Class of '78
January 2008

Dear Class of 1978,

I hope the New Year is treating you well.  It’s cold here in Chicago today, but sunny.  I am writing to let you know that our 30th Class Reunion is coming up this fall on October 3-4, 2008.  I say it’s coming up because we need to get organized now to have a great attendance and response.  There is a Reunion Planning meeting on February 23rd at Mt. Olivet Lutheran Church in Minneapolis at 8:30a.m.  I hope to attend.  Any of you who are interested in helping with the planning, please attend.  For more information, contact Kathy Erlandsen at Gustavus by emailing her at or by calling her toll free at 1-866-487-3863.

Now on to the news notes:

  • Solvejg Borlaug Seamon is teaching medical careers at Springfield Public Schools in Minnesota.  She also is a registered nurse.  Her husband, Carl ’76, is a pastor for two parishes, St. John’s and Sundown Lutheran Church in Springfield.
  • Eric Zilley has been promoted to senior intellectual property liaison specialist with 3M in St. Paul, MN.
  • Betsy Bockstruck is president of Jewelry Appraisals by Betsy Bockstruck and lives in Andover, MN.
  • David Drager is pastor of Hector United Methodist Church in Hector, MN and lives in Danube, MN.
  • Marcia Christianson O’Brien now works for Ameriprise and lives in Rosemount, MN (where I went to high school).  Her husband, Dave ’79, is vice president and CFO for Tapemark Company.
  • Mark Pearson is a commander with the St. Paul Police Department and lives in St. Paul as well.

Enclosed with this letter is a Reunion Class Giving Card to kick off the reunion year―please consider making a special gift this year in honor of our 30th Class Reunion.

Well, that’s all the news for now.  I hope to hear from you in the coming year as we plan and get ready for our reunion in 2008.

In God’s Grace,

Mike Stanch

1978 Class Agent

Campus News

Forensics Team Continues Excellence

The Gustavus forensics team continues the tradition of excellence, with major team and individual wins this season.  Last season the team ranked in the top 20, which is impressive since 14 of the top 20 schools are “Division I” schools that have more funding and more coaching staff.  While many schools have several full-time forensics coaches, the Gustavus coach also is a full-time professor.  So a unique aspect of the Gustavus program is the team meets weekly for peer coaching, a technique the team has found to be very successful. 

Gustavus Dancing With the Profs

Inspired by the popular television show Dancing with the Stars, a standing room only crowd of students, faculty, and St. Peter community members filled Alumni Hall on November 2 to watch Gustavus students and faculty/staff members swing dance to raise money for the St. Peter United Way.  The event, “Dancing with the Profs 2,” featured six teams of one Gustavus student and one faculty/staff member.  In preparation for the evening competition, the Gustavus Swing Club gave the teams dance lessons, while members of GAC-TV documented the learning to provide a video showcase on each couple.


Men's tennis coach Steve Wilkinson has been named the national winner of the United States Tennis Association (USTA)/Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Campus Recreation Award.  This awards program, which began in 2003, was open to more than 2,000 ITA head and assistant coaches at the NCAA Divisions I, II, and III, NAIA and junior/community college levels.  Senior goaltender Trevor Brown became the first men's soccer player in Gustavus history to be named to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America Men’s Soccer Team as released by the College Sports Information Directors of America.

Fine Arts Events

“Destination Anywhere:  A Juried Exhibit of 15 Award-Winning Young Artists With Disabilities,” is now on display at the Hillstrom Museum of Art at Gustavus.  The exhibit, a product of a partnership between VSA arts (formerly Very Special Arts) and Volkswagen of America, Inc., strives to recognize and showcase young artists with disabilities, ages 16-25, who are living in the United States.  In November the Department of Theatre and Dance presented a Festival of Student Work.  A miniature “Fringe Festival” in its own right, this collaboration of more than 60 actors, dancers, designers, and technicians, operating on 10 different production schedules, filled Anderson Theatre, the Black Box, and the Schaefer Fine Arts Center for four days of artistic celebration.

Upcoming Alumni Events

  • Twin Cities Gustie Breakfast featuring music conductors - Jan. 16
  • Gustavus Gathering in Phoenix/Sun City, AZ - Jan. 20
  • Gustavus Gathering in Tucson, AZ - Jan 22.

For more information on alumni events, go to: