Class of '51
Dear Classmates and Spouses,
Remember, you are a Gustie
And you can do it!
You can smile―
You can help wherever needed in the world―
You can feel compassion for the Gustie students and then give a gift to the
Annual Fund, most of which goes for scholarships.
Please join the Cec Eckhoff Society with either a 5-year commitment or for a lifetime. Any amount counts! It's a PROMISE you can make.
Paul Granlund ’52 died on September 15, 2003. We all will miss him greatly. The article in the Minneapolis Star Tribune quoted the hospital chaplain telling Paul that he admired all of his works, but especially the religious ones. Paul moved his oxygen mask and said, "They are all religious!" The Alumni Office will insert more information at the end of this letter. Paul, a minister's son, came to Gustavus planning on studying to become a pastor. Then he took his first sculpture class and the rest is history. Any memorials you give for anyone including Paul Granlund will also be credited to our class totals.
Thanks to Ray Lunquist and his crew, you'll be contacted at Phonorama. Ray wrote, "After the (Gustavus Heritage Dinner), we toured the Paul Granlund exhibit...what a wonderful legacy he has left for all of us...I was able to offer sympathy to Edna...(at the memorial service)." He said other classmates at the Heritage Dinner included Myrna Thorsell Wolf, Bob Isenberg and his wife, Leona, and Carl Nelson and Leslie. Ray told us that Carl Nelson was very pleased his grandson, Nels Nelson, who is a freshman from Edina had made the Gustavus varsity soccer team.
Ray also told us, "Pastor Tania Haber '78, daughter of Sandy Anderson and Jim Haber was selected as senior pastor at Westwood Lutheran, St. Louis Park, where my wife, Lorraine, is a long-time member and I'm also involved. Tania is a wonderful, gifted young lady. She looks so much like Sandy did. Hopefully, more classmates will consider Gustavus in their estate planning." Thanks, Ray, for keeping us in touch with Gustavus!
Lately several young women have told me they want to be like me when they are in their 70's. That's about as good a compliment as you can get when you're 74.
Here are some notes and quotes that I took at the Class Agents' Meeting that was held on campus on Saturday, September 13:
"Fall more deeply in love with Gustavus!"
"I pray that all of you can have the inspiration, strength, and encouragement to help Gustavus help students to grow in their love of the Kingdom."
Four class agents for the newest class of 2003 came "on board".
"Over 300 alumni joined the Cec Eckhoff Society. There is no set amount to pledge."
"You class agents are the real heroes of this college," Bob Peterson was thanking for a Gustavus clock given to his family for their leadership in the Gustavus Fund last year.
Bob told the story about applying for the $5.1 million for the Olin Science Hall. It turned out they were very impressed with our ALUMNI PARTICIPATION. "Is Gustavus as good as they say it is?" asked a Trustee at Olin Foundation. "It's better!" answered Dr. D. (Gustie).
"Break 10,000 mark of donors this year! It started in 1954. There are 2 class agents who were there."
One class agent said, "The church needs Gustavus...Be patient and keep asking for money. One classmate reluctantly gave an annual gift of $25.00 for years and just gave $250,000." The younger class agents laughed.
"The amount isn't nearly as important as reporting in," someone quoted Edgar Carlson.
"What you loved about Gustavus―Tell it!"
"As we walked out into the scary new world (after Commencement), we felt that Gustavus had helped us grow."
"Grandpa Ren's recruiting game when I was a kid, was his asking, again and again, 'Where are you going to go to college?' I'd answer; 'St. John's,' or another place and he would get sicker and sicker. Finally, my answer would be, 'St. Olaf,' and he would feign a heart attack. Once more he would ask, and I'd say, 'Gustavus!' and he would come back to life!" (by Scott Anderson ’89)
Alumni Director Randy Stuckey ’83 said, "We want to know what you are doing! Please write us. We will send a gold envelope with the class letters; please write! Have a good conversation with whoever calls you for Phono."
The Assistant Director of the Gustavus Fund, Mik Gusenius ’03 said: "This is my first Class Agents' Meeting. I can't believe there's so much energy! If you don't get a call on Phono, one of 300 students may be calling you from campus. About 2/3 of our students participate in community service. We are trying to teach them financial service, too."
Speaker and class agent, Ken Ericson ’84 shared: "As a student, I attended chapel every day mainly because there were a lot of good-looking women there." He told us to tell people at another table a story about something we did at college that we did not tell our parents." Everyone at our table chose another topic!
