Class of '86
October 2002

Dear Class of 86’ers,

Welcome back to the world of Class Letters!  A lot has gone on since I last wrote to everyone…  The world as we know it is very different; just imagine the history books that our kids will be reading in 5, 10 or even 20 years from now.  A few people are saying that they’re getting sick of the media attention being focused on the September 11th attacks, but this is our generation’s equivalent of the Pearl Harbor attacks (almost 1,000 more people died on September 11 than December 7, 1941).  Like the assassination of JFK or man’s landing on the moon, for years we’ll be asking each other “what were you doing on September 11th?”

A lot is also happening at Gustavus as well, and it’s all good stuff!!  The incoming Class of 2006 is 708 students strong, bringing the total student body to slightly over 2500.  Almost 40% of the 2006 class were in the top 10% of their high school class.  You want the Gustie Statistic of the Day?  The percentage of Gusties married to other Gusties is 25%...

If you want to check out an excellent Gustavus website that provides information, interesting perspectives and dialogue on a range of issues, go to:

September 21st was this year’s homecoming in St. Peter.  Gustavus played Carleton College and, of course, won the game 48 to 14 (the 100th anniversary of Gustavus athletics was also celebrated.  If you’re into sports you may be interested in learning that we may have a Gustie football player drafted into the pros next year.  He will likely be one of the fastest receivers in the pros).  Last week’s topic at Nobel Conference was the Nature of Nurture.  Many alumni returned to participate in the hot topic.  The Gustavus Experience never ends!

As many of you know, Cec Eckhoff ran the Gustavus Alumni Office for 31 years, creating most of the alumni programs and traditions we have today – resulting in 17 national awards for alumni participation.  In memory of Cec and his endless energy and commitment to keeping the Gustavus community alive and vibrant, Gustavus has created the Cec Eckhoff Society.  The Cec Eckhoff Society is one of the easiest alumni programs ever: simply make a commitment to provide continuous support to Gustavus regardless of the amount pledged.  The simple goal is to focus fundraising on the number of participants rather than the amount of dollars raised.  While our Class of 1986 gave more than $16,000 in 2002, I’d much rather say we had participation from 99% of the class!

If you’re looking for another great way to stay connected to Gustavus and your community, consider participating in G.I.V.E (Gusties in Volunteer Endeavors).  G.I.V.E. is an annual day-long event where alumni fan out throughout the Twin Cities (and elsewhere) in a well organized day of community service.  This year GIVE will take place on Saturday, April 26.  It is an extremely satisfying experience!  For those of you that live outside of the Twin Cities, you probably have a Gustie alumni chapter somewhere nearby.  You’ll experience great conversation, food and an occasional guest speaker.  Check out the Gustavus alumni website for more information.

In the Where Are They Now category, Mike Anderson was a biology professor from 1959 – 1999 and currently lives with his wife, Jean, in Arkansas (no, I don’t know why!).  He spends his time golfing, fishing, and riding and showing his horses.  I also spoke briefly last month with retired Communications/Speech professor Bill Robertz.  He’s still living in St. Peter and doing well.  Drop him a line if you’d like at

So what’s going on in your life?  LOTS I’m sure and we’re very eager to hear all about it.  Please send us your info and updates (my new Gustavus e-mail address is listed below). 

In the meantime, let me catch you up on the comings and goings of your classmates over the last year or two…

