Class of '76
October 2005

Greetings Class of ’76,

Please mark your calendars for the weekend of October 6 - 8, 2006.  Our 30th reunion will be taking place!  A few of us have met twice this fall, and are working with the college alumni staff to make it a great weekend for all of us.

So far, plans include a dinner and entertainment ON CAMPUS for Saturday night, October 7, 2006.  There will be various events going on all weekend with homecoming, and reunion events for other classes.  We do have space reserved for our class already, and we will continue throughout the next year to make plans for the event.

Our committee is hoping you will contact your friends and classmates, to make the turnout our best ever.  If you would be interested in helping us contact people, email me at or contact Kathryn Erlandsen at  Kathryn is our contact person for reunion planning, and has been very helpful in terms of making arrangements for our class.  We also welcome you to email us with your ideas and suggestions for the reunion.

Campus News:

A New Year Begins

The 144th academic year began September 7 with 2,600 students and approximately 710 new students, the largest enrollment and new class in college history.  Some changes in the general education curriculum were implemented this year, including a foreign language requirement for graduation.

Evelyn Sponberg Young, one of Gustavus' best ambassadors of goodwill, hospitality and spirit, and friend of many, many Gusties through the years, died at her home on September 29, at the age of 93.  Evelyn graduated from Gustavus in 1933 and taught English in several schools in southern Minnesota.  She returned to campus in 1949 as director of the College's dining service, serving the College 32 years until her retirement in 1981.  A memorial service will be held at Gustavus Adolphus College, Thursday, December 8, 2:00 p.m., followed by a reception in the Evelyn Young Dining Room.

Wind Orchestra Tour

Join Gustavus alumni and parents on a companion tour with the Gustavus Wind Orchestra to Eastern Europe January 17-27, 2006.  The trip includes visits to the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, and Austria and will be hosted by Tom Emmert, professor of history, and Jon and Anita (Thomsen) Young ’77 ’77.

Announcing the Gustavus 2006 Alumni Fund Campaign

“When you get your invitation in the mail or receive a call from a Gustie student or classmate, commit to making your gift to the Alumni Fund this year,” encourages Jan Michaletz ’74, alumni board member, class agent, and 2006 Alumni Fund Chair.  The Michaletz family―Russ ’74, Mara ’02, Annie ’05, and John ’08―have agreed to chair this year’s alumni fund drive.  The 2006 Alumni Fund goals are to achieve 9,000 donors and $1,185,000 dollars in alumni giving.  The 2006 fiscal year began June 1, 2005 and ends May 31, 2006.  Gifts to the Alumni Fund will immediately support current Gusties in the classroom, in labs, on the playing field, in the library, and more.  Tuition does not cover the real cost of educating students today, nor did it when you were a student at Gustavus.  Since its inception in 1954, the goal of the Alumni Fund has been to help keep the Gustavus educational experience accessible for current students.  Give the gift of Gustavus to a current Gustie by making your Alumni Fund gift this year.

The 2004-2005 Honor Roll of Donors is now available online at:  The Honor Roll of Donors recognizes those who have made gifts to Gustavus between June 1, 2004 and May 31, 2005.  To find your name or to check out your class results, point and click from your home or office computer.  To have your name included in the 2005-2006 Honor Roll of Donors, go to to make a gift online.

Nobel Conference

The College’s 41st Nobel Conference, The Legacy of Einstein, was held September 27-28.  The panel consisted of scientists in the areas of statistical physics, relativity, cosmology, and unified theories, who discussed current work in the areas of Einstein’s greatest contributions.  In addition, a historian of science explored the impact that Einstein’s discoveries and his social and political views have had on science and humanity.  Also, a play, Clockworks:  Einstein Time, was premiered, the Physics Force group performed, and a symphony orchestra concert celebrated Einstein through music.  This year's Nobel Conference lectures were taped for broadcast on Twin Cities Public Television's "Minnesota Channel." Edited programs of individual lectures will each be broadcast several times in the coming months.

Alumni Directory

In partnership with Publishing Concepts (PCI), a comprehensive alumni directory is being produced and will be released in 2006.  PCI will be contacting alumni to get current information.

