Class of '83

October 2011

Dear Classmates,

Homecoming in early October was a BLAST!  Even though it was not our anniversary year (more on that later), there were several from the class of 1983 I saw at various events.  The campus was gorgeous.  In addition to a near perfect fall day on the hill, the leaves were near peak, the new academic building was open (WOW!), and a good time was had by all.

Highlights for me are always seeing changes to campus and visiting with fellow alumni.  I was able to attend a symposium and poster session hosted by the Chemistry Department with reflections on a career in chemistry by a class of ’91 alumnus.  I hope more departments follow this lead so one could spend an hour of two reflecting with some current students during homecoming.  The biggest thrill for me was singing with the Gustavus Alumni Choir.  Sunday morning in chapel, we were 200 strong, lead the liturgy (prepared by our own Music Department) with the cantor and sang Christianson’s “Praise to the Lord.”  Good stuff.

The biggest event of the weekend was Friday night at a kickoff dinner for the College’s Sesquicentennial.   It was an historic event as we kicked off both our Sesquicentennial year and Campaign Gustavus, the largest fundraising effort in the College’s history, with more than 750 students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends of the College in attendance at a gala dinner.

Sesquicentennial.  Celebrating the founding of Gustavus in 1862.  It is pretty cool to reflect that our alma mater is one of the top liberal arts colleges in the nation as the college turns 150.  As most of us have already turned 50, it is also a real exciting time for the college and for us as we begin the second half of our own lives!

Remember the tents on Saturday at our 25 year reunion?  It has morphed into one large party tent (I thought of Homecoming at the Barn) with burgers, brats, beer and wine.  Great way to socialize and watch the football game.

There was a full slate of events for class volunteers during the day on Friday as we rolled out the new class officer structure.  For more details on volunteer opportunities, please go online to:  The tasks are to be spread over class president (myself), vice-president/reunion chair, communications chair, annual fund chair and recruitment chair.  Each will recruit folks for some different, not too difficult or time consuming tasks.

We are trying to engage our classmates in Gustavus.  If you’d like to volunteer on a committee for our 30-year reunion coming up soon, write class news for the Quarterly or just update your information (birth of a grandchild anyone?) that is a great start.  I have found that in the almost 30 years since graduation that the most important thing I took with me on that drizzly May afternoon in 1983 was the relationships formed and strengthened at Gustavus.  I’d offer a challenge to reconnect with one classmate in the next three months.  If you need someone’s contact information you can email me or the Alumni Office (  With 493 classmates, it would be great to see a full tent at Homecoming 2012 for the College’s sesquicentennial and even better get a bunch of folks back for our 30th during Homecoming 2013.

Visit the Sesquicentennial website at:  If you cannot make it back for the sesquicentennial or live in another part of the country, attend an event near you.  There will be many opportunities like this throughout the coming year.  Twin Cities folks can go to a monthly breakfast, I know Phoenix has at least one organized event every February and we go see the baseball team in March.  Look in the Quarterly for these sorts of opportunities in your town.

Flat Gus

Here’s a fun thing to do.  A group of Gustavus seniors has captured 150 different images of our mascot, Gus the Lion.  Each image represents a current student organization, athletic team, fine arts opportunity, or campus landmark.  The goal is for “Flat Gus” to touch every alumnus during the Sesquicentennial celebration.  If you receive Flat Gus it means that another Gustie sent him to you.  Fill out the Flat Gus Guest Book.  Take a picture of you and Flat Gus.  Post the photo online at Gustavus and send him along to another Gustie.  Follow the journey of all 150 Guses at:  From Fullerton to Philadelphia, or Seattle to Sarasota, let’s see how many photos we can get of the class of 1983.

Looking forward to engaging every one in the Class of 1983 for the sesquicentennial along with our reunion in two short years!!!

Brad Somero

Campus News

Campaign Gustavus Announcement

At the Sesquicentennial and Campaign Kickoff Dinner held on campus on Friday Sept. 30, Board of Trustees Chair Mark Bernhardson announced the official kickoff a comprehensive fundraising campaign, Campaign Gustavus.  The financial goal of the campaign is to raise $150 million by the end of 2015 to fund the strategic initiatives of Commission Gustavus 150.  The focus of Campaign Gustavus is to ensure the College has the resources to continue providing opportunities for teaching and learning in a caring community.  To find out more about Campaign Gustavus and how you can be involved, visit:

2011 Athletics Hall of Fame

Gustavus inducted new members into its Athletics Hall of Fame at a banquet on October 15.  Inductees for 2011 are Owen Sammelson ’58, benefactor; Amanda Murdock Diehl ’92, gymnastics; Jay Klagge ’92, basketball; Bryan Ripken ’94, swimming; Todd Anderson ’95, soccer; Tracy Erickson McMorrow ’95, tennis; Scott Moe ’95, golf; Laura LeVander Peters ’96, softball; and Colleen Barland Sherman ’96, soccer.  The Hall of Fame Moment is the 1991 Women’s Gymnastics National Championship, won with the final routine of the meet.

Christmas in Christ Chapel

As the College’s Sesquicentennial Christmas in Christ Chapel, Julljus:  Light from the Old World, Light to the New brings us to the celebration of Christ’s light—to Sweden in the Middle Ages; to Minnesota in the 19th century; and to our fractured and darkened world today.  At the center of the 39th annual community celebration is Julotta, the traditional Christmas matins service brought by Swedish immigrants to the New World.  Tickets for Christmas in Christ Chapel 2011 go on sale online on October 17 at noon at  If you do not have access to the Internet, please call 507-933-7520 after noon on October 17 to place your credit card order.

Gustie Breakfasts

Join your fellow Gusties for breakfast and to learn something new about your alma mater at the monthly Gustie Breakfasts.  November speaker will be Rob Gardner, interim artistic coordinator for Christmas in Christ Chapel.  The St. Peter Breakfast will be held in the banquet rooms on campus at 7:30 a.m. on Nov. 9, and the Twin Cities Breakfast will be held at the Doubletree Hotel in Minneapolis at 8 a.m. on Nov. 16.  RSVP by calling 800-487-8437 or e-mail Hope to see you bright and early!