Class of '62
April 2005

Dear Gusties,

As your faithful class agent, I am observing the dictates of the job and sending my faithful classmates another newsletter, despite the fact that I have no Christmas card information to pilfer and not much news from you aforementioned faithful ones.

I do have some good news and some bad news.  Good news first: our Bay Area Gustie Alumni Gathering was a great success.  At the risk of sounding prideful, it was held at my home, and all the attendees were either young and gorgeous/handsome or older and exceedingly learned.  The room was abuzz with conversation and laughter, and it soon became obvious that age has no definition when Gusties gather.

Of course, our President is two years younger than we, so there was no denying our “long in the tooth” state of being, but everyone chatted as animatedly as if we were all freshmen again and eager to learn as much and as fast as possible.  Jim Peterson is personable and accessible, and at the same time presidential, in that he exudes excitement and confidence in the giant leaps of excellence our college can and will take.  What is now an excellent school will in five or ten years be the best of the excellent, if Jim has anything to say about it.  And he definitely has a lot to say about the merits of Gustavus Past, Present, and Future.

Sadly, Wahlstrom Hall is of the past.  It, like us, has too many cracks, crevices and falling arches to once again be made whole.  It’s coming down!  The new residence hall being built near the arboretum will be called Southwest Residence Hall: a right snappy moniker!  Our president assures us that the hall could be given a more illustrious name if one of us chose to fund its construction.  Just imagine:  LeVander Hall, or Wold Hall, or Kampen Hall.  Hill Hall sounds pretty silly, don’t you think? 

I had the temerity -- make that stupidity -- to ask whether all the dormitories were now coed.  The young Gusties looked at me as if I were asking if the dorm mothers still did breath checks.  Which, of course I did.  The looks were then sympathetic; the hostess was obviously beyond the pale.

Also, Old Main’s interior is being renovated, which is great news for those of us who believe even aged institutions can be salvaged.  I forgot to ask if there is still a “Hello Walk,” but I seem to recall that it too remains an institution.

It was so enriching to talk with our older alumni.  Orv Iverson and his wife were as astute and engaging as the Year 2000 grads.  They planned to trip off to Germany in the next couple of days, followed by visits to various states in the USA.  He was one of the brave and much welcomed soldiers who liberated more than 21,000 surviving prisoners from Buchenwald in World War II.  I was so proud to be in the company of this remarkable man.  To show how classy he is, Orv and his wife Mary sent a very thankful thank-you note only two days after the party.

I was delighted to find a note from Charlie Kampen in the alumni grab bag.  He retired from the practice of internal medicine on September 1, after being a member of the Grand Rapids Clinic since 1972.  Charlie said memories of Gustavus and instructors Art Glass, Karlis Kaufmanis, Arne Langsjoen and others loom large, especially around the Christmas season.  What a testament Charlie’s long and successful medical practice is to the power and glory of those great teachers.  Sadly, I was not smart enough to take such brain-intensive subjects, so I never knew his heroes.

Harvey H. Hanson has been filling in at his local parishes when he’s not gardening or reading.  How does your garden grow in Minneapolis, Harvey?  I heard the tomato season last year was a real bust.  Do you ever confer with Jim Gilbert?  What a horticultural hero we have in him!

Ted and Marietta Bittrich Johns were on campus at Christ’s Chapel in December and went on to Breezy Point in Brainerd with their children and eight grandchildren.  In February they traveled to Peru with Opportunity International doing Micro-Finance Ministry with the world’s poor people.  Knowing the two Johns’ dynamos, I’m sure the project is a hefty and worthwhile one, but knowing your class agent, Marietta, you should have further clarified “micro-finance.”  I’m pretty sure it can’t mean “little finance” or “miniature finance,” so, once again, I’m stumped.  Along with chemistry and physics, I also skipped economics and business administration.

One of my favorite people, Joan Boyum Tavares, says she is one of those classmates “still hanging in” instead of retiring.  That figures, since she loves her work and is currently managing the Women’s Leadership Program and the Coaching for Development Program at the Center for Creative Leadership in Greensboro, North Carolina.  She is also involved in two research projects: one on leading “across culture” and the other on “political behavior and leadership.”  Last summer she and Pedro took a trip to Paris, which is their old stomping ground.  It must have been an entire season of Aprils when she lived and studied in Paris as a Fulbright scholar, because it was there she met the charming and LUCKY Pedro and they both lived happily ever after.  After that magical and romantic trip down memory lane they traveled on to Lisbon, where many of Pedro’s family members live.  I will confess to adding the sappy stuff, but judging by the way Joan speaks of Pedro, I’m sure that’s how romantic it was and is.

Joan Eckberg has returned from her Peace Corps assignment in Lesotho, Africa and is now living in Edina in total bliss with her partner for life, who she has known since she was twelve years old and in Junior High.  If we implore her, maybe she’ll divulge his name and vital statistics in the next newsletter.

Pete and Judy Anderson Lindell are hoping to do an Elderhostel bike trip on the Gota Canal in Sweden from Gothenberg to Stockholm in July.  You still have time to get in shape if you want to join them, Gusties.

Pete Wold retired from Mosby Publishing but is keeping busy working a few mornings each week at Lund’s Food Stores.  Liz Proeschel Wold is working for Holiday Companies as a credit analyst.  The highlight of their life is spending time with their kids, Pete and Tami Wold and Molly and Wade Sedgwick and their grandkids.  Trips to Dodge Nature Center and the Minnesota Children’s’ Theater and Science Museum and playing outdoors with the children keep Pete and Liz feeling and young and happy.  That makes the Wolds far better grandparents than most of our friends, who speak loudly and often of feeling old and weary after a day with the grandkids.

