Class of '84
October 2000

Dear Gustie:

As I sit here writing to you on a Sunday afternoon, it’s a mild and overcast fall day. Autumn has settled here in Minnesota, with all its vibrant colors, early sunsets, and cooler temperatures. For many of us, the fall marks time, as another school year begins. I don’t know about you, but fall always makes me nostalgic for my college days. The memories come flooding back and I wish sometimes that I could return, if even for just a moment.

News From The Hill

Well, nostalgia aside, life is bustling on the hill. The new academic year began with the third consecutive year of record enrollments. The campus has been transformed since that fateful day in March of 1998. New buildings, new landscaping, new gathering spaces—the transformation and rebirth is quite extraordinary. This fall Gustavus dedicated three new structures during Homecoming: a new outdoor track/soccer field, new art museum, and new International Center. The International Center is a residence (replacing Johnson Hall and the Swedish House) and houses the international program offices. There is also a new north entrance to the College.

In addition to the new facilities, there is other news from the hill:

The 2000-2001 academic year opened with a record enrollment of 2,510 full-time students (compared with the previous record of 2,490 set last year), including 675 first-year students. When students arrived on campus in early September they were welcomed by the newly completed Carlson International Center/Swedish House, a new outdoor track/soccer field, and a newly completed Courtyard Café in the lower level of the Jackson Campus Center. This new café offers specialty coffees, bagels, pastries, and sandwiches, and opens to an outdoor eating area on the Johns Courtyard between the Jackson Campus Center and Lund Center.

Gustavus Adolphus College is once again ranked among the best of all national liberal

arts colleges in U.S. News and World Report's 14th annual "America's Best Colleges" rankings. Gustavus is again in the top 80 of the overall quality listings for national liberal arts colleges. Ranked again in the second tier in the national liberal arts college category, Gustavus is one of only two Minnesota colleges included in the tier two listing and one of four Minnesota colleges ranked in the top 80.

Gustavus recently received the results of a comparative alumni survey that measures alumni responses to a series of questions about their college experience. The study provides comparisons to other groups of colleges including Lutheran colleges, member colleges of the Minnesota Private College Council and, most importantly, with large public universities. We will share with you results of the survey in class letters this year. A sampling of responses to remembrances of college academic life include the following:

· Alumni agree that professors often challenged them, but also personally helped them to meet the challenge. Gustavus alumni agree 78%, large public universities 38%.

· Alumni agree that a large majority of classes were taught by professors as compared to teaching assistants. Gustavus alumni agree 90%, large public universities 32%.

· Alumni remember a high quality, teaching oriented faculty. Gustavus alumni agree 61%, large public universities 25%.

· Alumni remember many small classes with fewer than twenty students. Gustavus alumni agree 50%, large public universities 9%.

Gustavus has received word from the Lilly Endowment that it was one of 20 awardees (out of a pool of 31 colleges and universities) of a $1,963,425 implementation grant. It is the largest program grant the College has ever received. The award will support a comprehensive initiative to more effectively carry out some key aspects of the College's mission statement and encourage theological reflection and moral questioning that forms character, shapes lives, and guides career choices. It will build upon the ethos and climate of Gustavus by supporting already-existing programs, adding new ones, and creating a center to coordinate and intensify those vocation-oriented activities. In doing so, it will provide students with the foundational tools necessary for a lifelong exploration of their calling and a lifetime of community leadership and service to others.

G.I.V.E. (Gusties In Volunteer Endeavors), a day of community service, was held on Saturday, October 7. Numerous sites were selected in the Twin Cities and alumni in other cities around the country participated in the event.

Christmas in Christ Chapel, Heaven and Nature Sing, is December 1-3. A ticket order form was inserted in the Summer Quarterly. Contact Office of Public Affairs at 507-933-7520.

Class News

Since our last class letter, a lot of news has come in from our classmates. It’s great to hear from so many and to learn that you’re doing well and living good lives.

