Class of '49
October 2000

Dear 49ers,

As of September 16th(the Class Agents' Day), the Gustavus Fund is off and running on its 2001 goals. It was a beautiful September day in St. Peter and the campus was magnificent. We heard that 670 new students came to Gustavus Adolphus this fall. Total enrollment must be near 2500. Fifteen new students are Merit Scholars. 58% of the Gustavus Fund is used for aid to students.

This week the fall Phonorama began. A few years ago a program called GusLink started. GusLink was going to use student callers and have class-members call only in reunion years. Starting this year, class-members for all classes will call during Phonorama and GusLink will continue to make calls as needed. It is hoped that every member of the Alumni Association will receive a call every year. If any of you would enjoy making some calls this year (it is sort of late) or future years give me a call at 715-866-7355.

Aid Association for Lutherans has developed a new program that will be helpful to our Lutheran College. If you and/or your spouse are a member of a Lutheran congregation, but not a policy holder with AAL, you can be eligible for a gift match of $25 to $100 by becoming an associate member of AAL for a fee of $10 per year for a family. If you usually give $100 a year to Gustavus, you can now spend $10 a year for the AAL family membership, give $90 to Gustavus Adolphus and Gustavus Adolphus will receive $180 if it is for one person or $270 if it is for 2. Call the Alumni Office if you want more information.

Lutheran Brotherhood also has a new program called Simply Giving. This allows you to contribute monthly, through an automatic transfer from your checking or savings account. Lutheran Brotherhood pays for all the fees. Again get more information from the Alumni Office.

I don’t have much personal news for this letter. Just a reminder, send in news of special events in your lives to the Alumni Office. Mim Bloom Curtis from California had coffee with Marilyn (Jacobson) and Bruce ’47 Akerson on a recent visit to Florida. Bill and Evie (Anderson) Bosin and Louise ’46 and Ardy (Swanson) Almen stopped at our place following the Nobel Conference.

Betty Westrum Skold has a new great-grandchild named Austin Troger. Milt Brostrom was recently elected vice president of the Gustavus Alumni Board. I recently learned that Rey Bjurstrom wrote a poem for the class of ’49 last year. It was in the February 2000 letter, but if I can locate it, I’ll include it again, at the end of this letter, in case some of you may also have missed it.

Campus News:

When students arrived on campus in early September they were welcomed by the newly completed Carlson International Center/Swedish House, a new outdoor track/soccer field, and a newly completed Courtyard Café in the lower level of the Jackson Campus Center. This new café offers specialty coffees, bagels, pastries, and sandwiches, and opens to an outdoor eating area on the Johns Courtyard between the Jackson Campus Center and Lund Center.

Gustavus Adolphus College is once again ranked among the best of all national liberal

arts colleges in U.S. News and World Report's 14th annual "America's Best Colleges" rankings. Gustavus is again in the top 80 of the overall quality listings for national liberal arts colleges. Ranked again in the second tier in the national liberal arts college category, Gustavus is one of only two Minnesota colleges included in the tier two listing and one of four Minnesota colleges ranked in the top 80.

Gustavus recently received the results of a comparative alumni survey that measures alumni responses to a series of questions about their college experience. The study provides comparisons to other groups of colleges including Lutheran colleges, member colleges of the Minnesota Private College Council and, most importantly, with large public universities. We will share with you results of the survey in class letters this year. A sampling of responses to remembrances of college academic life include the following:

  • Alumni agree that professors often challenged them, but also personally helped them to meet the challenge. Gustavus alumni agree 78%, large public universities 38%.
  • Alumni agree that a large majority of classes were taught by professors as compared to teaching assistants. Gustavus alumni agree 90%, large public universities 32%.
  • Alumni remember a high quality, teaching oriented faculty. Gustavus alumni agree 61%, large public universities 25%.
  • Alumni remember many small classes with fewer than twenty students. Gustavus alumni agree 50%, large public universities 9%.

Gustavus has received word from the Lilly Endowment that it was one of 20 awardees (out of a pool of 31 colleges and universities) of a $1,963,425 implementation grant. It is the largest program grant the College has ever received. The award will support a comprehensive initiative to more effectively carry out some key aspects of the College's mission statement and encourage theological reflection and moral questioning that forms character, shapes lives, and guides career choices. It will build upon the ethos and climate of Gustavus by supporting already-existing programs, adding new ones, and creating a center to coordinate and intensify those vocation-oriented activities. In doing so, it will provide students with the foundational tools necessary for a lifelong exploration of their calling and a lifetime of community leadership and service to others.

G.I.V.E. (Gusties In Volunteer Endeavors), a day of community service, was held on Saturday, October 7. Numerous sites were selected in the Twin Cities and alumni in other cities around the country participated in the event.

Christmas in Christ Chapel, Heaven and Nature Sing, is December 1-3. A ticket order form was inserted in the Summer Quarterly. Contact Office of Public Affairs at 507-933-7520.

Last year 122 members of the class of ’49 gave $38,833.41 to the Gustavus Fund. This kind of support for Gustavus Adolphus after 51 years is amazing. As Ed and Estelle (Uleberg) Swanson wrote to me, I write to you members of the class of ’49.

Hip Hip Hooray! Hip Hip Hooray!

Pete Erickson

1949 Class Agent