Class of '81
July 2006


Class of 1981

Reunion dates ― October 6 & 7, 2006

July 2006

Greetings classmates!

Gustavus Class of ’81 is on a roll!  Plans for our 25th reunion are progressing daily and are getting more and more exciting.  We have been entertained and enlightened during the past year by interesting class letters written by our guest writers.  We are only 44 donors away from making our goal of 50% class participation in our reunion year gift to Gustavus!  But there is still time―all gifts given before October 1, will count toward our goal!  Now, all that’s left is for us to watch our mailboxes for the invitation/registration to the October 6-7 festivities in Mankato and St Peter and send them back with anticipation of a wonderful weekend filled with old friends.

The reunion committee has chosen great menus, fun locations and amusing activities to keep us busy all weekend.  On behalf of the entire committee, we truly hope you can all join the fun.  It just won’t be the same without all of us together again where it all started.  Be sure to coordinate your schedules to plan to get to Mankato Friday afternoon―the pre-parties will be starting!   And that’s just the start of the fun.  After serving for many years on the arboretum board, Denise Connly Fleming and I are excited to show off the Linneaus Arboretum during the Saturday picnic dinner.  Rules for reunions have changed a bit on campus since we were there.  We are serving wine and beer during this on-campus picnic!   We may really go out on a limb (no pun intended) and serve them in something other than opaque containers too!  The committee was presented with menu options for the Saturday picnic, two of which were pulled pork or pulled turkey.  In order to not pit Scott Dee and Greg Langmo against one another, we opted for the neutral choice of grilled burgers and chicken for Saturday and will be serving both turkey and pork on Friday night at The Best Western party.  Hopefully we’ve covered all the bases (covering bases was always one of Heimer’s specialties!).

Heimer and I are back in the saddle for class letter writing for the next couple of months, but will certainly welcome any closeted letter writers out there waiting in the wings for the future.  In fact, later in this letter, you will hear from Rich Aune who pitched in this time.

I realize you are all waiting with bated breath to get to important class news, but I really have to share my stories with you first!   If you’ve paid any attention whatsoever to my past letters, you have figured out that I love New York City and basically accept any excuse to go there.  A lovely excuse came my way in June as a friend was receiving a high honor at a dinner at the Waldorf.  So, off I went, accompanied by a troupe of nine delightful friends and one niece (no, I do not take her everywhere…she was invited to attend as the honoree is fond of her as well).  The weekend was one of those once-in-a-lifetime experiences.  We had tickets to the Belmont Stakes on Saturday and the Tony Awards on Sunday―and assorted Broadway shows in between.  I have never been much of a horse racing fan―in fact, I knew nothing whatsoever about the subject.  But quickly after my friend acquired the tickets to Belmont, I watched Barbaro claim the Kentucky Derby and knew that I was soon to witness a Triple Crown event.  Of course, some weeks later as I watched my new equestrian friend, Barbaro’s devastating misstep at the Preakness, I knew that was not to be.  Nonetheless, our gang had a simply wonderful day at Belmont and thoroughly enjoyed all the races.  Knowing nothing whatsoever about horses and/or racing, I had to bet on names and colors of horses.  The system seemed to work because I came out $34 ahead for the day―which is not bad on $2 bets!  I briefly thought of authoring a book on the subject, Horse Racing for Dummies, but quickly realized my one lucky day may have just been a fluke.  I’ll confine my writing to class letters.

Sunday we were off to the Tony Awards.  What a grand night.  It was the 60th anniversary of the Tony’s so rather than assigning a host, they asked 60 stars of stage and screen to present and moderate the event.  There we were sitting in the midst of the most talented people―Glen Close, Julie Andrews, James Earl Jones, Julia Roberts, Harry Connick, Jr (he is even more charming and studly up close), Eric McCormack. etc, etc.  Actually, we were not quite in their midst as only nominees and presenters were seated in the first rows―but at least we were in the same building.  Radio City Music Hall holds 6,000 people and it was filled to the max.  As we shuffled our way out of the building after the show, we were joined by Richard Thomas.  He had been a presenter and is clearly a huge Broadway fan, so we had a lovely conversation with him all the way out the door.  You’ll be relieved to know I did not embarrass myself, my niece or the Gustavus Class of ’81 by saying “good night, John Boy” as we went our separate ways.

