Class of ’86
November 2010

Hello Class of ʼ86ers!

Hope everyone is having a terrific fall!  Most of the leaves are now on the ground and the lawn this morning was pure white with frost.  I guess we can safely resign ourselves to the fact that the warm weather is behind us−at least for those of us who live in the northern hemisphere.  But no complaints; I think this was one of the nicest summer/fall combinations we’ve had in many years.

And speaking of time, is it even possible that we’ve been out of college for almost 25 years???  The freshmen entering Gustavus this Fall were born right around the time President Clinton started his first term and gasoline cost $1.06 a gallon.  And Gustavus itself has undergone considerable changes as well.  This past spring, Gustavus commenced construction of a new125,000 square foot academic building that will house the departments of communication studies, economics and management, history, psychology, and sociology and anthropology.  The building is expected to be operational by September 2011.

The new academic building is part of a $44 million capital campaign that includes the development of a west mall extending from Christ Chapel and a major renovation of the Anderson Social Science Building.  In addition to many physical changes, you have probably now encountered Gustavus’ new outreach materials built around the theme of “Making Your Life Count”.  Over the next year you’ll see this mantra on everything from billboards to bumper stickers.  Gustavus will also be opening a Twin Cities outreach office in collaboration with the American Swedish Institute.  There are so many amazing changes underway that you might wonder if your old Gustavus is still “your” school...  It is a fair question to ask, but no worries.

It is true that there are many new buildings and facilities on campus−thanks in part to the tragedy wrought on the school by the 1998 tornado.  If you weren’t fortunate enough to have joined the thousands of volunteers in the heart-wrenching, heart-warming clean-up, you may not be able to understand the magnitude of that event.

Among the $50 million in campus devastation, the storm toppled 2,000 trees, destroyed Johnson Hall and toppled the steeple on Christ Chapel.  The following photo is what the entrance to Gustavus looked like five days after the tornado.

old main 1

If you visit Gustavus today it is clear that the phoenix rose again in the form of new buildings, trees and landscaping, and a re-energizing of students, faculty and alumni.

old main 2

But the core school and its values remain.  The student body is fiercely loyal to our traditions, academic rigor and commitment to excellence in every aspect of their lives.  Old Main, the ‘brar and Christ Chapel are still our classic landmarks.  Whether you lived in Sohre, Rundstrom, Coed (many of us still refuse to call it Norelius), Sorensen or elsewhere, the building faces are the same.

I share this with you because 11 months from now you will all have a rare opportunity to simultaneously tour the campus, celebrate Gustavus’ sesquicentennial birthday and “socialize” at our own class’ 25-year reunion!  Five years ago, more than 1 in 3 of our classmates traveled to the hill for our 20th anniversary reunion−making it the largest 20-year reunion in our school’s history.  If you weren’t able to join us, check out the dozens of old reunion photos that we’ve posted on our class’ Facebook page (just google “Gustavus Class of 1986 facebook”).  For a generous contribution, we’ll take down certain photos that you don’t want your kids or neighbors seeing.

We have a very enthusiastic group of reunion planners who are already reserving places, times and equipment for the big event:  MARK YOUR CALENDARS NOW FOR OCTOBER 1, 2011.  The only downer we foresee is that we weren’t able to get the big room block at the AmericInn hotel (due to the Gustavus Sesquicentennial).  If you plan on spending that Saturday night in St. Peter, I’d urge you to call the AmericInn at 507-931-6554 today and book your room.  Otherwise, other local hotels include:

Konsbruck Hotel

408 South 3rd St.

St. Peter, MN  56082


Locust Street Hotel (B&B)

in the historic Donahower House

720 S. Minnesota Ave.

St. Peter, MN  56082



Minnesota River Inn

1321 S. Minnesota Ave.

St. Peter, MN  56082


St. Peter Motel

Hwy. 169 North

St. Peter, MN  56082


Viking Jr. Motel

Jct. Hwys. 169 & 99 W

507-931-3081  800-221-6406

Over the next several months we’ll be providing considerably more information to you on the 25-year reunion event (and whether or not we can get Ace to join us again at the Flame…).

