Class of '51
January 2002

Dear Classmates:

Greetings from rainy, but not too cold, Northern California.  To be truthful, we've had no water from the sky for a few days.  Yesterday I was able to get into the garden and prune half the rose bushes.

I hope it isn't too late to give my thanks to the committee that orchestrated our wonderful 50th reunion.  They did a great job of encouraging us to attend, and of having every minute planned once we got there.  A highlight for me was the symphony by those exceptionally talented musicians in Christ Chapel.

It is hard to believe that it has been 50 years since we left with our diplomas to make our marks on the world.  For my own part, I confess to engineering no drastic change in the environment in which we exist, but I did teach school for 28 years, and I think I contributed something to the lives of all those students with whom I came in contact.  I am proud of my family.  I am fortunate to have enjoyed lots of beautiful music, eaten too much good food, had much fun with close friends, old and new, and enjoyed travels to distant parts of the world.

At the reunion it was great to find that classmates I hardly knew when I was in school were just as friendly as those with whom I d kept in touch all these years.  One doesn't live to be 70+ without some aches and pains, but no one had lost their smiles or amiability.  What a great gang!  I wished you all lived in Santa Rosa.

The weather certainly didn't cooperate during the reunion, but I had been on the campus the previous August and found the landscaping to be beautiful.  I found it hard to believe that a tornado had devastated the hill such a short time before.  Was the campus that pretty when we were there?

My husband and I had planned to go to India at the end of last September, but cancelled the trip after the tragedy on September 11.  So, to satisfy my roaming feet, we drove to Southern California.  My husband was able to attend a meeting in Ontario that he had previously thought he would miss, and which happened to be just a mile or so from Adele Lund Brown’s.  She met me at the hotel and gave me a tour of the town, where she has lived since she left Minnesota shortly after we all graduated.  It is a beautiful old city (by California standards) and she knew every nook and cranny.  I was even treated to a delicious lunch at her home.

Post-meeting we visited children in San Diego County and in L.A., then spent the night at the home of Louise (Borg) and Kenn Bergmann in Oxnard.  We were furnished another interesting tour and a delicious dinner.  Now we are planning a mini-reunion in Santa Rosa so that I can show them my part of California.

Our local four-year university started a Lifelong Learning Institute last fall.  We couldn't attend then, but have started two classes this winter.  One is on Mexican art and history.  The other is on Cuba, which will include a trip to that country in early March, which we are really looking forward to.  The president of the University was born in Cuba, and he is our instructor.

Santa Rosa boasts a really good symphony orchestra, and I have rarely missed a concert in the 38 years I have lived here.  We also have an active Community Concert Association.  I served on its Board for 34 years, before resigning a couple of years ago.  I found out at the reunion that Adele has also been a long-time Community Concert Board member and remains so.

I am involved with a few other organizations and with family functions and gardening.  I keep pretty busy.  Although I love living in Santa Rosa (Luther Burbank described it as the chosen spot on all the earth,) I also have a strong attachment to Minnesota and to Gustavus.  I even gave one of my sons Gustav for a middle name.

Marion Odberg Olson sent her thanks for a wonderful 50th reunion, the first reunion she'd been able to attend.  She reports that besides enjoying her grandsons, she was able to make trips to Germany, Austria, Hawaii, and Branson, MO, all in the last year.

Don Osell wrote to thank those who worked so hard to pull off the reunion, and how nice it is to still be around.

Vernon and Marie (Norberg ’50) Bergstrom continue to enjoy retirement.  They state that having their whole family close by is a pleasure, and feeling well is a blessing, but having fear spread through our country is a sadness.  Peace, trust, kindness, understanding seem unfortunately illusive.

George Olson thought the 50th was great and found the campus beautiful. 

Barbara Nelson Jaeger enjoyed the 50th.  She found it well planned and fun.

Donald W. Lundberg wrote that his oldest granddaughter, Molly, entered Gustavus last fall.  He reports that this continues a tradition, started by his father, Harry, of all family members and their spouses being Gustavus students.  And there may be more to come!

Donald and his wife live at the lake in the summer and in the Twin Cities in the winter.  They celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with a family cruise over New Year's.

Myrna Thorsell Wolf wrote that her husband, Ted ’50, died January 30, 2001, and that the faith, hope and love he lived is a precious legacy to his family.  After their 51 happy years, beginning at Gustavus, all she can say is, "Hug each other while you still have each other."

Edith Peterson Vogt reports that they just had news of a new grandchild.  That makes four girls and four boys.  Three of her grandchildren have already graduated from Gustavus.

