Class of '46
October 2007

Dear Gusties:

Last year I fell behind in writing to you because I had back problems which gave me a lot of pain, but now after surgery and hospitalization for blood clots I am recuperating well and hope to do a better job of communicating with you.

I have a phone card from the college so I have tried to contact a few of you although many of you do keep on the go and are not easy to reach.


What do people 80+ years old have to talk about?  Well, first it’s those wonderful grandchildren and great grandchildren, then where you have been traveling, your health problems and concerns, and how you fill your time since retirement.  Here are reports from some of your friends that I contacted.

Bob Clemens who lives in White Bear Lake has been leading a Bible study with Prison Fellowship at the maximum security prison in Oak Park Heights for 28 years.  Besides this volunteer work he was honored by Hartford Life Co. for 50 years of distinguished service.  He also meets with fellow pilots of WWII at the American Legion in Bloomington.  His car’s bumper sticker reads, “My other car was a B17.”

Natalie Anderson Smith of Plainfield, IL said she was one of seven first cousins who went to Gustavus.  She still has a family cabin near Pillager and enjoys time with grandchildren who live to fish.

Bea Larson Grorud living in Canoga Park, California was involved in a couple family weddings this summer.  She and Bob have been married 57 years.  Over the years she directed high school and church choirs.

Harold ’47 and MaryLou (Johnson) Odland are in good health and enjoying retirement.  They attended the 65th year reunion of Willmar High School, class of ’42.  Harold is a retired judge in Hennepin County.

I talked with Doris Nelson Johnson in Albion, NE.  She, her husband and son are ranchers there.  They had plenty of rainfall and a very good growing season.  She is active in her church evangelism program and has visited Tanzania for her church.

Dyer Brogmus, Belmont, CA left the banking business in St. Paul and moved west where he has several children.  His interesting volunteer activity is being a gate guard at the “Mt. Vernon of the West,” the Filoli Mansion and Gardens, which is the former home of the Matson Steamship Lines family.

Verne Spieker, Dallas, TX spent much of his career with Texas Instruments.  He has become a true Texan, active in Kiwanis and Dallas Ministry.  He grew up in Brainerd, but hasn’t been back for many years.  He really would be surprised at the growth in that area.

We have sad news of the passing of some of our classmates:

Bob Gove who taught history and coached football at Mound High School for many years died April 9, 2007.  During Gustavus days, Bob was captain of the football team and active in Phi Alpha, theater, student senate and choir.  Our sympathy to his widow, Betty (Johnson ’47) and to their children and families.

Bob Herhold, a pastor in Palo Alto, CA died April 18, 2006.  Bob had started at Gustavus with us, but then finished his degree at the University of Minnesota.  He had authored several articles on a variety of religious subjects.  Our sympathy to his widow, Muriel, and their children and families.

Elaine Peterson Johnson’s husband, Eugene Johnson, class of ’43 died in September.  He graduated from Gustavus and went on and completed graduated work at the University of Minnesota.  He had been with the Hennepin County Welfare Department for many years.  Our sympathy to their family.

Campus News

President Peterson Announces Retirement

President Jim Peterson ’64 announced in August that he plans to retire at the conclusion of the current academic year, capping a five-year term.  His early announcement will provide the Board of Trustees enough time to undertake a thorough search process and assist in a smooth transition to new leadership.  Peterson will serve through June 2008 and has offered to assist in an orderly transition beyond that date if needed.

Moes provide gift for Kendall Center

Gustavus parents Robert and Karin Moe have made a $1 million commitment to the John S. Kendall Center for Engaged Learning. This leadership gift brings the College closer to its goal of fully endowing the center, which is dedicated to advancing active and interdisciplinary learning across the campus. When fully funded, the endowment will generate funds to support two main areas: faculty development and student-faculty research.

Retreat about Live Purpose – November 10, 2007

The Linnaeus Arboretum is teaming up with the Center for Vocational Reflection to offer a workshop entitled:  Living on Purpose:  Seeds, Seasons, and the Undivided Life―A Workshop/Retreat to Explore Your Calling.  This workshop will allow you to “examine the roots, blossoms, and seeds” of your life.  For more information including registration materials, visit or call Shirley Mellema (507-933- 6181).

