Class of '72
September 2007

To the Class of ’72,


My, how the summer has flown by.  It’s already State Fair time.  I keep going there looking for the booth that serves red velvet cake on a stick!

Reunion Time

As summer is rapidly ending, it also means that our Reunion is coming that much closer.  I know by now you all have Saturday, October 13 circled on your refrigerator calendar.  Remember, the schedule is:

10:30 a.m.  Continental breakfast served in a tent by the new football field.  For anyone who is interested, it might be a good time to check out the new field as well.  I was there about 4 weeks ago and it’s really fantastic.  If you want to check it out on-line, go to the website:

11:30 a.m.  Dean Wahlund leads a tour of campus.  For those who haven’t been back to campus for many years, you’ll get to see all the new buildings, how the campus has recovered from the tornado, hear of plans for future development, etc.

12:30 p.m.  Back to the tent for socializing and getting ready for the big Homecoming game against the arch rival Johnnies from St. John’s.

1:00 p.m.  Kickoff time – Beat ‘em, Bust ‘em, that’s our custom – Gusties will shine!  For those not interested in the football game, there will be a number of additional scheduled activities on campus, a list of which is enclosed.  Or, spend more time touring the campus, the Arboretum, etc. on your own.

4:00 p.m.  Celebrate the Gustie upset of St. John’s.  There will be a BBQ dinner served plus a cash bar for wine and beer.  We will be entertained by Billy Steiner and his band, Lost Walleye Orchestra (a spinoff from City Mouse).  Billy has been practicing and playing for 35 years and now feels he may have gotten his big career break to play at our Reunion!

The party will go until about 8:00 p.m.  Some folks may choose to keep the celebration going.  If you are interested in staying overnight, I have reserved a block of 10 rooms at the Grandstay in Mankato.  If you want to get one of these rooms, you can call (507) 388-8688―try to do so by September 13 to assure you get a room with 30 days advance notice.  The rate is $109.90 per room.  Make sure to tell them you are with the Gustavus Class of ’72 and mention my name.

We want to get maximum attendance at this event so we are keeping the costs low―$12 per person.  So, call your closest friends from our class and “road trip” down to Gustavus.  We need to know how many people to expect so please register at: or use the enclosed form/envelope to send in your registration by October 5.

If you need more information, you can call the Office of Alumni Relations at Gustavus at (800) 487-8437 or e-mail me at:

Fund Raising

It’s our reunion year―let’s make a significant fund raising contribution in honor of our 35th reunion this year!  For those who have continually donated to the College, thank you so much for your gifts!  For those who haven’t given in awhile, this is the year to do it!  Please make a gift to Gustavus this year in honor of your time on the hill.

Joining the Cec Eckhoff Society is as easy as sending in a gift of any amount each year.  This society recognizes individuals who make a commitment to making a gift to the Alumni Fund each year.  By joining the Cec Eckhoff Society, you affirm your appreciation for what Gustavus has meant to you or your family over the years.

If you’re able―join the Ren Anderson Society―an unrestricted gift of between $1,000 and $4,999―to recognize the importance of the Gustavus Fund in providing leadership for the College.  Ren Anderson was the longtime vice president for public relations and development, and was recognized as a creative leader in the development of Gustavus.

If you’ve been blessed with financial security―consider the President’s Leadership Circle with a donation of $5,000+ to the Gustavus Fund.  This Circle honors the presidents who have served the college since 1862.  Joining the President’s Leadership Circle affirms your faith in the College and in helping prepare students for lifelong leadership and service to society.

Whatever the level, thanks in advance for your generosity!

Campus News

President Peterson Plans to Resign

President Jim Peterson has announced his resignation effective at the end of the school year.  He has made significant contributions to the College in his five-year term and the school is a better place for his efforts.  He will be missed.

Regardless, Gustavus Thrives

Gustavus has traditionally been ranked by U.S. News and World Report in their feature called “America’s Best Colleges.”  If any of you see this annual ranking, for the year 2008 Gustavus was listed as “Unranked.”  This is because of confusion over how Gustavus uses test scores as part of its admission process.  No need to worry, Gustavus is doing well and more than 3,000 students applied for admission, admitting that they are more interested in the school’s academic excellence and reputation rather than these rankings.

Construction Update

Work on the new football stadium progressed at a quick pace and most major elements are now in place.  The stadium will be ready for the opening game on Saturday, September 8 when the Gusties host Willamette, OR.  It’s really awesome and will be a great place for Gusties to gather!  Take a daily peak at  Physical Plant crews were also busy constructing additional intramural and club sport fields west of the Swanson Tennis Center.  These fields will replace the fields that were previously on the stadium construction site.

