Class of '62
October 2001

Dear Gusties,

On September 11, 2001, airplanes forged from hate, fueled by high octane evil, and piloted by Satan himself attacked our nation, and we were all wrenched out of the age of innocence and hurled into an uncertain future.  Inured until now to the terror that daily plagues foreign lands, we've not had to think deeply about the freedoms we enjoy and the rational society in which we exist.  I know you are all aware of what problems lie ahead, just as we know that we will find our way back home―maybe no longer innocent, but spiritually stronger.

We are a resilient nation, full of good people capable of great things.  So many of these good people and great things come from Gustavus, which caused me to consider:  What would our world be like if everyone in it spent four years at Gustavus Adolphus College?  Here are a few chimerical scenarios I see.

  • Everyone who passed on life's walkway would smile and offer a cheery "hello."
  • All motorists would drive carefully and wave with more than one finger.
  • Washington female interns would be safe and exposed only to the inner workings of the representative republic, not the representatives.
  • Acts of kindness would not be random.
  • The drug of choice would be beer, preferably tapped from a keg and consumed in a leafy glen.
  • Absolutes and self-evident truths would make a comeback.
  • Spines would be more well-developed.
  • Games people play would only be for sport.
  • Per Winston Churchill, everyone would do the right thing―after having exhausted every other alternative.

And...

  • The twin towers of the World Trade Center would still be standing.
  • The Pentagon would remain inviolate, safely housing the defenders of democratic values.

If this brave new Gustie world sounds good to you, please put your money where your sentiments lie and help turn the fantasy into reality.  Like our national security system, our educational system has some serious problems.  From where I sit, the only way to fix those problems is to support schools that value values, teach teachers and produce producers.  The more actively we promote Gustavus, the character it helps to build, and the sense of purpose it instills, the more the world will begin to look like...well, like Gustavus! 

Oh, by the way, I'm back.  Judy Flom Rude Shoemaker Hill is here and ready to tell all.  I've missed the chuckles, the tears, and the success stories you have shared with me in the past.  Plus, it's time we gave Jan Swanberg Mousel a break after her years of devotion to keeping you all informed and oft-reminded of your devotion to the college that made us what we are.

I know we all contribute to countless charities, especially now, so donating money to a college some of you haven't seen in decades might not seem like a top priority.  Until you imagine the beauty of a world full of Gusties!

Let's begin at the beginning.  That is, the beginning of a shared life for the following newlyweds.  Seattle seems to be the current wedding capital for many of our classmates’ children.  Dick and Linda Johnson Blanding, looking as young and in love as the bridge and groom, saw their son, Eric, wed his lovely Kathleen at the Columbia Towers, on the 76th floor.  After an elegant buffet (at which the happy couple served favorite delicacies from their trip around the world) the guests divided their time between the dance floor and the ladies room.  Even the men, whose water closet was strictly pedestrian, were escorted in and out of the most inspirational "john" I have ever had the pleasure of visiting.  Individual chambers, complete with vanity and every possible product of ablution, were inspired by someone with a true concept of creature comforts.  One could get a serious case of hemorrhoids sitting there enjoying the spectacular view as the sun goes down on Seattle.  However, there is a downside (no pun intended), since savvy helicopter pilots are occasionally treated to the sight of more than one full moon.

Gusties, Ben and Ruth Ann (Johnson) Leadholm, Mark and Roz (Johnson) Anderson, and Audrey Kylander Kramer were there to join in the celebration.  Since it was impossible to say goodnight after such a wonderful evening of fine company, food and libation, we decided to close the hotel bar where we were staying.  We apparently were having way too much fun, because Ben, one of the brainiest guys I know, came close to counting his fingers and toes in an attempt to figure out the bill.  As twenty-dollar bills flew through the air, Ben threw up his hands in desperation and offered up his own credit card.  What a guy!

