Class of '51
April 2004

Dear Classmates and all,

Ah, to be at Gustavus when the crocuses are up around the chapel and the dogwood trees are blossoming!

Hope to see you at the Reunion Weekend, May 28 and 29.  In the meantime we need all the donors we can get to maintain our good percentage of participation.  This is vitally important for lots of reasons.  Thanks to all who have sent in a gift already.  Each gift becomes a part of our big thank you to Gustavus!  I love it when a student writes me a thank you letter!

Remember Thrivent's Giving Plus program's minimum is $50.  Jim Isaak ’86 can explain details.  Jim wrote that your gifts are to the 2,520 students on campus.  They also "can be a point of reference when approaching corporations and foundations…"  Thanks, Jim.

A young person said to me, "I've moved so much I don't feel like I have a center.  Gustavus is still there, isn't it?"  Yes, Gustavus is still our Alma Mater on the hill!  I liked what was on the invitation to the Inauguration of our new President, Jim Peterson ’64:  "Like drops of water, our individual gifts merge, forming a river that flows from this community of learners, out into a world of commitment, discovery, joy and service.  Together, we live the promise."

Please join the Cec Eckhoff Society, which just means you promise to be a loyal Gustie and send a gift every year.  Our class can be a leader in loyalty.  A quote from Luther College Cathedral Choir program, "To truly understand a college, you need to experience it!"  In the Spring Quarterly, p. 33, look for photos of Dwight Holcombe and Veryl Gustafson.

Also, did you see on p. 32 the photo of Marie Norberg Bergstrom ’50, her sister Ruth Norberg Nye ’55, Eleanor Anderson and me in Tanzania?  Marie also sent in that old photo of our family, and hers, and the Danielson children from our Tanganyika missionary days.  It was a great trip for all of us back to our roots of 65 years ago.  That's the area in Central Tanzania where Denny Lofstrom is working hard to help the Iambi Hospital.  See the email message sent to (Alumni Director) Randy Stuckey ’83:  "Dennis Lofstrom ’51 and his wife, Paula, have designed a five-year support plan for the Iambi Hospital, Tanzania, East Africa.  The hospital is a Christian teaching hospital that seeks to prevent illness, heal the sick and comfort the dying.  The Iambi Hospital Project is a non-profit organization with the goal of providing support of money and equipment for the hospital.  During the Lofstrom's 10-week visit in 2002, they measured every inch of the hospital including rooks, walls and floors, and assessed its needs."

Ken Eastlund, Hillsdale, NJ, retired after 46 years with 3M as the mid-Atlantic sales manager.  He writes, "Six super grandchildren, three in New Jersey and three in California, keep Grandpa Ken and Grandma Ruth on the go…it's great!"

Our sympathy to Marlys Akerson Chase on the death of her husband, Raymond Chase.  He was a long-time friend of our son-in-law's parents so we met him at our daughter's wedding.  Our sympathies to their families.  (Ray Lundquist mailed me the obituary.)

Again, our sympathy to Florence Klinkerfues on the death of Fulton from a rare blood cancer.  She wrote:  "He was, indeed, a devoted supporter of Gustavus Adolphus College.  He gave GAC the entire credit for his success in life as a teacher, assistant principal and principal of John Glenn Middle School in the North St. Paul-Maplewood-Oakdale School system.  In the mid-60's he served a two-year term as president of the Minnesota Education Association, causing it to become the active organization it is today.  Fulton had a long career in education―41 years in all with 39 of them in District 622.

We'll miss all the classmates who are listed in this letter as having passed away.

Ray Lundquist also saw Dorothy (Conrad) and Art Gaard and John and Arlene (Hansen ’52) Bloom at the Gustavus choir concert in St. Paul in January.  Later that night the conductor, Professor Greg Aune had an emergency appendectomy.  The choir went on to North Dakota and he was able to catch up with them and conduct a concert in Colorado Springs.  Thanks Ray, for writing!  Also, thanks for your great class letter in January!

