Class of '58
June 2008

Dear ’58ers,

I find this a difficult letter to do because I am not a good enough writer to describe our 50th anniversary reunion for those of you who were unable to attend, and also to capture the emotions of those of you who did attend.

Let me speak to the former group first.  You were missed!  Many times I heard classmates asking about you and whether or not I knew if you had planned to attend.  I was able to relate the emails I had received in May from ED GUTZMANN, who had fallen on the ice on his driveway in February, was diagnosed with a severe traumatic brain injury and is now well on the road to recovery; from KAREN MATTSON BRUNING, just out of hospital and recovering, but wanting very much to come to the reunion, from MYRTICE JOSTAD HANEY, needing to give special attention to their ranch; from MARILYN CARLSON SHERMAN in Washington, who had just been in Minnesota in April (and also planning a trip to London this summer); from SUSAN ELAM O’CONNOR, who lives a long way from Minnesota in New Brunswick, Canada and who treasures her memories of the old campus at Gustavus; and from DON LOOMER, who wanted very much to come to the reunion.  There were many others who wanted to come, but faced with health issues and the difficulty of travel, could not make it.  I particularly think of ANDREA GRANT JANOUSEK, LARRY RAY, and CHARLES BUSCH.  Our classmates in Europe, BIZ NELSON LEMPP and LARS LOFGREN were also unable to attend.  DALE NOYED had to cancel at the last minute because of a death in the family.

The 1958 Golden Anniversary booklet for the class of 1958 was mailed to you a week ago.  I hope you enjoy the photos by ANDERS BJORLING and the reflection pieces by twenty-seven of your classmates.  We will have another reunion!

There were 93 of you who did attend.  WOW!  Even your old, sometimes cynical, class agent felt overwhelmed at times with the joy of seeing old friends, beginning new conversations, remembering old times, laughing at old jokes and staying up late.  And you know, we look pretty good!

I am sure each of us has our own special memories of the reunion.  I think of the special memorial service planned by MARK WIBERG and his committee, with HERBERT ANDERSON giving the homily, music by MARTHA TELLEEN PETERSON and BUD BOBERG, the tributes to BARBARA ANDREWS and PHIL LINDAU given by CAROLYN CLOGSTON ENGQUIST and BOB PETERSON and the reading of the names of deceased classmates by MARLYS JOHNSON JOHNSON and ADE SPONBERG.

A great evening in the Dive and a fun dinner and program with CAROLYN LUND SANDVIG leading us in memories.  On Saturday morning, CAROLE LAMBERT CAMERON did her humorous and historical presentation on Katie Luther, spouse of Martin.  I am sure each of you also have your own special memories.  The 1958 swimmers, PAUL BORG, ROLLIE HIRMAN, STAN LARSON, and BILL BINGER went for a swim in the Gustavus pool, in front of their coach, Vic Gustafson ’42.  And thanks to MARY ELLEN YOUNG for her meaningful acceptance of our class in to the Fifty-Year Club.  A final WOW!

We had a great committee working on planning the reunion and I thank them again!  We met all of our goals, contacting every member of the class by phone or email.  Eighty percent (yes, 80%) of the class made an anniversary gift to Gustavus and an amazing 75% of those who contributed increased their gift from the previous year or their last year of giving.  Thanks to the following who made a contribution since the last class letter:  DONNA JONES KIEWATT, JERRY HESSER, ROLLIE HIRMAN, RON JOHANSON, BOB ORTLOFF, CAROLYN EISGRAU SEIDNER, LOREN ECKBERG, BARBARA JOHNSON MORRIS, BEV DUNCAN ANDERSON, VAHAN ASSADOURIAN, MARILYN CARLSON SHERMAN, LINDA ECKBLAD KNOCHENMUS, DON LOOMER, CHARLES CLEMENTS, LEE ANDERSON, BOB PETERSON, MIKE DALE, DOROTHY PALM CHILKOTT, MARY BRINK FOWLER, JOYCE STRAND MARVEL, ALEX NADESAN, LARRY RAY, MARLENE HAUGEN WIDMARK, MARTHA TELLEEN PETERSON, DARRELL LORSUNG, KEN JORGENSEN and BIZ NELSON LEMPP.

Thanks forever to CAROLYN CLOGSTON ENGQUIST and PAT TRENCH ROSENBERG for their ideas to provide accessibility to all parts of the Chapel and to do so as a memorial to BARBARA ANDREWS.  It will happen!

