Class of '42
The headline in a recent St. Paul Pioneer Press was bright and shiny: "Gustavus welcomes students to rebuilt campus." And the headline on the inside page with a continuing story read: "College has new roofs, new trees, new playing fields." One hundred and fifty alumni were on hand to welcome back about 2,400 Gusties that included the largest freshman class ever, just over 700.
The campus had been shut down for the summer – no conferences, retreats, camps and that sort of thing – so that needed repairs and other work could continue.
The 1998-99 academic year opened with a record enrollment of 2,470 full-time students (compared with the previous record of 2,389 set in 1988), including a record 700 incoming students (compared to 648 of 1987). Contributing to the record enrollment is the stable 94 percent full-time student retention rate. Students returned to a campus that has been newly landscaped with 400 trees planted last spring and nurtured over the summer. They also discovered that 95% of all repairs made necessary by the tornado of March 29 are now completed. They returned to find Johnson Hall gone as it proved to be "beyond repair," but they also were greeted by a new College View Apartment addition, which houses 92 upper-class students, and the recently purchased Jefferson Avenue apartments (now known as Arbor View), which houses 60 upper-class students. In addition to new carpeting, painting, and furnishings, the campus is sporting 300 new state of the art computers for students and faculty, 28 new Steinway pianos (making us a member of a very elite circle of "All Steinway" campuses), 13 new high-tech multimedia systems for classrooms, new and upgraded outdoor and indoor athletic facilities, and new scientific equipment.
What remains to be done? The Prairie View Residence Hall, to be in place and opened in October, will house 60 students. It will be located west of Schaefer Fine Arts Center. Physically and symbolically the repair/restoration era will end with the placement of the spire and the cross back on the top of Christ Chapel. The spire will go up in sections over a two-day period and the cross is scheduled to be set on Thursday, October 22, weather permitting.
Students also noted the beginning stages of construction on the new Campus Center. This project, part of our strategic plan, was accelerated by the storm. The official groundbreaking ceremony will take place Monday, October 19. This $18.6 million, 51,000 square foot construction project will double the size of the Dining Service Building, providing students, faculty and staff with expanded and improved dining, meeting and office spaces. The Dining Room will, appropriately, be named for Evelyn Young ’33, longtime director of the Dining Service at Gustavus. In progress also is an addition to the Melva Lind Interpretive Center to house the Department of Environmental Studies.
US News and World Report continues to give Gustavus high ranking. This fall’s issue again placed Gustavus in the top half of the 162 national liberal arts colleges in the country. Gustavus is one of four colleges in Minnesota to be in this category. The others are Carleton, Macalester and St. Olaf. The other ELCA schools in addition to Gustavus and St. Olaf are Gettysburg, Muhlenberg and Augustana (IL). Many of the schools with which you are familiar are classified as either a "national" or a "regional" college. National liberal arts colleges have the most selective admission policy, recruit nationally and offer most of their degrees in the liberal arts. Regional liberal arts colleges are less selective in admitting students and grant fewer than 40% of their degrees in the liberal arts.
US News further honored Gustavus by ranking the College third nationally (out of 90 schools) in operating efficiency. This ranking measures academic quality and dollars spent to deliver that quality. Gustavus was the only Minnesota college ranked in this comparison of national liberal arts colleges.
Newsweek magazine’s college publication again listed Gustavus as a "buried treasure." These are colleges that are known as "Hot Schools, Cool Spots." The magazine describes Gustavus as a place where "Personal attention rules--can’t slide by here." Other buried treasures include Davidson College, Davidson, N.C.; Grinnell College, Grinnell, Iowa; Pomona College, Claremont, Calif.; Trinity University, San Antonio, Texas; and College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Va. Good company, indeed.
Children of alumni continue to be honored for their academic achievement and potential when they enroll at Gustavus. The Alumni Scholarship of $2,500 (renewable to $10,000 over four years) is awarded to children and grandchildren of alumni with high school grade point averages of 3.5 or better, or SAT scores of 1170 or an ACT of 26. This fall Gustavus welcomed to campus 70 new entering students who are children of alumni. Sixty-seven legacy students were awarded an Alumni Scholarship. This number includes 54 children of alumni and 13 grandchildren of alumni.
Nobel Conference XXXIV, Virus: The Human Connection is October 6 & 7. The Nobel Conference magazine was again inserted in the August Minnesota Monthly magazine and sent to the entire Gustavus mailing list.
Christmas in Christ Chapel is December 4, 5 & 6. The theme this year is The Holy Family. A ticket order form was inserted in the center of the Summer Quarterly and another form is enclosed with this class letter.
