Class of '73
October 2004

Dear Classmates and Friends:

Although we are now into October, my short-term memory has not yet deteriorated to the point where I can’t remember back to the state fair.  Every year I go to the Minnesota State Fair the last week in August.  This year I went twice because I lost my husband the first time, but that’s another story.  (No, I didn’t return to the fair a week later to find him; we returned together to see what we had missed the first time because we had spent our time looking and/or waiting for each other.)  I have several goals when I attend the fair.  One is to look at the animals, art work, crafts of people I know.  This year one of my clients had an oil painting in the Fine Arts Building, and Gail Johnson Speckmann’s son, Brian, had a photograph there.  Another goal is to get a chocolate malt at the Empire Commons Building, where the butter heads are sculpted.  You can get free recipes there, too.  I always visit the Minnesota Public Radio booth and buy something with my member discount.  Usually, I’m buying a Christmas present.  I always go to the Horticulture Building to watch the kitchen knife infomercial and to see the seed art.  A goal in recent years has been to have a “first” experience:  a new food, a new place to eat, a new activity.  This year I tried fried green tomatoes and a pastry, I had pancake on a stick at the Hamline Diner, I got up early enough to be in the audience for the live MPR Morning Show, and I rode the boat in Ye Old Mill, oldest ride at the fair.

I just finished two weeks of calling classmates for Phonorama.  Many of you I call every year, some I talked to for the first time.  I enjoyed talking to Terri Ziegler, Muriel Selen, Becky Hokenson, Janet Hilton Peterson and husband, Ed ’72, Mim Colby Smith, Bette Jacobson Zaffke, Betsy Lee Duncan, Barb Solyst, Jan Cahill Zimdars, Linda Langsjoen, Marcia Johnson Litfin, Jane Peterson Holmquist,  Marilyn Arvidson, Kathy Orshek Zils, Pauline Reynen Ravenhorst and Anne Johanson Ingold, and everyone else.  I may have omitted some names, as sometimes I forgot to write down your names as I talked to you.  It’s that aging thing.  Thank you, Gail Speckmann, for helping me phone.  Wahstrom will be torn down, and a new dorm is being built to replace it.  (Unfortunately, not a “first” experience for me.  I also lived in Johnson, which was destroyed by the tornado.)  The football field needs to be relocated.  If we want to promote diversity on campus, it is necessary to provide scholarships in order to get the students Gustavus wants, students who will make all of us proud to be alumni of Gustavus.  Alumni before us provided money for our scholarships.  Now it’s our turn to continue the tradition of giving and the responsibility for maintaining an alma mater that is recognized nationally as a “first” class liberal arts college.  Now I want to ask you to consider a “first” experience.  Let this year be the “first” time you send a check larger than $25 or $50 or $100.  If you have given in the past but not lately, let this year be the “first” year in several that Gustavus receives a gift from you.  If you have never given to the Alumni Fund, let me personally invite you to make your “first” gift to the Gustavus Alumni Fund in 2004/2005. 

The Nobel Conference, another great Gustavus institution.  I went to hear about the Science of Aging.  Yup, we’re still aging.  The good news is, medical advances can provide senior years that are healthier and more productive and rewarding.  I attend the Nobel Conference only in part to learn something new.  I also go to visit the campus and meet classmates and other friends.  This year, I met Judy Hafemeyer Johnson at the conference.  At lunch, we ran into Konnie Kube O’Neil.  Judy and I had dinner Tuesday night with Evie Cieslar Erdman.  Evie and Judy had not seen each other since graduation, so there was much catching up to do.  Judy and I returned to campus for the choir and orchestra concert in Christ Chapel.  There we met Gratia Hokanson Johnson, whom I had not seen for over nine years.  Gratia was there for the concert because her daughter is in the choir.  The four of us lived together in Wahlstrom as freshmen, so this was really like old home week for us.

Now, here's the news:

Update on Jane Peterson Holmquist and Yugoslavia.  Remember that I asked about Gordana Perc during the war on Bosnia?  She was an exchange student and my roommate for one semester.  At that same time, Jane Peterson Holmquist was an exchange student at the other end, in Prague.  During the war, I started wondering about her.  Since then, Jane has provided some information.  I’ll let her update you in her own words: 

Dear Gustavus Alumni Office!

