Class of '54
As this letter begins, a soft gentle rain is falling! Does it ever feel good! For it’s been a hot, dry season!! The brown grass has turned green…Yeah!! I hope your fall season is wonderful with family and friends, and nature’s “color splash” invigorating us!!
How fun it would be to celebrate the season by watching our Gusties football team in the new stadium! I ’spect many of you will! Go Gusties!! Have fun!! I’ve asked Roger Carlson to write about it here:
I just recently returned home here in Minneapolis after spending the day (Saturday, September 8) in St. Peter at Gustavus to celebrate the dedication of Gustavus’s new football field and stadium. And what a celebration it was! But why a new football stadium, one asks? Wasn’t the old one good enough for four games a year and for graduation ceremonies once a year? Sure, it was good enough, but the College’s long range plan calls for an east/west mall from the chapel and the stadium was in the way. That’s the rational, now let me tell you of the celebration. You should have been there!
8:00 a.m. – Two mile fun run starting at the new stadium
9:00-11:00 a.m. – Stadium open house. Walk the field; check out the synthetic turf; sit in the stadium seats with back rests and all; take the elevator up to the press room and G-Club room; explore the end-zone bowls for casual seating; check-out the All-American recognition plaques and “Tradition Plaza.”
11:00-11:20 a.m. – Stadium Dedication Ceremony. Invocation by Chaplain Rachel Larson; greetings by President Peterson; remarks from the Board of Trustees.
1:00 p.m. – Season football opener: Gustavus vs. Willamette College of Salem, Oregon, with Gustavus wining 35-24.
It was a sunny and glorious day and for those who like football at the Division III level, you would have been proud of the team, the college and the many donors who made this approximately 5 million-dollar facility possible. Several from the class of 1954 accepted leadership positions in soliciting gifts from over 1,000 donors.
The next time you’re on the campus, take the elevator to the stadium press box and enjoy the view of the campus, the Minnesota valley and surroundings. It’s quite a view! Also, maybe you will want to see a football game as well. ~Roger Carlson
I thank Roger for saying “yes” to telling us of ’54 classmates who helped make this significant project happen…Roger’s role is major! What a talented person!
It’s always good to hear from and about our classmates! But it is also a pleasure to hear of achievements and recognition of classmate spouses. From the Stanford University daily, Stanford Report, this impressive news about Gordon Bower, husband of Sharon Anthony Bower: “Gordon H. Bower was selected to receive the National Medal of Science which was established by congress in 1959 and is administered by the National Science Foundation; the medal is our nation’s highest scientific honor. I repeat the excerpt here:
“Bower, the Albert Ray Lang Professor Psychology, Emeritus, was cited ‘for his unparalleled contributions to cognitive and mathematical psychology, for his lucid analyses of remembering and reasoning and for his important service to psychology and to American science.’
He retired in 2005 following a 46-year career at Stanford and is considered one of the nation’s leading experimental psychologists and learning theorists. In 2002, he was ranked 42nd on a list of the 100 most eminent psychologists of the 20th century in a study published by the Review of General Psychology.
Bower, 74, is a cognitive psychologist specializing in experimental studies of human memory, language comprehension, emotion and behavior modification. A native of Scio, Ohio, he earned his doctorate from Yale University in 1959. In the summer of 1957, Bower won a fellowship to attend a workshop at Stanford on mathematical learning theory. He so impressed the Stanford faculty during the workshop that he was offered a job before he even finished his degree. Bower never left Stanford, and from 1978 to 1982 served as chair of the Psychology Department and from 1983 to 1986 as associate dean of the School of Humanities and Sciences. His leadership and research have helped to make the Stanford department the leading psychology department in the nation.”
Congratulations Gordon and Sharon! We rejoice with you!
Rollie Herbst writes of his total right shoulder replacement surgery in February. After five months of physical therapy and doctor visits, in August the support sling was removed! He’s doing well! Great!
Waldo Lindberg and his wife, Gulvie, were in Hawaii in June for their eldest daughter’s wedding and for a brief vacation.
Virginnia Swenson travels to India every other year with “Bibles for the World,” a Colorado based program. She is active enjoying a full and happy life.
