Class of '58
January 2011

Dear ʼ58ers

For those of you who remain in Minnesota for the winter, white is your favorite color and in great volumes; for the rest of you, everything you read and hear is accurate.  Remember when you were six years-old and the snowdrifts were over your head and it was so much fun.  Well, now in our mid-seventies, it’s all still true, except for the fun part.

We are honored that BOB PETERSON continues his description of his life work at Gustavus.  Bob still resides at Pheasant’s Ridge assisted living center in St. Peter and continues his struggles with Parkinson’s.  He celebrated his 80th birthday last October.  Is he the senior person in our class?  I can think of a few guys who might be approaching that number.  We would enjoy hearing from those who might be senior to Bob.

Bob wrote first in the November 2009 class letter and now continues his story.

“You may recall that in my 38 years of service to Gustavus, my first appointment was as an admissions counselor.  The late Howard Holcomb ʼ49 was a mentor par excellence during the two years I served in that capacity.  Then followed 36 years focusing upon designing and implementing a comprehensive development program at Dr. Edgar Carlson’s specific invitation.  His mentorship and that of Howard were of untold value in my growth in ability to serve Gustavus.

Within the college special opportunities for leadership were ever present.  They included a freedom to be creative and entrepreneurial and to take pride in having been a partner with some donors whose great giving has moved the college forward in significant ways, some of which will be noted later in this letter.  May I suggest that some illustrations will involve some classmates?  I will limit the number, but they will include, as well as others, those with a keen sense of generosity and stewardship that have been typical of our class.

Sam and I were privileged to be part of an exceedingly exciting time for Gustavus, for its students, faculty and all who value highly the inspired teaching of its faculty.  Please consider first the work of the faculty that is now teaching an increasingly able student body of around 2,400.  Then consider the growth in facilities (classrooms, labs, athletic facilities and total programs) during the last half of the 20th century.  Surely, one must consider maturing of Gustavus during this period as one of church-related higher education’s most exciting stories.  I credit Edgar Carlson ʼ30 for having the vision upon which others of us have had the privilege either to expand upon or indeed implement after he left the presidency in 1968.

Sam and I have been long-term colleagues at the college and are privileged to have been classmates together with you.  How deeply we have been encouraged by the sensitivity and generosity of you, our classmates in your service to Gustavus and in your great giving.  We suspect that our Class of 1958 will go down in history as the class that has given the most financial support to help transform the entire College in terms of quality and ability to serve in the period since the College observed its 100th anniversary.

In your service to the College at different times during the half-century since our graduation, the Board of Trustees has received especially thoughtful and dynamic leadership from four deeply committed, thoughtful members of our class.

PHILIP LINDAU (dec.) - Years of board service:  1988-1997.  He is the only member of our class to serve as chair of the Board of Trustees.  His service as board chair was accompanied by distinguished stewardship with his wife, Nancy that included founding of and endowing of the Lindau Symposium.

MARK WIBERG - Years of service:  1976-1982.  The first member of our class to serve on the board.

Mark and Anne and other members of his family are involved in providing endowed scholarships at the College.

KAREN HOLMEN HUBBARD - Years of board service:  1980-1986.  Karen’s support for Gustavus along with her husband, Stanley, through the Hubbard Foundation has been of exceptional help in several ways.

We particularly remember the leadership Karen gave to the funding of the engagement of professional advisors to the College at a time when it was especially important to determine the perception of the College within its various constituencies.  Her advocacy of significant funding for landscape funding following the tornado and her significant support for Gustavus Library Associates are also well remembered.

JIM McPHERSON - Years of Board Service:  2000-2004.  The distinguished historian served on academic committees on the board.  Jim and Patricia (Rasche ʼ59) continue to be generous donors to the Gustavus Annual Fund.

Four members of our class also served with distinction on the Alumni Board.  They include PHILIP LINDAU, BARBARA JENSEN OLSON, NANCY JOHNSON PETERSON and DONNA ELVESTROM SPONBERG.

Sam asked that I write about the nature of my work for the College.  When Dr. Carlson considered inviting me along with Rud Lawson to develop a comprehensive fund-raising effort, it would expand upon the generosity of the Minnesota and Red River Valley Conferences of the Augustana Lutheran Church and also upon the occasional gifts from other individuals.