Paul Nakamura is still pastoring.

Mary Jane Ogren Elander and husband, Jay, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in Ireland.

Elaine LaMirande Anderson has a daughter, Kristi, who is now a student at Gustavus.

Bob Johnson's mother died last fall at the age of 99 years and 11 months.

Pete the Goalie sends greetings to everyone.

Roger Sheik decided, after 10 years of retirement, that he was tired of inactivity, and got into the field of small business support and computerized accounting.  He is now thoroughly enjoying living and working in the same area as his son, daughter-in-law and grandchildren.

If any of you find yourselves in this part of the world, give me a call (707-539-0186).  I would be happy to give you my tour.  We are in the heart of the wine country and close to the beautiful Pacific Ocean coast and to the Russian River resort area.  San Francisco is an hour to the south, and Lake Tahoe and Yosemite are only a few more hours away.

Have a healthy, happy and hopefully peaceful 2002.

Marilyn Street Turner

1951 Guest Letter Writer

P.S.  I'm adding here the news from campus.

Campus News

Hi!  My name is Tracey Hanson.  I’m a senior, double majoring in Communication Studies and Business Management.  I’ve worked in the Alumni Office all four years and can hardly believe that I’m in the middle of my last J-Term!  After a longer-than-usual Christmas break, it’s great to be back on campus.  Instead of taking a class (and doing homework) this J-Term, I’m spending my time slaving away in the Alumni Office.  It’s great to have the extra time to relax and do other activities that J-Term allows.  Having unlimited time at home each night has made for some great cooking!  And getting to watch “Friends” without worrying about the homework you should be doing instead is also a plus! 

The campus is full of life and excitement.  The theme for J-Term 2002 is "Our Global Village," and the month will be a celebration of cultural diversity as we grapple with social, political, economic and philosophical aspects of our ever-shrinking world neighborhood.  Faculty are offering 29 different classes that tie into this global theme, many of which are travel courses.  Examples include Islam and Culture, and Chinese Cooking and Culture.  This year, 2319 students are enrolled in J-Term courses, with many studying abroad, participating in internships, student teaching or studying at other domestic institutions.  I get very jealous when I read e-mails from my roommates who are studying in warm, sunny Australia.  J-Term themes for the coming years include “Service-Learning” (2003) and “Undergraduate Research.” (2004).

Winter athletics are also in full swing!  Gustie teams are off to a great start.  The men’s basketball team leads the MIAC with a conference record of 6-1, 11-1 overall.  They are also ranked in the top ten in the nation in the NCAA Division III Men’s Basketball Ranking.  The women’s hockey team also posts an outstanding record.  They are currently 6-0-0 in the MIAC and ranked fourth in the U.S. College Women’s Hockey Online Poll.  It has been exciting to watch our sports teams compete this winter!   

Gustie music ensembles are also very busy.  The Gustavus Band will embark on an international tour this J-Term.  The band is touring Sweden and Norway, presenting “Music from America.”  The tour dates are January 16 through February 10.  The tour concludes with a homecoming performance at 4 p.m. Feb. 10 in Christ Chapel.  The Gustavus Choir is busy preparing for their tour of the Midwest during Touring Week in February, concluding with their home concert Feb. 16 in Christ Chapel.  The Gustavus Orchestra will tour Minnesota, the Dakotas, Colorado, Kansas and Iowa.

You are invited and encouraged to attend these upcoming alumni events:

February 2      Chicago Chapter event - 6:00 p.m. dinner, 7:30 p.m.

Gustavus Choir Concert

                        Our Saviour's Lutheran Church, 815 S. Washington St., Naperville, IL

February 16    Naples Chapter event - Naples Beach Club

                        851 Gulf Shore Boulevard, Naples

                        11:30 a.m. social, 12:30 p.m. luncheon

February 17    Vero Beach Chapter event - Dawn (Ekstrom ’67) and Ted Michael residence

                        2506 Ocean Drive, Vero Beach

                        12:30 p.m. social, 1:30 p.m. luncheon

March 7          San Diego Chapter event

March 8          Tucson Chapter gathering

March 9          Phoenix Chapter gathering

March 10        Sun City Chapter gathering

More information will be sent to alumni and friends in these chapter areas.

RSVP to Alumni Office at 800-487-8437 or e-mail alumni@gustavus.edu.

As I prepare to graduate in June, I find it increasingly hard to think about leaving this place.  It hardly seems possible that four years have flown by, and that in six months I, too, will be considered an alum.  I will always carry with me fond memories of my four years here.  GO GUSTIES!!!