Class of '97
March 2007

10-Year Reunion ― October 12 & 13, 2007

We have cabin fever.  That recent cold snap in the upper Midwest really got us anticipating Spring, although admittedly it’s a bit soon.  It seems everything is happening early this year…daylight savings time is in March, Easter is the first week of April.  We’ve even started planning our summer vacation so as to ensure everyone’s busy schedule accommodates the trip.  Do you find you’re “booked up” well into early summer already?  With work, church, social functions, and family the calendar tends to get marked up quickly.  If you haven’t saved the dates of October 12-14 yet, get a big marker and do it!

The reunion is shaping up to be a blast, for friends and families.  Wise Gustavus graduates (and we all are) have started budgeting for travel and lodging as needed.  Of course the further away you are, the earlier you have to start.  Want one of those local hotel rooms in St. Peter?  Remember ours is not the only class celebrating that Saturday!  For those of us within driving distance to The Hill there are other benefits to early planning.  Maybe you want to organize a mini-gathering with that circle of friends (you know, from that carefree photo at graduation) to get the most out of the weekend.  It’s not too early!

We are looking for your Gustie photos!  Send us copies (.jpg files preferred) of your favorite pictures from 1993-1997.  Kevin Vanderwerf Myers and Josh Peterson are making a montage that will run throughout the evening on Friday night at Brit’s Pub.  The more variety and the more classmates the better!  Send emails to:  slsiefken@earthlink.net and hard copies (available for pick up Friday night) to:  Barb (Freimuth) and Shannon Siefken, 2603 Parkview Lane, Menomonie, WI  54751.

We hope you enjoy this month’s guest writer:

As I’m writing to you all it is 11:00 a.m. on a Sunday.  My daughter is taking her nap and my husband is studying at school.  I’m thinking about life at Gustavus.  Ten years ago at this time I was probably sitting in the Caf eating chicken fingers and scrambled eggs with my best friends.  I remember never wanting to leave the warm chattiness on winter days like today.  We could sit there for hours, drinking cups and cups of coffee, talking and laughing about totally strange and random things, “Who’s that guy?  I’ve never seen him before!”  “How cool it would be to have a milk machine in your dorm room!”  “Have you started your paper for Huff’s class yet?”  “How many fortune cookies can one person eat?”

The cold weather brings other memories to mind.  Actually, now that I think about it, it seems like it was winter for most of our time spent at Gustavus.  How can anyone forget barreling down against the wind crossing the tundra of the Co-ed parking lot?  I also remember seeing many a student take an icy spill on the hill from Confer to Sohre.  Ouch!  In the early days, I remember thinking it would be a good idea to leave the coat behind and risk frostbite so I wouldn’t have to worry about stashing my coat in a dark corner of The Dive.  Ah, The Dive…remember how you could get mini-bagels and coffee there during chapel?  Was the line always really long or was I always the last one to get there?  Or how about later on…the long, cold walks back from downtown only to be met with the challenge of scaling the rocks with numb fingers and toes?  And speaking of downtown, $1 drink night anyone?  Partyology?

Of course, winter at GAC also meant winter break, which for me meant a six-hour drive back home―usually in a blinding snow storm that made the trip more like nine hours.  I remember one such trip back to Gustavus after winter break our freshman year.  Finally we turned onto Highway 169 and between Mankato and St Peter, rounding the bend with the river on the right and the snowy bluff on the left, Peter Gabriel sang, “Solsbury Hill” on the radio.  You know that song?  That part where he sings, “grab your things, I’ve come to take you home.”  Well, that summed it up for me right then.  In one short semester Gustavus had become my home and I couldn’t wait to get back to see my new-found friends.  I wanted to get back to our new antics.

Anyway, I could go on and on about the memories that are resurfacing as I’m writing this…Eco-house, Swedish House, Brick House, Wahlstrom 402 and The Arb to name a few.  I wonder if I got you thinking too.  Hey!  You should come to the reunion!  It’ll be fun!  Who else can you talk about these memories with?

All the best,

Kari Binning

1997 Guest Letter Writer

Reunion Update

This month the reunion committee met to plan activities for the Homecoming Game on Saturday, October 13.  We hope all of you can join us with your families for a fun afternoon on campus!  There will be a “Tailgate Picnic” (<$5) from 11:30 am ’til 1 pm near the new football stadium.  Come enjoy a hot dog and some social time while the kids play in the adjacent children’s tent.  Let them jump in the inflatables, color pictures of campus buildings (“…yes, Junior, Olin would look neat with purple windows…”), and get their photo taken with Gus.  There will be kid friendly snacks, and perhaps even face painting!  You can take a campus tour (with all the new buildings and changes you’ll need it!), and reminisce about how “the more things change, the more they stay the same”.  After the game, those who are lucky enough will gather at Patrick’s for an old fashioned off campus experience.

More details will be forthcoming about both Friday and Saturday, including pre-registration, parking details, etc.  If the Alumni Office does not have your updated phone, address, or email, please send corrections to ensure you receive the invitations!

Class Giving Update

Our class goal of one year’s tuition at Gustavus ($30,000) is an admittedly lofty one.  We do have a large class, and we hope you will all consider giving to Gustavus in this reunion year.  Let’s face it, we all have bills and some of us still have graduate school debt, but would any of us be where we are without Gustavus?  Please consider this thoughtfully, and be prepared for that classmate or student phone call giving request before May.

