Class of '71
May 2003

Greetings to the Gustavus Class of 1971!

First, I must apologize for taking SO long to get out a class letter!  I'm expecting to be nominated for "Procrastinating Class Agent of the Year!"

My second-graders have left for the day and I'm sitting in my classroom thinking about one more school year ending in ten more days!  It actually feels like it could have been about a month or two ago when I thought, "Oh, shoot!   Halloween's THIS week!  What costume do I wear to school for our year's Halloween party?"  (Okay, I realize it's now officially called a "Harvest Party," but even my second graders realize we're not really celebrating the fall harvest!)  That was SIX months ago―look at all that's happened since October―and now the end of the year is here!

Gustavus alumni office records show there are presently 1,883 Gustie alums who are pre-school, elementary or secondary school teachers.  Another 888 of us teach at the college and university level.  After thirty years I still love teaching, but I must say I've always appreciated summer vacation!

Because the Alumni Fund closes soon―May 31―would you please sit down right now and send a gift to Gustavus if you haven't already done so?  Gustavus has a goal of getting fifty percent of its alums to make gifts to the annual fund!  Won't you please help make that possible?  Now―some updates about our classmates!

Dave Miller took early retirement from the state of Florida and moved to the Charleston area where he's working as a district manager for Lowe's...Terri Ulku Behrends-Singer is a data resource assistant for the Metropolitan Airports Commission in the Twin Cities...Brian Wohlrabe is in sales with Northstar Lift Trucks...Marilee Boole Morinaga is teaching special education and doing art therapy with middle school students in Santa Fe...Helen Sutter Gudeman is chair of the language arts division of the World Studies and International Studies Academy at Streamwood High School in Streamwood near Chicago...

Susan Alexis has been working on a book for Fairview Press about people who have used Fairview's medical grant program and to do charitable work.  She's living in Albuquerque...Jim Ackerman is director of the distribution centers for the Eckerd Corporation in Orlando...Warren Borchert continues teaching physical education and spends summers as a guide in the Sawtooth Mountain area of Mountain Home, Idaho...Mike Ablan continues to practice law and lives in La Crescent, Minnesota...

Sally Jo Helgerud Enstad is lead photo stylist for "Country Sampler Magazine" and lives in Palatine, Illinois...David Eskilson is a housing consultant at for Taylorsville Homes in Edinburgh, Indiana...Dan Kratz continues his work with Children's Hospital and Clinics in St. Paul...Dennis Baldus is a principal in Victoria, District 112... Dick Hagen is a senior materials analyst/expeditor with the Toro Company in Shakopee...Sheila Gullickson Ehrich is now living in Farmington.  She received an award―"Friend of MCGT"―from the Minnesota Council for the Gifted and Talented...Pearl Seabrooks Fuller is the assistant principal at Martin Luther King, Jr. High School in Lythonia, Georgia...

Dale Pangrac and his family were chosen "Farm Family of the Year for Winona County."  They're dairy farmers near Lewiston...Lynn Freund Pettit was teaching German in Hudson, Wisconsin and has now moved to Allentown, Pennsylvania...Pachi Lopez and his wife Cynthia (Riemann, '77) have an organic vegetable farm in Ecuador.... Harry Gibson is practicing dentistry in Watertown, Wisconsin...

Sue Engel Jennings lives in Roseau where she left her part-time position teaching business to work full-time with the police department as an administrative assistant...Judy Broad continues her work in the obstetrics and nurse midwife unit at Hennepin County Medical Center...Cynthia (Lennartson) and Phil Dalen live in Grant, Minnesota where she's a special education teaching aid and Phil works for SPL Integrated Solutions...

