Class of '49
October 2004

Dear ’49ers,

Although the 50-year goal for participation was not reached last year, our class had 67.7% participation.  On behalf of the College I want to say a very sincere thank you for your support through the years.  This past year the alumni provided almost a million dollars for the college.  It makes a difference and it is important.

Our family now has a St. Olaf graduate.  That makes the score 3-1 for Gustavus.  In addition we have two seniors and one freshman at Gustavus.  This year we are also becoming more ecumenical.  We have a freshman at DePaul in Chicago.  We also have a sophomore at St. Olaf.  I'm sure glad the bills are not all coming to me.  The activities of all these young adults keeps us all busy.


143rd Academic Year Begins

Classes began Sept. 8 with 657 first-year Gustavus students and 2,500 in all.  Long-standing orientation traditions such as the Square Dance and President’s Banquet have been joined by newer traditions like Gustie Greeter Orientation Groups and the Reading in Common program.  These newer programs were created to provide a more meaningful transition and to encourage students to meet others outside their residence hall.

Nobel Conference, The Science of Aging

The 40th Anniversary of the Nobel Conference was on the Science of Aging.  The campus hosted over 6,000 guests October 5-6 to learn about the research molecular biologist are conducting on longevity, Alzheimer’s, and delaying debilitating disease and how this impacts life expectancy, the economy, and the health-care system.

New Residence Hall

Work crews have been busy this summer and fall constructing a new residence hall on campus.  The goal is to have the building enclosed before winter.  The building, located southwest of the football field will house 200 students in suites and apartments and is scheduled to open for fall 2005.

Gustie Pages

Looking for a dentist, doctor, lawyer, pastor, realtor, and much more?  Make it a Gustie!  The Gustie Pages is an online database of Gusties who have submitted information about their profession.  Use the Gustavus network to meet your needs or submit your professional information if you would like other Gusties to be your customers.

Athletics Hall of Fame

The Gustavus Adolphus College Athletics Department has chosen eight individuals for induction into its Athletics Hall of Fame.  The 2004 inductees include Lori Allen ’88 (golf), Jim Chalin ’76 (basketball), Bruce Edwards ’77 (ice hockey), Barb Jaeger ’88 (soccer), Dean Kraus ’89 (football), Pachi Lopez ’71 (soccer), Greg Peterson ’88 (golf), and Gary Reinholtz (long-time athletic trainer, benefactor).  This group was honored at the Athletics Hall of Fame Banquet, which was Saturday, October 16.

Extraordinary Place

Gustavus is once again ranked among the top 100 liberal arts colleges in the nation in U.S. News and World Report's annual college rankings.  Gustavus is one of five Minnesota colleges in the top 100 national liberal arts colleges for overall quality (Carleton, Macalester, St. Olaf, Gustavus, St. John’s).  The ranking groups schools into categories based on a national educational classification that includes national liberal arts colleges, national doctoral universities (University of Minnesota, St. Thomas), regional master's degree-granting universities (Hamline, St. Catherine’s, Bethel, Augsburg), and comprehensive regional colleges (Concordia-St Paul).

Upcoming Events

  • Christmas in Christ Chapel: “Seasons of Promise” – December 3-5
  • St. Lucia Festival – December 9
  • Class of 1954 and 50-Year Club Reunion – May 27-28
  • Class Reunions for 1960, 1965, 1970, 1975, 1980, 1985, 1990, 1995, 2000 – October 7-9, 2005


Many classmates report on various activities in retirement.  Anna Smith Fahrman is still working part-time at Weight Watchers.  She is also teaching AARP Defensive Driving classes in Stewartville.  Ellen Stahlberg Schroeder has worked as bookkeeper/accountant for 22 years in her daughter's company in San Francisco.

Miriam Bloom Edwards is very active in VASA and is a cultural teacher for the Lodge―she says she meets lots of Swedes.  Lavonne Larson Larson does volunteer work in her congregation and at the American Swedish Institute.

Eileen Johnson Christensen and her husband, Delmar ’51, hosted a number of tours to Scandinavian countries, Germany and other parts of Europe.  Their last tour was in 2000.  She now has macular degeneration, which limits her activities.  Merwin Thorwald is getting radiation for prostrate cancer.  I recently heard that Obed "Duke" Lundeen is not able to control his cancer any longer.  [Editor's note:  The Alumni Office received word that Duke Lundeen died on October 9, 2004.]

In September, Norm Nelson called to tell me his wife, Joan, had lost her battle with cancer.  She gave foster care for many yeas in the Chicago area.

We are in the middle of another Alumni Fund year.  I keep writing because I believe that colleges like Gustavus continue to have needs if they are to maintain the type of program they have been providing.  Thanks to you it's working so far.


Pete Erickson

1949 Class Agent