Class of '63
Dear ’63 Gusties,
Another busy fall. Time goes by so quickly. The College has already celebrated homecoming, the Nobel Conference, and a huge celebration regarding Commission Gustavus 150. I won’t take up space to describe that process. You can find a description at gustavus.edu. It is a process which President Ohle initiated to solicit input from almost 500 people across the country regarding their perspectives about Gustavus. The result has been a strategic plan to guide Gustavus over the next 10 years. You will be hearing much about as the months go by. Keep informed by checking the Gustavus website.
The fall semester began with a full enrollment. The goal was for 660 new students and 661 actually enrolled with included 631 first year students and 30 transfers. The ACT average keeps going up. There was quite a leap (over 5%) in the number of non-Minnesota residents. This is important for the future since the numbers of Minnesota high school graduates will diminish about 25% over the next 10 years. So keep in touch with your grandchildren who are living out-of-state and encourage their interest. You might also be interested in knowing that 13% of first year students are students of color, 48% are Lutheran, 90% of last year’s first year students returned and 80% will graduate in four years from Gustavus.
You might also be interested in knowing of the financial impact of the recession. Net tuition revenue declined because of an increase in financial aid. There was a decline in the market value of the College’s investments although in recent weeks the value has come back rather remarkably. We enjoyed a decline in interest rates on short-term funds. We have retained a very high bond rating which will be helpful as Gustavus will probably borrow some money to begin building a new academic building for the social sciences. Gustavus has a balanced budget for 2009-10, no positions were eliminated, there were no salary increments but family health benefits were improved. As a good friend of mine always used to report at the end of his treasurer’s report for LSS of MN, “we are in good shape for the shape we’re in!!” Many thanks to all of you for your continued support of the Gustavus Annual Fund. The total goal for last year’s fund was exceeded. Many of you have already responded with your gift for this year.
Just a reminder to Twin City residents of the program of Gustavus breakfasts which are held on the third Wednesday of every month at 8 a.m. at the Doubletree Hotel in Minneapolis. The programs are always interesting and it is fun to link up with other Gusties. JERRY RICE has been a faithful attendee. I encourage you to try it. The cost is $10 for the breakfast.
The Gustavus Library Associates (GLA) is again holding their Royal Affair “Shine” event on November 14. This is the best party that Gustavus throws. This year it is at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Started in 1978, this event includes live music, silent and live auctions, and a formal dinner. As a fundraiser, social gathering, and a celebration of the Folke Bernadotte Library, A Royal Affair continues to play an essential role in the growth of the library itself, as well as in the preservation of the library as a celebrated part of the Gustavus community. There are fantastic items on both the silent and live auction. You can register on-line at the Gustavus Website. Just search for the Royal Affair.
You may be interested in knowing that the Class of 1963 Scholarship Endowment Fund has a value of $57,451. Last year, based on the College’s spending policy, $2,217.00 was provided as a scholarship in our name. Nicole Meyer ’11 from Sparta, WI is the recipient of our scholarship. Nicole plays the trumpet and is involved with Proclaim. Proclaim is a student-led organization that began about 10 years ago. Students were looking for a way to have an evening worship opportunity. The Chapel staff helped the group get started with some supplies and instruments. Ever since then, every Tuesday night at 9 p.m., Alumni Hall is filled with the sound of contemporary worship. Nicole is heading towards a major in Health Fitness and a pre-physical therapy program.
You may recall an article in the Spring 2009 Quarterly which told of a special gift from BRIAN and JAN (HULTBERG) JOHNSON. Brian and Jan, in conversation with Kari Clark ’91, a Gustavus gift planner, concluded that they wanted to make a gift that would acknowledge their connection to Gustavus and have an impact on future generations of Gustavus students. They especially were interested in the Center for Vocational Reflection (CVR). The Center’s mission is to challenge and equip students, faculty, and staff to more intentionally reflect on their vocations, their callings to live out their distinctive gifts, passions, and senses of faith and meaning in ways that benefit their communities and help to address the world’s deep needs. Jan and Brian created an endowment where the earnings will help to support the programs of the CVR. Many thanks to Brian and Jan for their thoughtful, generous gift.
I am so grateful whenever I receive news from classmates. It is terrific when you just take time to type a few lines and send them to me via e-mail. From our Winona correspondent, CHRIS SWENSON WILMOT we got word that those 1963 Gustie nurses are at it again....gathered for an annual luncheon in Northfield on October 19th. Those attending were CAROLYN HELGESON LIEBENOW, PAT FINDLEY CASTO, SHARON SHAVER PINNEY, MARY SUNDBERG LARSON, CHAR LUNDAHL NORRIS, ADDY BLOTTER ROADFELDT, and CHRIS SWENSON WILMOT. “We had a grand time even though we didn’t quite get all the world’s problems solved.”
TOM ANDERSON announces that he is retired, but is working as a fulltime interim pastor at a church about an hour away from their home in New Mexico. GARY F. ANDERSON has also “failed” retirement. He and MARY ANN CARLSON ANDERSON spent six-weeks in Vilnius, Lithuania last spring serving a Lutheran congregation. CONNIE ROSEN EMERSON has also announced that she has retired.
