Class of ’84
October 2010

Dear Gustie,

It’s a cool, sunny September morning as I sit here writing to you.  The leaves here in Minneapolis have begun turning and their brilliant fall colors are blanketing the greens of summer.  Mornings like this always take me back to falls on the hill as another academic year got underway.  Sometimes those days seem so long ago, and other times they feel like just yesterday.

For this letter, I have news of both a wedding and a death in our class family.  Carolyn Towler and Darin Miller were married on May 1.  Congratulations and best wishes to you both!  What a joyous day that must have been for you and your families.  We wish you all the best as you go forward together in this life.

For Brian Flagstad’s family, as you may have read in a recent Quarterly, the news they had to share with us was somber and sad.  Back in January, Brian passed away at Abbott-Northwestern Hospital.  Brian and I were good friends at Gustavus, and despite not having stayed in close contact in recent years, it never occurred to me that I wouldn’t see him again.  It seemed inevitable that one day we’d get together to reminisce about our time on the hill, about meeting for the first time during Orientation as our CFs—Cynthia Jacobson and Patty Horner—engaged us in get-acquainted activities.  Like others I’ve spoken to since we read the news of Brian’s passing for the first time in the Quarterly, I too was shocked and heartbroken.  Below is the obituary from the Pine City Pioneer on January 28, 2010.

Brian Flagstad '84.JPG Brian Duane Flagstad, age 47, of Hinckley, passed away on Friday, Jan. 22, 2010, at Abbott-Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis.  Survived by his wife of 24 years, Kim (Vezzoli); children Sarah and Kyle, also of Hinckley; mother Jeanne of Alexandria; sister Lynn (Amy Finken) of St. Paul.  Preceded in death by his father, Duane.Brian was born in Alexandria, Minn. on March 30, 1962, and was raised primarily in Belgrade, Minn.  He attended Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, graduating in 1984 with a degree in math education; he later received a MA degree in education from St. Thomas University.  Brian taught high school math at Hinckley High School for 25 years, and was recognized as an outstanding educator, most recently in 2005.

Brian loved life, golf, mowing the lawn, sports, and his family. He will be remembered for his wit and his ability to capture the moment in a single, pithy comment, as well as his love and dedication to bettering the lives of others, especially students.  We are all better people for having known Brian.In lieu of flowers, the family prefers memorials to the American Heart Association or towards a scholarship fund that will be set up for future Hinckley-Finlayson High School students.  A celebration of life was held on Tuesday, Jan. 26, at in the Hinckley-Finlayson High School Gymnasium.  Visitation was Monday, Jan. 25 at First Lutheran Church in Hinckley.  Arrangements were by Tatting-Methven Funeral Home, Hinckley.

In case you’re interested in reading some of the glowing words of praise Brian’s students shared online, here’s a link to the Facebook page that was created:

Over the years in this letter, we have certainly acknowledged many happy occasions and several sad ones as well.  But that is life, isn’t it?  Full of joy and celebration, but always measured by moments of sorrow.  My parents have a wall hanging in their home that reads, “Be not dismayed at growing older.  It is a privilege denied to many.”  For those of us fortunate enough to grow older, let us be grateful for the privilege and live each day to the fullest.

No doubt, with another fall under way, the College has some news to pass along.  Here it is:

Campus News

150th Anniversary Commemorative Alumni Directory

The Gustavus Alumni Association is bringing together about 25,000 Gusties to celebrate the College’s 150th anniversary.  In partnership with Publishing Concepts, Inc. (PCI), Gustavus will produce the 150th Anniversary Commemorative Alumni Directory.  Over the next couple of months, PCI will be contacting Gustavus alumni via phone, mail, and e-mail to request that you update your information.  We know you don’t want to provide your information to just anyone, so we want you to be aware of this project and encourage your participation.  For more information, call the Office of Alumni Relations at 800-487-8437.

Nobel Conference

What is Good Food?  Join us on October 5 & 6, 2010, for Nobel Conference® 46, Making Food Good, as we explore the many levels of this question and hear answers from our seven distinguished panelists.  We will consider the ways in which varied and various conceptions of goodness intersect with, challenge, and are challenged by each other.  We will consider contemporary food issues like community food security; the local foods movement; food crops as fuel crops; school lunches; genetic modification of food plants and animals; molecular gastronomy; and protecting genetic diversity of plants and animals.  Overflow tickets may be ordered online at or by phone at 507-933-7520. Visit for conference updates!

