Class of '72
July 2005

Dear Classmates,

Back at the 30-year reunion in 2002, I was asked if I would be willing to “help” Mitzi with some of the tasks involved with being a Class Agent.  Upon agreeing that I would be willing to “help,” BOOM, all of a sudden, I was a Class Agent.  So, here is my first official duty in that capacity.

It’s summer, but the campus is still brimming with lots of activity―various camps, conferences, remodeling of some of the buildings, construction of new facilities.  It was over seven years ago (March 29, 1998) when the tornado ripped through the city of St. Peter and the College, causing extensive damage.  For those of you who have not visited the campus since, I encourage you to do so.  Although the look is different from when we were in school, it is again a most beautiful campus.  Find a reason to go down―attend a sporting event, a band or choir concert, or a play, or just go down to see all the new buildings on campus (they’re building a new residence hall to be ready this summer), whatever is of interest to you.  Personally, I attend a lot of the football games and basketball games.  When you’re tired of the overpaid, arrogant professional athletes and tired of paying $75 or more per ticket, go to a Gustie game―$5 for the best entertainment you can find and these teams are truly made up of “student athletes.”  Same with a band or choir concert or play.  When you’re tired of paying the exorbitant “handling fees” to go through Ticketmaster and still ending up with bad seats, head down to Gustavus for some pure entertainment at a great price in a great venue.

As the 2005-06 school year comes closer and closer, the annual Alumni Fund Drive begins again as well (you knew that was coming somewhere in this letter, didn’t you?).  I would like to see the Class of ’72 stand out in the current year as one of the top classes in alumni giving (the Fund Drive ends on May 31, 2006).  For those of you who have been regular contributors, THANK YOU.  If you can see to contribute a little bit more, that would be much appreciated.  For those of you who have not given in a number of years, see whether you could give something to the College.  No matter how small, any gift is very much appreciated.  Remember, only 60% of the costs incurred by Gustavus are covered by net tuition so the rest of the monies need to come from a variety of sources, including the Alumni Fund.  Last year, 20.7% of our class donated something to the college―personally, I think we should be able to have much better participation―we had more participation at the Wednesday night beer busts at the Barn!

If you have any specific news, you can send it to the College (along with your donation of course) and they will forward it to me or you could send anything you wish to me directly at

Class News

(these were to have gone out in May of this year, but got lost in the shuffle at the college so I apologize if they are not the most current):

Mandy Crews Heard and her husband, Don, have invested in owning and managing a nursing home in Falls Creek, WI.  Mandy, just remember to save enough beds for your fellow classmates!

Cheri Knautz Roberts is living in Red Wing and is a currently a middle school physical education and aquatics instructor.  Her daughter, Nicole, is the aquatics director and head swim coach at the College of St. Catherine and her son, Nick, is finishing a degree in computer technology.  Sounds like swimming runs in the family!

Nancy Lee Baseman Pederson is living in Portage, MI and has recently gotten her master’s in administration (very impressive―I’m not sure many of us could go back to school at this age).  She teaches at Portage Central High School and also serves as the international baccalaureate coordinator and school improvement coordinator at the school.  Her husband, Tom, has accepted a call as an assistant to the Bishop after 24 years as a parish pastor.

Sharon Tvete Olson is living in Savage and is in her fifth year at the consulting firm of John Stauruhkis, Inc., recently being promoted to manager.  Congratulations on the promotion!

Arla Walton Prestin is living in Eau Claire, WI and is a Title I teacher for the Chippewa Falls Public Schools (probably a Packer fan too!).

Vernon Hedlin is working for all of us, farming in Farwell, MN.  Growing anything for that Atkins Diet, Vern?

Linda Jabs Stenlund is working for Hartford Life and busy taking care of two grandsons.  Her husband, Glen ’69 is a purchasing analyst at 3M.

The last time we heard from Mitzi (Ohman) Thornberg was the big write-up in the Minneapolis Star Tribune back in November 2003.  She was heading the charge to fight off Canadians that were interested in turning a wildlife refuge area in North Dakota into an industrial hog farm.  Mitzi, hope you were successful in your efforts.  It certainly is a great cause.

Personally, after 10 years working for PeopleSoft selling application software, Oracle Corporation was successful in a hostile takeover of PeopleSoft.  So now I am working as an application sales manager for Oracle in Bloomington.  Nothing like an 18-month hostile takeover to spice up your life.  I was thinking more about retirement than hostile corporate politics!

Sadly, I noticed in the Gustavus Quarterly, as many of you did, the passing of Fred Levos in July 2004.  Fred and I spent many an hour warming the bench for the Gustie baseball team.  Another example of life being cut way too short.

Time to wrap this letter.  Please send along all the news that’s fit to print.  I can always use more material.  Until the next time!

Todd Dokken

1972 Class Agent