Class of ’70
March 2010

40-Year Reunion ― September 25, 2010

Dear Classmates,

My perspective on our 40th-year reunion is different from yours:  I’m not returning to the College to celebrate . . . because I’m already here.

Like you, I left the campus following our commencement exercises on May 31, 1970.  I went to grad school at the University of Wyoming for an M.A. in American studies, then spent six years with Dayton-Hudson in the Twin Cities before returning to Gustavus in 1977.  I initially worked in news services and sports information, then moved to student services as director of residential life, and spent the past decade back in college relations as editor of the Quarterly and director of publications.  I’ve lived in St. Peter and worked for the College for 33 years now, so I guess I’m qualified to highlight some of the changes you’ll note on campus if you return.

The first thing you’ll notice is that Myrum Memorial Fieldhouse, site of our commencement exercises, many a basketball game, and dust storms during indoor PE classes, is no longer there.  We built Lund Center in 1982 for athletics and physical education and razed the fieldhouse soon after.  Similarly, the Art Barn and all those less-than-soundproofed music practice rooms in the Classroom Annex came down once the fine arts departments occupied the Schaefer Fine Arts Center, a year after we left.

The library we knew was remodeled to be the home of several of the social science departments after our new library was dedicated in 1972—the same year that we finally replaced the fire-gutted Aud with the Carlson Administration Building.  But the old library is about to be repurposed once again when we finish our newest construction project:  a classroom building for some of our larger departments (including economics/management, communication studies, and psychology), for which we’ll break ground this summer.

What else is new?  Olin Hall for physics, mathematics, and computer science; a new campus center and dining facility; Carlson International Center and Southwest Residence Hall—we now have a west side to complicate the north-south residence split!  But gone is Johnson Hall, after the tornado of 1998 sucked all the mortar out from between the bricks.

One other significant development:  In 1973 volunteers led by botany professor Charles Mason and his wife, Harriet, planted saplings on fallow farmland on the west side of the campus.  Nearly 40 years later, we have realized the Masons’ dream in the 135-acre Linnaeus Arboretum.  Even if you don’t get into all of the newer buildings mentioned above, try to get out to the Arb—ideally on a guided tour with former campus naturalist Jim Gilbert ’62—to explore this great resource and revel in the season.

In spite of all the changes, Gustavus is still, somehow, Gustavus.  Some of the names may have changed, but you’ll have no trouble finding your way around—the bars downtown are in the same approximate spots, albeit under new management.  Herr Ludwig (languages) and Tim Robinson ’65 (psychology) may be the only faculty members from our era still teaching full time, but Doc Glass ’43 (biology), Bob Moline (geography), Bernhard Erling ’43 (religion), Vic Gustafson ’42 (phy. ed.), and Milt Brostrom ’49 (math) remain familiar faces on campus.  The influence and centrality of our fraternities and sororities may have waned, but some of the same groups are still active.  More students go home on the weekends to work part-time jobs, but it’s still a vibrant and supportive student community.  Come back for our 40th and check on your alma mater!

~Steve Waldhauser ’70

Did You Know?

We have a class webpage?  Check it out at http://gustavus.edu/alumni/class/1970/.  You can view our class letters, join our class Facebook group, submit news to the college about your life, review the reunion schedule, see news submitted by classmates and see who’s on the reunion committee.  Soon you will also be able to see who’s planning to attend the reunion!

Reunion Schedule:

Saturday, September 25, 2010

11:00 a.m. – Class Social, Hospitality Tent

3:30 p.m.   - Class Gathering, 5th Quarter Tent

5:00 p.m.   - Class Banquet, Campus Banquet Rooms

More Messages from Classmates:

A Winter Term project and production in January 1970 was “The Fantastics” January 23 and 24, 1970.  Produced by Ron Tarvin and directed by Judith Allen and Elsa Cornell Eckhoff ’61, the play has two acts, one “in the moonlight” and one “in the sun.”  It’s a story of how two lovers are kept apart by their fathers in hopes that they will fall in love.  The cast included Kevin Amundson ’71, Mary Moore ’73, Greg Ritter ’73, Byron Schwab, Ron Olsen ’71, Mike Stair ’73, Tom Clanton ’71 and Debbie Templin ’73.  It must have happened, the falling in love, but not as anticipated in the play.  I played the father of Louisa (Mary Moore) and little did we know at the time that we would get married a year later and we’re going on 40 years together.  However, another very memorable twist to production was the Auditorium fire.  We had finished a rehearsal in the Aud. only a few nights before opening and were awakened only hours later to find the Auditorium had burned to the ground.  Everything was gone but fortunately the set was not terribly complicated.  So, with the ingenious help of Elsa Eckhoff we were able to regroup and the production was performed as scheduled in what is now the Alumni Hall.

~Byron Schwab ’70

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I have many fond memories of my time at Gustavus.  I remember the end of my sophomore year my parents had let me have a car at school.  I was preparing to pack up my Plymouth Barracuda to drive home to Eveleth when Toni D’angelo ’69 found out she had no ride home.  We managed to get everything in the car with a lot of pushing and shoving.  It was packed from floor to ceiling.  I was worried we might get picked up because I could not see anything with the rear view mirror, but we made it back to the Iron Range for our summer vacation.

Also I remember my junior year the math department got a computer.  It was just a terminal hooked up to a computer that filled up a whole room at Honeywell in Minneapolis.  Any information we wanted to save was saved on a paper tape with little holes punched in it.  We sure have come a long way since then.

