Class of ’50

May 2012

Dear Classmates and Friends of 1950,

Looking and reading some of the archival material published for the Sesquicentennial− books, The Quarterly, news articles , etc.−you might be surprised to find a picture of yourself.  After all, the school year 1946 -47 was not that long ago and we are in the ARCHIVES?  Egad!!!  A picture of a classroom appeared and there were Thea Marander, Dorothy Kauffman, Bob Colburn, and many others in a large class in the aud, looks as if Doc Winfield is the professor in Gustavus 150 Years of Images and Stories.  Is a picture of the 1949 Homecoming queen candidates:  Jan Wampler, Donna Lee Benson, Marjorie Swenson, Hildegard Linnee, and Alice Milton.  Should we make this a small quiz and you fill in their married names?  Okay, they became Quist, Barnett, Gores, Holcomb, and Carlson.  Lovely girls all:  Alice was crowned queen that year.

The class notes are slim, Philly Kaufmann tried to find some messages for me, but if there were any, they were in some other office.  One welcome message was Harold Skillrud’s correcting the original note he had sent. His and Lois’s (Dickhart) first date was December 8, 1946, which makes their dating all four years of college realistic.  More current is the fact that Harold is leading a panel discussion on “Augustana:  A Theological Tradition” at the final biennial gathering of the Augustana Heritage Association, at Gustavus, June 21-24, 2012.  The future committee, elected by members to explore options of the AHA in the years ahead, will give its report at this Gathering VIII.  Members will act on this report at the business meeting, June 13 at 4 p.m.

So often we report to extensive travels here and abroad, books written and careers that draw state and national attention.  We are fascinated by those activities and relish reading about them, taking pride in what our classmates do.  Many of us, however, seldom hear about activities of those on the home front, definitely not leading Thoreau’s “lives of quiet desperation” (though we often have those too, and our hearts go out to them).  Thus, it was fun to read a letter from Faith Anderson of Norwood/Young America who wrote about her husband Charles W. Anderson.  In 2010 he was chosen to represent Carver County as the outstanding male senior citizen at the State Fair.  In August 2011 he was chosen to be the Grand Marshal at their town’s Annual “Stafdung fest” (forgive my spelling if I misread it), the oldest town festival in the state.  A parade is held every five years, and this was the 150th year, so Chuck and Faith rode in an open carriage at the head of the parade.  The event  was followed by a long article in a local paper, “telling all the things he had done to earn this honor:  a teacher of the year one year, Scout master for 33 years, volunteer at Waconia hospital for over 20 years in a cardiac rehab, officer at church keeping track of attendance, etc., etc.”  He is going on 85 and in June he and Faith will have been married 62 years.  They were married graduation day, June 4, 1950, by his father Pastor N. William Anderson ʼ21 at Watertown, MN.  Of their two children David attended Gustavus for two years and went to service, then to Mankato State, the University of Minnesota, later going back to the service for 20 years total.  He lives and practices in Green Bay, WI.  A year ago last December, their daughter Cindy’s daughter presented them with their first–grandchild.  You have a right to be proud, Faith, and we share in your joy.  Thank you so very much for writing.

The above account might reflect the lives and achievements of many of you, but unless someone lets us know, we can not share in those meaningful events.

Too late for our last class letter was an email from Gale Skold ‘s wife, telling us that Gale receives his Gustavus mail at the nursing home, where he resides.  His long term memory is good and he enjoys hearing from friends and classmates.  His birthday was March 20, and the secretary of the retirement home set up an e-mail address for him, so he could receive special greetings as well as regular mail.  His email address is:  His mailing address is:  Gale W. Skold, Glenwood Retirement Village, 719 SE Second Street, Glenwood, MN  56334.  I know you appreciated the note that I sent to you, Gale, our warmest greetings to you as well.

This year the Alumni Banquet has special significance for some of our classmates.  I hope Dallas Young will be there to see his son and daughter-in-law, Jon and Nita (Thomsen) Young ʼ77 ʼ77 receive the Greater Gustavus Award.  Among other awards presented at the banquet will be the Sesquicentennial award to four members of our class.  Edna Spaeth Granlund, Glen (and LaVonne) Johnson, Mig Anderson (and John) Najarian, and me. 

When I attended the Sesquicentennial dinner beginning this auspicious year, a friend and I were seated with Edna and her family, and the designer of the award and his wife.  The first ones were presented to our past college presidents (Joanne Kendall received John’s ʼ49) and the College trustee members.  I knew I didn’t fit in those categories and didn’t dream I’d receive one someday.  It’s an honor; I also find humbling.  Eventually a large edition of the 150 bronze layers angled one base of Kasota stone, saved when Old Main was remodeled, will stand on campus.  The 150 recipients receive a small version , still rather heavy, judging from the expression of Joanne Kendall’s face when she received John’s.