The entire weekend was filled with amazing activities but the one that still has me astonished was an unexpected encounter with my dear friend, Sharon Bartelt Bridges.  There we both were, rushing to the next fun activity of the day and literally ran into one another on 51st Street in Midtown Manhattan.  She was in NYC with a group of Girl Scouts from Alexandria, MN.  We certainly didn’t know that we would both be in NYC and if we had, what are the chances that we could have been on the same street at the same time in that busy place?  Sharon, it was awesome to see Harry Connick, Jr. perform ―but my heart sang even more seeing an old friend who I just don’t get to see nearly enough here in Minnesota.  You can just imagine how excited I am to see all the rest of you at the reunion!

The rest of my summer has been filled with family events, the usual work stuff and a week of entertaining Danish relatives―always an amusing adventure!  Join me at a pre-party in Mankato this October and, after a couple of daiquiris, I’ll tell you how we coped with the Danes and their remarkable absence of modesty!  The good news is no one was thrown in jail for indecent exposure.  But, there’s always next time.

Ok, enough about me…onto the class news!  We’ll start off with my favorite group of people―those who are responsible for our future―the educators.

Carolyn Peterson Schulze is an early learning teacher at Bluff Elementary School in Clinton, Iowa.

Julie Mauston Kemp, Omaha, NE, is teaching high school accounting and marketing.  Her oldest daughter is a freshman at University of Miami-Ohio.  Her husband, Mike Kemp ’75 is the head hockey coach at the University of Nebraska.

If Marsha Maly Brito were here right now she would certainly chime in with a loud, “Go Big Red” at this point, so I will do it in her honor.

Lisa Knutson Backer, Apple Valley, MN is an early childhood special education specialist employed by the Minnesota Department of Education.  Her daughter, Megan graduated from Gustavus in 2003, daughter, Kim, graduated from Iowa State in 2005 and son, Paul, is a high school junior.

Karen Scharmer Hendrickson is teaching elementary school in Albert Lea.  She has been an enthusiastic reunion committee member and is looking forward to seeing everyone in October.  She will have pictures of her twins available for viewing!

Jeanne Peterman Anderson, Nicollet, MN has been teaching elementary art full-time since January 2005 in the Mankato Area Public Schools, grades K-5.

Mark Hilding has moved south to Sorrento, FL.  He is teaching math at Eustis High School.  Helping others understand math has always been Mark’s calling―even back in the dorms of Gustavus he would patiently explain theorems and equations to those less quick to catch on.

Doug Knick will join the Luther College faculty as an assistant professor of education in August 2006.  He has also presented at teachers conferences throughout Minnesota and at the Pedagogy of the Oppressed Conference at City University, New York City.  He serves as an advisory board member for the Minnesota State University, Mankato.  He is a graduation standards consultant for the Gibbon/Windom/Fairfax school district and serves on the site base committee as student council advisor and peer mentor for the GWF high school.

A perfect segue from educators to health professionals:

Julie Wiggins Nadeau, San Antonio, TX, is an adjunct faculty member at the University of the Incarnate Word.  She also works in maternal-newborn homecare and recently contributed 2 chapters to the Olds, London, Ladewig and Davidson (eds) Maternal-Newborn Nursing and Women’s Health Care textbook.  Julie’s husband, Mark Nadeau, works at the University of Texas Health Science Center as the program director for family medicine residency.  They have two sons, Justin (15) and Brendan (17).

