Class of '87
April 2007

Can you believe it has been 20 years since we graduated from Gustavus?  Do you remember our graduation ceremony that sunny day on May 31, 1987?  More importantly, what memories do you hold from your four years living, studying, growing and learning in St. Peter? 

Clearly we each have different things we remember – and many have been magnified over the years that have since passed.  Because of sometimes selective recollections, our respective Gustavus experiences mean different things to each person: for some, their fondest memories consist of late night bull sessions in a dorm room with good friends; for others, late nights meant furious cram sessions prior to exams fueled by Rice Krispies squares smuggled from the Caf. 

Whatever your experience, can you believe the changes in your life between Freshman Orientation and that sunny day at Commencement?  Since 1987 you have likely leveraged those learning and growing experiences to the benefit of you, your family and your community in myriad ways. 

I believe we all owe a lot to Gustavus for what we learned during our four years embedded in that very special community.  As we reflect on the 20 years that have passed since graduation and as we prepare to celebrate our reunion later this year, please join me in remembering Gustavus by supporting the institution – and our experiences – with your gift to the Gustavus Alumni Fund. 

The Alumni Fund is an unrestricted pool of dollars provided by alumni for the express purpose of furthering the mission of Gustavus through support of the academic, athletic, and extracurricular programs that are the core of the Gustavus experience. 

Every gift to the Alumni Fund counts, and no gift is too small.  Participation is the key – the Class of 1987 Reunion Committee hopes to see every 1987 graduate provide a gift to the Alumni Fund between now and our reunion October 13, 2007.  The Reunion Committee has set an aggressive but achievable goal for our class to raise more unrestricted gifts than other classes from the 1980s.  You are encouraged to visit to learn more about the Alumni Fund and to pledge your support.  Gifts may be made online, and please remember to inquire with your employer about matching gifts – many employers provide such a benefit, and all such matching gifts count toward the Alumni Fund. 

My wife, Mary (Sutherland, GAC 1990 – younger sister of our classmate Steve Sutherland) and I have been regular givers to Gustavus and to the Alumni Fund because we are grateful for the experiences we gained during our respective four years on campus.  Since my 1987 graduation, I have lived in Oregon and Washington for almost 18 years, and Mary and I just recently moved back to the Twin Cities to be closer to our families and for the birth of our third boy in April 2007.  While we certainly maximized our time living in the Pacific Northwest, we are grateful to be back home and, among other things, to be closer to Gustavus and to rejuvenate old friendships made during our Gustavus years.  Since returning to Minnesota, Mary and I have both taken the opportunity to become more involved in Gustavus activities and are looking forward to the Class of 1987 reunion activities this year. 

On that point, you recently received a letter from Gustavus encouraging you to save two important dates, which are noted again below:

Thursday, June 21, 2007 – Pre-party with Gustavus President Jim Peterson and our 1987 classmates at the home of Paul and Michelle Koch in Plymouth.

Saturday, October 13, 2007 – Reunion day activities from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on campus (after 8:00 p.m. in downtown St. Peter?), including lunch, dinner and many, many other events.

Further information and invitations to both events will be mailed soon.

I look forward to seeing all of you again in June for the “Pre-Party” and at our October reunion.  In the meantime, you are invited and encouraged to make a pledge to the Alumni Fund in support of continuing the Gustavus mission and experience.


Mac Ryerse

Class of 1987

Campus News

Alumni Awards Announced

The Alumni Association announces the following 2007 awards selected by the Alumni Board of Directors. 

  • Greater Gustavus AwardGiven to those who, by deed, have notably advanced and aided Gustavus Adolphus College:
    • Russ and Jan (Ledin) Michaletz ’74 ’74
  • Distinguished Alumni Citations Recognizes outstanding and exceptional professional achievement:
    • Paul Peterson ’94, principal, St. Peter High School, Minnesota State High School Principal of the Year.
    • Margaret Anderson Kelliher ’90, house speaker, Minnesota House of Representatives.
  • First Decade AwardsRecognizes early professional achievement:
    • Jennifer Pleuss Spande ’97, diplomat, Political and Economic Section, U.S. Embassy, Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
    • Alexander Hill ’97, senior scientist, Medtronic, Inc.

