Class of '84
Carole Arwidson invited me to remind you of our 15th-Year Reunion to be held on May 28 and 29, 1999. We will get nostalgic at the Hotel Sofitel in Bloomington on Friday, May 28. The party continues at Gustavus on Saturday, May 29 (specific information about times and events for both days, as well as registration materials, will come later). I hope to see there.
Carole also asked if I'd give you my (brief) reflections on what Gustavus has meant to me. I break these reflections into three key "learnings."
First, Gustavus taught me the joy of education. Professors who were not only wise, but also as important, they were approachable. I never felt intimidated to ask a question. The liberal arts environment made me very hungry for knowledge.
Second, Gustavus taught me to seize each day—carpe diem! Unfortunately, losing friends, classmates and family is part of life. The trick for me is when my number comes up, I leave a legacy that I can be proud of, and will be a source of learning for my family and friends.
Third, Gustavus taught me the importance of my extended family. Some of my most lasting memories involve studying at the "brar," Monday night recitals at Schaefer Fine Arts Building, leaf-raking at Chaplain Elvee's, Co-Ed (Norelius) section 3A parties, fraternal functions, Ma Young, Christmas in Christ Chapel, intramural contests, and of course several social functions (The Barn, The Nic, The Flame, Butch's Night Club, Blue Goose Inn, etc.). Great friends, great times, great memories.
Steve Anderson ’68 died earlier this year. Steve was a co-worker of mine at Lutheran Brotherhood. Steve loved life and was involved in several volunteer opportunities, especially the Minneapolis Aquatennial. Steve didn't have a big family, but had a huge "extended family." The funeral service was held at Mount Olivet Lutheran Church in Minneapolis. I'm not sure how often this church is filled for funerals, but on this particular day, there were no available pews. Numerous Gusties were there to mourn an untimely death, but also to celebrate a wonderful life and a beautiful legacy. Gustavus played a vital role in Steve's life. That same role is part of our lives as well.
The joys of learning, seizing the day and the importance of my family…oh these are what I take from Gustavus. My hope is that I can give back based on these three learnings. Fortunately, I've been blessed with a beautiful wife, Kristen (St. Olaf Class of '83); three terrific sons, David, Benjamin and Jacob; and fulfilling work at Lutheran Brotherhood. I attribute the learnings mentioned previously to helping me earn my law degree and providing an opportunity to help people with their retirement, business continuation, estate and charitable planning needs.
Recently, I've been given the opportunity to create a new and unique financial planning process for our clients called LifeMapsm. LifeMapsm combines people's financial concerns (retirement, investment, estate planning, educational funding, etc.) with organizing their dreams and goals. It has been great to see people get excited about using LifeMapsm as a tool to tell their life story. Gustavus has helped with this project and several other life endeavors. I'm lucky and proud to
say "I'm a Gustie." See you at the reunion!
Todd Gillingham ’84