Class of '70
Dear Gustie Classmates of 1970,
We are well into the year 2000 and nearing the 30-year anniversary of our graduation from Gustavus. I don’t know about you, but this is a concept that is hard to grasp. Sometimes when I am on campus it seems like we just finished, the images of Jack Clark, Esby, Ham and Gerhard Alexis are still quite vivid in my mind.
Well some things about Gustavus have seen a lot of change in the last thirty years. If you have not experienced them, it is really quite fun. The facilities have been upgraded to state of the art and are continuing to improve. The amount of building and renovation that has taken place since the notorious tornadoes of March 1998 is astounding. The new Campus Center is finished, complete with the Evelyn Young Dining Room that will be dedicated in April. Work begins this spring on a new dorm, between Olin Hall (also new since our graduation) and the football field. They will actually have to move the football field a few yards to accommodate the dorm. And a new running track with soccer field will be constructed for the 2000 season. This will necessitate the rerouting of Ring Road and cause a new look to the north and west end of campus. I hope you all take a tour sometime this year, preferably on Saturday, September 30 for Homecoming and our official 30th reunion day on campus.
As much as some things have changed at Gustavus, some things have stayed the same. There is still the striking chapel that forms the center of the campus and can be seen from all over St. Peter, Hello Walk with its friendly (and young) faces, and the feeling of life and focus and fun. Last weekend, I experienced a bit of nostalgia when my son, Ty, a senior at Gustavus came home to load up with his bicycle, his golf clubs, sandals, shorts, and tennis racquet for the 70+ degree weather of spring. Don’t you remember those first warm, sunny days on the hill when everyone was outside sunning, strolling, studying, and tossing things in the air? They were the greatest!! But we never got them till May—this was in March, early March! Oh, well, I think there may be a few more days of Gustie wind-chill on the hill this spring.
This fall I joined the Alumni Board for a three-year term. It has been great getting to know people from other classes and sharing our Gustavus stories. I will be talking more about this in future letters, but I did want to let all of you know that a new alumni house is in the planning and should be ready for our reunion next fall. The house is located next to Norelius Dorm, the old Co-ed. Plans include livingroom-like space to gather and relax with original artwork from Gustie grads, a library of college history, sports memorabilia, yearbooks, photos, videos and records of Gustie grads. Of course there will be meeting space and hopefully a deck with grill for informal gatherings. If you are an artist, musician, etc. and want to be represented in the alumni house let us know.
At our last Alumni Board meeting in February, the guest speaker was Al Molde ’66, the Athletic Director. Al and his wife, Ingrid (Wilson ’68) along with their son, Evan, came to Gustavus in the fall of 1997. Al and Ingrid are Gustie grads and their son, Evan, is a junior at Gustavus. Al and Ingrid bought a house in St. Peter, but ended up letting Evan and his friends live in it and they moved into Pittman, formerly Valley View, as head residents. According to Ingrid, they do not have to be the disciplinarians and hand out late minutes like Mrs. Jensen used to do when we lived there, they just try to encourage a sense of community and have fun with the student residents. Sounds kind of fun to me!
Anyway, Al presented a very interesting report on the state of the athletic department. This is another area where things have certainly changed, but at the same time they have in a sense, remained the same. Athletics continue to be extremely active at Gustavus and the programs that Gustavus offers are a big draw for many of the students. Gustavus has top-notch facilities and they are well used. On any given Saturday, there are athletic contests on every corner of the campus. Of the 2400 students, 695 of them participate in varsity athletics, and almost half of them are female; I was born too early. There are 25 varsity teams, 13 women’s teams and 12 men’s teams. Women’s hockey just finished its third season, and this year was the first year for men’s and women’s Nordic skiing. Gustavus has finished in the top 25 nationally in the Sears Cup for the last four years. The Sears Cup is a ranking of overall sports success among the 417 Division III schools around the country. It is a measure of total program strength. This tops any of the MIAC schools. Varsity sports are the frosting on the cake for many students and there are wonderful opportunities for these student athletes at Gustavus. Varsity sports at the Division III level function to develop leadership and discipline in young women and men. Thank you Al, for your positive leadership in growing athletes and team players.
There is a very active intramural program at Gustavus as well. Right now I know my son, Ty, is participating in walleyball, indoor soccer, and tennis. He is also completing his phy-ed requirement for graduation with badminton and weight lifting. Oh to be young!! I keep reminding him about the frosting thing—the real cake is the academics. As interest and participation grow out of the intramural and club sports program, some of these teams are eventually considered for varsity status, if the interest is great enough.
