Class of '85
January 2006

Hello Everyone~

This is Robyn Gunderson.  Susan asked me to write the class letter this time.  And, as this is the first class letter since our reunion in October, it seems appropriate to continue with the theme of reconnecting.  Also, because of my hangover from my nine-year-old’s birthday party, you know, too much laser tag, too many video games―my brain is not functional enough to invent anything more original...

The reunion gathering in the cities in October was a small, intimate affair.  (Read:  where were all of you who didn’t show?!)  But, this lent itself to some deeper conversation.  Of course, the typical opening was vital statistics:

Career:  Psychologist

Inhabitant of:  Northfield, MN

Marital Status:  Married

Progeny:  2 boys; 9 and 6

Once we gave our Reader’s Digest version of the past twenty years, the reminiscing began.  I think that was the time of the evening when there was the most laughter.  Roaring laughter.  I, for one, found myself vacillating between that very responsible adult part of me saying, “what was I thinking?!” and that wild, passionate, doesn’t-get-out-much-anymore side of me saying, “that was so much fun!”  I think I have spent more time since October being nostalgic about that time of life.  (Perhaps this is a sign of aging?)  What a gift to have four years, especially at a fine institution such as Gustavus, with nothing to do but challenge your mind, make good friends and find your life path.  And, what a glorious escape for when your current life hands you the mundane.

And then, as conversations tend to do toward closing time, we got a little philosophical.  Obviously, the subject choice was the passage of time.  Where has the time gone?  I wish I knew.  Why can’t we find more time to connect with classmates we like and we miss?  Life gets busy.  What has time done to us and to each other?  From what I can see, we all have more wrinkles, more gray hair, and more responsibilities.  We have suffered more losses, made more money, gained more wisdom, and hopefully, have more gratitude.  But I also see that we are all still pretty smart, articulate, fun-loving, and for now, a pretty attractive group of 40-somethings.  (We’ll check in on that one in another 20 years.)

So, as someone said, “the more things change, the more they stay the same.”  And as I sit here writing this paper at the last minute suffering my laser-tag hangover, I would say that this has a ring of truth in it.

Robyn Gunderson

1985 Guest Letter Writer

Class News:

  • Lisa Prince Kofoed is a maternal child health coordinator at Fairview Health Services and Methodist Hospital.  She and her family live in Apple Valley, Minnesota.  Jack and Kathryn (Hall) Elvestrom live in Dellwood, Minnesota.  Jack is an executive vice president with Morgan Stanley in St. Paul and Kathryn teaches French part-time at Mahtomedi High School.
  • Pamela Conrad Greene is a registered nurse with Sarah Colby, M.D. and Associates in San Jose, California.  Lisa Dahill is an assistant professor of worship and Christian spirituality at Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, Ohio.  Greg Carlson is a research analyst - equities with US Bancorp Asset Management.  Jo Nord is a medical student at Oregon Health and Science University.
  • Randall Hunt and his wife, Lori, are the parents of James and Johanna.  Randall is employed with the U.S. Geological Survey.  Alexandra Beth was born to Mark and Karen Wagner on March 22, 2004.  The Wagners live in Chanhassen, Minnesota.  Jim and Claire (Serrano) Rauls welcomed Braedon Edward on November 14, 2004.  Paige was born to Tim and Dawn Wilson on May 1, 2005.  The Wilsons live in Oceanside, California.

Campus News:

Study Abroad Leader

Gustavus continues to be a leading institution for the number of students studying abroad, according to an annual ranking recently released by the Institute of International Education (IIE).  Consistent with its mission of giving students an education that is international in perspective, Gustavus was ranked seventh in the "Top 20 Baccalaureate Institutions" list of the institute’s "Open Doors 2005" report.  Gustavus was one of four Minnesota private colleges to make the list of 20.  The report was based on study abroad statistics from the 2003-04 academic year.  Gustavus students engage in international learning through various programs in more than 100 locations throughout the world, ranging from Australia to India and Ecuador to Sweden.  In recent years, 50 percent of Gustavus graduates have participated in at least one study-abroad experience.

