Class of '88
May 2009

Dear Classmates:

Finally, a class letter…sorry it took so long.

As you look out the window, and see the trees budding, grass growing greener and greener, and the warm sun, I hope that you are reminded of the gifts we’ve been given.  Food in our pantries, laughing kids at our tables and shoes on our feet―we are all so blessed.

No matter where you are in your life, and whatever challenges you have, remember, “God didn’t promise days without pain, laughter without sorrow, sun without rain, but He did promise strength for the day, comfort for the tears, and light for the way.”  I hope that family, friends, and your spiritual beliefs give you the ability to climb Everest’s!

Have a great summer!

Hope to see you August 8 at Big Lou’s 5K!  (Information below.)

Jamin Johnson

1988 Co-class Agent

Class News

  • Scott and Anne (Johnson) Podratz are living in Eagan.  Scott is a physician assistant and Anne is busy as a resource teacher, enrichment specialist and administrative assistant.  They have two children.
  • Leif Hagen just returned from India.  When not working as an LPL financial advisor for Hagen Financial Network, Inc., he and wife, Anne, are chasing after Kajsa (9), Svea (7) and Britta (3).
  • Rhonda Ganske, Andover, is working as a small animal/exotics veterinarian (does that mean iguanas and chinchillas?) in Champlin.  So, take all your critters over to Rhonda!  She is also serving on the Board of Directors of the Veterinarian Alumni Association of the University of Minnesota.
  • Kerri Doyle, (didn’t Kerri and Becky do a SMASHING-GOOD job on the reunion book?!)…  Kerri is teaching 1st grade to all the cute kids in Orono.
  • Jen Pearson, Duluth.  Zowie!--Jen is an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Minnesota on the Duluth campus.  She’s married to Doug Hoffman, and they have three kids--Ellie (10), Seth (8) and Kai (5).
  • Sharon Ringsven, Hawaii.  She’s in her 15th year as a ranger at Haleakala National Park.  She spends her off days as a dive master on Maui Diamond II.  Last summer, she took a three-week raft trip on the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon.  So, if you want to go on an adventure, give Sharon a call.
  • Amy Jeanne Noer, Greensboro, NC.  She’s an RN in pediatrics.  She’d love to hear from old classmates!
  • Dr. James “Carter” Cartreine is a Harvard Medical School research psychologist based in Boston.  He is currently serving as project leader at the National Space Biomedical Research Institute.  There, he is leading a team who is developing a self-guided, multimedia program that will assist astronauts to recognize and effectively manage depression and other psychosocial problems.
  • Phil Eckman, president and CEO of Transamercia Retirement Management, Inc.  Prior to his presidential role, Eckman was an attorney focusing on civil litigation.
  • Ann DelaHunt Bursinton, England, is busy running Bluebridge Consulting Ltd., serving her children’s PTA, and running after “Gus” their dog (named after a school we all love…)
  • Eric Malberg, Savage, was named 2008 Realtor of the Year by the Southern Twin Cities Association of Realtors.  Way to go!  He adds this award to many other awards and recognition for his commitment, guidance and representation in helping to improve the image of the real estate industry.  Call Eric if you need a great Realtor!
  • Henrik Nordstrom and Charlotte (Pratt ’86), have been helping a 19-year-old Swedish student “couch surf” as she bikes across Canada and the US.
  • Willmar’s Empower Women’s United Way group sports six Gusties (of various years) on the Communications & Marketing Committee!
  • Luther Hagen invites everyone to his first, annual, Hagen Financial Advantage, Inc. Run for Blood 5K, (benefiting the Red Cross) August 8, 8:30 a.m. at the Lake Harriet Band Shell in Minneapolis.  You can register at or call:  651-688-9143.

Reminder:  If you’ve been waiting for your tax rebate, the Gustavus Annual Fund is still taking gifts until May 31st!

Best wishes:  Have a great spring with dance recitals, concerts, track meets, baseball games, soccer, gardening, putting the boat in the water, airing out the tent, and planning your summer vacations!

Campus News

Commission Gustavus 150

In April, the eight Commission Gustavus 150 Task Forces finished meeting and completed recommendation drafting as part of the strategic planning process.  Starting next week, all recommendations will be posted on a secured website for employees, students, and alumni to provide input regarding the level of importance for each recommendation.  This information will be shared with the Board of Trustees for their August meeting to set priorities for action and funding.

Congratulations to the Gustavus Adolphus College Forensics Team, which won its second straight Minnesota Collegiate Forensics Association State Championship on Sunday, Feb. 22.  Gustavus finished with 446 points to beat out Minnesota State University, Mankato (408 points) and Concordia College, Moorhead (213 points).  Gustavus placed first in 6 of 13 events and placed four individuals in the top seven of the individual sweepstakes standings.  First-year student, Chloe Radcliffe, placed first in the individual sweepstakes and senior, Tasha Carlson, will represent Minnesota at the 2009 Interstate Oratorical Association National Contest―the oldest speaking competition in the country―on April 25 in Oxford, Mississippi.

“Come on you Gusties” Breakfast

Join us for a cup of coffee, breakfast, and great conversation.  All Gusties are welcome and invited to the breakfasts which are held the third Wednesday of each month.  This month our featured presenter is Katherine Tunheim, professor of economics and management.  Tunheim will bring news about the department and speak about business ethics and how it is incorporated in the department today.  The date will be Wednesday, May 20, 8-9:30 a.m. at the Doubletree Hotel Minneapolis-Park Place, 1500 Park Place Blvd.  Cost is $10 at the door.  Reserve your spot by calling Don Swanson ‘55 at 763-533-9083.  Upcoming summer breakfasts include Tom Emmert, professor of history, on June 17; Byron Nordstrom, retiring professor of history and Scandinavian Studies, on July 15; and Megan Ruble, director of student activities, and Mim Kagol, Gustavus Library Associates, on the Reading In Common program, on August 19.

Faculty/Administrator Service Dinner

Gustavus will honor John Bungum, professor of economics and management; Dennis Henry, professor of physics; Steve Hogberg, gift planner; Byron Nordstrom, professor of history and Scandinavian studies; Tom Thorkelson; men’s and women’s track coach, strength coach, and Lund Center special events coordinator, Edi Thorstensson; visiting instructor and academic librarian, and Steve Wilkinson; men’s tennis coach, upon their retirement and other faculty and administrators for their years of service at a May 21 banquet on campus.

Women’s Softball

The Gustavus softball team defeated Webster University of Missouri 14-6 in five innings on Saturday and advanced to the NCAA Indianola Regional Championship game for the first time in the program’s history.  The Gusties are now one win away from advancing to the NCAA Championship Finals, which will be held May 15-19 in Montclair, New Jersey.  The Gusties exploded for 14 runs on 13 hits.  Rachael Click led the hit parade with three hits in four at-bats including two home runs.

Gustavus Tennis

Gustavus Adolphus men’s tennis earned its 10th consecutive trip to the NCAA Team Championship Finals after defeating Luther College 5-0 on May 10, 2009 in St. Peter.  The Gusties, who are now 27-8 overall, will compete at the NCAA Team Championships hosted by Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges on May 19-21 in Claremont, California.  And the Gustavus women’s tennis team advanced to the NCAA Championship Finals with a 5-0 win over Wheaton College at the Swanson Tennis Center on May 9, 2009.