Class of ’71
May 2010

Greetings to the Class of 1971!

And special greetings to Linda Nordlund Pedersen, Elaine Crudo Pivec, Marcia Bomgren Bussey and Merlin Sellman.  I’ve thought of each of you as I’ve happened to drive by each of your childhood homes while substitute teaching in Saint Paul.

Once again I hope this letter finds you happy, healthy and able to squarely face life’s challenges.  And, if you don’t happen to have too many challenges, even better!

And once again I’m asking you to think about your Gustavus education, the impact it had on your life starting back in the fall of 1967 and the fact that we are all part of the great Gustavus heritage.  How about a gift to the annual fund to honor the memory of Bob Esbjornson ’41, Chester Johnson or Phil Knautz ’48 – or another favorite professor or staff member from your years on the hill?

You could also give a gift to honor the memory of:  Rosie Mumm, Cheryl Liepolt McDowell, Mike Gisvold, Pam Stillwell Keefe or Don Stromsborg, the most recent losses from our class.  We also remember Peg Charlton Swanson, Craig Olson, Tom Wilcox, Carol Lipke Vinkemeier, Greg Wasenda, Gary Olson, Brad Ervin, Keith Anderson, Mary Anderson Nord, Mark Hauge, Jim Fee, Mike Behrends, Debra Scheurle, Helene Wlosinski Essig and others I may be forgetting, but whose lives ended way too soon.

The Gustavus Annual Fund supports over 170 different student organizations, attracts and retains superior faculty members, supports scholarships and provides opportunities for study abroad.  Your gift helps make it possible for today’s students to achieve success, both in and out of the classroom and also supports a standard of excellence that distinguishes Gustavus from other colleges and universities.  And, did you know major corporations and foundations look at alumni participation percentages in making decisions to give grants to Gustavus?

Gustavus Choir director, Phil Knautz ’48, died April 26 and a service of remembrance and celebration was held May 1 at First Lutheran in St. Peter.  It was wonderful to be part of more than fifty who came to form the Gustavus Alumni Choir and sing “Children of the Heavenly Father” and “O Day Full of Grace.”  Mr. K directed the Gustavus Choir from 1954 until 1980.  I, for one, will never forget the moment I opened my P.O. Box in September of ’67and got the letter saying I’d been accepted into the Gustavus Choir!  Joel Jackson also sang in the alumni choir and Connie Baer Youngdahl attended the service.  At three that afternoon the Gustavus Choir had its home concert in Christ Chapel and they gave an outstanding performance to a large and appreciative audience.  After the concert, Connie, Byron and Mary (Moore) Schwab ’70 ’73 and I went over for dinner in the Evelyn Young dining room.  A great Gustavus day!

In a year, September of 2011, it will be our 40th reunion!  Give it a thought!  Maybe you would like to be on a committee to help plan for the event.  I, for one, have a hard time imagining we will have been out of college forty years and am surprised I’m sixty, but do remember Gertrude Stein once said, “We’re always the same age inside!”  As always, I’m hoping for a great reunion turn-out and a memorable time for all who can make it!  And, as I’ve said before, the more, the merrier!

Recent news I’ve heard from the Class of ’71…

Marjorie Aasness Schaffer represented Bethel University for the inauguration of Gustie President Jack Ohle.  She received a Fullbright Specialist Award for “Being Present:  A Nurse’s Resource for the End of Life.”  Irene Hartfield lives in Babbitt and was chair of the Ely Winter Festival.  Jane Simcox Schuette lives in Belle Plaine and opened a shop called Antiques and Uniques in Henderson.  She and husband, Willmar, restore furniture at their Schuette Shoppe as well.  Charlene Roemhildt works as a marketing writer for Capella University.

Linda Nordlund Pedersen retired after teaching elementary children in Mounds View.  Scott Johnson is a vision coordinator for the South Carolina Commission for the Blind at the VA Medical Center in West Columbia.  Greg Trebil is facility manager and boys’ hockey coach at Academy of Holy Angels.  He and Nancy Anderson Trebil live in Bloomington where Nancy works in the schools as a paraprofessional.  Dan Gronseth lives in Scottsdale and is employed by Wells Fargo.  Dave Peters lives in Billings and is director for Evangelical Mission with the Montana Synod of the ELCA.

