Class of '76
April 2003

’76  N E W S L E T T E R                                       

Hello ‘76ers-  This is a difficult time to try to write a “newsy” letter with all the crises going on in the world.  Perhaps many of you have family members or friends serving in the military.  Please let us know so we can pass along our best wishes for their safe return.  Susan Purdy Pletkovich of Ft. Collins, CO, does have a family member in Kuwait at the present time.  Her husband, Terry, is a Navy Chaplain.  We wish Susan and Terry well!

With world events being what they are, it is definitely time for a look at what we’re all doing and how we’re reacting to turning FIFTY in the coming year or two.  Let’s escape news stories for a bit and hear from you and what you’re doing to mark the passing of half a century!  We’d be glad to include your remarks/plans in the next letter.  Just email Ginny:

A Word about the News at  Gustavus

Dr. James Peterson Named 14th Gustavus President

James Peterson ’64, president and CEO of the Science Museum of Minnesota in St. Paul, was selected as the next Gustavus president.  Peterson is married to Rev. M. Susan Pepin Peterson ’65, senior pastor at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in St. Paul.  They have two married children including Erika Peterson Eklund ’94.  Jim will start his official responsibilities at Gustavus in July 2003.

Congratulations to the Gustie Basketball Team.  What a season!    See campus news segment for more details.

Phonorama Time  Arriving Soon

Bruce and Ginny will try their best to reach many of you during Phonorama:  April 27-May 1.  It is actually fun to call some of your old friends.  Join us at the Radisson South between 6-9 pm Sunday through Thursday that week.

Classmate Update      

  • Linda Miller Fullerton received her Master of Arts in education degree from Hamline University last spring.
  • Becky Pyle was featured in an article in the Winter 2002-2003 Quarterly for her work in the Ukraine.  She is a nursing guidelines coordinator with Kaiser Permanente Health Plan.
  • Pam Herder is now an attorney for Allina Hospitals & Clinics and lives near the Convention Grill- great burgers!
  • Bob Hedenstrom has a Masters of Divinity degree from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena.   He lives with his wife, Victoria, and three daughters in Aurora, CO, where he is a broker with Charles Scwab.
  • Donna Bergum Miller is looking forward to #1 son graduating from college, leaving only 2 still in college!
  • Diane Clark Miller was named Teacher of the Year in Savage, MN where she teaches at Hidden Valley Elementary.
  • Becky Hines Elsenpeter lives in Buffalo, MN.  She’s still an RN, but is now working at F-UMC University campus, med-surg. unit along with Home IV Therapy with Accredo Therapeutics.    She and husband, Rick, are enjoying being empty nesters - “sort of” but miss the kids too.
  • Kevin Walli lives in St. Paul.
  • Monica Welwert left Sweden in January and moved to Luxembourg and is working as a translator for the European Commission.
  • Michelle Hartman is a nurse anesthetist and has set up a business with her husband called Warm Sands Anesthesia, providing to various hospitals.
  • Ken Kesty is an ophthalmologist with a subspecialty of oculoplastic surgery.  He and his wife, Cynthia, who has a corneal transplantation subspecialty, have practiced under socialized medicine in Canada for 17 years.  They have four daughters ages 9, 13, 14, and 16.
  • David Scholberg ’75 and Margaret Christen Scholberg live in Ortonville, MN and have performed a lot of folk music together.
  • John Olmon was recognized by Law & Politics as one of the top forty trust and estate planning attorneys in the state of Minnesota.
  • Beth Thompson Niemeyer is working at the health service at South Dakota State in Brookings.
  • Ken Patzoldt and Jo Baichly Manbeck have a child, Kevin, attending Gustavus.
  • Holly Watkins Johnston, White Bear Lake, graduated in June 2002 with a MSN from the University of Phoenix online program.
  • Wendy Plaschko Waldhauser is a grandma!  Her daughter, Kelly, had a baby boy last year.  She says it’s great fun!

Continue on for Campus News!  That’s all for now, but please keep in touch!

Ginny Kirkegaard Leppart

1976 Co-class Agent

Campus News

Alumni Fund Closes May 31 – 1000 new donors needed

The Alumni Fund closes May 31.  Gustavus alumni are trying to again be the best Lutheran college in percentage of alumni annual giving.  The goal is to reach 45% participation this year.  If you have already given, THANK YOU!  If you have given in the past and not yet this year, Gustavus students need your support again.  If you have missed giving, Gustavus needs only 1,000 new donors to reach the goal.  Give online at <> or call 800/487-8437.

Campus Focuses on Peace

Three annual conferences this spring discuss peace.  Conflict Resolution: International, National, and Local was the theme of the annual student-run “Building Bridges” Conference in March featuring Nobel Peace Laureate Oscar Arias Sanchez, former president of Costa Rica. The Association of Congregations Meeting will feature Protestant leader Lyle Schaller to talk about the future of the church and the changing role of laity and church staff. And the annual MAYDAY! Peace Conference in April is titled, “World Religions: Waging War or Promoting Peace?” featuring keynote speaker Krister Stendahl, emeritus professor of divinity, Harvard University, and former bishop of Stockholm, Sweden.

Gustavus Band 125 Year Celebration

What started as 13 silver instruments in 1878 has evolved into the Gustavus Band, which is celebrating its 125th anniversary in May.  Highlights for the weekend will include the performance of the 100+ member alumni band and the commissioned work, Of Wind and Wood, by composer Steve Heitzeg ’82 which will be premiered by the current Gustavus Band.

Men’s Basketball Team National Runner-up

The men’s basketball team lost a heartbreaker in the NCAA Division III championship game 67-65 to Williams, on two game-winning free throws in the final seconds of play.  Gustavus was the first MIAC team to ever make it to the championship game.

Celebration of Community Service

The Community Service Center at Gustavus is ten years old.  Since its creation, students participating in community service and service learning in the classroom has dramatically increased.  Currently 60% of the student population participates in some sort of community service program while at Gustavus.  The annual G.I.V.E. (Gusties In Volunteer Endeavors) day of community service will be a time for alumni and students in Minnesota to gather at Gustavus to celebrate and serve, while alumni in other cities will also be doing service projects in their own communities.

Upcoming Events

  • Association of Congregations Meeting – April 26
  • Phonorama – April 27-30, May 1
  • 125th Anniversary of the Gustavus Band – May 3 & 4
  • G.I.V.E. Day and 10th Anniversary of the Community Service Center – May 10
  • 1953 and 50 Year Club Reunion – May 30 & 31
  • Alumni Fund Fiscal Year Closes – May 31
  • Commencement – June 1