Class of '77
October 2003

Greetings, Class of 1977…

            A new voice greets you with this class letter.  I'm Terri Novak Delebo--and, as of our 25th reunion last year; I've joined Al Behrends as co-class agent.  It was very clever how Al accidentally-on-purpose inched me into the "co" spot…I had thought about volunteering to be a guest letter-writer, and somehow it morphed into a more permanent thing.  But as it turns out, I'm glad I agreed--because so began, for me, a re-acquaintance with an old friend:  Gustavus.

I've made Gustavus connections a handful of times since graduation: an occasional Homecoming game; a couple of reunions; tornado clean-up; a concert or two; Elvee's retirement; last year's Royal Affair; sporadic donating to the Annual Fund (I'm resolving to improve in that area!).  And, I'm involved regularly with Gustavus people at Diamond Lake Lutheran, my little church here in South Minneapolis.  A surprising number of Gusties attend there, and though it's not a spoken thing, we share a tangible bond of common experience.

Yet despite these occasional reconnections, I've felt, as perhaps some of you have, that my Gustavus link was a distant one, muted by time and "harriedness" and distance--and that odd mixture of fondness, pride, regret, and ambivalence with which we sometimes look back on our college years.

So it was with a modicum of reluctance that I ventured to St. Peter this September for a meeting of Class Agents.  I was not sure I had the time or the heart to rekindle an "old relationship."

To my surprise, those hours on campus in September sparked in me a resurgence of what we always called the Gustie spirit.  I'm not certain if it was the fact that they put on a darn good program and feed you really well at these Class Agent things, plus give you a nifty black Gustie blankie; if it was just fun to be amongst the rather rowdy 45-to-50-somethings making clever remarks in the back; or if somehow the right nostalgia buttons were pushed--but I found myself heartened and energized by it all, and unexpectedly "re-enamored" with my old alma mater.  I was reminded that good things abounded when we walked Gustavus paths over a quarter of a century ago.  Good things, amazing things, abound there now.  If it's been a long time since you've been on campus, make a point to return one day.  The facilities and the educational opportunities are absolutely top drawer.  Even a stroll through the food service area will make you want to re-enroll.  (They've come a long way from those hockey puck meat-chunk thingies they used to slide at us, the ones that were totally dried out by the time choir rehearsal was over and we laggards could make it to dinner…)

And amid those stirrings, I was reminded; oddly, of a Gustavus promotional brochure I received as a high school senior.  The thread running through that brochure (which I've kept all these years) was a strikingly well written, candid letter, composed by an alum to his sister who was about to begin her Gustavus journey.  The letter is so cool that it's worth tossing in an excerpt from time to time in our class letters.  Here's the portion that struck a chord with me, one that was resonant enough to remain in the memory banks, years later:

"Don't expect the ideal here.  The college is only as valid as the individuals who allow it to color their lives for a time.  I think that Gustavus has asked, "What are you bringing in?" and has proceeded from there, based on what it has received.  And so you become the College, the education, the environment, and the inevitable change.  At times you'll be surrounded by self-doubt and immaturity and fear until they threaten to choke you.  Then you must step aside for a moment, taking time to enjoy a cross-country skiing venture or a long conversation with a professor or a friend--time which can restore your enthusiasm and appreciation for the good things that are here.  That's how you grow to love the valley and this little tower that guards it, and you somehow remain a Gustie a thousand miles and a thousand days away…"

            I venture a guess that good things abounded even 27,740 days ago when Hildur Anderson Swenson, Class of 1930, attended Gustavus.  She was a delight to visit with on Class Agent Day.  Hildur told me that tuition for her was $75 a semester.  As a townie, she went home for lunch, and each day she had to crawl under the train parked on the tracks between campus and her parents' house.  No kidding.  If Al Behrends and I are propped up at a Class Agent table forty-eight years from now--and if either of us is still co-agent--we'll be telling some young whippersnapper of a class agent that our freshman tuition was three thousand bucks.  And, lacking a good train story, we'll regale that youngster with the fact that in 1974, certain Gustavus students (surely not anyone from our class) managed to roll a keg all the way from town up College Hill during a treacherous blizzard.  (I guess that's not as quaint as the train story, is it?)

