Class of '51
December 2005


Reunion dates ― May 26 & 27, 2006

Dear Classmates and Spouses,

How are you?  Time is flying…our class of ’51 will have it’s 55th Anniversary next Memorial Day weekend, May 26 and 27, 2006.  I’m really looking forward to seeing you!  We will be seated together at the 50-Year Club events starting Friday evening, May 26, continuing through Saturday, May 27.  We’re planning a special get-together Friday, after our dinner.

Our oldest grandson called me and said he is going to go to Gustavus for the Class of 2010.  I’m terribly excited, as you probably know!  He’s a senior at Moundsview High School.  He and his buddy and their families were at the football game when Gustavus won on November 5.  Our daughter and son-in-law met at Gustavus and graduated together in 1984.  Our grandson will be the fifth generation to attend Gustavus as my mother’s father was in the first graduating class in 1890.

With the federal government cutting back on helping with student loans, it is doubly important for us to give more to the Annual Fund since so much of it goes for scholarships for students!  We need to help them more!  Each one of our gifts makes a difference in the lives of students!  This federal action creates a real crisis for many students!

Our daughter, Lynn ’84, is a real fan of Tennis and Life camps at Gustavus!  It has very high ratings as junior and adult tennis camps.  They are more than a tennis camp.  They affect your whole life!  Teenagers write thank-you letters!  “There are simply no words grand enough to express my gratitude,”…Johanna (16). 

The one that made me cry follows:

I just wanted to send you an email on how much fun I had this year at Tennis and Life Camp.  When I went a few days ago it was the best time I have ever had.  I loved the hard tennis playing, hanging with friends, and the warm-hearted, fun staff.  I am so glad that you made Tennis and Life Camps.  I have progressed so much in tennis and in life as well.  Whenever I go there you always make me do my best and never give up.  They don’t say “Travis, are you sure you can do this?” or anything like that.  They expect me to do the drills like any other person.  If they wanted to change a stroke of mine they would tell me what I needed to do to make it better.  If the staff wanted me to try something new they would say, “Let’s try this and see if it is better.  If it is not we can forget it.”  What I have learned at Tennis and Life Camp is that you should always be positive, never give up, and be a good sport…  The Three Crowns…so I just wanted to thank you and your staff for making Tennis and Life Camps possible and so much fun.  ~*Travis Spangler, New Brighton, MN, age 15

*When Travis was born he had severely deformed feet.  His parents made the difficult decision to have both feet amputated.  For a moving essay by Travis, describing the challenges he has faced, go to our web site at and click on Letters from Campers.

I missed the poetry fall classics at Bjorling given by Gustavus profs and alumni―Phil Bryant ’73, Bill Holm ’65, John Rezmerski, Joyce Sutphen and friend Phebe Hanson.

They are all outstanding poets.  The Gustavus English department, etc sponsored it.  See photo in the Quarterly.

The following quote is from the newsletter of the Gustavus Arboretum.  Ann Komatz Basset is our classmate!

Cheers for a Job Well Done

A round of applause and a warm appreciative nod of the head to Ann Basset who, for the past two years, has been the elected president of the Linnaeus Friends.  With pleasant and agreeable dignity she has presided at board meetings and kept members on track.  Even more importantly she has ably represented the Friends at a number of dreaming and scheming sessions as College officials considered the current and future state of the Arb.  Ann has been a board member for many years and she and her husband, Gene, have gifted the Arb with a number of the fruit trees adjoining the Borgeson cabin.  The Bassets now live in the Pine Pointe community, almost in the shadow of the Arb.

Thanks Ann for many things, but especially for your leadership during the past two years.

In the same newsletter I read that our classmate, David Johnson, will be the next president of the Arboretum.  Bob Isenberg also is a volunteer gardener with his wife, Onie.  Bravo to all of them!

We can’t say enough about Evelyn Sponberg Young ’33, who passed away at 93.  All of us have memories of her.  The following is from that same Arboretum newsletter:

Evelyn Young:  A Tremendous Legacy

~by Dean Wahlund ’72

We lost a tremendous friend last month.  Evelyn Young, 93, a charter member of the Friends of Linnaeus Arboretum Board of Directors, passed away peacefully at her home on September 29, 2005.

