Class of '84
January 2006

Dear Fellow Gustie,

Greetings, I am your guest class letter author for January 2006.  Thanks to Ken and Carole for the faithful service sending us news of our classmates and of current life on the hill.

Why did you choose Gustavus?  Can you remember? Has it made a difference?

Growing up in Iowa we would often visit my grandma Ruth Johnson ’20, in St. Peter.  An early memory for me is thinking that Gustavus was a water tower.  That is what those big black letters said―GUSTAVUS.  The tower is gone but in some sense it turned out to be true.  For water is what nourishes and sustains me, and so does my relationship with the college.

Being a 4th generation Gustie, I have a strong sense of history.  There are many family stories we like to tell.  I suspect you all have stories relating to those years 1980-1984 that get told and retold.  Following Gustavus, I continued my education at the University of Iowa, and the Mayo Clinic.  I have now completed 13 years of practice as an ophthalmologist in the Twin Cities.

Those additional years of school prepared me for what I do, but Gustavus had more impact on who I am.

My wife, Sheryl (Brolander ’83) and I make our home in Eagan.  Our kids are like your kids; they’re awesome!  We have fun crossing paths with other Gusties new and old, at Church, at work, and in the community.

Go visit and look around a bit.  The banner features five core values:  excellence, community, justice, service and faith.  There are changing examples in each of these areas.  How do you see these values in your daily living?  Do you seek excellence?  Are you part of a community?  Do you give of yourself in service?  Do you seek justice?  Where you say YES, send in the news.  Write to:

David W. Johnson

1984 Guest Letter Writer


  • Robyn Rime and her husband, Edgar Brown, welcomed a new bundle of joy, Whitman, on November 18, 2005.
  • Larry and Lynn (Barberg ’83) Lindahl welcomed Naomi Christina Raquel into their home in North Little Rock, AR.  She was born September 26, 2002 in Guatemala.  Larry continues as a conference planner for FamilyLife, a ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ, and Lynn is a homemaker and home school teacher for the older children.
  • Agnieszka Perlinska and Jacek Szamrej have a new daughter, Maria Evita born August 11, 2005.
  • Peter Ford now has the title regional security officer for the U.S. Department of State.
  • Susan Skarp, M.D. joined the Brainerd Medical Center as a family practice physician.

Campus News

Study Abroad Leader

Gustavus continues to be a leading institution for the number of students studying abroad, according to an annual ranking recently released by the Institute of International Education (IIE).  Consistent with its mission of giving students an education that is international in perspective, Gustavus was ranked seventh in the "Top 20 Baccalaureate Institutions" list of the institute’s "Open Doors 2005" report.  Gustavus was one of four Minnesota private colleges to make the list of 20.  The report was based on study abroad statistics from the 2003-04 academic year.  Gustavus students engage in international learning through various programs in more than 100 locations throughout the world, ranging from Australia to India and Ecuador to Sweden.  In recent years, 50 percent of Gustavus graduates have participated in at least one study-abroad experience.

New Carnegie Classification for Colleges and Universities

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching released a new classification system for institutions of higher education.  Gustavus’ classification is Arts & Sciences plus Professions, indicating that 60 to 80 percent of Gustavus students complete a traditional liberal arts major, such as political science, classics, or biology.  The new classifications describe five aspects of colleges and universities: instructional programs, enrollment profile, undergraduate demographics, size, and setting.  Undergraduate instructional programs are now designated as Arts & Sciences Focus, Arts & Sciences plus Professions, Balanced Arts & Sciences and Professions, Professions plus Arts & Sciences, or Professions Focus. 

Insurance Programs

The Alumni Association, in partnership with Meyer and Associates and Liberty Mutual, offers an insurance program to alumni and their families.  Products include insurance policies for life, short-term medical, auto, home, and renters.  For life and short-term medical insurance call Meyer and Associates at 800-635-7801 or visit  For auto, home, and renters insurance call Liberty Mutual at 800-524-9400 or visit

Gustavus to Perform at Orchestra Hall

The Gustavus Music Showcase will be Sunday, March 12, at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis.  The Gustavus Choir, Gustavus Symphony Orchestra, and Gustavus Wind Orchestra will perform.  This is a unique opportunity to hear three premier ensembles from Gustavus in one concert.  This showcase also allows prospective students, parents, and alumni from the area to meet and connect.  For tickets, call the Orchestra Hall box office at 800/292-4141.  Tickets are $20 for general admission, and $10 for students 18 and under.


Two big stories from the fall sports are that Hailey Harren won the national NCAA Division III cross country title and the men’s soccer team became the first MIAC school to play in the national championship game and finished second, losing 1-0 to defending national champion Messiah.  For the second consecutive year, men's soccer coach Larry Zelenz has been named Coach of the Year in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America/Adidas NCAA Division III West Region.  The men's hockey team is unbeaten in conference play, outscoring their opponents 28-5 in four games.

Upcoming Music Tours

This year nearly 300 students will participate in music tours as members of the Gustavus Wind Orchestra, Gustavus Choir, Gustavus Symphony Orchestra, Gustavus Jazz Lab Band, and Choir of Christ Chapel.  The Gustavus Wind Orchestra will tour Eastern Europe Jan. 14-30.  Performances are scheduled for Germany, Czech Republic, Poland, and Austria.  The Gustavus Choir will tour Jan. 27-Feb. 11 (see schedule below), with performances in Minnesota and Wisconsin.  The Gustavus Symphony Orchestra, Gustavus Jazz Lab Band, and Choir of Christ Chapel will tour during Spring Semester.

Gustavus Choir Tour Schedule

  • January 27 at Augustana Lutheran Church, West St. Paul, 7:30 p.m.
  • January 28 at St. Joseph's Catholic Church, Grand Rapids, 7:30 p.m.
  • January 29 at Zion Lutheran Church, Grand Rapids, 8:30 a.m. morning service
  • January 29 at Concordia Lutheran Church, Duluth, 3 p.m.
  • January 30 at Bemidji High School Auditorium, Bemidji, 7 p.m.
  • January 31 at First Lutheran Church, Morris, 7 p.m.
  • February 2 at Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church, Marshfield, WI, 7:30 p.m.
  • February 3 at St. Francis Catholic Church, Brainerd, 7:30 p.m.
  • February 4 at Central Lutheran Church, Winona, 7 p.m.
  • February 5 at Faith Lutheran Church, Winona, 8 a.m. morning service
  • February 5 at First Lutheran Church, Red Wing, 2 p.m.
  • February 11 at Christ Chapel, Saint Peter, 7:30 p.m.

Upcoming Alumni Events

  • Tucson, AZ Gustie Gathering - February 10
  • Phoenix, AZ Gustie Gathering - February 11
  • Sun City, AZ Gustie Gathering - February 12
  • Gustavus Music Showcase at Orchestra Hall - March 12
  • Atlanta, GA Gustie Gathering - March 26