Class of '70
November 2009

40-Year Reunion ― September 25, 2010

Hello Gustie Classmates!

So, what were you doing 40 years ago?  Can you remember back that far??  In case you need a little help, it was 1969 and we were well into our senior year on campus.  Some of us were either student teaching or getting ready to do so, some were planning weddings, some were applying to grad school, some had just returned from or were looking forward to adventures in Europe, and most of us were thinking about what our first “real” job might be.  And although we didn’t know it then, life was pretty simple and a lot different without laptops, e-mail and cell phones!

Fast forward to 2009….it’s time to catch up with one another and to mark the 2010 calendar for Saturday, September 25 when our 40th Gustavus reunion will take place back on campus!  Where did those 40 years go?  Where have we been and what have we accomplished?  And no matter what, we all still have one thing in common─Gustavus Adolphus College.

In preparation for the reunion, we hope to hear from many of you, and we’ll share what you have to say in upcoming class letters.  So, we’re asking for your help!

Please take a few minutes and send a quick update about where you are and what you’re doing.  Maybe you are retired; maybe you are getting ready to spend the winter in a warm place; maybe you live in a warm place; maybe you have a job that you enjoy; maybe you recently lost a job that you thought was secure; maybe you have grandchildren; maybe you have an “empty nest;” maybe your kids are back home; maybe you’ve done some interesting traveling.  Or maybe you’d like to recount your favorite Gustavus memory.  Whatever you’d be willing to share, I know your fellow classmates will enjoy reading.  Just send your reply to:

Class News

Following are some recently received updates from our classmates:

Kathy Corl Bill:  My husband, John, and I moved to San Diego a year ago Thanksgiving.  We decided to take an adventure and are living on a boat in the Kona Kai Marina on Shelter Island.  We sold most everything, moved with our two dogs, and are very happy with our choice.  The reasons?  Economics, Aesthetics, and Adventure.  The name of our new home (boat) is Movinn On.  Our daughter lives and works in Boston, our son lives and works in San Diego.  Life is good.

Dale Hedstrand:  I’ve been blessed.  Go to on the left click Associates; then my name; read why I love what I do, then take the time to watch the video.  (EDITOR’S NOTE:  This video also contains footage of Dale’s son as a speed skater in the 2002 Winter Olympics!)  For me it was a defining moment, a verification of who I am and what I do.  The audience of about 1,000 was great.  Since then I’ve received other awards, given other stirring speeches, done more things, but this was a first big one.  My wife, Marilyn (Hendricks ’74) is an alum.  She transferred in after working a while and meeting me.  We were married in 1972 with two more years of Gustavus left.  Somehow we survived.  I actually use my major in economics in my daily work.  Marilyn uses her B.S. in nursing since she is the lab manager at Bethel University where they have 90 students in the junior class, expanding senior class to another 90, plus 105 sophomores and a degree completion and master’s program.  I’m proud of her.  Some say she "runs" the department.  We are using our majors, we both love what we do, we’ve been successful beyond our dreams and we are very grateful.

Danny Kagol:  I’m still teaching and will likely do so for a few more years.  I didn’t start teaching right away when I graduated...I was on the delayed entry program into the teaching profession you might say.

I no longer teach business education.  I am the media specialist at Highview Middle School in New Brighton.  That is in the Mounds View school district.  I also do the desktop support for our building.  Between those two areas of responsibility I have some very busy days.  I think that is one of the major reasons why I still enjoy it so much...there is never a dull moment.

I also work part-time for the Minneapolis Park Board.  In that capacity I work as a Park Patrol Agent for the Minneapolis Park Police.  During the warmer weather I do bicycle patrol around the trails and lakes of Minneapolis.  Not a bad gig to be paid for riding a bicycle.

I live in Minnetonka with my wife, Carla.  When I am not teaching or working for the Park Police I spend time working out and training for triathlons, etc.  All my kids are grown and I will have three granddaughters by the end of February.  Carla and I have been married for 15 years and have one "son"...a six-year old Beagle named "Riley."

Char Johnson Christianson:

1971-1999 - Taught German and English in Anoka-Hennepin, Mounds View, and Osseo districts

2002 – Became "single" after 22 years of marriage and three kids

2006 - Bought a townhome (almost finished with my perennial gardens now) and started my own ACT Prep business

2009 – I’m still teaching ACT, still working on my gardens, and am enjoying writing a long book about one line of my ancestry.

Karen Koepp:  I’m enjoying my job as editor of the Minnesota Orchestra’s program book, loving all the music, juggling extra commitments on a few non-profit boards -- and looking forward to three warm, sunny weeks in Sydney over Christmas and New Year’s to catch up with Australian friends.

