Class of '81
September 2000

Dear Class of ‘81

Every time I get a Quarterly, I breeze through to the class of ’81 news and I am reminded that I am still our class agent. Last year I don’t think I did anything (other than be listed in the Quarterly) that would lead one to think I was a class agent. I did not make a single Phonorama call. I did not write one class letter. It seems that as my life gets busier (as it has every year since graduation), I do less as a class agent. I feel bad about this and I apologize. I am determined to turn this around. After all, I have gotten to the point that I can’t do less than I did last year. So…lets just say I was on sabbatical last year and see what we can do this year.

Before looking forward, I want to report on another great year of support Gustavus got from the class of ’81. A total of 180 individuals contributed to the college for a total of $43,561. This breaks down to an average gift of $242. These numbers are great! The dollar amounts seem to increase every year and our numbers compare favorably to other classes of our vintage.

An important number for our class this year is 20. As you may have realized, 2001 will be our 20th (gulp) anniversary of graduation. Our reunion will take place in conjunction with Homecoming weekend in the fall of 2001. This is a switch from past reunions that have been during Commencement weekend. The new tradition is to have a gathering in the Twin Cities on Friday night, followed by Saturday on campus. We will bombard you with more information on that later¾ but keep the dates of September 21 & 22 in mind as you plan ahead for 2001. We have always had great participation in our reunions and that is what makes them fun.

Now…Phonorama starts up October 16th. As you probably know, I have left Phonorama to the student callers the last couple of years. This was intentional with the idea being that we would hit Phonorama hard every five years during our reunion push. Well, here we are. I am ready to get back to it and get re-connected with you all. My hope is that I will have a cast of callers that will canvass our 400+ classmates. The idea behind the switch to every five years is that calling every year was too big of a commitment. I agree with this notion, especially since I have to admit that I was burning out doing the Phono thing so often. Though it was always a positive experience, it got harder and harder to make it there. One thing I have always felt about Phono is that it is more fun to call when other classmates are calling too. This year I propose that Tuesday, October 17th and Monday October 23rd be "Class of ’81 Calling Nights." If you can make it one of those nights, please let me or Gustavus know. I will be there for sure on those nights (as well as a few others). I will probably make some calls to encourage some of you, but I would love to hear from you first. You can reach me at home (952-926-4271), work (952-884-2709 x14) or work email (

Now some news:

Joyce Detlefsen Komorouski was inducted into the Gustavus Athletic Hall of Fame! I was fortunate to be at the induction to witness this and cheer on Joyce (who was inducted for her success in basketball and softball) and my former baseball teammate, Brad Baker ’80, who was also inducted. Congrats to Joyce! Dave Hakensen got his picture in the Quarterly again after a long drought. Ann Possis is serving as board chair of the Planned Parenthood of Minnesota Action Fund¾ the political advocacy arm of Planned Parenthood of MN/SD. A couple of our classmates are succeeding in the music business with help from talented Gustie spouses. Brian Fragodt, who is a Lutheran minister by day, has released a CD along with his wife, Kim (Beyer ’83). Neal Hagberg and Leandra (Peak’82) are singing professionally and have made a number of CD’s. My wife, Susie, is still refusing to go into a recording studio with me.

That is the smattering of news that I have. As in the past, I am skipping the basic job titles and birth/wedding announcements that are printed in the Quarterly. Keep the "other stuff" coming – its fun to report on more than just the job facts.

Here is some news from St. Peter:

The 2000-2001 academic year opened with a record enrollment of 2,510 full-time students (compared with the previous record of 2,490 set last year), including 675 first-year students. When students arrived on campus in early September they were welcomed by the newly completed Carlson International Center/Swedish House, a new outdoor track/soccer field, and a newly completed Courtyard Café in the lower level of the Jackson Campus Center. This new café offers specialty coffees, bagels, pastries, and sandwiches, and opens to an outdoor eating area on the Johns Courtyard between the Jackson Campus Center and Lund Center.

Gustavus Adolphus College is once again ranked among the best of all national liberal

arts colleges in U.S. News and World Report's 14th annual "America's Best Colleges" rankings. Gustavus is again in the top 80 of the overall quality listings for national liberal arts colleges. Ranked again in the second tier in the national liberal arts college category, Gustavus is one of only two Minnesota colleges included in the tier two listing and one of four Minnesota colleges ranked in the top 80.

Gustavus recently received the results of a comparative alumni survey that measures alumni responses to a series of questions about their college experience. The study provides comparisons to other groups of colleges including Lutheran colleges, member colleges of the Minnesota Private College Council and, most importantly, with large public universities. We will share with you results of the survey in class letters this year. A sampling of responses to remembrances of college academic life include the following:

· Alumni agree that professors often challenged them, but also personally helped them to meet the challenge. Gustavus alumni agree 78%, large public universities 38%.

· Alumni agree that a large majority of classes were taught by professors as compared to teaching assistants. Gustavus alumni agree 90%, large public universities 32%.

· Alumni remember a high quality, teaching oriented faculty. Gustavus alumni agree 61%, large public universities 25%.

· Alumni remember many small classes with fewer than twenty students. Gustavus alumni agree 50%, large public universities 9%.

Gustavus has received word from the Lilly Endowment that it was one of 20 awardees (out of a pool of 31 colleges and universities) of a $1,963,425 implementation grant. It is the largest program grant the College has ever received. The award will support a comprehensive initiative to more effectively carry out some key aspects of the College's mission statement and encourage theological reflection and moral questioning that forms character, shapes lives, and guides career choices. It will build upon the ethos and climate of Gustavus by supporting already-existing programs, adding new ones, and creating a center to coordinate and intensify those vocation-oriented activities. In doing so, it will provide students with the foundational tools necessary for a lifelong exploration of their calling and a lifetime of community leadership and service to others.

G.I.V.E. (Gusties In Volunteer Endeavors), a day of community service, was held on Saturday, October 7. Numerous sites were selected in the Twin Cities and alumni in other cities around the country participated in the event.

Christmas in Christ Chapel, Heaven and Nature Sing, is December 1-3. A ticket order form was inserted in the Summer Quarterly. Contact Office of Public Affairs at 507-933-7520.

I look forward to talking with many of you at Phonorama and hopefully seeing a bunch there too!

Steve Heim

1981 Class Agent