Class of '99
August 2009

10-Year Reunion ― October 9-10, 2009

Class of 1999,

Greetings!  Our 10 Year Reunion is just around the corner…are you getting excited?  We are excited about the events that are planned for our class and for all of the reunion classes, as well as events for Homecoming weekend.  We sent a complete list of events with the last letter, so I hope you were able to start planning your weekend in Minneapolis and St. Peter.  We are continuing our summer guest letter series, this month with the woman formerly known as Torunn Allen, now Torunn Harty.  We hope you will enjoy:

The month is May and the year is 1999.  I slowly pull out of the green visitor parking lot with a sense of euphoria just having graduated with some of the best people that I have ever met and head home thinking of the new life that I would soon begin with a new set of skills to show off!  Memories of the last four years flood my brain and I feel sadness because of the community that I am leaving, yet also excited to pump off my first resume with Bachelor of Arts, Gustavus Adolphus College at the top!  The Gustavus community enriched my formative years with great friends, wonderful travel opportunities, spiritual enlightenment, interesting classes and a feeling of belonging.  I have many great memories of Gustavus, some of which I will share with you.

I didn’t start off my freshman year with the positive attitude that I should have, instead I was a naïve, immature girl who was homesick and had no idea what to expect or how to navigate the college life.  I almost left that first semester because of my homesickness.  Walking across the Co-ed parking lot (or the tundra as I called it) in the dead of winter all the way to the music building on the opposite side of campus with a backpack on that was heavier than me wore me out!  I had to learn the hard way that college classes actually did require studying, and that it was not always easy to live harmoniously with a group of people.  I didn’t realize at the time that these are the experiences that create character in a person.  Fortunately, I took a J-term class that traveled to Washington, D.C where I made some close friends who helped me to find my niche and I forget about my homesickness.  The start of my sophomore year and the subsequent years to come proved to be some of the best years of my life.

Hearing the trumpets introduce the last verse of “O Come All Ye Faithful” at Christmas in Christ Chapel, being obnoxious while hanging out with equally obnoxious friends in the student center and watching the warm sun shine through the stained glass windows in Christ Chapel are just a few great GAC memories!  Staying up late writing yet another paper and rewarding myself with a cheesy Dominos Pizza, waking up to the song “The Final Countdown” at Student Senate retreats, taking much needed dance lessons to prepare for the President’s Ball, and eating scrumptious apple dumplings with sweet vanilla ice cream at least once a week for dessert in the Caf are just some of the vivid memories of my Gustavus experience.

Now, my life is very different from those carefree days of friends, fun and learning, but I feel that Gustavus prepared me to be the person that I am today.  I still enjoy learning, volunteering and giving back, I take pride in my job and the skills that I possess, and I long to learn more about my Lutheran faith and heritage and share it with others.  I look at my two little girls and wish for them the same positive college experiences that I had― maybe not at the small college up on The Hill but at least something close to that (although I will continue to pray that someday I will drop them off in good ol’ St. Peter for their own four years of bliss).  Thank you Gustavus for helping me to grow as a person.  You will always be close to my heart.

Torunn Allen Harty

Class of 1999

If you haven’t done so already, now is a great time to go online and register for Reunion activities.  Even if you’ve responded to the Facebook event invitation, you need to visit to register for all Reunion Weekend events.  Also, call your friends and encourage them to register, too!  While you are there, we also encourage you to make a donation to the College.  We know you are already spending money on the reunion tickets, but we invite you to help pass the Gustie experience on to others by making a donation, big or small, to the Annual Fund…your donations do make a difference in the lives of current and future Gusties!  We look forward to celebrating with you soon!

Jesse & Phil

1999 Co-class Agents

Campus News

Gustavus at the Minnesota State Fair

Gustavus will again have a booth at the Minnesota State Fair in the Education Building.  The booth will have friendly faces, information, and those popular Gustie Grams.  Wear your Gustavus apparel to the fair to show off your Gustie pride!  The fair runs Aug. 27-Sept. 7.

Commission Gustavus 150 Update

The Commission Gustavus 150 Task Forces completed their work at the end of April, posting 439 recommendations to a website used to gather input from the on-campus community and alumni.  Preparations are now being made so the Board of Trustees may work on setting strategic priorities at a workshop in late August.  These preparations include analyzing information collected from the recommendations website, merging recommendations that are essentially the same but written by different task forces, and reorganizing the recommendations into substantive categories.  This information will be shared with the Gustavus community after the start of the new academic year.