Class of '70
Greetings from your two class agents, Lindy Turner Purdy and Diane Mickelson Brady. Thirty years ago, we were entering our junior year at Gustavus, Lindy on campus and Diane at the "nunnery," aka Bethesda Hospital in St. Paul. Canopies of glorious fall colored leaves graced the Hill, the Aud stood proudly next to Old Main and our progressive campus saw men and women moving in together…well, into the same building anyway. (How was it that we thought that the "new dorm" was a co-ed dorm?) As I recall, that was the same year that senior women were relieved of "hours." At Bethesda, that meant signing in the E.R. and walking to the dorm through a spooky underground tunnel.
Thirty years have seen a few changes in our lives and in Gustavus as well. Lindy and I are now mothers to two Gusties. Lindy’s son, Ty, is a junior who lives off campus (in our day, I think that you had to be married to do that; Ty isn’t). Diane’s daughter, Colleen, is a senior dance and communications studies major and lives in the newly completed College View Apartments, an on-campus apartment style dorm complete with two bedrooms, two baths, a full kitchen and air conditioning. Now days, nearly all the dorms are co-ed and until the March tornado, Co-ed (now officially named Norelius) was still called the "New Dorm." A flurry of building over this past summer has created some new dormitory space on campus. Off campus housing, as you might imagine, is in short supply. When students arrived on campus this fall, the Hill was once again covered with trees wearing beautiful fall colors, but we won’t be referring to canopies of trees for a while yet. If you stand in front of Old Main looking out over the valley, as Lindy and I did a few weeks ago, there is a new beauty evident. You can see much of St. Peter and all the way down to the river, much as the founders of the college might have seen. Turn to your right and you’ll notice another change. Johnson Hall is gone, yet another tornado loss.
There have been extraordinary changes in the months following the tornado. And, yet, we can tell you that wonderful opportunities have been created as well. To quote President Steuer, "Gustavus now has the newest roofs and carpeting, the most thermally efficient windows and the most overstuffed chairs of any campus in the country!" Improvements have been made in energy conservation, computer access and the amount and quality of on campus housing. The music department has been able to replace all its pianos with Steinways¾ we could go on and on. What we have most enjoyed and appreciated though has been the leadership, dedication and perseverance of the faculty and staff and the flexibility, tolerance and enthusiasm of the students. Gustie spirit still reigns! Indeed, the class of 2002 is the largest ever. (One member of the freshman class is Ross Nelson, Sue Anderson Nelson’s youngest son. Sue and I were section-mates in Wahlstrom Hall during our first year. My daughter, Colleen, was a Gustie Greeter for freshman orientation this year and had Ross in her orientation group¾ I love how these Gustavus connections go on and on!)
Another of the recent changes at Gustavus has been the combination of several giving programs into one, The Gustavus Fund. Alumni gifts to this fund provide unrestricted dollars to the College to use where they are most needed. Can you imagine a time when unrestricted funds are needed more than right now, when the college¾ your college- is recovering from the effects of over 60 million dollars of tornado damage? Now is the time when your financial support is greatly needed and never more appreciated. All gifts –gifts of all sizes are especially important right now. Lindy and I hope you will join us in giving not only toward Gustavus’ recovery, but also for its continued leadership in educating students for lives of responsible leadership. And once you’ve made that initial contribution, we hope you’ll consider an additional gift toward replanting the campus. Remembering our class’ particular defense of trees in the spring of 1970, we would love to see a tree planted in the name of the Class of ’70.
I’m going to close here, but then I’m going to have the alumni office insert the campus news and then you’ll hear from Lindy Turner Purdy, Co-Class Agent.
