Class of '43
April 2003

Dear Classmates of ’43:

Warm thanks to Elmer J. Anderson, co-class agent for his thoughtful class letter of last January!  His help with class agent duties is deeply appreciated.  Elmer and I were able to reach almost all of you through Phonorama calls last fall, so there has been no need for calls this spring.  If for some reason we were unable to reach you, please make a gift to the Gustavus Alumni Fund by May 31.

The Alumni Office informs me that there are currently 87 members of the Class of ’43 to whom this letter is being sent.  As of March 31, 2003, 57 donors had given $7,843.  As of that date last year, 64 donors had given $8,892.  I'm sure there is good hope that by May 31 many more class members will have given a gift, especially since this is our 60th Anniversary Year.  While the dollar amounts given by class members are important, this year the Fund is stressing increasing the number of donors.  For our class the goal is 69 donors.  We have done well at this point in the past, our class even getting awards for the highest percentage of donors in our decade.  Were we to reach 69 or more donors this year, we could win that award again.  Please do what you can to make that possible.

At the present time the College is also engaged in the "Building a Greater Gustavus" campaign.  The goal is $100 million, of which $87 million has been raised.  The Alumni Fund is a part of the campaign, so that all annual gifts received are counted toward that goal.  Stephen Hogberg ’69, associate vice president in the Office for Institutional Advancement, has compared giving to the College to giving to local congregations.  Most of us are members of congregations and we plan to give a certain amount to the congregation each year.  From time to time, however, special needs arise.  The funds needed are such that they exceed the resources the annual budget provides.  Campaigns are then organized in which members of the congregation are asked, as they are able, to make additional gifts to the congregation.  "Building a Greater Gustavus" is such a campaign for the College.

What are the needs that the "Building a Greater Gustavus" campaign is designed to meet.  Much of the need is for endowment to provide for more scholarships, faculty development, and equipment for student/faculty research.  There are plans also to restore and remodel Old Main, including installing an elevator.  These are some of the ways in which the $100 million will be used.  Give some thought to such an additional gift.

You may have heard that Gustavus has a new president, Dr. James L. Peterson ’64, currently president and chief executive officer of the Science Museum of Minnesota, where he has been since 1984.  He will take office in July.  His wife, the Rev. M. Susan (Pepin) Peterson ’65, is senior pastor at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, St. Paul.  It has also been announced that Dr. Axel Steuer, our former president (1991-2002), has been appointed president at Illinois College, Jacksonville, Illinois.  Our best wishes are with both of these men as they begin working in new settings.  We are also grateful to the Rev. Dennis J. Johnson ’60 for his services as interim president during the academic year 2002-2003.

There is one death to report.  Eunice Marie Magnuson Brozek died December 19, 2002.  After graduation from Gustavus, Eunice studied psychiatric social work at the University of Minnesota.  She married Josef Brozek on March 23, 1945.  Josef Brozek taught psychology at Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA.  In connection with Dr. Brozek's teaching and research projects, Eunice and Josef made many trips to Europe, to Yugoslavia, Italy, Russia, Czechoslavia, Germany, and Spain, as well as South Africa.  Eunice is survived by her husband, Josef; two children, Margaret Caliandro and Peter Brozek; one grandchild, Nino Caliandro; and one brother, Norman Magnuson ’41.  I attended a memorial service for Eunice Brozek on January 23, 2003, at Unity Church - Unitarian, St. Paul.  Peace be to her memory!

Now some words about our 60th Anniversary Reunion, May 30-31.  You have received the reunion weekend announcement, which includes a registration form.  Note that there is no cost for reunion weekend participants, either for housing or for meals.  There is a relatively full program those two days, which begins Friday afternoon at 2 p.m.  The Faculty Lounge has been reserved for us at 8:30 p.m. after the dinner on Friday.  Most of our time together will be devoted to conversation.  We may ask those who come to report on projects on which they are working, if they so choose.  If the group is interested, I will report on my "Reader's Guide to Dag Hammarskjöld's Waymarks."  Just now for the third year I am teaching a course on Dag Hammarskjöld's Journal in the University of Minnesota Elder Learning Institute.  The class meets on Tuesdays, 2:15-3:45 p.m., and will continue until May 13.

