Class of '45
Dear Gusties of ’45:
Gustavus lives on. It has been instructive, challenging and gratifying to have witnessed the well organized activity on campus since the March 29th tornado. Walking through the campus at almost any time through the spring-summer and until the present, one could witness repair, reconstruction, removal or replacement of most of the campus buildings.
The campus still has a very "young" look about it. Viewed from below College Avenue the campus appears quite denuded, but from up on top one can’t help but be impressed with all the new tree plantings, many of which are quite sizable.
You will have heard through various communications of the progress in rebuilding, and no doubt many of you will have seen the video "Rebuilding a Greater Gustavus" which so graphically portrays the devastation inflicted by the tornado as well as the commitment and vigor with which the task of clean-up and reconstruction began.
You will have noted in recent communications regarding alumni support that there is an emphasis on The Gustavus Fund. This is the fund that supports current operations in the college it includes designations for the library, arboretum and departments, but is separate from dollars raised for endowments (which are invested and not spent) and capital fund (which is money used for building and landscaping). The Gustavus Fund will include gifts from parents, friends, etc., but reports will continue to track alumni giving by class.
The need for growth of The Gustavus Fund is apparent as the college struggles back to a normal footing following the disruptions from the tornado.
I must share with you what we as the class of ’45 did this past year: 55 of our 59 class members contributed $5,183.64 in unrestricted funds (The Gustavus Fund) plus an additional $17,967.50 in other (capital and endowment) giving.
That represents an increase of six donors over the previous year, and class participation of 93.2%. We were surpassed only by the class of ’36 with 95.2%. Thank you!
Class agents were asked to set goals for the current year, and I was rash enough to declare a goal of 100% for our class of ’45 this year. Would you like to help us achieve the goal? What a classy class!
We were also asked to set a goal for The Gustavus Fund in dollars; that poses a more difficult guess. I wrote in $8,000, but believe we can surpass it.
The 1998-99 academic year opened with a record enrollment of 2,470 full-time students (compared with the previous record of 2,389 set in 1988), including a record 700 incoming students (compared to 648 of 1987). Contributing to the record enrollment is the stable 94 percent full-time student retention rate. Students returned to a campus that has been newly landscaped with 400 trees planted last spring and nurtured over the summer. They also discovered that 95% of all repairs made necessary by the tornado of March 29 are now completed. They returned to find Johnson Hall gone as it proved to be "beyond repair," but they also were greeted by a new College View Apartment addition, which houses 92 upper-class students, and the recently purchased Jefferson Avenue apartments (now known as Arbor View), which houses 60 upper-class students. In addition to new carpeting, painting, and furnishings, the campus is sporting 300 new state of the art computers for students and faculty, 28 new Steinway pianos (making us a member of a very elite circle of "All Steinway" campuses), 13 new high-tech multimedia systems for classrooms, new and upgraded outdoor and indoor athletic facilities, and new scientific equipment.
What remains to be done? The Prairie View Residence Hall, to be in place and opened in October, will house 60 students. It will be located west of Schaefer Fine Arts Center. Physically and symbolically the repair/restoration era will end with the placement of the spire and the cross back on the top of Christ Chapel. The spire went up in sections over a two-day period and the cross was set on Thursday, October 22.
Students also noted the beginning stages of construction on the new Campus Center. This project, part of our strategic plan, was accelerated by the storm. The official groundbreaking ceremony took take place Monday, October 19. This $18.6 million, 51,000 square foot construction project will double the size of the Dining Service Building, providing students, faculty and staff with expanded and improved dining, meeting and office spaces. The Dining Room will, appropriately, be named for Evelyn Young ’33, longtime director of the Dining Service at Gustavus. In progress also is an addition to the Melva Lind Interpretive Center to house the Department of Environmental Studies.
US News and World Report continues to give Gustavus high ranking. This fall’s issue again placed Gustavus in the top half of the 162 national liberal arts colleges in the country. Gustavus is one of four colleges in Minnesota to be in this category. The others are Carleton, Macalester and St. Olaf. The other ELCA schools in addition to Gustavus and St. Olaf are Gettysburg, Muhlenberg and Augustana (IL). Many of the schools with which you are familiar are classified as either a "national" or a "regional" college. National liberal arts colleges have the most selective admission policy, recruit nationally and offer most of their degrees in the liberal arts. Regional liberal arts colleges are less selective in admitting students and grant fewer than 40% of their degrees in the liberal arts.
US News further honored Gustavus by ranking the College third nationally (out of 90 schools) in operating efficiency. This ranking measures academic quality and dollars spent to deliver that quality. Gustavus was the only Minnesota college ranked in this comparison of national liberal arts colleges.
Newsweek magazine’s college publication again listed Gustavus as a "buried treasure." These are colleges that are known as "Hot Schools, Cool Spots." The magazine describes Gustavus as a place where "Personal attention rules--can’t slide by here." Other buried treasures include: Davidson College, Davidson, NC; Grinnell College, Grinnell, IA; Pomona College, Claremont, CA; Trinity University, San Antonio, TX; and College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA. Good company, indeed.