Our final goal was to raise 2 million dollars.  Through the great generosity of many classmates, including several bequests, we raised $2.4 million in gifts, pledges, bequests and annuities.  The class of 1958 has now given, or has pledged to give, Gustavus $5 million since we graduated.  You are the greatest class!  I don’t know if any other class has reached that amount!

How about some news?  Thanks to classmates JOHN JOHNSON, MARCIA (AMUNDSON) and CHET JANASZ, Ione (Hultander ’59) and DALE OLSON, and Pat (McLane ’59) and RICHARD OLSON for recommending their grandchildren to Gustavus.

You can send those names to me or directly to the Admission Office.  We also thank those with grandchildren enrolled, STEVE and Arlene HILDING, BILL and Marlys BINGER and JOHN and Janet STERNAMANKENT and Mary PETERSON’S granddaughter will enroll this fall.

Class News

Congratulations to NOEL BEHNE for being inducted into the Silver Horizon’s Hall of Fame for community involvement in Albuquerque on May 22.  Noel chaired the University of New Mexico Lobo Fund Drive this spring, raising $4.4M for Lobo athletic scholarships.  ROBERT CHRISTENSON is now working as a consultant for a start-up marketing and publishing firm that will serve small and medium sized businesses.  The firm will launch a local magazine at the Grand Old Days Festival in St. Paul later this month.  CHARLES MAJESKE retired as finance director at the Guthrie Theater in 1993, had a quadruple bypass in 1999 and is very active in Army reunions.  He served in Heidelberg, Germany in the fifties and has returned there for a reunion with his unit.  He and his wife, Florence, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary last month.

MARTHA TELLEEN PETERSON works as a travel consultant and just returned from a trip to the Mediterranean before the reunion.  She and Paul continue to sing in a chorale in California.  Another California traveler, BEV DUNCAN ANDERSON and Roger ’57 returned from Russia on May 17 and planned Midwest travel after the reunion, including the Augustana Heritage gathering in Lindsborg, KS in late June.  PAUL BORG was great in leading the Eppies in serenading at the Friday dinner.  Paul and Marian (Fickes ’59) are retired near Tacoma, WA.  Paul was a parish pastor in Seattle and Yakima and later became a counselor/instructor at the local college, retiring in 2001.  They enjoy a home with a view of Mt. Rainier and part of Puget Sound.

Yes, class letters will continue as long as you provide the news.  I really enjoyed the paragraphs you sent this year and hope you will continue to do so.  Perhaps some of you will write about the reunion.

Campus News

A Sunny Commencement

On Sunday, June 1, 588 seniors received their bachelor of arts degrees from Gustavus.  It was the first commencement ceremony held at the new Hollingsworth Field and the final commencement ceremony with James Peterson serving as president of the College.  Associate Professor of Political Science, Richard Leitch, was presented the 2008 Edgar M. Carlson Award for Distinguished Teaching.

New Alumni Website to Launch in June

The alumni area of the Gustavus website will have a whole new look and new features this month.  Each alum will receive a unique username and password by mail.  This will provide alumni secured access to features such as an online alumni directory, enhanced job and resume postings, and the ability to post class news and photos.  Get ready to explore an exciting new way to connect with Gusties.

New College Strategic Plan Approved

The Gustavus Board of Trustees has unanimously approved a strategic plan for the College.  The plan lays out the College’s higher-level values and goals, while affirming its identity as an undergraduate, liberal arts, residential, Swedish, Lutheran college.  The five strategic goals within the strategic plan are as follows:  Educate for Leadership and Service, Engage Education at the Intersections, Engage with the World to Make a Difference, Engage Faith to Inspire Understanding and Lives of Leadership and Service, Engage in Responsible and Ethical Stewardship.

Coneflower Prairie Moves Forward

Over the winter the prairie restoration company was selected, a planting scheme has been designed, and species list has been generated that will produce an ecologically diverse prairie.  The 70-acre site for the Coneflower Prairie restoration is just west of the current Linnaeus Arboretum and will be planted in soybeans this summer and seeded with prairie seeds in October 2008.  Recently the Siberian elms were removed from the west end of the Linnaeus Arboretum.  These invasive tree species will be replaced with large native bur oaks to create a savanna community on the edge of Coneflower Prairie.  An exciting example of the community’s involvement in the Coneflower Prairie is the book buy-back program sponsored by the Book Mark and Gustavus students.  This program has generated the funds to buy the bur oaks for this savanna community!

