Class of '51
April 2000

Dear classmates and spouses,

In 2001, on the Friday before Memorial Day, our class will gather for our last time alone. After that we are welcome to return every year as a part of the "50 Year Club." We hope that you are planning ahead already for our special 50th Anniversary on "the Hill."

Our committee is already working. If you are interested in helping us make plans, volunteers are welcome! You could help out on either the Reunion Committee or the Reunion Giving Committee. Louise Borg Bergmann will fly in from California and see that we have a musical time!

Do you realize that Easter in 1951 fell on March 25? That made it one of the earliest Easters in over 200 years. Our family was flooded out in North Mankato in April so I didn’t get home until after our commencement in May. I was writing a memoir about the flood when I realized that we had only one phone in Rundstrom and people didn’t call "long distance" very often. It was expensive.

It is two years since the devastating tornado hit Gustavus harder than any natural disaster has hit any college in the history of the U.S. Thank God our college survived! On that fateful March day, Ellery Peterson’s ’49 grandson, Brian Kleinke ’01, was doing his washing in the dorm basement and was unaware of the approaching tornado. He walked up the stairs, felt the pressure, dropped his laundry basket and ran back down the stairs. He was one of the few Gusties on campus that spring break.

The next September, my niece, Julie Johnson Eiden ’82, wrote, "this was my first time at Gustavus after the storm. What a moving experience. The campus looked beautiful." Her husband, Tim Eiden ’80, is president of the Alumni Association.

FLASH! The cross was again blown off the steeple of Christ Chapel on the evening of the April 5 during the high winds! No one was injured.

"Who said that?"

(A little quiz on the Quarterly, winter 2000)

  1. "I’m so nostalgic about Gustavus. It’s where we met. It’s where we started singing."
  2. "I know that God is from Minnesota, I just don’t know if he’s a Republican or a Democrat."
  3. "I wondered where all the people were."
  4. "It’s a wonderful school, and it has always had great leadership. I am proud of my Gustavus support."
  5. "I will be able to drop in and say hello. It is my hope that in the future, a curious student will look at Ron’s portrait and ask, ‘Who was he and what did he do?’"
  6. "Providing financial aid is still an art."
  7. "Strong ties to the church. An ongoing focus on service to others. Lasting bonds between College and alumni. These constants link us to the past and provide a solid foundation as the College moves into the future. Has Gustavus changed? Unquestionably. But with this College―your college―the more things change, the more they remain the same. As a result, Gusties will shine tonight. And tomorrow, too.”

Answers to "Who said that?"

  1. Leandra Peak ’83 as in Neal (Hagberg x81) and Leandra, folk duo. I can’t decide which is my favorite CD.
  2. Rev. Jim Ford ’53, who retired as chaplain to the U.S. House. That’s his son, Peter, on page 43.
  3. Prof. Phil Bryant ’73, the first day he was on campus to start as a student one week later. You should hear him read his own poetry!
  4. Glen Johnson ’50. If you are near Lake Lillian, watch for the sign, "Gustavus Adolphus College Wetlands Project.
  5. Paul Cole ’79 who commissioned a portrait of the late Prof. Ron Christenson for the library.
  6. Thanks, Paul Aasen, for all those years of developing a financial aid program that others have copied.
  7. Last, but not least, Tim Eiden ’80, Alumni Association President, who is married to my brother’s daughter, Julie.

Vern Bergstrom sent me this great column he wrote in 1998 for the Cambridge Star. Excerpts include: Mother’s Day, Sunday May 10: ‘the most sentimental of all days’

‘ALL THAT I am, or hope to be, I owe to my Angel Mother’ --Attributed to Abraham Lincoln

The only time that I ever saw my father cry was at his mother’s funeral. Even though I was only 12, I had learned well the Scandinavian rule of “keeping your feelings in.” This ingrained custom specifically applied to males―and most certainly to longtime suffers of “slings and arrows of outrageous fortune”―farmers.

But, just as my father did―45 years before―I broke the feelings rule when my own mother passed to her eternal reward. Upon awakening the next morning, my first thought was, “this is the first day of my life that ‘Ma” is not living!” It hit me devastatingly. I felt empty, hopeless, like life was no longer worth it. Swedish tradition, not withstanding, I burst uncontrollably into tears―they just gushed out.

