Class of '54
May 2000

Special Bulletin #1

(our first in 46 years!)

The Class of 1954 Newsletter

…in which we, the undersigned six, propose an idea, which thanks Gustavus for the countless ways our years together on the Hill enriched our lives…

Our story begins six years ago when Joyce Lindell Lund Froelich and John Chell chatted at a meeting of seminary classmates. They grasped an idea which has become the guiding vision for this letter, "Why don't we develop a cause which would be a focus for our class giving as we approach and then look back upon our 50th anniversary?" Rog Carlson, a leader on the college’s Board of Trustees, and Dave Johnson joined the discussions. We considered several ideas, e.g., scholarships, a lecture series focusing upon our era, enhancement of the campus grounds. Then Joyce was tragically killed in an auto accident. The rest of us were beginning our career transitions. Our ideas sat dormant.

Fast forward to our 45th reunion last May. The turnout was good, the mood warm. We seemed, as our grandchildren would say, to have mellowed out. And so, in the wake of that event, Dave talked with John and Rog about reinvigorating the group. We agreed that the time was right to move ahead. We knew we needed a broader base of ideas for a class project. We broached the idea to Mike Anderson (who has spent his career at Gustavus and is closely tuned to needs there), Betty Lundgren Schlotthauer and Arlene Waxlax Sonday. The six of us have met several times this year to hatch and weigh the merits of various causes. Mike and Rog tested our ideas against the needs that the college’s development staff is pursuing.

One idea stands out in our minds above all others. The college’s carillon, a gift from a fraternity in the early ’60s, was struck by the tornado. There is no music wafting over the campus and town to call people to daily chapel, graduation, weddings and the other rituals, which are the essence of Gustavus. What a loss, what a challenge, what a difference we could make!

We six now wish to mobilize our class to contribute a new carillon to the campus, to have the instrument and its speakers in place in time for our 50th anniversary celebration. We think we can have the money in hand before that without jeopardizing our gifts to the Gustavus Fund, a project Rog rightly characterizes as "the lifeblood of the place." Watch for future newsletters in which we will describe the carillon and its possibilities for enhancing the quality of our alma mater. We think you’ll see why we are so excited, why we believe we have identified a cause that can bring us together again, and the beautiful sounds of The Class of 1954 Carillon.

Mike Anderson (myron@gac.edu)

Rog Carlson (cabin3@email.msn.com)

John Chell (johnmchell@aol.com)

Dave Johnson (johnsond@tc.umn.edu)

Betty Lundgren Schlotthauer (bschlotthauer@hotmail.com)

Arlene Waxlax Sonday (sonday@prolexia.com)