It’s the first week of April and we still have snow here on the ground in Minnesota. Here in Minneapolis, our snow cover had actually melted by the end of March, but then April 1st came along and it was back to snow plowing and shoveling. It seemed like an April Fool’s joke, but alas, I suspect that Mother Nature just wanted to get the last laugh on us here, given that she was so easy on us on this winter.
As I open this letter, let me do so with a HUGE thank you to Laura (Tinklenberg) and Randy Halter for their joint guest letter in January. I got a kick out of their collaboration—a first among guest writers. Perhaps Laura and Randy have started a trend (if others wish to write a joint letter, let me know). I enjoyed hearing from several classmates through Laura and Randy’s letter. Like them, I too turned 40 (last October) and it did, indeed, feel different than other milestone birthdays. I sure don’t feel 40 (at least not how I once imagined people who were 40). All in all, 40 feels pretty good.
We received news from several friends since Laura and Randy’s letter, so let’s get to it.
Steven Andreasen is planning to move to Rochester, Minnesota, and is thinking of jumping into the race for the 1st district congressional seat. If he decides to run, he’ll be up against Republican incumbent Gil Gutknecht. Steve served as director for defense policy and arms control for the National Security Council during the Clinton Administration.
Erick Boe (LeSueur, Minnesota) teaches 7th grade geography at St. Peter High School, where he is also the assistant football and assistant track coach.
Danene (Bjerking) Conditt (Austin, Texas) is the self-employed owner of Conditt Development Group. She and her husband, Pat, have three children: Mark, Christina, and Sara.
Gary Distel (Cold Spring, Minnesota) teaches social studies (and is the head of the department) in the Rocori School District. He is also the head baseball coach. He and his wife, Lisa, have two children: Hudson (3 years old) and Sam, who was born August 26, 2001. If we haven’t acknowledged his birth before, then congrats are in order!
Paula Eisele Duhaime (Maple Grove, Minnesota) is a stay-at-home mom, busy with her and Brad’s (’85) three children: Jack (born 10/16/00), Claire (8 years old), and Christopher (11 years old). Brad is a computer consultant.
In an article from September 14, 2001, it was noted that our own Jeff Edblad (Cambridge, Minnesota) was one of five finalists named by the Commission on Judicial Selection for two vacancies on the 10th Judicial Court trial court bench. Jeff , who earned his law degree from Hamline University in 1988, has been the Isanti County Attorney since 1995. He was an assistant Chisago County attorney from 1989 through 1994 and an associate attorney with the Rancort Law Offices in Lindstrom and Forest Lake as well as assistant 10th Judicial District public defender in 1989.
Peter Ford (Alexandria, Virginia) has decided to leave the State Department and run for a U.S. Congressional seat (you can check out his Web site at www.vote4ford.com). As Pete wrote to me recently, “After the events of September 11th, it is my duty as a patriot to run. After living overseas for over eight years and traveling to over 90 countries, I believe the time for me to run is now, not in four years (I need to be a little feisty). Presently, I have the drive and desire to serve in the U.S. House. How could the voters not like an American who for the past 16 years has been fighting terrorism overseas, is a Major in the U.S. Army Reserves, and most important ...a Gustavus Adolphus graduate!” Well put. Best of luck to you Pete. Keep us posted as the campaign progresses.
Ed Griese sent an e-mail to let us know that he and his wife, Kristin, and their two children (Alexander and Katharina) continue to enjoy their lives in Madrid, Spain. They have been there now for two years, having moved from Germany—which means the children are fluent in both German and Spanish. Ed continues to work for CIGNA International, for whom he runs the Spain operation. Their apartment lies in the heart of this world-class city, between the Prado Museum and Retiro Park. Sounds delightful!
Jim Kapoun (Mankato, Minnesota) and his wife, Carolyn, welcomed twin sons, Christopher and Nicholas, on February 10, 2001. Congratulations! Congratulations!
Tamara Koeder (Dallas, Texas) is two years into enjoying a new home (time flies, doesn’t it?). She continues to practice law.
Larry Lindahl (Little Rock, Arkansas) and his wife, Lynn (Barberg ’83) are full-time missionaries. Specifically, they are on staff at FamilyLife, a ministry for Campus Crusade for Christ. Larry is a conference planner who travels about 10 times per year to administrate the FamilyLife “A Weekend to Remember” conference. There are over 100 of these a year and they teach couples practical skills for marriage and family. Larry and Lynn have three children: David (6th grade), Marie (3rd grade), and Danny (1st grade). Larry says that in Little Rock, where sports fans know the Razorbacks are king, when he proudly sports (pun intended) his Gustavus Adolphus sweatshirt, people are prone to inquire, “What’s that?” What’s that, indeed!
Lisa Milbrath (Eden Prairie, Minnesota) wrote last November to tell us that she had taken a four-month leave from Northwest (like many airlines at that time, Northwest needed people to take voluntary leaves—the other option was layoffs). By the time you get this letter, she may be back in the air.
