Class of '42
April 2002

Dear Classmates of ’43:

Once again I am grateful to Elmer Anderson for writing the very interesting January letter.  It is good that you are able in this way to hear from another classmate.  Elmer assisted me as well with Phonorama last fall and we were able, with few exceptions, to reach the whole class.  Our experience last year, when we attempted to call also in the spring, was that too many ‘snowbirds’ had not returned from the south.  We will very likely next fall also try to call all of you during the fall Phonorama.

By now you will have received the brochure announcing the Reunion Weekend, May 31 and June 1, for the Class of 1952 and the 50-Year Club.  Reunions for more recent classes are now held in the fall at Homecoming time.  Those alumni are, of course, welcome to come in the spring as well.  For the 50-Year Club there is no cost during the weekend for both housing and meals.  Next year will be our 60th anniversary, and we should begin now to plan for it.  Those who enjoy reunions are encouraged to attend every year, as many are doing.  We have friends in the Class of ’42 that will be gathering for their 60th anniversary and it will be good to meet them.

An interesting session in the program that extends from 2:30 p.m. Friday to 9 p.m. on Saturday will be Reunion Seminar IV, 2-3 p.m. Saturday, when President Axel Steuer will speak on the topic “Reflections of a College President.”  President Steuer will conclude his years as Gustavus president in June.  He has served eleven years, giving him the longest tenure since Edgar M. Carlson ’30.  He can be credited with many achievements, foremost among them his leadership in enabling the college to rebuild following the 1998 tornado.  Thus far an interim president has not been appointed.  It is hoped that the president who will succeed Steuer can be found to begin his work by the fall of 2003.

The final event on the Saturday program at 8 p.m. will be a concert in Christ Chapel by the Gustavus Orchestra.  Just now we have a remarkable orchestra.  During Lent the orchestra presented Franz Joseph Haydn’s “The Seven Last Words of Christ.”  This occurred in a darkened Christ Chapel, with candlelight only for the orchestra and the lectern, where Chaplain Brian Johnson read the scripture passages in which each of the words are found.  What was remarkable about this presentation is that the sonatas Haydn had written for each of the words were played by seven different string quartettes.  While the chaplain was reading a new quartette moved to take the places vacated by the previous quartette.  Haydn had also written an introduction and concluding music after the Seven Words.  These were played by the seven quartettes together without direction by Warren Friesen, who is the orchestra’s conductor.  As far as we know there is no college orchestra in the country that has an orchestra containing seven quartettes capable of playing Haydn’s “Seven Last Words” in this way.  It is very possible that this will become an annual event, having some of the significance for Lent and Easter that Christmas in Christ Chapel has for Advent and Christmas.  On June 1, after the concert, come to our home at 1412 South Washington Avenue.

In looking again at my October class letter, I find that it was devoted almost entirely to a review of the Nobel Conference, while there was no mention at all of the September 11 event.  You have, of course, very likely heard enough about that attack and all that has followed from it.  Concluding that those who carried out the attacks considered themselves devout Muslims, I decided to acquaint myself more fully with Islam.  I have read the Qur’an and am somewhat acquainted with Shari’a, the body of formally established sacred law in Islam.  My reading last fall was in books by such authors as Bernard Lewis and Edward W. Said.  It is, of course, essential to distinguish between the Islamic faith of the three to four million Muslims living in this country, and the interpretation of that faith by the few who planned and carried out the attacks of September 11.

What is most unfortunate is that President George W. Bush’s response to those attacks was not to declare war on Osama bin Laden, al Quaida, and any others of such a persuasion, but on “terrorism.”  This has had utterly disastrous consequences for the Palestinians in their struggle with Israel.  It has given Ariel Sharon a green light to proceed with his own war on the Palestinians.  Zev Aelony, a Minneapolis manufacturer’s representative, who identifies himself as a Jew and a Zionist, has written a helpful article, published on the April 13 Counterpoint page of the Minneapolis Star Tribune.  Aelony says, “terrorism is not a ‘side’ but a kind of activity…It is terrorism to kill civilians or to slay prisoners whatever ‘side’ one is on.  It is the kind of action, not who does it…it is terrorism whether committed by Palestinians, Israelis, Americans, Russians or whomever…to condemn deliberate attacks on civilians of only one group involved in a feud is not only to encourage more acts of terrorism against the other group, but a violation of the basic tenets of Zionism and Judaism.”