Nancy Fredlund Anderson works for Isanti County as a public health nurse three days a week.  Her oldest daughter graduated from Concordia College, Moorhead, this spring.  Her oldest son is a sophomore engineering student at UND.  They also have a son and daughter, high school senior and sophomore, respectively.  Nancy is looking forward to the reunion and seeing all of us…but especially the first Sorenson freshman friends and nursing students!

Sharon Malmer Thomas, Cornwall on Hudson, NY, is a case manager at the VA Medical Center.  Her husband, Stan, is the administrative assistant to the chief of staff at the same hospital.  They have a son at Southern New Hampshire College and another at James Madison University in Virginia.

Gail Throckmorton Mayer is going back to school full-time as a nursing student.  Her classmates think she is 35!  Guess she won’t be telling them about which year reunion she’ll be attending this year!  We’ll keep your secret…actually; we might all decide to be 35 again just to not blow your cover.  August 1st starts her clinical rotation for the nursing program.  We look forward to hearing your “back to school” stories, Gail.

Mary Rolf Bodin is a part-time kidney transplant coordinator at the University of Minnesota Medical Center.  In addition, she has two children, ages 7 and 8 which presumably means she is also a full-time event coordinator and chauffeur.

We have another brave soul in the class who has gone back to school.  Mary Holte Bauer, Waupaca, WI, is a student at Luther Seminary.  Those of you, who, like me, spent our days in the hallowed halls of Nobel Hall of Science, will remember that Mary was a brilliant science student.  With her extraordinary capabilities which obviously span more than one discipline, combined with her remarkable kindness and compassion, I know the Church is very, very lucky to have Mary in training to continue to minister in the lives of others.  Mary needs to connect with Nathan Sager at our reunion.  He is completing his 10th year as senior pastor of Gethsemane Lutheran Church, Virginia, MN.  Since 2000 he has also been teaching classes in ethics, world religions and philosophy at Mesabi Range Community College (I suggest we don’t pick an argument with Nathan―I have a feeling he’ll win).  He has just begun a year as president of the Virginia Rotary Club.  In his spare time (what???) he serves with the ELCA National Youth Gathering in San Antonio. 

In more church news, we hear that Pam Carlson and her husband, Keith Holkestad, are spending a great deal of time in the pews.   They have been part of their 12-year-old son’s first communion and two 15 year old sons (stepbrothers) confirmations.  They are proud but tired…and looking forward to a less eventful spring next year.  Good luck!  It seems that every time I’m looking forward to a quiet period, it whizzes by with more activities than ever jammed in.  When not attending church events, Pam is an attorney and works in the Office of Administrative Hearings at the State of Minnesota.

Again, a perfect segue to my next segment of classmates:  the legal folks!

Lia Andreassen Ferrell, Cincinnati, OH, is a legal secretary at the Legal Aid Society.  Sue Seiwert Conner has October 6-7 blocked off on her calendar and will be joining the party in St Peter.  She was listed as Super Lawyer for Medical Malpractice Defense Litigation in Chicago and was featured in Chicago Magazine.  This actually qualifies her to be part of my medical personnel paragraph too, but this letter is already getting rather lengthy.  I’m sure Sue has the medical lingo down as well as anyone in the class―even those of us who are ER and CSI fans.

Susan Holappa, Grand Junction, CO, is an attorney at the Susan D. Holappa Law Office.  Her husband, Richard Horn, is an adult ski school supervisor at Crested Butte Ski Resort.  Glen Norton, Plymouth, MN, has been practicing law for 20 years in the areas of family law, divorce, custody, child support, spousal maintenance and property divisions.  He is with the Jensen and Sondrall PA Law Firm which focuses on real estate law.  He manages the family law practice in the firm.

Now for the diversity portion of our broadcast, we have a wide assortment of pieces of news:

Brent Jass is planning on attending the reunion with his wife, Debby (Kleinow ’82).  The question is, what method of transportation will bring them to St Peter?  Brent is becoming a safety trainer to teach motorcycle safety.  They live in Odin with their three German Shepards and love to have visitors stop by.

