Class of '82
April 2005

Dear Classmates,

Now that Susan and I have finally filed our taxes for 2004, I have time to sit back and take stock of what our financial house looks like.

The one thing that I notice, and I am guessing most of you are the same way, is the number of charities that our family supports throughout the year.  From the animal humane society, our church, environmental causes, political parties, and of course educational institutions like Gustavus Adolphus College, Susan and I have a wide range of causes we support.  All of these non-profits are near and dear to our hearts and in need of financial support to advance their worthwhile missions.

With regards to donations to our alma mater, Gustavus Adolphus College, if you missed being able to deduct your contribution on your 2004 tax return - Good News - Gustavus Adolphus College’s fiscal year end is May 31st.   

Therefore, you have a few weeks to get your annual fund gift sent in.  So far this year, 134 of us have made a gift.  That number represents 29% of our class and amounts to $57,000.  As you can see, there are a lot of our classmates who still have not made a gift to the Annual Fund.  Gustavus Adolphus College, JC, Ann and I would like to have 50% of our class make a gift.  To achieve this goal we need a number of you to make an Annual Fund gift.  Remember every dollar counts. Please think about making a gift to the Annual Fund and send it in before May 31st.  The Class of 1982 has always been made up of leaders, so let us lead the alumni classes in percentage of donors!

Okay enough money talk.  I was visiting with some of our classmates over the past few months and here is what I know:

  • Dawn (Abraham) and Jon Erickson are doing well.  Their son, Luke, is active in hockey, school, and friends.  Jon is wrapping up his boat show season and almost ready to launch them all.  Dawn is consulting part-time and teaching a few segments in Luke's school, which she enjoys.  They recently went to Florida for spring break with Tom and Shelli Swansson.
  • One of the joys of the Easter Season was sitting with my former roommate, Tom Franz, at the Easter Church Service.  Tom is very active with the Church, and even filled in for his father and ushered when his father went on a Mission Trip.  Tom and Christie (Oas) are as busy as any two parents in Edina, with two boys, Brian and Kevin, playing every sport offered in Edina.  Christie was the team hockey manager, which if anyone of you has played such a role, knows that what we do for work is usually a lot easier and less time demanding.  Tom was the coordinator for the boy’s fourth grade football this fall, and was also a head coach, although his team did not prevail against an “Olson Coached Team.”
  • Gail Thomas Offringa is living in the Boston area, down towards the Cape, where she has been for about 20 years.  Gail and her husband, Allan, have two girls, Olivia, age 12 and Abigail, age 10.  They home schooled them up until this year.  Gail has been selling golf clothing for about 15 years as an independent rep.  She now represents Izod.  Allan is retired from the government and has a consulting business where he teaches and travels.
  • Jim and Susan (Terry) Macaulay are living in Ada, Michigan, and after reading their Christmas letter, I am happy to report they remain the same wonderful couple we first met 27 years ago.  Their commitment to family is to be applauded.  I have not heard how their trip to Florida with the Huepenbeckers went this year, but I hope to be in contact with them and I will report back next letter.
  • Jim and Sheryl (Anderson ’85) Bjork are busy raising their two boys―Charlie and Billy.  They are living on Lake Minnewashta.  This weekend, if the weather permit we are planning on grilling out and enjoying a nice spring day together.  Jim is busy with Uponor Wirsbo and Sheryl just started working part-time at Bowman and Brooke, PA, after being a full-time mother these past 9-plus years.
  • Marcia Page and John Huepenbecker ’80 had a wonderful Super Bowl gathering for a number of Gusties (and John McLean).  It was wonderful visiting with Susie (Erickson) and Jim ’81 Peterson, Brad ’80 and Susie Baker, John and Joni (Lind ’80) McLean, Tom and Shelli Swansson, Steve Swansson ’80, and of course our head football coach, Jay Schoenebeck ’80 and his friend, Darcy.  With all the Reds it felt like a fraternity party.
  • J.C. and Lori (Rutter ’81) Anderson’s son, Spencer is doing well in his junior year at Edina High School, and is in the midst of looking at colleges across the country, hopefully he will choose Gustavus Adolphus College.  Spencer was also one of two goalies on the Edina varsity hockey team this year, and from what I could see, played great when given the chance.
  • Speaking of J.C. and Lori, they invited Susan and me over to dinner, along with Rod and Sara (Brubacher ’84) Provart.  It was a lovely evening of good conversation, great wine and an amazing meal.  If you ever get a chance to have dinner at the Anderson’s, do not miss the event.  It ranks with the finest restaurants around.
  • In March, my son, Spencer, and I went down to campus to watch Mark Hanson ’83 and his basketball team play Lawrence University in the Division III basketball playoffs.  Despite the loss, it was a really nice time to be back on campus.  The dining room, the student center and the athletic facilities are second to none in the MIAC.  If you have not been back to campus since the tornado, you will not believe the changes to the campus.  Give Alumni Director, Randy Stuckey ’83 a call at:  1-800–487-8437 and I am sure he would be happy to set up a tour for you, and who knows, maybe even buy you a soda in the new campus center.
  • Jeff Saunders’ three sons (yes, he and Karol (Kimpston ’83) have seven-year-old triplets) competed in the Cub Scout’s Pinewood Derby.  I personally watched the preliminary races and am happy to state their cars did well.  I am not sure how they finished, but Jeff and Karol should be given ribbons just for being able to coordinate their daily schedules.
  • Tim Dittberner once again played a pivotal role in the State Boys Basketball Tournament at William’s Arena and at the Target Center.  After security arrived and got his keys out of the family van, he was able to go about his responsibilities without the thought of sleeping on the University campus.

