Class of '77
October 2005

Classmates and Friends,

It’s a beautiful Monday on the hill as we enter the second month of the fall semester.  Although a busy September was more like fall than summer, summer has returned once again.  The Frisbees, bikes, tee shirts and shorts are out.  Nobel Conference with the Einstein topic was held October 1-2 and Homecoming and Family Weekend was this past weekend.  Another new year (the 144th) is off and running with its largest first year class ever.

And what a year it has already been!  The new residence hall west of Nobel is now occupied and will be dedicated this Homecoming.  All reports from its residents are good.  The Gusties seem to like their new digs.  Of course this means that Wahlstrom Hall is no longer.  As we mentioned last year, the costs for remodeling (including installation of a number of elevators to bring it to code) was prohibitive.  It was a difficult decision, but one that needed to be made.  Wahlstrom’s last contribution was as a location for search and rescue teams from around the state to practice rescue drills.  It was a fitting educational finale for the building that most would get lost in.

Thanks to everyone who made contributions to last year’s alumni fund.  Terri Novak Delebo and I tried to thank each donor by e-mail this summer.  It was good to hear back from a large number of you.  For those of you for whom we don’t have an e-mail address, please accept our thanks for your gift to Gustavus.  As a class last year, we did well as we met our overall dollar goal with over $50,000 in gifts, but fell to less than 30% in the donor category.  It was a good year, but we’d like to do even better this year.

I propose we set our class goal at $55,000 with participation from 40% this year.  We have reached 50% in participation in past years and I’m certain we can do that again.  Please remember that individual gifts of any size help encourage larger gifts from corporate and foundation sources.  If you are tapped out on college expenses for your children (like Mary and I are this year), please know that we’d be pleased to receive any gift that you feel you can afford.

I know there are many requests for your charitable gifts and we appreciate your willingness to give to Gustavus.  More than ever, the college needs your support.  Those of us on the campus do everything that we can to make each student’s experience the very best possible.  I’m asking you to consider what is possible for you to do to help make Gustavus the very best place that it can be.


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 will also be 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.

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


Here’s the news we’ve received during the past few months.  If you have anything you’d like sent to your Gustavus classmates, please send it to the Alumni Office or to me.  I’ll make sure that it’s printed in the next class letter.

Sandy and Kris (Miller) Nelson in Richwood wrote that Sandy continues as elementary principal and has been appointed to the Minnesota Board of School Administrators, first by Governor Ventura and then by Governor Pawlenty.  They also mentioned that Kris would be presenting at the state APHPERD in Rochester this fall.  I can’t even guess what the acronym stands for, but her talk is on rhythmic and dance activities for elementary aged students.  Cynthia Johnson Stevens in Proctor knows APHPERD since she was named its 2004 Elementary Physical Education Teacher of the Year in Minnesota. Congrats Cyndee!

Dee Dee Dalen still loves Alaska and continues her work as an ER nurse.  From even further away, Tim Olson is back in Japan and working as a college counselor at the American School in Japan (Tokyo).  His son, Christopher, is a sophomore at Macalester where my daughter, Kari, is a first year student.  Cynthia Zotalis Gustafson (Helena, MT) writes that daughter, Julia, is a junior at Gustavus and loves it.  I’ve spoken with others who have daughters or sons on campus, but I haven’t seen a list that I can print for you.

That’s it for now.  I hope your fall is a good one and that you, your friends and family find time to enjoy the beauty around you.

Al Behrends

1977 Co-class Agent