Office ofAlumni and Constituent Relations

Lute Voices


"Lift Up a Lute"

Lute Voices is a place for you to share your stories about PLU and the ways it has affected your life. The topic of Lute Voices will change throughout the year. Be sure to check back here to see all of the stories fellow Lutes have submitted!

Give in Honor

Current Topic:

This spring, PLU wants to hear about your favorite professor, staff member, coach or fellow student. Think of someone who had a big impact on your life or whom you are grateful you encountered at the university. Perhaps it’s a fellow Lute who gave you a push or some encouragement when you needed it, or maybe just believed in you. 

Browse by Decade

1940's - 1950's - 1960's - 1970's - 1980's - 1990's - 2000's - 2010's


Arthur Larson  '47
I am choosing to lift up Olaf M. Jordahl, PhD. Toughest professor I have ever had. Math and Physics were his  specialties. He expected all assignments  completely done and work explainable. Many of us were attempting to get a foundation to compete in and acquire a commission in the Navy. He held us to rigid standards and we accomplished our goals. 

Dorothy (Meyer '49) Schnaible
Karl WeissI would like to Lift Up my piano teacher, Karl Weiss. The years were 1945-1949. I played my senior recital in May of 1949. I took my lessons in his office on the first floor of Old Main. He appeared larger than life and I often came in with fear and was trembling. It was not that I had failed to practice but that his expectations were so high. One day he said, “now you are acting like a farmer’s daughter,” and I answered, “and so I am.” He cared deeply about his students and challenged us with difficult pieces. While I was playing my Bach Prelude at the senior recital, I think he was pulling his hat out of shape worrying about me. I managed with God’s help to play all of my pieces from memory without too many mistakes. I have never forgotten this testing of my faith.



Evangeline Billingsley '50
My two favorite professors were Dr. Strunk-Zoology, Prof. Malmin- Choir of the West (actually I enjoyed all my classes).My husband, Charles, was inspired by Prof. Ramstad. I would like my gift in memory of Charles Billingsley. Please thank Dick Weathermon for his inspiring letter.

Phil Falk '50
There could be others too, but I choose to lift up four people here. Harsh was a lifelong friend who was the kind of a man who would pay high compliments to us. Then, Dr. Pflueger who left a life lesson that we weren’t to consider ourselves learned until we had asked our questions. Dr. Weiss, who had patience to give beginner lessons to a senior who he claimed was his comic relief while convincingly teaching me to love music. And Professor Ted Karl, who opened a world of drama arts I have never forgotten.

Elaine Thurston '50
I am choosing to lift up my one-time roommate and all-time best friend, Joyce (Ruffcorn ’50) Jacobson. Stricken with polio at age 12, she spent much time during her teen-age years in and out of hospitals. With extraordinary effort, she learned to walk with the help of a crutch and arrived at PLC as a freshman determined to get around on her own. She even managed to make it up and down the various stairways around the campus, and I never heard her utter a word of complaint. Joyce truly lived her Christian faith. She taught me patience (a trait that did not come to me naturally), gratitude for every blessing and the joy of finding humor in many everyday situations. When I was stressed from taking on too many activities and falling behind in some class work, she clamed me down and helped me mover forward. We were separated geographically in later years but Joyce never failed to lift my spirits any time we got together, either by phone or in person. Though she left this earthly life in 1996, she will always live on in my memories.

Richard (Dick) Weathermon '50
Lauralee HagenFor the Lift Up a Lute project, I’m choosing to lift up Lauralee Hagen, Executive Director of Alumni & Constituent Relations. For most of my professional career I was separated by geography from my alma mater.  I was disconnected. I first met Lauralee in 1995 as I began to plan for the 50th anniversary of the 1947 Pear Bowl Football season. Her enthusiastic assistance helped to create a fitting reunion of players, coaches and spouses. In 2002 Lauralee asked if I would be interested in volunteering in her office. I answered in the affirmative and for the past decade I have spent Wednesday mornings helping in any way I am able.

LeRoy Spitzer '52
In the fall of 1949 I graduated from high school in Kennewick, WA. I was selected in the local press as an all-state non-tourney basketball player. In our community there was a well to do farmer who was a friend and benefactor to PLC. He contacted me and made arrangements for me to go to PLC to play. He gave me a summer job and paid my tuition that fall to be on one of Marv Harshman’s teams. It turned out I did play number one on the varsity tennis team, but did not play basketball because of conflicting schedule of basketball practice and my participation in my chosen field (music). I.e. Choir of the West. Without Fred Mills, who was an Angel for PLC I would never have found my way to Tacoma. This quiet spoken farmer hardly knew me, but his interest took me to PLC and led me to the love of my life, Corinne Aune. We married in 1951 and continue our love and companionship. We hold dear many with whom we maintain contact from with this wonderful institution.

Jerome Bender '53
Dorothy Jean BenderI am choosing to Lift Up Dorothy Jean Bender, my faith filled wife of 54 years. Together we raised five faith filled children (4 of whom attended PLU!). At the time of her death in 2004, we shared 28 grandchildren. She also was a pianist and organist at worship services, and a darn good cook. I cherish her memory!

Ronald Douglass '53
I am choosing to lift Up the outstanding faculty we had at PLU. To name a few: Dr. Pflueger who taught me to have pride in my religion; Annie Knudson who taught me to write reports; Dr. Jordahl who gave me great lectures on nuclear physics and then the next hour we could go to chapel and hear him talk about his faith. That was PLU for me!

James Kauth '53
William RiekeI am choosing to Lift Up Dr. William O. Rieke. Bill and I were classmates at PLU (class of ’53) and were both pre-med so we ended up in many classes together our two last years at PLU, and were also roommates during our first year at U of W School of Medicine. Without question, Bill was the most intelligent person I’ve ever known! He was a real God-send to me during that very challenging and stressful first year at Med. School. I still have some very vivid memories of those days together the ‘hi jinx’ that went on as we navigated those times together and I have always realized that personally would have had a much more difficult time surviving that first year without having Bill as my roommate. Bill was an outstanding friend, gentleman and scholar with a compassionate heart and was a true leader in all his endeavors--- and his record as President of PLU validates this in every way.

Naomi Nothstein '53
Marv HarshmanFor the Lift Up a Lute project, I’m choosing to lift up Marv Harshman. Coach Harshman brought a lot of attention and recognition to the PLC athletic program while we were students. He wanted his players to excel on the field and in the classroom! Glen Huffman, Ole Magnuson, Chuck Forsland and Art Swanson are some of our class members who played for Harsh.

Darlene Read '54
Jesse PfluegerI am choosing to Lift Up Jesse P. Pflueger, an outstanding prof. of Old Testament, Ethics etc. Many of the things he said were an opening to the broader concepts of religion and human relationships. I’ll always revere him and his wonderful talents.


Nancy Hestenes '55
David HestenesI would like to lift up my husband David Hestenes '54. David was the first person to get a philosophy degree under Dr. Pflueger from PLU. David began his educational career at PLU, but he did not stop there. He now has his doctorate in theoretical physics and was a professor of physics at Arizona State University for over 30 years.

Annie McCracken '55
Ben McCrackenI am choosing to Lift Up Ben A. McCracken, he had a massive stroke on December 20, 2012 and never woke up. He died January 16, 2013.

Norma Borgford '56

I am choosing to lift up Margaret Wickstrom. I did not haver her as a professor. However, as Dean of Women - and on until almost her death we were friends. As a student over five years I found her to be very supportive and influential. She was always most kind when I'd just knock on her door (she lived in Old Main in two different areas and then in nearby locations to campus). She was a bridge to greater maturity for me. 

Phyllis (Grahn '55) Pejsa
For the Lift Up a Lute project, it is more a group of persons vs. just one that I have chosen to lift up: the professors who started arriving on campus during our junior year. When we sat in the classes of the “ledgendaries” – Pflueger, Weiss, Roe, Strunk, Nodtvedt, Knutson, Knorr and others – we absorbed their lectures and, more or less, parroted our responses, and we learned from them. Enter on campus Drs. Kuethe, Schnackenberg, Stampolis, to name three, and the learning atmosphere had a dramatic change. No more memorizing; we were required to read, learn, think and be able to communicate. Remember Kuethe and Schnackenberg’s “Antithesis Club”? The sense of humor they could infuse in their classes? (Everyone with an “R” in their name is absent.) The requirement to “be brief” answering essay questions? How they encouraged each to speak one’s ideas and opinions on a subject and then be able to defend that position?

Clarene (Osterli '56) Johnson
John KuetheI (Clarene) changed major in my sophomore year and needed to pick up a couple of courses over the summer after graduation. One was Ethics and I discovered a subject I was drawn to and a professor I so admire, Dr. Kuethe was amazing. I still have my text book 56 years later (Ethics, by Tsanoff). It was definitely one of my favorite classes.

Ed Larson '57
Ed LarsonFor the Lift Up a Lute project, I am choosing to lift up David Berntsen. David worked in the Development Office for 30 years and was the prime mover behind the Q Club at the University. Over the years the Q Club provided thousands of scholarships for students who otherwise might not have been able to attend PLU.  But more than this, David was a “cheerleader” for PLU in every sense of the word.  His favorite phrase was that we need to “enthuse” people about PLU. Dave’s pride of being a Lute exuded from him 24 hours a day, 365 days a year! There is no better example of being a loyal Lute than Dave Berntsen.

Don Cornell '58
David KnutsonFor the Lift Up a Lute project, I’m choosing to lift up our classmate, David Knutson. Shortly before enrolling at PLU, Dave was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. The disease and its later symptoms, which led to amputations and blindness, did not interrupt his academic preparations or career as one of PLU’s fine professors.  In addition to being a lifelong friend, Dave taught two of our children. They both describe his Religion classes as faith maturing and life changing. As Dave’s sight began to fail, his classes experienced his adaptive abilities as, individually, they participated in verbal exams in place of written tests. That ability to refashion his talents was evident even after his retirement as Dave moved from being a fine instrumentalist to arguably an even better vocal jazz musician, giving concerts in support of diabetes research and education.

