Class of '41
April 2006


Reunion dates ― October 6 & 7, 2006

Greetings Class of ’41,

It is time for the April letter to be sent to the Alumni Office.  I have one letter from the first eight classmates that I requested news from, which I will include here.  Thank you Lucille Samuelson Agard.

My attending Gustavus came from the influence of Evelyn Strom Pearson ’40 and Bob Strom ’40 who I met at church in Mankato where I worked as a nanny.  I also worked at Artcraft Studio, manually developing film; memories of those years at Gustavus are among my most treasured!

After three years at Gustavus I obtained my teaching certificate and taught in a one room country school near Kanawha, IA, then intermediate classes in Union, IA before I married Kenneth Agard, a clerk telegrapher for the CNW Railroad.  We have just celebrated 64 years of marriage!  I had a home in Wayne, NE while he served 22 months in Japan and the Philippines during WWII.

On his return we settled in Iowa―buying our home in Ames, IA with its excellent school system and Iowa State University.  Three of our six children are ISU alumni―one from Mankato State and two on to California.  Two grandsons at ISU now.  Time was at a premium for me during their growing up―following our four sons in athletic endeavors and our two daughters activities―along with church activities.  I taught Sunday school and was active with women’s groups.  And I did substitute teaching in the Ames school system.

During the ’80s and ’90s we had many wonderful vacations with our three California families, plus enjoyed bus tours through most of the United States and Canada, five times.

My Samuelson family clan, of which I’m historian, has afforded bonding and travel.  Have our round robin letter, family calendar and annual reunion.  My Washington brother hosts at Seattle, Vancouver and Rosario at San Juan Islands.  My California brother hosts at Lake Tahoe.  My sister (deceased 2000) hosts in Albuquerque and Angel Fire, New Mexico.  My Texas sister shows us San Antonio history and Dallas.  My Iowa brother and I entertain in Des Moines, Ankeny and Osceola.  Our clan has grown to 155 with about 50 attending reunions.  My Nebraska brother entertains in Omaha and Kearney.

When I left Mankato to attend Gustavus, my parting gift from Artcraft Studios was a Brownie Jr. box camera.  From then on I’ve realized photos are a wonderful window to the past; and I’ve accumulated over one hundred albums, large and small.  Always have plenty of subjects with 12 grandchildren―and eight great grandchildren.

My hyper acute hearing limits me being around people or music; but am thankful for our nearby city library, our two mile daily walks, being able to keep up our own home, enjoying roses and vegetables from Kenneth’s garden.

The blessing of family and friends keeps one young!

“Sammy,” Lucille Samuelson Agard


Dennis Wicker dropped a line about his cruise to the Mexican Riviera.  Thanks Dennis!  If you ever get to the Borrego Dessert, give me a call.

Enclosed please fund a check for the Annual Fund.  Sorry to hear Pinky is not able to continue our class letter.  She has done such an outstanding job and I personally will miss her annual call for pledges.

Have just returned from a week cruise to the Mexican Riviera, with stops at Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas―a wonderful trip on a beautiful ship (Sapphire) from Princess Lines.

Dorothy Benson Klotz dropped me a note in January, which I will also include.  She has friends in Hopkins who are luncheon buddies.  She writes:

Dear Charlie,

Thanks for the letter regarding class of ’41.  I noted in my “memory” booklet from our 50th anniversary that my little snippet stopped around 1988.  Glory Be!  That’s many long years ago already!

During my “official” retirement years from education in Minnesota (31 years) my children have become middle-aged; I have spent a few months in a nursing home because of a fall; I am now richly blessed with the ability to walk well, talk well and―drive well, though preferable not far a field.  Praise Be!

My church activities at Minnetonka Lutheran Church keep me just busy enough to keep me out of mischief.

I’m a “lady who lunches.”  My luncheon friends are from my church, my 12 years at the University of St. Thomas, and former-teaching colleagues.  My paths have not connected very often with Gustavians, so my letters from “Pinky,” over the years have made me feel in touch!

