Class of '81
September 2002

Dear Class of ’81,

Great news!  After I took three consecutive sabbaticals (unapproved) from my task as class agent, the alumni office decided to get me some help.  I am happy to announce our new co-class agent, Leslie Nielsen!  Welcome aboard!  Leslie has been an active Gustie since graduation.  She has been one of our most loyal phonorama volunteers, and has been very involved with the arboretum at Gustavus.  She believes that with some assistance from classmates, we can get our class back on track. 

Our class has always been known as a strong one.  We have been one of the leaders in terms of financial support for the college, and we always have good numbers at our reunions.  Probably not coincidentally, the financial numbers have fallen off in the last few years along with my enthusiasm.

Leslie & I attended the annual Class Agent’s meeting on September 7–kind of a kick-off day for the new fund year.  I’ve been making the trek down to St. Peter (as your Class Agent) for over 20 years now, and it is always a fun day.  It kind of takes me back in time, thoughts of driving down as a student always pop into my head.  Other than the traffic to the Renaissance Festival, this is one of my favorite drives.  Once there, I am always amazed at the quality of the people in this group.  The other agents, the college staff, and the teachers and students that speak at the meeting, well, it’s enough to get me a little fired up.

In past years that fired-up feeling has gotten me through the class letter, and maybe a night of Phonorama.  Then life seemed to get in the way.  There’s work, getting the kids to finish their homework, teaching Sunday School, meetings at church, coaching responsibilities, projects around the house, etc., and, well, it’s been easy for me to lose track of the class of ’81.  Leslie promises to not let that happen this year.

It’s time for a few numbers.  In the 2001-2002 fund year, 161 classmates (out of 427) contributed a total of $26,808 to Gustavus.  First off, let me say thank you to all contributors.  That’s a lot of contributors and a lot of money!  The only thing that concerns me is that the numbers are going the wrong way, especially the number of contributors.  One goal I’ve always had is to have strong participation.  In fact, we have set a goal for our class to get 193 donors this fund year.

How are we going to accomplish that goal?  There is no question that the more contacts we make, the more participation we have.  As in, when we have good participation at Phonorama, our numbers go up.  So, for starters, Leslie & I will be at Phonorama.  We are planning to call on October 7th and 14th (both Mondays).  We will try to bring along some other callers so we can make a dent in our class.  Secondly, we are planning to email those that we can’t reach.  We think this will be preferable to classmates, rather than leaving the calls to Gustavus students.  We would love to have help with the emails, as we want these to be personal, and there will probably be a large number to do.  Sooooooo, if you are willing to help out, but can’t get excited about calling at Phonorama, let Leslie or me know if you would help with emails.

This is getting longer than I thought it would – I must have a year’s worth of communication to get out.  I’ll break for a little bit of news from the hill:

Welcome Class of 2006

Approximately 690 new students arrived on campus this fall keeping the total student enrollment just over 2500.  There are many interesting opportunities for first year students even before school starts with a community service immersion experience in the Twin Cities, a cultural study in Paris and a wilderness experience in the Boundary Waters.

Gustavus named a “Best Buy”

The Fiske Guide has again named Gustavus one of forty-three “Best Buys” in the country.  This is based on an exceptional investment of tuition money for an exceptional education.

Hello Walk Online Community is featuring several discussions this fall including Nobel Conference Director Tim Robinson discussing nature vs. nurture, and Political Science Professor Don Ostrom discussing the upcoming elections.  Join the conversation by going to <>

Gustie students start new community service initiative called the AMIGOS program.  The 65 Spanish speaking volunteers serve the growing Chicano-Latino population in St. Peter by providing after-school tutoring, teaching ESL classes to adults and serve as big partners.  This program is in addition to the other on-going and one-time service opportunities that 75% of students participate in while at Gustavus.

Building a Great Gustavus Campaign was launched to the public on Saturday, September 7.  Since the tornadoes of 1998, the campaign has raised $77 million toward a $100 million goal.  The focus of the remainder of the campaign is on funding renovations in Old Main, growing endowment, and increasing gifts and participation in the Gustavus Alumni Fund.  Your personal financial support  and your leadership are needed and greatly appreciated.

