Class of '81
November 1998

Dear Class of ’81:

As usual, this class letter is long overdue and I’m sorry for not finding the time to write. Our lives just seem to get busier all the time. Actually, I think I used to write these after the kids went to bed. Now the kids stay up as late as I do. Of course, you have all heard about the tornado that hit Gustavus and St. Peter. I didn’t want to use the tornado as a fund-raising tool, but as you can guess, the next few years will be important ones for the college. In the months since the tornado, things have gone well for the college—the alumni, staff, students and other friends of the college have checked in and helped out so that things are definitely moving in the right direction. Thanks to all of you who have helped out in various ways.

Two tornado-related thoughts to pass on, then I’ll try to get you caught up on each other (class news). We were out of town when the tornado hit, and weren’t able to be involved in the initial clean-up. Susie and I did go back the day the students moved back to campus. One of the things we did was to stand at the entrance of the college with other alums and welcome the students and parents as they drove onto campus. The analogy that hit me was that of a marathon. Susie and I have run the Twin Cities marathon twice, and the thing that amazes me is the number of people who line the route and cheer the runners on. As a runner, you really feel inspired by these people and it helps you get through the race. It was fun for us to be on the other side, and hopefully encourage the students as they returned. The marathon analogy fits for the students and for the college, as there was no quick fix to the damage done by the tornado, it will be a long haul.

The other thought comes from President Axel Steuer, who spoke to the class agents this September. As you can guess, he is constantly being asked how the college is doing. His answer is that the college is like a patient that has had a medical condition, such as a surgery. The good news is that the surgery was a success, and the patient is doing well, with a bright outlook. The bad news is that the patient has some large medical bills to pay.

One more note before the class news—regarding Phonorama. The Gustavus Fund Office is refining the approach of Phonorama. Phonorama has been the major fund-raising tool for Gustavus, which has consistently been a national leader in alumni giving. There is no question that our calling program, alumni calling classmates, has been behind this success. However, in the past several years, it has become more and more difficult to get the volunteer callers to make it to Phonorama. In many classes (including ours), the bulk of the calling falls on the shoulders of the class agent, which causes class agent burn-out. In response to this, the Gustavus Fund Office is instituting a large-scale student caller program, which will do the bulk of the calling. The alumni will be encouraged to do the calling in reunion years—every five years. In the other years, the calling will be "optional" (its always optional, of course). At this point, my approach is that I will not call in non-reunion years, but will try (with your help) to make a strong push during the reunion years.

Hopefully this will be a workable system. Let me know if you have a strong reaction to this change—good or bad.

Here’s the news, in no particular order:

  • WARREN SCHLICHTING was promoted to information technology manager in Cargill’s IT Group. JEFFREY SAUNDERS has joined the law firm of Lindquist & Vennum as a partner in the Corporate Law Group. Jeff practices in the areas of mergers and acquisitions, securities, corporate finance and general corporate representation. JEFF LEE is manager of Diametrics Medical in Roseville. Jeff won an election to the Mounds View School Board. BARBARA PAULSON McANNANY was married June 28, 1997 to Kevin McAnnany. KAREN JACOBSON continues to practice general pediatrics at Falls Medical Group in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin.
  • MARK MOLZEN is working on a masters in international management from St. Thomas and is technical manager at Metal Improvement Company. SANDRA NIELAND is teaching speech and drama at Rochester John Marshall High School. JILL VAN DE PLASCH WALKER MARKIE passed the test for national credit as Certified Neuroscience Registered Nurse. Jill continues to be active with Cub Scouts and her church. SCOTT DEE received the American Veterinary Medical Association Practitioner Research Award and was named to the University of Minnesota Graduate Faculty. CURT SHELLUM is a senior scientist for Beckman Instruments in Rochester. BARBARA HALVERSON PIERSON, and husband Mark, had a daughter, Kristen Hannah, April 30, 1998.
  • RENAE CROSBY has been promoted to research scientist and is working part-time in the cancer biology department of Glaxo Wellcome, Research Triangle Park. MATT AMMENTORP is an account manager with Network Appliance, selling Internet-based storage solutions. He and SANDY (HINIKER) live in Cannon Falls. KARIN ORSON ANDERSON works for HealthPartners in Case Management. KATHY ULERY, is store manager of JoAnn Fabrics in Great Falls, Montana. REBECCA WOLF EVERETT has started a new business called Connecting Point. SARA SANDVIG LJUNGMAN is still at the University of Michigan Department of Pediatrics.
  • SCOTT KLEIN has been re-elected vice-president of publicity and promotions for the Southwest Theatre Association in Oklahoma. MARY ROLF BODIN and husband Brad had their first baby on April 2, 1998, a boy named Benjamin Rolf Bodin. DAWN EBELING is a CPA for a local firm in Baltimore. NANCY FREDLUND ANDERSON has a new job with Isanti County Public Health. DEAN STAMBAUGH is project manager in the IT/Advanced Business Services Group for Merrill Corporation. Dean also sings and plays drums in Exact, a Chrisian music group that primarily provides music for worship services in and around the twin cities.

