Class of '66
January 2006


Reunion dates ― October 6 & 7, 2006

Dear Classmates,

The holiday season is over.  For those of us who had family here, it is a time for reorganizing the bookshelves and reintroducing those "precious" items that needed to be put away while grandchildren were underfoot.  I usually fight against any talk of growing old, but having a one year old, an almost two year old and an almost three year old in my home over the holidays reminded me that I am simply not as young as I used to be.  It also reminded me that we have all been blessed with purpose and faith and community.  I am thankful for my years at Gustavus as I continue to cherish the friendships I made.

I continue to correspond with many of you and am lucky enough to see some of you throughout the year.  I have coffee with a few of you (although retirement for some has made that less often.)  Ken and I attended a gathering of Gusties this fall and we laughed and giggled and remembered stories from those years "on the hill."  My children are friends with some of your children and those friendships make me smile.  Included here is some news from some of you....please continue to send us those news items.  I know that people appreciate hearing them.

Tom Noer has received the Michigan Historical Association Award for the best book in 2005 for Soapy:  A Biography of G. Mennen Williams published by the University of Michigan Press.  Tom is valor-distinguished professor of humanities at Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin.  Congratulations, Tom.  Many of us dream of writing a book someday...but you have received an award for yours.

As many of you know, Eric Gustavson is heading the reunion committee for our reunion in the fall.  More of that later...but Eric is also serving as an associate pastor for the new Mount Olivet West Campus in Victoria.  As a member of Mount Olivet myself, I have heard many good things about his work out there.  Thanks, Eric, for your leadership in ministry.

Nancy Eddy and her husband, David Hounshell continue to live in Pittsburgh.  She continues her work as a kindergarten teacher at St. Bede School and he as a history professor at Carnegie Mellon University.

Fred Holmquist and his wife, Georgia, are retired and live in Minnetonka.

Kathryn Wellington lives in Bellingham, Washington.  She works as the project lead in violence prevention and education in Vancouver, British Columbia.  I would hope you will come to the reunion, Kathryn.  I would love to hear more about your work.

Dr. Karen Bossart Rusthoven founded Community of Peace Academy in 1995.  Currently the school is serving 600 students in grades K-12.  In 2003, the school was one of ten in America to receive a National School of Character Award from the Character Education Partnership in Washington, DC.  In 2004, the U.S. Department of Education chose Community of Peace Academy as one of eight schools to include in a book entitled, "Successful Charter Schools."  Dr. Rusthoven is a frequent presenter at educational conferences and is in the process of writing a book about her work at Community of Peace Academy.  Congratulations, Karen!  You are doing incredibly important work in an increasingly diverse community.

Karen Nielsen Pike writes that the nurses from ’66 gathered for a "slumber party" in October prior to the Gustavus Nursing Program’s all class celebration.  Nurses came from all over the country for this event, 19 from our class.  I hope all of you will return for our reunion in October to celebrate our 40th reunion!!

I continue in my position as the associate principal at Hopkins High School.  These are challenging times in public education.  However, I love what I am doing and am not interested in retirement quite yet.  I am also teaching a graduate course in communications for Saint Mary’s University and finding it fascinating.  Teaching adults is very different and allows me to keep those teaching skills sharp.  Ken is retired but has returned to barbershop singing.  (He started while at Gustavus.)  We travel to an international competition each summer and his chorus placed fifth in Salt Lake City, UT last July.

Finally, I just wish to encourage each of you to consider attending the Gustavus Reunion of the class of 1966 next October 6-7.  We are working hard to make it fun.  If you haven’t been back on campus for a while, please consider doing so.  The campus is more beautiful than it has ever been.  As I speak with professors across campus, I am convinced that the quality of education is second to none.  If you haven’t given to the Gustavus Alumni Fund recently, I would encourage you to do so.  It is an investment in our future.

Happy winter,

Mary Strand Slinde

1966 Co-class Agent

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  For auto, home, and renters insurance call Liberty Mutual at 800-524-9400 or visit

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.


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 toured Eastern Europe Jan. 14-30.  Performances were scheduled for Germany, Czech Republic, Poland, and Austria.  The Gustavus Choir is touring 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