Class of '43
September 2007

Dear Classmates of ’43:

Since I began the spring letter telling of Marilyn’s hip fracture, I should tell you how things have gone since then.  Marilyn has made a complete recovery.  I had thought that one result of the fracture would be that I would be able to keep up with her when we are walking together, but she still has to slow down or leave me far behind.  We have had an active summer.  July 22-27 we attended the 11th International Luther Congress at Canoas (a suburb of Porto Alegre), Brazil.  This was the first time the Luther Congress had met elsewhere than Europe and the United States.  Since we crossed the equator at night on a plane, no ceremonies, such as occur on a ship, took place.  I am amazed at how much of the earth’s land mass lies in the northern hemisphere.  A week after we returned home we drove to Colorado for a family gathering at the YMCA of the Rockies, Estes Park.  We had been there in 1994.  This time we did not hike as easily in Rocky Mountain National Park.  The years have taken their toll!

On September 8 the new Hollingsworth Stadium was dedicated.  The first football game was played with Willamette University, Salem, OR, and won 35-24.  The old stadium built in 1929 has been removed.  The new stadium has a field somewhat submerged into the ground and it has artificial turf.  There is ample seating and it is also possible to sit on the grass surrounding the field.  Gustavus also defeated St. Thomas 30-14 Sept. 15, the first conference game.  We won our second conference game Sept. 22 with Hamline 57-21.  We will probably not win all the games this season, but we have made a good beginning.

September 15 was Volunteer Leadership Day.  President Jim Peterson ’64 reported that the College is maintaining an enrollment of about 2,500.  New student applications were 24% above last year.  12.5% students of color are enrolled, the same as the percentage in Minnesota’s population.  Ties with Sweden have been strengthened.  We have more foreign students and the study abroad program will be expanded.  The College’s budget of $70 million is balanced.  We now have a $112 million endowment and plans are underway for a capital fund campaign to raise the endowment substantially.  Now that the old stadium is gone, there is to be a mall extending west from Christ Chapel.  The first building to be erected along that mall will be a social sciences building.

October 2 and 3 are the dates this year for Nobel Conference #43.  The topic this year is Heating Up:  The Energy Debate.  Steven Chu, Director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, 1997 Nobel laureate in physics, will open the conference.  The two other lecturers on Tuesday are Kenneth S. Deffeyes, professor emeritus of geosciences, Princeton University; and Lee Rybeck Lynd, professor of Engineering, Thayer School of Engineering, Dartmouth College.  One of the three lecturers on Wednesday is James E. Hansen, lead climate scientist and director, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, New York.

Gustavus now has a Provost, Dr. Mary Morton, who is also Vice President for Academic Affairs.   She will be engaged in on-campus planning, which will release the President for more off-campus fund raising.  Three deans, who also do some teaching, will continue in the administration.  This is the last year of Jim Peterson’s presidency.  A search committee to find a person to replace him has been appointed.  Many good things have been achieved during President Jim Peterson’s tenure for which we are grateful.

I have spoken to Ann Hogberg Johnson (who was recently married) about the Class of 1943 Scholarship Endowment Fund.  While only $12,819 has been given to the fund (nothing this past year), its market value has risen since I last wrote from $23,476 to $25,396, an increase of $1,920.  Last year and again this year a scholarship of $918 has been given from our fund to Kelly Chaudoin, now a junior psychology major from Ely, MN.  I have received a thank you card from her and intend to meet her.  While most of our giving to the Alumni Fund should be unrestricted, we can ask that some of it go to the Class of 1943 Endowment Fund.  4.5% of the investment growth of the endowment fund can be used for scholarships.  As we by giving increase the size of our fund, the size of the scholarships from our fund will also grow.

Scholarships are clearly needed.  What I am reporting you can check out for yourselves at http://admission.gustavus.edu/admissions/finacialaid/cost.asp.  The total cost of attending Gustavus the 2007-2008 academic year is $35,310.  This breaks down into tuition $28,125, room $4,275, board $2,500, and fees $410.  This total does not include the cost of textbooks, which can be substantial.  It is amazing to remember that we paid $150 annual tuition, which did not change during our four years.  Now at Gustavus 71% of current students receive financial assistance from Gustavus.  Over $13 million in scholarships are awarded annually to Gustavus students.  Gustavus does have a Guaranteed Cost plan.  First-year students by enrolling for $800 can lock in tuition, room, and board increases at 4.2% per year.

Why should students attend Gustavus?  The Admission Office calls attention to these outcomes:  80% of Gustavus students graduate in four years (compared to Minnesota private colleges’ average of 63% or the state college average of 15%).  Last year, over 98% of the newest graduates were situated within six months of graduation—working, attending graduate school, volunteering, or otherwise doing what they want to be doing.

Obviously we can help.  That is what the Alumni Fund is all about.  This year 57 of our class members gave $9,286.50 for 78.1% participation.  Last year the figures were $7,615, 56 donors, 73.7% participation.  Thank you very, very much!  A great deal of the credit goes to Elmer Anderson who has shared the task of calling you, and who has also written the January letter.  Last year I expressed the hope that the dollar and percentage figures could be increased.  They were increased.  Let us do this again!

Next May we will be observing the 65th anniversary of our graduation from Gustavus.  There will be a program for Reunion Weekend and we will attend the events of that program together with other alumni in the 50 Year Club.  Campus housing will be complementary, though we will pay for the meals, except for the Saturday Alumni Banquet, which is complementary.  Suggestions as to what else we should plan to do those days are welcomed.  Write to me by either e-mail:  (erling@gac.edu) or snail mail, or to Elmer Anderson (ejandme@rrcnet.org) 545 Fir Ave., Westbrook, MN 56183.  This could well be our last class reunion.  In 2012 those of us who are left will be in our 90s.  Given the wonders of modern medicine, we may still be hale and hearty.  Perhaps, however, we should make the most of next May.  I should like to just sit and visit and reminisce.  I hope as many of you as are able will come!

