Class of '49
April 2008

Dear ’49ers,

2008 is an exciting year for Enid and me.  One granddaughter will be confirmed in May, one granddaughter will graduate from Gustavus in June, two granddaughters will be married in the summer.  We are expecting a great grandchild in May and another in November.  We wonder if at our age we can tolerate all this joy.  We’ll give it our best!

Some of you may not have heard that Gustavus is looking for a new president.  Jim Peterson ’64 is planning to retire.  He will stay on through June, or until a replacement is found.  I heard their search committee had narrowed down the selection to three candidates and I expected to hear soon who they chose.  Then I heard they were going to expand their search.  We hope to hear something soon.

Campus News

World Renowned Primate Expert Speaks in the Twin Cities

Frans B.M. de Waal, a Dutch psychologist, primatologist, and animal behavior expert, presented two public lectures as part of a residency through the Rydell Professorship at Gustavus Adolphus College funded by Drs. Robert E. and Susan T. Rydell.  De Waal spoke on “On the Possibility of Animal Empathy” and “Our Inner Ape:  Human Nature as Seen by a Primatologist.”  DeWaal’s research centers on primate social behavior, including conflict resolution, cooperation, inequity aversion, and food-sharing.  In 2007, de Waal was named to the “TIME 100”—a list of the 100 men and women whose power, talent, or moral example is transforming the world according to Time magazine.  As part of his residency at Gustavus, de Waal is also co-teaching the course “Neuroscience Capstone” with Gustavus Professor of Psychology Janine Wotton.

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 8-9:30 a.m. at the Doubletree Hotel, Minneapolis-Park Place, 1500 Park Place Boulevard (Hwy. 394 & Hwy. 100) $10 per person.  Reserve a spot by calling Don Swanson '55 at 763-533-9083.  Upcoming dates:

April 16 - featuring Linnaeus Arboretum Director, Cindy Johnson-Groh

May 21 - featuring Sports Information Director, Tim Kennedy

Alumni Awards Announced

The Alumni Association announces the following 2008 awards selected by the Alumni Board of Directors.

Greater Gustavus Award - Given to those who by deed, have notably advanced and aided Gustavus Adolphus College:

Jim and Susan (Pepin) Peterson ’64 ’65

Distinguished Alumni Citations - Recognizing outstanding and exceptional professional achievement:

Craig Johnson ’69, bishop, Minneapolis Area Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Talmadge King ’70, chair, Department of Medicine, University of California San Francisco School of Medicine.

Barbara Berry Leonard ’63, nursing professor, University of Minnesota.

First Decade Awards - Recognizing early professional achievement:

Miho Ihara, senior consultant, CPCS Transcom Limited.

Jason Smerdon, Barnard Environmental Science/Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Environmental Science, Barnard College.

The Greater Gustavus Award and Distinguished Alumni Citations will be presented at the Alumni Banquet on Saturday, May 31 and the First Decade Awards will be presented during Homecoming Weekend, Oct. 4.


The women’s hockey team became the first team to finish the MIAC women’s hockey season undefeated.  The team is currently ranked #3 in the country going into the playoffs.  The men’s tennis team claimed its fourth ITA Division III Team Indoor Title in the eight year history of the tournament.  The men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams both won the MIAC Championship.

Upcoming Alumni Events

  • Seattle Chapter Gathering – April 13
  • Austin, TX Chapter Gathering – April 13
  • Class Reunions - for 50-Year Club, 1958, and 1963 - May 30 and 31

The 2008 Alumni Fund ends on May 31.  Many of you have already sent in your contributions.  As Alumni Director, Randall Stuckey ’83 says, “Participation is the key.”  Through the years we had 79 participants out of 124 still on the class list.  After almost 60 years that seems great to me.  Keep it up!

My sister, a graduate from Gustavus in 1939, left a rather small sum of money to help nieces and nephews with college expenses.  No one was in need at the time, so it was given to Gustavus for a scholarship fund.  About a month ago I received this note:

“I am a Gustavus sophomore from Rochester, MN, majoring in history.  You are helping give the gift of Gustavus to me and many others.  Your giving helps and inspires grateful students to become grateful alumni.  I appreciate your support.  With much gratitude, Natalie”

I share this with you because it gave me such a warm feeling for my sister and for the girl who took time to write a note.

Blessings to all of you

Pete Erickson

1949 Class Agent