Class of '82
December 2003

Dear Classmates,

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and if you are like me―you have a lot to be thankful for―a fantastic family, a warm and inviting home, exceptional friends, a rewarding career, and good health.  What more could anyone ask for at this stage in our lives?

Recently I was reading the Quarterly and was caught up with what our classmates, alumni and professors have been up to.  It is always interesting to see where the Gustavus family has gone and what they have accomplished.  I do not know about you, but my favorite part of the Quarterly is the pictures.  I always like to see whom I know and how my classmates have changed over the past 20 plus years.  Moreover, seeing the various alumni with their classmates over the past 70 years gives evidence that attending Gustavus Adolphus not only results in an exceptional education, but more importantly―extraordinary friendships.  Looking at Mrs. "Ma" Young, Mrs. Larson, and Mrs. Pantuso – Class of 1933, together at their 70th class reunion, makes me imagine what my roommates, Jim Bjork, Tom Swansson, Charlie Farrow, Brett Aamot, Mike Daum and I will look like in 2052 at our 70th class reunion.  It may not be pretty.  But I am looking forward to finding out and seeing the rest of you.

This fall JC and I attended the Class Agent day at Gustavus.  During the meeting they handed out the Class Agent of the Year award.  JC and I were hoping to receive the award―but it was not to be.  Owen Sammelson '58 and Kris Lamont '93 were presented the award.  Owen Sammelson won the award by increasing the number of donors from his class by 9!  As I sit at my desk today, I say to myself if just 10 of our classmates who have not given in the past made gifts to Gustavus, regardless of the donation amount, JC and I will bring home the hardware.  So . . . dig deep everyone and if you have not donated in the past and have been thinking about making a commitment, this is the time.  If we win the award you are all invited to JC's house to view the award, share in the class achievement, and have a glass of wine from JC's private wine cellar.

Here is news regarding our classmates that was sent to me over the past few months: 

