Class of ’86
April 2010

Dear Gustie!

Wow!  Spring has come early to the Midwest and we are enjoying it!  I’d love to see the hillsides at Gustavus this month.  I’m sure they are filled with students finding time between classes to enjoy the sunshine.

It’s A Family Thing

In our last letter, Melinda Moen Batz, Dave Meyers and I provided quick updates.  As I wrote in that letter, both of my parents went to Gustavus, graduating in ’61 and ’63.  My parents were the first Gustavus couple married in the new Christ Chapel in 1962.  As a child, I spent countless hours looking through my parent’s wedding album, memorizing my mom’s dress, the bridesmaids, groomsmen and ushers.

My first visit to Gustavus was in the fall of 1980.  As a high school senior, my brother was visiting the college and I joined him on the trip.  During our campus tour, our guide led us into the chapel.  Stepping foot in the chapel, I was in awe with the physical aspects of the chapel that I didn’t realize I had memorized in those photos─the windows, the walls and even the floor tiles.  I knew the chapel, even though I had never stepped foot in the building until that day.

My family connections with Gustavus go beyond my parents, my brother and my sisters.  Gustavus was home throughout the years for a number of my mom’s extended family.  And, I found that my parents’ classmates and friends that worked for the college were soon like family.

I’m sure this connection is familiar to many of you as well.  Every fall the Quarterly produces a list of freshmen who are children or grandchildren of alumni.  While I was at Gustavus, my dad sent me this list, highlighting the children of his classmates.  We have now reached an age where I look at this list every fall to see children of our classmates who have selected Gustavus for their college education.  I wonder what features of the campus our kids recognize from photos and know that they are home.  Is it the bust of Gustav Adolph, the rock, the Gustavus sign?   Or, maybe the tile in the chapel?

Class News

We have received a couple of email updates.  If you’d like, send your update to and we will include in the next letter.

  • Wes Beedon:  My wife, Deanne, and I have been married for nearly 20 years.  We sent our daughter off to college this fall (Loyola University - Chicago).  We are now empty nesters (except for our Siberian Husky - who is now the “baby”).  I am a business banker (as I have been for 21 years) with Bremer Bank.  I have offices in Stillwater and Roseville.  I continue to be involved with music.  I was with the same group for nearly 12 years and am currently looking at new musical opportunities (as a hobby).
  • Larry Bodin:  I’ve enjoyed a wonderful career in and out of banking, running manufacturing companies, raising two boys (Justin will be 21 in January and Trenton is a freshman at UW-Madison).  My wife, Elaine, and I have a 100 pound Old English Sheep Dog and live on 20 acres just north of La Crosse.  I am currently president of M&I Bank in La Crosse.  I spend my time on numerous area Boards, officiating basketball 6 days a week from November through February and spending time with the family on our property as much as possible.
  • Ann Osterbauer Bremer had a baby girl on August 19, 2009.  Her name is Alice Rosemary. Congratulations, Ann!
  • Michelle Kronabetter Nord is working for the Enrollment Division of the University of Phoenix.
  • Lois Michaelis Goode lives in Arizona and is a director of physical therapy.  Her daughter, Anneliese, was born April 4, 2005.
  • Bill Belvedere is now a shareholder/owner of Schechter Dokken Kanter, a CPA firm.
  • Stephanie Nichols Lundorff is an adjunct professor at Concordia University in the Twin Cities.
  • Tom Luing has started his own business, Capital Management Associates, Inc.
  • Jennifer Erickson McInerney lives in Duluth and is a paraprofessional at Hermantown Middle School.
  • Lisa Wegner Hollingsworth is a warden at the United States Penitentiary in Marion, Illinois.
  • Deb Matson Nelson lives in Eden Prairie and is a sales manager at Future Electronics.
  • Riley Horan is a manager at Thomson Reuters.
  • Lee Houseman Holmes is the medical director at Soulstis Medspa/Essence Skin Clinic.
  • Nancy Weaver Webster is practicing at Allina Medical Clinics in Coon Rapids and Maple Grove.
  • Cindy Salmela Reh is living in California and is president of TreHunter, Inc.
  • Shawn Mai was featured in the October, 2009, MetroLutheran newsletter ( He is director of spiritual care at Walker Methodist Health Center.  It was a really nice article - read it if you have the chance.

Thanks for reading!  Stay in touch!  Go Gusties!

Sara Freeman Rekow

1986 Co-class Agent

Dan Murray's Long Lost Update

In our last class letter, we missed including Dan Murray's class agent update (or he missed us).  So here it is now...

Dan lives in Oakdale, Minnesota, is married to Linda (Thiery) Murray and has two wonderful boys.  Dan is the vice president of the American Transportation Research Institute, an independent research arm of the American Trucking Associations.  Earlier this month, Dan received the William K. Smith Distinguished Service award from the University of Minnesota’s Center for Transportation Studies.

