Class of ’50
January 2011

Dear Classmates

Gloria Martell Benson has been such an excellent class agent that it seemed like a very good idea to have her keep on doing it.  However, she did ask if someone else would like to do a class letter and before I knew it, I had volunteered.  I have been to very few class reunions, mostly because of the distance and the timing.  When I was still teaching, our school year was not nearly finished by commencement time, and to fly to Minnesota just for a week-end was out of the question.  Just like others who live far away, our Minnesota visits were planned around our families who were there, and so we were likely to visit later in the summer when we could spend more time.  We have followed the college’s activities and have visited the campus at other times for other reasons.

Just a little about us−“us” being husband, Roy, who you knew as Dick from the class of ’51, and our two children, Erik who lives south of Chicago in Illinois and Julie who lives in Philadelphia.  We have two grandchildren, Amy and Carl, and since November 4, 2010, we have our first great-grandchild, Mason.  Amy and her husband, and now Mason, live in Chicago, and Carl is a college student at the U/IL, Chicago campus.  You can see that we have had to travel a bit to keep up with the Illinois family.  We are grateful that Julie and her husband live close by, and we can be with them often.

I taught high school in a nearby school district and loved it, retiring in ’93.  Roy still hasn’t retired, but is cutting back a little on time spent.  Most of our volunteering hours are devoted to our church, Upper Dublin Lutheran Church, and the American Swedish Historical Museum in Philadelphia.

We live just north of Philadelphia about fifteen miles near a small town named Ambler, and that’s our mailing address.  Our local government is the township and ours is Upper Dublin.  As with most things around Philadelphia, the congregation of UDLC was established a very long time ago.  The area had been settled by German farmers, and they were eager to worship as they had in their homeland.  A pastor of a congregation in Philadelphia heard of their need and established the congregation in 1753.  The Rev. Henry Melchoir Muhlenberg visited the congregation first in 1754 and reported that the building used for worship needed a roof and hoped other congregations would help them with that.

We moved to the area in January of 1967 and joined the congregation in the spring of that year.  Since then the congregation has built a new church in 1973, and we are currently in the midst of making additions to that building for the second time.  We are a very busy, active congregation with a long list of people and organizations from Philadelphia to Tanzania that we support.  Roy has sung in the choir for at least forty years, and I have spent that many years on the Altar Guild and since retiring I have started a book club that continues to be great fun.  About seven years ago the congregation saw the need for a second pastor and she is Dyan LeVander Lawlor ʼ74 , not only a Minnesotan, but also a Gustavus graduate.  She’s a terrific pastor!

No matter how long we have lived here we still feel that we are Minnesotans and Gusties.  Of course the nostalgia gets stronger the older we get, but we know it’s what has made us who we are today.  I treasure the time I have spent with roommates−Joyce Anderson, Lorraine Sjolinder Scharmer, Alice Milton Carlson, Carol Lofsness Norrgard−and only wish I could see them more often.  When we’re together, we can make those sixty plus years disappear and it’s as though we were in the dorm again.

This letter is getting to be way too long so I’ll have to wait for another time to tell you about the American Swedish Historical Museum.  It’s a great place that every Swede, as well as others, should visit.

It was great seeing all of you good-looking, Class of 1950 grads last year.  We’ll be back on campus during the summer of 2012 for the Augustana Heritage Association get-together.  Maybe we’ll see you then.

Class News

I guess our news items are rather few this time and that may be because many people who couldn’t attend our 60th  already did send news items for the last newsletter.

Two of our classmates have retired, and I must congratulate them not only for their retirement, but also for their obvious good health and enthusiasm that kept them working all this time.

Mim Edward Rischmiller of Amery, WI, retired as executive secretary from The Toro Company.

Hilde Linnee Holcomb of Silver Spring, MD, retired as associate real estate salesperson with Cathy Gilmour Real Estate.


Donna Seaberg Johnson

1950 Guest Letter Writer

Campus News

Gustavus Choir Tour

The Gustavus Choir is embarking on a tour of Italy this month.  The 57 student musicians, under the direction of Greg Aune, will travel to and sing at various locations in Italy Jan. 13-28.  As is the case with each Gustavus international music tour, it includes an educational component.  The students are learning about the Italian Renaissance in the month-long Cultures of Creativity course taught by Chaplain Brian Johnson ʼ80.  Joining the Gustavus Choir is a companion tour of 15 Gustavus alumni, parents, and friends.

Gustavus Wind Orchestra Tour

Under the direction of Douglas Nimmo, the Gustavus Wind Orchestra will tour Minnesota and Wisconsin between the January Interim and Spring Semester.  All concerts are free and open to the public.

Saturday, Jan. 29, 7 p.m. – Tornstrom Auditorium, Brainerd

Sunday, Jan 30, 3 p.m. – Central High School Auditorium, Duluth

Monday, Jan. 31, 7 p.m. – Wausau East High School, Wasuau, WI

Tuesday, Feb. 1, 8 p.m. – Lawrence University Memorial Chapel, Appleton, WI

Thursday, Feb. 3, 7 p.m. – Schauer Arts and Activities Center, Hartford, WI

Friday, Feb. 4, 7 p.m. – St. Luke’s Lutheran Church, Middleton, WI

Saturday, Feb. 5, 7 p.m. – St. John Lutheran Church, Owatonna

The tour will wrap up with a home concert on Saturday, Feb. 12. at 2 p.m. in Christ Chapel.

“Come on You Gusties” Breakfasts

Engage with other alumni and learn something new about your alma mater at the monthly Gustie breakfasts.  New in January was the start of the breakfasts in St. Peter.  Minneapolis breakfasts are the 3rd Wednesday of the month, St. Peter breakfasts are the 2nd Wednesday of the month.

The speaker at both the breakfasts for February will be Tom Crady, vice president for enrollment management.  The Minneapolis breakfast is Wednesday, Feb. 16, 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 e-mailing the Office of Alumni Relations at or by calling 800-487-8437.

The St. Peter breakfast will be Wednesday, Feb. 9, 7:30–9 a.m. in a campus banquet room in the C. Charles Jackson Campus Center.  Cost is $8 per person, or $15 for two, payable at the door.  Reserve your spot by e-mailing or by calling 507-933-7512.

Upcoming breakfasts include; Kate Knutson, political science professor, in March; and Warren Wunderlich, director of the physical plant, in April.

Chapter Gatherings

This year President and Kris Ohle have many travel dates planned in order to reach out to all of our alumni and bring them an update from the College.  Please mark your calendar if you live in or near one of these locations:

Seattle – January 27 – Pike Brewing Company

Tucson – February 8 – Warren and Donna (Gabbert) Beck ’66 ʼ67 residence

Phoenix – February 10 – Fired Up Grill

Denver – February 11 – Denver Athletic Club

Boston – March 2 – Henrietta’s Table

New York – March 4 – The Birdland Jazz Club

Washington, DC – March 5 – Council of Advancement Support of Education headquarters

Jacksonville, FL – March 26

Orlando – March 28

Tampa – March 29