Class of ’76
January 2011

Hi Classmates of 1976,

It is my turn to write a letter to all of you.  It is an absolutely freezing cold but sunny day in the Twin Cities, so a perfect time to sit down at my computer and reflect presents itself.  (No outdoor jogging for me in these temperatures!)

The past year came and went quickly, as always.  During this time, several events took place at which I was able to connect and socialize with Gustie friends.  Each time we laughed and talked, with no gap in the conversation, even though months or even years had passed in between visits.  This is not a coincidence.

Throughout life, we meet new people and make new friends, but my feeling is there’s nothing that matches the connections we made as we navigated through adolescence and early adulthood.  Obviously, our Gustavus years fall into this category, when lifelong bonds began.

We have a chance to reconnect with many people who have ventured far away from Minnesota, as well as those still living here, when our reunion comes up in the fall.   It is a hope of mine, and I know of many others, that our turnout is the best ever.  The dates are Sept. 30-Oct. 1, 2011.

Many events are planned for the Gustavus campus area, especially as it’s also the kickoff date for the Sesquicentennial celebration for Gustavus.  (1862-2012)  To top that off, a fun evening is planned for our Class of 1976 at Stella’s Fish Café in the Uptown area.  We have a room reserved.  It’s a very lively, fun restaurant with a great rooftop deck.  If the weather is nice, many of us will be found there, looking at the skyline of downtown Minneapolis as we catch up with each other’s lives.

To keep up with the latest updates on our reunion week-end, please refer to our class webpage found on the Gustavus site.  http://gustavus.edu/alumni/class/1976/

This letter also serves as a reminder to everyone that your contribution to the Annual Fund in honor of our 35th reunion would be very much appreciated.  Now that my own kids have graduated from college, this contribution to my alma mater is a bit more manageable.  Perhaps some of you feel the same way.  A giving card and envelope is enclosed if you’re willing to join me in support of Gustavus.

As Bruce Olson mentioned in the fall class letter, we have set up a Facebook page for our class.  If you are a Facebook member, just search for Gustavus Adolphus College Class of 1976.The page will become more active now that 2011 is here.  We’d love to have you become a “friend” of the site and welcome your thoughts, or your photos to post.

For those who live in the Twin City area, a reunion meeting will take place for all of this year’s reunion classes at Westwood Lutheran Church in St. Louis Park on Feb. 26 from 8:00 – 11:30 AM.  All are welcome, and we would love to see you there as we become more focused on details of our reunion.If you have any questions, our Gustavus staff member contact is Kathy Erlandsen.  kerlands@gustavus.edu  Feel free to contact me at gleppart@comcast.net or Bruce Olson at bolson4@gac.edu with thoughts that you have.

I am so looking forward to the reunion, and can’t wait to see all of you on campus or at Stella’s on the night of 10/1/11.

Ginny Kirkegaard Leppart

1976 Reunion Committee Member

Class News

  • Charlie Johnson took a trip to New England in the fall and is planning on going to Florida for a month this winter.  He lives in Brainerd, MN.
  • Jane Herrmann Fasching is a retired fifth grade teacher and lives in Hamburg, MN.
  • Eric Heideman runs a busy library by the University of Minnesota. 
  • Kathy Dahlman Miller is a resource consultant with District #251.
  • Kathy Hunter McGregor is employed by the Spokane Public Schools.
  • Diane Moen Jungbluth is a retired parish nurse and lives in Owatonna, MN.
  • Gail Holmberg Pecht is an underwriter for Wells Fargo and lives in Des Moines, Iowa.
  • Steve Moore is a chiropractor in St. Peter.
  • Scott Olson is a solo pastor at Grace Lutheran in Mankato.
  • Bruce Olson is the founding member of Olson Sound Design.
  • Ruth Olson Youngberg has a new granddaughter, born in August.
  • Judy Bostrom Mader lives in Stillwater, MN and works with the State of Minnesota Pollution Control.
  • Glenn Johnson lives in Omaha, NE.

Campus News

Dr. Bernard LaFayette to speak in Chapel on MLK Day – January 17

Martin Luther King Jr. Day will be celebrated on Monday, Jan. 17, with a public lecture by civil rights movement activist Bernard LaFayette Jr. and a performance of African America by Minneapolis’s Mixed Blood Theatre.  LaFayette will give the College’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Lecture in Christ Chapel as part of the College’s daily chapel service at 10 a.m.  A question-and-answer session will follow LaFayette’s presentation at approximately 11 a.m. LaFayette co-founded the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in 1960 and played a leadership role in several key Civil Rights Movement events in the early 1960s, including the Nashville sit-ins in 1960, the Freedom Rides in 1961, and the Selma, Alabama, voting rights movement in 1965.