  • Kelly Bevans ran for the Brainerd City Council – Ward 2 this fall.  I have not heard if he won his seat and the Brainerd City website did not provide the answer.  Kelly is the owner of Brainerd Mobil.  Let us know the results Kelly!
  • Linda Roal, who is currently the associate pastor at First Lutheran Church.  In her spare time Linda is completing her master's degree in Islamic studies at Luther Seminary. 
  • Jim and Sheryl (Anderson '85) Bjork have opened their home and are hosting a young man from Spain, Juan, for the school year.  He is a wonderful young man and it is nice to spend time with him. 
  • Kate (Jones) Challeen of Inver Grove Heights is a senior project manager at Blue Cross/Blue Shield in Eagan.
  • Michael Deane has moved to Alexandria, Virginia.  What he is up to―I do not know.  Mike let us know why you moved.
  • The one and only Tim Dittberner was named the New Prague Middle School Principal in July.  I have recently talked with Tim and he is really enjoying his new position and home in New Prague.  His wife―Jane, and three children―Sam, Alex, and Anne, are enjoying making new friends.  Good luck, Tim.  Oh yeah―since you failed to show up for the Gustavus Football Golf outing, your status on "Team Olson" is questionable.
  • Dawn Abraham Erickson will be celebrating a birthday this month and we wish you a very happy day. 
  • Marcia Page was in the news recently.  Her company, Varde Partners, was featured in the August 2003 Minnesota Business magazine.  Marcia and her partners, George Hicks '75 and Greg McMillan have done great things over the past few years in the investment world, and we extend our continued wishes for success to them.  Marcia is a wonderful ambassador for Gustavus and our class!  And her husband, John Huepenbecker '80, took Tim's place on my golf team and we did very well.  Could be tough for Tim to get back on the team. 
  • Karl Field has moved to Pretoria, South Africa for an assignment with the American Embassy.  Karl is a physician's assistant.  He and his wife have adopted two boys (ages 4 and 5) from Bulgaria.  During the spring Phonorama I caught up with Karl and shared memories of going to high school in Rochester and our time together at Gustavus.  He told me Gustie visitors are welcome
  • Angie Huse Benda is living in the metropolitan city of Kenyon, and is a general laboratory supervisor. 
  • Amy Linner Quarberg has recently completed her master's from St. Mary's in art & human development. Congratulations!
  • Dean Jorgensen was promoted to managing partner of Grant Thorton's National Tax Office in Washington, DC.  We all knew Dean would achieve success. 
  • Kathleen Fast Janasz for the past eight years has been a vice-president at Weber Shandwick, but this year, she began her own public relations firm―Delft Communications in Minneapolis.  Good luck on this new venture and let us Gusties know if you need help. 
  • Sheila Ewer Asleson is now the gymnastics coach at Howard Lake-Waverly.  The students are lucky to have Sheila's knowledge and athleticism (All-American in 1978 and 1980) to give them guidance and support. 
  • Brent Harms, of Apple Valley, is president of Tecmark, Inc., a loyalty marketing company. 
  • Laurie Yerks Bach and I talked during the spring Phonorama and she told me her oldest daughter was a freshman at Concordia-Moorhead.  All the best to your daughter as she experiences a wonderful time at college.
  • Mark Sneed is staying busy in Washburn, WI with his ophthalmology practice, family, 3 dogs and 4 horses.  Hope to see you, Mark, when things "slow down," probably in 2012! 
  • Gary Carlson this spring and found out he is working at the League of Minnesota Cities where he is the director of intergovernmental relations.  He is also active with his sons' hockey "careers."  His sister, Cindy '80, is living in Tahoe and is active on the school board.  Gary's father is in Arizona.  All the best to your family. 
  • Lisa Louisiana Kamrath has a son, Michael, who is a freshman at Gustavus.  I hope Michael is enjoying his time on the hill.  From the other end of the child spectrum,
  • Duncan Puffer and his wife, Stephanie, were expecting their second child in June of this year.  Let us know what happened and if my math is correct―we will see him or her on the hill in 2021.
  • Rod Provart has been extremely difficult over the past few months.  He and Sara (Brubacher '84) were in Hawaii with their family one-week, came home for 3 days and left again for a 10-day Greek cruise.  During their cruise they enjoyed the personal services of a butler and privately stocked bar.  Life is good for Rod. 
  • Tom Swansson and his brother Scott '78, recently returned from a trip to Iowa City, Iowa to watch the Gophers lose their last game of the season.  However, in talking with Tom, he and Scott had a great time and got to meet a few of the Iowa football players after the game.

Weddings and Births.

  • Michael Kuehn was married on June 14th of this year.  His wife's name is Jill.  Good luck on the marriage. 
  • Elizabeth Anderson started off the year, January 25th, with a marriage to Russell Blythe.  Hope 2003 ended as wonderful as it started.  All the best, Elizabeth. 
  • Pam Maxwell Helgeson and her husband, Ryan, adopted a baby girl, Grace Lisheng, two years ago.  What a wonderful anniversary to celebrate.
  • Paula Ranum Buxton and her husband, David, of Portland, Oregon, have adopted a girl, Isabella Cecilia, from Guatemala.  Congratulations! 


To the rest of you―keep those notes coming as I would enjoy adding you to this letter.

With Christmas "right around the corner" I wanted, on behalf of JC and Ann, to wish you a happy holiday season.  I hope you all can spend some time with your families and build memories that will be with you always.


Richard Olson

1982 Co-class Agent

Campus News

College opens 142nd Academic Year

More than 700 new students, including transfer students and international students, joined the Gustavus community this fall, keeping the total student population around 2,515. The retention rate of students from the first to second year remains at 90 percent. These students will be taught by 198 full-time and 55 part-time faculty. Gustavus was again ranked in the top third of the 214 national liberal arts colleges by the U.S. News and World Report.

