Class of '66
April 2009

Dear Classmates,

It’s interesting how great colleges such as Gustavus create affinity and foster connections.  Surveys show that loyalty to one’s college often lasts a lifetime and, for many alums, ranks among a graduate’s strongest affections.  No doubt, loyalty is a function of relationships, and connecting and reconnecting with Gusties builds affinity.  Perhaps staying in touch grounds us and reminds us that we are a part of something that is good and lasting.  Come to think of it, staying connected is probably why we regularly make gifts to the Annual Fund.

Recently, Paul and I were returning from a long-planned retirement trip―a photo safari of the “Great Migration” out of Tanzania, Africa.  Our land cruiser, jammed with people and luggage, was creeping through a small, dusty village somewhere south of Arusha when a jeep pulled up alongside us and honked its horn to get our attention.  From the other side of their rolled-down window, someone yelled, “Go Gusties!”  We managed a ten-second conversation, long enough to learn that the voice belonged to a ’70s alum from Iowa.  He had seen our Gustavus duffle bag through the back window of our vehicle.  Small world…huge connection.

Please take a quick inventory of your many connections related to Gustavus Adolphus College.  You are encouraged to keep those connections alive and well and, at the same time, to deliberately disconnect in one way.  That is, to disconnect some of your hard-earned cash from your pocketbook and send it in to the Annual Fund.  With your support, Gustavus will continue to provide an excellent residential liberal arts education for years to come.  Remember that the Annual Fund closes on May 31.  Last year 7,414 alumni made donations to Gustavus, and this year’s goal is 8,000 donors.  As of March, 68 (28.1% of our class of 242) had contributed to the Fund.  I encourage you to make a gift, large or small, either on line at: or by mail to Gustavus Adolphus College, 800 West College Avenue, St. Peter, MN 56082.  Your annual support invests in the future of Gustavus and maintains your connection with our alma mater.

Class News

Gustavus has sent some class news, but we would love to hear from more of you.  Thanks for sending news in and keeping us connected.

Mark Anderson (St. Peter, Minnesota), vice president for enrollment management and Dean of admission has announced his plans to retire on May 31, 2010.  “Throughout his career, Mark has truly embodied our core values of community, excellence, faith, justice and service,” said President Jack Ohle.  Mark assisted in enrolling 25 classes at Gustavus, more than half of the college’s living alumni.  “I’ve looked at my time at Gustavus as my opportunity to serve the church and the alumni I love,” Anderson said.  “It’s been a great privilege.”  Mark and his wife, Frani (Peterson ’67) have two children, Joey ’95 and Lindsey Anderson Carlson ’96.

Dennnis Meierdierks (Flagstaff, Arizona) received his master’s degree in English-technical writing from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff.

Buzz Jonason (Edina, Minnesota) has a son living and working in New York and a daughter graduating from DePauw University this year.

Mari Weisert Smith (Irvine, California) welcomed a new granddaughter, Taylor Grace, March 10, 2007.

Bill Laumann (St. Peter, Minnesota) is now fully retired and enjoying it!

Nancy Emerson Newson (Wheat Ridge, Colorado) continues to enjoy her “Granni Nanni” role for two granddaughters, Cate (5) and Claire (2).

Ed Gustavson (Tulsa, Oklahoma) was honored as Physician of the Year by the Tulsa Area United Way for his children’s health volunteer work.

Thanks so much for your help.


Joyce Henrikson Ramseth

1966 Co-Class Agent

Campus News

Update on Commission Gustavus 150

Recently posted to the Commission website is a summary of the common issues and “big ideas” discussed at the first nine National Summit meetings regarding the College’s five core values (Excellence, Faith, Justice, Service, and Community).  The participants were asked how the College might ensure that the core values would be lived out in the lives of alumni, faculty, staff, and students.  The summary is being shared with all members of the eight task forces of Commission Gustavus 150.  The common issues and big ideas will help shape the recommendations made by the Task Forces to the Gustavus Board of Trustees and ultimately form the basis for the College’s long-range strategic plan.

Congratulations to the Gustavus Adolphus College Forensics Team, which won its second straight Minnesota Collegiate Forensics Association State Championship on Sunday, Feb. 22.  Gustavus finished with 446 points to beat out Minnesota State University, Mankato (408 points) and Concordia College, Moorhead (213 points).  Gustavus placed first in 6 of 13 events and placed four individuals in the top seven of the individual sweepstakes standings.  First-year student, Chloe Radcliffe, placed first in the individual sweepstakes and senior, Tasha Carlson, will represent Minnesota at the 2009 Interstate Oratorical Association National Contest―the oldest speaking competition in the country―on April 25 in Oxford, Mississippi.

Hockey Finals

The men’s hockey team made its first appearance in the NCAA Division III Championship game at Herb Brooks Ice Arena in Lake Placid, N.Y., on Saturday, March 21.  They lost a great game to Neumann College, 4-1.  The women’s hockey team lost 2-1 to UW-River Falls in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament.

Gustavus’s Day at the Capitol

Hundreds of students and financial aid supporters from Gustavus Adolphus College and other Minnesota private colleges and universities gathered on various days at the state Capitol this spring to advocate for need-based student financial aid.  Gustavus’s Day at the Capitol was March 5, shared with Hamline University and St. Mary’s University.

“Come on You Gusties” Breakfast

Join us for a cup of coffee, breakfast, and great conversation.  Our featured presenter for May will be Kathi Tunheim, assistant professor for economics and management.  All Gusties are welcomed and invited to the breakfast, Wednesday, May 20, 8-9:30 a.m. at the Doubletree Hotel, Minneapolis-Park Place, 1500 Park Place Boulevard.  Cost is $10 at the door.  Reserve your spot by calling Don Swanson ’55 at 763-533-9083.

Linnaeus Symposium

The Linnaeus Symposium is scheduled for Wednesday, April 22, 2009 and will include Dr. Margaret Lowman, a tree ecologist and Gustavus alumnus, Gail Johnson Speckmann ’73, whose water color art display will premier during the conference; and there will be a special choreographed dance production on the theme of trees.

MayDay!  Peace Conference

“Tiananmen + 20 Years” is the topic of Gustavus Adolphus College’s 29th annual MAYDAY! Peace Conference to be held Wednesday, April 29, 2009 on the college campus.

royal affair ad