This is a reminder that the end of Gustavus’s Annual Fund drive (formerly known as the Alumni Fund−a name some of us still prefer) is May 31.  If you have not already sent in your contribution or fulfilled your pledge made at Phonorama, please do so.  Gustavus has had such traditionally strong alumni support, we don’t want to let our alma mater down.  Send in any notes you want included in the next class letter−or send them directly to the Alumni office or to me.  I appreciate hearing from you too.

Reunion Weekend is May 25-26.  Remember, as members of the 50-Year Club we are invited back each year for the luncheon and alumni banquet on Saturday, May 26.  It’s always fun to see old friends, so I hope that you’ll attend if you’re able.

The alumni office will no doubt add their college news−that’s a good way to keep us up to date.  Beside the Nobel Conference on the Ocean next fall, the King and Queen of Sweden will make a trip to campus again.  Today someone asked me about this visit.

In the meantime have a pleasant summer, filled with adventure, if that is your style, or a restful, peaceful summer, or a bit of both.


Gloria Martell Benson


14090 Indian Beach Road

Spicer, MN 56288

Campus News

2012 Alumni Association Awards Announced

The Gustavus Alumni Board of Directors has announced its 2012 award recipients:

Greater Gustavus Award – awarded to those “who by deed, have notably advanced and aided Gustavus Adolphus College”:

Jon and Anita Thomsen Young ’77 ’77, Eden Prairie, MN, for their volunteer leadership, service and philanthropy to the College.

Distinguished Alumni Citations – recognizing outstanding and exceptional professional achievement that brings unusual honor to the individual in his or her field of endeavor:

Scott Dee ’81, Farwell, MN, professor of veterinary population medicine, University of Minnesota, swine consultant, and international research veterinarian and director at Pipestone Veterinary Clinic;

Mark Elfstrom ’01, Anchorage, AK, middle school math and science teacher, recipient of a 2011 Milken Educator Award and finalist for the 2012 Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching;

Kurt Elling ’89, New York, NY, Grammy Award-winning vocal jazz artist.

First Decade Awards – recognizing early professional achievement in the 10th anniversary class:

Amy Brown ’02, Pittsburgh, PA, neonatology fellow at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center;

Michael Bland ’02, St. Louis, MO, postdoctoral associate, earth and planetary sciences, Washington University.

The Alumni Association will present Faculty and Administrator Service and Retirement Awards at a dinner at Gustavus on May 16; honorees will be featured in the fall issue of The Gustavus Quarterly.

National Sesquicentennial Celebrations

Throughout the coming year, Gusties are gathering across the country to reflect on Gustavus’s past, celebrate 150 academic years, and engage for the future.  In conjunction with the celebrations on campus, the College invites all alumni, parents, and friends for a celebration in an area near them.  The president has gone to 14 different locations from New York to LA.  You can view them all and register for an event at

Upcoming Chapter Events

June 5, 6:00 - 8:30 p.m.

Sesquicentennial Celebration - Rochester (Somerby Golf Club, Byron MN)

June 18, 6:00 - 8:30 p.m.

Sesquicentennial Celebration - St. Cloud (St. Cloud Civic Center, St. Cloud MN)

June 19, 6:00 - 8:30 p.m.

Sesquicentennial Celebration - Willmar (The Oaks at Eagle Creek, Willmar MN)

June 20, 6:00 - 8:30 p.m.

Sesquicentennial Celebration - Fargo/Moorhead (Stokers at Hotel Donaldson)

June 25, 6:00 - 8:30 p.m.

Sesquicentennial Celebration - Sioux Falls (Minerva’s Restaurant and Bar, Sioux Falls, SD)

June 26, 6:00 - 8:30 p.m.

Sesquicentennial Celebration - Omaha (Spezia Restaurant, Omaha NE)

June 27, 6:00 - 8:30 p.m.

Sesquicentennial Celebration - Des Moines (The Wakonda Club, Des Moines IA)

July 16, 6:00 - 8:30 p.m.

Sesquicentennial Celebration - Grand Rapids (Timberlake Lodge Hotel, Grand Rapids MN)

July 17, 6:00 - 8:30 p.m.

Sesquicentennial Celebration - Duluth (Clyde Park Restaurant, Duluth MN)

Nobel Conference 48 – October 2 & 3, 2012

The oceans have long been a source of fascination, from the tales of Sinbad to the popular Blue Planet documentary.  The marine world provides us with necessities like seafood and medicines, fertilizers and petroleum.  But the oceans are also associated with danger, from the devastating hurricanes we face each year to the under-reported facts of the oceans’ roles in climate change.  Nobel Conference 48 examines “Our Global Ocean” as a source of inspiration, danger, and knowledge.  To order tickets online go to: or call the Office of Marketing/Communications at 507/933-7520.

Sweden’s King and Queen to visit Gustavus – October 5

Their majesties King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia will visit Gustavus on Friday, Oct. 5, 2012 and ASI on Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012.  The visit will commemorate the Sesquicentennial at Gustavus and the opening of the new Nelson Cultural Center at ASI.  It comes after a long period of planning by both parties.