Class of '54
February 1999

45th Anniversary Class

May 28 & 29, 1999

Dear Gustie Classmates,

Well, the Hounds of Heaven, whom I threatened to unleash upon you until I found a guest columnist, didn't hunt. So it's back to me for this class letter. Beware. I'll bring manacles to our reunion…

THE 45TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION

THE GREAT CLASS OF 1954

_______

Friday, May 28, 1999

Dinner and Program

Hotel Sofitel

I-494 at MN 100

Bloomington

_________

Saturday, May 29, 1999

Noon luncheon followed by tour of the Arboretum

Afternoon seminars, concert, vespers

Evening Alumni Celebration Banquet

Gustavus Campus

_________

see forthcoming Quarterly for details

A CALL FOR ACTION: Jean and I did class letters for a time in the ?60?s. During that period we would get periodic reports from Cec showing the contributions of our class and those surrounding us. That was a dismal period. The record for our Class of ’54 was just plain lousy. We were at or near the cellar in dollars contributed. But, we rationalized, that wasn't fair. After all, we said, we were the depth of depression babies, thus a smaller class (But, far more troublesome, our percentage of donors, surely a fair measure, was also lousy. (That's the stick.)

(Now, here's the carrot:) Things are getting better. In the 1998 financial report, our class was still lowest in our decade (Classes of 1949 to 1958) in total dollars. But we were second among those ten classes in the percentage of donors! Of the 148 of us, 109 of us made a gift of record. That's a 73.7% participation rate, just shy of the Class of 1953's decade award for its 75.4% rate. And that second place to the Class of ’53 is a record holding thus far in 1999!

SO, ESTEEMED CLASSMATES. LET'S GO FOR IT. LET'S FOR THE FIRST TIME IN THESE 45 YEARS WIN THE DECADE AWARD FOR PERCENTAGE OF DONORS. WE CAN DO IT.

But, you say, "Johnson, get off your macho kick, this idea of giving in order to beat someone else."

All right, I will. I'll tell you what I really feel should be the reason for us to give:

We, each and every one of us, got a subsidized education at Gustavus. The Church subsidized us. The faculty and staff subsidized us through their absolutely terrible salaries. Let's give something of what we have accumulated over these 45 years in recognition of what all those people did for us.

ABOUT OUR CLASS:

In memoriam: David Dahl, Holcombe WI, 9/2/98. Freshman and sophomore years with us, member of swim team, then transferred to Macalester, president of Citizens State Bank in Shakopee, 1977-83, subsequently in Wisconsin banks. Our sympathy to his widow, Elrene, and all of his family.

Rod Hake: traveled in France in '98...Duane and Jan (Olander) Johnson: planning trip to Sweden in summer '98...Paul Kaus: retired investment representative for Norwest, living in Norcross, GA...Jean Kovacs Larson: retired from being a travel agent, spending a good amount of time on Lake Vermillion Island...Lewis Moon: with Dolores, will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary in July...Betty Lundgren Schlotthauer: taking classes at the University of Minnesota Elder-Learning Institute...Pauline Wiemann: retired teacher, living in Arlington...

ABOUT OUR COLLEGE:

Spring Semester started February 8 after another busy January Term. Once again, many students took advantage of J-Term opportunities with 127 on internships, 308 on study abroad programs, and 86 students studying at other domestic institutions. Progress is being made on construction of the new Campus Center due to be open in the fall of 1999. After a week and a half of classroom preparation covering the history and culture of South Africa, the Gustavus Choir participated in a concert tour of the country January 14-February 2. The Gustavus Band traveled to South Dakota, Nebraska, Colorado, and Iowa for their concert tour during touring week, January 30-February 6. Athletic teams are in full swing with all teams being competitive in MIAC play. Over Christmas break many teams traveled for non-conference games including men’s basketball winning a tournament in California, men’s hockey playing in Italy, and the swim teams competing in Bermuda.

Gustavus is once again in the news, making some national rankings. Gustavus ranked 12th among the top 22 leading small colleges in the nation providing active Peace Corps volunteers. Gustavus is ranked 15th in the listing of top 20 bachelor’s institutions that sent the most students overseas for international study during the 1996-97 academic year. Gustavus is ranked 18th of national liberal arts colleges in the number of National Merits with 17 students. Mark Anderson ’66, Dean of Admission, reports that applications for admission for the fall of 1999 are running 20 percent ahead of last year. The Admission Office instituted several new campus visit days in the summer and fall to account for the fact that few students could visit last spring. Alumni are reminded of the Alumni Scholarship Program ($10,000 over four years for children and grandchildren of alumni) available to qualified applicants. Call the Admission Office at 1-800-GUSTAVU(S) for applications.

David Johnson

1954 Class Agent