Though a terrible syndrome of distrust, hatred, and revenge has developed in the Middle East, we must believe that a just peace there is possible, just as progress has been made in that direction in Northern Ireland.  We should insist that our government, together with the European Union and the United Nations, do what is necessary to bring the Israelis and the Palestinians back to negotiating such a peace in Israel and Palestine.  Thus far my commentary.  I turn now to some class news.

Class News

In the January class letter, Elmer Anderson reported the death of Arthur Toupin on December 6, 2001.  After duty in the U.S. Navy, Arthur studied law at the University of Minnesota and at Stanford.  Much of his career thereafter was with Bank of America in San Francisco, where he rose to become vice chairman of the board, senior administrative officer, and member of the managing committee.  He was also director of several other companies and active in the cultural life of San Francisco.  After a marriage of fifty-one years, his wife, Lillian, died January 21, 1996.  Arthur married again and is survived by his wife, Ruth, and his son, James.  I remember Arthur as my debate colleague 1941-43 and as an effective speaker.  It was a privilege in later years to meet him in the Bank of America building, and on another occasion for Marilyn and me to have dinner with Lillian and Arthur at Fisherman’s Wharf.

Hilton ‘Swede’ Londeen died November 5, 2001.  Since 1953 Hilton had been owner/agent of Londeen Insurance Agency (fire and casualty).  Hilton was married March 11, 1945, to Nadine (Hallum ’44).  He is survived by Nadine and their three children, Kristi, Paul ’73, and David.  Peace be to the memory of Arthur and Hilton!

On December 14, 2000, Mark Holmes gave a lecture at Fort Snelling in the Dr. Harold Deutsch World War II History Round Table series.  He told about his experience in the U.S. Army Air Corps Intelligence, how on a Friday in early 1945, when he was washing his mess kit, he was asked by a man he knew only as Col. Enrico Fermi to take a jeep and drive him from Saint-Germain-en-Laye (just outside of Paris) to the boundary of Switzerland, leave him there and pick him up again on Sunday evening.  Col. Fermi wanted to see his family, whom he had not seen since 1939.  Mark obeyed the orders of the colonel, met him again on Sunday evening, and brought him back to Saint-Germain.  Mark, at that time, did not know that Fermi was a famous nuclear scientist and was working on the Manhattan Project.  Mark also told of being dropped by parachute near Nuremberg, Germany, to secure some documents.  This time the plane that picked him up was shot down.  Mark was wounded, but he and his comrades found their way to an American base.  For these exploits Mark received both a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart.  The Hoffman Tribune in Mark’s home town gained access to the tape of Mark’s lecture and has published articles about it in three installments.

Here is a final news note from a year ago.  Theda Benson Olson (Winnipeg, MB) continues to play the piano and the organ.  Twice a month with some friends she conducts a sing along at a nursing home.  She accompanied a granddaughter who sang in the gigantic music festival held a year ago last March in Winnipeg.  Theda reminds us that Canada makes an ideal vacation destination due to the favorable exchange rate the American dollar enjoys.

We are grateful to all that have already given to this year’s Annual Fund.  If you were not reached in last fall’s Phonorama, please send a gift nonetheless.  There is still time to send it, as The Fund closes on May 31.  The Fund depends upon its friends!  Additional news from the Alumni Office follows.  The very best wishes to all!

Sincerely yours,

Bernie Erling

1943 Co-class Agent

P. S.  Now for the campus news, written by a current Gustavus student: 

Campus News:

Hi!  This is Tracey Hanson again writing from the Alumni Office.  For those of you who haven’t previously heard from me, I am a senior double majoring in Communication Studies and Business Management.  I am a seasoned Alumni Office veteran, as this is my fourth (and final) year here.  After not having taken a J-Term class, spring semester and the homework it entails has been hitting me hard.  Contrary to popular belief, the “senior slacker” final semester has been just the opposite for me.  My time at Gustavus has flown by, especially this final year.  The fact that it is March and I am still without a job is beginning to be a constant thought in the back of my mind.  It also seems to be a constant thought in the minds of my parents, although it seems closer to the front of theirs!  Spring semester has also been the final opportunity to be all together with classmates, so much time has been spent socially with roommates and friends.

