Class of '86

October 2011

Hi Folks, On behalf of the entire reunion planning committee, we wanted to send a Big Thank You to the nearly 150 folks that attended the 25th Anniversary reunion (and those who planned it, of course).

We’re still counting attendee numbers, but we hosted either the largest or second largest reunion held this year!  The Class of 1981 also had well over 100 classmates but I think we’ll edge them out when we finish digging the few remaining ʼ86ers out from under the tables and chairs at the Flame.  You may recall, we also held the largest 20th Anniversary reunion five years ago.  Kudos and toasts all around! Rather than expend paper and time on the myriad official and unofficial goings-on that happened before/during/after the October 1 event, we’ve again asked Laura “Honesty is the Best Policy” Peterson Olson to issue her traditional “pimp sheet” on the happenings that occurred that fateful day/night.  We neither confirm nor deny the veracity of the content submitted by Laura and other contributing observers… but I think most readers will intuitively know that it doesn’t take to believe the vast majority of it.

We would also like to direct everybody to our new class Facebook webpage…  Please go to Facebook or Google and type in “Gustavus Class of 1986”.  You don’t need a Facebook account to view well over 200 photos of every aspect of the reunion.  Feel free to tag/title any particular photo, ask questions, submit comments and conduct any other class of ’86 social media business that is needed.  A big Thank You to Scott Shekels for his ongoing technical assistance!

Lastly and not least importantly, I am hoping that everyone will give generously this year to our class annual fund.  You may have seen in recent correspondence from Gustavus that one of the largest capital campaigns in our school’s history is underway.  When I learned two weeks ago of the VERY large contributions that have been made by both individuals and corporations I was extremely impressed and proud.  I became a tiny bit less so, when I discovered that many of the recent major benefactors were not even alumni.  I was always taught that “charity begins in the home”.  At the reunion, Karen Lindau Peikert urged every alum who benefited academically, socially, professionally from Gustavus Adolphus College to give something back to the next generation of Gusties.

We would anticipate the same from the 586 kids that graduated this past spring.  We would anticipate the same from each of the 733 freshmen that entered Gustavus this fall – the largest freshman class in history BTW.  We all know from personal experience that daily, weekly, monthly expenses can quickly add up; costs are becoming exorbitant for everything from houses to cars to education to family vacations.  Somewhere in the hullabaloo, if you can set aside $10 or $20 a month, that would be a very generous contribution at the end of the year.  Gustavus goes so far as to let you auto-debit it if you’d like.  OR put it on your Delta Amex and get a few frequent flyer miles out of the deal!  Any way you can, I hope you’ll take a few moments to ensure that the Gustie tradition is alive and well generations from now.

Best wishes for a beautiful and healthy autumn,

Dan Murray

1986 Class President


Class of 1986 – 25th Reunion Pimp Sheet!

Concerned about the last reunion’s photos and pimp sheet comments, Sherry Keran Pedersen made a point to do nothing that would incriminate her this time around … Ya, right!

Warren Bailey, the Miss America pageant called - they want you to compete for the 2012 title (you’re fabulous in a wig and tiara … but what’s with the dolphin??)

Anders Johansson still has it going on with the ladies (and apparently with the guys – was he giving Jeff Lunde a big man-hug??)

Our esteemed class entomologist Tracey Anderson offering to find and name a new bug after every reunion attendee…  Next morning the story changed to:  “I’ll see what I can do…”

Brave Craig Engwall ventured a stay at the somewhat creepy St. Peter Motel because they'd let him bring his dog.

Bill Jansen and Sandy Setter Larsen winning bottles of wine for most kids/grandkids (not together!).  For that category, they probably should have received whiskey and shot glasses!

Lee Houserman Holmes and Johann Peikert medically reviewing before- / after-shots of cosmetic surgery on a cell phone…  Hmm, hopefully no one we know!

Good idea gone bad:  Scott Shekels amazing but failed idea of using a real blimp and wireless camera transmission for the class photo.  We heard there was a great shot of the inside of a mini-van.

Alums who studied in Sweden together, Brenda Frisk Erikstrup, Charlotte Pratt Nordstrom, Kristen Nilsson and Rebecca Flack Near posed for a reunion photo behind the dive.  Photographer Chris Carlson was overheard kindly offering to Photoshop out their clothes – what service!

