Class of '67
October 2003

Hello, once again, classmates of 1967,

I bring you greetings on another fabulous fall day in Minnesota!  I was on the Gustavus campus for the Class Agents' meeting on September 13 and it is so beautiful there.  I encourage all of you to make a nostalgic trip to your Alma Mater.

This has been a busy fall for our family.  Our youngest son was married on September 20 to a darling girl from Thief River Falls.  They wanted to get married at our home (risky in Minnesota at anytime of year), but we agreed and asked for lots of prayer.  The Lord blessed us with a perfect day and the poolside ceremony was wonderful, complete with hundreds of butterflies―a lovely surprise, provided by nature.  So, now all of our children are married and we can sit back and wait for more grandkids, one of life's greatest pleasures, for sure.

We had a class of '67 reunion of sorts at one of the auction meetings for the Gustavus Library Associates Royal Affair coming up on November 15.  Dawn Ekstrom Michael showed up from her summer stay on Madeline Island, Mim Sponberg Kagol has joined the GLA Board now that she is retired, and Marilyn Turnquist Hoch and Sandy Chandler Williamson were also there.  It's fun to be working on a worthwhile project with old (as in friends for a long time) and dear friends.  The Royal Affair on November 15 at the Radisson Hotel in Bloomington is such a fun night, that even though we'll be in Sanibel by then, I'm flying home just for that occasion.  It's too special to miss and you are all invited!!

After my last class letter (March 2003), I've heard from Denny Aguiar.  He reminded me that not all of us have older children.  He sent pictures of his adorable daughters, taken on a visit to Gustavus last fall.  Denny wanted them to see the source of his "college stories."  Toni, now 9, and Phoebe, now 7, were shown by the Red's rock and the Gustavus sign.  Thanks, Denny, for the cute pictures and the letter of encouragement.  Thank you, too, for your consistent and generous contributions to the college.  The Aguiars live in Leawood, Kansas.

David and Karla (Watrud) Buckner are still in Burnsville, where Karla teaches second grade and Dave is in management with Jones-Harrison.  Their daughter, Laura, was married last fall.

Gunnar Viljaste is president of Arrowhead Equipment Company in Duluth.  His son, David, will graduate this year from Gustavus.

Mary (Lipke) Rodning spent a wonderful summer in the mountains with young archaeologists working with Spanish and American Indian artifacts.  Quoting Mary, "I was able to learn about the process of archaeology which isn't necessarily written in books:  the sweat, drenching rain, chigger bites and thrill of putting pieces of the archaeology puzzle together over dinner discussions.  I also learned that I could still cook for a crowd, which I enjoyed."

Charles Peterson is a newlywed―congratulations!  He was married to Elaine Davidson last November and they live in Withee, Wisconsin.

Jon Tollefson received a Fulbright Senior Specialist award, which enabled him to travel to Croatia in July to consult on corn rootworms, which were recently introduced into Central Europe.

Joel '68 and Donna (Davies) Bexell are grandparents of identical twin boys born in Waconia last June!

Dewey Roach will be retiring this year as a school psychologist in the Phoenix area, but will continue to work part-time in the same school.

Margo Helgerson continues to live in Westhope, ND and is semi-retired as a cashier at Peoples State Bank.  She is also a bookkeeper for two different oil companies and a trustee for two large trusts.

That's it for official news, sent by you.  Wouldn't you like to know more of what your classmates are doing?  It's a simple matter of filling out the space on your donation envelope and sending it back to the Alumni Office.  While you're at it, put in a check, even if it's just enough to cover some of the postage costs.  Please, let's hear from more of you―that would be so great!

Best wishes to you and yours,

Karen Gruber Pagel

1967 Co-class Agent

P. S.  Now for some news from campus:

College opens 142nd Academic Year - More than 700 new students, including transfer students and international students, joined the Gustavus community this fall, keeping the total student population around 2,515. The retention rate of students from the first to second year remains at 90 percent.  These students will be taught by 198 full-time and 55 part-time faculty.  Gustavus was again ranked in the top third of the 214 national liberal arts colleges by the U.S. News and World Report.

The Alumni Fund Turns 50 - On June 30, 1954, the first Alumni Fund officially closed with 1,204 donors (32 percent) and $26,013, under the direction of the executive committee of Dr. Hobart Johnson '21, Dr. Edgar Carlson '31, The Rev. J. Millard Ahlstrom '34, and Ren Anderson '34.  Dollars and donors continued to grow and, under the leadership of Cec Eckhoff '56, alumni participation continually exceeded 50% each year, making Gustavus a national leader recognized with 17 national awards.  Alumni contacting alumni has been the hallmark of success; we depend on Phonorama volunteers to make the difference.  Help the alumni fund again reach over 50% participation by contributing before May 31, 2004, or by volunteering to make calls during Phonorama, October 12-16 and 19-23.  Do your best to participate in the Alumni Fund to continue the Gustavus tradition of strong alumni support and return the College to national recognition.