  • Gayle Aasen (Clifford, North Dakota) , when she last wrote, was expecting a baby any day. Congrats! Gayle is also working on her master’s degree in linguistics at the University of North Dakota.
  • Kelli Meyer Alseth (Proctor, Minnesota) is a rental manager at Proctor Builders.
  • Steven Bingea (Woodinville, Washington) wrote to let us know that he became a father for the third time on December 18, 1999, when Grant Steven came into this world (Steven and his wife have two daughters also). Belated congrats! In the small world department, Steven said he ran into a Gustie while getting his driver’s license renewed and found out that she works at Boeing, too. You never know where you might run into a Gustie!
  • Denise Williams Becker (Willmar, Minnesota) is a social worker at the Willmar Regional Treatment Center. Her husband, Steve, is a paraprofessional in the Willmar School District.
  • Susan Belitz Bodlak (Willmar, Minnesota) and her husband have two small active boys, one in preschool and one in kindergarten. Susan works at home as an immigration paralegal, a Shaklee distributor, an Immunocal Entrepreneur, and a SkyBiz Associate. Wow, you are one busy woman! Her husband, Rick, continues in his employment at MCI, where he is a software engineer.
  • Cathy (Kline) Conto and her family relocated to Delray Beach, Florida, in 1999. Cathy is now Director, Sales & Finance at the Sunbeam Corp. in Boca Raton. Her husband, Jim, is a mergers and acquisitions consultant in healthcare.
  • Jeff Cooper (Minneapolis, Minnesota) is employed as a chemist with R & D Systems, Inc., as is his wife, Maryanne.
  • Steve Copeland (Suwanee, Georgia) is employed by Sunshine Mortgage Corp. His wife, Lisa, works for Vulcan Binder & Cover.
  • Lynda Czarnetzki (Eagan, Minnesota) works part-time as a project consultant in the broker dealer subsidiary, Ascend Financial, on Minnesota Life. Lynda and her husband, Dean, have three children: Alison, Brian, and Lauren. Lynda is active in her church, at Woodland Elementary School, and with the Girl Scouts.
  • Kristine Anderson Davis (Saint Peter, Minnesota) and her husband, Paul, are both employed by Culligan.
  • Andrea Dillenburg and her husband, Ted, have moved from Nashville, Tennessee, to Mableton, Georgia. Andrea is now working for the Atlanta Symphony.
  • Gary Distel (Cold Spring, Minnesota) is employed by Rocori School District, as is his wife, Lisa. Gary is head of the social studies department and head baseball coach. The Distels have a son, Hudson, who is nearly 2.
  • Ingrid Jordahl Dornberg (Parsons, Kansas) is employed by Tri-County Special Ed.
  • Todd Eckblad (Chicago, Illinois) is pastor at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church in Arlington Heights.
  • Mark Ekman (Albuquerque, New Mexico) is employed as Senior Member of the Technical Staff at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque.
  • Janet (Kamerud) and Karl Emerson continue to make their home in Bovey, Minnesota, where Karl is employed by Nashwauk Alliance Church.
  • Chris Erikstrup (Woodbury, Minnesota) and his wife, Brenda ’86, announced the birth of their second "Gustie" offspring: Ruth Anna. Ruth was born on May 1. Congratulations! Strupper was wondering if he could lock in tuition now. I bet you wish you could!!
  • Lynette Buchanan Fix (Oronoco, Minnesota) is a nurse at the Mayo Clinic; she is also a certified transplant coordinator. Her husband, Jeff, is a technician at IBM.
  • Jacalyn Fleming lives in Troy, New York, where she is a student.
  • Peter Ford (Alexandria, Virginia) is still working as the State Department’s diplomatic security liaison to Capitol Hill. He’s been promoted to major in the U.S. Army Reserves. Congratulations on the promotion!
  • Robb Gamm (Woodbury, Minnesota) is employed by West Group. His wife, Morli ’87, is employed by St. Paul Nurse Anesthesia P.A. The Gamms have a son, Max Robert, who was born on April 24, 1999.
  • Todd Gillingham (Hudson, Wisconsin) and his wife, Kristen (an Ole from the Class of 1983) are keeping busy and having fun with their three children: David, Benjamin, and Jacob. Todd works at Lutheran Brotherhood as an assistant vice president managing LifeMap financial planning. LifeMap is a values-based investment, retirement, and estate and charitable planning process based on principles of good stewardship.