Masters of Ceremonies:  Dan Murray and David Meyers attempted to get the attention of the class using their “mister microphones” with limited success – until they figured out how to make them screech our eardrums out.

Chris Carlson trying to win the Gustie sweatshirt with a bogus final Gustavus game score – nice try!

It only took Sara B Hansen two drinks and an arm-twist to volunteer as our new Class Communications Chair.  Thanks Sara!

Jenny Wood’s second encounter with Bruce Gray was more amicable than the first; at least she won’t end up on J-Board again.

Jeff Elder and Dan Spenny were observed spending a LOT of time talking on their cell phones outside of the Dive (separately).  Wondering if their wives were not happy they weren’t invited along?

President Ohle referring to us as the Class of 1981 – whoops! (although that class did have class with the whole flash mob thing at the game!)

Dan Murray’s rampage through the Gustavus kitchen to get more food so that everyone from the Class of ʼ86 would have something to eat - friendly reminder to sign up early next time around!

After a wrong turn, rumor has it that Kristi Youngdahl and Jenny Erickson McInerney stopped to regroup in Green Isle for a cocktail before finally arriving at the reunion.

“Jeep”ers …. was that Jeff Krohn driving from GAC to the bar with the top down on his Jeep despite the dark 50 degree weather ?

Are those socks in your pocket or are you just happy to see me? “Sock”cer moms Michelle Gustafson and Leslie Nelson Johnson were sporting interesting lumps from behind.  Practicing safe socks?

Sited:  Kelly Lorentzson Alexander at the American Legion party with newly minted Theta’s on final day of rush, singing sorority songs.  New Reality TV Show?  Cheers!  Leslie Nelson Johnson and Laura Peterson Olson threw back a shot of Captain Morgan’s pucker!

Random dancing at the Flame: Shelly Eklund, Katherine Brown Shuster and Scott Shekels were spotted independently shaking things up to Pat Benatar’s “Hit Me With Your Best Shot.”

As the Flame heated up for Stephanie Liska Maki, the layers of clothes came off (and everyone agreed she looked great!)

Was that Al Farnell bellied up with a table full of empty beer bottles at the Flame?  Maybe that’s why Al, Don Davis, Cathy Service Davis and others got kicked out of Whiskey River at 9:30 p.m. the night before?

Warren Bailey kept requesting American Pie because it wasn’t loud enough.  Was it because the crowd was too loud or upon further reflection, could it be our age/hearing?

Dan Murray was spotted sweeping Karen Westlund Kirby off her feet for a friendly photo full of female Gustie alumni!

Stealth mode - Dave Mann was unrecognizable by many!  Good to see you Dave!

Jan Murphy Jetland’s amazing “I can find and show you anything” Facebook searches at the Flame – who were those classmates she found?  Sarah Rudie Balestri was one…

How about the provocative photos of Laurie Chinander Shekels that Scott Shekels  was proudly showing people on his cell phone (don't lose that!)??

Dan Spenny drove a bunch of folks to Gustavus, then left earlier than the other guys wanted.  Next time, maybe they spend the gas money and drive themselves?

Ace sighting!! Yes, the local barfly joined the group at the Flame and looks the same as he did 25 years ago.  The Flame wouldn’t be the same without him!  (And did you see Cathy Service Davis’s face light up when she saw him??)

RJ Sass nearly blew off his daughter’s homecoming soiree to hang with his Gustie homeys…  Now that’s loyalty!

Nearly thwarted munchies run … how many closed fast food locations did Mark Roesner, Dave Meyers and Jeff Krohn visit before they begged a McDonald’s drive-through manager to re-open long enough to satisfy the post-bar cravings?

After a late night, Kristi Youngdahl and Jenny Erickson McInerney were spotted walking back to the AmericInn (fitness fanatics, or is it true that they locked the keys in their car by the Flame??)

Oldster Kelly Lorentzson Alexander noted she went to Patrick's after the Flame but left early after a current Gustavus student said "excuse me, ma’am" to her.

Steph Spitzack Hennings and Mary Erie Ford had a prime spot at the bar to see and be seen!

Good to see those from out-of-state including Kristie Vikse, Julie Latterell Dickinson, Elizabeth Olson, Anders Johansson, Al Farnell, Scott Dingman Jodie Boulet-Daughters, and likely many others – thanks for joining us!

Was that Jenny Erickson McInerney taking a dip in the pool for an early morning swim?

