Class of '44
September 2001

Dear Classmates,

Summer has ended and fall is here.  Some sure signs are the leaves changing color, frost on the rooftops and no more lawn mowing!

Our summer was great and a touch too warm there for a short time, but we survived.  Then the tragedy that we have just gone through as a nation.  However, we will survive and be strong again.  For you who were personally affected, our sincere sympathy. 

I had a note from Elizabeth Hedman Becker.  She and her husband, Donald, live in St. Paul.  They have three daughters and six grandchildren.

Richard and Doris (Pearson ’45) Swedberg live in Rockford, IL.  Their granddaughter, Amy is a sophomore at Gustavus.  Their three children Mary ’78, Joel ’77 and Amy ’89 are all Gustavus graduates.

Marvin Green is a retired pastor living in Boise, ID.  After his retirement he served as chaplain at the Samaratin Care Center in Boise.  Now he's retired from that position, but continues as a visitation pastor at Immanuel Lutheran.

A note from Mavis (McClure) and Odin Langsjoen tells us their granddaughter Mia (daughter of Erik ’72 and Mary [Copouls ’72] Langsjoen) is a freshman this year at Gustavus.

Rosa Ziegenhagen Guessen died last December.  Rosa is survived by her daughter, Andrea, three grandchildren, three great grandchildren and six step grandchildren.

Campus News:

The Alumni Office is sending this class letter via U.S. Postal Service Mail and also e-mail to those alumni for whom we have an e-mail address.  Eventually class letters will be sent via e-mail only, when an address is available, unless you notify the Alumni Office that you prefer to continue to receive your letters via U.S. Postal Service.  Contact the Alumni Office at alumni@gustavus.edu.

As Gustavus enters its 140th academic year, the 2001-2002 year opened with an enrollment of 2,540 full-time students including 670 first-year students.  The Class of 2005, selected from a record number of applications (2,163), includes 18 National Merit Scholars and 18 international students, doubling last year’s number of nine international students.

Last year Gustavus athletic teams finished 18th out of 395 competing in the NCAA Division III national Sears Directors Cup Standings.  Standings are based on national tournament finishes.  The Gustie women athletes won the MIAC All-Sports title for the first time in its 18-year history.

Gustavus ranked among top colleges – Gustavus is ranked in the second tier and one of the top 114 best national liberal arts colleges by U.S. News & World Report magazine.  Gustavus ranked in the first tier in two categories, retention and graduation rates.  Gustavus’ first-year to sophomore retention rate of 92 percent ranks in the top 15 percent of all national liberal arts colleges and graduation rate of 76 percent ranks in the top 20 percent of all national liberal arts colleges.  Alumni giving ranks in the top 25 percent, down from the top five percent and a tier one ranking five years ago.  Raising the percentage of participation of alumni giving is of highest priority for the college and the offices of Alumni Relations and Gustavus Alumni Fund.

Gustavus named Best Buy... Gustavus has been named one of the best colleges in America and a Best Buy by The Fiske Guide to Colleges.  In the 2002 guidebook, the College is one of 300 best American colleges and one of 43 Best Buys nationwide.  Within Minnesota, Gustavus is among seven best colleges and is one of two private college Best Buys.  To determine which colleges make the annual Best Buy list, Fiske researchers combine cost data with academic and lifestyle information about each college and university.  Those institutions named to the Best Buy colleges list are said to offer “remarkable educational opportunities at a relatively modest cost.”  Gustavus is also included in The Princeton Review’s 2001 edition of The Best 331 Colleges.

Nobel Conference XXXVII, What is Still to be Discovered?, is October 2 & 3.  This year’s conference includes five Nobel laureates and three other experts who will give participants a foretaste of what the next big discoveries might be as we look toward the second Nobel century.  This year celebrates the 100th anniversary of the Nobel prizes and the conference will include the premier of Steve Heitzeg’s ’82 The Nobel Symphony, two art exhibitions in the Hillstrom Museum, and an exclusive 10-course banquet with a menu recreation of the Nobel dinner 100 years ago.  Alumni are invited to visit the Alumni Hospitality Room during the conference located in the Hall of Fame Room on the second level of Lund Center.  Conference information and registration material was inserted in the Fall Quarterly or call Office of Public Affairs at 507-933-7520 or on the web at gustavus.edu.

G.I.V.E. (Gusties In Volunteer Endeavors), a day of community service, is scheduled for Saturday, October 13.  Numerous sites have been identified in the Twin Cities and alumni in other cities around the country are participating in the event.  Contact the Alumni Office at 800-487-8437 or alumni@gustavus.edu for more information or visit the events section of the alumni page at gustavus.edu.

Comprehensive alumni directory – In partnership with Publishing Concepts, the Gustavus Alumni Association is publishing its fourth comprehensive alumni directory.  Surveys were sent to all alumni in August and information will be used only for publication of the directory and updating database information in the Alumni Office.  The book is available for purchase only by former students of Gustavus.  Please correct or update any information and return to Publishing Concepts in the enclosed envelope provided with the survey.

New chaplain announced - The Rev. Rachel Larson has joined Rev. Brian Johnson ’80 in the Office of the Chaplain.  Larson will work in partnership with Chaplain Johnson and the other members of the Office of the Chaplain to provide spiritual guidance, worship, leadership, counseling, teaching, and other pastoral services to Gustavus students, staff, and their families.  Larson is a graduate of Augustana College in Sioux Falls, SD, and of what is now Luther Seminary in St. Paul.

Christmas in Christ Chapel, A Celtic Pilgrimage, is November 30 & December 1-2.  A ticket order form was inserted in the Fall Quarterly.  Contact Office of Public Affairs at 507-933-7520.

Thanks again to all of you who took the time to drop a note.  I'm still waiting to hear from the rest of you―you must do something!

Have a good winter and God Bless America!

Go Gusties!

Ruth Sponberg Cook

1944 Class Agent