Summer Solstice Garden Tour

Join the Friends of the Linnaeus Arboretum for a garden tour on Sunday, Jun 22 from 10:15 a.m. - 4 p.m.  The tour will visit the gardens at the August Schell Brewery and Gigi and Scott Rysdall Residence in New Ulm and finish at the Linnaeus Arboretum on campus.  For more information, call the staff of the Linnaeus Arboretum at 507/933-6181 or arboretum@gustavus.edu.

Twin Cities Gustie Breakfasts

The June Twin Cities Breakfast will feature Professor of Chemistry Larry Potts who retired June 1 after 36 years at Gustavus.  Potts will reflect on his 36 years of teaching and talk about undergraduate science research.  Join other Minneapolis/St. Paul area Gusties for a morning cup of coffee and breakfast while getting an update on Gustavus.  The group meets the third Wednesday of each month.

Doubletree Hotel, Minneapolis-Park Place

Wednesday, June 18

8-9:30 a.m.

1500 Park Place Boulevard (Hwy. 394 & Hwy. 100)

Cost is $10 per person

Reserve a spot by calling Don Swanson '55 at 763-533-9083.

Upcoming Alumni Events

  • Summer Solstice Garden Tour - June 22
  • Gusties Gather! - September 28
  • Homecoming/Family Weekend - October 3-5

Striking New News!

CARLOLYN LUND SANDVIG will join me as co-class agent!  You may send news to either of us (listed below) or to Gustavus.


Carolyn Lund Sandvig

5901 Park Avenue South

Minneapolis, MN  55417

612-866-4845

Own Sammelson

618 West Nassau

St. Peter MN 56082

507-924-4790


Cheers!

Owen Sammelson

1958 Co-class Agent


1958 Reunion Attendees 

  • Beverly Duncan Anderson
  • Gloria Anderson
  • Herbert Anderson
  • Vahan Y. Assadourian
  • Bob Baugh
  • Norene Heine Becker
  • Noel D. Behne
  • Bill Binger
  • Anders Bjorling
  • Bud Boberg
  • Ellen Maus Boler
  • Paul Borg
  • Carole Lambert Cameron
  • Alan Carlson
  • Dorothy Palm Chilkott
  • Robert E. Christenson
  • Barbara Bennett Christopherson
  • Martha Banke Curtis
  • John C. Dahl
  • Mike Dale
  • Heather Peterson Davis-Peabody
  • Loren D. Eckberg
  • Jim R. Edman
  • Dick A. Eklund
  • Don Elvestrom
  • Carolyn Clogston Engquist
  • Dennis Erickson
  • Margo Pettersen Fohs
  • Mary Brink Fowler
  • Lois Swenson Gantrris
  • Janet Olson Green
  • Loren Herbst
  • Jerry Hesser
  • Stephen R. Hilding
  • Rollie Hirman
  • Chet Janasz
  • Marcia Amundson Janasz
  • John L. Johnson
  • Lloyd Johnson
  • Wanda Heuer Johnson
  • Lois Walfrid Johnson
  • Marlys Johnson Johnson
  • Shirley Lundgren Kanne
  • Marge Lund Kinney
  • Darlene Thompson Kriewall
  • Emily Hildebrandt Kulenkamp
  • Jody Springer Lange
  • Stan Larson
  • Roberta Walker Loreno
  • Herbert Lundeen
  • Joyce Strand Marvel
  • Claudette Anderson McCollar
  • James M. McPherson
  • Ronald W. Michelson
  • Ruth Raarup Mitchell
  • Aaron N. Moen
  • Barbara Johnson Morris
  • LeRoy E. Mueller
  • Alexander Nadesan
  • Bonnie Cook Nordby
  • Jan Tomerdahl Northfield
  • Miriam Anderson Olsen
  • Barbara Jensen Olson
  • Dale Olson
  • Don R. Olson
  • Jeanine Lundahl Olson
  • Richard Olson
  • Robert Ortloff
  • C. Kent Peterson
  • Martha Telleen Peterson
  • Nancy Johnson Peterson
  • Bob Peterson
  • Douglas Pritchard
  • Robbie Robinson
  • Pat Trench Rosenberg
  • Owen Sammelson
  • Carolyn Lund Sandvig
  • Carolyn Eisgrau Seidner
  • Ade L. Sponberg
  • Donna Elvestrom Sponberg
  • John Sternaman
  • Lynn Strand
  • Janice Carlson Strand
  • Duane N. Talus
  • Sonya Harbo Talus
  • Morna Pell Traffas
  • Judith Hanson Turnlund
  • Charlene Bukkila Westrum
  • Mark P. Wiberg
  • Joyce Bebensee Young
  • Mary Ellen Young