Lisa Johnson Moudry (San Antonio, Texas) is a freelance broadcast producer; her firm is LKM Productions. Her husband, Tom, is vice president and executive creative director for Omnicom Advertising. Like me, Lisa is a dog mom, and when last we got news Burnsie and Hogan were well and aging gracefully.
Jeanne Johnson O’Brien (New London, Wisconsin) welcomed son, Joshua Reed, on January 13, 2002. Congratulations! She is a mail carrier with the U.S. Post Office.
Steven Parry (Stillwater, Minnesota) is a district representative for Lutheran Brotherhood. He and his wife, Cari, have three sons: Nathan, Kyle, and Seth.
John Pflaum and his wife, Lori (Pingatore ’92), make their home in rural Mankato. John is account executive for Masterpiece Studios.
Robyn Rime (Prattsburgh, New York) and her partner, Edgar Brown, welcomed a son, Griffin, on June 6, 2000. A much belated congratulations! When last Robyn e-mailed me, she was still the publications manager at George Eastman House in Rochester, which is an international museum of photography and film housed in the historic mansion of George Eastman, founder of Eastman Kodak Company. [Robyn sent me an e-mail with this message at the end of 2000, and I just found it! I apologize for taking so long to post the news, Robyn.]
Lori Lundeen Steele (Forest Lake, Minnesota) now works in the Quality Management Department of Saint John’s Hospital. Her husband, Mark, is an insurance agent.
Jennifer Swenson (El Dorado Hills, California) and her husband, John, welcomed a daughter, Hannah Jennifer, on December 2, 2001. Congratulations! Jennifer works in the State Senate and John works for the FAA.
Carol (Fredrickson) Tweeten (Forest City, Iowa) continues to be a self-employed accountant and has her own firm—Tweeten & Young CPAs, P.C. She and her husband, Douglas, have three children: Ryan, Drew, and Luke.
Sheri Lohrenz Zastrow (Rochester, Minnesota) is enrolled in a master’s program through the University of Phoenix. She is also a clinical educator for neurosurgery at the Mayo Clinic. Her husband, Gregg, is an electrician with Adair Electric.
And, before I bring this letter to a close, let me share a few final items about Gustavus:
• March 29 was the anniversary of the 1998 tornado that raged through our beloved campus. It’s hard to believe that it’s been so long, since the changes to the hill and to St. Peter are still so evident.
• As you may or may not already be aware, President Steuer has resigned. Following is an excerpt from a press release:
Axel Steuer, the thirteenth President of Gustavus Adolphus College, announced he would resign as president of the College at the end of the current academic year. He agreed to remain in an advisory capacity to the Board through May 2003. Appointed in 1991, Steuer’s tenure will be noted by marked advances in the College’s national academic standing and a significantly strengthened financial condition. President Steuer also led the institution through a major rebuilding process that was required after a devastating 1998 tornado that resulted in over $60 million in damage to the campus. To read the entire press release, visit http://gustavus.edu/news/releases/steuer01200102.html
• Gustavus now has an online alumni community called “Hello Walk”—what better name, right? Hello Walk, the new online alumni community, is a place for Gusties to meet to share casual conversation or in-depth discussion. You can participate in conversations, debate issues in the news, or just catch up with old friends. You can find Hello Walk at http://hellowalk.gustavus.edu.
• In case you’re wondering how our class is faring in the annual alumni fund effort, here’s how it looks. In a report we received in February, our class of 481 had 102 donors (21.2%). In the "50 by 50 Campaign" our donor goal for this year is 211 (43.9%) so you can see we’ve got a ways to go. We need 109 more of us to step up to the proverbial plate. In terms of dollars, as of January 15 (the last date I have a report for), our class had raised $10,399.86 from 93 donors—which is impressive given that last year we finished with 109 donors and $12,496.38. If you’ve already made a contribution, then I add my heartfelt thank you. If you haven’t yet, then you’ve got until May 31 (the close of the fund year) to give it some thought. Every gift matters, every effort is worthwhile. Thank you.
• This year’s winners of the Greater Gustavus Award and Distinguished Alumni Citations have been named. Here’s a preview of the honorees.
Chester and Marian (Swanson ’41) Johnson for their over 60 years of service and support of Gustavus as faculty members, their work in the library and college archives, as class agent, for creating the Johnson Prairie Overlook in the Linnaeus Arboretum, as Gustavus Library Associates, and with the annual Scandinavian breakfast.
Loreli Steuer H’97 for her service as First Lady, with the Linnaeus Arboretum, for her involvement with Gustavus Library Associates Author Day, and in teaching.
Kevin Kling ’79, Minneapolis, MN, actor, storyteller, and playwright for a citation in the field of entertainment.
Walter Youngquist ’42, Eugene, OR, geologist, for a citation in the field of geology.
• E-Mail Address Updates
If you change e-mail addresses, please inform the Alumni Office at the home page at http://gustavus.edu/alumni/email_search/add_update.cfm. You can find e-mails for friends here as well.
