Class of '85
September 2006

Greetings Classmates!

I was reminded at a recent meeting of class agents on campus that the mission statement of Gustavus reads in part as "preparing students for fulfilling lives of leadership and service.”  I have no doubt that as a whole our class indeed embodies that part of the mission statement.  At the end of the meeting I was handed the class news to include in this letter.  It was fully contained in a small business letter envelope.  The Alumni Office later found a few more misplaced pieces, which, put together, resulted in less than one-quarter of a page of news.

So, a small random sample of you, for whom Gustavus has an e-mail address have gotten a message from me in the last few weeks!  Many of the responses have a similar tone. “I’m doing the same job, no family news, busy with the kids.”  Yes, we are in the middle years.  Many of you have had the same employer for longer than me (school psychologist, St. Cloud Schools, various assignments and responsibilities, but basically the same for the last 15 years), but if that’s not your story, why not share it and connect with another classmate in a similar field or place in their training or career track?  We are leaders in our communities in various capacities and even if you have been in the same job since graduation, be proud of that and share it.

Family news?  Mine hasn’t changed much in the last several years (Dick and I have been married 14 years, Claire is 11 and Colleen is 8), but wouldn’t you say that our family “news” is what enriches and colors our lives in so many ways you never dreamed of?  So, your kid started kindergarten or middle school or college?  Your partner talked you into skydiving or trying out for American Idol or going on a vacation with his/her extended family?  Why not share it?  Your news is bound to resonate with another classmate (maybe just to commiserate about those obligation vacations).  (My sister convinced us to go to Washington, D.C. this past summer so my kids could see the sights.  Five people in a modest hotel room and several 100 degree days later we came home with memories so different than if our family had gone alone.  We will laugh and cry about that trip with her for years to come.)

And what about volunteering?  Gustavus helped instill a sense of service in us and that, too, is worth sharing with others.  Those classmates with whom you haven’t stayed in touch may be engaged in similar pursuits.  What better way to renew your friendships than through common volunteer interests.  Coaching your child’s sports team?  Visiting shut-ins in your community?  Busy at church?  Elected president of a service organization in your community?  (I teach a second and third grade Sunday School class and do some volunteer work on behalf of a Lutheran college in southern Minnesota.)

My pitch has been to generate more news for future letters, but just as important, when you are recognized for all the great things you accomplish in your profession, family or avocation, I urge you to be “loud and proud” (in the words of President Jim Peterson ’64) about the role Gustavus played in your leadership and service development.  Of course, our Gustavus experience is not solely responsible for who we are today, but why not tell others your Gustavus story?  Why not share how Gustavus influenced you in four years and beyond?  Whom should you tell?  Your children, your siblings children, your friends, those families at church that get directed your way because someone knows you are a Gustavus alumnus, your co-workers, your fellow commuters (ok, maybe a bit much, but I’ve heard of groups on commuter buses who are closer than some families).  I can appreciate that accosting friends and neighbors and extolling the virtues of our undergraduate education does not come naturally for many of us (something about that Minnesota Lutheran background maybe for me).  There are more subtle ways to start those conversations.  Put a Gustavus sticker on your vehicles (the Alumni Office will send you one if you ask).  Get a new Gustavus sweatshirt or hat and wear it on your next golf outing or Saturday morning breakfast.  Take your kids and their friends to a Gustavus sports or arts event in your area.  You are Gustavus.

Thank you to all who made a gift to the Alumni Fund last year.  We maintained approximately the same level of participation as the previous year (close to 30 percent), so there is always room to grow.  Your gifts are vital to the future of the college and its current students.  Remember to send your gift in soon if you want to get it on your 2006 tax return.

Class News:

  • Bret Smith and his family recently moved from the New Orleans area to Lexington, KY, where he is an associate professor of physiology at the University of Kentucky, College of Medicine.  Bret is a neurobiologist and in addition to teaching, he runs a research lab studying brain function.  His wife, Laurel, owns a content-based web company and they have three kids, Justin (12), Madison (10), and Morgan (7).
  • Karen Richardson Admussen is director of Children’s Ministry at Westkirk Presbyterian Church.  She and her husband, Christopher, are also busy with two children.  The Admussens live in Urbandale, Iowa.
  • Janie Rademacher Warner works with children (mostly fifth graders) who have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) at Minnetonka schools.  Steve ’86 is with Wells Fargo in investment services.
  • Doug Magney works as an administrator in the research department at the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry.  He is also a graduate student in the healthcare administration program in the School of Public Health, Division of Health Policy and Management.  Doug and his wife, Mona Rath, live in St. Paul.
  • Terry Olson continues to work as a bank examiner for the FDIC out of the Fargo, ND office.  He and his wife, Kathy, have two sons.
  • Eric Hulstrand and his family have just moved to Eden Prairie and has taken a new call as the lead pastor of Trinity Lutheran of Minnehaha Falls in south Minneapolis.
  • Alisa Pritchett has a new position with Eaton Golden in Minneapolis as a web project manager.
  • Shawn Dahl joined the SAS Institute in 2005 as the principal risk marketing strategist.  He is also a member of the North Carolina Master Chorale in Raleigh.
  • Joseph Crippen is the senior pastor at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Northfield.  His wife, Mary (Shifflet ’87) is a training administrator for Ziegler, Inc.
  • Tim Peterson is pharmacy business development director at Snyder Drug Stores.  Roz (Johnson ’87) is executive vice president of D&T Property, Inc.  The Petersons live in Lakeville.
  • Jack Elvestrom was named one of the top 30 wealth advisors in Minnesota earlier this year by The Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal and The Winners Circle.  The Winners Circle is an organization which recognizes outstanding financial advisors and industry best practices.  He is a certified financial planner and senior financial advisor with Morgan Stanley.  Jack and Kathryn (Hall) live in Dellwood.
  • Jamie Strey is a sixth grade teacher and coach at Rosemount Middle School where he has been for 20 years.  Kelly (Fawver) is the financial accounting director for the City of Burnsville.  They have four kids ages:  16, 14, 8, and 7.
  • Mike Capozzi is a financial services consultant for Allstate.  He manages about 40 financial specialists throughout Illinois.  Mike has a nine-year-old son who plays hockey and he spends most his free time traveling around with him.  The Capozzis live in Lake Forest, Illinois.
  • Leslie Lehnert is on a six-month detail to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia prosecuting domestic violence misdemeanors.

