Class of '79
April 2005


It has been awhile!  As I have been thinking about doing my Christmas thank you notes, (after all it is April...soon they will be Ascension notes―probably inappropriate), I have been thinking about the other thanks that should’ve come out long ago.

Thanks come in many forms...

“Thank you for everything.”  Hopefully that means:  I can’t possibly name all that you have done in the time allotted, so hope to cover it in one sentence.  It could mean:  I can’t remember what you gave me, exactly.  Or literally, thank you for EVERYTHING, which is highly unlikely.

Then there is the smart, to-the-point, thank you.  For example, “Dear Paula and family, Thank you for the spy kit, I like to spy.”  The concise author is obviously wise to who does the shopping and smart to focus the thanks on the buyer, in the likelihood that it won’t change soon.

Also there is the thank you that accidentally lets one know the gift actually ended up costing the recipient.  “Thank you for the art kit, we bought more supplies today.”  I don’t know why I added that one, except I thought it was sort of funny.

BUT, then there is:  “I really don’t know how to thank you.”  Sincerely, that’s how John and I feel about those who attended the class reunion and those who supported and continue to contemplate supporting the 1979 fund.  We don’t know how to thank you, other than to gratefully acknowledge your generosity and commitment!  It is so awesome to know that perhaps one day some qualified student that really wants to attend Gustavus, but can’t afford to, will because of the class of 1979’s gift.  John will add the nitty-gritty information at the end of this letter, but first off: THANK YOU!

Meanwhile, hope all is well with you.  Doesn’t spring make you feel better than better?  You probably are much more disciplined than we, but the incentive to exercise is so much more present in the spring.  Who cares about coronary disease?  We (I should speak for myself) just want to look better!  Actually, it has been sort of a humbling plan.  As I put on some shorts and discreetly ran (how discreet can it be when the treadmill on the second floor shakes the whole house?) in our bedroom the other day, a daughter came in and said, “Hmmmm...Mom, good for you!  What are your thoughts on self-tanning?”  Whatever!

Spring is such a huge season of new beginnings...many of you must have graduations.  They could be Big Ones or just moving on to something new.  Let us know what you have going on!  Please, please, please!  It would be much more interesting than hearing about self-tanning lotion needs.  Email us at or

The GREAT updates that we DO have are:

Deb Johnson Rosenberg, Eden Prairie, has a new job!  She is now vice president of Commercial Trust Sales for Marshall & Ilsley Trust Company.

Patricia Pellikka is a cardiologist at the Mayo Clinic and is co-director of the Echocardiography Laboratory.  Patty, sorry about the exercise joke...REALLY coronary disease is more important than self-tanning and swimsuit-induced exercise and diet!  Really.

Kevin Kling (poor Kevin...these constant updates are wire-related, not sent in by Kevin!  We are so proud of you, Kevin!) has been on the road, visiting numerous academic venues with the Guthrie Theater’s production of “Freezing Paradise:  An Evening with Kevin Kling.”  These travels give students the opportunity to participate in teaching artist’s workshops with Kevin, as well as viewing the performances.  He also contributes to NPR’s “All Things Considered” and has four CD collections of his commentaries.

Carol Knutson Hebrink of Maple Lake continues as owner of Carol Hebrink Design.  Her company is a residential design company specializing in kitchens and baths.  Her husband, Rodney, is CFO of Agstar Financial Services.  Daughter, Kaitlyn, is thirteen.

John Riggle of Sioux Center, Iowa, is serving as pastor of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Hull, Iowa.  His wife, Viola, just completed her master’s degree, and they have a son at MIT.

Lori Lindell Abel, Minnetonka, is now substituting as school nurse for the Hopkins School District.

Jim Schmidt, Shawano, Wisconsin, is director of operations for Crossways Camping Ministries serving three Lutheran camps in north and central Wisconsin.

Greg Hagge, Eden Prairie, is now tax director - national tax office of RSM McGladrey in Bloomington.

Susan Taylor and her husband, Jonathan Granlund ’81 are very involved at First Lutheran in St. Paul and the Perpich Center for Arts Education.  Their children are Joshua (’03) and Taylor (’08).  Jonathan builds custom homes on the North Shore of Lake Superior.

Bonnie Madsen Brueshoff and her husband, Dave ’77 live in Apple Valley.  Their son, Benjamin, will graduate from Gustavus this spring.

As of last September, Steve ’77 and Dori (Schmiesing) Schelhammer were working in Romania building orphanages and homes for battered women.

Wendy Nelson Anderson of Long Lake, works for Fiskars.

Teresa Carter Anderson lives in Maple Grove and is director-project management for Prudential Insurance.  Her husband, Charles, is vice president – national accounts at Prudential.

Darryl Mataya, Mount Horeb, Wisconsin, is chief development officer at Farin & Associates.

Now, I am going to turn the letter over to John! 

Hi!  It was great to see so many of you last fall.  As Paula said, on behalf of Gustavus, we are so grateful to you!  Following is the status of our class fund.  Please note that we have a great start, but need a minimum of $25,000 to generate any kind of endowment.  YOUR money will always be with Gustavus and will be put to work earning interest.  It is the interest that will be given to students in need.  The perpetual nature of how your donation is managed means it will work indefinitely to help students who perhaps couldn’t attend Gustavus if it weren’t for this sort of aid.

