Class of '84
January 2004

Dear Fellow Gustie:

Greetings, I am your guest class letter author for January 2004.  I'm writing this letter from the nation's capitol, but at times, I wish I were writing this letter back in Minnesota.  Carole sent a pleasant e-mail inviting me to write this stating that I can basically write about whatever I want.  What a Gustavus statement, you create what you want with no fear of reprisal.  I said sure and the next thing I knew a large white envelope was delivered with all the news of fellow classmates from Phonorama, etc.  Hopefully, I was able to transfer all that information onto the class news section of this letter.  Classmates, Carole and Ken spend a lot of time getting this organized and when you see them at the reunion applaud their efforts!

What a different world we live in from the time we spent on the Hill.  No laptops, no cell phones, no metal detectors, no one knew words like WMD or Homeland Security.  In fact, today public speakers can't tell clean, funny jokes on the Norwegians anymore (Garrison Keillor is the only one who gets away with it).  Yes, times have times, we wish for the "good old days."  No matter the course of world events after Gustavus graduation, I truly believe that what we learned at Gustavus is the bedrock of how we interpret and react to different events affecting our lives.  As much cash as we spent on Gustavus, or our parents did, we might as well refer to its instruction and philosophy for years to come.

My route to Gustavus was different than most.  I was born in Minnesota, but moved to West Point, NY, when I was six weeks old.  As a kid, I always heard about Gustavus from relatives visiting from Minnesota and I visited my cousin's farm in St. James in the summer.  Not until my late teens did the magnetic pulse of the "The Hill" start pulling me to St. Pete.  I transferred from the east coast during my junior year.  There at Gustavus, I was taught to question why things are that way and should things be that way.  Profs. taught us to think "outside the box."  I didn't follow our family tradition of three generations of Gusties who became Lutheran pastors, but I still believe the central focus of Gustavus is the Church and should be for future generations.  Our beautiful Gustavus Chapel, located directly in the middle of campus, is the bedrock of Gustavus.  Gustavus and everything that the name encompasses taught us to think about the disadvantaged so that when we graduate we can try to implement this philosophy into our daily lives.  No wonder Gustavus sends many of its grads to humanitarian professions throughout the world.

On a personal note, at Gustavus, I realized that FarFar was not my grandfather's real name―it's the Swedish translation of father's father.  I also learned that our family's last name was changed in the early 1900's by my great grandfather Anderson, to Ford because he didn't want to be known as a dumb Swede.  I've realized that if I ever give politics another shot I'll have to change my name back to Anderson and move to Minnesota.  And I learned that Professor Chet Johnson is somehow related to me...I still can't figure it out, but Chet knows.

When I meet people here in DC and find out they're from Minnesota, I tell them sure I live here, but my heart is back there in Minnesota where there's nine months of winter and three months of poor sledding.  In fact, there are a lot of people working on Capitol Hill that are from Minnesota.  There was once even a magazine article titled, "The Minnesota Mafia on Capitol Hill."

This year, I'm on an internship/fellowship working on the Select Committee on Homeland Security.  I traveled with the Committee and we just returned from the Middle East where we were briefed on what's being done to catch the bad guys before they reach our shores.  Next year, hopefully, I'll start Russian language school for a year then on to St. Petersburg for my next assignment.  I'm still in the Army Reserves and my wife, Susan, works for the Peace Corps.  We have two little ones, Hannah, age two and John David, age one.

If you or your relatives are planning to visit Capitol Hill within the next nine months, please e-mail me ahead of time at:  Hopefully, I'll see everyone at the reunion.  Go Gustavus, Beat St. Olaf!

