Class of 1949 Spring 2011 Letter

Spring 2011

TO ALL 49ers---

It is time again for me to author another newsletter, without a lot of news, for all 49ers!  It is Saturday evening, February 26, 2011.  I have just returned home from another Luther College men’s basketball game, a historic one!  Yes, I do attend most home games.

The Luther College men’s basketball team won the conference championship this season with a thirteen-win, three-loss record.  It is Luther’s eighth championship since the beginning of the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference in 1924.  The championships were earned in 1937, 1943, 1949 (we all remember???), 1954, 1967, 1982, 1984, and 2011.  For the past thirteen years, the IIAC has held a conference tournament at the conclusion of the regular season.  Tonight, Luther won its first championship, defeating the University of Dubuque, thus qualifying for a Division III NSAA tournament berth.

The basketball season began in late November and the Norse got off to a slow start.  However, there was steady improvement throughout the season.  During the month of February, in my opinion, they really became a “team,” which is any coach’s dream.  The team now has an overall record of eighteen wins against eight losses.* 

How does this team compare with our 1949 team?  My opinion: the physical size of the players is similar;  today’s kids are much, much faster;  today’s kids can jump a lot higher;  today’s kids are better shooters.  However, in today’s game it takes three steps before traveling is called; the dribbler always palms the ball;  there is a lot of player-to-player contact, and the dribbler almost always charges into the defender, who is usually called for blocking.  Really, it has been a fun season.  I like to attend Division III sports and I really enjoy WINNING!

Luther has 24,466 living graduates, including the Class of 2010.  Only 54 of 1930 decade members survive.  The 1940 decade has 388 living members and our 1949 class has 95.  Forty-six of our classmates made a donation to Luther in 2010.  I urge each of you to consider a contribution during 2011.  Remember, participation is also important and I wish that we could exceed the 50 percent level.

Luther will host the Nobel Peace Prize Forum this spring. By the time that you read this letter, the event will have happened. Marilyn and I plan to attend.  Perhaps some of you were also there? There are numerous advantages to be living in a college town, and we love it here.

I am always in search of items for my (OUR) newsletter, and I ask that you come to my assistance.
Francis Peterson

Francis Peterson
1949 Class Agent
[email protected]

*The Luther Norse traveled to Mequon, Wis., to play #24-ranked Concordia University on Friday, March 4, in the opening round of the NCAA Division III men’s national basketball tournament and defeated Concordia 68-61. Saturday, March 5, the Luther team's season came to end in the second round of the tournament. Luther faced defending national champions #3 UW-Stevens Point and was defeated by a score of 76-56. Having made their first appearance in the national tournament in 27 years, the Norse wrapped up the season with a record of 19-9, the third best win total in school history. Along the way the Norse were crowned the Iowa Conference regular season and tournament champions. Luther's league title was its eighth in school history, while the tournament title was its first ever.

Don't forget your Annual Fund giving!

Each year nearly 10,000 alumni, parents, and friends support the Annual Fund with gifts from $3 to $50,000. Strong support from alumni helps Luther secure additional funds from foundations and corporations, and your gift each year helps us reach our goal of 30% alumni giving to the Annual Fund.  Here’s how your class—and surrounding classes—did in 2010: 

Class of 1948 Total giving in 2010:  $64,055 from 46% of the class


Class of 1950 Total giving in 2010:  $25,868 from 47% of the class

Your gift can boost the impact your class has on current students!  Please visit to show your support. Thank you!

Class Note
DONALD BECKER of Warrens, Wis., died Sept. 20, 2010, at age 88. He worked as a sales manager for Farnam, a division of Colt Industries, and served as treasurer of St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church for 30 years. Donald retired in 1985. He is survived by three children, including BARBARA (BECKER) SPANJER ’74, and JACK BECKER ’75; five grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. Donald was preceded in death by his wife, Sunny.