Class of '88
November 2008


We missed all of you who did not make it to our 20 year reunion.  It was a blast seeing everyone who got a chance to get to Gustavus.   I believe the event was a hit, especially being back on campus on an absolutely glorious day.  Festivities started around 10 a.m. with a campus tour and a stop at the “rock” to paint ’88 on it.





Most of the day was spent outside.  Our class tent was on the north side of the new football stadium.  We had a great view of the game and had a cash bar and snacks.  The football team won, or maybe they lost, I don’t know, I didn’t actually watch it because I was too busy talking and catching up with old friends and acquaintances.  There were at least 85–95 classmates that made an appearance at the tent at some point in the day.  We had classmates come from all corners of the U.S...and beyond.  Pat Kirtland and Lara Peterson came from Seattle, Greg Elder from Maine, Tony Gamelin from Florida and Sharon Ringsven from Hawaii, and Melissa Carucci form California.  Ann DeLaHunt and Tom Lersten traveled all the way form London and Nicaragua respectively and Woody Bachman traveled about 1 mile from his home at the center of the universe (St. Peter).

Around 5 p.m. we went into the Student Union for a class picture and a casual dinner banquet.  We had great food, topped off with red velvet cake (yes, I actually like it).  We had a short program highlighted by a visit from Jack Ohle, the new president of Gustavus.  He is quite energetic and inspiring and will have a great influence on the future of the college.

By 9 p.m. the banquet room cleared out and the Flame filled up.  The music townie made an appearance.  He actually remembered peoples names, especially the girls.  A warm thanks to all who made the trip to Gustavus and I hope you all enjoyed it as much as I did.  I look forward to planning the big 25th in a couple of years.

A big applause for the class of 1988 for reaching two significant goals set by the reunion committee.  As a class we meet our goal of donating over $120k as a class gift and we had a donation participation rate of 40% (200 classmates).  Luther Hagen was instrumental in meeting both of these lofty goals.  Thank you Luther and your committee for your tireless hours of making phone calls!

I also want to a thank Jamin Johnson, the communication director, and her committee for keeping all of you updated on the reunion plans.  In addition I’d like to thank my planning committee for all your assistance in making the day a memorable one.

If anyone has any comments or ideas about the last reunion or about the next one, please let me know.

Gail Chase Ericson

1988 Co-Class Agent







Deceased classmates memorial





Lee Schmitz, Monticello, MN.  On July 21, 2008, Lee gave his young son, Layton (age 4) one of his kidneys.  Layton had suffered from a chronic kidney disease since birth and had only about 12% use of one kidney.   He had a number of surgeries in his young life, took numerous daily medications, plus injections a couple times a week.  The planned kidney transplant was postponed to allow Layton to grow as much as possible.  The transplant was performed at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital in Palo Alto, CA where Layton would receive a steroid-free protocol following the transplant.  It was necessary for Layton to remain in California to be monitored for 100 days post-surgery.  His parents took turns staying with him at the Ronald McDonald House in Palo Alto and several times in the hospital while he was treated to overcome infections.  When not in California, one parent was home with his six-year-old brother, Logan.  Layton is now doing well and is expected to arrive home in early November.

Lee did as we all would have done by offering a part of himself for his child, but this did not come without a price.  Lee is self employed and had to take several months off work to recover.

Even though the family and Layton have medical insurance, there will continue to be transplant-related expenses for Layton throughout his life, such as transportation and lodging costs.  As they strive to keep this new kidney healthy, they know that someday his body will reject this kidney and he will need another transplant.

The LET LAYTON LIVE fundraising campaign is being conducted for Layton in association with the Children’s Organ Transplant Association (COTA), a 501(c)3 charitable organization.  All donations to COTA are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law.  Please consider making a donation to COTA in honor of Layton.  Secure credit card donations can be made online at or checks can be mailed to COTA, 2501West COTA Drive, Bloomington, Indiana  47403.  Any check mailed to COTA must have Layton’s name on the memo line.  One hundred percent of all donations made in honor of Layton will be used for transplant-related expenses.  If you have questions, please call:  651-455-7251, Marilyn Mason, campaign coordinator for COTA for Layton S.

Read more about Layton on his website

  • Elizabeth Bradbury Barker lives in St. Louis, MO and works at Sunset Tennis Center.
  • Sean Bradley and his wife Christine of Duluth, MN have 4 children:  Oliver (1) who joins big brothers Jack(2), Max (5) and Quinn(8).
  • Kari Hubbard Witt of Lakeland, MN is currently teaching kindergarten and 1st grade in the Stillwater school district.
  • Chrissy Jansen Rossow, Maple Grove, is a senior consultant for Cirden Health Systems and Consulting.
  • Kelly Jaros Burke and her husband Tom own an online health food site called, specializing in organic and raw foods.  They live in Bend, OR with a daughter and a son.  She hopes you all had a great time at the reunion.
  • Tammy Hansen Bieri of Austin, TX is a buyer at Tokyo
  • Elektron America.  She recently became a certified instructor and will be teaching Hatha yoga.
  • Mark Anderson is a technical manager at 3M and is attending Carlson School of Management in the Executive MBA program.  He will graduate in May of ’09.  Good luck on the rest of your schooling.
  • Laurel Jorgensen Jordan is staying busy teaching phy. ed. and coaching track and soccer at a newly opened high school in Yuma, Arizona.
  • Cathy Carlson Kay operates a quilting business called D.C. Designs and is traveling and playing golf.
  • Peter Idusogie was seeking endorsement as the DFL candidate to run against Congressman John Kline.
  • Suzanne Otto Schiffman has started her 19th year as an early childhood teacher in the Burnsville, Savage, and Eagan school district.
  • Tom Lersten is a foreign service officer for the U.S. State Department.  He is living in Managua, Nicaragua with his wife and kids.  Good to see you Tom.
  • Jodi Milburn is a physician at a Park Nicollet Clinic in Shakopee.
  • Keith Anderson is a financial manager for United Health Care.
  • Janice Suhr Haines is the program director for Facing Cancer Together, a program of the Angel Foundation.
  • Debra England Harstock is a stay at home mom, chauffeur, cook, maid, dispute manager and wife.
  • Sue Koch Meyers loves living in Colorado with her two kids and husband.  She continues in the real estate business.
  • Ann Hetland is a teacher in special education and lives in Hopkins with her cat.
  • Laura Kenow recently returned to her job as a professor at Linfield College in Oregon after doing doctoral work this past year at the University of Minnesota.
  • Heather Anderson is a personal care attendant for her nephew and is attending school to get her interpreter license in American Sign Language.
  • Christina Pierson has been hired as the Minnesota executive director of Partners for Affordable Energy.
  • Gail Chase Ericson has been working as a physical therapy exercise specialist at the LiveWell Fitness Center at Abbott Northwestern Hospital.  Hey, Kevin Aasen we missed you!!!!


