Class of '85
September 2004

Dear Classmates,

Next spring will mark the 20th anniversary of our graduation from Gustavus.  At the time, some of us were probably more ready to leave the campus than others.  Some of us had a very clear vision of what the future held for them and in what direction their Gustavus education would take them.  For others, that future path was less well defined and more circuitous.  During the Homecoming weekend of October 7, 8 and 9, 2005, we’ll have an opportunity to reconnect with Gustavus and each other.  I think our reunion weekend will be a chance to remember our Gustavus experience and share the paths we have taken over the past 20 years with friends, acquaintances, and, perhaps, virtual strangers, who are members of the class of 1985.  Mark the date now ―October, 7, 8 and 9, 2005.  More information about the reunion will follow in the months to come.

In the spirit of reunion planning, I am happy to introduce the Anniversary Gift Leadership Committee to you.  Cathy Villars Harms, Tom Johnson, Jann Eichlersmith, Rick Straka, Martha Barnes ten Sythoff and a couple of players to be named at a later date, along with me, are the members of this committee.  Our goal is to connect with all 450 plus classmates in the next several months.  Please help us in that effort by letting Gustavus know your current address, telephone number and email address.  You can update that information online at and at the same time make a gift to the Alumni Fund.  Thank you to those who have made a gift to Gustavus since the beginning of the fund year on June 1.  There really is no need to wait for a call or an email from a member of the committee to make your gift!  That way our message will be only one of thanks.

Along the same line of updating information, several classmates are lost!  Do you know any of these people?  If so, please encourage them to update their contact information with Gustavus: 

  • Laura S. Alaimo
  • Randi Samuelson-Brown
  • Dirk B. Dougherty
  • John S. Forslund
  • David Gooding
  • Elizabeth A. Hughes
  • L. Dean Jansen
  • Robin Kirk Johansson
  • Charles G. Kirkman, III
  • Mark W. Larson
  • L. Eric Lindberg
  • Janna L. Meyer
  • Jeanne E. Moore
  • Jeff W. Parsons
  • Susan Pitts Reel
  • Kristin Carlson Schultz
  • Tracy J. Sweetland
  • Kimberlee A. Thielen
  • Jim A. VanOverbeke
  • LaChelle Nelson Woods


  • Steve Augst and his wife, Samantha, are the proud parents of Sophia who was born March 12, 2003.  Steve continues his work as research staff at the M.I.T. Lincoln Laboratory.  He and his family live in Maynard, Massachusetts.
  • Anders Benson and his wife, Jody, welcomed Markus Albrecht on December 2, 2002.  The Bensons live in Chicago.
  • Carron Harris was promoted to vice-president with Buca di Beppo restaurants.  She recently moved to McMurray, Pennsylvania.
  • Kabir Hassan won the “Outstanding Educator Award” at the 2004 annual meeting of the Federation of Business Disciplines.  Kabir is a professor and associate chair of the Department of Economics and Finance at the University of New Orleans.
  • Tracy Hendricks Hulley teaches social studies at Buffalo High School in Buffalo, Minnesota.  She lives in Watertown with her husband, Glen, and children, Hunter and Hannah.
  • Sally Hood Mahan is a registered nurse at Westmoreland Care Center in Lake Forest, Illinois.
  • Jean Koep Rumbaugh was recently named chief operating officer at FirstGuard Health Plan in Kansas City.  FirstGuard is a locally owned health plan providing a wide range of health insurance programs.  Jean previously served as vice-president of customer relations at FirstGuard.
  • Peter was born to Barry and Julene (Rocheleau ‘87) Melquist on October 5, 2003.  The Melquists live in Plymouth, Minnesota.
  • Alisa Pritchett is a member of Calibanco Theater in Minneapolis.  She and her partner, Tonya Mouw ’75 live in Maple Grove.
  • Randy Richert was posted to Korea in May 2004.  He commands the security force at Osan Air Base.  His wife, Andrea (Hasse), teaches at the school on base.
  • It is with sadness that I report the death of Tom Kern on June 12, 2004.  Tom was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma in November 2003.  The Kern's church, Faith Lutheran, Hutchinson, hosted a benefit for the family shortly after his death.  To compound this tragedy, much of the money raised by the benefit was stolen from the church.  Please keep Jenny (Markve ’83) and their four children in your thoughts and prayers.


