Class of ’50
April 2010

60-Year Reunion ― May 29, 2010

14090 Indian Beach Road

Spicer, MN  56288

Dear Classmates and Friends of 1950

I wish you each could speak with Dallas Young.  His enthusiasm for our reunion is contagious, having good ideas for giving the college a gift to supplement our scholarship donation in 2000.  We wander onto other subjects, too─the conversation does not lag.

Please read the latest Quarterly for news of our classmates.  I didn’t receive that information─in fact, some of our names were omitted.  Either they are being saved for a later date or we forgot to send in those information forms.  The Alumni Office did not have news notes for our class this time.  The e-mail address for our class (me) was wrong, too, so the office did adjust that.  Fortunately, some of you have it from the class letters:  mydeyata@tds.net.

A couple related pictures refer to our classmates.  One shows Dorothy Johnson Lutz ’51 and her daughter, Lynn ’84, with the print of Dag Hammarsköld that the Lutz family donated to the chaplain’s office in memory of Russell ’49 and Marjorie (Johnson) Knutson.  The print is available for loan on campus.  That was a thoughtful gesture, Dorothy.

Another picture on page 54 identifies three students now at Gustavus.  Maya Johnson is the granddaughter of Clair and Christine Brostrom Johnson and Emily Kendall is the granddaughter of John ’49 and Joanne Kendall.  I’m unfamiliar with the Valen name.

Among the obituaries I was sorry to find that Doris Jacobson Speckeen passed away on December 5, 2009.  She lived in Singer Island, FL and was a former teacher and operator of two family agribusinesses.  Our sympathy goes to her husband, Loren, their children and her many friends.

Dallas Young informed me that Art Monke of Brunswick, ME passed away January 27 this year.  He was the former librarian a Bowdoin College.  I found it interesting that both he and Doris were included in the mention I made of the SPAN program in the last letter.  Our sympathy goes to his wife, Jyette Petersen Monke ’51, whom you may recall was from Denmark─we used to call you “Judy.”  I think we weren’t sure of the correct pronunciation of Jyette, and you said you didn’t mind.

I’ve had fascinating Facebook communication from Dave Danielson of Minnetonka since the last letter.  I’m not adept with Facebook and therefore prefer e-mail, but I was able to glean the info that he has written five books, including The Perils of Life Savoring:  Confessions from an Agnostic Lutheran Preacher:  A Memoir.  That one I definitely want to read─found the first pages on the Internet, but failed to find the one on his mentors, including Doc Winfield.  The other books are novels:  Drude, Iola Chrysalis, Passing All Understanding and The Goats from the Sheep.  The first four are available at Amazon; the latter at Bookworld.  If I can figure out how to print from Facebook, I’ll include more biographical information, but I can’t read my notes if I try to write them down first.  Please help me, Dave.

You should have received your reunion registration information by now and that has the full schedule of events.  You will want to remember that our class will have a gathering place on Saturday, May 29 in the ’49er Room of the Campus Center.  It’ll be helpful in finding each other.  I’d like to send out another letter in May so I can let you know who’s attending our glorious 60th!

Dear Classmates:

Did you ever think on our graduation day in 1950 that we would still be perking after 60 years?  This has been an incredible six decades.  I’m grateful to Gustavus for having a part in equipping me to make the most of it.  How to say “thank you?”

Many years ago we began giving “at least a penny” to the Gustavus Annual Fund; a penny that is, of each dollar of our family income.  Real easy to calculate…that’s 1%!!  Just move the decimal point.  If you aren’t already doing more, try it for a starter.  (I’ve found we could get along quite well on the 99% we had left.)  So at 60 years, whether your resources warrant $60 or $600 or $6,000 give it your best shot and our class will assemble a memorable anniversary gift.

Here are some alternative perspectives on giving during our 60th Anniversary year:

  • First, think about your gift to the Annual Fund:
    • Start by taking what you have done in the past and stretch it as you can, in honor of this special occasion.
    • If you pledge to give that amount for three years, the combined total will count toward reunion giving.
    • If you have not been a regular giver to the Annual Fund, please consider doing so this year.  We are shooting for record breaking participation!
  • Think about an extra for the scholarship endowment that our class started.  This, too, can be a three year pledge.  This endowment will last forever and forever be acknowledged in every Honors Day program from now until the end of time!
  • Gifts included in your will, will be counted toward our reunion giving.  It is a simple way to leave a legacy.  Designate any amount.
  • Want to give stock?  The Advancement Office at Gustavus can assist with this.

In 1950, we began a scholarship fund.  It took us a long time to accumulate the $25,000 required to make it an official fund, but last fall the first “Class of ’50” scholarship recipient was named.  She is Alecia Welscher ’12 and here is a note from her.