Campus News:

Back to School

The 2006-07 academic year kicked off September 6, with the annual opening convocation where President Jim Peterson ’64 encouraged students, faculty, and employees to remember, live, and teach the College’s mission―to prepare students for fulfilling lives of leadership and service to society.  And some students who arrived on campus prior to the opening day of classes were already living the Gustavus mission.  Students here early for athletic practice or residential-hall training helped with storm clean-up following tornadoes that hit the area at the end of August.  More students will help with clean-up as long as there is a need.  The tornado damaged property in Nicollet, by Lake Emily, and farms outside Cleveland.  The Gustavus campus and St. Peter received no damage.

Approximately 680 first-year students make up the class of 2010.  37% of these students are from the top 10% of their class, 10% are students of color, the average GPA is 3.7, and 20% are from out of state.

Class Reunions/Homecoming

Class Reunions and Homecoming Weekend will be Oct. 6-8.  This is a reunion time for the classes of 1961, 1966, 1971, 1976, 1981, 1986, 1991, 1996, and 2001, but all alumni are invited to attend the events, even if it is not their reunion year.  The full schedule this year includes musical performances, athletic events, seminars on terrorism and the Linneaus Arboretum, as well as a performance by alums Neal Hagberg ’81 and Leandra Peak ’83.  The schedule is designed to provide activities for alumni and families.

Honor Roll of Donors

If you haven't had a chance to find yourself online, please go to to check out the 2005-2006 Honor Roll of Donors. The Honor Roll of Donors recognizes those who made gifts to Gustavus between June 1, 2005, and May 31, 2006. To find your name or check your class results, just point and click from your home or office computer. For those who do not have access to a computer, you may call toll-free 866/487-3863 to receive a copy in the mail (supplies are limited).

Nobel Conference - Medicine:  Prescription for Tomorrow

The 42nd Nobel Conference, to be held October 3 and 4 will celebrate the successes of modern medicine and consider how it may further enrich our lives; at the same time, the conference will explore possible public policy and medical care delivery problems, from cost to decisions on who will receive the treatments.  Moral and ethical issues abound.

Join the Gustavus Choir as They Reign in Spain

The Gustavus Choir will embark on a three-week concert tour in Portugal and Spain in January 2007 as part of the choir's 75th-anniversary year celebration.  College staff and Seminars International, Inc. are organizing a two-week companion tour of the Iberian Peninsula January 15 - 28 for alumni, friends, and parents, to be led by Russ ’74 and Jan (Ledin ’74) Michaletz, choir parents and Gustavus alumni.  Companion tour participants will have the opportunity to hear the choir in Seville, Costa del Sol, Granada, and Madrid . . . and perhaps meet the choir for dinner once or twice!  The cost per person is $3,495.  Contact Dean Wahlund, Gustavus Choir tour manager, at:  800-726-6198 or e-mail him at: for information no later than September 20.  Come; join the Gustavus Choir on the Spanish Riviera!

Obtain Life Insurance at Group Rates

September is Life Insurance Awareness Month.  According to a recent national survey, 68 million Americans have no life insurance.  Fortunately, the Alumni Association sponsors a life insurance plan, Life for Life, with exceptional features and low initial rates.  Maximum coverage is $2 million and insurance can increase repeatedly even if your health fails and you become uninsurable.  Obtain information online with the Alumni Association partner, or call 800-635-7801 for more information about this and other sponsored insurance.

Omega Kappa Fraternity Celebrates 100 Years

The OKs will celebrate 100 years of Modesty, Diversity, and Brotherhood on Saturday, October 21, at the Science Museum of Minnesota in St. Paul.  The evening will be filled with stories, photos, shared memories, artifacts, histories, and singing.  For more information, go to

Athletic Hall of Fame Induction

On Saturday, September 30, Gustavus will induct the following people into the Athletic Hall of Fame:  Deborah Jungwirth Borman ’87 - Volleyball, Tina Pulido Draper ’87 - Gymnastics, John Huepenbecker ’80 - Football, John Jambeck ’62 - Swimming, Deanne Sand Johnson ’89 - Tennis, Dick Kumlin ’55 (posthumously) – Basketball, Dan Prochnow ’78 - Golf, Jerilyn Ree ’88 - Basketball, and Stacey Rodman ’89 - Swimming.

Upcoming Alumni Events

  • Athletic Hall of Fame Induction – September 30
  • Nobel Conference “Medicine:  Prescription for Tomorrow” – October 3 - 4
  • Reunions for the classes of 1961, 1966, 1971, 1976, 1981, 1986, 1991, 1996, 2001 – October 6-8
  • Homecoming/Family Weekend – October 7 - 8
  • Omega Kappa Reunion – October 21

Best wishes for a pleasant fall and holiday season!

Susan Johnson Chwalek

1985 Class Agent