The Alumni Fund Turns 50

On June 30, 1954, the first Alumni Fund officially closed with 1,204 donors (32 percent) and $26,013.  The Alumni Fund has had a strong tradition at Gustavus exceeding 50% participation for many years, making Gustavus a national leader recognized with 17 national awards.  Help return the Alumni Fund to reach over 50% participation by contributing before May 31, 2004.  Do your best to participate in the Alumni Fund to continue the Gustavus tradition of strong alumni support and return the College to national recognition.

Sculptor Paul Granlund '52 dies

Paul Granlund died on September 15, 2003.  He was sculptor-in-residence at Gustavus from 1971-1996.  His figurative bronze sculptures are found in private collections and public installations nationally and internationally, including 30 bronze works on the Gustavus campus.

Alumni Board members selected

Seven alumni have been selected to serve a three-year term on the Alumni Board.  They are Liesl Batz '90, Minneapolis, senior vice president and director of marketing, Lakeside Investment Partners; Jan Eiffert Hoomani '62, Raleigh, NC, Realtor, JB Realty; Jim Malmquist '53, Scandia, MN, retired athletics director, Gustavus; Jan Ledin Michaletz '74, Edina, volunteer/homemaker.  Incumbents to serve a second term include Vivian Foyou '02, Mankato, graduate student, Minnesota State University, Mankato; Jason Sawyer '93, Plymouth, vice president, Cronin & Co.; and Dan Currell '94, Alexandria, VA, director of corporate leadership council, Corporate Executive Board.

2003 Hall of Fame inductees

Nine individuals were inducted into the Athletics Hall of Fame on September 27. Inductees are Val Flom Ashland '87 (volleyball), Wendy Ericksen Bachman '87 (soccer), Karen Ahlstrom Bishop '86 (gymnastics), Jay Coatta '87 (basketball and golf), Marv Gunderson '53 (football), Jim Hearn '81 (tennis), Dave Najarian '82 (football), Betty Wannarka Ringeisen '84 (basketball and track and field), and Larry Shelhamer '76 (soccer).

Gustavus Finishes sixth in Director's Cup

Gustavus finished sixth out of 395 Division III institutions for the 2002-03 Director's Cup announced recently by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics. The only all-sports competition in intercollegiate athletics, the award honors four-year institutions with the best overall athletic programs.  Last year Gustavus placed 10th.

Chapel Program

The Gustavus Chapel program is one of the strongest in higher education averaging 350 students attending Daily Chapel.  In addition, there are many student-led programs including: Apprentice - students who are interested in being part of ministry and open to see where the Spirit might be leading; Christ Chapel Volunteers - assist in the ministry of Christ Chapel by ushering, carrying the cross and candles, reading lessons, writing and/or reading prayers, and serving as assisting ministers; Community Service Center Programs - one-time and on-going service programs; Fellowship of Christian Athletes - athlete or not, time for fellowship, worship, speakers, service projects and mission trips; Gustavus Youth Outreach - committed to sharing the Gospel and providing opportunities to serve by participating in off-campus youth ministry; Habitat For Humanity/Spring Break Work Trips - Habitat works locally and Spring Break Work Trip nationally to fundraise for and build affordable housing; Jewish Organization of Gustavus - for students, faculty and staff who were either Jewish or interested in the Jewish faith; Newman Center - dedicated to building a deeper understanding of the Catholic faith; Prepare - build a new generation of believers through mentors, mission trips, Bible study, prayer and worship; Proclaim - Bible-based contemporary worship and teaching; Taizé - a contemplative worship service of music, prayer, readings and silence; Wednesday Friends – visits St. Peter Regional Treatment Center residents weekly.

Upcoming Events – call the Alumni Office at 800/487-8437

Alumni Chapter Events:  Washington DC – February 6; Atlanta – February 26; Tampa Bay – February 27; Naples – February 28; Sun City – March 19; Phoenix  – March 20; Tucson – March 21.