Arne Peterson and his wife, Phoebe (Granquist ’55) traveled for 25 days in Thailand and China last May. We thank him for sharing…
“Phoebe and I spent twenty-five days in China and Thailand this past April and May. During this time we traveled 3,380 miles within China alone spending time in Beijing, Xian, Chongqing, on a boat down the Yangtze River to The Three Gorges Dam, Shanghai, Guilin and Hong Kong. Later we visited Bangkok, Thailand.
Of course we saw the Great Wall, Terra Cotta Warriors and all of the various things to see. However, the thing that impressed us the most were the people. We saw all the negatives: pollution, over population, traffic that you would not believe, and poor working conditions to name a few, but there was a drive and enthusiasm among the people which certainly made the comment, this century will be the China Century, plausible. What they have accomplished even in the last ten years is, in some cases, awe inspiring. We found an openness among the people with whom we had contact in discussing both the good and bad features of their society past and present which was surprising to us. They have a long way to come, but we received the distinct impression that they are on their way. Sincerely, Arne”
Carl Towley is living in Kansas and has been diagnosed with lung cancer. He is at home “holding his own.” We surely wish him deep comfort and healing.
Janet Lemke Westlund traveled to Tanzania with a Lutheran World Relief program―focusing on women’s lives and issues:
“Last January I traveled to Tanzania with 17 other women. We went as representatives of Luther World Relief on a Women to Women Study Visit. We began our journey in Moshi, a town at the foothills of Mt. Kilimanjaro staying at the Uhuru Lutheran Hostel.
The orientation sessions included Tanzania history, the ongoing issues of poverty, the HIV/AIDS pandemic, education of women, and much more.
We worshiped at the Nshara Parish of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania, one of the oldest Lutheran parishes in southeast Africa.
The new capital city of Dodoma was our next destination. Here we visited the Rural Women’s Training Center and several nearby villages speaking to village leaders. This is a primary region for LWR. At the offices of the Hekima Women’s Programs we learned about their work and visited a life skills training group. Also near here we visited several villages and spoke to women with AIDS.
In Dar es Salaam we visited the Vosa Children’s Home and the warehouse and distribution center of LWR material aid.
This is a very sketchy overview of our journey. The warm, friendly and generous Tanzanian people demonstrated true faith in action. I am thankful I had the privilege to be involved in this LWR study visit. To learn more log onto: www.lwr.org.”
Grace Ronholm Westlund sent in a check for the Carrillon Bell project and with her check wrote these kind words, “I spent only one full year on campus as I was a transfer so I didn’t get to know many of my classmates. But my year at Gustavus was my best college year and I have fond memories of that experience.”
Dick ’53 and Vianne (Lager) Engwall sent a note this summer along with their gift, “we attended the GACAC (Gustavus Adolphus College Association of Congregations) annual meeting two weeks ago―was as good as ever. Enjoyed seeing the progress on the new football stadium. The highlight was hearing the student presentations at a noon luncheon―young sophomore student gave the best faith story about creation that I have heard―all in five minutes―extemporaniously. Wow!
P.S. The “sticky carmel rolls” seem to get better each year―how about sending the recipe to guys like me who ate four of them!”
John Chell continues to work with Interfaith programs―I’ve asked him to share about some of his work here. Thanks John, for your dedication and for your latest news:
Seldom has Minnesota been in the national and international news, like in recent months. First, it was the collapse of the I-35W Bridge and the scenes of cars, trucks and a school bus thrust into the wreckage, and of rescue operations recovering the dead and wounded.
Next it has been the destruction of towns in Southeast Minnesota and into Wisconsin by unbelievable flooding and landslides. In more recent days it has been the sensational coverage by Fox, CNN and others, of a Senator, a men’s room, a police sting and the Minneapolis airport. For many of you Minnesota is where you were born. Did we ever make such newsworthy headlines?
Helen asked me to elaborate a bit on where I get all of my excitement for Minnesota and energy in retirement. Well, high on the list is our vigorous interfaith movement which keeps me both “young at heart” and spirited. You have heard me tell about the Mall Area Religious Council (MARC) based at Mall of America, of which I was a founder and currently continue to serve as executive director.