Call for Distinguished Alumni Citation Nominees

Each year the Gustavus Alumni Association presents Distinguished Alumni Citations.  The Distinguished Alumni Citation recognizes outstanding and exceptional professional achievement, such as to bring unusual honor to the individual in his or her field of endeavor.  Criteria appropriate to selection shall include the difficulty of accomplishment; quality, creativity, and distinctiveness of performance; recognition by professional peers; and lasting contribution to the world of ideas and affairs.  While the citation is a professional award, humanitarian achievements may also be weighed.  Nominees are now being accepted by the Alumni Board of Directors; please e-mail a resume or curriculum vitae to Randall Stuckey ’83, director of alumni relations, at rstuckey@gustavus.edu .  For a complete list of past recipients, view the awards website .

Gustavus Choir Tour

The Gustavus Choir will embark on a tour of Italy this month.  The 57 student musicians, under the direction of Greg Aune, will travel to and sing at various locations in Italy Jan. 13-28.  As is the case with each Gustavus international music tour, it includes an educational component.  The students are learning about the Italian Renaissance in the month-long Cultures of Creativity course taught by Chaplain Brian Johnson ʼ80.  Joining the Gustavus Choir will be a companion tour of 15 Gustavus alumni, parents, and friends.

Gustavus Wind Orchestra Tour

Under the direction of Douglas Nimmo, the Gustavus Wind Orchestra will tour Minnesota and Wisconsin between the January Interim and Spring Semester.  All concerts are free and open to the public.

  • Saturday, Jan. 29, 7 p.m. – Tornstrom Auditorium, Brainerd
  • Sunday, Jan 30, 3 p.m. – Central High School Auditorium, Duluth
  • Monday, Jan. 31, 7 p.m. – Wausau East High School, Wasuau, WI
  • Tuesday, Feb. 1, 8 p.m. – Lawrence University Memorial Chapel, Appleton, WI
  • Thursday, Feb. 3, 7 p.m. – Schauer Arts and Activities Center, Hartford, WI
  • Friday, Feb. 4, 7 p.m. – St. Luke’s Lutheran Church, Middleton, WI
  • Saturday, Feb. 5, 7 p.m. – St. John Lutheran Church, Owatonna

The tour will wrap up with a home concert on Saturday, Feb. 12. at 2 p.m. in Christ Chapel.

“Come on You Gusties” Breakfasts

Engage with other alumni and learn something new about your alma mater at the monthly Gustie breakfasts. New this month: breakfasts in both Minneapolis and St. Peter!  Minneapolis breakfasts are the 3rd Wednesday of the month, St. Peter breakfasts are the 2nd Wednesday of the month.

Speakers at the Minneapolis venue are Brett Petersen, men’s hockey coach, and Mike Carroll, women’s hockey coach.  The event is Wednesday Jan. 19, 8–9:30 a.m., at the Doubletree Hotel Minneapolis-Park Place, 1500 Park Place Blvd. Cost is $10 at the door.  Reserve your spot by e-mailing the Office of Alumni Relations at alumni@gustavus.edu or by calling 800-487-8437.

The St. Peter speaker for January is Tom Young ’88, vice president for institutional advancement.  The breakfast is Wednesday, Jan. 12, 7:30–9 a.m. in a campus banquet room in the C. Charles Jackson Campus Center.  Cost is $8 per person, or $15 for two, payable at the door.  Reserve your spot by e-mailing gustiebreakfast@gustavus.edu or by calling 507-933-7512.

Upcoming breakfasts include Thomas Crady, vice president for enrollment management, in February; Kate Knutson, political science professor, in March; and Warren Wunderlich, director of the physical plant, in April.

Chapter Gatherings

This year President and Kris Ohle have many travel dates planned in order to reach out to all of our alumni and bring them an update from the College.  Please mark your calendar if you live in or near one of these locations:

  • Seattle – January 27
  • Tucson – February 8
  • Phoenix – February 10
  • Denver – February 11
  • Boston – March 2
  • New York – March 4
  • Washington, DC – March 5
  • Jacksonville, FL – March 26
  • Orlando – March 28
  • Tampa – March 29
  • Naples – March 30
  • Chicago – April 2