            And now, considerably more than "a thousand days away," I invite you to read up on news from that hill in a little southern Minnesota town where we all spent some time many years ago!

News And Notes

Many of you probably read of the recent death of Gustavus professor Paul Granlund '52.  Granlund was an internationally known bronze sculptor, and long-time sculptor-in-residence at Gustavus, from 1971-1996.  He died September 15, 2003 at the age of 77.  An exhibit of Granlund's work, scheduled prior to his death, is currently on view in the Hillstrom Museum of Art at Gustavus.

U.S. News and World Report again ranks Gustavus among the best liberal arts colleges in the nation.  The list, published in August, includes 214 schools, and Gustavus is in the top one-third for overall quality.

Fall Phonorama time is fast approaching!  Volunteers will be calling October 12-16 and 19-23.  Our class goal is 200 gifts (that's 47% participation) and $50,000.  We reached that level two years ago.  Hey, in 1992-93 we had 277 donors (63%)!  Let's make that 200 mark this year.

Speaking of giving, consider becoming a member of the Gustavus Heritage Association by designating a percentage (even 1 or 2%!) of your estate to Gustavus.  My husband and I finally got around to making our will this fall, and at Paul Tillquist's '63 urging, did the will designation to both Gustavus and St. John's, my husband's alma mater.  It is such a simple, painless way to contribute to the ongoing legacy of your college.

1977 Second Generation Gusties
  • Barbara Moline Becker, daughter Kelsey '07
  • Chuck and Ann Youngdahl Boline, son Lucas, '07 and son Ben '05
  • Steve Carlson, daughter Blair '06
  • Mark Dumke, daughter Kirsten '06
  • Kris Cope Edmonds, daughter Maari '06
  • Craig and Julie Craig Gilbertson, daughter Ann '06
  • Patricia Kuhns Hittle, daughters Lauren '06 & Kate '04
  • Lynne Cheney Mills, daughter Melissa '06
  • Rad Royer, son Matthew '06 and daughter Erica '04
  • Chris Meyer Ruser, son Erik, '06
  • Andra Patzoldt, daughter Teal Slivik '06
  • Dave Brueshoff, son Ben '05
  • Mark Lundberg, daughter Molly '05
  • Michael Milbrath, son Joe '05
  • Steven O'Neill, daughter Erin '05
  • Carol Hande Peterson, son Reed '05
  • Steven Richtsmeier, son Seth '05
  • Gerald Ryan, son Danny '05
  • Scott Severinson, daughter Caitlin '05 & son Ben '04
  • Steven Briggs, daughter Krista '04
  • Steve Carlson, daughter Erin '04
  • Kathy Bush Larson, daughter Tracy '04
  • Craig and Debra Wagner Maki, son Brooks '04
  • Sandy and Kris Miller Nelson, daughter Kara '04
  • Mark and Joanne Scott Zard, son Brian '07
Class News

Apologies if some of this is ancient history.  I noted news given to me by the alumni office even if it was info collected early in 2003.

Rod and Tina (Wold '78) Royer, Pequot Lakes, write that both of their children attend Gustavus.  Erica is a senior, and Matt is a freshman.  Tina is now associate vice president of academics at Central Lakes College.  Glynda Gustafson, Minneapolis, works in human resources for Wells Fargo Equipment Finance.  Steve O'Neil, Shakopee, teaches 8th grade health and coaches cross-country and track at Wayzata Central Middle School.  Bruce Edwards, Westerville, Ohio, runs a variety of chain operations around the world.  Dave and Bonnie (Madsen '79) Brueshoff, Apple Valley, write that last spring Dave completed his tenth year as a professor at Crown College.  He is also adjunct faculty with Concordia-St. Paul, teaching on-line classes.  Bonnie continues as deputy public health director with Dakota County.  Their son, Ben, attends Gustavus.