First Frost * A Royal Affair

Since 1977 Gustavus Library Associates has helped raise funds for the endowment of Folke Bernadotte Memorial Library located at Gustavus.  Over 1,000 guests will attend First Frost * A Royal Affair, the biennial gala dinner/auction benefit at the Sheraton Hotel in Bloomington on Saturday, October 29.  This year Evelyn Young ’33, a long-time GLA supporter, is being honored.  The program will feature tenor Mark Thomsen ’78 and will be hosted by former Miss America Gretchen Carlson and physician and Gustavus parent John Najarian.  Contact the Office of Public Relations at 800/726-6198.

Athletics Hall of Fame

On Saturday, September 24, Gustavus inducted the following people into the Athletics Hall of Fame:  Holly Brodmarkle Cervin ’87, track and field; Marc Illies ’85, baseball and football; Marc Iverson ’89, football; Gretchen Koehler, coach; soccer; Rich Skanse ’84, tennis; and Dick Walters ’75, hockey.  Jay Rooker ’85 and Mary Mansour ’85, softball, have also been selected but will be inducted Fall 2006.

Campus Progress

Whether it’s planning for brand new buildings or renovating old ones, the Gustavus campus is always changing.  A new web site has been designed to keep you updated on the changes taking place on campus.  Check it out at:

Upcoming Alumni Events

  • New York Chapter gathering ― October 21
  • Washington, D.C. Chapter gathering — October 23
  • A Royal Affair * First Frost — October 29
  • Christmas in Christ Chapel ― December 2-4
  • St. Lucia Day ― December 8
  • Wind Orchestra Companion Tour to Eastern Europe — January 17-27


Three Gustavus students will present their independent projects this October at the 117th annual meeting of the Geological Society of America. The subjects of the students' research include the composition of Tepee Buttes, and the relevance of color when categorizing garnets.

Junior Becca Thompson registered a game-high 18 kills, but it was not enough as the Gustavus volleyball team was swept by Concordia, 3-0 in Moorhead.  The Cobbers improve to 19-2, 6-2 in the MIAC, while the Gusties fall to 12-11 overall, 3-6 in the league.  Gustavus returns home to face Macalester (10-15, 3-5 MIAC) on October 19.

Gustavus Facts for the 2004-2005 academic year:

Enrollment - 2,542 students, coming from 41 states and 18 countries.

Tuition - $22,590

Room and board - $5,810

Fees - $367

Books and incidentals - $1,630

And our parents thought $3,200 a year was a lot to spend on a college education!

Class News:

  • Holly Watkins Johnston earned her master’s last May in adult learning from the University of Phoenix.
  • G. Barry Anderson continues to serve as a justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court.
  • Charlie Johnson lives in Brainerd, MN and teaches elementary music in the Pillager school district.
  • Melanie Williams Frank remains at Wilmington Health Associates as the clinical director, which oversees operations of 16 clinics and two buildings.  She lives in Jacksonville, NC.  Her husband is a technology teacher at the middle school.  Her daughter is a sophomore at North Carolina State, and her son is completing his bachelor’s degree at the University of NC.
  • Deb Cairns Walker continues to teach second grade in Prescott, WI and her daughter, Kate ’07, is “embracing all that GAC has to offer” as a junior.
  • Allan Holmsten is the CFO of Scandia Company in White Bear Lake, MN.


Alumni Fund Goals

Because our reunion year is approaching, our committee is hopeful that our giving participation will be strong.  Please consider a gift when you are contacted by mail or phone.  Becoming a member of the Cec Eckhoff Society is also an option.  This membership is your pledge to give something each year.  The dollar amount is up to you.  What a great way to remember Cec! 

Your reunion committee members are Diane Clark Miller, Eric Larson, Brad Hanson, Janna King, Greg Boehmke, Leslie Horton Nordberg, Bradford Roberts, Cathy Brown Bahls, Bruce Olson, Cynthia Simonett Hackworthy, Diane Moen Jungbluth, Greg Swanson, Todd Zwickey, and me, Ginny Kirkegaard Leppart.  If you are interested in joining us, please contact me, and I will inform you about the next steps.  Have a great fall, and remember to mark your calendar for October 6 -8 next year!


We hope to see you there!

Ginny Kirkegaard Leppart

1976 Co-class Agent