Class of '85

December 2012

Hello Classmates and Season's Greetings!

I have fallen down on the job and am very tardy with a fall class letter.  Just when I think I am no longer responsible enough to do this job, I did find the folder from Class Officer's Day held last August at the American Swedish Institute.  This was a first and is a tangible representation of the relationship between the College and the American Swedish Institute as Gustavus now maintains an office there.  I would highly recommend a trip to the American Swedish Institute not only to check in and show your Gustie pride and enjoy a little fika at the coffee shop, but to experience a tour of the Turnblad Mansion which is a great lesson in American-Minneapolis-Swedish history.

Have you been to our Facebook page lately?  Catch up with classmates sending their kids to Gustavus, classmates celebrating birthdays, join the page and post something there!  Gustavus Adolphus College Class of 1985.  Did you know that the Gribly is on-line?  This is a simple way to find alumni with whom you have lost touch and you can find it on the Gustavus website.  Take a moment to look for and update your own profile in the Gribly while you are there.

In January 2011, at the recommendation of the Classes Committee of the Alumni Board of Directors, the Alumni Board formally adopted a class leadership structure to build on the class agent program that served the College for 56 years.  The class officer program was established to serve the needs of the College and its alumni for the coming years.  Class officers give the College a large, but workable corps of volunteers who are interested in their classmates and the College.  This program engages more alumni with the College, develops class identity, develops unity within the class and competition between classes, educates and solicits gifts for the Gustavus Annual Fund, provides for special recognition of class performance, helps identify alumni for professional recognition and leadership gifts, and helps identify and recruit students.

Our class does not have a large, but workable corps of volunteers who are interested in their classmates and the College - you have me and I bring only a subset of skills needed to engage more alumni with the College, develop class identity, develop unity within the class and competition between classes, educate and solicit gifts for the Gustavus Annual Fund, provide for special recognition of class performance, help identify alumni for professional recognition and leadership gifts, and help identify and recruit students.  Alone, I cannot do justice to a place that I love and that offered me opportunities which have made a tremendous difference in my life both personally and professionally.  Would you please consider taking a leadership position for our class?

The following positions are currently open:

Class President - Responsibilities include acting as primary leader, coordinator, recruiter and motivator for the class and class officers.

Vice President/Reunion Chair - Responsibilities include recruiting a reunion committee and event chair during the main reunion years (our next one will be in 2015), coordinating meetings for reunion committee members and providing leadership for the reunion committee.

Annual Fund Chair - Responsibilities, in coordination with the Director of the Gustavus Annual Fund, including by demonstration, education, and solicitation, developing a culture of philanthropy for Gustavus within each class member so that they will participate in the Gustavus Annual Fund.

Recruitment Chair - Responsibilities include engaging classmates in recommending to Gustavus quality high school students and recruiting classmates to participate as a mentor in the Gustavus Mentoring Program for current Gustavus students.

Quite frankly, given the technology available to us today, I feel comfortable saying that you could fulfill the responsibilities of any of the officers whether you live in St. Paul, Boston, San Diego, Des Moines, St. Louis or Raleigh.  Please contact me or Randall Stuckey in the Alumni Office if you have questions about any of the class officer positions.  I look forward to working with you in pursuit of the goal of engaging all members of our class with each other and the College in the future.

It's not too late to make a year-end contribution to the Gustavus Annual Fund and help our class get a head start toward increasing participation in the Annual Fund and increasing the dollars we raise.  Here's the good news from the 2011-12 fund year:  we outpaced the participation of all but one of the classes from 1990-99; we tied the class of 1992 with 25 percent participation.  We raised more money than the class of 1986; $27,796 for us, $23,922 for them.  Here’s the less desirable news from the 2011-12 fund year:  Every class except two between 1980-1989 had a higher percentage of participation than our class; the class of 1989 had 22 percent participation and the class of 1988 tied us with 25 percent.  To make your 2012-13 gift, go on-line at or call 866-487-3863 prior to May 31, 2013.

I look forward to writing news from classmates in these letters, but unfortunately there isn’t any this time.  Please forward your news (employment, family, recognition/awards, trips, marathons run, etc.) via the Gustavus website and I'll see that it makes it in the next letter and the spring Quarterly.

Campus News

The Royal Visit

On Friday, October 5, their Majesties King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden visited Gustavus in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the founding of the College by Swedish immigrants in 1862.  Look for photos in the next issue of the Quarterly.

Hall of Fame

On September 29, the Gustavus Athletics Department inducted nine new individuals into its Athletics Hall of Fame.  The 2012 class of inductees included:  Rhonda Gorseth Alberts ’93 (Gymnastics), Brian Brekke ’95 (Football), Kara Bloomquist Drekonja ’96 (Cross Country), Brett Gross ’96 (Track & Field), Brock Guettler ’92 (Basketball), Mark Kruger ’86 (Tennis), Jason Lesteberg ’96 (Hockey), Scott Stoneking ’96 (Soccer), and Donald Swanson ’55 (Benefactor).

Alumni Travel Opportunities

2013 Friends of Music Salzburg Choral Tour

Gustavus Friends of Music has arranged for a Gustavus Alumni choir tour to Munich, Salzburg, Vienna and Prague June 23 – July 5, 2013.  Singers and non-singers alike are welcome.  Once in Salzburg, the singers will join the Mozart International Choral Festival and perform Mozart’s Coronation Mass in the Salzburg Cathedral on June 29.  Not a singer?  There is space available for non-performers as well.  For more information contact Jackie Neeck Peterson ’77 at or 800-726-6192.

2013 Pearls of Central Europe

Experience Central Europe with Gustavus professor emeritus of history Dr. Tom Emmert from September 10—21, 2013.  This 12-day Gustavus study tour combines learning, exploring, leisure, lecture, food, and arts with special touches, all led by a faculty expert.  The journey is focused around three showpiece cities of Central Europe:  Prague, Vienna, and Budapest.  For more information, contact Tom Emmert at

Gustie Breakfasts - Twin Cities – New time and place

Engage with other alumni and learn something new about your alma mater at the monthly Twin Cities Gustavus alumni breakfast.  Please join us at the American Swedish Institute (2600 Park Ave, Minneapolis), on the third Wednesday of each month at 7:30 a.m.  Cost is $10.  Gustie breakfasts are also being held on campus the second Wednesday of each month.

December 19 – Terry Morrow – Minnesota Vikings stadium

January 16 – Kathy Lund Dean – Distinguished chair of Leadership and Ethics

February 20 – Philip Brunelle – Artistic Director, VocalEssence

Upcoming Chapter Gatherings

National Chapter events for alumni, parents and friends are scheduled for the 2012-13 academic year and will focus on the College’s pillar of “Teaching and Learning.”  Please save the date for the event in your area.  Time and location details will be forthcoming

Nov. 8 – New York City

Nov. 10 – Boston

Nov. 10 – Dallas

Nov. 11 – Houston

Nov. 13 – Washington, DC

Jan. 29 – Phoenix

Jan. 31 – Tucson

Feb. 3 – Los Angeles

Feb. 4 - Palm Springs

Feb 13 – Tampa

Feb. 15 – Naples

Feb. 28 – Seattle

Mar. 2 – San Francisco

Mar. 9 – Madison

Mar. 12 – Denver

Mar. 14 – Chicago

Apr. 11 – Atlanta

Susan Johnson Chwalek

1985 Communications Chair