John Norman wrote to me, "I always enjoy your class letters and hearing about what other members of our class are doing…I have been working on my family history…My great-great grandfather…settled in Cannon Falls and in 1900 was married to Hannah Mattson, his second wife, by Eric Norelius who was the minister at Vasa and founder of Gustavus.  So you never know what you are going to find when working on one's family history…Rather than throwing away those yearbooks, they could be given to various historical institutions…"  Thanks, John, for the clipping!

Stan and Marie (Schafer ’52) Benson wrote, "Six years AT―translated that means six years after the tornado in St. Peter on March 29, 2004.  Someone called it, "the tornado that changed St. Peter."  We visit our American based children spread from the East to the Pacific Ocean, Maryland to Hawaii with the northerners in Minnesota in between, but we always return happily to the good life in St. Peter."  They are in charge of the Augustana Heritage Association gathering at Gustavus in June.  They have coordinated 11 houses in 11 years for their Habitat for Humanity Chapter!  Marie was re-elected for another three-year term on the board of the Gustavus Association of Congregations.

Marilyn Street Turner, Santa Rosa, CA, "Gustavus wonderful lasting friends!  Busy with family activities!  Retired in 1991 after 28 years of teaching.  Four children, four stepchildren, ten grandchildren and one wonderful husband.  Travel:  2003, New Zealand and Australia; 2004, Hawaii and a cruise in March.  Just moved back into former, smaller house and yard, still large enough for visitors, but no pool.  Just finished a year as president of Sonoma County Museum Auxiliary.  Put together a calendar similar to the famous one from England.  I am Miss February.  I also work on garden tours and help entertain foreign visitors to our area."

Robert W. Peterson, Folsom, CA, writes, "Ruth and I are now retired and are touring the U.S. by auto.  We take one 6,000 to 8,000 mile trip each year to sightsee and visit with friends and relatives.  So far, we have covered most states west of the Mississippi including Alaska and Hawaii.  We both do volunteer work for the local church, non-profits and community!"

Reynold Malmer, Kirkwood, MO, wrote, "Recently published War Letters Home, a compilation of letters written by my uncle, William E. Malmer who died in France during World War I.  Good coverage of publication given by Lafayette Ledger (MN) and Winthrop News (MN)."

Louise Borg Bergmann, Oxnard, CA, sent this note, "I still do substitute organ playing in our area.  In September, my husband, Kenn, and I took a Mediterranean Cruise, starting in Barcelona, visiting several ports, going to Livorno, which was the gateway to Florence, Italy.  The ships came back through Gibraltar to Lisbon, LeHavre (visited the Normandy Blacker) to Southampton, England, from there we sailed the Atlantic on the same ship, debarking in New York City.  My husband is active in Rotary and I play my keyboard there once a month.  He writes parodies and edits and they sing.  He's a retired ELCA pastor.

Rhoda Smith Nelson wrote from Mesa, AZ, "My husband, Rev. Donald E. Nelson enjoyed a cruise/tour to Alaska in September 2003.  We continue to spend winters in Arizona and summers at a cabin in Wisconsin.  We sing in a church choir in Mesa along with Sam Odell ’51.  At 'Lutherfest,' Midland College, Fremont, NE in June 2003, the Smith family was honored as Distinguished Luther family.  We were 13 cousins (with spouses) who had attended Luther College (Wahoo, Nebraska) 41 family members were present at the banquet.  Aina Abrahamson ’35 was song leader for the weekend."

Dave Hilding, Salt Lake City, UT, "We took our daughter, Karin and her husband to visit Switzerland where we saw my wife, Sonja's, old stamping grounds.  The mountains and scenery were magnificent and the cheese wonderful!  We are enjoying skiing―the snow here is beautiful and the weather is a lot warmer than Minnesota!  Greetings to all fellow Gusties."

Matt Webster writes from Stillwater, MN:  "Retired for 18 years.  My wife, Patricia, and I are keeping active with golf and travel.  Golfing at Stillwater in summer, Florida winters.  Our travel experiences have taken us to:  China, Thailand, Greece, Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Turkey, Ireland, Scotland, England, Mexico, Canada, Italy, Switzerland and of course the good old U.S.A.  Looking forward to our next adventure."