~Constance “Stancy” (Phillips) Walters ’70

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It’s hard to distill all of the memories into a few.  Checking out the Gribley; coffee in the canteen; both going to and skipping Chapel; Clair Johnson’s course which introduced us to Bonhoffer; mug nite at the Flame; intramural hockey played on an outside rink; wearing red arm bands at Graduation where President Nixon’s Secretary of Commerce was the commencement speaker, are just some that immediately come to mind.

One recollection that comes to mind involves Jon Wefald’s lectures.  Dr. Jon would outline his entire history lecture on the blackboard.  During his lecture he would begin a topic at one side of the room, lecture on the topic; and by the time he had traversed to the front of the room, he would conclude that topic.  Then he would start a new topic on this outline; deliver his lecture while continuing to walk back across the room to the completion of that topic.  On those warm, late spring afternoons, if one took a moment to “meditate,” you would always be able to find out where in his lecture he was by seeing what part of the room he was at.

~George Walters ’70

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As I reflect upon the forty years since our time at Gustavus, I am grateful for the difference that those four years made in my life.  As was I, many of you were recipients of college financial aid that was a major factor in enabling your educational experience to take place on our beautiful campus overlooking the Minnesota River Valley.  As costs continue to increase, hundreds (if not thousands) of students each year continue to rely on financial aid to enable them to attend Gustavus.  Or maybe you benefited from some other specific program or educational experience through Gustavus.

Through the endowment and through the Annual Fund at Gustavus, many students are recipients of financial aid and scholarships to help them afford their education.  If you have already given this year─thank you!  If you haven’t, please consider giving back to Gustavus this year in honor of our 40th reunion.

Over the past years we, as a class, have had up to 38% participation in giving.  Wouldn’t it be great to increase that to over 40% this year?  Have you seen the recent advertising on the inside back page of the Quarterly?  IF….you don’t think your gift of $25 makes a difference…THINK AGAIN.  What if the 62% of our class that doesn’t normally make a gift would donate just $25 this year?  That would raise nearly $5,000, a worthy investment when working together to support the school that we love.  Please join with me in making a gift this year─whatever amount you can afford!  Thanks for your help.

~Nina Malo West ’70

Campus News

Gustavus Announces Major Building Projects

At its Monday, Jan. 25 meeting, the Gustavus Adolphus College Board of Trustees voted unanimously to move forward with three major building projects.  The College will erect a new 125,000 square foot academic building with a large 3-story atrium at the center providing natural light to many of the spaces.  It will qualify for a “gold LEED” qualification as a green building.  This will develop a mall extending west from its iconic Christ Chapel.  It will house the largest departments on campus (economics and management, psychology, and communications).  Also, plans are under way to renovate A. H. Anderson Social Science Building.  Construction timelines for the projects are not yet finalized, but the College expects to break ground on the new academic building late this spring.

The effort is a significant early implementation step of Commission Gustavus 150, an innovative, constituent-based strategic planning process that has engaged hundreds of alumni, students, faculty, staff, and other stakeholders over the past year.  “These projects will greatly enhance learning and teaching, student recruitment, and institutional advancement for many years to come,” said President Jack R. Ohle.

Alumnus, Kurt Elling ’89, Wins Grammy Award

Kurt Elling, a 1989 graduate of Gustavus Adolphus College, took home his first Grammy Award Sunday, Jan. 31 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, Calif.  Elling won the “Best Jazz Vocal Album” category for his album Dedicated to You: Kurt Elling Sings the Music of Coltrane and Hartman. This year marked the ninth time Elling was nominated for a Grammy.

Elling typically performs annually at Gustavus and did so most recently on Oct. 10, 2009 in Jussi Björling Recital Hall.  He has also had the distinct honor to perform in front of President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama and their 350 guests at the White House State Dinner on Nov. 24, 2009.

Wind Orchestra Tour

The Gustavus Wind Orchestra, under the direction of Conductor Douglas Nimmo, has returned from a 15-day concert tour through Germany, Poland, the Czech and Slovak Republics, Hungary and Austria.  The Choir of Christ Chapel will be traveling to the Phoenix/Tucson area this spring.  On April 15 they will be at Lord of Life Lutheran Church in Sun City West, April 16 at All Saints Lutheran Church (LCMS) in Phoenix, and on April 17 at Lord of Grace Lutheran Church in Tucson.  For other campus news please check the website at www.Gustavus.edu.

Admission News

Applications for next year are ahead of where they were last year at this time which makes Mark Anderson ’66, the director of admission, very happy.  We graduated two very large classes in the last two years so we need to have somewhat larger classes in order to maintain our enrollment at about 2,500.  Mark Anderson will retire at the end of the academic year so a search is going on to replace him.  Gustavus has had only three directors of admission since 1950 (Howard Holcomb ’49, Owen Sammelson ’58, and Mark Anderson ’66) which is quite an amazing track record.

“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 speaker:  Amanda Nienow, assistant professor of chemistry will speak of her January term class “Chemistry & Crime:  Examination of CSI-type TV Shows & Real Life Forensic Science.”

Upcoming Events

  • Mar. 30 – New Orleans Chapter Event – Sheraton New Orleans Hotel
  • Apr. 10 – Gustavus Jazz Lab Band Home Concert
  • Apr. 11 – Gustavus Symphony Orchestra Home Concert
  • Apr. 22 – New York Chapter Event – The Core Club
  • Apr. 23 – Choir of Christ Chapel Home Concert
  • Apr. 25 – Boston Chapter Event - Bay Back Hotel
  • May 1 – Gustavus Choir Home Concert