Class of ’80
March 2010

30-Year Reunion― September 25, 2010

Hello all you Gusties!

There’s a great committee working to get as many of us as possible together for our big 30th class reunion.  If you’ve never been, you’re really missing out!  Join us in September, reconnect with some former classmates, see all the great changes on campus, and enjoy some beautiful fall Minnesota weather!  As I reflect back on the reunion gatherings I’ve been to, I recall how great it is to feel that Gustie spirit and pride, even after so many years away.  The Gustavus experience is just something that will always be a part of me, and reuniting with old friends is really worth the trip back to Minnesota.  See you in September!

Julie Ellwein Hedlund

Chandler, AZ

Reunion Schedule

Saturday, September 25, 2010

1980 Class Lunch – 11:30 a.m. – Banquet Room

1980 Class Social & football game – 1:00 p.m. – Hospitality Tent by football field

1980 Class Gathering – 3:30 p.m. – 5th Quarter, Hospitality Tent

Dear Class of ’80,

Can you believe it has been 30 years since we graduated?  Just think of all the changes we have seen in the last 30 years:  computers, cell phones, ATM’s and microwaves to name just a few.

However, there have also been dramatic changes in the cost of higher education.  Our senior year, we paid approximately $4,000 dollars/year in tuition.  Freshman who started at Gustavus this last fall paid $31,460 in tuition.  Those of you who are parents are well aware of the staggering cost of college.  The need to provide as much assistance as possible to current and future students is critical.

We all had experiences at Gustavus that continue to be relevant in our lives today.  What can we do to assure that this opportunity is available to future Gusties?  Many of us (31.9% in 2008-09 in fact) already support Gustavus, and we definitely need to keep doing that.

An additional option, and very timely, considering it is our 30th anniversary, is our Class Endowed Scholarship, in the name of Ed & Patty Lindell.  In fact, this class appointed scholarship has been in place since 1983 and its current value is over $17,000 already!  We applaud the foresight of our class agents early on, who established this scholarship on our behalf, and now we are asking all of you to make our 30th anniversary meaningful to Gustavus now and in the years to come by making a contribution to the Class of 1980 Edward & Patty Lindell Endowed Scholarship.  It’s already giving scholarships to current students who are in need of financial assistance.  In fact, the student who received it this year sent us a short message:

“The scholarship your class started helped me finance my college tuition.  With this scholarship, I was able to spend more time focusing on my study, getting involved in activities and volunteer work.  It actually not only helped me, but also helped many other people this way.  Thank you.”  Mengdi Wu ’10

Wuhan, Chin

Our goal this year is to get the scholarship up to $25,000 by the time of our reunion.  It is doable!

Here’s how the scholarship endowment works.  Each year the amount in our class endowment is invested.  Also each year, around 4% of the scholarship value is awarded to a student who needs financial assistance.  As the amount in the scholarship increases, the amount of the annual stipend increases as well.  Our class has 473 classmates.  If each of us gives $20 to the scholarship this year, we will reach the $25,000 goal in 2010.  If you’re able to give more─go for it!  Just remember to continue your regular giving to the Gustavus Annual Fund as well.  By pooling our resources into the class endowment, our class will be providing financial assistance to future Gusties─FOREVER!

If creating a lasting legacy and helping out current and future students isn’t motivation enough, how about this.  The Classes of ’79 and ’82 also began funding their own class endowed scholarships as well.  But, they have not reached the $25,000 mark yet either.  Wouldn’t it be great to beat both classes to the punch?  And get this, the young whippersnappers of ’05 have the same goal as we do for this year, but they are starting from ground zero!  They are well on their way in raising the money.  Can we let them beat us?

So please help us to create a truly lasting legacy and to assure that the magic that is Gustavus will continue for future generations by making a donation to the Class of 1980 Edward & Patty Lindell Endowed Scholarship Fund.  Here’s the link to donate online  Thanks for making a difference!

Helen Onufrak


My favorite memory of my years at Gustavus was my involvement with “Christmas in Christ Chapel.”  I’m still amazed at the amount of preparation and co-ordination that goes into this event─students and faculty are both so busy as the fall semester draws towards a close!  I remember students scurrying about in the December cold with instruments, preparing for a rehearsal or performance.  On Sunday evening, after the last performance, I remember feeling relieved, and yet disappointed that it was all over.

Bruce Lammers


Gustavus Class of 1980 Facebook group─if you are a user, type this in the search box of facebook groups and you will find it!  Or log onto the website and look for our class at and you will see a link to the facebook group in the left hand column.  Invite your 1980 classmate friends to join us!

If you have news, a memory or a story to share for a future class letter or are interested in being on the planning committee for the reunion please email Kathy Erlandsen, Reunion Coodinator at Gustavus:

Looking forward to seeing everyone in September!