Bud Hovren writes," I'm golfing, sightseeing, and meeting many interesting people in Tucson.  Pastor Jim Vadis is the pastor of Resurrection Lutheran Church where we go.  After 30 years in Bemidji, he left there and came here.  He has a son who recently graduated from G.A.  Sunday I talked to Demar Wanstrom ’55 who said he was a cousin of Tom and Chuck ’50 Kiecker.  My telephone number is in the book, if anyone comes out this way, give a ring!"

Ruth Holle Collard, East Wenatchee, WA, "We've both had heart attacks.  We're doing okay now.  He's back to making calls on the sick and elderly.  He's been on the staff at Grace Lutheran for 15 years in his "recyclement―no retirement!"

LaVonne Teske Duerr, Mesa, AZ, "Just want our ’51 classmates to know that Carol Nelson Adams was killed in a car accident near Eau Claire, Wisconsin on January 24.  Carol, Marianne Ostrom Kjolhaug and I were roommates our freshman year."

Two other classmates have died:  Lois Anderson Nelson, Chanhassen and Joann Lillehei Wold, Brooklyn Park.

Lois Anderson Quist, Atlanta, GA lists her wonderful activities:


1) Needlework/knitting

2) Granddaughter at Cornell University―a junior―4.0 Dean's list

3) Reading

4) Bible study group

5) Volunteer at our church every Tues.

6) Volunteer with a woman's club

7) Garden club

8) Church choir and woman's circle

9) Travel.


Ken Quist, Atlanta, GA, has a shorter list, but he's probably just as busy:

1) Golf

2) Reading

3) Grandchildren

4) Bible study group

5) Breakfast group – CDC and church

6) Travel

Adele Lund Brown writes from Seal Beach, CA, "After living in Alta Loma since 1962, I sold my home and moved to Seal Beach.  I hope I never have to move again!"  (That's nearer her daughter and grandson.)

Myrna Thorsell Wolf, Scottsdale, AZ, writes, Sad to say, I'm sacrificing Christmas in Christ Chapel to be living in Scottsdale from October – April.  But, a woman's just got to do what she has to do!  That is, enjoy the winter weather here in AZ.  It's pretty nice.

Newspaper clipping:  "A process has been started to have Jerry Miller considered posthumously for induction in the Minnesota Coaches Hall of Fame…His biography includes 11 years as head football coach, 20 years as varsity baseball coach and 36 years as athletic director at Belle Plaine High School.

Ray and Gerry (Erickson) Thompson still own a bed and breakfast on the North Shore.  They traveled to Israel.

Donald and Norma (Johnson ’52) Carlson write, "Enjoying living at Covenant Village in Golden Valley." 

Thanks to all of the Phonorama volunteers and for Ray Lundquist's help in organizing them.  Phonorama news:  Ed and Joan Cravens Benson of Chaska live in Florida during the winter.

Ann Komatz Basset and her husband, Gene live on the hill near the golf course near St. Peter.

Bob and Onie Isenberg live in St. Peter so look for them at Gustie events.  Unfortunately, they weren't home when Ray Lundquist called on Phonorama.  Did you see their picture and great story in the Summer 2002 Quarterly?  Also, see p. 36 for Warren Hovren.  Sorry, I missed those photos back then.

An April editorial in The Miami Herald read:  "A college diploma can open doors to a brighter, productive future.  But the high cost of higher education has slammed the door in the faces of many students who, though academically qualified to attend four-year colleges and universities, can't afford to do so.  The lack of access will prevent thousands of capable students from reaching their full potential.  In the long run, our society will be the poorer for it."

President Jim Peterson's quote on the Fine Arts calendar:

"We are pleased to share with you the wonderful talents of the young women and men of Gustavus Adolphus College.  These talented and dedicated student musicians, actors, and artists delight in challenging themselves and at the same time bringing the joy of the arts to others.  We are very proud of them.

We sincerely appreciate your attendance.  These students and their talented directors, conductors, and instructors have prepared wonderful programs and exhibitions for you.  Please consider them a gift to you from the entire Gustavus community."

After reading through newsletters from the Gustavus bands, I would say the tour concerts are gifts to the world.  They are planning a return trip to Eastern Europe after 10 years.  Prof. Nimmo wrote, "We performed to full-house audiences that always wanted more.  It was a life-changing and magnificent time for all of us."