MARC and the Twin Cities Chapter of the Parliament of the World’s Religions recently ventured out and secured grant funding to develop a new non-profit called Interfaith Bridging Initiative (IBI). We are calling October and November, 2007 “A Sacred Season of Peace-Making.” Here is a sample of three Interfaith Events we have planned for the Twin Cities area coming up this fall season:
“Breaking the Fast during Ramadan” on October 8th, 6:30 - 9 p.m. Free meal and open to the public. Masjid An-Nur, new Mosque, 1729 Lyndale Avenue North, near Broadway, southeast corner of Lyndale and 18th Avenue, Minneapolis.
“Peace and Violence in Our Religious Traditions” - An Interreligious Dialogue. Oct. 15 - Nov. 12, five Monday evenings, 7-9 p.m. Free and open to the public. Presentations are made by clergy/leaders from Jewish, Catholic, Mennonite, Muslim, Baha'i and Quaker traditions. Presenters will discuss their tradition’s teachings on non-violence, how violence appears in the tradition’s texts/history, and how the tradition practices peace-making and non-violence.
“Peace and Violence in our Non-Abrahamic Traditions” Sunday afternoon, November 11, 2007, 1:00 - 5:00 p.m. at the University of Minnesota Law School. Co-sponsors include: Mall Area Religious Council (MARC), Twin Cities Chapter of the Parliament of the World’s Religions, Interfaith Bridging Initiative (IBI), Minnesota Human Rights Center, and others. Panelists, Questions/ Dialogue, Break-out sessions, a premier interfaith performance in art and music and snacks.
Hear from Non-Abrahamic voices like Hindu, Buddhist, Wiccan, Hmong Animist, Native American and others, on how they view today’s world. Your feed-back will lead to a follow-up Interfaith Bridging event in the spring of 2008.
John Sandquist has a strong active interest in Interfaith matters too. He writes:
In my consideration, the basic problem we face in regard to the cultures of the world is a religious one―specifically, our lack of understanding of the Muslim religion. In 2005, I was fortunate to be able to organize a three-session symposium on Islam―its belief system, history and testimonies by young people of their faith. I’ve been encouraged to suggest a similar arrangement for our 55th reunion and for any other alumni.
I have many contacts in the Twin Cities, Rochester, Northfield and Luther Seminary for this purpose. Did you know that the ELCA is the only U.S. denomination which has a permanent chair at a seminary (Lutheran School of Theology) on Christianity-Islam Relations? I attended its establishment in Chicago last year.
This symposium should be relatively easy to organize, but we first need to know if you feel this is an appropriate and relevant topic and would attend during our 55th reunion.
Please contact the Alumni Office (800-487-8437) or our class agents so that we might make the necessary plans.
John M. Sandquist
2601 Kenzie Terrace #323
St. Anthony MN 55418
Elaine Wellendorf Fink left this life on July 26, 2007. Our sympathy to Elaine’s husband, Stanley, her daughter, Sarah, and to other relatives and friends. The service celebrating Elaine’s life was held August 1, in Austin, MN. Thanks to David Johnson for letting us know. He wrote:
“Gloria Brouillette Strom and I drove to Austin yesterday (8/1/07) for Elaine’s funeral. Dr. Peck’s homily was as compelling as the one he did for Jonathan, their son, back in May 2005. He sketched Mary and Martha and then asked which was more like Elaine. He concluded that Elaine could not be “type cast,” that she was a blend of the hostess, intent that all be comfortable and the active teacher who pushed her students. I saw Corrine Wellendorf Heiberg ’56, her sister, for the first time, I think, since Jean’s (Lunnis) and my wedding. I also saw Dee Sandstrom Sam ’55.”
George Skogg and his wife, Joan, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in June in Pembine, WI! Congratulations and best wishes!!
A routine physical exam for David Johnson found a micro valve leakage in his heart…so August 23 became the surgery date…YET David is taking a trip to Spain in October!! How about that?? (Just can’t keep a Golden Gustie down!)
Janet Hanson Jones so faithfully briefs us about Gustavus and the St. Peter community―we appreciate it!!
