Class of '86
October 2003

Greetings to the class of 1986!

Forty.  The big 4-0!  Like it or not, most of us have achieved or are nearing this milestone in our lives.  I'm not quite sure how this age has crept up on me so quickly!  As I approach the start of my 40th year (I'm not quite there yet) I am…a little nostalgic.  I have had the opportunity to visit Gustavus twice this fall, and nothing brings back the past like a visit to the campus.  The trees have grown up since the tornado, and the foliage is as beautiful as it ever was.  The campus was alive with students—over 2,500 started this fall!  There was a football game going on as well as a soccer game.  There were sign-ups for clubs all over the union, and I even saw a few RUSH students looking just a bit haggard after their first RUSH weekend.  I even had the opportunity to visit my kids' summer nanny at the RED DOOR where she now lives.  Well, if that didn't bring back a few memories, I don't know what would…

Then again I was invited back to Gustavus to the memorial service for sculptor Paul Granlund '52.  My husband, Paul, worked with Paul Granlund for a few years so we felt compelled to pay our respects.  As we sat in Christ Chapel listening to the sounds of the Chapel Choir and Chapel Brass, I really felt the nostalgia pangs.  As Professor Freiert delivered his eulogy, I remembered how fortunate we were to have spent four years with the opportunities to spend time with and among our professors.  And, how unique it was to have professors who were willing to speak to us from a chapel podium on something other than their academic subject.  They were driving home the theory of a liberal arts education without us even realizing it.

Our classmates are doing remarkable things—read on:

  • Jackie Hunt Christensen attended the first annual Young-Onset Parkinson's Disease Conference in Atlanta, GA.  Jackie is one young person who was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease at age 34.  I have read articles written with her help in the Minneapolis Star Tribune.  She is working tirelessly to bring together other young people with the disease so that their stories can possibly impact the social service and healthcare systems.
  • Bob Carruth is the new manager of the Victoria Field House in Victoria Minnesota.
  • Doug Williams was recently promoted to manager of Shared Accounting Services at Alliant Techsystems.  He lives in Plymouth with his wife, Sue, daughter, Jenny, and son, Matthew.
  • Beth Grossman Oestreich works for Archivers in Apple Valley.  She and her husband built a house on 10 acres outside of Farmington and live there with their three children.
  • Jay Lammers is an application architect for Thrivent Financial for Lutherans.  He and his wife, Paula (Glynn '87) live in Apple Valley, MN.
  • Sandra Setter Larsen and new hubby, Wally, live in Rosemount, MN.  She continues her good work in the social science department at Eagan High School.   She also coaches volleyball for EHS.  We rang in Sandy's big 4-0 this past weekend.  Happy Birthday, friend!
  • Mary Gamble Aker welcomed daughter, McKenna Faith, on April 24, 2003.
  • Jon Fasching and wife, Beth, also welcomed a new daughter, Jordan Marguerite, last October 1st.  Jon continues to work for Minnesota Life.  Hi neighbors!
  • Kristie Vikse works for Merit Property Management in the Orange County area of California.  She and Joe will be meeting Paul '85 and Melinda Moen Batz in Napa Valley to celebrate our 40th birthdays very soon!
  • Gregg Dahlke is a research specialist for Dyneon-3M.  He and wife, Julie, have two daughters, Leandra and Joelle-Lynn.
  • Carmen Barker Lemay is “graduating” from the Xcel Energy Leadership Advantage program.  She will then be a leader in this very challenging industry.  She lives with her husband in Minneapolis along with their son, Adrien and daughter Madeleine.
  • Julie Latterell and her husband, Scott, live in Spring Valley, Wisconsin where they hold BIG dog parties!  Julie is the president of the Burmese mountain dog club in her spare time…she also continues her work for the St. Paul Foundation.
  • Bryce Hallowell is the senior regional manager of media relations for Quest Communications International Inc.  He and his wife, Laurie, have two daughters, Courtney and Emily.
  • Ken Kalina has been promoted to vice president, business banking by M & I Bank, Minnesota Region.

WOW!  What a class.  Keep sending in updates—it is great to hear from all of you.  If you have any special stories or memories to share, send them in too!

Gustavus Phonorama starts on October 12th.  If anyone is interested in helping phone, it sure would be appreciated.  Our class has a ways to go to reach the 50% by 50 years goal set forth by the Alumni Fund.  Last year we were able to increase our percentage donated to 35.3%, but our overall dollars actually went down.  Our goal this year is 50% or 235 people.  We have, in the past, had a giving percentage of 53.7%!  I know we can reach our goal.  Please consider Gustavus in your charitable giving plans for this year.  And again, we would love to have some help during Phonorama.

There are few other events on the calendar that you should be aware of.  The Gustavus Library Associates Royal Affair is coming up on November 15th.  It is always a very fun and elegant night.  Christmas in Christ Chapel will be held on December 5-7 and is also a great event.  If you have a longing for Swedish (and other) food, you can enjoy the Scandinavian Buffet before the services.  Our own classmate Steve Kjellgren still does a terrific job of overseeing the preparation of food at Gustavus.  Nobel conference is on October 7 & 8 this year and is entitled The Story of Life.

