Class of '46
January 2006


Reunion dates ― May 26 & 27, 2006

Happy New Year 2006!

It is now 60 years since we graduated from Gustavus and left the hill for the big, wide world out there.

Alumni Director, Randall Stuckey ’83, has asked me to take over as class agent for June Naplin Christensen who died last year.  She did a cavalier job for many years keeping in touch with you and promoting Gustavus and its tremendous advances and achievements in the U.S. educational arena.  I am sure if you read the Quarterly you are well aware of this.  Gustavus now has an enrollment of over 2000 students who excel in many areas.

As I look over the roster of graduates that I was sent I see that you have settled all over the map, and as some of you have retired you have left the frigid north and headed for the sun drenched beaches and retreats of the south.

Among some of these are:  Art Blake, Doris (Johnson) and Mel ’45 Briere, Ione Knudson Dopp, Roy Miller, Ove Olson, Vern Spieker, Marianne Pankake Torgerson, Bea Larson Grorud, and Burton Jacobson.  Others of you are snowbirds and just leave for the winter months.

A couple of our classmates have died this year, Ruth Seashore Horton in March and Mickey Malmin Stebbins in December.  Also, Rev. Ted Conrad ’25, who taught Religion, died two weeks ago.  He was 100.

I have gotten notes from the Alumni Office of replies you have sent in.  As you have retired from that “regular job” many of you have found the joys of grandparenting, volunteering and leisure activities.

Adele Bonander Engberg who lives in the Portland, OR area has a granddaughter attending Texas Christian University.

Melva Lindstrand Jacobson writes glowingly of her several grandchildren.

Viola Hanson Russell had a summer highlight with a visit from her daughter and grandchildren who live in Denmark.

Sigri Gunderson Hecht is pleased to recover eyesight with successful cataract surgery.

Rev. Bob Bingea keeps very busy in church-related volunteer activities.  He and Esther spend the winter in Mesa, AZ.

Bonnie Sorem Anderson is a care partner.  What a wonderful way to share time with people who are lonely.  (She probably tells them stories with her Swedish accent).

Lois Magnuson Cole moved back to the Twin Cities after the death of her husband.  She recently took a cruise around South America and to Antarctica.

Bob Clemens conducts a fellowship bible study once a week at Minnesota Oak Park Prison.

Ruth Seashore Horton’s granddaughter, Joni Nordberg, a senior at Gustavus, was featured in the Winter Quarterly, page 10.  She was chosen for a special physics project at the University of Wisconsin last summer.  Her older brother, Eric ’02, is getting a further degree there.  Smart grandkids.

Art ’47 and Donna (Silver) Fredrickson spend three winter months in Naples, FL and regularly see Gusties at the big get-together in February.

Last summer I picked up Virginia Lind Hanson in Willmar and went to visit Ruth Peterson Graves in Cherokee, Iowa.  We drank lots of coffee, talked over “old times” and were thankful we were able to still get around―although slowly.

With a Christmas card from Carol Mae (Larson) and Dick Weech in Pennsylvania I heard they have some limiting health problems, but still are enjoying family, pets and their home.

Every December my daughter Barb ’75 and I attend the St. Lucia Festival on campus.  It is a time to buy Ma Young’s famous rye bread and cookies, share the memories of the Lucia ceremony and have a marvelous smorgasbord.  It’s a wonderful tradition and always a sell-out.

Many of you who are not in the Midwest may not know how well-respected Gustavus is for its educational facilities and programs.  It ranks especially high in its study-abroad experiences for students and its extensive program of service projects for students in the community.  I am extremely proud to say I am a Gustavus graduate.

Since this is our 60th reunion it would be a very nice gesture for each of us to say “thank you” to Gustavus for the education we received, the friendships we made, the profs who became our mentors, and the spiritual grounding we received by sending the College a generous check.  I know many of us have been blessed this year.

Reunion weekend is May 26-27, 2006.  All members of the 50-Year Club are invited to return.  Let’s make it a mini vacation and experience Minnesota spring on campus.

In conclusion, I trust it has been worth the time it took to read this and please send information about how you are filling your hours and days.

