Class of '74
December 2003

Dear Classmates,


  • Sue Ahlcrona is a homemaker.  She and Dennis Trooien have a son, Ross Trooien, in the sophomore class at Gustavus.
  • Becky Bade Lane is employed as a first grade teacher in District 716 in Belle Plaine, Minnesota.
  • Richie Aagren is living in Skelleftea, Sweden, employed as an environmental inspector for Skelleftea County.  He has two kids, Towe 28 and Robert 26.
  • Rebecca Holmen Helmeke lives in Cape Coral, Florida and is finishing her master's degree through the University of St. Francis.  She is a lieutenant colonel in the Army Nurse Corps Reserve.
  • Kenneth Hamrum is a part-time public defender living in Morris, Minnesota.  He recently received a grant to record 15 of his jazz arrangements for brass quintet.
  • Deborah Erickson Carlson is a visual arts coordinator for Lake Region State College living in Warwick, North Dakota.
  • Paul and Cindy (Gustafson '78) Torkelson are living in St. James, Minnesota where Cindy teaches 3rd grade and directs plays with Middle School aged students.  Paul continues to farm, plays in a five-piece band called Attitude and is on the State Board for the Farm Bureau.
  • David and Laurie (Peterson) Resch live in Arden Hills, Minnesota.  David has been a DDS for 25 years with Associated Dentists and Laurie is a chemistry teacher in Anoka-Hennepin ISD #11 where she is the director of curriculum development.  Their son has graduated from St. Olaf in chemistry and is teaching in China.  Their daughter is a sophomore at St. Olaf.  They plan to go to China.
  • Becky Lind Monke and Bruce '72 live in Overland Park, Kansas.  Becky teaches 4th grade in the Olathe Unified Schools and Bruce works for Bayer Corporation as a manager, field development and technical services.  Their daughter, Lindsey, is attending Emporia State University and Kelsey is at Pittsburg University in Kansas.
  • Rob and Debra (Weishair '75) Rischmiller live in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota.  Rob is a school psychologist in Anoka-Hennepin ISD #11.  Debra is a part-time nurse at North Memorial Recovery.  Daughter, Sara, is at St. Bens and Christina is a biology major at Gustavus.
  • JoAnn Carter Vucinovich is a 5th grade teacher in Apple Valley/Rosemount/Eagan ISD #196.  JoAnn and Brian's daughter, Sandra, was crowned Aquatennial Queen of the Lakes.
  • Amy Larson Schmidt is an elementary principal.  Their son, Anders, is at Gustavus and plays varsity baseball.  Anna is a senior at the Carlson School at the University of Minnesota.
  • Rolf and Cindy Gruber live in Brooklyn Park with two kids at Bethel College and one 10th grader.

Christmas has passed for another year.  Are the years moving by in a hurry or is it just me?

In a recent meeting I heard the phrase, "don't let 'best' get in the way of better."  This phrase has stayed with me because on occasion the best has kept me from taking action.  Action that could clearly make something better.  I see this in many aspects of my life.

The 'best' workout could be cardio, weights and stretching at the club.  Well, because I cannot get to the club the 'best' workout may keep me from taking our dog for a walk…clearly better than inactivity!

The 'best' launch for our new sandwich line at work (did I mention I work at Deli Express…the #1 selling prepackaged sandwich for the convenience store industry?J) may include several elements, which until all are complete may keep me from promoting them at all…the "best" (perfection) could leave no room for continuous improvement.

The 'best' solution for more living space may be a new home yet waiting for this to happen could keep me from cleaning out the accumulated "stuff that would free up all the space we need."  The "best" gets in the way of better.

Evelyn 'Ma' Young has a passion for making things better.  She always strives for the best yet never lets the best keep her from taking action to improve things.  You could see it in the way she got the most from the foodservice.  Today, Evelyn is still a go-getter.  She chaired the alumni fund drive two years ago.  She serves on the Youth Forum Minnesota Board where this Christian outreach ministry has named an annual award the "Evelyn Young Just Get It Done Award" for the outstanding Christian youth leader in Minnesota/Wisconsin.  She continues to make things better!

We all may be waiting for the best time to give money to our college's annual fund campaign.  The truth is anything we give makes our college better!  Alumni support is the backbone of the college.  Please join Jan Ledin Michaletz and me in giving to the annual fund.  Our donations make Gustavus a better college!  Thank you and have a great new year!

