Class of '49
September 2002

Dear ’49ers:

            It is a long time since I have written, but time does seem to go faster each year.  About the time I was going to write last January, Enid found out she had to have colon surgery.  It was not malignant, but visits to the doctor and the hospital kept us busy for a few weeks.  After a few more weeks of recuperation, Enid was doing so well we decided on a trip east to visit relatives, friends, and New York City.  That was during April when I was to write a third letter.  This year I have determined to do better.

            The ’49ers came through marvelously on the Alumni Fund in spite of my poor efforts.  We had 71.4% participation which was 6.5% increase over last year.  The total giving was $26,835, which was an increase of almost $4,500.  Thanks to all who were able to participate!

            On September 7 I joined the other class agents for our annual gathering on the campus.  It was a beautiful day and the campus looked spectacular.  In addition to the normal agenda items we were introduced to the Dean of Faculty, John Mosbo.  Doug Nimmo, director of the Gustavus Band gave a little background for the celebration of the 125th Anniversary of the Band.  Also, Al Molde, director of Intercollegiate Athletics introduced the 100th Anniversary of Gustavus Athletics.  On a lighter side, we sang Happy Birthday to Evelyn Young who celebrated her 90th birthday in July.  She sent us all home with a loaf of her famous rye bread.

            This past year has taken a terrible toll on our class with the death of four members:

                        Donald “Don” Adolphson

                        Reverend Robert “Bob” Westerberg

                        Gordon “Joe” McCloskey

                        Dr. John Kendall       

I have some wonderful memories of each of them and thank God for what they have added to my life.

            Jean Luckman Rasmussen wrote that her son won a Fullbright Scholarship and will be studying in Norway.  Congratulations to Jean and her son.

            Howard “Howie” Fehr and Doris celebrated 30 years of marriage at a family party in July.  The last I talked to Howie he was still playing in the symphony orchestra in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

            I received a great note from Connie Elofson Foseid.  Let me quote part of it:

We now have a beautiful new grandson.  At our age, when many of our classmates are announcing the arrival of great-grandchildren, do you suppose I have the dubious distinction of having the greatest number of grandchildren (4) under the age of 4?  We feel blessed!

            The goals for the Alumni Fund for the next few years is to get participation back up over 50%.  We have a good start.  Our class got back to the 70% plus area.  Some of the larger classes are having a more difficult time.  We all need to keep pushing.

            On September 7 Gustavus made an announcement of the public phase of a 100 million-dollar capital campaign.  As of June 17, 2002 they have reached $72,293,220.  They hope to complete this by December 31, 2003.  If you have ever thought about making a special gift to Gustavus, this would be an important time to do so.

            All gifts to the annual fund will be counted in the capital campaign for these years and gifts to the Capital Campaign will also be counted in the annual fund.  This is the biggest undertaking by Gustavus that I know of and deserves our best effort.

            Thanks for all you have done in the past, and thanks for whatever you can do in the future.

Sincerely Yours,

Pete Erickson

1949 Class Agent

P.S.  Here is some news from the campus:

Welcome Class of 2006

Approximately 690 new students arrived on campus this fall keeping the total student enrollment just over 2500.  There are many interesting opportunities for first year students even before school starts with a community service immersion experience in the Twin Cities, a cultural study in Paris and a wilderness experience in the Boundary Waters.

Gustavus named a “Best Buy”

The Fiske Guide has again named Gustavus one of forty-three “Best Buys” in the country.  This is based on an exceptional investment of tuition money for an exceptional education.

Hello Walk Online Community is featuring several discussions this fall including Nobel Conference Director Tim Robinson discussing nature vs. nurture, and Political Science Professor Don Ostrom discussing the upcoming elections.  Join the conversation by going to <http://hellowalk.gustavus.edu>

Gustie students start new community service initiative called the AMIGOS program.  The 65 Spanish speaking volunteers serve the growing Chicano-Latino population in St. Peter by providing after-school tutoring, teaching ESL classes to adults and serve as big partners.  This program is in addition to the other on-going and one-time service opportunities that 75% of students participate in while at Gustavus.

Building a Great Gustavus Campaign was launched to the public on Saturday, September 7.  Since the tornadoes of 1998, the campaign has raised $77 million toward a $100 million goal.  The focus of the remainder of the campaign is on funding renovations in Old Main, growing endowment, and increasing gifts and participation in the Gustavus Alumni Fund.  Your personal financial support  and your leadership are needed and greatly appreciated.

Minnesota Legislature Cuts Financial Aid

Due to cuts with the Minnesota State Legislature, Gustavus lost $400,000 in money for student employment.  The college continues to work hard to meet financial needs of students since nearly 80% of Gustavus students receive financial assistance.  This includes $14 million from the colleges own budget.  Your support of the annual fund goes directly to help these students and is especially needed to help make up the financial gap for these current students.

Upcoming Events

  • Nobel Conference, The Nature of Nurture is October 1 & 2 focusing on child development.
  • Christmas in Christ Chapel is December 6 & 7 the theme this year will be songs, stories and legends from Scandinavia.