Class of '71
January 2006

Happy New Year to all!  I am Joan Sandberg Smith, taking over the duty of class letter writing for a while, giving Bruce Johnson a break.  As I am writing this, we Minnesotans are enjoying a mild winter.  January, typically our coldest month, is giving us several days of above average temperatures—good for those who have to be on the roads a lot, not so good for the cross-country skiers.

My husband Paul and I have been fortunate to have been traveling this winter.  We spent Christmas in California, January 12 we flew to Ft Myers for Paul’s fourth Minnesota Twins Fantasy Baseball Camp, then the end of February we will take a road trip to Conroe, TX, where we have a golf condo for two weeks.  Last year I got my first hole in one there!  (I’d rather be lucky than good.)  But much more thrilling was the birth of our first grandchild in March!  Even though he lives in Denver, we have seen Zachary several times.

We are working on our 35th reunion, which will be held on campus October 6-7.  If you haven’t been called by one of the committee members yet, you should be hearing from someone soon.  We’re expecting and hoping that this will be the best-attended reunion yet, and that you will be among the attendees!  Getting these dates to you many months in advance will enable you to set that weekend aside.

If you haven’t been on campus for many years, you will see many wonderful changes.  I was there for the beautiful Christmas in Christ Chapel concert in early December and was struck by how YOUNG the students are!  Were we really that young?  I’m reminded of my age when, making phone contacts with some of you, many of you are now retirees and grandparents.  I say, “Well done!”  Now, if they only made mirrors like they used to…

Class News

Jim Rusch will retire this June from teaching 10 th -12 th grade social studies in Cleveland, MN, though he will continue his assistant hockey coaching duties with the St. Peter/LeSueur high school team.  He is also a member of the Cleveland Fire and Rescue organization.  Barbara Sjogren is an art instructor at Calhoun School in New York City.  She serves on the teachers advisory committee at the Guggenheim Museum.  In 2004 she traveled to Tanzania to visit her birthplace in Machame and meet artists in the country.  Maggie Ista Swanson participated in a mission trip to Tanzania in October of 2004.  She is employed by the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office in St. Paul as an RN/investigator and is active in the Kekekabic Trail Club, Beaver Valley Camp, Inc, the Beaver Lake Lutheran Church, and is a leader and merit badge counselor for the Boy Scouts of America.

Barb Bussey Ringgold teaches math in Crescent City, CA.  She was named “Teacher of the Year” in the Del Norte County Schools in 2000 and again in 2003 in the Del Norte High School!  Marcia Bomgren Bussey, Barb’s sister-in-law, teaches high school math and coaches tennis at St. Francis School in Wheaton, IL.  The 2005 highlight in Marcia’s coaching career involved senior Jeff Dawson, whom Marcia coached for four years.  Jeff took the state singles title in May, and the St. Francis team placed third overall in a state that has no separate classifications for schools in the state tennis finals.  Jim Lobdell celebrated 25 years as pastor of Holy Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church in Inglewood, CA.  Another award winner, he received the 2004 “Martin Luther King, Jr. Award” from the Inglewood NAACP.

Dr. Gary Gustavson of Lake Bluff, IL, has hit the 30th year in dental practice.  His sons, Mike ’96, an architect in Hawaii, and Mark ’01, dentist in residency in Minneapolis, will again ride their bikes this year starting July 1 from San Francisco and arriving in Charleston, SC, approximately August 3.  This will be Gary’s fourth cross-country bike ride.  Pamela Stone Thomas, of Idaho Springs, CO, recently joined Thrivent Financial for Lutherans as a financial associate.  Professor Richard Swenson, who has been on the faculty at Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, since 1984, was reappointed last year for a second four-year term as department chair in the department of biochemistry in the college of biological sciences.

Bonnie Hammerstrom Kreatz retired from Wayzata ISD in November 2004, after 31 years of teaching.  Phil Holmquist is a landscape designer and owns his own company, P R Holmquist Landscapes, Inc. in Omaha, Nebraska.  Congratulations to Susan White Colt on the arrival of her first grandchild, McKenna Susan, born on Halloween!

Michelle Peiffer Henrichsen works for her husband, Jim, in his law practice.  Their oldest daughter lives in Littleton, CO, and has four children.  Their second oldest (daughter) lives in Italy where her husband is stationed with the military.  Jeff, their youngest, graduated from Gustavus in 2002.  Diane Preblick Moerer is employed by Connexion by Boeing, a broadband service that provides passengers on commercial planes access to high speed Internet.  Ronald Olsen retired last June from Mounds View ISD #621.

Rosie Mumm and her husband, Bob, live in New Orleans and were affected by Hurricane Katrina.  Billee Kraut is now getting more help with her music software business, Aabaca, since husband, Butch, retired from teaching four years ago.  See and for more info.  Nancy Cross Ma works as a parish nurse for Hope Presbyterian Church in Richfield.

Marcia Olson Horn’s husband, Doug, is a self-employed independent consultant.  Joanne Simonson Hall works for WPS (Wisconsin Physicians Services) as a supervisor in the Medicare Medical Review Unit.  Jennifer Villas Lipke is an instructor of first-year nursing students at Hibbing Community College.

Diane Herath Roberts is an instructor of second-year nursing students at Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College.  Prior to joining the Department of State in 1984, Judith Ann Wood Chammas, United States Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. to Bangladesh, worked at the Minnesota International Center and then at the Institute of International Education in Washington, D.C., primarily with participants in the U.S. Government’s International Visitor Program.  Since joining the Foreign Service as a management officer, she has served overseas in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Sri Lanka and Tunisia.  She has also worked in the executive offices of the African and Near East/South Asian Bureaus and in the Bureau of Human Resources as an assignments officer and as the deputy executive director.  She speaks French and some Arabic.  Judith is accompanied by her husband, Labib Chammas, a former Syrian diplomat, and their daughter, Isabelle.  In her spare time, she enjoys reading, needlepoint, and theater.  (See the fall Quarterly for a recent photo.)  Gary and Carol (Pichner) Papke are still living in their first fixer-upper in Oak Park, Illinois.  Carol has progressed from figure skating with her oldest daughter and teaching math to horseback riding with her youngest daughter and planning the next phase of her life.  Gary is a principal in a real estate partnership, which keeps him on the road a lot, but still finds time to work on the fixer-upper and landscaping.  Greg Myhr and his wife, Cheryl, are both sales representatives for Liberty Carton in Golden Valley, Minnesota (and no, that is not how they met).  Daughter Jessica lives in Manhattan and will be married in September.

Campus News:

Study Abroad Leader

Gustavus continues to be a leading institution for the number of students studying abroad, according to an annual ranking recently released by the Institute of International Education (IIE).  Consistent with its mission of giving students an education that is international in perspective, Gustavus was ranked seventh in the "Top 20 Baccalaureate Institutions" list of the institute’s "Open Doors 2005" report.  Gustavus was one of four Minnesota private colleges to make the list of 20.  The report was based on study abroad statistics from the 2003-04 academic year.  Gustavus students engage in international learning through various programs in more than 100 locations throughout the world, ranging from Australia to India and Ecuador to Sweden.  In recent years, 50 percent of Gustavus graduates have participated in at least one study-abroad experience.

New Carnegie Classification for Colleges and Universities

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching released a new classification system for institutions of higher education.  Gustavus’ classification is Arts & Sciences plus Professions, indicating that 60 to 80 percent of Gustavus students complete a traditional liberal arts major, such as political science, classics, or biology.  The new classifications describe five aspects of colleges and universities:  instructional programs, enrollment profile, undergraduate demographics, size, and setting.  Undergraduate instructional programs are now designated as Arts & Sciences Focus, Arts & Sciences plus Professions, Balanced Arts & Sciences and Professions, Professions plus Arts & Sciences, or Professions Focus.

Insurance Programs

The Alumni Association, in partnership with Meyer and Associates and Liberty Mutual, offers an insurance program to alumni and their families.  Products include insurance policies for life, short-term medical, auto, home, and renters.  For life and short-term medical insurance call Meyer and Associates at 800-635-7801 or visit  For auto, home, and renters insurance call Liberty Mutual at 800-524-9400 or visit

Gustavus to Perform at Orchestra Hall

The Gustavus Music Showcase will be Sunday, March 12, at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis.  The Gustavus Choir, Gustavus Symphony Orchestra, and Gustavus Wind Orchestra will perform.  This is a unique opportunity to hear three premier ensembles from Gustavus in one concert.  This showcase also allows prospective students, parents, and alumni from the area to meet and connect.  For tickets, call the Orchestra Hall box office at 800/292-4141.  Tickets are $20 for general admission, and $10 for students 18 and under.