For the Class of 1958 . . .                                                                                           Steve Waldhauser ’70

From your 1958 annual—“Our World . . . Our Minnesota . . . Our Gustavus”:

“Nineteen hundred and fifty-eight on this circling sphere of mud

is a year of whirling Sputniks . . .

of the return of the chemise . . .

of off-year election speculation . . .

of Picasso and Bernstein and Cozzens . . .

of tension in the Middle East . . .

of swept-wing automobiles . . .

of further ecumenical searching and striving . . .

of chaos and scorn and bitterness and shame and despair . . .

and love and beauty and tenderness and  . . . hope.

For two-and-one-half million parka-clad, pheasant-hunting,

butter-eating, water-loving, corn-growing, coffee-drinking, Gopher-boosting,

inhabitants of a bumpy-boundaried midwestern entity,

1958 is a special year.”

I invite you to look at that special time from the perspective of fifty years later:  it was your senior year, the fall of 1957 and the spring of 1958.  What was happening in the world as you were experiencing your final year at good ol’ Gustavus?

Just a few weeks before you returned to St. Peter to begin your final year, American Bandstand debuted on network television . . . On Aug. 29 Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1957, leading to a crisis just a few days later when Arkansas governor Orville Faubus called out the National Guard to prevent nine black students from entering Central High School in Little Rock, in turn prompting President Eisenhower to send in Federal troops . . . On Sept. 4, Ford introduced the 1958 Edsel—mistake . . . A month later, the space age began in earnest as the U.S.S.R. launched Sputnik . . . On Dec. 20, Elvis was drafted . . . Toyotas and Datsuns were first imported . . . On Jan. 8, 1958, at the age of 14, Bobby Fisher won the U.S. Chess Championship for the first time . . . It was Minnesota’s Centennial . . . In the worst recession since World War II, 5.5 million people were out of work . . . On March 27, Nikita Khrushchev became premier of the Soviet Union . . . The Hula Hoop was introduced and, in its first six months, sold 20 million units . . . China announced its “Great Leap Forward” in May . . . And, a month after you graduated, Alaska was admitted to the Union as the 49th state.

            In 1958, as you were poised to spring into the “real” world:

            Milk was $1.01 a gallon; bread was 19¢ a loaf.

            A first-class stamp was 4¢—it had just been raised from 3¢, the rate for 26 previous years.

A gallon of gasoline was—are you ready for this?—about 25¢.

Average life expectancy for Americans born in the mid-’30s was about 58.5 years

            (So, if you’re sitting here today, you’ve already beaten the odds!).

The minimum wage had been raised to $1.00 per hour two years before—in March 1956

            (It was raised to $5.85 last July, will jump to $6.55 this July and will be $7.25 by July 2009, but buying power is actually about the same).

Average yearly income was about $4,650.

A new full-sized car averaged about $2,000—and $3,500 for a luxury model

            (but prices of cars were starting to skyrocket in the late ’50s).

Average cost of a house was about $12,750, and average monthly rent was $92

            (today a trailer home in California can go for $2 million!).

The world’s population was 2.9 billion

            (today it’s more than 6.7 billion).

The U.S. GDP was about $460 billion when you graduated

            (today it’s more that $14 trillion—about 30 times larger, but only roughly 5 times as large in today’s dollars).

The Federal debt was $297.7 billion

            (today it’s about $9.4 trillion —again, more than 30 times larger!).

Tuition at Gustavus when most of you arrived in 1954 was $225 per semester (or $450 annually), with total costs averaging about $1,100 per year.  Tuition at Harvard, by the way, was $1,250 per year (for the coming year, tuition at Gustavus will be $29,990, and when you add $4,710 for room, $2,750 for board, and $410 in fees, it’s nearly $38,000!).

Total enrollment at Gustavus in the fall of your senior year was about 1,075

            (the College enrolls more than 2,500 these days).

Some 588 seniors will graduate tomorrow as the Class of 2008.  A smaller number (183) graduated in the spring of ’58—89 with bachelor of arts degrees, 4 with bachelor’s degrees in music or music ed., and 90 with one of a number of bachelor of science degrees then offered.  Another 33 or so we consider part of the class although they didn’t quite finish here.  The most popular majors, in order, were business administration, English, elementary education, biology, and physical education (with history, chemistry, and social work close behind).  In the years since, some of you have practiced law; several of you work or worked in the medical/dental profession, as doctors, nurses, med. techs, etc.; about a dozen of you have served churches or seminaries.  And, at least 45 of you went on to teach at some point in the years following your graduation, most in elementary and secondary schools, but also some in colleges and universities.