“My last contribution to our class letter was in January. I mentioned that construction on the new football stadium was well underway. Now it is nearly finished. Yesterday the local Chamber of Commerce “Business After Hours” which was held this month at Gustavus ended with a tour of the new stadium. It is expected to be ready for the opening football game on September 8 so about ten days ago, the old stadium was demolished. It (the new one) looks wonderful and The Mankato Free Press predicts that the Gustavus facilities will now be one of the best in Division III! One thing I especially appreciate is that they will use the locker rooms in Lund Center. No need to duplicate such facilities!
The 25th annual Lutheran Summer Music Academy and Festival was held on campus for four weeks this summer with more than 125 high schoolers from 40 states and 3 foreign countries participating. Many people of the community took advantage of free concerts and recitals held during those days; Ellis and I attended several. It was announced that Gustavus had treated the group so well and that everyone was especially pleased with the food service so they will be returning to the campus again next summer. Wonderful publicity for the College! Saw Pauline Wiemann at one of the concerts.
A couple weeks ago we saw Mike and Jean (Randin ’55) Anderson at Whiskey River; they spend much of their summertime in Minnesota showing horses. That day they had taken Kathleen Hamrum (widow of Charles Hamrum ’47, biology) out to lunch. The County Fair was held last week and Stan and Marie (Schafer) Benson ’52 ’51 were named the Nicollet County Senior Citizens of the Year. In February George Lesnar, 84, retired after barbering 57 years in his basement shop below the old Nicollet County Bank. He came to St. Peter in January 1950, just a little before we all came to town. Many of you fellows probably visited him.
In February we attended a 90th birthday party for Vic Gustafson ’42 who was along-time member of the physical education department. Dave ’53 and Mary (Lundgren) Hauck were also there.
Shortly before Christmas 2006, we began the process of down-sizing. Many of you have probably done that, too. Trying ever to be as “green” as possible, we found new homes for many of the things we were disposing of. Among the first items we cleared out were 123 wire hangers (Did you know that dry cleaners can reuse them?) and 223 used manila file folders which a couple of offices at the College were glad to have. When we bought a new small freezer for the apartment, we found a friend in town who could use our big freezer and the store agreed to deliver the old one to her at no charge rather than just dumping it. Our old “second refrigerator” went to our grandson’s in-laws to become their second refrigerator at the lake, an update on what they had been using. Among other attic treasures, I found several homecoming buttons (which went to the Alumni Office) and choir programs which were displayed at the 75th anniversary of the Gustavus Choir. A few things went to the College costume shop and 42 annuals went to the Alumni Office. Ellis and I had duplicates while we both were in school, he purchased annuals for many of the years while he was teaching and we had several from my dad’s era (W. E. Hanson ’25). We spent the month of June moving in a little at a time and on June 25, the moving van came to finalize the move to Central Square Apartments. In unpacking, we discovered we still had 17 rulers! Now I have scrubbed 12 of them and they are at church. The Sunday school is gathering supplies for an elementary school in Namibia. We have a two bedroom apartment (one is Ellis’s office) on the second floor of a 55-unit building which was built after the tornado. Our windows overlook Gorman Park (in case you don’t remember, that’s the park near the Catholic Church and Trinity) and our building is where the old schools were. The new community center and the public library now occupy part of Gorman Park. In our living room, we can sit in Ellis’s Gustavus retirement rocker below the picture of Old Main which the Econ/Management department gave him upon retirement and from our windows, we can see the Chapel spire and the tower of Old Main! ~Janet Hanson Jones”
THANKS to each ’54 alum who has donated time, energy, dollars and prayers to help the “Gift of Gustavus” be available to more students! The Alumni Fund and other special projects…all, contribute to keep Gustavus moving on! A couple of pieces came to me recently from Gustavus, saying:
- From June 1, 2006 to July 31, 2007 - 91 members of our class gave donation to Gustavus…If my count is close…that’s 54% of us! Great! Let’s keep the participation percentage moving up to 100%!!
- Our goal of $140,000 for the Carillon and its endowment is now just $2,510.00 away from completion!
- Our class Giving Committee encourages us to “finish” this minor shortfall when it said, “it was decided to encourage each of us, as we pledge to the annual fund, to designate a percentage for the Carillon Project. If we designated…say 25-30% of our gift we can easily achieve our goal.” Yes, we’re only $2,510 away!
Thanks for what you can do! Then we can follow our Giving Committee’s lead to “move on” to work together with energy to create the “Class of 1954 David C. Johnson Endowed Scholarship.” What a grand opportunity!!
