Class of '65
February 2010

45-Year Reunion ― May 28-29, 2010

Dear Classmates,

It has been a long time since I did our class newsletter.  I vaguely recall once having made a promise to former Alumni Director, Cec Eckoff ’56 that I would not edit another one for 35 years.  So here it goes.  One common thread among us is the “R” word and I do not mean reduce, reuse, recycle, but retire.  Many of you also share information about children and grandchildren.  Instead of repeating this data I suggest we fill in the blanks: our ____ children and ____ grandchildren bring great joy to our lives.

I am excited about returning to the campus Memorial Day weekend for our 45th reunion.  I remember vividly the first J-term in 1964 when eight of us went to Chicago with Esby to study the church in the urban setting.  Divided into groups of two, it was the first time I ever ate or stayed in a black person’s home.  Our hostess had just become a widow less than two months earlier when her young husband died unexpectedly.  She and her young daughter set a huge feast before us, explaining it was the Thanksgiving meal they missed because of her husband’s death.  She asked one of us to carve the turkey, which her husband always did.  I had never carved a turkey, but tried my best.  That meal of hospitality was as holy as the sacrament on our altars.  Christ was truly present!  I will never forget how Gustavus made that possible.

Your reunion task force (Bonnie Borchert Ballard, Shannon Shawbold Foster, Janet From Hanson, Paul Hammar, Beverly Nordskog Hedeen, Ethel Lind Richard, Tim Robinson, Michael Sponberg, Gloria Johnson Spong, and yours truly) is diligently working with Kathy Erlandsen at Gustavus in planning a memorable reunion experience.

Now to take care of some details related to the reunion:

  1. Please send to Kathy Erlandsen (kerlands@gustavus.edu) a favorite remembrance of Gustavus.  Just begin with “I remember…”
  2. Please make a GENEROUS gift to the Annual Fund (www.gustavus.edu/give).  We have been our decade’s “95-pound weakling” long enough.  Ours is a great class and I think we should show it.  Jeanne (Mingus ’67) and I have had Gustavus in our will since we were married and have never missed saying thank you to Gustavus by supporting the Annual Fund.  With your gift, please give some pertinent information for the GQ.  So what if we were passed over for a Nobel Prize or an Oscar, it is fun to see what everyone is doing.
  3. When we receive our invitation to the May 28-29 reunion weekend, let us find a way to respond in the affirmative.  We need a great response so that we can have a “baseline group photo” for the classmates who stayed home (they can see how young and vibrant we look).  See who’s already planning to attend at www.gustavus.edu/alumni/class/1965/Attendees.php
  4. As of this writing we are in need of an organist for the May 28th 5:00 p.m. Memorial Service for our classmates.  Neither John nor Marlyce can do it, so we are open to your maid, butler, son, daughter, or others.  This person will have the privilege of playing the magnificent Chapel organ.  Let me know if you have a suggestion (atpraynplay@gmail.com).

Enough infomercial!

Class News

Michael Anderson is a semi-retired pastor (sounds like an oxymoron) in Michigan.  Jean Olmanson Andreen retired from elementary teaching in 1999 and with her husband has done extensive foreign travel, most recently nine weeks in India.  Chuck Berry lives in Bend, Oregon, where he is a retired VP of Continental Mills.  He is still swimming laps and enjoys snowboarding as a “gray on a tray.”

Caryl Weissenberg Best lives in West Chester, PA, where she is retired after being a stay at home Mom and after living in Hawaii for a couple years.  Olene Hanson Bigelow is the area director for the International Masonry Institute, where she conducts seminars and workshops for those in the construction trades.  She is very interested in building preservation.  Dwayne Daehler lives in Lafayette, IN and is retired from Our savior Lutheran Church.  Larry Estesen is a retired teacher from the Cleveland, OH school system and regularly volunteers with Habitat for Humanity.  Jackie Evarts is a criminal defense attorney in historic Boston, MA.  Dick Hawkins for many years was head of the Department of Sociology at SMU in Dallas, TX, but he says he is now simply an associate professor.