Peter Ford

1984 Guest Letter Writer


  • Mike Bishop (Plymouth, MN) - Mike is now a senior vice president with Pelto Group.  Pelto Group is a third party claims administrator based in Golden Valley.  His wife, Kelly, is still a business analyst with Target Corporation.  They have two boys, Tyler and Timmy.
  • Shari McKenzie Black (Wadsworth, OH) - Shari, her husband, Gary, and their two children have recently moved to Wadsworth, OH.  Her husband remains with the same company, Ford Meterbox and is now responsible for overseeing sales in 21 states.  Shari has accepted a position at University Hospitals of Cleveland in the Ireland Cancer Center as a nurse practitioner in the Cancer Urgent Care Center.
  • Janet Schwanz Bymers (Eagan, MN) - Janet is the senior director, client services of the Clark Consulting Health Care Group.  In December 2002, Janet adopted Ava Maria from China who was born on January 3, 2002.
  • Lynda White Czarnetzki (Eagan, MN) - works for Minnesota Life as a manager in the financial and business operations.
  • John and Joan (Bayer) Engstrom (West Bend, WI) - John is the Badger's Middle School principal and Joan is a special education teacher with the Green Tree Elementary in West Bend, WI.  They have three children and a dog.
  • Jon Entner (White Bear Lake, MN) - Jon is working as a systems engineering consultant for Air Traffic Control Systems in White Bear Lake.
  • Steve Erickson (Chaska, MN) - Steve is a sales representative with Coloplast (A Danish medical device company).
  • David Fenske (Eden Prairie, MN) - Dave is a shareholder at the law firm of Morrison, Fenske & Sund.  The firm represents general corporations.  His wife is running a half marathon in Vancouver (Good luck!).  They have one son and three daughters.
  • Judy Rydland Fleming (Eden Prairie, MN) - Judy's husband is serving in Iraq as a member of the Air Force Reserves.  The family is hoping that he'll return before the end of the year (so are we!).
  • Kathy Hegre Fuller (Eden Prairie, MN) - Kathy works for Medronic and recently finished her doctorate in psychology.
  • Ross Gustafson (Golden, CO) - Ross and his wife, Tina, are currently back with Coors Brewing Company.  They have two kids, a 13-year-old-girl and an 11-year-old boy.
  • Monica McGraw Hammersten (Minneapolis area) - I received an interesting article about Monica in the October 2003 edition of FoodService News.  The article talked about Monica opening up a specialty dessert wholesale company that once had a shop at the Mall of America.  The problem is that they signed their lease on September 10, 2001.  After 9/11, the shoppers at the mall dropped 30%.  There is a happy ending to her saga.  Monica's apple crisp, along with her peach and strawberry-rhubarb crisp can be found in the frozen food section at Byerly's and Kowalski's.
  • Jim Herbers (Rochester, MN) - Jim was named "Tax Auditor of the Year" for the 12th straight year, but more importantly to him is the fact that he shaved his beard!
  • Mark Johnson (Hutchinson, MN) - works as a treasurer for Northern Insulation Products in Hutchinson, MN.
  • Sharon Lee Kern (Maple Grove, MN) - Sharon is the associate director of the Minnesota Masonic Homes North Ridge.  Sharon lives in Maple Grove, MN.
  • Damon Larson (Centennial, CO) - Damon is a finalist for "Teacher of the Year."  Go get 'em Damon!
  • Randy Lee (Mound, MN) - Here's a fancy title for Randy, senior vice president, global sales for Seagate Technology!  Randy has five children, Kristin, Erik, Anna, Toby, and Torsten.  Now, there are some good Swedish names.
  • Cheryl Kramer Macaulay (Lakeville, MN) - Her husband, George '85, is attending Bethel Seminary―soon to be pastor!  And soon, Cheryl will be a preacher's wife.  Good luck, Cheryl!
  • Steve Mattson (Eden Prairie, MN) - works for Clear Channel Entertainment as an executive director.
  • Rob McColl (Cochrane, WI) - Rob teaches art at St. Mary's University in Winona.  Rob's wife, Britta (Hunter) is very busy home schooling their five boys and two girls.  Now that sounds like a lot of work!
  • Dan McGinty (Shoreview, MN) - Dan is senior vice president of Acute Care Operations for Benedictine Health System near Duluth, but they still call the Twin cities their home.  Lynn (Lutz) volunteers at her church and the local school.
  • Heather McQueen (Saint Louis Park, MN) - Heather took a two-week vacation to Scotland with her family.
  • Jeff Miller (Eagan, MN) - Jeff and his wife, Terri, both work for Northwest Airlines.  They have three children, Brandon and twins Lance and Lindsey.
  • Paul Modean (Altadena, CA) - Paul and his wife, Laurie, have a son named Hunter Paul Modean born on December 5, 2002.  Paul is in his 19th year at Northwest Airlines working as an instructor and flight attendant.  More importantly, Paul and Laurie just adopted a baby girl, Elizabeth Grace.  She was born on January 5, 2004.  Congrats!
  • David Nordlander (Washington, DC) - Last month, I saw David walking in the Library of Congress.  David said he's working for the Library of Congress now.  Small world isn't it.
  • Mark Munson (Duluth, MN) - works for the Federal Bureau of Prisons as associate warden in Duluth, MN.
  • Paul Nelson (Plymouth, MN) - Paul is still a claims manager for Allstate and Gail, his wife, is still with Target.  They have two girls in first and sixth grade.  Paul's big news for the year was running his first marathon―The Twin Cities Marathon.
  • Jefferey Nicholls (Prior Lake, MN) - works for Fremont Industries, Inc. as a sales manager/chemist.
  • Ranel Voss Nordstrom (East Bethel, MN) - Ranel is working for Methodist Hospital as an RN.  She and her husband, Chuck, are busy with their three children.
  • John Owens (Philippines) - John's probably not going to make the reunion due to the 13-hour time zone change.  He and his wife, Pam, are still in the Philippines where John manages a large USAID funded project (Microenterprise Access to Banking Services).  For those who would like to know more about John's work, you can check out the web site:
  • Jeff Pedersen (Lake Elmo, MN) - works for State Farm Insurance in Lake Elmo,
  • MN.
  • Agnieszka Perlinska (Williston, VT) - Agnieszka informed us that she got married to Jacek Szamrej on September 27, 2003, in Warsaw, Poland!!  But Williston, VT, is her permanent home.
  • Lydia Flora Radke (Eden Prairie, MN) - Lydia has returned to school and is working toward her master's in social work at St. Thomas University.
  • Jana Liupakka Richardson (Naperville, IL) - Jana is now working part-time as a school nurse in the Naperville school district.  She ran her second marathon this year.  Way to go, Jana.
  • Jennifer Swenson (El Dorado Hills, CA) - Jenny works for the California State Senate.  In case anyone is, she hasn't met Arnold yet!  Her husband, John, is an air traffic controller.  Her son, Eric, is in kindergarten; their daughter, Hannah, is two years old.
  • Jay Schwingler (Eden Prairie, MN) - Jay sent an e-mail stating that he and his wife, Sue, have recently become the owners of Enhance Graphics Print in Eden Prairie.
  • Allyson Hasselbring Tarnowski (New Hope, MN) - Allyson is general manager of Muffuletta restaurant in St. Paul.
  • Dave Torgerson (Denver, CO) - Dave and his wife are realtors with ReMax Real Estate.  They have two girls who are five and three.
  • Carolyn Towler - studies aquatic biology in graduate school at Bemidji State University.  In the summers, she works as biological monitor for the U.S. Forest Service in the BWCA.
  • Carol Fredrickson Tweeten (Forest City, IA) - Carol continues as a CPA with her own firm, Tweeten and Young.
  • Dixie Tronrud Vornbrock (Otsego, MN) - Dixie is a substitute teacher and coaches girls' and boys' basketball.
  • Wendy Roal Warner (Mackinaw, IL) - Wendy is an associate warden for the Federal Bureau of Prisons located in Mackinaw.


