Class of '60
HAPPY 60th BIRTHDAY to all of us! Going like 60, that’s our theme. Well, some hit the 60 earlier than others, but I suspect a large number endured the turn of the decade wheel sometime this past summer and celebrated in amusing and not so amusing ways. Share your stories because all I write about these days are grandchildren and retirements.
We are grateful to be at this stage of life--still alive, in reasonably good health and, hopefully, with not all the wealth tied up in stocks. It is a good time in life when one can look forward to choices, freedoms and, of course, new challenges.
First, there is an addendum containing news briefs from the college, but let me tell you quickly that we are in the final stages of the "rebuilding effort." All physical repairs to the campus will have been made when the cross and spire return to Christ Chapel. That will happen on October 22 if the weather cooperates. We do have the largest entering first year class in the history of the school and we do have an undefeated football team as of this date. But you can read about that and more at the end of the letter.
To the mailbag:
He’s baaaack!! Jim Anderson, that is. Jim has returned to Minnesota after nineteen years of exile in sunny California. Jim and Diane live in Bloomington, just off of 494 and Highway 100. Jim is retired from the official roster of the clergy of the ELCA, but he is working part-time at Mount Olivet in evangelism. Let me share some press that Jim was given in California upon his leaving. This from the Redwood City Tribune:
A local clergyman, a former Redwood City mayor called the "Community’s Pastor," will be leaving next month for Minnesota. The Rev. James Anderson of Messiah Lutheran Church will officiate his last service at the southwest Redwood City church on August 30. "My pastor is leaving and I’m not happy," former Mayor Judy Buchan said jokingly, before turning more serious. "He will be missed terribly, absolutely terribly. He’s a wonderful man. If anybody is a supporter of Redwood City, it is Jim Anderson."
Anderson’s "kind" attitude is what many coworkers and parishioners will miss about him. "He is just the most kind, nicest man I’ve ever known," said Messiah’s administrative secretary, who worked 15 years with Anderson. "I know he’s my boss, but he’s also been a friend through the years."
Besides his involvement with Messiah, Anderson has been a fixture in the community scene. He was president of both the Redwood City YMCA and the Kiwanis, as well as being active in other civic organizations. "I told the people here I was going to tithe my time to the community," Anderson said.
Anderson has served at Messiah, his third church as pastor, since October of 1979. "I’ve enjoyed every moment of being in this community," he said, "because of the tremendous needs Redwood City has and the tremendous opportunities. I’m really grateful for the opportunity to serve." He said he is especially proud of the church’s children’s center, music programs, and programs to help the hungry and homeless. Said Buchan, "Jim can say more in a ten minute sermon than most others can say in 40. He’s just a really genuine human being, and the church and community will miss him. We’re a lot better that he passed by here."
Just in case St Peterites and other Midwesterners think we have a monopoly on the bad weather last spring let Tom Hedin enlighten you in a Christmas letter dated on Freud’s birthday: "Sigmund Freud’s birthday is certainly a date of rich sig (pun intended)nifigance for western culture, but it is not a customary extension of our Christmas season. It just happens to be the day when we found the box of Christmas greetings (yours and ours), and (sic) the Christmas letter we wrote. Our Christmas, all of our winter and much of our spring were significantly changed by the weather system known as El Niño (The Christ Child). We completed moving one hour before the arrival of Santa Barbara’s biggest storm ever: Noah-like rains, 85 mph winds, loss of all roads and services. We haphazardly mixed boxes and furniture in accomplishing the move. Surprisingly, it caused no serious damage to our ‘new’ home, but it seriously damaged the one that sat on my car. "We’ve moved, come visit."--Tom and Patty. Tom also reports that rumors of his demise are premature. It was close (his demise, that is) but he is alive and
well and anticipating another 50 years. In the process, Tom donated a tumor to the oncology clinic at UCLA, which was removed surgically. But follow-up treatments have given him great optimism. Tom is officially disabled and has closed his practice. He and Patty are living in Buellton--just two miles from Solvang--and he makes a great cup of coffee--so he promises to anyone coming close....