From the same newsletter:  "What a privilege it is for us to take something that is so dear to our hearts and travel from place to place sharing it with strangers and loved ones alike…This Midwest tour has special importance because many of our concerts will be in the hometowns of people in the band.  What a joy to bring home something like the Gustavus Wind Orchestra and share it with all of your family and friends!  As special as it is to share this with strangers, there is an extra sense of pride when it is shared with people you know and love.  I am really looking forward to playing for the friends and families of my companions in the Gustavus Wind Orchestra.  Cheers to this spring's Midwest tour!  ~Elizabeth Johnsrud ’04 oboe

Campus News

President Peterson inaugurated

Dr. James Peterson ’64 was inaugurated during a ceremony in Christ Chapel on Friday, April 16.  Other inaugural events scheduled April 15-18, included a symposium featuring Rev. Dr. Martin Marty, tree dedication, Gustavus Association of Congregations meeting, G.I.V.E. community service day in St. Peter, music concert, art exhibition, and an alumni reception preceding the Nobel Symphony Concert at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis.

Scholarships and financial assistance at Gustavus

Did you know that scholarships and financial assistance for Gustavus students totals $18M, almost 25 percent of Gustavus’ annual budget?  Alumni Fund gifts, including designated and unrestricted gifts, help enable students to receive a Gustavus education.  Gustavus offers two types of scholarships to students -- merit awards given to recognize academic achievement, and tuition grants are used to assist students with recognized financial need.  Endowed scholarships are an important part of the Gustavus grant program and currently nine percent of scholarship funds come from the endowment.

Winter sports summary

Women’s basketball finished third in the MIAC and advanced to the semifinals of the MIAC playoffs. Men’s basketball won the MIAC regular season and playoff championship titles before losing to eventual national champion UW-Stevens Point in the NCAA national tournament. Men’s hockey posted a third-place finish in the regular season and advanced to the semifinals of the MIAC playoffs. Women’s hockey finished second in regular-season MIAC play, but won the post-season tournament and earned an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. Men’s swimming won its third consecutive MIAC championship and completed their season by finishing ninth at the NCAA championships. Women’s swimming won the MIAC championship and completed their season by finishing 13th at the NCAA championships. Men’s Nordic skiing won its first-ever MIAC championship and finished fourth at the NCAA Central Region meet. Women’s Nordic skiing claimed their third consecutive MIAC title and completed their season with a fourth-place finish at the NCAA Central Region meet. Gymnastics posted a 6–1 dual meet record and a second-place finish at the National Collegiate Gymnastics Association (NCGA) West Regional. The women’s indoor track and field team finished second and the men fifth at the MIAC championships. 

Did you know …

●Nearly 80% of Gustavus students graduate in four years, compared with 56% of students from other Minnesota private colleges; the national average is 17%.

●There are seven choral ensembles and 23 instrumental ensembles, two jazz, four woodwind and three brass ensembles.

●More than 40 percent of Gustavus students volunteer through the Gustavus community service center on a regular basis.

●And looking back -- during the college’s early years, students were awakened by a bell at 5:45 a.m. and all lights had to be out by 10:30 p.m.

Upcoming events

  • Class of 1954 and 50-Year Club Reunions – May 28 & 29
  • Commencement – May 30
  • Alumni Fund closes – May 31
  • Class reunions on Homecoming & Family Weekend – October 1 & 2

Thanks for all the news.  Those of you who were lucky enough to attend all those spring events at Gustavus are welcome to write about them.  Wish I lived closer!  I plan to be at Reunion Weekend, Class Agents' Day and Christmas in Christ Chapel.

All gifts, no matter what size, are welcome.  Please send news with your gifts!!  We need to have many more donors to reach our goal of 204.  The last that I heard (March 31 report), 145 of you had remembered to thank Gustavus with a gift.  We're behind in the amounts, too.  It's always nice to do better each year!  It's an important year for participation since this is the 50th anniversary of the Annual Fund and we have the goal set at 50 percent participation or 50 by 50!  Please help as soon as you can before the deadline of May 31!

Go Gusties!

Dorothy Johnson Lutz

1951 Class Agent