Class of '85
October 2009

Dear Classmates:

Greetings to you as I begin my tenth year as your class agent!  I am excited for the challenge ahead of planning our 25th reunion in October 2010.  I can remember getting my letter of acceptance from Gustavus and looking at “Class of 1985” and pondering how far away graduation seemed.   Considering we got those acceptance letters about 29 years ago - isn't it time to re-connect and renew relationships with the College?  Make plans now to return for the reunion next fall; check out the Gustavus website and browse around for a wide variety of information on academics, faculty, performances, organizations and athletics; shoot an email to someone on staff if you have a question that isn’t answered on the website.  Call your friends and make plans to see them at the reunion next fall.  Update your snail mail, email address and phone numbers with the Alumni Office.  Join your classmates on Facebook in the very near future!

I am so grateful for the group of classmates who have already agreed to meet the challenge of reunion planning!  Rebecca Albrecht, Sheryl Anderson Bjork, Cathy Villars Harms, Chris Barrett Kroschel, Paul Batz, Kari Hoffman Christensen, Jann Eichlersmith, Tom Johnson, Leslie Lehnert, and Scott Swanson.  You can look forward to reading letters from them in the coming months!

Class News

Congratulations to Jim Christensen for being named 2008 White Bear Lake Teacher of the Year!  Jim is a science teacher at White Bear Lake Area High School South Campus.  He has been teaching in the district since 1992.  Currently he teaches a variety of science courses at South Campus, including advanced chemistry, human anatomy and physiology, biochemistry, advanced placement chemistry, and advanced placement biology.  Outside the classroom Jim has been involved in numerous district curriculum initiatives and has been the chair of the science department for twelve years.  In addition, Christensen has served as South Campus science curriculum coordinator since 2000; been on the South Campus Building Leadership Team for ten years; and has been part of the school’s National Honor Society Council for twelve years.  For Jim, teaching is about instilling a passion for learning in each of his students.

“I know that most kids can’t or won’t know who their most inspirational teachers are until they are several years removed from high school,” said Christensen.  “It took me twenty-five years to understand what the great teachers of my past did for me and to appreciate just how good they were at their jobs.  This I what I aspire to daily with the hope that by the end of my career, or at least before the end of my life, I can say I inspired a passion to learn within the young people that I met and I taught.”  During his “Teacher of the Year” interview, his commitment to teaching was summed up simply.  “I love my job,” he said.  “I feel like I was born to teach and I wake up every morning excited to share my joy for learning and teaching with my students.”  Jim represented District 624 in the 2008-2009 Minnesota Teacher of the Year program.

Amy Swedberg Hinrichs is working on a Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin.  Laurie Lindemeier is a community voice writer for the Dallas Morning News, and associate theatre critic for The Column and a voice and piano teacher.  You can view her articles at

Chris Barrett Kroschel is a social studies teacher at Foley, MN, High School.  Pam Conrad Greene works for local dermatology offices in Silicon Valley and works part time for a winery, Fleming Jenkins Vineyards and Winery, as a project coordinator.  Pam successfully completed the Big Sur International Marathon in April 2009 - Congratulations!

Deborah Osborn Kreuer is business strategy and partnership manager for business credit and debit cards at US Bank.  She lives in Maple Grove, MN, with her husband, Bret, and son, Nick.  Michael Langert qualified for the Award of Excellence at Quality Business Forms for sales productivity for the tenth time.

Ruth Nelson-Lau works in the emergency/walk-in department at Good Samaritan Health Center in Merrill, Wisconsin.  Beth Ewald Dammann completed her master’s in public health at the University of Minnesota in environmental health and a sub-specialty in environmental and occupational health nursing.  She works at 3M as an occupational health nurse.  Her husband is the Mazda manager at Eich Motor in St. Cloud where he commutes from their home in Hutchinson.

Campus News

GLA Membership

All of us remember the Folke Bernadotte Memorial Library.  It was a place for study and, depending on your era, finding a “coffee date.”  But, in the 21st century, it has become much more.  It is a technology-rich laboratory for learning and a storehouse of culture and recorded knowledge.  It must constantly be strengthened to ensure excellence in education.  The Gustavus Library Associates (GLA) provides financial support for the library and a program of events to its members.  Join this year and immediately make a difference.  Whatever membership gift level you choose, 100% goes directly to the library’s acquisition budget.  Join today at!!!

Homecoming and Family Weekend – October 9 & 10, 2009

Join us for Homecoming and Family Weekend festivities this year!  Parents, alumni, and friends of the College are invited to return and reconnect on this great weekend.  Check out all the activities on the Gustavus alumni web site

A Walk in the Arb

As part of Homecoming Weekend, the Linnaeus Arboretum will be hosting its annual Fall Fest on that Saturday, October 10.  Come enjoy a guided hike through the arboretum and browse its many beautiful flower gardens and tree collections.  Maple trees will be in their fall peak this weekend.  Master Gardeners and tree care experts will be available to address your questions and concerns, so bring a branch!  Bring your kids (accompanied by an adult) for a hayride through the arboretum.  Have a look at this year’s scarecrows around the Borgeson cabin!  Enjoy cookies and lemonade, purchase an arboretum t-shirt.  There will be books available for purchasing and signing by two local authors, Jan Dunlap (Birder Murder Mysteries) and Jim Gilbert (Minnesota Nature Notes).  Join Us!

“Come on You Gusties” Breakfast

Once a month, Gusties gather for coffee, breakfast, and great conversation along with a campus speaker.  All Gusties are welcomed and invited to the breakfast, third Wednesday of the month, 8-9:30 a.m. at the Doubletree Hotel, Minneapolis-Park Place, 1500 Park Place Boulevard.  Cost is $10 at the door.

Upcoming speakers:

President Jack R. Ohle – Oct. 21

Chaplain Brian Johnson ’80 – Nov. 18

Thomas Young ’88 – Dec. 16

Upcoming Events

  • Nobel Conference:  H²0 Uncertain Resource – October 6-7, 2009
  • Homecoming/Family Weekend – October 9-10, 2009
  • Athletics Hall of Fame – October 17, 2009
  • Gustavus Library Associates – A Royal Affair – November 14, 2009
  • Farewell for Steve and Barb Wilkinson, Minneapolis Hyatt - December 12

royal affair

Go Gusties!

Susan Johnson Chwalek

Class Agent