Class of '49
January 1999

Dear '49'ers,

Did you ever try to say, "No," to Pete Erickson? This month it's my turn to write a class letter reminding you that we have a date for May 28 and 29, on the Gustavus campus, our Golden anniversary weekend.

Fifty years...Could it possibly be a half-century since we posed for the camera in gown and mortarboard? I go back in memory to that meaningful moment when I strode across the stage to receive an empty diploma cover. "Sjostie," that sweet old curmudgeon had withheld the actual document until my college bill was paid in full.

Plans for our golden reunion are in good hands. Pete Erickson, Milt Brostrom, Ruth Tolman Helland, Jean Oppedahl Johnson, and John Kendall have been working on the battle plan, so we can all socialize in uninterrupted comfort. There will be a brief memorial service followed by the reunion banquet in Alumni Hall on Friday evening. On Saturday there are seminars and events including a reunion luncheon with other anniversary classes, followed by the alumni awards banquet in the evening. Commencement takes place on Sunday.

A few of us may have caught a glimpse of each other joyously belting out "Come, All Ye Faithful" by candlelight at the 1998 "Christmas in Christ Chapel," but in May we'll have time for a real visit.

I assume we've all passed the "three score and ten" mark, so if the College makes a fuss over us that weekend, we needn't be embarrassed―we've earned it! If they choose to regard us with a measure of respect―we deserve it!

Word has it that the tornado-torn campus has been born again. Are we also required to stage our own "magic makeover?" Let's agree not to…Okay? I can remember that for our Gustavus Silver Anniversary I resolved to bite the bullet and lose 10 pounds. I did it. Nobody noticed. I've learned my lesson…come as you are. Class of '49; hold your chins up high! Gray hair can be a badge of honor!

If our short-term memories are a little shakey―memories of the l940's are alive and well. Why don't we all sing the second verse of the “Alma Mater?"

Our committee still wants your ideas for an appropriate gift to mark our "golden occasion." The suggestion that we designate a particular area in the Student Center sounds good to me.

News note from globetrotting Dale Lindall. Lately his itchy feet have taken him to Spain, Sacramento, Lake Tahoe and Yosemite as well as to Veracruz and Lake Catemaco, Mexico.

And how about Ellen Stahlberg Schroder? She teaches Swedish at the Arapaho Community College in Littleton, CO.

Earlier letters invited us to choose from among an assortment of St. Peter and Mankato motels or to reserve a dormitory room on campus. Bill and I considered the dorm offer, but…one problem...would the beds be "de-bunked" for our arrival? I for one would find a climb to the top slot rather daunting.

This month's message to classmates can be summarized with those audibles we remember from childhood…"Get Ready!"...."Get Set!"…"Go!"


1. Clear the calendar...encircle May 28 and 29.

2. Make reservations for your lodging.

3. Sort through those old snapshots and yellowed clippings and banquet programs.

4. Study the old yearbook...connect names to those 1949 faces.

  • Contact your cronies...E.G. We hear that Mim Bloom Curtis, Deedee Ostegaard Ziemer, Ruthie Holman Helland, and Rosemarie Lestor Johnson lunched together in October and nailed down their reunion plans.


  1. Check airline schedules, arranging for senior citizen discounts.
  2. Pack your flat-heeled shoes, the elastic-waisted sportswear, your blood pressure medications, and photos of the grandkids.
  3. Leave the dog in a kennel. Stop the paper.
  4. Turn the key in the lock.


Or should it be "Come?" Don’t disappoint us! See you in May.


Betty Westrom Skold

1949 Guest Letter Writer