Class of '84
25-Year Reunion ― October 9-10, 2009
MARK THE DATE: CLASS OF 1984 25TH REUNION IS OCTOBER 9 & 10, 2009
You may recall that January is usually the time a guest writer fills in for yours truly. In this reunion year, I asked some classmates to share reflections on any topic of their choosing. For this letter, two classmates offered to share their musings with you: one is from Karla Johnson Beck, the other from Gordon Mansergh. I think you’ll find their pieces an enjoyable read, filled with questions, reflections, and sentiments that will likely resonate with you in our 25th reunion year. And now, without further ado …
By Karla Johnson Beck
I am ancient history. As any good parent knows, we are both old and embarrassing. In other words—ancient history.
My husband and I had the privilege of moving our middle son, David, into Co-Ed this September. (We are supposed to call it Norelius, but that simply doesn’t work for me.) It was obvious throughout the months prior to that first day at Gustavus that changes to both the people and place had occurred. I had to remind myself that the Gustavus of September 1980 was not the same Gustavus of the fall of 2008. If I didn’t remember, my family reminded me, with a look or word, that I was indeed “ancient” and that starting a sentence with “When I was at Gustavus….” was not so welcome.
There are reminders that “my” Gustavus is not “his” Gustavus. The professors who were young and new in the early ’80s are now retired or the seasoned profs. No matter how many times I’ve been on campus in the past ten years, I still look for tornado-torn Johnson Hall where I was a CF. I swear it is still there and I could walk right into the building and recreate the sense and smell of the space. The buildings and structures that have been added on campus in 28 years throw me for a loop. And, well, the cafeteria speaks for itself.
However, perhaps I am not so ancient or historical. While attending Christmas in Christ Chapel I could feel the nervous energy of the first-time musicians and the mixed emotions of the seniors knowing “this was it,” myself having been through the grueling week of rehearsals and services that were and still are C in CC. Upon attending a senior recital last spring in Björling, I knew the pain and pleasure of that task having prepared and performed such an event myself. As we moved David into his dorm and ventured throughout that day, I remember clearly that my parents were an added weight to the experience and could sense in my son that our ancient, historical selves were the same for him. And as I watch David choose classes, decide on a major, and make plans, I am right beside him doing the same as if it was yesterday.
Perhaps I am not so ancient or historical. Perhaps it is that I am, plain and simple, a Gustie. And someday, David and I will be history together.
Gustavus Thoughts—25 Years Later
By Gordon Mansergh
It’s been 25 years.
What does that mean to you?
Probably a lot. A lot of the time, at least.
We’re middle-aged, by old standards, although 46 is the new 33 I hear. The stock market ensures that to some degree. Whether we like “33” again or not, most of us will have a few extra years on the employment clock. But it’s a new morning in the U.S., in many ways. We have a long road ahead, and Americans tend to have a bit of optimism at times like these.
So what did you anticipate at the time we graduated from Gustavus? Did you expect to begin a career leading to fulfillment and perhaps success, in whatever form? Did you want to find love and start a family? Did you plan to venture into the world, to learn from and help those within or beyond our borders? Whatever—and all—it may have been, are you gaining on reflections of 1984?
Not fully, I imagine. Life has its twists and turns, its unexpected opportunities and challenges. And we may have to go with the flow, with little control. As it did during our short but formative four years at Gustavus, the quarter century since graduation has given us many joyous as well as difficult situations from which we have grown.
Some of us are different people than we were in college. Some are late bloomers, or at least given a fuller hand later in life. Some are more solid in who we were at that time, and have built on that foundation. But none of us is exactly who we were then. Experience has transpired.
What significance does our 25th reunion have for you? Perhaps it’s the process rather than simply the outcomes, like the bittersweet thoughts you may have had at commencement. As we may have reflected and anticipated on our lives at that milestone, we may also wish to reflect and anticipate at this juncture in our lives. And we look through different lenses now than we did then, as our history enlightens our vision.
So, where would you like to be 10 or 20 years from now? What would you like to be content about and thankful for in 2034, at the time of our 50th reunion? A fulfilled and successful career, a happy and prosperous family, a particular contribution to humanity, maybe a funded retirement? Hey, we have another 25 years.
Hopefully it will indeed be the journey you appreciate most. The fulfillments, struggles, and lessons along the way, and how you navigated and accommodated through life to that point.
Folks, we have a specific bond that only 499 people in the world can claim. That’s a unique group, and one that I value highly. I look forward to seeing you at our milestone.
Cheers and Godspeed.
Thank you, Karla and Gordon, for taking the time to share your thoughts. You’ve both given us much to think about in this milestone year.
A few other classmates passed along some news that I want to share with you. Drum roll, please:
Paula Eisele Duhaime (Maple Grove) is an account manager with Medica. Her husband, Brad ’85, is vice president of development at Xerxes Computer Corporation.
Kathy Hegre Fuller (Eden Prairie) is employed by Cargill.
Tina Strandvold Gustafson (Golden, Colorado) is employed by SemMaterials as an asphalt formulation chemist. Ross Gustafson continues to work at Coors Brewing Company, where he is a quality control process specialist.
You may recall reading in the Quarterly that Jon Hyers (St. Paul) traveled to Russia in December of 2007 to capture a series of ghost images for a historic exhibit.
