Class of ’81
September 2010

30-Year Reunion ― September 30, October 1-2, 2010

Dear Class of ’81:

Wow, I am still enjoying the inspiration of a phenomenal class of ’81 reunion committee meeting.  We met for the first time last weekend and I am proud I went to the same school as these people and excited about what our reunion will be.  With no begging or bribing, the following hopped on board to help plan our reunion:

  • Leslie Nielsen (well, she’s doing it hoping to become class agent of the year)
  • Steve Heim (see above)
  • Lori Rutter Anderson
  • Jeanne Peterman Anderson
  • Linda Norman Reding
  • Jack Norman ’51 (Linda’s dad joined us too!)
  • Barb Nelson Hutson
  • Dick Hutson
  • Betsy Schaller
  • Jacque Schwartz Brunsberg
  • Kathy Hoff Rehwaldt
  • Cindy Wentworth Kraemer
  • Darcy Winter
  • Karen Scharmer Hendrickson
  • Denise Connly Fleming

Other than Dick Hutson, I can’t seem to attract the men in our class.  (That sounded bad, but I’m not changing it as I’m under a deadline to get this out.)  At any rate, we would love to add more to this committee, especially males.  Also, we would love to have a broad range of people on the committee, so don’t feel like you need to be best friends with other committee members to join us.  I’m not sure if that point was made very well – the idea is that we want the committee to represent our whole class.

Let me back up a step, it’s been four years since our last reunion!  Time to start planning for another one.  This time the number is going to be 30!  I keep thinking this means I’m going to have another colonoscopy soon.  Anyway, it is not too soon to MARK YOUR CALENDARS – SEPTEMBER 30 – OCTOBER 1 & 2.

Here’s a new word I am learning – sesquicentennial.  I know what it means – 150th anniversary, as in 1862 – 2012, one hundred and fifty years of Gusties.  Our son could have been in the sesquicentennial class.  He made a funny face when he heard that term and went to the U of M.  Oh well, it should mean more to us.  (I noticed on the way to St. Peter this weekend that Schell’s Brewery is having their sesquicentennial this year – I would have volunteered for that committee!)  What it will mean for our class is that we will be sharing a part of our weekend with all Gustavus alumni.  On Friday night there will be a meal on campus for alumni of all classes.  That should really be something!  Classes will sit together in assigned seats and the meal will be FREE!  I am glad I’m not planning this one.

I am not going to get into depth with our weekend at this point, but want to lay out a rough structure.  Because of the dinner Friday night, we are planning to have our big class event on Saturday night.  We will again be in Mankato, this time at the Civic Center Hotel.  Rooms have already been reserved for our class.  We will use space at the Verizon Civic Center for our gathering.  The Civic Center is a skyway walk from the hotel.  There is a homecoming football game Saturday afternoon, complete with a large tent for all reunion classes before, during and after the game.  There will be snacks and food/beer for purchase in the tents.  We are also exploring options for a class brunch Sunday morning.  More information will follow on these and other events.  Another idea we will be pursuing is a regular “meeting” that will happen in the Twin Cities once a month in 2011.  The purpose of these meetings will be to get together with classmates with no agenda other than to have fun and build momentum for our reunion.

Since Mike Potter was not at our meeting, I somehow became the chair of the finance committee.  I think I was daydreaming about all of the women on my committee when this happened.  There might have been a vote or someone just slipped a paper in front of me that I signed – I can’t remember.  Here I am though, so I will talk a bit about donations to Gustavus.  Let me say in all honesty, that I really am not a good fundraiser and I don’t enjoy it so much.  I’ve continued to do it for nearly 30 years because it is buried in the fun part of what I do, which is keeping in touch with classmates.

Our class has always been a strong class in terms of giving and I thank all of you for that.  However, compared to other classes, we could be stronger.  So, here’s a little plea.  We have set a few goals for our reunion year.  As a class, we will strive to garner $81,000 from at least 43% of our class.  Our hope is that people will make a special gift in our reunion year.  Perhaps a gift could be increased to $81, or increased by $81, or a bigger number could end in $81 or a first-time gift of $81 could be made.  Here’s an exciting thought – we are going to establish a Class of ’81 Scholarship Fund.  This will be a need-based scholarship that will be given to a Gustavus student from the proceeds of the scholarship fund.  The fund will need to reach a minimum level of $30,000 before it can start “paying out” a scholarship.  If you are interested in contributing to the fund this year or in the future, simply designate this when you make your contribution.  (The hope is that gifts to this fund will be made in addition to gifts to the annual fund.)  Okay, done on that subject.

How about some class news?  First, a little bit about me.  I am still waiting for my life to slow down.  We got the kids out of the house and were prepared to be bored.  We’re still waiting.  I have been swamped at work for about a year working on a major renovation to the office building I manage.  Susie (Bjorling ’83) has added duties of being on the board of trustees at Gustavus to her mothering duties, exercise and yoga routines, reacquainting with old friends, picking up after me, etc.  Our oldest son got married this summer to a fellow Gustie.  They were married at Christ Chapel with a reception in the Evelyn Young Dinning Room.  The bride’s parents were also Gusties so it was quite the Gustie get-together.  Gustavus was shining!

