Class of '82
April 2003

Dear Classmates,

I hope you have been having a wonderful beginning to 2003 and I wish you all the best in the coming months.  With the uncertainty that is all around us–the war in Iraq, the downturn in the economy, and the corresponding loss of thousands of jobs, it is reassuring to know the friends we met during our years at Gustavus Adolphus are there to give us comfort and guidance should we need someone to talk with.  Bless all of us as we live through these challenging times.

The other night J.C. Anderson and I attended an event to discuss the Building a Greater Gustavus Campaign.  It was a very nice evening as a number of people―Bob Peterson ’58, President Dennis Johnson ’60, Paul Tillquist ’63, and Philip Lindau ’58, discussed the campaign and what Gustavus has meant to them over the years.  In addition, the recently selected President Jim Peterson ’64, was introduced and said a few words.  The common thread of their comments was that:  Gustavus is a wonderful place that deserves our support to ensure its future for generations to come.

So far the Campaign has raised $87,000,000 on its way to its goal of $100,000,000.  The campaign is benefiting many areas at Gustavus―scholarships, programs, capital improvements, and increasing the size of the endowment.  As you can see, there is still much more to be done before the campaign achieves its goal.  If you have not received information on the campaign or wish to make a commitment, please call 1-800-726-6192 and discuss your thoughts with the Advancement Office.

As you know, we are trying to get our class to hit the 50% participation rate by 2004 – the 50th anniversary of the Alumni Fund.  Over the past few months J.C. and I have been calling to see if you would be willing to make a pledge to help our class get to the 50% goal.  The Alumni Fund closes May 31.  We will be continuing this calling and we look forward to connecting with you in the next couple of months.

I just got off the telephone with Mike Daum and he wanted me to mention that his son, Logan, will be singing in a school musical on May 1st and 2nd.  If you want tickets or more information, please give Mike a call at 952-985-0875.

If anyone else has any “important” messages, please let J.C. or myself know and we will include it in the monthly letter.  Below is some campus news to bring you up-to-date.  Take care and we hope to see you around campus.

All the best,

Richard J. Olson

1982 Co-class Agent

Campus News

Dr. James Peterson Named 14th Gustavus President

James Peterson ’64, president and CEO of the Science Museum of Minnesota in St. Paul, was selected as the next Gustavus president.  Peterson is married to Rev. M. Susan Pepin Peterson ’65, senior pastor at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in St. Paul.  They have two married children including Erika Peterson Eklund ’94.  Jim will start his official responsibilities at Gustavus in July 2003.

Alumni Fund Closes May 31 – 1000 new donors needed

The Alumni Fund closes May 31.  Gustavus alumni are trying to again be the best Lutheran college in percentage of alumni annual giving.  The goal is to reach 45% participation this year.  If you have already given, THANK YOU!  If you have given in the past and not yet this year, Gustavus students need your support again.  If you have missed giving, Gustavus needs only 1,000 new donors to reach the goal.  Give online at <gustavus.edu> or call 800/487-8437.

Campus Focuses on Peace

Three annual conferences this spring discuss peace.  Conflict Resolution: International, National, and Local was the theme of the annual student-run “Building Bridges” Conference in March featuring Nobel Peace Laureate Oscar Arias Sanchez, former president of Costa Rica. The Association of Congregations Meeting will feature Protestant leader Lyle Schaller to talk about the future of the church and the changing role of laity and church staff. And the annual MAYDAY! Peace Conference in April is titled, “World Religions: Waging War or Promoting Peace?” featuring keynote speaker Krister Stendahl, emeritus professor of divinity, Harvard University, and former bishop of Stockholm, Sweden.

Gustavus Band 125 Year Celebration

What started as 13 silver instruments in 1878 has evolved into the Gustavus Band, which is celebrating its 125th anniversary in May.  Highlights for the weekend will include the performance of the 100+ member alumni band and the commissioned work, Of Wind and Wood, by composer Steve Heitzeg ’82 which will be premiered by the current Gustavus Band.

Men’s Basketball Team National Runner-up

The men’s basketball team lost a heartbreaker in the NCAA Division III championship game 67-65 to Williams, on two game-winning free throws in the final seconds of play.  Gustavus was the first MIAC team to ever make it to the championship game.

Celebration of Community Service

The Community Service Center at Gustavus is ten years old.  Since its creation, students participating in community service and service learning in the classroom has dramatically increased.  Currently 60% of the student population participates in some sort of community service program while at Gustavus.  The annual G.I.V.E. (Gusties In Volunteer Endeavors) day of community service will be a time for alumni and students in Minnesota to gather at Gustavus to celebrate and serve, while alumni in other cities will also be doing service projects in their own communities.

Upcoming Events

  • Milwaukee, WI, Symphony Orchestra Concert – April 2
  • Pasco, Washington, Jazz Lab Band Concert – April 2
  • Cheney, Washington, Jazz Lab Band Concert – April 3
  • San Francisco Bay, CA, Campaign event – April 4
  • Cary, IL, Symphony Orchestra Concert – April 4
  • Seattle, WA, Campaign event featuring the Jazz Lab Band – April 5
  • Duluth, MN, Campaign event – April 10
  • Association of Congregations Meeting – April 26
  • Phonorama – April 27-30, May 1
  • 125th Anniversary of the Gustavus Band – May 3 & 4
  • G.I.V.E. Day and 10th Anniversary of the Community Service Center – May 10
  • 1953 and 50 Year Club Reunion – May 30 & 31
  • Alumni Fund Fiscal Year Closes – May 31
  • Commencement – June 1