Dan’s take on Gustavus:

This year I celebrated my 15th anniversary with ATRI working on national transportation research and policy issues...  There aren’t many people who leave college with the intention of working in transportation research…I certainly didn’t!  But that is why Gustavus gets high kudos:  the curriculum of a Gustavus liberal arts degree creates a solid, well-rounded person; it essentially arms a person with “subject-matter expertise” in a whole host of topics.  As important as that is, it is still a second-place benefit to the many wonderful, interesting Gustavus alums that I still call my best friends.

In late March 1998, two months before I got married, I went down to Gustavus with my wife Linda (her first visit) to help clean up after the tornado.  After spending years talking about how beautiful Gustavus is, I found myself continuously apologizing for the ugly devastation that surrounded us.  Somehow, the only impression that stayed with Linda, a U of MN grad, was the strength, love and commitment of the fellow Gusties she met while working that weekend on the Hill.  It’s absolutely possible that she’s now a bigger Gustie booster than I am, and she has every intention of escorting our two boys, Sam (5) and Jack (8) to Gustavus in ten plus years.

Support For Our College

Did you see the layout for the Gustavus Fund on the last page of the spring Quarterly (  This call for funding begins with, “ don’t think your gift of $25 makes a difference...think again.”  It serves as a great reminder that we can all make a difference for Gustavus.  Although I’m sure they’d appreciate a large donation, it is participation by all of us that makes a difference!

Gustavus has made it easy to give, too and no stamp is needed!  Just go to: and select the amount you want to give.  You can make this a one-time gift or a recurring gift.  It is SO easy!

A number of years ago our class was among the highest in participation levels for giving.  We are now close to the bottom.  Let’s put the class of 1986 back at the top.  Your gift matters and will makes a difference!  Please submit your donation by May 31st to be included in this giving year.

We Are Connected!

Are you on Facebook?  We have a group page on Facebook (Gustavus Class of 1986) and we currently have 39 members!  We are looking at how best to use this page.  For now it’s a fun way to share information about ourselves.  We recently asked people to post a photo wearing their Gustie gear.  Scott and Laurie (Chinander) Shekels posted a couple of fun photos.  If you are on Facebook, join our group, check out the photos and post one or two of your own.  Do you have an idea for use of this site?  Send us your idea via email ( or via the group on Facebook.

Reunion News

Our 25th reunion is coming up in 2011!  Planning will begin soon.  If you'd like to be on the reunion planning committee, please email  A great time was had by all at the 20th reunion and I know we are all looking forward to the 25th!

Campus News

Gustavus Announces Major Building Projects

At its Monday, Jan. 25 meeting, the Gustavus Adolphus College Board of Trustees voted unanimously to move forward with three major building projects.  The College will erect a new 125,000 square foot academic building with a large 3-story atrium at the center providing natural light to many of the spaces.  It will qualify for a “gold LEED” qualification as a green building.  This will develop a mall extending west from its iconic Christ Chapel.  It will house the largest departments on campus (economics and management, psychology, and communications).  Also, plans are under way to renovate A. H. Anderson Social Science Building.  Construction timelines for the projects are not yet finalized, but the College expects to break ground on the new academic building late this spring.

The effort is a significant early implementation step of Commission Gustavus 150, an innovative, constituent-based strategic planning process that has engaged hundreds of alumni, students, faculty, staff, and other stakeholders over the past year.  “These projects will greatly enhance learning and teaching, student recruitment, and institutional advancement for many years to come,” said President Jack R. Ohle.

Alumnus, Kurt Elling ’89, Wins Grammy Award

Kurt Elling, a 1989 graduate of Gustavus Adolphus College, took home his first Grammy Award Sunday, Jan. 31 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, Calif.  Elling won the “Best Jazz Vocal Album” category for his album Dedicated to You: Kurt Elling Sings the Music of Coltrane and Hartman. This year marked the ninth time Elling was nominated for a Grammy.  Elling typically performs annually at Gustavus and did so most recently on Oct. 10, 2009 in Jussi Björling Recital Hall.  He has also had the distinct honor to perform in front of President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama and their 350 guests at the White House State Dinner on Nov. 24, 2009.

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.

Admission News

Applications for next year are ahead of where they were last year at this time which makes Mark Anderson ’66, the director of admission, very happy.  We graduated two very large classes in the last two years so we need to have somewhat larger classes in order to maintain our enrollment at about 2,500.  Mark Anderson will retire at the end of the academic year so a search is going on to replace him.  Gustavus has had only three directors of admission since 1950 (Howard Holcomb ’49, Owen Sammelson ’58, and Mark Anderson ’66) which is quite an amazing track record.

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” brandline (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 speaker, May 19:  Al Molde ’66, athletic director and Tim Kennedy ’82, sports information director.

Upcoming Events

  • 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