In the summer of 2002 I attended an international meeting of astronomy librarians in Prague, Czech Republic and persuaded Joyce Tesarek (who is 100% more fluent in Czech and Serbo-Croatian than I!) to come with me to retrace the trip we made some thirty odd years ago.  We were among the 10 Gustavus students who, along with Prof. Bob Bellig and his family, participated in a semester-long exchange program at the University of Novi Sad in 1971.  It was literally an exchange program, as 10 Yugoslav students, along with Prof. Stoyakovic, exchanged places with us and spent the spring semester at Gustavus.

It was wonderful to reconnect with revisit the past, catch up to the present, and ponder the future.  Milan is now International Relations Officer at the Center for International Studies at the University of Novi Sad.  He and his family have kept in touch with Jane Anderson

Hooper '72 and her husband over the years.  In fact, Milan's son spent a summer vacation in Minnesota with them a few years ago!

I also visited my former biology professor, Dr. Angela Horvatovic and, as Marcia mentioned in her recent 1973 Class Letter, spoke by phone with the mother of Gordana Perc.  Gordana was Marcia's roommate at Gustavus during the 1971 spring semester and she is now living with her

husband in Budapest, Hungary.

I wish we could find out where all the 10 Yugoslav students are now.  Would there happen to be a list of their names in the registrar's archives at Gustavus?  I remember only some of the first names... Gordana, Jasna, Milan.  I did speak with Prof. Stoyakovic's son who said his father died some years ago.  (The son is now a mathematics professor at the University of Novi Sad.)

It would also be wonderful to get in touch with the other Gusties who participated in the exchange.  Would the Alumni Office happen to have mailing addresses for the following? 

I have e-mail addresses for Bob Bellig, Joyce Tesarek '72, Jane (Anderson) Hooper '72 and Mark Monson '71.  (Greta Swenson '72, sadly, is deceased.)

Dave Mikkelson '72?

Craig Peterson '72

Bob & Laurie (Edmonds) Walker '71?

Dennis Wellnitz '73

Stan and I are off to Central Europe ourselves as of this Friday, May 28.  We are going to Vienna for about a week, to Budapest for about a  week and to Novi Sad for about a week.  We will be staying with the Vurdelja's in Novi Sad and will return home on June 18.  I do have a bit of additional information.  Stan and I hosted both of Milan's sons as foreign students at Woodbury High School.  (Woodbury is a suburb of St. Paul) Dushan stayed with us for the 1991-1992 school year and Marko stayed with us for the 1998-1999 school year.  We were unable to get Milan's daughter, Jelena, here however; the Bosnian war intruded.

If you have any information or email addresses for Jane, you can email them to her at jane@astro.Princeton.EDU

From Deborah Jean Templin, sometime this summer:  “I have had a busy two weeks with my mother and sister in Glencoe.  I am off to Toronto for a theatre conference tomorrow morning.

Saw some great theatre in Minnesota this visitCarmen at Jeune Lune in Minneapolis, The King and I with Sandy Duncan, Martin Vidnovic and Hal Davis at the Ordway Theatre in St. Paul, and I was able to catch ANNIE at the Chanhassen Dinner Theatre.

I will be performing my one person show UNSINKABLE WOMEN:  Stories and Songs from the Titanic in my home town of Glencoe, Minnesota on March 19, 2005.  My 101-year-old Aunt Eleanore Dose (my late father's sister) will be in attendence.  Just wanted you to know.  Deborah Jean”

The voice of Joanne McConnell-Barnes:

“My latest news....I married Wyman Barnes, a high school art teacher from Dubuque, IA, on June 19, at the Little Brown Church, Nashua, IA.  You met him last fall at Emma Krumbees in Belle Plaine.  Wyman and I met through, and as soon as we met in person we KNEW this was exactly right.  I sold my house in New Prague and moved to Dubuque this summer.  I have discovered that I am a better boss for me than anyone else so I don't plan to teach in a school.  Instead, I will give piano lessons, which I have done for years, and offer classes of Kindermusik.  I don't know if you know about Kindermusik, but it is classes for little ones from birth to age 7 with a parent.  I got my Kindermusik license last fall, and I hope to get it off the ground probably after the first of the year.  I am really excited about it.

Also, I have purchased a new piano, a brand new 6'4" Steinway Boston!!  It is a dream come true.  It will be delivered by Schmitt's to our home in Dubuque sometime next week, I think.