What was happening in the wide world of sports?  In the fall of 1957, the upstart Milwaukee Braves topped the New York Yankees in the World Series 4 games to 3.  In those pre-Super Bowl days, the Detroit Lions overwhelmed the Cleveland Browns in late fall of 1957 for the NFL title.  Louisiana State was named national champion in college football by the press services after going 11–0.  In late winter 1958, Kansas beat Seattle for the NCAA basketball crown.  The St. Louis Hawks beat the Boston Celtics 4 games to 2 in the NBA finals.  And, after successfully defending her Wimbledon singles title and winning her third consecutive Wimbledon women’s doubles title, Althea Gibson won the singles title at the U.S. Championships for a second consecutive year and was named the Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year, also for the second consecutive year.

Here on the hill, Coach Hollingsworth’s football team was conference champion in your freshman and sophomore years, as was the basketball team.  Both teams finished second in your senior year and Vic Gustafson’s swim team won its fourth of what would be six consecutive conference titles.

1958 classmates Wayne Peterson and Chet Janasz were named all-conference in football—Peterson in 1956 and Janasz in 1957.  Ade Sponberg won four individual weight-class championships during his four-year collegiate wrestling career.

And two of you were named to the College’s Athletics Hall of Fame in the intervening years:  Ade Sponberg in 1985 for wrestling and football, and Wayne Peterson in 1986 for baseball, football, basketball, and hockey.

Significant things were happening in science and technology in 1957–58.  It was International Geophysical Year.  On Sept. 19 eight engineers who had recently left Shockley Semiconductor signed papers to form Fairchild Semiconductor, which is credited with building the bridge from the transistor to the integrated circuit.  In November, Columbia doctoral student Gordon Gould came up with a process for concentrating visible light and was the first to use the term “laser.”  On Jan. 13, 1958, more than 9,000 scientists from 43 nations petitioned the U.N. for a nuclear test ban.  Later that month—three months after the Russians—the United States launched its first successful satellite.

Meanwhile, in Old Main, which housed all the sciences then, you were carrying on experiments as well, under the watchful eyes of Doc Glass (1950–1986), or Arne Langsjoen (1948–1985), or Chet Johnson (1940–1978), who are still around today to give succeeding generations a hard time!

Others who taught you and still make occasional appearances on campus these days include Milt Brostrom, Bernhard Erling, Vic Gustafson, Phil Knautz, Jim Malmquist, Ellery Peterson, Bill Robertz, Whitey Skoog, and Brad Thompson.  And you undoubtedly have favorite professors—legends who define a Gustavus education—whom you will remember vividly even though they are no longer with us. . . .

On Sept. 8, 1957, Pope Pius XII posted his encyclical on movies, radio, and television, reflecting just how pervasive those forms of expression and entertainment had already become in our culture but never imagining how much bigger they’d be 50 years later.  The Pope later declared St. Claire of Assisi the patron saint of television—her placement on a TV set was said to guarantee good reception—but later some godless sorts invented cable, satellite, and High Definition and sold us on paying for good reception.

And what did you watch?  Westerns, game shows, and variety shows, mostly—Wagon Train, Have Gun Will Travel, and Maverick debuted in Fall 1957, Gunsmoke was already #1, also:  The Rifleman, The Lawman, Cheyenne; The Price Is Right, I’ve Got a Secret, Name That Tune, The $64,000 Question; variety shows hosted by Ford, Jack Benny, Red Skelton, Ed Sullivan, Jackie Gleason, and Perry Como.

Variety shows ruled on campus too, but you also were involved in theatre—Chekhov’s The Seagull and Thornton Wilder’s Our Town were staged during your senior year, as well as the annual children’s play, which was Jack and the Beanstalk.

Leonard Bernstein’s new musical, West Side Story, opened in Washington, D.C., in August 1957 and premiered on Broadway on Sept. 26.  In December, Music Man debuted on Broadway.  Also in December, the film Bridge on the River Kwai premiered in the United States; at the Oscar Awards ceremony held in March 1958, it captured Best Picture, and Alec Guinness was named Best Actor for his role in it.  Meanwhile Joanne Woodward earned Best Actress for The Three Faces of Eve.  But you’ll recall many other movies as well:  Peyton Place; Sayonara; Twelve Angry Men; Witness for the Prosecution; Love in the Afternoon; An Affair to Remember; Vertigo; A Touch of Evil; and Jailhouse Rock, starring Elvis Presley.  The first “rock exploitation” films hit the screens:  The Big Beat; Rock, Rock, Rock.