My utter embarrassment began to subside when I felt the gentle soft-skinned hand of my Marie on my shoulder and heard her calm soothing voice, “Vern―it’s alright to cry―it’s OK.”

Since then it’s so much easier to cry. As I get older, maybe it’s too easy. Tears come when I hear "The Old Rugged Cross,” my mother’s favorite hymn. When I was about five, my mother taught me, in Swedish, the words to “Children of the Heavenly Father.” When it is sung, I choke up beyond repair―yet I still long to hear it again and again!

Who would dare question the wisdom of the American jurist-poet O. W. Holmes:

Youth fades; love droops; the leaves of friendship fall:

A mother’s secret love outlives them all.

Fortunately, our country has long honored Mothers, as is her just due.

Mother’s Day began in 1907 in the small town of Grafton, W.Va.

Its public unveiling came in the Sunday school of a small Methodist church on the second Sunday in May. We owe it all to one, Anna Jarvis, a devout Methodist Sunday school teacher who wished to honor her beloved mother, Anna Reeves Jarvis. Her mother, in spite of a life of sorrow, retained her faith to be of great service to her church and community.

President W. Wilson in 1917 gave Mother’s Day national recognition. It flourishes now and hopefully will always.

In 1990, the Minnesota State Legislature officially recognized Mother’s Day by enacting:

Take a Mom fishing weekend. Any mother who is a resident of Minnesota may take fish by angling without a license during the Saturday and Sunday of the angling season that coincides with Mother’s Day. Minnesota Statutes 97A.445 Subd.4

Dear Reader, if your mother has "gone before;" be assured that in God’s Grace, she but rests. Temper your deep loss by recalling cherished memories of her. If your "Mom” is living, act now―do the things for her―and with her―that you’ve always wanted to do.

"Her children arise and call her blessed." Proverbs 31:28

Louise Borg Bergmann finished her three years as Dean of their chapter of the American Guild of Organists. She is a substitute organist and directs hymn festivals, etc. Somehow she and Kenn found time to go on a cruise to "the Mexican Riviera." They also went to England last August and September. What a trip they had!

Dean Berg and Barbara of Federal Way, WA, write, "We celebrated our 45th wedding anniversary in Hawaii. While there we had a mini Gustavus alumni reunion with classmates Willie Chong and Claude Nagaishi ’55 and their wives Ethel and Maisie. It was great fun. Willie is a retired chemist and Claude is a retired school teacher."

Marilyn Hollinbeck Hales and William live in Chattanooga, Tennessee. She wrote, “Am busy writing my ‘memoirs’ when we’re not traveling. Dialysis three times a week doesn’t slow me down much―thanks to my bionic parts (pacemaker and metal heart valve) we’ll be spending New Year’s Eve in Key West, FL. Our golden wedding anniversary is coming up next June."

Dorothy Johnson Lutz and Paul gave the library The New American Cottage, ed. Trulove and Kim. (There are some great photos of our small lake home in it!)

I wish many more of you would give us some NEWS!

The orchestra toured England, Scotland and Wales! They are terrific! On spring break over 140 students built houses for low-income families on Habitat for Humanity work trips.

Our sympathy to Joann Lillehei Wold of Brooklyn Park, MN on the death of her husband, Donald Wold in February.

We were sorry to hear that Harriet Graupman Musgjerd passed away last December. Our sympathy to her husband, Richard ’50, in Minneapolis.

We also send sympathy to the families of Harry E. Lindlan who died in February in Wildomar, CA; Donald B. Olson from Wauwatosa, WI, who passed away last December; and Lloyd L. Schultz, Menasha, WI, who passed away last October.

That means five more names will be read at our class memorial service at our 50th reunion.

Don’t miss the Sunday, July 16, garden tour which will include David and Delores Johnson’s lovely garden. David and Delores live at 220 Cutacross Road in Golden Valley. This event is sponsored by the Gustavus Friends of the Arboretum.