The Greater Gustavus Award and Distinguished Alumni Citations will be presented at the Alumni Banquet on Saturday, May 26, and the First Decade Awards will be presented during Homecoming Weekend, October 13.

Linnaeus Symposium Celebrates Birth of Carl Linnaeus

In celebration of the 300th anniversary of the birth of Carl Linnaeus, Gustavus will host its second Linnaeus Symposium, Linnaeus @ 300, on Wednesday, April 25, 2007. The daylong conference will feature presentations by ethnobotanists Mark Plotkin and Paul Alan Cox, and Linnaean scholars Hans Odoo and Paula Robbins. The day will also include tours of Linnaeus Arboretum, a special photography exhibition by Anders Bjorling, music, dance, and a Scandinavian feast. Visit <> or call 507/933-6181 to learn more.    

Lindau Symposium brings Richard John Neuhaus to campus

The Rev. Richard John Neuhaus, a well-known conservative Catholic intellectual, will address “Religion in American Public Life” at the inaugural Lindau Symposium at Gustavus on Tuesday, May 8, 2007, 7:30 p.m. in Alumni Hall.  A gift to the College from Phil ’58 and Nancy Lindau given prior to Phil’s death last April established the symposium at Gustavus that bears his name. Lindau, a commodities trader and executive who served Gustavus as a board member, campaign chair, and longtime volunteer leader, was passionate about the faith-life intersection and the church-relatedness of his alma mater. The symposium, which the Lindau family and College officials anticipate will be an annual event, aims to provide a forum in which diverse intellectual voices and mainstream beliefs and values can be brought together in a liberal arts environment.  The May 8 Lindau Symposium will be webcast (live video and audio) online at:

“Community Food Security” is Theme of MAYDAY! Peace Conference

"Community Food Security" is the theme for this year's Gustavus MAYDAY! Peace Conference, to be held on May 2.  This is an annual conference, devoted to a topic relating to human rights and social justice.  Among other events, the daylong conference will feature presentations from author Janet Poppendieck, who wrote Sweet Charity?: Emergency Food and the End of Entitlement, and Mike Hamm, Ph.D., chair of sustainable agriculture at Michigan State University.  For more information call the Office of College Relations at 507/933-7520.

Gustavus Choir Reunion to Celebrate 75 Years

Alumni and friends of the Gustavus Choir are welcome to attend a reunion on Saturday, May 5.  The day will include an alumni choir rehearsal, a banquet for past and current members of the choir, and a full concert with both the alumni choir and the Gustavus Choir.  For more information, contact the Office of Fine Arts Programs at 507/933-7013.

Celebrating 75 Years of Theatre at Gustavus

The Department of Theatre and Dance celebrates 75 years of theatre at Gustavus with a reunion on May 11 and 12.  Highlights of the weekend will include an afternoon program sharing memories and monologs from the past 75 years and viewing the performance of The Tempest in Anderson Theatre.  For more information and to register, go to the theatre reunion section of the Alumni website at <> or call the Alumni Office at 800/487-8437.

Upcoming Alumni Events

  • Linnaeus Symposium - April 25
  • Gustavus Association of Congregations – April 28
  • MAYDAY! Peace Conference: Community Food Security - May 2
  • Celebrating 75 years of the Gustavus Choir - May 5
  • Lindau Symposium – May 8
    Celebrating 75 years of Theatre Reunion  - May 11-12
  • Class of 1962 - 45th Anniversary Reunion – May 25 & 26
  • Class of 1957 - 50th Anniversary Reunion – May 25 & 26
  • 50 Year Club Reunion – May 26