Class of '43
January 2005

Dear Classmates of GAC ’43,

As has been the custom these past several years it is my duty to write the second of the three annual class letters.  And so I greet you on behalf of the College.

Our total class count is near 80 as of the present.  We are 62 years beyond graduation.  Something we can rejoice in.  Perhaps some of us have experienced some type of health problems, but obviously we have overcome them.

When I began this assignment a few years ago I was apprehensive about the "Phonorama" part.  I had no idea what kind of reception anyone seeking donations for the College would receive.  This has been a most pleasant surprise.  As I have called many of you I am thrilled at the extremely positive response I have received.  Although I scarcely knew many of you during our College days you have treated me cordially and we have had many delightful conversations and I thank you for that.  I haven't checked with Bernie, but judging from my own personal experience nearly all of the class members that I was able to connect with were willing to make some type of commitment.  I had three or four members I failed to contact.  Either they were out of town or have relocated.  If you were one of the few that have not been approached we would still invite you to participate in the 2004-05 campaign.  I am never concerned about the dollar amount but am more interested in the percent that pledge.  Many small pledges add up to a significant amount.

The Fund Drive concluded in May of 2004 proved to be another success.  There were 7,853 alumni who donated a total of $914, 000.  These funds were put to immediate use for current Gustavus students by providing scholarships and related expenses.  You were part of that success story.

Gustavus continues to add new buildings to upgrade the campus.  Currently a new residence hall is under construction west of Nobel Hall and the Anderson Theater.  This will eventually replace Wahlstrom Hall.  Starting in the spring, a new temporary building will also be constructed to house the nursing and education departments that are currently in Old Main.

Old Main is another project.  I hope you all enjoyed that marvelous picture of Old Main that is on the cover of the winter Quarterly magazine.  This was the College at its outset.  It housed the classrooms; the Chapel, dining hall and the top floors were dormitories.  In our day it had several classrooms and the cafeteria was in the basement.  It has survived wonderfully over the years.  It is only fitting that it should be renovated.  Work begins in February of 2005 and will be completed in September of the same year.

A feasibility study is underway to begin a process to raise enough money to move the football stadium to the north, adjacent to Lund Arena.  The long-term master plan of the College is to have a west mall leading to Christ Chapel, similar to Eckman Mall (North of Christ Chapel) and a South Mall (south of Christ Chapel).  The football field is obstructing the progress for the new mall and will need to move in order to begin placing future buildings along a west mall.  The football field will retain its name, Hollingsworth Field.  These are some ambitious plans but with the continuous outpouring of support from alumni, church and community leaders all these visions can become a reality.

As I indicated earlier, "Phonorama" once again proved to be a delightful experience.  During the course of the several days that I made calls I had the privilege of traveling by phone to all parts of the continental U.S. and beyond.  If you noticed that remarkable picture on the back of the recent Quarterly done by 2004 graduate Justin Nelson you will appreciate the geographic diversity of Gustie grads.  In my own contacts I’ve found ’43 alumni on the east coast, the western portion, down south and even Alaska as well as many from the upper Midwest.

One of the premier College offerings is the Nobel Conference.  This year October 5 & 6 marked the 40th consecutive event.  The topic under consideration this year was on a relatively new subject called gerontology.  The Conference theme was "The Science of Aging."  Aging is a process that begins the day we are born and continues throughout our life.  As life expectancy grows significantly so does the frequency of Alzheimer's and other debilitating diseases.  The long-term effect plays a major role in our economy and health care systems.  The attendance was placed at 6,000.  Obviously there is a lot of interest in this topic.

Bernie Erling tells me he and Marilyn attended several lectures and found them extremely interesting.  I'm sure you will agree that this was a most appropriate subject for our time.  The College needs to be congratulated for this ongoing service.