Nancy Millen '58
Catherine JordahlI arrived in Parkland, Washington in Mid-August of 1957 where my husband was to be station at McChord Field. I had completed three years of college and hoped to spend my time in Tacoma finishing my undergraduate degree. I made an appointment with then Dean Hauge, transcript in hand, met the gentleman. He examined my transcript, asked me careful questions and said I was welcome to become a member of the class of 1958, but there was one problem. I would need one more French class to complete my minor, and the college wouldn’t be offering one on that level during that academic year. I was crushed! Dr. Hauge told me not to give up. He had an idea and needed to make a phone call. In a few minutes he invited me back in. He found a French teacher, Dr. Catherine Jordahl, who would be delighted to give me a tutorial two nights a week. Because of Dr. Jordahl I was able to graduate on time with the class of 1958! I gained a wonderful and selfless friend. For that reason, I would like to “Lift Up a Lute” and say once more, a heartfelt thank you to Dr. Catherine Jordahl.

Roy Tribe '58
I am choosing to lift up Professor Gunnar Malmin, Direcotr of the Choir of the West. He was the second direcotr of the Choir of the West. He, in those years, developed the status as a premier college choir. 

Kermit (Tim) Sveen '59
Roger HolteyI lift up Roger Holtey, classmate of the class of 1959. Roger died March 1, 2013 at home in Fairmont, MN. Having grown up with Roger in Yakima, I have been proud to be a friend of this fine and unassuming Christian man. His legacy in Fairmont, and beyond, is awesome. It is my hope that classmates will also contribute to PLU scholarships, in memory of Roger. “Here’s to goodbyes, may they never be spoken. Here’s to friendships, may they never be broken.”



Jan Aust '60
Grace BlomquistI am choosing to lift Up Miss Bloomquist- She, who taught me about the Reader’s Guide to Periodical Literature, plus the exposure and reading of the Newberry and Caldecott Awards for children’s literature- deserves “A Lute Lift Up”. I was so inspired I chose the career of being a Media Specialist so I could surround myself by the world I was exposed to by her enthusiasm. A bonus influence was her advice to… “always have about ten years of things you want to do stored in your head.” This assures me of the desire to keep healthy in order to fulfill my dreams.

Myron Barbour '60
I am choosing to Lift Up the late Burton T. Osterson, PhD. professor of Biology during the 1950’s and 60’s. During my senior year, (1959-60), Dr. O asked me to accompany him as his assistant, along with his wife Betty, and son Richard, (both deceased) to live in Point Hope Alaska, an Inupiat Eskimo village on the NW Coast of Alaska, working for the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission as marine mammal biologists. We lived in Pt. Hope for ten months (1960-61), weighing and measuring over 2,500 ringed seals caught by the Eskimos. We also went on a successful Bowhead whale hunt and accompanied hunts for walrus and polar bear. It is one of the best and most treasured memories I have, not just of PLU but of my entire life. Thank you PLU, and Dr. Ostenson!

Earlene Burcham '60
John GI am choosing to “Lift Up” John Kuethe, my New Testament professor in 1956. He had a great sense of dry humor. I was impressed with his knowledge of the Bible. He made class interesting. It wasn’t like Sunday School! He made me re-think what I knew about the Bible. Two things I remember him for, in the first class we had with him he started lecturing and we didn’t know what he was talking about. He stopped and asked why we were perplexes. It was like coming into the middle of a movie! He then said, “Ok we’ll go back to the beginning.” And he did. Two second time was one day when the bell rang to dismiss class. Mr. Kuethe stopped talking in the middle of a word, picked up his books and walked out of the room without saying anything!

Philip Erlander '60
Herbert RansonI am choosing to lift up Herbert Ranson, who taught a course on Shakespeare which I took my senior year. When I received a grade of “C” (The only C I ever received) I talked with him to see why. He told me that on my final I wrote answers of what he thought, but he wanted my thoughts not his. He encouraged me to think for myself.

Ardelle (Dungan '60) Temanson
I want to Lift Up two great professors; the first being Pops Malmin, my Norwegian teacher. He gave me two years of fun and learning. I still have my Norwegian textbook and love the stories that were written to help us learn the language. I learned so much more than “Can du snakke Norsk!” My second Lift Up is Eric Nordholm. He gave me a chance to act in three Children Theater Performances. Me, a shy girl who was given an opportunity to do something I had never done before. Nordy, gave me a self confidence that I never knew I had. Everyone respected his approach and each of his students gave their all for him. Thanks Nordy for believing in me.

Nelda (Reede '61) Chandler
I am choosing to Lift Up Mary Olsen and Dorothy Rademacher. These ladies were our nursing instructors – hired by PLU – to teach us while at Emanuel Hospital in Portland, Oregon. They were both caring individuals who guided us through our various nursing classes. They remained friends of our class through the years after graduation.

Rev. Arthur Ellickson '61
I am choosing to Lift Up Rev. Larsgaard, campus Pastor and Professor Salberg. Rev. Larsgaard was an invaluable influence on me both as a person and on my career path. He was a great listener and modeled for me what pastoral ease is about. Professor Salberg was also an important part of my experienced faith as a professor of psychology and as a counselor who helped me through some issues in my life at that time.

Ron Lerch '61
Dr. Robert OlsenFor the Lift Up a Lute project, I’m choosing to lift up Dr. Robert Olsen.  That’s probably not a surprise to you since I majored in Chemistry.  (My wife thought I majored in intramural sports, but at least my degree was in chemistry.)  Dr. Olsen guided me and many other chemistry majors in our undergraduate program and encouraged us to also pursue an advanced degree. Sputnik, the Russian satellite, had just been launched into space and Dr. Olsen said that the opportunities in science would be exploding in the coming years.  Dr. Olsen helped get me into Oregon State University, where I received my doctorate in Chemistry.  As I recall, through Dr. Olsen’s encouragement, 10 of the 11 chemistry majors that year went on to earn Ph.D.’s or MD’s.  For this reason, I am choosing to make a donation in his memory to student scholarships.

Marilyn Smith '61
I was seventeen when I came to PLU. I was in awe of the buildings, overwhelmed by all the students, and nearly broke. I was no longer the smartest one in the class. My chemistry prof. had also taught my father and remembered him. I remember growing into being a lute, the kindness of other students, and the feel of living in a dorm. I still value the high standards. I loved chapel and the little chapel at the rose window.

Dixie (Likkel '62) Matthias
Milton NesvigFor the Lift Up a Lute project, I am choosing to lift up Milton Nesvig. “Uncle Miltie” was THE reason I opted to go to PLC–his personal interest in dialogue with a small town Idaho girl was too good to pass up.  One memorable event: the Choir of the West (including me) performed in that same Idaho town when I was a PLU senior.  I am sure that I am only one of many who remember what a great (and fun!) person he was, as well as a super PR person. Amen (smile).

Criss Meligro '62
Dr. Lee FordI am choosing to Lift Up Dr. Lee Ford, science department. Both her encouragement and her involvement helping children with disabilities inspired me and many others to become better citizens and scientists. She raised short hair blue collies and sent them to guide school at her expense to help fulfill children’s need all over our country. She worked closely with the Lions organization which supported vision projects and often had competitions building dog houses for her animals. I remember at one time she had 103 dogs and allowed us as students to help her with the testing of blood and hair samples giving us as volunteers experience in both the science end of things as well as the giving back attitude. Dr. Ford changed many lives for the best!

Marjorie (Quick '62) Stensen
Rhoda YoungI am choosing to Lift Up Rhoda Young, my P.E advisor and professor. Rhoda helped me decide to become a P.E. Teacher by encouraging me and making sure I took the right courses to reach my goal. She, along with the Placement Department, helped me secure my first job at Sumner High the summer after graduation.

Dr. David A. Cameron '63
I am choosing to Lift Up Gordon Gilbertson –one of the nicest, funniest, and most understanding men I’ve ever known. Also, Magnus Nordvedt, my mentor and role model as a teacher and gentleman. I am also Lifting Up Lynn Stein who helped me understand even deans are humans who have their own personal problems which can affect their lives, judgment, and treatment of others.

Wally Christopherson '63
Dwight ZulaufI was in the first class of the business department starting in 1959. Dr. Zulauf was beyond conscientious in everything he did for all of us students – and I know me specifically. All of us thought that we were Dr. Zulauf’s “favorite student.” He was an encourager and a mentor for me for 4 years. I have kept in touch with him since I graduated and he never neglected to tell me how “proud” he was of me for the career that I had in the insurance industry. The lessons I learned from him and the other professors provided me with the skills and courage to take on some substantial challenges during my career – and yes it was successful. I truly praise God for him.

Rev. Sherwood R. Glover '63
Walter SchnackenbergI am choosing to lift up Dr. Walter Schnackenberg. He was a masterful leader of the History of Ideas in Western Civilization. He both broadened my horizons and greatly shaped my life.

Donna Mosher '63

I am choosing to Lift Up two professors, Dr. Strunk and Jens Knudsen. Each of them helped cement my desire for a career in health sciences. I eventually became a medical technologist with a B.S. in microbiology and an M.S. in biology. Throughout the years I have often thought of them and what they did for me.

Joan and Merle Overland '63
Theodore KarlFor the Lift Up a Lute project there are so many vivid personalities to remember from our years on campus.  Anna Marne Neilson, Dr. Strunk, Kelly Roe, Margaret Wickstrom, Dr. Solberg, Florence Quast, Coach Lundberg – all certainly stand out as strong campus characters.  Who had the greatest influence on you?  For us, of course, we would lift up Prof Karl.  Ted Karl had a tremendous influence on our college experience through forensics traveling and competition as well as his personal mentoring and strength of faith and character.  His commitment to PLU, his care for students, his focus on personal integrity and his willingness to accept, but critique all ideas, has stayed with us over all the years.

Nancy Schutz '63
I am choosing to Lift Up Mrs. Nick, the house mother a North Hall for my freshman and sophomore years ('59-'60 and '60-'61). She was like having a favorite grandmother when you were in her midst. She liked young people and was a good listener. She was patient and kind and always greeted your presence with a warm smile. She made time for “her” girls. A very special lady!

John Stewart '63
May I add two short notes to Merle and Joan Overland’s recognition of Prof. Karl? First, everything they say about Prof. is true, AND he taught us how to excel at pinochle, exploit the luxuries of the Great Northern Empire Builder and the other signature trains we took to and from forensics tournaments, and how to tip with sophistication. When I asked Professor Karl why he continued in Christian higher Education despite the poor pay, he replied, “You have to believe in the cause.” That insight propelled me from the U of W to the small Presbyterian school in Iowa, where I still work. Second, I’d like to lift up Merle and Joan who embody what’s best about PLU grads. They welcomed me when I transferred into PLU, mentored me inside and outside the classroom, and continue to be lifelong friends.