Nina Malo West:  I had the good fortune of retiring from teaching in 2007, and to celebrate, Buster ’71 and I enrolled in a Gustavus class—well, sort of.  We joined a fall Seminars International to Egypt.  The Gustavus connection:  The tour was lead by emeritus Gustavus math professor, Samiha Ibrahim, who has taken many January term student groups on this same incredible journey.  She suggested the student reading list, but no tests and no paper required!!  Now that’s my kind of class!  Samiha’s personal connections (including entertaining the group at her apartment in Cairo) enhanced the tour far beyond our expectations.

Kathy Murphy Casmer:  My two daughters are married and my son is a geo-technical engineering graduate student at University of Wisconsin-Madison.  I have four young grandsons, ages 4, 6, 7 and 8, so I buy little boy stuff in quantities of four!  I’m still an educator with experience in the classroom as well as on the Minnetonka school board.  Right now, I’m the Chief GED Examiner working for Hopkins Community Education.  My office is in my old high school, and I love having come full circle.  Since my job is flexible, I have time to enjoy boating on Lake Minnetonka and spending time at Lutsen in the summer and Naples, Florida during the winter.  After an unwelcomed divorce five years ago, I’ve moved to Eden Prairie and have learned to enjoy life again.

Mindy Rittenhouse Greiling:  I am enjoying putting my Gustavus elementary education studies to good use being the Minnesota House of Representatives K-12 Education Finance Chair and am in my 17th year at the Legislature.  My husband, Roger, and I have one five-year-old granddaughter who unfortunately lives in D.C., but we see her as often as possible.  Roger "retired" a few years ago, but still works part time with his old company and another one, so he works a lot, but with less stress.  Not being an election year for me, we are currently remodeling and adding an addition to our home, including getting a new kitchen.  We are planning on many more healthy years.

If you’re on Facebook, Carl Youngdahl has set up a Facebook group for us called “Gustavus Adolphus College - Class of 1970” and there are a few members already out there─so come join the virtual fun!

Send your news/notes to the college and we’ll get them included in the next letter─coming out in January!  Here’s the address:  800 West College Avenue, St. Peter, MN  56082 or if you prefer the electronic way, email to:

We hope everyone knows how important philanthropy is in today’s world and we hope you will choose to make Gustavus one of your recipients this year.  The College, just like everywhere is in need of our support.  Consider participating with a gift of any amount on behalf of our reunion.  You can even go online to make your gift today at:

If you’d like to join our efforts on the reunion committee─we’d love to have more help planning the reunion.  Contact Kathy Erlandsen at Gustavus at:  866-487-3863 or email her at  Our first official meeting will be at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, February 27, 2010 in Eden Prairie, MN at St. Andrew Lutheran Church.  Come for the fellowship!

That’s all of the news for now.  We’re looking forward to hearing from many of you soon; all you have to do is send a couple of lines!  And most of all, we hope to see you in September 2010 back on campus in St. Peter!

Kathy Murphy Casmer

Nina Malo West

Mindy Rittenhouse Greiling

Diane Mickelson Brady

Campus News

Gustavus gets High Rankings

Gustavus Adolphus College is listed as the 33rd best liberal arts college in the country according to a new set of college rankings released on Thursday, September 3, by Washington Monthly magazine.  The publication states on its website that schools were ranked based on their contribution to the public good in three broad categories:  social mobility (recruiting and graduating low-income students), research (producing cutting-edge scholarship and Ph.D.s), and service (encouraging students to give something back to their country).

Gustavus 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 moved up eight places from last year’s rankings to 80th on the magazine’s “Best Liberal Arts College’s” list.  Gustavus is one of six Minnesota colleges that placed in the top 100 in this year’s rankings.  One of the measures used to capture the various dimensions of academic quality at each college is alumni giving percentage; therefore, participating in a giving program at Gustavus, regardless of amount given, is important to the College.

GLA Membership

All of us remember the Folke Bernadotte Memorial Library.  It was a place for study and, depending on your era, finding a “coffee date.”  But, in the 21st century, it has become much more.  It is a technology-rich laboratory for learning and a storehouse of culture and recorded knowledge.  It must constantly be strengthened to ensure excellence in education.  The Gustavus Library Associates (GLA) provides financial support for the library and a program of events to its members.  Join this year and immediately make a difference.  Whatever membership gift level you choose, 100% goes directly to the library’s acquisition budget.  Join today at!!!

“Come on You Gusties” Breakfast

Once a month, Gusties gather for coffee, breakfast, and great conversation along with a campus speaker.  All Gusties are welcomed and invited to the breakfast, third Wednesday of the month, 8-9:30 a.m. at the Doubletree Hotel, Minneapolis-Park Place, 1500 Park Place Boulevard.  Cost is $10 at the door.  Upcoming speaker:  Thomas Young ’88 – Dec. 16.

Upcoming Events

  • Christmas in Christ Chapel – December 4-6, 2009
  • Festival of St. Lucia – December 10, 2009
  • Farewell for Steve and Barb Wilkinson, Minneapolis Hyatt - December 12