Steven Wilson is deputy director for the United States Department of Agriculture, his wife, Mary (Koppen ’72) is a student in clinical pastoral education at Clarian North Hospital in West Lafayette, Indiana.  Stephen Buehring is in programming with Unysis.  Nick Gisslen is freight manager with Dart Transportation.  He and wife Jane live in Red Wing.  Carol Gotzman Mork continues to work as an elementary special education teacher in Bemidji.  Carolyn Westerberg Callahan is a social worker in two elementary schools.  She and husband Steven live in Park Ridge, Illinois.  Lynne Mattke Schulz helps people de-clutter and organize their homes.  She refers to herself as Organizer on Duty.  Her passion is dancing and she’s even entered competitive events─ballroom, Latin, swing and tango!  Marian Petersen Riggert is team leader for Southwest Colorado Mental Health Center.  She and husband, Robert, live in Mancos.

Mark Borglum and wife, Carol, live in North St. Paul.  Mark’s employed by Reeves Park, Inc.  Karen Leonardson Borre is manager of training and organizational development with MTS Systems Corporation.  Joyce Karnitz Bailey retired from teaching language arts at New Prague Middle School after 36 years.  Dale Pangrac and family own and operate Prime Pastures Organic Dairy near Lewiston in Minnesota.  Carol Hamrum Rutz continues to direct the writing program at Carleton College.  Dottie Mattson Winterton retired from Weber State University where she was an instructor in radiological sciences.  She and husband, Larry, live in Midway, Utah.

Carole Biehl Yakim retired from elementary teaching after 35 years.  She and husband Marv live in Front Royal, Virginia.  John Thomas, started his own business, Four Key Limo Service in Saint Paul.  Cory Muth Jepsen-Hobbs lives in Grafton, Wisconsin, and is a nurse practitioner with Matthews Oncology Associates.  Dennis Bengtson is in Yokosuka, Japan, and serves as the Navy’s only judge in the Southwest Pacific.  Steve Hyman is in Grand Forks, North Dakota, and is executive director of Alerus Center, a venue for concerts and festivals.  Kathy Wangerin Pederson is employed by St. John’s Hospital in Maplewood.  (I talked with her at the hospital while she was working.  Didn’t recognize her at first, but actually knew her smile was familiar!)

Leslie Anderson Hade is volunteer director for the city of Fort Dodge, Iowa.  Diane Berthiaume Kokal was executive vice president for GBK Custom Research and is now an independent consultant.  She and husband, Bruce, live in Orono.  Susan Johnson lives in Sigourney, Iowa, and is co-director of Southeast Iowa’s Select Children’s Choir.  Craig Waryan and wife, Judith, are in Mesa, Arizona, where Craig’s an independent contractor.  Mary Parkin Rasmussen is a substitute teacher in the Fargo and West Fargo Public Schools.  Carol Saeger Gercke continues to work in neonatal intensive care at Littleton Adventist Hospital in Littleton, Colorado.

Carolyn Coon Mowchan, Spooner, Wisconsin, has authored two books in a series called “Lutheran Voices.”  In the spring of 2008 Susan Alexis worked in Nicaragua as an interpreter on a medical team that saw and treated over 1900 people in the rural sugar cane area around Chinandega.  She’s now working as a paralegal for a firm in Albuquerque, NM.  Judy Young Wilder has been working as a book keeper for Map Travel Company in Clarkston, Washington.  Bill Kautt is associate director of management services with the Minnesota School Boards Association in St. Peter, and wife, Cheryl Salmela Kautt is a kindergarten teacher for Mankato Area Public Schools.

Linda Mellingen and Bill ’70 Santee live in Milford, Massachusetts where Linda is a stability specialist with Genzyme Corporation.  Bill is a research physical scientist with the US Army.  Brian Wohlrabe, Eden Prairie, owns Weco Equipment Company.  Judd Mowry is retired from Tonka Consultants where he worked as a financial analyst.  Warren Borchert retired after 34 years of teaching and coaching in Mountain Home, Idaho.  He continues to work as a guide for Mystic Saddle Ranch.  Becky Millar lives in Libertyville, Illinois, and works at Lake Forest Hospital.  Linda Gunnerson Opsahl is retired from the Buffalo Schools.  Roger Volk retired from the State of Minnesota where he worked as an accounting supervisor.

Bob Teerink recently took a cruise from Buenos Aires, traveled around the tip of South America and ended up in Santiago, arriving right after the earthquake.  Cathy Howard Waldhauser recently called to invite me to join a group for dinner and a play because Stan was going to be busy that evening.  It was an absolutely delightful time with Robyn Wieman Hansen and husband, John Clarey; Joan Sandberg Smith and husband, Paul, and Karen Leonardson Borre and husband Bob.  We had dinner in Saint Paul at Cheeky Monkey and saw “Dead Man’s Cell Phone” at Park Square Theatre.  It was a great evening of good conversation, much laughter and excellent theatre!