Gordy and Sharon Maurer Edberg of Seattle have new digs and a new son-in-law, both handsome, highly regarded acquisitions.  Their daughter, Kim, chose an island on which to vow her love, honor and all that good stuff.  I'll leave it to Sharon to give you more details about the wedding and the important work she is now doing.  The walls of the Edberg's new home boast an impressive art collection; the impressive painter being―Gordy!  He's an acclaimed architect, so I expected some drawing talent, but his paintings are so exquisite they took my breath away. 

Karen Noren Talle's son Alex was married at Salish Lodge, about 30 miles out of Seattle.  They chose the date of July 28 because it hasn't rained in Seattle on that date in thirty years.  Yeah, you guessed it.  The upside was that the reception was held in a gracious room warmed by a large cracking fire.  A waterfall cascaded below the deck and shot up plumes of mist, creating a magical scene that became even more ethereal as the lights came on in the city.  I paraphrased a bit but, Karen, your description was sheer poetry.  An extra bonus―John Engstrom performed the ceremony.

For those of you who now find yourself with some free time and no jobless children to badger or bankroll, have I got a job for you!!!  Karen Noren Talle has passed all the tests and will now be a docent at the Denver zoo.  Frolicking with the Koala bears and cuddling with the cute monkeys (at least the ones who don't pick at their privates with such obvious delight) would be a real romp; however, I'm not sure I'd want to get up close and personal with a Komodo Dragon, like the editor of one of our San Francisco fish wraps did.  His birthday wish was granted by his wife, Sharon Stone, who succeeded in convincing the Los Angeles zoo director that cozying up with a dragon was a nifty idea.  I'm not sure if the doctors were successful in reattaching the birthday boy's toe, but next year I'll bet anything he asks for a tie.

George and I were so intrigued with the docent idea that we considered applying at the San Francisco Zoo, but since that particular zoo encompasses all forty-nine square miles of the city, efforts to keep the inhabitants from savaging one another would be far too daunting a project.

Jan Swanberg Mousel passed along to me a letter from one of our classmates who says he's only a blip on our radar.  The blip is Mick Whirley Winston a name that could have come straight out of an Elmore Leonard mystery.  Mick arrived at school late, didn't get along with his roommate (anyone want to fess up to being that bad roomie?), missed his sweetie back home, and stayed only one semester.  My advice would have been to stick it out, but that was before he acquainted me with Clarice Faye, the little sweetheart back home, who on their 41st anniversary serenaded him with "Darlin" at the best little piano bar and road club in Emington.  Mick says that together he and Clarice have sown lots of seeds on the family farm (none of them children, however― although Mick avers that soybeans can go just as bad as kids), artificially inseminated countless cattle, and now, side by side, are bracing for an onslaught of Foot and Mouth disease.  Not disheartened, Mick bought a Donut Collection franchise in town, so he can work there in late fall and winter after the crops have been harvested.  Why, you ask, did Mick, after all these years, want to become more than a blip?  The answer is Jeopardy.  Seriously!  Mick met his friend Jake at Larry's Cafe one day, and Jake told him he'd just watched Jeopardy, and one of the questions was, "What is the last name of the liberal arts college in St. Peter, Minnesota that starts with Gustavus?"  Jake had always thought Mick's alma mater was "God Save Us Agustus."  Wrong, Jake!  But that's what brought Mick, Clarice Faye, Jake, and Larry to us.  I don't know about you, but I feel like I'm left hanging on page two of a riveting American saga?  Just one question for Mick―where the heck is Emington?  A good piano bar is hard to find.

Mary Jo Anderson Olson Kuhn (you're in danger of catching up with me in the name game, Mary Jo) met her new husband at an annual "Minnesota" dinner in Sun Lakes, Arizona, and now finds herself the step-gram to six-year old triplets, plus a five and two year-old.  Her own children are still in Minnesota:  one a dentist, one an RN, and one a dental hygienist.  Sure wish I had an "in" with that family.  If I could have had a discount on all of my seventeen root canals I'd be able to afford to travel as much as Mary Jo, who joined her Detroit Lakes choir friends for a tour of the British Isles recently.  They presented some concerts but, she insists, did not dine on the beef.

So, after hearing from Mick and Mary Jo, we now know where the beef is and where it isn't!!!