  • Twins were born to Brad Richards and his wife, Holly, in Vashon, WA.  Charlie and Flora were born April 12, 2008.  Congratulations – twins are great!
  • Melissa Carucci and hubby, Jesse Logan, welcomed daughter, Jacqueline Olivia on November 2, 2006.
  • A daughter, Haley, was born to Penny Noeska Johnson and her husband, Niel, on December 7, 2007.
  • Charles Nielson his wife, Lisa Linnell, were overjoyed at the birth of their daughter, Marguerite, on March 3, 2008.

Campus News

Presidential Inauguration

Gustavus Adolphus College inaugurated Jack R. Ohle as its 16th president on Friday, Oct. 3 in Christ Chapel.  Various inaugural events were held over a four-day period.  On Homecoming Saturday, Oct. 4 the celebration was capped-off with an Oktoberfest; a buffet-style dinner immediately following the Homecoming football game with about a thousand Gusties in attendance.

Twin Cities Gustie Breakfasts

Join other Minneapolis/St. Paul area Gusties for a morning cup of coffee and breakfast while getting an update on Gustavus.  The group meets the third Wednesday of each month.  November’s presenter will be Tom Young ’88, vice president for institutional advancement.

Doubletree Hotel, Minneapolis-Park Place, 1500 Park Place Boulevard (Hwy. 394 & Hwy. 100)

Third Wednesday of the month - 8-9:30 a.m.  Cost is $10 per person.  Reserve a spot by calling Don Swanson ’55 at:  763-533-9083.

Nobel Conference ― Who Were the First Humans?

Nobel Conference XLIV held Oct. 7 and 8, 2008 focused on the first humans.  Presenters considered the full range of recent evidence about the first modern humans going beyond archaeologists and paleoanthropologists to the work of biologists, climatologists, geneticists, mathematicians, and psychologists who have been adding to the scientific database.

Twin Cities lecture on international terrorism

Dr. Magnus Ranstorp ’85, research director for the Center for Asymmetric Threat Studies at the Swedish National Defense College in Stockholm, Sweden, will present a public lecture titled, “The Threat of Global Terrorism,” on Thursday, Nov. 6, 7:30 p.m., at Interlachen Country Club, 6200 Interlachen Blvd., Edina, MN.  Ranstorp, who will be in the United States to cover the presidential election for Swedish television, will address some of the key terrorism trends and challenges for the next U.S. presidency.  He will also be presented a Gustavus Distinguished Alumni Citation in international relations.  RSVP to the Office of Alumni Relations at 800-487-8437.

Need medical insurance?

Are you between jobs?  Self-employed?  Not covered by an employer health plan?  If you need health insurance you can find the right coverage for yourself and your family through the alumni association.  Whether you need temporary or permanent coverage, please visit to learn more about the range of coverage options available.

The Linnaeus Arboretum's 2009 calendar is available now for purchase

The calendar features the photography of Anders Björling ’58 and phenological notes by naturalist, Jim Gilbert ’62.  You can purchase your copy for $16 ($15 for current members of Friends of Linnaeus Arboretum).  Please add $3 per calendar for shipping and handling.  Checks should be payable to Linnaeus Arboretum Calendar and mailed to:  Linnaeus Arboretum Calendar, Gustavus Adolphus College, 800 West College Avenue, St. Peter, MN  56082.  (Contact Shirley,, 507-933-6181 with questions.)

Legacy Award for Gustavus admission

The Gustavus Legacy Award was created for new students whose siblings are current Gustavus students or graduates or whose parents or grandparents are Gustavus alumni.  Renewable awards of $2,500 per year are given to scholarship recipients who have a high school grade point average of at least 3.5 or an ACT of 26 or 1170 (Critical Reading + Math) on the SAT.  For more information, contact the Admission Office at 800/GUSTAVU(S).

Upcoming Alumni Events

  • Twin Cities Lecture, “The Threat of Global Terrorism,” Dr. Magnus Ranstorp ’85 — Nov. 6
  • Twin Cities Gustie Breakfast, Thomas Young ’88 — Nov. 19
  • Christmas in Christ Chapel – Joyeux Noel – December 5-7
  • St. Lucia Day – December 11
  • Twin Cities Gustie Breakfast, Steve Kjellgren ’86 — Dec. 17