Class of '49
March 2004

Dear ’49ers,

The target date for this letter was January 15.  It looks like I'll be lucky if it makes it into the mail by March 15.  I apologize for being late, but I suspect no one has been holding their breath.

Last fall Enid was seeing the doctor for a very sore shoulder.  In January, just before we left Minneapolis for a short trip to California, she saw the doctor again, and he told her she would need surgery.  She made the appointment for the week after we returned.  Then she had to do some recovering for almost two weeks.  Our two-week trip turned out to be about five weeks.  Then I was kept busy helping her and trying to get the accumulated mail taken care of and doing some of the household chores.  Enid had a lot of pain, but is getting better.

In May our class will be celebrating the 55th year since graduation.  It is hard to believe!  We'll be getting more information about that later.

The Greater Gustavus Campaign started shortly after the 1998 tornado, announced near the end of 2003 that the goal of 100 million dollars had been achieved!  It has made possible a number of reconstruction projects, but also 100 new scholarships.  Efforts are being continued to raise funds for endowment and for renovating Old Main.  When I first heard of this goal, I couldn't believe what I was hearing.  Those people responsible for proposing and doing the work necessary to make this dream become true should be highly commended.

Some more good news.  A few years ago participation in the Alumni Fund had decreased considerably.  The Alumni Board set a goal for at least 50% participation by 2004―the 50th anniversary of the Alumni Fund.  At the end of 2003 we had 1,000 more donors than last year.  Participation by alumni is so important.  If you haven't yet made a gift this year―try to do so.

The yellow cards mailed out have brought more news about classmates than I've seen for a while.  Several are still doing some work.  Ed and Estelle (Uleberg) Swanson are managing a retreat house on their farm place in Madelia, MN.  Bob Larson is still managing the Farm-Oyl Company, but he does find time to escape to Hawaii in the winter.  Howie Fehr is working 30 hours a week―presumably in a church in Eau Claire, WI.  Ellen Stahlberg Schroder continues to teach Swedish at Arapahoe Community College.

Ardis Johnson Lund and husband, Earl celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary last June at the Linneaus Arboretum on the campus with family and friends.  What a great setting.  Al Nelson and his wife, Naomi, also celebrated their 50th last June.  Paul Kinney and his wife, Nova, have been entertaining at seven care facilities for 27 years.  Paul's wife started in church music at Gustavus in ’46 and continues at their church, Rejoice Lutheran, 57 years later.  Ruth Tolman Helland is active in four book groups and the Minneapolis Branch of the Association of University Women.  She also knits sweaters for children living in the mountains of Guatemala.  A good idea for those who love to knit.  Several of us from the class celebrated the 50th anniversary of our ordination at the seminary in Chicago.  The worship service on Sunday was in Rockefeller Chapel where we had been ordained.  Paul Edstrom reports that he is now fully retired and living in Apple Valley, Minnesota.

Campus News:

New Gustavus Video

Have you been to campus lately?  Can you remember your first time seeing Gustavus? The Admission Office has created a new video/DVD for prospective students to take a look at the College. Take a look online if you wish at <>.

Fine Arts

The Gustavus Symphonic Orchestra took a 16-day concert tour to China performing in such places as Beijing, the Great Wall, and Tianjin.  The Gustavus Choir took a 10-day concert tour to selected cities in North Dakota, Colorado, Nebraska, and Minnesota and the Gustavus Wind Orchestra, formerly the Gustavus Band, also toured during Spring Break.

Extraordinary Place

Gustavus is among leaders in Academic All-Americans.  The College Sports Information Directors of America have recently released a list of institutions with the highest number of Academic All-Americans over the past three years. Gustavus ranks 14th out of all programs competing at the NCAA Divisions I, II, and III, and NAIA levels.

Extraordinary People

Peter Krause ’87 returned to Gustavus in November to meet and conduct workshops with students.  Krause has been nominated for Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild and Emmy awards for his role as Nate Fisher in the critically and commercially acclaimed HBO drama, “Six Feet Under.”  With the hope that the day would focus more on the students than on his newfound fame, Krause spent the afternoon doing acting work with classes and theatre and dance majors.

Great Teaching

In case you missed the note in the Fall 2003 issue of the Gustavus Quarterly, we are asking alumni to send in short reminiscences, tributes, and anecdotes about professors who made a difference in their education—“the teachers and mentors who have made a lasting impression, who have imparted life lessons, whom you remember for their wit, or their mastery, or their encouragement, or their exacting standards . . . or their idiosyncrasies.” We are planning to focus an upcoming issue of the Quarterly on “great teaching” and would like to hear from those who experienced the classes of those great professors.  Send your paragraphs and stories to either Randall Stuckey ’83, director of alumni relations (, or Steve Waldhauser ’70 (, managing editor of the Quarterly, or in the mail to the College.

We have what is left of March and April and May to reach the 50% participation mark to celebrate the 50th year of the Gustavus Alumni Fund.  I hope that if you haven't yet sent a gift, you will make every effort to do so.


Pete Erickson

1949 Class Agent