TOM BOHN SENT THE FOLLOWING UPDATE ON HIS LIFE:
Good to hear that Gustavus had a good year and that strategic planning is alive and well. We have a new President at Ithaca─Tom Rochon, who was vice president at St. Thomas and we are engaged in the same process. I say "we," but it is more "they" as I am thoroughly enjoying retirement.
I did teach a course "History of Sport Journalism" this spring with our son, Pat, who just came back from Washington, DC where he interned and did freelance work for USA Today the past year. He is now writing sports for the local paper and staffing the sports editor desk three nights a week. It was an interesting experience team-teaching with ones son─students called me "Dr. Bohn" and Pat called me "dad." His more contemporary and professional perspective complimented my more academic/historical background.
Beyond that, keep busy with friends and family─ five grandsons from my two daughters with another one (sex undetermined) on the way. They both live in the Boston area so it is fun to see everyone at once.
I didn’t know Bill Holm ’65 died. That is sad. He lived next to me my junior year in the "new" dorm and he was always so full of ideas and energy. I kept up with his writing and particularly enjoyed his book "Landscape of Ghosts" with Bob Firth. He had a unique ability to make language "sing" in ways that brought back many good memories of Minnesota.
Yes, I am headed back to Cumberland for my 50th in July. We had a small class of 62 and 48 are still with us- so should be a good time. I am the MC for the evening and have been busy trying to coax some good stories out of classmates. We have even connected with a few folks who started high school with us but did not finish and they are joining us. Will spend some time seeing relatives (both Donna and mine) in Minnesota sandwiched in between trips to Stratford, Ontario for the Shakespeare festival. We have been going for 29 years and it is great theater.
Plans are for a trip to Italy in the fall if the economy doesn’t completely collapse.
BOB FRANSEEN is living and working in the Crosslake area and is affiliated with Edina Realty. He sent the following note:
I attended my 50th high school reunion in Carlton, MN last year and it was more fun and more enjoyable than I could have imagined. The planning committee had scheduled informal time so we had some time to share with each other. The "will I be able to recognize anyone game" was great. Most were still identifiable close-up─a voice, hair color (what remained). I hope yours goes as well. I had planned and wanted to attend the GAC reunion last year, but at the last moment I was unable to come. I, too, appreciate hearing of the contributions that classmates continue to make around the world. My Gustavus experiences and learning have had a huge impact on how I see and interact with the world.
It has also been fun to connect with MARCIA DAY ANDERSON who has served as a missionary in Africa for many years. I have included some of her previous communications and the following is one of the most recent.
My heart is full of gratitude for the past nearly four months. I met and renewed fellowship with so many of you precious partners in the Gospel and I have been so blessed and encouraged by our times together. I arrived back in Kenya August 8 and on August 10 made my way up to my home in Eldoret. I praise God that my work permit has been renewed. I needed to stay an extra day in Nairobi for this, but the speed with which this was done is truly a miracle. Please praise God with me!
A disturbing note to my return has been the sight of crops shriveled in the fields. This time should be the rainy season, but they have gone weeks without rain and while rain has come to us in Eldoret, turning everything a beautiful green, it is probably too late for the crops for many farmers. Please pray. The numbers of poverty-stricken people is growing. A missionary in Kenya for 53 years told me that when this happened in 1984, people were dying in her arms. She cried out to the Lord to show her what to do to help. She has founded 8 "Hope" centers which are run by Kenyans and financed by them─ 2,500 to 3,000 children receive education, there are feeding centers and clinics which are able to run on their own. Please pray that the Lord will show us how to respond to this crisis.
Please pray for Kathy who is harvesting the maize she has planted for her feeding center and that God will provide the finances she needs for this new ministry. We now have a new housemate, Christa, a German lady, who works at an orphanage a few kilometers from Eldoret. She is a cheerful addition to our home
One of my main tasks in the days to come will be to send letters to all students who have attended Discipleship College in the past. Now that diplomas are being received by our students, others will have hope, too. Please pray that our August 31 start will find our student body strengthened greatly in numbers.
I praise God for the wonderful response to our new Care Givers Certificate course. The original 18 have all returned, enthusiastic about what they have and are learning. I was told they meet together every night to "revise" their lessons. How blessed it is when brethren “dwell together in unity!" In this connection, please pray for the approval by the government of this shortened program. The next unit will be our own courses which need to be authorized by the Kenya Institute of Education.
James Kagari, our new academic dean, has truly risen to the occasion and done a great job in my absence. Having walked in my shoes for a few months, he understands why I wanted an extra pair of shoes to walk with me. To God be the glory!
Some of the photos I have taken of my trip are now on facebook. If you would like to have a look, please follow this link. http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2030783&id=1189708020&l=2a1e6d0714
That’s all the news for now. Again, many thanks to you for sending me some news. It makes my job much easier and also provides some interesting reading for classmates. My e-mail address is below. Thanks also to all of you who have responded to students calling from GUS LINK, the phoning program from Gustavus. I appreciate your pledges of support and the gifts which have already come in for the Gustavus Annual Fund. Your continued support and friendship are so important!
All my best!
Paul F. Tillquist
1963 Class Agent