Class of '51
Dear Classmates and Spouses,
I wish you all could come back to campus to experience the strong Gustie spirit and to see the recovery of our great, but little known college. Now, if never before, you have a talking point. Talk to prospective Gusties! Tell them how lucky the present students feel to be able to go to Gustavus. Phil ’01, a student from northwestern Minnesota, told me with feeling, "It’s been hard, but we’ve come out of it stronger."
One 80-year-old alum and his wife didn’t want to miss Palm Sunday at their church, but went to help clean up Gustavus anyway. "We were blessed by the chapel service outside on Palm Sunday. We were so happy to be there! It was an unforgettable Palm Sunday!" It would be several weeks before Christ Chapel would be open.
Yes, millions of dollars were covered by insurance, but millions were not! Every gift is terribly important at this crucial time. Please try to see the video of the tornado damage. Then, neither you nor Gustavus will ever be the same, but we’ll all come through that terrifying time stronger with more of an understanding of why we exist. There have been other times of crisis during the history of Gustavus and we have weathered those times with God’s help. The spire will be put back on the Chapel on October 18-22 with a ceremony on the 22nd. This will symbolize the end of the tornado rebuilding and the start of building a new Gustavus.
Already there is a deep hole and a high hill of dirt as the new Campus Center is under construction. Right now the Canteen is in the "Dive" area (the old swimming pool) and the cafeteria is serving longer hours to accommodate the larger number of students in a smaller area.
Edna Spaeth Granlund x50, said that Paul’s work which he is making in memory of Cec Eckhoff ’56, was in progress, in clay form hanging from the ceiling, when the storm struck. It swung in the "breeze," but was not damaged! Of course, the ones cast in bronze were not damaged¾ they’ll last forever!
I met Pete Erickson’s ’49 granddaughter who is a music major at Gustavus. What a lovely person she is! Encourage your grandchildren or any young people you know to look at Gustavus. I asked Mark Anderson ’66, Dean of Admission, again, what the secret of the highest enrollment in history is. He replied, "It’s the high quality of education and the Gustie spirit that brings them here." Then he bounded off to make a new recruitment video.
Taken from the St. Peter Herald: "Gusties Undaunted by Tornado’s Furry." After the storm, a campus security officer saved four bunnies that were trapped and took them home. Crews from 10 midwestern colleges were there by Tuesday (the second day).
A former professor wrote me, "the mall at Gustavus is more beautiful than before. It gives one joy!" The library had to have new carpet and new furniture and it looks very inviting. They lost about 2,500, books most of which were in dorm rooms or professor’s offices. Gustie alums, GLA members, professors, staff, students and students from about 30 other colleges volunteered and everyone worked hard!
A feast at Christmas in Christ Chapel will be impossible this year due to the limited dining facilities. I’ll be going to the Saturday night service so look for me if you are going. Be sure to notice the new, very large spruce trees, one on each side as you enter the main door of the chapel!
The September 29 Star Tribune had an article on Gustie alum, Peter Krause ’87, who plays, Casey, a sports anchor on the new ABC sitcom, Sports Night. The article included photos of some of the plays he was in at Gustavus. You may have seen him on TV in Carol & Company with Carol Burnett, who told him, "You can have it all!"
Because of the tornado insurance Gustavus has 28 new pianos making it an "all Steinway" school which puts Gustavus with the best music schools like Julliard and Eastman. The new Steinway grand in the chapel is marvelous! Professor McKay said about the students, "They’ll be just ecstatic; they’ll be speechless."—St. Peter Herald Won’t it be fun for them to practice!
It was great talking with many of you on the phone. Now for the Class News:
Rosemary Schwartau Langsjoen is still teaching at Parkland College. She’s expecting her fourth grandchild any day and a fifth one in January. You’ll find her somewhere in her car between grandchildren.
Dr. Verna Lindgren Howard wrote to Dennis Johnson ’60, Vice President for College Relations. "Christ Chapel was breathtaking! I had not seen it and will never forget its magnificence…After I graduated from Gustavus I worked for a number of years and then graduated from Pacific University College of Optometry. I subsequently became the first female optometrist to be licensed and practice in the state of Oregon." (She also told me that she loved the positive attitude of Chaplain Johnson). In the last Quarterly, summer issue, page 25 you’ll see Verna on the photo of the 50th anniversary nurses. She was on a ship in the Norwegian fjords last summer!
