Class of '45
October 2000

Dear Gusties of ’45:

The 55th year anniversary of our class has been observed by all of us, I hope, though only 13 made it to the on-campus festivities May 26-27. If you would refer to page 29 of the summer 2000 issue of the Gustavus Quarterly you will get the picture. A couple of corrections: Mel Briere was at the reunion but had to leave before the picture was taken; the alumnus listed as Mel is Leonard Pikal of Brownton, MN. But we are only eleven in our class picture; the reason, Hal Hagen ’45 appears in the V-12 Veterans picture but not in our class photo.

Reunion time was again most enjoyable; good programs, good fellowship, good hospitality and good food.

Also, that weekend a dedication took place the Eckhoff memorial sculpture ORBISC, a Granlund sculpture in memory of Emeritus Vice President for Alumni Affairs Cecil Eckhoff ’56.

It was a joy to be present at the year 2000 Homecoming events on Saturday, September 30 when three dedications were impressively carried out.

The Hillstrom Art Museum was dedicated at 10:30 a.m. The gallery is located under the Evelyn Young Dining Room. Pastor Richard Hillstrom ’38, the donor of so many fine art pieces, was present. We made his acquaintance long ago when he visited Tanzania in the ’50s.

At 11:15 the crowd was lead by international students carrying flags from many different countries, and accompanied by appropriate music as we progressed to the International Center/Swedish House. With the colorful students, colorful flags and a bright sun-shiny day, this beautiful and long awaited facility, the Curtis & Arleen Carlson International Center, was dedicated. There was a reception and opportunity to tour the building. It should prove to be a very comfortable dormitory. The north side windows look out over the football field and stadium, which could make it a premium spectator site in some late season games.

At 3 p.m. the new track and soccer field were duly dedicated. Due to the necessity of allowing the new grass (sod) to be integrated, the soccer field will not be played on until mid 2001.

You will be aware of the Kresge Challenge which offered one million dollars to Gustavus if the challenge could be met with a response of $4.3 million from Gusty supporters within a 13-month period. The amount was designated specifically for the Campus Center, a new outdoor track, and for tree replacement. The challenge was met with a total of about $5,000,000. I think we can experience satisfaction in that our class of ’45 had a part in reaching this goal.

In other campus news, Gustavus recently received the results of a comparative alumni survey that measures alumni responses to a series of questions about their college experience. The study provides comparisons to other groups of colleges including Lutheran colleges, member colleges of the Minnesota Private College Council and, most importantly, with large public universities. We will share with you results of the survey in class letters this year. A sampling of responses to remembrances of college academic life include the following:

· Alumni agree that professors often challenged them, but also personally helped them to meet the challenge. Gustavus alumni agree 78%, large public universities 38%.

· Alumni agree that a large majority of classes were taught by professors as compared to teaching assistants. Gustavus alumni agree 90%, large public universities 32%.

· Alumni remember a high quality, teaching oriented faculty. Gustavus alumni agree 61%, large public universities 25%.

· Alumni remember many small classes with fewer than twenty students. Gustavus alumni agree 50%, large public universities 9%.

Gustavus has received word from the Lilly Endowment that it was one of 20 awardees (out of a pool of 31 colleges and universities) of a $1,963,425 implementation grant. It is the largest program grant the College has ever received. The award will support a comprehensive initiative to more effectively carry out some key aspects of the College's mission statement and encourage theological reflection and moral questioning that forms character, shapes lives, and guides career choices. It will build upon the ethos and climate of Gustavus by supporting already-existing programs, adding new ones, and creating a center to coordinate and intensify those vocation-oriented activities. In doing so, it will provide students with the foundational tools necessary for a lifelong exploration of their calling and a lifetime of community leadership and service to others.

G.I.V.E. (Gusties In Volunteer Endeavors), a day of community service, was held on Saturday, October 7. Numerous sites were selected in the Twin Cities and alumni in other cities around the country participated in the event.