Ed Lewandowski (Chagrin Falls, Ohio) and his wife, Theresa, welcomed a new baby daughter, Eva Therese, on August 14, 2008. Congratulations!
Mary Zalk Neumann (Prior Lake) has her own business, Neumann Consulting.
Gigi Rudquist and Brian Boman were married on July 19, 2008. Congrats on the nuptials! The couple makes their home in Schulenburg, Texas. Gigi is a special education counselor with Columbus ISD, and Brian is a high school art teacher at Gonzales ISD.
Nancy Johnson Scott (Ridgefield, Connecticut) is the proud mother of two student-athletes. One son is a DI hockey player at the University of New Hampshire, and the other is a high school senior who is headed to the University of Denver to play lacrosse.
Kristin Carlson Schultz (Arlington) is currently employed at Rivers Edge Hospital.
Susan Skarp (Brainerd) is a physician employed by River Wood Healthcare Center.
Marilee Buss Zalewski (Holmen, Wisconsin) is employed by Lindy’s Subs.
Especially in this, our 25th reunion year, it would be great to hear from more of you. Please send a note about what you’re up to these days so we can share the news with our classmates.
Before I bring this letter to a close, here is the latest news from the hill:
Haugen Named Head Football Coach
Peter Haugen was named the new head football coach in mid-December. Haugen posted an 111-44 record in 15 years at Washburn High School. He is the 17th head coach in the 93-year history of Gustavus football. Haugen started the second week of January.
President Ohle is on the road!
Please join President Ohle, his wife Kris, and other Gustavus staff at a chapter dessert reception near you. President Ohle will be visiting 11 cities around the country in the coming months and all alumni, parents, and friends of the College are invited to attend a reception. Dates are listed below or check out the Alumni website to find out more details.
Mustaphi Named Michelle Obama’s Deputy Press Secretary
Semonti Mustaphi ’03 was recently named Deputy Press Secretary for First Lady Michelle Obama. Mustaphi worked on the Obama campaign, and has also held communications positions for three senators. Mustaphi graduated with a political science and communication studies double major, danced in the Gustavus Dance Company, and was an Anderson Scholar.
Join us for the “Come on You Gustie” Breakfasts. The breakfasts occur the third Wednesday of each month at the Doubletree Hotel, Minneapolis-Park Place, 1500 Park Place Boulevard (Hwy 394 and Hwy 100). The breakfast runs from 8-9:30 and is $10 per person. Reserve a spot by calling Don Swanson ’55 at (763) 533-9083. February’s speaker will feature Kristofer Kracht communications; forensics head coach.
Want to support Gustie professionals? In need of a doctor, pastor, or financial adviser? Look in the Gustie Pages, an online database of Gusties who have submitted information about their profession. Use the Gustavus network to meet your needs, or submit your professional information if you would like other Gusties to become your customers. Go to the Gustie Pages on the alumni website, www.gustavus.edu/alumni.
Music Ensemble Tours
Both the Gustavus Wind Orchestra and the Gustavus String Orchestra will be touring at the end of January and beginning of February. The Wind Orchestra will tour mainly in the Denver area, but will also make two appearances in South Dakota. The String Orchestra will travel from Stillwater through Iowa, Missouri, Tennessee, Ohio, Illinois, and Wisconsin.
Upcoming Alumni Events
- Chicago Alumni Gathering - Jan. 29, Hyatt Regency O'Hare, 7 p.m.
- 100th Anniversary of Gustavus Men's Basketball - Feb. 7
- Twin Cities Gustie Breakfast, Kris Kracht, communications; forensics head coach - Feb. 18
- Tucson Chapter Gathering - Feb. 19, Westward Look Resort
- Phoenix Chapter Gathering - Feb. 20, Millennium Resort, Scottsdale
- Los Angeles Chapter Gathering - Feb. 28, Art Director's Guild, Studio City
- Boston Chapter Gathering - Mar. 14, Hyatt Regency Cambridge
- New York Chapter Gathering - Mar. 16, New York Marriott East Side
- Twin Cities Gustie Breakfast, Ken Westphal, vice president for finance - Mar. 18
- Seattle Chapter Gathering - Mar. 21, Trinity Lutheran Church, Freeland, WA
- San Francisco Chapter Gathering - Mar. 23, Hotel Vitale
- Twin Cities Gustie Breakfast, Steve Wilkinson, retiring men's tennis coach - Apr. 15
A Note on Giving
And finally, if you’ve made a gift to the annual fund this year, thank you. If not, we’d love to include your donation in our fundraising effort. Participation is key—to be recognized with the rest of the class and included in the Honor Roll of Donors, your gift needs to be received by May 31, 2009. Any gift or pledge received by October 9, 2009, will also be recognized in the reunion gift from the class. Three-year pledges will count towards the reunion gift celebrated at the reunion.
And remember, we are starting the “Class of 1984 Endowed Scholarship” this year. When the fund hits $25,000, the Class of 1984 will begin sponsoring a Gustavus student via a scholarship fund. Please consider this gift opportunity individually or in addition to your gift to the Annual Fund.
That’s all for now. Watch for more reunion news and check out the Gustavus Web site (http://alumni.gustavus.edu/classConnections, then select 1984 from the dropdown menu) to get the latest updates.
Hope to see you in October!
1984 Co-class Agent