Your 1980 Class Reunion Committee

Laurie Dietrich

Julie Ellwein Hedlund

Erin Jordahl

Bruce Lammers

Bob Neuman

Helen Onufrak

Steve Sayre

Kent Stone

Campus News

Gustavus Announces Major Building Projects

At its Monday, Jan. 25 meeting, the Gustavus Adolphus College Board of Trustees voted unanimously to move forward with three major building projects.  The College will erect a new 125,000 square foot academic building with a large 3-story atrium at the center providing natural light to many of the spaces.  It will qualify for a “gold LEED” qualification as a green building.  This will develop a mall extending west from its iconic Christ Chapel.  It will house the largest departments on campus (economics and management, psychology, and communications).  Also, plans are under way to renovate A. H. Anderson Social Science Building.  Construction timelines for the projects are not yet finalized, but the College expects to break ground on the new academic building late this spring.

The effort is a significant early implementation step of Commission Gustavus 150, an innovative, constituent-based strategic planning process that has engaged hundreds of alumni, students, faculty, staff, and other stakeholders over the past year.  “These projects will greatly enhance learning and teaching, student recruitment, and institutional advancement for many years to come,” said President Jack R. Ohle.

Alumnus, Kurt Elling ’89, Wins Grammy Award

Kurt Elling, a 1989 graduate of Gustavus Adolphus College, took home his first Grammy Award Sunday, Jan. 31 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, Calif.  Elling won the “Best Jazz Vocal Album” category for his album Dedicated to You: Kurt Elling Sings the Music of Coltrane and Hartman. This year marked the ninth time Elling was nominated for a Grammy.

Elling typically performs annually at Gustavus and did so most recently on Oct. 10, 2009 in Jussi Björling Recital Hall.  He has also had the distinct honor to perform in front of President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama and their 350 guests at the White House State Dinner on Nov. 24, 2009.

Wind Orchestra Tour

The Gustavus Wind Orchestra, under the direction of Conductor Douglas Nimmo, has returned from a 15-day concert tour through Germany, Poland, the Czech and Slovak Republics, Hungary and Austria.  The Choir of Christ Chapel will be traveling to the Phoenix/Tucson area this spring.  On April 15 they will be at Lord of Life Lutheran Church in Sun City West, April 16 at All Saints Lutheran Church (LCMS) in Phoenix, and on April 17 at Lord of Grace Lutheran Church in Tucson.  For other campus news please check the website at

Admission News

Applications for next year are ahead of where they were last year at this time which makes Mark Anderson ’66, the director of admission, very happy.  We graduated two very large classes in the last two years so we need to have somewhat larger classes in order to maintain our enrollment at about 2,500.  Mark Anderson will retire at the end of the academic year so a search is going on to replace him.  Gustavus has had only three directors of admission since 1950 (Howard Holcomb ’49, Owen Sammelson ’58, and Mark Anderson ’66) which is quite an amazing track record.

Health Insurance Available through Alumni Association

During this time of economic uncertainty, many of our alumni, new graduates, and their family members are in need of health insurance.  Short-term and permanent health insurance options are available through the alumni insurance program.  The program is typically promoted to new grads just before and after graduation, but in response to the rising unemployment rate and in an effort to help all of those in need, we’re spreading the word more broadly this year.  This is also perfect for children of alums who are graduating (even if they did not attend Gustavus Adolphus College) and aren’t yet covered under an employer’s health plan.  For more information, individuals can contact the alumni office or contact the program manager directly or 800-635-7801.

New “Make Your Life Count” Website and Facebook Page

Gustavus has created a new “Make Your Life Count” website that includes a variety of feature stories exemplifying the College’s new brand position launched last month.  The stories celebrate Gustavus students, alumni, faculty, staff, programs, events, and organizations.  The website may be accessed from the Gustavus homepage by clicking on the “Make Your Life Count” brandline (in the upper right hand corner) or by visiting  The “Make Your Life Count” stories are also posted on a new Facebook page.  Become a fan and share your own Gustavus story.  When new feature stories are published, they will be communicated on the Gustavus News Twitter, and you may also subscribe (on the Make Your Life Count website) to receive e-mail updates.  To submit a “Make Your Life Count” story suggestion, click on the “Submit your story” link or e-mail the Gustavus Office of Marketing and Communication at

“Come on You Gusties” Breakfast

Once a month, Gusties gather for coffee, breakfast, and great conversation along with a campus speaker.  All Gusties are welcomed and invited to the breakfast, third Wednesday of the month, 8-9:30 a.m. at the Doubletree Hotel, Minneapolis-Park Place, 1500 Park Place Boulevard.  Cost is $10 at the door.  Upcoming speaker:  Virgil Jones, director of multi-cultural programs.

Upcoming Events

  • Mar. 30 – New Orleans Chapter Event – Sheraton New Orleans Hotel
  • Apr. 10 – Gustavus Jazz Lab Band Home Concert
  • Apr. 11 – Gustavus Symphony Orchestra Home Concert
  • Apr. 22 – New York Chapter Event – The Core Club
  • Apr. 23 – Choir of Christ Chapel Home Concert
  • Apr. 25 – Boston Chapter Event - Bay Back Hotel
  • May 1 – Gustavus Choir Home Concert