The earliest giving to Gustavus came from the College’s immigrant founders.  The College’s major source of gift support, prior to the formation of the Annual Fund, came from the Church.  The Annual Fund was the brainchild of Ren Anderson ʼ34, the College’s vice president for alumni and development who retired in 1978.  Ren and his wife, Sylvia (Benzon ʼ36), were widely recognized for their work in the advancement of the College.  They organized the Annual Fund in 1954, the year in which we began our first year as Gustavus students.  The Annual Fund was established to supplement the generous giving of the corporate Church.  Although many alumni were giving through the corporate Church, additional giving from individuals was deemed necessary in order for Gustavus to serve its students.  You may remember from my first letter that I have used the word “partnership” on several occasions.  Use of the concept of partnership is absolutely key, in my judgment, to the exciting and impressive way in which Gustavus has become one of the nation’s finest liberal arts colleges.  And, it just gets better and better each year because of leadership that values partnership.  As I write, I think again of Dr. Carlson, who in 1968 moved to a new position as the senior officer of the Minnesota Private College Fund.  This was an important move for Gustavus because of Edgar’s visionary sense regarding leadership.  He viewed his appointment as an opportunity to increase “partnership” from Minnesota’s vast corporate presence on behalf of Gustavus as well as all of Minnesota’s private colleges.  He was right!

Sam and I have been exceedingly fortunate to be classmates with each member of our Gustavus class of 1958.  We have shared in your joys and sorrows.  And, we have come to a time in our life when we think especially carefully about that which we value most highly.  For me, family comes first, then comes church and Gustavus with all the promise that is implicit when one thinks about the complex range of influence that the people of the church and College have and will provide on behalf of American as well as international society.

Beyond family, church and Gustavus come my partners from working days and a listing of other causes that focus on helping people who are in need.  Your listing is perhaps similar.  Mine grows out of influences of family, church and college and my friends whom I love for helping me to become who it is that I am and who have influenced what it is that I now appreciate”

Thank you, Bob.  Bob can be reached at 1215 Rockbend Pkwy., St. Peter, MN  56082.  His phone number at his apartment is 507-934-3301.

I asked our 1958 Class Scholarship recipient, LIANA LIEN ʼ13, if she would update us on beginning her sophomore year at Gustavus.

“This year has brought many new opportunities!  I am now a member of M.A.G.S.  (Media’s Affect on Gender and Society); just started this year.  We hope to address self-esteem issues, eating disorders, and many other things brought on by the influence of the media amongst the Gustavus and surrounding communities.  Also, after a sporadic trip to San Francisco last summer, I decided to take an Experiment in Design course.  What a change of pace from the sciences I am used to!  I am also in macroeconomics, cellular and molecular biology and French; as I continue my biology major.  As the time to declare your major (and possible minors) rapidly approaches, I have decided to add French as my minor.  I love the array of classes I am in and can’t wait to see what else the New Year brings!  Thank you dearly for your help in making my dreams become a reality!”

I wish some of you could meet this remarkable young woman!  Our scholarship to her is relatively small because it is based on a 4.5% yield on a three year average.  The 1958 endowment stood at just over $90,000 at the end of the 2010 fiscal year.  Additional gifts and a good stock market should have pushed that amount closer to our first goal of $100,000.  It would be great to be able to give Liana a $5,000 scholarship her senior year.

            This might be an appropriate time to thanks those who have made a gift to Gustavus between June 1 and January 7.  Carolyn and I appreciate and thank these “early bird” donors!

BILL BINGER, ANDERS BJORLING, KAREN MATTSON BRUNING, CHARLES BUSCH, MIKE DALE, JIM EDMAN, DON ELVESTROM, MARLYS CHELGREN HEBAUS, LOREN HERBST, STEPHEN HILDING, ROLLIE HIRMAN, MERYL NELSON JESSEN, BARBARA ANDERSON JOHNSON,ELLWOOD JOHNSON, JOHN JOHNSON, MARLYS JOHNSON JOHNSON, EMILY HILDEBRANDT KULENKAMP, JODY SPRINGER LANGE, STAN LARSON, ROBERTA WALKER LORENO, MARJORIE MCKAY MILLER, RUTH RAARUP MITCHELL, DOUG MOE, BARBARA JOHNSON MORRIS, LEROY MUELLER, BARBARA JENSEN OLSON, GLEN PETERS, BOB PETERSON, BOB ROBINSON, PATRICIA TRENCH ROSENBERG, OWEN SAMMELSON, LENIDA JEPSON SANDAHL, CAROLYN LUND SANDVIG, HELEN MAGNUSON SCHULZ, ADE and DONNA (ELVESTROM) SPONBERG.