Jean Andreasen is the general manager for Pastureland, an organic dairy cooperative.  This cooperative has taken top honors for butter at the American Cheese Society judging and competition for two consecutive years.

Allison McCormack Lee and Brad ’80 will have to behave themselves at the reunion as they will have a daughter attending Gustavus this fall and we don’t want to embarrass her!  Allison has been working hard on the reunion plans and has kept all of us laughing and smiling with her funny stories of our college days.  She has the most incredible photo albums which have brought back some wonderful memories.  She and Brad attended his 25th Gustavus reunion last year so they can fill us in on some of our old friends.

Wally Guptill is in the same boat.  He won’t be climbing any water towers, painting any rocks or performing any of the other tricks we used to come up with while on campus this fall as he has a son, David, who is a Gustavus student.  David is a presidential scholar so he is certainly making Dad proud!

Janet Lawson plans to attend the reunion―just a little getaway from her two precious children, Ellen and James, who are 5 and 4.  I assume they are the inspiration for her work as a children’s book author.  She is currently working on two more books for the young set.  I’ll be looking for your books on my next bookstore junket, Janet.

Carrie Armstrong was recently awarded the National Allied Trades Person of the Year by NAILM―National Association of Institutional Linen Managers (for those of us who sometimes forget what NAILM stands for) at the annual national convention in Memphis, TN.

Sandy Lewis is a manager at the US State Department.  Wow!  In this day and age, that means she has one very stressful job.  Thanks for all you’re doing, Sandy.

Also, a very big thank you to Brian Marquardt who is moving to Germany as an active duty officer in the U.S. Army.  We wish you well and will keep you in our thoughts.

On that note, I will turn you over to Rich Aune and campus news.

Oops…hold the phone.  You didn’t really think that we would end this class letter without some Scott Dee news, did you?  Scott has been promoted to full professor at the U of M College of Veterinary Medicine and won the Mark of Excellence award for outstanding scientific discovery.  He is currently the President of the American Association of Swine Veterinarians.  At the 2005 annual meeting in Toronto, he delivered the Howard Dunne memorial lecture.  Scott was chosen to give this lecture as they were seeking a vet who models lifelong learning.

At the same meeting, Jennifer (Boorman) Schurrer, a 2002 Gustavus graduate and a 4th year student at the UMN CVM was awarded a $5,000 scholarship (1st place) in the veterinary student competition.  Jen is a master’s student in Scott’s lab.  We received a copy of the Journal of Swine Health and Production reporting on Dr Dee’s lecture…which was fortunate as my subscription has lapsed and Heimer cannot find his copy anywhere―we think Susie may be hiding it to save for special vacation reading.  Included in the article are photos of Scott.  I’m racing off to the Yellow Pages right now to find someone to do Botox on me before this reunion―you should see how young he looks!  If all the rest of you look as much like you did 25 years ago as Scott does, I will need Botox or plastic surgery before I can join this party.  Or, I will just encourage more pre-party activity and then none of you will notice the aging.

See you in October!

Leslie Nielsen

Ok, Rich Aune, you’re up. 

Hello from the hill!

It seems only appropriate that I should contribute a class letter considering I’ve been working on the hill for 21 years!  Scary but true.  Heimer, Potter and Mrs. Stuckey abandoned me years ago but I remain faithful to the cause!  I recall with fondness our 10 year reunion.  Tami (Linton ’82) and I were head residents in Sorensen Hall.  I never thought in my administrative role that I’d be required to ask certain Eppies named Mark and Mike (you know who they are) to end their hallway water-fight in the early morning hours.  Some of us just know how to have fun.  Fortunately, I own a home (next door to “Our House and Truck”) and should be able to avoid that circumstance in October!  Like many of you, I find myself in the role of guiding high school juniors through the options of post-secondary education.  It’s a complicated process compared to our selection in 1977.  Remember, it’s your son or daughter who is ultimately making the choice and they need support and encouragement along the way.  Well, enough professional advice.  I’m sure my three daughters will tell me to “buzz off” more than once during their college search!!