143rd Academic Year Begins

Classes began Sept. 8 with 657 first-year Gustavus students and 2,500 in all.  Long-standing orientation traditions such as the Square Dance and President’s Banquet have been joined by newer traditions like Gustie Greeter Orientation Groups and the Reading in Common program.  These newer programs were created to provide a more meaningful transition and to encourage students to meet others outside their residence hall.

Homecoming/Family Weekend

Homecoming and Family Weekend will be combined Oct. 1-3 to provide more events for alumni, current students, and families.  Alumni will gather by class in the Twin Cities on Friday night.  Saturday and Sunday, all alumni and their families are encouraged to come to campus for reunion class gatherings, the parade, a fun lunch with free popcorn and cotton candy, games for kids of all ages, a chapel service, sporting events, a walk in the arboretum, a chance to reflect with a seminar on your life direction, and performances by jazz singer Kurt Elling ’89, the Chicago Comedy Troupe, and many Gustavus music ensembles.  In addition, Gustavus will dedicate a new landscape waterfall, built with a gift from David ’51 and Delores Johnson and located outside the Lind Interpretive Center in the Linnaeus Arboretum.

Nobel Conference, The Science of Aging

The 40th Anniversary of the Nobel Conference will focus on the Science of Aging.  The campus is expecting over 6,000 guests October 5-6 to learn about the research molecular biologist are conducting on longevity, Alzheimer’s, and delaying debilitating disease and how this impacts life expectancy, the economy, and the health-care system.

New Residence Hall

Work crews have been busy this summer and fall constructing a new residence hall on campus.  The goal is to have the building enclosed before winter.  The building, located southwest of the football field will house 200 students in suites and apartments and is scheduled to open for fall 2005.

Gustie Pages

Looking for a dentist, doctor, lawyer, pastor, realtor, and much more?  Make it a Gustie!  The Gustie Pages is 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 be your customers.

Athletics Hall of Fame

The Gustavus Adolphus College Athletics Department has chosen eight individuals for induction into its Athletics Hall of Fame.  The 2004 inductees include Lori Allen ’88 (golf), Jim Chalin ’76 (basketball), Bruce Edwards ’77 (ice hockey), Barb Jaeger ’88 (soccer), Dean Kraus ’89 (football), Pachi Lopez ’71 (soccer), Greg Peterson ’88 (golf), and Gary Reinholtz (long-time athletic trainer, benefactor).  This group will be honored at the Athletics Hall of Fame Banquet, which will be held in Alumni Hall at 7:30 pm on Saturday, October 16.

Extraordinary Place

Gustavus is once again ranked among the top 100 liberal arts colleges in the nation in U.S. News and World Report's annual college rankings.  Gustavus is one of five Minnesota colleges in the top 100 national liberal arts colleges for overall quality (Carleton, Macalester, St. Olaf, Gustavus, St. John’s).  The ranking groups schools into categories based on a national educational classification that includes national liberal arts colleges, national doctoral universities (University of Minnesota, St. Thomas), regional master's degree-granting universities (Hamline, St. Catherine’s, Bethel, Augsburg), and comprehensive regional colleges (Concordia-St Paul).

Upcoming Events

  • Alumni Phonorama – Central Lutheran Church - September 26-30
  • Class Reunions for 1959, 1964, 1969, 1974, 1979, 1984, 1989, 1994, 1999 – October 1-3
  • Homecoming/Family Weekend – October 1-3
  • 40th Annual Nobel Conference: “The Science of Aging” – October 5-6
  • 35 Years of Gustavus Tennis – October 8-10
  • Athletics Hall of Fame Induction – October 16
  • Charlotte Area Gustavus Gathering – October 30
  • Christmas in Christ Chapel: “Seasons of Promise” – December 3-5
  • St. Lucia Festival – December 9
  • Class of 1954 and 50 Year Club Reunion – May 27-28
  • Class Reunions for 1960, 1965, 1970, 1975, 1980, 1985, 1990, 1995, 2000 – October 7-9, 2005

Best Wishes,

Susan Johnson Chwalek

1985 Class Agent