I now have 2 sons, 2 daughters-in-law, 7 grandchildren and 3 stepchildren (grown, a daughter and 2 sons).  My family is growing!!  And besides that, 5 brothers and a sister, a batch of in-laws and a bunch of nieces and nephews.  My mom and dad are still living...Mom is very healthy and Dad keeps plugging along.  They are going to help us during August to sift through 2 complete households of stuff!!  YIKES!!!”

[The piano finally arrived.  MS]  Announcing the arrival of Benjamin Boston Steinway on Friday, August 13, 2004. Ben is 6'4" long, about 650 pounds and has all 88 black and white keys. He was delivered by the safe hands of the Schmitt Music and Medical delivery specialists.  The proud guardians are Joanne and Wyman.  A good amount of rearranging and organization had to be done to welcome this big bundle of joy!!  Ben has full reign of the couple's living room because at 6'4", this is no baby!!  A celebration in honor of Ben's arrival is in the planning stages.  Welcome to your new home, Ben!!

  • Steve King is still working as the city administrator of South St. Paul and very much enjoying it.  His wife, Lorie, continues as a middle school math teacher at St. Jude’s in Mahtomedi, where they live.  In their spare time they are doing home improvements and traveling when time and opportunity coincide.  Steve says their blended family offers lots of interesting challenges. 
  • Gerald Bakke and his wife recently became grandparents when his son, Shawn, and his wife, Melissa, had Isaac Bakke.  Congratulations!!
  • Debra Neumann continues in private practice of clinical psychology, specializing in psychotherapeutic treatment of traumatic bereavement and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).  Her husband, Ron Oechsler, is in his 3rd year of study with the goal of becoming a grades teacher at a Waldorf school.  Her daughters, Amy Rose and Eliana, are in the 3rd and 1st grades, respectively, at Cedar Springs Waldorf School in Placerville, CA.  [That was in May, so I’m guessing the girls are in 4th and 2nd grades now.  MS]  The Neumann Oechslers reside in the Sierra foothills east of Sacramento.
  • Mary Dittrich Footh lives in Lenexa, KS, where her husband, Brad, is now working for Cardiovascular Therapeutics (CVT) as a medical science liaison.  Mary continues to enjoy volunteering for her church and traveling with her husband.
  • Reb Bowman lives in Plymouth, MN.  He has completed 30 years of teaching 7th grade Life Science at Wayzata West Middle School.  For 22 years, he has been a firefighter with the Wayzata Fire Department.
  • Ron Nelson is vice president of CHF Solutions, a start-up medical device firm in Brooklyn Park, MN.  CHF Solutions has introduced a mechanical pump filter system to quickly remove excess fluid from the blood of fluid-overload patients.
  • Linda Dangel Sieracki, Palos Park, IL, is working part-time as a medical technologist at Advocate Christ Hospital in the chemistry department.  Her youngest, daughter Laura, will be a freshman at Purdue University in the fall of 2004.
  • Thomas and Rebecca (Hake ’76) Anderson had a wonderful time joining their son, Chris (who is a high school junior and plays cello) and the Henry Sibley Orchestra in Switzerland, Germany and France in August 2003, but it was VERY HOT!  [I think Chris is a senior now.  MS]
  • Jan Ryles is a human factors engineer scientist, recently laid off from Agilent Technologies, in Fort Collins, CO.  He is finishing a book on unconventional wisdom from the sacred house.  He is also looking into gerontology and human factors as a Ph.D. program.
  • Jane Peterson Holmquist’s son, Carl, is a music major at St. Olaf, class of ’05.
  • Pauline Reynen Ravenhorst is a medical surgical nurse at the Austin (MN) Medical Center.  Her son recently graduated from Concordia College with a major in accounting and landed a job at Hormel.  Her daughter is a freshman at Concordia, studying biology and participating in soccer and track.  When I talked with Pauline during Phonorama, she told me that she and her husband had just moved into a new house on a bunch of wooded acres.  I don’t remember how many acres she said.  30?  40?  Anyway, enough that she thinks she’s living alone in the woods.  Sounds really good to me!
  • Dennis Born owns Born Well Drilling, Inc. in Waseca, MN.  He and his wife, Pam, have two daughters in college, well maybe only one now.  I think one graduated from Luther in May, or else she is a senior this year.  The copy machine truncated my notes.  The other one is in Indianapolis.
  • Bonnie Nelson Ripplinger works for the City of Minot (ND).  She recently was appointed supervisor of the cemetery, Division of Public Works.  This job is a real breakthrough for a woman in Minot.  Congratulations!
  • Bernard McKinley, Jr. and Dema Heise ’74 were married in Christ Chapel April 3, 2004.  At the time, he was living in Waterloo, IA and she was living in Woodbury, MN.  I assume they are living some place together now.
  • John Apitz is a government relations attorney with Messerli & Kramer in St. Paul, MN.
  • William Beslock lives in White Lake, MI, and has two children.  Christie is a senior in high school and Billy is in 7th grade.  [Depending on when this news was received by the Alumni Office, his children may be a high school graduate and in 8th grade.  MS]
  • Ross Heilman works for Thrivent in Mankato.  He recently earned the title of financial consultant after successfully completing an advanced development workshop in Minneapolis.  He was one of fewer than 300 financial consultants nation-wide to qualify to join the newly formed group.  Congratulations!
  • Cindy Schwake Anderson, where are you?  Please email me or the Alumni Office with your current address and phone.  I missed talking to you!

