Class of '58
November 2008

Dear ’58ers,

Another fall, another year ends and begins.  We had a great reunion and year fifty-one may be slightly less exciting than fifty.  Your letters were made more interesting this past year by the contributions many of you made in sending paragraphs for the class letters.  A special thanks to those listed below for sharing some of their thoughts about Gustavus and their life journeys with us.

SONYA JOHNSON BERG, JOHN DAHL, LOIS WALFRID JOHNSON, ARLENE JORNLIN RAMBERG, SHIRLEY LUNDGREN KANNE, JEANETTE WESTBERG JOHNSTON, CAROLYN LUND SANDVIG, JOANNE NELSON MC CARTHY, MARK WIBERG, DON LOOMER, CHUCK BUSCH, ANDREA GRANT JANOUSEK, , JUDITH HANSON TURNLUND, ROBERT CHRISTENSON, KAREN MATTSON BRUNING, LENIDA JEPSON SANDAHL, NANCY JOHNSON PETERSON, AARON MOEN, MARLYS JOHNSON JOHNSON, SUSAN ELAM O’CONNOR, DENNIS ERICKSON and DON MILTON.  We hope that this interesting sample of our class will cause more of you to write a few words.  Or, if not, you will be left with the boring words of your class agents.

Two of our most distinguished classmates, LARS LOFGREN and JIM MC PHERSON made official visits to the college in early October.  Lars returned as the artist-in-residence as part of the college’s “Out of Scandinavia” Week.  This special week was initiated in 1989 to enhance the college’s academic programs, to develop stronger cultural ties with the Nordic countries, and to make American audiences better aware of Scandinavian contributions to the general field of the arts.

photoLars Lofgren is the former head of the Royal Dramatic Theatre (1985-97) and the Nordic Museum (1997-2001), both located in Stockholm.  He also previously served as head of Swedish TV Theater from 1968-83 and director of the same theater from 1963-68.  He is presently the Lord Chamberlain to His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf.  He has worked closely with Ingmar Bergman on several films and was the producer of the Ingmar Bergman Festival in New York in 1995.  He spoke of this connection with Bergman in his public lecture titled “Secrets of the Theater” and ended it with a series of film clips, taken behind the scenes in many Bergman movies.  These clips had never before been shown in America.  It was a wonderful evening and great to see Lars on campus.

photoJim McPherson was on campus October 13 to deliver the Herbert P. and Mary Jane Lefler Lecture; a program intended to enrich the academic experience for Gustavus students by bringing in outside speakers to carry on the Lefler family’s tradition of pursuing truth and integrity through curiosity, inquiry, discussion, teaching and learning.  As we all know, Jim won the Pulitzer Prize for his 1988 work, Battle Cry of Freedom:  The Civil War Era.

In his lecture Jim addressed Abraham Lincoln’s transformation into the greatest commander in chief in United States history.  Jim’s latest book, Tried by War:  Abraham Lincoln as Commander in Chief, was released in early October.  I just finished reading it and it is a fascinating story of Lincoln learning about military strategy, dealing with reluctant generals, experiencing the highs and lows of victories and defeats, all while con-tending with political factions of every stripe.  It was another great eveing!

photoCongratulations to BEVERLY DUNCAN ANDERSON on receiving the Christus Award from California Lutheran University at their annual Founder’s Day Convocation.  This award is given annually to individuals in recognition of the contributions they have made to strengthen the bridge between the Church and the University and/or who have made significant contributions to higher education in the ELCA.  Bev was the director of church relations at California Lutheran University from 1979-88 and returned to CLU in 1993 as assistant to the provost after five years as the area director for Lutheran Social Service of Ventura County.  From 1995-99, she was the regional coordinator for Region II of the ELCA and, more recently, the church relations associate for the Grand Canyon Synod and as a CLU Convocator.  Congratulations to a tireless worker in the vineyards of Lutheran higher education!

We were pleased that ALEXANDER NADESAN was able to attend the reunion.  Alex came to Gustavus from Indonesia in his junior year.  After earning a M.A. from the University of Minnesota in 1961, he moved to American University and completed his Ph.D. in international relations and organizations in 1968.  He then began a long teaching career in political science at Bemidji State University, serving as chairman of the department with visiting professorships in Indonesia, Malaysia and Japan.  He retired in 1999.  It was great to see him again and to learn more about his distinguished career.

Facts learned at the Class Agents meeting, now known as Volunteer Leadership Day.  Gustavus has about 25,000 living alumni.  Half of them graduated after 1986 and the youngest 25% completed their degrees after 1998, and in case you are wondering, the oldest 25%, but the best, graduated between 1922 and 1971.  Does that make you feel better?  We may be in about the 10th percentile, and yet, we look so good!

