Class of '74
January 2006

To the class of 1974, greetings!

My hope is this note finds you well and in good spirits.  Can you believe we are 32 years from graduation?  Time keeps on marching.

Our fellow classmate Jan Ledin Michaletz and her family are chairing the annual fund drive for the college this year and Russ is chairing the Board of Trustees!  Wow and congratulations to the Michaletz family!  Since those guys are so busy (and Jan always is) I have taken the task of writing our class letter to seek your financial support for Gustavus in 2006.

I read an article on Joe Paterno, the Penn State football coach, in which he said everyday you go on the practice field only two things will happen, you will either get better or you will get worse.  Isn’t that the truth!  As I say to the team at work, each day we show up we will either improve our position in the market or we will decline.  Let’s improve!  Can the same be true for our giving to Gustavus?  Yes it can, let’s improve our giving this year!

Jan and Russ are working each day to make Gustavus a better place, to make it better, by donating their time and talent to further the college.  How can we do the same?  Here are a few ideas:

1)      Write a class letter.  This fall, at the kick-off of the annual fund drive Jan challenged us all to have fun in our efforts to raise funds for Gustavus.  What could me more fun than writing a letter to classmates?  Would you like to take a shot at it?  Please let Jan or me know by March 1st if this is something you would like to do as a guest writer this year.  You can reach me at or Jan at We welcome the help.  The next letter is in April.

2)      Make a financial contribution.  Since Jan is chairing the drive let’s surprise her with a true increase in our giving.  Two indicators measure success:  1) Participation – the number of us who give (it can be any amount…really) and 2) Amount – the total $$ from the class.  So please respond with a financial gift to the college. 

The phrase “green you are growing and ripe you are rotting” causes me to take pause.  I do not want to be rotting but green and growing.  It is a challenge!  Can we grow our class giving?  Thirty plus years from college could place us at risk for rotting unless we stand our ground and fight the good fight.  Think of all we have experienced both good and bad that bring us to this day.  These experiences combined with a positive attitude provide all the tools we need to make this year a growth year for participation and giving from the class of 1974!  It is time to act…to grow!

Clearly the battlefield of life is played out one day at a time.  Today can and will make a difference in our “fun”d drive.  Take action today and make a contribution that will place the class of 1974 on the growth curve.

Author Harvey McKay says our lives are changed in two ways, through the people we meet and the books we read.  My life is changed forever by our time together at Gustavus.  The books read and the people met.  It is our turn to give back to GAC with a financial gift today that will help this next group of kids prepare for life.

Thank you for all you do to make Gustavus strong.  Our financial gifts will make a difference!

Class News:

  • Mark Warren of Coral Gables, Florida has been promoted to executive vice president and general counsel of NCL Corporation Ltd.  The company, based in Miami, Florida owns and operates Norwegian Cruise Line, NCL America Cruises and Orient Lines.  Congratulations Mark!  Great job!
  • William Brekke is senior commercial officer for the U.S. Embassy in Bejing, China!  WOW! 
  • Becky Bade Lane is teaching first grade at Belle Plaine Elementary School in Belle Plaine, Minnesota.  Great job Becky!
  • Penny Helgeson Fearing and Rob have a new granddaughter, Odyssey Fearing born July 6, 2005!  Congratulations and great news!
  • Ruth Lunde has joined Western National Insurance Group, Edina, Minnesota as manager of application development.  Mike Braun, vice president of information technology for the company said, “Ruth is an experienced technology leader with a diverse background in IT management, the insurance industry and business…we are excited to have her join our management team.”  Congratulations Ruth!

Campus News:

Study Abroad Leader

Gustavus continues to be a leading institution for the number of students studying abroad, according to an annual ranking recently released by the Institute of International Education (IIE).  Consistent with its mission of giving students an education that is international in perspective, Gustavus was ranked seventh in the "Top 20 Baccalaureate Institutions" list of the institute’s "Open Doors 2005" report.  Gustavus was one of four Minnesota private colleges to make the list of 20.  The report was based on study abroad statistics from the 2003-04 academic year.  Gustavus students engage in international learning through various programs in more than 100 locations throughout the world, ranging from Australia to India and Ecuador to Sweden.  In recent years, 50 percent of Gustavus graduates have participated in at least one study-abroad experience.