Mark '76 and Sharon (Dahl) Eskola are both still teaching in Duluth.  Mark, at the time of their note, was in the process of building a recording studio.  Their youngest, Luke, was married in August, and recently graduated from Full Sail, Florida with a degree in recording engineering.  Beth Leland Jacobson, Bricelyn, MN, teaches at United South Central Middle School where daughter, Megan, is in 6th grade.  Daughter, Laurie, attends University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Business and is studying in Spain the fall semester.  Beth's husband, Larry, continues to farm and volunteer as an EMT and with Fire and Ambulance.  Nancy Benjamin Belpedio, Coon Rapids, is a special ed. teacher on the Anoka Evaluation Team.  She also works with a non-profit organization called Touched by Cancer, which has published two collections of stories of lives touched by cancer, proceeds going to cancer research, education, and support.  Gwen Lindell Glaser, Charlotte NC, continues working in commercial real estate, in retail leasing and brokerage.  At the time of her note, she had just returned from a wonderful Italian tour with her church group.  Their pastor has a niece at Gustavus.

Nick Legeros, Edina, bought a building in northeast Minneapolis and has renovated the space into his sculpture studio.  At the time of his note, he was working on a project for Hudson Hospital in Hudson, WI.  Jolene Nelson and Martha Rueter, Lindstrom, MN, report that Martha is associate professor at the University of Minnesota Family Social Sciences Department, and Jolene is a physician's assistant in Urgent Care with Park Nicollet.  Steve Heckenlaible, Minneapolis, is in the wholesale and import furniture industry.  Mark Zard and wife, Joanne, Caledonia, MN, have a son who is a freshman at Gustavus this year.

Cynthia Johnson married Kevin Stevens in Las Vegas on April 14, 2003.  Cynthia was nominated for Mahperd Elementary Physical Education Teacher of the Year.  In March of '03 Linda Fredell Nelson, Burnsville, reported that her new kidney was doing well.  Laurel Branes gave birth to twins, Luke and Emily, in August of 2002.  Laurel and partner, Mary Huff, live in Wallingford, PA.  Yvonne Magnuson Salmonson and husband, Jon, adopted a boy, Noah Jose, and brought him home in October of 2002.  He was nine months old at the time, so that makes him 1¾ now!  Lavern Nystrom, Crosby, MN, was pursuing a master's in management at St. Scholastica, at the time of Spring Phonorama.

Patricia Walker, Afton, is medical director at the Center of International Health in St. Paul.  Allan Fackler lives in Louisiana and is employed as an LPN for patients in an elderly care facility.  Chuck Boline is director of information systems for Liberty Diversified Industries in New Hope.  Ann (Youngdahl '78) teaches at Maple Grove Senior High; son Ben, is a junior at Gustavus, and son Luke, is a freshman.  We are saddened to report that Sharon Sellie Worringer died in July of 2003 after a ten-year battle with cancer.  Sharon lived in Bloomington and is survived by husband, Randy, and son Eric.

            Al and I look forward to talking with many of you at Fall Phonorama.  Please share news updates at that time, or feel free to email us.  Al:  al@gustavus.edu   Terri:  tjdelebo@yahoo.com

                                                            Terri Novak Delebo

                                                            1977 Co-Class Agent

Campus News:

College opens 142nd Academic Year -- More than 700 new students, including transfer students and international students, joined the Gustavus community this fall, keeping the total student population around 2,515. The retention rate of students from the first to second year remains at 90 percent. These students will be taught by 198 full-time and 55 part-time faculty.  Gustavus was again ranked in the top third of the 214 national liberal arts colleges by the U.S. News and World Report.

The Alumni Fund Turns 50 -- On June 30, 1954, the first Alumni Fund officially closed with 1,204 donors (32 percent) and $26,013, under the direction of the executive committee of Dr. Hobart Johnson '21, Dr. Edgar Carlson '31, The Rev. J. Millard Ahlstrom '34, and Ren Anderson '34.  Dollars and donors continued to grow and, under the leadership of Cec Eckhoff '56, alumni participation continually exceeded 50% each year, making Gustavus a national leader recognized with 17 national awards. Alumni contacting alumni has been the hallmark of success; we depend on Phonorama volunteers to make the difference. Help the alumni fund again reach over 50% participation by contributing before May 31, 2004, or by volunteering to make calls during Phonorama, October 12-16 and 19-23.  Do your best to participate in the Alumni Fund to continue the Gustavus tradition of strong alumni support and return the College to national recognition.

