Class of 1981

Reunion dates ― October 6 & 7, 2006


December 2005


Greetings from the Centennial State and the Mile High City!


The snow has been falling and the ski resorts are open―come on out and bring your skis and snowboards!


The momentum is building for our 25th class reunion.  If you haven’t marked your calendar yet, please be sure to do so―Friday-Saturday, October 6-7, 2006.  This will certainly be an event you will not want to miss!   We have an enthusiastic and energetic group of about 20 - 25 (the list keeps on growing!) of our classmates who have volunteered to plan the events and festivities for the reunion weekend.  If you are interested in helping with the planning and communication during the next year, please send us an email or call and we’ll get you on the list.


Our class goal is “100% participation” which means each member of the class of 1981 will be personally contacted from someone on the reunion committee to invite them to attend the reunion and reconnect with any news or updates.  Also, please give some “thoughtful consideration” to a special 25th reunion financial gift toward the class goal of $50,000.  Every amount counts toward this goal, no matter how small or how large, for all gifts received through October 8, 2006.  We are also interested in collecting any music, photos or memorabilia from our years at Gustavus that you would like to share and display during the reunion weekend.  If you have some things you would like to share, please mention it in your correspondence or conversation with the committee member and we’ll give you more specific instructions on where to send it as it gets closer to the reunion.  So, if you haven’t been contacted yet, expect to hear from a friendly classmate very soon.


So far, the Events Committee is planning to have a party in Mankato on Friday night and various activities on campus on Saturday.  In addition, there will also be various small group gatherings; for example:  music, nursing, athletic, sorority/fraternity, dorm, and other interest groups.



Evelyn Sponberg Young, one of Gustavus' best ambassadors of goodwill, hospitality and spirit, and friend of many, many Gusties through the years, died at her home on September 29, at the age of 93.  Evelyn graduated from Gustavus in 1933 and taught English in several schools in southern Minnesota.  She returned to campus in 1949 as director of the College's dining service, serving the College 32 years until her retirement in 1981.  A memorial service will be held at Gustavus Adolphus College, Thursday, December 8, 2:00 p.m., followed by a reception in the Evelyn Young Dining Room.


Junior Hailey Harren captured the individual title at the NCAA Division III Cross Country Championships held November 19.  Harren outdistanced the runner-up by eight seconds and finished the 6-kilometer course in a time of 21:52.9.  Harren is the second Gustavus cross-country runner to capture an individual NCAA Championship.  Sarah Edmonds Harris ’93 also captured the title in 1992.  The men’s soccer team advanced to the NCAA Division III Final Four November 25 after beating Fredonia State at the Sectional Final.  This marks the first time a men’s soccer team from the MIAC has advanced to the NCAA Final Four. 


Upcoming Alumni Events

St. Lucia Day (Evelyn Young Memorial Service 2:00 p.m.) ― December 8

Wind Orchestra Companion Tour to Eastern Europe — January 17-27

Vocation Conference – February 11-18, 2006

Gustavus Music Showcase, Orchestra Hall – March 12



Deborah Doak Zabel is currently working full-time for Abens Financial Services (covering for a worker on maternity leave) and is planning to attend the reunion.  Her oldest son, Alex, is a freshman at Bethel.


Sherilyn Jonson Johnson and her husband, Grant, adopted a daughter, Claire Jami Marie Johnson (born:  May 6, 2004) on May 9, 2004 – Happy Mother’s Day, Sheri!  She is looking forward to attending the reunion and touring the campus.


Tom Mobeck’s son, Robert, is a freshman at Gustavus (class of 2009).   Tom is also planning to attend the reunion.


Ken Streiff sends a newsy update:  His son, Tony, recovered from his bout with e.coli 0157-H7 in 2000 and since then, he has been active with Safe Tables Our Priority (S.T.O.P), http://www.safetables.org on the national policy committee.  He recently spoke at the National Press Club in Washington D.C. with Congresswoman DeLauro of Connecticut and Center for Science in the Public Interest Food Safety Director, Carolyn Smith-DeWaal on the subject of food safety.  Last spring, he was elected to the office of secretary of the Metropolitan Emergency Manager’s Association (MEMA), which has kept him busy as a result of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.  He is the national deployment manager for Nechama-Jewish Response to Disaster (http://www.nechama.org), responsible for on-the-ground operations of volunteers.  His wife, Natalie, helped with MEMA duties while he was on deployment.  His son, Tony, is a freshman at DeLaSalle High School in Minneapolis and his daughter, Mary, just transferred to St. Helena School.


Our hats off to you, Ken and the thousands of other volunteers and rescue workers for your dedication and giving of your time and talents to help others so desperately in need of help from these tragic natural disasters.


Look for more frequent updates during the next year as we countdown to the reunion.  A class letter communication will be sent five times in 2006 (every other month) and a 25-year reunion blog will be in place this spring for instant, spontaneous discussion among our classmates.


It’s hard to believe how quickly the years have flown by since our years together at Gustavus.  I’m looking forward to seeing everyone at the reunion in October!


Barbara Halverson Pierson

1981 Reunion Committee Member

and the 25th Reunion Committee


Class of 1981 Reunion Committee Members (we’ll be at the reunion!):


John Anderson (Minnetonka, MN)

Laurice Anderson (Richfield, MN)

Rich Aune (St. Peter, MN)

Pat Boline (Sykesville, MD)

Sharon Bartelt Bridges (Alexandria, MN)

Laurie Larson Hansen (Deephaven, MN)

Steve Heim (Edina, MN)

Sandy Erickson Hasse (North Mankato, MN)

Karen Scharmer Hendrickson (Albert Lea, MN)

Barb Nelson Hutson (Robbinsdale, MN)

Greg Langmo (Litchfield, MN)

Allison McCormack Lee (Eagan, MN)

Leslie Nielsen (Hastings, MN)

Tom Opsahl (Forest Lake, MN)

Jane Breckner Pederson (Frederic, WI)

Barbara Halverson Pierson (Highlands Ranch, CO)

Mike Potter (Minneapolis, MN)

Kathy Hoff Rehwaldt (Plymouth, MN)

Betsy Schaller (Eagan, MN)

Beth Onkka Stuckey (St. Peter, MN)

Darcy Winter (Edina, MN)