Class of '51
You will discover very quickly that this class letter is not being written by our revered Class Agent Dorothy Johnson Lutz. Dorothy called me (Ray Lundquist) last October and asked me to write a class letter because in January since each agent was requested to have a volunteer write one guest letter in January. I said yes and so here we are.
It is also an opportunity to express gratitude and heartfelt thanks for the job Dorothy has done. Our class is always among the leaders in giving as well as percentage of donors. I give Dorothy much of the credit because she has motivated us, given us a lot of news concerning our classmates and has done a superb task of keeping us informed as to what is happening on campus. So again Dorothy, special thanks from all of us. I am also reminded often of Ren Anderson ’34, our first Alumni Director, who I heard say on more than one occasion, "1951 is a wonderful class!" Amen.
I feel very positive as to what is happening on campus. I have been on the campus four times since the disastrous tornado on March 29. It has been so gratifying to see the progress and what is happening between each visit. It is marvelous to see all the new trees that have been planted. This will continue for at least two more years, each spring and fall. The campus should be as beautiful as ever when we gather for our big 50th reunion.
I’m sure most of our classmates who live outside of Minnesota made a contact with relatives or friends as to what happened on November 3 when we elected Jesse Ventura ("The Body," now "The Mind") as our 38th Governor. My own reaction was one of shock. Hopefully, all will work out well. He certainly lacks experience, but he seems to be surrounding himself with good experienced people. His theme for his inaugural speech was, "You will always get honesty from me." What can be more important than that? By the way, one of our own, Judge Paul Magnuson ’59, Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court in Minnesota, had the honor of administrating the oath of office to our new Governor.
By the way, our last visit to the campus was for the Christmas in Christ Chapel concert. The theme was "The Holy Family." It was so moving and so spiritual. My wife, Lorraine, is a Cobber so we always attend the Concordia concert at Orchestra hall in Minneapolis. It is a wonderful concert also, but the setting of Christ Chapel is so unique and special—it adds so much to the true meaning of Christmas.
In closing, I would like to share an area of special concern. As each Gustavus Quarterly arrives I find myself always turning first to the "In Memoriam" section. In the last Quarterly, I was aware of Howie Cox’s death. I use to see him frequently at a health club where he always played tennis with Dennis Johnson ‘50. I was totally unaware of Bill Lundeen’s death. Bill lived in Fergus Falls and was a good friend to many of us. We are all in our late 60’s or in our 70’s. My concern is how few of our class have included Gustavus in their estate planning. There is an organization at Gustavus called "Gustavus Heritage Partners" which means that anyone who has included Gustavus in their will or estate planning is a member. At the present time, only 10 class members are listed out of a total of 600 in the partners group. I recently spoke to Paul Quello, who joined the staff of Gustavus last fall as a specialist in gift and estate planning. He came to us from Wartburg College in Iowa and prior to that had been at the ELCA Office in Chicago. Paul indicated we are way behind our sister school of Concordia and St. Olaf in estate planning and giving. Gustavus, on a whole, including our class, has an enviable record of current alumni giving and percentage of giving donors, in fact Gustavus generally ranks among the top five in those categories in the nation, but estate planning and giving is a whole different matter. Perhaps some of you have already included Gustavus in your will and the Development Office is unaware. Anyway, if any of you have questions or would like to talk to him about estate planning call Paul at the campus. His toll-free number: 800-827-6192.
Hopefully, you will all be making a gift to the Gustavus Fund by May 1. It certainly will be appreciated. Now here is the news from campus:
Students and staff are in the midst of January Term and the campus landscape is covered with a beautiful blanket of snow. Once again, many students are taking advantage of J-Term opportunities with 127 on internships, 308 on study abroad programs, and 86 students studying at other domestic institutions. Despite the cold weather, progress is being made on construction of the new Campus Center due to be open in the fall of 1999. After a week and a half of classroom preparation covering the history and culture of South Africa, the Gustavus Choir will participate in a concert tour of the country January 14-February 2. The Gustavus Band will travel to South Dakota, Nebraska, Colorado, and Iowa for their concert tour during touring week, January 30-February 6. Athletic teams are in full swing with all teams looking to be competitive in MIAC play. Over Christmas break many teams traveled for non-conference games including men’s basketball winning a tournament in California, men’s hockey playing in Italy, and the swim teams competing in Bermuda.
Gustavus is once again in the news, making some national rankings. Gustavus ranked 12th among the top 22 leading small colleges in the nation providing active Peace Corps volunteers. Gustavus is ranked 15th in the listing of top 20 bachelor’s institutions that sent the most students overseas for international study during the 1996-97 academic year. Gustavus is ranked 18th of national liberal arts colleges in the number of National Merits with 17 students. Mark Anderson ’66, Dean of Admission, reports that applications for admission for the fall of 1999 are running 20 percent ahead of last year. The Admission Office instituted several new campus visit days in the summer and fall to account for the fact that few students could visit last spring. Alumni are reminded of the Alumni Scholarship Program ($10,000 over four years for children and grandchildren of alumni) available to qualified applicants. Call the Admission Office at 1-800-GUSTAVU(S) for applications.
Now Dorothy will add some classmate news at the end of this letter so I will close by wishing each of you a very happy New Year and may God bless you and watch over you always.
1951 Guest Letter Writer
Class News from Dorothy:
Gordon and Lorraine Holm of Tonka Bay, MN, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary by going to Norway. Gordon has been retired for 12 years.
Clarence and Ruth (Larson ’52) Budke live in Waynesville, NC, Clarence is retired, but teaches English in China during the summer.
Vern and Marie (Norberg ’50) Bergstrom wrote, "Vern continues to be very busy as director of Minnesotans Against Gambling and Lutherans Against Gambling. We are enjoying retirement, having all six of our children and eight grandchildren. All live in the Twin Cities area. Softball and golf lure us to Florida most winters.
Lowell and Gladys Helstadt who retired in Lakeland, MN, spent August in Sweden and Norway. "Upsala, Angelberg, North Rhoda, Sunne—great grandfather’s home—Lynnea Erickson—Falkopping—cousins on grandmother’s side—Gultenberg—Hojer."
Shirley Magnuson Winey and her husband, William, retired in 1995 and moved to Menominee, MI, where she grew up. She wrote, "Retired from co-owner of Insurance Agency, located in Chesterton, IN. Our children now operate the agency." Their grown children are JoAnne, Timothy and Jonathan. Shirley is the organist at their church in Menominee.
Thanks to all who have sent communications in some form this year! Please pray for John Monson, a freshman at Gustavus, who has a fast growing, malignant brain tumor. His parents are Gusties and they say that everyone at Gustavus has been wonderful to them all the way. They are allowing him to take one course by computer while he is on medical leave. His severe headaches started during finals, but he passed his tests and is in good spirits. He is such a nice, young man!
Remember the Gustavus orchestra tour! They will play at St. Scholastica in Duluth on March 30th at 7:30 p.m.
Many thanks to Ray Lundquist for his guest class letter!