Alumni Board members selected -- Seven alumni have been selected to serve a three-year term on the Alumni Board.  They are Liesl Batz '90, Minneapolis, senior vice president and director of marketing, Lakeside Investment Partners; Jan Eiffert Hoomani '62, Raleigh, NC, Realtor, JB Realty; Jim Malmquist '53, Scandia, MN, retired athletics director, Gustavus; Jan Ledin Michaletz '74, Edina, volunteer/homemaker.  Incumbents to serve a second term include Vivian Foyou '02, Mankato, graduate student, Minnesota State University, Mankato; Jason Sawyer '93, Plymouth, vice president, Cronin & Co.; and Dan Currell '94, Alexandria, VA, director of corporate leadership council, Corporate Executive Board.

2003 Hall of Fame inductees -- Nine individuals were inducted into the Athletics Hall of Fame on September 27. Inductees were Val Flom Ashland '87 (volleyball), Wendy Ericksen Bachman '87 (soccer), Karen Ahlstrom Bishop '86 (gymnastics), Jay Coatta '87 (basketball and golf), Marv Gunderson '53 (football), Jim Hearn '81 (tennis), Dave Najarian '82 (football), Betty Wannarka Ringeisen '84 (basketball and track and field), and Larry Shelhamer '76 (soccer).

Gustavus Finishes sixth in Director's Cup -- Gustavus finished sixth out of 395 Division III institutions for the 2002-03 Director's Cup announced recently by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics. The only all-sports competition in intercollegiate athletics, the award honors four-year institutions with the best overall athletic programs.  Last year Gustavus placed 10th.

Chapel Program -- The Gustavus Chapel program is one of the strongest in higher education averaging 350 students attending Daily Chapel.  In addition, there are many student-led programs including: Apprentice - students who are interested in being part of ministry and open to see where the Spirit might be leading; Christ Chapel Volunteers - assist in the ministry of Christ Chapel by ushering, carrying the cross and candles, reading lessons, writing and/or reading prayers, and serving as assisting ministers; Community Service Center Programs - one-time and on-going service programs; Fellowship of Christian Athletes - athlete or not, time for fellowship, worship, speakers, service projects and mission trips; Gustavus Youth Outreach - committed to sharing the Gospel and providing opportunities to serve by participating in off-campus youth ministry; Habitat For Humanity/Spring Break Work Trips - Habitat works locally and Spring Break Work Trip nationally to fundraise for and build affordable housing; Jewish Organization of Gustavus - for students, faculty and staff who were either Jewish or interested in the Jewish faith; Newman Center - dedicated to building a deeper understanding of the Catholic faith; Prepare - build a new generation of believers through mentors, mission trips, Bible study, prayer and worship; Proclaim - Bible-based contemporary worship and teaching; Taizé - a contemplative worship service of music, prayer, readings and silence; Wednesday Friends -- visits St. Peter Regional Treatment Center residents weekly.

Don't miss A Royal Affair . . . pa rum pum pum pum - Gustavus Library Associates is presenting their biennial benefit for our College's Folke Bernadotte Memorial Library on Saturday, November 15, at the Radisson Hotel South in Bloomington, Minnesota. If you have names for invitations (reservations are due by October 31), an auction item to donate (no later than October 15 please), volunteer time to offer, or if you wish to contribute financially to help defray expenses, we welcome your call today; Marty Penkhus, 507/388.5474 and Susan Wilcox, 952/944.5972, Co-Chairs.

Upcoming Events -- call the Alumni Office at 800/487-8437

  • Charlotte, NC, Gustavus Gathering - October 18
  • Phonorama -- October 12-16 and 19-23, Minnesota Valley Country Club, Bloomington
  • Our Story Conference, The Growing Gender Gap in the African American Community -- October 24-25, Campus
  • Reformation Festival featuring the Gustavus Choir, Central Lutheran Church, Minneapolis -- October 25
  • JFK Assassination 40 Years Later, presented by David Jones '83 and Political Science Professor Chris Gilbert at Minnesota Valley Country Club, Bloomington-- November 4
  • A Royal Affair, benefit sponsored by Gustavus Library Associates in the Twin Cities -- November 15