Allan and RoseAnne (Farmer) Hoekstra of Round Lake, IL are not far from where I live.  Need some printing done?  They run a printing business from their home.  RoseAnne retired as a middle school teacher (bless her) in 2003.  Luther Luedtke lives in Newton, MA and is President and CEO of Education Development Center, Inc (he always was a slacker).  Linda “Linder” Johnson Diller (no relation to Phyllis) lives in Encinitas, CA where she has spent the last five years in the business of moving senior citizens (anyone considering a move should contact her).  In February she is off to Vegas for the National Association of Senior Move Managers.

Sue Youngdahl Hogan and her husband have a seasoning salt business and have just added oil (olive) as their newest product.  Sue is also known as Pocketella, a children’s storyteller.  Loey Carlson Master lives in Eden Prairie after spending 16 years teaching for the Department of Defense, mostly in Germany and Italy (hey, somebody had to do it).  She spent the summer rebuilding the cabin where she spent her younger years.  Linn Ostberg is a retired social worker from the Minneapolis School System and says she is willing to help with the reunion.  Linn, how’s your organ playing?  Kathy Noyes Mayer lives in Burnsville and retired four years ago as a Northwest Airlines flight attendant.

Carol Moline Rodine retired from being a specialist in the media department at the Blake Schools in Hopkins.  Sandra Larson Fuller-Thielen lives in Minnetonka and is a retired special education teacher.  Has anyone seen Toni Tweet, who is MIA?  The last we knew she was in Hawaii.  If you have her address let us know.  In the winter she moves to warmer climes and is toughing it out now in Palm Desert.  Sandra “Sooty” Spaulding Welte lives in Rockford, IL (I was just there on the 26th) and is truly a world traveler, having been to all the continents.  She is studying photography, languages, and taking violin lessons.  In her spare time she is an active member of the National Marfan Foundation.  I recently moved from Colorado to Elgin, IL (everyone thinks we are crazy) after serving Holy Cross in Wheat Ridge for 15 years and 11 years as a Colorado Senate Chaplain.

Here’s an “I remember” and a note from Paul Hammar:

“Going to college was, to say the least, a mind-boggling, gut-wrenching, world-changing event for me.  My parents drove me to Gustavus for the start of my freshman year.  I can only imagine what was going through my mother’s mind when after many miles of silence she turned around and looked at me in the back seat and said, “Paul, watch out for the quiet girls.  They’ll get you in trouble.”  Needless to say I had no reply to that.  Behind those words of strange advice I felt like she was saying, ‘it’s your life now, don’t screw it up’.  I can’t say I watched out for quiet girls, in fact I can’t say that I met any ‘quiet’ girls at GA.  I did feel lonely, at least in the beginning.  The loneliness, however, disappeared when I found that it was a lot of fun leaving behind the role of a pastor’s kid in a small town.  I embraced the profligate student life with gusto.  It wasn’t that I rejected academics.  I was always curious and the professors at GA like Jack Clark and Gerhard Alexis and Floyd Martinson got my attention.  Frat life and the swimming team, however, dominated my interests.  I tried not to let my grades slip so far that I would face the embarrassment of failure.  Academically I hung in there, but sometimes barely.

I have always been immensely grateful for Gustavus.  I am grateful for its love of learning.  I am grateful that there was a community around me not just for the fun that could be had, but for the sense of belonging it gave me.  Gustavus was merciful to me.  I could have experienced some serious retribution for the sins of my decadent life but the college didn’t see itself in the role of handing down moral judgments on wild preacher’s kids.  It has been a great joy in my life to go back to GA and to show my support for all that it is and does.  I could have never imagined that for a couple of years it would be my pleasure to even be a member of the Board of Trustees representing the member congregations of the Association of Congregations.  I can’t help but support Gustavus.  I’d love to see many of you again at the reunion.”  ~Paul

Don’t forget your assignment #1 above; send a favorite remembrance of Gustavus to Kathy Erlandsen (kerlands@gustavus.edu).  Just begin with “I remember…”

Forty-five years have passed on by,

it is the truth, I do not lie.

