Class of '49
December 2000

Dear ’49ers,

Our class agent, Pete Erickson, called me the other day to ask if I would be a guest writer for the class letter he caught me by surprise, without an excuse to say no, so here goes.

I don't know whether you think we are getting to the end of the second millenium, or we are finishing the first year of the third millenium whatever it is, the holidays are fast approaching. And for some reason, in a college town, life seems to get more hectic. The Gusties have their last day of classes on Wednesday, December 13, followed by final exams thru Tuesday, December 19. Along with that then goes the rounds of final concerts and recitals, holiday parties, athletic contests, all taking place in a short period of time.

This year the faculty Christmas dinner on December 14 had a theme of "A Mid-Century Holiday Retrospective." You and I know that we ’49ers are not old yet, but, along with Chester Johnson, I've been asked to present Gustavus as it was "Way Back When." It has been both interesting and revealing to dig out some pictures of the campus (and personalities) as it was in the years up to 1950.

For instance, there are not very many of the faculty of the late ’40s left in St. Peter (or any place, for that matter). Chester Johnson, who came to the geology department in 1940, leads the way in seniority. Chet and Marian (Swanson ’41) are still very visible on the campus, and Chet is acting as church archivist for the college. Lloyd Hollingsworth came as football coach in 1942. Myrt and Holly have been slowed down by poor health, and are now living in The Wilds, an assisted living complex on the north side of St. Peter. Vic Gustafson ’42 came to the physical education department in 1945 and ended up teaching in 100 semesters at Gustavus. Vic can be found most every morning in Lund Center and then in his office on the third floor of the Library. I wouldn't say his office is small, but when you know of Vic and his gleanings over the years, be prepared to sit in the doorway or hall when you come to visit him. Arne Langsjoen ’42, who came to the chemistry department in 1948, is still quite active in the community, and spends a good deal of time up north at his Lake Lida place. Arne and Carol (Gaustad ’42) were victims of the 1998 tornado that demolished their stately home on Fourth Street. They have recently purchased and moved into Ross ’45 and Lavinia (Bloom’45) Bloomquist's home. Lavinia is also living in The Wilds in north St. Peter. Ross passed away in 1998. And that is it for faculty on board when ’49ers graduated.

By the way, when you visit campus next, be sure and look in the ’49er conference room, located on the lower level of the Jackson Campus Center. It is on the east side of the building and adjacent to the main entrance. The room is used extensively by student groups, committees, etc. There are framed pictures on the wall showing the campus buildings as we remember them from 1949, and also the ’49er reunion picture taken in 1999. The pictures have been funded by a memorial gift from the family of classmate, Bob Setterholm.

If you are contemplating any year-end contributions, please keep the Gustavus Fund in mind. And let me add a personal note to the program Pete reported in his earlier class letter, that of the Aid Association for Lutherans. I have long been an LB member with several policies over the years. But now I am also an AAL associate member without owning any policies. For a $10 family membership we have had our contributions to Gustavus and Dana College (Elaine's alma mater) matched up to $100 in each case. (That means an extra $100 for each school). Along with the LB matching gift program this is a great boon for the Lutheran Colleges. Our Alumni Office can get you all the information if you wish.

In closing let me bring you up to date on some of the campus news, and wish for you and yours a most blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Campus News

The Gustavus campus is enjoying another busy and exciting January Term with 2300-plus students enrolled for credit! We are offering over 100 January Term courses, including 16 travel courses (plus 36 international courses through our UMAIE consortium). There are also 15 courses on the special Environmental Studies theme for J-Term 2001. Some of these courses include, Chemistry in the Environment, The Literature of Winter, Geographical Issues in the Third World, Global Environmental Change, Amazonia: An Eco-Historical Perspective, GIS in Environmental Analysis, The Changing Face of Agriculture, and Environmental Journalism. Next year (2002) the January Term theme will be "Global Village" and will feature both international and domestic diversity focused courses. After that J-Term themes are planned for "Service-Learning" (2003) and "Undergraduate Research" (2004).

You are invited and encouraged to attend these upcoming national chapter alumni events. Invitations are sent to alumni in chapters. For more information, please call the Alumni Office at 800-487-8437 or look on the web at gustavus.edu.

  • Seattle Chapter, Gustavus Choir Concert, January 13
  • Portland Chapter, Gustavus Choir Concert, January 15
  • Bay Area Chapter, Gustavus Choir Concerts, January 17-19
  • San Diego Chapter, pre-concert dinner and Gustavus Choir Concert, January 21
  • Los Angeles Chapter, Gustavus Choir Concerts, January 22 & 24
  • Sun City Chapter, pre-concert dinner and Gustavus Choir Concert, January 25
  • Phoenix Chapter, pre-concert dinner and Gustavus Choir Concert, January 26
  • Tucson Chapter gathering on January 27
  • Albuquerque Chapter, Gustavus Choir Concert, January 28
  • Santa Fe Chapter, Gustavus Choir Concert, January 29
  • Denver Chapter, Gustavus Choir Concerts, January 30 & 31
  • Rapid City Chapter, Gustavus Choir Concert, February 1
  • Sioux Falls Chapter, Gustavus Choir Concert, February 2
  • Twin Cities Chapter, Gustavus Choir Concert, February 4, Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church, 12650 Johnny Cake Ridge Road, Apple Valley, 3:30 p.m.
  • Gustavus Band Home Concert, February 4, Christ Chapel, 7:30 p.m.
  • Gustavus Choir Home Concert, February 10, Christ Chapel, 7:30 p.m.
  • Marco Island gathering February 24
  • Vero Beach gathering February 25

Reunions 2001

50th Anniversary Class and 50-Year Club reunions will take place on campus, May 25-26 for the Class of 1951 and the 50-Year Club. Registration material will be mailed in April.

A reminder that all other reunion classes (1956, 1961, 1966, 1971, 1976, 1981, 1986, 1991 and 1996) will have their reunions at Homecoming on September 21-22. Class gatherings will take place in the Twin Cities at the DoubleTree Hotel, Minneapolis Airport at the Mall, on Friday, September 21. Homecoming activities will take place on campus on Saturday, September 22.

Milt Brostrom

1949 Guest Letter Writer