The Great Gustie Gathering 2016

Otherwise known as Homecoming, this year it included a celebration of 100 seasons of football.
Posted on October 4th, 2016 by

A record crowd attended the 2016 Great Gustie Gathering. This year's Homecoming also celebrated 100 seasons of football. For more, visit Twitter and Instagram: #gogusties #goldandblacktakemeback #gustiehomecoming

The Great Gustie Gathering 2016 brought a record crowd of alumni, parents, and friends to campus Saturday to celebrate their years at Gustavus as well as 100 seasons of football. It was one of the largest homecoming celebrations on record—more than 1300 came back to The Hill. There were Gusties now living in 28 states, and from as far back as the Class of ’53.

Such enthusiasm was a fitting tribute to a Gustavus football centennial celebration.

Gustavus Homecoming Class of 1981The day was filled with fond reminiscing—about first dates and missed finals, football and hockey victories and losses, orchestras and organic chemistry and unusual roommate habits and those famous Gustavus frost-your-own cookies (which were on-hand for sweet nostalgia). 

Classes from the reunion years of ’76, ’81, ’86, ’91, ’96, ’01. ’06, and ’11 turned out in particularly large numbers to greet friends near and far, watch Gustavus play Concordia-Moorhead, and dance to the 80s cover band Retrofit.

First, a memorial service was held for longtime football coach James “Moose” Malmquist ’53, who served Gustavus as athletic director for 23 years before retiring in 1997. The service was attended by former players, colleagues, and friends from all over the country. 

“Moose pioneered the modern era of Gustavus Athletics, bringing the program to new heights in equality, visibility, and success,” President Rebecca Bergman said. “He was one of the visionaries behind the construction of Lund Center, and made a considerable impact on the landscape of college sports both on campus and across the nation.”

After the service, reunion years met for photos and reconnection, and alums attended “Alumni College” taught by professors who are recent recipients of the Edgar M. Carlson Award for Distinguished Teaching. Alums took their children to Gustie-themed kids activities, and took tours of their ever-changing campus. Gusties remembered those who have been lost this past year at another moving memorial service, featuring the Alumni Choir.

This year’s Homecoming Court. Front row: Lily Benge Briggs (royalty), Laura Isdahl, Gabe Grosshuesch Second row: Janet Jennings, Kristine Rogers Standing: Brad Basco (royalty), Andrew Jeon, John Baron, Rachel Hain, Sarah Barnes

Then it was on to family fun with a petting zoo, inflatables, and an All-Gustie lunch and beer garden, with Gustie owned Auntie Wendy’s Kettle Corn from Wendy Ericksen Bachman ’87, Bent Paddle beer courtesy Gusties Collin Mullen ’02 and Brent Rowe ’03 (co-owner and marketing director of the brewery), and wine from local Chankaska Winery.

Jazz from The Floodplain Four filled out a festive afternoon, followed by the social justice theatre troupe I Am/We Are performing “Mosiac: Out of Many We Are One.”

Then football reigned. Gustavus fell to Concordia, but the loss did not dampen the 100 Seasons of Football celebration. Held in Alumni Hall, the celebration included a highlight film of memorable plays throughout the years as well as remarks from players and coaches from all eras of Gustavus football. They recounted the history of the program to an audience of 250 alumni, current players, and parents.

“The heritage of Gustavus football runs deep,” said Head Coach Peter Haugen. “And today we had a chance to celebrate the growth of the program and the strong athletic traditions that we’ve built here on The Hill.”

In between, other Gustie sports (swimming and diving, soccer) held alumni events, Gustie reunion classes held receptions and dinners, current Gustie students charmed and cheered, and, at halftime, declared their homecoming royalty: Congrats to Brad Basco ’17 and Lily Benge Briggs ’17. 

And to all Gustie students past, present, and future: it was wonderful to see you on The Hill. Again. 

For more from your fellow Gusties across the nation, visit Twitter and Instagram:

#gogusties #goldandblacktakemeback #gustiehomecoming

Mark your calendars now for Saturday, September 23, for The Great Gustie Gathering 2017.

Gustavus Homecoming 2016


Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication JJ Akin


One Comment

  1. Sandy (Sooty) Welte '65 says:

    It WAS a great day! My husband, Jim Welte ’64, was co captain of the football team and it was fun for him (us) to reacquaint with other football players. Our grandson, Brayton Finch #94, is playing on GAC’s team as a freshman this year and we were able to see him in action. The many meals, activities, and gatherings couldn’t have been more welcoming. Go, Gusties!