Class of '70
April 2005

To our classmates:

It’s good to get caught up on what’s happening on campus and among our classmates, so here’s the scoop!

Progress continues to be made on the construction of “Southwest” residence hall and the renovation of the interior of Old Main.  Dean John Mosbo has resigned from his position as Dean of the Faculty and Vice President for Academic Affairs.  The resignation takes effect at the end of August.  Philip Hood, a director of gift planning in the Advancement Office, has resigned effective later in April to accept a position at the University of Illinois Foundation.

In February, a consultant on annual giving visited Gustavus to review current programs and make recommendations to increase gifts and participation.  The Alumni Fund is down 169 donors from last year and our participation rate is 25 percent.  Using a basketball analogy, we will need a full-court press through May 31 in order to achieve the $1 million goal.

What can you do?  GIVE

  • If you have not sent in your gift for the Alumni Fund, please do so today.  The closing deadline of May 31st is soon approaching.
  • Recognize how meaningful your Gustavus education has been to your life these past 35-years and show your appreciation.  Thanks in advance for your support of the Alumni Fund!
  • Plan for spring Gustie alumni gatherings if you live in Brainerd (4/15) or Willmar (4/19).

A note from Diane Mickelson Brady:

Hard to believe, but our 35th reunion is coming up―is it just me or is time moving ever faster as the years pass by?  When I worked at Mount Olivet Retreat Center, many people told us that the reason they came on retreat was to slow the pace of life, to take time to be more mindful and to explore the meaning and purpose of their lives.  As I hear about some of you retiring, I wonder if you have also chosen to slow the pace of life.  Are you also finding new purpose and meaning in your life?  I talk about retirement as a state of being to which I devoutly aspire.  I anticipate it being an active time.  But I would like to be more mindful and more focused on what I want to pursue rather than what I have to do.

Some of us, perhaps even many of us, have been able to lead lives of passion and purpose throughout the last 34 years.  During three different stints as class agent, I have really enjoyed hearing your stories throughout the various stages of life after college.  That is why I have enjoyed reunions and why I look forward to re-connecting with you this fall.  We are really an interesting and accomplished group of people.

So, here is what I have been thinking about the reunion―I would like to hear from our classmates about their own stories and the life lessons learned in the past 35 years.  When I read about the creative work Mindy Rittenhouse Greiling is doing in the Minnesota legislature or hear her on the radio talking about her experience as a mother of a son who lives with schizophrenia, I think we would all benefit from hearing her story.  I’ve had the great pleasure of becoming reacquainted with Pat Haugen, first when she came with her family to a retreat and then as a fellow member of the Gustavus Board of Trustees.  Pat’s story is also a powerful one and I’ve loved hearing about how she is building the next stage of life on what she has learned.  Dave Swenson is serving a congregation in Florida.  His experience with life during the hurricanes of the past year remind us of what we can endure and surmount.  Lindy Turner Purdy turned 50 and responded to a call to ordained ministry.  She went to the seminary, returned to a life of study, research, clinical practice and writing papers―all while running her business.  She was ordained this past year―a new career and a new life.  To see Lindy lead worship or in the pulpit is to see someone fully living her purpose.  As Lindy often says, the best part about being this age is that we aren’t in high school anymore.  It feels good to be who we really are and to respond to what is genuine in others as well.

So, what do you think?  What have you learned over the past 35 years?  How did your Gustavus experience affect that journey?  What story do you have to share?  And whom would you like to hear from?  Who do you want to see and talk to at our coming reunion?  Call us.  Write us.  E-mail.  You can reach us through the Alumni Office.  Your three class agents would really like to see you this fall and hear your story.

I’ve had an eventful year already:  In mid January, I left my position as executive director of Volunteer Resource Center to become a financial representative with Thrivent Financial for Lutherans (the merged Lutheran Brotherhood and AAL for Lutherans).  I am almost done with the studying and credentialing necessary to deal in insurance and securities.  For those of you who can feel my pain, I take the Series 7 in 10 days.  I now think I am the living example of the value of a liberal arts education.  From transplant nursing to pastoral care to nonprofit executive to financial services, my Gustavus experience prepared me for lifelong learning, critical thinking and adaptability.

I often get teased about how knowing someone wherever I go―most often they are Gustavus connections.  How many people went to this small Lutheran college anyway?  Sure enough, one of my first days on the job, I ran into Dale Acton.  Dale is about six months ahead of me on this career path.  He had worked for years with long-term care insurance (yes, we are at the right age to be thinking about that) and decided that he wanted to be able to offer clients a complete range of services so he too has developed skills in financial planning, etc.  (To be honest, running into another Gustie at Thrivent is not a stretch!  But it is awfully nice to have a compatriot when you’re the newbie― thanks, Dale.)

The other big change in life came 10 days ago when I became a grandma.  Daughter, Colleen Brady Lindstrom (Class Agent ’99) and her husband Matt had a girl―Brady Judith Lindstrom on March 19th.  And yes, she has a number of pieces of Gustie gear clothing her already.  I’ll try not to be obnoxious, but I do promise to have pictures in my purse.  (That really projects an image of grandmother hood.  But there will be no lace collars or dark support hose!) 

A note from Karol Klint Greupner:

This is the year that the “Rule of 90” has affected many of our lives!  If you were an education graduate who entered the teaching profession in 1970 and kept at it, you were eligible for retirement (in Minnesota―other states too???) after the 2003-04 school year.  (Mary Kaye Springer and Cindy Langen Patterson, are you enjoying retirement?)

We have one “retiree” in our home.  John Greupner retired last June after a full career of administration in the Wayzata School District.  It wasn’t long, however, before he signed on at Bethel University as the associate director of their doctorate in educational administration program.  It’s an on-line learning program and John spends time writing and teaching on-line classes in addition to administrative work.  On-line learning certainly has its advantages, but I can’t help but reflect on the richness of the social life interaction that on-campus education affords.  John balances his continued commitment to education with travel, golf, fishing and motorcycle adventures.

I’ve worked for the City of Plymouth for over 16 years, but retirement is still a few years off.  As the special events and arts coordinator for the city, I really enjoy all aspects of my job.  I plan “parties” for our 70,000 residents and am constantly enriched by the creative talents of area artists.  The only drawback is that it’s hard to spend as much time as I’d like with our two adult kids/their spouses and four grandkids.  Our favorite vacation destinations are Arizona and California to visit family.  But, I’ve enjoyed some Gustie gal-getaways to Europe, Florida and the North Shore.

Lindy Turner Purdy is still at Wayzata Community Church, recovering from Easter and working on finishing the program year as the Minister of Youth and Families.  She was the mother of the groom last fall when son, Ty ’00 married his Gustie classmate, Tracy (Schroeder ’01).  Lindy and John continue to be very active with their family, friends and Lake Minnetonka community.  Look for words from Lindy in our next class letter.

And now, notes from our other classmates:

  • Jane Slater Draheim is celebrating the “retirement” chapter of her life after 34 years of teaching.  She and her husband, Ed, live in Owatonna and look forward to traveling plus spending more time with family and friends.
  • Mindy Rittenhouse Greiling, from Roseville, was recently elected to her 7th term in the Minnesota State Legislature and is serving as the lead democrat on the House Education Finance Committee.  She was also elected, this past summer, to the National Board of NAMI (National Alliance for the Mentally Ill) and has received both state and national awards for her work in the field of mental health.
  • Mark Swanson is employed by Xcel Energy at the Prairie Island Nuclear Plant in Red Wing.  His wife, Nancy, is the director of the Red Wing Area Seniors.  Mark enjoys spending time with his wife and two adult children as well as going fishing, traveling and seeing old friends―especially Gusties!
  • Julienne Wood lives in Shreveport, LA, and was granted tenure at Louisiana State University last May in her position as the Head of Research Services at the Noel Memorial Library.
  • After nearly 30 years of serving local churches, Sally Wizik Wills now writes and edits children’s Sunday school curriculum for the United Methodist Publishing House.  She also owns and runs Sister Wolf Books, an independent seasonal (May-Sept.) bookstore just off the Heartland Trail in Dorset, MN, just outside of Park Rapids.
  • Jim Swanstrom is a dentist in Duluth with wife, Barb ’71 working part-time in his office as a dental hygienist.  Lauren ’03 is now in a master’s program at Wheaton College.  Peter will graduate this May from Gustavus.
  • After many years in the travel industry, Linda Jungck McMahon is teaching in the Academy of Hospitality and Tourism at Washburn High School in south Minneapolis.
  • Nancy Yard Long lives in Marshall, MN, where she is the activity director of Morningside Heights Care Center.  She enjoys spending time with her two granddaughters, Victoria and Valerie.
  • Sue Jones Turgeon is the finance director for Grace Lutheran Church of Apple Valley.  She and her husband, James, have seven grandkids.
  • With the cost of petrol, PT (Paul Thompson) is staying ahead of the game with his new Toyota Prius hybrid car!  He is a second grade teacher at Bancroft Elementary in Minneapolis, plus dad to his teen son, Christopher.  Paul coaches Babe Ruth Baseball, but still devotes time to playing “Frisbee,” competing in the World Flying Disc Champion DDC and Discathalon.
  • Bob Maland now lives in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, and is the proud grandpa of eight with twin grandsons born last August.
  • Sharon Nelson Gunberg lives in beautiful Jackson Hole, WY, and is a first time grandma.  Her daughter, Lisa ’90, gave birth to Hadley Ann last October.

