Event Types

DRC Sponsor: Kim Bonnet

Kristin Davis is a native of Washington, Iowa and a senior at Luther College majoring in Social Work. She recently accompanied fellow Luther College History 299 students on a January-Term course in Europe and plans to share, assisted by a couple of her classmates, her amazing experiences with our club.

The History and Memory of the Holocaust course of instruction immersed students in the history of the Holocaust and the ways in which it is distinctly remembered in different European nations. The students examined the interrelated individuals, institutions, historical events, and ideologies that contributed to the state-sponsored murder of six million European Jews. They considered the ways in which this historical event has been remembered and commemorated, and the role this remembrance has played in the creation and recreation of national identities. Through the examination of museums and memorials the students compared the national histories entwined in the history and remembrance of the Holocaust, highlighting similarities and differences, and providing them a complex understanding of this historical topic.

In advance of this presentation you may be interested in checking out the course blog from Kristin's travels, accessible using the following link:

Kristin Davis
Mar 13, 2018

DRC Sponsor: Jennifer Gipp

From January 16-23 this year, a team from the local Gundersen Clinc traveled to Matagalpa, Nicaragua. These annual trips under the auspices of Gundersen Global Partners provides comprehensive eye exams and glasses to rural Nicaraguans who do not have access to this level of care. Our club sponsored current Optometry Resident George Bouras and one of the local Optometry Interns, Murphy Grotewold, with $500 grants in order to faciliate their participation on this trip. They will offer a presentation and will discuss the work they did while in Nicaragua.

Global Partners-Nicaragua aims to improve the health of the people and their communities in the Matagalpa region of Nicaragua by promoting education and collaboration with Nicaraguan medical providers to improve access to vital healthcare. The program also supports changes that are seen as valuable by the citizens of the region and can be sustained by their own efforts. Nicaragua is one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere, second only to Haiti. Most of the country is mountainous and rural, making it difficult for people to access needed services and opportunities. The state of Wisconsin and the Coulee Region, in particular, enjoy a long history of partnerships with Nicaragua, making it a natural fit for Global Partners.

Feel free to visit for more information about the Global Partners projects.

George Bouras and Murphy Grotewold
Mar 20, 2018

DRC Sponsor: Chad Bird

Mark Nook, President at the University of Northern Iowa (UNI), has graciously offered to update our members on the current state of affairs and new developments occurring at UNI.

Dr. Nook is a native of Holstein, Iowa and began serving as the 11th President of the UNI on February 1, 2017. Prior to his appointment he served as Chancellor of Montana State University Billings (MSUB) from 2014-2016. He was the Senior Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs at the University of Wisconsin System from 2011-2014. He also served as Provost (2007-09 and 2010-11) and Interim Chancellor (2009-10) at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and in a variety of roles at St. Cloud State University in Minnesota.

His degrees include a B.S. in Physics and Mathematics (1980) from Southwest Minnesota State University, an M.S. in Astrophysics (1983) from Iowa State University, and a Ph.D. in Astronomy (1990) from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Nook and his wife Cheryl have three adult children, two granddaughters and two grandsons.

Mark Nook
Apr 03, 2018

DRC Sponsor: Jim Morrow

Former Luther College professor and DRC member Dr. David Judisch has served as the Norwegian Singers Association of America (NSAA) Director-in-Chief of the local Luren Singing Society for the past 33 years. Dave will be sharing information with our members on the history of the Society and details of their 150th Anniversary Sangerfest in Decorah coming up in a few short weeks.

The Luren Singing Society has been singing together since 1868, when four Norwegian men started singing to quell their homesickness for Norway. The chorus later expanded by five or six singers and over time grew to its current compostion of over 70 members. The group has traveled around the country and has made multiple excursions to Scandanavia, including a dozen trips to Norway. The Luren Singing Society sang for King Olaf of Norway three different times and has sang for King Harold once at the palace in Oslo and three times in conjunction with the King's visits to Decorah.

