Class of 1989

April 2011

Class of ’89 Letter – Spring Break Edition!

Most of us have already had our Spring Breaks.  Whether sunny and warm or snowy and downhill or just chillin’ at home, I hope everybody had a great time (and used lots of sunscreen).  I was lucky enough to go to Sanibel, FL and spent almost every waking hour in the pool swimming with my 3 and 5-year old kids.  It was definitely fun, but not exactly the same kind of fun as my Gustie experiences in South Padre or San Diego.  Healthier, but not the same.

It’s been a while since our last letter so there’s lots of important info in here.  Sit back, grab an umbrella drink, dig your toes into the sand or snow, and read on (the irony here is that it’s supposed to snow in mid-April while I’m writing this).

My usual catchy (or maybe nauseating), but pertinent song is below the important stuff.

Changes in the Alumni Association

As we have all heard over and over, spring is also a time of change…snow is melting, flowers are blooming, birds are singing, kids are graduating, we’ve paid our taxes, etc.  In this spirit, I’d like to announce two changes for the overall Gustavus Alumni Association and specifically for the class of ’89!

The first change is relatively minor.  As some of you have already heard, I was elected to the Gustavus Alumni Association Board of Directors this past fall.  So, what does the Board do?  The 21 member board is supposed to:

“Facilitate among former students lifelong relationships with Gustavus and with each other that will enable alumni to actively advance and participate in the mission of the College.”

For example, if Gustavus were a business, and Alumni were one of its divisions, the Alumni Board is the staff that helps to better define and enact the plans and direction dictated by upper management.  The main focus right now is implementing the alumni-focused recommendations from Commission Gustavus 150.

I’m currently serving on the Students Committee of the Alumni Board and have two main personal goals (so far) for my term on the board:

  • Help get more current students and recent alumni in touch with other alumni for mentoring, job search help, and just general networking.  I’m hoping this will result in a tight web of communication for almost all alumni.
  • Involve current and future students with the alumni group and the new class structure while at school for an easier transition to becoming productive alumni.

Let me know if you have any questions about the Alumni Board or anything else Gustavus-related.  I’m happy to find answers!

Goal number 2 above segues into the second, bigger change:  the redesign of the Class Agent structure.  Francie, Scotty, and I have been your Class Agents for several years now and have been responsible primarily for fundraising, class communication, and reunion planning.  The new structure, briefly outlined below, gives more people an opportunity to participate, in a more focused role, to work with the class of ’89.  Please don’t gloss over the descriptions−this is a big deal for the alumni of Gustavus, including you.

New Class Officer Structure

Class Officers and Responsibilities - Officers serve as a liaison between the class and the College with the goal of engaging all members of the class.

Class President - Will preside over the officers and functions of the class. Responsibilities include acting as primary leader, coordinator, recruiter and motivator for the class and class officers.

Annual Fund Chair and Team - Build class awareness of the Gustavus Annual Fund and the ways in which it supports students and the College.  Introduce the different ways classmates can include Gustavus in their philanthropy.  Acknowledge all gifts from classmates.

Communication Chair and Team - Responsible for recruitment and coordination of a class communication team.  Work closely with other class officers to coordinate communication and messaging.


Reunion Chair and Team/Vice President - Responsible for the recruitment of a reunion committee and event chair during the reunion years for the class, coordinates meetings, provides leadership for the committee and leads the discussion of event details for the reunion.  Finalizes all reunion events prior to the actual reunion, determining location of Friday/Saturday class specific events, decorations, food, program, etc.  Organizes class gatherings outside of the main reunion year.


Student Recruitment Chair - Responsible for engaging classmates in recommending to Gustavus quality high school students and recruit classmates to participate in the Gustavus Recruitment Network program.

There is much more to these descriptions, but I figured this letter was long enough.  I will email full detailed descriptions and lists of responsibilities for each of these roles to anybody interested.

There are many benefits to this structure change but the three main advantages I see are:

While we all identify with many groups of people on/off campus (rugby, choir, CUII, football, orchestra, blue-line club, Greeks, service organizations, dorm floor, Student Senate, on/off-campus houses, CAB, study groups, Barn experiences, etc.) the MAIN thing we have is our Class.  We are, FOR NOW AND FOREVER, THE ONE AND ONLY GUSTAVUS CLASS of 1989.  This new approach solidifies the Class as the main group for communication, organization, and participation in much more than just writing letters and fundraising.

