Class of '85
January 2004

Dear Classmates:

I was inspired by the theme of reconnecting in the last class letter.  I was an Iota Beta back at Gustavus in the '80s.  People who recall the IBs from those days know that we were not your typical sorority and, to put it mildly, we didn't follow sorority norms very closely.  However, the friendships I made through being a part of that Gustavus sisterhood have flourished and continue to be a strong presence that nourishes my spirit to this day.

There were other great IB women, but I have remained close to eleven of them.  Some of us met as roommates at Gustavus; others we met along the way; some were not even technically IBs, but have been adopted by the group because they share the same joy of life.  We are spread out throughout the nation - seven in Minnesota and five outside the state - and we make a consolidated effort to stay in touch via email, phone calls and visits, and to spend time together whenever possible.  Our families have become intertwined through our friendships - our husbands golf and play music together, and our kids go to the same schools and have sleepovers.  Even our parents and siblings are friends.

2004 will mark the 20th annual IB Weekend - the ultimate reconnection weekend that would make even the "Ya-Ya sisters" think again.  Every year since 1984 when we first went to Di Dummer's folks' cabin in Taylor's Falls (I was a Gustavus junior) we have reunited for two uninterrupted days of talking, laughing, cooking, story-telling, music, and all-around problem-solving.  No topic is off-limits.  One can imagine the planning it takes to get these busy career - and family - oriented women together.  Just meeting for dinner - much less a whole weekend - can be a tricky juggling act of job commitments, soccer practice, travel schedules, and community obligations.  However, our long friendships go deep and feed our souls, and our need to reconnect is a powerful force upon which we place a high value.

Here is a list of these wonderful women:

 Laura Loechler Daly '84, Hopkins, MN:  mother of two; partner in Donna and Daly law firm;  Monica McGraw Hammersten, St. Louis Park, MN:  mother of three; owner of A la mode Dessert Company;  Sally Hood Mahan, Chicago, IL:  mother of two and registered nurse;  Diana Dummer, Evergreen, CO:  homeopathic therapist and manager of Vitamin Cottage;  Sue Clarke Ferguson, St. Louis Park, MN:  mother of two; senior housing marketing consultant;  Sue Trachy Sitko '84, Pinetop, AZ:  conservationist with the Arizona Department of Natural Resources;  Allyson Hasselbring Tarnowski '84, New Hope, MN:  mother of three; general manager of Muffaleta Café;  Kathryn Heath '84. Honolulu, HI:  mother of two; ESL educator;  Liz Fudali Babich, Arcata, CA:  mother of two; co-owner Babich Realty; Jan Northenscold, Mankato, MN; graphic designer;  Jesse Brown, Wayzata, MN:  psychologist and specialist in grief counseling for youth.

These women are nothing short of amazing.  Regardless of what life dishes out, there has always been a fundamental, underlying goodness about these women that continues to thrive into middle age.  As we move into more than 20 years as friends, they retain the same freshness and youthful vitality as they did in days we would meet at the old Gustavus Canteen for five-cent bottomless coffee.  These women, along with my faith, my marriage and my family, form a cornerstone in my life that I consider one of God's greatest blessings and one of the best things I brought with me from Gustavus.

Here's news from the Class of 1985:

Wedding congratulations to these classmates:  Claire Serrano and James Rauls who were married June 15, 2002.  Claire is a tax attorney with Thomsen West.  Nancy Greer and Mike Brenden who were married April 25, 2003.  Janet Schreiner and Arlen Mattern whose wedding took place August 9, 2003.  Janet's son and Arlen's son were members of the wedding party.

Several classmates also have baby news:  Colter was born January 21, 2002 to Bob and Stacy (Mangnuson) Upton.  Stacy is a physical therapist at North Valley Hospital in Whitefish, Montana.  Jeff and Kathleen (Kating '86) Olson welcomed baby number three, Laura Ellen, on June 9, 2002.  Jeff is an air traffic controller in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Kathleen works at home.  Rachel was born to Michael and Margaret Diede and Grace was born to Doug and Jennifer Carlson in February 2003.  Michael is an insurance agent with Benefit Partners.  Doug is general manager with Newark Ihune.  Karen (Hovren) and Eric Peterson welcomed Zachary Alan on June 14, 2003.  Anastasia joined Karen (Richardson) and Christopher Admussen's family by adoption on July 11, 2003.  Anatasia was born February 6, 1997 in Stavropol, Russia.  Elizabeth was born July 28, 2003 to Lois Cordes and welcomed by big sister, Maggie.  Lois is a sales representative with Outlook Graphics.  Congratulations parents!

Our classmates continue to make an impact in their communities vocationally:  Karen (Granquist) Gutierrez is a registered nurse at North Memorial Medical Center and she started a new job in the fall of 2003 as a faculty member in the nursing department at the University of Minnesota.  She is teaching in the graduate school, working with the first class in a new post-baccalaureate nursing program.  Linda Skarp Groeling is a physical therapist at Memorial Hospital, Woodland Park, Colorado.  Susanna Baker is a flight attendant with British Airways and lives in London.  Tom Kern is a buyer with Hutchinson Technology, Inc.  Susan Green is owner of Green and Kupperman, Inc., land development and planning consultants.  She lives in Atlantic Beach, Florida.  Karlyn Rothmaler Mattson is the divisional merchandise manager in intimate apparel, leg wear and children's wear with Marshall Fields.  Gretchen Hostager is an art teacher at Stillwater High School, Stillwater, MN.  She recently completed a graduate program at the University of Wisconsin, River Falls.  Cindy Kohls Beaver earned the M.B.A. from the University of St. Thomas in June 2003.  Gary Guptill is the pastor of Family of God Lutheran Church in Duluth, Minnesota.  He is busy working to create a satellite church to be launched in summer 2004.