How about some news?  My apologies to JANET THOMAS PRITCHARD and JEANETTE WESTBERG JOHNSTON who were not on the list in the class letter of those attending the reunion.  We all know they were here and this was not my typo!  ELLWOOD JOHNSON missed the reunion, but was back in Minnesota this summer for a short visit, and he did take time to have breakfast with HERB LUNDEENMARJORIE MC KAY MILLER also was sorry she missed the reunion, but did enjoy a trip to South Africa, Zambia, and Botswana.  SALLY CLAUSEN TAYLOR reports that they sold their property in Mesa, AZ, where they had spent the last 14 winters.  They still live in Olympia, WA, where Sally volunteers for several theater groups.  CHUCK MAJESKE is enjoying retirement.  He and his wife, Florence, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary this summer.  (Congratulations, thanks for your gift to the Chapel Accessibility Project.)

I have permission from BOB PETERSON to inform the class that Bob fell this summer at the home of his son, Kip ’94, and broke bones in his hip.  After surgery, he was in therapy at the Bloomington Presbyterian Center and then in St. Peter, where he continues his recovery.  Despite this and his Parkinson’s, he continues to be a very positive person, keenly interested in all events at Gustavus.  Classmates may contact him at:  1215 Rockbend Pkwy, St Peter, MN 56082.

DON DYER has had back surgery and was unable to come to the reunion.  He retired 26 years ago.  LARRY RAY moved to Cokato to be near his daughter, after the loss of his wife last year.  Larry retired 10 years ago after 20 years at the State School for the Deaf and 10 years at the State School for the Blind, both in Faribault.  I was very sorry that he was unable to attend the reunion.  LOIS JUNGAS MARSTON has moved to Hugo, MN and continues as a registered representative and agent for New York Life.  ROBBIE ROBINSON finally retired from teaching English and coaching football and track in Mesa, AZ.  Well, actually, he will still coach football at Mountain View High School.  Wife, Kris (Anderson ’61) retired from Mayo Clinic seven years ago.

SONYA (HARBO) and SKIP TALUS decided not to return to Houston, TX immediately after the tornado, but did get home on October 5.  They had some water damage, but luckily their daughter, Kathy Talus Keyzer ’81 lives in Houston and was able to remove the soggy carpet, clean out the freezers and refrigerators and make it livable for mom and dad.  Power was restored after 12 days and they now have all new carpet.  Skip and Sonya celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary this summer in Minnesota.  We have not heard hurricane news from LINDA ECKBLAD KNOCHENMUS in Baton Rouge.  PAUL BORG and I exchanged political gossip before the election (we agree) and he was a bit more accurate.  He attended the alumni luncheon before the Gustie football game with Pacific Lutheran.

ANDERS BJORLING has completed his photography for the 2009 Linnaeus Arboretum calendar and it has been published and is available at the Gustavus Book Mark.  Anders just attended the annual meeting of the Jussi Bjorling Society in Washington, D.C. and is now making plans for a photo safari to Africa in February.  Anders hosted Lars Lofgren during his visit to Gustavus, as well as HERBERT ANDERSON, who represented Pacific Seminary at the inauguration of President Jack Ohle.

What do ALAN CARLSON, JOHN DAHL, JOHN JOHNSON, PAUL BORG and JIM MC PHERSON have in common?  They are all members of our class married to a member of the class of 1959, which could mean another reunion this spring!  I will buy lunch for anyone who wants to sneak away from the college luncheon!

The advancement office gave me the final numbers on our activities last year.  We raised $93,570 in gifts and pledges for the 1958 Class Endowed Scholarship, $42,340 in gifts and pledges for the Christ Chapel Accessibility Project, and an additional $21,400 in unrestricted gifts to the Gustavus Fund.  Our total giving of $2.4 million included all of the above plus several major bequests, capital gifts and the charitable remainder trust set up by ROLLIE and MARY HIRMAN, highlighted in the summer Gustavus Quarterly.  Thanks to all of you!  I am most proud that 80% of the class made a reunion contribution, 70% of the donors increased their gift from previous years and almost a third made a three-year pledge.  We encourage classmates to continue to support the Christ Chapel Accessibility and the 1958 Endowed Scholarship projects.

This is a good time to thank those who made a gift to Gustavus this summer and fall.  KAREN MATTSON BRUNING, KAY JACOBSON CARLSON, ROBERT CHRISTENSON, DICK EKLUND, DON ELVESTROM, STEVE HILDING, MARLYS JOHNSON JOHNSON, KEN JORGENSEN, HERB LUNDEEN, CHARLES MAJESKE, GLEN PETERS, NANCY JOHNSON PETERSON, BOB PETERSON, CAROLYN LUND SANDVIG, OWEN SAMMELSON, CAROLYN EISGRAU SEIDNERC, and ROBERT SHOGREN.  A great start for 2009!

I am reprinting HERBERT ANDERSON’S homily on Remembrance from the memorial service at our reunion for the benefit of those who did not attend and for those who wanted to hear it again.

“Reunions are for remembering.  We will spend the next few days remembering who we were and what we did 50 or 52 or 54 years ago.  We will be delightfully surprised and mildly embarrassed by what we have forgotten and what we remember.  When it is the 50th reunion, it is also the celebration of memory.  We cherish the gift of remembering because we know with more and more certainty that memory is a fragile thing.  Remembering is also a way of putting back together what has been separated.  We will hold classmates in memory differently after this weekend when we return to our homes because of this time of re-membering.  That is the power of making a memory.  We also remember those of our class who have died but are still part of the community formed by our re-membering.  In this memorial gathering, almost 2/3 of our class is present and remembered into a living story.

