Class of '91
January 2005

Dear classmates!!!

The new year is upon us, whether or not we were ready.  As I reflect back upon the past year, events external to my family and me seem somehow more dramatic and significant.  In these times of dramatic events and seemingly constant change, it's comforting to reflect on the experience we had at Gustavus, and work to make Gustavus a more stable place for future generations.  And, while these feelings of nostalgia may simply have to do with rapidly approaching 40, Martha and I decided to increase our annual gift to Gustavus by 25%.  I hope that you will consider giving to Gustavus this year, and wish you the best for 2005.


Construction Projects

Work crews have been busy this summer and fall constructing a new residence hall on campus.  The building, located southwest of the football field will house 200 students in suites and apartments and is scheduled to open for fall 2005.  Renovation of Old Main will begin in January.  A waterfall was also constructed in the Arboretum as a gift from some alums. I haven't seen it yet, but am told that it is wonderful addition to the beauty of the Arboretum.

Gustavus music ensembles will tour soon.  The Gustavus Choir will take a 17-day East Coast tour (January 20-February 5), the Wind Orchestra (formerly the Gustavus Band) will tour nine days (January 28-February 5) in Minnesota, North Dakota and Montana, and the String Orchestra will tour nine days (January 29-February 6) in Iowa, Nebraska, and Colorado.  The Gustavus Choir, Wind Orchestra, and Symphony Orchestra will perform at the Gustavus Music Showcase, St. Andrew Lutheran Church, Eden Prairie, on March 20.

Announcing a new tool for all Alumni: The Gustavus Gift Planning website is a resource for alums of all ages to learn more about planning for their financial future.

The site explores some basics like the need for a will and health care proxy.  It also provides information about planning for the transfer of assets to benefit you and your family, a gift calculator to see how to make a gift that pays you and also provides tax benefits, e-brochures for more information, and how to have a meaningful impact on a non-profit organization important to you.  Check it out today at

Alumni Survey

At the Class Agents' meeting David Menk, Director of Institutional Research, presented some results of a recent survey (not a reunion survey) that was randomly sent to 2000 alumni.  These excerpts indicate an extremely positive picture of alumni attitudes, etc.  One of the main problems cited was cost, which you can help solve!  Gusties are happy alums!


Classes represented in the analysis: 1934 to 1999

All majors represented

62% female, 38% male

79% were in-state students when enrolled at Gustavus.

28% have since moved out-of-state

41% of out-of-state now reside in Minnesota

47% have a degree higher than a bachelors


80% masters degree as highest goal, have reached their goal

90% of those who sought a doctorate, MD, JD, etc. have reached their goal

94% reported that Gustavus prepared them very well/adequate for continuing their education

Alumni Events

75% have attended class reunions (5% not aware)

66% have attended Christmas in Christ Chapel (2% not aware)

62% have attended homecoming (3% not aware)

Alumni Giving

71% feel it is a way to help others have access to education

65% feel it is a reflection of the value they place on education

64% feel it is a way to thank Gustavus

Overall Satisfaction

82% definitely/probably would choose Gustavus if they had to do it over again

85% were very satisfied/satisfied with their academic involvement

86% were very satisfied/satisfied with their social involvement

85% would very strongly/strongly recommend Gustavus to a prospective student

Chapel Program - The Gustavus Chapel program is one of the strongest in higher education with an average of 350 students attending Daily Chapel.  In addition, there are many student-led programs including:  Apprentice - students who are interested in being part of ministry and open to see where the Spirit might be leading; Christ Chapel Volunteers - assist in the ministry of Christ Chapel by ushering, carrying the cross and candles, reading lessons, writing and/or reading prayers, and serving as assisting ministers; Community Service Center Programs - one-time and on-going service programs; Fellowship of Christian Athletes - athlete or not, time for fellowship, worship, speakers, service projects and mission trips; Gustavus Youth Outreach - committed to sharing the Gospel and providing opportunities to serve by participating in off-campus youth ministry; Habitat For Humanity/Spring Break Work Trips - Habitat works locally and Spring Break Work Trip nationally to fundraise for and build affordable housing; Jewish Organization of Gustavus - for students, faculty and staff who are either Jewish or interested in the Jewish faith; Newman Center - dedicated to building a deeper understanding of the Catholic faith; Prepare - build a new generation of believers through mentors, mission trips, Bible study, prayer and worship; Proclaim - Bible-based contemporary worship and teaching; Taizé - a contemplative worship service of music, prayer, readings and silence; Wednesday Friends - visits St. Peter Regional Treatment Center residents weekly.

