Class of '58
October 2001

Dear ’58ers,

The Nobel Conference is over and suddenly the weather turns chilly reminding those of us still living in the North of future joys. The 37th annual Nobel Conference featured eight presenters, including five Nobel Laureates, on the theme of what is yet to be discovered in this century.

I missed seeing many visitors, but especially Alexander Nadesan, now retired from teaching international relations at Bemidji State University.  Alexander was last on campus fifteen years ago, as he mentioned to Alumni Director Randall Stuckey ’83.  Alex, it would be great if you would share some of your experiences of those teaching years with your classmates.

Knowing that it takes me a long time to write a letter, I hope those of you who use email will use that medium to send me news.  My email is osammels@gustavus.edu.  You are invited to send me news, but I also encourage longer messages that may relate your Gustavus experiences to other parts of your life.  (I do reserve the right to edit for length!)

Yes, I am still working at Gustavus, one of a smaller number of classmates still working.  My wife, Jan (Swanson ’62) retired as a teacher this past summer and that will likely influence the next decision.  Meanwhile, I am still having a great time!

How about some news from the last few months.  Mark and Anne (Kilty ’60) Wiberg's son, Ben, who attended Gustavus in 1981-83, married Deanna Levy last summer (old news) in Chicago.  Joel Wiberg ’60 officiated at the wedding service.  Sally Clausen Taylor and her husband became grandparents for the first time on April 9, 2001.  Grandson is Alec Thomas Taylor.  The Taylors live in Olympia, WA for nine months and winter in Arizona. Beverly (Duncan) and J. Roger57 Anderson are also retired and split their time between Arizona and Colorado.  Bev is volunteering at the Lutheran Thrift Store and tutoring at a nearby ELCA Hispanic Mission.

Herbert Anderson is to be congratulated on two significant honors.  One, he has been appointed director of pastoral care and congregational life at St Mark's Episcopal Cathedral in Seattle, the largest Episcopal congregation in the state.  Herb is the first ordained Lutheran to accept a high-profile pastoral position in the Episcopal Church in Washington.  All of this came after his retirement from the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago last year.  Herbert was also honored by a "Festschrift" in honor of his 65th birthday by the editors, authors and publishers of The Family as a Place for Theology to be published by Paulist Press.  Herb describes the Festschrift as "an incredible honor".

Homecoming was also the occasion for celebrating gifts by two of the larger Gustavus clans, the Eckman and the Johns families.  The Eckman Mall was honored with a special program.  From our era, some of the Eckmans are:  Phil '56, Dave '59, and Lou '60.  The Johns Family Courtyard was dedicated in the area west of the new Jackson Campus Center and east of Lund Center.  Again, some of the family members from our time include:  Paul Johns ’56, Peace Finlayson ’57, Dan’59, Ted ’61 and Steve Hilding, our classmate. 

And more news, Carole Lambert Cameron has retired, but keeps very busy golfing, card-playing, member of her church council where she does everything from ushering/lecturing to being president of the WELCA.  Bob Brolin has retired as president of the Farmers State Bank in Stephen and moved to St Cloud.  Morna Pell Traffas still works as a sales associate plus doing taxes for H & R Block.  She says she was fortunate to see the Van Gogh paintings in Philadelphia and is(was) waiting for the arrival of her third grandchild.  Bill and Marlys Binger celebrated their 45th wedding anniversary in August.  Congratulations!  The Bingers have seven grandchildren!

On the grandchildren subject, Janet Olson Green and Richard became grandparents of Jasper and Tessah on January 19th.  Congratulations to you too!

Robert Christenson's latest enterprise is Thoughtcasting.com, a company that intends to create global access to leading thinkers of the 21st century.  Using audio and video streaming in the Internet, they will address consciousness-raising issues such as 1) everyone is a healer, 2) right livelihood, 3) living spiritually and 4) virtuous business.  They went online in July.  Robert is always thinking!

Janet and Dick Green had their art featured at an April exhibit at the MacRostie Art Center in Grand Rapids.  Janet is a member of the North Star Watercolor Society and Minnesota Artists.  Janet says "my paintings show the relationship of sunshine and shadow on things you see every day".  Congratulations!

Reminder―"Delight in the Season", A ROYAL AFFAIR will be held Saturday, November 17 at the Radisson Hotel South in Bloomington.  This is an event to see many members of the class and to have a good time!