Creating a new structure with one president and five teams of people will allow more people to participate at whatever time and/or level they choose.  If you always wanted to help our class but don’t like to write letters, you can lead or help with the Student Recruitment team.  If you hate fundraising but like to write new words for songs (or want to stop Dueber’s song fiasco), you can lead or be on the Communication team.  If you have lots of input for our next reunion, become the Reunion Event Chairperson.

Contact (sends a message to me and the Alumni Office); or me directly at, or the Alumni Office at (800-487-8437), for more information on how you can help.

Personal Opinion:  Each of these roles is set for a five-year renewable term.  With more people participating and just a little “goose” in the right direction, I believe we, as a class, could be doing SO MUCH MORE!  I think the leader and team approach will help us better organize ourselves to identify and meet needs for each other, for the school, for current and future students, etc.  We could get together more often, help those of us in need, organize ourselves for pertinent topics (e.g. “Paying for college (or pre-K),” “What will I do when I retire?”, “I need a job…anybody have one?”, “What are the Pros and Cons of Co-Ed vs. The Complex?” etc.)

Please look at the roles above and let us know how you’d like to participate!  Francie, Scotty, and I are all happy to stay on and help but, obviously, we need some “new blood” for the chairperson roles and to fill out the teams for each committee.  Contact (sends a message to me and the Alumni Office); or me directly at, or the Alumni Office at (800-487-8437), for more information.

Don’t wait…contact us today!  It’ll take two seconds.  Really…just send a quick email or call right now.  I’m serious.  We look forward to hearing from you!

Enough of the business stuff - on to the fun.

In celebration of Spring Break I was trying to come up with some new lyrics to the fantastic flashback hits “Boom Boom Boom Let’s Go Back to My Room” or “Girl You Know It’s True,” but I decided that sometimes one just shouldn’t mess with perfection.

So, instead, the following should be sung to the tune of the Romantics “What I Like About You

Hey! (do do dee-dee deedeedee)

Uh huh

Hey! (do do dee-dee deedeedee)

Uh huh

We could sure use you!           (What I like about you)

Class of Eighty-Nine

Tell me you enjoyed Spring Break

Hope this letter finds you fine. Yeah.

Alumni things are changing this year  (Keep on whispering in my ear…)

So from you we all wanna hear,

ʼcause it’s true

We could sure use you!

We could sure use you!

In any way you can

You can go up, down, jump around

Or simply help us plan.  Yeah.

We’ll get a good group and have lotsa fun

We can all catch up and get things done

ʼcause it’s true

We could sure use you!

We could sure use you!

We could sure use you!

Waaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh! (loud, as a primal scream)

And, we finally have some CLASS NEWS!!!

Darla Bodermann Erickson is now employed by the Houston Public School District.

Anjeanette Perkins was ordained in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), June 6, 2010 in Ames, Iowa and is serving as a part-time associate minister with DisciplesNet Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and full time with Community Action of Greater Indianapolis.

From Kris Mack Ficken:  “We welcomed the arrival of our children through adoption from Ethiopia−arrived home on September 12, 2009.  Abush (boy, age 7), Tigist (girl, age 9), Rebeka (girl, age 11).  Through our experience of adoption we have begun an Orphan Ministry at our church−Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church, Plover, WI−supporting foster care, adoption and global orphan care.  Our Ministry name is “Project Smile.”

About 15 New York area Gusties along with a couple Gustavus staff, were entertained at a Gustie Gathering at the Birdland Jazz Club in New York on Friday, March 4.  They were treated to a performance by alumnus and Grammy Award winner Kurt Elling ’89.  An article in the New York Times reviewed this performance.  You can find the article at

And remember, you can quickly and easily submit your news to:

Michael Dueber

1989 Class President

Campus News

Alumni Association Awards Announced

The Greater Gustavus Award is the highest award given to those, who by deed, have notably advanced and aided Gustavus Adolphus College.  Walter Youngquist ’42, Eugene, OR, chair emeritus, Department of Geology, University of Oregon, and consulting geologist, was selected as the 2011 recipient of the Greater Gustavus Award.  Youngquist has established five different endowed funds at the College and is the recipient of a Gustavus Distinguished Alumni Citation in the field of geology in 2002.  Walter’s father, Walter Youngquist ’16, received the Greater Gustavus Award in 1953.

