Class of '85
September 2003

Greetings Classmates!

Reconnect. I’d planned to list several synonyms from Rogets Thesaurus for this word in my opening paragraph. However, when I went in search of my old copy from Gustavus days, I found The Cat in the Hat, Clifford, Arthur, Junie B. Jones, the friends in the Magic Tree House and many other selections from my children’s home library. Who knows where they have tucked that boring thesaurus.

Why is this the year to reconnect with, reengage with, remember Gustavus?

  • Gustavus remains a vibrant, vital learning community with strong connections to the Lutheran Church.
  • Gustavus continues to become more and more diverse. That diversity is represented not only in the student body, but in the content and curriculum they are exposed to in their four-year experience.
  • Gustavus educates strong leaders in every field who live and work all over the world.

This is the year to reconnect with all that you remember about Gustavus and find out what’s happening there now. For those of you who live in the area, that may mean attending a concert, recital, athletic event, art exhibit, or lecture. For those of you farther away, that may mean reading the Quarterly or checking out the Gustavus website ( The gold envelope included in this letter is a simple way to reconnect as well. Tell Gustavus about yourself at this juncture of your life - and tuck a check in at the same time. The amount does not matter as much as the fact that you are checking in, reconnecting with Gustavus.  If you receive the letter on-line, send an e-mail back to <>

It would be great to have more classmates to write about in the class letter - thanks to those that have sent in information for this letter. Please take a few minutes and let Gustavus know about your current employment, volunteer endeavors, as well as marriage and birth news.

  • Karen Hovren and Eric Peterson were married on September 21, 2002. Karen works for Haigh, Todd and Associates as a telecom consultant and Eric is a buyer for Target.
  • Cathy (Villars) and Brent ’82 Harms live in Apple Valley, Minnesota. Cathy is a fund manager of the Saint Paul Capital Fund, an early stage equity fund and Brent is president of Tecmark, Inc., a loyalty marketing company.
  • Chris Johnson is the director of the Center for Vocational Reflection at Gustavus. Kim Devine-Johnson is a pediatric physical therapist at Pediatric Therapy Services in Mankato.
  • Terri Bergeron graduated in May with a master of science degree in nursing. She is a clinical nurse specialist at Mayo Medical Center in Rochester.
  • Beth (Reckdahl) Ellenby and her family (husband, Michael and 5 year-old Jayde) moved to Phoenix, Arizona from Norwalk, Connecticut in August. Beth and Roz (Ziwisky) Deigan celebrated their 40th birthdays together this summer as well.
  • Lori (Engelking) Huckle spent three weeks in Australia last fall as her husband was there on business. Their three children had a great time on the trip.

Congratulations to all the classmates who have new children in their midst!

  • Natalie Emma was born April 16, 2002 to Martha (Barnes) and Frederik ten Sythoff.
  • Paige (Beutelspacher) and Robert Denis are the proud parents of James, born June 5, 2002. Andrew Emmanuel was born to Cynthia (Kohls) and Kurt Beaver.
  • Jennifer Lynn was born to Susan (Hoff) and Andrew Klein.
  • Andrew Emmanuel and Jennifer Lynn were both born on December 28, 2002.
  • Michael and Maggie Diede welcomed Rachel on February 18, 2003.
  • Doug and Jennifer Carlson are the proud parents of Grace Alexandra who arrived on March 9, 2003.
  • Eric (Spider) and Samara Lindberg, along with big brother, Leif Erik, were joined by Laila Aimee on March 12, 2003. Laila was born in Havana, Cuba were Spider works as a Foreign Service Officer.
  • Henry Wallace was born to Renee (Amato ’89) and James Taylor on March 18, 2003.
  • Koreen (Ballhagen) and John Potts welcomed Henry Joseph on May 19, 2003.

Campus News

College opens 142nd Academic Year – More than 700 new students, including transfer students and international students, joined the Gustavus community this fall, keeping the total student population around 2,515. The retention rate of students from the first to second year remains at 90 percent. These students will be taught by 198 full-time and 55 part-time faculty. Gustavus was again ranked in the top third of the 214 national liberal arts colleges by the U.S. News and World Report.

The Alumni Fund Turns 50 – On June 30, 1954, the first Alumni Fund officially closed with 1,204 donors (32 percent) and $26,013, under the direction of the executive committee of Dr. Hobart Johnson ’21, Dr. Edgar Carlson ’31, The Rev. J. Millard Ahlstrom ’34, and Ren Anderson ’34.  Dollars and donors continued to grow and, under the leadership of Cec Eckhoff ’56, alumni participation continually exceeded 50% each year, making Gustavus a national leader recognized with 17 national awards. Alumni contacting alumni has been the hallmark of success; we depend on Phonorama volunteers to make the difference. Help the alumni fund again reach over 50% participation by contributing before May 31, 2004, or by volunteering to make calls during Phonorama, October 12-16 and 19-23.  Do your best to participate in the Alumni Fund to continue the Gustavus tradition of strong alumni support and return the College to national recognition.