My thanks to her and to you!


Dorothy Benson Klotz

Thank you writers for adding to this class letter.  The next eight classmates that I would like to receive some message or letter from are:

  1. Maynard Carlson, Peoria, IL
  2. Bessie Hobart Chenault, Austin, TX
  3. Jeanette Anderson Eide, Brooklyn Park, MN
  4. Ray Erickson, Salem, OR
  5. Robert Esbjornson, St. Peter, MN
  6. H. Gerald Floren, Minneapolis, MN
  7. Clint Gass, Greencastle, IN
  8. Walter Gonska, Riverview, FL

Marian “Pinky” Swanson Johnson will be writing a letter before our 65th Anniversary from Gustavus and the end of the Fund Year in May.  So get ready and try and make it back for May 26-27.  Remember to give to the class fund.  The Class of ’41 has always been right up at the top in alumni giving.

As Always,

Go Gusties,

Charlie Lusk

1941 Class Agent

Campus News

The Alumni Board met on campus in February and made the final selection for the Alumni Awards:

Greater Gustavus Award:  Gustavus Library Associates, for providing financial resources for Folke Bernadotte Library, and engaging and introducing alumni and friends in the mission of the College.

Distinguished Alumni Citations:  Karen Bossart Rusthoven ’66, St. Paul, MN, founder and principal of Community of Peace Academy, St. Paul; Susan Semple-Rowland ’77, Gainesville, FL, professor of neuroscience, University of Florida and director, Neuroscience IDP Graduate Program; and Magnus Ranstorp ’85, St. Andrews, Scotland, chief scientist at the Centre for Asymmetric Threat Studies, Swedish National Defense College; and a Senior Honorary Research Associate and former Director of Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland.

First Decade Awards:  Rebecca Konrad ’96, Washington, DC, investment officer, global transaction team, The World Bank International Finance Corporation; and Milo Martin ’96, Philadelphia, PA, assistant professor, Department of Computer and Information Sciences, University of Pennsylvania. 

The awards will be presented on Commencement Weekend or Homecoming Weekend depending on the recipient’s schedule.

Gustavus Checks

Show your Gustavus pride every time your write a check.  You can now order checks with Old Main, Three Crowns, or the Gustavus football helmet at:

Gusties Helping Hurricane Victims

A group of 23 students spent three weeks during January in Mississippi aiding in the clean-up and rebuilding efforts of a town hit hard by Hurricane Katrina.  The group was student-led and sponsored by Men’s Christian Fellowship at Gustavus and coordinated through Lutheran Disaster Response.  While there the students provided many services, including clearing houses to the bare structure, rebuilding homes, working in kitchens, distributing supplies, and working in pastoral care, child care, and medical clinics.  The group was housed and fed in a “tent city” on the grounds of Christus Victor Lutheran Church.  This was one of the several vocation month experiences from which Gustavus students had the opportunity to choose.


Nordic Ski Team senior Erich Ziegler had a first-place finish among collegiate skiers in the15K freestyle at the NorAm SuperTour stop at Telemark Resort in Cable, Wisconsin.  Ziegler’s win was the first by a Gustavus skier in an NCAA/CCSA qualifier.  Men’s hockey continues to win, with a 7-1 record in the MIAC.  Men's swimming is 7-0 on the season and recently set two Lund Center pool record times.  Brad Hanson ’08 was victorious in the 1000 freestyle in a pool-record time of 9:51.46, and Matt Stewart ’09 posted a pool-record time of 1:44.49 to win the 200-freestyle. 

Upcoming Alumni Events

  • MAYDAY! Peace Conference on AIDS — April 19
  • Gustavus Association of Congregations Meeting — April 22
  • G.I.V.E. Day - Gusties In Volunteer Endeavors, community service in Minneapolis — April 29
  • Reunion Weekend – May 26 – 27, 2006