Honorary Gustie:  Huge thanks to Dan Murray’s lovely wife Linda for being our official Class of 1986 photographer!

Post Parties

1002 S. Washington girls (Kristi Youngdahl, Jenny Erickson McInerney, Diane Matthews....maybe a few others??) crashed a party there.  Apparently five male Gustavus students live there now – grrr, cougars welcome!

AmericInn Room 101 (Phil & Laura Peterson Olson) hosted a gathering including Scott and Laurie (Chinander) Shekels, Dan & Linda Murray, Jenny Wood, Mark Roesner, Dave Meyers, Sandy Setter Larsen, Kristie Vikse, Melinda Moen Batz and Julie Latterell Dickinson – and only got “shushed” from the front desk lady twice.

Scotty Shekels' AmericInn hotel room was the sloppy-seconds party location when those wimp-asses in room 101 (Phil & Laura Peterson Olson) threw out post-partiers at midnight (to start their own post-post-party).

Missing In Action

We missed Mike Dicke who intended on coming but had a last minute dog issue to attend to back in San Francisco – undoubtedly he would have had more fun with his “dawgs” than his dog!

Sara Freeman Rekow no showed – we missed you!

Was Mike McGraw being a chicken for not showing up?  No, he was taking his son and some other boys fishing.  It was “crappie” not seeing you…

Did you see the Flame had a “Welcome Class of 1986” sign? (two of them in fact).  What a wonderful way to make us feel at home and “go back in time” which is what reunions are all about.  Evidently there was a group of gals that were so fond of the signs that they may turn up again sometime, some other place - maybe even on Facebook.  Don’t know much about the details, but Ann Wilsey Gesme, Sue Schultz Bratrud and Diane Matthews may know something about it ….

Respectfully Submitted by,

Laura Peterson Olson

1986 Guest Letter Writer

Unlocated Classmates – if you know the whereabouts of any of these classmates please let the Alumni Office know (

Todd W. Andre

Chris Bennett

Susan Skalbeck Berenz

Bonnie L. Clements

Ed Flathers

Liz Weyhmann Freeberg

Lois Michaelis Goode

Ron Jacobs

Cydney Jacques

Jodi Wenzel Jones

Shawn Hayes Jones

Alison A. Madson

Julie A. Mason

Deb Matson Nelson

Phil Nordberg

Jill Pinkney Pastrana

Sarah Johnson Reed

David L. Russeth

J. J. Schaidler

Doug C. Teich

Mike T. Theilmann

Kristin L. Westrum

Campus News

Campaign Gustavus Announcement

At the Sesquicentennial and Campaign Kickoff Dinner held on campus on Friday Sept. 30, Board of Trustees Chair Mark Bernhardson announced the official kickoff a comprehensive fundraising campaign, Campaign Gustavus.  The financial goal of the campaign is to raise $150 million by the end of 2015 to fund the strategic initiatives of Commission Gustavus 150.  The focus of Campaign Gustavus is to ensure the College has the resources to continue providing opportunities for teaching and learning in a caring community.  To find out more about Campaign Gustavus and how you can be involved, visit:

2011 Athletics Hall of Fame

Gustavus inducted new members into its Athletics Hall of Fame at a banquet on Oct. 15.  Inductees for 2011 are Owen Sammelson ’58, benefactor; Amanda Murdock Diehl ’92, gymnastics; Jay Klagge ’92, basketball; Bryan Ripken ’94, swimming; Todd Anderson ’95, soccer; Tracy Erickson McMorrow ’95, tennis; Scott Moe ’95, golf; Laura LeVander Peters ’96, softball; and Colleen Barland Sherman ’96, soccer.  The Hall of Fame Moment is the 1991 Women’s Gymnastics National Championship, won with the final routine of the meet.

Christmas in Christ Chapel

As the College’s Sesquicentennial Christmas in Christ Chapel, Julljus:  Light from the Old World, Light to the New brings us to the celebration of Christ’s light—to Sweden in the Middle Ages; to Minnesota in the 19th century; and to our fractured and darkened world today.  At the center of the 39th annual community celebration is Julotta, the traditional Christmas matins service brought by Swedish immigrants to the New World.  Tickets for Christmas in Christ Chapel 2011 go on sale online on October 17 at noon at  If you do not have access to the Internet, please call 507-933-7520 after noon on October 17 to place your credit card order.