Again, I would enjoy hearing from you and I always need information for these class letters, so send me an email and tell me what’s happening in your life.

All the best and Go Gusties,

Richard J. Olson

1982 Co-class Agent

PS.  I have to apologize for not getting ahold of J. Mark Tipps when I was recently in Nashville.  I arrived at 9:00 p.m. on a Monday evening and left the next morning at 10:00 a.m. for Minneapolis.  If I had more time I would have loved to have met up with Mark and hear about his family and career.  Seeing him on C-Span does not provide enough information as to his busy life in national politics.

Campus News

Alumni Awards

The Gustavus Alumni Association has announced 2005 award recipients.  The Greater Gustavus Award to George Torrey ’55 for his lifetime volunteer service and philanthropy to the College. Distinguished Alumni Citations to G. Barry Anderson ’76, Apple Valley, MN, associate justice, Minnesota Supreme Court; Deanna Nelson ’64, Cary, NC, president/founder, BioLink Life Sciences, Inc.; Rick Webb ’73, Edina, MN, owner of Ciao Bella, Zelo and Bacio Restaurants; and John Wirth ’75, Pacific Palisade, CA, writer/executive producer, Paramount Studios.  First Decade Awards to Joe Gaugler ’95, Lexington, KY, assistant professor, Department of Behavioral Science, University of Kentucky College of Medicine; Debbie Lightly Mascaro ’95, Fargo, ND, research scientist, North Dakota State University Center for Nanoscale Science and Engineering.


The Gustavus women’s hockey team finished third at the NCAA national championship after winning the MIAC title, the men’s basketball team won the MIAC regular season title and conference tournament and advanced to the NCAA national tournament, the men’s swimming and diving team won the MIAC title and placed seventh at the NCAA national tournament and had seven swimmers earn All-America honors and the women’s team had four swimmers earn All-America honors.

Extraordinary Students

Senior Rachel Batalden, a double major in mathematics and secondary education with a 3.898 grade point average and two-time MIAC All-Conference selection at setter for the women’s volleyball team, has been selected as one of 56 student-athletes from across the country to receive a $7,500 NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship.

Senior Paul Fraser, a music and computer science major has been selected as the winner of the second annual Caltech-Occidental Composition Contest for new music for concert band. The contest drew entries from all over the world, and as the winner, Paul will receive a cash award and a recording of the world premiere of the work at a concert by the Caltech-Occidental Concert Band in Pasadena, Calif., in May.

Bricks and mortar

Southwest Residence Hall is being constructed across the Campus Drive from the arboretum on the west side of the campus and is scheduled to be finished by June.  The L-shaped facility is configured with apartments for four and six and will accommodate nearly 200 students.  A hostel space for summer programs and confirmation retreat groups is included in the residence’s plans.

With the new Southwest Residence Hall coming on-line, the College will be taking down Wahlstrom Hall to make way for future residential construction.  Crews will start the dismantling process in July with asbestos abatement, and the Kasota-stone residence hall will be razed in August.  Alumni returning for reunion and commencement festivities on May 27–29 will be able to take a last tour through the building’s public areas, stairwells, and walk-through sections following a “decommissioning” ceremony to be held on Saturday morning, May 28.

Construction crews working on the renovation of Old Main discovered a cistern under the basement flooring in March.  Gutting the interior has provided evidence of layers upon layers of remodeling done over the years, including an old stairwell in the middle of the building and what appears to be an attempt to raise the third-floor ceiling.  The Old Main project, which includes the installation of an elevator in the northwest corner of the building, is scheduled to be completed in August.

The education and nursing departments have been relocated to the newly erected Mattson Hall, which is sited just west of the Schaefer Fine Arts Center and Prairie View Residence Hall, on the south side of the campus.  These departments will remain there until a new social science center is built at some point in the future.

Upcoming Events

  • Association of Congregations Meeting – April 23
  • G.I.V.E. Community Service Day – April 30
  • Class of 1955 and 50-Year Club Reunions – May 27 & 28
  • Commencement – May 29
  • Alumni Fund closes – May 31
  • Reunions on Homecoming – October 7 & 8
  • Nurses Reunion – October 8