Class of '82
February 2002

Dear Classmates:

How could one year have been so horrible – and so wonderful – birthdays, weddings, visiting with friends and families, celebrating the holidays.  My prayers are with you and your families as world leaders try to make sense of the terrorism that has gripped our nation and attempt to find a peaceful solution to the horrendous problems impacting the citizens of the world. 

Although it seems insignificant in terms of the events of 2001, it is amazing that in just a couple of months; it will have been twenty years since we graduated.  A majority of us married, began careers, and had children since leaving “the hill” in May of 1982.  And although I am sure we have all experienced the highs and lows of “life,” it would seem to me that our classmates have been very blessed in terms of the lives we continue to live two decades later.

Therefore, I want to remind all of you about events surrounding our 20th Class Reunion.  The reunion weekend begins on Friday, September 20.  On that night there will be an informal get together at the Radisson Hotel South in Bloomington.  This will be a chance for those of us who live in the Twin Cities to meet close to home and talk about the “good ol' days” and bring everyone up to date on what has been happening over the past 20 years.  Saturday, September 21, the reunion activities bring us back to St. Peter, the sight of many nocturnal activities.  It will start with a class luncheon and continue on through the afternoon football game and conclude that evening with a social gathering at a local establishment.  It promises to be a very enjoyable weekend.  One I hope you will not miss.

I think everyone recognizes that what we are today and the benefits we enjoy have largely come from the quality of education, which we received at Gustavus Adolphus College.  The College didn’t do it for us, but it did give us the tools to do it.  That is what real education is and there is no substitute for it.  Gustavus Adolphus College continues to be a very healthy institution meeting the needs of the young men and woman who are admitted.  As it was clear when we were students, it is even more so today that an average student does not have the resources needed to afford to attend Gustavus Adolphus.

With that in mind, I want to propose an idea that I think would be a nice gesture on our part.  The establishment of a Class of 1982 Scholarship.  The purpose of the fund would be to provide one or more annual scholarships to a student or students who need financial assistance to attend Gustavus Adolphus College.  This endowed fund would reflect the thoughtfulness and generosity of the members of the Class of 1982 and demonstrate our gratitude for being able to attend one of the finest liberal arts colleges in the nation.

It is my initial thought that each class member contributes $10 for every year they have been out of Gustavus Adolphus, or $200.  This generosity would not really make a significant impact on any one of us, but would raise something like $100,000!  This endowment would generate $5500 annually which would help offset the current tuition and make it possible for a student to experience life at our alma mater.

In closing I want to leave each of you with this thought – I have not met a single donor, who after making a gift to a church, community foundation or institution of higher learning, that has not been excited and personally fulfilled by sharing their material wealth to help those.

Again, many thanks to you good friends of mine.  I look forward to continuing to get together from time to time, and I hope to see you in September.

Kindest Regards,

Richard J. Olson

1982 Class Agent


Campus News

Hi!  My name is Tracey Hanson.  I’m a senior, double majoring in Communication Studies and Business Management.  I’ve worked in the Alumni Office all four years and can hardly believe that I’m now starting my final semester!  Instead of taking a class (and doing homework) this J-Term, I spent my time slaving away in the Alumni Office.  It was great to have the extra time to relax and do other activities that J-Term allows.  Having unlimited time at home each night made for some great cooking!  And getting to watch “Friends” without worrying about the homework you should be doing instead was also a plus!  The start of the spring semester (thus, the start of homework) has been a sudden shock to my system! 

The campus is full of life and excitement.  A successful and busy J-Term just ended, and spring semester is now underway.  The theme for J-Term 2002 was "Our Global Village," and the month was a celebration of cultural diversity as we grappled with social, political, economic and philosophical aspects of our ever-shrinking world neighborhood.  Faculty offered 29 different classes that tied into this global theme, many of which were travel courses.  Examples include Islam and Culture, and Chinese Cooking and Culture.  This year, 2319 students enrolled in J-Term courses, with many who studied abroad, participated in internships, student taught or studied at other domestic institutions.  I got very jealous when I read e-mails from my roommates who were studying in warm, sunny Australia.  J-Term themes for the coming years include “Service-Learning” (2003) and “Undergraduate Research.” (2004).

Gustie winter sports teams are having a great year, as all are near the top in the MIAC.

Gustie music ensembles just returned from their tours.  The Gustavus Band embarked on an international tour this J-Term.  The band toured Sweden and Norway, presenting “Music from America.”  The tour dates were January 16 through February 10.  The tour concluded with a homecoming performance on Feb. 10 in Christ Chapel.  The Gustavus Choir toured the Midwest during Touring Week in February, concluding with their home concert Feb. 16 in Christ Chapel.  The Gustavus Orchestra toured Minnesota, the Dakotas, Colorado, Kansas and Iowa.  The orchestra concluded their tour with a home performance Feb. 17 in Christ Chapel.

The Alumni Association is on the road this winter and spring connecting alumni to each other and the College.  Director of the Linnaeus Arboretum and Instructor of Environmental Studies, Jim Gilbert ’62, will travel along to provide an interesting and informative program.  Complete information is listed on our web site under events.  If you need more information, give us a call at 800-487-8437.

  • February 23    Orlando Chapter event – Sam Snead’s Tavern

                        301 East Pine Street, Orlando

                        7:00 p.m. Dutch treat dinner

  • March 7          San Diego Chapter event

                       Dinner hosted by John and Paula Penrod ’79, ’79

  • March 8          Tucson Chapter gathering 


  • March 9          Phoenix Chapter gathering

                        Dinner at Pera Club, Tempe

  • March 10        Sun City Chapter gathering

                        Dinner at Bella Vista Restaurant, Peoria

  • April 5 Bay Area Chapter event
  • April 6 Seattle Chapter event – Luncheon at Buca di Beppo Restaurant
  • April 7 Denver Chapter event

More information will be sent to alumni and friends in these chapter areas.

RSVP to Alumni Office at 800-487-8437 or e-mail

As I prepare to graduate in June, I find it increasingly hard to think about leaving this place.  It hardly seems possible that four years have flown by, and that in six months I, too, will be considered an alum.  I will always carry with me fond memories of my four years here.  GO GUSTIES!!!