The new Campus Center will have an Evelyn Young Dining Room! She was head of the food service for 32 years! We learned that Elaine Brostrom, retired director of public affairs, is now the CRAAP volunteer! CRAAP stands for Coordinator for Retired Academic and Administrative Personnel. She keeps in touch with the 70 retired faculty, administrators and widows living in St. Peter. Heather Nancarrow is the new director of the Gustavus Fund. She said that she met Cec at the national CASE meetings long ago. He was revered by all! We need almost 10,000 donors this year. Student tuition covers only 80% of their education. You may give a gift by credit card and soon by Internet. "You made an incredible difference to Gustavus!" said Heather. Memorial gifts, designated gifts, membership in Gustavus Library Associates and in the Friends of the Linnaeus Arboretum all count on the Gustavus Fund. The annual fund is now part of the Gustavus Fund. You can think of giving regularly off and on during the year like you give to church. Notice that the Black and Gold giving is $240. This is $20/month or you can devise your own plan of giving. Be nice to whoever calls you on Phonorama. (There is no spring Phonorama). If you haven’t been reached, 30 students who work GusLink will call you. Tell them if you’d rather have a classmate call you.
You have helped Gustavus to make ‘lemonade out of a lemon’ (the tornado).
We mourn the loss of Johnson Hall due to structural damage.
Please send your seasonal addresses so that the computer can switch when you go south!
On October 22 after chapel, the cross will be placed back on top of the chapel spire. That will be a great day! It will mark the end of the tornado rebuilding process. Rejoice with Gustavus! Hot cross buns, an ancient symbol of new life served on Easter eve, will be served on Eckman Mall following the service.
Lutheran Brotherhood will give one dollar for every two dollars given for the rebuilding of Gustavus by any alumni and friends (even non-members) until April 15, 2000. LB members will have the first $100 of a gift matched under the annual IMPACT program and the balance matched under the Challenge program. Also Aid Association for Lutherans has recognized that Gustavus needs all the help it can get right now and is offering a match to all gifts made to Gustavus’ rebuilding program between $50 and $1,000 made by any AAL members. Non-members can be matched by becoming associate members for one year. Be sure to fill out the AAL form you received from President Steuer. It only takes three minutes and there is no obligation. You don’t have to buy anything. Their match goes until January 31, 1999. If you’ve misplaced your form Gustavus will supply you with another.
Now for some other news from the campus:
The 1998-99 academic year opened with a record enrollment of 2,470 full-time students (compared with the previous record of 2,389 set in 1988), including a record 700 incoming students (compared to 648 of 1987). Contributing to the record enrollment is the stable 94 percent full-time student retention rate. Students returned to a campus that has been newly landscaped with 400 trees planted last spring and nurtured over the summer. They also discovered that 95% of all repairs made necessary by the tornado of March 29 are now completed. They returned to find Johnson Hall gone as it proved to be "beyond repair," but they also were greeted by a new College View Apartment addition, which houses 92 upper-class students, and the recently purchased Jefferson Avenue apartments (now known as Arbor View), which houses 60 upper-class students. In addition to new carpeting, painting, and furnishings, the campus is sporting 300 new state of the art computers for students and faculty, 28 new Steinway pianos (making us a member of a very elite circle of "All Steinway" campuses), 13 new high-tech multimedia systems for classrooms, new and upgraded outdoor and indoor athletic facilities, and new scientific equipment.
What remains to be done? The Prairie View Residence Hall, to be in place and opened in October, will house 60 students. It will be located west of Schaefer Fine Arts Center. Physically and symbolically the repair/restoration era will end with the placement of the spire and the cross back on the top of Christ Chapel. The spire will go up in sections over a two-day period and the cross is scheduled to be set on Thursday, October 22, weather permitting.