Minnesota Legislature Cuts Financial Aid

Due to cuts with the Minnesota State Legislature, Gustavus lost $400,000 in money for student employment.  The college continues to work hard to meet financial needs of students since nearly 80% of Gustavus students receive financial assistance.  This includes $14 million from the colleges own budget.  Your support of the annual fund goes directly to help these students and is especially needed to help make up the financial gap for these current students.

Upcoming Events

Nobel Conference, The Nature of Nurture is October 1 & 2 focusing on child development.

Christmas in Christ Chapel is December 6 & 7 the theme this year will be songs, stories and legends from Scandinavia.

Class News:

Sue (Bold) Schumacher works as a clinical nurse specialist in gerontology and medical/surgery at North Memorial Health Care.  She recently became certified as a geriatric CNS.  Sue has also written a children’s book about nursing which she hopes to get published.  Anyone out there who can help?  Scott Dee is an associate professor of Swine Medicine at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine and was recently granted indefinite tenure.  Debra Baker is vice president, business and legal affairs, and general counsel at Warner Brothers Worldwide Retail.  She lives in Studio City, California.  Pam Carlson was married in May to Keith Holkestad at the Mall of America.  Their family now has three sons.  Congratulations!  Kevin Anderson is registrar/assistant to the dean at Wartburg Theological Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa.

Jody Fuller is a music educator at the American School in Japan.  Brenda Schutz Rogers is a homemaker living in Cloquet with classmate/husband Jim.  Jim is a physician at the Raiter Clinic.  Last year Jim made his second trek to Kenya with Mission Hospital to deliver lots of babies.  Karin Anderson was the Grand Prize winner of the “Great Friskies Internet Treasure Hunt”.  This contest was a two and a half month hunt, in which weekly clues were posted on the mydailycartoon website.  Karin beat out thousands of participants and won a trip to New York for herself and her eight-year-old dog, Cassandra.  Friskies PetCare also made a $1000 donation in Karin’s name to the American Humane Association.  Way to go!  Miriam Anderson works part-time in private practice with Eyecare Associates in Lee’s Summit, Missouri. 

Debra (Schafer) Rose is Engineering Program Manager at Ball Aerospace and Technologies in Boulder, Colorado.  Rhonda Dahlman received the 2002 Jerrold Scoutt Prize, awarded by the District of Columbia Bar Foundation.  The prize is awarded to a legal services attorney whose career demonstrates a fulltime commitment to the delivery of legal services to low-income citizens in the District of Columbia.  Rhonda is a staff attorney at Legal Counsel for the Elderly.  She has represented her community’s seniors in the areas of family law, housing and protective services.  Rhonda created the Alternatives Project, which works with the resolution of landlord/tenant disputes.  This project brings together landlords, lawyers, social workers and tenant advocates.  Rhonda is also a community organizer and advocate.  She has been active as a writer, presenter and trainer at national conferences.  Terry Meyer is a research scientist and professor at Iowa State University.  Terry is a Six Sigma master black belt.  He and wife, Connie (Hackbart ’82) have four children (ages 10, 8, 5 and 1).

As for the Heims, we are fairly status quo.  I continue working as a property manager/leasing agent at Southtown Office Park in Bloomington.  To be honest, it has been an awful year.  What with a weak economy, September 11th , Best Buy soon bringing 5000 + employees to our crowded part of the city, and the Penn Avenue Bridge over 494 being out for most of the year, well, business has been a little slow.  But, I remain optimistic that things will turn around, hopefully soon.  I am lucky in so many ways, especially to have the family I have, Susie (Bjorling ’83), Peter (17 yrs. old) and Erik (13 in a few weeks).  We moved into a new home in December of 2000, that we have really enjoyed.

Here goes, class of ’81.  Hopefully we can respond this year in a big way.  I am honored to be your class agent.  We are a great group of people.  The accomplishments of classmates listed above are reminders of the talent we have.  It’s a fun group to be a part of.  Ready, Break…


1981 Co-class Agent