Class of '64
January 2000

Warm Gustie greetings to my classmates,

Linda wrote the fall class letter, this time you’ll hear from Joanna.

It was great seeing so many of you at our reunion, which is now history by at least nine months. It was wonderful seeing those of you who could return either for Friday night or Saturday on campus. Good memories and good friends.

I also want to add my thanks to so many of you who supported Gustavus last year through your gifts. As you know, there are many ways you can give: the Annual Fund, the library, arboretum, and you can also designate for programs that meant alot to you. You have the satisfaction of knowing you are contributing and other, now much younger Gusties can benefit. Your gifts are a fine investment for the future; a generous response to the investment made for us way back when we were young students, and also a source of pleasure for the giver.

We have just a little class news:

Rose Ann (Skoog) Parks and husband, Jim, are parents of a Gustie graduate as of last May. Son, Christopher John, represents a fourth generation Gustavus family. This family tree includes Chris and his sister, Julie (graduated six years ago), Jim Skoog and Rose Ann, Melville Skoog, and Leppa John Skoog. What a record! Congratulations to the graduate and his parents who are now tuition free!

Gary Lunz retired from teaching in the Mankato schools.

Pete and Elizabeth "Liz" (Proeschel) Wold’s daughter, Molly, is getting married to Wade Sedgwick. No date was attached to that information, so perhaps that is old news.

Last Sunday’s Minneapolis Tribune "Variety Section" interviewed Nicky Kerpen Bredeson, who is a licensed family therapist in Edina.

My husband, Jack, and I attended Christmas in Christ Chapel last December. The theme was: "Even So, Come, Lord Jesus." It was Elvee’s final production and it went beyond his typically imaginative approach. The music was beautiful; the script from Revelations powerful, and it was absolutely superb. Elvee retires this spring.

Now, here is the campus news:

Gustavus fared well in two recently released national rankings that affirm its mission of preparing students for "fulfilling lives of leadership and service in society." Gustavus is the #1 small college in the Midwest for the number of its alumni that currently serve as Peace Corps volunteers. With 18 Gustavus alumni now in the Peace Corps, Gustavus ranks sixth in the national "Top 10 Peace Corps Small Colleges and Universities" list, moving up from 12th last year. This list comprises institutions that have less than 5,000 undergraduates. Gustavus is one of five Minnesota colleges named to the list of 30. The College also ranked 14th in the nation among baccalaureate institutions for the number of students it sends overseas. The annual ranking, released in December by the Institute of International Education in its "Open Doors 1998-99" report, was based on study abroad statistics from the 1997-98 academic year. Gustavus was one of six Minnesota private colleges to make the list of 20, making Minnesota the most active study-abroad state in the nation. During the 1997-98 school year, 286 Gustavus students traveled and studied abroad. Approximately 30 percent of Gustavus' graduating seniors have a study abroad experience.

Kresge Challenge met! Vice President for College Relations Dennis Johnson ’60 has announced that the fundraising requirements for the Kresge Challenge have been met, qualifying the College to receive $1 million from the foundation. The College was challenged to raise $4.3 million for the Campus Center, an Olympic-sized track, and tree replacement in a 13-month period ending Jan. 31. All three projects have been exceeded. The Gustavus Pride Campaign (campus employee campaign) was a key component in the success of the overall challenge. College officials are pleased that 60% of Gustavus faculty, administrators, staff, and retired employees made gifts and pledges to the College totaling more than $721,530 in the last year and 53% contributed in excess of $375,000 to the "Building a Greater Gustavus" campaign. This is very significant in that it not only helped meet the Kresge Challenge, but also demonstrates to the many foundations, philanthropists, alumni, and friends that the employees of Gustavus share the vision and mission of the College.

Construction on campus continues as the new Campus Center will be finished in February with the completion of renovating the former dining service building. Many offices will move to or have moved their new location in the Campus Center including Admission, Dean of Students, Student Activities and Residential Life. Construction of the new International House-Swedish House, a new residence hall/international center to replace Johnson Hall and the Swedish House that were destroyed in the March 1998 tornado, will begin this spring. Construction on an outdoor track and new soccer field stadium will begin this summer. If you have not been back to campus lately, you are encouraged to make a visit to see these exciting changes.

If you can not make it back to campus, but want to stay connected, check out the Internet site at gustavus.edu. The college is thrilled to recently have hired a web coordinator who has been busy updating the Gustavus home page. Look for more changes to alumni services on the web coming this spring.

Members Of The New Millenium: Knowing that we are in a technological age, we want to encourage all alumni to get involved and get online. If you have access to a computer and the internet, we hope you will check out the Gustavus Alumni Association homepage regularly. We publish information about upcoming events, post class letters, provide information about the Alumni Office, list e-mail addresses of alumni and more. Check us out under the alumni section at gustavus.edu.

We are planning on corresponding on a regular basis with all alumni who have e-mail addresses. Please send a message to alumni@gustavus.edu so we can get you on the list. (Be sure to keep us posted on any e-mail address changes, also.)

You are invited and encouraged to attend these upcoming alumni events:

  • Seattle G.I.V.E. project February 19 and Seattle Chapter gathering on March 2
  • Bay Chapter gathering March 4
  • San Diego Chapter gathering March 6
  • Los Angeles Chapter gathering March 7
  • Helen and Paul Baumgartner, Gustavus music faculty will perform two piano recitals in the Twin Cities on March 19, 7:00 p.m. at Wayzata Community Church, and on April 9, 10:00 a.m. at Cross of Glory Lutheran Church, Brooklyn Center.
  • Brainerd Lakes Chapter event with Jim Gilbert ’60 on April 13
  • Class of 1950, 50 Year Club, and War Years and V-12 reunions - May 27-28

A reminder that all other reunion classes (1955, 1960, 1965, 1970, 1975, 1980, 1985, 1990 and 1995) will have their reunions at Homecoming on September 29-30.

A new method of giving to the College is now available! Lutheran Brotherhood created a highly successful and popular program for Lutheran churches called Simply Giving and has just extended this opportunity to Gustavus and other Lutheran colleges. Simply Giving is an automatic bank draft program that allows you to make regular monthly gifts from a checking or savings account to the College. You do not need to be Lutheran to participate, there is no cost to you or the College for this service, and you can make changes at any time. For so many people, it is much easier to give $50 a month than to write a $600 check once a year. Please call Heather Nancarrow at (800) 726-6192 or (507) 933-7518, or e-mail her at hnancarr@gustavus.edu to request more information.

Do you realize that it has now been forty years since we were high school seniors and applied for college admission! That also means we haven been receiving mail from Gustavus for over 70% of our lives. How is that for an unexpected piece of trivia!

Wishing all of you an excellent year; good health, pleasant retirement (for some of you), interesting travels, satisfying challenges, or whatever else you are hoping for. Remember old friends and good times fondly and think kindly towards Gustavus.

Joanna Carlson Swanson

1964 Co-Class Agent