Class of ’86

September 2012

Life Goes on But Stays the Same…

Hello Fellow Classmates,

Welcome to the first day of fall!  But how can we really be sure?  Well, the Minnesota State Fair is behind us, and I think we all agree that the State Fair is summer’s last hurrah...  I must confess that I threw caution to the wind, risked my life with the swine flu−which ravaged nearly four people in Minnesota this year−and visited the State Fair Swine Barn along with all the other animal buildings.  Since no one can prove otherwise, I’m pretty sure I caught some fish this summer that were at least as big as those swimming in the DNR pond.  Finally I tasted at the State Fair one of the most scrumptious desserts I’ve ever tasted.  When I first saw the stand, my stomach starting repulsing from the thought of something else being deep-fried on a stick, BUT next year you MUST try deep-fried Reese’s peanut butter cups.  Wow, the hot, oozing chocolate and peanut butter, cradled in fried dough.  Indescribable although I thought I’d try.

Then we have the Renaissance Festival well underway−which clearly is a fall event.  Not to mention the critical trips to apple orchards to purchase locally grown pumpkins and myriad church “Fall Festivals.”  At our church’s festival last weekend, I found myself talking to a gal, who I discovered, works with Kevin McDonald at the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.  I ensured her it was in everyone’s best interest to change the subject from freshman year escapades in Sorensen Hall.

We certainly hope everyone had a phenomenal summer.  The Murray clan started the kids in track, then baseball, and wrapped up with Cub and Boy Scouts.  How small is our Gustavus universe?  I was in a canoe at a scout camp in August with my youngest, and the scout counselor patrolling the waters was the son of Amy Sommers Buck.  The Gustavus umbrella that shielded us from the downpour was the give-away (only day in August it rained?)

The continuous cycling of seasons and years doesn’t always bode change.  At Gustavus the traditions continue.  This fall dozens of Gustie Greeters were out in full force managing the freshman chaos and, most importantly, providing that reassuring smile and directions to the nearest dorm.  Then students settled in and start the painful process of selecting the first of what is now 72 different majors.  By October the Nobel Conference shows up.  While I did attend a number of Nobel Conferences in my four years, I didn’t realize until many years later what a nationally, even internationally, prestigious event this is.  In fact, our 1982 Nobel Conference participants included names such as Stephen Jay Gould, Irving Stone (yes, THE Irving Stone), Richard Leakey and Sir Peter Medawar.  This year, the Nobel Conference on October 2-3 is focused on Our Global Ocean.  A couple days later, a special campus visit will occur from King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden.  Flashback to freshman year?  Absolutely; their last visit was fall 1982!  A week later, we come upon Homecoming at Gustavus.  On October 13 we play Valley City State University.  Never heard of them, which is why I hope for a solid victory.  Pretty sure that between all the other festivities, there will be multitudes of Gustavus students singing “Beat ‘em, bust ‘em, that’s our custom…Gusties will shine!”  (The clean version of course).

In our days, Gusties of all types participated in numerous events from concerts and football games to special events that included Todd Johnson in the play Equus (mom, cover your eyes!) to Laura Peterson Olson getting hypnotized in Alumni Hall and doing things she still denies today.  Some folks were GDIs, others joined our local fraternities and sororities.

Earlier this month, the website released its list of the top 10 colleges and universities that “Get Greek Life Right.”  In that list Gustavus was ranked 6th.  Now, before you get excited, I should warn you that some of the fraternities and sororities that were the crème la crème Greek groups in the ʼ80s are now completely defunct and several that were always on the margins are now the cat’s meow.  Email me if you’d like the next class letter to list out the surprising status of groups like Fleas, Oks, Greys, Reds, Thetas, Iota Betas, Gammas, Sigmas, Deltas and more.  I promise you’ll be shocked!

Ok, that’s it for updates on St. Peter for now.  Do you live in the Twin Cities and want to reconnect?  You can engage with other alumni and learn something new about your alma mater at the monthly Twin Cities Gustavus alumni breakfast.  Please join us at the centrally located American Swedish Institute (2600 Park Ave., Minneapolis), on the third Wednesday of each month at 7:30 a.m.  Cost is $10.  Of particular interest for some Poli. Sci. folks is the November 21 breakfast featuring Professor Don Ostrom.  Hey Poli. Sci. fans Mike Dicke and Al Farnell:  time to travel back to Minnesota from opposite sides of the country?

In April 2012, Jodie Boulet-Daughters published her first children’s book, Mambo’s Tail.  It’s a story of her first dog, Mambo and his discovery and journey of the magic of his tail and all that it can do.  While it’s a children’s book, it’s a story that resonates with both children and adults who have that special connection with their family pet.  Jodie's mother, Jo Boulet hand painted each illustration and her brother Jayson was instrumental in the graphic design of the book.  For more information please visit

There’s even more official updates to follow.  PLEASE be sure to send us any new info that you’d like to share!  We’ve recently enjoyed hearing from Gregg Dahlke, Leslie Boyer Dwyer, Sara Hansen (our esteemed communications chair), Karen Westlund Kirby, Julie Brudwick Kjellgren and her chef Steve Kjellgren as well as Jay Lammers.  But there are many folks we’d still love to hear from!  Please drop us a line soon so we can reconnect.  We’ll provide detailed updates in the next letter.