Also on the move is Nate Lundgren who left Augustana Lutheran Church (next to the Humpie Dome) after nearly 13 years. He is taking a new call to Gustavus Adolphus (we like the name) Lutheran Church in Foley, Minnesota. At age 60, Nate is up to a new challenge returning to a rural setting...Nate had been in Brainerd for a number of years prior to the Minneapolis call.
Jule Carlson Cameron wrote a great letter when she sent her gift for "Rebuilding a Greater Gustavus." Jule sent the contribution in memory of her mother and in honor of her father, "without their encouragement, support, and sacrifices during my college years, there is no way that I would have been able to benefit from a Gustavus education."
She also added, "I am confident that the Gustavus community will have moved ahead and be even stronger in spite of the disaster which hit it. The spirit of Gustavus has always been one of commitment. It is obvious from all I have heard and read that this spirit continues, and that the College will emerge from its testing and be better than it was. It makes me proud to be associated with such an institution." Thanks, Jule.
We offer our sympathy to Bobby Krough on the death of his mother Angie. I want to use a paragraph from Elvee’s Kingdom of Identity, to pay tribute to both of his parents:
"During the first eleven Gustavus years, Lee and Angie were house parents at Uhler Hall. We don’t call them that anymore; we now say ‘head resident.’ But that would not have described what Lee and Angie were: In-house parents who mothered and fathered and disciplined and encouraged and succeeded! How many of us have tried our hand at it over the years and no one has bettered the Kroughs! Their record remains in the collective memory of the college." --A short paragraph from Elvee’s sermon at Lee Krough’s funeral.
Roger Anderson has left his position at Luther Seminary to begin a two year interim assignment at Gethsemane Lutheran Church in Mapelwood (St. Paul). Roger has taken the training to be certified for interim ministry. Roger and Nita’s daughter, Laura, was married over the summer. Paul and Sheri Chell, uncle and aunt to the bride, were naturally present and their daughter was the violinist. Several other Gusties were present as well. The Chells live in Viking, Minnesota where Paul serves a parish.
Also marrying off a daughter last May in Knoxville, Tenn. was David Silseth. Dave is continuing his work with Lutheran Brotherhood in Norfolk/Virginia Beach.
Friends and neighbors celebrated Pete Nyhus' 60th birthday in August, not with gag gifts this time, but rather with money toward a tree for Pete's alma mater! What a great way to celebrate. Peter, unlike us, a tree is forever! Or, until a once in a century storm comes along! But, even then, people of spirit plant more trees for future generations. Thanks.
Retirements: (I have decided to make this a special section):
Karin M. Olson retired last May after 37 years of teaching in the Austin Public Schools. Her retirement plans include a tour of the islands of the South Pacific in Jan/Feb of 1999. And, lots of happy talk from those who have been there for a while, e.g. "I’m into my 10th year of retirement and enjoying every minute of it. Spending time with family, hobbies, some travel and time at the cottage."--Glen Wilson. Then there’s Margo, "We continue to enjoy an active retired life style. Had a great ski season."--Margo Pinney Cotton. All this talk about retirement in these pages inspired Jeanette Flury Ziegler to retire last summer. Jeanette spent 30 years in child protection and adoption. Jeanette has been involved in 175 adoptions including children from Columbia, Nicaragua, Korea, Vietnam and Guatemala. "It’s been a good life, but let the younger more enthusiastic generation take over now." Steve Smith also retired as a high school counselor in Hopkins. Steve was 1997 U.S. Golf Coach of the Year. His daughter Stephanie (x’91) was married in May. Anne Kilty Wiberg, and husband Mark, have also retired recently and are enjoying it! Roger Oster is not retiring, but he is protecting retirement money, in a way, for some of us, as he is responsible for an insurance program to protect American Express. Thanks, Rog.
In March of this year, Virginia Nelson Anderson wrote that she and Ray just returned from their first Caribbean cruise and are looking forward to a 6 week trip out west. That has, of course, already happened and if all went according to plans they saw along the way: Barb Lundholm Peppers, Beth Wray Anderson, Carolyn Alberts Holmquist, Linda Cole McChane and Muriel Woods.
