Class of '43

October 2011

Dear Classmates of ’43:

Greetings from Gustavus this seventy-second year since we enrolled as freshmen in September of 1939!  This is what I remember about how I came to Gustavus.  I had hitch-hiked down Sunday afternoon from Aitkin, hoping to spend the night in Minneapolis.  Since that didn’t work out, I had to continue to St. Peter.  It was after dark when I arrived.  I had only been at Gustavus once before for the graduation of a cousin.  I didn’t wholly remember where the college was, though I knew it was on a hill.  I found an unlocked automobile parked near a construction site in the north end of town, crawled in and slept in the back seat.  Since I didn’t want the owner to find me, I got up at 5 a.m., cleaned up at a service station, and then found the college.  Registration was going on in what was later called the Myrum Memorial Field House.  I put my satchel under the eave of the Field House and went in to go through the enrollment process.  When I later came out I found it had been raining and my satchel, which leaked, was sitting in water.  After that rather damp beginning I found my room in Uhler Hall and very soon became caught up in college life.  The next evening I went downtown with a group to the Tuesday dime movie.

My roommate for the first two years in Uhler Hall was C. Burton Gustafson from Fairmont.  We had been informed that we were roommates and had written to each other before we met at Gustavus.  My father, who had attended Augustana College, Rock Island, IL, had in 1914 received as a graduation gift Boswell’s Life of Johnson.  Samuel Johnson was the famous 18th century lexicographer.  I recall that I read those two volumes during the summer before coming to Gustavus.  Boswell’s 18th century style of writing had affected the way I wrote to Burt.  I’m sure he may have been somewhat puzzled about the kind of a roommate he was going to have.  This October 8 I received an e-mail from Robert Gustafson, who told me that his father, Dr. Carl B. Gustafson, Ocala, FL, had died September 9 and that the funeral had been on September 13.  There will be more about Burt later.

Last year’s fall letter told of my visit to Sweden in May 2010, how I went to The Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation in Uppsala to discuss possible publication of my A Reader’s Guide to Dag Hammarskjöld’s Waymarks in connection with the Foundations’ commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Dag Hammarskjöld’s death September 18, 1961.  After sharing that information I decided that I wouldn’t write more about it until something had actually happened.  Dr. Henning Melber, the Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation’s executive direction, this past year has sought to negotiate with Bonniers förlag, which holds the copyright to Vägmärken, about this project, but his efforts have been unsuccessful.  A factor possibly explaining Bonniers’ behavior may be the fact that in 1963 Faber & Faber in London and Knopf in New York, the publishers of Markings, received contracts from Bonniers stating without time limitation that the Leif Sjöberg & D. H. Auden translation was the only English translation that could be published in the British Commonwealth or in North America.  Sweden, of course, is not in either the British Commonwealth or North America but Bonniers may be attempting to extend this prohibition worldwide.  What the Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation finally decided to do was to place A Reader’s Guide to Dag Hammarskjöld’s Waymarks on the internet on September 16, 2011.  It is in the pdf format and can found at: be downloaded free of charge to a computer or an e-reader.  I have found that quite a few people have such devices and I have purchased a Barnes & Noble Nook myself.  I may continue to publish a small number of my Reader’s Guide for sale at the Gustavus Book Mark, though that has not yet been decided.

The Nobel Conference this year was on “The Brain & Being Human” and was extremely interesting and stimulating.  Tickets for seats in the Lund Forum were sold out, but the lectures could be heard and seen on screens set up elsewhere on campus.  Even now the lectures are available for viewing on the Gustavus website.  Our daughter, Anne, from Albany, NY, was here again with her husband and two daughters, now seven and nine years of age.  Amelia, the older daughter, took notes on one lecture in order to report back to her elementary school teacher.  Next year’s conference, for which lecturers have been selected, will be on “Our Global Ocean.”

Much attention is just now being given to the Sesquicentennial, the 150th anniversary of the founding of Gustavus Adolphus College in the school begun by Eric Norelius in Red Wing, MN, in 1862.  Since apparently those promoting the Sesquicentennial aren’t sure everyone can pronounce the word, there are t-shirts that read “ses’ kwi sen ten’ e al.”  The observance began some time ago with the work of the task forces of Commission Gustavus 150, which came up with 263 recommendations, many of which are in the process of being acted upon.  You should all have received Campaign Chronicle Tracking Campaign Gustavus, Fall 2011, vol 1, no. 1.  I hope you will spend some time reading it, which will make it unnecessary for me to report on its contents in this letter.  Campaign Gustavus has a goal of $150,000,000, toward which $71,411,397 has already been received.  The largest donors ever in the history of the college, Warren ʼ67 and Donna (Gabbert ’66) Beck, are the chairs of the campaign.  There is a building connected with this anniversary just as Christ Chapel was built at the time of the Centennial.  This building, Beck Academic Hall, has already been constructed and is in use.  Note also that the Campaign update states it is anticipated that at least 50% of the funds raised in Campaign Gustavus are to be placed in the College’s permanent endowment.

