Class of '84
May 2006

Dear Gustie:

Spring is upon us once again and it’s glorious.  Although I had hoped to send you this last letter of the academic year long before now, April somehow got away from me, in part because of a two-week trip to Cape Town, South Africa.  I was part of a group from Open Arms, a social service agency in the Twin Cities that provides nutritional meals to those living with HIV/AIDS, ALS, MS, and breast cancer.  Open Arms also has a partnership with a community center in the township of Guguletu outside of Cape Town.  The J.L. Zwane Centre provides a range of services to the local community, with a particular focus on HIV/AIDS prevention.  Open Arms provides daily nutritional lunches for patients and twice a year distributes food parcels to the same patients, their caregivers, and staff.  We were there to pack and distribute the food parcels, which was a humbling and yet joyful experience.  The entire trip was amazing and filled with many wonderful moments, and I know I will return one day.

So, now it’s May and before we know it, the month will end, the school year will come to a close, and another academic year—and another year of class letters—will have come to an end.  If you’ve taken the initiative and sent in a gift to the College, thank you very much.  If you haven’t done so yet, you still have a few weeks left to have your gift count in this academic year’s totals (the fund year closes the end of May).  As April 30, our class had 135 donors and $68,620 (vs. 163 donors from last year and $25,456).  In terms of unrestricted gifts, our class total is $10,068 vs. $12,510 last year.

A few classmates have passed on news recently and I want to be sure to share that with you:

  • Randy Ammon, who has retired from his job at Nextel Partners, continues to make his home in Lakeville, Minnesota, with his wife, Nancy.
  • Gayle Aasen (Clifford, ND) has earned a master of arts in linguistics.  Gayle and her husband, Leslie Voth, welcomed son, Lyle Duncan, on October 11, 2003.  Congrats on the achievement and the addition to the family!
  • Kari Boorsma Suter (Apple Valley, MN) is a content developer with Thompson West.
  • Carol Chamberlain (Dallas, TX) is a pain specialist with Pacman Hospital.  Her husband, Curt Koestler, is a counselor at Riverside Medical Center.
  • John Clemedtson and Dorian Borhies were married on January 14, 2006, in Moorhead, Minnesota.  Congrats on the nuptials!
  • Nancy Dahl (Lakeland, MN) works for Quebecor Printing.
  • Scott and Laurie (Berge) Hagen continue to make their home in Faribault, Minnesota.  Scott is deployed as chaplain for the Casualty and Memorial Affairs Unit in Alexandria, Virginia, with the U.S. Army Reserves.  Laurie is an early childhood teacher with Faribault School District 656 ECFE.
  • Tom and Monica (McGraw) Hammersten make their home in St. Louis Park, Minnesota.  Tom is now employed by Allianz Life, and Monica is owner of A La Mode Desserts.
  • Gwen Jones (West Caldwell, NJ) is assistant professor of management at Fairleigh Dickinson University.
  • Carol Jordan (Excelsior, MN) is the human resources manager for Capella University.
  • Keith McConnell completed the New York Marathon on November 6, 2005.  He finished in the top 20 percent, at 4 hours, 11 minutes, and 49 seconds.  Impressive!  This was Keith’s seventh marathon, and he has run one every year since 1999.  Keith plans to run the marathon in either Iceland or Greenland this year.  He is employed by C2 Microsystems, a computer start-up located in San Jose, California.  He and his wife, Jennie Floyd, an actress, live in the Bay Area.
  • Sonja (Madsen) and Chuck McGill continue to make their home in Hudson, Wisconsin.  Sonja is a physical therapist at the Courage Center, and Chuck is executive director of a private school.
  • John and Wendy Binger Morris (Chula Vista, CA) is a third grade teacher at Christian Academy.  Her husband, John, is has been appointed vice president of Jennic Limited’s Americas’ operation, with the opening of its new office in San Diego.
  • Debbie Conn Olson (Brentwood, CA) is employed by Good Scents Florist.  Her husband, Rick Olson, is a computer engineer with Livermore Laboratories.
  • Mary Osborne (Chaska, MN) and her husband, David, are both currently employed by Pearson Education.
  • John Owens (Makati, Philippines) and his wife, Pam, welcomed daughter Brianna Nicole into their family on November 17, 2005 (she was born on May 14 of last year).  Congrats!  Pictures of Brianna can be found on  John continues to work as chief of party for Chemonics International on the USAID-funded Microenterprise Access to Banking Services Program in the Philippines.
  • Kristin Carlson Schultz (Arlington, MN) is director of infection control, quality, and risk management at St. Peter Community Hospital.  Her husband, Denny, is assistant economics development director for the City of Farmington. 
  • Rebecca Eggert Thoen, her husband, Marc, and their daughter, Lauren, continue to celebrate that she is still in remission from a malignant brain tumor.  What glorious news!  The Thoens live in Dawson, Minnesota.

