Class of ’78

September 2012

Hello Class of 1978!

New Class Officers:  In January of 2011, a new class leadership structure was formally adopted by the Alumni Board to build on the class agent program that served the College for the past 56 years.  The new positions are Class President, Vice President/Reunion Chair, Annual Fund Chair, Communication Chair (me) and Recruitment Chair.  If any of you are interested in volunteering to help our class reach new levels of class identity and unity in alumni relations I, or the Alumni Office, would love to talk to you!  You don’t have to be a chair though to help or become involved.  Getting involved is a great way to connect with past college friends and meet classmates you may not have known.

Reunion Time:  It is hard to believe that 38 years have gone by since we arrived “on the hill” in St. Peter, ready to tackle our freshmen year!  I don’t feel that old and many memories are still vivid in my mind!  That being said, the planning will soon begin for our 35th class reunion in 2013 in St. Peter, with possible events on campus and around the Twin Cities.  The Homecoming game is scheduled on October 5th so please mark your calendars and plan to attend a weekend full of friends, football and fun!  Let’s try for a really good turnout this time!  We are looking for some great suggestions from you and would love help with the planning.

New Facebook Page:  For all of you Facebook fans I have set up a class Facebook page.  It is titled Gustavus Adolphus Class of ’78.  It is up and running but it needs friends so watch for your invitation or friend it now.  Please feel free to post any news of your lives on the wall as well as sharing pictures from the past and today.  I will be forming an album of our memories from life at Gustavus during this important reunion year.  Please dig out your scrapbooks and add to the album.  Sure wish we had digital cameras back then because the quality of our photos is poor and they do not scan very well!  For those of you technically challenged, I will include the news shared on the site in our class notes in the Quarterly or in a future class letter.

Mentor Program at Gustavus:  Is looking for Gustavus alumni willing to mentor a current Gustavus student one-to-one.  You will be partnered with upper-class economics, management, accounting and international management majors for career preparation assistance.  Our hope is to be able soon to expand this program to other majors and departments.  Mentors and their mentees connect regularly throughout the academic year to discuss everything from study habits to career choices.  Mentors also show the ropes by encouraging students to watch them in action, learn how to develop relationships with others, and contribute to their community.  If you are interested in learning more about this wonderful program please contact Amy Gerber Pehrson ʼ91 in the Office of Servant Leadership at Gustavus: or 507-933-7169.

The Gribly now on-line!  Remember the Grib?  Looking up people you met to see where they were from or where they lived on campus.  (Not to forget use in looking for banquet dates!)  The Gribly now is on-line and includes alumni.  There is a tutorial on the website as to how to use it.  This is a fun way to reminisce and get a few laughs about our styles back then.  You can also change your photo if you don’t want to be remembered for the “big hair” of the ʼ70s, slick mustache, or just to update with your current information.

Alumni Fund Giving:  Since this is a reunion year, let’s ramp up our giving percentage!  At present we are tied with the Class of ’77 for the lowest percentage in our ʼ70s decade at 28%.  Of our total class of 411 students we have participation of only 116 members.  If we want to beat class of ʼ77 we need more participation!  For those of you who have been so generous throughout the years, we thank you and hope you continue your support!  If you have never given to the Annual Fund, a donation of any size will raise that percentage to move us ahead!  Please consider all that your Gustavus experience has provided for you and give back to help carry on the excellent education and experience for others!

’78 Class News:

Old dorm mates, Jim Johnson, Scott Johnson, Rob “Rube” Anderson, and Steve Ledin got together at the Northeastern Bar in Cloquet, MN on August 18, 2012.  Jim retired in May 2012 from the FAA after 20 years as an air traffic controller and is an ‘empty nester’ with his wife Nancy (Miller ’79) in Northfield, MN.  Scott works for General Electric and lives in the bay area of California with his wife, Renee and daughter Sara.  Rob went on disability in 2006 after 26 years in the computer industry, the last 17 years working for Sun Microsystems in Menlo Park, CA, and now resides in his hometown of Cloquet, MN.  Steve is an attorney for Maki, Ledin, Bick & Olson, S. C. in Superior, WI, where he lives with his wife Ada and their children.