Two big stories from the fall sports are that Hailey Harren won the national NCAA Division III cross country title and the men’s soccer team became the first MIAC school to play in the national championship game and finished second, losing 1-0 to defending national champion Messiah.  For the second consecutive year, men's soccer coach Larry Zelenz has been named Coach of the Year in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America/Adidas NCAA Division III West Region.  The men's hockey team is unbeaten in conference play, outscoring their opponents 28-5 in four games.

Upcoming Music Tours

This year nearly 300 students will participate in music tours as members of the Gustavus Wind Orchestra, Gustavus Choir, Gustavus Symphony Orchestra, Gustavus Jazz Lab Band, and Choir of Christ Chapel.  The Gustavus Wind Orchestra will tour Eastern Europe Jan. 14-30.  Performances are scheduled for Germany, Czech Republic, Poland, and Austria.  The Gustavus Choir will tour Jan. 27-Feb. 11 (see schedule below), with performances in Minnesota and Wisconsin.  The Gustavus Symphony Orchestra, Gustavus Jazz Lab Band, and Choir of Christ Chapel will tour during Spring Semester.

Gustavus Choir Tour Schedule

  • January 27 at Augustana Lutheran Church, West St. Paul, 7:30 p.m.
  • January 28 at St. Joseph's Catholic Church, Grand Rapids, 7:30 p.m.
  • January 29 at Zion Lutheran Church, Grand Rapids, 8:30 a.m. morning service
  • January 29 at Concordia Lutheran Church, Duluth, 3 p.m.
  • January 30 at Bemidji High School Auditorium, Bemidji, 7 p.m.
  • January 31 at First Lutheran Church, Morris, 7 p.m.
  • February 2 at Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church, Marshfield, WI, 7:30 p.m.
  • February 3 at St. Francis Catholic Church, Brainerd, 7:30 p.m.
  • February 4 at Central Lutheran Church, Winona, 7 p.m.
  • February 5 at Faith Lutheran Church, Winona, 8 a.m. morning service
  • February 5 at First Lutheran Church, Red Wing, 2 p.m.
  • February 11 at Christ Chapel, Saint Peter, 7:30 p.m.

Upcoming Alumni Events

  • Tucson, AZ Gustie Gathering - February 10
  • Phoenix, AZ Gustie Gathering - February 11
  • Sun City, AZ Gustie Gathering - February 12
  • Gustavus Music Showcase at Orchestra Hall - March 12
  • Atlanta, GA Gustie Gathering - March 26


Joan Sandberg Smith

1971 Guest Letter Writer

A note from Cathy Howard Waldhauser~

Current plans for our 2006 reunion are for a lunch or brunch on campus Saturday morning October 7, followed by football and other activities on campus, and a picnic-type dinner at Westwood on Lake Washington.  We may invite the classes of ’69, ’70, ’72 and ’73 to join us at one of these events, space permitting.  Travelers, we need to know whether you would like to spend Friday and Saturday night in Mankato or in Bloomington.  An informal gathering will be planned on Friday evening for out-of-town guests.

The reunion committee is also challenging all of you to help us meet the following goals for our reunion year:

  • 185 (50%) attendance at reunion events
  • 100% membership in the Cec Eckhoff Society
  • Members pledge to make annual gifts in any amount.
  • $70,000 in total contributions to the Gustavus Fund
    • This would be roughly double our previous high gift and represents $2,000 for each year that we have had to grow and prosper as a result of our years at Gustavus.

As ‘gift co-chair’ for our reunion, I’d like to remind everyone how important our financial support is to the college.  Participation in the Gustavus Fund has declined as a percent of total alumni compared to our student days.  It is still very high among peer colleges, but not consistent with the quality of the experience we had there, and the financial needs of today’s students.

Individual circumstances vary, but most of us are at our peak earning years and are either past or approaching the end of heavy child rearing and education expenses.  There will never be a better time to make a ‘stretch’ gift to our alma mater.

Stan and I have consistently given to Gustavus over the years because the people there, including you, had a significant and lasting effect on us.  I believe Gustavus is the sum of the people who have been there, passing the best of each one on to future students.

Peace and Love,

Cathy Howard Waldhauser

1971 Reunion Gift Committee Member

P. S.  A closing note from Joan Sandberg Smith

“My brother Doug ’70 and I were fortunate enough to have had the financial where-with-all to attend Gustavus without grants or aid.  We know that most students need and appreciate financial aid.  In 1974 when Doug died a premature death at age 26, our family established a scholarship in his name…Doug was and always will be a special part of Gustavus.” are a part of Gustavus, and Gustavus is part of you.  ~Joan