Class of '77
October 2000

Greetings From the Hill, Class of 1977

What a fall it has already been! The 2000-01 academic year opened with just over 2500 students (the largest enrollment ever). The new International Center/Swedish House opened, the Hillstrom Museum of Art was officially christened, the new track/field was dedicated and the student center's newest addition, The Courtyard Café, opened serving the best coffee in St. Peter. Homecoming saw the Gusties celebrate with a win over Concordia and the campus tripled in size on Tuesday and Wednesday as the Nobel Conference discussed the issues of global economics. Next we celebrate the annual Parents' Weekend, then on to Fall Break, Christmas in Christ Chapel and another semester is history.

If you haven't been back to campus in a few years, you'd be amazed at what you will find. Or as President Steuer would say, "It's amazing what a difference $85 million and 30 months can make!" This fall, for the first time since the tornado, the campus doesn't look like a construction zone. The trailers, trucks and fences are gone. Landscaping and sod, sidewalks, trees and shrubs, and of course the members of the Gustavus family, are once again the dominant features on the campus.

And while I'm happy to flood you with information like 1) our ranking in the top 80 liberal arts colleges in the country, 2) in the top 15 for global experiences by students, 3) our top 10 ranking for numbers of presentations at NCUR (National Conference of Undergraduate Research), I'm most proud of the students I have the privilege of working with every day. Some of them are your sons and daughters. Others you know from your churches, schools and communities. Many of them you have introduced to Gustavus. You know them better than we do.

Next week, some of us will be hitting the phones as the fall Phonorama begins. The dates are October 16, 17 & 19 at Deli Express in Eden Prairie and Oct. 23, 24 & 26 at Alliant Foodservice in Eagan. We'll be out, trying to keep in touch, getting news and raising pledges for the College's annual fund. It's tough work, but it's the best way to keep you all in touch with the College and with each other. In a year, we'll be celebrating our 25th anniversary. We'll be working toward a great year and look forward to visiting with as many of you as possible as we move closer to that celebration. If you want to join us, please call me at my office in the Fine Arts at Gustavus (507) 933-7013 or e-mail me at and I’ll get the details to you.

G.I.V.E. (Gusties In Volunteer Endeavors), a day of community service, was held on Saturday, October 7. Numerous sites were selected in the Twin Cities and alumni in other cities around the country participated in the event.

Christmas in Christ Chapel, Heaven and Nature Sing, is December 1-3. A ticket order form was inserted in the Summer Quarterly. Contact Office of Public Affairs at 507-933-7520.

Now, on to the news: (And remember, we are equal opportunity writers: you tell us what's happening in your life, we'll print it.)

Joel and Marylou (Riethmiller ’78) Swedberg are in Howard Lake where Joel is in his 10th year as pastor at St. John's Lutheran Church. Glen Tapley is in Winter Springs, Florida, where he takes advantage of Cisco Systems as a technical education specialist/consultant and traveling to Mexico, Canada, China and France (and he gets paid too). Steve O'Neill teaches 8th grade health, coaches boys cross-country, track and acts as activities director at Wayzata Central Middle School. Steve and Becky (Lund ’76) Briggs' (Eagan) daughter Krista Ann is a freshman at Gustavus.

Dave and Bonnie (Madsen ’79) Brueshoff are in Apple Valley. Dave is teaching at Crown College and is a consultant at Working Family Resource Center in St. Paul; Bonnie is a supervisor with Dakota County Public Health. Christy Anderson Morse and Terry are in Wayzata where Christy is a VP/finance controller with Cargill's Waycrosse. Cynthia Jean Johnson (Proctor) is teaching elementary physical education; Jayne Chadima Lieske lives in Henderson and works for MacDonald's in human resource and leadership training. Susan Link O'Connell was hoping to complete her Master's in education this spring and we're hoping everything went well. Craig and Deb (Wagner) Maki (Marshall) have a son, Brooks, as a freshman at Gustavus. Paul Dye has "retired" from his work with the Nature Conservancy, moved to Seattle and is remodeling and selling houses¾ one at a time. Jeff Oskey continues with Hiawatha National Bank in Hager City, Wisconsin. Scott and Karen (Erickson ’78) Severinson (Plymouth) join the ranks of first year Gustie parents with son, Erik, this fall (I wonder if he is living on 2nd floor Sorensen).