G.I.V.E. (Gusties In Volunteer Endeavors), a day of community service, is scheduled for Saturday, October 3. Thirty-four sites have been identified in the Twin Cities and alumni in 10 other cities around the country are participating in the event. A registration form was inserted into the center of the Summer Quarterly and a flyer was sent to all Twin City area alumni.
The Gustavus Orchestra will perform its Autumn Concert at the Ted Mann Concert Hall on the campus of the University of Minnesota on Saturday, November 14, at 7:30 p.m. The featured violin soloist is Siqing Lu, one of the most important Chinese violinists of his generation. General admission tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for students and seniors. Call the University of Minnesota Arts Ticket Office (612-624-2345) or Gustavus Ticket Center at (507-933-7598).
Recycle your Quarterly – after reading each issue of the Gustavus Quarterly, we encourage you to "recycle" the magazine by taking it to your place of business or worship and sharing it with others. Spread the good word about Gustavus!
Alumni Chapters will be meeting in cities around the country near you! Mark your calendars today for the following Alumni Association chapter visits: Chicago, November 14; Atlanta, November 19; Washington, DC, November 20; Boston, November 21; Denver, February 1 (Gustavus Band concert); Fargo/Moorhead, February 20; Seattle, March 5, San Francisco, March 6; Los Angeles, March 7; Phoenix, March 8; and Sun City, March 9.
Phonorama will take place October 19-22 & 24 at Deli Express in Eden Prairie, and October 26-29 at Alliant Foodservice in Eagan. Volunteers should call the Development Office at 1-800-726-6192 or e-mail at email@example.com. Alumni are encouraged to respond generously when called by a classmate or GusLink, the new Gustavus Fund program featuring Gustavus student callers.
So fall is fast upon us and the summer is fading. One of the highlights of the summer was the annual Gustie gathering at the summer home of Batch and Dee on Park Lake with lots of good food, laughs, as remembering held sway and stories of yesteryear bubbled up. When you get twenty to thirty Gustie 50 Year Club people together there is much to talk about.
While it has been a good year for most of us, I hope, it was not so for classmate Gen Erickson Borene out in California. Gen had diabetes for some time, which produced some other problems, and she became a double amputee – both legs. One above the knee and the other below the knee. So that is pretty tough even though her brother Peter tells me she is in good spirits. We all remember Gen and her great humor and sparkling personality. Please send her a note of good cheer and love. Her address is 555 Lakewood Circle, Walnut Creek, CA 94598, her telephone number is 925-944-2481.
I learned that Al Berg had quite a spring and summer. His grandson John ’92 graduated from the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago and Al and his wife Edith were there. This was followed by a wedding of John to a fellow seminarian in Iowa, then an ordination in a church in Pennsylvania. Grandson, David ’95, got married in Estes Park, Colorado. He had met his bride in the Lutheran Volunteer Corps. Al and Edith were there, too.
Grandson #3, Stephen, (Terry’s son) was a senior at Gustavus and the day of the tornado he was heading back to the campus from La Crosse when he learned of the approaching menace and decided to hold up. And a good thing. The house in which he lived in downtown St. Peter was completely destroyed and he lost everything. He recovered two golf clubs that Al had given him two blocks from that house. Everything else he owned was lost.
By the way, Al is retired. But only on Fridays. He still goes to his plant four days a week. And still with all this activity, Al and Edith managed a two-week trip to Alaska this summer.
Our annual trip to Chautauqua in Western New York for the fourteenth year was altered by the absence of my brother, John, and his wife, Dagmar. John suffered a bad stroke in late June so they could not go. His recovery is painfully slow.
And Carl and Mim Manfred were on a trip to the Far East that included visits to their son’s missionary family in Cambodia, and to their daughter, Carol ’72, and her missionary family in Japan. We missed those four regulars but our visit to Chautauqua was marvelous and it’s highly recommended.
I had a nice note from Bob Hansen. He’s still living alone on Pickerel Lake and keeps busy with his interests in his Presbyterian Church, the American Legion and Shrine.
Another note from Gladys Lundberg Carlson and Earl told of their activities with Earl visiting shut-ins for his church, Gladys still busy giving her programs but, she says, "All at a slower pace."
Thanks to all of you who made special gifts to Gustavus in response to the tornado appeal.
For now, best wishes to all of you and please add a note in the space provided on the contribution envelopes about what you’re up to – especially your volunteer activities. I bet a lot of you are busy doing good things. Also, sincere thanks for your great support of The Gustavus Fund. Please keep it up.
Anxious to hear from all of you.
C. Eddie Johnson