Class of '83
July 2008

25-Year Reunion

Reunion dates ― October 3 & 4, 2008

Dear Classmates,

You, most of your worldly possessions, two other people and all their stuff, all in a 145 square-foot room with six drawers and one divided closet.  Are you camping?  At a motel?

When is the last time you slept with your face 12 inches from the ceiling?  Or toted your bathing and beauty supplies around in a plastic ice cream bucket?

Do you remember that in 1979, this was the way we lived for four years?  Could you get by today not only without internet, but with only one corded phone, in a hallway, shared by 90 people?  And for those long distance calls, remember sitting in a line on the floor in the student union waiting to use the Watts line (free perk with our $5,100 tuition).

And you shared these experiences closely with one or two people you’ve never met before, with different personalities, and different music tastes (what, you don’t like Molly Hatchet?)

OK, here’s the test.  Do you even remember the names of your freshman year roommates?  Too early to blame it on Alzheimer’s.  Play along―go to the following link and put your name, and the name of your freshman roommate/s (even if you don’t remember how to spell their names!):

Guess what?  You might be able to take a trip down memory lane with them in person in a couple of months at our 25th reunion―what a trip!

Reminisce about taking a bus ride to a barn to drink beer in the dark.  Remember hearing about world events (i.e. anything outside St. Peter) WEEKS after they’ve happened (“What, Mt. St. Helens blew up?”).  Recall using the cafeteria trays not only for piling on the food (and the “freshman 10”―i.e. GAC Butt), but also using them as snow sleds.

Flash back to being “fashionable” in your docksiders, clogs, monogram sweaters, and of course GAC sweats (see earlier reference to GAC Butt).  Think back to cranking Pat Benetar, Loverboy, the Stones, The Police and Little River Band when you were supposed to be hunkered down in the “Brar” studying for that test.  And rocking out ON CAMPUS at those oh-so-exciting Michael Johnson concerts!

And who can forget circumventing the campus during J-Term; in whatever way you could to avoid the freezing wind, and doing it all on four hours of sleep?

Ah yes, all these memories and more await to be shared with your first and subsequent roommates, and all 504 fellow class-of-’83er’s from our time on “the hill.”

Don’t let this chance pass you by!  Mark your calendars today for October 3-4.  Google your freshman roomie and invite them to come!  Then pull out those scrapbooks and scan/send a couple of your best “classic Gustavus shots” to our reunion photo guru Randi Ness Kelley at

Who knows?  If you send the right photos, you might even be able to offset the cost of gas with some “blackmail dollars.”  Econ 101 at its best!

Class News

Here are some updates on fellow classmates.  Continue to send us your news.  We would love to hear from you!

  • Randy Farrow was recently appointed CEO of the Mankato Clinic.  Randy is the sixth chief executive officer in their 92 year history and he brings over 16 years of experience in health care administration and leadership.
  • Gregg Gerstner is vice president at TSG Consulting in Leander, TX.
  • Lisa Anderson Johnson is the vice president of training for Butterfly Worldwide.
  • Kevin Weeks is the pastor at Zion Lutheran Church in LaMoille, IL.

Class Giving

As plans come together for our 25th Anniversary Reunion, we are delighted to report a very strong response to the launch of our Class of 1983 Endowed Scholarship Fund!  Gustavus has already received $17,000 in gifts and pledges.  That means we’re 34% of the way to our goal of raising $50,000 this year!  Thank you to everyone who has participated so far and if you have not yet done so, we sincerely hope you will join us in this very important endeavor.  A scholarship fund of $50,000 will allow Gustavus to award a student with $5,000 annually.  While that might not sound like much, a scholarship of that size equals 17% of this year’s tuition…and that does mean something to students and their families.  So please help us build our class legacy by participating in this year’s inaugural Class of 1983 Endowed Scholarship Fund.  For more information, contact classmate C. Scott Winter at: or the Gustavus Fund Office at:  866-487-3863.

Reunion Details

There is a block of rooms that will be held until September 3rd at the Best Western in Mankato.  Call 507-625-9333 to make your reservation.  The rooms are being held for both Friday and Saturday night at the group rate of $99/night.  There are two poolside rooms remaining out of 14.  Please make your reservations.

Memorial Celebration

Fellow pastors, please contact Ann Wasilowski at if you would be interested in leading a service at our reunion.  We would like to honor our classmates that have passed away and those that have served or are active in the military.

We are busy working on all the details for the reunion and we’ll send you more information next month.  Please let us know if you are interested in helping out or if you have any additional ideas for the Celebration of our 25th Year Reunion.

Campus News

President Ohle at the Helm

On July 1, Jack Ohle officially took office as Gustavus’ 15th President of the College.  Ohle, former president of Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa succeeded James L. Peterson who has retired having served the college since July 2003.

New Alumni Website Launched

The alumni area of the Gustavus website has a whole new look and new features.  Postcards are in the mail to each alumnus, for which we have an address.  Check out the new site at:

Twin Cities Gustie Breakfasts

Join other Minneapolis/St. Paul area Gusties for a morning cup of coffee and breakfast while getting an update on Gustavus.  The group meets the third Wednesday of each month.  Doubletree Hotel, Minneapolis-Park Place, 8:00-9:30 a.m., 1500 Park Place Boulevard (Hwy. 394 & Hwy. 100).  The cost is $10 per person.  Reserve a spot by calling Don Swanson ’55 at 763-533-9083.

Upcoming Alumni Events

  • Gusties Gather! — September 28
  • Homecoming/Family Weekend — October 3-5
  • Class reunions for 1968, 1973, 1978, 1983, 1988, 1993, 1998, 2003 — October 4

See you at the Reunion!

Beth (Swanson) Pursley

1983 Guest Letter Writer