Upcoming Alumni Events

  • Boston Chapter with Gustavus Choir– Jan. 24
  • New York Chapter with President Jim Peterson ’64 and Gustavus Choir – Jan. 26
  • Washington, D.C. Chapter with Gustavus Choir – Jan. 29
  • Tampa Bay Chapter with Gustavus Choir – Feb. 2
  • Marco Island Chapter Boat Cruise Luncheon – Feb. 5
  • Diversity Center Reunion/Building Bridges Conference – March 12
  • Tucson Chapter with Professor Dick Martin – March 18
  • Phoenix Chapter with Professor Dick Martin – March 19
  • Sun City Chapter with Professor Dick Martin – March 20
  • Twin Cities Gustavus Music Showcase – March 20
  • Seattle Chapter with President Jim Peterson ’64 – April 1
  • Bay Area Chapter with President Jim Peterson ’64 – April 2
  • Gusties In Volunteer Endeavors (G.I.V.E.) day of community service – April 30

1991 NEWS (with Gusties in ALL-CAPS)

DAN and Carin ECKHOFF had a son, Henry Thomas, on 6/29/04.  MIKE DOWNING is an actuary at Hewitt Associates in Chicago.  LYNN (STEPHENS) GIOVANNELLI is working as a residential land developer in and around the Twin Cities, active in local service activities, busy with two boys, and was expecting a third this past October.  PETER ’92 and MICHELE (KEWITSCH) JOHNSON are back in MN, where Peter is pastor at Nokomis Heights Lutheran Church in South Minneapolis, and Michele continues to work as a business consultant, and they were expecting the arrival of their third child.  PAUL ROBELIA is a family physician living in Oronoco and working for the Mayo Clinic.

RAELYNN (SKAARE) and Brian TOLTZMAN had a daughter, McKenna Rae, on 7/31/04.  RACHEL (DAHLIN) NEHLS married Tim Nehls 7/8/04.  ALAN and DANA (WENDORFF) AMDAHL are living in Albany, where Alan is teaching high school social studies and is head baseball coach and assistant football coach, while Dana is teaching high school English.  JENNIFER COPPERSMITH and Dimitris Mizantzidis announce the birth of their daughter, Chloe Dimitra Mizantzidis, born 3/27/04.  JEFFREY MAINS and Heather Mylan-Mains live in West Des Moines, Iowa, where Jeffrey is an attorney.

SHERYL (JOHNSON) and Luke THOMPSON had a daughter, Joanna Lynn, born on 5/1/04.  DANIEL WOODSIDE continues to live in southern Indiana (though, as fellow Hoosiers, Martha and I have not yet confirmed this).  LARISA (JANNERS) and Jim LAHEY had a son, Ryan Jekabs, on 1/24/03.  JULIE RING STEWART writes that she is busy being a Mom to 11-year-old Mackenzie and 8-year-old Coleman, as well as substitute teaching at their Montessori school, and doing triathlons.  KRISTIAN BREUING and wife, Angela, had triplet sons, Max Kristian, Jake Kristian, and Sam Kristian, born 2/23/04.  AMY (MCCREA) and KELLY MORRELL ’90 are living in Spicer with their two girls.

That’s all the news I’ve got.  Be sure to send in news updates to the Alumni Office or directly to your agents at

Happy New Year!


Christopher Tillquist & Kim Osland

1991 Co-class Agents