Class of '66
April 2004

Dear 1966 Gustie Classmates,

May 31 is fast approaching, and in a few short weeks the 2003-2004 Alumni Fund will close.  This year is the 50th Anniversary of the Fund with a college goal of 50% contributing alumni members.

When U.S. News and World Report determines national ranking of l5 ELCA peer institutions, they include the percentage of alumni who donate annually in their formula.  Your gift will not only positively affect our college ranking, but will translate into greater interest by prospective students as well as increased gifts and grants from foundations.  The 2002-2003 participation rankings were as follows:  1st - Gustavus (38%); 2nd - Augustana College, IL (36%); 3rd - Gettysburg College (33%); and 4th - St.Olaf College (32%).

Our own class objective is to bring our current level of 101 contributors up to 129, and with just 28 more participating alums we would meet the 50% giving level, and most certainly demonstrate our love and support for Gustavus.


Nancy Brink of Ranier, Washington, will be opening an Adult Family Home for up to 6 elderly and vulnerable people. She hopes to be operational this summer and will be naming the home after her deceased parents, Lenore and Milton.

Bonita Lammers Distad has retired from public health nursing after 33 years with the State of Maryland and is looking forward to being a grandmother and working part-time in the community college RN program.

Susan Tillman Hallin, Tonka Bay, MN is enjoying her new job with the company Young Rembrandts, teaching elementary students in an after-school art enrichment program.

Craig and Kate (Pearson '67) Halverson have moved their interior design business, Touch of Class Interiors, to a new location in Eden Prairie, MN after 25 years at the old location.

Margaret Raedeke Holste reports that "retirement is good" in Wayzata, MN.

Kathryn Siddall Jensen Rynders from Red Wing, MN has retired from library administration after 30 years.

Terry Ische has survived his first big year of retirement without too much depression and he spends a good deal of time as Mr. Mom, going to The Club, and managing the "family fortune."  Terry would love to get together with area Gusties and I'm sure he was happy to know that there is a Brainerd Lakes area alumni chapter gathering on April 29.  So if you're up at Breezy, stop by.

Judy Boline Larson and Milo '65, Canby, MN, have both retired from teaching and now can really enjoy their three grandchildren.

Judy Lauer Pede has been retired from teaching for four years, but before that had been teaching in a Los Angeles Teenage Gang Program with an 80% successful graduation rate.

John Rudolph, Eagan, MN is now a retired teacher, and has, along with a partner, been remodeling buildings.

Karen Bossart Rusthoven, St.Paul, MN, is the administrator of the Community of Peace Academy which was the recipient of the 2003 National School of Character Award.

Joan Erickson Thompson has retired from teaching English, but presently teaches Connected Riding and riding dressage/trail on her two 20-year-old mares.  She and her husband live on five acres in the foothills of the Cascades near Brownsville, OR.

Tom Tomfohr of Kent, WA, has just become a grandpa!

Kathryn Wellington has lived in Vancouver, B.C., Canada since 1980, and has worked as an environmental activist, assisted Alberta farmers in sustainable agriculture, worked as a mental-health legal advocate for the Kettle Friendship Society, and presently assists vulnerable adults in danger of losing their homes.  She has gained much from those who struggle with mental illnesss, but yet have survived with much joy and appreciation for the small things in life.


President Peterson inaugurated

Dr. James Peterson '64 was inaugurated during a ceremony in Christ Chapel on Friday, April 16.  Other inaugural events from April 15-18 included a symposium featuring Rev. Dr. Martin Marty, tree dedication, Gustavus Association of Congregations meeting, G.I.V.E. community service day in St. Peter, music concert, art exhibition, and an alumni reception preceding the Nobel Symphony Concert at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis.  A complete schedule of events is posted on the Gustavus web site.

50th Anniversary Alumni Fund Closes May 31

The 2004 Alumni Fund will close May 31 with a goal of 50 percent alumni participation. Thanks to everyone who has already participated with a gift.  If you haven't given, please think about sending a gift along with your news in the enclosed gold envelope. Gustavus alumni have a long tradition of strong alumni participation.  Help maintain our national ranking by participating in the 50th anniversary year of the Alumni Fund.

Scholarships and financial assistance at Gustavus

Did you know that scholarships and financial assistance for Gustavus students totals $18M, almost 25 percent of Gustavus' annual budget?  Alumni Fund gifts, including designated and unrestricted gifts, help enable students to receive a Gustavus education.  Gustavus offers two types of scholarships to students -- merit awards given to recognize academic achievement, and tuition grants are used to assist students with recognized financial need.  Endowed scholarships are an important part of the Gustavus grant program and currently nine percent of scholarship funds come from the endowment.

Alumni survey

An alumni survey was sent to 2,000 members of reunion classes.  Approximately 600 have responded as of April 1.  Questions on the survey consist of how well Gustavus prepared them for employment and graduate education, activities involved in while at Gustavus, personal growth skills, alumni events and services, and overall satisfaction with the College.  Results of the survey will be included in the Fall Quarterly.

Winter sports summary

Women's basketball finished third in the MIAC and advanced to the semifinals of the MIAC playoffs. Men's basketball won the MIAC regular season and playoff championship titles before losing to eventual national champion UW-Stevens Point in the NCAA national tournament. Men's hockey posted a third-place finish in the regular season and advanced to the semifinals of the MIAC playoffs. Women's hockey finished second in regular-season MIAC play, but won the post-season tournament and earned an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. Men's swimming won its third consecutive MIAC championship and completed their season by finishing ninth at the NCAA championships. Women's swimming won the MIAC championship and completed their season by finishing 13th at the NCAA championships. Men's Nordic skiing won its first-ever MIAC championship and finished fourth at the NCAA Central Region meet. Women's Nordic skiing claimed their third consecutive MIAC title and completed their season with a fourth-place finish at the NCAA Central Region meet. Gymnastics posted a 6-1 dual meet record and a second-place finish at the National Collegiate Gymnastics Association (NCGA) West Regional. The women's indoor track and field team finished second and the men fifth at the MIAC championships. 

Did you know . . .

●Nearly 80% of Gustavus students graduate in four years, compared with 56% of students from other Minnesota private colleges; the national average is 17%.

●There are seven choral ensembles and 23 instrumental ensembles, two jazz, four woodwind and three brass ensembles.

●More than 40 percent of Gustavus students volunteer through the Gustavus community service center on a regular basis.

●For student safety, the campus is well-lit, there is 24-hour Safety and Security patrol and escort service, residence halls are locked 24 hours a day, and there are blue light emergency phones throughout campus linked directly to Safety and Security.

●And looking back -- during the college's early years, students were awakened by a bell at 5:45 a.m. and all lights had to be out by 10:30 p.m.

Upcoming events

  • Phonorama - April 25-29, Central Lutheran Church
  • Cec Eckhoff Society Reception - May 1
  • Class of 1954 and 50 Year Club Reunions - May 28 & 29
  • Commencement - May 30
  • Alumni Fund closes - May 31
  • Class reunions on Homecoming & Family Weekend - October 1 & 2

Thanks so much, '66ers, for sharing your news with us this past winter and also for moving the Gustaus Alumni Fund to new levels of success in the 2003-2004 annual fund year.

Sincerely yours,

Joyce Henrikson Ramseth

1966 Co-Class Agent