Magnus Ranstorp is a lecturer in international relations at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, teaching courses on the Middle East, the role of political Islam in the contemporary Arab world as well as terrorism.  He is also deputy director of the Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence and on the international editorial board of Studies in Conflict and Terrorism.  Apart from his internationally recognized expertise on the Hizb'allah movement in Lebanon, Magnus regularly provides lectures and briefings on Middle Eastern terrorism and briefs senior policymakers, diplomats and military officers throughout Europe and the Middle East on subjects relating to terrorism and broader Middle East political issues.

It's never too early to make plans and mark your calendars!  Our 20th anniversary of our graduation from Gustavus will take place next year and we'll celebrate our reunion at Homecoming 2005 on October 7 & 8.  A reunion committee is being established to help make plans for the two days and the first meeting will be held this spring.  If you are interested in joining the committee, send an email to Susan Johnson Chwalek at:  or call the Alumni Office at:  800-487-8437.

News from Campus:

Building a Greater Gustavus Reaches Target

Gustavus celebrates reaching the $100 million target for the Building a Greater Gustavus capital campaign.  The campaign includes reconstruction projects following the 1998 tornados, the creation of the Center for Vocational Reflection, growth of the Christ Chapel Endowment, the C. Charles Jackson Campus Center, the Curtis and Arleen Carlson International Center, the Barbro Osher Svenska Huset (Swedish House), the new soccer and track complex, and more than 100 new scholarships.  Efforts continue to raise funds for campaign projects, such as Old Main renovation, Gustavus Alumni Fund, and further endowment growth.  Special thanks! goes to the volunteers and donors who contributed their resources to assist current and future Gusties. 

January Term

The theme for this January Term is "Undergraduate Research and Creativity," to promote course offerings and activities in all fields, not just natural sciences and fine arts.  In addition about 375 students are on travel programs abroad in such places as Europe, Australia, Malaysia, Fiji, and Israel.  Also, 180 students are participating in internships and career explorations, now so essential for many students in securing a job, no matter what career field. 

New Gustavus Video

Have you been to campus lately?  Can you remember your first time seeing Gustavus? The Admission Office has created a new video/DVD for prospective students to take a look at the College. Take a look online if you wish at <>.

Fine Arts

The Gustavus Symphonic Orchestra will take a 16-day concert tour to China performing in such places as Beijing, the Great Wall, and Tianjin.  The Gustavus Choir will take a 10-day concert tour to selected cities in North Dakota, Colorado, Nebraska, and Minnesota, and will also present a concert in the Twin Cities on Friday evening, January 30, 2004, 7:30 p.m., at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, in St. Paul.  The Gustavus Wind Orchestra, formerly the Gustavus Band, will tour during Spring Break.

Extraordinary Place

Gustavus is among leaders in Academic All-Americans.  The College Sports Information Directors of America have recently released a list of institutions with the highest number of Academic All-Americans over the past three years. Gustavus ranks 14th out of all programs competing at the NCAA Divisions I, II, and III, and NAIA levels.

Extraordinary People

Peter Krause '87 returned to Gustavus in November to meet and conduct workshops with students.  Krause has been nominated for Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild and Emmy awards for his role as Nate Fisher in the critically and commercially acclaimed HBO drama, "Six Feet Under."  With the hope that the day would focus more on the students than on his newfound fame, Krause spent the afternoon doing acting work with classes and theatre and dance majors.

Great Teaching

In case you missed the note in the Fall 2003 issue of the Gustavus Quarterly, we are asking alumni to send in short reminiscences, tributes, and anecdotes about professors who made a difference in their education-"the teachers and mentors who have made a lasting impression, who have imparted life lessons, whom you remember for their wit, or their mastery, or their encouragement, or their exacting standards . . . or their idiosyncrasies." We are planning to focus an upcoming issue of the Quarterly on "great teaching" and would like to hear from those who experienced the classes of those great professors.  Send your paragraphs and stories to either Randall Stuckey '83, director of alumni relations (, or Steve Waldhauser '70 (, managing editor of the Quarterly, or in the mail to the College.

Upcoming Chapter Events

  • Washington DC, Gustavus gathering - February 6
  • Atlanta, Georgia, Gustavus gathering - February 26
  • Tampa Bay, Florida, Gustavus gathering - February 27
  • Naples, Florida, Gustavus gathering - February 28
  • Vero Beach, Florida, Gustavus gathering - February 29
  • Sun City, Arizona, Gustavus gathering - March 19
  • Phoenix, Arizona, Gustavus gathering - March 20
  • Tucson, Arizona, Gustavus gathering - March 21


Julie Dee Weisenhorn

1985 Guest Letter Writer