Building a Greater Gustavus Reaches Target

Gustavus celebrates reaching the $100 million target for the Building a Greater Gustavus capital campaign.  The campaign includes reconstruction projects following the 1998 tornados, the creation of the Center for Vocational Reflection, growth of the Christ Chapel Endowment, the C. Charles Jackson Campus Center, the Curtis and Arleen Carlson International Center, the Barbro Osher Svenska Huset (Swedish House), the new soccer and track complex, and more than 100 new scholarships.  Efforts continue to raise funds for campaign projects, such as Old Main renovation, Gustavus Alumni Fund, and further endowment growth.  Special thanks! goes to the volunteers and donors who contributed their resources to assist current and future Gusties. 

January Term

The theme for this January Term is "Undergraduate Research and Creativity," to promote course offerings and activities in all fields, not just natural sciences and fine arts.  In addition about 375 students are on travel programs abroad in such places as Europe, Australia, Malaysia, Fiji, and Israel.  Also, 180 students are participating in internships and career explorations, now so essential for many students in securing a job, no matter what career field. 

New Gustavus Video

Have you been to campus lately?  Can you remember your first time seeing Gustavus? The Admission Office has created a new video/DVD for prospective students to take a look at the College. Take a look online if you wish at <>.

Fine Arts

The Gustavus Symphonic Orchestra will take a 16-day concert tour to China performing in such places as Beijing, the Great Wall, and Tianjin.  The Gustavus Choir will take a 10-day concert tour to selected cities in North Dakota, Colorado, Nebraska, and Minnesota, and will also present a concert in the Twin Cities on Friday evening, January 30, 2004, 7:30 p.m., at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, in St. Paul.  The Gustavus Wind Orchestra, formerly the Gustavus Band, will tour during Spring Break.

Extraordinary Place

Gustavus is among leaders in Academic All-Americans.  The College Sports Information Directors of America have recently released a list of institutions with the highest number of Academic All-Americans over the past three years. Gustavus ranks 14th out of all programs competing at the NCAA Divisions I, II, and III, and NAIA levels.

Great Teaching

In case you missed the note in the Fall 2003 issue of the Gustavus Quarterly, we are asking alumni to send in short reminiscences, tributes, and anecdotes about professors who made a difference in their education - "the teachers and mentors who have made a lasting impression, who have imparted life lessons, whom you remember for their wit, or their mastery, or their encouragement, or their exacting standards . . . or their idiosyncrasies." We are planning to focus an upcoming issue of the Quarterly on "great teaching" and would like to hear from those who experienced the classes of those great professors.  Send your paragraphs and stories to either Randall Stuckey '83, director of alumni relations (, or Steve Waldhauser '70 (, managing editor of the Quarterly, or in the mail to the College.

Upcoming Chapter Events

  • Washington DC, Gustavus gathering - February 6
  • Atlanta, Georgia, Gustavus gathering - February 26
  • Tampa Bay, Florida, Gustavus gathering - February 27
  • Naples, Florida, Gustavus gathering - February 28
  • Vero Beach, Florida, Gustavus gathering - February 29
  • Sun City, Arizona, Gustavus gathering - March 19
  • Phoenix, Arizona, Gustavus gathering - March 20
  • Tucson, Arizona, Gustavus gathering - March 21