“My name is Alecia Welscher and I am a sophomore, biology major with a neuroscience minor, hoping one day to go to medical school.  I’m still not sure what I want to do for a profession, but I do have a few years to figure that out, right?  I’m from a tiny little town called Caledonia, which I’m sure most of you have never heard of.  It is located in southeast Minnesota, next to the Iowa border and just across the Mississippi River from La Crosse, Wisconsin.  My dad is a farmer who never went to college and my mom is a nurse who works for a company that takes care of mentally disabled people.

I chose Gustavus because I just knew that this was the college for me from the first time I saw it.  I remember turning to my mom on the ride home after the tour, saying this is where I’m going to school.  So far it has been amazing.  I love the professors, the many events to go to, and the activities to get involved in.  I am a member of the pre-health club and I volunteer at the pound and the community preschool.  I am also a member of Pledge—a program where students voluntarily agree not to smoke, drink, or use other drugs throughout the year.

Thank you all for the financial assistance your scholarship provided me with.  I truly appreciate it.”

Every year a new recipient will be named.  We thank you for your contributions to this in perpetuity scholarship support!

Dallas and Phyllis Young

1950 Reunion Guest Writer

Campus News

Groundbreaking for New Academic Building

Gustavus held a ceremonial groundbreaking at the future site of a new 125,000 square foot academic building just west of Christ Chapel at 3:30 p.m. on April 16.  The new academic building is part of a $44 million commitment made by the College’s Board of Trustees in January to move forward with three major building projects.  Also included in the plan is the development of a west mall extending from Christ Chapel and a major renovation of the Anderson Social Science Building.  The academic departments that will be housed in the new academic building include communication studies, history, psychology, economics and management, and sociology and anthropology.

Gustavus Forensics Wins Nationals

The Gustavus Adolphus College forensics team took first place in the individual events portion of the Pi Kappa Delta National Comprehensive Tournament March 19-21 in Minneapolis.  Gustavus amassed 306 points to narrowly defeat Ohio University, which scored 305 points.  A total of 57 colleges and universities participated in the tournament.  Gustavus sophomore Chloe Radcliffe won the Pentathlon competition, which recognizes the top 10 students who compete in at least five events.  First-year student Kate Bissen took first place in Informative Speaking and senior C.J. Hunt also took home a first-place trophy in the Program Oral Interpretation event.

Fantastic Winter for Gustie Athletics

The Gustavus winter athletic teams had great success including MIAC championships in men’s and women’s hockey, women’s basketball, and women’s swimming.  The Gusties finished second in men’s basketball, men’s swimming and diving, and women’s indoor track and field.  Gustavus also played in and hosted the NCAA Div. III Women’s Frozen Four National Hockey tournament in March.

GLA Membership

All of us remember the Folke Bernadotte Memorial Library.  It was a place for study and, depending on your era, finding a “coffee date.”  But, in the 21st century, it has become much more.  It is a technology-rich laboratory for learning and a storehouse of culture and recorded knowledge.  It must constantly be strengthened to ensure excellence in education.  The Gustavus Library Associates (GLA) provides financial support for the library and a program of events to its members.  Join this year and immediately make a difference.  Whatever membership gift level you choose, 100% goes directly to the library’s acquisition budget.  Join today at www.gustavus.edu/GLA!!!

Admission News

Applications for next year are ahead of where they were last year at this time which makes Mark Anderson ’66, the director of admission, very happy.  We graduated two very large classes in the last two years so we need to have somewhat larger classes in order to maintain our enrollment at about 2,500.  Mark Anderson will retire at the end of the academic year so a search is going on to replace him.  Gustavus has had only three directors of admission since 1950 (Howard Holcomb ’49, Owen Sammelson ’58, and Mark Anderson ’66) which is quite an amazing track record.

Attend a Chapter Event Near You!

There will be Gustavus alumni chapter events in the following cities:  New York, April 22; Boston, April 25; Chicago, May 3 and Denver, May 4.  President Ohle will be attending most of those events so we hope that you will make an attempt to attend and hear what he has to say.  He is providing outstanding leadership!

“Come on You Gusties” Breakfast

Once a month, Gusties gather for coffee, breakfast, and great conversation along with a campus speaker.  All Gusties are welcomed and invited to the breakfast, third Wednesday of the month, 8-9:30 a.m. at the Doubletree Hotel, Minneapolis-Park Place, 1500 Park Place Boulevard.  Cost is $10 at the door.  Upcoming speaker – April 21:  Virgil Jones, director of multi-cultural programs.

Upcoming Events

  • Apr. 21 – Gustie Breakfast – The Doubletree Hotel, Minneapolis
  • Apr. 22 – New York Chapter Event – The Core Club
  • Apr. 23 – Choir of Christ Chapel Home Concert
  • Apr. 25 – Boston Chapter Event - Bay Back Hotel
  • Apr. 28 – May Day! Peace Conference
  • May 1 – Gustavus Choir Home Concert
  • May 3 – Chicago Chapter Event – The Chicago Club
  • May 4 – Denver Chapter Event – Denver Athletic Club