HELP, Where Am I?  Like a big happy family, we’re not complete if we’re missing classmates.  The following people are “missing” from our class database, and we’d like to re-connect with them.  Please let us know if you have any insights on the whereabouts of:

  • Warren Bailey
  • Chris Bennett
  • Susan Skalbeck Berenz
  • David Burns
  • Michael Clark
  • Bonnie Clements
  • Ron Jacobs
  • Cydney Jacques
  • Craig Johnson
  • Todd Johnson
  • Jodi Wenzel Jones
  • Sonia Lutarewych
  • Julie Mason
  • Deb Matson Nelson
  • Phil Nordberg
  • Maggie Ramsey
  • Sarah Johnson Reed
  • David Russeth
  • J. J. Schaidler
  • Timothy Schiavo
  • Doug Teich
  • Gretchen Wagoner
  • Kristin Westrum
  • Nancy Whelan
  • Stuart Widmark
  • Judith Young

On to a few other items…  Wasn’t it just yesterday at lunch you were asking yourself the question, “What makes food good?”  And you then pondered the ethical, agro-ecological, physiological, economic, and aesthetic conceptions of “good” food?  Well, you’re not alone.  This past October at the 46th annual Nobel Conference, hundreds of people just like you (plus some leading experts on food science) descended on Gustavus to discuss and debate the various aspects of food, including human health, the health of planetary ecosystems; nutraceuticals, culturally appropriate foods, community gardening, fuel crops, genetic modification, and food security.  Gloria Childs has nothing on this conference!

For those of you gearing up for our favorite winter sport, the Gustie men’s hockey team is now ranked 8th among division III teams!  For those who are not ready to leave fall sports, Gustie football is not having their very best season (3-5), nor is the women’s soccer team at 6-11.  Men’s and women’s cross country wrapped up last Saturday at the MIAC championship held at Como Park in St. Paul.  The women’s team finished 4th and the men’s team finished 8th.

Hope you all have a great Thanksgiving with many blessings of health, happiness and turkey dressing.  I look forward to seeing you all next October at the reunion!!

Best wishes,

Dan Murray

1986 Class Agent


150th Anniversary Commemorative Alumni Directory

The Gustavus Alumni Association is bringing together about 25,000 Gusties to celebrate the College’s 150th anniversary.  In partnership with Publishing Concepts, Inc. (PCI), Gustavus will produce the 150th Anniversary Commemorative Alumni Directory.  Over the next couple of months, PCI will be contacting Gustavus alumni via phone, mail, and e-mail to request that you update your information.  We know you don’t want to provide your information to just anyone, so we want you to be aware of this project and encourage your participation.  For more information, call the Office of Alumni Relations at 800-487-8437.

Athletics Hall of Fame

Gustavus inducted new members into its Athletics Hall of Fame at a banquet on Saturday, October 9.  Inductees for 2010 are:  Evie Cieslar Erdman ’73, benefactor; Duke Paluch ’84, tennis; Erik Allen ’92, basketball; Peter Anderson ’92, golf; Leigh Stocker Berger ’92, volleyball; Angela White Vick ’92, track and field; Heidi Rostberg Carlson ’93, tennis; Erik Hendrikson ’94, hockey, football; Paige Tierney Sullivan ’95, soccer; and the Hall of Fame Moment−1990 Women’s Tennis National Championship.

Alumni Art Show

Over 60 alumni will participate in an Alumni Art Show in the Hillstrom Museum, November 22 through the end of the semester.  A reception will take place on Monday, November 22, 7 p.m.  This will be the first alumni art showing in the Hillstrom Museum.

Arboretum Fall Warmer

The arboretum is hosting a lunch/speaker event at its Fall Warmer on Sunday, November 7, 2010.  The speaker, Mr. Christian Gilbert ʼ98, is an 8th grade geography educator as well as being an avid mountain climber.  He is co-founder of “Go4theSummit” an online learning environment geared to serve learners of all ages in order to provide a deeper understanding of world places and culture.  Mr. Gilbert has climbed Mt. Aconcagua (South America, 2008), Mt. Kilimanjaro ((Africa, 2009) and Mt. Elbrus (Russia, 2010).  His next destination is Mt. Kosciuszko in Australia.  Tickets are $10 members and $12 non-members.  Register by November 2 at or call 507/933-6181.

“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 breakfasts include: Jeff Stocco, dean of students, on Nov. 17; Neal Hagberg ’81 and Leandra Peak ’83, musicians, on Dec. 15; and the winter sports coaches on Jan. 19.

Christmas in Christ Chapel Tickets

Tickets for Christmas in Christ Chapel 2010, “A Renaissance Nativity,” are available online.  Service dates are Friday, Dec. 3 at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, Dec. 4 at 3:30 p.m. and 7: 30 p.m.; and Sunday, Dec. 4 at 3:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.  Tickets are $17.50 each and available online via credit card at:  If you do not have access to the Internet, tickets are available by calling the Office of Marketing and Communication at 507-933-7520.