Have a wonderful spring and summer, a gift by May 31 would be great and thanks for your Gustavus support!

Bruce Johnson

1971 Class Agent

Campus News

Gustavus Announces Major Building Projects

At its Monday, Jan. 25 meeting, the Gustavus Adolphus College Board of Trustees voted unanimously to move forward with three major building projects.  The College will erect a new 125,000 square foot academic building with a large 3-story atrium at the center providing natural light to many of the spaces.  It will qualify for a “gold LEED” qualification as a green building.  This will develop a mall extending west from its iconic Christ Chapel.  It will house the largest departments on campus (economics and management, psychology, and communications).  Also, plans are under way to renovate A. H. Anderson Social Science Building.  Construction timelines for the projects are not yet finalized, but the College expects to break ground on the new academic building late this spring.

The effort is a significant early implementation step of Commission Gustavus 150, an innovative, constituent-based strategic planning process that has engaged hundreds of alumni, students, faculty, staff, and other stakeholders over the past year.  “These projects will greatly enhance learning and teaching, student recruitment, and institutional advancement for many years to come,” said President Jack R. Ohle.

Gustavus Forensics Wins Nationals

The Gustavus Adolphus College forensics team took first place in the individual events portion of the Pi Kappa Delta National Comprehensive Tournament March 19-21 in Minneapolis.  Gustavus amassed 306 points to narrowly defeat Ohio University, which scored 305 points.  A total of 57 colleges and universities participated in the tournament.  Gustavus sophomore Chloe Radcliffe won the Pentathlon competition, which recognizes the top 10 students who compete in at least five events.  First-year student Kate Bissen took first place in Informative Speaking and senior C.J. Hunt also took home a first-place trophy in the Program Oral Interpretation event.

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!!!

Admission News

Applications for next year are ahead of where they were last year at this time which makes Mark Anderson ’66, the director of admission, very happy.  We graduated two very large classes in the last two years so we need to have somewhat larger classes in order to maintain our enrollment at about 2,500.  Mark Anderson will retire at the end of the academic year so a search is going on to replace him.  Gustavus has had only three directors of admission since 1950 (Howard Holcomb ’49, Owen Sammelson ’58, and Mark Anderson ’66) which is quite an amazing track record.

Health Insurance Available through Alumni Association

During this time of economic uncertainty, many of our alumni, new graduates, and their family members are in need of health insurance.  Short-term and permanent health insurance options are available through the alumni insurance program.  The program is typically promoted to new grads just before and after graduation, but in response to the rising unemployment rate and in an effort to help all of those in need, we’re spreading the word more broadly this year.  This is also perfect for children of alums who are graduating (even if they did not attend Gustavus Adolphus College) and aren’t yet covered under an employer’s health plan.  For more information, individuals can contact the alumni office or contact the program manager directly or 800-635-7801.

Former President Peterson Honored

James L. Peterson ’64, who served as the 15th president of Gustavus Adolphus College from 2003 to 2008, was awarded the Royal Order of the Polar Star at a special, private luncheon Thursday, April 29, on campus.  The honor was bestowed by the Swedish crown in appreciation and recognition of Dr. Peterson’s service to Gustavus and his continued work to foster relationships with individuals and organizations to strengthen ties with Sweden.

Nobel Conference Preview

David Tilman, a prominent American ecologist and a Regent’s Professor and McKnight Presidential Chair in Ecology at the University of Minnesota, will give a free, public lecture at Gustavus Adolphus College at 2:30 p.m. Friday, May 14.  Tilman’s talk, titled “Can We Feed the World and Save the Earth?” will serve as a preview to the 46th annual Nobel Conference in October, which is titled “Making Food Good.”  Tilman’s lecture will take place in Wallenberg Auditorium, in the Alfred Nobel Memorial Hall of Science.

“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, May 19:  Al Molde ’66, athletic director and Tim Kennedy ’82, director of sports information.

Upcoming Events

  • May 19 – Twin Cities Alumni Breakfast
  • May 20 – Faculty and Administrator Breakfast
  • May 28-30 – Reunions/Commencement Weekend
  • June 4-6 – Nurses Reunion - 50 Years of Nursing
  • June 8 – Omaha Picnic – Zorinsky Lake Park
  • June 9 – Des Moines Picnic – Pearson Park