Class of '53
December 2002

Dear all you mature but ageless people,

Casting back in our memory we should all remember that we graduated from Gustavus in the spring of 1953.  Some one hundred and fifty of us donned the mortarboard and attempted to find the future.  We must have found it, because we are now part of it.  Do you remember?

Fifty years of post-graduate experience has proved one thing for all of us:  we have met many good people who did not graduate from Gustavus, but none better.  I offer that bit of editorial wisdom not as a flowery statement of self-aggrandizement, but as a rendering of simple fact…colored by fifty years of nostalgia.

Imagine if you will…if your imaginer still works…that at our graduation a delegation from the fifty-year graduating class had been there.  We would have hastened to find them a chair or a wheelchair or a stretcher.  Do you realize that they would have graduated in 1903?  1903!!  And still up and around.  Think of it.  And now we are they.  If you find a graduating senior in the class of 2003, talk to them of the old days using phrases such as, “by grannies,” or “I recollect that,” or “what in tarnation happened?”  After which accept the chair they offer you and sit with gratitude.

How does one celebrate a fiftieth graduation anniversary?  One does not do it alone.  Such would be self-laudatory and meaningless.  No…we must make plans to renew the union we once felt…the union between the college and ourselves.  In fact, a reunion, if you will.  I am nothing if not profound.

Plans are being made for such a reunion for the weekend of May 30-31, 2003, which is NOT Memorial Day Weekend.  (You could look it up).  A group of your compatriots is even now appointing volunteers, arranging schedules for a memorial service and a banquet and a photo shoot and several seminars and an ice cream social and etc.  But more important than any of the official scheduling…but indeed part of it…is the opportunity to see if your classmates are still as vibrant and good looking as ever.  I’ll bet they are.

And it’s all free.  The college is footing the bill.  How times change!

So old timers, remember thy past actively not as a vague solitary passive thing but as part of a two-day celebration of a corporate memory.  You owe it to the person you were fifty years ago.

In the interim, memorize these phrases:  “do you remember when…” “Are you the one that…” “You haven’t changed a bit” and “no, that wasn’t me, I wouldn’t have done such a thing to the chapel.”  And hie thee hither to St. Peter…the city, not the gate…to celebrate with the rest of the kids.

See you there,

J.W. Graber

1953 Guest Letter Writer

P.S.  Some of you are late with your homework assignment.  Don’t fret, you will still be accepted at the reunion, but you should send the survey to the college so that it can be included in the reunion booklet.

You may also contribute a memory to the 1953 memories booklet.  Make them short, readable, and non-inflammatory.