Hope several of you will be attending the amazing Nobel Conference 48 on Oct 2 & 3, Our Global Ocean.  Would love to hear comments from those who attend!  That’s all for now!!  Please send your news to

God Bless you all,

Nancy Erickson Withers

1978 Communications Chair

Campus News:

Alumni Career Exploration

Where Dreams Meet Reality: Alumni Networking and Transition” will be offered again with support from Thrivent Financial for Lutherans and Catherine Beyer Breet (  This program is designed for anyone who is unemployed, underemployed, or unhappily employed.  It takes participants through the process of naming gifts, talents, and passions and finding where to use them in the world.  This event is scheduled at St. Mary’s University this fall on Tuesdays Sept. 25, Oct. 9 and 23, and Nov. 6, from 6–8 p.m.  This four-part classroom series includes full access to the Online Job Hunt Coaching System.  The series is being offered for $199 (Gustavus alumni $149).  Live outside the Twin Cities metro area?  The series will be offered in webinar format for $149 (Gustavus alumni $99).  Register at:

Nobel Conference – “Our Global Ocean”

October 2-3 – Nobel Conference 48 examines, “Our Global Ocean” as a source of inspiration, danger, and knowledge.  The conference will examine our oceans as a source of inspiration, danger, and knowledge.  We know less about our own oceans than we do about the surfaces of other planets hundreds of millions of miles away.  Top researchers in biogeochemistry, oceanography, deep-sea biology, molecular genetics, and coral ecology will discuss the most relevant topics concerning our mysterious oceans.  Tickets for this year’s Nobel Conference are available at:

The Royal Visit

Their Majesties King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden will visit Gustavus in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the founding of the College by Swedish immigrants in 1862.  The Royal Visit to Gustavus will be Friday, October 5, 2012.  For the full schedule of the day’s events, visit visit.  Many events require tickets.

Hall of Fame

The Gustavus Adolphus College Athletics Department has selected nine individuals for induction into its Athletics Hall of Fame.  The 2012 class of inductees include Rhonda Gorseth Alberts ’93 (Gymnastics), Brian Brekke ’95 (Football),Kara Bloomquist Drekonja ’96 (Cross Country),Brett Gross ’96 (Track & Field),Brock Guettler ’92 (Basketball),Mark Kruger ’86 (Tennis),Jason Lesteberg ’96 (Hockey),Scott Stoneking ’96 (Soccer), and Donald Swanson ’55 (Benefactor).  This group will be honored at the Athletics Hall of Fame Banquet, which will be held in Alumni Hall at 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29, following the Hall of Fame football game between the Gusties and Hamline University, which is set to take place at 1 p.m. at Hollingsworth Field.

Homecoming 2012

October 12-14 – Homecoming 2012 will include the Sesquicentennial Closing Dinner, reunions, a football game, a performance by The Bend of the River Big Band, and more.  For information on reunion registration and the entire homecoming schedule, visit

Alumni Travel Opportunities

2013 Friends of Music Salzburg choral Tour

Gustavus Friends of Music has arranged for a Gustavus Alumni choir tour to Munich, Salzburg, Vienna and Prague June 23 – July 5, 2013.  Singers and non-singers alike are welcome.  Once in Salzburg, the singers will join the Mozart International Choral Festival and perform Mozart’s Coronation Mass in the Salzburg Cathedral on June 29.  Not a singer?  There is space available for non-performers as well.  For more information contact Jackie Neeck Peterson ’77 at or 800-726-6192.

2013 Pearls of Central Europe

Experience Central Europe with Gustavus professor emeritus of history Dr. Tom Emmert from September 10—21, 2013.  This 12-day Gustavus study tour combines learning, exploring, leisure, lecture, food, and arts with special touches, all led by a faculty expert.  The journey is focused around three showpiece cities of Central Europe:  Prague, Vienna, and Budapest.  For more information, contact Tom Emmert at

Gustie Breakfasts - Twin Cities – New time and place

Engage with other alumni and learn something new about your alma mater at the monthly Twin Cities Gustavus alumni breakfast.  Please join us at the American Swedish Institute (2600 Park Ave, Minneapolis), on the third Wednesday of each month at 7:30 a.m.  Cost is $10.  Gustie breakfasts are also being held on campus the second Wednesday of each month.

October 17 – Nobel Conference Recap

November 21 – Donald Ostrom – November elections

December 19 – Terry Morrow – Minnesota Vikings stadium

Upcoming Chapter Gatherings

National Chapter events for alumni, parents and friends are scheduled for the 2012-13 academic year and will focus on the College’s pillar of “Teaching and Learning.”  Please save the date for the event in your area.  Time and location details will be forthcoming

Nov. 8 – New York City

Nov. 10 – Boston

Nov. 10 – Dallas

Nov. 11 – Houston

Nov. 13 – Washington, DC

Jan. 29 – Phoenix

Jan. 31 – Tucson

Feb. 3 – Los Angeles

Feb. 4 - Palm Springs

Feb 13 – Tampa

Feb. 15 – Naples

Feb. 28 – Seattle

Mar. 2 – San Francisco

Mar. 9 – Madison

Mar. 12 – Denver

Mar. 14 – Chicago

Apr. 11 – Atlanta