Keep in touch, give to the Alumni Fund to celebrate 35 years of Gustiehood and look forward to receiving fall reunion information.

Your class agents,

Diane Mickelson Brady

Karol Klint Greupner

Lindy Turner Purdy

 

Campus briefs

Gustavus has been known for its strong tradition of alumni participation in annual giving.  Gusties support their Alma Mater in many ways and show their pride with their gifts.  All alumni and current students have benefited from previous and current support.  Gustavus will be as strong as its alumni want it to be.  The 2005 Alumni Fund closes May 31.  Make sure you are included with many members of your class and other alumni that have chosen to keep Gustavus strong.  Three easy ways to give – send your check to the Alumni Office (by using the enclosed envelope), call 866-487-3863, or on-line at https://secure.gac.edu/giving/giving.cfm. 

Alumni Awards

The Gustavus Alumni Association has announced 2005 award recipients.  The Greater Gustavus Award to George Torrey ’55 for his lifetime volunteer service and philanthropy to the College. Distinguished Alumni Citations to G. Barry Anderson ’76, Apple Valley, MN, associate justice, Minnesota Supreme Court; Deanna Nelson ’64, Cary, NC, president/founder, BioLink Life Sciences, Inc.; Rick Webb ’73, Edina, MN, owner of Ciao Bella, Zelo and Bacio Restaurants; and John Wirth ’75, Pacific Palisade, CA, writer/executive producer, Paramount Studios.  First Decade Awards to Joe Gaugler ’95, Lexington, KY, assistant professor, Department of Behavioral Science, University of Kentucky College of Medicine; Debbie Lightly Mascaro ’95, Fargo, ND, research scientist, North Dakota State University Center for Nanoscale Science and Engineering.

Sports

The Gustavus women’s hockey team finished third at the NCAA national championship after winning the MIAC title, the men’s basketball team won the MIAC regular season title and conference tournament and advanced to the NCAA national tournament, the men’s swimming and diving team won the MIAC title and placed seventh at the NCAA national tournament and had seven swimmers earn All-America honors and the women’s team had four swimmers earn All-America honors.

Extraordinary Students

Senior Rachel Batalden, a double major in mathematics and secondary education with a 3.898 grade point average and two-time MIAC All-Conference selection at setter for the women’s volleyball team, has been selected as one of 56 student-athletes from across the country to receive a $7,500 NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship.

Senior Paul Fraser, a music and computer science major has been selected as the winner of the second annual Caltech-Occidental Composition Contest for new music for concert band. The contest drew entries from all over the world, and as the winner, Paul will receive a cash award and a recording of the world premiere of the work at a concert by the Caltech-Occidental Concert Band in Pasadena, Calif., in May.

Bricks and mortar

Southwest Residence Hall is being constructed across the Campus Drive from the arboretum on the west side of the campus and is scheduled to be finished by June.  The L-shaped facility is configured with apartments for four and six and will accommodate nearly 200 students.  A hostel space for summer programs and confirmation retreat groups is included in the residence’s plans.

With the new Southwest Residence Hall coming on-line, the College will be taking down Wahlstrom Hall to make way for future residential construction.  Crews will start the dismantling process in July with asbestos abatement, and the Kasota-stone residence hall will be razed in August.  Alumni returning for reunion and commencement festivities on May 27–29 will be able to take a last tour through the building’s public areas, stairwells, and walk-through sections following a “decommissioning” ceremony to be held on Saturday morning, May 28.

Construction crews working on the renovation of Old Main discovered a cistern under the basement flooring in March.  Gutting the interior has provided evidence of layers upon layers of remodeling done over the years, including an old stairwell in the middle of the building and what appears to be an attempt to raise the third-floor ceiling.  The Old Main project, which includes the installation of an elevator in the northwest corner of the building, is scheduled to be completed in August.

The education and nursing departments have been relocated to the newly erected Mattson Hall, which is sited just west of the Schaefer Fine Arts Center and Prairie View Residence Hall, on the south side of the campus.  These departments will remain there until a new social science center is built at some point in the future.

Upcoming Events

  • Association of Congregations Meeting – April 23
  • G.I.V.E. Community Service Day – April 30
  • Class of 1955 and 50-Year Club Reunions – May 27 & 28
  • Commencement – May 29
  • Alumni Fund closes – May 31
  • Reunions on Homecoming – October 7 & 8
  • Nurses Reunion – October 8