Class of ’74

April 2012

President’s report – Rob Linner:

Two things, first thank you for reaching out to help build our Seven to Serve 1974 program, and secondly if you haven’t already, will you please join us?  The idea is to get reconnected to each other and to the College, to raise some money and to have some fun along the way.

The current officer team is Bob “Stick Man” Peterson, Rita Ferguson Maehling (communication chair), Nancy Forman Keay (student recruitment chair), Russ Michaletz (annual fund chair), Chris Mathieu, Steve Kottke and Mike Swan.  They join Jan Ledin Michaletz (VP reunion chair) and me, Rob Linner (president).

The best way to join the effort is to send in a quarterly update, make a contribution to the annual fund, encourage qualified students to consider Gustavus and come down this fall for our 38th reunion and 60th birthday party.  Rita, Russ, Nancy and Jan will talk more about these opportunities.

Talking with many of you this past year I have heard it said that there is “good energy” at Gustavus.  It is true.  Things are happening because more and more of us are getting involved.  As I write this letter I am planning to attend the Lindau Symposium lecture with Charles Krauthammer (4/12) and I know Stick is coming up from Tulsa for it.  Next week I am going to an Eppie event at Minnesota Valley Country Club, featuring Chaplin Elvee, the club’s advisor for years.  Not only are they allowing a Gamma to join them, they are encouraging it.  As of this writing they have more than 70 registered, and it all started because Brad Hanson ’76 thought it would be a good idea to get together around Elvee’s campus visit.  So with the help of the College, he invited his fraternity brothers and set the event.

I know many of you have attended Christmas in Christ Chapel, plays at Anderson Theatre, and athletic events.  Several of you were also at the formal Sesquicentennial kick-off dinner and program last fall.  And certainly last, but not least, we have the King and Queen of Sweden on campus this fall.

There is good energy because there is good direction from the Board and President Ohle encouraging all of us in the Gustavus community to get involved.  I love the College’s tag line, Make Your Life Count.

Thank you for your contributions, quarterly updates and involvement in the life of the College.  Happy 60th birthday!  The class of 1974 rocks!  We look forward to crossing paths this year.

Annual Fund Chair Report – Russ Michaletz

As a former member of the Board of Trustees, I know how critically important the Gustavus Annual Fund is to the current students, bridging a gap of College finances that would otherwise require higher tuition increases, and more student debt.  Since Jan and I have had all four of our children attend Gustavus, we have remained especially connected to the school.  We are dedicated contributors to the Annual Fund and intend to remain so for many years.

The Class of 1974 does have a core group of loyal contributors, 72 out of 323 graduates so far this year.  At our current pace we should exceed last year’s contribution total of about $45,000 by the end of the Fund year, May 31.  But as we approach our 40th reunion in 2014, we would like more of our classmates to be part of the financial support team, at any level of giving.  If each remaining member of the Class of 1974 were to contribute at least $19.74, we could beat last year’s total by 10%, and raise our standing relative to the other classes.  $19.74 – seems like a reasonable request!

More importantly, I am inviting all members of our class to join the cause of making the Gustavus experience affordable to any qualified student that shares the Gustie spirit and values.  Everyone’s participation in this year’s Annual Fund will make a difference in being able to make the vision of a Gustavus education a reality for a few more great kids.

To give to this year’s annual fund, go to for easy online giving.  Or, if preferred, send a check to the Annual Fund at:

Gustavus Adolphus College

Office of Institutional Advancement

800 West College Avenue

St. Peter, MN 56082

Student Recruitment – Nancy Forman Keay

Keep your eyes open for prospective students!  These could be nieces, nephews, neighbors, any young adults in your community!  If you identify a high school student who may appreciate learning more about Gustavus, either pass along any names to me, Nancy Keay, at:, and I will see that someone contacts them.  Or, there is a form on the Gustavus website, in the Alumni section, to fill out and forward to the College with names of prospective Gusties.  Anyone can refer a student in this manner.  The direct link to this form is:

Communications – Rita Ferguson Maehling

As Rob mentioned earlier, we were thrilled to get updates from 32 classmates for the winter Quarterly, and it is our goal to get AT LEAST that many MORE updates−so we can reach 60 total−to honor our collective 60th birthdays!  (How did THAT happen, by the way?)  If you didn’t have a chance to see this Quarterly or the one since then, you can access these at:

How can you submit updates?  The next deadline is JUNE 1.  Here are several ways:

  •  You can email both the Alumni Office and the class officers by sending news to: or just to the alumni office at:
  • You can email your updates directly to me at
  • If another classmate reaches out to you, please send him or her a 3-5 sentence update.  Tell us where you live, any family information, and what’s NEW (since 1974).  It doesn’t have to be Nobel-prize-winning-worthy.  Just the facts!
  • You can submit information directly on the Alumni page on the Gustavus website.  You can also upload pictures!  Here’s the link:

Other ways to connect:

In case you’re not aware, for those of us in the Twin Cities, there are regular Gustie breakfasts on the third Wednesday of each month.  Here’s a link where you can find out the specifics and speakers:

Finally, for you Facebookers out there, join our 1974 Gusties page!  Here’s the link:  We’d like to double the members in this group as well.  I think (KNOW) you’ll get a kick out of some of the early ʼ70s pictures posted there.  Enough said, you need to check it out and join.

