Class of '49
May 2009

60-Year Reunion ― May 29 & 30, 2009

Dear ’49ers,

I’m really late with this letter.  My excuse is I’m getting old.  Since it is our 60th Anniversary this year I expect many of you are also advancing in age.  This year it began early for me.  Early in February I began to get a lot of gas in my stomach and a lot of discomfort.  I felt full at every meal.  In two months I had lost 20 pounds.  So the doctors started working.  Nothing showed up.  Then they tried a cat scan.  There they found bacteria in my stomach and a growth on my pancreas.  An antibiotic helped my stomach, but it took a biopsy to determine the small tumor was cancer.  I feel better, but still have days of fatigue, and scheduled for doctor appointments.  I found out the goal for this letter was April 15.  I didn’t make it.


Our 60th Anniversary also gives us a reason to head back to our alma mater to celebrate with others in the 50-Year Club.  You should have received a registration form for the 50-Year Club Reunion happening on Saturday, May 30.  It is a full day of events and if you’re able to join us, make sure you stop by the ’49er Room in the Campus Center (right next to the registration table).  That room―named in our honor!―will be the gathering location, for just our class, throughout the whole day.  If you’re wondering where to find classmates―that will be the spot!  It’s a grand place to meet, after all!


I only have some sad news to report this time―there have been two deaths.  Gerald W. Miller died on November 19, 2008 in his home in Alamo, TX.  Gerald was retired from 3M and is survived by his wife, Texa.

The other death to report is that of Betty Ogren.  Betty was the wife of Dick Ogren.  Betty died suddenly in Arizona.  She is survived by Dick, two sons (including Stephen ’73) and their families.  There will be a memorial service for Betty on Monday, May 18 at 11:00 a.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church in Lindstrom.

Peace be to their memories!


Commission Gustavus 150

In April, the eight Commission Gustavus 150 Task Forces finished meeting and completed recommendation drafting as part of the strategic planning process.  Starting next week, all recommendations will be posted on a secured website for employees, students, and alumni to provide input regarding the level of importance for each recommendation.  This information will be shared with the Board of Trustees for their August meeting to set priorities for action and funding.

Congratulations to the Gustavus Adolphus College Forensics Team, which won its second straight Minnesota Collegiate Forensics Association State Championship on Sunday, Feb. 22.  Gustavus finished with 446 points to beat out Minnesota State University, Mankato (408 points) and Concordia College, Moorhead (213 points).  Gustavus placed first in 6 of 13 events and placed four individuals in the top seven of the individual sweepstakes standings.  First-year student, Chloe Radcliffe, placed first in the individual sweepstakes and senior, Tasha Carlson, will represent Minnesota at the 2009 Interstate Oratorical Association National Contest―the oldest speaking competition in the country―on April 25 in Oxford, Mississippi.

“Come on you Gusties” Breakfast

Join us for a cup of coffee, breakfast, and great conversation.  All Gusties are welcome and invited to the breakfasts which are held the third Wednesday of each month.  This month our featured presenter is Katherine Tunheim, professor of economics and management.  Tunheim will bring news about the department and speak about business ethics and how it is incorporated in the department today.  The date will be Wednesday, May 20, 8-9:30 a.m. at the Doubletree Hotel Minneapolis-Park Place, 1500 Park Place Blvd.  Cost is $10 at the door.  Reserve your spot by calling Don Swanson ‘55 at 763-533-9083.  Upcoming summer breakfasts include Tom Emmert, professor of history, on June 17 and Byron Nordstrom, retiring professor of history and Scandinavian Studies, on July 15.

Faculty/Administrator Service Dinner

Gustavus will honor John Bungum, professor of economics and management; Dennis Henry, professor of physics; Steve Hogberg, gift planner; Byron Nordstrom, professor of history and Scandinavian studies; Tom Thorkelson; men’s and women’s track coach, strength coach, and Lund Center special events coordinator, Edi Thorstensson; visiting instructor and academic librarian, and Steve Wilkinson; men’s tennis coach, upon their retirement and other faculty and administrators for their years of service at a May 21 banquet on campus.

Tribute to Bill Holm

Friends of acclaimed writer Bill Holm ’65, who died unexpectedly in February, gathered for a tribute on Thursday, May 7.  John Rezmerski (English, emeritus) emceed and presenters included Phil Bryant (English), Joyce Sutphen (English), Doug Huff (philosophy), Larry Owen (English, emeritus), and Athena Owen Kildegaard ’82, gave brief tributes or readings.  Music was provided by Paul and Helen Baumgartner (music, emeriti).


The goal of this third letter is to remind everyone that the 2009 Annual Fund deadline is May 31.  What I have been reading about is how a depression hurts colleges and universities’ endowments and scholarship funds.  It means all of us have to do what we are able in this difficult year.  We hope we can get 100 percent participation.

As it gets closer to the May 31st date you can call and make a gift by credit card.  The number is:  800-726-6192.  Those of you who have computers can give online at:

Thanks for your consideration,

Pete Erickson

1949 Class Agentroyal affair