  • Mark Goulette (New Brighton, Minnesota) is funeral director/mortician at Wulff Family Services, Crestwood Park Mortuary.
  • Ross and Tina (Strandvold) Gustafson (Golden, Colorado) are also keeping busy and having fun with their children: Ellie, 9, and Zeke, 7. Ross writes that he’s got one of the best jobs around, working for Florida Chemical. He says having a home office is great, and that citrus extracts are a fascinating product—at least for a chemist. Tina loves her job too; you may recall that she works at Coors Brewing Company as a key customer service manager. Last year she helped fill in a piece on the History Channel (the piece will air in June on a four-hour documentary on the Rocky Mountains). A star is born!
  • Lori Lenz Haffley (Hutchinson, Minnesota) is a homemaker. Her husband, Greg, works for Ag-Systems, Inc.
  • Laurie Hagen (Faribault, Minnesota) is teaching the Lambs pre-kindergarten as well as sixth grade reading at Holy Redeemer Parochial School in Montgomery. An article on and photo of Laurie and two other new teachers at Holy Redeemer was featured in the Montgomery Messenger—it’s always nice to see Gusties get some ink.
  • Valerie Hughes Hanson (Burnsville, Minnesota) is an RN at Abbott Northwestern Hospital. She and her husband, Tom, have two children.
  • Jonathan Hilding (Hudson, Wisconsin) teaches math in the Hudson School District. His wife, Juli, is youth ministry coordinator at Bethel Lutheran Church. Jonathan completed his master’s in education at Viterbo College. Congratulations on that accomplishment!
  • Troy and Susan (Lunt) Hawksford and their four children (Ben, Elizabeth, Alexandra, and Catherine) continue to make their home in Northfield, Michigan. Troy is employed by Douglas Corporation and Susan is a stay-at-home mom.
  • Mitch Hopton (Maple Grove, Minnesota) is employed by EZ-Gard Industries.
  • Jon Hyers (St. Paul, Minnesota) has his own company called Hyers Video Productions. Jon was recently granted his first patent on a special effects device for video production. Congrats! He is now looking for investors to help get the device manufactured.
  • Joe Janasz (Bloomington, Minnesota) owns his own firm, Janasz & Associates, Inc.
  • Mark Johnson (Hutchinson, Minnesota) and his wife, Jennifer, are the parents of three girls: Hannah, Emma, and Grace. Sounds like Mark and his family are Gustie football fans, and Hannah’s favorite seat is on the sidelines alongside the grounds crew on their John Deere Gators.
  • Steve Johnson (Oakdale, Minnesota) received the Master of Divinity degree from Luther Seminary in St. Paul on May 21 at Central Lutheran Church. Congratulations Steve! Steve also has a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy from the University of Wisconsin in Menomonie. He has accepted a call to serve as an associate pastor at Bethesda Lutheran Church in Inver Grove Heights. Steve and his wife, Sharon, have two children: Rachel, 5, and Peter, 3.
  • Kris (Guyer) Jones (Minneapolis, Minnesota) is employed by Lutheran Brotherhood, as is her husband, David ’83.
  • Jim Kapoun (Marshall, Minnesota) is a professor in humanities/undergraduate research at Southwest State University.
  • David Kaul (Brainerd, Minnesota) is an accountant with Lakeland Mold Company. His wife, Vicky ’83, is a homemaker.
  • Julie Anderson Keifer (Rosholt, South Dakota) is a second grade teacher and gifted coordinator for the Rosholt School District. Her husband, Glenn, is a farmer/rancher.
  • Sharon Lee Kern (Maple Grove, Minnesota) is a nurse at North Ridge Care Center. She was recently promoted to assistant director of nursing. Congratulations! Her husband, Tom, is employed by Premier Bank.
  • Chad Kelly got some ink in the StarTribune’s business section on August 24. According to the article, Chad has been named managing director and head of marketing for Piper Jaffray, the investment banking arm of U.S. Bancorp. Congrats on the new position! Prior to this career move, Chad was marketing director of Tracker Marine in Springfield, Missouri.
