Class of '51
January 2000


There’s an editorial cartoon in this morning’s Duluth News Tribune: a be-whiskered prophet in sackcloth and sandals is carrying a placard reading "The End of the Millennium Articles is Near!" Amen. I don’t know what will nourish the media next, but they surely milked that subject. And now I’m getting one more entry for my vita (or obit): "Larson Wrote the First Class of ’51 Newsletter of the Millennium."

Let’s start with a plug for Burnell Baldwin’s new book Promises Made Clear, A Modern Day Catechism Companion. Pastor Burnell got a big write-up in the Cloquet Journal last fall for his recently published volume of verse! "I know that you can do lots of things you don’t think you can do," Burnell is quoted. "I learned that God has ways of using me that I don’t know anything about. All I have to do is let Him, and try, and the result is enjoying what I do." The result is "an expression of my own personal faith. I hope it makes the words more meaningful to those who read it. A lot of people think of things like the Lord’s Prayer as just words; they don’t apply it to life. But unless you apply it to life, present and future, what’s the value of it?" I don’t know if Burnell’s poems are available at, but you can order a copy by calling 218/879-8335, or by sending $6 plus a little extra for postage to Zion Lutheran Church, 1000 Washington Ave., Cloquet, MN 55720. Poet Burnell, in semi-retirement, is visitation pastor at Zion.

Bill and Marilyn (Barnes) Robertz donned Victorian-era costumes and served as host and hostess at the historic E. St. Julian Cox house in St. Peter at Christmas. They’ve also been doing lots of traveling, including a belated retirement trip to Greece, Crete, Santorini, Mykonos, and the Swiss Alps.

Congratulations to Robert M. Johnson (‘50) and June (Quam) Johnson, who are so elated over a half-century marriage that they celebrated it twice. The party in April in Florida was so much fun they did it again in Willmar in June.

Stan and Marie (Schafer ’52) Benson had a joyful family reunion in St. Peter at Christmas, the first complete gathering since 1980 at their home in Arusha, Tanzania. The family of five, now a family of 15, celebrated at Benson’s. Son, John, and family came from Moorhead; Todd’s from Lilongeve, Malowi, Africa; and Jeff’s from Denver, CO.

Don C. Johnson, Fremont, OH, reports that he is still doing chemical consulting, but since he no longer travels as part of his work, he misses his clients in Sweden.

Barb Nelson Jaeger, Kirkwood, MO, is well satisfied with two new knees!

Bob Lundborg died in September in Milan, MN. We send our condolences to his family. He had an active life in business, civic and church affairs, and, after receiving a heart transplant in 1994, volunteered many hours talking to groups promoting organ donor awareness.

John Fraser, husband of the late Carol Hoorn Fraser, is seeking information from those of us who knew Carol before he met her in 1956. He would like to receive our anecdotal memories, our reflections on her talent and character, even moods and attitudes, any item that will help him know her better in her youth and student years. Maybe some of us even have examples of her early art that we’d be willing to part with, or have photographs for him. If even a small story comes to mind, jot it down and send to John at: 6070 Oakland Road, Halifax, Nova Scotia, B3H IN8, CANADA.

Campus News:

The Gustavus campus is in the midst of January term with over 20% of the student body away from campus this month participating in internships, study abroad programs, student teaching or studying at other domestic institutions. On campus there are many unique classes being offered such as Archeology and the Bible and Analyzing Japan in addition to numerous classes and programs around a J-Term 2000 theme - Focus on Women's Studies. Next year January Term will focus on environmental studies. Winter sports, fine arts and extra-curricular activities are also in full swing. Even though there is little snow at Gustavus the new Nordic Ski Team is preparing for competition. The band and choir are preparing for southern tour destinations—the band to Florida and the choir to Texas.

Construction on campus continues as the new Campus Center will be finished in February with the completion of renovating the former dining service building. Many offices will then move to their new location in the Campus Center including Admission, Dean of Students, Student Activities and Residential Life. Construction of the new International House-Swedish House, a new residence hall/international center to replace Johnson Hall and the Swedish House that were destroyed in the March 1998 tornado, will begin this spring. Construction on an outdoor track and new soccer field stadium will begin this summer. If you have not been back to campus lately, you are encouraged to make a visit to see these exciting changes.

If you can not make it back to campus, but want to stay connected, check out the Internet site at The college is thrilled to recently have hired a web coordinator who has been busy updating the Gustavus home page. Look for more changes to alumni services on the web coming this spring.

You are invited and encouraged to attend these upcoming alumni events:

  • Naples gathering February 5 (Marco Island gathering cancelled)
  • Tucson Chapter gathering February 7
  • Phoenix Chapter gathering February 8
  • Sun City Chapter gathering February 9
  • Seattle G.I.V.E. project February 19 and Seattle Chapter gathering on March 2
  • Bay Chapter gathering March 4
  • Los Angeles Chapter gathering March 5
  • San Diego Chapter gathering March 6
  • Helen and Paul Baumgartner, Gustavus music faculty will perform two piano recitals in the Twin Cities on March 12, 1:30 p.m. at Cross of Glory Lutheran Church, Brooklyn Center and March 19, 7:00 p.m. at Wayzata Community Church
  • 50th Anniversary Class and 50 Year Club reunions - May 26-27
  • A reminder that all other reunion classes (1955, 1960, 1965, 1970, 1975, 1980, 1985, 1990 and 1995) will have their reunions at Homecoming on September 29-30.

A new method of giving to the College is now available! Lutheran Brotherhood created a highly successful and popular program for Lutheran churches called Simply Giving and has just extended this opportunity to Gustavus and other Lutheran colleges. Simply Giving is an automatic bank draft program that allows you to make regular monthly gifts from a checking or savings account to the College. You do not need to be Lutheran to participate, there is no cost to you or the College for this service, and you can make changes at any time. For so many people, it is much easier to give $50 a month than to write a $600 check once a year. Please call Heather Nancarrow at (800) 726-6192 or (507) 933-7518, or e-mail her at to request more information.

A year and a half until our 50th. Hope to see you then.

Happy trails,

Donn Larson

1951 Guest Letter Writer