Distinguished Alumni Citations recognize outstanding and exceptional professional achievement, such as unusual honor accorded to the individual in his or her field of endeavor.  Named as 2011 recipients are John “Jack” Bergman ’69, St. Francisville, LA, lieutenant general, retired, United States Marine Corp., in the field of military service; Robert Brown ’83, Rochester, MN, John T. and Lillian Matthews Professor of Neuroscience, Chair of Department of Neurology, Mayo Clinic, in the field of medicine; and Mark Thomsen ’78, Henderson, NV, professional operatic tenor, in the field of music.

The First Decade Award recognizes early professional achievement to one female and one male in the 10th Anniversary Class.  Selected were Kirsten Cullen Sharma ’01, New York, NY, clinical assistant professor, New York University Child Study Center, New York University Langone Medical Center, and Jonathan Poole ’01, Washington, DC, special agent, violent crime branch, Diplomatic Security Service, U.S. Department of State.  The Awards will be presented at the Alumni Banquet on Saturday, May 28.

Sesquicentennial Award

In 2011–2012, Gustavus will celebrate its 150th academic year.  The Board of Trustees has established an award in honor of this Sesquicentennial anniversary to recognize individuals who have made a significant difference in the life of the College.  The award, called “The Sesquicentennial Award,” will acknowledge and pay tribute to living alumni, parents, friends, and retired faculty and staff who:

Through actions in their personal or professional lives, have advanced the status of Gustavus as a premier liberal arts college;

Have set a new precedent in the ways they supported and advanced the mission of the College as an institution dedicated to preparing students “for fulfilling lives of leadership and service in society”; and/or have brought particular dignity or honor to the College.

Please submit nominations online at  For more information about the Sesquicentennial Awards, visit

“Come on You Gusties” Breakfasts

Engage with other alumni and learn something new about your alma mater at the monthly Gustie breakfasts.  The speaker May the speaker will be Carolyn O’Grady, international education and for June it is Grady St. Dennis, director of church relations.  The Minneapolis breakfast is Wednesday, April 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 e-mailing the Office of Alumni Relations at or by calling 800-487-8437.

The St. Peter breakfast will be Wednesday, May 11, 7:30–9 a.m. in a campus banquet room in the C. Charles Jackson Campus Center.  Cost is $8 per person, or $15 for two, payable at the door.  Reserve your spot by e-mailing or by calling 507-933-7512.

Chapter Gatherings

This year President and Kris Ohle have traveled to many parts of the country and made 15 stops in various cities, in order to reach out to all of our alumni and bring them an update from the College.  There is still one more on the calendar, so if you live in the Chicago area, please mark your calendar for – Friday, April 29.

Summer will bring another round of picnic gatherings – so please mark your calendar if you live near one of these locations:

Mankato, MN – May 31

Rochester, MN – June 1

Sioux Falls, SD – June 6

Fargo, ND/Moorhead, MN – June 7

St. Cloud, MN – June 8

Apple Valley, MN – July 12

Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN – July 13

Long Lake, MN – July 14

Duluth, MN – July 26

Grand Rapids, MN – July 27

Brainerd, MN - July 28

Books in Bloom

“Books in Bloom,” a new initiative hosted by GLA to benefit and celebrate Folke Bernadotte Library, will be held on Honors Weekend, May 6-8, 2011.  Based on the Minneapolis Institute of Art’s “Art in Bloom,” floral arrangements depicting more than 20 different books, films, and periodicals will be placed throughout the library.  Each arrangement is sponsored by a $500 donation with all proceeds going to fund new acquisitions for the library.  Professional floral designers as well as those who simply love plants and flowers will create the arrangements.  The exhibit is free and open to the public.  Hours are Friday 3-7 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. - 6p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.  A brochure with a brief description of the materials and a map for self-guided tours will be available.  Also, student led tours are scheduled throughout the weekend.