Did you notice that some people got more space than others?  That’s because those people emailed their news to me.  Just want you to know that you can determine how much space you get  J

Email addresses:

Joanne McConnell-Barnes                      

Jane Peterson Holmquist                                   jane@astro.Princeton.EDU

Steve King                                             

Linda Sieracki                                        

Pauline Reynen Ravenhorst                     

Deborah Jean Templin                            

Dennis Wellnitz                                       

Many email addresses can be found at  Look for the Alumni page.

Reminder:  you have 2 important things to do.  1)  Vote on November 2nd.  2)  Mail your gift to the Alumni Fund by May 31.

Happy Fall!


Marcia L Stephens

Campus News:

143rd Academic Year Begins

Classes began Sept. 8 with 657 first-year Gustavus students and 2,500 in all.  Long-standing orientation traditions such as the Square Dance and President’s Banquet have been joined by newer traditions like Gustie Greeter Orientation Groups and the Reading in Common program.  These newer programs were created to provide a more meaningful transition and to encourage students to meet others outside their residence hall.

Nobel Conference, The Science of Aging

The 40th Anniversary of the Nobel Conference was on the Science of Aging.  The campus hosted over 6,000 guests October 5-6 to learn about the research molecular biologist are conducting on longevity, Alzheimer’s, and delaying debilitating disease and how this impacts life expectancy, the economy, and the health-care system.

New Residence Hall

Work crews have been busy this summer and fall constructing a new residence hall on campus.  The goal is to have the building enclosed before winter.  The building, located southwest of the football field, will house 200 students in suites and apartments and is scheduled to open for fall 2005.

Gustie Pages

Looking for a dentist, doctor, lawyer, pastor, realtor, and much more?  Make it a Gustie!  The Gustie Pages is an online database of Gusties who have submitted information about their profession.  Use the Gustavus network to meet your needs or submit your professional information if you would like other Gusties to be your customers.

Athletics Hall of Fame

The Gustavus Adolphus College Athletics Department has chosen eight individuals for induction into its Athletics Hall of Fame.  The 2004 inductees include Lori Allen ’88 (golf), Jim Chalin ’76 (basketball), Bruce Edwards ’77 (ice hockey), Barb Jaeger ’88 (soccer), Dean Kraus ’89 (football), Pachi Lopez ’71 (soccer), Greg Peterson ’88 (golf), and Gary Reinholtz (long-time athletic trainer, benefactor).  This group was honored at the Athletics Hall of Fame Banquet, which was Saturday, October 16.

Extraordinary Place

Gustavus is once again ranked among the top 100 liberal arts colleges in the nation in U.S. News and World Report's annual college rankings.  Gustavus is one of five Minnesota colleges in the top 100 national liberal arts colleges for overall quality (Carleton, Macalester, St. Olaf, Gustavus, St. John’s).  The ranking groups schools into categories based on a national educational classification that includes national liberal arts colleges, national doctoral universities (University of Minnesota, St. Thomas), regional master's degree-granting universities (Hamline, St. Catherine’s, Bethel, Augsburg), and comprehensive regional colleges (Concordia-St Paul).

Upcoming Events

  • Christmas in Christ Chapel: “Seasons of Promise” – December 3-5
  • St. Lucia Festival – December 9
  • Class of 1954 and 50 Year Club Reunion – May 27-28
  • Class Reunions for 1960, 1965, 1970, 1975, 1980, 1985, 1990, 1995, 2000 – October 7-9, 2005