Phonorama is around the corner again and hopefully you will be contacted by someone in our class. There are never enough volunteer callers to reach all of you, so if you do not hear from one of us, don’t hesitate to contact us. If you could join us for a night of calling, March 20, 21, 23, 27, 28 or 30, let me know. We do have a good time reminiscing and we want lots of information for the upcoming reunion. Our class also needs to get our percentages of giving up; we are only at 20.2%. If you can even give a token amount, it means a lot to the college as a gesture of support.
I am thrilled to be attending graduation this spring for the class of 2000. I am sure I will see many of you there. The rest of you I hope to see next fall at our 30th reunion; Friday night in the Twin Cities and Saturday on campus.
Lindy Turner Purdy
Now…what you have all been waiting for, news from your classmates!!
- Sandy MacKenzie Madsen, of Hudson WI, checks in with no new news…but they sure seem busy with children, parents, gardening, redecorating, walking, reading, biking, skiing, horses and church. The entire family climbed Long’s Peak, a 14,250’ mountain on their summer vacation and survived a lightening/hailstorm above the treeline. I’m tired just hearing about it. Good job Sandy and family!
- Connie Ericson graduated magna cum laude from the University of Houston Law Center in May of 1999 and in September she began work in energy practices for the Houston office of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. She sends this story; "When I graduated from Gustavus I was one of about 10 members of the class of 1970 who chose not to wear a cap and gown. As I recall, we were given a choice, but not wearing the cap and gown ended up being the unpopular choice. My mother was horrified. When I asked her to attend my law school graduation her first question was whether I’d wear a cap and gown this time. I did."
- Diane Mickelson Brady has accepted a new position as the executive director of The Volunteer Resource Center of the Twin Cities. She is redefining this position as she works with the merger of the agencies from Minneapolis and St. Paul. Good luck Diane, it sounds exciting!
- Nina Malo West is a third grade teacher in St. Peter. She has one son attending Gustavus and one planning to attend in the fall of 2000.
- Bob Maland is a dentist in Shoreview, MN.
- Murlane Johnson Henderson resides in Edina and is a hostess at Daniel’s Italian Restaurant.
- Torger Reve is the president/dean of the Norway School of Management and Business in Bergen Norway. Torger, I hope you can make it back for the reunion, you could probably get the prize for traveling the farthest.
- Mary Torstenson Gruman lives in Plymouth and is a staff nurse at the University of Minnesota Hospital. Her busy family has three students including her husband who is studying orthopedic massage. I wonder whom he practices on??
- Mike Polkowske is president of First Security Bank in West Yellowstone, Montana. Sounds like a beautiful spot to be Mike.
- Ralph Yernberg is a graduate of Luther Seminary and is currently the executive director of Sky Ranch in Ft. Collins. Marcia Larson Yernberg is a staff accompanist for the Ft. Collins High School and Zion Lutheran Church of Loveland.
- Marcia Gustafson is the curriculum and evaluation manager for Close Up Foundation in Alexandria, Virginia. Marcia sends the following story. "I have been at the Close Up Foundation for more that 15 years. I heard about the organization through a Gustie section-mate, Joyce Parks. I remember that she knitted for me a black and gold winter hat, which I still have. Sadly, I learned that Joyce died through a class letter."
- Paul Carpenedo is the executive director of the Erie Homes for Children and Adults in Erie, PA.
- Darrell Kujala is the accountant for the ISD 625 and lives in White Bear Lake.
- Pat Gabrielson Thomas lives in Tyler, MN and is the director of adult education for the Marshall Area Adult Learning Center.
- Leslie Strom Rose is in Spokane, Washington where she is a mother of four.
- Jane Erckenbrack is a social worker in Wadena, MN, welcome back to Minnesota Jane!!
- James Lundbohm is a teacher in ISD 682, in Roseau, MN.
- Linda Jungck McMahon just returned to teaching after 23 years in the travel industry. She is part of the magnet program at Washburn High School teaching travel and tourism. Washburn is part of the National Academy of Travel and Tourism.
- Ken Nordlie is a trust officer at Richfield Bank & Trust.
That’s all folks…what fun it was to hear stories related to our days at Gustavus. Please take time during Phonorama (or anytime soon) to share a good story with us for the next letter before our reunion. It will help us know each other better and have more fun at the reunion.
PS. Any of you Tau Mu Tau’s who did not receive information on the TM reunion—April 15, 12:00 PM in the new dining room. Questions? Call reunion organizer Chelsa Johnson (507) 931-7932.