Sculptor Paul Granlund ’52 dies – Paul Granlund died on September 15, 2003, the same day his exhibit Retrospective opened as scheduled in the Hillstrom Museum of Art on the Gustavus campus.  He was sculptor-in-residence at Gustavus from 1971-1996.  His figurative bronze sculptures are found in private collections and public installations nationally and internationally, including 30 bronze works on the Gustavus campus.  Retrospective will be displayed until November 9.

2003 Hall of Fame inductees -- Nine individuals will be inducted into the Athletics Hall of Fame on September 27. Inductees include Val Flom Ashland ’87 (volleyball), Wendy Ericksen Bachman ’87 (soccer), Karen Ahlstrom Bishop ’86 (gymnastics), Jay Coatta ’87 (basketball and golf), Marv Gunderson ’53 (football), Jim Hearn ’81 (tennis), Dave Najarian ’82 (football), Betty Wannarka Ringeisen ’84 (basketball and track and field), and Larry Shelhamer ’76 (soccer). This group will be honored at the Athletics Hall of Fame Banquet on Homecoming, Saturday, September 27.

Gustavus Finishes sixth in Directors’ Cup – Gustavus finished sixth out of 395 Division III institutions for the 2002-03 Director’s Cup announced recently by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics. The only all-sports competition in intercollegiate athletics, the award honors four-year institutions with the best overall athletic programs.  Last year Gustavus placed 10th.

Chapel Program – The Gustavus Chapel program is one of the strongest in higher education averaging 350 students attending Daily Chapel.  In addition, there are many student-led programs including: Apprentice - students who are interested in being part of ministry and open to see where the Spirit might be leading; Christ Chapel Volunteers - assist in the ministry of Christ Chapel by ushering, carrying the cross and candles, reading lessons, writing and/or reading prayers, and serving as assisting ministers; Community Service Center Programs - one-time and on-going service programs; Fellowship of Christian Athletes - athlete or not, time for fellowship, worship, speakers, service projects and mission trips; Gustavus Youth Outreach - committed to sharing the Gospel and providing opportunities to serve by participating in off-campus youth ministry; Habitat For Humanity/Spring Break Work Trips - Habitat works locally and Spring Break Work Trip nationally to fundraise for and build affordable housing; Jewish Organization of Gustavus - for students, faculty and staff who were either Jewish or interested in the Jewish faith; Newman Center - dedicated to building a deeper understanding of the Catholic faith; Prepare - build a new generation of believers through mentors, mission trips, Bible study, prayer and worship; Proclaim - Bible-based contemporary worship and teaching; Taizé - a contemplative worship service of music, prayer, readings and silence; Wednesday Friends – visits St. Peter Regional Treatment Center residents weekly.

Upcoming Events – call the Alumni Office at 800/487-8437

  • Reunion gatherings for 1958, 1963, 1968, 1973, 1978, 1983, 1988, 1993, 1998 -- September 26 & 27, Radisson South Hotel, Bloomington
  • Homecoming -- September 27, Campus
  • Hall of Fame Induction Banquet -- September 27, Alumni Hall, Campus
  • Nobel Conference, The Story of Life -- October 7 & 8, Campus
  • Charlotte, NC, Gustavus Gathering - October 18
  • Phonorama -- October 12-16 and 19-23, Minnesota Valley Country Club, Bloomington
  • Our Story Conference, The Growing Gender Gap in the African American Community
  • ........... -- October 24-25, Campus
  • Reformation Festival featuring the Gustavus Choir, Central Lutheran Church, .......... Minneapolis -- October 25
  • JFK Assassination 40 Years Later, presented by David Jones ’83 and Political Science Professor Chris Gilbert at Minnesota Valley Country Club, Bloomington-- November 4
  • A Royal Affair, benefit sponsored by Gustavus Library Associates in the Twin Cities -- November 15

Paul Batz and I are looking forward to connecting with many of you (rather than your answering machines!) at Phonorama this fall. You can also send your professional, volunteer and family news and make a gift to the Alumni Fund at or by using the enclosed gold envelope. In this 50th year of the Alumni Fund our goal is 50 percent participation of our class and that is attainable with your reconnection with Gustavus. Best wishes for a wonderful fall season.


Susan Johnson Chwalek
Class Agent