  • Rob Koble has been enjoying his one-of-a-kind oak wagon wheel rocking chair, and taking time to remember his brother, Steve Koble, our classmate. Steve died of a brain aneurysm in 1997, at the age of 35, the same age as Rob now. Finishing the chair has special meaning to Rob, since it was Steve who designed and started to build the oak wagon wheel rocking chair several years ago. Last Christmas, Rob decided to finish the chair, in remembrance of and in homage to Steve. There is no doubt that that chair has profound meaning to Rob, and it is indeed a wonderful tribute to both brothers.
  • Tamera Koeder (Dallas, Texas) has joined the ranks of homeowners. She says she now has a place to put everything she’s accumulated over the past several years. It’s great having one’s own home—and it’s never a dull moment.
  • Tamara Sarrack Koester (Mahtomedi, Minnesota) is a flight attendant with American Airlines. Her husband, Scott, is employed by WAI Continuum. The Koesters welcomed a son, Bjorn, last October 14th. Belated congrats!
  • Maelene Anderson Krig (Minneapolis, Minnesota) is in her tenth year of teaching at Blake Middle School in Hopkins. She currently teaches 6th and 8th grade science, and spends part of her day as a computer specialist.
  • Kris Lange (Oakland, California) is a human resource specialist for the University of California System. She also serves on the California Governor’s Committee for Employment of Disabled Persons.
  • Jennifer Strand Larson and her husband, Frank, continue to make their home in Wayzata, Minnesota. Frank, is president of Northstar, Inc.
  • Last June Ruth Lauersen (Spokane, Washington) was elected cluster representative to the synod council of the Eastern Washington Idaho Synod. Congratulations!
  • Randy Lee (Mound, Minnesota) is vice president of America Sales for Seagate Technology. His wife, Kristin, is a homemaker and is surely enjoying their new son, Torsten, who was born this past January.
  • Edward Lewandowski (Scipio, Indiana) is employed by Cummins Engine Company Inc. He and his wife, Theresa, were due to have their fifth child this past May. Send the news our way.
  • Larry Lindahl (Little Rock, Arkansas) and his wife, Lynn (Barberg ’83), are now full-time missionaries. They are in ministry with FamilyLife, a ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ. Larry is also a Conference Planner with FamilyLife. Larry and Lynn have three children (David, 10, Marie, 7, and Danny, 5) who are homeschooled.
  • Margie Sauer Lindberg and her husband, Todd, make their home in St. Louis Park, Minnesota. Margie is a homemaker and Todd is employed by Unimax.
  • Mike McClain (Mankato, Minnesota) is employed by Corporate Express.
  • Lynn (Lutz) McGinty (Manitowoc , Wisconsin) is substitute teaching in the Manitowoc Public Schools. Dan is president and CEO of Holy Family Memorial Health Network. Lynn and Dan have three children: Ryan, 12, Alyssa, 10, and Kyle, 6.
  • Rebecca Morgan (Herndon, Virginia) recently started teaching third grade gifted and talented students in Fairfax County Public Schools.
  • Julia Haen Morton (Edina, Minnesota) has been promoted to vice president with American Express Financial Advisors, Inc. Congrats! Jeff is a stay-at-home dad.
  • Jan Mussell and her husband moved to Robins, Iowa, this past summer. Her husband’s job is the reason for the relocation, and Jan is exploring where her career path may lead. Keep us posted.
  • Jill Mauston Petersen (Excelsior, Minnesota) teaches in the Edina Public Schools. Jill and her husband, Clayton, welcomed son, Logan Levi, on January 23, 1999. In case we missed the announcement, belated congrats!
  • Karla Hagen Peper (Alexandria, Minnesota) is a nurse at Douglas County Hospital. Her husband, David, is employed at Jefferson High School.
  • Agnieszka Perlinska (Williston, Vermont) is a partner at the Stowe Consulting Company.
  • Brenda Larson Powell (Minneapolis, Minnesota) and her husband, John, welcomed son, James, on December 17, 1999. Belated congrats to you, too!
  • Sara Quiram (Waterville, Minnesota) was named one of Waterville-Elysian-Morristown’s Teachers of the Year (she shares the award with another teacher). Congratulations on the honor! This year, Sara changed from teaching fifth graders (which she’s done for 12 years) to teaching kindergarten. Sara and her husband, Donald, live on a farm northwest of Elysian and have two sons: Bruce, 9, and Brian, 4.
