Class of '79
May 2000


Hope this class letter finds everyone enjoying spring and getting ready for a great summer. Although I will share many new and exciting things going on at Gustavus in the following pages, I am happy to also report that many of the "constants" that have made the place so special still remain…i.e. good people, fun and enthused students, a beautiful chapel, Hello Walk, and a scenic campus overlooking the river valley. If you get the chance, visit the campus, and if you can’t, but have access to the internet, go to the Gustavus internet site at to see what’s happening on the hill!

I hope you have seriously considered to either 1)continue/increase your annual giving to Gustavus, 2)renew your financial support of Gustavus, or 3)make your first financial contribution to Gustavus during the year 2000. A new method of giving to the College is now available. Lutheran Brotherhood created a highly successful and popular program for Lutheran churches called Simply Giving and this program is now available to Gustavus Alumni to make it easier to financially support the College. Simply Giving is an automatic bank draft program that allows you to make regular monthly gifts from a checking or savings account to Gustavus. You do not need to be Lutheran in order to participate, there is no cost to you or the College for this service, and you can make changes at any time. For so many people, it is much easier to give $50 a month than to write a $600 check once a year! Please call Heather Patchett at (800) 726-6192, or e-mail her at to request more information.


Graduation 2000

577 students received Bachelor of Arts degrees in ceremonies held on campus Sunday, May 28th. It is the second largest graduating class in the 138-year history of Gustavus, second only to the 597 graduates in 1991. Following a tradition started in 1973, graduates received signed diplomas from the faculty department chair in their major.

International House-Swedish House

Construction is well underway on this new residence hall/international center to replace Johnson Hall and the Swedish House that were destroyed in the March 1998 tornado. The $5.4 million building will be located near the south end of Hollingsworth Field (football stadium), and the 80-bed, 30,000 square foot facility is scheduled to open in the fall of this year.

Eckhoff Memorial Sculpture

ORBISC, a Granlund sculpture in memory of Emeritus Vice President for Alumni Affairs Cecil F. Eckhoff ’56 was dedicated on campus, May 27, 2000 near Hello Walk.

New Campus Center Dedicated April 8, 2000

The $19.4 million Center now serves as a welcoming door for all campus guests and visitors. The building provides the College’s more than 2,490 students with expanded/improved dining and meeting spaces. It is also home to various student-centered services and offices, including a courtyard café/outdoor plaza, student health service, art gallery, plus offices of admission, dean of students, student activities, and residential life. The state-of-the-art Market Place dining service features a wood-burning pizza oven and rotisserie, as well as different distinct serving areas. These areas include: Gustie Grill, Cyclone Pizzeria and Pasta, United Nations (international fare), Country Garden (soups and salads), Market Deli (sandwiches and subs), Vari Veggie (vegetarian cuisine), and Hello Wok (Asian cuisine). The Evelyn Young Dining Room is named for longtime Director of Dining Services Evelyn (Sponberg) Young. It is first class….very impressive!

New Outdoor Track & Field/Soccer Complex

Next fall Gustavus we will have a new state-of-the-art outdoor track & field and soccer facility. The estimated project completion date is September 1. The nine-lane 400 meter all weather track and inner 360 x 225 feet grass intercollegiate soccer field will be used for practice and competition by the Gustie varsity teams, as well as academic classes and campus recreational activities. The $1.8 million project will be Gustavus’ first outdoor all-weather track, having had a cinder track around Hollingsworth Field, but it ceased being used in 1984.

Men’s Swimming and Diving Team are MIAC Champs

After a drought of 40 years, the Gusties beat powerhouse St. Olaf, who had 20 consecutive MIAC titles, for the conference title this season. Earlier in the season, the Gusties handed the Oles their first conference dual meet loss since 1981, breaking an Ole streak of 96 straight wins!

Chaplain Elvee Retires

An institution on his own at Gustavus, "Elvee" was honored on May 16th at the Hotel Sofitel in Bloomington.


  • Sept. 30 Homecoming (vs. Concordia) and Reunions
  • Oct. 3-4 Nobel Conference – Globalization
  • Oct. 7 G.I.V.E. (Gusties In Volunteer Endeavors)
  • Dec. 1-3 Christmas in Christ Chapel

In closing, I again encourage you to contact me if you have questions about Gustavus, suggestions and/or items for the class letter, or just want to say "hi."

Reid Katzung

1361 LaSalle Street

Wayzata, MN 55391

(612) 475-3322

P.S. After writing and sending this letter I received the most recent Quarterly. What a shock it was to open up and read of the death of our classmate, Craig T. Wahlund. Craig was well known and liked by everyone. He died unexpectedly at his home, on Maundy Thursday, from cardiac arrest caused by a blood clot. Craig was preparing for the evening services at Hope Presbyterian Church in Richfield where he served as pastor for past 13 years. Our sympathy to his wife, Becky, sons, Ryan and Kyle and his brother Dean ’72 (Director of Public Affairs at Gustavus).