Students also noted the beginning stages of construction on the new Campus Center. This project, part of our strategic plan, was accelerated by the storm. The official groundbreaking ceremony will take place Monday, October 19. This $18.6 million, 51,000 square foot construction project will double the size of the Dining Service Building, providing students, faculty and staff with expanded and improved dining, meeting and office spaces. The Dining Room will, appropriately, be named for Evelyn Young ’33, longtime director of the Dining Service at Gustavus. In progress also is an addition to the Melva Lind Interpretive Center to house the Department of Environmental Studies.
US News and World Report continues to give Gustavus high ranking. This fall’s issue again placed Gustavus in the top half of the 162 national liberal arts colleges in the country. Gustavus is one of four colleges in Minnesota to be in this category. The others are Carleton, Macalester and St. Olaf. The other ELCA schools in addition to Gustavus and St. Olaf are Gettysburg, Muhlenberg and Augustana (IL). Many of the schools with which you are familiar are classified as either a "national" or a "regional" college. National liberal arts colleges have the most selective admission policy, recruit nationally and offer most of their degrees in the liberal arts. Regional liberal arts colleges are less selective in admitting students and grant fewer than 40% of their degrees in the liberal arts.
US News further honored Gustavus by ranking the College third nationally (out of 90 schools) in operating efficiency. This ranking measures academic quality and dollars spent to deliver that quality. Gustavus was the only Minnesota college ranked in this comparison of national liberal arts colleges.
Newsweek magazine’s college publication again listed Gustavus as a "buried treasure." These are colleges that are known as "Hot Schools, Cool Spots." The magazine describes Gustavus as a place where "Personal attention rules--can’t slide by here." Other buried treasures include: Davidson College, Davidson, NC; Grinnell College, Grinnell, IA; Pomona College, Claremont, CA; Trinity University, San Antonio, TX; and College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA. Good company, indeed.
Children of alumni continue to be honored for their academic achievement and potential when they enroll at Gustavus. The Alumni Scholarship of $2,500 (renewable to $10,000 over four years) is awarded to children and grandchildren of alumni with high school grade point averages of 3.5 or better, or SAT scores of 1170 or an ACT of 26. This fall Gustavus welcomed to campus 70 new entering students who are children of alumni. Sixty-seven legacy students were awarded an Alumni Scholarship. This number includes 54 children of alumni and 13 grandchildren of alumni.
Nobel Conference XXXIV, Virus: The Human Connection was October 6 & 7. The Nobel Conference magazine was again inserted in the August Minnesota Monthly magazine and sent to the entire Gustavus mailing list.
Christmas in Christ Chapel is December 4, 5 & 6. The theme this year is The Holy Family. A ticket order form was inserted in the center of the Summer Quarterly and another form is enclosed with this class letter.
The Gustavus Orchestra will perform its Autumn Concert at the Ted Mann Concert Hall on the campus of the University of Minnesota on Saturday, November 14, at 7:30 p.m. The featured violin soloist is Siqing Lu, one of the most important Chinese violinists of his generation. General admission tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for students and seniors. Call the University of Minnesota Arts Ticket Office (612-624-2345) or Gustavus Ticket Center at (507-933-7598).
G.I.V.E. (Gusties In Volunteer Endeavors), a day of community service, was a huge success for another year. Alumni, parents and friends gathered on Saturday, October 3 to work together in the spirit of service to better their communities. An impact was made around the country as nearly 1,000 Gusties worked in nine cities including: Atlanta, GA; Boston, MA; Duluth, MN; Fargo, ND; Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN; Orlando, FL; Saint Peter, MN; Seattle, WA and Washington, DC.
Recycle your Quarterly – after reading each issue of the Gustavus Quarterly, we encourage you to "recycle" the magazine by taking it to your place of business or worship and sharing it with others. Spread the good word about Gustavus!
Alumni Chapters will be meeting in cities around the country near you! Mark your calendars today for the following Alumni Association chapter visits: Chicago, November 14; Atlanta, November 19; Washington, DC, November 20; Boston, November 21; Denver, February 1 (Gustavus Band concert); Fargo, Feb. 20; Seattle, March 5; San Francisco, March 6; Los Angeles, March 7; Phoenix, March 8; and Sun City, March 9.
My brother, Wendell Johnson ’53, and his wife, Marilyn (Brust ’55) flew on Swissair from Chicago the same time as the fated September flight from New York. Unfortunately, no flight numbers were given on the Internet or TV so there was an anxious day for relatives! Wendy and Marilyn hiked in the Swiss Alps for two weeks.
