Class of 1968

May 2011

Greeting to all you ’68 Gusties!

Spring has sprung, at least the calendar says so and with that the winter of 2010/11 is finally behind us!  For those of us in Minnesota we weathered the storms that brought more snow than we’ve seen in many years and for those of you on the east coast you can boast much the same.  It was quite a season that will be remembered for it’s vast extremes and with the most recent out breaks of the tornados that have hit the south it looks like Mother Nature isn’t through with us yet.  For those of you that might have been in the path of those storms I certainly hope this finds you all safe and sound!

In our formative years we were schooled that if you wanted to maintain some sort of decorum at a social gathering you should not bring up or discuss religion or politics and, I suppose, that would also apply to a class letter.  I intend to follow those wise guidelines but can’t pass up the supposition that the times we are in currently are certainly “interesting!”  From there I’m certain that we all have a prospective as to how we are being affected by the economy, the global unrest, political posturing in all forms of our governments and many more issues that face us all.  The answers are hard to come by; in fact, in my opinion I’m not really sure we know the questions, but I leave you to complete this paragraph with your own thoughts.  My thought is that change, in whatever form, may it bring us peace and a renewed sense of unity.

No doubt you have heard or read about the upcoming Sesquicentennial celebration that Gustavus will be kicking off on Homecoming Weekend, September 30 – October 1, 2011 and we all are invited to join in for the kick-off event.  The year is sure to be filled with many events to honor the longstanding traditions that Gustavus has built throughout these 150 years and counting!  The celebration will then conclude at Homecoming 2012.  Heading into this new “era” the college is making a few changes that will affect the classes most notably the class agent’s role with the college.

One of the recommendations, made from the Commission Gustavus 150, which is one of the driving forces behind this Sesquicentennial celebration; is to revamp the class agent structure in order to create more opportunities for classmate involvement.  Each class is being asked to staff a class president (the old class agent), a fund raising chairperson, communication chairperson, reunion chairperson and a recruitment chair.  You can find the duties of each position online at:  Each term is to be served until the next class reunion.  We’re looking for volunteers and if you’re interested in learning more, please call or email the Alumni Office at:  800-487-8437 or

Class Notes

By the time you get this Paula Navarro will probably be officially retired or so close that she will seem retired.  No doubt she will be preparing for the next chapter in her life, which will most likely involve lots of travel!  Congratulations, Paula was it really 43 years?

We’ve heard that Liz Vinz Keller fell and broke her right ankle back in March.  Doctors have her on no weight on the ankle for 5 to 6 weeks so Keith has been filling in on the house duties along with his busy work schedule.  Wishing you a complete and speedy recovery Liz!

Then we’ve also learned that Cheryl Hamer Hauswrith is on the mend from her broken ankle.  Apparently aging isn’t as easy as it’s made out to be!  We send our best to you Cheryl for a complete recovery very soon!

Maryann Pommeranz Kaul and her husband, Bob, have moved from Texas to return to Minnesota where Bob has accepted a Call at St. John Lutheran Church in Montgomery, MN.  Maryann is retired from her career as a psychiatric and substance abuse RN.

Barb Veker Elnes tell us she is not ready for retirement; she is in her 16th year of subbing in the Hopkins and Edina school district.  Between her hours in the classroom she is tending to her folks, both 91 years young and enjoying her two grand daughters.  If that isn’t enough she likes to jump on her bike and put a few miles on!

Speaking of miles and biking did you catch the picture of the Kagol family in Hawaii taken during Steve’s participation in the Ironman Triathlon?  The swim, the bike and the run totaling 140.6 miles and he accomplished all that in 14:01:24.  Don’t know about you folks, but I have trouble sometime crossing the street let alone even thinking about competing in a 140 mile race.  I know for a fact that he’s not close to retiring from competition any time soon.  After seeing Steve and Mim last week at church he told me he was heading out for a three hour workout before taking in Easter brunch!  Steve’s next challenge is Grandma’s Marathon in June!  Best of luck!

Janalee Sponberg may be retired from her “job” but that’s not keeping her off the sidelines as she is working with our wounded military troops providing clothing.

After Paula’s winter letter we heard from Jeanne Ewy and she wrote, “So I thought I would respond to Paula’s letter about retiring.  I can’t imagine retiring yet.  Too much to do.  Of course, my husband and I packed everything up a few years ago to travel for about six months.  Then a year ago I got my dream job, packed up and left beautiful, sleepy Carmel California to live in view of Manhattan and took a position that fulfilled my original career goal of working in international health care.  So I love living in New York and working as managing director of the International Division of Planned Parenthood Federation of America.  Just got back from a month in Nairobi.  Life is good for many of us – but it could be so much better for others.”

