Class of '73
May 2008

Dear Classmates, Spouses & Friends,

What’s the worst month on your calendar?  The December holiday season?  April tax filing?  The month with three birthday’s and your anniversary?  October harvest?  At our house, I think May peaks the stress and anxiety meter.  This May really stacked up.  At the end of the semester, grading final exams and papers seemed endless.  The yard and garden needed hours of attention to get off to a good start.  The effects of winter, particularly woodpecker damage around the house, demands repairs.  And our graduating college student needs time and attention.  Where do you put all the furniture that comes home?  You sent a kid away to school, now you have to move an adult back into the house.  Apologies for the delay in this spring class letter.

Here’s a poem from the first book I bought at the Bookmark freshman year in ’69.  Can’t imagine what possessed me to buy it―but I’ve saved it over the years (along with a couple of dusty college textbooks and our college annuals):

May 24

~Rod McKuen


Spring will chase us

through the summer into fall

and find us beached upon some snowy shore

waiting for spring to come again.

Then gingerly we’ll go through jonquils

to seek out other summers

Birthday to birthday,

season to season,

every hour will be the anniversary

of the hour just past.

I called Phil Byrant, our class representative on the Gustavus faculty (wonder if he read Rod McKuen in 1969?) to get a faculty report.  Phil reports the following faculty were feted at a retirement party last week:  Larry Potts (introduced by Tom Gover), Greg Mason (extolled by Phil), Claude Brew (roasted by Eric Eliason), and Bill Heidcamp (bio’ed by Colleen Jacks ’79).  Retiring president, Jim Peterson ’64 was also honored at the event.  We will invite all of the active and emeritus faculty to our reunion breakfast event in October (Mr. Heidcamp will be off to chair the biology department at the University of Dubai).

Do you have our upcoming Class of ’73 reunion events on your calendar?  Hold Friday night and Saturday, October 3-4, 2008 for our 35th reunion.  Our class reunion is the same weekend as Gustavus’ Homecoming.  A recent addition to our reunion events is a Saturday evening party hosted by psych department faculty at the home of Tim and Sharon (Peterson) Robinson ’65 ’64 in Kasota.

With hardly any prodding, Tim volunteered to host a Class of ’73 Reunion Closeout Party at his ‘ranch’ in Kasota.  Tim stated that he has particularly fond memories of the Class of ’73, as do other faculty from our era.  Tim has offered to invite all interested faculty and our reunion group out to Kasota for the evening.  Tim said it would be a crushing blow to his memory of our class if we allowed the party to be decorous and restrained.

’73 Class Reunion Schedule 

Friday, October 3, Minneapolis

7:00 – 11:00 p.m.        Class Gathering at Primarius Promotion, Minneapolis

Classmate, Kelvin Miller has offered his Primarius Gallery as a gathering spot for a Friday night reunion event before our on-campus activities on Saturday.  Primarius Gallery is in the Baker Building at 141 S. 7th St.  Kelvin reports the gallery can easily handle 100 guests.  We can spill out in to the Baker Building Arcade and hallway if needed.  Kelvin is a master of party planning and catering.  The event should be the perfect launch for our Reunion Weekend.

Saturday, October 4, St. Peter


8:00 - 5:00      Reunion Registration (register upon arrival)

9:00 a.m.         Homecoming Fun Run – Three Flags (5K run around Campus Drive) ($3 payable onsite includes a shirt)

9 -10:30 a.m.   1973 Continental Breakfast - the Dive, Gustavus Student Union

                        Retired and active faculty invited.  (*The Dive reserved all day for Class of ’73)

10:00 a.m.        Chapel Service

                        Homecoming Seminar:  2008 Presidential Election

                        Guided Campus Tours for Class of ’73 – Start from The Dive*

11:00 a.m.       ’73 Reunion Lunch and Program – The Dive, Student Union - $15

1:00 p.m.          Homecoming Football Game – Hollingsworth Field

1:30 p.m.          Discover Linnaeus Arboretum with Gustavus naturalist - Lind Interpretive Center

3:30 -6:00        ‘73 Post-Game Party & Happy Hour – The Dive - $15

                        Program of Class Speakers at 4:30

6:30–9:30         ’73 Reunion Closeout Party – Tim & Sharon Robinson home, Kasota - $10

7:00 p.m.          Homecoming Concert (Neal and Leandra) – Bjorling Recital Hall

9 -11 p.m.        Sky Watch – Olin Observatory

10 p.m.            Weekend Movie – Wallenberg Auditorium

Sunday, October 5

8:00 a.m.          Complimentary Morning Coffee and Sunday Papers – Courtyard Café

10:000 a.m.      Worship Service – Christ Chapel

                        Featuring Christ Chapel Choir and the Gustavus Philharmonic Orchestra

11:00 a.m.        Jazz Brunch featuring the Gustavus Jazz Ensembles – Evelyn Young Dining

1:30 p.m.          Music Performances – Christ Chapel

The Gustavus Alumni Office reports that it is close to launching a new website.  Ron Timmerman ’75 in the office said it would be up this summer.  The Class of ’73 has a Reunion site now at:

Do you have any pictures from our student days that deserve some visibility?  We would love to see more photos posted for the Class of ’73 slideshow.  Send them to:

Online registration for our reunion should be available sometime in July.

