Class of '82
September 2007

25-Year Reunion

Reunion dates ― October 12 & 13, 2007

Fellow Members of the 25th Reunion Class:

The BIG Weekend is quickly approaching.  Mona Anderson Gerike, John Bergstrom, Richard Olson, Ann McGowan Wasson, Jane McDowell-Johnson, Tom Bergstrom, Barb Larson Taylor ’93 (from the Gustavus Alumni Office) and me (J.C. Anderson) met last week to finalize the details.  Others including Ruth Hogenson Rutford, Jim and Gabrielle (Precilio) Thon, Dawn Abraham Erickson, Betsy Setzer Olson and Brett Aamot have also been working to make this reunion memorable.

Here is the annotated schedule.  Go right now, online to: (click on Alumni) to sign up.  I hope you can all join us.

FRIDAY, 10/12 – Golf Shoreview

We have reserved 6 tee times starting at 12:00 noon.  You need to call Shoreview directly to use one of the times.  I suggest you put together a group to play.  If you want to play and need a group, call me at 612-632-3002 and I will try to match people up.

FRIDAY, 10/12, 5:00 p.m.Mankato Best Western Pre-party around the pool

At least five of the reunion committee members are hosting pre-parties (remember those?) in rooms around the pool.  There will be munchies and beverages to get us all going before the reception.  [NOTE:  Call the Best Western directly at:  507-625-9333 to make a reservation before October 1, when they will release our block of rooms.]

FRIDAY, 10/12, 7:00 p.m. – Best Western Dinner Reception

This will be an informal social time with a buffet and cash bar.  We promise no boring program or speeches, just time to catch up with old friends.  A couple of attractions for the evening are Jim Bjork’s play list of music from our time at Gustavus and a slide show of old pictures.  We are still looking for more pictures to be sent to Gabrielle Precilio Thon at: or send her an e-mail as to where you should send a disk of pictures.  We are a little heavy on certain groups to date, so let’s get a good cross-representation of pictures.  What I did, was go to Walgreen’s, scanned the pictures and sent a CD to Gabrielle.  Frankly, going through all those old shots brought back lots of great memories and got me excited to see old friends and reminisce about times we spent at old Gustavus, some of which we wouldn’t admit to our teenagers.  I digress, back to the schedule.

SATURDAY, 10/13, 10:00 a.m. – Chapel

This is a service to remember those that have died during the last year.

SATURDAY, 10/13, 10:30 a.m. – Campus Tour

Meet at the statue of Old Gus in front of the Administration Building.  I did this tour last year when the class of 1981 had their 25th reunion and it helped me to appreciate how many exciting developments have occurred since we graduated.  Bob Neuman ’80 will lead the tour.

SATURDAY, 10/13, 11:30 a.m. – Class of ’82 Brunch, Alumni Hall

We will have a short program to update people on what is going on at Gustavus.  The slide show and “our” music will also be presented again for those just joining us on Saturday.  We will be announcing the Class of 1982’s 25th anniversary gift, which is coming along nicely, but we could still use your help.  All gifts up to the time of the reunion count toward this Class Gift, so if you have been putting off writing that check, now is the time.

Also, if you want to make your 2007-08 gift a little early, it will be included in our total 25th Anniversary Gift.  We will also be announcing the status of a special class of ’82 scholarship endowment fund.  If you are inclined to give a little extra this year (and you weren’t hit up too hard for the football stadium) please consider making an extra gift designated for the Class of ’82 Scholarship Fund.  This fund will go on forever and is another way to give to a very special place.  Again, I digress.  Back to the schedule.

SATURDAY, 10/13, 1:00 p.m. – Class of ’82 Hospitality Tent, New Football Stadium

We will see how this plays out, but we have reserved a location for our Class of ’82 tent inside the stadium area.  During the game there will be complimentary water, pop and munchies and after the game―no this is not a misprint―a cash bar on campus overlooking the brand new football stadium!  It is not quite like having the “barn,” but it sure sounds like fun to me.

SATURDAY, 10/13, After the Post-Game

You are on your own, but I assume The Flame will be open.

In addition to the above events, Gustavus is putting on a number of events for all of the Homecoming participants.  These activities are detailed in the 1982 Homecoming Agenda accompanying this letter.

The Reunion Committee has had a blast getting together and planning these activities.  Gustavus is a very special place in all our lives.  We may not all fully recognize it, but I believe our time at Gustavus has a lot to do with who we are today.  Your 25th college reunion only comes once, and I hope to see you on October 12 &13, at Gustavus to reconnect and to celebrate!

J. C. Anderson

1982 Co-class Agent

Class News

Marlys Sandve McDevitt of Lakeville is a family nurse practitioner and teaching graduate school at the University of Minnesota.

Kristy Barnes of Minneapolis continues to work as a librarian for Dakota County Schools.

Susanne Bauer Skarolid of Brooklyn Park is a kindergarten teacher at R.L. Stevenson Elementary School.