In his February newsletter to class agents, Alumni Director, Randall Stuckey wrote:

Gustavus fared well in two recently released national rankings that affirm its mission of preparing students for "fulfilling lives of leadership and service in society." Gustavus is the #1 small college in the Midwest for the number of its alumni that currently serve as Peace Corps volunteers. With 18 Gustavus alumni now in the Peace Corps, Gustavus ranks sixth in the national "Top 10 Peace Corps Small Colleges and Universities" list, moving up from 12th last year. This list comprises institutions that have less than 5,000 undergraduates. Gustavus is one of five Minnesota colleges named to the list of 30. The College also ranked 14th in the nation among baccalaureate institutions for the number of students it sends overseas. The annual ranking, released in December by the Institute of International Education in its "Open Doors 1998-99" report, was based on study abroad statistics from the 1997-98 academic year. Gustavus was one of six Minnesota private colleges to make the list of 20, making Minnesota the most active study-abroad state in the nation. During the 1997-98 school year, 286 Gustavus students traveled and studied abroad. Approximately 30 percent of Gustavus' graduating seniors have a study abroad experience.

Campus News:

International House Being Built - Ground was broken during the first week in March for the new international house. The residence hall will house Crossroads, the Swedish House, and the Office of International Education. This new facility will support the mission of bringing an international perspective to the curriculum and preparing students to communicate and compete in the new millennium. The 80-bed, 30,000 square-foot facility is scheduled to open in the fall of 2000. The $5.4 million building is going up west of Olin Hall.

Reunion Weekend for the 50 Year Club (including The War Years), Class of 1950, and V-12/5 is May 26 & 27. A schedule of events and registration material will be sent in mid-April. Homecoming 2000, September 29 & 30, will feature gatherings for anniversary classes from 1955-2000. Class reunions will be in the Twin Cities Friday evening, and events will return to campus on Saturday. A schedule of events and registration material will be mailed in August.

Everyone is invited to an hors d’oeuvres supper and tribute to retiring Chaplain Richard Q. Elvee on Tuesday, May 16, 5:30 p.m. at the Hotel Sofitel in Bloomington. A program will begin at 7:00 p.m. The cost of the event is $25 per person. RSVP to the Alumni Office by May 12, 800-487-8437, e-mail alumni@gustavus.edu, or in Alumni Events at gustavus.edu.

Eckhoff Memorial Sculpture – ORBISC, a Granlund sculpture in memory of Emeritus Vice President for Alumni Affairs Cecil F. Eckhoff ’56, will be dedicated on campus, Saturday, May 27, 3:30 p.m. near Hello Walk.

Forensics Team Earns International Awards ― The College speech and debate team captured two championships and six other awards at the recent International Forensics Association tournament in Paris, France. Both Gustavus debate teams compiled a 3-1win-loss record. The team's strong overall performance earned Gustavus a fourth-place Sweepstakes Award. Gustavus attends international forensic competitions every other year.

Men’s swimming and diving team completed its most successful season in Gustavus history finishing undefeated in both non-conference meets, with a record of 7-0, and conference meets, at 6-0. At the MIAC Championships, Gustavus placed first for the first time since 1960. They beat conference power St. Olaf, who had won 20 consecutive MIAC titles before this year. Earlier in the year, the Gusties also handed the Oles their first conference dual meet loss since 1981, breaking an Ole streak of 96 straight wins. Please read the Spring Quarterly for complete winter sports recaps or visit the athletics site at gustavus.edu.

Upcoming campus and Alumni Association events:

  • MAYDAY! Conference/"Vietnam: 25 Years On," April 26, Campus
  • Arbor Day Celebration, April 28, Campus
  • Chicago Chapter, May 6, Chicago Cubs baseball game and barbecue picnic
  • Tribute to Richard Q. Elvee, May 16, Hotel Sofitel, Bloomington, 5:30 p.m., 7:00 p.m. program
  • ORBISC dedication, a Granlund sculpture in memory of Cecil Eckhoff, May 27, 3:30 p.m., Campus
  • Reunion Weekend for 50-Year Club, Class of 1950, War Years, V-12/5, May 26 & 27, all events held on campus
  • Homecoming/Reunion Weekend for Anniversary Class 1955-2000, September 29 & 30, Friday night events at the Hotel Sofitel, Bloomington, Saturday events on campus

Gusties in Volunteer Endeavors, October 7, Twin Cities and national chapter locations

For more information contact the Alumni Office at 800-487-8437, e-mail at alumni@gustavus.edu, or gustavus.edu.

Members of the New Millenium: Knowing that we are in a technological age, we want to encourage all alumni to get involved and get online. If you have access to a computer and the Internet, we hope you will check out the Gustavus Alumni Association homepage regularly. We publish information about upcoming events, post class letters, provide information about the Alumni Office, list e-mail addresses of alumni and more. Check us out under the alumni section at gustavus.edu.

