Class of '82
I hope all is well with you and your families. Ann McGowan Wasson and I and our families had a chance to visit campus on Saturday, September 16, 2000. It was fun to see our kids enjoy the excitement of a Gustavus football game on Saturday afternoon. Gustavus continues to change and grow. The lost trees are missed, but the new Campus Center and International Center are something to see. The Evelyn "Ma" Young Dining room is state of the art. You have your choice of several different kinds of food types, including snack food. You pay for what you take. You can even make your own Belgiam waffle (it looked like a hot item to me). There is also a new mall area between Alumni Hall and Lund Arena.
The International Center is a new dorm located just beyond the South goal line of the football field. It replaces many of the international houses that were destroyed in the tornado and serves as a living space for the students looking for a more complete international experience.
As many of you do on a regular basis, I seem to run into Gusties constantly. As I write this letter during my son’s hockey practice, I spoke with a 1980 graduate who was on her way down to her 20-year reunion later today. You may not have noticed, but class reunions have been moved to the fall on homecoming weekend. My favorite time at Gustavus was always the fall and I am looking forward to our 20-year reunion in the fall of 2002. It is never too early to start talking it up with your friends about meeting up at the reunion.
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.
Many of you have been getting calls from current Gustie students working for GUSLINK. I also plan to talk, or leave a voice mail, to as many of you as possible during the fall Phonorama (which was held October 16, 17, 19, 23, 24 and 26) and spring Phonorama (March 5, 6, 8, 12, 13 and 15). Thank you to all of you who have given generously in the past. To those of you who have not had a chance to give, I ask you to consider giving what you can. In today’s world, the importance of a value-based liberal arts education is extremely important to develop quality leaders. It is time to share some of the benefits we all received from Gustavus. The cost of the Quarterly alone justifies a small gift. I apologize for the hard sell, but I am willing to put my money where my mouth is. The Aid Association for Lutherans (AAL) has established a new matching program. It costs just $10 to join and AAL will match your gift up to $100 for each family member making a gift to Gustavus. That’s right, a family of four giving $100 each would increase their gift by a total of $400. Here is my challenge¾ anyone who increases their gift by at least $50 and fills out the form and sends it back to Gustavus, I will pay the $10 entry fee. To me, it seems like pretty good leverage. For $10, Gustavus gets at least $50 more. So stick it to me and maximize the impact of your gift.
Again, Ann and I thank you in advance for your support. Look for the January/February class letter to be written by Richard Olson, Esq.
1982 Co-class Agent