  • Lydia Flora Radke (Eden Prairie, Minnesota) and her husband, Paul ’85, traveled to Hong Kong and Beijing. That sounds exotic and exciting—I hope it was.
  • Amy Krause Reader (Maplewood, Minnesota) is employed by the State of Minnesota.
  • Jim Renn (Rochester, Minnesota) is a stockbroker with Dain Rauscher. His wife, Holly, also works at Dain Rauscher, where she is a sales assistant.
  • Jean Brinkman Reynolds (Marquette, Michigan) is a homemaker. Her husband, Chuck, is employed by Marquette General Hospital.
  • Jo Barthel Rimmereid (Plymouth, Minnesota) is a homemaker. Her husband, Paul, is employed by the Federal Reserve Bank.
  • Connie Sackett-Lund (Minneapolis, Minnesota) and her husband, Robert, welcomed a new son, Jens Marlin, on March 8, 1999; the couple was married on June 19. Belated congrats on the nuptials and the addition to the family! Connie is an LPN with Health Systems Minnesota. The couple is now building a new home.
  • Jeanne Schultz Schimmels (Miamisburg, Ohio) and her husband, Scott, welcomed son, Brian, in January of 1999. Belated congrats on your son’s birth! Jeanne is a homemaker and Scott is employed by the University of Dayton.
  • Beth Aykens Simms (Minneapolis, Minnesota) and her husband, Joseph, also became parents in 1999; they welcomed daughter, Lily, on September 3. Belated congrats to you, too! Beth is self-employed and Joseph works for the North St. Paul/Maplewood School District.
  • Sue Trachy Sitko (Pinetop, Arizona) is working with Arizona Game/Fish Department as a wildlife biologist. Her husband, Bruce, is also employed with the same department.
  • P. Brett Smith , who was named Minnesota’s Teacher of the Year last year, made it to the final four in the run for National Teacher of the Year. Brett teaches music at O. H. Anderson Elementary School in Mahtomedi.
  • Mikael Steene (Bromma, Sweden) wrote recently to fill us in on the events of his life the past several years. He has been living in Stockholm since 1993. He earned his J.D. from the University of Oregon in 1992, and became a member of the Washington State Bar in 1993. Mikael then earned an L.L.M. from the University of Stockholm in 1996 and has been a corporate attorney for Birka Energi since 1997. On July 25, 1998, Mikael and Åse Uhrdin were married; the couple became parents twice on April 12, 2000, when twins Christian and Cathrine were born. Congrats on the academic degrees, nuptials, and births! Glad to hear you’re doing well.
  • Ellen Lund Strom (Minneapolis, Minnesota) and her husband, Wayne, became parents on August 2, 1998, when son, Andrew, was born. Belated congrats! Ellen is employed by Fulcrum Consulting Group and Wayne is employed by Donaldson Company, Inc.
  • Kari Boorsma Suter (Burnsville, Minnesota) is a reference attorney with West Group. Her husband, Scott, is an attorney with Webster & Suter, P.A.
  • Allyson Hasselbring Tarnowski (New Hope, Minnesota) continues in her position as general manager at Muffuletta restaurant. She and her husband, David, have three daughters.
  • Julie Timmerman (Madison, Wisconsin) is a nurse with the University of Wisconsin Hospitals.
  • David Torgerson (Denver, Colorado) has a new job: He is now a business-to-business account executive with Spring PCS.
  • Carolyn Towler (Ely, Minnesota) is project coordinator for the International Wolf Center, where she designs curriculum on wolf management in Minnesota. She also started a brass group called Boundary Waters Brass.
  • Kevin Whitaker (Plymouth, Minnesota) is now tax manager with Price/Waterhouse/Coopers. His wife, Anita, is a freelance technical writer.
  • Barb Schaller Wiggins (St. Paul, Minnesota) is employed by Brown-Wilbert, Inc. Her husband, Mark, is senior software engineer at Unisys.
  • Ed Worden (Litchfield, Minnesota) is a farmer and is employed by the U.S. Postal Service.
  • Marilee Buss Zalewski (Holmen, Wisconsin) and her husband, Terry, were expecting a baby in March . Send us the news!
  • Patrick Zalusky (Mankato, Minnesota) is an insurance agent with Laker Planning Service.
  • Sheri Lohrenz Zastrow (Rochester, Minnesota) has a new position; she is now clinical educator for neurosurgery at the Mayo Clinic. Her husband, Gregg, is employed by Adair Electric.