Here are some news items: 

There have been two deaths during this past year.  Eugene M. Farrell (12800 Marion Ln. W, Minnetonka, MN 55305) died March 6.  Gene, also known as “Chub,” was a native of Waseca.  At Gustavus he participated in football, basketball, and baseball, and was a member of the Kappa Sigma Chi Fraternity.  He had planned a career in the teaching and coaching profession and he was able to fulfill these plans.  He is survived by Lois, his wife of 66 years.  Peace be to his memory!

Eugene J. Johnson (6232 Upton Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN 55423) died September 8.  Eugene was a native of St. Peter.  At Gustavus he majored in economics, history, and sociology.  He was a member of Pi Gamma Mu and Chi Iota Kappa.  During WWII he served in the U.S. Navy on a mine sweeper in the Southwest Pacific.  He received an M.A. in Public Administration at the University of Minnesota.  For 30 years he worked as assistant director at the Hennepin County Welfare Dept.  In 1980 Eugene was president of the Minnesota Association of County Social Service Administrators.  1982-83 he was chair of the National Council of Local Administrators of the American Public Welfare Assn.  Eugene was married for 64 years to Elaine (Peterson ’46). They enjoyed extensive world travel both before and after Eugene’s retirement.  Eugene is survived by his wife, Elaine Johnson, two children, Scott and Julie ’79, and two grandchildren, Scott and Lucy Kingma.  Peace be to his memory!

On May 8, 2007, Al Mueller (306 Monument St., New Ulm, MN 56073) was the 2006 Recipient of the Service to Mankind Award from the Sertoma Club of New Ulm.  Howard S. Olson (1925 Grand Cypress Lane, Sun City Center, FL 33573) has just compiled and printed his second volume of sermons entitled The Immortal Word.  Leslie and Ruth Peterson (N8137 State Road 25, Menomonie, WI 54751) celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary December 27, 2006, with twenty-six of their family present.  Only two were unable to attend.  Leslie celebrated the 60th anniversary of his ordination June 15.

Sincerely yours,

Bernie Erling

1943 Co-Class Agent

Some additional news from the campus now follows:

Moes provide gift for Kendall Center

Gustavus parents Robert and Karin Moe have made a $1 million commitment to the John S. Kendall Center for Engaged Learning. This leadership gift brings the College closer to its goal of fully endowing the center, which is dedicated to advancing active and interdisciplinary learning across the campus. When fully funded, the endowment will generate funds to support two main areas: faculty development and student-faculty research.

New football stadium opens

On September 8, the football team played its inaugural game at the College’s new football stadium.  The synthetic-surfaced field is recessed below ground level and features an earthen berm surrounding the entire field.  The field will continue to be named Hollingsworth Field after the late Lloyd Hollingsworth, who served as the College’s football coach from 1942-1960 and athletic director from 1961-1978.

Athletics Hall of Fame Induction

On Saturday, November 3, Gustavus will induct the following people into the Athletic Hall of Fame: Tim DeJarlais ’91 (golf), John Erickson ’81 (hockey), Dave Hultgren ’92 (baseball), Craig Miller ’91 (cross country), Mindy Mayerchak Oosten ’88 (softball & soccer), Mike Schumacher ’91 (football), Ann Sommerness Simms ’92 (swimming), and Ryan Skanse ’92 (tennis).

Twin Cities Gustie Breakfasts

Join other Minneapolis/St. Paul area Gusties for a once-a-month morning cup of coffee and breakfast while getting an update on Gustavus. The group meets the third Wednesday of each month at the Doubletree Hotel, Minneapolis-Park Place, 1500 Park Place Boulevard (Hwy. 394 & Hwy. 100), 8:00-9:30 a.m., $10 per person.  Reserve by calling Don Swanson ’55 at 763/533-9083

Wednesday, October 17

Professor Jeff Jeremiason, recap of Nobel Conference

Wednesday, November 21

Winter sports coaches – Jon Carlson ’88 (men’s and women’s swimming & diving), Mark Hanson ’83 (men’s basketball), and Brett Petersen (men’s hockey)

Wednesday, December  19

Margaret Kelliher ’90, speaker of the Minnesota House of Representatives

Inaugural “A Royal Affair” Online Auction

“A Royal Affair,” the biennial fundraiser for the Gustavus library, is October 27.  New to A Royal Affair this year is an online auction that will be activated the week of October 22. This online auction will have unique items available only for bidding online and not at the evening event.  These items can be viewed through the Gustavus website and bidding will close prior to the October 27 Razzle Dazzle*A Royal Affair.  Also, the online auction is open to everyone – parents, alumni, students, faculty, and friends of Gustavus – even those unable to attend Razzle Dazzle*A Royal Affair.  Watch the Gustavus Library Associates website at gustavus.edu/gla/ for up-to-the-minute details on the online auction.

Calendar of events:

  • October 13                  Homecoming & Family Weekend
  • October 27                  Razzle Dazzle*ARoyal Affair, Gustavus Library Associates
  • November 3                 Athletics Hall of Fame Induction Banquet
  • Nov. 30, Dec. 1-2        Christmas in Christ Chapel
  • December 6                 St. Lucia Day celebration on campus