Cordially, your friend,

Arlene “Red” Sorenson Higgins

1946 Class Agent

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

Study Abroad Leader

Gustavus continues to be a leading institution for the number of students studying abroad, according to an annual ranking recently released by the Institute of International Education (IIE).  Consistent with its mission of giving students an education that is international in perspective, Gustavus was ranked seventh in the "Top 20 Baccalaureate Institutions" list of the institute’s "Open Doors 2005" report.  Gustavus was one of four Minnesota private colleges to make the list of 20.  The report was based on study abroad statistics from the 2003-04 academic year.  Gustavus students engage in international learning through various programs in more than 100 locations throughout the world, ranging from Australia to India and Ecuador to Sweden.  In recent years, 50 percent of Gustavus graduates have participated in at least one study-abroad experience.

New Carnegie Classification for Colleges and Universities

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching released a new classification system for institutions of higher education.  Gustavus’ classification is Arts & Sciences plus Professions, indicating that 60 to 80 percent of Gustavus students complete a traditional liberal arts major, such as political science, classics, or biology.  The new classifications describe five aspects of colleges and universities: instructional programs, enrollment profile, undergraduate demographics, size, and setting.  Undergraduate instructional programs are now designated as Arts & Sciences Focus, Arts & Sciences plus Professions, Balanced Arts & Sciences and Professions, Professions plus Arts & Sciences, or Professions Focus. 

Insurance Programs

The Alumni Association, in partnership with Meyer and Associates and Liberty Mutual, offers an insurance program to alumni and their families.  Products include insurance policies for life, short-term medical, auto, home, and renters.  For life and short-term medical insurance call Meyer and Associates at 800-635-7801 or visit  For auto, home, and renters insurance call Liberty Mutual at 800-524-9400 or visit

Gustavus to Perform at Orchestra Hall

The Gustavus Music Showcase will be Sunday, March 12, at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis.  The Gustavus Choir, Gustavus Symphony Orchestra, and Gustavus Wind Orchestra will perform.  This is a unique opportunity to hear three premier ensembles from Gustavus in one concert.  This showcase also allows prospective students, parents, and alumni from the area to meet and connect.  For tickets, call the Orchestra Hall box office at 800/292-4141.  Tickets are $20 for general admission, and $10 for students 18 and under.


Two big stories from the fall sports are that Hailey Harren won the national NCAA Division III cross country title and the men’s soccer team became the first MIAC school to play in the national championship game and finished second, losing 1-0 to defending national champion Messiah.  For the second consecutive year, men's soccer coach Larry Zelenz has been named Coach of the Year in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America/Adidas NCAA Division III West Region.  The men's hockey team is unbeaten in conference play, outscoring their opponents 28-5 in four games.

Upcoming Music Tours

This year nearly 300 students will participate in music tours as members of the Gustavus Wind Orchestra, Gustavus Choir, Gustavus Symphony Orchestra, Gustavus Jazz Lab Band, and Choir of Christ Chapel.  The Gustavus Wind Orchestra will tour Eastern Europe Jan. 14-30.  Performances are scheduled for Germany, Czech Republic, Poland, and Austria.  The Gustavus Choir will tour Jan. 27-Feb. 11 (see schedule below), with performances in Minnesota and Wisconsin.  The Gustavus Symphony Orchestra, Gustavus Jazz Lab Band, and Choir of Christ Chapel will tour during Spring Semester.

Gustavus Choir Tour Schedule

  • January 27 at Augustana Lutheran Church, West St. Paul, 7:30 p.m.
  • January 28 at St. Joseph's Catholic Church, Grand Rapids, 7:30 p.m.
  • January 29 at Zion Lutheran Church, Grand Rapids, 8:30 a.m. morning service
  • January 29 at Concordia Lutheran Church, Duluth, 3 p.m.
  • January 30 at Bemidji High School Auditorium, Bemidji, 7 p.m.
  • January 31 at First Lutheran Church, Morris, 7 p.m.
  • February 2 at Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church, Marshfield, WI, 7:30 p.m.
  • February 3 at St. Francis Catholic Church, Brainerd, 7:30 p.m.
  • February 4 at Central Lutheran Church, Winona, 7 p.m.
  • February 5 at Faith Lutheran Church, Winona, 8 a.m. morning service
  • February 5 at First Lutheran Church, Red Wing, 2 p.m.
  • February 11 at Christ Chapel, Saint Peter, 7:30 p.m.

Upcoming Alumni Events

  • Tucson, AZ Gustie Gathering - February 10
  • Phoenix, AZ Gustie Gathering - February 11
  • Sun City, AZ Gustie Gathering - February 12
  • Gustavus Music Showcase at Orchestra Hall - March 12
  • Atlanta, GA Gustie Gathering - March 26