Class of '94
January 1999

Dear Class of 1994,

"I get knocked down, but I get up again!" It's a lyric you've heard, and by now are no doubt tired of thanks to radio overplay, but we thought was fitting nonetheless considering what Gustavus has been through since last March. Allow us a moment to share with you some of these amazing comeback tidbits:

  • Spring Semester classes resumed April 21 and commencement was held on time (May 31) and on campus.
  • Student retention remained stable at an amazing 94% and total fall enrollment of about 2,450 broke the record set in 1988.
  • 80% of all windows were broken and replaced. 90% of the campus trees (about 2,000) were lost, but more than 800 mature trees have been replanted.
  • Although many were saddened to see Johnson Hall come down, the campus now has more housing space than before the storm! College View apartments has 24 new units and now houses 92 upper-class students. A recently purchased Arbor View apartments located on Jefferson Avenue houses 60 more.
  • The college now has 300 new state-of -the-art computers, 28 new Steinway pianos, 13 new, high-tech multimedia systems for classrooms, new and upgraded outdoor and indoor athletic facilities, (fields and courts) and new scientific equipment, to name several enhancements that have come as a result.
  • The primary stage of the new Campus Center is scheduled to be completed next fall. This $18.6 million, 51,000 square foot construction project will double the size of the Dining Service building, providing students, faculty and staff with expanded and improved dining, meeting, and office spaces.
  • An addition to the Melva Lind Interpretive Center is also being built to house the department of environmental studies. Both of these planned projects were accelerated due to the storm.

In October, the spire of the Chapel was replaced, marking the end of the storm recovery and the continuation of a greater campus in the making. Gustavus has been given a wonderful opportunity to become even bigger and better than ever!

Class News:

  • Derek Holje moved back from Superior and is working for CFG as a medical insurance broker.
  • Karen deBoer is studying at the University of Minnesota for her Masters of musicology.
  • Rachel Witty has been working as an attorney for Legal Aid Services in the AmeriCorp program on the island of St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands.
  • Steve Meisel completed his Masters in science and physical education. He now teaches health, physical education and athletic training.
  • Becky Wilson completed her Masters in health promotion and education and is coaching gymnastics at the Carolina Gymnastics Center. Becky and Steve are to be married this coming April 10th. Congrats!
  • Joel Luedtke and Emily Dyer both living in Pittsburgh, PA, and are engaged to be married this coming Memorial Day in Minnetonka, MN.
  • Trish Madden lives in Rockford, IL and has applied to attend seminary training in Chicago.
  • Mark Ensrud is teaching English in Northfield, MN.
  • Mark Johnson received his teaching certificate and is teaching biology and coaching hockey among other things in Eagan, MN.
  • Jason Badura and his wife, Lisa, live in the Milwaukee area. Jason works for Bank One Corp. as Administrator of their political action committee. If you live in the area, look him up and give him a call.
  • Jill Dirnberger Timm lives in Washington County and is in public health nursing. Rumor has it, she may write one of our next class letters.
  • James Ranheim graduated from Hamline Law School in May and passed the Bar exam. He tells us now he just needs a job. Please call with best offer.
  • Scott and Jennifer (Anderson) Warwick moved from Denver to Cincinnati last year, and are now contemplating a possible return to Minneapolis this spring. We hope our current windchills don't deter you!

Other Campus News:

Students and staff are in the midst of January Term and the campus landscape is covered with a beautiful blanket of snow. Once again, many students are taking advantage of

J-Term opportunities with 127 on internships, 308 on study abroad programs, and 86 students studying at other domestic institutions. Despite the cold weather, progress is being made on construction of the new Campus Center due to be open in the fall of 1999. After a week and a half of classroom preparation covering the history and culture of South Africa, the Gustavus Choir will participate in a concert tour of the country January 14-February 2. The Gustavus Band will travel to South Dakota, Nebraska, Colorado, and Iowa for their concert tour during touring week, January 30-February 6. Athletic teams are in full swing with all teams looking to be competitive in MIAC play. Over Christmas break many teams traveled for non-conference games including men’s basketball winning a tournament in California, men’s hockey playing in Italy, and the swim teams competing in Bermuda.

Gustavus is once again in the news, making some national rankings. Gustavus ranked 12th among the top 22 leading small colleges in the nation providing active Peace Corps volunteers. Gustavus is ranked 15th in the listing of top 20 bachelor’s institutions that sent the most students overseas for international study during the 1996-97 academic year. Gustavus is ranked 18th of national liberal arts colleges in the number of National Merits with 17 students. Mark Anderson ’66, Dean of Admission, reports that applications for admission for the fall of 1999 are running 20 percent ahead of last year. The Admission Office instituted several new campus visit days in the summer and fall to account for the fact that few students could visit last spring. Alumni are reminded of the Alumni Scholarship Program ($10,000 over four years for children and grandchildren of alumni) available to qualified applicants. Call the Admission Office at 1-800-GUSTAVU(S) for applications.

A special note for alumni currently enrolled in a student loan program. Until January 30, 1999, the Department of Education is consolidating student loans – allowing borrowers to combine all of their loans into one loan – at a reduced interest rate of 7.46 percent. This rate is close to a full percentage point lower than recent loan rates and even more of a savings for older loans of more than five years. Call 1-800-557-7392 to get an application, or download at www.ed.gov/DirectLoan.

Class of '94 Five Year Reunion!?:

Five years already? Yes, it's been almost five years since we walked the stage to receive our long-awaited and hard-earned diplomas. Our reunion will be held next fall, on Homecoming weekend, October 1 and 2, 1999. At this point we will be planning an event on that Friday evening in the Twin Cities, with other events to follow on campus on Saturday, the day of Homecoming. Last year's class loved the idea, as it made it possible for more people to attend at least some part of the festivities. Put these dates on your calendar, call your friends to make sure they’re coming, and plan on doing some serious catching up and having some not-so-serious fun!

If you were interested in helping us plan out the events for the weekend, we'd love to have your ideas! Give us a call at 612-974-9767 or call the Alumni Office at 1-800-487-8437.

Amy and Cameron's Dollar Challenge:

Hopefully thinking about seeing old friends again brings back memories of what your time at Gustavus meant to you and how it continues to affect and enrich your life now. Gustavus has made some incredible comebacks since last spring, but much of the costs were not covered, and the college continues to rely on its alumni and friends to help support its programs. To sweeten the pot, in this, our first reunion year, we will donate a dollar for each gift that comes in from our class. We're hoping this gets expensive! We’re shooting for 50% of our class to participate which is up almost double what the class of '94 achieved last year. Incidentally, both the class of '93 and '95 had a higher participation rate than '94 did last year. This year we hope to top them both! Remember also that you can designate your gift to a particular department or program if you wish, and please, send along some news as well and we'll put it in a letter to let everyone else know what you're up to.

Thank you for you continued support. It truly means everything to the ongoing growth, success and life of our college.

That's it for now. Stay tuned for more information on the reunion next fall. We'll keep you posted as plans come together. We hope your 1999 is off to a fantastic start!

Truly,

Amy (Zenk) and Cameron James

1994 Co-class agents