Class of '85
April 2010

25-Year Reunion ― September 25, 2010

Hello Gustavus Class of 1985:

Two years ago, my husband, John Kroschel ’86 and I took on the difficult task of deciding whether or not to move from New York where we had been living for the past 18 years.  Since John is an ELCA pastor, we had options to move anywhere in the country.  We seriously looked at many regions of the U.S. and opted to move back to Minnesota.  Why?  We felt drawn back to Minnesota to become reconnected with family and friends.  People and places, churches and schools, traditions and accents, and our two children, Nate (10th grader) and Sari (7th grader), motivated us to return to our roots.  Since settling in St. Cloud, we’ve reconnected to people in so many ways.

The Gustavus 1985 reunion committee is also looking at reconnecting with each and every one of our classmates.  We have plenty of opportunities for you to reconnect before our reunion on September 25, 2010 at Gustavus.  We invite you to check out these places online:  Facebook:  Join the Gustavus Adolphus College Class of 1985.  Check out videos, pictures, and friends who have joined so far.  Invite other friends to join too.  Gustavus website:

Blog about your time at Gustavus and give us an update on your life now.  In addition, the reunion committee and friends will be contacting you to personally invite you to the reunion and answer any questions you may have.  This is an exciting event and we look forward to reconnecting with all of you.

Chris Barrett Kroschel

1985 Reunion Committee Member


Karen Richardson Admussen is the director of children's ministry at Westkirk Presbyterian Church.

Gail Zachow Bielen is a social worker for Redwood County.  She is in the licensing unit for day care, foster care and adult foster care providers.

Sue Schwanz Branson is a kindergarten teacher at Gleason Lake Elementary School in Wayzata; she has worked there for 16 years.

Lisa Dahill teaches worship and Christian spirituality at Trinity Lutheran Seminary.  She has written two books in the last couple of years:  40 Day Journey with Julian of Norwich (Augsburg series) and Reading from the Underside of Selfhood:  Bonhoeffer and Spiritual Formation.

Stacey Sjoquist Straka was honored in March as Mankato area Woman of Distinction for her extensive community and volunteer work.  She is one of three women to be honored.  Husband, Rick Straka is vice president of finance and administration at Minnesota State University – Mankato.  Stacey is the owner of Red Door Creative which is a creative marketing agency.

Pam Olson Wollenburg has been a social worker with Anoka County for 21 years.  She works in the child protection unit.

Class Giving

Hello friends!

Do you honestly feel like you are old enough to be celebrating 25 years since you walked the hallowed halls of Gustavus?  My name is Paul Batz─I volunteered to be your 25th reunion giving campaign Chair.  I know...I know...what was I thinking!!??

OK, so here’s what I'm thinking:  our campaign theme is “No one say no!”  We have a great committee that is committed to making sure that everyone in our class says “yes” to something related to our 25th reunion year.  And, we think we can raise a significant amount of money to help kids like us (yes, we were kids 30 years ago) attend Gustavus.  We hope you prayerfully consider your contribution.  Reminder, the campaign for this year ends on May 31.  We will also have the ability to contribute in the following year as well.

Currently, I have two kids at Gustavus.  My son, Ben, is a second year (sophomore), sociology major who studied this fall in India.  My daughter, Katie, is a first year student majoring in management─they both sing in the Chapel Choir, and Katie will study next year in Sweden.  Between now and September of next year...we’ll keep you posted about their Gustie experience.

Please check out our Class of 1985 Facebook page─I’ve loaded some video blogs, and several of your classmates have added pictures.

Paul Batz

1985 Reunion Giving Chair

Campus News

Groundbreaking for New Academic Building

Gustavus will hold a ceremonial groundbreaking at the future site of a new 125,000 square foot academic building just west of Christ Chapel at 3:30 p.m. on Friday, April 16.  The new academic building is part of a $44 million commitment made by the College’s Board of Trustees in January to move forward with three major building projects.  Also included in the plan is the development of a west mall extending from Christ Chapel and a major renovation of the Anderson Social Science Building.  The academic departments that will be housed in the new academic building include communication studies, history, psychology, economics and management, and sociology and anthropology.

Networking Event April 15

The Gustavus Alumni Association is excited to offer a new event for Gustavus alumni, parents, and friends:  BE CONNECTED to Effective Networking.  You know you need to network.  You have to build relationships to find your next opportunity, or to build your business, or to land new prospects and clients.  But you’re just not doing it, or at least you’re not doing it as much or as well as you need to be.  Maybe you don’t know how, or maybe the thought of doing it makes you uncomfortable.  Maybe you just don’t know what to say.  BE CONNECTED to Effective Networking resolves all of the uncertainty and all of the questions with a fun, stimulating, and eye-opening event.  Join us on Thursday, April 15, 5:30-8:30 p.m. at Normandale Lutheran Church for this networking seminar.  Cost is just $15 for alumni, parents, and friends; and $5 for current Gustavus students (regular cost is $35).  Register online now at

Gustavus Forensics Wins Nationals

The Gustavus Adolphus College forensics team took first place in the individual events portion of the Pi Kappa Delta National Comprehensive Tournament March 19-21 in Minneapolis.  Gustavus amassed 306 points to narrowly defeat Ohio University, which scored 305 points.  A total of 57 colleges and universities participated in the tournament.  Gustavus sophomore Chloe Radcliffe won the Pentathlon competition, which recognizes the top 10 students who compete in at least five events.  First-year student Kate Bissen took first place in Informative Speaking and senior C.J. Hunt also took home a first-place trophy in the Program Oral Interpretation event.

Fantastic Winter for Gustie Athletics

The Gustavus winter athletic teams had great success including MIAC championships in men’s and women’s hockey, women’s basketball, and women’s swimming.  The Gusties finished second in men’s basketball, men’s swimming and diving, and women’s indoor track and field.  Gustavus also played in and hosted the NCAA Div. III Women’s Frozen Four National Hockey tournament in March.

Attend a Chapter Event Near You!

There will be Gustavus alumni chapter events in the following cities:  New York, April 22; Boston, April 25; Chicago, May 3 and Denver, May 4.  President Ohle will be attending most of those events so we hope that you will make an attempt to attend and hear what he has to say.  He is providing outstanding leadership!

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 speaker:  Virgil Jones, director of multi-cultural programs.

Upcoming Events

  • Apr. 22 – New York Chapter Event – The Core Club
  • Apr. 23 – Choir of Christ Chapel Home Concert
  • Apr. 25 – Boston Chapter Event - Bay Back Hotel
  • Apr. 28 – May Day! Peace Conference
  • May 1 – Gustavus Choir Home Concert
  • May 3 – Chicago Chapter Event – The Chicago Club
  • May 4 – Denver Chapter Event – Denver Athletic Club