Class of '69
December 2004

Dear Classmates,

I’m having a difficult time reconciling, having come together to celebrate our 35th anniversary of graduation with my vivid memories of our 25th reunion!  It was a wonderfully fun time so I know it must be true.  And now that we’re in the rush to begin shopping and put up lights its evident the holidays are upon us.

Karlie’s frustrated because our lights don’t look as good as the neighbors, but I pointed out that though we have inferior bushes for nets, we did manage to get a line through the culvert on the third try and now can boast three tall trees lit so far.  One of them even has those wonderful round spheres of lights.  Now approaching 32 years ago, while we were living in California we bought a string of C9s on sale and put them on our apartment deck for New Year’s.  We continue to put them around the garage though by now there are quite a few sockets out.  This year we finally broke down and bought another string to weave among the original.  For those of you who have left Minnesota, it’s again been a pretty easy year to do such jobs.  We have no snow on the ground and I’ve yet to see a hint of ice on Big Fish Lake as I drive past on the way to work. 

One positive factor of times rushing by ever faster as we grow older is that we seem to have Christmas much oftener.  I could swear that last Saturday I went to Christmas in Christ Chapel for the third time this year!  It was, as always, a stunning program.  I wish I could adequately relay how much so.  The program was built around triptych paintings, sets of three interconnected paintings that portray Advent, Nativity, and Epiphany.  The decorations were very simple―bare evergreen trees suspended on the side pillars―to accentuate the three paintings hanging in the front.  The artist was featured on the program and there was an opportunity for many to meet him as he sat in the balcony.  I know too little about art to understand how this was done, but each was 15 to 20 feet tall and appeared to have been painted on silk by the way they shimmered and moved in the air currents.  As the program began, each was covered in draped silk and unveiled as the program’s theme moved from Advent, to Nativity, to Epiphany.  All together a magnificent experience.

After last year’s event we visited Schumacher’s in New Prague for the first time in many years and found it wonderful.  If you’re relatively nearby and also have not done that for a while, I urge you to make a chance to get there.  From now until New Year’s they have roast goose on the menu and it’s wonderful.

Sunday found us in another endeavor that seems to come around more than once a year―a Sunday school breakfast for the kids to raise money to buy gifts for other kids whose names are on the Salvation Army angel tree.  They serve until noon and then we take them to Target to do the shopping.  For some reason David preferred to stay behind running the church dishwasher to shopping.  After finishing the cleanup we managed to get ourselves to Ciattis for a late afternoon lunch.  That evening we were pleased to have gotten tickets to a second performance of “A Celtic Christmas” at St. Ben’s.  We got there ten minutes early and when we drove around to the front theater where the concert was taking place I was surprised to find it all dark.  David checked the tickets and we’d arrived a week early!  It was so much better than a week late that we didn’t really mind.  So now, I'll add, if you’re in the Cities and interested in “A Celtic Christmas,” there may still be tickets left.


Cherish the Ladies - A Celtic Christmas

Sunday, December 12

2:00 p.m. limited seats available


Petters Auditorium, Benedicta Arts Center, College of Saint Benedict The New York Times has rated “On Christmas Night” as one of the most notable Christmas CDs in 2004.

Cherish the Ladies has grown from a one-time concert concept to an Irish traditional music sensation, literally the most successful and sought after Irish-American group in Celtic music history.  With their unique blend of instrumental talents, beautiful vocals, captivating arrangements and stunning step dancing, this powerhouse group combines all the facets of Irish traditional culture and puts it forth in a humorous and entertaining holiday package.  They have been named Entertainment Group of the Year by the Irish Voice Newspaper and received the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall's International Group of the Year Award at the Celtic Connections Festival in Scotland.  The women blaze forward...named Best Musical group of the year for 2002 by the BBC...this year’s top North American Celtic act by NPR radio's "Thistle and Shamrock"...and continue to enchant audiences worldwide.

Tomorrow I’m heading down for lutefisk and all the other wonders of St. Lucia.  I’ll share that, as well as news of us in January.  In the meantime, may you all have a joyous holiday season balanced with joyous laughter and time for quiet reflective peace.  May it be a time of rekindled hope and a time to treasure family, friends, and Gustavus, which binds us rather diverse people.

Jane Norman Leitzman

1969 Co-class Agent

Campus News:

Nobel Conference, The Science of Aging

The 40th Anniversary of the Nobel Conference was on the Science of Aging.  The campus hosted over 6,000 guests October 5-6 to learn about the research molecular biologist are conducting on longevity, Alzheimer’s, and delaying debilitating disease and how this impacts life expectancy, the economy, and the health-care system.

New Residence Hall

Work crews have been busy this summer and fall constructing a new residence hall on campus.  The goal is to have the building enclosed before winter.  The building, located southwest of the football field will house 200 students in suites and apartments and is scheduled to open for fall 2005.

Gustie Pages

Looking for a dentist, doctor, lawyer, pastor, realtor, and much more?  Make it a Gustie!  The Gustie Pages is an online database of Gusties who have submitted information about their profession.  Use the Gustavus network to meet your needs or submit your professional information if you would like other Gusties to be your customers.

Athletics Hall of Fame

The Gustavus Adolphus College Athletics Department has chosen eight individuals for induction into its Athletics Hall of Fame.  The 2004 inductees include Lori Allen ’88 (golf), Jim Chalin ’76 (basketball), Bruce Edwards ’77 (ice hockey), Barb Jaeger ’88 (soccer), Dean Kraus ’89 (football), Pachi Lopez ’71 (soccer), Greg Peterson ’88 (golf), and Gary Reinholtz (long-time athletic trainer, benefactor).  This group was honored at the Athletics Hall of Fame Banquet, which was Saturday, October 16.

Extraordinary Place

Gustavus is once again ranked among the top 100 liberal arts colleges in the nation in U.S. News and World Report's annual college rankings.  Gustavus is one of five Minnesota colleges in the top 100 national liberal arts colleges for overall quality (Carleton, Macalester, St. Olaf, Gustavus, St. John’s).  The ranking groups schools into categories based on a national educational classification that includes national liberal arts colleges, national doctoral universities (University of Minnesota, St. Thomas), regional master's degree-granting universities (Hamline, St. Catherine’s, Bethel, Augsburg), and comprehensive regional colleges (Concordia-St Paul).

Upcoming Events

  • Boston Chapter Event -- Jan. 25
  • New York Chapter Event -- Jan. 26
  • Washington, D.C. Chapter Event -- Jan. 28
  • Tampa Bay Chapter Event -- Feb. 2
  • Vero Beach Chapter Event -- Feb. 4
  • Marco Island Chapter Event -- Feb. 5
  • Tucson Chapter Event -- March 18
  • Phoenix Chapter Event -- March 19
  • Sun City Chapter Event -- March 20
  • Seattle Chapter Event -- April 1
  • Bay Area Chapter Event -- April 2
  • Class of 1954 and 50-Year Club Reunion – May 27-28
  • Class Reunions for 1960, 1965, 1970, 1975, 1980, 1985, 1990, 1995, 2000 – October 7-9, 2005