Class of '74
November 2006

Dear Friends:

We share a unique past with our Gustavus heritage.  Not many transition from high school to adulthood in a liberal arts college of 2200, located in a Midwestern town of 4,000, this occurring in the fresh wake of the ’60s.  There are stories to be told.  Therefore, in addition to reporting on the current status of alumni and Gustavus affairs, we are asking that you submit stories and perspectives of your college days to be included in our next newsletters.  It is in that spirit that the following article is offered by Rob Linner and David Bohline, 4P Sorenson, “The B & L Bar.”

From “Happy Hour” to “The Baldy”

Happy Hour emerged from a conglomerate of friendships that transcended Greek lines.  Affiliates were not necessarily the pillars of the scholastic community―“bookin’ it” might mean going to study in the library, but more likely a quick escape from bad news.  Perhaps this was the core element of the group:  recognizing that periodic, focused attention on play was an essential counterbalance to the perceived demands of academe.

From random events in the early ’70s, this social entity began to take form.  BTO was christened the sacred disk, limbo and gatoring the defining art forms.  Dart gun raids were staged.  Brownie recipes exchanged.  Spontaneous events would erupt throughout the school year, culminating in The Happy Hour Choir performing at the annual banquet, a formal affair starting at the Nicollet Hotel in 1974, and ending at the Calhoun Beach Club in the early ’80s.

After a decade of purposeful fun-seeking, party momentum waned (thank goodness), and group cohesion gave way to career and family obligations.  It would not die, however.  The Phoenix rising from those party ashes was a golf getaway to Colorado.  Starting with Craig Senn ’73 visiting Peter Patten ’76 in the mid-80s, the event grew to sixteen players, predominately Gusties, hacking and wacking through four days of thin mountain air at various breath-taking courses.

Happy Hour organizers gravitated to the nucleus of the group.  Of these, one was the colorfully distinguished Steve Baldwin ’74, whose golf game was as exciting and unpredictable as his social commentary.  Sadly, Steven was taken from us very early, succumbing to a heart attack while entertaining on his company cruiser in June of 1988.  He was just thirty-six.  The event has been known as “The Baldy” since.

1987 Happy Hour Golf – Vail, Colorado

The Baldy - 1987

Kneeling from left to right:  Steven “Smithy” Smith, Peter “Ter” Patten ’76, Rob “Bee” Linner, David “Dancer” Bohline, Craig “Curly” Senn ’73, Ross “R” Handahl ’75.  Standing from left to right:  Kirk “Lanky” Swanson, Gary “Hubes” Hubbard UW ’78, John Hubbard, Bruce “Bircher” Meese ’73, Chuck “Gert”  Schweiger, John “Gunnar”  Ewalt ’79, Richard “Nibbler” Black ’75, Steven “Baldy” Baldwin and Tim “Ted” Burke.

The Baldy has been held in Colorado, Minnesota and Nevada.  In September 2001 we were some of the only people in Las Vegas.  In fact the day we traveled, September 19, was one of the first days of air travel after the 9/11 Trade Center tragedy.

The last few Baldys have been held in the Brainerd Lakes Area, using Rob’s family cabin on Lake Sylvan as the home base.  In addition to playing at some of the Midwest’s most spectacular golf courses, there is fishing, tennis, mountain golf, boating, sauna-swimming, darts, and some very heated foosball.  The home-cooked cuisine is delectable―quite an improvement on popcorn, pizza, and Foodman (who happens to be part of our group).  The main attraction, however, remains the remarkable camaraderie we share, friendships that seem to gain depth and strength over the decades.  Old stories are relived, new ones told, and current issues processed.  Just prior to this year’s event we lost another player, John “Gunnar” Ewalt ’76, pictured above in the back row.  Gunnar was a complete entertainer, and lived life with an intense zeal.  He is missed.  We toasted him and our good fortune to have enjoyed his company for so many years.

The picture below is from the last Baldy.  Think there is any significance to the increase in hats??

The Baldy – 2006 Brainerd Lakes Area, Minnesota 

The Baldy - 2006

From left to right, seated:  Carl “Bucky” Wicklund, Craig “Curly” Senn ’73, Chuck “Gert” Schweiger, Peter “Ter” Patten ’76.   In the middle:  Ross “R” Handahl ’75, Richard “Nibbler” Black ’75, David “Dancer” Bohline ’74, Rob “Bee” Linner ’74.   Standing:  Bob “Hobes” Hobart ‘73, William “Billy” Lunz, Doug “Donnie Doug” Cramblit, Kurt “Mona” Deter and Kirk “Lanky” Swanson.

At one of our reunions, Dr. John Kendall ’49, retired president and psychology professor, surveyed the class about what made our Gustavus experience memorable.  Few mentioned anything about the physical plant.  What was recalled were experiences―lessons learned, travel, special events, athletics, the arts, Greek life.  But most mentioned were the people…classmates, professors, administrators and teammates.  The bonds formed in those critical, early years of adulthood are lasting.  We count those blessings as some of our most treasured.