The total dollars received from alumni for the 2007 Alumni Fund was $4,849.887! Thanks for your gifts to help this happen! …Those gifts keep giving! Go Gusties!!
Alumni Director, Randall Stuckey ’83 writes, “We’re starting the 2008 Alumni Fund on a good note. A $50,000 challenge grant to the Gustavus Fund has been announced for unrestricted gifts of $1,000 and higher by the end of the fiscal year ending May 31, 2008. The challenge grant was awarded by the Greater Gustavus Fund which was founded and separately incorporated in 1927 by friends of the college to aid and assist in providing endowment for Gustavus.”
Since day one of the dreaming, planning, building and developing of Gustavus; the faith community has been vital to its life. Those Swedish Lutheran immigrants who valued faith and education saw to that. To this day, the Christian faith is upheld, and taught. Beautiful Christ Chapel makes that statement strongly. Gustavus affirms that reality through the Gustavus Adolphus College Association of Congregations or GACAC. Since 1980 Rollie Herbst has been a delegate to GACAC from the congregations in which he had his membership. He graciously gives up glimpses of the April 2007 meeting.
- The meeting was held on campus beginning with the chapel service.
- President Peterson presented a campus update: The College enrollment capacity of 2,500 has been fulfilled; the general “state of the college” is good; the College will continue to prosper, thanks to the Association.
- Rev. Grady St. Dennis ’92 is the new director for church relations.
Rollie tells us too, that a matching congregational scholarship of up to $1,000 awarded by a student’s home congregation will be matched dollar for dollar by Gustavus. These Lutheran Leadership Award scholarships range from $250 to $2,000, based upon academic qualifications, recommendation, and financial eligibility as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, and are awarded to students who are active in a Gustavus Association congregation. Students must be nominated by their pastor or association delegate. The scholarships are renewable as determined by FAFSA guidelines. The priority deadline for applying for this award is March 1.
After lunch the Association delegates heard testimonials from current students about how much they are gaining from their classes and life at Gustavus, and how much they appreciate it all! Thanks Rollie.
[If you’ve gotten this far reading, I hope you’re on your third cup of coffee…☺]
Life presents changes…and so it is for Brenda Moore, Vice President for Institutional Advancement…we thank her and wish her well.
“It’s with profound gratitude for my partnership with Gustavus these past eight years that I write to you today to share the news of my departure from the College effective August 31, 2007.
Without a doubt, these years at Gustavus have been the most rewarding and challenging of my 25-year career in philanthropy. I will always recall with great satisfaction the opportunity to lead the $100 million fundraising initiatives, the privilege of working with an outstanding team of advancement staff members and colleagues college-wide, and the honor of being the philanthropic conduit between so many generous friends and our grateful students!!” ~Brenda J. Moore, vice president for institutional advancement
Athletics Hall of Fame ― Gustavus will induct new members into its Athletics Hall of Fame at a banquet on November 3. They are: Tim DeJarlais ’91, golf; John Erickson ’81, hockey; Dave Hultgren ’92, baseball; Craig Miller ’91, cross country; Mindy Mayerchak Oosten ’88, softball, soccer; Mike Schumacher ’91, football; Ann Sommerness Simms ’92, swimming; and Ryan Skanse ’92, tennis.
Esbj! The Heart and Mind of a Professor - Dennis Johnson ’60 has collaborated with Rev. Robert Esbjornson ’41 in writing a book. It’s part biography, part memoir and includes a sample of Esbj's writings. Former students of Esbj will find this a rare opportunity to revisit all the excitement of encounters and conversations with this beloved professor. Johnson and Esbjornson will be on campus during homecoming for a book signing from 10:30-12:00 in the Campus Center. After that day, the book will be available in the Book Mark. Proceeds will benefit the Esbjornson Fund within the Chapel Endowment.
Dr. Mary Morton, Gustavus’ new provost and vice president for academic affairs, assumed her position on Monday, July 2. In this role as chief academic officer, she oversees academic programs and strategic planning at Gustavus.
