumni Facebook page:
Please keep in touch!  Remember these resources:
❏ More Social Media Using social media is another way to stay connected with
Luther’s campus. Go to for links to Facebook and the Paideia III
page, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc. Don’t forget about our
informal Facebook page, Luther College Class of 1984.
❏ Campus News Check out for information on what’s
happening on campus and in the Decorah community.
❏ Spotlights You’ll find alumni profiles and additional pages at and the alumni spotlights at
❏ Luther’s Career Network  Luther’s Career Network is on LinkedIn. What a great
way to help current students succeed. Go to for more
❏ Alumni Directory You can find information about the directory at If you haven’t used it, please contact Luther’s
Technology Help Desk for assistance in logging on to the site. 
Lastly, how about an informal class gathering the first weekend in March 2023 at the Oneota Film Festival,  More details as the date gets closer.
Take care everyone and Soli Deo Gloria! Luther, Luther, Luther!
Michele Minske         
Steve Wilke
Catch up on all things Luther!
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