But there is more.  The biblical picture of God is that God remembers.  Even when Israel forgot whose they were, God remembered.  The Psalm (131) appointed for last Sunday is a bold reminder that forgetting is always as human possibility.  A woman may even forget her nursing child, the psalmist writes – “yet, I will not forget you says the Lord.  See, I have inscribed you on the palms of my hands.”  Remembering is what God does because of God’s gracious promise to hold us even as we forget.  It is not surprising that the plea from a dying thief was that Jesus would remember him.  You may recall a song from our era that expresses the same longing, “Do Lord, O Do Lord, O Do Remember Me!”  We may not have worried as much about being forgotten by God 50 years ago as we do now.  The promise that God remembers, gives hope and makes new life possible even in death.  Our names are written on the palms of God’s hands.  God remembers.

And today, so do we.  In a moment we will read the names of those from our class who have died.  And we will remember two in particular (Barbara Andrews and Phil Lindau) for who they were and what they did in our lives.  And we will sing a remarkable hymn written by an ancestor of Bud Boberg.  Some of our class died much too young.  Others left a name behind so their praises are still sung.  Others are remembered for faithful service or fabulous shops.  Still others may only be remembered by their children or by the people they loved.  These words from the 44th chapter of the Book of Ecclesiastics entitled “Eulogy of the Ancestors” provide a framework for remembering those in our class who have died.

 Here is the list of generous men and women whose good works have not been forgotten.

 In their descendents there remains a rich inheritance born of them.

 Their descendants stand by the covenants and, thanks to them, so do their children’s children.

 Their offspring will last forever, their glory will not fade.

 Their bodies have been buried in peace, and their name lives on for all generations.

 The people will proclaim their wisdom, the assembly will celebrate their praise.

So today we celebrate the lives of our classmates as we remember them.  For the moment, in this magnificent place, we are one community in memory.”

May 30, 2008

Thanks.  Send your news notes to either one of us.

Carolyn Sandvig

5901 Park Avenue South

Minneapolis, MN 55417

612-866-4845

Owen Sammelson

618 West Nassau

St. Peter, MN 56082

507-934-4790

swansam@hickorytech.net

Happy Thanksgiving!

Owen Sammelson

1958 Co-class Agent


Campus News

Presidential Inauguration

Gustavus Adolphus College inaugurated Jack R. Ohle as its 16th president on Friday, Oct. 3 in Christ Chapel.  Various inaugural events were held over a four-day period.  On Homecoming Saturday, Oct. 4 the celebration was capped-off with an Oktoberfest; a buffet-style dinner immediately following the Homecoming football game with about a thousand Gusties in attendance.

Twin Cities Gustie Breakfasts

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.  December’s presenter will be Steve Kjellgren ’86, director of dining services.  Here are the details:  Doubletree Hotel, Minneapolis-Park Place, 1500 Park Place Boulevard (Hwy. 394 & Hwy. 100) third Wednesday of the month - 8-9:30 a.m.  Cost is $10 per person.  Reserve a spot by calling Don Swanson ’55 at:  763-533-9083.

Nobel Conference ― Who Were the First Humans?

Nobel Conference XLIV held Oct. 7 and 8, 2008 focused on the first humans.  Presenters considered the full range of recent evidence about the first modern humans going beyond archaeologists and paleoanthropologists to the work of biologists, climatologists, geneticists, mathematicians, and psychologists who have been adding to the scientific database.

Need medical insurance?

Are you between jobs?  Self-employed?  Not covered by an employer health plan?  If you need health insurance you can find the right coverage for yourself and your family through the alumni association.  Whether you need temporary or permanent coverage, please visit http://www.meyerandassoc.com/health to learn more about the range of coverage options available.

The Linnaeus Arboretum's 2009 calendar is available now for purchase

The calendar features the photography of Anders Björling ’58 and phenological notes by naturalist, Jim Gilbert ’62.  You can purchase your copy for $16 ($15 for current members of Friends of Linnaeus Arboretum).  Please add $3 per calendar for shipping and handling.  Checks should be payable to Linnaeus Arboretum Calendar and mailed to:  Linnaeus Arboretum Calendar, Gustavus Adolphus College, 800 West College Avenue, St. Peter, MN  56082.  (Contact Shirley, shirley@gustavus.edu, 507-933-6181 with questions.)

Legacy Award for Gustavus admission

The Gustavus Legacy Award was created for new students whose siblings are current Gustavus students or graduates or whose parents or grandparents are Gustavus alumni.  Renewable awards of $2,500 per year are given to scholarship recipients who have a high school grade point average of at least 3.5 or an ACT of 26 or 1170 (Critical Reading + Math) on the SAT.  For more information, contact the Admission Office at 800/GUSTAVU(S).

Upcoming Alumni Events

  • Christmas in Christ Chapel – Joyeux Noel – December 5-7
  • St. Lucia Day – December 11
  • Twin Cities Gustie Breakfast, Steve Kjellgren ’86 — Dec. 17