Carol Nelson Coburn, who attended Gustavus during her freshman and sophomore years before transferring to the University of Colorado, sent a nice note with her gift from her home in Boulder.
Jackie Gimse also wrote last spring: "I am proud of the spirit of cooperation, sharing and community at Gustavus. I am aware that some of you lost homes as well as your offices. Mac and I will lead the 5 month term in the middle east in the fall (editor’s note: that means they are there now!). We will study in Turkey, Morocco, Egypt, Jordan and in Jerusalem for Christmas and interim." And, they will lead a continuing education program to Russia in June of ’99. Thanks, Jackie.
Joining the grandparent ranks are Al and Carol Magnuson Moberg. Their daughter, Stephanie, had a boy born last Valentine’s day. Carol writes, "We are privileged to enjoy him every day, since she works with us in the studio and brings him along. Such fun!" Al and Carol also wrote encouraging words to us following the tornado. A new grandson was also born to Ray and Sheila Ice Olson. The baby is a true Swede, named August (Gus) Lindberg. Ray is retired but does some substitute teaching. Sheila is still working but looking at the calendar and will perhaps join the ranks at the end of the year. Jim and Diane Anderson, mentioned earlier in this letter, also have a new granddaughter named Linnea, born to Scott and Kari Anderson. That’s four granddaughters for the Andersons.
Keeping on this theme: Darwin and Linda Knochenmus welcomed their second grandchild last May, 1997. David was born in Paris, France. They traveled to Paris to visit him. Darwin and Linda are also involved in an exciting program through their church which partners the Lutherans with a black Baptist congregation. "This has been a wonderful experience and has enlightened both congregations, religiously and racially."
Paul Tidemann is in his 18th year as pastor at St. Paul-Reformation Lutheran Church in St. Paul and continues to be enlivened in urban ministry. The congregation is one of 14 in the Saint Paul Area Synod working together in an urban revitalization project. Paul was recognized by the Saint Paul Area Synod for ten years of service as Chairperson of the Candidacy Committee. He also serves as president of and French horn player in the Northeast Orchestra that plays in the Fridley area. It's a group of people who love to play and range in age from 25-90. His wife, Janet ‘63, continues her ministry at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Minneapolis. Janet recently had a wonderful article published in the Minnesota Women’s Press entitled "Body and Spirit Wake Up Call" that reflects, among other things, on her life as one who has Parkinson’s Disease.
Dennis Johnson and Jim Anderson and spouses traveled to Lake Chautauqua in New York this fall to attend the Sesquicentennial Celebration of the founding of the old Augustana Synod. We were joined there by classmate Ann Wiberg and Mark.....other Gusties of our vintage included Ted and Marietta Johns. We were among the younger persons there, but it was a great celebration of heritage and faith.
The 1998-99 academic year opened with a record enrollment of 2,470 full-time students (compared with the previous record of 2,389 set in 1988), including a record 700 incoming students (compared to 648 of 1987). Contributing to the record enrollment is the stable 94 percent full-time student retention rate. Students returned to a campus that has been newly landscaped with 400 trees planted last spring and nurtured over the summer. They also discovered that 95% of all repairs made necessary by the tornado of March 29 are now completed. They returned to find Johnson Hall gone as it proved to be "beyond repair," but they also were greeted by a new College View Apartment addition, which houses 92 upper-class students, and the recently purchased Jefferson Avenue apartments (now known as Arbor View), which houses 60 upper-class students. In addition to new carpeting, painting, and furnishings, the campus is sporting 300 new state of the art computers for students and faculty, 28 new Steinway pianos (making us a member of a very elite circle of "All Steinway" campuses), 13 new high-tech multimedia systems for classrooms, new and upgraded outdoor and indoor athletic facilities, and new scientific equipment.
What remains to be done? The Prairie View Residence Hall, to be in place and opened in October, will house 60 students. It will be located west of Schaefer Fine Arts Center. Physically and symbolically the repair/restoration era will end with the placement of the spire and the cross back on the top of Christ Chapel. The spire will go up in sections over a two-day period and the cross is scheduled to be set on Thursday, October 22, weather permitting.
