Class of '74
April 2010

Dear Classmates,

Have you read, Younger Next Year by Chris Crowley and Henry Lodge?  I could relate to it and have found myself motivated to get more exercise and enjoy this process of heading into the next phase of life.  Not that I am planning on retiring soon, but we are getting close.  In fact some of us have already made the transition and are really enjoying it, or so I have heard.

We just entered empty nesting.  Elizabeth and I (well Liz) had Kathryn in April 1983 and in September of 2009 Jane went off to Gustavus.  That is twenty-six years of having one of the three girls in the house.  And with Laura in her final year of Bethel, we also have the joy of double tuitions.  So this year for “Spring Break” we decided that we would once again go to Mexico, but this time without any kids.  Yes that’s right, just the two of us.  It has been wonderful and in addition to some pulp fiction I read Crowley and Lodge’s book.  I recommend it.

So we are all celebrating our 40th high school reunions this year.  Can you imagine?  We graduated 40 years ago and made the trip to Gustavus as incoming freshmen.  While it seems a long time ago, in some ways it seems like yesterday.  I can safely say that you all are a very unique group whom I consider the “salt of the earth.”  The things you all have done and continue to do with your lives is remarkable.  Not because we have cured the common cold, but because, as we are able, we are making our lives count.  Gustavus was our launching pad and I, for one, am grateful for the education we all received.

In 2012 the college celebrates its sesquicentennial (150 years).  President Jack Ohle chaired the “Commission Gustavus 150” process which among other things, has a goal to, substantially increase alumni engagement by reinventing the alumni class leadership structure, creating volunteer management of social networking sites, establishing formal programs connecting alumni with academic departments, and alumni-driven shared interest groups (classes).  While there will be more information to come on this topic, our hope is that you will keep an open mind as you consider ways in which you could participate in a personally meaningful way.  Please let us know, or let Alumni Director, Randall Stuckey ’83 know if you want to become more involved.

It was good to see many of you last fall at Gustavus and the Sheraton as we celebrated our thirty-fifth!

Go you Gusties!

Rob Linner

1974 Co-class Agent

To start with, here is a recent press release form the president’s office:

Construction will begin on the building this spring and it is expected that it will be ready to serve Gustavus students and faculty by September 2011.  The new academic building is a component of $44 million in capital projects approved by our Board of Trustees in January to move forward with three major building projects.  Also included in the plan is the development of a west mall extending from Christ Chapel and a major renovation and expansion of the Anderson Social Science Building.

The academic departments that will be housed in the new academic building include communication studies, economics and management, history, psychology, and sociology and anthropology.

The College intends to have the new academic building achieve at least Gold LEED Certification.  The LEED green building certification program encourages and accelerates global adoption of sustainable green building and development practices through a suite of rating systems that recognize projects that implement strategies for better environmental and health performance.

Ground breaking is on Friday, April 16, at 3:30.  Thanks to an early spring, the campus looks great.  There are Adirondack chairs on the lawns and the sunbathers are out again.  It’s also the final quarter, so kids are scrambling to find the textbooks they bought earlier, and actually use them.  Yesterday was a special day for admitted students who have not made their final decision.  The campus was hopping!  The track and field teams were working, the men’s tennis team sitting at the flagpole, and Frisbees were everywhere.  I am on campus about twice a month for meetings, but there is something about spring life at Gustavus that makes me really nostalgic.

Most of the nation’s four-year liberal arts colleges are in the same boat as Gustavus.  We could all use more students, more diversity, and more money.  By diversity, I mean ethnic, geographic, and economic.  Those of you who came from Texas and Florida must remember your first J-term on campus.  Those cold days are not dream days for admissions counselors!  They’ve always had to do some persuasion to get kids to include down coats on the “What to Get for College” supply lists.  That’s still the case.  Division III schools cannot award athletic scholarships, so we can’t compete with the large public universities on that front.  We are hoping to return (somewhat) to the early days of Gustavus, when many of the students were first-generation college attendees.  We are hoping to attract new students from minority and economic populations that are first in their families to seek higher education.  In many cases, the families in those groups are large and close.  The parents (and other relatives) expect their students to be capable of getting a job after they graduate.  Those of us who have a liberal arts background know that a philosophy or theatre major sometimes doesn’t equate to a job with benefits.   The number of “traditional” students is diminishing.  Part of that is due to a lower birthrate.  There’s also a drop in the number of students who can afford to pay the entire tuition.  Dilemma:  how do we keep Gustavus affordable, accessible and financially solvent?  We struggle with that at every Board of Trustees meeting!

Those of you who have toured colleges with your high-school-aged children know that it’s sometimes difficult to predict how a college or university will impact your son or daughter.  Did they connect with the student who led the campus tour?  Was the cafeteria food good?  Did the dorms have enough closet space?  Were people nice to them?  Until the night before the national acceptance deadline, we were certain that our youngest son was headed to St. Olaf.  Their new (amazing) science building was pretty inviting.  The organic food was quite good.  And a shot at singing in their choir almost sealed the deal.  And then something made him reconsider Gustavus.  It was the biology and chemistry faculty.  They had spoken to him.  They had eaten lunch with him, and always seemed as though they’d be accessible and available to him.  He tells people that he went to the highest bidder, but he really likes Gustavus.  And, as he had hoped, the faculty is just as available and accessible as they were in the ’70s.  My reaction as a parent?  WHEW!