Martha Rueter (Arden Hills) is a professor at the University of Minnesota in Family Social Science. Beth Leland Jacobson (Bricelyn) finished her Master's this spring in English TESOL. Julie Asendorf Grunke is living in Fairfax where husband, Carl, is employed with Caterpillar Tractor Paving. Sue Novak Otto (New Ulm) is teaching in the New Ulm Elementary Schools. Tom Beyer (Minneapolis) continues his work in systems/programming with Wells Fargo. Rory Bjornebo lives in Sioux Falls and is a CPA with Larry Hoover's Tae Kwon Do. Nick Legeros (Edina) continues his work as an artist and sculptor with is own firm, Nick Legeros, Inc. Another artist, Deb Thorset Ronglien, is a watercolor artist, working out of her home studio in Eden Prairie. Rick and LuAnn (Ward) Lisell are now in Plano, Texas, where LuAnn runs her HR Solutions company and Rick is a systems/ programmer with Associates Corporation.

Paul and Dorinda Sundberg are pastors at Morning Star Lutheran Church in Monroe, Washington (Paul¾ let me know if this information isn't correct. I'm not sure from the note.) Kate Cummings Michael is a physical and respiratory therapist with the Peninsula School District in Port Orchard, Washington. John and Arlys (Marzolf) Edson are in Plymouth. Arlys is in community education with the Hopkins Schools and John is a CPA with Blanski, Peter, Kronlage & Zoch. John Dinsmore is now director of human services with Otter Tail County and lives in Fergus Falls.

Jan Carlson MacLeod lives in Rapid City where she teaches at Douglas Middle School. Husband, Rod, is an independent geologist/consultant. (Jan & Rod: I still have a bottle of MacLeod Scotch for you from this spring's orchestra tour to Scotland.) Dennis and Kathy Houck are living in Aurora, Colorado where Dennis is with US Bank. Nancy Beahrs Oster is a nurse with In-Home Health in Stillwater. Ken Simberg is a VP at Hibbing Community College. Kari Brasel is a real estate closer with Gibralter Title; Cindi Jo Youngerberg Trahms is a teacher at Trinity Lutheran School in Janesville. Louise Otto Groskreutz is a public health nurse with Martin County Human Services in Albert Lea.

Steve and Sue Boyum Spangenberg are living in Trumbull, Connecticut, where Sue teaches third grade at Tashua Elementary and Steve continues with Novartis Corp. Dale and Beth Greeley Knochenmus are in Evergreen, Colorado, where Beth is a teacher and administrator with Jefferson County Schools and Dale is a systems/programmer with Gates Rubber Company. Boyd Sorenson, Plymouth, is a co-owner of Shop Parts, Inc. Mikey Tuck and Steve Lynch are in New Hope. Mikey is in sales with Energy Clothing and Steve is a manager with Cunningham Construction. Rick Nelson is in Woodbury where he is an attorney. Anita (Thomsen) and Jon Young are living in Eden Prairie. Anita is a VP with Lutheran Brotherhood and Jon owns a fund-raising consulting firm, Creative Resource Group, and leads the band Temporary Heroes who played the post-game party at Homecoming for Gustavus. And finally, I’m still at Gustavus as Fine Arts Director and Mary Pederson Behrends teaches French and directs the Academic Decathlon team and the Gifted and Talented program at St. Peter High School.

That's it for now. Remember: you send it, we'll print it.

And don't forget that places like Gustavus need your continued support. If you are a regular contributor to the Annual Fund, thanks. We can't do it without you. If you haven't been on the roll recently or ever, please consider what your gift could mean in terms of financial assistance, special programs, buildings, you-name-it, for the College. Watch for some special programs from Lutheran Brotherhood and Aid Association for Lutherans. These are simple programs to increase your gifts to the College.

Start thinking reunion. Si sends his best wishes.

Al Behrends

1977 Co-Class Agent