Diane Mickelson Brady
1970 Co-Class Agent
The 1998-99 academic year opened with a record enrollment of 2,470 full-time students (compared with the previous record of 2,389 set in 1988), including a record 700 incoming students (compared to 648 of 1987). Contributing to the record enrollment is the stable 94 percent full-time student retention rate. Students returned to a campus that has been newly landscaped with 400 trees planted last spring and nurtured over the summer. They also discovered that 95% of all repairs made necessary by the tornado of March 29 are now completed. They returned to find Johnson Hall gone as it proved to be "beyond repair," but they also were greeted by a new College View Apartment addition, which houses 92 upper-class students, and the recently purchased Jefferson Avenue apartments (now known as Arbor View), which houses 60 upper-class students. In addition to new carpeting, painting, and furnishings, the campus is sporting 300 new state of the art computers for students and faculty, 28 new Steinway pianos (making us a member of a very elite circle of "All Steinway" campuses), 13 new high-tech multimedia systems for classrooms, new and upgraded outdoor and indoor athletic facilities, and new scientific equipment.
What remains to be done? The Prairie View Residence Hall, to be in place and opened in October, will house 60 students. It will be located west of Schaefer Fine Arts Center. Physically and symbolically the repair/restoration era will end with the placement of the spire and the cross back on the top of Christ Chapel. The spire will go up in sections over a two-day period and the cross is scheduled to be set on Thursday, October 22, weather permitting.
Students also noted the beginning stages of construction on the new Campus Center. This project, part of our strategic plan, was accelerated by the storm. The official groundbreaking ceremony will take place Monday, October 19. This $18.6 million, 51,000 square foot construction project will double the size of the Dining Service Building, providing students, faculty and staff with expanded and improved dining, meeting and office spaces. The Dining Room will, appropriately, be named for Evelyn Young ’33, longtime director of the Dining Service at Gustavus. In progress also is an addition to the Melva Lind Interpretive Center to house the Department of Environmental Studies.
US News and World Report continues to give Gustavus high ranking. This fall’s issue again placed Gustavus in the top half of the 162 national liberal arts colleges in the country. Gustavus is one of four colleges in Minnesota to be in this category. The others are Carleton, Macalester and St. Olaf. The other ELCA schools in addition to Gustavus and St. Olaf are Gettysburg, Muhlenberg and Augustana (IL). Many of the schools with which you are familiar are classified as either a "national" or a "regional" college. National liberal arts colleges have the most selective admission policy, recruit nationally and offer most of their degrees in the liberal arts. Regional liberal arts colleges are less selective in admitting students and grant fewer than 40% of their degrees in the liberal arts.
US News further honored Gustavus by ranking the College third nationally (out of 90 schools) in operating efficiency. This ranking measures academic quality and dollars spent to deliver that quality. Gustavus was the only Minnesota college ranked in this comparison of national liberal arts colleges.
Newsweek magazine’s college publication again listed Gustavus as a "buried treasure." These are colleges that are known as "Hot Schools, Cool Spots." The magazine describes Gustavus as a place where "Personal attention rules--can’t slide by here." Other buried treasures include: Davidson College, Davidson, NC; Grinnell College, Grinnell, IA; Pomona College, Claremont, CA; Trinity University, San Antonio, TX; and College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA. Good company, indeed.
Children of alumni continue to be honored for their academic achievement and potential when they enroll at Gustavus. The Alumni Scholarship of $2,500 (renewable to $10,000 over four years) is awarded to children and grandchildren of alumni with high school grade point averages of 3.5 or better, or SAT scores of 1170 or an ACT of 26. This fall Gustavus welcomed to campus 70 new entering students who are children of alumni. Sixty-seven legacy students were awarded an Alumni Scholarship. This number includes 54 children of alumni and 13 grandchildren of alumni.
Nobel Conference XXXIV, Virus: The Human Connection was October 6 & 7. The Nobel Conference magazine was again inserted in the August Minnesota Monthly magazine and sent to the entire Gustavus mailing list.
Christmas in Christ Chapel is December 4, 5 & 6. The theme this year is The Holy Family. A ticket order form was inserted in the center of the Summer Quarterly and another form is enclosed with this class letter.
The Gustavus Orchestra will perform its Autumn Concert at the Ted Mann Concert Hall on the campus of the University of Minnesota on Saturday, November 14, at 7:30 p.m. The featured violin soloist is Siqing Lu, one of the most important Chinese violinists of his generation. General admission tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for students and seniors. Call the University of Minnesota Arts Ticket Office (612-624-2345) or Gustavus Ticket Center at (507-933-7598).