Gwendolyn Werner '63
J.A. SchillerI am choosing to Lift Up Assistant Professor of Sociology, J.A. Schiller. Female students in the early 1960’s had three obvious options in choosing an academic major and career; nursing, education or business support staff. None of these interests were mine. Professor Schiller was a dynamic, motivating teacher of sociology. Mr. Schiller was able to understand how his faith could be put into action. He believed that all people were created in god’s image. He also believed that if one was granted gifts and privileges, one was obligated to make the world a better place. He taught that inequalities of opportunity should be corrected. My world became, for example, on a sociology field trip to the Federal Penitentiary, McNeil Island. While there, we individually interviewed “lifers,” eating with inmates a dinner of cold rice and beans. Through Mr. Schiller’s mentoring I discovered social work, a newly emerging field of work that seemed right for me. After PLU, I went on to receive a Master’s Degree in Social Work. For forty years I worked in a profession that was challenging, varied and personally rewarding. Mr. Schiller was a caring teacher, a knowledgeable scholar, a man of faith and vision. I am grateful for his instruction and his belief in me. His example and encouragement made a huge difference in my life.

J. Ed Brannfors '64
Dr. Laurence HuestisI am choosing to Lift Up Dr. Laurence Huestis from whom I took Organic Chemistry. Here I planned to be a chemistry major and I was not doing well in a key course toward the end of the first semester. His tests were very difficult! I asked what it was going to take to “pass” and Dr. Huestis suggested that I study harder and a 50% in the final might do it. I think I got a 60% and a “C” for the first semester and then improved to a “B” for second semester. I never worked harder but ended up in a career where much of what he taught me was very useful.

Andrea Hagen-Arndt '64
Theodore KarlFavorite, most influential professor: Prof. Ted Carl. He was my debate coach who taught me how to extend the limits of what I believed I could do and how to discover that I could do things that I had only dreamed about doing.

Jon and Jean (Riggers '64) Malmin

Robert OlsenMy favorite professor was Dr. Robert C. Olsen of the chemistry department.  From his calm, patient demeanor to his amazing glass-blowing skills, he personified what a teacher should be. One of the things that impressed me was that he always showed great interest in every person in his class.  When students left a class with Dr. Olsen, they felt that they had not only been in the presence of a gifted teacher, but also that they had been with a friend. Thanks to Dr. Olsen, I feel I had a mentor who showed me not only how to teach chemistry, but also how to relate to students.

Judith Selman '64
I am choosing to Lift Up Dr. Stewart Govig-Religion, NT and Dr. Kuethe, Philosophy. While they were both men of deep Christian faith, they embraced disciplined reasoning, taught with remarkable clarity and showed great respect and care for their students.

Earl Gerheim '66
Donald FarmerI am choosing to Lift Up Donald R. Farmer, late professor of political science. I didn’t miss PLU until I was a marine in Vietnam. Many times I thought of the lemon cokes in the CUB when I drank tepid canteen water. I packed a rifle instead of the books Dr. Farmer required of his students. My first day home from the war I celebrated my civilian status by visiting the campus. The first person I reunited with was Dr. Farmer. We got together regularly until his death. We covered a myriad of topics in our discussions. He remained my mentor the rest of his days.

Frank Johnson '66
For the Lift Up a Lute project, I’m choosing to lift up not just one person but a band of brothers revered as the "Norwegian Mafia."  First as dorm mates, then as the years passed, a true family of real brothers.  For 50 years we have been there for each other through good times and times when an extra shoulder to lean on was needed.   What was it about the character or atmosphere at PLU that brought us together and united us as a family?  Today we may be separated by geography but that spirit/love is still alive. Here's to Super J, Muddah, Buddah, Max, Boike, Homlytwist, and Odd-Job. 

Craig Bjorkland '67
Eric NordholmIt is really hard to choose just one of our outstanding professors for the Lift Up a Lute project.  Remember Dr. Govig in Bible class, Dr. Karl in Speech, Dr. King and Dr. Zulauf in Business, Dr. Knudsen in Biology or Dr. Fritts playing the pipe organ in Chapel?  But today I’ll choose Eric Nordholm and the huge amount of joy he provided to the children of the PLU area with his Children’s Theatre productions.  I really enjoyed working with him but especially remember the faces of the children as they watched the show and the excited looks as they left Eastvold. 

James & Georgia (Stirn) Girvan '68
Lawrence HuestisFor the Lift Up a Lute project, we are choosing to lift up Dr. Lawrence Huestis of the Chemistry Department.  Jim had Dr. Huestis for several classes while pursuing his undergrad Chemistry degree. He consistently exhibited qualities both as a person, as an educator, and a researcher that inspired and motivated Jim to reach beyond what he thought possible.  His calming and welcoming smile, listening ear, challenging and thoughtful questions, and fostering of curiosity helped shape Jim’s future choice of a career in K-12 and higher education. Dr. Lawrence Huestis exemplified all that was great about a PLU education.  Each year we donate to fund student scholarships so that, regardless of major, others may benefit from current and future dedicated PLU professors like Dr. Huestis.

Judith Chaney '69
Kenneth HartvigsonI am choosing to Lift Up my brother, Ken “Skip” Hartigson, class of 1965. If it wasn’t for Skip, I never would have had the wonderful experience of being a PLU student. Skip continues to give me guidance as he is my guardian angel, having passed away in 2007.

G. Lee Kluth '69

Rolf EspesethRecently I stopped to check out some “Then and Now” photographs in the Anderson University Center. I focused on one picture that had students and faculty moving the books from Xavier to Mortvedt. In that picture was Dr. Rolf Espeseth who directed the Chapel Choir. That picture reminded me of his overflowing energy, his patience when we were learning our notes, his joy as he used his arms to direct our voices, and his thankfulness for our efforts. I don’t remember how often we sang in chapel, but with Dr. Espeseth it was a blessed experience!

Bill Ranta '69

Dr. Lynn SteinFor the Lift Up a Lute project, I’m choosing to lift up Dr. Lynn Stein. Twice, in a teaching methods class of his, I fell asleep. By demonstrating to the class how to handle such students, Dr. Stein woke me up, being a little displeased with me. But, after my student teaching assignment began, it only took once to be “threatened,” having a letter sent to my eventual employer–Portland Public Schools–that really “woke” me up. A letter suggesting, I believe, that they might want to consider my poor student teaching performance. His methods and tough love made the impression on me I needed. Before he passed away a few years ago, I was able, in person, to tell him and his wife all that he meant to me. Because of his dedication, I am choosing to make a donation to PLU in his name.



Bill Allen '70
Dr. Paul ReigstadPersonally I recall Dr. Paul Reigstad for his ability to teach me that “grades aren’t everything,” during the painful years I was trying to enter the job market after graduation.  He was with our small group for six weeks in Norway and the United Kingdom back in 1969, and he taught from the heart.  I think of his wisdom often.  Anybody you remember come to mind?

Jeff Morgan '70
Since PLU was such a positive experience for me, it’s difficult to pick one Lute to Lift Up; so I’m lifting two. Irene Creso was such a kind, knowledgeable person and a wonderful educator as well as a friend. I looked forward to her classes and our meetings, as she advised me in an independent study and taught the most interesting and memorable class during PLU’s first “Winterim,” as I believe it was called. Enjoyable too were dinners at her house and stories of the old PLU and life for her as a student there. Next, Jens Knudsen was a strong influence on me – strong enough to almost derail my goal of laboratory science to filed work. He was the ultimate biologist and a true inspiration who’s field studies were loaded with anecdotes about Central and South America. Both of my “Lifts” are sadly no longer with us physically, but I will never forget them and will always be grateful for the opportunity to know them both on and off campus. I only wish today’s students could know what an honor it was to learn from them. Additional lifts must be given to Dr. Harold Leraas, Dr. Robert Olsen, Dr. Arthur Gee and lastly to Dr. Burton Nessett, my patient advisor. Mahalo nui loa to you all.

Richard E. Hansen '71
I am choosing to Lift Up Mary Helen Thompson, organ instructor. Thanks to her I won a music scholarship. She gave me the courage to earn a master’s degree. I have been a church organist at a variety of churches, including St. John the Evangelist Cathedral in Spokane. Even though I’m a psychologist now, I still serve a church as an organist and practice daily.

Paul D. Johnson '71
Dr. Harold LeraasFor the Lift Up a Lute project, I’m choosing to lift up Harold Leraas, DDS, who was in the Biology Department. Dr. Leraas was not only my favorite professor at PLU, but he was also my personal advisor in the pre-med program.  It was under his tutelage that I prepared for a career in medicine, and I am convinced that it was his personal recommendation that got me into medical school.  By the end of four years at PLU, and after attending several dinners in his home prepared by his wife, he had also become a friend.  I am choosing to give a donation in his honor to student scholarships.  It is my hope that current Lutes will experience that same caring, kindness and dedication from their PLU professors.

Eileen Reichert '71
Wilma PetersonI am choosing to Lift Up Wilma Peterson, Professor of School of Nursing. From the time she met me at pre-registration in Portland and throughout my four years she was the consummate advisor considering my whole life and gifts of music to nurture of humble strength and gracious encouragement. She was forgiving and an example of altruism.

Pam (Weeks '72) Russell
For several years after I graduated from PLU, I had no contact. I had “moved on” and was eagerly pursuing new friends and adventures. One day, John Aakre '71 called me up and asked me if I would like to reconnect with PLU. I’m not sure what happened first, whether I became a class rep or joined the Q Club. At any rate, John reconnected me to my alma mater. Ever since that time, I have felt very close to PLU through the many opportunities to serve the university that have been given to me. If it weren’t for John, I wouldn’t think twice about PLU or have it be part of my regular conversations. It only takes on person to make a difference and John’s invitation brought me back to PLU. For that, I’ll be eternally grateful.

Molly Stuen '72
Auden TovenFor the Lift Up a Lute project, I am choosing to lift up Auden Toven. He was not only a humble and patient teacher of Norwegian and Scandinavian Studies from whom I learned a lot, he was also a terrific ski coach! With a quiet sense of humor he taught a bunch of us girls how to ski cross country, not at a leisurely pace, but as fast as we could go. He never gave up on us, as he never gave up on PLU. He epitomized the PLU spirit through his entire long career.