New Carnegie Classification for Colleges and Universities

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching released a new classification system for institutions of higher education.  Gustavus’ classification is Arts & Sciences plus Professions, indicating that 60 to 80 percent of Gustavus students complete a traditional liberal arts major, such as political science, classics, or biology.  The new classifications describe five aspects of colleges and universities: instructional programs, enrollment profile, undergraduate demographics, size, and setting.  Undergraduate instructional programs are now designated as Arts & Sciences Focus, Arts & Sciences plus Professions, Balanced Arts & Sciences and Professions, Professions plus Arts & Sciences, or Professions Focus. 

Insurance Programs

The Alumni Association, in partnership with Meyer and Associates and Liberty Mutual, offers an insurance program to alumni and their families.  Products include insurance policies for life, short-term medical, auto, home, and renters.  For life and short-term medical insurance call Meyer and Associates at 800-635-7801 or visit www.meyerandassoc.com.  For auto, home, and renters insurance call Liberty Mutual at 800-524-9400 or visit www.libertymutual.com/lm/gustavus.

Gustavus to Perform at Orchestra Hall

The Gustavus Music Showcase will be Sunday, March 12, at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis.  The Gustavus Choir, Gustavus Symphony Orchestra, and Gustavus Wind Orchestra will perform.  This is a unique opportunity to hear three premier ensembles from Gustavus in one concert.  This showcase also allows prospective students, parents, and alumni from the area to meet and connect.  For tickets, call the Orchestra Hall box office at 800/292-4141.  Tickets are $20 for general admission, and $10 for students 18 and under.

Athletics

Two big stories from the fall sports are that Hailey Harren won the national NCAA Division III cross country title and the men’s soccer team became the first MIAC school to play in the national championship game and finished second, losing 1-0 to defending national champion Messiah.  For the second consecutive year, men's soccer coach Larry Zelenz has been named Coach of the Year in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America/Adidas NCAA Division III West Region.  The men's hockey team is unbeaten in conference play, outscoring their opponents 28-5 in four games.

Upcoming Music Tours

This year nearly 300 students will participate in music tours as members of the Gustavus Wind Orchestra, Gustavus Choir, Gustavus Symphony Orchestra, Gustavus Jazz Lab Band, and Choir of Christ Chapel.  The Gustavus Wind Orchestra will tour Eastern Europe Jan. 14-30.  Performances are scheduled for Germany, Czech Republic, Poland, and Austria.  The Gustavus Choir will tour Jan. 27-Feb. 11 (see schedule below), with performances in Minnesota and Wisconsin.  The Gustavus Symphony Orchestra, Gustavus Jazz Lab Band, and Choir of Christ Chapel will tour during Spring Semester.

Gustavus Choir Tour Schedule

  • January 27 at Augustana Lutheran Church, West St. Paul, 7:30 p.m.
  • January 28 at St. Joseph's Catholic Church, Grand Rapids, 7:30 p.m.
  • January 29 at Zion Lutheran Church, Grand Rapids, 8:30 a.m. morning service
  • January 29 at Concordia Lutheran Church, Duluth, 3 p.m.
  • January 30 at Bemidji High School Auditorium, Bemidji, 7 p.m.
  • January 31 at First Lutheran Church, Morris, 7 p.m.
  • February 2 at Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church, Marshfield, WI, 7:30 p.m.
  • February 3 at St. Francis Catholic Church, Brainerd, 7:30 p.m.
  • February 4 at Central Lutheran Church, Winona, 7 p.m.
  • February 5 at Faith Lutheran Church, Winona, 8 a.m. morning service
  • February 5 at First Lutheran Church, Red Wing, 2 p.m.
  • February 11 at Christ Chapel, Saint Peter, 7:30 p.m.

Upcoming Alumni Events

  • Tucson, AZ Gustie Gathering - February 10
  • Phoenix, AZ Gustie Gathering - February 11
  • Sun City, AZ Gustie Gathering - February 12
  • Gustavus Music Showcase at Orchestra Hall - March 12
  • Atlanta, GA Gustie Gathering - March 26