Class of '46
May 2002

Dear Gusties,

We are, once again, in the season of proms, banquets, graduations and job searching.  At this stage of our lives perhaps this would be about our grandchildren, grandnephews and nieces and even maybe great-grandchildren.  Whoever they may be, with them go the memories of our own apprehensions and excitement.

We are sorry to have to remind Gusties that President Axel Steuer and his wife, Loreli, have resigned as President and First Lady of Gustavus.  We shall always honor him for the competent way that he led the restoration of the campus after the devastating tornado.  He also helped enhance the national academic reputation of the College.  We thank him and Loreli for their faithfulness.  The Rev. Dennis Johnson ’60 will be the interim president during this time of search for the new leader.

It was my privilege to once again participate in the spring Phonorama for Gustavus.  We now meet at Radisson South Hotel and use "cell phones" to communicate with you.  I found a few of you home that evening and wish to share bits of those conversations.  I reached Natalie Anderson Smith who said that she had made a trip to Florida to visit with one of her sons and enjoyed the change in weather from Illinois.  Bea Nelson Windall is a recent widow and she is grateful to her church friends in helping her during this lonely time.  Elaine Erickson Workinger is keeping really busy in her church and community.  She is excited that her son, Brian, who is in his 40's, has found a lovely nurse, Penny, as a life companion and will be wed soon.  Doris Nelson Johnson says that they stay in Nebraska even during the winter season.  She and husband stay busy in their community.  We also are pleased to know that many of you enjoy living in warmer climates during the chilly Minnesota winters and that some of you are enjoying new freedom to travel in far away lands.

It was exciting to hear about Ruth Hiepler Homuth's most recent award.  Ruth received the 2002 Minnesota Social Service Association Distinguished Service Award for Individual Service and Initiative. The award is an honor given every few years to a person who has shown a deep devotion to helping others. Since moving to Annandale in 1949, she has served her community in social and civic work as a professional and volunteer.

We realize that many of us, in this stage of life, do have health problems and also many losses of a spouse.  We extend our sympathy to all of you who have experienced a personal loss this year and also our prayers for comfort in your time of illness.

There will be the annual reunion celebrations during the weekend of May 31 - June 1.  The 50 Year Club will have its own dinner at 5:00 p.m. on Friday evening and everyone can join in the Alumni Banquet on Saturday, June 1st at the Jackson Campus Center after which there will be an orchestra concert at 8:00 p.m. in Christ Chapel.

We are pleased that a great number of you ’46 alumni have been so generous with your gift participation this year and we thank you, kindly.  There are also, a number of you, from whom we have not heard and we would remind you that the due date is May 31, for the year 2002.  The gift is a token of thanks to our ever-loving alma mater for sharing in the shaping of our own life's journey.  I feel most grateful for having had the privilege of receiving my professional training at a place that has never forgotten me and has been a pleasant vehicle through which I have met multitudes of other interesting people throughout my travels in life.  I am sure that all of you have these similar thoughts of gratitude.


June Naplin Christensen

1946 Class Agent

P. S. Now for some campus news written by a current Gustavus student:

Campus News:

Hi!  This is Tracey Hanson ’02 again writing from the Alumni Office.  For those of you who haven’t previously heard from me, I am a senior double majoring in Communication Studies and Business Management.  I am a seasoned Alumni Office veteran, as this is my fourth (and final) year here.  After not having taken a J-Term class, spring semester and the homework it entails has been hitting me hard.  Contrary to popular belief, the “senior slacker” final semester has been just the opposite for me.  My time at Gustavus has flown by, especially this final year.  The fact that it is March and I am still without a job is beginning to be a constant thought in the back of my mind.  It also seems to be a constant thought in the minds of my parents, although it seems closer to the front of theirs!  Spring semester has also been the final opportunity to be all together with classmates, so much time has been spent socially with roommates and friends.

As I will be graduating in June, this will be the final time you receive updates from me.  I now will also move into the alum category and step into the real world.  I’m not sure I’m completely ready for the change, but I’m darn sure that I better get ready because it’ll be here before I know it!  Here is some news from Gustavus.

Interim President Named: The Board of Trustees of Gustavus announced that it has selected The Reverend Dennis J. Johnson ’60 as the interim president of the College.  The Rev. Johnson succeeds Dr. Axel Steuer, the thirteenth president of the College, who announced January 21st that he was resigning at the end of the current academic year after having served as president for the last 11 years.

