Class of '55
April 2006

Dear Class Mates:

Spring is here!  Doesn’t the word “April” sound good?  From other class letters you will realize how taken I am by the seasons as I experienced them at Gustavus.  I am not sure which one meant the most but each has its own special qualities that evoke unique memories.  Yes, if you were not already aware of it, I am a sentimentalist.  Forgive me.

I recall the life of spring on campus particularly fraternity and sorority banquets.  I wonder if they still go one.  Then there was fraternity initiation with all its hilarity and inanity.  I suspect that no longer occurs but I guess we have to accept change.  There were picnics in Robard’s Glen and other places.  There was cramming for exams, anxiety over acceptance to grad school or obtaining a job.  All this we shared with so many great people.  What a blessing to be a Gustie in the ’50s!  I can’t wait to return to campus for Lucy’s 50th reunion this May.

Thinking about the seasons of Gustavus, I would like to solicit brief statements or essays on what was your favorite season on campus and why.  I think that will provide a great source of memorabilia for us.  Just write or e-mail me and I will put your responses in future letters.

Gustavus still lives and is strong.  In large measure this is due to the support of alumni who gained so much from their time on the Hill.  I am proud of the generosity of our class to the financial and moral support it has given over many years.  Our donations on the occasion of our 50th reunion set records.  To me that means we continue to have special affection for our old school.

The Gustavus Fund closes its fiscal year on May 31.  Before that time I hope all of you will consider a gift.  Let it be five dollars or five thousand.  Any amount will do.  Just indicate your continuing support for Gustavus, what it has given us and what it will do for others who will enter its halls in the future.

I recently had a nice e-mail from Marilyn Anderson Stephan.  She was elected mayor of Berkley, Michigan and is currently serving a two-year term.  Previously she served six years on the city council.  In February she and husband, George, cruised around the tip of South America.  On the cruise she met Bob Engwall ’45.  Keep up the great work you are doing in public service, Marilyn.

Campus News

The Alumni Board met on campus in February and made the final selection for the Alumni Awards:

Greater Gustavus Award:  Gustavus Library Associates, for providing financial resources for Folke Bernadotte Library, and engaging and introducing alumni and friends in the mission of the College.

Distinguished Alumni Citations:  Karen Bossart Rusthoven ’66, St. Paul, MN, founder and principal of Community of Peace Academy, St. Paul; Susan Semple-Rowland ’77, Gainesville, FL, professor of neuroscience, University of Florida and director, Neuroscience IDP Graduate Program; and Magnus Ranstorp ’85, St. Andrews, Scotland, chief scientist at the Centre for Asymmetric Threat Studies, Swedish National Defense College; and a Senior Honorary Research Associate and former Director of Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland.

First Decade Awards:  Rebecca Konrad ’96, Washington, DC, investment officer, global transaction team, The World Bank International Finance Corporation; and Milo Martin ’96, Philadelphia, PA, assistant professor, Department of Computer and Information Sciences, University of Pennsylvania. 

The awards will be presented on Commencement Weekend or Homecoming Weekend depending on the recipient’s schedule.

Gustavus Alumni Directory

The 2006 Gustavus Alumni Directory will be published soon and our goal is to represent your information as accurately as possible in the printed edition.  PCI:  the data company, is publishing our directory and a short phone call will update or verify your information.  Call toll free:  1-800-982-1589, Monday-Saturday, 8:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m. CST, and Sunday, 11:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m. CST.  International callers dial:  1-972-386-0100, Monday-Friday CST.

Short Term Medical (STM) insurance Available

Short Term Medical Insurance can fill the temporary needs of those without health insurance, usually at a lower cost than other alternatives.  Alumni and their families may apply.  This is perfect for children of alumni who are graduating (even if they did not attend Gustavus) and aren’t yet covered under an employer’s health plan.  Contact the program administrator at Meyer and Associates at:  800-635-7801 or www.meyerandassoc.com about this and other sponsored life, medical, auto and homeowners insurance.

Gusties In Volunteer Endeavors (G.I.V.E.)

Gusties love to serve while they are students and after they graduate.  Gusties In Volunteer Endeavors (G.I.V.E.), the annual day of community service, will focus in the Twin Cities’ Phillips Neighborhood.  This 1.6 square mile section of Minneapolis has 3,100 families, and 31 percent of those families live below the poverty level.  This neighborhood also is home to the American Swedish Institute.  Come out to help make the community a little better.  To learn more about G.I.V.E. Day and to register, go to gustavus.edu/alumni.

MAYDAY! Peace Conference:  "AIDS + Africa, the Unfolding Crisis"

The 26th annual MAYDAY! Peace Conference will be held on Wednesday, April 19.  This year's topic is AIDS in Africa.  The conference will feature a keynote address by Robert Gallo, co-discoverer of the HIV virus, and Marjorie Mbilinyi, social activist and professor in Tanzania.  The AIDS Memorial Quilt will also be on campus for viewing.  Robert Gallo is spending time on campus during March and April sponsored by the Robert E. and Susan T. Rydell Distinguished Professorship, a residency program for Nobel Laureates and similarly distinguished scholars.  For more information, go to gustavus.edu/events/mayday/.

Gusties Gather!

Gusties around the world are called to gather on Sunday, August 6!  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.  Ever think you want to do more to be connected with Gustavus?  Now is your chance, signup to host a Gusties Gather! event.  Complete event check-list, host kit, and details will be provided.  Sign-up via e-mail at <alumni@gustavus.edu> or call 800/487-8437.

Upcoming Alumni Events

  • MAYDAY! Peace Conference on AIDS – April 19
  • Rydell Distinguished Professorship lecture by Robert Gallo, co-discoverer of HIV virus, professor and director of the Institute of Human Virology – April 20
  • Gustavus Association of Congregations Meeting, keynote address, "Discipleship in Today's World:  Religion and Ecology," by Larry Rasmussen – April 22
  • Gusties In Volunteer Endeavors (G.I.V.E.) Day of Community Service in Minneapolis – April 29
  • Gustavus Library Associates Author Day with Robert Alexander – May 3
  • Reunion for Class of 1956 and 50-Year Club – May 26-27
  • Commencement – May 28
  • Gusties Gather! – August 6
  • Reunions for the classes of 1961, 1966, 1971, 1976, 1981, 1986, 1991, 1996, 2001 – October 6-8
  • Homecoming/Family Weekend – October 7 & 8

Please keep me up to date with your lives so I can share your experiences with the class.  I look forward to seeing some of you at the Class of ’56 reunion.

All the best,

Dick DeRemee

1955 Class Agent