Phonorama is here.  We need some volunteers to call their friends in our class!  Call the Gustavus Alumni Fund Office at:  866-487-3863 to volunteer for an evening, or two, Dale Noyed!

The class of ’58 did not do well last year in terms of annual fund participation.  We need to get back to our former success.

Other News from the Campus:

The Alumni Office is sending this class letter via U.S. Postal Service Mail and also e-mail to those alumni for whom we have an e-mail address.  Eventually class letters will be sent via e-mail only, when an address is available, unless you notify the Alumni Office that you prefer to continue to receive your letters via U.S. Postal Service.  Contact the Alumni Office at alumni@gustavus.edu.

As Gustavus enters its 140th academic year, the 2001-2002 year opened with an enrollment of 2,540 full-time students including 670 first-year students.  The Class of 2005, selected from a record number of applications (2,163), includes 18 National Merit Scholars and 18 international students, doubling last year’s number of nine international students.

Last year Gustavus athletic teams finished 18th out of 395 competing in the NCAA Division III national Sears Directors Cup Standings.  Standings are based on national tournament finishes.  The Gustie women athletes won the MIAC All-Sports title for the first time in its 18-year history.

Gustavus ranked among top colleges – Gustavus is ranked in the second tier and one of the top 114 best national liberal arts colleges by U.S. News & World Report magazine.  Gustavus ranked in the first tier in two categories, retention and graduation rates.  Gustavus’ first-year to sophomore retention rate of 92 percent ranks in the top 15 percent of all national liberal arts colleges and graduation rate of 76 percent ranks in the top 20 percent of all national liberal arts colleges.  Alumni giving ranks in the top 25 percent, down from the top five percent and a tier one ranking five years ago.  Raising the percentage of participation of alumni giving is of highest priority for the college and the offices of Alumni Relations and Gustavus Alumni Fund.

Gustavus named Best Buy... Gustavus has been named one of the best colleges in America and a Best Buy by The Fiske Guide to Colleges.  In the 2002 guidebook, the College is one of 300 best American colleges and one of 43 Best Buys nationwide.  Within Minnesota, Gustavus is among seven best colleges and is one of two private college Best Buys.  To determine which colleges make the annual Best Buy list, Fiske researchers combine cost data with academic and lifestyle information about each college and university.  Those institutions named to the Best Buy colleges list are said to offer “remarkable educational opportunities at a relatively modest cost.”  Gustavus is also included in The Princeton Review’s 2001 edition of The Best 331 Colleges.

Nobel Conference XXXVII, What is Still to be Discovered?, was October 2 & 3.  This year’s conference included five Nobel laureates and three other experts who will gave participants a foretaste of what the next big discoveries might be as we look toward the second Nobel century.  This year celebrates the 100th anniversary of the Nobel prizes and the conference will included the premier of Steve Heitzeg’s ’82 The Nobel Symphony, two art exhibitions in the Hillstrom Museum, and an exclusive banquet with a menu recreation of the Nobel dinner 100 years ago.

G.I.V.E. (Gusties In Volunteer Endeavors), a day of community service, is scheduled for Saturday, October 13.  Numerous sites have been identified in the Twin Cities and alumni in other cities around the country are participating in the event.  Contact the Alumni Office at 800-487-8437 or alumni@gustavus.edu for more information or visit the events section of the alumni page at gustavus.edu.

Comprehensive alumni directory – In partnership with Publishing Concepts, the Gustavus Alumni Association is publishing its fourth comprehensive alumni directory.  Surveys were sent to all alumni in August and information will be used only for publication of the directory and updating database information in the Alumni Office.  The book is available for purchase only by former students of Gustavus.  Please correct or update any information and return to Publishing Concepts in the enclosed envelope provided with the survey.

New chaplain announced - The Rev. Rachel Larson has joined Rev. Brian Johnson ’80 in the Office of the Chaplain.  Larson will work in partnership with Chaplain Johnson and the other members of the Office of the Chaplain to provide spiritual guidance, worship, leadership, counseling, teaching, and other pastoral services to Gustavus students, staff, and their families.  Larson is a graduate of Augustana College in Sioux Falls, SD, and of what is now Luther Seminary in St. Paul.

Christmas in Christ Chapel, A Celtic Pilgrimage, is November 30 & December 1-2.  A ticket order form was inserted in the Fall Quarterly.  Contact Office of Public Affairs at 507-933-7520.

Cheers,

Owen Sammelson

1958 Class Agent