In the meantime, best wishes in all you do…  And Gusties:  shine on, the best is yet to come.


Dan Murray

1986 Class President

Campus News

Alumni Career Exploration

Where Dreams Meet Reality: Alumni Networking and Transition” will be offered again with support from Thrivent Financial for Lutherans and Catherine Beyer Breet (  This program is designed for anyone who is unemployed, underemployed, or unhappily employed.  It takes participants through the process of naming gifts, talents, and passions and finding where to use them in the world.  This event is scheduled at St. Mary’s University this fall on Tuesdays Sept. 25, Oct. 9 and 23, and Nov. 6, from 6–8 p.m.  This four-part classroom series includes full access to the Online Job Hunt Coaching System.  The series is being offered for $199 (Gustavus alumni $149).  Live outside the Twin Cities metro area?  The series will be offered in webinar format for $149 (Gustavus alumni $99).  Register at:

Nobel Conference – “Our Global Ocean”

October 2-3 – Nobel Conference 48 examines, “Our Global Ocean” as a source of inspiration, danger, and knowledge.  The conference will examine our oceans as a source of inspiration, danger, and knowledge.  We know less about our own oceans than we do about the surfaces of other planets hundreds of millions of miles away.  Top researchers in biogeochemistry, oceanography, deep-sea biology, molecular genetics, and coral ecology will discuss the most relevant topics concerning our mysterious oceans.  Tickets for this year’s Nobel Conference are available at:

The Royal Visit

Their Majesties King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden will visit Gustavus in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the founding of the College by Swedish immigrants in 1862.  The Royal Visit to Gustavus will be Friday, October 5, 2012.  For the full schedule of the day’s events, visit visit.  Many events require tickets.

Hall of Fame

The Gustavus Adolphus College Athletics Department has selected nine individuals for induction into its Athletics Hall of Fame.  The 2012 class of inductees include Rhonda Gorseth Alberts ’93 (Gymnastics), Brian Brekke ’95 (Football),Kara Bloomquist Drekonja ’96 (Cross Country),Brett Gross ’96 (Track & Field),Brock Guettler ’92 (Basketball),Mark Kruger ’86 (Tennis),Jason Lesteberg ’96 (Hockey),Scott Stoneking ’96 (Soccer), and Donald Swanson ’55 (Benefactor).  This group will be honored at the Athletics Hall of Fame Banquet, which will be held in Alumni Hall at 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29, following the Hall of Fame football game between the Gusties and Hamline University, which is set to take place at 1 p.m. at Hollingsworth Field.

Homecoming 2012

October 12-14 – Homecoming 2012 will include the Sesquicentennial Closing Dinner, reunions, a football game, a performance by The Bend of the River Big Band, and more.  For information on reunion registration and the entire homecoming schedule, visit

Alumni Travel Opportunities

2013 Friends of Music Salzburg choral Tour

Gustavus Friends of Music has arranged for a Gustavus Alumni choir tour to Munich, Salzburg, Vienna and Prague June 23 – July 5, 2013.  Singers and non-singers alike are welcome.  Once in Salzburg, the singers will join the Mozart International Choral Festival and perform Mozart’s Coronation Mass in the Salzburg Cathedral on June 29.  Not a singer?  There is space available for non-performers as well.  For more information contact Jackie Neeck Peterson ’77 at or 800-726-6192.

2013 Pearls of Central Europe

Experience Central Europe with Gustavus professor emeritus of history Dr. Tom Emmert from September 10—21, 2013.  This 12-day Gustavus study tour combines learning, exploring, leisure, lecture, food, and arts with special touches, all led by a faculty expert.  The journey is focused around three showpiece cities of Central Europe:  Prague, Vienna, and Budapest.  For more information, contact Tom Emmert at

Gustie Breakfasts - Twin Cities – New time and place

Engage with other alumni and learn something new about your alma mater at the monthly Twin Cities Gustavus alumni breakfast.  Please join us at the American Swedish Institute (2600 Park Ave, Minneapolis), on the third Wednesday of each month at 7:30 a.m.  Cost is $10.  Gustie breakfasts are also being held on campus the second Wednesday of each month.

October 17 – Nobel Conference Recap

November 21 – Donald Ostrom – November elections

December 19 Terry Morrow – Minnesota Vikings stadium

Upcoming Chapter Gatherings

National Chapter events for alumni, parents and friends are scheduled for the 2012-13 academic year and will focus on the College’s pillar of “Teaching and Learning.”  Please save the date for the event in your area.  Tim and location details will be forthcoming

Nov. 8 – New York City

Nov. 10 – Boston

Nov. 10 – Dallas

Nov. 11 – Houston

Nov. 13 – Washington, DC

Jan. 29 – Phoenix

Jan. 31 – Tucson

Feb. 3 – Los Angeles

Feb. 4 - Palm Springs

Feb 13 – Tampa