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Leadership & Service.  Five decades apart.

They’re five decades apart, but in the same place in support of PLU

By Katherine Hedland ’88

They had never met before, but they immediately had things to talk about.

Beverly (Tranum) Knutzen ’55, president of PLU’s Alumni Board, and Amy Kostelecky ’04, executive director of the Student Alumni Association, met for the first time in Red Square one June day. Though their graduation dates are nearly 50 years apart, both believe in the importance of the history of PLU and in working for its future.

“We have things in common even though we’re decades apart,” Kostelecky said.

Knutzen and her husband, the Rev. Dick Knutzen ’55, moved to Harstine Island near Shelton, Wash., when he retired in 1995. They became more involved in their alma mater, and Beverly eventually took the reins of the Alumni Board.

“My heart is here. I lived in Old Main for three years – it was the only women’s residence hall then,” Knutzen said, pointing to the building Kostelecky has only known as Harstad Hall. “I can show you where I first laid eyes on my husband.”

It was her first day on campus her freshman year, and he walked past her with a group of friends, including one she knew.

Hinderlie Hall was new when Knutzen was a student, and she spent most of her time in the CMS – the Chapel, Music, Speech Building now called Eastvold. Students attended compulsory chapel services in assigned seats.

Kostelecky loved hearing about Knutzen’s days as a student.

“I’m 20 years old. This university has a great history, and hearing stories about it from people like Bev is wonderful.”

Both appreciate what the other is doing to ensure the future of PLU. The Alumni Association aims to submit the names of 100 prospective students by September 2004. Members are also working to include more alumni in their efforts, especially younger alums.

“We want to establish a feeling among alumni that the Alumni Association is for everyone,” Knutzen said.

The Student Alumni Association, now in its second year, encourages current students to become and remain active in PLU, helping to ensure active alumni who support the university.

Knutzen said recruiting new students is one of the best ways to do that. She said nearly 50 people from the Knutzen family have attended PLU. Chris Knutzen Hall is named for her husband’s great-uncle, who was a regent from 1947-1956 and a great PLU supporter. She was the first of the Tranum family to attend PLU, and because of that, 10 more people, including her brother and two sisters, became Lutes.

“It only takes one person to get the ball rolling,” she said.

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Alumni Board

Clayton Cowl ’88
Rochester, Minn.
Alvin Dungan ’59
Eden Prairie, Minn.
Dennis Howard ’64
Eagle River, Alaska
Clarene (Osterli) Johnson ’56
Lakewood, Wash.
David Johnson ’74
Orange, Calif.
Beverly (Tranum) Knutzen ’55
Shelton, Wash.
Sandra Krause-Olson ’89
Spanaway, Wash.
Jon Kvinsland ’63
Gig Harbor, Wash.
Nikki Martin ’73
Issaquah, Wash.
Lisa Ottoson ’87
Spanaway, Wash.
Jeff Rippey ’78
Portland, Ore.
Pam (Weeks) Russell ’72
San Diego, Calif.
Carmen Rowe ’92
Mari (Hoseth) Shouse ’96
Sumner, Wash.
Susan (Hildebrand) Stringer ’76
Bellevue, Wash.
Dick Weathermon ’50
Sumner, Wash.


Scott Stauffer ’05
ASPLU President
Amy Kostelecky ’04
Student Alumni Association


Lauralee Hagen ’75, ’78
Alumni & Parent Relations
Darren Kerbs ’96
Alumni & Parent Relations
David Aubrey, vice president
Development & University Relations
Joni Niesz
Alumni & Parent Relations
Ann Johnson
Alumni & Parent Relations
Heather Dewey ’01
Annual Giving/Q Club

Photo Credits

By: Jordan Hartman ’02
Beverly Knutzen ’55 and Amy Kostelecky ’04 share a commitment to savor the history and ensure the future of PLU.

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