Class of '49
November 1999

Dear 49ers,

Randall Stuckey ’83, Gustavus Alumni Director, called this morning to say that he saw my name on the list of those who haven’t sent a class letter for this new fiscal year. He said he was surprised because he seemed to remember seeing a letter from me. I said I had written a letter last June so I suppose I could be considered the first or the last depending on your perspective.

I find myself thinking about the reunion last May quite often. It was fun to be on the campus and to see the great strides the college has made in recovering from the tornado. It was so great to see some people I have not seen for a long time. It brought back memories of days long gone. Enid and I expect to go back next May for the gathering of the 50-Year Club. We have added incentive in having our granddaughter graduate with the class of 2000. I understand that other reunion groups (except the 50-Year Club) will have their gathering in the fall.

It was strange not to be calling for Phonorama in October. GusLink, the name given to the program where students call alumni, was in full operation. They made 6,330 calls in October and completed 1,706 pledges totaling nearly $100,000.

School started in September with another record enrollment of 2,470 full-time students. This included 660 first-year students. One of them is Erik Severinson, our grandson. The new Evelyn Young Dining room was ready and I have heard many good reports about the new food service. The renovation of the old dining center is expected to be finished in February and will have offices and meeting rooms―one of which will be named for our class.

As I reported in my last/first letter, we did exceedingly well in giving over $50,000 as a special 50th anniversary gift. I suspect we may not be able to repeat that this year. But the need for support for private colleges continues. What most of us can give each year may not seem important, but together it makes the difference between just getting by and excellence. The financial support of alumni is a contributing factor to the fact that Gustavus is listed among the best of all national liberal arts colleges in US News and World Reports’ 13th annual "Americas Best Colleges" rankings. Keep up the good work.

May you and all of your loved ones have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day.

Pete Erickson

1949 Class Agent