As I see it, it’s our job as alumni to make sure that every student who wants to attend Gustavus can attend the school.  You know what that means:  it’s time for us to step up to the plate and write the checks.  Whether or not your children chose to attend the school, we need to guarantee that Gustavus doesn’t become a place where only the wealthy can handle the costs.  We need to attract students from Waco to Waconia.

It’s never too late to reconnect with the school.  There are a few people on the staff/faculty list who were there in our day.  Horst Ludwig has never lost hope that I can recall enough German to carry on a conversation.  That will never happen!  Kevin Byrne is still around.  Who else is still there?  If you’re in touch with any of the faculty, please let us know.  We’ll spread the news about their lives.

I don’t have a load of news.  I ran into Denny Trooien, Sue Ahlcrona and Sue Swanson Kimitch at a grocery store in Sanibel and Bob Moilanen ’73 at the airport in Florida.  They all looked amazing.

Who has kids in college this year?  How many of you are grandparents?  Does anyone have a child in elementary school?  Is anyone still buying diapers (for babies)?  How many of us are downsizing?  How many of you fit into anything you wore in college?

Many of us have 40th high school reunions.  Lots of hair highlighting and dieting going on.  Tip:  rent a sports car for the reunion.  Nobody will notice the crow’s feet and the bifocals.

I know you’ll help us ($$) if and when you can.  Any amount is appreciated.  The college can take loans for buildings, but the students really need our help.  If you haven’t donated in a while, please consider a gift of $36 to represent 36 years of being out of college!

Happy Spring!

Jan Ledin Michaletz

1974 Co-class Agent

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Campus News

Gustavus Forensics Wins Nationals

The Gustavus Adolphus College forensics team took first place in the individual events portion of the Pi Kappa Delta National Comprehensive Tournament March 19-21 in Minneapolis.  Gustavus amassed 306 points to narrowly defeat Ohio University, which scored 305 points.  A total of 57 colleges and universities participated in the tournament.  Gustavus sophomore Chloe Radcliffe won the Pentathlon competition, which recognizes the top 10 students who compete in at least five events.  First-year student Kate Bissen took first place in Informative Speaking and senior C.J. Hunt also took home a first-place trophy in the Program Oral Interpretation event.

Fantastic Winter for Gustie Athletics

The Gustavus winter athletic teams had great success including MIAC championships in men’s and women’s hockey, women’s basketball, and women’s swimming.  The Gusties finished second in men’s basketball, men’s swimming and diving, and women’s indoor track and field.  Gustavus also played in and hosted the NCAA Div. III Women’s Frozen Four National Hockey tournament in March.

Wind Orchestra Tour

The Gustavus Wind Orchestra, under the direction of Conductor Douglas Nimmo, has returned from a 15-day concert tour through Germany, Poland, the Czech and Slovak Republics, Hungary and Austria.  The Choir of Christ Chapel will be traveling to the Phoenix/Tucson area this spring.  On April 15 they will be at Lord of Life Lutheran Church in Sun City West, April 16 at All Saints Lutheran Church (LCMS) in Phoenix, and on April 17 at Lord of Grace Lutheran Church in Tucson.  For other campus news please check the website at

Admission News

Applications for next year are ahead of where they were last year at this time which makes Mark Anderson ’66, the director of admission, very happy.  We graduated two very large classes in the last two years so we need to have somewhat larger classes in order to maintain our enrollment at about 2,500.  Mark Anderson will retire at the end of the academic year so a search is going on to replace him.  Gustavus has had only three directors of admission since 1950 (Howard Holcomb ’49, Owen Sammelson ’58, and Mark Anderson ’66) which is quite an amazing track record.

Attend a Chapter Event Near You!

There will be Gustavus alumni chapter events in the following cities:  New York, April 22; Boston, April 25; Chicago, May 3 and Denver, May 4.  President Ohle will be attending most of those events so we hope that you will make an attempt to attend and hear what he has to say.  He is providing outstanding leadership!

“Come on You Gusties” Breakfast

Once a month, Gusties gather for coffee, breakfast, and great conversation along with a campus speaker.  All Gusties are welcomed and invited to the breakfast, third Wednesday of the month, 8-9:30 a.m. at the Doubletree Hotel, Minneapolis-Park Place, 1500 Park Place Boulevard.  Cost is $10 at the door.  Upcoming speaker – April 21:  Virgil Jones, director of multi-cultural programs.

Upcoming Events

  • Apr. 21 – Gustie Breakfast – Doubletree Hotel, Minneapolis
  • Apr. 22 – New York Chapter Event – The Core Club
  • Apr. 23 – Choir of Christ Chapel Home Concert
  • Apr. 25 – Boston Chapter Event - Bay Back Hotel
  • Apr. 28 – May Day! Peace Conference
  • May 1 – Gustavus Choir Home Concert
  • May 3 – Chicago Chapter Event – The Chicago Club
  • May 4 – Denver Chapter Event – Denver Athletic Club