John Moynihan is employed at Mosaic Company and lives in Edina.  Scott Klein is the chair of the Theatre Arts Department at Cameron University in Lawton, Oklahoma.  Scott is active with the Lawton Community Theatre as a director and actor.  He will be involved with the national AACTFest in Rochester, NY in June, 2011 as a critic of productions performed there.  Barb Halverson Pierson has been developing and implementing a program in the Douglas County School District (Colorado) called Responsible Ethical Citizenship.  Her goal is to inspire, motivate and empower elementary-aged students to be responsible citizens in their classroom, at school, at home and in their community.  She has reached out to business and community leaders, local media and state elected officials who have been supportive in giving their time and resources to the program.  David Huseth has been a long-time employee in the airline industry.  He is now in Atlanta with Delta Air Lines, making a switch from operational finance with Northwest to become director of supply chain management with Delta (a completely new area for him).  Dave’s wife Patsi was with Northwest, but has “retired” with their move south.

Neal Hagberg has received a McKnight Composition Fellowship.  The award is meant to acknowledge excellence in the field of music composition.  Neal has now been a professional singer/songwriter for 20 years as the principal songwriter and half of the duo Neal & Leandra.  Leandra (Peak ’83) is Neal’s spouse and professional partner.  Neal and Leandra have released 11 CDs and performed in 45 states and Canada, and together were recipients of the 2002 McKnight Fellowship for Performing Arts.  I have two more pages of things I could say about Neal (& Leandra), but I’ve got this deadline.  Neal tried to crash our son’s wedding wearing a sweat suit and carrying a tennis racket.  Twila Brase was named one of America’s 100 most powerful people in health care by Modern Healthcare magazine.  Twila is founder of St. Paul based Citizens’ Council on Health Care.  Twila supports individual freedom and privacy with respect to health care.

Joel Frederiksen has also made a career out of the music business.  A bass singer, Joel has performed all around the world.  Joel founded the renowned Ensemble Phoenix Munich.  Besides performing as an opera and oratorio soloist, Joel is an accomplished lutenist.  He has released CDs and won musical awards, including the 2007 Star of the Year Award in Classical Musical by the Munich Evening News.  Lynne Beckenbaugh Lillie serves as medical director for Woodwinds Health Campus, Healtheast Care System.  Kathy Leibbrand Swanson is a registered nurse with Allina Clinics.  Jim Peterson is COO of H2O Innovations.  Mickey Nielsen Ewalt is a teacher in the Oswego Public Schools, Oswego, Illinois.

OK, the reunion committee members aren’t the only people I’m impressed with in our class.  It’s great to hear about people doing things to make a difference!

All right, I’ll close out for now.  Please start thinking about our reunion.  The more people that come the better!


1981 Co-class Agent

Campus News

Athletics Hall of Fame

Gustavus will induct new members into its Athletics Hall of Fame at a banquet at 6 p.m. on Sat., Oct. 9.  The Hall of Fame Moment is the 1990 women’s tennis team’s national championship.  Team members are invited to return to revisit this memorable sports moment.  Inductees for 2010 are:  Evie Cieslar Erdman ’73, benefactor; Duke Paluch ’84, tennis; Erik Allen ’92, basketball; Peter Anderson ’92, golf; Leigh Stocker Berger ’92, volleyball; Angela White Vick ’92, track and field; Heidi Rostberg Carlson ’93, tennis; Erik Hendrikson ’94, hockey, football; Paige Tierney Sullivan ’95, soccer; 1990 Women’s Tennis National Championship―Hall of Fame Moment.

Health Insurance Available through Alumni Association

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 contact the alumni office or contact the program manager at 800-635-7801.

Nobel Conference

What is Good Food?  Join us on October 5 & 6, 2010, for Nobel Conference® 46, Making Food Good, as we explore the many levels of this question and hear answers from our seven distinguished panelists.  We will consider the ways in which varied and various conceptions of goodness intersect with, challenge, and are challenged by each other.  We will consider contemporary food issues like community food security; the local foods movement; food crops as fuel crops; school lunches; genetic modification of food plants and animals; molecular gastronomy; and protecting genetic diversity of plants and animals.  You can order tickets online at

150th Anniversary Commemorative Alumni Directory

The Gustavus Alumni Association is bringing together about 25,000 Gusties to celebrate the College’s 150th anniversary.  In partnership with Publishing Concepts, Inc. (PCI), Gustavus will produce the 150th Anniversary Commemorative Alumni Directory.  Over the next couple of months, PCI will be contacting Gustavus alumni via phone, mail, and e-mail to request that you update your information.  We know you don’t want to provide your information to just anyone, so we want you to be aware of this project and encourage your participation.  For more information, call the Office of Alumni Relations at 800-487-8437.

“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.  Speaker for October is Dr. Lisa Heldke on the topic of Nobel.

Upcoming Events

  • Oct. 4-5 – Nobel Conference
  • Oct. 8-9 – Family Weekend
  • Oct. 9 – Hall of Fame