Class of '49
September 1998

Dear 49ers,

Next May it will be 50 years since we graduated from Gustavus. We want our reunion to be a "Golden" event. May 28 and 29 are the days. 1999 is the year. I hope you will put this on your calendar now and begin to make plans to attend.

A 50th reunion committee has been formed. Those serving with me are Milt Brostrom, Ruth Tolman Helland, Jean Oppedahl Johnson, and John Kendall. We have had one meeting and made a few tentative plans for May. We made suggestions for additional people to help call at Phonorama with the hopes of talking to every classmate for news and ideas. Three guests will be writing class letters during the next several months.

We also talked about a special class gift to mark this "Golden Occasion." Because the tornado has made it necessary to accelerate building plans, it seemed to us cash for the Gustavus Rebuilding Fund might be the best choice. However, Milt Brosrom has learned it might be possible to designate a particular room in the new Student Center. We welcome any ideas you have. Setting a goal might be more difficult. Last year 73% of the class gave a gift. Can we count on 100% in this special year? Last year over $33,000 of gifts were credited to our class. A 50-100 percent increase would put us over $50,000. This would be a great goal for this special year. As added incentive, the AAL insurance company will match all gifts given to Gustavus’ rebuilding program between $50 and $1,000 made by any of AAL’s members. (Nonmembers may have gifts matched by becoming an associate member of AAL for one year). This offer runs through January 31, 1999. Also, Lutheran .Brotherhood. will give one dollar for every two dollars given for the rebuilding of Gustavus by alumni and friends. This offer from LB will go through April 15, 2000. (Those who are LB members will have the first $100 of a gift matched under the annual IMPACT program and the balance matched under the Challenge program.) One way to increase our gifts is to send something before January 31 and send the extra before May 28. Let the committee hear about any ideas you have about the class gift.

I visited the campus on September 12 and was impressed with all of the work that has been done and is being done. The campus looked great even though so many of the stately trees are gone. Johnson Hall could not be restored¾ too much damage. Major construction has been started for the new Student Center, which will connect to Lund Center. Housing is filled to accommodate the largest student enrollment in Gustavus’ history. They expect some additional housing to be furnished in a month or two. Some dates of special events on Campus include:

Nobel Conference-October 6 and 7

Hall of Fame Banquet-October 24

Christmas in Christ Chapel-December 4, 5, and 6

Reunion Weekend-May 28 and 29

A new program called G.I.V.E. (Gusties In Volunteer Endeavors) will have their second annual day of community service on October 3. Phonorama will take place October 19-22, 24 and 26-29. Hope to talk to some of you then.

Campus News:

The 1998-99 academic year opened with a record enrollment of 2,470 full-time students (compared with the previous record of 2,389 set in 1988), including a record 700 incoming students (compared to 648 of 1987). Contributing to the record enrollment is the stable 94 percent full-time student retention rate. Students returned to a campus that has been newly landscaped with 400 trees planted last spring and nurtured over the summer. They also discovered that 95% of all repairs made necessary by the tornado of March 29 are now completed. They returned to find Johnson Hall gone as it proved to be "beyond repair," but they also were greeted by a new College View Apartment addition, which houses 92 upper-class students, and the recently purchased Jefferson Avenue apartments (now known as Arbor View), which houses 60 upper-class students. In addition to new carpeting, painting, and furnishings, the campus is sporting 300 new state of the art computers for students and faculty, 28 new Steinway pianos (making us a member of a very elite circle of "All Steinway" campuses), 13 new high-tech multimedia systems for classrooms, new and upgraded outdoor and indoor athletic facilities, and new scientific equipment.

What remains to be done? The Prairie View Residence Hall, to be in place and opened in October, will house 60 students. It will be located west of Schaefer Fine Arts Center. Physically and symbolically the repair/restoration era will end with the placement of the spire and the cross back on the top of Christ Chapel. The spire will go up in sections over a two-day period and the cross is scheduled to be set on Thursday, October 22, weather permitting.

Students also noted the beginning stages of construction on the new Campus Center. This project, part of our strategic plan, was accelerated by the storm. The official groundbreaking ceremony will take place Monday, October 19. This $18.6 million, 51,000 square foot construction project will double the size of the Dining Service Building, providing students, faculty and staff with expanded and improved dining, meeting and office spaces. The Dining Room will, appropriately, be named for Evelyn Young ’33, longtime director of the Dining Service at Gustavus. In progress also is an addition to the Melva Lind Interpretive Center to house the Department of Environmental Studies.

National Rankings

US News and World Report continues to give Gustavus high ranking. This fall’s issue again placed Gustavus in the top half of the 162 national liberal arts colleges in the country. Gustavus is one of four colleges in Minnesota to be in this category. The others are Carleton, Macalester and St. Olaf. The other ELCA schools in addition to Gustavus and St. Olaf are Gettysburg, Muhlenberg and Augustana (IL). Many of the schools with which you are familiar are classified as either a "national" or a "regional" college. National liberal arts colleges have the most selective admission policy, recruit nationally and offer most of their degrees in the liberal arts. Regional liberal arts colleges are less selective in admitting students and grant fewer than 40% of their degrees in the liberal arts.

US News further honored Gustavus by ranking the College third nationally (out of 90 schools) in operating efficiency. This ranking measures academic quality and dollars spent to deliver that quality. Gustavus was the only Minnesota college ranked in this comparison of national liberal arts colleges.

Newsweek magazine’s college publication again listed Gustavus as a "buried treasure." These are colleges that are known as "Hot Schools, Cool Spots." The magazine describes Gustavus as a place where "Personal attention rules--can’t slide by here." Other buried treasures include: Davidson College, Davidson, NC; Grinnell College, Grinnell, IA; Pomona College, Claremont, CA; Trinity University, San Antonio, TX; and College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA. Good company, indeed.

Children of alumni continue to be honored for their academic achievement and potential when they enroll at Gustavus. The Alumni Scholarship of $2,500 (renewable to $10,000 over four years) is awarded to children and grandchildren of alumni with high school grade point averages of 3.5 or better, or SAT scores of 1170 or an ACT of 26. This fall Gustavus welcomed to campus 70 new entering students who are children of alumni. Sixty-seven legacy students were awarded an Alumni Scholarship. This number includes 54 children of alumni and 13 grandchildren of alumni.

The Gustavus Orchestra will perform its Autumn Concert at the Ted Mann Concert Hall on the campus of the University of Minnesota on Saturday, November 14, at 7:30 p.m. The featured violin soloist is Siqing Lu, one of the most important Chinese violinists of his generation. General admission tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for students and seniors. Call the University of Minnesota Arts Ticket Office (612-624-2345) or Gustavus Ticket Center at (507-933-7598).

Recycle your Quarterly – after reading each issue of the Gustavus Quarterly, we encourage you to "recycle" the magazine by taking it to your place of business or worship and sharing it with others. Spread the good word about Gustavus!

Alumni Chapters will be meeting in cities around the country near you! Mark your calendars today for the following Alumni Association chapter visits: Chicago, November 14; Atlanta, November 19; Washington, DC, November 20; Boston, November 21; Denver, February 1 (Gustavus Band concert); Fargo, Feb. 20; Seattle, March 5; San Francisco, March 6; Los Angeles, March 7; Phoenix, March 8; and Sun City, March 9.

Fifty years is a long time. It forces us to face realistically the passing of years. We can be thankful for many things, and we can hope to be faithful to our highest values¾ some learned on the campus of Gustavus¾ for what years we each have left.

Sincerely yours,

Pete Erickson

1949 Class Agent