Class of '46
"It's a beautiful day here in Minnesota!" It is true that our weather is pleasant for this season of the year, as I think it is about 50 degrees today. So, all you snowbirds do not have to gloat, too much. However, there is more snow arriving.
Now that we have all just packed up the Christmas holidays another lengthy church season has begun with Ash Wednesday. Even though it isn't as demanding for us, it is a cherished time of reflection and worship. I have always felt that it was a more personal opportunity to assess one's spiritual journey.
I wish to take you on a short homecoming visit to Gustavus. Last Sunday Ray and I enthusiastically drove down to Gustavus for the "Homecoming Concerts" of the band and choir. The band had just returned from being on tour out West, perhaps some of you heard them. Their performance was one of delight and perfection, although they had just blown in and were exhausted. I had "goose-bumps" when the percussion section performed their specialty. The sounds echoed throughout the chapel and it was magnificent! It was a delight to see the chapel back to its serene beauty and acoustical perfection.
After the band concert we, and other alumni, parents and students enjoyed one of Gustavus' tasty culinary fetes. Ray suggested I acquire the recipes! This gave us a moment to chat with new Gustie friends. As usual, we found folks in common, amongst the Gustavus family.
Following the dinner, I chased downstairs to make a purchase or two of Gustie memorabilia, which was a new sweatshirt that has a decal acknowledging we are alumni. They always have the latest!
We returned to Christ Chapel and there we were thrilled by the sounds of the choir. They had an outstanding repertoire of numbers that they had sung on their fantastic tour of South Africa. They sang William Byrd’s, " I Will Not Leave You Comfortless" to "Ngana" by Stephen Leek, to "Shenandoah" and the South African national anthem. With the use of the indigenous instruments of Africa they created a special sound that resulted in being extremely moving.
The most meaningful moments were when the students spoke about how their lives had been changed forever because they met people who had fought and been imprisoned for the right of freedom. To hear those young people be so affected was, to me, worth every dollar which we, the alumni, have invested in our alma mater. I felt "a part" of this enlightenment to which the youth responded. Surely they will be more wisely equipped to respond to the needs of their global world.
It is difficult to keep in touch with you classmates because I was not able to contact you during Phonorama and the college has no personal news about you, either. I want to compliment all of you who so faithfully contributed to Gustavus during this time of rebuilding. You have done a marvelous job along with all the other alumni and concerned folks.
I have news about a few Gusties, whom you would all know. Lorraine Telander ’36, our former women's dean and most faithful Gustie, had a heart attack in December and somehow now is on kidney dialysis, her address is: 6615 Lake Shore Dr., Minneapolis, MN 55423. Millie Hoorn Engberg and husband, Curt, were on a trip in Egypt when Curt was stricken by a stroke. They returned to the U.S. and she reports that he is doing well. Ruth Hiepler Homuth had a severe tragedy. Last fall, her youngest son, Paul, was driving her to his new home in Montana after picking her up at the train, when a horse jumped out of the ditch and hit the car and Paul was killed instantly. We extend our sympathy. A few of us Gustie friends attended Marcella Moline Rauker's ’44 funeral a few weeks ago. She and Tony have been in a nursing home for some time, as a result of Parkinson's disease.
I am guessing that many of you have been on interesting trips and I'm wondering if any of you attended the Augustana Synod reunion last summer? I hear it was a real festival.
Gustavus is doing well and appreciates all the gifts that you so generously share with them and I can say it is a thrill to see the strength of faith and vision, which the leadership of the college continues to exhibit.
June Naplin Christensen
1946 Class Agent