Class of '48
May 2009

Dear Classmates of 1948,

We are welcoming spring in Minnesota.  I hope you all are enjoying the nice weather and are able to be outdoors to revel in the burst of green in new leaves and grass.  We are enjoying the parade of colorful birds returning to our feeders and bird bath and their lovely songs.

The campus must be beautiful and we look forward to the Minnesota River Valley trip to Gustavus this Friday for our granddaughter’s string orchestra concert.  Her brother, John Leaf ’09 graduates on May 31 and is feeling a little anxiety having his final college track team events, classes with favorite professors and, of course, anticipating the ending of many classmate relationships.  I remember those days well and look back now and marvel at the continued friendships that have been apart of my life these 60+ years.

On campus our new assistant director of Alumni Relations, Erin Wilken ’02, is working on Gustavus Facebook networking.  She suggests we come active participants and if you are not sure where to start use Search GUSTAVUS ADOLPHUS COLLEGE to become a “fan” or search Gustavus class of 2012 to see what the current freshmen have been discussing.  Del is the computer person in our house, but it does sound interesting.  Join the Gustavus Adolphus alumni group on LinkedIn at:, then search groups, Gustavus.  Good luck and let me know if you are successful.  I may start learning! 

College Archivist, Jeff Jenson, joined the library faculty last fall and says, “A big piece of my plan is to work with alumni―many of whom have gone on to achieve prominence (some or many may qualify―come forward please!).  Alumni and the general public, Jeff feels, will benefit most from the archives website which will connect them to the school.

I received no recent class news to report.  I will keep the photo request open for another letter at a later date!

I do want to share an article from our local paper (it was also aired on the radio and TV) about our Gustavus tennis coach, Steve Wilkinson, who is retiring as head coach at the end of this season.  Del and I were privileged to hear him speak at a class agent’s meeting some years ago and we both were so impressed with his values―especially his emphasis on “sportsmanship” which seems to be deteriorating entirely in today’s world.  It makes it so easy and a priority to support this kind of education.


Our class continues to support Gustavus.  In 2007 our class of ’48 had 48.1% participation and last year it was 50 %.  Continue your fine support and take a minute to send news.  We will love hearing from all of you.  (Keep it short and it doesn’t have to be an earth-shaking report!)  The Annual Fund deadline is May 31. 

Come to the 50-Year Club reunion on May 30.  We will be there and I know others are signed up.  There are golf carts available to help you get around campus if needed.  Call Alumni Relations if you have any special needs at 1-800-487-8437.

Enjoy summer!


Lorrie Johnson Leaf

1948 Class Agent


Commission Gustavus 150

In April, the eight Commission Gustavus 150 Task Forces finished meeting and completed recommendation drafting as part of the strategic planning process.  Starting next week, all recommendations will be posted on a secured website for employees, students, and alumni to provide input regarding the level of importance for each recommendation.  This information will be shared with the Board of Trustees for their August meeting to set priorities for action and funding.

Congratulations to the Gustavus Adolphus College Forensics Team, which won its second straight Minnesota Collegiate Forensics Association State Championship on Sunday, Feb. 22.  Gustavus finished with 446 points to beat out Minnesota State University, Mankato (408 points) and Concordia College, Moorhead (213 points).  Gustavus placed first in 6 of 13 events and placed four individuals in the top seven of the individual sweepstakes standings.  First-year student, Chloe Radcliffe, placed first in the individual sweepstakes and senior, Tasha Carlson, will represent Minnesota at the 2009 Interstate Oratorical Association National Contest―the oldest speaking competition in the country―on April 25 in Oxford, Mississippi.

“Come on you Gusties” Breakfast

Join us for a cup of coffee, breakfast, and great conversation.  All Gusties are welcome and invited to the breakfasts which are held the third Wednesday of each month.  This month our featured presenter is Katherine Tunheim, professor of economics and management.  Tunheim will bring news about the department and speak about business ethics and how it is incorporated in the department today.  The date will be Wednesday, May 20, 8-9:30 a.m. at the Doubletree Hotel Minneapolis-Park Place, 1500 Park Place Blvd.  Cost is $10 at the door.  Reserve your spot by calling Don Swanson ‘55 at 763-533-9083.  Upcoming summer breakfasts include Tom Emmert, professor of history, on June 17; Byron Nordstrom, retiring professor of history and Scandinavian Studies, on July 15; and Megan Ruble, director of student activities, and Mim Kagol, Gustavus Library Associates, on the Reading In Common program, on August 19.

Faculty/Administrator Service Dinner

Gustavus will honor John Bungum, professor of economics and management; Dennis Henry, professor of physics; Steve Hogberg, gift planner; Byron Nordstrom, professor of history and Scandinavian studies; Tom Thorkelson; men’s and women’s track coach, strength coach, and Lund Center special events coordinator, and Edi Thorstensson; visiting instructor and academic librarian, upon their retirement and other faculty and administrators for their years of service at a May 21 banquet on campus.

Tribute to Bill Holm

Friends of acclaimed writer Bill Holm ’65, who died unexpectedly in February, gathered for a tribute on Thursday, May 7.  John Rezmerski (English, emeritus) emceed and presenters included Phil Bryant (English), Joyce Sutphen (English), Doug Huff (philosophy), Larry Owen (English, emeritus), and Athena Owen Kildegaard ’82, gave brief tributes or readings.  Music was provided by Paul and Helen Baumgartner (music, emeriti).