Class of '49
February 2009

60-Year Reunion ― May 29-30, 2009

Dear ’49ers,

I was shocked to get a letter from Gustavus and learn that May 29-30 will be our 60th graduation anniversary of our class!  It shouldn’t have been a surprise, but I just had not been thinking about it.  You would think taking more pills every day, going to the doctor more frequently and having more pains would have reminded me of the passing years and our 60th closing in on us.  It still seems impossible even as I write about it.  The reunion will be on Commencement Weekend at Gustavus.

This made me a little curious about our class.  I don’t remember exactly how many we were at graduation.  I have a recent list so I started counting.  There are 124 on the present list―86 have died.  In addition there are 32 who have been lost or taken off the mailing list.

Class News

We have received notice of two deaths in 2008.  John Bengtson, died on April 3, 2008.  He died from cancer of the jaw in Shelton, WA.  John was retired from United Pacific Reliance.  He is survived by his widow, Eleen Bloom Bengtson ’50 and two children, including Peter ’80.

Gerald Miller died November 19 at his home in Alamo, TX.  He was retired from 3M.  Gerald is survived by his widow, Texa.

Two others, who were well known, but not members of our class died in 2008.  One was Laurel “Bud” Lindberg ’47.  He was well known for his good humor and his ability on the football team.  He served at Mt. Olivet Church in Minneapolis two times and continued after his retirement, until he died.  After retirement his main responsibility was funerals.  One time I asked him how many funerals he had in a year.  He said about 300.

Bob W. Johnson ’50 also died in 2008.  He was a grandson of former Gustavus President O. J. Johnson.  Bob is also remembered for his great bass voice and his singing in the choir and several quartets.

Of course, we also need to talk about money.  We are all aware of the depression going on.  I was surprised by a story in the New York Times about how colleges are suffering.  They have scholarship money and endowments invested and use interest to help support the college and students.  I am sure Gustavus is also feeling this.  Many of us have been giving gifts to Gustavus for years.  I remember the first call I got and felt the best I could do was $15.  Through the years I have tried to increase my gift every year.  I want to say thank you for whatever you have been able to do.  And I hope you will do what you are able this year.

Campus News

Haugen Named Head Football Coach

Peter Haugen was named the new head football coach in mid-December.  Haugen posted a 111-44 record in 15 years at Washburn High School.  He is the 17th head coach in the 93-year history of Gustavus football and started his new position the second week of January.  A Twin Cities reception to meet Coach Haugen will be held on Thursday, Feb. 12 at the Doubletree Hotel Minneapolis-Park Place, 1500 Park Place Boulevard.  Please reserve by calling the Alumni Office at 800-487-8437.

President Ohle is on the Road!

Please join President Ohle, his wife Kris, and other Gustavus staff at a chapter dessert reception near you.  President Ohle will be visiting 11 cities around the country in the coming months and all alumni, parents, and friends of the College are invited to attend a reception.  Dates are listed below or check out the Alumni website to find out more details.

Mustaphi Named Michelle Obama’s Deputy Press Secretary

Semonti Mustaphi ’03 was recently named Deputy Press Secretary for First Lady Michelle Obama.  Mustaphi worked on the Obama campaign, and has also held communications positions for three senators.  Mustaphi graduated with a political science and communication studies double major, danced in the Gustavus Dance Company, and was an Anderson Scholar.

Gustie Breakfasts

Join us for the “Come on You Gustie” Breakfasts.  The breakfasts are held the third Wednesday of each month at the Doubletree Hotel, Minneapolis-Park Place, 1500 Park Place Boulevard (Hwy 394 and Hwy 100).  The breakfast runs from 8-9:30 and is $10 per person.  Reserve a spot by calling Don Swanson ’55 at (763) 533-9083.  February’s speaker will be Kris Kracht, communications; forensics head coach.


Mark your calendars now for Homecoming 2009!  The Gustavus football team will face off against Pacific Lutheran University on Saturday, Oct. 10.  Watch for more information about tons of fun events the weekend of Oct. 9 and 10.

Upcoming Alumni Events

  • Twin Cities Gustie Breakfast, Kris Kracht, communications; forensics head coach - Feb. 18
  • Tucson Chapter Gathering - Feb. 19, Westward Look Resort
  • Phoenix Chapter Gathering - Feb. 20, Millennium Resort, Scottsdale
  • Los Angeles Chapter Gathering - Feb. 28, Art Director's Guild, Studio City
  • Boston Chapter Gathering - March 14, Hyatt Regency Cambridge
  • New York Chapter Gathering - March 16, New York Marriott East Side
  • Twin Cities Gustie Breakfast, Ken Westphal, vice president for finance - March 18
  • Seattle Chapter Gathering - March 21, Trinity Lutheran Church, Freeland, WA
  • San Francisco Chapter Gathering - March 23, Hotel Vitale
  • Twin Cities Gustie Breakfast, Steve Wilkinson, retiring men's tennis coach - April 15


Pete Erickson

1949 Class Agent

P.S.  I hope to see you at the reunion!