Class of '77
September 2007

30-Year Reunion

Reunion dates ― October 12 & 13, 2007

Roots and Star Wars

Thoughts from a Rusty Gustie:

Thirty-four years ago we were the new kids on the Gustavus Block.  Roots was a phenomenon on television and Star Wars brought the “force” to all at the box office.  We drove at 55 mph to save gasoline which we thought was too expensive at $.55 per gallon.  Fords and Chevy’s outnumbered Hondas and Toyotas.  Earth Day was only seven-years-old.  We survived yet another Super Bowl debacle and the Vikings have not been there since ’77.  Jimmy Carter was the first president for whom we could vote.  There were still North Stars playing hockey in Minnesota.  The Dales were considered mega malls and baseball and football were played outside at the Met.

My parents showed up that first Friday after my last class, speech, which was held above the Granlund Studios.  Mom had made my bed, done my laundry and brought a goodie box to my then Uhler barracks dorm area.  When my parents showed up as the last float of the Homecoming parade that year my brother told me I had gone to school too close to the Twin Cities.  The visits were then scheduled which made life a bit easier for all parties concerned.

Oxidation is now what doctors call what happens to our bodies.  Any Minnesotan could tell you that this happens to cars more than people and that Ziebart has had the cure for years.  The vitamin industry will now provide the anti-oxidants for us, the proclaimed Jones Generation of the Baby Boomers.  I like to think of us as a Classic Group of people.  We are at that awkward stage, no longer coveted by the 18-48 marketing niche, and too young for the 55 and older group.

The new student center, dormitory and football field are all nice additions to the campus.  Our class experienced the financial difficulties of the ’70s and the birth of the Lund Center.  The tornado brought about challenges and difficulties, but as we all know Scandinavians, Lutherans and most people tend to come together to help one another while thriving in a crisis.

A little college on a hill owes it to its current customers (all currently enrolled students) and alumni (stockholders), the gratitude for its ongoing mission and success.  We give financially to our alma mater, either directly or via any of the associations that Gustavus maintains with business relationships.  Life is, after all, about relationships a lesson I learned while at Gustavus and since that time.

As the mission continues it may be time to reexamine our core values.  The recent Alumni Perception Survey brought this to light.  Perhaps the recognition of individuals could be broadened to include all of the Gusties who make or have made life happen on the hill as alumni.  There are many people we know and knew at that time who were the movers and shakers who have gone without recognition.  They continue to give back to Gustavus.

There is some value in tradition.  Not everyone wanted to be in a fraternity or a sorority but these groups bring added value to student life and alumni experiences.  The price of tuition should include a yearbook for each student, in each class, as a thank you for being a Gustie.  It did when we were students but does no longer.  As a former editor I say this sincerely regardless of who publishes the book.

Bill Clinton is leading the way in a new wave of “Giving.”  Studies have shown that people actually feel better when doing for others and also by expressing “Thanks.”  Helen Mirren, during the Emmy Awards ceremony, mentioned the generosity of the American people as a positive attribute.  We are the only country in the world to offer help to every other country in the world.  There are many good examples of this, the Peace Corps, The Marshall Plans but there are also times when these situations could have been handled better.  Gustavus’s own ecosystem could serve as a model for the development of relationship building and common human courtesy.  Who knows what could be done?

Last, but not least, I have experienced a recurring dream about my personal Gustavus experience.  A new person in the Admissions Office finds that I am two credits short and that the courses needed are to be offered one in the current spring semester and one in the following year’s spring semester.  While I have to take the classes anyway, it is suggested that I work on the yearbook too.  Thank goodness this incomplete is not true!

Remember our reunion is just days away!  Saturday, October 13, 2007.

Register now!  Online:  or call 800-487-8437

Hope to see you there!

Bob Vukas

1977 Guest Letter Writer

Campus News

President Peterson Announces Retirement

President Jim Peterson ’64 announced in August that he plans to retire at the conclusion of the current academic year, capping a five-year term.  His early announcement will provide the Board of Trustees enough time to undertake a thorough search process and assist in a smooth transition to new leadership.  Peterson will serve through June 2008 and has offered to assist in an orderly transition beyond that date if needed.

Moes provide gift for Kendall Center

Gustavus parents Robert and Karin Moe have made a $1 million commitment to the John S. Kendall Center for Engaged Learning. This leadership gift brings the College closer to its goal of fully endowing the center, which is dedicated to advancing active and interdisciplinary learning across the campus. When fully funded, the endowment will generate funds to support two main areas: faculty development and student-faculty research.

New football stadium opens

On September 8, the football team played its inaugural game at the College’s new football stadium.  The synthetic-surfaced field is recessed below ground level and features an earthen berm surrounding the entire field.  The field will continue to be named Hollingsworth Field after the late Lloyd Hollingsworth, who served as the College’s football coach from 1942-1960 and athletic director from 1961-1978.

Athletics Hall of Fame Induction

On Saturday, November 3, Gustavus will induct the following people into the Athletic Hall of Fame: Tim DeJarlais ’91 (golf), John Erickson ’81 (hockey), Dave Hultgren ’92 (baseball), Craig Miller ’91 (cross country), Mindy Mayerchak Oosten ’88 (softball & soccer), Mike Schumacher ’91 (football), Ann Sommerness Simms ’92 (swimming), and Ryan Skanse ’92 (tennis).

Twin Cities Gustie Breakfasts

Join other Minneapolis/St. Paul area Gusties for a once-a-month morning cup of coffee and breakfast while getting an update on Gustavus. The group meets the third Wednesday of each month at the Doubletree Hotel, Minneapolis-Park Place, 1500 Park Place Boulevard (Hwy. 394 & Hwy. 100), 8:00-9:30 a.m., $10 per person.  Reserve by calling Don Swanson ’55 at 763/533-9083

Wednesday, October 17

Professor Jeff Jeremiason, recap of Nobel Conference

Wednesday, November 21

Winter sports coaches – Jon Carlson ’88 (men’s and women’s swimming & diving), Mark Hanson ’83 (men’s basketball), and Brett Petersen (men’s hockey)

Wednesday, December  19

Margaret Kelliher ’90, speaker of the Minnesota House of Representatives

Inaugural “A Royal Affair” Online Auction

“A Royal Affair,” the biennial fundraiser for the Gustavus library, is October 27.  New to A Royal Affair this year is an online auction that will be activated the week of October 22. This online auction will have unique items available only for bidding online and not at the evening event.  These items can be viewed through the Gustavus website and bidding will close prior to the October 27 Razzle Dazzle*A Royal Affair.  Also, the online auction is open to everyone – parents, alumni, students, faculty, and friends of Gustavus – even those unable to attend Razzle Dazzle*A Royal Affair.  Watch the Gustavus Library Associates website at for up-to-the-minute details on the online auction.

Alumni Fund

The 2008 Alumni Fund has a goal of $2 million from 8,000 donors.  Continue a Gustie tradition ― join other alumni to reach the goal with your participation in the 2008 Alumni Fund.

Refer a Gustie

As the school year starts, many high school seniors are getting serious about their college selection. If you know of high school seniors or juniors who may be a good fit at Gustavus, please send their names to the Office of Admission at Gustavus to help recruit the next generation of Gusties.  Contact the Admission Office at 800/GUSTAVU(S).

Calendar of events:

  • October 13                  Homecoming & Family Weekend
  • October 27                  Razzle Dazzle*A Royal Affair, Gustavus Library Associates
  • November 3                 Athletics Hall of Fame Induction Banquet
  • Nov. 30, Dec. 1-2        Christmas in Christ Chapel
  • December 6                 St. Lucia Day celebration on campus