Campus News

The Alumni Board has announced the following Alumni Association Awards:

Greater Gustavus Award:  Gustavus Library Associates, for providing financial resources for Folke Bernadotte Library, and engaging and introducing alumni and friends in the mission of the College.

Distinguished Alumni Citations:  Karen Bossart Rusthoven ’66, St. Paul, MN, founder and principal of Community of Peace Academy, St. Paul; Susan Semple-Rowland ’77, Gainesville, FL, professor of neuroscience, University of Florida and director, Neuroscience IDP Graduate Program; and Magnus Ranstorp ’85, St. Andrews, Scotland, chief scientist at the Centre for Asymmetric Threat Studies, Swedish National Defense College; and a Senior Honorary Research Associate and former Director of Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland.

First Decade Awards:  Rebecca Konrad ’96, Washington, DC, investment officer, global transaction team, The World Bank International Finance Corporation; and Milo Martin ’96, Philadelphia, PA, assistant professor, Department of Computer and Information Sciences, University of Pennsylvania. 

The Gustavus Library Associates, Rusthoven, Semple-Rowland, and 2005 recipient G. Barry Anderson ’76 will receive their awards at the Alumni Banquet, Saturday, May 27, and awards for Ranstorp, Konrad and Martin will be presented on Homecoming Weekend 2006.

Gusties Gather! – August 6

Gusties around the world are called to gather on Sunday, August 6.  The Alumni Board is designating this day as a way for Gusties to stay connected with each other.  In research among alumni, we know that Gusties already stay in contact with many alumni, and we know that Gusties have a strong interest in staying connected with other Gusties and with the College.  Ever think you want to do more to be connected with Gustavus?  Now is your chance, signup to host a Gusties Gather! event.  Complete event check-list, host kit, and details will be provided.  Sign-up via e-mail at <> or call 800/487-8437.

Gustavus Alumni Directory

The 2006 Gustavus Alumni Directory will be published soon and our goal is to represent your information as accurately as possible in the printed edition.  PCI:  the data company, is publishing our directory and a short phone call will update or verify your information.  Call toll free:  1-800-982-1589, Monday-Saturday, 8:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m. CST, and Sunday, 11:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m. CST.  International callers dial:  1-972-386-0100, Monday-Friday CST.

Short Term Medical (STM) Insurance Available

Short Term Medical Insurance can fill the temporary needs of those without health insurance, usually at a lower cost than other alternatives.  Alumni and their families may apply.  This is perfect for children of alumni who are graduating (even if they did not attend Gustavus) and aren’t yet covered under an employer’s health plan.  Contact Meyer and Associates at 800-635-7801 or about this and other sponsored life, auto and homeowners insurance.

MAYDAY! Peace Conference: “AIDS + Africa, the Unfolding Crisis”

The 26th annual MAYDAY! Peace Conference was held on April 19.  This year’s topic was AIDS in Africa.  The conference featured a keynote address by Robert Gallo, co-discoverer of the HIV virus, and Marjorie Mbilinyi, social activist and professor in Tanzania.  The AIDS Memorial Quilt was also on campus for viewing.  Robert Gallo spent time on campus during March and April sponsored by the Robert E. and Susan T. Rydell Distinguished Professorship, a residency program for Nobel Laureates and similarly distinguished scholars.

Upcoming Alumni Events

  • Reunion for Class of 1956 and 50-Year Club – May 26-27
  • Commencement – May 28
  • Gusties Gather! – August 6
  • Reunions for the classes of 1961, 1966, 1971, 1976, 1981, 1986, 1991, 1996, 2001 – October 6-8
  • Homecoming/Family Weekend – October 7 & 8

If you have news to share, you can e-mail us at:


With that, I leave you for now with wishes for a wonderful summer, whatever your plans, and gratitude for all you give to Gustavus, in time, treasure, or talent.