Class of '85
May 2008

Dear Classmates,

It’s hard to believe that the calendar says May.  Graduation season will soon be here.  Hopefully, we’ll be able to enjoy the outdoors here in Minnesota by that time.  It’s felt quite a lot like October and November around here lately.  My school district called a snow day on April 11― unbelievable.  I remember a graduate school classmate from New Jersey complaining about how late spring arrived here versus out east.  She would be in tears by now this year.  Only a true Minnesotan can write an entire paragraph about the weather!

It is also the season of change at Gustavus.  The Board of Trustees elected Jack R. Ohle (pronounced OH-lee) on April 25, to be the College’s 15th president.  Currently he is the president of Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa, will succeed Jim Peterson ’64, who is retiring after serving as president of the College since July 2003.  Ohle will take office July 1, 2008.  Congratulations to Claude Brew, professor of English, Bill Heidcamp, professor of biology, Kathie Martin, inter-library loan manager, Gregory Mason, professor of English, and Lawrence Potts, professor of chemistry, on their upcoming retirement!

Did you know your new neighbor is a Gustie?  How about that new person in accounting―she’s a Gustie too.  And your child’s teacher?  Yes, a Gustie.  Here’s a fun opportunity to connect with Gusties in your community―an event called Gusties Gather!  Would you consider hosting or co-hosting a Gusties Gather! event on September 28?  You choose the time and location to host 15-30 people.  The Office of Alumni Relations will create and mail invitations for you.  You can request a co-host in your area from the college staff as well.  Please contact Barb Larson Taylor in the Alumni Office ( or 800.487.8437) to get Gusties Gather! rolling in your corner of the world.

There’s still time to make a contribution to Gustavus this academic year!  The goal is to raise $1.95 million by May 31, and $1.5 has been given so far.  Members of the Gustavus Board of Trustees have created a $50,000 challenge match to help achieve this goal.  When you make a gift to Gustavus between May 1 and May 25, the trustees will double your gift.  What a great way to double the impact of your gift for today’s students.  It’s easy to give online at:

Class News

The Class News arrived in a small business size envelope again – I’m looking forward to a really thick folder of items from you that will be sent my way in September.

Stacy Mangnuson Upton and her husband, Bob, live in Whitefish, Montana.  Stacy is employed by Whitefish Physical Therapy.  Bret Smith is now an associate professor of physiology at the University of Kentucky Medical School.  He and his wife, Laurel, live in Lexington.  John ’86 and Chris (Barrett) Kroschel moved to St. Cloud, Minnesota, this winter.  John is serving as pastor of Atonement Lutheran Church.

Campus News

Gustie Breakfasts

Join other Minneapolis/St. Paul area Gusties for a once-a-month morning cup of coffee and breakfast while getting an update on Gustavus.  The group meets the third Wednesday of each month 8-9:30 a.m. at the Doubletree Hotel, Minneapolis-Park Place, 1500 Park Place Boulevard (Hwy. 394 & Hwy. 100) $10 per person.  Reserve a spot by calling Don Swanson ’55 at 763-533-9083.  Next date:  May 21 - featuring Sports Information Director, Tim Kennedy ’82

Alumni Awards Announced

The Alumni Association announces the following 2008 awards selected by the Alumni Board of Directors.

Greater Gustavus Award - Given to those who by deed, have notably advanced and aided Gustavus Adolphus College:

Jim and Susan (Pepin) Peterson ’64 ’65

Distinguished Alumni Citations - Recognizing outstanding and exceptional professional achievement:

Craig Johnson ’69, bishop, Minneapolis Area Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Talmadge King ’70, chair, Department of Medicine, University of California San Francisco School of Medicine.

Barbara Berry Leonard ’63, nursing professor, University of Minnesota.

First Decade Awards - Recognizing early professional achievement:

Miho Ihara, senior consultant, CPCS Transcom Limited.

Jason Smerdon, Barnard Environmental Science/Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Environmental Science, Barnard College.

The Greater Gustavus Award and Distinguished Alumni Citations will be presented at the Alumni Banquet on Saturday, May 31 and the First Decade Awards will be presented during Homecoming Weekend, Oct. 4.

Upcoming Alumni Events

  • Author Day with Arvonne Fraser - May 14
  • Gustie Breakfast - May 21, featuring Sports Information Director, Tim Kennedy
  • Class Reunions - for 50-Year Club, 1958, and 1963 - May 30 and 31

I hope you all enjoy a safe and memorable summer!  Thank you for your gift to the Gustavus Fund this year.  I hope you’ll give some thought to hosting a Gusties Gather! event in your community or attending one that you are invited to as a way to connect with Gusties across the decades.

Susan Johnson Chwalek

1985 Class Agent