Class of '85
December 2009

25-Year Reunion ― September 24-25, 2010

Happy December Classmates!

This is the first time I have been asked to write a class letter.  Can you sense the anxiety?

As Susan Johnson Chwalek had mentioned in the October letter, this is our 25th anniversary year, and we will be receiving monthly notes from various classmates.  There will continue to be more details for the Reunion, which is scheduled for the weekend of September 24-25, 2010, in St Peter.

Are you excited to get back to Gustavus and see the campus and all your old friends?  As we reach “half time” in our lives, I personally get a lot of gratification from thinking of what we were doing 25+ years ago and sharing these memories with classmates.  Reconnecting now is asking questions and listening:  how is your family, how are your parents, where are your children thinking of going to college, what do you want to do for the next 40 or so years, and where did your hair go?

How many times in your daily life do you have that “aha” moment where you bump into someone that has that Gustavus connection?  I think it is amazing how often that happens, and as I get older, I certainly appreciate it more.  I appreciate how lucky I was to be able to be part of such a great school, and I appreciate how many great people have been in my life as a result of being there!

So, please make an effort to reconnect.  Call your old friends and coordinate a trip to St. Peter next fall.  It is time to review the first half-memories, successes, mistakes, and set our sights on the second half-what can I do to keep in touch with old friends, classmates, and Gustavus?

Also, please share your news in the coming months.  People are interested in what is happening in your life!  Make sure to connect to classmates on our Facebook site─ Gustavus Adolphus College Class of 1985.  (Interesting- I call it “connecting” when I am cruising through Facebook pages and my kids call me a “creeper.”)

Look for more communication soon!

Tom Johnson

1985 Guest Letter Writer

P.S.  Send your news electronically to or go online to share it at by logging in and going to the 1985 Class Connection page.

Campus News

Health Insurance Available through Alumni Association

During this time of economic uncertainty, many of our alumni, new graduates, and their family members are in need of health insurance.  Short-term and permanent health insurance options are available through the alumni insurance program.  The program is typically promoted to new grads just before and after graduation, but in response to the rising unemployment rate and in an effort to help all of those in need, we’re spreading the word more broadly this year.  This is also perfect for children of alums who are graduating (even if they did not attend Gustavus Adolphus College) and aren’t yet covered under an employer’s health plan.  For more information, individuals can contact the alumni office or contact the program manager directly or 800-635-7801.

New “Make Your Life Count” Website and Facebook Page

Gustavus has created a new “Make Your Life Count” website that includes a variety of feature stories exemplifying the College’s new brand position launched last month.  The stories celebrate Gustavus students, alumni, faculty, staff, programs, events, and organizations.  The website may be accessed from the Gustavus homepage by clicking on the “Make Your Life Count” brand line (in the upper right hand corner) or by visiting  The “Make Your Life Count” stories are also posted on a new Facebook page.  Become a fan and share your own Gustavus story.  When new feature stories are published, they will be communicated on the Gustavus News Twitter, and you may also subscribe (on the Make Your Life Count website) to receive e-mail updates.  To submit a “Make Your Life Count” story suggestion, click on the “Submit your story” link or e-mail the Gustavus Office of Marketing and Communication at

“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:  Thomas Young ’88 – Dec. 16, Margaret Anderson Kelliher ’90, Speaker of the Minnesota House of Representatives – Jan. 20.

Upcoming Events

  • Dec. 12 - Farewell for Steve and Barb Wilkinson, Minneapolis Hyatt
  • Dec. 12 - Stockholm area Gustie gathering – Nedre Manilla
  • Dec. 16 – Twin Cities Breakfast, guest speaker - Tom Young ’88
  • Dec. 26 - Hawaii basketball game and reception – Jim and Sandy (Brown ’63) Johnston home, Honolulu, HI
  • Jan 7 – San Diego Chapter Event
  • Jan 14 – Atlanta Chapter Event – Linda Bailey Keefe ’69 residence
  • Jan 20 – Twin Cities Breakfast, guest speaker - Margaret Anderson Kelliher ’90
  • Feb 19 – Tucson Chapter Event
  • Feb 20 – Phoenix Chapter Event