Class of '41
October 1998

On Founders Day, October 30, 1998

Dear ’41,

Old Gus faces west, since March 29, 1998. There he rests on his red Granite pedestal where he was mounted, back of the flag pole between Old Main and the Auditorium. In impressive ceremonies he reigned at Homecoming November 6, 1932; the tercentenary celebration of his death on the battlefield of Lutsen.

For 66 years our college’s namesake (Gustavus Adolphus 1594-1632) has presided over The Triangle, looking eastward over the valley. In many years he has been capped at commencement with a mortarboard and/or gowned by generations of graduating senior, photographed with many a student, family, friends and visitors to the campus.

Gustie alumni erected the bust, which was signed at the base (east side), by Herman Bergman Fud. Stockholm 1932. W. R. Youngquist, president, who made the presentation speech at the dedication, chaired the alumni committee. (See the Gustavian Weekly story included).

(South side) Letters are carved in stone: SWEDISH LUTHERAN/HERO-KING/DEFENDER OF/PROTESTANTISM AND/FRIEND OF CULTURE. The Pyramid Granite Co. of St. Cloud had donated the red granite. The stone mounting and surrounding area was donated by Babcock & Wilcox of Kasota.

Fond Gusties still enjoy the intricate floral design on Gustavus Adolphus II’s neckpiece; his crown of leaves and buds, distinctive moustache and goatee. The inscription: "This bust, unveiled November 6, 1932, was donated by the Fredrique and Erik Dahlberg Gustavus Adpolphus Fund of Sweden, and erected by the Alumni."

That Homecoming dedication program November 6, 1932, included a hymn sung by GAII’s army at Lutsen. Each class of the college marched from the gymnasium carrying class banners, forming a quadrangle around the monument. The college band played a special arrangement of "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God," this hymn of Martin Luther especially arranged for the band by Haydn Broughton’s father, director of Salvation Army Band in Chicago. Dr. P. A. Mattson, president of the Minnesota conference, dedicated the monument; Henry N. Benson ’37, president of the board, accepted. There was music by Lyric, Schumann, and a cappella choirs. Two college students unveiled the bust, Mildred Nelson Kujath ’35 and Ruth Knock Peterson ’35, representing America and Sweden.

For many, many years you and I remember Doc Pete (sometimes others) and his yearly Gustavus Adolphus Day chapel speech. Nowadays Founders Day is celebrated near Reformation Day. (This year October 30, when members of the college administration and support staff, nominated by their peers, are honored for their contributions to the college workplace.)

The Eric Norelius Award for outstanding administrative employee for 1998 is Warren Wunderlich, Director, Physical Plant.

The Augusta Carlson Schultz Award for the outstanding support staff employee of 1998 is Corky Biehn, from the dining service.

The time has come for us to move towards the millenium with new faces, new ways, like Gus facing different directions for our times. The cross is back atop Christ Chapel spire, celebrated October 22, with a Litany, "That we may tell the next generation about this city of God," a sign of Resurrection, a mark of Hope. The Eternal Flame was not quenched by the tornado; it was lifted to its place again while candles were lit, passing light one to another in the pews to the sending hymn, Now the Green Blade Rises―“love is come again like wheat arising green.” Groundbreaking for the new Student Center is accomplished. This is an exciting time on the Gustavus campus!

You’ll have your chance to hear about it all from the GusLink student callers on Phonorama, after about November 11.

You’ll have your chance to participate as generously as you can at pledging time. Please remember, too, about my own idea to replace our Class of ’41 maple tree in the arboretum.

You’ll have your chance to send me personally your thoughts about 1998―and memories way back to 1932. Responses to Chet’s guest letter about Prexy’s Desk are still coming to us, e-mail and typing and handwriting, whatever. We love it! And we’re eager to pass along the enjoyment!

I’m eager to hear from you, and I encourage you to respond right now, before the Christmas push, with guest writer lines (long or short) for the scheduled January class letter.

Do I thank Louie Benson, Watertown, MN, for the magnificent surprise gift of a jar of fresh horseradish left inside our back door last Sunday (October 25)? We’ll honor it with a chuck roast-with—vegetables, the potatoes newly dug in our raised beds. Chet rescued greens for his holiday wreaths from the arbor vitae downed by the July blast. I made Concord grape jam (as I told you) from our south grapevine. Chet made a Thanksgiving wreath out of that grapevine for our dining table.

Waste not, want not―

Marian Swanson Johnson

Class Agent, ’41