Mike Willis '72

Lift Up a Lute, easy to do. There are many to write about, and many to talk about. Teachers, staff and even administrators made life very easy for me during my stay in Parkland. I was a Community College transfer with an Associate in Applied Arts degree. The business school advisor planned out my BBA without hurdle although it did take an additional semester. During this time I was encouraged to use my elective courses as a double major. I did. A Bachelor of Arts in Speech Communication. Thank you professors Virginia Eman and Bill Parker. My two favorite teachers of all time! Without your support (Virginia) and arm-twisting (Bill) I would have missed out on life-changing events; like having a radio show on campus, being in five drama productions and with my best friend and roommate (Don Poier) we MC’ed most student events. Instead of an MBA I worked toward an MA in Speech. I wanted to be like both of you. Sure there are also others; the lunchroom moderator who allowed me to make multiple peanut butter sandwiches while leaving the UC, or Ron Coltom who found a way for me to graduate without debt. Thanks go out to all of you. I love PLU.

Alvina (Hauf '73) Olstead
I am choosing to lift up Mrs. Barbara Parsons. As a music major while at PLU I had great teachers of whom it would be hard to pick just one. Mrs. Parsons was the head resident at Kriedler. She was there to help every student in the dorm. She treated the students as young women. 

Karen (Wraalstad '73) Robbins
Loleta EspesethFor the Lift up a Lute project, I’m choosing to lift up Mrs. Loleta Espeseth. From 1964-1989, Mrs. Espeseth served as the Associate Registrar for PLU students. Loleta’s husband, Rolf Espeseth was a choir conductor at PLU who passed away in 1969, the year we came to PLU as freshmen. Mrs. Espeseth continued to serve PLU students for the next 20 years. My goal was to graduate in four years from PLU, and Mrs. Espeseth helped me get organized to achieve this goal. We also became lifelong friends! Loleta passed away in 2009, after years of dedicated service and as a donor to PLU. God bless the memory of Mrs. Espeseth.

Turi Kristi Liv Hoversten '74
David DahlI am choosing to Lift Up David Dahl. David is hands down the best teacher I have ever had. After twenty plus years of school, that is saying something! David’s passion for music and the subject of music history as well as his persona which demanded awe and respect inspired me to always do my best. I faithfully outlined my notes and copied them for his periodic review. He represented the epidemy of quality and I did my best to keep from letting him down. He expected nothing less from all his students. Today, after seventeen years of high school teaching, I remember the high standards he set for his students and the confidence he had that each one of us was capable of reaching for the stars. It is my goal to instill in my students that thirst for knowledge and desire for excellence. Thank you David, for your inspiration, example and support!

David Johnson '74
Dr. Marvin SwensonFor the Lift Up a Lute project, I’m choosing to lift up Dr. Marvin Swenson, who was ASPLU advisor, the first director of the University Center, and the guy who got me started in a 30+-year career in higher education. Marv was not without his idiosyncrasies.  He’s the only guy I know who wore a white shirt and tie with his leisure suit in the mid-1970s! But he was also responsible for helping bring many great entertainers to campus and it was his idea to preserve the area which now houses the Scandinavian Center from being filled in during construction of the UC. He always looked ahead AND looked out for students.

Vickie (Fitzpatrick '74) Noyes
Dwight OberholtzerI am choosing to Lift Up Dr. Dwight D. Oberholtzer. Not only did this gentleman teach me how to write - remember the behest to state a position and provide supporting paragraphs - he armed me with an approach to learning that served me well throughout my entire teaching career. I distinctly remember hearing from him, “in the Sociology of Knowledge, language determines our experience.” Using this concept as an elementary educator, I found that a task becomes much less complicated when we have shared language for that task. I developed lessons, especially in Math and Science, that centered on shared experiences based on building language for the concepts necessary to complete a task. My students learned and so did I! My love and gratitude to Dr. Oberholtzer for the ideas he presented.

William Rudolph '74
Dr. Jesse NolphI am choosing to Lift Up Dr. Jesse Nolph. He was my advisor and mentor at PLU. Dr. Nolph believed in me and inspired me to soar. He even went so far as to push for publication of one of my papers on Eldridge Cleaver. I remember fondly our weekly visits in his small crowded office… me the young student with a fascination for psychology—Dr. Nolph sitting there at his desk in a suit, cowboy boots and chain-smoking cigarettes. Dr. Nolph always had time for me. But most of all, he believed in me. When someone truly believes in you, you know it. It inspires your entire life.

Gail Sieckman '74
Dwight OberholtzerI am choosing to Lift Up W. Dwight Oberholtzer, PhD. As a young lesbian in the early 70’s, I was afraid. My family was going to be very unhappy to learn whom I loved. Dwight Oberholtzer was an oasis of calm and optimism for me. Not only was his sociology class (“Deviant Behavior”!) a great introduction to a wider slice of humanity than I had known, but his encouragement during my worst days of anxiety and apprehension was a light for my path. And miraculously, we became friends after PLU. Dwight’s presence in my life has brought comfort, laughter, learning and delight through four decades. His curiosity about everything, his interest in and open-heartedness to people, his intellect and humor have created a highly oxygenated environment for our conversations and activities. Dwight and his beautiful wife Ellen have cultivated a life that feeds the hearts and minds of innumerable friends and colleagues, and certainly contributes to peace on the planet. My life has been immeasurably enriched by his presence in it. Thanks, Dwight!

Lauralee Hagen '75
Dr. KnudsenFor the Lift Up a Lute project, I’m choosing to lift up Dr. Jens Knudsen ’52 and will give a small gift to the annual fund in his honor. Dr. Knudsen was my Biology 101 professor, and a professor like no other. Our text books included: “The Family of Man” (I remember he painted the front cover of this book on the front wall of our classroom—Hauge Administration, Room 100.) and John Steinbeck’s “Grapes of Wrath.” Our lectures included carefully-crafted slide presentations about everything from the evolution of the dandelion to the riots at Kent State—all set to the music of the time. I remember that Professor Knudsen’s young son Jimmy died that semester and I remember what an impact that event had on our relationship to the material we were reading, to one other, and to our professor. Professor Jens Knudsen let us all into his family—and we were never the same. Those kinds of relationships still happen at PLU today and for that I am so very grateful.

Gary Powell '76
Dr. Philip NordquistFor the Lift Up a Lute project, I’m choosing to lift up Dr. Philip Nordquist.  When I think about a “classic” college professor, it is Dr. Nordquist’s picture that comes to mind.  From his tweed sports jacket and pipe, to his thoughtful and deliberate speech pattern, Dr. Nordquist represented the best ideals of higher education.  Trained as a historian, he was equally comfortable in the UC dining room, at a football game, or simply walking through campus and stopping to chat.  I’m certain that PLU paid him a salary, but I also had the sense that Dr. Nordquist would have taught at PLU simply for the love of the institution.

Leigh D. Erie '77
David JohnsonFor the Lift Up a Lute project, I’m choosing to lift up David E. Johnson.  David was a graduate student, working with ASPLU and the Entertainment Committee during my tenure as a Senator and Committee Chairman (1975-77).  Together we promoted and produced concerts at PLU (Kalapana, Al Stewart, George Benson, Minnie Ripperton, Andre Croach, and others).  I learned the business from him. He taught me to keep my “cool” in tense situations, and to trust my instincts during negotiations.  We had a lot of fun! We remain good friends. He received a BA in ’74 and a MASS in ’77 from PLU.  Over the years he has remained active at PLU, serving on the Alumni Board, as Alumni Board President, as the 1974 Class Representative, and on the PLU Board of Regents.

David Trotter '77
Eric NordholmThe person I am choosing to Lift Up is Eric Nordholm. “Nordie” was “rasty” as Theater Tech Director, demanding, uncompromising, but he taught us quality theatre, not just “educational” theatre. He was able, for decades, to direct a Children’s Theatre show that could hold third through sixth grader’s attention spans. We all learned. He taught by example, including how to “go ballistic” when needed, then moved on. These were life lessons as well as theatre lessons. When we honored Nordie in 2006, just before his eightieth birthday (he’d physically changed to say the least), he said, “They called me ‘The Ogre’ and I was.” But we learned from his tenacity, and he proved willing to learn from us, as when he finally let women onto the rigging grid and never looked back. When a dress rehearsal for Winnie the Pooh went particularly poorly, Nordie jumped onstage shouting, “What the …”, read us the act and showed us how he wanted it done. Joanie Ewen (Piglet) commented, “You took a few liberties with the lines there, didn’t you Nordie?” As I slipped into the shadows awaiting the next storm, Nordie quipped, “That’s the prerogative of genius” and simply went on with rehearsal.

Gretchen E. Brauer-Rieke '78
Jessica MyraboI am choosing to Lift Up Jessica Myrabo, my OB nursing instructor. Working my way through the nursing program, I sat in Ms. Myrabo’s class and listened to her share not just her knowledge, but also her candidly-expressed personal experiences with pregnancy and birth. I learned something from her that I hadn’t heard from anyone else (nor observed in clinical rotations): the concept of empowerment of birthing women. That idea lit a spark in me that led to my enrollment in a graduate nursing program to learn to become a nurse-midwife, then working for 23 years helping women to regain some control over their experience of pregnancy and birth (the final decade of my midwifery career was running my own homebirth practice). Although I retired from midwifery to get some sleep, I continue to teach empowerment, only now at the other end of life as I help people take hold of their end-of-life decision-making. My life’s work began in Jessica Myrabo’s classroom.

Pete Mattich '78
Mrs. DennyFor the Lift Up a Lute project I would like to lift up Glenna Wusterbarth and Mrs. Denny in the lower campus CC. Lunch and dinner at college were breaks from the study grind. Wusterbarth and Denny were always in a good mood and fun to kid around with in the food line. Who can ever forget the mouth watering and delectable cuisine in the CC like “tuna boats” and “sausage and apples”—the food of champions! Teasing the cooks about the food tended to cut the stress and tension levels, especially during mid-terms and finals. Although I can't “kiss the cooks” today, they will always and forever be remembered in my heart.

Cheri Adams '79
Mira FrohnmeyerI am choosing to Lift Up Mira Frohnmayer. For nearly three years while at PLU I met with Mira Frohnmayer for weekly, private voice lessons. In addition to molding and shaping me as a vocalist, she impacted my life. She modeled how to be an exceptional coach, she listened, encouraged and shared. She showed compassion, she was the first to teach me how to laugh at myself. When she was struck with illness during my senior year, she displayed courage and a positive attitude. I still have a notebook full of her vocal tips and exercises. But even more I have the memories of a wonderful coach and mentor.