  • Leslie Boyer Dwyer and hubby, Gene, celebrated the birth of their daughter, Gretchen Christine, this past June.
  • Merlin Ravndalen, a sales rep with Scott Foresman Publishing, and his wife, Kathy, have three beautiful kids named Kalley, Haley, and Macey.
  • Lori Pieper Herkert is a physical therapist in Wisconsin and has four kids.  The youngest future Gustie, Sam, joined the world last February 13, 2002.
  • Bill Jansen is a field operations analyst with Nemadji Research Corporation.  Bill and Shawn Baker Jansen live in Sandstone, Minnesota.
  • Lauri Odegaard Garbo is back in the world of teaching at Seacrest Country Day School in Naples, Florida.  Question of the day:  where does Lauri go when the weather gets cold?
  • Dr. Scott Luhmann of St. Louis, MO celebrated the first birthday of his son, Zachary, last March 10.  Happy Birthday, Zachary!
  • This past July, Lisa Maule Dutton, living in Plymouth, MN, celebrated the first birthday of her daughter, Hallie Claire.  Don’t forget to get that 529 college plan going, Lisa!
  • This October 10th, Sandy Bouley Jeans celebrated the first birthday of her son, Joseph Kincaid.  Congratulations Sandy on your fourth child!
  • Jackie Rose Lundberg lives in the brisk town of Palmer, Alaska, is married to husband, Earl, and gave birth to a beautiful daughter named Sophia last May 8th.  Congrats!
  • Jon Haddorff recently joined Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund as the Deputy Director of Development and lives in New York City.  Hey Jon!
  • Brian Hays and his wife, Heidie, now have a full family with two boys and two girls.  Brian works for Dakota County and lives in Hastings.
  • Jackie Hunt Christiansen has two boys, Alex and Bennett.  You might have seen an excellent article in the Star Tribune last April 7th that highlighted Jackie’s diagnosis with, and approach to, dealing with Parkinson’s Disease.  She brings a courageous and humorous attitude – along with a zealous search for a cure – to a challenging disorder.  I bet you could look up the article in the Strib’s archives. What an inspiration Jackie is!
  • Rebecca Hakala Rowland had triplets (Natalie, Miles and Noah) two years ago in June, and is now a freelance editor and writer.
  • Steve Talus and his wife, Jane, live in Plymouth, Minnesota.  Steve’s a programmer/analyst but I’m not sure where he’s working these days…  Steve, we need an update!
  • Karen Lanin Mullery still works at 3M but took a new position with the animal care division (if my memory is correct, that’s quite a stretch with 3M!) and her triplets just finished kindergarten.
  • Lora Hendrickson Conroy, her husband, Patrick, and their three kids (Keely, Brendan, and Matthew) live in Mendota Heights, MN.
  • Jennifer Wood recently married a really nice guy named Tim and they live in sunny Florida.  Best wishes Jenny!  Waahoo!
  • Rumor has it that Scott Shekels is dabbling in airplanes and now flies more than he drives.  As you know, Scott is married to Laurie Chinander who works at the VA hospital doing interesting research that I couldn’t begin to understand.  Hey Scotty & Chaurie!!
  • Carla Johnson Conradt had a great article written a year ago in the Austin Daily Herald about the challenges she and her husband, Dan, experienced when their son, Steven Daniel, was born 10 weeks early.  Hope everything is going well for you and your family!
  • Cindy Herbst Ripple, her husband, Jim, and their children, Jordan & Melissa, live in Edina.  Cindy is a child birth educator at Fairview Health Services.
  • Lori Gustafson Frisk has lots of “new” news including a baby (Linnea Kristina born October 24th, 2001) and a relatively new job as manager of applications at Minnesota Power.  In honor of Linnea’s upcoming first birthday, Lori is giving all her Gustie friend’s a free megawatt of electricity…
  • Last November 27th, Lori Wells Hale had a cute baby boy named Matthew Brandon weighing in at 8 lbs, 15 ozs.  Lori lives in Quincy, IL (which, if you’ve never been there, is loaded with great American history starting with Abe Lincoln!).
  • Jay Blakeborough and Karmen Erickson Blakeborough live in Savage, Minnesota.  Jay works for Cray, Inc. and Karmen works for Kindermusik (is that still correct, Karmen?).  Hey Jay, I have a set of 4 original Cray Research coffee cups in perfect condition.  E-mail me if you want them and I’ll stick them in the mail.
  • Mark Roesner, his beautiful wife, Lisa, and their four lovely daughters, live in Lakeville, MN.  Mark originally sold his company American Fluid Technologies, to Ecolab after AFT was highlighted in Fortune magazine; ran the Ecolab water filtration division for 2 years; and recently left to run his newest company, FiltraTech, which opened its new headquarters in Eden Prairie.  Way to go Mark!

We really want to hear from you too!!!  Please drop me a line at my e-mail address listed below and I’ll get the info out to all your curious classmates!  Until then, take care, love life and be safe!

Dan Murray

Co-Class Agent