It’s going to be a great event in October.  The campus is beautiful and has new additions that are exciting to see.  The Old Main renovation and Southwest Hall are the most recent but for some in the class of ’81 there may be many new sites to take in.  After 21 years I am actually a pretty good tour guide and will gladly offer my services during the reunion.  I spoke with Neal Hagberg yesterday and he is excited for the weekend.  We are fortunate to be able to have Neal and Leandra (Peak ’83) perform on Saturday night.  Make your plans to join us now!  It promises to be a weekend of great conversation, rekindling of past friendships and re-connecting with a place that remains an important part of your life.  I look forward to seeing many of you in October and hope you will stop by to say hello whenever you are on campus.  Now for some campus news.

~Rich Aune


Test-Optional Admission Policy

Continuing their tradition of innovative and competitive admission policies and practices, the Gustavus Admission Office announced this spring that applicants for the Class of 2011 can choose whether or not to submit their standardized test scores for consideration in the admission process.  Gustavus’ high admission standards have not changed; this policy emphasizes that the College’s application-review process focuses on the abilities and experiences of the whole person, not just one number.  As the first MIAC college and Phi Beta Kappa institution in Minnesota to allow this option, Gustavus is receiving very positive feedback from prospective students and has received excellent coverage in local and national media.

Gustavus Legacy Award

New Gusties enrolling next fall have a new financial aid opportunity.  Awards of $2,500 are given to students whose siblings are current Gustavus students or graduates or whose parents or grandparents are Gustavus alumni.  Scholarship recipients must have a grade point average of at least 3.5, or an ACT of 26, or an 1170 on the SAT.  The Gustavus Legacy Award expands upon the previous Alumni Scholarship by recognizing and awarding students who have Gustie siblings.  By applying for admission, students are automatically considered for this scholarship and awarded if they qualify.

Summer Reading

Each summer, incoming Gustavus students are asked to complete a “Reading in Common” that will be discussed during New Student Orientation and, for some students, during their First Term Seminar course.  The Reading in Common selection for 2006-07 is Honky by Dalton Conley.  This intensely personal and engaging memoir is the coming-of-age story of a white boy growing up in a neighborhood of predominantly African American and Latino housing projects on New York’s Lower East Side.  Dalton Conley will give a campus lecture on Wednesday, Sept. 20, in Christ Chapel.  Feel free to join us in this common Gustavus experience.

Gustavus Library Associates Minnesota Centennial Showboat Event

Join Gustavus Library Associates for an evening of dinner and theatre on Aug. 1 aboard the Minnesota Centennial Showboat in St. Paul.  Social hour begins at 6 p.m. with dinner following at 6:30 p.m.  The curtain rises for Forty-Five Minutes from Broadway at 8 p.m. Tickets are $52 per person, and reservations may be made by calling the Office of College Relations at 507/933-7520.

Extraordinary Athletics

The National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) and the United States Sports Academy have announced the final totals for the 2005-06 Directors’ Cup and Gustavus finished 10th out of 435 competing NCAA Division III institutions.  The Directors’ Cup, which is the only all-sports competition in intercollegiate athletics, is awarded to four-year institutions in the NCAA and NAIA with the best overall athletic programs.  In Division III, standings are based on national tournament finishes in 25 sports with points awarded based on the number of teams participating in each specific national championship.  Gustavus is one of only seven institutions in Division III to have posted top 10 finishes in four of the past five years and is the only school from the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference to place in the top 20 this year.

Upcoming Events:

  • Gustavus Library Associates dinner and theatre event-August 1
  • Football Golf Tournament, Shoreland Country Club -August 4
  • Gusties Gather! - August 6
  • Nobel Conference: “Medicine: Prescription for Tomorrow” - October 3 - 4
  • Homecoming/Family Weekend - October 7 - 8