New football stadium opens

On September 8, the football team played its inaugural game at the College’s new football stadium.  The synthetic-surfaced field is recessed below ground level and features an earthen berm surrounding the entire field.  The field will continue to be named Hollingsworth Field after the late Lloyd Hollingsworth, who served as the College’s football coach from 1942-1960 and athletic director from 1961-1978.

Athletics Hall of Fame Induction

On Saturday, November 3, Gustavus will induct the following people into the Athletic Hall of Fame: Tim DeJarlais ’91 (golf), John Erickson ’81 (hockey), Dave Hultgren ’92 (baseball), Craig Miller ’91 (cross country), Mindy Mayerchak Oosten ’88 (softball & soccer), Mike Schumacher ’91 (football), Ann Sommerness Simms ’92 (swimming), and Ryan Skanse ’92 (tennis).

Twin Cities Gustie Breakfasts

Join other Minneapolis/St. Paul area Gusties for a once-a-month morning cup of coffee and breakfast while getting an update on Gustavus. The group meets the third Wednesday of each month at the Doubletree Hotel, Minneapolis-Park Place, 1500 Park Place Boulevard (Hwy. 394 & Hwy. 100), 8:00-9:30 a.m., $10 per person.  Reserve by calling Don Swanson ’55 at 763/533-9083

Wednesday, November 21

Winter sports coaches – Jon Carlson ’88 (men’s and women’s swimming & diving), Mark Hanson ’83 (men’s basketball), and Brett Petersen (men’s hockey)

Wednesday, December  19

Margaret Kelliher ’90, speaker of the Minnesota House of Representatives

Inaugural “A Royal Affair” Online Auction

“A Royal Affair,” the biennial fundraiser for the Gustavus library, is October 27.  New to A Royal Affair this year is an online auction that will be activated October 18-25. This online auction will have unique items available only for bidding online and not at the evening event.  These items can be viewed through the Gustavus website and bidding will close prior to the October 27 Razzle Dazzle*A Royal Affair.  Also, the online auction is open to everyone – parents, alumni, students, faculty, and friends of Gustavus – even those unable to attend Razzle Dazzle*A Royal Affair.  Watch the Gustavus Library Associates website at for up-to-the-minute details on the online auction.

Alumni Fund

The 2008 Alumni Fund has a goal of $2 million from 8,000 donors.  Continue a Gustie tradition ― join other alumni to reach the goal with your participation in the 2008 Alumni Fund.

Refer a Gustie

As the school year starts, many high school seniors are getting serious about their college selection. If you know of high school seniors or juniors who may be a good fit at Gustavus, please send their names to the Office of Admission at Gustavus to help recruit the next generation of Gusties.  Contact the Admission Office at 800/GUSTAVU(S).

Calendar of events:

October 27                  Razzle Dazzle*A Royal Affair, Gustavus Library Associates

November 3                 Athletics Hall of Fame Induction Banquet

Nov. 30, Dec. 1-2        Christmas in Christ Chapel

December 6                 St. Lucia Day celebration on campus

I spent some time in March in the Ft. Myers area of Florida and while traveling down Hwy. 41 one day a car passed us with a Gustie sign in the back window.  The couple were white haired and it probably was one of you who spent the winter in the area.  I know many of you are snowbirds and will be leaving soon.

The Twin Cities received national attention on August 1 with the collapse of a major bridge over the Mississippi ―35W to downtown Minneapolis.  Although many cars, bumper to bumper, were on the bridge when it collapsed, only 11 people were killed.  There were many with injuries.  It certainly has raised issues around the country regarding bridge inspections and other infrastructure concerns.

Thanks to all for your contributions to the current fund appeal.  The results were in the last Quarterly and I was duly impressed and proud of your commitment to our Alma Mater.  They have major building projects that are in the works and one that was completed and dedicated this fall was the new stadium.  I don’t know if any of you fellows lived in the bowels of the old stadium, but it looked like a pretty stark situation.

That’s it for now.  Have a warm, healthy winter.  I will try to keep in touch again after the holidays.

With many happy wishes,

Arlene Sorenson Higgins

1946 Class Agent