Jane (Fedderson '70) and Dennis Timmerman are both pastors in Spring Valley, Minnesota...Diane Havlik Shallue completed her doctorate in educational leadership at the University of St. Thomas. "Staging the Role of Elder:  A Case Study of an Intergenerational Day Care Center" was the title of her dissertation...Judy Okerman Kastelle and husband Roger have moved to Luck, Wisconsin where he's now a minister...Peter Mudrinich continues to teach German in the Hudson schools.  He and Ursala live in River Falls...Another Wisconsin couple, Neal and Cory (Muth) Jepsen-Hobbs; live in Grafton where Cory is a nurse practitioner at Matthews Oncology Associates.  She received her MSN from Concordia University...After missionary work in Africa, Grace (Philpot) and Mark Monson have been in Duluth ten years.  Son, Luther, is a junior at Gustavus.  He spent a semester abroad in New Zealand and found the farm where his grandfather was born...

The Alumni Office sent an undated copy of a newspaper article featuring Yoshio Okada and his son, Henli, as they were making a cross-country bicycle trip from Seattle to Washington, D.C.  At the time the article was printed they were in Ohio with 800 miles to go.  Yoshio is professor of neurology and neuroscience at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque.  Kenli is at Brown in Providence majoring in math and science...Lynda Rye Bernard and partner, Lucette, have two adopted daughters from China.  Mei-Jing attends a local charter school where they live in Atlanta and Yi-Shan is in a neighborhood preschool...

Your gifts to Gustavus DO make a difference!  Help present and future Gusties have the experiences we had "on the hill!"

I'm hoping this letter finds you healthy and happy!  Thank you once again for your Gustavus support!

Bruce Johnson

1971 Class Agent

P. S.  Now for some news from campus:

Campus News

Dr. James Peterson Named 14th Gustavus President

James Peterson ’64, president and CEO of the Science Museum of Minnesota in St. Paul, was selected as the next Gustavus president.  Peterson is married to Rev. M. Susan Pepin Peterson ’65, senior pastor at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in St. Paul.  They have two married children including Erika Peterson Eklund ’94.  Jim will start his official responsibilities at Gustavus in July 2003.

Alumni Fund Closes May 31 – 1000 new donors needed

The Alumni Fund closes May 31.  Gustavus alumni are trying to again be the best Lutheran college in percentage of alumni annual giving.  The goal is to reach 45% participation this year.  If you have already given, THANK YOU!  If you have given in the past and not yet this year, Gustavus students need your support again.  If you have missed giving, Gustavus needs only 1,000 new donors to reach the goal.  Give online at <> or call 800/487-8437.

Campus Focuses on Peace

Three annual conferences this spring discuss peace.  Conflict Resolution: International, National, and Local was the theme of the annual student-run “Building Bridges” Conference in March featuring Nobel Peace Laureate Oscar Arias Sanchez, former president of Costa Rica. The Association of Congregations Meeting featured Protestant leader Lyle Schaller talking about the future of the church and the changing role of laity and church staff.  And the annual MAYDAY! Peace Conference in April titled, “World Religions: Waging War or Promoting Peace?” featured keynote speaker Krister Stendahl, emeritus professor of divinity, Harvard University, and former bishop of Stockholm, Sweden.

Gustavus Band 125 Year Celebration

What started as 13 silver instruments in 1878 has evolved into the Gustavus Band, which is celebrated its 125th anniversary in May.  Highlights for the weekend included the performance of the 100+ member alumni band and the commissioned work, Of Wind and Wood, by composer Steve Heitzeg ’82 which will be premiered by the current Gustavus Band.

Men’s Basketball Team National Runner-up

The men’s basketball team lost a heartbreaker in the NCAA Division III championship game 67-65 to Williams, on two game-winning free throws in the final seconds of play.  Gustavus was the first MIAC team to ever make it to the championship game.

Celebration of Community Service

The Community Service Center at Gustavus is ten years old.  Since its creation, students participating in community service and service learning in the classroom has dramatically increased.  Currently 60% of the student population participates in some sort of community service program while at Gustavus.  The annual G.I.V.E. (Gusties In Volunteer Endeavors) day of community held May 10 was a time for alumni and students in Minnesota to gather at Gustavus to celebrate and serve, while alumni in other cities also were doing service projects in their own communities.

Upcoming Events

  • 1953 and 50 Year Club Reunion – May 30 & 31
  • Alumni Fund Fiscal Year Closes – May 31
  • Commencement – June 1