Robert Hulse '79

Christopher BrowningOver three decades have passed since surviving the “Burden of Human Responsibility 20th Century European Man,” a six-hour core class.  Numerous department chairs co-taught the class but it was Dr. Browning who bestowed a life lesson. Many are the learned professors in the world who are masters at their disciplines, but there are far fewer who can impart their knowledge in a style that “hooks the student totally.”   Like a wily seasoned fly fishermen that can always entice fish to bite, Dr. Browning kept me hooked during class.  To this day I can still recall the discussions and presentations. Recently I retired after 30 years in education and 34 years of coaching hockey.  Now as time allows I teach marine safety for the Alaska Marine Education Association.   I never forgot how he hooked me in every presentation.  Though he was teaching history, he taught me without intending to the importance of setting that hook with students and athletes.  As an educator and coach the “hook” was and still is the most important element in my teaching style.

Teresa (Hausken '79) Sharkey
Dr. Ralph GehrkeeFor the Lift Up a Lute project, I’m choosing to lift up Dr. Ralph Gehrke. Dr. Gehrke taught biblical studies, and he had a way of making the Bible come to life. Long before it was trendy, Dr. Gehrke used experiential methods to help us understand the Bible. To this day, I remember a particular Psalms class, in which we were discussing a psalm of ascent. I can still feel what it was like to stand there in Dr. Gehrke’s classroom as he directed us to enact a processional into Jerusalem. Dr. Gehrke’s cajoling us to get up and participate, in that winsome manner he had, with a twinkle in his eye, made us feel the lesson in our bones.



Dean and Susan (Lee) Phillips '81
Thomas SepicFor the Lift Up a Lute project, we are choosing to honor Dr.Thomas Sepic from the School of Business. He challenged us to take our course work seriously, and prepared us to be successful in our careers. He taught us valuable management concepts that we have used numerous times, both in work and in family situations. Dr. Sepic had a good sense of humor, but respected his role as a professor at the university. He had a distinct way of motivating students to reach their potential, and still enjoy their classroom work at PLU.

Paul Collard '82
Cliff RoweFor the Lift Up a Lute project, I’m choosing to lift up Professor Cliff Rowe of the Communication (Journalism) Department.  I had Professor Rowe for several classes while pursuing my degree. He came from the real world, having been a newspaper journalist for many years before starting his teaching career. He was always positive and open to ideas his students came up with.  He encouraged students to think outside the box and welcomed new ideas. Professor Rowe recently retired and I hope he is enjoying his retirement! I want to say thanks for all he did for me (and many others) in and out of the classroom!

Phil Komornik '82

Wally ChristophersonI was a married, transfer student, who had just got out of the Air Force. It was important to me to achieve the requirement for my BBA as quickly and economically as possible. Since I entered PLU with an AA degree, I needed just one religion course. I saw it would be good for me if I could make that a 300 level course. My high school years where in a Roman Catholic seminary. I met with Dr. Christopherson, the head of the Religion Department, about a "History of Christianity" course, which he was teaching. He taught us about parts of our shared Religion that I never learned in my four years of Catholic seminary, in a way that was interesting and meaningful. Dr. Christopherson's style was very deliberate, laid back, and authoritative. He definitely left an enduring mark on my life and my appreciation of my Religion.

Marla Marvin '83
I am choosing up to Lift Up the entire Class of 1983! Cheers to 30 years since graduation!

Dave Olson '83
Dr. Sherman NornesFor the Lift Up a Lute project, I’m choosing to lift up Dr. Sherman Nornes, a PLU Physics professor for 25 years. Sherm, and his delightful wife Gloria, friends of our family, treated me like kin from the moment I arrived on campus. I enjoyed more than a couple of great meals and holidays (and “bars” …cookies) in their home, conveniently located a short walk from my dorm. Dr. Sherm’s wise counsel, and their hospitality and generosity toward me, helped set the tone for the best parts of my PLU experience.

Mark Christofferson '84
Laura PolycynFor the Lift Up a Lute project, I’m choosing to lift up Laura Polcyn ‘75.  Laura was the Director of the MBA Program in the School of Business, and still serves PLU in the Provost’s office.  The opportunity to work as Laura’s administrative assistant for most of my time at PLU was a real blessing.  The trust she placed in me, and the support of Laura and the rest of the Business School staff, certainly boosted my confidence and maturity and helped augment my academic experience. 

David Chun '84
Coming to PLU from Hawaii was a really big change for a seventeen year old who had never done a load of laundry in his life. If it weren’t for all of the dorm housekeepers at PLU, especially the ones in Plfueger, Kevin Aoki and I would have been walking around campus with rainbow clothing. Most of them were Japanese ladies who took very good care of us. Their homemade Japanese food and goodies were things that we looked forward to. I can’t remember any of their names but their generosity and thoughtfulness will be never forgotten. Thank you to all of the people behind the scenes who made PLU a very special place!

Todd Kraft '84
Pastors Ron Tellefson and Ron Vignec were the PLU University Congregation pastors during my time at PLU in the early 1980’s. They encouraged me in my faith walk and challenged me to be active in the local community and worldwide Christian village. Thank you Pastor Ron T, Pastor Ron V. and the University Congregation! I pray that this ministry will continue to be a blessing to students, faculty and the community for many years to come!

Gail Rice '84
roweCliff Rowe was a great professor and dedicated mentor to The Mooring Mast and the Saga.

Carolyn (Plocharsky) Stelling and Janet (Olden) Regge '85

Helen NordquistFor the Lift Up a Lute project, I, Janet, am choosing to lift up Helen Nordquist.  Helen is a smart, organized, influential woman, who is a role model to me. Helen attended Pacific Lutheran when it was Pacific Lutheran College. Helen’s time and extensive service to the University are evidence of her love for the PLU community.  When I was on campus Helen was our on-campus SPUR’s mom. Helen used her natural ability to develop relationships with all of us, and she motivated and encouraged us. Helen continued her relationships and was known to many of us after we graduated with her relentless work with Q Club. Thanks, Helen!

Dave Carlson '86
Gerald MyersFor the Lift Up a Lute project, I’m choosing to lift up one of my first accounting professors, Dr. Gerald Myers. Dr Myers began teaching at PLU in 1982 and this year celebrated his 30th anniversary teaching here!  When I was a student of his, I remember that our accounting assignments were not easy.  In fact, they were difficult!  But the case studies captured my attention and I found that I enjoyed the subject – so much so that I became an accounting major.  I have been a guest speaker in Dr. Myers’ class several times in recent years.  I am choosing to give a donation in his honor toward student scholarships.

Chris Gunderson '86

Robert McMichaelThe person that I am choosing to Lift Up is Robert (Dr. Robert McMichael) who was my room-mate in Hinderlie. He was always helping me understand calculus and is the reason I was able to pass the class.

Elizabeth Walczyk '86

Roger Gard, long time instrumental conductor at PLU, was a life saver for me while I attended PLU. Even with all the loans I took out and work study was applied, I still had a monthly balance due at PLU that was being paid for by my Dad. Unknown to me, he chose not to continue the payments in the middle of my sophomore year. I told Mr. Gard I was going to have to go back home and keep studying at a community college because I could no longer afford to stay. Unknown to me at the time, he spoke to someone at PLU’s financial aid office on my behalf and was able to acquire more low interest loans and grant monies for me to stay. He said he didn’t want to lose a bass player. I never could have continued my music education degree at PLU without Roger Gard’s emphatic support. At $24,000 a year in the ‘80s, I don’t know how my husband and I paid for PLU exactly, nor the other three degrees we achieved between the 2 of us. Somehow, we paid them all off. While I admire students these days who are taking seriously their debit load when it comes to making college decisions, I also encourage them not to let money stop them from attending. As I was at PLU, I was blessed with scholarships, low interest loans and work study; enough to take the sting out of it. Mr. Gard just helped me find more of it.

Lisa Ottoson '87
Eli BernikerFor the Lift Up a Lute project, I am choosing to lift up Professor Eli Berniker in the School of Business.  I had Professor Berniker while pursing my undergraduate degree and he was the driving force in my deciding to select Operations Management as my concentration. He was an amazing teacher, always focused on the positive and had a special way of communicating concepts and ideas to the class.  He also went above and beyond in assisting me with my internship credit.  I am choosing to give a donation in his honor to student scholarships.  It is my hope that other students will experience this kind of kindness and dedication from their PLU Professors.

Douglas Carlson '88
I am choosing to Lift Up Mike Benson and Dr. Ralph Gehrke. Mike and Dr. Gehrke were transformative n my PLU experience! Mike as my tennis coach, mentor, and friend, and Dr. Gehrke as one of the best, yet quirkiest, professors I had. Both of them knew who they were, and then felt comfortable giving advice and teaching all the people with whom they came in contact. They both showed who Jesus was, because they both knew Jesus in a real and intimate way. What better way to share the path of life through their deep knowledge of spiritual things. I am indebted to Mike and Dr. Gehrke for their role in my life, and what PLU gave to me!!

Trent Ling '88
Trent LingMy PLU experience proved remarkable in every way, and the campus forever remains my favorite place on Earth. Narrowing the crowded field, I wish to uplift Philosophy Professor, Paul Menzel. My first class with him immediately prompted a new and giddy plan to pick-up a brand-new Philosophy major, even as I was just completing the entire pre-medicine curriculum. He and I seemed to disagree diametrically about everything under the sun, especially concerning the matters addressed in courses that we enjoyed together. This dynamic made for great times and high achievement. Only later would I begin to appreciate more fully how very special, serving, and incredible Paul was and is. His complementary attributes of being fun-loving, engaging, and un-offendable surely stand out against a not-so-solid world. Paul’s friendship is very personal and eternal, while even his troublemaking is extraordinarily educational. That combination in Paul sets him apart from the rest! I am the lifelong beneficiary. Paul has visited my house and family in Orlando, FL, and we have visited him at his house on Whidbey Island, WA. The photo is a recent image of the two of us! I think of Paul all the time. The standards he set when I was but a pup have helped me easily clear any and all clutter ever since!

Brenda Ray ('88) Scott
For the Lift Up a Lute project, I’m choosing to lift up theatre professors Bill Becvar and Anne Thaxter  Watson for their tireless encouragement and wisdom. They gave me assignments, roles, and jobs that stretched me as an artist and as a person. With their support, I went on to win a national internship at Cincinnati Opera and to launch my first career as a Stage Manager in professional opera and theatre. There are so many more professors and fellow students I would like to Lift Up for this project. My professors and fellow students helped make my time at PLU transformative.