Gusties Gather! – September 30
Gusties around the world are called to gather on Sunday, September 30. The Alumni Board is designating this day as a way for Gusties to stay connected with each other. In research among alumni, we know that Gusties already stay in contact with many alumni, and we know that Gusties have a strong interest in staying connected with other Gusties and with the College. If there is a gathering in your area, we hope you will consider attending. Check it out on-line at: gustavus.edu/alumni/Gusties_gather.
Upcoming Alumni Events
- Twin Cities Breakfasts, September 19
- Gusties Gather! – September 30
- Nobel Conference – Heating Up: The Energy Debate - October 2 & 3
- Homecoming/Family Weekend – October 12-14
- A Royal Affair – Razzle Dazzle, October 27
- Athletics Hall of Fame Banquet – November 3
- Christmas in Christ Chapel – November 30-December 2
- Volunteer Leadership Day (formerly Class Agents Day) happened on campus on Saturday, September 15. Woody Chaffee attended for our class―now for his comments, news and thoughts.
VOLUNTEER LEADERSHIP DAY
September 15, 2007
Daniel Boone, the famous 18th Century frontiersman, was asked one day if he had ever been lost. He quickly answered, “No, I never was lost, but there were three different times that I didn’t know where I was!” On Volunteer Leadership Day at Gustavus held in the Alumni Hall on September 15, the Alumni Board, Class Agents, and Reunion Committees discovered again that Gustavus is not in any sense lost in its directions, but has definite exciting goals and is moving dramatically ahead to its best years of service, education, and development.
After an opening greeting by Jan Michaletz ’74, president of the Alumni Association, which certainly created an enthusiastic atmosphere, Jim Peterson ’64, president of Gustavus, outlined the successes of the present as well as some of the future goals. The relationship of Gustavus to congregations was at its best. Several new professors have been added to the faculty who are outstanding and very talented individuals. There is a new environmental center, and a greater internationalizing of the student body with more students studying abroad than ever. He was excited about the development of new exchanges of students with Sweden and new forthcoming plans of exchanges of students with China and India. The new football field (what a beautiful field and setting and great place to watch a game!) has been dedicated and the removal of the old stadium has opened up a new green mall of land for new buildings needed for future generations of students. Enrollment at Gustavus has remained at about 2500 students in the last 10 to 15 years but the number of applicants to Gustavus has increased 24%. Wow! Although the enrollment has remained static the makeup of the student body is changing. Over 12% are now students of color and there are more students from the top 10% of their graduating classes. President Peterson went on to say that students today are very active and involved and have a high social consciousness for service. Gustavus now has an operating budget of over 70 million dollars and the growing Endowment Fund is now over 120 million dollars which still is much less than other schools similar to Gustavus and so its growth is very important to future development.
President Peterson was followed by the new Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Mary Morton, who represents a new form of leadership for Gustavus. She is a vibrant personality and well spoken who is active in the development of an overall strategic plan for the next ten years.
What was exciting to me was the increase of giving to Gustavus. Our 1954 Class joined 44 other classes in an increase of giving as well as an increase in the number of participants. Ninety-one members of our class gave a total of $7,359.53. Our giving to the Gustavus Alumni Fund is important to students now and in the future. Most of the monies are for financial aid and scholarships to needy students who wouldn’t be at Gustavus without such support. Many thanks for what you are doing and giving. “Gusties will shine!” That’s what Gusties do!
No question about it―Gustavus is not lost but knows not only its past accomplishments but where it is going. It’s best years lie ahead.
Forrest “Woody” Chaffee
1954 Co-class agent
Thank you so much Woody, for your summary of the Leadership Day. Also, my enormous thanks to Philly in the Alumni Office for getting our class letters in the mail…you can’t totally appreciate her work until you see the “draft” she receives from me!!☺ She’s a miracle worker!!
It’s been nice to “spend this time together!” ’Til next time keep your news coming to Woody, the Alumni Office or me to help us all stay in touch! Be well…Do remember our Alma Mater…generously! Thank you! “Remember the friends you’ve made here; And don’t forget to come back someday.” See you in May 2009!!
Enjoy Each Day!
1954 Co-class Agent
Helen Forsgren Hokenson Forrest Chaffee
2880 Park Drive 1203 Rock Bend Parkway
Adrian, MI 49221-4169 St. Peter, MN 56082
517-263-0546 507-934- 3537