Class of '45
October 2001

Dear Gustie of ’45,

The Class Agents' meeting this fall was held somewhat earlier than usual and it had a considerably wider scope than is customary.  Under the heading "Building a Greater Gustavus" the meeting called for the participation of National Campaign Council members, Campaign Cabinet members and the Board of Trustees to be gathered together with Class Agents, Alumni Board Members and Gustavus Fund Council members.  Some sessions were held together and others in separation.  We were informed that "nearly 200 of the college's most enthusiastic and loyal volunteers" were in attendance, constituting "the most impressive gathering of Gustavus Adolphus College leaders ever brought together in one forum."  (Quotes:  Dr. Axel Steuer, President of Gustavus Adolphus College)

We were also informed that "This conference is a significant event in the life of the College as we prepare to launch the public phase of our $100 million 'Building a Greater Gustavus' campaign, the largest fund raising effort in the history of the college."  Planning a strategy for the success of this campaign continued to be the major focus during the conference.

Pardon this lengthy introduction, but it seemed the best way to focus on what lies ahead.

Philip J. Lindau ’58 is the chair for the Building a Greater Gustavus Campaign.  In a presentation he made at the September 8 meeting he indicated the ways in which the fund would be utilized; here are some of them:

$15 million        for scholarship endowment to recruit retain and graduate a talented and increasingly diverse student body.

$15 million        designated to endow academic chairs; this will honor academic leadership and service as it also encourages further study and supports special educational events for the campus community.

$47.5 million     earmarked for endowment growth to provide a secure financial base for the future--to ensure "that Gustavus Adolphus College has the means to beet the mission."

It is apparent that endowments are of primary concern; they continue to work for us in the future of the college.  The current fund effort is aimed at raising $100 million, deemed essential to keep Gustavus on the cutting edge for education in our time and into the future.

With this in mind, it would be well for each of us to take a good look at our own potential for making a serious contribution to our Alma Mater currently and on a yearly/monthly basis.

Now a word on our past year performance, comparing with the previous year:


Class Total

Total Donors

Percentage of Donors

Unrestricted Dollars

Total Dollars

Average Unrestricted Gift

Average Total Gift














$ 9,372.50



You will note that our percentage of givers again, as it did the previous year, from an all-time high of 93.2%.  However:  our 80.8% still stands as the highest percentage of donors from any class for 2001 fund year.  Way to go ’45ers!  While our unrestricted dollars increased, the restricted gifts dropped off.  It is unrestricted gifts, which will bring success to the "Building a Greater Gustavus" campaign.

I couldn't begin to share with you all we heard at the expanded Class Agents' meeting.  Pastor Dennis Johnson ’60 gave a talk in which he noted "seven reasons why people give."  One of the reasons was "guilt" and with that went a story:  There was this man who wrote to the IRS "I cheated on my tax returns and I haven't been able to sleep.  Accept this check for $50.  He followed with P.S., If I'm still not able to sleep I'll send the balance."  According to Dennis, the #1 reason why people give is "because they were asked."  Please note:  Phonorama is just around the corner.

Gustavus used to be in the top ten colleges of the country in Alumni giving, with 57% contributing.  Overall giving of alumni has now dropped to 35%.  A goal in the current fund drive is to bring alumni participation back up to 50% by the year 2004―the fiftieth anniversary of the fund.

There may be graduates who feel they have already given to the college after all, they paid their tuition, fees, room, and board.  However, we know that no one has paid what it actually costs to cover the expense of a Gustavus Adolphus College education.  The college is where it is because people first gave.  Our gifts are an endowment, an investment in the ongoing future of the college.

I want to say thank you to all of you who have given.  Your continued participation is greatly appreciated.

Other Campus News

The Alumni Office is sending this class letter via U.S. Postal Service Mail and also e-mail to those alumni for whom we have an e-mail address.  Eventually class letters will be sent via e-mail only, when an address is available, unless you notify the Alumni Office that you prefer to continue to receive your letters via U.S. Postal Service.  Contact the Alumni Office at

As Gustavus enters its 140th academic year, the 2001-2002 year opened with an enrollment of 2,540 full-time students including 670 first-year students.  The Class of 2005, selected from a record number of applications (2,163), includes 18 National Merit Scholars and 18 international students, doubling last year’s number of nine international students.

Last year Gustavus athletic teams finished 18th out of 395 competing in the NCAA Division III national Sears Directors Cup Standings.  Standings are based on national tournament finishes.  The Gustie women athletes won the MIAC All-Sports title for the first time in its 18-year history.

