Class of '42
April 2007

65 Year Reunion - May 25 & 26, 2007

Dear Classmates…

Will you do me a great big favor?

The Spring Gustavus Quarterly was packed with lots of good information and highlighted 75 years of Theater at the college.

My memory of our time at Gustavus is not so good and I’ve been asked to send some comments on the theater during our time.

I remember “Family Portrait,” at the old Ludke Theater downtown (and I think it’s a shame it was demolished years ago).

I have some hazy recall of a small building―over by what was the dugout for the old ball field.  Theater majors had to direct one-act plays there as a part of their course work.  And you had to pay ten cents to see those one-acts―many of which were fun to see.

So my request is that if you have some memories of our early days in theater, please pass them on to me.  I’ll be grateful.  Send to me at:  1200 Lakewood Drive North, Maplewood, MN  55119.

Getting back to the Spring Quarterly…I hope you noticed the right-hand column on page 28 to see our class on top for 2006.  We owe a special thanks to our globe-trotting oil man, Walter Youngquist for his great big gift.

You’ll also see on page 30 that several of our classmates are busy in various volunteer activities:  Esther Marie Johnson Edman on the board of the Fairmont Hospital Foundation and that city’s Red Rock Center for the Arts.  She was also a member of the group that saved Fairmont’s Ludke-like theater from the wrecking ball.  Congratulations, Esther Marie.

And congratulations to Pearl Horman Johnson who retired after 23 years as a docent at the Glensheen Mansion in Duluth.

Still active with the Lutheran Orient Mission and its leader for many years is Marv Palmquist.  For years this group has been working with the KURDS who live in several countries in the Middle East.  It has not been an easy task, but an important link with our churches and our country.

I’m sure many of you are busy in various volunteer activities.  I wish you’d let me know about them.  We have to let people know we’re not ready to turn everything over to the Baby Boomers.

Recently I got into conversation with a couple of fellows―both from our era, all in our eighties.  One was a St. Olaf graduate, the other a Gustie.

The Ole started it with some negative comments about the amount of mail he was getting from his college, mail that had to do with fund-raising for the college.  He thought much of it was pretty expensive―extravagent and costly printing and some other stuff.

And the Gustie tended to agree with him.  So I got into it with a different view coming.  They admitted that on graduation day they didn’t owe a dime to their colleges.  Their folks had seen to that.

They were surprised when I told them that their folks hadn’t paid for everything, that they were the beneficiaries of their church and that the church subsidized all of us.  And that’s true.

In our time the church was able to take their church colleges more seriously than today.  I told them I thought the local churches played a different role years ago than today.

In our time the pastor was the chief recruiter for the college.  It was the minister who called the college to suggest that they had a member of two or more who had an interest in college and suggested the college make an official contact with that prospect.  The college followed up by sending a junior or a senior student to make a personal visit on behalf of the college.

And that’s how most of us got to college.  The old Augustana Synod kicked in a lot to help pay faculty salaries, heat, light and a host of other costs needed to run a college.

You bet:  “Times have changed” and the alumni, you and me―still play a vital role through our financial support of the current student body.  We’re banking on them to help straighten out this troubled world.

You’ll feel good about your gift―and the bigger the better.

Remember this a big reunion year for our class―65 years since we received our diplomas!  It would be good to see as many as possible return to campus on May 25 & 26.  The reservation forms are just now in the mail.  Please return yours saying you’ll come.

Blessings on all of you and please let me hear from you.

C. Eddie Johnson

1942 Class Agent

CAMPUS NEWS

Alumni Awards Announced

The Alumni Association announces the following 2007 awards selected by the Alumni Board of Directors.  Greater Gustavus AwardGiven to those who, by deed, have notably advanced and aided Gustavus Adolphus College:  Russ and Jan (Ledin) Michaletz ’74 ’74

Distinguished Alumni CitationsRecognizes outstanding and exceptional professional achievement

Paul Peterson ’94, principal, St. Peter High School, Minnesota State High School Principal of the Year.

Margaret Anderson Kelliher ’90, house speaker, Minnesota House of Representatives.

First Decade AwardsRecognizes early professional achievement

Jennifer Pleuss Spande ’97, diplomat, Political and Economic Section, U.S. Embassy, Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Alexander Hill ’97, senior scientist, Medtronic, Inc.

The Greater Gustavus Award and Distinguished Alumni Citations will be presented at the Alumni Banquet on Saturday, May 26, and the First Decade Awards will be presented during Homecoming Weekend, October 13.

Energy Wars

Minnesota colleges and universities competed during February in the Campus Energy Wars.  The Campus Energy Wars challenge was to see which campus conserved the most energy throughout the month.  Gustavus students and faculty made a concerted effort to change their behaviors by turning off unused lights in their dorm rooms or classrooms, unplugging appliances, and lowering thermostats to reduce energy consumption.  The culminating event was a campus competition to pedal stationary bicycles to see who could pump the most energy into an electrical generator supplied by the Minnesota Department of Commerce.

Linnaeus Symposium Celebrates Birth of Carl Linnaeus

In celebration of the 300th anniversary of the birth of Carl Linnaeus, the Swedish botanist who established genus/species used today, Gustavus will host its second Linnaeus Symposium: Linnaeus @ 300 on Wednesday, April 25, 2007.  The daylong conference will feature presentations by ethnobotanists, Mark Plotkin and Paul Alan Cox, Linnaean scholar and impersonator Hans Odoo, and author Paula Robbins, who has written about Pehr Kalm, one of Linnaeus’s “apostles” to America.  The day will also include tours of Linnaeus Arboretum, a special photography exhibition by Anders Bjorling ’58, music, dance, and a Scandinavian feast.  The festivities begin at 10:00 a.m. and close at 9:00 p.m., so save the date and join us at Gustavus this spring.  For more information, go to <gustavus.edu/arboretum/> or call 507/933-6181.

Upcoming Alumni Events

  • Linnaeus Symposium - April 25
  • Gustavus Association of Congregations – April 28
  • MAYDAY! Peace Conference: Community Food Security - May 2
  • Celebrating 75 years of the Gustavus Choir - May 5
  • Celebrating 75 years of Theatre Reunion  - May 11-12 <gustavus.edu/alumni/reunion/Theatre/index.cfm>
  • Class of 1962 - 45th Anniversary Reunion – May 25 & 26
  • Class of 1957 - 50th Anniversary Reunion – May 25 & 26
  • 50 Year Club Reunion – May 26