Class of '40
September 2003

Hi Classmates of ’40:

Evie Strom Pearson asked me to write you a note to help us keep in touch.  She asked me about a month ago when Doris and I were in St. Paul attending an East African Missionary reunion; I apologize for my delay.  Ever heard of such a thing as procrastination?

What makes this letter come about is a visit that we took to Gustavus while we were in Minnesota.  John, our son who works in New York City, was with as our chauffer.  He was born in St. Peter in 1950 while I taught in the religion department for a semester while on furlough from our first 5-year term in Tanzania.  This was the first time he had come back to his “home town” in all these years.

I had boasted about Gustavus of course and the beauties of the Minnesota Valley.  The campus was absolutely beautiful.  But I had not boasted loudly enough.  John’s appreciation knew no bounds.  He had heard about the tornado and seen pictures but he was not prepared to see how beautifully the campus had been restored.  Nor was I for that matter.  In addition to the beautifully laid out landscaping around the buildings, the arresting Granlund statues, there was the ultimate, the stunning beauty of the Chapel.  One could go on and on.  It made me proud once more to be a Gustie.

But even above and beyond that, the experience evoked in me the reminder that Gustavus was more beautiful to me because of what life on the campus those four years had brought about in my life.  A tremendous change because of the people, the spirit of God that I experienced in fellowship with them and the great teaching from professors like Doc Winfield, George Hall, and Edgar Carlson.  I hope I shall never cease to give thanks for the pivotal change brought about in me.  The fields of philosophy, sociology and Biblical studies were broadened in deep and exciting ways to give me the tools with which to tackle the problems of life.

Just these reflections along with warm greetings to classmates who also, I am sure, share many of these feelings.  Not least my thanks to Evie for the invitation to write this class letter.

Occie Rolander

1940 Guest Letter Writer

Dear Class of 1940:

A new year has just started on the Gustavus campus.  Students have been welcomed by a new president, Dr. James Peterson ’64.  He and his wife, Pastor Susan (Pepin ’65) Peterson, are graduates of Gustavus.  This multi-talented man will be an outstanding leader of our alma mater.

Class agents had a special meeting on September 13 on the campus.  It is our hope to visit with each of you through the annual Phonorama sometime in October.

Thank you, Occie Rolander, for your special greeting to us.  We appreciate your reflections as well as your faithful support through the years.

Evelyn Strom Pearson

Carl Lofgren’s assistant

1940 Co-Class Agents

Campus News:

College opens 142nd Academic Year

More than 700 new students, including transfer students and international students, joined the Gustavus community this fall, keeping the total student population around 2,515.  The retention rate of students from the first to second year remains at 90%.  These students will be taught by 198 full-time and 55 part-time faculty.  Gustavus was again ranked in the top third of the 214 national liberal arts colleges by the U.S. News and World Report.

The Alumni Fund Turns 50

On June 30, 1954, the first Alumni Fund officially closed with 1,204 donors (32 percent) and $26,013, under the direction of the executive committee of Dr. Hobart Johnson ’21, Dr. Edgar Carlson ’31, The Rev. J. Millard Ahlstrom ’34, and Ren Anderson ’34.  Dollars and donors continued to grow and, under the leadership of Cec Eckhoff ’56, alumni participation continually exceeded 50% each year, making Gustavus a national leader recognized with 17 national awards.  Alumni contacting alumni has been the hallmark of success; we depend on Phonorama volunteers to make the difference.  Help the alumni fund again reach over 50% participation by contributing before May 31, 2004, and/or by volunteering to make calls during Phonorama, October 12-16 and 19-23.  Do your best to participate in the Alumni Fund to continue the Gustavus tradition of strong alumni support and return the College to national recognition.

Alumni Board members selected

Seven alumni have been selected to serve a three-year term on the Alumni Board.  They are Liesl Batz ’90, Minneapolis, senior vice president and director of marketing, Lakeside Investment Partners; Jan Eiffert Hoomani ’62, Raleigh, NC, Realtor, JB Realty; Jim Malmquist ’53, Scandia, MN, retired athletics director, Gustavus; Jan Ledin Michaletz ’74, Edina, volunteer/homemaker.  Incumbents to serve a second term include Vivian Foyou ’02, Mankato, graduate student, Minnesota State University, Mankato; Jason Sawyer ’93, Plymouth, vice president, Cronin & Co.; and Dan Currell ’94, Alexandria, VA, director of corporate leadership council, Corporate Executive Board.

2003 Hall of Fame inductees

Nine individuals will be inducted into the Athletics Hall of Fame on September 27. Inductees include Val Flom Ashland ’87 (volleyball), Wendy Ericksen Bachman ’87 (soccer), Karen Ahlstrom Bishop ’86 (gymnastics), Jay Coatta ’87 (basketball and golf), Marv Gunderson ’53 (football), Jim Hearn ’81 (tennis), Dave Najarian ’82 (football), Betty Wannarka Ringeisen ’84 (basketball and track and field), and Larry Shelhamer ’76 (soccer). This group will be honored at the Athletics Hall of Fame Banquet on Homecoming, Saturday, September 27.

Gustavus Finishes sixth in Directors’ Cup

Gustavus finished sixth out of 424 Division III institutions for the 2002-03 Director’s Cup announced recently by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics. The only all-sports competition in intercollegiate athletics, the award honors four-year institutions with the best overall athletic programs.  Last year Gustavus placed 10th.

Upcoming Events

September 26 & 27 - Reunion gatherings for 1958, 1963, 1968, 1973, 1978, 1983, 1988, 1993, 1998 -- Radisson South Hotel, Bloomington

September 27 - Homecoming, Campus

September 27 - Hall of Fame Induction Banquet --Alumni Hall, Campus

October 7 & 8 - Nobel Conference, The Story of Life -- Campus

October 18 - Charlotte, NC, Gustavus Gathering

October 12-16 and 19-23 - Phonorama, Minnesota Valley Country Club, Bloomington

October 24-25 - Our Story Conference, The Growing Gender Gap in the African American, Campus

October 25 - Reformation Festival featuring the Gustavus Choir, Central Lutheran Church, Minneapolis

November 4 - JFK Assassination 40 Years Later, presented by David Jones ’83 and Political Science Professor Chris Gilbert at Minnesota Valley Country Club, Bloomington

November 15 - A Royal Affair, benefit sponsored by Gustavus Library Associates in the Twin Cities