Atheltics Hall of Fame

Gustavus will induct new members into its Athletics Hall of Fame at a banquet on November 3.  They are:  Tim DeJarlais ’91, golf; John Erickson ’81, hockey; Dave Hultgren ’92, baseball; Craig Miller ’91, cross country; Mindy Mayerchak Oosten ’88, softball, soccer; Mike Schumacher ’91, football; Ann Sommerness Simms ’92, swimming; and Ryan Skanse ’92, tennis.

Gustavus Gets a Provost

Dr. Mary Morton, Gustavus’ new provost and vice president for academic affairs, assumed her position on Monday, July 2.  In this role as chief academic officer, she oversees academic programs and strategic planning at Gustavus.

Gusties Gather! – September 30

Gusties around the world are called to gather on Sunday, September 30.  The Alumni Board is designating this day as a way for Gusties to stay connected with each other.  In research among alumni, we know that Gusties already stay in contact with many alumni, and we know that Gusties have a strong interest in staying connected with other Gusties and with the College.  If there is a gathering in your area, we hope you will consider attending.

Upcoming Alumni Events

  • Gustavus Booth at Minnesota State Fair, Education Building, August 23-September 3
  • Twin Cities Breakfasts, September 19
  • Gusties Gather! – September 30
  • Nobel ConferenceHeating Up The Energy Debate - October 2 & 3
  • Homecoming/Family Weekend – October 12-14
  • A Royal AffairRazzle Dazzle, October 27
  • Athletics Hall of Fame Banquet – November 3
  • Christmas in Christ Chapel – November 30-December 2

Class News

I’ll start off with personal news.  I have a new job, working as a regional sales manager for a California software company called Workday which is the successor company to PeopleSoft where I worked for 11 years.  It just shows that you can teach an old dog new tricks!

Bonita Barnes Eliason also has a new job.  She is regional manager of the Division of Ecological Services for the DNR.  Congratulations, Bonita!

Janice Jenson is living in Berne, NY and has just retired after 30 years serving the same two churches she was originally called to―Saint Paul’s and Saint John’s Lutheran Churches.  She is also making a big move from New York to North Dakota to be near family―quite the cultural shift!

Add Diane Schedin Schimelpfenig to the list of classmates with new jobs.  Diane has been principal of Meadowbrook Elementary School in Golden Valley, but now has been promoted to Hopkins Public Schools’ new director of teaching and learning.  Diane had obtained her master’s and doctorate degrees and has obviously put those to good use.  There was a very nice article written in the Sun-Post newspaper lauding Diane’s many accomplishments in the field of education.  A very well deserved promotion, Diane!

Mary Koppen Wilson is director of Care Ministries for the Federated Church of West Lafayette, IN.  Her husband, Steven ’71, has retired as a deputy director of the USDA.

Carl Zeidler is working for the City of New Ulm Human Resources after years of keeping the streets safe as a policeman.  His wife, Sandy (Tretter ’69), has retired from her job as assistant program director for the MBW Company.

Dianne Johnson Voss is a paralegal for Hoffman, Usem, Fabor, Crawford, Greenburg and living in Lakeville.  Her husband, Robert ’73, is president and owner of Interactive Learning Group.

Mark Phillips is living in Oakdale and working for Kraus-Anderson Construction Company.  His wife, Patricia, is superintendent of the Maplewood/North St. Paul/Oakdale ISD #622.

Kathy Stephenson MacNair is living in Lakeland, FL and has been working for Farm Credit of Central Florida for 23 years.  Her husband, Daniel, celebrated his 25th year of working at Walt Disney World (we all want to know which character he is).  Kathy and her sister, Sandra Stephenson Nys’70 visited Scandinavia last year and had their picture taken with the real Gustavus Adolphus statue in Stockholm.

Becky Jensen Detert writes from Sherburn, MN that she is in her 35th year of teaching, now teaching health, English, and driver’s education at Martin County West High School.  She also co-owns the Old Alley Quilt Shop and has her retired husband, Joel, available to help maintain the shop.

Carol Manfred Sack is a missionary for the ELCA, currently in Tokyo, Japan.  Her husband, James, is also a missionary and they have three children.  Leave it to Carol to see the world!

I received a very interesting article written about Jeff Thauwald in the Preston & Lanesboro Republican-Leader.  The article focused on the importance of high school and college athletics during our era and the many lessons learned for Jeff and his brother Craig ’74.  It also focused on the importance of the support and encouragement both boys received from their parents.  I now also know that both Jeff and Craig ’74 were Homecoming King of Preston High!  Jeff is currently owner of Thauwald Funeral Homes in Preston, Spring Valley, and Wykoff.

That’s it for now.  Spread the word – the reunion will be fun if we get a lot of people to attend.  Make a day of it on campus and see old friends.

See you at the Reunion!