Class of ’81

October 2012

Dear Class of ʼ81:

Here is a quick class letter.  I have no class news to share, but I want to talk about myself, my graduating class and announce another “mini-reunion.”

My news is that Susie (Bjorling) and I became grandparents this week.  Exciting stuff!  Our son, Peter ʼ08 and his Gustie wife Sarah (Duncan ʼ08) added Layla Marie to our family.  For those classmates who have joined the grand parenting ranks, you know what the Heims are experiencing.  Last weekend I saw new grandparents His Majesty the King of Sweden and Roxanne Fie Anderson.  I didn’t get a chance to talk with the King about his grand-daughter, but it was fun to catch up with Roxanne and hear about her first two grandsons born this year.  At homecoming at Gustavus, I had the pleasure of holding Beth Onkka (and Randy ʼ83) Stuckey’s first grandchild - Morgan.  She was more fun than the football game.  There’s also Tom (and Sharon Borg ʼ83) Opsahl, who have a new grandchild every time I talk to them (I think they are at 7!).  To all the grandparents in our class – congratulations and enjoy this phase of your life!

OK, let’s talk about you for a bit.  I have to mention the class officers’ gathering that we had at the American Swedish Institute in August.  First, it was fun to sit at a table with classmate Ed Drenttel who is on the Gustavus Alumni Board – yet another involved alumnus from the class of ʼ81.  It was also fun to see the annual results for last year’s fundraising campaign.  As a class, 37% of us contributed to the College for a total of over $78,000.  Also, our class scholarship endowment fund continues to grow.  We pushed hard to reach $25,000 by our reunion (this is the level needed to start paying out to a Gustie student).  Contributions now exceed $31,000 and with investment income the fund has grown above $32,000.  Awesome!  We will have more information when our first recipient is identified.  Please keep this fund in mind for future gifts.  All of this and our incredibly successful reunion last year have caused Leslie Nielsen and me to feel like “Rock Stars” at class officer meetings.  We had a reunion-planning meeting which quickly turned into a Q & A session featuring Leslie & Steve.  You continue to make us look good!

An idea emerged at our class officer meeting.  What if we had a mini-reunion at the Swedish Institute (ASI)?  Hmmm…  Gustavus now has an office at ASI, which is staffed by Megan Myhre ʼ11.  We have made arrangements for a mini-reunion on Wednesday, November 14th from 6 to 9.  We will gather in the Gustie office with Megan as our hostess, as well as Gustavus staff members, Paul Tillquist ʼ63 and our own Jacque Schwartz Brunsberg.  Attendees will have a chance to see the Gustavus office, enjoy a glass of wine with classmates, visit the gift shop, and explore the mansion as well as the new addition.  The mansion, gift shop and FIKA restaurant are all open until 8 p.m.  As a special treat, alumnae Carole Arwidson ’84 has offered to lead tours.  Two things to know – admission to the mansion costs $7 for non-members (there is no charge to attend the class gathering) and we will have to limit our numbers due to space constraints.  Therefore, if you would like to join us, we ask that you RSVP to:

Leslie Nielsen at or me

Steve Heim at

Welcome to Swedes and non-Swedes alike!

Heimer, for Leslie & Heimer

Campus News

The Royal Visit

On Friday, October 5, their Majesties King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden visited Gustavus in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the founding of the College by Swedish immigrants in 1862.  Look for photos in the next issue of the Quarterly.

Hall of Fame

On September 29, the Gustavus Athletics Department inducted nine new individuals into its Athletics Hall of Fame.  The 2012 class of inductees included:  Rhonda Gorseth Alberts ’93 (Gymnastics), Brian Brekke ’95 (Football), Kara Bloomquist Drekonja ’96 (Cross Country), Brett Gross ’96 (Track & Field), Brock Guettler ’92 (Basketball), Mark Kruger ’86 (Tennis), Jason Lesteberg ’96 (Hockey), Scott Stoneking ’96 (Soccer), and Donald Swanson ’55 (Benefactor).

Alumni Travel Opportunities

2013 Friends of Music Salzburg choral Tour

Gustavus Friends of Music has arranged for a Gustavus Alumni choir tour to Munich, Salzburg, Vienna and Prague June 23 – July 5, 2013.  Singers and non-singers alike are welcome.  Once in Salzburg, the singers will join the Mozart International Choral Festival and perform Mozart’s Coronation Mass in the Salzburg Cathedral on June 29.  Not a singer?  There is space available for non-performers as well.  For more information contact Jackie Neeck Peterson ’77 at or 800-726-6192.

2013 Pearls of Central Europe

Experience Central Europe with Gustavus professor emeritus of history Dr. Tom Emmert from September 10—21, 2013.  This 12-day Gustavus study tour combines learning, exploring, leisure, lecture, food, and arts with special touches, all led by a faculty expert.  The journey is focused around three showpiece cities of Central Europe:  Prague, Vienna, and Budapest.  For more information, contact Tom Emmert at

Gustie Breakfasts - Twin Cities – New time and place

Engage with other alumni and learn something new about your alma mater at the monthly Twin Cities Gustavus alumni breakfast.  Please join us at the American Swedish Institute (2600 Park Ave, Minneapolis), on the third Wednesday of each month at 7:30 a.m.  Cost is $10.  Gustie breakfasts are also being held on campus the second Wednesday of each month.

November 21 – Donald Ostrom – November elections

December 19 – Terry Morrow – Minnesota Vikings stadium

January 16 – Kathy Lund Dean – Distinguished Endowed Chair in Leadership and Ethics

February 20 – Phillip Brunelle – Artistic Director, VocalEssence

Upcoming Chapter Gatherings

National Chapter events for alumni, parents and friends are scheduled for the 2012-13 academic year and will focus on the College’s pillar of “Teaching and Learning.”  Please save the date for the event in your area.  Time and location details will be forthcoming.

Nov. 8 – New York City

Nov. 10 – Boston

Nov. 10 – Dallas

Nov. 11 – Houston

Nov. 13 – Washington, DC

Jan. 29 – Phoenix

Jan. 31 – Tucson

Feb. 3 – Los Angeles

Feb. 4 - Palm Springs

Feb 13 – Tampa

Feb. 15 – Naples

Feb. 28 – Seattle

Mar. 2 – San Francisco

Mar. 9 – Madison

Mar. 12 – Denver

Mar. 14 – Chicago

Apr. 11 – Atlanta