One day we were in college sweating out

some paper due

and the next thing we are

wondering where the years flew.

Come to our reunion,

do not fret and stew;

I want to hear the wonders

God has done in you.

See you in May!

Arlyn Tolzmann

1965 Guest Letter Writer

Campus News

Gustavus gets High Rankings

Gustavus Adolphus College is listed as the 33rd best liberal arts college in the country according to a new set of college rankings released on Thursday, September 3, by Washington Monthly magazine.  The publication states on its website that schools were ranked based on their contribution to the public good in three broad categories:  social mobility (recruiting and graduating low-income students), research (producing cutting-edge scholarship and Ph.D.s), and service (encouraging students to give something back to their country).

Gustavus once again ranked among the top 100 liberal arts colleges in the nation in U.S. News and World Report’s annual college rankings.  Gustavus moved up eight places from last year’s rankings to 80th on the magazine’s “Best Liberal Arts College’s” list.  Gustavus is one of six Minnesota colleges that placed in the top 100 in this year’s rankings.  One of the measures used to capture the various dimensions of academic quality at each college is alumni giving percentage; therefore, participating in a giving program at Gustavus, regardless of amount given, is important to the College.

Health Insurance Available through Alumni Association

During this time of economic uncertainty, many of our alumni, new graduates, and their family members are in need of health insurance.  Short-term and permanent health insurance options are available through the alumni insurance program.  The program is typically promoted to new grads just before and after graduation, but in response to the rising unemployment rate and in an effort to help all of those in need, we’re spreading the word more broadly this year.  This is also perfect for children of alums who are graduating (even if they did not attend Gustavus Adolphus College) and aren’t yet covered under an employer’s health plan.  For more information, individuals can contact the alumni office or contact the program manager directly or 800-635-7801.

New “Make Your Life Count” Website and Facebook Page

Gustavus has created a new “Make Your Life Count” website that includes a variety of feature stories exemplifying the College’s new brand position launched last month.  The stories celebrate Gustavus students, alumni, faculty, staff, programs, events, and organizations.  The website may be accessed from the Gustavus homepage by clicking on the “Make Your Life Count” brandline (in the upper right hand corner) or by visiting makeyourlifecount.blog.gustavus.edu.  The “Make Your Life Count” stories are also posted on a new Facebook page.  Become a fan and share your own Gustavus story.  When new feature stories are published, they will be communicated on the Gustavus News Twitter, and you may also subscribe (on the Make Your Life Count website) to receive e-mail updates.  To submit a “Make Your Life Count” story suggestion, click on the “Submit your story” link or e-mail the Gustavus Office of Marketing and Communication at marketing@gustavus.edu.

“Come on You Gusties” Breakfast

Once a month, Gusties gather for coffee, breakfast, and great conversation along with a campus speaker.  All Gusties are welcomed and invited to the breakfast, third Wednesday of the month, 8-9:30 a.m. at the Doubletree Hotel, Minneapolis-Park Place, 1500 Park Place Boulevard.  Cost is $10 at the door.  Upcoming speakers:  Doug Minter ’79 Director of Student Financial Aid and Kirk Carlson ’95, Associate Director of Student Financial Aid – Feb. 17.

Upcoming Events

  • Feb. 9 – Destin, Florida brunch – Another Broken Egg Cafe
  • Feb. 17 – Twin Cities Breakfast – Gustavus Financial Officers
  • Feb. 19 – Tucson Chapter Event – Warren and Donna (Gabbert) Beck ’67 ’66 residence
  • Feb. 20 – Phoenix Chapter Event – Larry and Deone (Nordquist) Cartford ’59 ’59 residence