Class of '49
October 2007

Dear ’49ers,

Last year I was giving excuses about being late.  This year I have none.  My heart surgery went well, but it has taken time to get my strength back.  I did get to Orchestra Hall last November for the concert given by five Minnesota colleges.  They were all good and wonderful when they sang together.  I hope they do it again.

At our class agents meeting on September 15, we received the results of last year’s Alumni Fund.  The total amount of unrestricted gifts was $1,095,000―over a million for the first time.  When you add other gifts the grand total for 2007 was $1,600,000.  Our class gave $18,630.  Thank you on behalf of Gustavus for your gifts!

Louis ’46 and Ardis (Swanson) Almen have written that their main residence is now in central Florida―about eight miles from their daughter, Mary.  Their address is:

2136 Fox Sparrow Court

Oviedo, FL  32765

Cell phone:  407-579-0269

Two of my classmates from seminary have died this past year.  Allen C. Nelson died suddenly after leaving his part-time job at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Davenport, IA.  Carl Anderson ’50 died after several years of declining mental health.  Both were Gustavus graduates.

Our classmate, Betty Engebretson Holmquist died on January 7, 2007.  She had been battling cancer since 1990 until it spread to her brain and spine.  Betty is survived by her husband, Glen Holmquist and six children and their families.  Peace be to their memories.

I want to give a special word of thanks to Ron Timmerman ’75, who is a member of the Alumni staff at Gustavus.  One of his tasks is to review the letters of class agents and correct mistakes and make additions.  Knowing he is there―and having experienced his good work makes it easier for me to get these letters off.


President Peterson Announces Retirement

President Jim Peterson ’64 announced in August that he plans to retire at the conclusion of the current academic year, capping a five-year term.  His early announcement will provide the Board of Trustees enough time to undertake a thorough search process and assist in a smooth transition to new leadership.  Peterson will serve through June 2008 and has offered to assist in an orderly transition beyond that date if needed.

Moes provide gift for Kendall Center

Gustavus parents Robert and Karin Moe have made a $1 million commitment to the John S. Kendall Center for Engaged Learning. This leadership gift brings the College closer to its goal of fully endowing the center, which is dedicated to advancing active and interdisciplinary learning across the campus. When fully funded, the endowment will generate funds to support two main areas: faculty development and student-faculty research.

New football stadium opens

On September 8, the football team played its inaugural game at the College’s new football stadium.  The synthetic-surfaced field is recessed below ground level and features an earthen berm surrounding the entire field.  The field will continue to be named Hollingsworth Field after the late Lloyd Hollingsworth, who served as the College’s football coach from 1942-1960 and athletic director from 1961-1978.

Athletics Hall of Fame Induction

On Saturday, November 3, Gustavus will induct the following people into the Athletic Hall of Fame: Tim DeJarlais ’91 (golf), John Erickson ’81 (hockey), Dave Hultgren ’92 (baseball), Craig Miller ’91 (cross country), Mindy Mayerchak Oosten ’88 (softball & soccer), Mike Schumacher ’91 (football), Ann Sommerness Simms ’92 (swimming), and Ryan Skanse ’92 (tennis).

Twin Cities Gustie Breakfasts

Join other Minneapolis/St. Paul area Gusties for a once-a-month morning cup of coffee and breakfast while getting an update on Gustavus. The group meets the third Wednesday of each month at the Doubletree Hotel, Minneapolis-Park Place, 1500 Park Place Boulevard (Hwy. 394 & Hwy. 100), 8:00-9:30 a.m., $10 per person.  Reserve by calling Don Swanson ’55 at 763/533-9083.

Wednesday, October 17

Professor Jeff Jeremiason, recap of Nobel Conference

Wednesday, November 21

Winter sports coaches – Jon Carlson ’88 (men’s and women’s swimming & diving), Mark Hanson ’83 (men’s basketball), and Brett Petersen (men’s hockey)

Wednesday, December  19

Margaret Kelliher ’90, speaker of the Minnesota House of Representatives

Inaugural “A Royal Affair” Online Auction

“A Royal Affair,” the biennial fundraiser for the Gustavus library, is October 27.  New to A Royal Affair this year is an online auction that will be activated the week of October 22. This online auction will have unique items available only for bidding online and not at the evening event.  These items can be viewed through the Gustavus website and bidding will close prior to the October 27 Razzle Dazzle*A Royal Affair.  Also, the online auction is open to everyone – parents, alumni, students, faculty, and friends of Gustavus – even those unable to attend Razzle Dazzle*A Royal Affair.  Watch the Gustavus Library Associates website at for up-to-the-minute details on the online auction.

Alumni Fund

The 2008 Alumni Fund has a goal of $2 million from 8,000 donors.  Continue a Gustie tradition ― join other alumni to reach the goal with your participation in the 2008 Alumni Fund.

Refer a Gustie

As the school year starts, many high school seniors are getting serious about their college selection. If you know of high school seniors or juniors who may be a good fit at Gustavus, please send their names to the Office of Admission at Gustavus to help recruit the next generation of Gusties.  Contact the Admission Office at 800/GUSTAVU(S).

Calendar of events:

  • October 13                  Homecoming & Family Weekend
  • October 27                  Razzle Dazzle*A Royal Affair, Gustavus Library Associates
  • November 3                 Athletics Hall of Fame Induction Banquet
  • Nov. 30, Dec. 1-2        Christmas in Christ Chapel
  • December 6                 St. Lucia Day celebration on campus

Having looked at the smaller participation of our class in the Alumni Fund has caused me to do some thinking.  Many of us, living on fixed incomes, are living on relatively small incomes.  As costs for gas, food and medical expenses increase it gets harder to meet all the needs.  I also looked at our class members, 120 classmates have died or have taken their address off the list or the college no longer knows where they are.

That becomes 124 classmates (about half) who continue to take part.  And we can assume at our ages that may be a trend that will continue.  The good news is that new classes are stepping up each year.


Pete Erickson

1949 Class Agent