Class of '65
January 1999

My turn has come around to offer some help in contacting you all via this treasured tradition of the class letter. Both Bev and Elaine are taking a break and they twisted my arm. I hope I can rally you all to open your hearts (and financial resources!!) to our dear old alma mater.

As you all know 1998 offered challenges to Gustavus and St. Peter that defy imagination. But the recovery continues at a truly remarkable pace. I have been traveling from Minneapolis down to St. Peter on a very regular basis (at least weekly) because my mother (Jean Larson '54) suffered a stroke in July. It was most likely delayed reaction to the stress of the tornado and recovery efforts. She is residing in the Community Health Care Center. We’re taking one day at a time, but have not given up hope that she will eventually regain a bit more independence, possibly back in her home just below the hill. But only time will tell. Lee Hagglund’s mom, Mildred H’30, is right across the hall and I had the pleasure to take both her and my Mom up to the St. Lucia celebration in December. We had a great time. They loved being back up on campus, even the lutefisk part.

The offspring are thriving. My son, Jason (a Hamline graduate), has given us a new daughter, wife, Jennifer, and a bouncing baby boxer "granddog," Max II. He is an officer on the Minneapolis Police Force. Daughter, Carrie, is a master barber (a great stylist, if I do say so) in Uptown and the mom of my adorable 4 year old grandson, Dominic. Our second son (via Don) is a video producer and cameraman who travels the country, mainly West Coast, in pursuit of an array of interesting projects. I took the big step a couple of years ago and quit my job at Hamline to focus on building my own business as a graphic designer and clay artist, "L Mac Design-Graphics & Clay." Husband, Don, took early retirement from St. Paul Public Schools and spends most of his time following the market and investing. He also teaches literacy part-time in St. Paul, which he really enjoys. With retirement and self-employment we have had the freedom to do a bit of traveling this year—Florida, Texas, Massachusetts, Vermont, Guadalajara, Reykjavik, Stockholm, Trondheim, Oslo, St. Petersburg, Tuscany, Paris, and New York, in several different trips, of course.

Now on to other news...

Carl "Chip" and Barbara (Holmgren) Edstrom have retired and are building their dream cottage just west of Northfield. Their new address: 6636 135th Street West, Lonsdale, MN 55046.

Jack Johnson is director of Summer Sessions, Continuing Education and the Master of Liberal Studies program at the University of Minnesota. Wife, Judy, has finished her class work, written her dissertation, and is teaching drawing at the University of Minnesota. She will be "‘Dr. Judy’ May 14 (& looking for work)." That’s a direct quote... Son, David, is a chiropractor and has a large sports medicine clinic just north of Chicago. Daughter, Anne, is an editorial assistant in pharmacology at the University of Minnesota and youngest daughter, Katie, finished her BA in voice at the College of St. Catherine and has just left for a year of adventure "doing" Renaissance Fairs around the country. I’m jealous... It sounds like a whole lot of fun!!

Dennis Kropp writes from Wisconsin that he has retired from teaching elementary school and has just been elected mayor of Menomonie (a city of 15,000, 50 miles east of the Twin Cities). Congratulations and good luck in your new responsibilities Dennis!

Karen (Nygren) Lanegran, Jan (From) Hanson, and Linda (Iserman) Schlossnagle sent this fun photo of themselves on the rocky shores of Lake Superior during their third annual summer reunion on the North Shore.

Sharon (Stueland) Olson’s, son, Brad is a senior in high school. Her daughter is teaching in Prescott, AZ, and is working on a master’s degree.

Dick and Sue (Hansen ’64) Rohloff report "the nest is empty!!" Son, Kurt, is a pilot in the Air Force, and sons, Jon and Todd, both play hockey—Jon in the San Jose Sharks organization and Todd with the Chicago Blackhawks. They go on to say that all their boys are college grads and that they "are finally grandparent to something besides dogs!" But what might that be guys? Now I could carry on for hours about my little grandson. We expect a full account on those grand kids next time around, OK?

It was great hearing from Jean (Brinkman) Seppelt. We’re old buds and it’s been years since we’ve gotten together. (By the time you read this, Jean, we will have had our lunch reunion!) She writes that she is renewing her teaching license to sub in art. Husband, Dave, has retired from insurance and is happily guiding when the fish are biting on Lake Vermilion. Youngest son, Jon, is in 7th grade (Mom often subs in his school.) Middle son, Mike, is a junior at St. John’s University. Sadly their oldest son, Paul, died in 1992 of IHSS, an undetected heart defect.

I decided I wanted to catch up with a few other classmates so I called Ann (Gustafson) Mallet, Lousie "Weez" (Woods) Rothrock, and Bill Holm. I could have gone on and on, but I didn’t want Ma Bell’s profit margin to soar too high. Here’s what I turned up...

Ann and husband, Marc, live in Vermont. She returned my phone message from Florida. They were getting a bit of respite from the snow of northern Vermont on the sunny beaches of Fort Meyers and environs. Marc is in real estate (they have a wonderful house that overlooks Mount Mansfield) and Ann is director of the county’s Home Nursing Services. She is struggling valiantly to stay ahead of new Medicare rules in the provision of home-based nursing care for the elderly. With my mom now in a nursing home, we had a lot to commiserate about. Can’t help but question the "real cost" of balancing the budget.