Missy (Phillips '89) Maxson
Lute LadiesPLU earned a special place in my heart for many reasons but most importantly for the relationships formed which include the love of my life, Peter Maxson. I cannot Lift Up only one Lute. I have to Lift Up my Lute Ladies: Judy Oehling, Maria Oehling, Margy Schoenheit, Christina Gibbs, and Colleen Harriot. I met these women in Harstad and throughout the last twenty plus years, they’ve been my best friends. I can call them to cry, laugh, complain, seek advice, or just to talk. It has never mattered that we’ve been separated by states and even oceans at times. I can count on these women and know that it will always be that way.

Brendan Rorem '89

For the Lift Up a Lute project, I’m remembering the many friendships that were cultivated while at PLU. Not only did my wife, Kelly, and I meet at PLU, and other family members attend, but we’ve realized that many of our dearest friends are Lutes. Some we are able to see more often, such as our annual winter “Lutes in Leavenworth” trip (see photo on Facebook). Others we see less often than we’d like, but it only takes a short time to catch up. It is my hope that our support enables today’s students to experience the connection that Lutes have regardless of the years, era, or miles. If you’d like to reconnect with classmates we’ve started a Facebook page, so please “like” the “PLU Class of 1989.” We invite you to join the discussion and in supporting PLU.



Jim Morrell '91
Dr. Erv SevertsonFor the Lift Up a Lute project, I’m choosing to lift up Dr. Erv Severtson, Vice President of Student Life.  He taught me a lot about leadership, personal conviction, passion, and commitment. As I grew personally at PLU and during my term as ASPLU President, Erv mentored me to pursue three questions: “Who am I?” “What do I believe?” and “How will I serve society?” These questions were also written in my PLU acceptance letter from Dr. Rieke in November 1986. Dr. Severtson believed in me, and his trust helped me believe in myself. My PLU experience was the foundation for my life as it exists today.

Emilie Portell '91
Cliff RoweAs my journalism advisor and mentor, Cliff Rowe made sure I had the opportunity to get published while in college, a key time to build your portfolio for your first job. He used his connections to get me in the door – with former Lutes turned editors – at his former newspapers. He’s really the reason my career gained momentum coming out of PLU. His guidance was invaluable.

Rebecca Benson '92

Dr. Stuart BancroftI would like to Lift Up two professors: Mark Reiman of the Economics Department, and Stuart Bancroft, professor of finance/accounting in the School of Business. Professor Bancroft used the Socratic Method of teaching, albeit gently.  “Miss Benson,” – he’d always use your surname – “…please summarize for us [insert finance/accounting theory here].” And if you weren’t prepared, well, he’d ask you to answer the next problem. Sounds scary, huh? In truth, his method of teaching was not unlike the “lessons” I encountered as an equity analyst during many an early morning meeting, on the receiving end of rapidly fired questions by salesmen and trading department teams looking for short, concise stock or company analyses. Mark Reiman used his international experiences to emphasize key concepts of international economics. By sharing his stories of companies, entrepreneurs and countries, he inspired me to study, travel and work abroad. After graduation I was fortunate to have joined Reiman and other PLU students on an Economic Study Tour of Eastern Europe. We were able to speak with budding entrepreneurs and manufacturing foremen about market changes brought about after the fall of the Berlin Wall and Iron Curtain.  PLU and these two professors provided me with the foundation to blend both of my academic loves: finance and international business/economics with international travel.  Please join me in giving a gift in honor or in memory of the Lute you’re lifting up! Gifts raised will go toward scholarships so that students today can have access to the PLU experience.  No gift is too small; all gifts are priceless.

Kristina (Price '92) Navarr
I’d like to Lift Up two Lute professors. Dr. Jerry LeJeune and Dr. Jesse Nolph were two of my favorites in the psychology department. They were always positive and encouraging. I’ll never forget Dr. Nolph’s story of his aversion to apple pie. Although, in the end I became a speech pathologist, my background in psychology and the lessons they taught me come in handy every day in my career.

Barbara (Murphy '93) Hesner

Don WentworthFor the Lift Up a Lute project, I’m choosing to lift up Dr. Don Wentworth from the Economics Department.  Dr. Wentworth assured me that eventually Economics would make sense and if I studied hard enough I could pass the class! I did pass and was able to ace a future economics class due to that solid foundation.  He also was willing to work with me when one of my Education classes overlapped with his Secondary Social Studies Methods class and let me miss a portion of the lecture sessions so I could finish both classes and graduate on time.  His dedication, patience and entertaining lectures were inspiring to me, and I hope students today have the same great experiences that we did.

Cathy (Overland '94) Hauck

Mark ReimanFor the Lift Up a Lute project, I’m choosing to lift up Professor Mark Reiman of the Economics Department.  My senior year, I needed one course to complete my International Business concentration. Unfortunately, the course I needed wasn’t offered that spring semester. Professor Reiman volunteered to create a new course that would fulfill the requirement for me and a few other students—a fascinating look at the reunification of Germany and its monetary and economic policies. The highlight was a trip to Berlin during Spring Break, which included both academic seminars and cultural exploration. It was an amazing experience that I will always remember. I was grateful to Professor Reiman for the study abroad opportunity and for enabling me to complete my coursework to graduate on time. Professor Reiman was a great teacher with an engaging, easygoing manner. He was always there for his students. I am choosing to give a donation in his honor to student scholarships. I hope all PLU students encounter the same kind of quality, dedication and kindness that I experienced with Professor Reiman and so many others at PLU.

Janet (Huss '95) Nelson
Mary AbrahamFor the Lift Up a Lute project, I’m choosing to lift up my roommate, Mary Abraham ’95.  I recently turned 40 and Mary would have turned 40 on October 12. Unfortunately she died while teaching overseas the year after we graduated. I’ve thought of Mary many times this year. Mary exemplified the life of a Lute. She gave many hours to various groups on campus, took advantage of studying and teaching overseas, and was a friend to all. I frequently wonder what Mary would be doing today. I know it would involve putting people first and giving back to her community just as so many Lutes do today.

Steve Leifsen '96
Richard NanceFor the Lift Up a Lute project, I am choosing to lift up Dr. Richard Nance.  As director of the University Chorale, Women’s Chorus and Choral Union, on top of his roles as a professor in Music Department, Dr. Nance was a Lute like no other from the day he arrived on campus, the same day we did!  I’ll never forget getting a phone call from him at home, the night before I left for campus, checking in with me and making sure that I was ready and had no questions.  As a first generation college student, I had lots of questions and little understanding of what I was walking into. That moment signaled the start of an amazing mentorship and friendship with Dr. Nance. His support throughout my time at PLU helped me get through it all. It continues to this day. Now, as the Director of Choral Activities, he continues to embody all that it means to be a Lute. I thank him for all he’s done for me, and am grateful that future students will receive the same interest and care.

Stephanie Tomlinson '97
Dr. Diane HarneyFor the Lift Up a Lute project, I am choosing to lift up Dr. Diane Harney, professor in the Department of Communication.  I was at a crossroads during my sophomore year, trying to decide what I wanted to be “when I grew up.”  I had finished my application for the School of Education, but something just didn’t feel right.  In a meeting with Diane, she asked me if I had ever considered teaching at the college-level.  I have to admit, it had never even crossed my mind.  Needless to say, the conversation we had in Ingram Hall on that beautiful spring day changed my life.  Because of her question that day, the opportunities she provided me along the way, and the encouragement she supplied through the challenging years in grad school, I now have the opportunity to live out my calling in the college classroom.

Shannon (Herlocker '98) Stewart
Frosty WesteringFor the Lift Up a Lute project, I’m choosing to lift up Frosty Westering. Frosty will forever be remembered for more than his 32-year consecutive winning seasons as PLU’s football coach. Success on the field gave him a platform from which he could pass on meaningful life lessons to those closest with  the football program, particularly players, but also parents, cheerleaders, coaches and students. He also was a respected professor who influenced countless non-athletes in the classroom.

David Potts '99
David SealI’d like to Lift Up Dr. Seal. After the most trying semester of my academic life my senior year, his J-term ‘Fantasy & Fairy Tales’ course was exactly what my life/mind needed to finish out my time in the LuteDome. He tied ancient fables into modern headlines, challenged me as a writer, and all the while kept me on my toes to catch all of his subtle, dry, but hilarious humor along the way.



 Ashley Orr '00
Darren Kerbs and Laraulee HagenFor the Lift Up a Lute project, I’m choosing to lift Darren Kerbs ’96, Lauralee Hagen ’75, Joni Niesz and the other “student intern” staff of the Nesvig Alumni Center from 1996-2000.  I had the privilege of working and learning from these supportive and loving people in various capacities while an undergraduate student.  Many memories are filled with laughter and joy while creativity and sincerity spilled out from office to office and the hallways in between.  Those experiences taught me the value of meaningful relationships and connections with people, as well as impressing upon me natural compassion for other human beings; unspoken, deep, unbiased compassion. Darren, Lauralee and Joni embody these qualities.  I am choosing to give a donation in their honor to the PLU Annual Fund. It is my hope that other students will encounter this “education” from their PLU experiences in and out of the classroom.

Brianne (McQuaig '01) Vertrees
For the Lift Up a Lute project, I’m choosing to lift up Beth Ahlstrom ‘89.  Beth was the Director of Career Development during our time at PLU.  I was interested in the study of personalities, careers and vocations, and Beth allowed me to create a new internship that fit my learning goals.  It started during one summer and evolved into many forms during my next three years on campus.  She was a wonderful friend and mentor to me, and I learned so much from her.  I was able to gain valuable experience and understanding of my own gifts, which helped decide my path post-college.  Not long after we graduated, Beth headed into the Peace Corps to spread her unique gifts on a global scale.

Laurie Lobdell '02
Norris PetersonI am choosing to Lift Up Norris Peterson. Although I wasn’t in his department, I took Econ as an elective and enjoyed it. Norris’ teaching style was very engaging and he made sure we understood one principle before moving on. We have continued our friendship past graduation (over 10 years ago) and I’m happy that future Lutes have a great professor to help them on their journeys!

German Robles Osuna '02

Gina HamesMy story is to Professor Gina Hames. As a former international student from Mexico, the transition into the USA university system was not easy. Professor Gina was always there even before classes started. I remember walking to her office the first time, I was nervous. But as soon as the door opened, there she was with a big and welcoming smile that made me feel so comfortable. It continued for the rest of my time at PLU and up until now. One day, she invited me to talk to her students about my indigenous background and Mexican society. It was the first time in my life that someone cared about me as an indigenous person. I also took the Global Studies capstone seminar with Professor Gina. She was tough, demanding and caring. I learned so much from here, and she helped me to grow personally and professionally. One day, I hope to become a university professor... and Professor Gina is definitively a model that I will follow. Gracias!