Respectfully submitted,

David Bohline and Robert Linner

B & L Bar

4P Sorensen and the members of “The Baldy” golf classic

FUND RAISING

Jan Ledin Michaletz and her family have chaired this past year’s fund drive.  As a co-class agent with Jan I appeal to you, my classmate from 1974, to please make a contribution to the Alumni Fund today.  If you have never given or rarely given, please consider a $32.00 gift ($1 for each year since graduation).  This will help us get on the board with participation.  For those of us who have given more often please consider increasing this year’s gift by the same $32, or $320 or $3,200 or...  Thank you.

The college will soon host a new web page that will allow us to communicate more effectively with the college and alumni.  We will have our own 1974 page.  Barb Larson Taylor ’93, from the alumni office, is coordinating the project for the college and we will report to you all on how it works.  Jeff Pinkham has agreed to give Jan and me a hand with this project.  Thank you, Jeff and thank you Dancer for co-writing this class letter.

Who else would want to write a letter?  Please contact the alumni office, me rlinner@easween.com or Jan JMichalet@aol.com.  THANK YOU!

CAMPUS NEWS

Gustavus Designated an “All Steinway School”

Steinway and Sons, makers of what many would say are the best pianos, has added Gustavus to its “All Steinway Schools” list.  This is an exclusive list of just 66 colleges, universities, or conservatories in the world.  To be considered for the Steinway designation, a school must first have at least 90 percent of its performance, practice, and teaching pianos be Steinways.

Gustavus Excels in Fitness and Dining

Men’s Fitness magazine has named Gustavus as one of the top 10 colleges in America for fitness.  Among the things considered in the rankings were nutrition and dining choices, whether physical fitness is included in the curriculum, and availability of workout equipment.  They also examined individual student responses to questions on topics such as alcohol consumption, tobacco use, fast-food indulgence, and exercise habits.  On a related note, the Gustavus Dining Service was listed in the top 10 in a U.S. News and World Report survey on the best campus food in America.

Gustavus Alumni Professional Apparel

Check out the two new oxfords on sale online through the Gustavus Book Mark.  The Book Mark is offering a women’s and men’s long sleeve shirt in a variety of colors and sizes.  The shirt features an embroidered three crowns and Gustavus.  A great idea for holiday shopping for your favorite Gustie.  Check them out online only at www.bookmark.gustavus.edu/.

Athletic Hall of Fame Induction

On Saturday, September 30, Gustavus inducted the following people into the Athletic Hall of Fame:  Deborah Jungwirth Borman ’87 - Volleyball, Tina Pulido Draper ’87 - Gymnastics, John Huepenbecker ’80 - Football, John Jambeck ’62 - Swimming, Deanne Sand Johnson ’89 - Tennis, Dick Kumlin ’55 (posthumously) – Basketball, Dan Prochnow ’78 - Golf, Jerilyn Ree ’88 - Basketball, and Stacey Rodman ’89 - Swimming.

Honor Roll of Donors

If you haven’t had a chance to find yourself online, please go to gustavus.edu/giving/honorroll to check out the 2005-2006 Honor Roll of Donors.  The Honor Roll of Donors recognizes those who made gifts to Gustavus between June 1, 2005, and May 31, 2006.  To find your name or check your class results, just point and click from your home or office computer.  For those who do not have access to a computer, you may call toll-free 866/487-3863 to receive a copy in the mail (supplies are limited).

Obtain Life Insurance at Group Rates

The Alumni Association sponsors a life insurance plan, Life for Life, with exceptional features and low initial rates.  Maximum coverage is $2 million and insurance can increase repeatedly even if your health fails and you become uninsurable.  Obtain information online with the Alumni Association partner, www.meyerandassoc.com/ma/gustavus or call 800-635-7801 for more information about this and other sponsored insurance.

Gustavus Legacy Award for Gustavus Admission

Mark Anderson, Vice President of Admission and Student Financial Assistance, is pleased to announce the Gustavus Legacy Award for new students beginning with the incoming class of 2007.  Renewable awards of $2,500 per year are given to new students whose siblings are current Gustavus students or graduates or whose parents or grandparents are Gustavus alumni.  Scholarship recipients must have a high school grade point average of at least 3.5 or an ACT of 26 or an 1170 (Critical Reading + Math) on the SAT.  For more information contact the Admission Office at 800/GUSTAVU(S) or email <admission@gustavus.edu>.

Upcoming Gustavus Events

  • Washington DC Area Gustie Gathering – December 3 to watch the Vikings
  • F. Melius Christiansen 135th Anniversary Concerts at Orchestra Hall – November 19
  • Christmas in Christ Chapel “An American Odyssey” – December 1-3