We pray for the students as they continue to learn and grow. We pray for the whole Gustie family as they begin this wondrous journey again. We hope it will be an exciting, giving year.
I’m going to reprint here a letter from E. H. Kink Kindschuh ’52, who is married to our classmate Bev Johnson Kindschuh, they live in Warren, OR:
"But I look forward to your class letter and read every word of each one, impressed by the spirit with which you authentically vessel into me, into the class, the spirit of Gustavus, nowhere more evident than in the post-tornado ear of our time, its own historical capsule whose fuller meaning will mandate considerable time for us all to comprehend.
Those of us who live thousands of miles away are removed in spatial dimension, even in conception, from the immediacy of what this tough time has meant and is meaning to our Church’s college, one that has touched both my life and Beverly’s.
But I am happy tonight, and I thank you for your faithfulness in writing, even as I am grateful for the faithful labors in this time of all who are associated with Gustavus and who work there on behalf of all of us who must work elsewhere. Perhaps, I can without stretching the point regard myself as an adopted son of both the classes of ’51 as well as the legitimate one of the class of ’52. I value the relationships of both. I am in close touch with some of the ’52 class, Dennis and Dale Holt, Paul (and Jo) Lindau, and others who are life companions to me on my journey. These have much meaning to me.
I offer, in this fashion, as best I can, a poor token of my support for the Church, the colleges of the Church, and for Gustavus as a place that, without hesitation affirms the power of higher education in what Chaplain Elvee referred to as a "religious reading of history." This, if nothing else, (and there is much else), merits the continuance of a dynamic educational ministry that may find some of its finest moments ahead, having passed through, to change the metaphor, the fire by testing that tempers not only true steel but also true servanthood."
Ray Lundquist wrote, "I was sorry to learn of Howie Cox’s death. Enclosed is an obituary…until this last summer, I saw him regularly at the Northwest Athletic Club where he always played tennis with Dennis Johnson ’50." The obituary of Howie’s read: "…age 68, of Golden Valley, passed away peacefully at home on September 13, after a year-long battle with cancer."
Bob Isenberg started with us in ’47. He and his wife, Leona, have moved to St. Peter and are enjoying the Gustavus events and are auditing classes, too!
The gentle hospitality and warm friendship of Marilyn (Barnes) and Bill Robertz made our Homecoming very, very special this September.
The Alumni Memorial Service at Homecoming was very special. The bell is rung for each name including our three classmates: Howard Cox, Clarence Fischer and Rev. John Palmquist.
The football team won in the heat with their black jerseys absorbing more sun than they needed! The men’s soccer team took off their black shirts and played in white shirts. They won 3-0. Our three grandchildren and our daughter, Lynn ’84, and our son, Erik ’88, were there to cheer them all on.
Two beloved members of the Gustavus family died recently. Taken from the Gustavus Yellow Sheet: ¾ "Longtime physical plant employee Darrell "Pete" Peterson, died Thursday, Sept. 3. Employed for more than 30 years, he was recognized as the Outstanding Support Staff Employee in 1995. ¾ Longtime professor and founder of the political science department Ronald Christenson died Friday, Sept. 4. Joining the political science department in 1969, he was recognized for his innovative teaching and his research on political trials and legal systems. Christenson received every major teaching award given by the College, including the Edgar M. Carlson Award for Distinguished Teaching in 1993. A service was held at 11 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 10 at First Lutheran Church. Memorials are preferred to First Lutheran Church or to the Ron and Rolf Christenson Award for Excellence in Writing by Political Science Students at Gustavus.
Return next spring, for sure, to see the flowering crabapple trees leading up to Old Main. The new copper on the Old Main tower reflects the sun and the bell up there tolls the hour again. Just about all of the faculty and staff had damage at home and here. They are weary, but courageous.
Now for a message taken from the Lutheran Brotherhood Bond magazine: And you thought you couldn’t afford a Lutheran college "The result: ‘70 percent (of students) receive need-based grants and interest-free loans,’ he says. Also parents can ‘pay a non-refundable $500 fee to insure costs don’t rise more than 2 ½ percent per year.’ And the students themselves contribute $5,000 per year on average in the form of jobs and loans. Gustavus Adolphus isn’t alone among Lutheran colleges working hard to make sure their educational programs remain affordable."