We hope many will find it possible to come to the reunion.  I have heard that Wallace and Betty (Lundquist ’44) Lornell are planning to come from Delmar, NY.  I read the Yale Alumni Magazine, where their reunions are announced.  There I found that C. Bayard Sheldon, Yale '43, Hamilton, New Zealand, is planning to come for their reunion, June 5-8.  Presumably our classmate, Sylvia Rule Sheldon, will be accompanying him.

I close with some words about our family.  Three weeks ago we learned that our daughter, Birgitta Erling Brodax, North Easton, MA, has been diagnosed with lung cancer.  She is now receiving radiation treatment.  Marilyn has been with Birgitta since March 20.  Birgitta, with her husband, Daniel Brodax, are parents of ten-year-old twin sons, Sam and Luke.  The physicians treating Birgitta are based at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston.  I have cancelled one meeting of my Hammarskjöld class and will leave for Boston April 9, returning April 21.  If at all possible, both Marilyn and I look forward to meeting many of you May 30-31!     

                                                                        Sincerely yours,

                                                                        Bernie Erling

1943 Co-class Agent

P. S.  Now for some news from campus:

Dr. James Peterson Named 14th Gustavus President

James Peterson ’64, president and CEO of the Science Museum of Minnesota in St. Paul, was selected as the next Gustavus president.  Peterson is married to Rev. M. Susan Pepin Peterson ’65, senior pastor at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in St. Paul.  They have two married children including Erika Peterson Eklund ’94.  Jim will start his official responsibilities at Gustavus in July 2003.

Alumni Fund Closes May 31 – 1000 new donors needed

The Alumni Fund closes May 31.  Gustavus alumni are trying to again be the best Lutheran college in percentage of alumni annual giving.  The goal is to reach 45% participation this year.  If you have already given, THANK YOU!  If you have given in the past and not yet this year, Gustavus students need your support again.  If you have missed giving, Gustavus needs only 1,000 new donors to reach the goal.  Give online at <gustavus.edu> or call 800/487-8437.

Campus Focuses on Peace

Three annual conferences this spring discuss peace.  Conflict Resolution: International, National, and Local was the theme of the annual student-run “Building Bridges” Conference in March featuring Nobel Peace Laureate Oscar Arias Sanchez, former president of Costa Rica. The Association of Congregations Meeting will feature Protestant leader Lyle Schaller to talk about the future of the church and the changing role of laity and church staff. And the annual MAYDAY! Peace Conference in April is titled, “World Religions: Waging War or Promoting Peace?” featuring keynote speaker Krister Stendahl, emeritus professor of divinity, Harvard University, and former bishop of Stockholm, Sweden.

Gustavus Band 125 Year Celebration

What started as 13 silver instruments in 1878 has evolved into the Gustavus Band, which is celebrating its 125th anniversary in May.  Highlights for the weekend will include the performance of the 100+ member alumni band and the commissioned work, Of Wind and Wood, by composer Steve Heitzeg ’82 which will be premiered by the current Gustavus Band.

Men’s Basketball Team National Runner-up

The men’s basketball team lost a heartbreaker in the NCAA Division III championship game 67-65 to Williams, on two game-winning free throws in the final seconds of play.  Gustavus was the first MIAC team to ever make it to the championship game.

Celebration of Community Service

The Community Service Center at Gustavus is ten years old.  Since its creation, students participating in community service and service learning in the class room has dramatically increased.  Currently 60% of the student population participates in some sort of community service program while at Gustavus.  The annual G.I.V.E. (Gusties In Volunteer Endeavors) day of community service will be a time for alumni and students in Minnesota to gather at Gustavus to celebrate and serve, while alumni in other cities will also be doing service projects in their own communities.

Upcoming Events

Association of Congregations Meeting – April 26

Phonorama – April 27-30, May 1

125th Anniversary of the Gustavus Band – May 3 & 4

G.I.V.E. Day and 10th Anniversary of the Community Service Center – May 10

1953 and 50 Year Club Reunion – May 30 & 31

Alumni Fund Fiscal Year Closes – May 31

Commencement – June 1