"Your college needs you. The PROMISE of Gustavus. Our college needs us."
Development Associate and Class Agent, Paul Tillquist ’63 told the story of a Phonorama in the 1960's in downtown Minneapolis: "A St. Thomas graduate wandered into the Dean Witter office where we were. He was a little "under the weather" and asked, "Has something happened to the stock market?" "No, this is Gustavus Phonorama!" So he sat down and wrote a check to Gustavus!
Brian Beckstrom ’97, from the Office of Church Relations, "Our mission is to strengthen the church in our college and the college in our church. We have over 55% Lutheran students. Chapel is voluntary but over 350 students a day come. That's the top in the country. It is a vibrant program. Over 400 Gustie alums are pastors on the ELCA roster. Seventy students now are thinking of some kind of service in the church. There is a program for them. There is also a summer camp experience where over 50 students received over $40,000 in stipends so they could afford to work at camps over the summer. We have confirmation retreats and Wednesdays at Gustavus for seniors. Over 1,000 came to campus last year on these two programs. We are working on getting Gustie pastors to be mentors to other pastors. The Chapel Endowment is growing."
Heather McGregor, a senior student who works in the same office, said, "I've had a wonderful experience at Gustavus. I'm in charge of confirmation retreats in which many students become interested in coming to college. A pastor is going to come to campus and talk with me about going to seminary. I told him I studied in Kenya, so he started to speak Swahili! He works in Tanzania part of each year."
Randy introduced Raj Sethuraju, Assistant Dean of Multicultural Programs, who is "known
for his bright smile, gentle spirit, and genuine concern for all students."
Raj related: "It has been a wonderful experience here. I left Singapore 14 years ago...I have lived in (the South) where they are still working on 'The Dream.' I want to know your story and what helped you get at Gustavus." I want to stretch their (the students) imaginations by traveling; by working in the community…we had a powwow on campus with 500 people. We want sustained interaction with the Sioux Nation and the Asian communities. It gives richness."
A Latin American student, Ebba ’06, who works with Raj said, "I had culture shock coming from Los Angeles, but I made it through the first year. When I'm lonesome, I know I can go to the Diversity Center and talk. We started a Spanish Culture Month with events every week."
President Jim Peterson ’64 addressed the room: "This is a really wonderful group. From the new guy, Welcome! I walked on Eckman Mall and talked with about 45 students who were signing up other students for organizations on campus. They had passion! Students who tell their amazing stories are "ambassadors." This summer I would wake up and say to myself, 'Jim, what are you thinking about?' It is real clear to me now. It is the students! Make sure their growth is all we can make it...if it's not fun, it's not worth it." He wants us to memorize the values of Gustavus: EXCELLENCE, COMMUNITY, SERVICE, JUSTICE, AND FAITH.
Around 11% of the incoming class have siblings or parents who went to Gustavus. There are almost 700 first year students. There are students from 17 countries. Anyone can request a recruitment video from the Admissions Office. You can go to the Gustavus web site and get lots of information. Encourage students to come to Gustavus!
Our daughter had promised to take me to the Class Agents' Meeting if I got to Shoreview. Their 6'2" high school sophomore son came with us. He was very impressed with how friendly everyone was. He is asking what are the requirements for acceptance (also found on the Gustavus website). Is this grandmother excited?!
If you want to improve Gustavus' standing when U.S. News and World Report publish their findings, GIVE TO GUSTAVUS EVERY YEAR. They use the percentage of participation as one of the criteria for rating.
The oldest class agent there is 95 years old with a precious smile. She still lives in her own house and does all of her own cooking!
I'm sorry I couldn't write faster and get more info to you. It was such a great meeting. A delicious luncheon followed with plenty of opportunity to say hello to "old" class agent friends.
Thanks to Chaplain Brian Johnson ’80 who was at Uppsala, Sweden awhile back, we have a fantastic art exhibit of the Apostles at Christ Chapel until October 25th. That day, there will be a special service including music about the Apostles. Brian said, "We wrote a hymn which includes all of the Apostles. It starts in St. Peter, Minnesota and ends in St. Peter's in Rome! The exhibit has been in many of the famous cathedrals in Europe already."
Brian also reported, "This freshman class has provided a fresh momentum to the chapel as it is filled daily. They are filled with Hope."
A short walk in the beautiful, flowering arboretum with hundreds of butterflies. Then I was back in Duluth a few hours later.