Given such a nice early start, we are at 22% participation heading to our annual goal of 70% of the class becoming donors.  Plenty of room for the rest of you!  We don’t use a gift total in non-reunion years, but we are off to a fine start with $19,677 in gifts to Gustavus.

How about some news?  Howard and MARJORIE MCKAY MILLER travels included a cruise to Alaska and the Yukon.  JANET OLSON GREEN paints watercolors and has two paintings on exhibit at this time, one at the Burnsville Center and another at Century College.  This past summer Janet and Dick had the opportunity to paint on Mallard Island in Rainy Lake.  The Oberhauser Foundation selects 12 people at a time to spend a week there, painting with other poets, writers and photographers.  Beverly (Duncan ʼ57) and ROGER ANDERSON traveled to Costa Rica last January, summered in Minnesota and Colorado and spent the rest of the year in the beautiful Sonoran Desert of Arizona where their lives abound with volunteer work, Bev at the Lutheran Thrift Store and Roger at Grace Church in Phoenix, with the homeless.

A number of classmates responded to Carolyn’s tribute to HEATHER PETERSON DAVIS-PEABODY.  Among them, KAREN LANGE THORPE, writing “I can’t believe Heather died−she, who was the most alive, full of vigor and I must say someone I envied for her looks, her enthusiasm and her joy of life−what sad news.  I haven’t been in touch much−my life has been busy (4 children) fulfilling (7 grandchildren) and a lot of sadness in losing my beloved Dick ʼ59!  I do thank you for the update on everyone, and if any of you get to the Bay area, please get in touch with me.”

CAROLE LAMBERT CAMERON writes thanks to Carolyn for her tribute to Heather and to both of you, “keep those class letters coming, it’s the only contact many of us have.”  I apologize to Rem for making her the President of WELCO, which she said sounded like the local gas station, rather than WELCA (Women of the Evangelical Church of America).  She is in her 24th year as president in spite of the fact that the constitution says one year, plus a second year at the pleasure of the Board, not surprisingly they keep her around!

An October note from PATRICIA MILLER PETERSON, “As I sit here on the southeast side of Tucson in the midst of a desert rain storm, I remember many things about Gustavus and growing up in St. Peter.  I was in St. Peter briefly in September to attend a reunion of the class of 1954.  We have recently returned from a visit to Norway, sorry, not Sweden, visiting relatives of my husband and also touring, our fourth visit to Norway.  We enjoy life in the desert and Minnesota sees less of us each passing year.  Rohl still volunteers at Saguaro National Park and I am still active in teaching beginning genealogy classes and chairing the group at our resort.  Thank you for all of your efforts in keeping us informed−really enjoy the email version!”

A word about mailing of the class letters; about half of you receive them by email.  The hard copies are sent by third class mail in the fall and winter and by first class mail in the spring (an anonymous donor pays the difference).  You can change your choice at any time by notifying the alumni office at Gustavus.

Old admission directors, like me, are delighted when our grandchildren select Gustavus as their college choice.  The last Quarterly had a photo of Eric Talus ’14 with his parents, Doug and Carol (Chell ʼ84) Talus ’83 ’84 and Eric, of course, is the grandson of SKIP and SONYA (HARBO) TALUS.  Great to see that tradition continues!

Another member of the class of 2014 is Kyle Hilding, son of Gregory Hilding ’81 and grandson of STEPHEN HILDINGSTAN LARSON has informed me that their grandson, Vincent Bartella has been accepted for admission to Gustavus for the class of 2015.

We encourage you to contact the Admissions Office at Gustavus when you know of young men and women who would benefit from a Gustavus education.  An interesting fact, I think, 64 members of our class had children attend Gustavus, even before the existence of alumni legacy scholarships!

A note from PAUL BORG, who keeps busy with racquetball, volunteer work, church choir, assisting a craftsman in building spinning wheels, two book groups, and quite a bit of occasional yard work and home maintenance.  (He makes me feel tired!)  But, he has also been elected president of their homeowner association and is now certified as a county Beach Watcher so he can engage in assisting research, monitoring of environment and salt water education.  Plus trying to get used to hearing aids!  (Now, I know he’s human!)

Edwin Berndt has informed us that our classmate, CHAR JONSON BERNDT, is in long term care as a result of Lewy body dementia, a combination of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.  We wish her peace.