In the past fiscal year we contributed $4,985.50 in unrestricted funds plus designated giving making a total of $19,147.50. This results in an unrestricted gift average of $129.06 and an overall gift of $407.39. Let’s think in terms of increasing those averages in the current year.

Once again, this past year, our Class of ’45 topped all classes in percent of participation with 87%. Our pledge record was considerably higher, but some pledges apparently were not fulfilled, or perhaps arrived late for the May 31 closing date.

The XXXVI Nobel Conference took place October 3 & 4 under the title GLOBALIZATION 2000 and looked at economic prospects and challenges. There was a laudable emphasis on the need for giving third world countries a better shake in their struggle for development though forgiveness of debts.

Some reminders:

Christmas in Christ Chapel, Heaven and Nature Sing, is December 1-3. A ticket order form was inserted in the Summer Quarterly. Contact Office of Public Affairs at 507-933-7520.

Check to see if there is an Area Alumni Chapter in your area and plan to attend gatherings!

We have belatedly received information of the death of Richard C. Baudler of Austin, MN. Richard died August 29, 1999. Funeral services were conducted at St. Olaf’s Lutheran Church in Austin. He graduated from Austin High School, Gustavus Adolphus and from Midshipmen’s School at Columbia University, in New York and was commissioned in the Navy. After the war he graduated from St. Paul College of Law, now William Mitchell Law School. Our sympathy goes out to his wife, Bernice, and their children and grandchildren.

Some Class Notes:

Genevieve (Quam) Anderson and Russell ’42 write: Since 1982 when Russ retired after 25 years as superintendent of schools, Dist. 197 West St. Paul, we spend April though October at our lake home on Mille Lacs Lake. The other six months are spent at our apartment in West St. Paul with a few special trips mixed in.

Frank Bens writes that "All is well in Michigan, tulips up, flowers on the trees, grass getting tall, planting more in the beds when time allows." He also offers well wishes that the cross will now remain firmly in place on the Christ Chapel after replacing for the second time.

Ruth (Benson) Johnson reports "Ruth and Don are enjoying their newest granddaughter by adoption to daughter, Linnea, and Matt. She is Rebecca Ruth, five months old as of the month of May." Also: "at 75 years we built a house and moved to town after 47 years! Don still farms with our sons!"

The Rev. Dr. George W. Schwanenberg is chaplain of the FBI, San Antonio Police and the ATF. Wife, Gloria ’47 is a volunteer at Brooke Army Hospital, Fort Sam Houston.

Doris (Pearson) Swedberg and Richard ’44 write, "We have a first grandchild at Gustavus this year. She enrolled as a freshman fall of ’99 Andrea Johnson of McChesney Park, IL.

Elder Jackson can’t resist reporting that his son, Dean ’71, was awarded the Iowa teachers accolade of a "Golden Apple" in May; granddaughter, Sonia, did graduate from Gustavus (cum laude) in June; her little sister, Tanya, as a freshman joined sister, Anita, a junior at Gustavus this fall; granddaughter, Alyssa, was homecoming queen at her Coon Rapids, Iowa school last week and he (E.W.J.) gets to baptize another great-grandchild in Minneapolis next Sunday.

And now for that pick-me-up: Gustavus Adolphus College ranked among the best liberal arts colleges in U.S. News and World Report’s 14th annual America’s Best Colleges rankings. Gustavus is again in the top 80 of the overall quality listings for national liberal arts colleges. Ranked again in the second tier in the national liberal arts college category, Gustavus is one of four Minnesota colleges ranked in the top 80.

Phonorama has started and I should be on the phone with some of you in the nest few days. It runs October 16, 17, 19, 23, 24 & 26.

Ruth (Benson) Johnson has kindly consented to do the winter Class of ’45 letter. Thank you, Ruth!


Elder Jackson,

Class Agent ‘45