By the time you receive this letter I will be visiting my childhood home in Central Tanzania for 19 days. Vern Bergstrom encouraged his wife, Marie ’50, to come with us. Marie called her sister, Ruth Norberg Nye ’55, and I called Eleanor Danielson Anderson who is married to Carl Anderson ’50. So the four of us girls are returning after many years away (65 years for me)! I'm
pretty excited about the "safari" with the Magomollas, friends from Duluth.
Gustavus has given the world many missionaries. A lot of them served in Tanzania. Denny Lofstrom not only was a missionary doctor in Kiomboi, but also is carrying on the tradition because another Gustie asked him to head the Iambi Hospital Project for the next two years. You can email Denny at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Remember 50 by 50. That's 50% participation by the 50th year of the Fund. (This academic year.) If our class hadn't gone backwards in percentage of participation, I would have been awarded a Gustavus sweatshirt. Eleven classes did increase their participation this year.
I'm wondering how we can do better next year. Is it our memory failing? I know we will be generous if we have compassion and love for the students. Remember, it's not the amount you give, it's that you give! Please give. We need 100% participation to make up for last year. Your college needs you!
It would be great if you came back to campus this year. There are so many wonderful events, but choose any day! I'll look for you Saturday afternoon at Christmas in Christ Chapel.
I'm flying to Tanzania tomorrow! I will think of all my classmates, especially those who served there!
Great to hear from Clare "Claribel" (Allen ’49) and Lowell Erickson, who live in Washougal, WA. Their grandson is a National Merit Scholar and is looking for a college. Hope he visits Gustavus. Almost all high school students who visit campus choose Gustavus!
Louise Borg Bergmann had knee replacement surgery last February. Nothing's going to slow her down!
You can get the Gustie monthly e-mail newsletter by telling Gustavus at: email@example.com that you would like it, like Reynold Malmer did in Kirkwood, MO.
Don Osell is writing a series of articles on his favorite poems in the Henderson newspaper. "I love poems that are understandable and make sense and are optimistic and uplifting. Also, ones that conjure up images I can relate to." He talks about Robert Frost's Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.
George A. Olson hopes to attend the Augustana Heritage meeting next June at Gustavus.
Marion Odberg Olson has been retired from teaching for 18 years and has been a widow for 12. "Still playing clarinet...now in the Minneapolis Police Band...like to travel and also spend time with my three grandsons."
Marion Myrland Johnson and John are moving a whole block! "It's even closer to Mount Olivet Church (just over Minnehaha Creek). Stan Benson really enjoyed reading your books on Africa, John!
Sam Odell has moved to Queen Creek, Arizona.
John Helling, New Richmond, WI, sold his business, Amery Technical Products, four years ago.
Bob ’50 and June (Quam) Johnson wrote from Dunedin, FL. Bob is still retired, and June is recovering from open-heart surgery and cancer treatment. They are "enjoying the territory."
Betty Correll in Black Mountain, NC, is volunteering four days a week at Christian Believer's United. She plans to take a trip to Alaska in July.
Art Adamson liked "the fantastic Gustie dinner in Minneapolis. (It was) a very inspiring get-together. Dr. Peterson gets our vote...We had Rev. Jack Niemi ’68 up at Gethsemane Lutheran in Hopkins. One Gustie said that's the greatest sermon I've ever heard." Art agreed. Jack is married to Dave Hilding's cousin. He is the director of Church Relations at Gustavus.
Russell Paulson writes from Foresthill, CA. "I am now serving Bethel Lutheran Church in Sacramento as Interim Pastor. My daughter, Jennifer, completes her studies at Trinity Lutheran College, Issaquah, WA this June. Stefany, my 17-year-old is going to college in Davis, CA and living there with my son, Tim and his family."
It was fun to read about June Siem Wick helping her friend, Carol, find her two sisters by going with her to Gustavus and looking at old yearbooks.
Upcoming Events – call the Alumni Office at 800/487-8437
- Charlotte, NC, Gustavus Gathering - October 18
- Phonorama -- October 12-16 and 19-23, Minnesota Valley Country Club, Bloomington
- Our Story Conference, The Growing Gender Gap in the African American Community -- October 24-25, Campus
- Reformation Festival featuring the Gustavus Choir, Central Lutheran Church, Minneapolis -- October 25
- JFK Assassination 40 Years Later, presented by David Jones ’83 and Political Science Professor Chris Gilbert at Minnesota Valley Country Club, Bloomington-- November 4
- A Royal Affair, benefit sponsored by Gustavus Library Associates in the Twin Cities -- November 15
Dorothy Johnson Lutz
1951 Class Agent