Gusties Gather at the Fair Posted on September 1st, 2009 by

Fair-goers stop by the Gustavus booth to send a Gustie Gram.

Fair-goers stop by the Gustavus booth to send a Gustie Gram.

By Amy McMullan ’10

Foot-long pronto pups
Mini donuts
Cheese curds
Deep-fried candy bars

Minnesotans hungrily await the food at the annual Minnesota State Fair, held this year Aug. 27—Sept. 7, 2009. For the eleventh straight year, Gustavus will be part of the fair, hosting a booth in the Education Building. Each day during the 12-day “Great Minnesota Get-Together,” Gustavus community members—including faculty, staff, students, alumni, and parents—will greet fairgoers at the Gustavus booth.

Not only is the state fair a great opportunity to consume a week’s worth of calories in a day, but it is also a great chance to connect and reconnect with the various constituencies of the Gustavus community.

“The experience has been very positive,” said Bob Neuman ’80, coordinator of the Gustavus booth and senior associate director of admission. While working hard to prepare the booth, Neuman also anticipates enjoying his favorite fair food—a big breakfast burrito at Tejas. “I look forward to working the booth every year. It is a chance to connect with friends, make new friends, and share Gustavus stories.

Jake Seamans ’10, a Dairy Barn milkshake-lover agreed. “It’s fun to meet both future and past Gusties at the State Fair. Both are very excited about their Gustavus experiences, even if they were more than 50 years ago.”

After grabbing a bucket of Sweet Martha’s chocolate chip cookies, stop by the Gustavus booth any day between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. to learn more about the College and its programs or to pick up a free Gustavus zipper pull. Talk to the friendly Gustavus booth volunteers, ask questions, sign the alumni guestbook, write a “Gustie Gram” to someone on campus, or pick up an application for admission, a Nobel Conference preview brochure, or view the new admission DVD.

President Jack R. Ohle and his wife, Kris, will be working at the booth Thursday, Sept. 3 from 1 to 5 p.m.

Steve Waldhauser ’70 enjoys the State Fair’s homemade nut rolls almost as much as greeting alumni at the Gustavus booth. “It’s fun to see them light up when I suggest that they can send a Gustie Gram to a professor they recall,” he added.

Gustavus’s official presence at the state fair began in August 1998—merely months after a tornado devastated the campus. “It was a way to show that things were great at Gustavus and that we were rebuilding,” said Neuman. “Gustavus was recovering with great vigor and enthusiasm.”

The Minnesota State Fair also serves as a great place to meet prospective students and their parents. Lynn Boehne ’72 pointed out that the State Fair is a key way first contact is made with prospective students. “The State Fair is one of the best sources of where we first hear about a student being interested in Gustavus,” said Boehne, who you might catch consuming a scone from French Meadow.


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