In honor of it's 150th anniversary in 2018, the Luren Singing Society will host the 62nd Biennial Norwegian Singers Association of America Sangerfest (i.e., songs party) at the Luther College Center for Faith and Life from May 31 - Jun 2. Ten Midwest Norwegian American male choruses comprising the NSAA will gather to celebrate Norwegian and Scandinavian music and traditions with special concerts, banquets and tours. As an added bonus, the Brødreroster Male Chorus from Hamar, Norway, also will participate. The event culminates in the Grand Concert on Saturday evening when a mass chorus of over 250 voices will sing together with orchestra accompaniment.

More information on 2018 Sangerfest registration and ticket information may be found at

David Judisch
Apr 10, 2018

DRC Sponsor:  Philip Iversen

Terry Kouba serves as Alliant Energy's Vice President for Iowa Operations and will be offering our members with the Alliant Energy corporate perspective of the ongoing, community-driven initiative exploring the feasibility of transitioning Decorah's electric utility service from the investor-owned Allient Energy to a locally-owned municipal utility. The Decorah utility franchise agreement expires on May 31, 2018 giving the local community a chance to consider a municipal electric utility. Iowa Code permits communities to establish a municipal electric utility if it is in the public interest. Terry formerly served his company as as Vice President of Generation Operations and as a Regional Director for Alliant’s Generation facilities, Director of Sourcing & Supply Chain, Director of Customer Service Operations, Director of Electrical Engineering, and several management positions in operations support. He joined Alliant Energy in 1983 as an operations engineer. Terry holds a bachelor’s degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from North Dakota State University.

Terry Kouba
Apr 17, 2018

DRC Sponsor: Philip Iversen

Larry Grimstad and Andy Johnson serve as President and Treasurer, respectively, of the 501(c)(4) non-profit Decorah Power organization. They will be offering our members the Decorah Power perspective of the ongoing, community-driven initiative exploring the feasibility of transitioning Decorah's electric utility service from the investor-owned Allient Energy to a locally-owned municipal utility. The Decorah utility franchise agreement expires on May 31, 2018 giving the local community a chance to consider a municipal electric utility. Iowa Code permits communities to establish a municipal electric utility if it is in the public interest. Larry served as President and Chairman of Decorah Bank & Trust Company for 30 years, and he has been active in several community service boards and works to develop additional community-based clean energy and energy efficiency and local foods projects. Andy, a native of Decorah, presently serves as the Director of the Winneshiek Energy District. His college and graduate work focused on ecology and natural resources management and he served for many years in sustainable agriculture and natural resources management, first in the Peace Corps in Guatemala, then with USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, and most recently upon returning to the family farm near Decorah.

Larry Grimstad and Andy Johnson
Apr 24, 2018

DRC Sponsor: Don Holmertz

Cheri Lane and Bethany Volz, both residents of Decorah, will be updating our club about the recent work of the Haiti Rural Development Group, a local non-profit organization formed for community development in rural Haiti. This group has been partnering with community developers/pastors in six remote Haitian villages. They are making great progress in clean water, education, and faith-based projects, as well helping their respective communities access electricity, passable roadways, and other basic needs that are often lacking in rural Haiti. Bethany just returned from a trip to Haiti where she had the thrill of being a part of the startup of one of the water projects.

Cheri has supported community development in Haiti since 2010. She has maintained a fascinating historical account of her experiences, intertwined with other personal, inspirational reflections, on her blog. You can find it at the following link:

Cheri Lane and Bethany Volz
May 01, 2018

DRC Sponsor: Kelly Reagan

The Decorah Rotary Club is pleased and honored to host Chuck Long, former Iowa Hawkeye quarterback standout and one of the most renowned players in the history of the University of Iowa football program.

Author Aaron Putze, a fellow Rotarian from Waukee, has written the biography “Chuck Long: Destined for Greatness,” which captures the life and career of one of the greatest Hawkeyes of all time and the resurgence of the Iowa football team under the guidance of Coach Hayden Fry. Chuck will share memories of taking the field in five college bowl games, claiming a last-second win over No. 2 ranked Michigan in 1985, finishing runner-up to Bo Jackson for the Heisman Trophy, and being selected in the first-round of the 1986 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions. Chuck will offer addiitonal time for Q&A and photos. Copies of the book will be available for sale (softcover $18) and our speaker will be available to personalize/sign copies for the attendees as desired.


Chuck Long
May 22, 2018


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