"Weez" (Woods) Rothrock has switched roles with husband, Gordon. She now works full time as a rehabilitation counselor for the visually handicapped and Gordon (retired from the post office) is reveling in full time gardening, cooking, and house husbanding. Weez said she delights in coming home to the scent of fresh-baked bread. Not too hard to take! They also love hiking in the mountains and Gordon enjoys doing volunteer maintenance on the Appalachian Trail. Daughter, Kristin, lives nearby and has taken a break from her work in ornithology—she’s tired of sloshing through wetlands counting birds—and is now working in a children’s theatre and loving it. Inga is a massage therapist in D.C. where she also teaches anatomy and physiology.

Bill Holm is home in Minneota. He is on a year’s sabbatical working on one, maybe two books. He (and Marcy) will soon be heading to the desert for some serious focusing on the writing. (No desert address to be included here, he’s got to work!) He did admit to some "playing" of late—the piano kind. He has partnered up with the conductor of the Southwest Minnesota Symphony and is enjoying playing music for four hands. One of my very fondest memories of Bill is his playing Scott Joplin on the virginal at Walker Art Center (about a hundred years ago). He and Marcy have a serious "travel bug." One of his new books is about islands to which they have traveled—Iceland, of course, but also Madagascar and Molokai. Go ahead look 'em up, or... wait for his book.

Before I get on to campus news, here is an update on our class agents/regular class letter writers. Elaine (Buck) Stenman and husband, Fred’s, big event this year was arriving in Auribeau (near Nice), France just two hours after the arrival of their new grandson, Demian, born to daughter, Sarah, and her husband, Harald. For the next two weeks they had a fabulous time grandparenting and, in their "off-hours," exploring the delights of Provence. Fred has retired so he also was able to take his mother for an extended visit with family and friends in Stockholm AND now in February they are heading to Honolulu to visit eldest son, Chris, who is a captain in the Army. Number one son is an architect in Minneapolis and youngest son, Joel, is a senior at St. Cloud. Elaine is still carving Minnesota scenes and she and Fred do a lot of traveling to art fairs and conducting woodcarving workshops throughout the Midwest. Elaine also manages an art co-op in St. Cloud. They do keep busy!

Bev (Nordskog) Hedeen is an administrator in Lakeview Elementary School in Robbinsdale. She and husband, Curt, are anticipating a wonderful spring break adventure on a yacht sailing with three other couples and a crew of three in the Caribbean. Are we jealous?? I think so!! She says all the kids are on their own and fine. She is rooting for terrific participation in the annual fund by all of you.

Campus news

Spring Semester started February 8 after another busy January Term. Once again, many students took advantage of J-Term opportunities with 127 on internships, 308 on study abroad programs, and 86 students studying at other domestic institutions. Progress is being made on construction of the new Campus Center due to be open in the fall of 1999. After a week and a half of classroom preparation covering the history and culture of South Africa, the Gustavus Choir participated in a concert tour of the country January 14-February 2. The Gustavus Band traveled to South Dakota, Nebraska, Colorado, and Iowa for their concert tour during touring week, January 30-February 6. Athletic teams are in full swing with all teams being competitive in MIAC play. Over Christmas break many teams traveled for non-conference games including men’s basketball winning a tournament in California, men’s hockey playing in Italy, and the swim teams competing in Bermuda.

Gustavus is once again in the news, making some national rankings. Gustavus ranked 12th among the top 22 leading small colleges in the nation providing active Peace Corps volunteers. Gustavus is ranked 15th in the listing of top 20 bachelor’s institutions that sent the most students overseas for international study during the 1996-97 academic year. Gustavus is ranked 18th of national liberal arts colleges in the number of National Merits with 17 students. Mark Anderson ’66, Dean of Admission, reports that applications for admission for the fall of 1999 are running 20 percent ahead of last year. The Admission Office instituted several new campus visit days in the summer and fall to account for the fact that few students could visit last spring. Alumni are reminded of the Alumni Scholarship Program ($10,000 over four years for children and grandchildren of alumni) available to qualified applicants. Call the Admission Office at 1-800-GUSTAVU(S) for applications.

It has been great fun putting this letter together. I loved having the excuse to contact some dear old friends. I can even probably be talked into it again next year, that is if I haven’t gabbed on too long here...

I’ll end with another cheer to "rally the forces" and up our participation rate in the annual fund. I know I haven’t been as great at contributing as I should have been in the past, but I’m getting down to business and doing it this time around so why don’t you all, too? Bev and Elaine join me in rooting for lots and lots o’ bucks from our class. And remember 2000 is our 35th reunion year! Why not all start planning on a campus visit now so we can have a bit more of a respectable turnout this time. Our 30th was fun but it would be a lot better if a few more of us show up! Let’s do it in 2000!!

Linda Larson McNary

1965 Guest Letter Writer