Many of you have been sending in pledges and we are increasing the percentages of class participation to the Gustavus Fund.  So far we have raised over $13,000!  Do not be surprised if you still get a phone call, but instead of another donation you can use it as an opportunity for personal updates and/or to join the Cec Eckhoff Society (annual pledge giving no matter what dollar amount).

Class News

Weddings

  • Brenda Kelm married Jeffrey Miller on January 13, 2007.
  • Karen Daas married John Street on January 22, 2007.

Births

  • Stacey Pauling Lauseng and husband, Andy, welcomed baby girl, Hailey Grace, on August 8, 2006.
  • Erica Ciesielski Chaikin and husband, Daniel, welcomed baby boy, Ethan Louis, on September 13, 2006.
  • Alana Gustafson Erickson and husband Jeff ’93 welcomed baby girl, Evelyn Rose, on December 7, 2006.
  • Shelley and Grant Boulanger welcomed baby boy, Alexander Gray, on September 18, 2006.
  • Prinna Lundquist Boudreau and husband, Christopher ’98, welcomed a baby girl, Sophia, on December 21, 2006.  Sophia joins big sister, Annabelle.
  • Janelle Roy ’00 and Toby Hatlevig welcomed daughter, Vivan Marie, on January 20, 2007.

Employment

  • Patrick Wilson is a self-employed artist.
  • Erica Ciesielski Chaikin is an instructor at Cy-Fair College in Cypress, TX.
  • Karen Daas is an assistant professor and director of graduate studies at St. Mary’s University.
  • Charlotte Fagerberg is a program manager for Partners AIDS Research Center in Charlestown, MA.
  • Toby Hatlevig is the assistant track and field and cross country coach at Carleton College.

Awards/Honors/Degrees

  • Patrick Wilson graduated from the San Francisco Art Institute in 2005.

College Updates

Alumni Awards Announced

The Alumni Association announces the following 2007 awards selected by the Alumni Board of Directors.  Greater Gustavus Award - Who by deed, have notably advanced and aided Gustavus Adolphus College:

  • Russ and Jan (Ledin) Michaletz ’74 ’74

Distinguished Alumni Citations – Recognized for outstanding and exceptional professional achievement

  • Paul Peterson ’94, principal, St. Peter High School, Minnesota State High School Principal of the Year.
  • Margaret Anderson Kelliher ’90, house speaker, Minnesota House of Representatives.

First Decade Awards – Recognized for early professional achievement

  • Jennifer Pleuss Spande ’97, diplomat, Political and Economic Section, U.S. Embassy, Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
  • Alexander Hill ’97, senior scientist, Medtronic, Inc.

The Greater Gustavus Award and Distinguished Alumni Citations will be presented at the Alumni Banquet on Saturday, May 26, and First Decade Awards will be presented during Homecoming Weekend October 13.

Energy Wars

Minnesota colleges and universities competed during February in the Campus Energy Wars.  The Campus Energy Wars challenge was to see which campus conserved the most energy throughout the month.  Gustavus students and faculty made a concerted effort to change their behaviors by turning off unused lights in their dorm rooms or classrooms, unplugging appliances, and lowering thermostats to reduce energy consumption.  The culmination event was a campus competition to pedal stationary bicycles to see who can pump the most energy into an electrical generator supplied by the Minnesota Department of Commerce.

Linnaeus Symposium Celebrates Birth of Carl Linnaeus

In celebration of the 300th anniversary of the birth of Carl Linnaeus, the Swedish botanist who established genus/species used today, Gustavus will host its second Linnaeus Symposium: Linnaeus @ 300 on Wednesday, April 25, 2007.  The daylong conference will feature presentations by ethnobotanists, Mark Plotkin and Paul Alan Cox, Linnaean scholar and impersonator, Hans Odoo, and author Paula Robbins on Per Kalm, one of Linnaeus’s “apostles” to America.  The day will also include tours of Linnaeus Arboretum, a special photography exhibition by Anders Bjorling ’58, music, dance, and a Scandinavian feast.  The festivities begin at 10:00 a.m. and close at 9:00 p.m., so save the date and join us at Gustavus this spring.  For more information, go to <gustavus.edu/arboretum/> or call 507/933-6181.

Building Bridges Diversity Conference

The 12th annual student-led “Building Bridges” Diversity Conference is scheduled for March 10, 2007.  The conference is titled “Finding Your Voice: Putting Awareness Into Action.”  The Conference focuses on the power we have within our society, culture, and world to provoke and promote change.  The keynote speaker this year will be Lisa Ling, special correspondent for the Oprah Winfrey Show, host of the award-winning documentary series Explorer on the National Geographic Channel, and contributor to the Oxygen Network.  For more information, go to:  <gustavus.edu/diversity/buildingbridges/>.

Upcoming Alumni Events

  • Building Bridges Conference - March 10
  • Tucson Gustie Gathering - March 16
  • Phoenix Gustie Gathering - March 17
  • Easter Bunny Breakfast at Mt. Olivet Church in Minneapolis - March 17
    Sun City Gustie Gathering - March 18
  • Linnaeus Symposium - April 25
  • MAYDAY! Peace Conference: Community Food Security - May 2
  • Celebrating 75 years of the Gustavus Choir - May 5-6
  • Celebrating 75 years of Theatre Reunion  - May 11-12 <gustavus.edu/alumni/reunion/Theatre/index.cfm>
  • Class of 1962 - 45th Anniversary Reunion – May 25 & 26
  • Class of 1957 - 50th Anniversary Reunion – May 25 & 26
  • 50 Year Club Reunion – May 26