Rob Linner

1974 Co-class Agent

Campus News:

College opens 142nd Academic Year - More than 700 new students, including transfer students and international students, joined the Gustavus community this fall, keeping the total student population around 2,515. The retention rate of students from the first to second year remains at 90 percent. These students will be taught by 198 full-time and 55 part-time faculty. Gustavus was again ranked in the top third of the 214 national liberal arts colleges by the U.S. News and World Report.

The Alumni Fund Turns 50 - On June 30, 1954, the first Alumni Fund officially closed with 1,204 donors (32 percent) and $26,013.  The Alumni Fund has had a strong tradition at Gustavus exceeding 50% participation for many years, making Gustavus a national leader recognized with 17 national awards.  Help return the Alumni Fund to reach over 50% participation by contributing before May 31, 2004.  Do your best to participate in the Alumni Fund to continue the Gustavus tradition of strong alumni support and return the College to national recognition.

Sculptor Paul Granlund '52 dies - Paul Granlund died on September 15, 2003.  He was sculptor-in-residence at Gustavus from 1971-1996.  His figurative bronze sculptures are found in private collections and public installations nationally and internationally, including 30 bronze works on the Gustavus campus.

Alumni Board members selected - Seven alumni have been selected to serve a three-year term on the Alumni Board.  They are Liesl Batz '90, Minneapolis, senior vice president and director of marketing, Lakeside Investment Partners; Jan Eiffert Hoomani '62, Raleigh, NC, Realtor, JB Realty; Jim Malmquist '53, Scandia, MN, retired athletics director, Gustavus; Jan Ledin Michaletz '74, Edina, volunteer/homemaker.  Incumbents to serve a second term include Vivian Foyou '02, Mankato, graduate student, Minnesota State University, Mankato; Jason Sawyer '93, Plymouth, vice president, Cronin & Co.; and Dan Currell '94, Alexandria, VA, director of corporate leadership council, Corporate Executive Board.

2003 Hall of Fame inductees -- Nine individuals were inducted into the Athletics Hall of Fame on September 27. Inductees are Val Flom Ashland '87 (volleyball), Wendy Ericksen Bachman '87 (soccer), Karen Ahlstrom Bishop '86 (gymnastics), Jay Coatta '87 (basketball and golf), Marv Gunderson '53 (football), Jim Hearn '81 (tennis), Dave Najarian '82 (football), Betty Wannarka Ringeisen '84 (basketball and track and field), and Larry Shelhamer '76 (soccer).

Gustavus Finishes sixth in Director's Cup - Gustavus finished sixth out of 395 Division III institutions for the 2002-03 Director's Cup announced recently by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics. The only all-sports competition in intercollegiate athletics, the award honors four-year institutions with the best overall athletic programs.  Last year Gustavus placed 10th.

Chapel Program - The Gustavus Chapel program is one of the strongest in higher education averaging 350 students attending Daily Chapel.  In addition, there are many student-led programs including: Apprentice - students who are interested in being part of ministry and open to see where the Spirit might be leading; Christ Chapel Volunteers - assist in the ministry of Christ Chapel by ushering, carrying the cross and candles, reading lessons, writing and/or reading prayers, and serving as assisting ministers; Community Service Center Programs - one-time and on-going service programs; Fellowship of Christian Athletes - athlete or not, time for fellowship, worship, speakers, service projects and mission trips; Gustavus Youth Outreach - committed to sharing the Gospel and providing opportunities to serve by participating in off-campus youth ministry; Habitat For Humanity/Spring Break Work Trips - Habitat works locally and Spring Break Work Trip nationally to fundraise for and build affordable housing; Jewish Organization of Gustavus - for students, faculty and staff who were either Jewish or interested in the Jewish faith; Newman Center - dedicated to building a deeper understanding of the Catholic faith; Prepare - build a new generation of believers through mentors, mission trips, Bible study, prayer and worship; Proclaim - Bible-based contemporary worship and teaching; Taizé - a contemplative worship service of music, prayer, readings and silence; Wednesday Friends - visits St. Peter Regional Treatment Center residents weekly.

Upcoming Events - call the Alumni Office at 800/487-8437

Alumni Chapter Events:  Washington DC - February 6; Atlanta - February 26; Tampa Bay - February 27; Naples - February 28; Sun City - March 19; Phoenix  - March 20; Tucson - March 21