Dick and Linda Johnson Blanding and George and I drove to Bodega Bay to visit with Bob and Joan Rahm Roy in March.  George and I watched the four of them from the large picture window in their rented condo as the four trekked down the rocky path to the ocean.  Sipping our wine, we lauded our fine-fettled, fit friends.  The Roys were taking a break from the Maine winter, but can never be too far from the water, so Bodega Bay was a perfect setting for them -- as it was for Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds.”  Don’t think I didn’t keep a sharp eye out for any unusual amassing of those winged fowls.

I look forward to hearing from more of you in the next months, and you may look forward to hearing from one of your classmates in the following weeks.  The Alumni Fund is currently down from previous years, but the economy is on the way up, and that means that your personal portfolio is as well.  That is the way it works, isn’t it?

I’ll pass this along to Jan to see if she has anything she would like to add.  If not, please take the advice I know she would give you: be generous to the school that made you one of the world’s good guys.  An envelope is enclosed for your gifts and news.

Sincerely,

Judy Flom Hill

P. S.  The Alumni Office will add some campus news here:

Campus Briefs
Gustavus has been known for its strong tradition of alumni participation in annual giving.  Gusties support their Alma Mater in many ways and show their pride with their gifts.  All alumni and current students have benefited from previous and current support.  Gustavus will be as strong as its alumni want it to be.  The 2005 Alumni Fund closes May 31.  Make sure you are included with many members of your class and other alumni that have chosen to keep Gustavus strong.  Three easy ways to give – send your check to the Alumni Office (by using the enclosed envelope), call 866-487-3863, or on-line at https://secure.gac.edu/giving/giving.cfm.

Alumni Awards
The Gustavus Alumni Association has announced 2005 award recipients.  The Greater Gustavus Award to George Torrey ’55 for his lifetime volunteer service and philanthropy to the College. Distinguished Alumni Citations to G. Barry Anderson ’76, Apple Valley, MN, associate justice, Minnesota Supreme Court; Deanna Nelson ’64, Cary, NC, president/founder, BioLink Life Sciences, Inc.; Rick Webb ’73, Edina, MN, owner of Ciao Bella, Zelo and Bacio Restaurants; and John Wirth ’75, Pacific Palisade, CA, writer/executive producer, Paramount Studios.  First Decade Awards to Joe Gaugler ’95, Lexington, KY, assistant professor, Department of Behavioral Science, University of Kentucky College of Medicine; Debbie Lightly Mascaro ’95, Fargo, ND, research scientist, North Dakota State University Center for Nanoscale Science and Engineering.

Sports
The Gustavus women’s hockey team finished third at the NCAA national championship after winning the MIAC title, the men’s basketball team won the MIAC regular season title and conference tournament and advanced to the NCAA national tournament, the men’s swimming and diving team won the MIAC title and placed seventh at the NCAA national tournament and had seven swimmers earn All-America honors and the women’s team had four swimmers earn All-America honors.

Extraordinary Students
Senior Rachel Batalden, a double major in mathematics and secondary education with a 3.898 grade point average and two-time MIAC All-Conference selection at setter for the women’s volleyball team, has been selected as one of 56 student-athletes from across the country to receive a $7,500 NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship.

Senior Paul Fraser, a music and computer science major has been selected as the winner of the second annual Caltech-Occidental Composition Contest for new music for concert band. The contest drew entries from all over the world, and as the winner, Paul will receive a cash award and a recording of the world premiere of the work at a concert by the Caltech-Occidental Concert Band in Pasadena, Calif., in May.

Bricks and mortar
Southwest Residence Hall
is being constructed across the Campus Drive from the arboretum on the west side of the campus and is scheduled to be finished by June.  The L-shaped facility is configured with apartments for four and six and will accommodate nearly 200 students.  A hostel space for summer programs and confirmation retreat groups is included in the residence’s plans.

With the new Southwest Residence Hall coming on-line, the College will be taking down Wahlstrom Hall to make way for future residential construction.  Crews will start the dismantling process in July with asbestos abatement, and the Kasota-stone residence hall will be razed in August.  Alumni returning for reunion and commencement festivities on May 27–29 will be able to take a last tour through the building’s public areas, stairwells, and walk-through sections following a “decommissioning” ceremony to be held on Saturday morning, May 28.

Construction crews working on the renovation of Old Main discovered a cistern under the basement flooring in March.  Gutting the interior has provided evidence of layers upon layers of remodeling done over the years, including an old stairwell in the middle of the building and what appears to be an attempt to raise the third-floor ceiling.  The Old Main project, which includes the installation of an elevator in the northwest corner of the building, is scheduled to be completed in August.

The education and nursing departments have been relocated to the newly erected Mattson Hall, which is sited just west of the Schaefer Fine Arts Center and Prairie View Residence Hall, on the south side of the campus.  These departments will remain there until a new social science center is built at some point in the future.

Upcoming Events

  • Association of Congregations Meeting – April 23
  • G.I.V.E. Community Service Day – April 30
  • Class of 1955 and 50-Year Club Reunions – May 27 & 28
  • Commencement – May 29
  • Alumni Fund closes – May 31
  • Reunions on Homecoming – October 7 & 8
  • Nurses Reunion – October 8