In 1985 he accepted the position as Vice President of Church Relations of Gustavus Adolphus College and in 1996 was named Vice President of College Relations.  During his tenure in the College Relations position, he twice served as interim Vice President for Development.  Previously, he served on both the Gustavus Board of Trustees and the Alumni Board.  He retired from Gustavus in 2000.  In the last year, he has served as the Bishop’s Associate for the Minneapolis Area Synod of the ELCA.  Dennis and his wife have two children.

Hello Walk On-line Alumni Community ( has been launched and Gusties of all ages are invited to join this meeting place for anything from small talk to debate to caring conversations.  Hello Walk at Gustavus is the sidewalk running from Uhler Hall on the north side of campus past the front of Old Main to Pittman Hall on the south side, which, for decades, was the main “artery” and gathering point on campus.  Even though the campus landscape has changed, the spirit of Hello Walk continues with you joining the conversation on the virtual Hello Walk.  Associate professor of political science Chris Gilbert will guest host a discussion on politics for the months of May and June.  Check it out at

Reunion Weekend for the 50 Year Club and Class of 1952 is May 31 & June 1.  A schedule of events and registration material was sent in April.

The Gustavus Alumni Fund closes May 31 – help us reclaim 50 percent participation and our national recognition for alumni giving.  All gifts, no matter what the size are appreciated.

Homecoming 2002 & All Sports Reunion Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of Intercollegiate Athletics is September 21.  Homecoming Weekend will include reunion gatherings for classes of 1957, 1962, 1967, 1972, 1977, 1982, 1987, 1992, 1997 and 2002.  Class reunions will be held in Bloomington at the Radisson South Hotel Friday evening, and Homecoming events including class and all-sports reunion events will return to campus for activities Saturday.  A schedule of events and registration material will be mailed in August.  A schedule will be published in the summer and fall issues of the of the Quarterly.

It was an extremely successful winter sports season at Gustavus.  Women’s hockey won the MIAC regular season championship with an undefeated record and advanced to the Frozen Four National Tournament, finishing third in the nation. The men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams both won MIAC titles, the first time in Gustavus history.  The women’s Nordic ski team won its first MIAC championship.  Men’s basketball placed second in the MIAC during the regular season and MIAC playoffs, and advanced to the Sweet Sixteen before losing to number one ranked Carthage College.  Men’s hockey finished second in the MIAC regular season and playoffs.  Women’s basketball finished fourth in the MIAC and advanced to the conference playoff for the first time ever. The women’s indoor track team finished second and both the men’s Nordic ski team and men’s indoor track teams placed fourth in MIAC action.  The women’s gymnastics team advanced to the NCGA National Championships.  Five Gustavus coaches were named Coach of the Year in their respective sports – Jon Carlson (women’s swimming & diving), Mike Carroll (women’s hockey), Mickey Haller (women’s basketball), Scott Jerome (women’s Nordic skiing), and Brett Petersen (men’s hockey).

Evelyn Sponberg Young’s 90th birthday celebration

The Twin Cities Chapter of the Alumni Association invites all Gusties and friends of former Gustavus food service director and 2002 Alumni Fund Chair Evelyn Sponberg Young ’33 to her 90th birthday celebration on July 25, 2002 at Mt. Olivet Lutheran Church, 5025 Knox Avenue South, Minneapolis, at 6:30 p.m. with a 7:30 p.m. program.

Evelyn will be serving her famous red velvet cake and all guests will receive a loaf of her famous Swedish rye bread. A book of remembrance will be compiled as a gift for Evelyn.  Please send remembrances and stories of Evelyn to Alumni Office, Gustavus Adolphus College, 800 West College Avenue, St. Peter, MN 56082.  Reservations should be made with the Alumni Office at 800-487-8437, e-mail at or visit our web site at, alumni, events.

NOBEL CONFERENCE® XXXVIII, The Nature of Nurture – The Early Years, will be held on campus October 1 & 2.  The conference will explore the forces that are most important in shaping a child’s personality, gender identity, and language acquisition and learning ability.  History, discoveries, research, and clinical studies will all be surveyed to draw a better understanding of biological forces and environmental influences on brain development.

For more news and information about Gustavus, check out the web site at