G.I.V.E. (Gusties In Volunteer Endeavors), a day of community service, was a huge success for another year. Alumni, parents and friends gathered on Saturday, October 3 to work together in the spirit of service to better their communities. An impact was made around the country as nearly 1,000 Gusties worked in nine cities including: Atlanta, GA; Boston, MA; Duluth, MN; Fargo, ND; Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN; Orlando, FL; Saint Peter, MN; Seattle, WA and Washington, DC.
Recycle your Quarterly – after reading each issue of the Gustavus Quarterly, we encourage you to "recycle" the magazine by taking it to your place of business or worship and sharing it with others. Spread the good word about Gustavus!
Alumni Chapters will be meeting in cities around the country near you! Mark your calendars today for the following Alumni Association chapter visits: Chicago, November 14; Atlanta, November 19; Washington, DC, November 20; Boston, November 21; Denver, February 1 (Gustavus Band concert); Fargo, Feb. 20; Seattle, March 5; San Francisco, March 6; Los Angeles, March 7; Phoenix, March 8; and Sun City, March 9.
Greetings to all of you Class of 70ers
It has been a busy year for me and a busier year for all of the folks involved with Rebuilding a Greater Gustavus effort. I’m sure by now you have all heard many things about our alma mater and its devastation during the March 29 tornado, but I would like to use this space to talk about the miraculous rebuilding process that started on March 30 and will be complete with the raising of the Chapel spire on October 22.
We first heard about the tornado while we were in Puerto Rico with our son, Ty (a junior at Gustavus), and three of his Gustavus buddies on spring break. The news was so unbelievable and our information was sketchy, but the thought of what might await us when we returned was never out of our minds. The boys were actually glum at the thought of a never-ending spring break. The damage turned out to be worse than we ever imagined, yet by the time we arrived home, the clean-up was well underway and the optimism was sky high.
Throughout this heroic time, I have been continually impressed with the leadership shown by President Steuer and the Gustavus staff and their concern for the students. Tough times will bring out the best and the worst in people, but it was heartwarming to hear only good things, inspiring things, things to be proud of from the staff and friends of the college. The fact that students had vacated the campus for spring break just 24 hours before the tornado hit, was indeed the greatest blessing surrounding this event. And I think the greatest benefit that has come from the tornado is the outpouring of love and commitment to our college. It had been wonderful to see alumni appear after years of anonymity. Faces I haven’t seen in years and voices I haven’t heard have surfaced to remember those wonderful years and to be counted as Gustavus alums. Because of this marvelous spirit and commitment, Gustavus started this fall with its largest and probably most talented group of freshmen in the history of the college, bringing the total enrollment to its highest level in history 2,450. As President Steuer has said on numerous occasions, Gustavus started this fall with the newest roofs, the newest carpet and overstuffed furniture, the newest glass and grass of any campus in the country. There is much to be thankful for in the wake of this disaster.
A few changes have taken place with regard to the $$$$ challenge. I have always hated asking for it and I am pleased that as class agents we’ll be responsible to call at Phonorama only during reunion years¾ for us the years ending with a 5 or 0. Diane and I have been alone in calling classmates for the last few years and there was no way of reaching even a fraction of you. I did enjoy catching up with your lives during those calls. Now highly trained students will call alumni that are not reached by classmates. Sooooo, now the job will fall into your lap. I would ask you take a moment to talk to these callers and to please consider a gift to Gustavus if you can afford one; either to the newly named Gustavus Fund or to the Building Fund. We have requested that they inform us if any of you want a call from Diane or from me. I hope you will give them an update of your current situation, even if it does not seem like news to you we want to hear all about what you are up to. We will reprint all information in the class newsletters. Even if you do not receive a call, we are anxious to hear from all of you.