Rumor has it that we are coming up on another mile stone this year by celebrating our 65th birthdays and in honor of that occasion there is a group of Gustie gals heading to Scottsdale to party.  Getting together will be:  Paula Navarro, Kris Lundberg Moorhead, Diane Ostrom Morgensen, Kathy Eaton Asted, Karen Monson Peterson, Cheryl Hamer Hauswirth, Dawn Nelson, Janalee Sponberg, Barbie Gray Wenschlag, Valerie Jungck Sanders, Connie Bohn Edwards, Sue Swanson Foster, Barb Rinehart Cameron and Angie Kuper Christmann.  Can’t imagine that Scottsdale is ready for this crew!

The spring Quarterly arrived with some sad news about two of our classmates passing.  Terry Berg, West Bend, WI passed away November 14, 2010.  Terry was a retired pastor and is survived by his wife, Karen, sons David ’95, John ’92 and Stephen ’98 and his brother Brian ’64.  David Olson, Savage, MN passed away on June 9, 2010.  David was a network administrator for the US Department of Agriculture and is survived by his wife Sharon (Tvete ’72) and one son and two daughters.  Our condolences go out to both of their families.

I’d be remiss in not thanking Janalee and Paula for the great class letters in the fall and winter and I’d truly encourage others to write, contribute, email or phone us with news and notes!  By the way, did I mention that we’re looking for a fund raising chairperson, communication chairperson, reunion chairperson and a recruitment chair for the class?

As we head into the summer months enjoy, be safe I and hope life continues to be good for you all!

John Moorhead

1968 Class President

Campus News

Alumni Association Awards Announced

The Greater Gustavus Award is the highest award given to those, who by deed, have notably advanced and aided Gustavus Adolphus College.  Walter Youngquist ’42, Eugene, OR, chair emeritus, Department of Geology, University of Oregon, and consulting geologist, was selected as the 2011 recipient of the Greater Gustavus Award.  Youngquist has established five different endowed funds at the College and is the recipient of a Gustavus Distinguished Alumni Citation in the field of geology in 2002.  Walter’s father, Walter Youngquist ’16, received the Greater Gustavus Award in 1953.

Distinguished Alumni Citations recognize outstanding and exceptional professional achievement, such as unusual honor accorded to the individual in his or her field of endeavor.  Named as 2011 recipients are John “Jack” Bergman ’69, St. Francisville, LA, lieutenant general, retired, United States Marine Corp., in the field of military service; Robert Brown ’83, Rochester, MN, John T. and Lillian Matthews Professor of Neuroscience, Chair of Department of Neurology, Mayo Clinic, in the field of medicine; and Mark Thomsen ’78, Henderson, NV, professional operatic tenor, in the field of music.

The First Decade Award recognizes early professional achievement to one female and one male in the 10th Anniversary Class.  Selected were Kirsten Cullen Sharma ’01, New York, NY, clinical assistant professor, New York University Child Study Center, New York University Langone Medical Center, and Jonathan Poole ’01, Washington, DC, special agent, violent crime branch, Diplomatic Security Service, U.S. Department of State.  The Awards will be presented at the Alumni Banquet on Saturday, May 28.

Sesquicentennial Award

In 2011–2012, Gustavus will celebrate its 150th academic year.  The Board of Trustees has established an award in honor of this Sesquicentennial anniversary to recognize individuals who have made a significant difference in the life of the College.  The award, called “The Sesquicentennial Award,” will acknowledge and pay tribute to living alumni, parents, friends, and retired faculty and staff who:

  • Through actions in their personal or professional lives, have advanced the status of Gustavus as a premier liberal arts college;
  • Have set a new precedent in the ways they supported and advanced the mission of the College as an institution dedicated to preparing students “for fulfilling lives of leadership and service in society”; and/or
  • Have brought particular dignity or honor to the College.

Please submit nominations online at .  For more information about the Sesquicentennial Awards, visit .

“Come on You Gusties” Breakfasts

Engage with other alumni and learn something new about your alma mater at the monthly Gustie breakfasts.  The speaker for May will be Carolyn O’Grady, international education and for June it is Grady St. Dennis, director of church relations.  The Minneapolis breakfast is Wednesday, May 18, 8–9:30 a.m., at the Doubletree Hotel Minneapolis-Park Place, 1500 Park Place Blvd. Cost is $10 at the door.  Reserve your spot by e-mailing the Office of Alumni Relations at or by calling 800-487-8437.

The St. Peter breakfast will be Wednesday, May 11, 7:30–9 a.m. in a campus banquet room in the C. Charles Jackson Campus Center.  Cost is $8 per person, or $15 for two, payable at the door.  Reserve your spot by e-mailing or by calling 507-933-7512.

Chapter Gatherings

This year President and Kris Ohle have traveled to many parts of the country and made 15 stops in various cities, in order to reach out to all of our alumni and bring them an update from the College.  Summer will bring another round of picnic gatherings – so please mark your calendar if you live near one of these locations:

Mankato, MN – May 31

Rochester, MN – June 1

Sioux Falls, SD – June 6

Fargo, ND/Moorhead, MN – June 7

St. Cloud, MN – June 8

Apple Valley, MN – July 12

Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN – July 13

Long Lake, MN – July 14

Duluth, MN – July 26

Grand Rapids, MN – July 27

Brainerd, MN - July 28