Class of '46
October 2001

Greetings Gusties,

As I am sitting here trying to concentrate on information for all of you regarding the 48th year of the Gustavus Alumni Fund, I can hear the TV commentators saying that there are more warnings of a terrorist strike, again, this week.  I don't know how you feel, but it does send shivers through my body to think of us being engaged in "another war."  We, of the class of ’46 have endured too many wars and I was hoping that, perhaps, we could enjoy peace in our world for the rest of our lives.  I guess we can never relax, as evil is in the world and it seems, as though, it is so powerful.  All we can do is believe in God's grace and focus our thoughts in that direction.

Gustavus had a Phonorama session at the Radisson Hotel in Edina last week and there was a good turn out of alumni.  It was experimental, as we all had cell phones and were gathered in a big room while we contacted our classmates.  Randy Stuckey and his staff tried to accommodate all of us with our particular needs.  I was seated at a table, by myself, because I did have trouble hearing and I guess that comes with age!!!!

Gustavus has Evelyn Young ’33 serving as Chairwoman of this big drive and she states:  "I want to encourage you to continue your consistent giving, for together, alumni and other friends of the college, we are Gustavus.  We are the arms, hands, and hearts of the college.  We honor the values of the past by ensuring the future."

The annual meeting of Class Agents was held and there were several speakers present, but the one who really inspired me was a young student, Angela Ziebarth ’02, who spoke about meeting John Monson, her classmate (Bonnie Sjostrand Monson's grandson), in the choir her first year.  She followed him through his diagnosis of cancer and his death and how that same choir gathered in Duluth to sing God's praises in his honor and share in the short life that he was given.  She told how through experiences as this, Gustavus is not just an academic place, but a center for spiritual growth as well.

I did find a few of you home during Phonorama.  Janet Johnson Breneman said that at this time of the year they look forward to going to Texas for the winter months.

Phyllis Anderson Gillson had been on a cruise and is also still busy with music in her church.  She has done what most of us should do and that is to write her autobiography entitled,"My Happy Life in a Swedish Community."  That's a nice keepsake for your grandchildren, too.

Doris Nelson Johnson was busy entertaining family and friends this summer, which is enjoyable.  Ruth Kaufman Myklebust was busy packing to move from Minnesota to Sun City, AZ for the winter season.

Robert Bingea was pleased to share the news that their daughter, Christine Berthelsen, was just ordained into the ministry.

Milly Hoorn Engberg and husband, Curtis, are doing well and enjoying their life activities. 

Gustavus is doing fantastic and they have full enrollment of some 2500 students.  They have decided to repair one of our favorite buildings on campus, Old Main.  The financial needs are great at our alma mater and we ask you to think seriously about your gift this year.  The needs are staggering, as for instance it takes $15 million, alone, for scholarships and $5 million for Christ Chapel facilities and I could go on and on.

We thank all of you who faithfully support Gustavus.  We remind you that the drive ends on May 31, 2002.  We extend our concern for those of you who are having health problems and hope that time will give you healing.  The college sends its greetings to each of you.

The college will add here the news which they feel you will enjoy hearing at this time.

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 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 included the premier of Steve Heitzeg’s ’82 The Nobel Symphony, two art exhibitions in the Hillstrom Museum, and an exclusive banquet with a menu recreation of the Nobel dinner 100 years ago.


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.


June Naplin Christensen

1946 Class Agent