Stewart and Marilyn (Crantz x48) Carlson moved to Arusha, Tanzania, as missionaries in November 1950, before graduation because they were desperately needed. They are related to Stan Benson. Stan and Marie (Schafer x52) Benson were pillars in Africa and are still extra special people. The are also related to Arne Langsjoen ’42!
Ruth Holle Collard saw Alpha Flaaten Hann ’50 in Idaho on the way home from a family reunion in Kansas. Rev. Ernest Collard is still a visitation pastor.
William Domning’s friend said they were going to Hawaii for a few weeks in October. She said, "The people (Gustavians) were just absolutely wonderful!"
Louise Borg Bergmann will be house-sitting her brother, Dave’s home, in Stillwater the third week in October. She attended the National AGO convention in Denver and is again the dean of their local chapter. She was back on campus after the second storm (110 mile straight winds) in July that did more damage and slowed the recovery efforts!
Vern Bergstrom and Marie (Norberg ’50) were just back from the National Anti-gambling meeting. He said, "All gambling is lies. The promises are made, but they are all lies! Even seven-year-old kids are getting addicted to gambling! Teens are gambling illegally in sports gambling!" Vern is head of Minnesotans Against Gambling.
Burnell Baldwin and Berniece still live in Cloquet. Watch for his new book, Promises Made Clear, A Companion to the Catechism. (CSS Publ.) It is devotional poetry. For someone who didn’t even like poetry till five years ago, writing it is a pretty exciting new career! You’ll like it, too, so bug your bookstore! Watch for it in the Lutheran Brotherhood Bond magazine. Read the endorsements by President David Tiede and Bishop Peter Strommen.
I just discovered that Violet Fossum Anderson grew up about one mile from where I now live and is a good friend of the mother of one of my adult students! It’s a small world!
Adele Lund Brown wondered why the tornado did not get more coverage in California. She said, "The tornado can’t destroy the reputation and the quality of education!"
We had a great Duluth Chapter gathering on an August evening. There was even a family with three generations of Gusties represented! They were from the years ’40, ’75 and ’01. Randy Stuckey ’83, Director of Alumni Affairs said, "We ask for your prayers and continued support." A student from Two Harbors, Emily Hall ’01 said, "We turned something bad into something really good!" She told of ballet class in a trailer¾ "no mirrors and we couldn’t jump because of the floor¾ but, we had class!! Our collegiate chorus practiced in a classroom and gave a concert at one of the Lutheran churches." They really had fun in that chorus! You should have heard the three songs we all sang that evening: "The Gustie Rouser," "Remember," and "The Alma Mater."
The mother of a student told me that she was so impressed by the faculty members who helped them retrieve their daughter’s belongings from the dorm after the tornado… "They were so sympathetic and they were the ones whose homes had been destroyed!"
The grandmother, from the class of 1940, told of her going back to Gustavus in the 60s after she was widowed. She lived in a dorm room and her daughter lived in another room. She said that the students were so nice to them and would come over and eat with them. She has fond memories of both eras!
Some of you are wondering when Kurt Goranson is really going to retire. He has his sights set on January 20. Kurt and Bea attended the arboretum event at Dave and Delores Johnson’s home. He said, "it is such a beautiful garden!" (I agree!) Dave and Delores said that their gardens were especially beautiful this year. They have had about 2,000 visitors that they know of; many people just drive by! Watch for them on WCCO in November and in a spring issue of a famous magazine. Dave is on the board for Friends of Linnaeus Arboretum. Evelyn Young ’33 is one of his favorite persons.
Paul Nakamura enjoyed seeing Stan and Marie Benson while at the Nobel Conference last year.
At the arboretum event in September I got to hug the "irrepressible" Evelyn Young! Lorraine Telander ’36, our Rundstrom housemother is forever young. They are at many of the Gustie events!
Remember your former professors and friends at Gustavus. Keep praying for all. One of the retired professors said to me, "It’s a good school as we all know!"
Dorothy Johnson Lutz
1951 Class Agent