Joe Lundsgaard grew up in Cherokee, Iowa, and was recruited to play football at USD. He graduated in 1956 with a business degree and went into the United States Navy, serving from 1956-58. After his military service, he returned to Cherokee and began a successful career farming, feeding cattle and developing real estate. He was president of Western Cherokee Mutual Insurance, a long-time director of the Cherokee State Bank, a commissioner of Cherokee County and a member of the Iowa Tax Study Committee. Along with numerous other civic roles, he has served as president of the Cherokee School Board, led the development of the Cherokee Educational Foundation, was president of the Cherokee Development Corporation and a director of Western Iowa Tech Community College. In 1977 he was honored by the USD School of Business on its 50th anniversary as an outstanding alumnus and was inducted into the Coyote Hall of Fame in 1986. Lundsgaard has served as an executive board member of the USD Foundation and twice led the search committee for Foundation president. He also served on the building committee of the Wagner Center, home of the USD Foundation and Alumni Association.

Janice Lundsgaard grew up in Holstein, Iowa, and met Joe while she was working at the Cherokee State Bank. She is active in PEO, serves as chairperson of the Cherokee County American Red Cross Board of Directors and has held several positions in Bethlehem Lutheran Church. The Lundsgaard Family has been a generous contributor of land to the Cherokee community for an Army Reserve Center, a state-of-the-art middle school, several athletic fields, an assisted living facility and the Cherokee campus of Western Iowa Tech. Joe and Janice have made scholarships possible for 56 Cherokee Washington High School students to attend USD through the Lundsgaard Educational Trust. They are also charter members of the Rawlins Society and are members of the Lewis Akeley Society of cumulative giving.

The Lundsgaards have two children, Greta Ane Lundsgaard-Vaughn, who earned her master’s degree from The U, and Joe Matthew Lundsgaard. They have one grandchild, Ella Ane Christine Vaughn. A photograph of Joe and Janice Lundsgaard is available for download at

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