Class of '71
May 2007

Greetings to the Class of 1971!

First, I hope this class letter finds you happy, healthy, enjoying spring and looking forward to summer!

Second, before you read any further, before you pour a cup of coffee or a glass of wine, please think about Gustavus, what your Gustavus education meant to you and the impact it had on your life!  YOU are a part of the great, strong Gustavus heritage!  NOW walk over to your checkbook and make a gift to the alumni fund!  Your gift needs to reach Gustavus by May 31!  Thank you!

Now, please continue reading for a Gustavus Class of 1971 update!

I wish to again thank Cathy Howard Waldhauser and the fantastic crew who helped plan our 35th reunion!  They worked very hard for many hours to make sure our reunion would be a great time―and, of course, it was!  Thanks to the committee:  Barb Carlson Lescenski, Sue White Colt, Joan Sandberg Smith, Jana Soeldner-Danger and Judy Okerman Kastelle.  Special thanks to Shirley Gholston Key for her incredible video presentation!  It will be fun to show it again in five years at our 40th!  Yikes!  The thought of it!

Thanks also to Joel Jackson, Sheila Gullickson Ehrich, Margie Aasness Schaffer and Mary Parkin Rasmussen for help in preparation for the weekend!

A real highlight of the fun time for me was being able to room with Irene Hartfield!  To catch up, talking late into the night was great!  Reminded me of all the wonderful bedtime conversations with roommate Brad Janzen.  Particularly junior year I’d have to say, “Hurry, Brad, and finish your sentence!  I’m falling asleep!”

Another special time was going to chapel with classmates and friends for the Sunday service before heading home!

Thanks to all of you who made the trip back to St. Peter!  And if you weren’t able to come back to Gustavus for the 35th, please plan on coming for our 40th because, of course, it will be an even MORE fun time if YOU are there!

680 freshmen are finishing their first year as Gusties!  Ten percent of the incoming class are students of color.  The faculty’s stronger than ever and have come from some of the best graduate schools in the country!

The project to restore Old Main is completed.  Wahlstrom is gone.  (Irene and I were given a tour of the newest dorm when we were on campus.  Fun to see!)

Work has begun on the new football stadium which is behind Lund Arena where the baseball field used to be.  A new academic building will be built on the site of the old stadium.

Christ Chapel continues to be the physical and spiritual heart of the Gustavus campus.  Speaking of the chapel… a friend of Bob Teerink’s came from New York to do a tour of historic and architecturally unique buildings in the Twin Cities a few months ago.  Christ Chapel was also on his list.  He was very impressed with how well the chapel’s design from the early ’60s still “holds up” today!  As compared to the gothic church in St. Paul where I’m a member I love worshipping in Christ Chapel, being a part of the worship space inside but feeling connected to the campus and the world, so to speak, with windows all around!

A wind turbine is in the works.  The Gustavus electric bill last year was about 1.4 million!  Environmental sustainability and energy conservation are important concepts and discussed frequently and how they play a part in the future of the college.

Nobel Hall needs renovation and expansion.  It was completed when the college had a third fewer students.

Leadership is an important part of the curriculum.  With internships, work/study programs, study abroad, Gustavus students are given many opportunities to lead in college which then better prepares them for leadership after graduation.  As the Gustavus mission statement says, Gustavus works to prepare students for lives of leadership and service!

This was also a year of two major reunions―75 years of the Gustavus Choir and 75 years of Gustavus theatre!  After a wonderful day the choir reunion concluded with the Gustavus Choir in concert in Christ Chapel with selections at the end of the concert by the Alumni Choir.  Over 200 came back for the event!  The next weekend was the anniversary of the theatre with another 200 returning to Gustavus!

Class News

And now some news about our classmates!  Dave Miller lives in Inverness, Florida, and is a criminal justice instructor at Withlacoochee Technical Institute.  Tom Talmo is a software engineering manager with MTS Systems Corporation.  Tom and wife, Debbie, live in Excelsior.  Bev Burman is raising her 5-year-old son and 11-year-old daughter and is executive director of Renville County Community Residence.  Brad Janzen continues to work as an attorney in private practice downtown Minneapolis.  He and wife, Marcia (Lujan, ’76), live in Minnetonka.  Ben Hawkins is business manager for the Grand Rapids Public Schools.

Cheryl Liepolt McDowell teaches studio art at Oliver Wolcott Technical School in Kent, Connecticut.  Robb Gilkey lives in Montevideo where he’s self-employed as a real estate appraiser.  Judy Barnes is broker and associate with Hannock Dunes Real Estate Company in Palm Coast, Florida.  Mark ’70 and Becky (Heath) Johnson live in Nashport, Ohio.  Mark retired from management with J.C. Penney after almost 36 years!  They both think its fun to sleep later in the mornings!  Mike Ablan has been practicing law in Wisconsin and Minnesota for 33 years.  He and wife, Jeneen, live in the country outside of La Crescent, MN.

Bill Carroll and wife, Ginger, are real estate brokers in Rochester.  Jerry Lowell is chief administrative officer for education abroad programs at the University of California.  He and partner Mitchell Block live in Goleta.  Lark Hapke has been serving as interim pastor in the United Church of Christ in Phoenix.  Brad Ashford is vice president with Advanced Research Solutions in Omaha.  He was unable to attend last fall’s reunion because he was running for the Nebraska state legislature!  Michal Anderson-Lowther and husband, Patrick, live in Sleepy Eye.  Their three children are at St. Thomas, St. Catherine’s and Drake.  Bob Teerink recently made a cruise with friends to Bermuda and then on to Barcelona and the Straits of Gibraltor.  He’ll be moving to a new condominium in Minneapolis in June.

