Class of '42
April 2005

Dear Classmates,

Good Heavens!  Here it is almost the middle of April and I haven’t had a message your way this year on what’s going on with the Alumni Fund and with our class in particular.  I didn’t mean to be lazy about it but I guess I’ve just let the wonderful Gustavus Quarterly carry the information.

I do hope you are as excited about the new face and insides of the Quarterly.  It’s really a delightful messenger of good news about the college we still hold dear.

One piece of information that jumped out at me was the item that 78% of Gustavus students receive some financial aid.  Now that calls for a “Wow!”  I’ve been pretty close to lots of things at the college but this one got passed me.  But I want to pass it on to you BECAUSE THAT’S WHERE YOU COME IN.

Most of the money we give to Gustavus goes to assist some student.  And goodness knows, the students need financial help.

I don’t know about you, but I shudder at the thought of some of the student loans some kids graduate with after four years.

I put a little emphasis on this because we want to encourage “college education” for this generation of young people.  And we like to see them choose a “church college.”  And we’re sure Gustavus is still a great choice.

One of the things I enjoy about the Quarterly is that you see Gusties in leadership roles in almost any endeavor you can think of be it law, medicine, education, the church, business―you name it.  And we are thankful for their successes and contributions.

Text Box:Ruben Pedersen

But let me switch to something else.

In the Twin Cities we have a monthly publication called the Good Age from which this picture is borrowed.  The April issue carries a great story on Ruben Pedersen who has been living at the Augustana Home in Minneapolis for many years.

Ruben is one of the spark plugs along with another Gustie, the Rev. Ted Conrad, class of 1925, and at 99 ½ years of age! who with a few other volunteers at the home meet regularly and write letters on behalf of prisoners of conscience to political leaders in many countries appealing for their release.  The group works with another volunteer from Amnesty International who knows who to write to and the reason for the prisoners’ incarceration.

Ted Conrad writes the final letter.  They send 70 to 80 letters a month and group has passed the 10,000 mark total.  Last year the group helped the release of 31 prisoners in 18 different countries.  So we congratulate Ruben and the others for their creative and generous efforts.

I just can’t resist including a Gustavus connected story…

The first one began four years ago at our church.  A good friend of mine introduced a handsome young fellow to me.  “I want you to meet my grandson, he said, “he’s thinking of going to St. Olaf this fall.”  That was 2002.

Grandpa went on to tell me what a great swimmer his grandson was in high school in Fergus Falls.  State champion no less.  I asked the grandson if he had ever visited Gustavus.  No, he hadn’t.  So I went to work on him.  By the time I got through they were almost late for dinner…great school, championship swim team, great pool―25 meters long and 25 yards wide (swimmers like pools where you can swim both distances).

My new friend visited Gustavus, chose it, and became a swimming great.  His name is Will Sutor and he earned All-America Honors in our state conference and also at the National Collegiate Championships held at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center this spring.

Will will graduate May 29th with scholastic honors and will go on to law school this fall.  A great Gustie and, as you might expect, I feel very good about it.

Finally, I hope you checked out page 15 of the latest Quarterly to note that the Alumni Reunion Weekend is coming May 27-28.  This is one of the main highlights of the year for lots of us.  It’s so much fun, this get-togethering.  Now there is still plenty of time to make arrangements.  Just get on the phone and call one or two or three friends and get the show on the road as we sometimes say.  You should pre-register, the reservations forms will be in the mail next week or you can call the Alumni Office at 1-800-487-8437 and that’s all there’s to it.  Come June and later you’ll enjoy the memories that were stirred up.

You knew this was coming:  Some of our class have missed so far this year on their contributions, but I hope you will make use of the enclosed envelope.  As with all giving, you’ll feel good about it.

Best wishes.  Stay calm in the nervous world and thanks for your support of Gustavus students.

C. Eddie Johnson

1942 Class Agent

P. S.  Take a look at page 32 of the Spring Quarterly for the Fund Chairman Jason Sawyer’s column.  He says lots of good things about life on campus.

