Class of '45
April 2004

Dear Gusties of ’45:

First, a hearty thank you to Paulie (Elaine Paulsen Brant, that is) for her great job on the January class of ’45 letter!  Paulie, you elicited news items regarding about 35 of our some 50 current classmates; Congratulations!

We have appreciated each of you who have undertaken to do the January letter in the past.  Other letter writers have been:  1996, Marbury Anderson; 1997, Dorothy Boyer Adolphson; 1998, Marjorie Dahl Swenson; 2000, Mary Ann Peters Anderson; 2001, Ruth Benson Johnson; 2002, Mel Briere.  The Alumni Office strongly recommends that we continue the practice; I couldn't agree more.

The past week was festive on campus with the inauguration of Gustavus' 14th president, Dr. James L. Peterson ’64.  While he has been holding the office since mid 2003, official investiture has now taken place.

The celebration began on Thursday evening, April 15 with an Inauguration Symposium featuring a keynote address by the Rev. Dr. Martin E. Marty, entitled "The Vocation of the Intellectual."  Dr. Marty also received an Honorary Gustavus degree.

This was followed with a couple of hours of Gustavus faculty members making four different panel presentations, requiring audience members to choose two.  Each panel had three presenters and five responders; the topics were:

Panel A:  "One Earth – Many Worlds"

Panel B:  "Techne/Cultus"

Panel C:  "The Politics of Religion

Panel D:  "Cosmos"

I opted for B and D; by the end of the sessions I knew, I knew less than I had ever thought I knew before, but enjoyed and found it stimulating.

We'll pass over this lightly; next stop, reception sponsored by the Gustavus Student Senate in the Evelyn Young Dining Room.  Opportunity to visit with other visitors and students.

Next day, April 16, "Tenure Service" at the 10:00 a.m. Chapel; eight faculty members achieved tenure.  Sermon preached by Bishop Jon Anderson of the Southwest Minnesota Synod ELCA.

At 11:45 off to the Linnaeus Arboretum, where an oak tree was dedicated to honor the new president and a lilac bush for the First Lady, The Rev. Susan (Pepin ’65) Peterson.  There are similar plantings for each of the previous 13 Gustie presidents and spouses.

At 3:00 p.m. an investiture service took place in the well-filled Christ Chapel.  Wonderful music―all the Gustavus choirs together!

At 4:30 p.m. a public reception was held in the Evelyn Young Dining room, Jackson Campus Center.

Today is Monday, April 19, 2004 and last night we had our first rainfall of the season―a half-inch.  Spring seems a bit slow in arriving on campus, though there were perhaps a half dozen varieties of flowers blooming for the festive occasion.

There will be another Phonorama next week, and I may get lucky and get to speak with some of you we've missed so far this year.

The needs of the College go on.  Let's do what we can.  Reminder:  remittance on our pledges needs to be in by May 31, 2004.

And again, reunion time for the 50-year Club is on Friday and Saturday, May 28 and 29; we look forward to seeing many of you.


Elder Jackson

1945 Class Agent

P. S. The Alumni Office will add some campus news here:

President Peterson inaugurated

Dr. James Peterson ’64 was inaugurated during a ceremony in Christ Chapel on Friday, April 16.  Other inaugural events scheduled April 15-18, included a symposium featuring Rev. Dr. Martin Marty, tree dedication, Gustavus Association of Congregations meeting, G.I.V.E. community service day in St. Peter, music concert, art exhibition, and an alumni reception preceding the Nobel Symphony Concert at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis.

50th Anniversary Alumni Fund Closes May 31

The 2004 Alumni Fund will close May 31 with a goal of 50 percent alumni participation. Thanks to everyone who has already participated with a gift.  If you haven’t given, please think about sending a gift along with your news in the enclosed gold envelope. Gustavus alumni have a long tradition of strong alumni participation.  Help maintain our national ranking by participating in the 50th anniversary year of the Alumni Fund.

Scholarships and financial assistance at Gustavus

Did you know that scholarships and financial assistance for Gustavus students totals $18M, almost 25 percent of Gustavus’ annual budget?  Alumni Fund gifts, including designated and unrestricted gifts, help enable students to receive a Gustavus education.  Gustavus offers two types of scholarships to students -- merit awards given to recognize academic achievement, and tuition grants are used to assist students with recognized financial need.  Endowed scholarships are an important part of the Gustavus grant program and currently nine percent of scholarship funds come from the endowment.

Alumni survey

An alumni survey was sent to 2,000 members of reunion classes.  Approximately 600 have responded as of April 1.  Questions on the survey consist of how well Gustavus prepared them for employment and graduate education, activities involved in while at Gustavus, personal growth skills, alumni events and services, and overall satisfaction with the College.  Results of the survey will be included in the Fall Quarterly.

Winter sports summary

Women’s basketball finished third in the MIAC and advanced to the semifinals of the MIAC playoffs. Men’s basketball won the MIAC regular season and playoff championship titles before losing to eventual national champion UW-Stevens Point in the NCAA national tournament. Men’s hockey posted a third-place finish in the regular season and advanced to the semifinals of the MIAC playoffs. Women’s hockey finished second in regular-season MIAC play, but won the post-season tournament and earned an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. Men’s swimming won its third consecutive MIAC championship and completed their season by finishing ninth at the NCAA championships. Women’s swimming won the MIAC championship and completed their season by finishing 13th at the NCAA championships. Men’s Nordic skiing won its first-ever MIAC championship and finished fourth at the NCAA Central Region meet. Women’s Nordic skiing claimed their third consecutive MIAC title and completed their season with a fourth-place finish at the NCAA Central Region meet. Gymnastics posted a 6–1 dual meet record and a second-place finish at the National Collegiate Gymnastics Association (NCGA) West Regional. The women’s indoor track and field team finished second and the men fifth at the MIAC championships. 

Did you know …

●Nearly 80% of Gustavus students graduate in four years, compared with 56% of students from other Minnesota private colleges; the national average is 17%.

●There are seven choral ensembles and 23 instrumental ensembles, two jazz, four woodwind and three brass ensembles.

●More than 40 percent of Gustavus students volunteer through the Gustavus community service center on a regular basis.

●For student safety, the campus is well-lit, there is 24-hour Safety and Security patrol and escort service, residence halls are locked 24 hours a day, and there are blue light emergency phones throughout campus linked directly to Safety and Security.

●And looking back -- during the college’s early years, students were awakened by a bell at 5:45 a.m. and all lights had to be out by 10:30 p.m.

Upcoming events
  • Phonorama - April 25-29, Central Lutheran Church
  • Mayday! Conference, The United Nations at the Crossroads – April 28
  • Cec Eckhoff Society Reception – May 1
  • Class of 1954 and 50 Year Club Reunions – May 28 & 29
  • Commencement – May 30
  • Alumni Fund closes – May 31
  • Class reunions on Homecoming & Family Weekend – October 1 & 2