Class of 2000
April 2010

10-Year Reunion ― September 25, 2010

Hafa Adai fellow members of the class of 2000,

As I write this “alumni perspective” from my modest second story balcony, I can hear the waves crashing into the coral cliffs of Lao Lao Bay.  It is dark out so I can’t actually see the water, but its gentle rhythm reminds me that it’s there.  No matter where I go on this little island it’s hard to escape the presence of the water.  What a bizarre place─Saipan.  It is truly a pinprick of an island on the globe somewhere in between Hawaii and the Philippines.  It takes a whole day to get here (actually two because you lose one mysteriously on the journey) and I’m pretty sure it’s 16 time zones away from the Midwest.  Most of the island is covered by jungle─the thick, green, impenetrable kind of jungle that requires a machete (or a chain saw) to navigate.  The villages scattered across the island haven’t changed that much in the past 40 years.  Most of the villages include a collection of small, concrete homes with tin roofs.  It’s not uncommon to see several lines of drying clothes, the rusted out carcasses of a few cars, and perhaps a cow or a couple of goats.  But the villages have changed some too.  Now they’re connected to each other by mostly-paved roads and feature Shell gas stations, an occasional McDonalds, some car rental shops, and a few other modern amenities.  The pace of life here is slow, as it should be on a tropical island.  The beaches are gorgeous and one can watch a million dollar sunset over the Pacific Ocean almost nightly.

So it is from this tropical paradise, that I reflect a bit as our ten-year college reunion quickly approaches.  It is hard to believe that it has been ten years since we turned our tassels.  One of the fascinating and most enjoyable aspects about my four years at Gustavus was the opportunity to meet so many people from so many different walks of life.  I lived with roommates who came from four different states.  I studied with professors with incredibly diverse academic backgrounds.  I wrote lab reports with, ate dinner in the caf with, and presented research with people from all different socio-economic backgrounds, political points of view, and professional aspirations.  For four years the 600 of us essentially shared our lives with each other.  And each one of us contributed in some small way to the education of the entire class.  Our lives crossed for a brief moment and then separated again as we all branched off into our own versions of the “real world.”  After ten years it has been fun for me to look back at that “moment” and remember the people I shared it with.  I feel blessed to have shared those four years with you all.  But I also find it incredibly rewarding and exciting to hear of our classmates’ adventures and successes since graduating.  Our collective accomplishments over the past decade are truly remarkable.  It’s not often that we get to reconnect and share these stories with each other.  I certainly hope to have that opportunity in September.


Josh Stevens

2000 Guest Letter Writer

Fundraising Update

In the next couple weeks, members of the reunion committee will begin contacting our classmates to talk about the reunion.  We will also use this opportunity to begin our fundraising efforts.  We have set a goal of $25,000 and 50% participation.  These are very lofty goals, and your support in reaching them will be greatly appreciated.  To those of you with a great giving history, THANK YOU!  To everyone else, now would be a great time to begin giving back to Gustavus.  A small donation goes a long way towards the goals we have set.  The website where you can make a donation is:

We look forward to speaking with as many of you as possible in the next few weeks!

Events Update

The reunion party begins at 7 p.m. in Stella’s Fish Café in Minneapolis on Friday, September 24.  Cost will be $25 per person for Friday evening’s event.  On Saturday, September 25, family-friendly festivities continue on campus with a Class of 2000 tent at the football stadium and post-game all-campus 5th Quarter party.  The Alumni Office has promised snacks and beverages at our tent along with food, music and fun at the 5th Quarter.  Make some time on campus to wander around and see the new additions and changes from the past decade including:  Southwest Residence Hall, progress on the new social science center, and how much the trees have grown since we left campus.  As always, if you find yourself in St. Peter for Saturday evening, you may enjoy joining friends to re-live college nights at your favorite local establishments!  Registration information will be coming your way as we get closer to Homecoming Reunion 2010.  We hope to see you there!  Tell your friends!