Students also noted the beginning stages of construction on the new Campus Center. This project, part of our strategic plan, was accelerated by the storm. The official groundbreaking ceremony will take place Monday, October 19. This $18.6 million, 51,000 square foot construction project will double the size of the Dining Service Building, providing students, faculty and staff with expanded and improved dining, meeting and office spaces. The Dining Room will, appropriately, be named for Evelyn Young ’33, longtime director of the Dining Service at Gustavus. In progress also is an addition to the Melva Lind Interpretive Center to house the Department of Environmental Studies.
US News and World Report continues to give Gustavus high ranking. This fall’s issue again placed Gustavus in the top half of the 162 national liberal arts colleges in the country. Gustavus is one of four colleges in Minnesota to be in this category. The others are Carleton, Macalester and St. Olaf. The other ELCA schools in addition to Gustavus and St. Olaf are Gettysburg, Muhlenberg and Augustana (IL). Many of the schools with which you are familiar are classified as either a "national" or a "regional" college. National liberal arts colleges have the most selective admission policy, recruit nationally and offer most of their degrees in the liberal arts. Regional liberal arts colleges are less selective in admitting students and grant fewer than 40% of their degrees in the liberal arts.
US News further honored Gustavus by ranking the College third nationally (out of 90 schools) in operating efficiency. This ranking measures academic quality and dollars spent to deliver that quality. Gustavus was the only Minnesota college ranked in this comparison of national liberal arts colleges.
Newsweek magazine’s college publication again listed Gustavus as a "buried treasure." These are colleges that are known as "Hot Schools, Cool Spots." The magazine describes Gustavus as a place where "Personal attention rules--can’t slide by here." Other buried treasures include: Davidson College, Davidson, NC; Grinnell College, Grinnell, IA; Pomona College, Claremont, CA; Trinity University, San Antonio, TX; and College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA. Good company, indeed.
Children of alumni continue to be honored for their academic achievement and potential when they enroll at Gustavus. The Alumni Scholarship of $2,500 (renewable to $10,000 over four years) is awarded to children and grandchildren of alumni with high school grade point averages of 3.5 or better, or SAT scores of 1170 or an ACT of 26. This fall Gustavus welcomed to campus 70 new entering students who are children of alumni. Sixty-seven legacy students were awarded an Alumni Scholarship. This number includes 54 children of alumni and 13 grandchildren of alumni.
Christmas in Christ Chapel is December 4, 5 & 6. The theme this year is The Holy Family. A ticket order form was inserted in the center of the Summer Quarterly and another form is enclosed with this class letter.
The Gustavus Orchestra will perform its Autumn Concert at the Ted Mann Concert Hall on the campus of the University of Minnesota on Saturday, November 14, at 7:30 p.m. The featured violin soloist is Siqing Lu, one of the most important Chinese violinists of his generation. General admission tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for students and seniors. Call the University of Minnesota Arts Ticket Office (612-624-2345) or Gustavus Ticket Center at (507-933-7598).
G.I.V.E. (Gusties In Volunteer Endeavors), a day of community service, was a huge success for another year. Alumni, parents and friends gathered on Saturday, October 3 to work together in the spirit of service to better their communities. An impact was made around the country as nearly 1,000 Gusties worked in nine cities including: Atlanta, GA; Boston, MA; Duluth, MN; Fargo, ND; Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN; Orlando, FL; Saint Peter, MN; Seattle, WA and Washington, DC.
Recycle your Quarterly – after reading each issue of the Gustavus Quarterly, we encourage you to "recycle" the magazine by taking it to your place of business or worship and sharing it with others. Spread the good word about Gustavus!
Alumni Chapters will be meeting in cities around the country near you! Mark your calendars today for the following Alumni Association chapter visits: Chicago, November 14; Atlanta, November 19; Washington, DC, November 20; Boston, November 21; Denver, February 1 (Gustavus Band concert); Fargo, Feb. 20; Seattle, March 5; San Francisco, March 6; Los Angeles, March 7; Phoenix, March 8; and Sun City, March 9.
Thanks for being in touch during the post-tornado days. The support and encouragement of many people has been important.