If you feel there are any discrepancies in the list, i.e. perhaps you gave and the money was categorized differently than you’d hoped...please contact us (see emails above) and we will follow through.

The following people contributed, tallying a total of $13,954.

Ann (Kilander) and David Werner

Barbara L. Busch

Bill and Karen Allen

Brian and Karen (Aaze ’81) Holcomb

Brian L. Peterson

Cindy Klos Howe

Diane M. Matson

Gwen Murra Henricksen

John and Paula (Larson) Penrod

Karen (Jones) and Michael Wojahn

Kari Siewert Evans

Kelly and Kathryn (Lockhart) Bennewitz

Kevin and Evelyn (Wickstrom ’80) Bjork

Larry and Betty (Farm ’80) Olson

Laurie R. Berg

Lori Lindell Abel

Mary Beth Henderson

Mike and Kim (Unke) Johnson

Patricia J. Farkas

Renee Rule Greer

Sandra Shaw Kerrigan

Tim and Laurel (Johnson) Olson

Todd A. Schmidt

Todd R. Hayes

Wayne ’78 and Joyce (Slater) Poppe

Thanks again!


...and now over to Gustavus and their addition of campus news....

Campus briefs

Gustavus has been known for its strong tradition of alumni participation in annual giving.  Gusties support their Alma Mater in many ways and show their pride with their gifts.  All alumni and current students have benefited from previous and current support.  Gustavus will be as strong as its alumni want it to be.  The 2005 Alumni Fund closes May 31.  Make sure you are included with many members of your class and other alumni that have chosen to keep Gustavus strong.  Three easy ways to give – send your check to the Alumni Office (by using the enclosed envelope), call 866-487-3863, or on-line at 

Alumni Awards

The Gustavus Alumni Association has announced 2005 award recipients.  The Greater Gustavus Award to George Torrey ’55 for his lifetime volunteer service and philanthropy to the College. Distinguished Alumni Citations to G. Barry Anderson ’76, Apple Valley, MN, associate justice, Minnesota Supreme Court; Deanna Nelson ’64, Cary, NC, president/founder, BioLink Life Sciences, Inc.; Rick Webb ’73, Edina, MN, owner of Ciao Bella, Zelo and Bacio Restaurants; and John Wirth ’75, Pacific Palisade, CA, writer/executive producer, Paramount Studios.  First Decade Awards to Joe Gaugler ’95, Lexington, KY, assistant professor, Department of Behavioral Science, University of Kentucky College of Medicine; Debbie Lightly Mascaro ’95, Fargo, ND, research scientist, North Dakota State University Center for Nanoscale Science and Engineering.


The Gustavus women’s hockey team finished third at the NCAA national championship after winning the MIAC title, the men’s basketball team won the MIAC regular season title and conference tournament and advanced to the NCAA national tournament, the men’s swimming and diving team won the MIAC title and placed seventh at the NCAA national tournament and had seven swimmers earn All-America honors and the women’s team had four swimmers earn All-America honors.

Extraordinary Students

Senior Rachel Batalden, a double major in mathematics and secondary education with a 3.898 grade point average and two-time MIAC All-Conference selection at setter for the women’s volleyball team, has been selected as one of 56 student-athletes from across the country to receive a $7,500 NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship.

Senior Paul Fraser, a music and computer science major has been selected as the winner of the second annual Caltech-Occidental Composition Contest for new music for concert band. The contest drew entries from all over the world, and as the winner, Paul will receive a cash award and a recording of the world premiere of the work at a concert by the Caltech-Occidental Concert Band in Pasadena, Calif., in May.

Bricks and mortar

Southwest Residence Hall is being constructed across the Campus Drive from the arboretum on the west side of the campus and is scheduled to be finished by June.  The L-shaped facility is configured with apartments for four and six and will accommodate nearly 200 students.  A hostel space for summer programs and confirmation retreat groups is included in the residence’s plans.

With the new Southwest Residence Hall coming on-line, the College will be taking down Wahlstrom Hall to make way for future residential construction.  Crews will start the dismantling process in July with asbestos abatement, and the Kasota-stone residence hall will be razed in August.  Alumni returning for reunion and commencement festivities on May 27–29 will be able to take a last tour through the building’s public areas, stairwells, and walk-through sections following a “decommissioning” ceremony to be held on Saturday morning, May 28.

Construction crews working on the renovation of Old Main discovered a cistern under the basement flooring in March.  Gutting the interior has provided evidence of layers upon layers of remodeling done over the years, including an old stairwell in the middle of the building and what appears to be an attempt to raise the third-floor ceiling.  The Old Main project, which includes the installation of an elevator in the northwest corner of the building, is scheduled to be completed in August.

The education and nursing departments have been relocated to the newly erected Mattson Hall, which is sited just west of the Schaefer Fine Arts Center and Prairie View Residence Hall, on the south side of the campus.  These departments will remain there until a new social science center is built at some point in the future.

Upcoming Events

  • Association of Congregations Meeting – April 23
  • G.I.V.E. Community Service Day – April 30
  • Class of 1955 and 50-Year Club Reunions – May 27 & 28
  • Commencement – May 29
  • Alumni Fund closes – May 31
  • Reunions on Homecoming – October 7 & 8
  • Nurses Reunion – October 8

Keep in touch!

John and Paula Penrod

1979 Class Agents