Rick Joseph, who is such an entertaining writer he should be doing this, is partnered in life as well as business with May Jane Meehan at Counselor Realty and Assurance Title, LLC.  He's a part-time assistant coach at Edina High, and a defensive coordinator of a minor league football team, the Minnesota Maulers.  If you want to see how he assists and coordinates, you may be too late this season, but check your local papers.  He's step-pop to three:  Patrick, a musician, arranger and instructor of the saxophone; Ann, a graduate of the University of Minnesota and intern at Minnesota Public TV's Almanac show, and Ted, a freshman at University of Wisconsin-Madison.  Rick's daughter, Wendy, is the sales manager for Broker's Title Company in Chicago and lives in the "Ukrainian Village."

If you want to hear about the periodic breakfast gatherings that Rick and his old buddies (like Hap LeVander, Pete Wold, Brad Pester, Norm Anderson, Bill Nordstrom and Dean Anderson) plan, contact John Kerry at the Kerry-Flicek Insurance Agency in Burnsville.  Nice ploy, John.  We call to renew old friendships, and maybe while you've got us on the line, how 'bout renewing an insurance policy or two as well.

See if you can guess who I'm quoting?  "My vision is to make a positive difference in people's lives."  A couple of hints:  He was a captain in both the Army and Navy Medical Corps, worked in Malawi, East Africa and the Philippines, and has seen approximately 100,000 patients and delivered 1,100 babies.  Being somewhat of a sleuth, I would have figured it out even before I got to East Africa, but for those of you who haven't kept up to date on his resume, I'll tell you.  It's Steve Hanson who, with a little help from Gayle (Garven), fathered Brad, Brian and Joel and who grand-fathered three grandsons with wonderful names:  Andrew, Eli and Gabriel.  He gained three step-daughters when he wed Oronah Ruth Hopper in 1993.  He promised Ben Leadholm, twice his best man, that this was the last time he would call on him for that particular service.  He says he still has work to do in the third world, though.  Steve, I'm still having trouble coping with the first and second.  Worlds, that is.

Gary S. Anderson is still a financial advisor for American Express and is still strumming, composing, and entertaining anyone within earshot.  Earshot would now be Penn Station on the north side of Minneapolis.  Or, if that's too far to drive for a Saturday night date, you can listen to one of his CD's, which Gary says got a couple of plays on Minnesota public radio.  Gary, no matter how many green olives and pepperonis they pile on my pizza, it will never taste as good as it did at the Pizza Villa, when you and your guitar made it all go down so easy.

Al Henderson might find commuting between Chanhassen and San Francisco a little more frustrating and a bit unnerving from now on, but he continues to manage three common stock portfolios for American Express.  His daughter, Emily, moved to San Diego County and teaches school there.  I see Al every once in awhile at Gustie events, and he's still the sweet, smart and sincere fellow he has always been.

Karen Hawkinson Summers, my freshman roommate, has made the most of her life and that of many others.  After 7 ½ years of working at a domestic violence shelter, she has moved to a new space―that of seeking interim pastor positions in churches in her area.  She describes her daughters as wonderful human beings who she is enjoying enormously.  The oldest, Kirsten, is finishing a graduate degree in second language acquisition and teaching while instructing full time at a middle school in Los Angeles―Watts, actually, which is not light duty.  She and her partner live in San Pedro.  Ingrid is living in France with her husband, Jean-Francois Duclos.  He is finishing some work to qualify him to work for the French government.  She has been learning French, her fourth language, while teaching English and writing her anthropology dissertation on work done in Russia.  Karen and her husband, Bill, visited with them in the south of France, then she and Ingrid visited relatives in Sweden.  Karen, I want you to know your old roomie has not been in a state of sight-seeing stagnation.  Just a few months ago, George and I took my mom on a bus trip to Reno.