Campus News:

The 1998-99 academic year opened with a record enrollment of 2,470 full-time students (compared with the previous record of 2,389 set in 1988), including a record 700 incoming students (compared to 648 of 1987). Contributing to the record enrollment is the stable 94 percent full-time student retention rate. Students returned to a campus that has been newly landscaped with 400 trees planted last spring and nurtured over the summer. They also discovered that 95% of all repairs made necessary by the tornado of March 29 are now completed. They returned to find Johnson Hall gone as it proved to be "beyond repair," but they also were greeted by a new College View Apartment addition, which houses 92 upper-class students, and the recently purchased Jefferson Avenue apartments (now known as Arbor View), which houses 60 upper-class students. In addition to new carpeting, painting, and furnishings, the campus is sporting 300 new state of the art computers for students and faculty, 28 new Steinway pianos (making us a member of a very elite circle of "All Steinway" campuses), 13 new high-tech multimedia systems for classrooms, new and upgraded outdoor and indoor athletic facilities, and new scientific equipment.

The Prairie View Residence Hall, is in place and opened in October, will house 60 students. It will be located west of Schaefer Fine Arts Center. Physically and symbolically the repair/restoration era will end with the placement of the spire and the cross back on the top of Christ Chapel. The spire went up in sections over a two-day period and the cross was set on Thursday, October 22.

Students also noted the beginning stages of construction on the new Campus Center. This project, part of our strategic plan, was accelerated by the storm. The official groundbreaking ceremony took take place Monday, October 19. This $18.6 million, 51,000 square foot construction project will double the size of the Dining Service Building, providing students, faculty and staff with expanded and improved dining, meeting and office spaces. The Dining Room will, appropriately, be named for Evelyn Young ’33, longtime director of the Dining Service at Gustavus. In progress also is an addition to the Melva Lind Interpretive Center to house the Department of Environmental Studies.

National Rankings

US News and World Report continues to give Gustavus high ranking. This fall’s issue again placed Gustavus in the top half of the 162 national liberal arts colleges in the country. Gustavus is one of four colleges in Minnesota to be in this category. The others are Carleton, Macalester and St. Olaf. The other ELCA schools in addition to Gustavus and St. Olaf are Gettysburg, Muhlenberg and Augustana (IL). Many of the schools with which you are familiar are classified as either a "national" or a "regional" college. National liberal arts colleges have the most selective admission policy, recruit nationally and offer most of their degrees in the liberal arts. Regional liberal arts colleges are less selective in admitting students and grant fewer than 40% of their degrees in the liberal arts.

US News further honored Gustavus by ranking the College third nationally (out of 90 schools) in operating efficiency. This ranking measures academic quality and dollars spent to deliver that quality. Gustavus was the only Minnesota college ranked in this comparison of national liberal arts colleges.

Newsweek magazine’s college publication again listed Gustavus as a "buried treasure." These are colleges that are known as "Hot Schools, Cool Spots." The magazine describes Gustavus as a place where "Personal attention rules--can’t slide by here." Other buried treasures include: Davidson College, Davidson, NC; Grinnell College, Grinnell, IA; Pomona College, Claremont, CA; Trinity University, San Antonio, TX; and College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA. Good company, indeed.

Children of alumni continue to be honored for their academic achievement and potential when they enroll at Gustavus. The Alumni Scholarship of $2,500 (renewable to $10,000 over four years) is awarded to children and grandchildren of alumni with high school grade point averages of 3.5 or better, or SAT scores of 1170 or an ACT of 26. This fall Gustavus welcomed to campus 70 new entering students who are children of alumni. Sixty-seven legacy students were awarded an Alumni Scholarship. This number includes 54 children of alumni and 13 grandchildren of alumni.

Nobel Conference XXXIV, Virus: The Human Connection was October 6 & 7. The Nobel Conference magazine was again inserted in the August Minnesota Monthly magazine and sent to the entire Gustavus mailing list.

G.I.V.E. (Gusties In Volunteer Endeavors), a day of community service, was a huge success for another year. Alumni, parents and friends gathered on Saturday, October 3 to work together in the spirit of service to better their communities. An impact was made around the country as nearly 1,000 Gusties worked in nine cities including: Atlanta, GA; Boston, MA; Duluth, MN; Fargo, ND; Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN; Orlando, FL; Saint Peter, MN; Seattle, WA and Washington, DC.

Recycle your Quarterly – after reading each issue of the Gustavus Quarterly, we encourage you to "recycle" the magazine by taking it to your place of business or worship and sharing it with others. Spread the good word about Gustavus!

Alumni Chapters have been meeting in cities around the country! Here is a list of those gatherings, some have gone by, but others are on the calendar, so check it out if there is one near you! Chicago, November 14; Atlanta, November 19; Washington, DC, November 20; Boston, November 21; Denver, February 1 (Gustavus Band concert); Fargo, Feb. 20; Seattle, March 5; San Francisco, March 6; Los Angeles, March 7; Phoenix, March 8; and Sun City, March 9.

Thanks to classmates for checking in. Please continue to keep us up-to-date and I’ll keep trying to get out these class letters. The Alumni Office has asked us to have one "Guest Class Letter," with someone other than the class agent doing the writing. All we need is a volunteer…just let me know and we’ll get you the class news. If there are no volunteers, I will try to get another letter out in January.


Steve Heim

1981 Class Agent