And, speaking of music, 1958 witnessed the last of the 78s and the first stereo records, which were introduced in March.  As rock-and-roll music took over the pop charts, radio stations adopted a new format, “Top 40.”  The RIAA certified its first gold record in March of ’58:  “Catch a Falling Star,” by Perry Como.  “That’ll Be the Day,” by Buddy Holly, #1 on Sept. 23, 1957, led a parade of popular music you listened to in your senior year:  “Honeycomb,” “Tammy,” “Wake Up, Little Suzie,” “You Send Me,” “At the Hop,” “Great Balls of Fire,” “All the Way,” “Sugartime,” Tequila,” “Lollipop,” “All I Have to Do Is Dream,” and even “Purple People Eater.”  But curiously, while rock dominated 45 rpm singles and Top-40 radio, the top albums were the Around the World in 80 Days soundtrack and Nat King Cole’s Love Is the Thing.

Meanwhile, on campus, you sang in the Gustavus Choir, or the Gustavus Singers or the Male Chorus, or the official College quartet or the girls’ trio, you played in the Gustavus Band, or the Gustavus Symphony Orchestra, or in pep bands . . .

On the literary front, Albert Camus was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1957.  Viking Press published Jack Kerouac’s On the Road on Sept. 5.  In April 1958 the late Jame Agee’s novel A Death in the Family won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction.  You were also reading Art Linkletter’s Kids Say the Darnedest Things, Bernard Malamud’s The Assistant, Grace Metallious’s Peyton Place, Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, and James Gould Cozzens’s By Love Possessed.

You weren’t yet writing any books, but a couple of you soon would.  Lois Walfrid Johnson turned her attention in that direction after one of her short stories won the Dwight L. Moody Award for Excellence in Christian Literature in 1969; since then she has published more than 25 books for children and adults and nearly 200 shorter pieces.  And Jim McPherson, author of more than 15 books—most of them on the Civil War—won a Pulitzer Prize in 1989 for Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era.

We loved our traditions and pageants—a good beauty pageant was a big deal and thousands watched on TV in January 1958 as Miss Colorado, Marilyn Van Derber, was crowned Miss America.

Meanwhile, you crowned Carolyn Lund (Sandvig) your 1957 homecoming queen.  Heather Peterson (now Davis-Peabody) had reigned as Frost Week queen the year before, and Nancy Jo Johnson (now Peterson) was the Lucia Queen in your sophomore year.

Two Andersons—Miriam (now Olsen) and Roberta Kay (Gardner)—led the Class of 1958 academically, both graduating summa cum laude.  Owen Sammelson was your senior class president.  In the years since your graduation, three of you have been honored by the Alumni Association with the Greater Gustavus Award, the highest award given by the association:  Bob Peterson (1978), Owen Sammelson (1982), and Phil Lindau (2003).  Eight of you have been recognized with Distinguished Alumni Citations for professional achievement and service—Jim McPherson (1977, in education), Lars Löfgren (1979, fine arts), Lois Walfrid Johnson (1983, author), Aaron Moen (1985, education), Judith Hanson Turnland (1988, nutritional science), Phil Lindau (1991, business), Herbert Anderson (1998, theology), and Marlys Johnson (2000, administration).

Among the grads (and those “x’s” who left St. Peter before finishing or received their degrees elsewhere but nevertheless gather over the years with the rest as the Class of 1958), 43 are no longer with us.  Of the 184 living and located, you tended to stay in the area, as 117 of you reside in Minnesota these days, while 67 live out of state (8 in Wisconsin, 7 in California, 5 in Arizona, and 4 each in Texas and Washington).  Traveling farthest to get to the reunion?  Judith Hanson Turnland, who lives in San Francisco, Calif. (1,900 miles according to Mapquest!).  On the other hand, Anders Björling, Dennis Erickson, Steve Hilding, Marlys Johnson, Bob Peterson, and Owen Sammelson all probably could have walked from their homes!

Most of you (i.e., around 210) married, around 50 to other Gusties (at least the first time!), including 14 who married classmates.  You had anywhere from zero to seven kids; 67 of you sent at least one back to Gustavus, and I’ve been privileged to meet some of them here.  More than 90 of you have returned for at least one of the events this weekend to renew acquaintances with each other—50 years later.