As I will be graduating in June, this will be the final time you receive updates from me.  I now will also move into the alum category and step into the real world.  I’m not sure I’m completely ready for the change, but I’m darn sure that I better get ready because it’ll be here before I know it!  Here is some news from Gustavus.

Hello Walk On-line Alumni Community ( has been launched and Gusties of all ages are invited to join this meeting place for anything from small talk to debate to caring conversations.  Hello Walk at Gustavus is the sidewalk running from Uhler Hall on the north side of campus past the front of Old Main to Pittman Hall on the south side, which, for decades, was the main “artery” and gathering point on campus.  Even though the campus landscape has changed, the spirit of Hello Walk continues with you joining the conversation on the virtual Hello Walk.  Associate professor of political science, Chris Gilbert, will guest host a discussion on politics for the months of May and June.  Check it out at

Reunion Weekend for the 50 Year Club and Class of 1952 is May 31 & June 1.  A schedule of events and registration material was be sent in early April.


Homecoming 2002 & All Sports Reunion Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of Intercollegiate Athletics is September 21.  Homecoming Weekend will include reunion gatherings for classes of 1957, 1962, 1967, 1972, 1977, 1982, 1987, 1992, 1997 and 2002.  Class reunions will be held in Bloomington at the Radisson South Hotel Friday evening, and Homecoming events including class and all-sports reunion events will return to campus for activities Saturday.  A schedule of events and registration material will be mailed in August.  A schedule will be published in the summer and fall issues of the Quarterly.

It has been an extremely successful winter sports season at Gustavus.  Women’s hockey won the MIAC regular season championship with an undefeated record and advanced to the Frozen Four National Tournament, finishing third in the nation. The men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams both won MIAC titles, the first time in Gustavus history.  The women’s Nordic ski team won its first MIAC championship.  Men’s basketball placed second in the MIAC during the regular season and MIAC playoffs, and advanced to the Sweet Sixteen before losing to number one ranked Carthage College.  Men’s hockey finished second in the MIAC regular season and playoffs.  Women’s basketball finished fourth in the MIAC and advanced to the conference playoff for the first time ever. The women’s indoor track team finished second and both the men’s Nordic ski team and men’s indoor track teams placed fourth in MIAC action.  The women’s gymnastics team advanced to the NCGA National Championships.  Five Gustavus coaches were named Coach of the Year in their respective sports – Jon Carlson (women’s swimming & diving), Mike Carroll (women’s hockey), Mickey Haller (women’s basketball), Scott Jerome (women’s Nordic skiing), and Brett Petersen (men’s hockey).

G.I.V.E. – Gusties In Volunteer Endeavors is moving to the spring.  Work projects will happen in the Twin Cities on Saturday, April 27.  Register on-line at under the alumni events section.

The 22nd MAYDAY! Peace Conference, May 1 will address the topic "Sanctions and Beyond:  What is the Human Price?"  For conference information and reservations, call the Office of Public Affairs (507/933-7520).

Comprehensive Alumni Directory

The Alumni Directory being published for the Gustavus Alumni Association by Publishing Concepts is still in production.  Those who purchased directories should expect to receive their copy in September.  Orders for an alumni directory can still be taken by calling 800/982-1590.

Evelyn Sponberg Young’s 90th birthday celebration

The Twin Cities Chapter of the Alumni Association invites all Gusties and friends of former Gustavus food service director and 2002 Alumni Fund Chair Evelyn Sponberg Young ’33 to her 90th birthday celebration on July 25, 2002 at Mt. Olivet Lutheran Church, 5025 Knox Avenue South, Minneapolis, at 6:30 p.m. with a 7:30 p.m. program.

Evelyn will be serving her famous Red Velvet Cake and all guests will receive a loaf of her famous Swedish rye bread. A book of remembrance will be compiled as a gift for Evelyn.  Please send remembrances and stories of Evelyn to Alumni Office, Gustavus Adolphus College, 800 West College Avenue, St. Peter, MN 56082.  Reservations should be made with the Alumni Office at 800-487-8437, e-mail at or visit our web site at, alumni, events.

NOBEL CONFERENCE® XXXVIII, The Nature of Nurture – The Early Years, will be held on campus October 1 & 2.  The conference will explore the forces that are most important in shaping a child’s personality, gender identity, and language acquisition and learning ability.  History, discoveries, research, and clinical studies will all be surveyed to draw a better understanding of biological forces and environmental influences on brain development.

For more news and information about Gustavus, check out the web site at