Gustavus ranked among top colleges – Gustavus is ranked in the second tier and one of the top 114 best national liberal arts colleges by U.S. News & World Report magazine.  Gustavus ranked in the first tier in two categories, retention and graduation rates.  Gustavus’ first-year to sophomore retention rate of 92 percent ranks in the top 15 percent of all national liberal arts colleges and graduation rate of 76 percent ranks in the top 20 percent of all national liberal arts colleges.  Alumni giving ranks in the top 25 percent, down from the top five percent and a tier one ranking five years ago.  Raising the percentage of participation of alumni giving is of highest priority for the college and the offices of Alumni Relations and Gustavus Alumni Fund.

Gustavus named Best Buy... Gustavus has been named one of the best colleges in America and a Best Buy by The Fiske Guide to Colleges.  In the 2002 guidebook, the College is one of 300 best American colleges and one of 43 Best Buys nationwide.  Within Minnesota, Gustavus is among seven best colleges and is one of two private college Best Buys.  To determine which colleges make the annual Best Buy list, Fiske researchers combine cost data with academic and lifestyle information about each college and university.  Those institutions named to the Best Buy colleges list are said to offer “remarkable educational opportunities at a relatively modest cost.”  Gustavus is also included in The Princeton Review’s 2001 edition of The Best 331 Colleges.

Nobel Conference XXXVII, What is Still to be Discovered?, was October 2 & 3.  This year’s conference included five Nobel laureates and three other experts who will gave participants a foretaste of what the next big discoveries might be as we look toward the second Nobel century.  This year celebrates the 100th anniversary of the Nobel prizes and the conference will included the premier of Steve Heitzeg’s ’82 The Nobel Symphony, two art exhibitions in the Hillstrom Museum, and an exclusive 10-course banquet with a menu recreation of the Nobel dinner 100 years ago.

G.I.V.E. (Gusties In Volunteer Endeavors), a day of community service, is scheduled for Saturday, October 13.  Numerous sites have been identified in the Twin Cities and alumni in other cities around the country are participating in the event.  Contact the Alumni Office at 800-487-8437 or for more information or visit the events section of the alumni page at

Comprehensive alumni directory – In partnership with Publishing Concepts, the Gustavus Alumni Association is publishing its fourth comprehensive alumni directory.  Surveys were sent to all alumni in August and information will be used only for publication of the directory and updating database information in the Alumni Office.  The book is available for purchase only by former students of Gustavus.  Please correct or update any information and return to Publishing Concepts in the enclosed envelope provided with the survey.

New chaplain announced - The Rev. Rachel Larson has joined Rev. Brian Johnson ’80 in the Office of the Chaplain.  Larson will work in partnership with Chaplain Johnson and the other members of the Office of the Chaplain to provide spiritual guidance, worship, leadership, counseling, teaching, and other pastoral services to Gustavus students, staff, and their families.  Larson is a graduate of Augustana College in Sioux Falls, SD, and of what is now Luther Seminary in St. Paul.

Christmas in Christ Chapel, A Celtic Pilgrimage, is November 30 & December 1-2.  A ticket order form was inserted in the Fall Quarterly.  Contact Office of Public Affairs at 507-933-7520.

Class News Notes

Frank Bens tells of traveling to China on a Nomad Flying Club trip, and also having done a similar Nomad trip to Japan a year earlier.  Tell us more, Frank!

To keep the "News Notes" plural I'll toss in a few:  Another of my granddaughter graduated from Gustavus last May and is gainfully employed in a Minneapolis bank.  She voiced a preference for a visit to Sweden as a graduation gift; her parents (our son, Kim ’74, and his wife, Birdie ’75, both Gusties), accommodated her wish, and they included Sarah's grandparents in the entourage.  We visited Sweden, Norway and Finland.  We, of course, enjoyed the summer scenery, but also the opportunity to visit about a dozen relatives, and also dear friends from our East Africa years.  We spent 12 days in Sweden, 3 in Norway and 3 in Finland.  Upon return, I had the joy of baptizing our sixth great grandson (no great granddaughters yet).

In May I went hunting for the first time in 20 years.  When we moved to Kenya from Tanzania in 1981, hunting had been proscribed there.  My sons gave me an Iowa Turkey license as a Christmas gift last year; it had a three-week window for hunting.  Under the able tutelage of son, Dean ’71, I got a very nice gobbler on our fifth trip out.  It was kind of a downer when I got the turkey, as I had enjoyed the many hours in a blind visiting with Dean at least much as the satisfaction of getting the turkey.

I'm hoping the personal communication opportunity illustrated above will draw many offers to write the January class letter!

Again, best wishes and thanks for being the Class of ’45!


Elder Jackson

1945 Class Agent