Campus briefs

Gustavus has been known for its strong tradition of alumni participation in annual giving.  Gusties support their Alma Mater in many ways and show their pride with their gifts.  All alumni and current students have benefited from previous and current support.  Gustavus will be as strong as its alumni want it to be.  The 2005 Alumni Fund closes May 31.  Make sure you are included with many members of your class and other alumni that have chosen to keep Gustavus strong.  Three easy ways to give – send your check to the Alumni Office (by using the enclosed envelope), call 866-487-3863, or on-line at 

Alumni Awards

The Gustavus Alumni Association has announced 2005 award recipients.  The Greater Gustavus Award to George Torrey ’55 for his lifetime volunteer service and philanthropy to the College. Distinguished Alumni Citations to G. Barry Anderson ’76, Apple Valley, MN, associate justice, Minnesota Supreme Court; Deanna Nelson ’64, Cary, NC, president/founder, BioLink Life Sciences, Inc.; Rick Webb ’73, Edina, MN, owner of Ciao Bella, Zelo and Bacio Restaurants; and John Wirth ’75, Pacific Palisade, CA, writer/executive producer, Paramount Studios.  First Decade Awards to Joe Gaugler ’95, Lexington, KY, assistant professor, Department of Behavioral Science, University of Kentucky College of Medicine; Debbie Lightly Mascaro ’95, Fargo, ND, research scientist, North Dakota State University Center for Nanoscale Science and Engineering.


The Gustavus women’s hockey team finished third at the NCAA national championship after winning the MIAC title, the men’s basketball team won the MIAC regular season title and conference tournament and advanced to the NCAA national tournament, the men’s swimming and diving team won the MIAC title and placed seventh at the NCAA national tournament and had seven swimmers earn All-America honors and the women’s team had four swimmers earn All-America honors.

Extraordinary Students

Senior Rachel Batalden, a double major in mathematics and secondary education with a 3.898 grade point average and two-time MIAC All-Conference selection at setter for the women’s volleyball team, has been selected as one of 56 student-athletes from across the country to receive a $7,500 NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship.

Senior Paul Fraser, a music and computer science major has been selected as the winner of the second annual Caltech-Occidental Composition Contest for new music for concert band. The contest drew entries from all over the world, and as the winner, Paul will receive a cash award and a recording of the world premiere of the work at a concert by the Caltech-Occidental Concert Band in Pasadena, Calif., in May.

Bricks and mortar

Southwest Residence Hall is being constructed across the Campus Drive from the arboretum on the west side of the campus and is scheduled to be finished by June.  The L-shaped facility is configured with apartments for four and six and will accommodate nearly 200 students.  A hostel space for summer programs and confirmation retreat groups is included in the residence’s plans.

With the new Southwest Residence Hall coming on-line, the College will be taking down Wahlstrom Hall to make way for future residential construction.  Crews will start the dismantling process in July with asbestos abatement, and the Kasota-stone residence hall will be razed in August.  Alumni returning for reunion and commencement festivities on May 27–29 will be able to take a last tour through the building’s public areas, stairwells, and walk-through sections following a “decommissioning” ceremony to be held on Saturday morning, May 28.

Construction crews working on the renovation of Old Main discovered a cistern under the basement flooring in March.  Gutting the interior has provided evidence of layers upon layers of remodeling done over the years, including an old stairwell in the middle of the building and what appears to be an attempt to raise the third-floor ceiling.  The Old Main project, which includes the installation of an elevator in the northwest corner of the building, is scheduled to be completed in August.

The education and nursing departments have been relocated to the newly erected Mattson Hall, which is sited just west of the Schaefer Fine Arts Center and Prairie View Residence Hall, on the south side of the campus.  These departments will remain there until a new social science center is built at some point in the future.

Upcoming Events

  • Association of Congregations Meeting – April 23
  • G.I.V.E. Community Service Day – April 30
  • Class of 1955 and 50-Year Club Reunions – May 27 & 28
  • Commencement – May 29
  • Alumni Fund closes – May 31
  • Reunions on Homecoming – October 7 & 8
  • Nurses Reunion – October 8