Reverend Dick and Judy Samuelson Hane are enjoying their grandsons, Justin and Ethan Grant, and are already starting work on directing them to Gustavus.  Dick is in his 18th year as pastor for Salem Lutheran Church in Hermantown, Minnesota.  Judy is assisting oral surgeons (another contact I'd like to maintain; although traveling to Duluth with my tooth pulsating like a jack hammer might not be advisable), plus directing the Salem Senior Choir and the West Duluth American Legion Chorus.

Sandy Johnson Neagle thinks the "grandparent thing" is just too good to be true.  This is all thanks to her Gustie graduate daughter, Deborah, and her husband.  Annalisa Ruth is the name of the anointed one.  Sandy got together with John and Sandy Springer Smith in Fountain Hills, Arizona.  Gail Lindsey Breen and her husband were there too.  She also went to church and brunch with Roz Johnson Anderson in Carefree, AZ.

Joan Boyum Tavares wrote us from Greensboro, North Carolina, where the azaleas, dogwood and camellias put her in mind of a wedding.  How lovely that instead of pre-nups and divorce decrees, weddings bring visions of flowers to mind.  While enjoying the flowers she was humming April in Paris, where work took her for a couple of days last spring.  Her husband, Pedro, and all the sights and scents of that beautiful city were waiting for her there.

Rep. Geri Sparks Evans, DFL-New Brighton, escorted the Dalai Lama to the House chambers where he addressed the Minnesota Legislature in May.  In the Metro/State section of the Star Tribune it was noted that normally Geri and House Speaker, Steve Swiggum (a longtime friend of my family in Kenyon) are at each other's throats toward the end of the legislative session, but the Dalai Lama's presence created an unmistakable aura of harmony between them, at least for a few hours.  Makes sense that auras would miraculously appear along with the Dalai Lama.  When Geri isn't escorting dignitaries and working for lots of good and affordable stuff, like housing, health care, infrastructure, etc. she is working at the business office at Allina Health Services.  Affordable is an obsolete concept here in California, Geri, but good luck to you!

Curt Johnson is having a great time in his second career―real estate.  He's working for Re/MAX in Chaska as part of a team that allows him to continue teaching.  Even after 35 years he can't stop himself from filling little heads full of mush with kernels of knowledge.  Now he educates prospective home-buyers on how to buy a house.  His wife, Norma (Saari ’63), continues in her position as district media tech coordinator for the Richfield School District and reads wistfully about all her classmates who have retired.

Our condolences, however late, to Nancy Lundgren Atol whose husband, Dale, died in December, 2000 of a heart attack.  She's living in Esko, MN and works in sales, retail/wholesale trade at Dale's Custom Furniture.  Nancy, we sincerely hope you find the clouds parting and sun more often peeking through in the months and years to come.

Marcia Grann O'Brien, editor of the Rhode Island Narragansett Times, accepted The New England Press Association’s first place award for general excellence, second place for education coverage, second place for sports coverage, and third place for feature writing.  I would say that's a full sweep, wouldn't you?  I saw her picture in the newspaper and she still is as cute as ever, although she no longer sports the flip hairdo I so painstakingly taught her to style when we were seniors and flips were hip.

Joan Rahm Roy and her husband, Bob, are giving the kids in Deer Isle, Maine a real thrill by letting them ride on the their new tractor, which is equipped with an articulated bucket (my grandfather's couldn't utter one darn word), back-hoe, timber winch and chipper.  They use their super tractor for moving granite rocks and stumps, but anytime I hear the term "wood chipper" the movie Fargo comes to mind.  My advice to any bad guys in Deer Isle:  Don't mess with the Roys!!!

I'm going to be sending my contribution to Gustavus tomorrow, just to assure you that I practice what I preach.  The older we get and the colder the world seems to become, we are reminded of the importance of the friendships we made at Gustavus, the personal values, moral principles and ethics we developed, the faith we found and kept, and the knowledge we were given that one person can accomplish great things, and together we are unstoppable.  Let's tell our college and the world what's important by supporting these things in which we believe.  I believe in Gustavus.  How about you?

My warmest regards to you all,

Judy Flom Shoemaker-Hill

1962 Class Agent

Campus News from Gustavus:

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 10-course 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.