There has been reorganization of the class agent system this past year.  Classes are now so large that several persons are needed to write letters, ask for annual contributions, and plan reunions.  There are now to be several officers, a president and chairs for communications, reunions, annual fund and student recruitment.  Except in preparation for reunions, there are to be only two letters sent to class members each year, one in the fall and another in the spring.  The officers are to be chosen at reunions and serve a five-year term.  At the next reunion officers may be reelected or others chosen.  How will this system work for a class like ours?  It is granted that we are too small to have several officers and we may have had our last reunion.  I have no ambition to be president, but I will continue as class agent.  I’m deeply grateful for the assistance I received these past years from Elmer Anderson and Ralf Runquist.  I well understand why they were unable to continue writing and calling.  In my May 2 letter I invited others to notify me if they wanted to volunteer their assistance.  So far I have heard from no one, but the invitation still stands.  Getting back to Campaign Gustavus, you may wonder how giving to the Gustavus Annual Fund relates to this Campaign.  The answer is that gifts given each year to the Gustavus Annual Fund will be counted among the receipts to Campaign Gustavus.  We may also include Gustavus Adolphus College as one of the beneficiaries in our wills.

Here are some news notes.  Warren C. Friest (2929 Sunnyside Drive Unit 370D, Rockford, IL 61114-4500) wrote recently:  “I attended Gustavus two years, 1939-41, sang in the Gustavus Choir my second year under the direction of G. Adolph Nelson, ran out of money, and had to seek employment in Iowa where I lived.  Then World War II intervened but somehow return to Gustavus never happened.  My wife, Ardene (Claude), had a scholarship to Gustavus and attended there, being too young to start nurses training in Rochester, so she was there one year and I two.  We have consistently supported Gustavus yearly.  I love music so am happy to send a check.  Now at ages 91 and 89 we seldom get back to Minnesota and Gustavus!  Also enclosed is a print of the choir for 1941.  Best wishes to all of you musicians!”

Luverne Tengbom (789 N. Cambridge Ave., Claremont, CA 91711) did yeoman service in helping me get out a letter marking the 65th anniversary of the 1946 Augustana Theological Seminary class, in which class there were several Gustavians.  It is a pity he lives so far away from St. Peter.  Our Class of 1943 could make good use of his skills and industry!

Four deaths are to be noted:

Judith Anderson Dove (Austin, TX) died 5/27/11.  Judy was homecoming queen at Gustavus.  She married Melvin A. Dove ’43, who died 3/1/87.  She is survived by two children, Richard, and Linnea, who lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Carl Burton Gustafson (Ocala, FL) died September 9, 2011.  He had an M.S. from the University of Minnesota and an Ed. D. from the University of Southern California.  He served in the U.S. Army Air Force, WWII, 1943-45, and in the Korean War, 1951-53.  He taught physics at Gustavus 1946-51.  Thereafter he taught and was an administrator in the Dept. of Defense Schools in Europe.  He married May (Fosnes ’43), who died 3/18/93.  He is survived by two children, Robert and Mary.

Marlys Gerber Johnson (Chisago City, MN) died 3/24/11.  Marlys attended Gustavus 1939-41.  She married Howard F. Johnson x43, who practiced law in Center City, MN, 1/16/46.  She was active in Chisago Lake Evangelical Lutheran Church and charitable organizations.  She was predeceased by two children, Gregg ’68 and Gail ‘74, and is survived by her husband, Howard and son, Kent x75.

Wallace M. Lornell (Yarmouth Port, MA) died 5/7/11.  He did alternative service during WWII.  He received an M.S.W. degree at Columbia University School of Social Work.  He was a social worker in Denver, CO, Lake Bluff, IL, Detroit, MI, and Hartford, CT.  From 1966-86 he was Chief, Bureau School Social Services, New York State Education Dept., Albany, NY.  He married Betty Jane (Lundquist ’44) 10/14/45.  He is survived by Betty Jane and their three children, Gretchen, Christopher and Eric.

Sincerely yours,

Bernie Erling,

1943 Class Agent


2011 Athletics Hall of Fame

Gustavus inducted new members into its Athletics Hall of Fame at a banquet on October 15.  Inductees for 2011 are Owen Sammelson ’58, benefactor; Amanda Murdock Diehl ’92, gymnastics; Jay Klagge ’92, basketball; Bryan Ripken ’94, swimming; Todd Anderson ’95, soccer; Tracy Erickson McMorrow ’95, tennis; Scott Moe ’95, golf; Laura LeVander Peters ’96, softball; and Colleen Barland Sherman ’96, soccer.  The Hall of Fame Moment is the 1991 Women’s Gymnastics National Championship, won with the final routine of the meet. 

Christmas in Christ Chapel

As the College’s Sesquicentennial Christmas in Christ Chapel, Julljus:  Light from the Old World, Light to the New brings us to the celebration of Christ’s light—to Sweden in the Middle Ages; to Minnesota in the 19th century; and to our fractured and darkened world today.  At the center of the 39th annual community celebration is Julotta, the traditional Christmas matins service brought by Swedish immigrants to the New World.  Tickets for Christmas in Christ Chapel 2011 are on sale online on October 17 at noon at  If you do not have access to the Internet, please call 507-933-7520 after noon on October 17 to place your credit card order.

Gustie Breakfasts

Join your fellow Gusties for breakfast and to learn something new about your alma mater at the monthly Gustie Breakfasts.  November speaker will be Rob Gardner, interim artistic coordinator for Christmas in Christ Chapel.  The St. Peter Breakfast will be held in the banquet rooms on campus at 7:30 a.m. on Nov. 9, and the Twin Cities Breakfast will be held at the Doubletree Hotel in Minneapolis at 8 a.m. on Nov. 16.  RSVP by calling 800-487-8437 or e-mail Hope to see you bright and early!