Class of '42
April 2003

April     2003


                 61 Wow!

Dear Classmates:

I wish you could have been there…

About a week ago Peg and I attended the gala get-together of the Building a Greater Gustavus Campaign in Minneapolis.  From start to finish it was fun seeing many friends―some young, some old.  It was a happy, smiling bunch despite the sad shadows gathering over the world.

Before I get into that I’d like to mention a couple of things.  First of all, I just learned that last year Bob Hansen was awarded the Normandy Jubilee Liberty Medal by Congressman Mark Kennedy.  Bob was one of 20 honored.  Congratulations to you, Bob!

Some other class news:  Batch ’41 and Dee (Borgstrom) Johnson are busy with book clubs, and church and now that spring is here looking forward to getting back to their lake place.  Edsel and Mignon (Carter ’41) Johnson are still golfing in Arizona, but will soon return to Minnesota for more of the same plus fishing.

In the “downsizing” department I can report that some time ago Russ Anderson and his wife moved to a coop apartment in South St. Paul and are on the same floor with Gen (Dahl) and Jim Hansen about a block from their church and lots of convenient shopping.

I talked to Reuben Swanson in his new home in Ohio frequently.  He’s also in an assisted living place and enjoying many new friends and stays busy in his scholarly pursuits which include bringing together in one volume forty-five of the most important Greek manuscripts compiled together line by line, for each of the Gospels.  Just collecting that number of original manuscripts in one place is a job in itself.

Peg and I are downsizing also.  Nearly two months ago we moved to an assisted living place and shrunk our space drastically.  But we do like it.  Our facility, Rosewood Estate of Maplewood, has just been taken over by the ELCA Board of Social Ministry.  The building is owned by the Marriott Hotel chain and is one of several hundred assisted living facilities owned by that group which is separate from their hotel business.  We’re here because Peg is on a walker, sometimes a cane, and our townhouse is just too big to manage and we’ll probably sell it in a couple of months.

Now back to that Friday night gala…and I wish you could have been there.

The highlight for lots of us was to meet the new President of Gustavus, James Peterson ’64.  We think he will be great.  You’ll learn more of him in the Quarterly.  He’s a Gustie―class of ’64, former president and the chief executive of the Science Museum of Minnesota plus a lot more.  His wife, Susan (Pepin ’65) is senior pastor of Gloria Dei Lutheran Church of St. Paul.  And he grew up in Red Wing.

When he came by our table, I asked him if he had ever been to Vasa and he said he had been there Thursday.  Pointing to Peg, I said, “That’s where she’s from,” and that led to some very delightful pleasantries.

We are absolutely confident that Gustavus continues to be in good hands with Dr. Jim Peterson in charge.  Wish him luck and put him and Gustavus on your prayer list.

Gustavus is in the midst of a tremendous campaign to raise one hundred million dollars and the total so far, we have learned, has reached eighty-seven million.  While we are in the home stretch an intensive effort is being made to reach the final goal.

You are probably aware of this because lots of mail has gone to you, but you may not have known of just how much has been raised so far.

The final push is on and we can all be fund-raisers.  You don’t have to be Gustie to give.  Maybe you know someone in your church who can make a special gift, or someone at the company where you worked or someone in your neighborhood―you get the gist.  When all is said and done people give to people.  People give in most cases because someone asked them to give.

And the cause is good.  Much will go to scholarships to give some of those who follow us the boost they need now―just as we were beneficiaries of an unknown cloud of angels of another time.

So now I’m asking―and you must have expected it―that you consider making the biggest gift to Gustavus that you’ve ever made.  Do it because giving is good for the soul, I know you’ll feel good about it.

Thanks to all you good people.  Oh, and pray for peace.


C. Eddie Johnson

1942 Class Agent

Campus News:

Dr. James Peterson Named 14th Gustavus President

James Peterson ’64, president and CEO of the Science Museum of Minnesota in St. Paul, was selected as the next Gustavus president.  Peterson is married to Rev. M. Susan Pepin Peterson ’65, senior pastor at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in St. Paul.  They have two married children including Erika Peterson Eklund ’94.  Jim will start his official responsibilities at Gustavus in July 2003.

Alumni Fund Closes May 31 – 1000 new donors needed

The Alumni Fund closes May 31.  Gustavus alumni are trying to again be the best Lutheran college in percentage of alumni annual giving.  The goal is to reach 45% participation this year.  If you have already given, THANK YOU!  If you have given in the past and not yet this year, Gustavus students need your support again.  If you have missed giving, Gustavus needs only 1,000 new donors to reach the goal.  Give online at <> or call 800/487-8437.

Campus Focuses on Peace

Three annual conferences this spring discuss peace.  Conflict Resolution: International, National, and Local was the theme of the annual student-run “Building Bridges” Conference in March featuring Nobel Peace Laureate Oscar Arias Sanchez, former president of Costa Rica. The Association of Congregations Meeting will feature Protestant leader Lyle Schaller to talk about the future of the church and the changing role of laity and church staff. And the annual MAYDAY! Peace Conference in April is titled, “World Religions: Waging War or Promoting Peace?” featuring keynote speaker Krister Stendahl, emeritus professor of divinity, Harvard University, and former bishop of Stockholm, Sweden.

Gustavus Band 125 Year Celebration

What started as 13 silver instruments in 1878 has evolved into the Gustavus Band, which is celebrating its 125th anniversary in May.  Highlights for the weekend will include the performance of the 100+ member alumni band and the commissioned work, Of Wind and Wood, by composer Steve Heitzeg ’82 which will be premiered by the current Gustavus Band.

Men’s Basketball Team National Runner-up

The men’s basketball team lost a heartbreaker in the NCAA Division III championship game 67-65 to Williams, on two game-winning free throws in the final seconds of play.  Gustavus was the first MIAC team to ever make it to the championship game.

Celebration of Community Service

The Community Service Center at Gustavus is ten years old.  Since its creation, students participating in community service and service learning in the class room has dramatically increased.  Currently 60% of the student population participates in some sort of community service program while at Gustavus.  The annual G.I.V.E. (Gusties In Volunteer Endeavors) day of community service will be a time for alumni and students in Minnesota to gather at Gustavus to celebrate and serve, while alumni in other cities will also be doing service projects in their own communities.

Upcoming Events

  • Milwaukee, WI, Symphony Orchestra Concert – April 2
  • Pasco, Washington, Jazz Lab Band Concert – April 2
  • Cheney, Washington, Jazz Lab Band Concert – April 3
  • San Francisco Bay, CA, Campaign event – April 4
  • Cary, IL, Symphony Orchestra Concert – April 4
  • Seattle, WA, Campaign event featuring the Jazz Lab Band – April 5
  • Duluth, MN, Campaign event – April 10
  • Association of Congregations Meeting – April 26
  • Phonorama – April 27-30, May 1
  • 125th Anniversary of the Gustavus Band – May 3 & 4
  • G.I.V.E. Day and 10th Anniversary of the Community Service Center – May 10
  • 1953 and 50 Year Club Reunion – May 30 & 31
  • Alumni Fund Fiscal Year Closes – May 31
  • Commencement – June 1