New Carnegie Classification for Colleges and Universities

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching released a new classification system for institutions of higher education.  Gustavus’ classification is Arts & Sciences plus Professions, indicating that 60 to 80 percent of Gustavus students complete a traditional liberal arts major, such as political science, classics, or biology.  The new classifications describe five aspects of colleges and universities: instructional programs, enrollment profile, undergraduate demographics, size, and setting.  Undergraduate instructional programs are now designated as Arts & Sciences Focus, Arts & Sciences plus Professions, Balanced Arts & Sciences and Professions, Professions plus Arts & Sciences, or Professions Focus. 

Insurance Programs

The Alumni Association, in partnership with Meyer and Associates and Liberty Mutual, offers an insurance program to alumni and their families.  Products include insurance policies for life, short-term medical, auto, home, and renters.  For life and short-term medical insurance call Meyer and Associates at 800-635-7801 or visit  For auto, home, and renters insurance call Liberty Mutual at 800-524-9400 or visit

Gustavus to Perform at Orchestra Hall

The Gustavus Music Showcase will be Sunday, March 12, at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis.  The Gustavus Choir, Gustavus Symphony Orchestra, and Gustavus Wind Orchestra will perform.  This is a unique opportunity to hear three premier ensembles from Gustavus in one concert.  This showcase also allows prospective students, parents, and alumni from the area to meet and connect.  For tickets, call the Orchestra Hall box office at 800/292-4141.  Tickets are $20 for general admission, and $10 for students 18 and under.


Two big stories from the fall sports are that Hailey Harren won the national NCAA Division III cross country title and the men’s soccer team became the first MIAC school to play in the national championship game and finished second, losing 1-0 to defending national champion Messiah.  For the second consecutive year, men's soccer coach Larry Zelenz has been named Coach of the Year in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America/Adidas NCAA Division III West Region.  The men's hockey team is unbeaten in conference play, outscoring their opponents 28-5 in four games.

Upcoming Music Tours

This year nearly 300 students will participate in music tours as members of the Gustavus Wind Orchestra, Gustavus Choir, Gustavus Symphony Orchestra, Gustavus Jazz Lab Band, and Choir of Christ Chapel.  The Gustavus Wind Orchestra will tour Eastern Europe Jan. 14-30.  Performances are scheduled for Germany, Czech Republic, Poland, and Austria.  The Gustavus Choir will tour Jan. 27-Feb. 11 (see schedule below), with performances in Minnesota and Wisconsin.  The Gustavus Symphony Orchestra, Gustavus Jazz Lab Band, and Choir of Christ Chapel will tour during Spring Semester.

Gustavus Choir Tour Schedule

  • January 27 at Augustana Lutheran Church, West St. Paul, 7:30 p.m.
  • January 28 at St. Joseph's Catholic Church, Grand Rapids, 7:30 p.m.
  • January 29 at Zion Lutheran Church, Grand Rapids, 8:30 a.m. morning service
  • January 29 at Concordia Lutheran Church, Duluth, 3 p.m.
  • January 30 at Bemidji High School Auditorium, Bemidji, 7 p.m.
  • January 31 at First Lutheran Church, Morris, 7 p.m.
  • February 2 at Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church, Marshfield, WI, 7:30 p.m.
  • February 3 at St. Francis Catholic Church, Brainerd, 7:30 p.m.
  • February 4 at Central Lutheran Church, Winona, 7 p.m.
  • February 5 at Faith Lutheran Church, Winona, 8 a.m. morning service
  • February 5 at First Lutheran Church, Red Wing, 2 p.m.
  • February 11 at Christ Chapel, Saint Peter, 7:30 p.m.

Upcoming Alumni Events

  • Tucson, AZ Gustie Gathering - February 10
  • Phoenix, AZ Gustie Gathering - February 11
  • Sun City, AZ Gustie Gathering - February 12
  • Gustavus Music Showcase at Orchestra Hall - March 12
  • Atlanta, GA Gustie Gathering - March 26

Blessings in 2006,

Rob Linner

1974 Co-class Agent