I am still hoping Steve Ogren can come up with a way that he can work with the Alumni Office and our classmates to post videos to our reunion website.  Would be fun to get a collection of video reports from classmates around the globe.

Our Reunion Committee will be convening over the summer to plan the program details of our reunion events.  We can always use more people and your ideas.  Call or email anyone below.

Class of '73 Reunion Start-up Committee

Phil & Renee (Reeck) Bryant 

Debbie Ellis                              

Steve Ogren                             

John Otteson                            

Matt Peterson                          

Gail Johnson Speckmann        

Sue Engelsma Wilcox              

Class News

At our house, like yours, things are jumping.  Our dance/theatre major, Britta ’08, will depart the day after graduation with her Gustavus dance ensemble to perform in New York on June 4-6 at the American College Dance Festival Association.  We are headed there to watch them perform―hope to catch up with New York classmates Deb Templin and Lynn Dale (I have extra tickets to opening night.  Lynn―need your email address).

Online news report at:

Our son, Anders ’06, is headed for the Graduate Theological Union in Berkley (Pacific Lutheran Seminary).  Our daughter, Sig ’04, is excited to be working for the very popular non-profit website, “Caring Bridge.”  My wife, Joy, continues at the Regional Field Office for Thrivent.  I have no successes to report for myself.  I think I peaked a few years back and am now searching for meaning.  Call if you have any answers.

Kelvin Miller has a new marketing campaign to celebrate the 30th anniversary of his Primarius Promotion.  The mailings I have seen are very clever.  Do you remember how we scoffed at Kelvin’s idea to perfume the Le Sueur sewage stabilization ponds so as not to offend the King of Sweden’s motorcade as they headed to Gustavus?  Kelvin’s unique thinking has built a very enviable promotions/events business.  His picture at: looks more like 40 than closing in on 60.

Gustavus student callers note that Mary Moore Schwab and Byron ’70 have both retired.  Were they both with the Mendota Heights School District?  Anyone who survives a teaching career deserves our recognition.  At the reunion we need to hear where their daughter’s singing/acting career has taken her.

Jane Peterson Holmquist has the greatest job title you’ll likely encounter:  Astrophysics, Mathematics and Physics Librarian at the Fine Hall Library at Princeton.  Wonder what kind of questions she has to answer at the help desk.  Jane, if you come to the reunion, I will take you and Vic Gustafson ’42 for a canoe ride on the river.

Visited Deb Ellis’ law offices for a reunion planning meeting.  She is running out of wall space to hang her latest “Minnesota Super Lawyer” honors.  Never know if our reunion events might require a top flight criminal defense attorney.

Judy Youngren – Are you now working for Planned Parenthood?  The note from your conversation with a Gustie student caller from last fall is hard to track.  Thanks for the alumni fund contribution.

Jean Marvin continues to teach English in Rochester.   Must be approaching retirement opportunities―but why stop doing what you love to do.

It appears that Michael ’72 and Marie Westerman Hero moved to Grand Marais, MN.  Would like to hear what it’s like to be resident there.  Gateway to Minnesota’s finest territory by most accounts.

If we can recruit class speakers for our reunion programs, we need to hear from Mike Menning, retired United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.  Mike, if you can’t commute to St. Peter for the reunion, send us a video account of your career.

My aunt spent her final days at the North Memorial Hospice.  My cousins were effusive in their praise and thanks to the staff and their services.  Kathy Wornson directs the home health care and hospice programs for North Memorial―which must explain much of the program’s reputation.

Nancy Ellingson Palmer looks to have shifted from kindergarten teacher to reading teacher with the Rosemount/Eagan/Apple Valley District.

State of New Jersey Dept of Transportation has hired a new analyst―Anne Voorhees Chmielewski.  She and David live in West Trenton where he is an engineering tech with the DOT.

Michael Carlson hit 85 points (or do you need 90) and has retired from Hennepin County where he was a principal financial specialist.  Maybe he can explain our property tax increases!

Linda Thomas Harper reports that she is on the library board in Columbus, GA where they have an enormous $50 million building campaign.  If that weren’t enough―she has six grandchildren on which to dote.

Debra Hartley is assistant director at the Center for Writing at the University of Minnesota.  I would like to know how to refer some Chinese students from spring semester.  However, their English is better than my Mandarin.

If you have any stories with interesting links to Gustavus, send them along―this is our year to reminisce and draw on our college connections.  Better yet, contact me to arrange to write a class letter.  I am completely inadequate on these class letters and could use your help.

Please connect if you are interested in:

  • writing a class letter
  • being a co-class agent (new committee approach needs 10 or more class reps)
  • working on reunion planning
  • hosting or co-hosting a neighborhood Gusties Gather Party on September 29th
  • helping on Reunion Weekend
  • helping with reunion fund raising
  • stopping by for a drink (Edina – near 169/62)

In our 35th reunion year, we hope to endow a student scholarship from our class.  We need a minimum of $25 K to start the Class of ’73 Scholarship.  We would like to hit $80 K in reunion donations.  Our recent class participation rate to the Alumni Fund hovers at 30%―we would like to approach 50%―donations of any amount would help us reach that goal.  It’s doable!

If you have the means, go to to make an online donation.  All contributions through October 3, 2008 will go towards our reunion gift and will be celebrated at our reunion.

♪ Fight on for dear old GAC,

1973 Class Agent

Home phone:  952-933-3725