Children of alumni continue to be honored for their academic achievement and potential when they enroll at Gustavus. The Alumni Scholarship of $2,500 (renewable to $10,000 over four years) is awarded to children and grandchildren of alumni with high school grade point averages of 3.5 or better, or SAT scores of 1170 or an ACT of 26. This fall Gustavus welcomed to campus 70 new entering students who are children of alumni. Sixty-seven legacy students were awarded an Alumni Scholarship. This number includes 54 children of alumni and 13 grandchildren of alumni.
Nobel Conference XXXIV, Virus: The Human Connection was October 6 & 7. The Nobel Conference magazine was again inserted in the August Minnesota Monthly magazine and sent to the entire Gustavus mailing list.
Christmas in Christ Chapel is December 4, 5 & 6. The theme this year is The Holy Family. A ticket order form was inserted in the center of the Summer Quarterly and another form is enclosed with this class letter.
The Gustavus Orchestra will perform its Autumn Concert at the Ted Mann Concert Hall on the campus of the University of Minnesota on Saturday, November 14, at 7:30 p.m. The featured violin soloist is Siqing Lu, one of the most important Chinese violinists of his generation. General admission tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for students and seniors. Call the University of Minnesota Arts Ticket Office (612-624-2345) or Gustavus Ticket Center at (507-933-7598).
G.I.V.E. (Gusties In Volunteer Endeavors), a day of community service, was a huge success for another year. Alumni, parents and friends gathered on Saturday, October 3 to work together in the spirit of service to better their communities. An impact was made around the country as nearly 1,000 Gusties worked in nine cities including: Atlanta, GA; Boston, MA; Duluth, MN; Fargo, ND; Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN; Orlando, FL; Saint Peter, MN; Seattle, WA and Washington, DC.
Recycle your Quarterly – after reading each issue of the Gustavus Quarterly, we encourage you to "recycle" the magazine by taking it to your place of business or worship and sharing it with others. Spread the good word about Gustavus!
Alumni Chapters will be meeting in cities around the country near you! Mark your calendars today for the following Alumni Association chapter visits: Chicago, November 14; Atlanta, November 19; Washington, DC, November 20; Boston, November 21; Denver, February 1 (Gustavus Band concert); Fargo, Feb. 20; Seattle, March 5; San Francisco, March 6; Los Angeles, March 7; Phoenix, March 8; and Sun City, March 9.
Since the last class letter in April, the death of two class members has been reported:
George Benson died on May 23, 1998. George was a retired pastor of the United Church of Christ living in Greenville, PA. Our condolences to his wife, Dr. Twylah (Lundquist x52) and children Karen and Ann.
Betty Strand Holte died on September 6, 1998. Her husband, Maynard x44, preceded her in death. They lived in St. James, MN.
Elaine Pinks Anderson and Iver report becoming great grandparents of a girl, Jiselle de Anda on March 4, 1997. The grandparents are daughter, Louise x69 and David ’69 Nichols. Congratulations!
Mary Ann (Peters) Anderson and Paul ’47 write: "We’re proud of the Gustavus spirit in the midst of this disaster. Please use this gift in whatever fund will double it’s value. Our Florida vacation─elderhostel trip was aborted because I fell and broke two bones in my foot. But Minnesota was an O.K. place to be and I’m mending, so all is well."
Elaine Paulson Brant writes on May 3, 1998, I will be consecrated into ELCA Diaconal Ministry at Beaver Lake Lutheran Church, Maplewood, MN by Bishop Mark Hanson. I am the 15th in the ELCA and first in Region three to be consecrated into Diaconal Ministry. On May 20, 1998 I will be installed as a staff chaplain in the St. Croix Chaplaincy Association part time." Congratulations!
Dorothy Elizabeth Hanson Lofgren writes: Melvin and I are celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary this year, 1998! Praise God. Their four children are:
Dr. John P. Lofgren ’72, Epidemiologist of Alabama
Dr. David J. Lofgren ’74, in family practice at Thief River Falls, MN
Rev. Ruth Lofgren Rosell ’78, working on Ph.D. at Vanderbuilt
Rev. Timothy M. Lofgren ’80, pastor of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, New London, WI
Myrtle Johnson Moline writes: "Oldest grandson, Andrew Widen, graduated from Gustavus this spring, third generation!" Congratulations Myrtle!
Philip J. Worthington writes: "We are praying for the Gustavus campus family. May all be given the grace, strength and patience to recover from this great testing time." Amen to that.
I expect to be in touch with many of you through Phonorama this fall. Some of you may receive calls made by the on-campus student-phoning program, which is called GusLink.
I’d be pleased to hear from anyone who would like to write the Class of ’45 letter for sending out in late January or early February. Marbury Anderson, Dorothy Boyer Adolphson and Marjorie Dahl Pinkham Hennessy have accommodated delightfully in the past three years. If you would help, please let me know this side of Thanksgiving. My telephone number is 507-931-6342 and my address is 742 Sioux Lane, St. Peter, MN 56082. The Alumni Office will help you with current campus news and news from classmates. You can reminisce, make observations, and communicate with all of us!
Thanks again for your near 100% participation in the The Gustavus Fund; let’s hit it this year!
1945 Class Agent