Robert Patterson '02
Don WentworthToday, I choose to lift up Dr. Don Wentworth! My first semester at PLU during the freshman experience, I took a course from Professor Don Wentworth. His approach to economic subject matter was scholarly (meeting my expectations of what I believed a collegiate professor would be). He uttered what I now reference as an infamous phrase that I still recall to this day: “The Tragedy of the Commons,” a theory that explains destructive human behavior toward commonly-owned resources such as water, air, fisheries, and wildlife. The theory has a broad application and requires one to think logically before commencing. I found the learning experience valuable as were many of my moments at the Lute Dome.

Brian Riehs and Nicholas Gorne '02

James HollowayI'm (Brian Riehs) choosing to lift up Dr. James Holloway, the late university organist. I was blessed to work with him closely for my first three years at PLU.  He had a way of making me believe in myself when I had my doubts. I recall often that Dr. Holloway would put his hand on my shoulder and look me in the eye to say, “I’m proud of you,” or shake my hand in class when I answered his questions correctly.  Whether it was music theory, music history, or my piano lesson, Dr. Holloway was able to inspire me to go beyond my limits.  He was inspiring, encouraging, and most of all, a role model for me as I pursue teaching.

Trang Vo '02
I respected professor Mary Lou Klisch of nursing. She helped me go through all barriers so I could become a nurse. I am so grateful for her.

Chris Anderson '03
Gina HamesProfessor Gina Hames ruined the plans I had for my life- in all of the best ways possible. In her Global Studies capstone course, she held me to high standards – and helped me to understand that I could accomplish great things, and produce great work. It was tough, but she was attuned to what I could do, and wouldn’t let me settle for less. As an adviser, she called me out when I was making poor decisions (or decisions that lacked appropriate self-reflection). But she also lifted me up and helped me explore my interests and understand my strengths. She’s the type of professor and mentor that can be frustrating because she makes you do hard work –to understand the academic content, but also to understand yourself as a person in this world. But, you always know she will support you because she sees that each student has value. Because of Gina, I’m on a different path now than what I thought I would be doing with my life, and joyfully so.

Elisabeth Pynn Himmelman '03
Dr. Dana AndersonI’m choosing to lift up Dr. Dana Anderson – his exams were the hardest, his syllabi always so many pages, and the textbooks for his classes always the most expensive. But he made such an impact on my education and my person for always challenging me to work harder, think faster, and never settle for the answer society would prefer. It was in his classes that I learned the value of silence: the importance of that still, small, quiet moment when one takes time to consider what words to use before actually speaking so that there is always an intentionality behind the answer. And he always believed in me. I recently found a letter that I wrote to myself in one of his classes to the “me a decade from now.” The comments in that special Dana-Anderson-impossible-to-read-cursive brought tears to my eyes. All it said was, “believe in yourself.”

Amy Kostelecky-Roe '04
Kathi BreazealeThe late Kathi Breazeale is an extraordinary lute who made a major impact in my life. Kathi Breazeale was associate professor of religion at PLU. She taught courses on peace studies, faith and spirituality, feminist and womanist theologies and women, nature and the sacred. I had the opportunity of lifetime to take her “Women, Nature and The Sacred” course on Whidby Island during J-term of my Junior year at PLU. This course demonstrated connections between women, religion and the earth; its challenging content literally shaped the rest of my life and how I see things. She taught me how to dance in the morning, see God in nature and talk to trees; although this might sound strange to some… it was the most transformative and magical time in my life. I am forever grateful for her sweet spirit and gentle teaching methods. Kathi was more than a professor, she was a mentor and friend and now she is an Angel looking over the “Lutedome”. I love you Kathi!

Tamara Lynn Schaps '04
Audun TovenFor the Lift Up a Lute project, I’m lifting up associate professor of Norwegian and mentor, Audun Toven, who unfortunately passed away in December 2011. My memories of Audun are many, as it was he who first instilled within me a passion for Norway – the culture and people of the place. He pushed me to keep studying the language (even when it tarnished my GPA) and found departmental funds to support my study abroad experience. When the Norwegian ambassador visited campus our senior year, Audun nurtured my passion for public service and showed me a new professional path. Lifting up Audun is an honor!

Nick Stickle '04
I am choosing to Lift Up David Runquist, he was a steadying force during my hectic first months at school. Whether coming home late from the library or from a party, I almost never failed to catch D studying his tremendously difficult classwork. When I would let things get out of control, his steady and calming presence was ever present. He was the best roommate I could have hoped for. When I checked the box that said, “A foreign roommate is ok” I didn’t know who I would get. I got a true friend.

Micheal Steele '05
Ann KelleherFor the Lift Up a Lute project, I’m choosing to lift up Ann Kelleher. Ann was one of my most influential Political Science professors. Ann was recently awarded the Pacific Lutheran University Faculty Excellence Award in Teaching. This award is much deserved. Ann’s absolute and frank honesty inspired and challenged students to reach their full potential. Ann has a heart of gold that inspires trust and confidence. Ann has motivated numerous students to pursue opportunities in Political Science, myself included.

Gretchen (Flesher '06) Duggan
I am choosing to lift up Linda Nyland, my boss in the catering department. Linda went far beyond her required roll to become a mentor, a constant encourager, and a friend. She knew me better than anyone else on campus, made me feel I had a place and a purpose. Whenever I think of PLU, I think of Linda.

Marie Green '06

Steven BenhamI am choosing to Lift Up Dr. Steven Benham. Dr. Benham was my capstone advisor, teacher and friend. I got to experience his knowledge of Geosciences in many different labs classes. After taking my first geo class from him I knew that I wanted to change from Chemistry to Geosciences. I love how he loves to share his knowledge with those that ask. He is a wonderful addition in the Geoscience Department.

William A. Hamilton '06
hamiltonI am choosing to Lift Up Dr. Tony Evans. Tony was paramount in helping me down the path to being a physical therapist. He met with me numerous times to make sure I was taking the needed courses and that they were fulfilling the needed grad school requirements. He was not only a great advisor, but his teaching skills helped me discover my love for the human body and how it functions. Because of Tony’s hard work, I am now a successful physical therapist practicing in orthopedics and loving my job. Thank you Tony for helping me achieve my dreams… Cheers!

Ashley Kloess '06
I am choosing to lift up Professor Maria Lightner-Ferrar. Maria was a great professor. She was willing to go the extra mile to help us learn and she was a great leader on the Costa Rica J-Term trip I took. Paloma (Asuncion Martinez-Carbajo) made Spanish lit classes fun and had a way of teaching that helped students succeed. She did a great job leading the Oaxaca 2006 trip amidst stressful times due to political unrest.

Judith Presson '06
As a Family Nurse Practitioner student, I mainly had nursing instructors, some of whom were great. But my most amazing teacher was from the biology department, Dr. Patty Dolan. In just 8 summer weeks, she had to teach us Advanced Pathophysiology, which is the most important class we had to take. By using dynamic classroom skills, study guides, frequent quizzes, small groups reporting back on subjects we wouldn’t have time to cover in class, and challenging but well designed exams, we did it. She was always available, and also gave us “Brownie points” for being the first to find a typo or error in our enormous but not quite completely edited textbook. She was a delight, and then honored us by coming to our hooding ceremony at the end of the program. Thanks Patty!

Jenna (Steffenson '06) Serr
Robert WellsFor the Lift Up a Lute project, I’m choosing to lift up Dr. Robert Wells from the School of Arts and Communication.  I am sure that many of my fellow classmates have experienced the dynamic learning environment that Rob creates in his classroom.  Professor Wells is more than just an incredible teacher; he is a friend and mentor to all students he encounters at PLU.  He encouraged me to think deeply about my calling in life by posing challenging questions that made me consider not just what I wanted my job to be, but what type of a life I wanted to live and what type of a person I wanted to become.  I don’t know if I would have found my passion for teaching if it had not been for the many valuable and reflective conversations I had with Rob.

Clifford Butenschoen '07
Richard NanceI am choosing to Lift Up Richard Nance. Nance was way more than just a choral conductor. He was a role model. He showed us hard work, love, and responsibility. I want to personally thank Dr. Nance for personally showing me now to be a man who pursues Christ.

Jay T. Jahnsen '07
Angelia AlexanderI am choosing to Lift Up Dr. Alexander, one of the kindest and thoughtful people at PLU. She is incredibly busy, but always makes you feel important when you talk to her. I got to know her outside of class since I wasn’t a biology student, and I can’t imagine PLU without her. Thank you Dr. Alexander, for everything you do and have done at PLU.

John McClimans & Kaarin Praxel '07
Dick WeathermonFor the Lift Up a Lute project, we are choosing to lift up Dick Weathermon. Dick graduated from PLU in 1950 and has been selflessly dedicated to his alma mater ever since. If you visit the Office of Alumni and Constituent Relations on a Wednesday, you will likely see Dick and other enthusiastic volunteers making hundreds of buttons for PLU events. If you have ever sported a PLU button, it is very likely Dick made it! We’ve worked with Dick both as students and PLU employees, and he always has a smile and a story for staff and students who stop by the office. Dick is a wonderful example of the quality alumni in the Lute family and an inspiration to the rest of us to stay connected.

Jenna Grubbs '08
Greg JohnsonAt the end of freshmen year, when many students are identifying who they truly are as a grown up, I decided to take the summer Existentialism philosophy course.  Professor Greg Johnson helped me grow as a student and an individual more that summer than almost anyone else I can think of.  I have never had to think so hard in my life, and with his guidance our class arrived at the desired "blank slate, who are you?" question, where he helped us discover our own answers. 

Whitney-Rose Levis '08
Dr. Eric D. Nelson was my Latin Professor during my first year at PLU. I later took Masterpieces of European Literature from him. It is hard to believe that our paths crossed so little while I was enrolled there given the impact that he had. In addition to teaching me Latin he taught me about life. Particularly about life as a twenty-something and how it would get so much better after this turbulent decade. Every year I seemed to befriend someone who was taking Latin and while helping them with the course, they reminded me of the wisdom that Eric imparts. After graduating I found him on Facebook, as have many of my fellow Latin peers. It has been great to continue getting his encouragement, humor, interpretation of current events, and wisdom for life even though I have graduated. This is especially true as this economic downturn has been particularly rough on folks that graduated around 2008. Many of my peers across the country have committed suicide or otherwise given up. There have been many days when remembering Eric’s advice has gotten me through. Through him I also met Susan Allard-Nelson. I was not fortunate enough to take a class from her while at PLU. Both of them make the list of “PLU Professors to Facebook-Friend after Graduation.”