The list of email addresses that I usually include in these letters can be found on the 1984 Home Page. Just go into the Gustavus web site: and click on the alumni sites until you come to Class Home Pages.

At the annual class agents meeting this fall, we were given a list of lost alumni. In case you might know of someone’s whereabouts, I thought I’d include the list here. If you have any information on anyone on the list, please let the Alumni Office know (800-GUSTIES or

Micah Ingrid Peterson Asher
Barbara M. Blumer
Carol A. Chamberlain
Deborah Davis Christopher
Timothy D. Couture
Gloria F. Drews
Per Ekstam
Carrie T. Farrow
Karen A. Finer
Jeffrey P. Fitzsimmons
Rebecca Helgeson Grassau
Lee A. Hacklander
Brenda Rensted Holt
Yumi Inoue
Gary W. Jackson Jr.
Jonathon P. Jasnoch
Holly Jacobson Jobe
Kathryn C. Johnson
Thomas H. Kappele
Sara B. Konu
Ann Ammon Kruger
Steven J. Musser
Karen A. Nickel
Eric L. Olson
Beatrice Owen
John T. Pollard
James Presnail
John R. Pribnow
Karen Kelley Stevens
Laurel E. Stone

Fundraising Update

The final report for the 1999-2000 fund year is in and here are the results. The Class of 1984 (class size of 477) finished the year with192 donors, 40.25% participation, and $21,686 total dollars. Of that amount, $11,803 was unrestricted. The average gift was $112.95. Gustavus appreciates your gift and what it demonstrates about alumni support.

Alumni support is important to the life of the College, and many of us were the recipients of that generosity when we were awarded scholarships to help us attend Gustavus. Today, 68 percent of the students receive financial assistance, and the annual fund helps support students in numerous ways. From opportunities for service learning to student-faculty research projects, from international study opportunities to extracurricular activities, the Gustavus Fund supports student life on the hill. It is no less important today than it was in our time.

With that, we come to the close of another letter. I hope that if you have news to share that you’ll pass it along, and that you’ll keep in touch. And if you have occasion to be in the area, Gustavus is always ready to welcome you home.

Carole Arwidson

1984 Co-Class Agent or