Class of '44
March 2000

Dear Classmates, 1944,

At the fall class agents meeting it was suggested that we have a guest writer for the January letter. Since Pete and I knew we would be in New Zealand from December until early February I had asked Lorraine Larson to write a guest class letter. (Lorraine was one of our most faithful donors, and attended almost every reunion.) Upon arriving back in Burnsville, we were faced with a mountain of mail. Among the many Christmas greetings was a sad note from Lorraine’s niece informing us that she had passed away unexpectedly on November 24, 1999. "Rainy," as she was called by her family, will be missed by her family and friends.

On a happier note, there were many greetings from Gusties of our vintage―B. J. and Wally ’43 Lornell were spending the holidays and the start of the Millenium in England with their daughter, then on to Cyprus for a sunny break.

Dorothy Anderson Houser lives close to her children in Crystal Lake, Illinois, and loves babysitting the grandchildren.

Betty (Westrom ’49) and Bill Skold took an Elderhostel adventure to the Amish countryside in Lancaster County. They thought this year’s Christmas Concert at Gustavus was the best ever.

Liz Hedman and Don Becker are both retired and enjoying their daughters and grandkids.

We had the pleasure of spending a day with Bayard and "Tup" Lorraine Rule Sheldon and their son, Dunstan, in Whitianga, on the Coromandel peninsula of New Zealand. Bayard restores antique cars. Much to the thrill of our Mimi, her kids, Kelsey and Rosie, and Pete and I; Bayard took us for a "spin" in his 1901 American LaFrance touring car. We wore goggles and tootled into town for hokey pokey ice cream cones. Such fun! Tup is as beautiful as ever, with snow-white hair. We did much reminiscing.

Other greetings were from George ’43 and Mabel Hulstrand, Jean Langsjoen Hogan ’48, Ruth (Tolman ’49) and Phil Helland, Joan (Johnson ’49) Sorenson (Erwin’s widow), John ’50 and Carol (Ostgaard ’50) Esbjornson (they write such great Christmas letters, with brief notes on the "kids." Their David directed Summer and Smoke at the Guthrie this past summer, and also a play in England. He’s following in his father’s footsteps.

As you read in the Quarterly, the 50-year class and our 50-year club will be having reunions at commencement time. This year the dates are May 26-27. All other classes are having theirs at Homecoming time. If you haven’t attended a recent reunion, please plan to return this year. You will see the tremendous changes on campus since the tornado, and also the new Campus Center. If you are unable to make it back to campus, check out the Internet Web Site at: Gustavus is really an exciting place to be―winning honors in several areas. It is the #1 small college in the Midwest for the number of alumni that currently serve in the Peace Corps, and 6th on the national list. Remember, it is with your generous contributions to the Gustavus Fund that Gustavus has been able to build and retain such a national reputation for excellence. Please keep those gifts coming!

I forgot to mention that they will be hosting a "War Years Reunion" this spring. It will also be held at commencement time. That is another reason to plan on this year’s reunion. "Come on down!"

Now the alumni staff can fill you in on more campus news. Thanks for bearing with me on this overdue letter.

Campus News – Winter 2000

Gustavus fared well in two recently released national rankings that affirm its mission of preparing students for "fulfilling lives of leadership and service in society." Gustavus is the #1 small college in the Midwest for the number of its alumni that currently serve as Peace Corps volunteers. With 18 Gustavus alumni now in the Peace Corps, Gustavus ranks sixth in the national "Top 10 Peace Corps Small Colleges and Universities" list, moving up from 12th last year. This list comprises institutions that have less than 5,000 undergraduates. Gustavus is one of five Minnesota colleges named to the list of 30. The College also ranked 14th in the nation among baccalaureate institutions for the number of students it sends overseas. The annual ranking, released in December by the Institute of International Education in its "Open Doors 1998-99" report, was based on study abroad statistics from the 1997-98 academic year. Gustavus was one of six Minnesota private colleges to make the list of 20, making Minnesota the most active study-abroad state in the nation. During the 1997-98 school year, 286 Gustavus students traveled and studied abroad. Approximately 30 percent of Gustavus' graduating seniors have a study abroad experience.

Construction on the new Campus Center is complete except for some finishing touches on the former dining service building. Many offices have moved their new location in the Campus Center including Admission, Dean of Students, Student Activities and Residential Life. Construction of the new International House-Swedish House, a new residence hall/international center to replace Johnson Hall and the Swedish House that were destroyed in the March 1998 tornado, began this week. Construction on an outdoor track and new soccer field stadium will begin this summer. If you have not been back to campus lately, you are encouraged to make a visit to see these exciting changes.

If you can not make it back to campus, but want to stay connected, check out the Internet site at The college is thrilled to recently have hired a web coordinator who has been busy updating the Gustavus home page. Look for more changes to alumni services on the web coming this spring.

Members of the New Millenium: Knowing that we are in a technological age, we want to encourage all alumni to get involved and get online. If you have access to a computer and the Internet, we hope you will check out the Gustavus Alumni Association homepage regularly. We publish information about upcoming events, post class letters, provide information about the Alumni Office, list e-mail addresses of alumni and more. Check us out under the alumni section at

You are invited and encouraged to attend these upcoming alumni events:

Helen and Paul Baumgartner, Gustavus music faculty will perform two piano recitals in the Twin Cities on March 19, 7:00 p.m. at Wayzata Community Church, and on April 9, 10:00 a.m. at Cross of Glory Lutheran Church, Brooklyn Center.

Brainerd Lakes Chapter event with Jim Gilbert ’60 on April 13

Gustavus War Years Reunion For classes of 1944-’47 and Navy V-12

May 26 & 27, 2000. You are invited to return to campus this spring as guests of the Alumni Association for a special reunion of the Gustavus War Year’s classes. Social events, seminars, concerts and other activities are planned for an exciting weekend. Navy V-12 members are also invited to share in the reunion activities. Registration material will be sent in early April, but mark your calendars and encourage your Gustavus friends to attend today.

A new method of giving to the College is now available! Lutheran Brotherhood created a highly successful and popular program for Lutheran churches called Simply Giving and has just extended this opportunity to Gustavus and other Lutheran colleges. Simply Giving is an automatic bank draft program that allows you to make regular monthly gifts from a checking or savings account to the College. You do not need to be Lutheran to participate, there is no cost to you or the College for this service, and you can make changes at any time. For so many people, it is much easier to give $50 a month than to write a $600 check once a year. Please call Heather Nancarrow at (800) 726-6192 or (507) 933-7518, or e-mail her at to request more information.

Joanne Mortensen Peterson

1944 Class Agent