Class of '50
April 2009

Dear Classmates and Friends of 1950,

Looking out at still ice-covered Green Lake with a six foot strip of open water around the edges and seeing the occasional two or three foot snowdrift between houses makes me think twice before realizing spring is almost here.  Listening to the chirring of red-wing blackbirds, the honking of Canada geese, the whooping of swans, and the sweet songs of the mourning doves, robins, and other birds―the original Twitterers―is much more welcome.  An eagle flying by delights my heart

April 8 I visited the campus to see Migrations: New Directions in Native American Art at the Hillstrom Museum of Art.  An unusual mixture of very contemporary paintings and photographs showed some traditional themes paintings of Tlingit Indians garbed in the clothing Edward Curtis brought with him when he photographed them long ago, photos of gatherings, and brilliantly colored artwork, rather abstract.  Some descendents of Curtis’s subjects haven’t minded the mismatched-as-to-tribal-custom garments―they are just glad to see what their ancestors looked like.

From there I went to the Benedictine Center to visit Chet and Marian (Swanson ’41) Johnson; Marian is recovering well from recent back surgery.  Chet’s wry humor is still intact and it’s a delight to listen to his Gustavus stories.  They hope to return to their home before too long.

In March I had an e-mail from Floyd Keller who wrote:  “Ruth (Uleberg) and I were on campus for the last Nobel Conference and marveled at all the changes.  We are presently wintering in Green Valley, AZ, having sold our Florida sailboat a couple years ago.  Instead of sailing, we now hike and bike and are thankful that we can still do it!  We still have our home in Bayport, MN with most of our family nearby.  Greetings to all of our former classmates.  Floyd and Ruth Uleberg-Keller.”  Thank you, Floyd; it was good hearing from you.

That reminds us that information on the 2009 Nobel Conference has been released.  The subject is H²0:   Uncertain Resource.  This 45th Nobel Conference will be held October 6 and 7.

A few news notes also came from the Alumni Office:  Donald Dick is “still spending half the year in Mesa, Arizona, and half the year in Edina, Minnesota.”  He and Joyce “also spent several weeks the last two years visiting our son, Terry Dick (1980 Gustie grad.) in Switzerland.  [He] works for Thomson-Reuters and will return in 2010 after 5 years there.  Both Joyce and I are well.  Don”

Your “routine” sounds great―between Arizona and Minnesota and time in Switzerland.  I’d enjoy that.

In answer to phone calls we learn that Dallas Young is part time visitation pastor at First Lutheran Church in Brainerd.

Some of our classmates have ill health―John Otness in Saint George, UT, was just diagnosed with Parkinson’s.  Spencer Lundquist is in a nursing home in Wheaton, MN with Alzheimer’s.  Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you who are dealing with health problems.  Strength and courage be with you.

In March I attended the wake for Roland Scharmer of Litchfield, MN.  He passed away March 19.  After graduation he served two years in the army, married Lorraine (Sjolinder), attended graduate school, and then taught in Litchfield from 1954 to 1986.  He also worked part time as a crop insurance adjuster and was very active in the community and at First Lutheran Church.  Seeing the tributes made to him over the years was very touching.  He and Lorraine had four children and eight grandchildren.  Our sympathy goes out to you, Lorraine and family.

Our sympathy also goes to Jodi (Thommen) and Mike Pieschel of Springfield, MN, whose son, Brian, passed away March 14.  He had lived in the Minneapolis area most of his adult life, loved traveling with his family, enjoyed the family lake home on Lake Darling in Alexandria, and spent many years in the programs of Opportunity Partners and Lifework Services.  For the past 11 years he worked at Veldspar Corporation.  Besides his parents he is survived by his brother and three sisters.

The Alumni Office will add Campus News to update on current and upcoming activities.  It’s not too late to let me know what your summer plans are or follow-up first thing in the fall.  I look forward to hearing from you any time.

The Annual Fund closes May 31 so remember that deadline.  Our 1950 Scholarship Fund is making great progress and we encourage your participation in support of the current students who need our help now more than ever!  Thank you to the 50% of our class who have already shared a gift this year and we hope the rest of you will join us soon!  Before we know it, we’ll be celebrating 60 years since our Gustavus graduation.  Makes me feel ancient to think about it.

May gentle breezes and warm sunshine be with you during the coming months.  I wish all of you well.


Gloria Martell Benson

1950 Class Agent

Campus News

Update on Commission Gustavus 150

Recently posted to the Commission website is a summary of the common issues and “big ideas” discussed at the first nine National Summit meetings regarding the College’s five core values (Excellence, Faith, Justice, Service, and Community).  The participants were asked how the College might ensure that the core values would be lived out in the lives of alumni, faculty, staff, and students.  The summary is being shared with all members of the eight task forces of Commission Gustavus 150.  The common issues and big ideas will help shape the recommendations made by the Task Forces to the Gustavus Board of Trustees and ultimately form the basis for the College’s long-range strategic plan.

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.

Hockey Finals

The men’s hockey team made its first appearance in the NCAA Division III Championship game at Herb Brooks Ice Arena in Lake Placid, N.Y., on Saturday, March 21.  They lost a great game to Neumann College, 4-1.  The women’s hockey team lost 2-1 to UW-River Falls in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament.

Gustavus’s Day at the Capitol

Hundreds of students and financial aid supporters from Gustavus Adolphus College and other Minnesota private colleges and universities gathered on various days at the state Capitol this spring to advocate for need-based student financial aid.  Gustavus’s Day at the Capitol was March 5, shared with Hamline University and St. Mary’s University.

“Come on You Gusties” Breakfast

Join us for a cup of coffee, breakfast, and great conversation.  Our featured presenter for May will be Kathi Tunheim, assistant professor for economics and management.  All Gusties are welcomed and invited to the breakfast, Wednesday, May 20, 8-9:30 a.m. at the Doubletree Hotel, Minneapolis-Park Place, 1500 Park Place Boulevard.  Cost is $10 at the door.  Reserve your spot by calling Don Swanson ’55 at 763-533-9083.

Linnaeus Symposium

The Linnaeus Symposium is scheduled for Wednesday, April 22, 2009 and will include Dr. Margaret Lowman, a tree ecologist and Gustavus alumnus, Gail Johnson Speckmann ’73, whose water color art display will premier during the conference; and there will be a special choreographed dance production on the theme of trees.

MayDay!  Peace Conference

“Tiananmen + 20 Years” is the topic of Gustavus Adolphus College’s 29th annual MAYDAY! Peace Conference to be held Wednesday, April 29, 2009 on the college campus.