Recap: Reunion Weekend 2022

Class years ending in 2s and 7s—plus reunion years skipped due to the pandemic—joined together on campus for a weekend of fun and fellowship.
Posted on June 7th, 2022 by

Gustavus welcomed home nearly 750 alumni and their guests for Reunion Weekend.

A gallery of images from the weekend can be found here.

June 3 – 5, Gustavus Adolphus College welcomed home nearly 750 alumni and their guests for Reunion Weekend. They had graduated as long ago as 73 years (Class of 1949), and as recent as two weeks ago (Class of 2022). Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Classes of 2010, 2011, 1996, 1980, 1970, and 1971 returned to campus to celebrate as well, making up for the reunions they had missed. 

Also due to COVID-19, this was only the fourth time that all anniversary years celebrated together on the same weekend. June is an exceptional time to reconnect with classmates on campus. Class is not in session, so aside from the student ambassadors who provide vitality, hospitality, and the inside scoop on campus life today, alumni have the Gustavus campus all to themselves. 

That includes residence halls. Dorm stays offered some of the most nostalgic moments of the weekend. Pittman, North, Co-Ed, and (air conditioned) Southwest and International Center were teaming with alums, giddy to greet each other after years and decades apart. 

Friday kicked off the weekend with the induction of 96 members of the Classes of 1970, 1971, and 1972 into the 50-Year Club.

“This is my old room!” Alissa Midthune Maloney ’97 exclaimed, checking her key and realizing she would be staying in 404A in Co-Ed. It’s the exact room she lived in when she first became a Gustie back in 1992. “The carpet is different, but the view of the softball field is the same,” she said. She and her Gustie pals specifically requested the 4A pod—it’s where they all met 25 years ago. 

Friday kicked off the weekend with the induction of 96 members of the Classes of 1970, 1971, and 1972 into the 50-Year Club. “Welcome home, Gusties,” Thomas W. Young ’88, vice president for advancement, told them. “You can walk this sacred patch of ground and relive your years together.” While they did not relive the early 1970s prices—when gas was 36 cents a gallon and the average home cost $27,000—class officer Dean Wahlund ’72 channeled Chaplain Elvee with a spot-on impersonation: “To this home you will be coming back, in body and spirit, all your life.” They did so with joy. 

Lifelong learning was central to the weekend, with wellness workshops and College lectures by alumni and by professor emeritus Doug Huff, who shared insights on “The Art of Living.” There were tours of the Arboretum, the new addition to the Lund Center, the renovated Anderson Hall, the renovated and expanded Nobel Hall of Science, and the tunnels, where Gusties found the names they had scrawled on the walls decades ago, and then added addendums. 

On Friday night, Reunion classes ate, laughed, and mingled at Patrick’s.

And there was lots of Gustie spirit aimed at continuing to live a life of purpose, no  matter what age you are. “Spoiler alert: You’re getting older,” said Dr. Richard Leider ’66, bestselling author and expert in purposeful aging. “When we were in college, people used to ask us, what do you want to do when you grow up? Now, the question is, what do you want to do as you age?” Whatever it is, he says, Gusties know how to do it with purpose. “Purpose is universal and fundamental. If you have a pulse, you have a purpose.” 

On Friday night, Reunion classes ate together, laughed together, spent a little time at Patrick’s and The Flame, mixed with intergenerational Gusties and Gusties from other classes, and told their stories at the Pittman Fire Pit. Musicians from the mid- and late-90s entertained their Gustie classmates celebrating their silver anniversary reunions down at Patrick’s, while City Mouse, featuring Billy Steiner ‘72, kept toes tapping for the golden anniversary crowd in Cec Eckhoff Alumni Hall. Former varsity soccer players Charlie Wild ’77 and Kevin Richardson ’83 met for the first time in a tent adorned with images of “The Barn.” They answered the question “What connects you?” with “Soccer. Wine. And Gustavus.” 

The next day brought more fun, including trips to Mankato and Saint Peter on the Gus Bus for learning and fun. On campus, in the space that was once The Dive (and is now the Center for Inclusive Excellence), Gustie alumni sampled beer from Gustie-owned Spiral Brewing and Bent Paddle. “I credit Gustavus and my liberal arts education with giving me the ability to build a business plan and start a brewery,” said Colin Mullen ’02.

On Sunday, alumni sang at a special worship and remembrance service.

Gusties also honored those they had lost in moving Chapel services. And they presented the College with class gifts totaling over $17.2 million in commitments. Shout out to the Class of ’82 for leading the pack.

In the evening, Gusties of all ages danced late into the night in downtown Saint Peter to popular song covers performed by Big Toe and the Jam, featuring Gustie musician Matt Bergman ‘07 on sax and vocals.

On Sunday, alumni assembled into a choir and rehearsed, then sang at a special alumni worship and remembrance service. Afterward, alums embraced—with some tears—at the closing brunch before leaving their home on the hill.

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Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication JJ Akin
jakin@gustavus.edu
507-933-7510

 


3 Comments

  1. Tom Clanton says:

    Thanks for everything. I didn’t make the pictures but had a great time and was at a few of the events. It was wonderful to see everyone. Great to see the campus, especially the pool! So many good memories.

  2. Cathy Howard Waldhauser says:

    So glad you came Tom! Stay in touch via Facebook, class letters, or however you choose and join us again when you are able.

  3. Marcia Bomgren Bussey says:

    Hi everyone –

    It was an incredible weekend! The friendliness was so wonderful. We had lots of time to connect with class members, and because we were the “middle class” , we were able to see friends a year older and a year younger. It was wonderful!

    Thanks to the food service folks – everything was just perfect! The dorm rooms were just fine, close to the rest of the campus.

    I am glad that Mike is on the Trustee board, and he can get back to the campus frequently!

    Marcia Bomgren Bussey

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