Athletics Hall of Fame

Gustavus will induct new members into its Athletics Hall of Fame at a banquet at 6 p.m. on Sat., Oct. 9.  The Hall of Fame Moment is the 1990 women’s tennis team’s national championship.  Team members are invited to return to revisit this memorable sports moment.  Inductees for 2010 are:  Evie Cieslar Erdman ’73, benefactor; Duke Paluch ’84, tennis; Erik Allen ’92, basketball; Peter Anderson ’92, golf; Leigh Stocker Berger ’92, volleyball; Angela White Vick ’92, track and field; Heidi Rostberg Carlson ’93, tennis; Erik Hendrikson ’94, hockey, football; Paige Tierney Sullivan ’95, soccer; 1990 Women’s Tennis National Championship―Hall of Fame Moment.

Family Weekend Oct. 8-10

Registration is open until Friday, Oct. 1 for Family Weekend 2010.  Please join us Friday, Oct. 8 for open class visits and an evening of Swing Dance hosted by the Gustavus Swing Club.  On Saturday, Oct. 9, a full day of activities is planned, including Breakfast in the Halls, Parent Seminars, Gustavus Football, and a Family Dinner followed by an evening of Musical Improv and Saturday Night in Lund Center!  To conclude the weekend, Sunday, Oct. 10 will include Worship Service in the Chapel, a Jazz Brunch, and other musical performances.  Tickets are required for the dinner and are available at .  Contact the Office of Student Activities at 507-933-7598.

Fall Fest in the Arb Oct. 9

The Linnaeus Arboretum annual Fall Fest will be held Saturday, Oct. 9 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and will feature hay rides, arboretum walking tours, scavenger hunts, pumpkin decorating, face painting, Master Gardeners on site to answer questions, pottery-making, live animals, and live music!  Come, enjoy a leisurely autumn day in the Arb.

Mysterious Tales & Happenings

Here’s the last chance to make reservations for the Gustavus Library Associate’s Fall Author Day with Minnesota award-winning mystery writer William Kent Krueger on Tuesday, Oct. 12 at the Edina Country Club.  The event begins at 9:30 a.m. with brunch.  A book-signing will follow his presentation.  Tickets are $25 and must be ordered by Thursday, Oct. 7, 2010.  Purchase tickets online at or by calling 507-933-7550.

“Come on You Gusties” Breakfast

Once a month, Gusties gather for coffee, breakfast, and great conversation along with a campus speaker.  All Gusties are welcomed and invited to the breakfast, third Wednesday of the month, 8-9:30 a.m. at the Doubletree Hotel, Minneapolis-Park Place, 1500 Park Place Boulevard.  Cost is $10 at the door.  Upcoming breakfasts include Jim Dontje, Oct. 20, on the topic of Nobel; Jeff Stocco, dean of students, on Nov. 17; Neal Hagberg ’81 and Leandra Peak ’83, musicians, on Dec. 15; and the winter sports coaches on Jan. 19.

Christmas in Christ Chapel Tickets

Tickets for Christmas in Christ Chapel 2010 will be available on Monday, Oct. 18 at noon.  Service dates are Friday, Dec. 3 at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, Dec. 4 at 3:30 p.m. and 7: 30 p.m.; and Sunday, Dec. 4 at 3:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.  Tickets are $17.50 each and available online via credit card at:  If you do not have access to the Internet, tickets are available by calling the Office of Marketing and Communication at 507-933-7520.

Upcoming Events

  • Oct. 4-5 – Nobel Conference
  • Oct. 8-9 – Family Weekend
  • Oct. 9  – Hall of Fame

And, with another academic year underway, that means fundraising efforts are in full swing as well.  Last year, our class participation rate was 28.3% (140 donors out of 494 in the class).  Our total annual dollars were $64,922.50.  For classes around us, the closest any came to our annual fund total was the Class of 1983 with $50,719.78.  Way to go 1984!  If you were able to make a gift last year, thank you for your support.  The College is looking for our continued support and hopes that we can step up and do our part this year, too.

With that, I bring another class letter to a close.  Don’t forget to check out our Facebook page (and contribute content!) and to send news for the next letter.  Take care and be well.


Carol Arwidson

1984 Co-class Agent