Class of '40
February 2000

Dear Classmates:

We are thankful to Oscar Rolander for his following letter. I was engaging in a moment of old Gustie days campus reminiscing when Oscar came into my mental picture. He was pole-vaulting! (Remember: He was a very good trackman with lots of athletic ability). This mental picture prompted me to call Oscar and ask if he would share something with us. He was very good about saying, yes. Read on (and have him in our hearts and prayers.)

"For the Class Letter:

Writing this was prompted by a call from Carl Lofgren. It so happens that very day I had taken down a Scrapbook dated 1990 in which was featured a picture of the forty-seven of us at our Fiftieth Anniversary Class Reunion. Names of known deceased members of our class were listed also. Ten years ago there were fifty-one names on that list. Just reading the names of the classmates was enough to bring a lump in the throat. Time for that, come our 60th anniversary in May, just a few months away.

In the meantime, having read our annual letter that just came out, Carl called asking me to share some personal news that he thought would be of interest to you. Some three years ago I began to notice that my legs were not holding up on the tennis court despite increased dosages of pain pills. I finally hung up my racquet figuring my tennis days were over. A change of doctors brought about the attention of a neurologist and then a neurosurgeon and a four-day stay in Harborview Hospital.

I was diagnosed as having "hydrocephalus." That is usually associated with babies having large heads due to an excess of spinal fluid collecting in the area of the brain. Obviously, adults can have the problem too and, if diagnosed early enough, can be treated by surgery involving insertion of a shunt from the brain down through to the abdominal cavity, releasing fluid in measured amounts, bringing relief from problems with walking, balance, urination, and so on. The alternative was to look forward to having my wife push me around in a wheel chair.

To be sure, my recovery is not yet complete, but I have experienced considerable improvement. To be able to play tennis again may be expecting too much, but my quality of life has improved noticeably. So I am thankful and glad to share this news with you.

Although we don’t have ’40 Gustavians around, that doesn’t mean we don’t have at least one or two Gustavus alumni gatherings a year. Enthusiasm runs high at these meetings where we are the oldest alums present. Enthusiasm because of the top-notch young people coming to our part of the world and being an asset to the whole community. Good advertisements for Gustavus’s continuing ability to produce good people.

Oscar Rolander"

Thank you, "Occie," for your letter!

Mr. Oscar & Doris Rolander


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 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

We are planning on corresponding on a regular basis with all alumni who have e-mail addresses. Please send a message to 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:

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.

For those who can come, please plan on being with us to celebrate our 60th class reunion, May 26-27, 2000.


Carl Oscar Lofgren

1940 Class Agent