Class of '40
October 2000

Dear Classmates:

We are welcoming back as a Co-Class Agent, Evelyn Strom Pearson, who served as class agent (1980-84) and co-class agent (1985-87). (Evie took her first flying lesson on May 1st of this year. She did very well and will soon join the Hall of Fame ranks with the likes of Amelia Earhart!)

At the recent Class Agents' meeting on September 16th, two additional giving programs were introduced. One, from Lutheran Brotherhood is called, "Simply Giving;" the other was a new matching gift program from Aid Association for Lutherans.

We will be having Phonorama on the evenings of October 16 & 19. Harold Brunn and Carl Lofgren will man the phones on the 16th, and Evie Strom Pearson and Carl will be calling on the 19th. (Vivian Henjum Gruber would ordinarily be helping out, but she and Arnold ’38 will be touring New England and visiting family during the week of the 16th.) We look forward to these two pleasant evenings chatting with our classmates!

Campus News:

The 2000-2001 academic year opened with a record enrollment of 2,510 full-time students (compared with the previous record of 2,490 set last year), including 675 first-year students. When students arrived on campus in early September they were welcomed by the newly completed Carlson International Center/Swedish House, a new outdoor track/soccer field, and a newly completed Courtyard Café in the lower level of the Jackson Campus Center. This new café offers specialty coffees, bagels, pastries, and sandwiches, and opens to an outdoor eating area on the Johns Courtyard between the Jackson Campus Center and Lund Center.

Gustavus Adolphus College is once again ranked among the best of all national liberal arts colleges in U.S. News and World Report's 14th annual "America's Best Colleges" rankings. Gustavus is again in the top 80 of the overall quality listings for national liberal arts colleges. Ranked again in the second tier in the national liberal arts college category, Gustavus is one of only two Minnesota colleges included in the tier two listing and one of four Minnesota colleges ranked in the top 80.

Gustavus recently received the results of a comparative alumni survey that measures alumni responses to a series of questions about their college experience. The study provides comparisons to other groups of colleges including Lutheran colleges, member colleges of the Minnesota Private College Council and, most importantly, with large public universities. We will share with you results of the survey in class letters this year. A sampling of responses to remembrances of college academic life include the following:

  • Alumni agree that professors often challenged them, but also personally helped them to meet the challenge. Gustavus alumni agree 78%, large public universities 38%.
  • Alumni agree that a large majority of classes were taught by professors as compared to teaching assistants. Gustavus alumni agree 90%, large public universities 32%.
  • Alumni remember a high quality, teaching oriented faculty. Gustavus alumni agree 61%, large public universities 25%.
  • Alumni remember many small classes with fewer than twenty students. Gustavus alumni agree 50%, large public universities 9%.

Gustavus has received word from the Lilly Endowment that it was one of 20 awardees (out of a pool of 31 colleges and universities) of a $1,963,425 implementation grant. It is the largest program grant the College has ever received. The award will support a comprehensive initiative to more effectively carry out some key aspects of the College's mission statement and encourage theological reflection and moral questioning that forms character, shapes lives, and guides career choices. It will build upon the ethos and climate of Gustavus by supporting already-existing programs, adding new ones, and creating a center to coordinate and intensify those vocation-oriented activities. In doing so, it will provide students with the foundational tools necessary for a lifelong exploration of their calling and a lifetime of community leadership and service to others.

Christmas in Christ Chapel, Heaven and Nature Sing, is December 1-3. A ticket order form was inserted in the Summer Quarterly. Contact Office of Public Affairs at 507-933-7520.

News of Other Classmates:

  • It was only recently learned by the college, and we report with sadness, the death of Roger M. Gruss of Luverne, MN, on September 15, 2000.
  • Enid Martell Olson has retired from teaching and being an editor. She has been living at Green Lake near Spicer, MN where she is active at Faith Lutheran Church.
  • Hilda Benson Powicke and her husband, Michael , live in a retirement home (Douglas House) in Victoria, British Columbia. (Hilda continues to go sight-seeing in Beacon Hill Park on her "scooter.")
  • Gordon V. Anderson is vice-president of Greensward Village Condo #2, located at 501 Greensward Lane, Del Ray Beach, FL 33445.
  • Retired pastor, Paul E. Anderson lives in a mountain cabin in Hiawassee, GA., where he is occasionally harrassed by hungry bears! Paul and his wife, Joyce , do a lot of driving to visit family from Medelia, MN to south of Naples, FL and back again to their Georgia cabin. Paul’s grandson received his MD in 1998.
  • Martha Almen Peterson has often been a campus visitor and whose legacy to the college includes several generations of new Gusties, including Marty Peterson Diller , ’68 and now granddaughter, Martha .
  • Irma Olson Lundquist recently travelled in Sweden. (LaVerne and I often bump into Irma and her husband, Carl, around town, the airport, church, etc. They both seem to be in top shape!) Irma and Carl have moved from their Lake Minnetonka home to "easy living" on the Masonic Home campus in Bloomington, MN.
  • Martha Lundorff Wallin has been identified by this "reporter" in a class letter regarding her background and her dad’s farm, producing "rutabagas and potatoes." Her recent reply regarding the history of her farm heritage, re-printed in our last class letter, was very interesting and exceedingly well-received by her classmates. I recently learned from a reporter for the Pine County Courier that the Lundorff farm also produced "Sandstone’s Outstanding Citizen of 1999!" The following is excerpted from that news article of August 12, 1999:

"Martha Wallin (is) a very talented and diversified individual…Sandstone High School Valedictorian, Class of 1936…teaching degee, Gustavus Adolphus College, 1940….(taught) in Tyler, Canby, and Willmar, MN….joined the Navy during WWII and…taught instrument flying to other WAVES….master's degree in Social Work, University of Minnesota….(wife and mother of three children) and employed as a social worker in Minneapolis…and both Pine and Chisago Counties….House Mother in a sorority at Washington State University….A volunteer all her life….(In the 80’s at) the Pine County Health Care Auxiliary she began the "Good Old Days" group (giving nursing home residents) an opportunity to reminisce about their lives….From 1991-99 Martha served on the "Dollars for Scholars" committee….Original committee member organizer (and current board member) of Community Education….Member of Sandstone Flower and Garden Club (currently vice-president)….member of the History Club, Quarry Lions, Sandstone Park & Recreation Advisory Board, Sandstone Tourism and Promotional Committee….Sandstone School Board Member for 21 years…Sunday School teacher and Superintendent (plus) Stewardship & Evangelism Committees and Chair of Church Council, and active in churchwomen’s organizations Grace Lutheran Church….

Martha, somewhat uncomfortable with being chosen Senior Citizen of the Year said, ‘I appreciate it, but it makes you feel a little self-conscious, having that attention called to your life. I’m extremely thankful for the strength, energy, and desire that allows me to do these things and I pray for the continuation of that.’"

Well, this article speaks for itself. In a wonderful way it ends the saga of the "rutabagas and potatoes."

Very sincerely,

Carl Oscar Lofgren

1940 Co-Class Agent