Dottie Mattson Winterton retired from the Utah Valley Medical Center and is now teaching part-time at Weber State University.  Cynthia Kisch Shotwell is a case manager at Walton Rehabilitation Hospital in Harlem, Georgia.  Gwen Moberg Eatman’s youngest son started medical school last fall in Houston.  Gwen and husband, Jim, live in Rockwall, Texas.  Yoshio Okado directs the Biomedical Brain Research Center at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque.  He had a speaking engagement in Europe the week of our reunion.  Yoshio’s son is in Kenya for two years with the Peace Corps.  Mary Jane Hansen Schuck continues teaching Spanish in Willmar.

Mary (Melby) and Phil Hanson both retired from teaching this year.  Mary taught first grade and Phil was a high school football and baseball coach.  They live in Waconia.  Sue Johnson Moore retired as well after teaching elementary children for 35 years in Mankato.  John Thomas lives in St. Paul and was on a trip to Italy last fall during the reunion.  Marsha Luebbert Haechler sends best wishes to the Class of ’71 from her home in Switzerland!  Windy Block is city administrator in Rushford.  Pam Maedl Gutowski and husband, Vincent, both are employed by Eastern Illinois University, Pam as an office manager and Vincent as a professor.  Robyn Wieman Hansen has been appointed to the board of trustees of the Amherst Wilder Foundation.  She continues to practice law with Leonard, Street and Deinard.

Carol Saeger Gercke continues working in the neonatal ICU in Parker, Colorado.  Her oldest daughter, Chandra, is a soloist with Colorado Ballet and appeared on the cover of “Breaking Bounds,” a 2007 calendar by New York photographer Lois Greenfield!  Roger Volk and wife, Ardith, live in Eagan.  Roger’s an accounting supervisor with the State of Minnesota.  Jim Klein is CEO and senior vice president of KleinBank in Chaska.  Read more about Jim and his family in the latest Quarterly!  Dick and Arla (Walton ’72) Prestin moved to a new home in Eau Claire last fall.  Arla’s a reading teacher in Chippewa Falls and Dick retired in January after 33 years with Xcel Energy.  Buster West was awarded the prestigious Orris W. Johnson Memorial Award by the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors.

Once again I thank you for your Gustavus support!  Watch for the second annual “Gusties Gather” set for Sunday, September 30!  Last year 60 events were held across the nation where Gusties met their Gustie neighbors, met new friends and reconnected with old friends, too!  Have a wonderful summer and keep in touch!

Bruce Johnson

1971 Class Agent

Campus News

Gustavus Forensics Team Continues to be National Leader

The Gustavus Adolphus College Forensics Team participated in the 30th American Forensics Association National Individual Events Tournament (AFA-NIET) in April, earning a top 20 national ranking for the first time in school history.  Fourteen of the top 20 schools are Division I institutions.  The team has had a full schedule of tournaments this year, although the AFA-NIET is considered by many to be the most competitive collegiate forensics tournament in the country.

Gusties Gather!  Hosts Needed

Gusties around the world are called to gather on Sunday, September 30th.  The Alumni Board is designating this day as a day to intentionally connect with other Gusties.  In its inaugural year last August, 60 hosts planned events.  Want to do more to be connected with Gustavus?  Sign up to host a Gusties Gather! event for your neighborhood or with your friends.  Sign up by contacting Alumni Board member Dick Swenson ’62 at: or 612/824-8052.

A Royal Affair — Razzle Dazzle

Save the date!  Saturday, October 27, 2007 is Gustavus Library Associates’ biennial benefit for the Gustavus Folke Bernadotte Memorial Library.  It will be held at the Sheraton Bloomington Hotel in Bloomington, MN.

  • If you have volunteer time to offer . . .
  • If you have an auction item to donate, or know someone who does . . .
  • If you know someone who should receive an invitation . . .
  • If you would like to contribute financially to defray expenses . . .

We’ll welcome your call today!

Co-chairs:  Susan Engelsma Wilcox ’73, 952/944-5972 and Nacia Dahl ’92, 952/808-3212.

Rare Flower Bloomed at Gustavus

A Titan Arum or Amorphophallus titanum, otherwise known as a Corpse Flower, bloomed in the Department of Biology’s greenhouse May 12-14 and 7,000 thousand visitors came to observe.  The first known Corpse Flower to bloom in Minnesota, this rare flowering plant is found only in the tropical rainforests of Sumatra, Indonesia.  The largest un-branched inflorescence in the world, the flower’s name comes from the repulsive scent it omits during and after its bloom period.  The plant’s cluster of flowers can grow to almost 10 feet, although the plant at Gustavus was slightly smaller.  “This plant is one of the wonders of the botanical world,” says Brian O’Brien, associate professor of chemistry who received and planted the seeds in 1993.

Upcoming Alumni Events

  • Class of 1962 - 45th Anniversary Reunion — May 25 and 26
  • Class of 1957 - 50th Anniversary Reunion — May 25 and 26
  • 50 Year Club Reunion — May 25 and 26
  • Gusties Gather! — Sept. 30