Bruce Thorsen of Doylestown, PA is a pastoral counselor and minister of music.

Jane Bjerkeng Suhr of Plymouth is a retirement services specialist with the Minneapolis Teachers Retirement Association.

Karen Holmberg-Smith of Warroad continues to serve as the associate pastor at Zion Lutheran Church in Warroad.

Sheila Ewer Asleson of Buffalo is a substitute teacher and the gymnastics coach at Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted High School.

Phil Nelson of Lakeville has been a frequent visitor to campus lately as he and his wife Holly have had three children attending Gustavus.  Drew graduated last May, while Melinda (Lindy) is currently a senior, and Lane is a sophomore.

Mert Lilja-Johnson of Granville, MA is a product manager for MassMutual.

Shaloy Morten-Peterson of Two Harbors is a resource nurse for the Saint Mary’s Duluth Clinic Health System.

Greg Koch of Eagan is the director of education support services for Oracle.

Denise Anderson Lant of Tulsa, OK is a financial planner in the Tulsa area.

Mark Benke of Loveland, CO is quality control manager for Amgen Incorporated.

Laura Nielsen Berkas of Gem Lake is a kindergarten teacher for the Roseville School District.  She recently added the responsibilities of ATPPS lead teacher.

Connie Fortin of Hamel is president of Fortin Consulting, Incorporated an environmental consulting firm.  Connie noted that she is having fun protecting our water resources!

Kevin Kramer of Wayzata recently completed his 25th year with Federated Insurance.  He is a senior marketing representative and will be joining the companies prestigious “Quarter Century Club.”

Eunice Carlson Woodberry of St. Cloud recently completed her master’s degree in divinity from Luther Seminary.

Ferman Woodberry St. Cloud is special assistant to the president, lead investigator at St. Cloud State University.

Dean Jorgensen of Springfield, VA is tax practice leader, region tax partner for Grant Thornton, LLP.

Ted Kaehler of Vienna, VA recently retired as a commander after a 22-year career flying helicopters with the U.S. Navy.  He was deployed four times in the Persian Gulf during his career.  He and his family recently moved from San Diego, CA to Vienna, and he is currently working for SRS Technologies as a systems engineer for environmental planning on Department of Defense training and test ranges.

Stephen West of Denver, CO is an AutoCadd draftsman/designer for Farnsworth Group.

Campus News

President Jim Peterson has announced his resignation effective at the end of the school year.  He has made significant contributions to the College in his five-year term and the school is a better place for his efforts.  He will be missed.

Gustavus has traditionally been ranked by U.S. News and World Report in their feature called “America’s Best Colleges.”  If any of you see this annual ranking, for the year 2008 Gustavus was listed as “Unranked.”  This is because of confusion over how Gustavus uses test scores as part of its admission process.  No need to worry, Gustavus is doing well and more than 3,000 students applied for admission, admitting that they are more interested in the school’s academic excellence and reputation rather than these rankings.

Construction Update

Work on the new football stadium progressed at a quick pace and the stadium will be ready for the opening game on Saturday, September 8 when the Gusties host Willamette, OR.  It’s really awesome and will be a great place for Gusties to gather!  Take a daily peak at  Physical Plant crews were also busy constructing additional intramural and club sport fields west of the Swanson Tennis Center.  These fields will replace the fields that were previously on the stadium construction site.

Athletics Hall of Fame ― Gustavus will induct new members into its Athletics Hall of Fame at a banquet on November 3.  They are:  Tim DeJarlais ’91, golf; John Erickson ’81, hockey; Dave Hultgren ’92, baseball; Craig Miller ’91, cross country; Mindy Mayerchak Oosten ’88, softball, soccer; Mike Schumacher ’91, football; Ann Sommerness Simms ’92, swimming; and Ryan Skanse ’92, tennis.

Dr. Mary Morton, Gustavus’ new provost and vice president for academic affairs, assumed her position on Monday, July 2.  In this role as chief academic officer, she oversees academic programs and strategic planning at Gustavus.

Gusties Gather! – September 30

Gusties around the world are called to gather on Sunday, September 30.  The Alumni Board is designating this day as a way for Gusties to stay connected with each other.  In research among alumni, we know that Gusties already stay in contact with many alumni, and we know that Gusties have a strong interest in staying connected with other Gusties and with the College.  If there is a gathering in your area, we hope you will consider attending.

Upcoming Alumni Events

  • Gustavus Booth at Minnesota State Fair, Education Building, August 23-September 3
  • Twin Cities Breakfasts, September 19
  • Gusties Gather! – September 30
  • Nobel Conference – Heating Up The Energy Debate - October 2 & 3
  • Homecoming/Family Weekend – October 12-14
  • A Royal Affair – Razzle Dazzle, October 27
  • Athletics Hall of Fame Banquet – November 3
  • Christmas in Christ Chapel – November 30-December 2