Many of you share your health issues with us and ask that we not use them in the class letter.  We appreciate your sharing these issues with us and respect your right to privacy.  We are all at the age when physical issues are part of our daily life.  We hope you will continue to share whatever you feel is important for us to know, but do tell us what you do not want in print.  Knowing we all have some issues, I am particularly thinking of those many classmates and spouses that have Parkinson’s and remembering them in my prayers.

Someone asked me, “how have you changed as you aged (matured)”?  Certainly not as driven by work as I once was, certainly more at peace with daily life, not as cynical, but still seeing humor in many things, more appreciative of other people, thankful for my wife, children and grandchildren, and enjoying the miracles of each day.  I live with the thought of that well-known Minnesota philosopher, Kirby Puckett, who reminded us “God did not promise you tomorrow.”

And so, another letter comes to an end.  What can you do?  Send news to our addresses below.

Remember your college with a gift!  We have regular donors who give $10 - $25 and regular donors who give a lot more.  We love you all and want to hear from you!

Best to you,

Carolyn Lund 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.ne

Campus News

Gustavus Choir Tour

The Gustavus Choir is embarking on a tour of Italy this month.  The 57 student musicians, under the direction of Greg Aune, will travel to and sing at various locations in Italy Jan. 13-28.  As is the case with each Gustavus international music tour, it includes an educational component.  The students are learning about the Italian Renaissance in the month-long Cultures of Creativity course taught by Chaplain Brian Johnson ʼ80.  Joining the Gustavus Choir is a companion tour of 15 Gustavus alumni, parents, and friends.

Gustavus Wind Orchestra Tour

Under the direction of Douglas Nimmo, the Gustavus Wind Orchestra will tour Minnesota and Wisconsin between the January Interim and Spring Semester.  All concerts are free and open to the public.

  • Saturday, Jan. 29, 7 p.m. – Tornstrom Auditorium, Brainerd
  • Sunday, Jan 30, 3 p.m. – Central High School Auditorium, Duluth
  • Monday, Jan. 31, 7 p.m. – Wausau East High School, Wausau, WI
  • Tuesday, Feb. 1, 8 p.m. – Lawrence University Memorial Chapel, Appleton, WI
  • Thursday, Feb. 3, 7 p.m. – Schauer Arts and Activities Center, Hartford, WI
  • Friday, Feb. 4, 7 p.m. – St. Luke’s Lutheran Church, Middleton, WI
  • Saturday, Feb. 5, 7 p.m. – St. John Lutheran Church, Owatonna

The tour will wrap up with a home concert on Saturday, Feb. 12. at 2 p.m. in Christ Chapel.

“Come on You Gusties” Breakfasts

Engage with other alumni and learn something new about your alma mater at the monthly Gustie breakfasts.  New in January was the start of the breakfasts in St. Peter.  Minneapolis breakfasts are the 3rd Wednesday of the month, St. Peter breakfasts are the 2nd Wednesday of the month.

The speaker at both the breakfasts for February will be Tom Crady, vice president for enrollment management.  The Minneapolis breakfast is Wednesday, Feb. 16, 8–9:30 a.m., at the Doubletree Hotel Minneapolis-Park Place, 1500 Park Place Blvd. Cost is $10 at the door.  Reserve your spot by e-mailing the Office of Alumni Relations at alumni@gustavus.edu or by calling 800-487-8437.

The St. Peter breakfast will be Wednesday, Feb. 9, 7:30–9 a.m. in a campus banquet room in the C. Charles Jackson Campus Center.  Cost is $8 per person, or $15 for two, payable at the door.  Reserve your spot by e-mailing gustiebreakfast@gustavus.edu or by calling 507-933-7512.

Upcoming breakfasts include; Kate Knutson, political science professor, in March; and Warren Wunderlich, director of the physical plant, in April.

Chapter Gatherings

This year President and Kris Ohle have many travel dates planned in order to reach out to all of our alumni and bring them an update from the College.  Please mark your calendar if you live in or near one of these locations:

  • Seattle – January 27 – Pike Brewing Company
  • Tucson – February 8 – Warren and Donna (Gabbert) Beck ’66 ʼ67 residence
  • Phoenix – February 10 – Fired Up Grill
  • Denver – February 11 – Denver Athletic Club
  • Boston – March 2 – Henrietta’s Table
  • New York – March 4 – The Birdland Jazz Club
  • Washington, DC – March 5 – Council of Advancement Support of Education headquarters
  • Jacksonville, FL – March 26
  • Orlando – March 28
  • Tampa – March 29
  • Naples – March 30
  • Chicago – April 2