We are planning on corresponding on a regular basis with all alumni who have e-mail addresses. Please send a message to alumni@gustavus.edu so we can get you on the list. (Be sure to keep us posted on any e-mail address changes, also.)

Gustavus’ goal is not to have to turn away any qualified student because they cannot afford to go to Gustavus. I hope that more of you can send a gift before the end of May. We are behind our last year’s record in percent of participation and in dollars. I know many of you will send in a gift this spring. We have 258 members left in our class. About half of our class has given already. Of course, that class of ’50 has their 50th so their numbers are up! The cost of a Gustie education goes way beyond the amount of tuition paid and it always has been that way. Your gift is important!

Thanks to Donn Larson for his excellent first class letter of the 21st century!

Remember your Alma Mater in your will or your insurance policy, etc. Our class is not well represented in this type of giving.

Thanks to Denny Lofstrom for sending this unique description of Anarctica, "the last frontier on our planet earth…" where he and his wife, Paula worked and plan to go again in September. I’m including his letter in its entirety (at the end of my letter) because it is so interesting. Hopefully, Denny and Paula will be back for our 50th Reunion!

Thanks for a good year,

Dorothy Johnson Lutz

1951 Class Agent

January 10, 2000

Dear classmates,

Home once more and time to catch up on my correspondence and many other jobs demanding attention after a two-year absence from our farm, fly-in B & B. 1998 in Antarctica and 1999 travelling in New Zealand, Australia, Asia, Mediterranean area, Greece, Crete (research on the Crete diet for a physical fitness manual we, Paula, my wife, and I are writing complete with heart healthy low fat delicious recipes) to Italy and then a two week stay with friends in Dorset, England, then to sunny Arizona and around the U.S. visiting our far flung family, 13 children and 22 grandchildren and now finally home and back to work in the U.S. until next September of 2000 when the Antarctic will be beckoning again.

"Antarctica―a continent for science" the National Science Foundation brochure proclaims and that is what we found it to be, along with awesome, majestically beautiful, daunting, sometimes dangerous with sudden unexpected weather changes, wind chill down to -160˚, winds up to 200 mph reported, lifting the roof off T-site (radio transmission site on the ridge over looking McMundo station), but also calm pristine starlit skies with the Aurora Australius lights shimmering across the skies. The long winter night, four months, allowed time for accomplishing a nine-hour workday of hospital duty and 6-7 hours of uninterrupted time for study and writing. All meals provided at the galley―no dishes to do, one day a week off to do laundry and clean our living-sleeping room. Though we were both on call 24 hours a day―but where were we planning on going this Sunday anyway―to a movie and dinner in Christ Church?! Nothing moves into or out of McMundo and Scott Base―both stations on Ross Island―from middle of February until the middle of August―six months of complete isolation from the rest of the world.

During these months the scientist (referred to affectionately as beakers) have left for warmer, lighter climates―1,400 of them counting support personnel―leaving a few technicians to accumulate data from the automatic recording instruments, to crunch the numbers and periodically transmit the results to the proper investigating research teams or groups in the U.S. and around the world! One hundred, sixty-nine of us―maintenance and support personnel at McMundo and 12 at Scott Base (a New Zealand base 1 ½ miles away) stay for the winter to get all equipment and vehicles, runways, power plant etc. ready for the next summer season. October, November, December and January when 1,400 more personnel descend on McMundo and Scott Base.

Glaciology, geology, geophysics, astronomy, upper atmospheric physics, atmospheric sciences, oceanography, marine geology and geophysics, terrestrial biology, marine biology, medical research, research and education integration are categories of the overall National Science Foundation U.S. Antarctic program.

Each Sunday night, when the scientists are on base, is devoted to a presentation of one aspect of scientific research, and their findings, to the entire station. These are extremely interesting, timely, up-to-date and well delivered presentations.

With the new international treaty 2000-2050, no military presence is allowed in Antarctica and no commercial exploitation of the continent is allowed. Let us hope that after that time this last frontier on our planet earth will be preserved indefinitely. Antarctica is our last frontier on this planet and the most unique and pristine area of the globe.

Dennis Lofstrom ’51