Sculptor Paul Granlund '52 dies - Paul Granlund died on September 15, 2003, the same day his exhibit Retrospective opened as scheduled in the Hillstrom Museum of Art on the Gustavus campus.  He was sculptor-in-residence at Gustavus from 1971-1996.  His figurative bronze sculptures are found in private collections and public installations nationally and internationally, including 30 bronze works on the Gustavus campus.  Retrospective will be displayed until November 9.

Alumni Board members selected - Seven alumni have been selected to serve a three-year term on the Alumni Board.  They are Liesl Batz '90, Minneapolis, senior vice president and director of marketing, Lakeside Investment Partners; Jan Eiffert Hoomani '62, Raleigh, NC, Realtor, JB Realty; Jim Malmquist '53, Scandia, MN, retired athletics director, Gustavus; Jan Ledin Michaletz '74, Edina, volunteer/homemaker.  Incumbents to serve a second term include Vivian Foyou '02, Mankato, graduate student, Minnesota State University, Mankato; Jason Sawyer '93, Plymouth, vice president, Cronin & Co.; and Dan Currell '94, Alexandria, VA, director of corporate leadership council, Corporate Executive Board.

2003 Hall of Fame inductees -- Nine individuals were inducted into the Athletics Hall of Fame on September 27.  Inductees were Val Flom Ashland '87 (volleyball), Wendy Ericksen Bachman '87 (soccer), Karen Ahlstrom Bishop '86 (gymnastics), Jay Coatta '87 (basketball and golf), Marv Gunderson '53 (football), Jim Hearn '81 (tennis), Dave Najarian '82 (football), Betty Wannarka Ringeisen '84 (basketball and track and field), and Larry Shelhamer '76 (soccer).

Gustavus Finishes sixth in Director's Cup - Gustavus finished sixth out of 395 Division III institutions for the 2002-03 Director's Cup announced recently by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics.  The only all-sports competition in intercollegiate athletics, the award honors four-year institutions with the best overall athletic programs.  Last year Gustavus placed 10th.

Chapel Program - The Gustavus Chapel program is one of the strongest in higher education averaging 350 students attending Daily Chapel.  In addition, there are many student-led programs including: Apprentice - students who are interested in being part of ministry and open to see where the Spirit might be leading; Christ Chapel Volunteers - assist in the ministry of Christ Chapel by ushering, carrying the cross and candles, reading lessons, writing and/or reading prayers, and serving as assisting ministers; Community Service Center Programs - one-time and on-going service programs; Fellowship of Christian Athletes - athlete or not, time for fellowship, worship, speakers, service projects and mission trips; Gustavus Youth Outreach - committed to sharing the Gospel and providing opportunities to serve by participating in off-campus youth ministry; Habitat For Humanity/Spring Break Work Trips - Habitat works locally and Spring Break Work Trip nationally to fundraise for and build affordable housing; Jewish Organization of Gustavus - for students, faculty and staff who were either Jewish or interested in the Jewish faith; Newman Center - dedicated to building a deeper understanding of the Catholic faith; Prepare - build a new generation of believers through mentors, mission trips, Bible study, prayer and worship; Proclaim - Bible-based contemporary worship and teaching; Taizé - a contemplative worship service of music, prayer, readings and silence; Wednesday Friends - visits St. Peter Regional Treatment Center residents weekly.

Don't miss A Royal Affair . . . pa rum pum pum pum - Gustavus Library Associates is presenting their biennial benefit for our College's Folke Bernadotte Memorial Library on Saturday, November 15, at the Radisson Hotel South in Bloomington, Minnesota.  If you have names for invitations (reservations are due by October 31), an auction item to donate (no later than October 15 please), volunteer time to offer, or if you wish to contribute financially to help defray expenses, we welcome your call today; Marty Penkhus, 507/388.5474 and Susan Wilcox, 952/944.5972, Co-Chairs.

Upcoming Events - call the Alumni Office at 800/487-8437

  • JFK Assassination 40 Years Later, presented by David Jones '83 and Political
  • Science Professor Chris Gilbert at Minnesota Valley Country Club, Bloomington-November 4
  • A Royal Affair, benefit sponsored by Gustavus Library Associates in the Twin Cities -- November 15