Other Campus news is as follows

College opens 142nd Academic Year – More than 700 new students, including transfer students and international students, joined the Gustavus community this fall, keeping the total student population around 2,515. The retention rate of students from the first to second year remains at 90 percent. These students will be taught by 198 full-time and 55 part-time faculty. Gustavus was again ranked in the top third of the 214 national liberal arts colleges by the U.S. News and World Report.

The Alumni Fund Turns 50 – On June 30, 1954, the first Alumni Fund officially closed with 1,204 donors (32 percent) and $26,013, under the direction of the executive committee of Dr. Hobart Johnson '21, Dr. Edgar Carlson '31, The Rev. J. Millard Ahlstrom '34, and Ren Anderson '34.  Dollars and donors continued to grow and, under the leadership of Cec Eckhoff '56, alumni participation continually exceeded 50% each year, making Gustavus a national leader recognized with 17 national awards. Alumni contacting alumni has been the hallmark of success; we depend on Phonorama volunteers to make the difference. Help the alumni fund again reach over 50% participation by contributing before May 31, 2004, or by volunteering to make calls during Phonorama, October 12-16 and 19-23.  Do your best to participate in the Alumni Fund to continue the Gustavus tradition of strong alumni support and return the College to national recognition.

Sculptor Paul Granlund '52 dies – Paul Granlund died on September 15, 2003, the same day his exhibit Retrospective opened as scheduled in the Hillstrom Museum of Art on the Gustavus campus.  He was sculptor-in-residence at Gustavus from 1971-1996.  His figurative bronze sculptures are found in private collections and public installations nationally and internationally, including 30 bronze works on the Gustavus campus.  Retrospective will be displayed until November 9.

Alumni Board members selected – Seven alumni have been selected to serve a three-year term on the Alumni Board.  They are Liesl Batz '90, Minneapolis, senior vice president and director of marketing, Lakeside Investment Partners; Jan Eiffert Hoomani '62, Raleigh, NC, Realtor, JB Realty; Jim Malmquist '53, Scandia, MN, retired athletics director, Gustavus; Jan Ledin Michaletz '74, Edina, volunteer/homemaker.  Incumbents to serve a second term include Vivian Foyou '02, Mankato, graduate student, Minnesota State University, Mankato; Jason Sawyer '93, Plymouth, vice president, Cronin & Co.; and Dan Currell '94, Alexandria, VA, director of corporate leadership council, Corporate Executive Board.

2003 Hall of Fame inductees -- Nine individuals were inducted into the Athletics Hall of Fame on September 27. Inductees were Val Flom Ashland '87 (volleyball), Wendy Ericksen Bachman '87 (soccer), Karen Ahlstrom Bishop '86 (gymnastics), Jay Coatta '87 (basketball and golf), Marv Gunderson '53 (football), Jim Hearn '81 (tennis), Dave Najarian '82 (football), Betty Wannarka Ringeisen '84 (basketball and track and field), and Larry Shelhamer '76 (soccer).

Gustavus Finishes sixth in Directors' Cup – Gustavus finished sixth out of 395 Division III institutions for the 2002-03 Director's Cup announced recently by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics. The only all-sports competition in intercollegiate athletics, the award honors four-year institutions with the best overall athletic programs.  Last year Gustavus placed 10th.

Chapel Program – The Gustavus Chapel program is one of the strongest in higher education averaging 350 students attending Daily Chapel.  In addition, there are many student-led programs including: Apprentice - students who are interested in being part of ministry and open to see where the Spirit might be leading; Christ Chapel Volunteers - assist in the ministry of Christ Chapel by ushering, carrying the cross and candles, reading lessons, writing and/or reading prayers, and serving as assisting ministers; Community Service Center Programs - one-time and on-going service programs; Fellowship of Christian Athletes - athlete or not, time for fellowship, worship, speakers, service projects and mission trips; Gustavus Youth Outreach - committed to sharing the Gospel and providing opportunities to serve by participating in off-campus youth ministry; Habitat For Humanity/Spring Break Work Trips - Habitat works locally and Spring Break Work Trip nationally to fundraise for and build affordable housing; Jewish Organization of Gustavus - for students, faculty and staff who were either Jewish or interested in the Jewish faith; Newman Center - dedicated to building a deeper understanding of the Catholic faith; Prepare - build a new generation of believers through mentors, mission trips, Bible study, prayer and worship; Proclaim - Bible-based contemporary worship and teaching; Taizé - a contemplative worship service of music, prayer, readings and silence; Wednesday Friends – visits St. Peter Regional Treatment Center residents weekly.

Don't miss A Royal Affair . . . pa rum pum pum pum - Gustavus Library Associates is presenting their biennial benefit for our College's Folke Bernadotte Memorial Library on Saturday, November 15, at the Radisson Hotel South in Bloomington, Minnesota. If you have names for invitations (reservations are due by October 31), an auction item to donate (no later than October 15 please), volunteer time to offer, or if you wish to contribute financially to help defray expenses, we welcome your call today; Marty Penkhus, 507/388.5474 and Susan Wilcox, 952/944.5972, Co-Chairs.

Again, please keep us updated on your busy lives!  Enjoy the beautiful fall, and I hope to see many of you at upcoming events. 


Melinda Moen Batz

1986 Co-class Agent