Class of '77
January 2009

Happy New Year to the Class of 1977!

There sure has been a lot made of the term “community” of late.  We have communities of people with similar interests, we live in a community separate from the physical town or location, there are virtual communities in cyberworld; why, even our new president was a “community organizer,” a planner to help us identify the true communities we occupy.

Gustavus has often been identified as a community of persons educated in the liberal arts tradition in a rural setting in the sweeping prairie of southern Minnesota.  Close, to a point.  I think Gustavus has evolved from mere community to family.  Rather than the loose affiliations associated with commonality in what may otherwise be random, as community identifies us, our relationships we share go deeper, likened to a family.

I’ve been reminded of the familial feel of Gustavus as I make what feels like an annual trek to St. Peter every first of June for another graduation.  It has been for nieces and nephews, a daughter, and sons and daughters of my Gustie friends; all involved in that parade of proud grads.  And of course, there are so many other acquaintances on the campus for that special occasion.

Special occasions and Gustavus go well beyond these “official” gatherings.  I have been an invitee of a Super Bowl party that goes back to the Vikings failed efforts of 1977 and has continued through all these years and the ups and downs of the Vikings.  I have been on ski trips with a dozen Gusties in the wilds of British Columbia and we promised each other then, we’ll do it again.  Every July another group gathers at a summer cottage in northwestern Wisconsin for golf, barbeque and beers.  I have seen invites to summer concerts, church musicals, weddings and yes, notices to funerals.  There are nuclear families that don’t spend this kind of time together.

I truly believe that Gustavus has transcended from a community of teachers and learners to a family of perpetual learners; learning more and sharing our lives.

Charlie Wold

1977 Guest Letter Writer

Campus News

Haugen Named Head Football Coach

Peter Haugen was named the new head football coach in mid-December.  Haugen posted a 111-44 record in 15 years at Washburn High School.  He is the 17th head coach in the 93-year history of Gustavus football.  Haugen will start the second week of January.

President Ohle is on the road!

Please join President Ohle, his wife Kris, and other Gustavus staff at a dessert reception near you.  President Ohle will be visiting 11 cities around the country in the coming months and all alumni, parents, and friends of the College are invited to attend a reception.  Dates are listed below or check out the Alumni website to find out more details.

Mustaphi Named Michelle Obama’s Deputy Press Secretary

Semonti Mustaphi ’03 was recently named Deputy Press Secretary for First Lady Michelle Obama.  Mustaphi worked on the Obama campaign, and has also held communications positions for three senators.  Mustaphi graduated with a political science and communication studies double major, danced in the Gustavus Dance Company, and was an Anderson Scholar.

Freed to Speak at January Breakfast

Join us for the January “Come on You Gustie” Breakfast featuring Gwen Freed, vice president for marketing and communication.  The breakfast is Wednesday, Jan. 21, at the Doubletree Hotel, Minneapolis-Park Place, 1500 Park Place Boulevard (Hwy 394 and Hwy 100).  The breakfast runs from 8-9:30 and is $10 per person.  Reserve a spot by calling Don Swanson ’55 at (763) 533-9083.


Mark your calendars now for Homecoming 2009!  The Gustavus football team will face off against Pacific Lutheran University on Saturday, Oct. 10.  Watch for more information about tons of fun events the weekend of Oct. 9 and 10.

Music Ensemble Tours

Both the Gustavus Wind Orchestra and the Gustavus String Orchestra will be touring at the end of January and beginning of February.  The Wind Orchestra will tour mainly in the Denver area, but will also make two appearances in South Dakota.  The String Orchestra will travel from Stillwater through Iowa, Missouri, Tennessee, Ohio, Illinois, and Wisconsin.

Upcoming Alumni Events

  • Naples Chapter Gathering - Jan. 8, Collier Athletic Club, 7 p.m.
  • Washington D.C. Alumni Gathering - Jan. 12, Crystal City Marriott at Reagan National Airport, 7 p.m.
  • Twin Cities Gustie Breakfast, Gwen Freed, vice president for marketing and communication - Jan. 21
  • Chicago Alumni Gathering - Jan. 29, Hyatt Regency O'Hare, 7 p.m.
  • 100th Anniversary of Gustavus Men's Basketball - Feb. 7
  • Twin Cities Gustie Breakfast, Kris Kracht, communications; forensics head coach - Feb. 18
  • Tucson Chapter Gathering - Feb. 19, Westward Look Resort
  • Phoenix Chapter Gathering - Feb. 20, Millennium Resort, Scottsdale
  • Los Angeles Chapter Gathering - Feb. 28, Art Director's Guild, Studio City
  • Boston Chapter Gathering - Mar. 14, Hyatt Regency Cambridge
  • New York Chapter Gathering - Mar. 16, New York Marriott East Side
  • Twin Cities Gustie Breakfast, Ken Westphal, vice president for finance - Mar. 18