More information about Stella’s is found at:

The homecoming schedule is found at:

Want to keep up with the Class of 2000?  Bookmark our page and submit your news:

Campus News

Gustavus Announces Major Building Projects

At its Monday, Jan. 25 meeting, the Gustavus Adolphus College Board of Trustees voted unanimously to move forward with three major building projects.  The College will erect a new 125,000 square foot academic building with a large 3-story atrium at the center providing natural light to many of the spaces.  It will qualify for a “gold LEED” qualification as a green building.  This will develop a mall extending west from its iconic Christ Chapel.  It will house the largest departments on campus (economics and management, psychology, and communications).  Also, plans are under way to renovate A. H. Anderson Social Science Building.  Construction timelines for the projects are not yet finalized, but the College expects to break ground on the new academic building late this spring.

The effort is a significant early implementation step of Commission Gustavus 150, an innovative, constituent-based strategic planning process that has engaged hundreds of alumni, students, faculty, staff, and other stakeholders over the past year.  “These projects will greatly enhance learning and teaching, student recruitment, and institutional advancement for many years to come,” said President Jack R. Ohle.

Alumnus, Kurt Elling ’89, Wins Grammy Award

Kurt Elling, a 1989 graduate of Gustavus Adolphus College, took home his first Grammy Award Sunday, Jan. 31 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, Calif.  Elling won the “Best Jazz Vocal Album” category for his album Dedicated to You: Kurt Elling Sings the Music of Coltrane and Hartman. This year marked the ninth time Elling was nominated for a Grammy.  Elling typically performs annually at Gustavus and did so most recently on Oct. 10, 2009 in Jussi Björling Recital Hall.  He has also had the distinct honor to perform in front of President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama and their 350 guests at the White House State Dinner on Nov. 24, 2009.

Gustavus Forensics Wins Nationals

The Gustavus Adolphus College forensics team took first place in the individual events portion of the Pi Kappa Delta National Comprehensive Tournament March 19-21 in Minneapolis.  Gustavus amassed 306 points to narrowly defeat Ohio University, which scored 305 points.  A total of 57 colleges and universities participated in the tournament.  Gustavus sophomore Chloe Radcliffe won the Pentathlon competition, which recognizes the top 10 students who compete in at least five events.  First-year student Kate Bissen took first place in Informative Speaking and senior C.J. Hunt also took home a first-place trophy in the Program Oral Interpretation event.

Fantastic Winter for Gustie Athletics

The Gustavus winter athletic teams had great success including MIAC championships in men’s and women’s hockey, women’s basketball, and women’s swimming.  The Gusties finished second in men’s basketball, men’s swimming and diving, and women’s indoor track and field.  Gustavus also played in and hosted the NCAA Div. III Women’s Frozen Four National Hockey tournament in March.

GLA Membership

All of us remember the Folke Bernadotte Memorial Library.  It was a place for study and, depending on your era, finding a “coffee date.”  But, in the 21st century, it has become much more.  It is a technology-rich laboratory for learning and a storehouse of culture and recorded knowledge.  It must constantly be strengthened to ensure excellence in education.  The Gustavus Library Associates (GLA) provides financial support for the library and a program of events to its members.  Join this year and immediately make a difference.  Whatever membership gift level you choose, 100% goes directly to the library’s acquisition budget.  Join today at!!!

Admission News

Applications for next year are ahead of where they were last year at this time which makes Mark Anderson ’66, the director of admission, very happy.  We graduated two very large classes in the last two years so we need to have somewhat larger classes in order to maintain our enrollment at about 2,500.  Mark Anderson will retire at the end of the academic year so a search is going on to replace him.  Gustavus has had only three directors of admission since 1950 (Howard Holcomb ’49, Owen Sammelson ’58, and Mark Anderson ’66) which is quite an amazing track record.

“Come on You Gusties” Breakfast

Once a month, Gusties gather for coffee, breakfast, and great conversation along with a campus speaker.  All Gusties are welcomed and invited to the breakfast, third Wednesday of the month, 8-9:30 a.m. at the Doubletree Hotel, Minneapolis-Park Place, 1500 Park Place Boulevard.  Cost is $10 at the door.  Upcoming speaker, May 19:  Al Molde ’66, athletic director and Tim Kennedy ’82, director of sports information.

Upcoming Events

  • Apr. 25 – Boston Chapter Event - Bay Back Hotel
  • Apr. 28 – May Day! Peace Conference
  • May 1 – Gustavus Choir Home Concert
  • May 3 – Chicago Chapter Event – The Chicago Club
  • May 4 – Denver Chapter Event – Denver Athletic Club