For those of you who haven’t been to campus in awhile, I know you’d be proud of the great legacy that was there for us when we arrived and continues to this day.  I treasure the experiences and friendships from those “wonder years.”  In fact, I’ll be playing bridge tonight with seven Gustie gals−a monthly tradition we started about 35 years ago!  Doesn’t get any better than that!

Reunion – Jan Ledin Michaletz

Although our FORTIETH class reunion won’t be celebrated until Fall 2014, we’re eager to connect with classmates before then.  So…we’re planning to celebrate our 60th birthdays at Homecoming, 2012.  We’ll plan to meet in the giant alumni tent at the north end of the football field.  Look for more details by watching the Gustavus webpage and also by checking our Facebook page (1974 Gusties).

It’s not too early to make plans for the 2014 reunion.  We’d love to have some folks step forward to brainstorm and scheme.  One of last year’s reunion classes gave an incredible “flash mob” song at halftime.  We can’t be outdone by younger folks!

Stick Peterson and I look forward to working on our reunion.  Please offer your time and talents!  Contact me at:

Other Campus News

2012 Alumni Association Awards Announced

The Gustavus Alumni Board of Directors has announced its 2012 award recipients:

Greater Gustavus Award – awarded to those “who by deed, have notably advanced and aided Gustavus Adolphus College”:

Jon and Anita Thomsen Young ’77 ’77, Eden Prairie, MN, for their volunteer leadership, service and philanthropy to the College.

Distinguished Alumni Citations – recognizing outstanding and exceptional professional achievement that brings unusual honor to the individual in his or her field of endeavor:

Scott Dee ’81, Farwell, MN, professor of veterinary population medicine, University of Minnesota, swine consultant, and international research veterinarian and director at Pipestone Veterinary Clinic;

Mark Elfstrom ’01, Anchorage, AK, middle school math and science teacher, recipient of a 2011 Milken Educator Award and finalist for the 2012 Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching;

Kurt Elling ’89, New York, NY, Grammy Award-winning vocal jazz artist.

First Decade Awards – recognizing early professional achievement in the 10th anniversary class:

Amy Brown ’02, Pittsburgh, PA, neonatology fellow at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center;

Michael Bland ’02, St. Louis, MO, postdoctoral associate, earth and planetary sciences, Washington University.

The Alumni Association will present Faculty and Administrator Service and Retirement Awards at a dinner at Gustavus on May 16; honorees will be featured in the fall issue of The Gustavus Quarterly.

National Sesquicentennial Celebrations

Throughout the coming year, Gusties are gathering across the country to reflect on Gustavus’s past, celebrate 150 academic years, and engage for the future.  In conjunction with the celebrations on campus, the College invites all alumni, parents, and friends for a celebration in an area near them.  The president has gone to 14 different locations from New York to LA.  There are still a few left.  You can view them all and register for an event at

Chicago – Thursday, April 26, 2012 – Gleacher Center with Allison Rosati ʼ85

Madison – Tuesday, April 24, 2012 – Harvest Restaurant

Gustie Breakfasts

Join your fellow Gusties for breakfast and to learn something new about your alma mater at the monthly Gustie Breakfasts.  Speakers for April and May will feature former Gustavus presidents, Jim Peterson ʼ64 and Dennis Johnson ʼ60 (respectively).  The St. Peter Breakfasts are held in the banquet rooms on campus at 7:30 a.m. on the second Wednesday of the month and the Twin Cities Breakfasts are held at the Doubletree Hotel in Minneapolis at 8 a.m. on the third Wednesday of the month.  RSVP by calling 800-487-8437 or e-mail  Hope to see you bright and early!

MayDay! Conference

On Wednesday, May 2, Gustavus will host the 32nd annual MAYDAY! Peace Conference.  “Multicultural Sweden” is the topic of the 32nd annual MAYDAY! Peace Conference.  Dilsa Demirbag-Sten, Swedish journalist and media contributor on such topics as integration and amnesty, opens the daylong conference at 10 a.m. in Christ Chapel.  There are many other events scheduled for the remainder of the afternoon.  The conference, an event designed to educate the campus community and beyond about issues related to peace, human rights, and social justice, is open to public at no charge.

Books in Bloom

Gustavus Library Associates (GLA) is preparing to host the second annual Books in Bloom event May 4-6 at the Folke Bernadotte Memorial Library on the campus of Gustavus Adolphus College.  Books in Bloom is a unique event that will highlight books, media, and other resource material within the library through floral arrangements and artistic expression.  More than 20 exhibits will be on display – each of them sponsored by an individual or family and created by professional florists and flower enthusiasts – that represent and illustrate a book or other holding within the library.