Christy Olsen Field '08

Lisa and Josh Lawrence For the LIft Up a Lute project I am chooisng to lif upt two great Lutes, Josh and Lisa Lawrence ’97, whom I met after graduating from PLU. Josh and Lisa are the owners of Gård Vintners estate winery, I am inspired by their commitment to service and community. Through wine, the Lawrences support a number of partnerships with charities and local organizations, as well as PLU. Just another example to see how choosing PLU can result in a wonderful community of support that follows you long after you receive your diploma.

Sarah C. Sanders '08
Sarah SandersMy PLU experience was powerfully affected by Professor Amanda Feller. She encouraged me to be much more than I aspired to for myself. Thanks to her, I started entertaining the idea of grad school early on in my undergraduate journey. I’m proud to say, I completed my masters this past summer! And she stayed in contact with me. She wrote me a letter of recommendation for my graduate application and met with me to discuss thesis questions. I am so grateful for her help and dedication!

Courtney Stringer '08
Lauralee HagenFor the Lift Up A Lute project I am going to lift up Executive Director of Alumni & Constituent Relations, Lauralee Hagen. Lauralee was instrumental in my decision to attend PLU, integral in my success as a student, and has remained connected with me as an alumna. Lauralee is in her 41st year at PLU and represents the lifelong connection that I hope to maintain with the institution that was instrumental in forming my values and vocation.

Judy (Merritt '09) Bergeron

Craig CornwallProfessor Craig Cornwall is competent, student-oriented and the best instructor I have ever had. His printmaking classes are challenging, well organized and productive. His extensive expertise in his field makes him able to motivate students to maximize their strengths and to improve areas of weakness in creating their art. He believes in the concept of student development and is able to clearly communicate his expectations for quality of work. At the same time, he inspired us to be individuals and to be creative. He encouraged innovation and listened enthusiastically. His consistency and dedication to students is beyond any other professor I have encountered during my life-long learning process. He is a great role model for young and older students. His patience, in view of varied levels of experience, is impressive. He expected and received our respect and our top efforts for numerous projects. He acted as a mentor for many students who were graduating and was instrumental in the achievement of our best work. He did not waiver in view of students’ needs for his time. His excellent abilities included supporting each of us to know and to appreciate each other during the learning process. He is the best!

Amy Spieker '09
Karen TravisFor the Lift Up a Lute project, I’m choosing to lift up Karen Travis. Dr. Travis, a professor in the Economics Department, was integral to my success at PLU and has continued to be since graduation. Not only is Dr. Travis a fantastic professor but she also pushes students to seek learning opportunities and success outside of the classroom. She supports students as they explore their options beyond the Lutedome, and, for me, she has been an encourager, believer, and advocate. So who is your Karen Travis? I encourage you to lift up a Lute and let us know!



Eric Buley '10
Lace SmithI would like to lift up Lace Smith. Over the years, Lace has become both a friend and a mentor. She has challenged me, supported me, and encouraged me to grow. Her commitment to student development and social justice are readily apparent, and I am extremely grateful for the numerous afternoons that were spent chatting and collaborating in the Fish bowl. Other Lutes that played an instrumental role in my PLU experience include: Amber Baillon, Eva Johnson, Tamara Williams, Peter Grosvenor, Jennifer Smith, Ron Byrnes, Dan Peterson, Carmina Palerm, Rick Barot, Claire Todd, and several others. Thank you. You are inspirational.

Caitlin Campbell '10
Linda NylandI cannot talk about my time at PLU without mentioning Linda Nyland. I was fortunate to work for her for three years as a barista and student manager of the Old Main Market. I was so blessed to work with Linda and get to know her through the years. She is very invested in PLU and the Lute community. I knew I was always welcome to talk to Linda about anything that was bothering me, whether it was work, school, or my personal life. Linda was always there with a quiet word and a sweet smile. I am so lucky to be able to continue to call her a friend. My PLU experience forever changed once I met Linda and I am incredibly thankful for her support throughout the years.

Jillian Foss '10

Dr. Susan HarmonFor the Lift Up a Lute project, I’m choosing to lift up Dr. Susan Harmon of the Marketing Department in the School of Business.  She managed to make each class with her memorable, and not simply because of her accent. As a supportive professor in the School of Business, she always shared in your excitement.  Whether it was excitement over a project for class or an important milestone outside of class, she was equally – if not more – excited with you.  I’ve decided to make a donation to student scholarships as a way to share my excitement over being a Lute with others, who I hope will in turn seize the opportunity to share their excitement.

Steven Powell '10
Ron ByrnesI am choosing to Lift Up Ron Byrnes, Education professor who believed I could make the transition from newspaper editor to teacher and inspire my younger cohorts in the process.

Kelsey Scrupps '10
Professor Trelstad in the Religion Department made a tremendous impact on my life at PLU! After my first class with her, I felt like she already knew me so well and was there as a mentor to push me when I needed it and to reinforce me when I was feeling overwhelmed. Not only is she great at teaching, but she enjoys getting to know the students on a personal level, which in turn helps her teach that much better. Thank you Professor Trelstad for not giving up on me when I was close to giving up on myself!

Lizbett Benge '11
Jennifer SmithI am choosing to Lift Up Dr. Jennifer Smith. Jen Smith is trustworthy, honest, fun, creative and exciting. Her classes taught me how to be a better person and encouraged me to advocate for women’s rights. She is amazing both inside and outside of the classroom and she will continue to be a role model for me. Thanks for all your hard work, Jen. You will continue to inspire.

Caroline Olsen '11
Ruth RogersFor the Lift Up a Lute project, I am choosing to lift up Ruth Rogers of Career Development.  I was fortunate to work in Ramstad Commons with Ruth all four years I was at PLU.  Many of you may have met with her for career counseling or Myers-Briggs personality assessments—she is one of the best!  Ruth has helped hundreds of Lutes discover how their gifts can make them instruments of service in whatever career they decide to pursue.  Her guidance, mentorship and advice throughout my time as a student helped me discover how my interests and values could come together to guide my path to finding my vocation.

Lynsey Tveit '11
Allison StephensAllison Stephens has affected your life in some way or another, if you have been a student, staff member, professor, alumni or parent of PLU. She has managed to dip her feet in all areas of PLU and brings a smile to anyone’s face when mentioned. Allison has inspired hundreds, if not thousands of students who strive to have the inspiration and passions that will also change the lives of others. I remember walking onto PLU’s campus 6 years back as a new freshman and wondering how the heck I would survive this new chapter in my life. Allison was there in red square, greeting new students, assuring parents and filling balloons with the OGs. She has always been the most positive person I know, looking at the bright side of situations with a level head and ability to calm the nerves of anyone. It is hard to describe how much Allison means to me, as she has been far more than just a boss or mentor or friend, she is… Allison Stephens, a women love by many!

Mercedes Begley '12
Kate SchnurrAs my Resident Director in Ordal Hall, Kate Schnurr was an excellent leader. She fostered a fun and welcoming residence hall experience and overcame obstacles with grace and know-how, even in her first year working at PLU. I know that Kate has impacted many lives, but in my own life she has been a constant supporter and encourager. She listened and comforted me at my weakest points and was my biggest fan when it came to my new endeavors. I can always rely on Kate – as a friend, mentor, and a leader.

Teresa Brna '12
Gretchen Nagel and Teresa BrnaGretchen Nagel is now bein’ lifted up! (: Not only would she recognize that the previous sentence is written in the passive voice (oh, language majors), she is a friend through the thick and thin. She has a sweet heart full of love for the world, has inspired me by overcoming crazy challenges in her life, and cares so much for the people around her. Our story of eventually ending up at the same school, taking the same class, choosing the same dorm, taking on the same major, and then magically accepting jobs on the continent of Europe after graduation (in the same time zone… can it be true?!?!) is a God-thing. She’s been there for me when I’m crazily happy and by my side when I’ve had dark days—only a true friend can do that. Our friendship is something where you get that tingly feeling in your toes and you know that it’s going to last over travels, oceans, marriages, kids, families, strange pets, and difficult times. I am so glad that I met her and think that she is above and beyond great! She has impacted so many lives at PLU, and I can definitely attest to her positively impacting mine. She is beautiful in so many ways. Here’s to more adventures, lady! Love you.

Caitlyn Jackson & Kelvin Adams '12
There are a great deal of Lutes who inspired us, who challenged us in courses, who supported us on the rainy days (both literally and figuratively), and who equipped us with skills necessary to tackle the challenges that the world will throw our way in the pursuit of our vocations. In particular, Caitlyn could lift up Beth Kraig, Eva Johnson, Jennifer Smith, or Bill Teska, just to name a few, and Kelvin could lift up William Greenwood, Richard Louie, Tosh Kakar, and his buddies in the Alumni Office. Beyond those who had foundational roles in our PLU education, we know that it was the community of PLU, supported and embraced by every Lute, who kept us going through the ups and the downs, the celebrations and the all-nighters. Thank you for giving PLU a little bit of yourself.

Lauren E. James '12
Janeanne HoustonI am choosing to Lift Up Janeanne Houston of the PLU music faculty. She was my voice teacher the four years I attended PLU. She taught me to never give up on my dreams and to be the best musician I can be. Because of her wonderful teaching and wisdom, I am working with opera companies around the Tacoma and Seattle area.

Helen Jensen '12
I am choosing to Lift Up all staff members in Ramstad Commons (especially Abigail Blankner) as well as the Psychology professors when I had a hard time adjusting at PLU as a transfer student. Abigail was the one who was always there to listen and try to make changes based on what I shared. She was very passionate in transfer students’ well-beings at PLU. I had a very close relationship with her throughout my PLU time and even after I graduated, due to her niceness. Further, staff members in Ramstad Commons were outstandingly caring for students. Also, Psychology professors were very helpful for me to be more mature and independent in academia. They (especially Dr. Moon, Dr. Graham, Dr. Taylor, and Dr. Toyokawa) taught me to trust my judgment and become a more proficient student.

Katelyn Wattanaporn '12
Kate LutherDr. Kate Luther was a big part of my success at PLU and continues to be a mentor, supporter, and friend to this day. She not only encouraged me to apply to graduate school, but went above and beyond to help me throughout the application process. My experience as a Lute would not have been the same without the education, support, and opportunities given to me by Kate!


I am choosing up to Lift Up the entire Class of 1983! Cheers to 30 years since graduation!