Some alumni notes… Here I want to remind all of you we welcome all news notes.  Since our time on the phone is always rather brief we don't always get to acknowledge significant events in your respective lives.  We would invite you to contact Bernie, me or the Alumni Office with happenings that have been important to you.  Remember―every life has a story to tell

A few of the contacts I made were:  Eleanor Hedman in Detroit.  Hedy still operates her Christian Bookstore. She remembered that I had joined a few other young men to serve as waiters to a sorority function and the date was‑December 7, 1941.  Genevieve Jensen Deggendorf resides in Salisbury, Maine.  She and her husband Herb celebrated their 55th the wedding anniversary on September 10‑we congratulate them.  Olive Peterson, St Peter was a part-time student for several years and eventually received her degree.  She became part of the class of ’43.  She stills lives in St. Peter and enjoys good health at the age of 91.

Laura Swedberg Paulson has resided in Tucson for 52 years.  Bob Larson, Watertown, SD, known for his golfing ability, still plays a limited amount of golf, but now prefers fishing.  He winters in Texas.  Bob has a daughter who also excelled in golf.  Les Peterson, Menomonie, WI grew up in the small town of Rosholt, SD with a population under 500 that had the distinction of having eight sons enter the ministry.  Four of them including, Les, served as missionaries to the East African nation of Tanzania.  Les gave service for 25 years in that call.  Les' brother, Dean ’48 served Gustavus as campus pastor at one time. 

Ardene (Claude) and Warren Freist, Rockford, IL are thankful for their time at Gustavus as it was here that they met over 60 years ago‑they have the proud achievement of both contributing over 13,000 volunteer hours at Swedish Hospital in Rockford.  Alvin Mueller, New Ulm, MN has not lost his love for baseballHe supports the local baseball team and also follows the Minnesota Twins avidly.  Louise Johnson Swanson, Wayzata, MN had 6 of her 7 children attend Gustavus.  Walter Spidahl, we knew him as "Speed," still sells foot-long hot dogs and "Norwegian" fries at the State Fair.

Other Campus and Alumni News:

Gustie Pages

Looking for a dentist, doctor, lawyer, pastor, realtor, and much more?  Make it a Gustie!  The Gustie Pages is an online database of Gusties who have submitted information about their profession.  Use the Gustavus network to meet your needs or submit your professional information if you would like other Gusties to be your customers.

Athletics Hall of Fame

The Gustavus Adolphus College Athletics Department has chosen eight individuals for induction into its Athletics Hall of Fame.  The 2004 inductees include Lori Allen ’88 (golf), Jim Chalin ’76 (basketball), Bruce Edwards ’77 (ice hockey), Barb Jaeger ’88 (soccer), Dean Kraus ’89 (football), Pachi Lopez ’71 (soccer), Greg Peterson ’88 (golf), and Gary Reinholtz (long-time athletic trainer, benefactor).  This group was honored at the Athletics Hall of Fame Banquet, which was Saturday, October 16.

Extraordinary Place

Gustavus is once again ranked among the top 100 liberal arts colleges in the nation in U.S. News and World Report's annual college rankings.  Gustavus is one of five Minnesota colleges in the top 100 national liberal arts colleges for overall quality (Carleton, Macalester, St. Olaf, Gustavus, St. John’s).  The ranking groups schools into categories based on a national educational classification that includes national liberal arts colleges, national doctoral universities (University of Minnesota, St. Thomas), regional master's degree-granting universities (Hamline, St. Catherine’s, Bethel, Augsburg), and comprehensive regional colleges (Concordia-St Paul).

Upcoming Events

  • Boston Chapter Event -- Jan. 25
  • New York Chapter Event -- Jan. 26
  • Washington, D.C. Chapter Event -- Jan. 28
  • Tampa Bay Chapter Event -- Feb. 2
  • Vero Beach Chapter Event -- Feb. 4
  • Marco Island Chapter Event -- Feb. 5
  • Tucson Chapter Event -- March 18
  • Phoenix Chapter Event -- March 19
  • Sun City Chapter Event -- March 20
  • Seattle Chapter Event -- April 1
  • Bay Area Chapter Event -- April 2
  • Class of 1954 and 50 Year Club Reunion – May 27-28
  • Class Reunions for 1960, 1965, 1970, 1975, 1980, 1985, 1990, 1995, 2000 – October 7-9, 2005

Best wishes for the year 2005,

Elmer J. Anderson

1943 Co-class Agent