• About @Gustavus
Those who share their e-mail address with the Alumni Office and subscribe, will receive @Gustavus, a monthly e-newsletter from the Gustavus Alumni Association. The purpose of @Gustavus is to provide alumni with updates about the College and alumni initiatives. To subscribe: http://gustavus.edu/alumni/email_search/email.cfm.
Well, that does it for this letter from Minneapolis. I wish you well until my next letter.
1984 Co-Class Agent
P. S. News From The Hill
I'll add here the news from the campus which was written by a current Gustavus student:
Hi! This is Tracey Hanson again writing from the Alumni Office. For those of you who haven’t previously heard from me, I am a senior double majoring in Communication Studies and Business Management. I am a seasoned Alumni Office veteran, as this is my fourth (and final) year here. After not having taken a J-Term class, spring semester and the homework it entails has been hitting me hard. Contrary to popular belief, the “senior slacker” final semester has been just the opposite for me. My time at Gustavus has flown by, especially this final year. The fact that it is March and I am still without a job is beginning to be a constant thought in the back of my mind. It also seems to be a constant thought in the minds of my parents, although it seems closer to the front of theirs! Spring semester has also been the final opportunity to be all together with classmates, so much time has been spent socially with roommates and friends.
As I will be graduating in June, this will be the final time you receive updates from me. I now will also move into the alum category and step into the real world. I’m not sure I’m completely ready for the change, but I’m darn sure that I better get ready because it’ll be here before I know it! Here is some news from Gustavus.
Reunion Weekend for the 50 Year Club and Class of 1952 is May 31 & June 1. A schedule of events and registration material will be sent in April.
Homecoming 2002 & All Sports Reunion Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of Intercollegiate Athletics is September 21. Homecoming Weekend will include reunion gatherings for classes of 1957, 1962, 1967, 1972, 1977, 1982, 1987, 1992, 1997 and 2002. Class reunions will be held in Bloomington at the Radisson South Hotel Friday evening, and Homecoming events including class and all-sports reunion events will return to campus for activities Saturday. A schedule of events and registration material will be mailed in August. A schedule will be published in the summer and fall issues of the Quarterly.
It has been an extremely successful winter sports season at Gustavus. Women’s hockey won the MIAC regular season championship with an undefeated record and advanced to the Frozen Four National Tournament, finishing third in the nation. The men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams both won MIAC titles, the first time in Gustavus history. The women’s Nordic ski team won its first MIAC championship. Men’s basketball placed second in the MIAC during the regular season and MIAC playoffs, and advanced to the Sweet Sixteen before losing to number one ranked Carthage College. Men’s hockey finished second in the MIAC regular season and playoffs. Women’s basketball finished fourth in the MIAC and advanced to the conference playoff for the first time ever. The women’s indoor track team finished second and both the men’s Nordic ski team and men’s indoor track teams placed fourth in MIAC action. The women’s gymnastics team advanced to the NCGA National Championships. Five Gustavus coaches were named Coach of the Year in their respective sports – Jon Carlson (women’s swimming & diving), Mike Carroll (women’s hockey), Mickey Haller (women’s basketball), Scott Jerome (women’s Nordic skiing), and Brett Petersen (men’s hockey).
G.I.V.E. – Gusties In Volunteer Endeavors is moving to the spring. Work projects will happen in the Twin Cities on Saturday, April 27. Register on-line at gustavus.edu under the alumni events section.
The 22nd MAYDAY! Peace Conference, May 1 will address the topic "Sanctions and Beyond: What is the Human Price?" For conference information and reservations, call the Office of Public Affairs (507/933-7520).
Comprehensive Alumni Directory
The Alumni Directory being published for the Gustavus Alumni Association by Publishing Concepts is still in production. Those who purchased directories should expect to receive their copy in September. Orders for an alumni directory can still be taken by calling 800/982-1590.
Evelyn Sponberg Young’s 90th birthday celebration
The Twin Cities Chapter of the Alumni Association invites all Gusties and friends of former Gustavus food service director and 2002 Alumni Fund Chair Evelyn Sponberg Young ’33 to her 90th birthday celebration on July 25, 2002 at Mt. Olivet Lutheran Church, 5025 Knox Avenue South, Minneapolis, at 6:30 p.m. with a 7:30 p.m. program.
Evelyn will be serving her famous Red Velvet Cake and all guests will receive a loaf of her famous Swedish rye bread. A book of remembrance will be compiled as a gift for Evelyn. Please send remembrances and stories of Evelyn to Alumni Office, Gustavus Adolphus College, 800 West College Avenue, St. Peter, MN 56082. Reservations should be made with the Alumni Office at 800-487-8437, e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our web site at gustavus.edu, alumni, events.
NOBEL CONFERENCE® XXXVIII, The Nature of Nurture – The Early Years, will be held on campus October 1 & 2. The conference will explore the forces that are most important in shaping a child’s personality, gender identity, and language acquisition and learning ability. History, discoveries, research, and clinical studies will all be surveyed to draw a better understanding of biological forces and environmental influences on brain development.
For more news and information about Gustavus, check out the web site at gustavus.edu.