Another change is the name of the fund from Annual Fund to The Gustavus Fund. (Same fund, different name.) The Gustavus Fund is the ongoing fund that uses alumni dollars to frost the cake, so to speak. It provides additional funds to maintain that margin of excellence to attract high quality students. The Building Fund is a capital fund made specifically to pay for the basics needed to enrich student life like the campus center, residential living or for campus beautification. Much of the rebuilding work has been done, but not all the dollars have been found to pay for this enormous job.
Now to the good stuff¾ I had the pleasure of talking to Dennis Lofgren’s mother at the Class Agents Day and she insisted that Dennis call me and let me know what is happening in his life. He is the executive producer and director of Dennis Lofgren Productions. His most recent production Killer Weather was the highest rated documentary ever shown on TBS. He is currently directing a national infomercial, developing a TV series and a feature film. Congratulations Dennis¾ it’s amazing what a distributive science major can do. I was down at Gustavus this past weekend and ran into Joy Arend Burdick. She looks fabulous and is teaching 4th grade in Lino Lakes. Carol Kingbay Kuhl is teaching at St. Luke’s Christian Preschool in Bloomington. Paul and Karen (Backels ’72) Carpenedo sent their condolences to Gustavus and St. Peter. Karen is a staff writer for the Erie Daily Times and Paul is executive director of Erie Homes for children and adults in Erie, PA. Carolyn Duncan Glenz is employed as an ambulatory review coordinator at Gundersen Lutheran in La Crosse, WI.
Susan Jones was married on November 1, 1997 to James Turgeon and they are living in Apple Valley¾ Congrats you newly-weds!! Janet Carter is a regulatory compliance auditor at S.C. Johnson Wax, conducting internal scientific audits for EPA-registered products such as pesticides and disinfectants. She audits the process development pilot plant, the entomology center (where all the bugs are) and the analytical and microbiology labs. Roger Stearns is the president of Stearnwood, Inc, a heavy-duty packaging firm in Hutchinson and director of FSF Financial Corp., a bank holding company on the NASDAQ. "Retiring from Blue Cross/Blue Shield Board of Directors in two months, I have managed your health care long enough (10 years)¾ on my second pacemaker so it is time to manage my own health. Third wife makes me feel successful and famous, while wife #2 and kids keep me from being rich and make me feel like a failure. Life is Great and Never Boring!"
Jane Bader DeStaercke is a high school English teacher in Gilman, WI. Diane Bliss Boruff was selected the Outstanding Teacher of the Year at Burnsville High School. This summer she led a student group to study in Spain. Congratulations Diane! Bucky and Sue (Hanson ’72) Zeitz are parents to Shawn a freshman at Colorado College and Chad a senior at Dubuque High School. Bucky manages the Sundown Mountain Ski Resort and coaches the junior race team and Sue is in the acute ICU at Jackson County Hospital. John and Lee (Blanc x72) Anderson’s youngest son, Marty graduated in the class of 1998 from Gustavus. John teaches math at Ely High School and Lee teaches math at Vermilion Community College. Greg ’69 and Kathleen Anderson Gunderson became grandparents to Jake in June of 1997. Kathy is employed by the Minnesota Correctional Facility.
Since 1993, Marcia Gustafson has been traveling to Pacific Islands to help educators adapt civic education materials developed by Close-Up Foundation for middle school students. She has made 16 trips to six different locations including American Samoa, Mariana Islands, Micronesia, Guam, and the Marshall Islands adapting the curriculum to the history of these Pacific cultures. How about leading a Gustie tour to these interesting destinations, Marcia? Dr. Tom Aug earned the Minnesota Dental Association’s Distinguished Service Award for 1997. Tom has dental offices in Zumbrota and Wanamingo. He is involved in the International Health Services, or organization of doctors, dentists and nurses who volunteer their time to practice medicine in areas without modern health care. Tom has made 14 trips to the most remote and primitive areas of Honduras, working with up to 100 patients a day. This fulfilled a pledge he made to a religion professor at Gustavus to try to help humanity. What a great example for all of us Tom!
That’s all Folks! Keep the news coming in.
Lindy Turner Purdy
1970 Co-Class Agent