            Friends board meetings just won’t be the same.  Evelyn was the consummate cheerleader who radiated and inspired enthusiasm “for all things arboretum.”  In each of her fully active years we would hear her say, “I’ll bake a few batches of sugar cookies for the July garden tour reception!”  “You’ll see me down on campus Sunday for the Parents Day plant sale!”  “The Golden Oldies just met and we are sending all the proceeds from the salad luncheon next week to benefit the Borgeson Cabin pioneer garden!”

            Evelyn rarely missed a board meeting, in fact, she usually hosted the winter meeting at her home…and did we all eat well…it was like celebrating Thanksgiving Day in January!  She worked on membership, board development, fund-raising, and always said “yes” to being invited to serve on an arboretum task force or oversee the hospitality of an event.

            It’s been a dozen years since the “Evelyn Gardens” were dedicated at the Linnaeus Arboretum.  It was July 25, 1993, her 81st birthday, when friends and family who had contributed to this beautiful garden gathered to honor this beautiful lady.  Now we honor her memory and thank God for her life and the time we all had to share it with her.  What a tremendous legacy.

Your gift of $35 starts a membership in the arboretum and counts toward the Annual Fund.  You’ll love the newsletter!

From Christmas letters I just received:  Paul and Kiku Nakamura celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with a small celebration at Lutheran Oriental Church.  They were surprised by the event.  Paul is still serving this church.  They live in Gardena, CA.

A few lines from David and Sonja Hilding’s Christmas poem:

Thanksgiving 2005

Friends and family far and near

The holiday season is almost here.

We’re thinking of you and hoping that you

May have a blessed holiday, too

These greetings are early ‘cause last year’s were late

We happened to be in Australia-mate.

Had lots of fun indeed, yahoo

Saw Koala bears and kangaroo.

Went snorkeling on Great Barrier Reef

Which didn’t cause us too much grief.

March 11 we celebrated 50 years of marital bliss

With friends and family not amiss

Thanks David and Sonja!

The Lutheran had this news:  “Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter, Minn., held a “teach-in” on such topics as the federal government, race, poverty, natural disasters and apocalypticism, wetlands and the church’s role in giving hope.  (To hear audio from the teach-in, visit

Some of you receive a publication from the Augustana Heritage group.  Our classmate, E. H. “Kink” Kindschuh, wrote an article, “About Lutherans in the Pacific Northwest.”  He has published the book, Amil’s Eden, The Triangle Walk and New Life in Old Congregations, plus a book of poetry.  As a retired minister he is writing full-time from his home in Warren, OR.

Remember our class endowment fund!  The balance is $67,541.  From that amount $2,834 was available to the College this year.  Great!

Have you sent back your survey?  It’s an anniversary year!  You can request another copy if you misplaced it.  Call 1-800-487-8437 (or 1-800-GUSTIES) for the Alumni Office.

We are happy to include news from classmates.

Armajean Albers Jannach wrote in May, “Joe and I are looking forward to spending the summer in our North Carolina mountain home and a trip fishing in Canada (Scott Lake).  Next fall we plan to cruise the Amazon, visit a number of cities in Brazil, and Argentina―sailing around the Cape of Good Hope and see the wonders of Chile.  Hope to be back in Coral Gables the 1st of 2006.”

Also in May, John ’48 and Arden Halk Sandstead wrote, “We spend our winters in Florida.  The highlight this year was visiting Glen ’50 and LaVonne Johnson on Marco Island where they hosted about 200 Gusties including President Jim Peterson ’64 and the Gustavus choir.”

Bud Hovren, Glenwood, MN, wrote:  “Thank you for arranging the alumni of Tucson reunion at the Arizona Inn.  In the eleven years we’ve been wintering in Tucson, neither of us has been there, so this was a nice occasion along with the interesting talk on aging.

Elaine Johnson Carlson wrote from Alexandria, MN.  “I have been enjoying three months in Grand Forks, ND where I have two sons teaching and six grandchildren.  My daughter, (Eunice ’82) lives in St. Cloud, MN and has two children.  She is attending Luther Seminary preparing to become an ordained pastor.”

Betty Correll wrote, “I’m still loving it here in North Carolina in the foothills of the Smokies as well as volunteering at Christian Believers United four days a week.”

Delmar and Eileen (Johnson ’49) Christensen, wrote from Alberta, Canada:  “Since retirement in ’92, have kept up with hospital visits for Lutheran Hospital Ministries on Sunday and Monday; also three nursing homes on Tuesday―long days.  Take worship services in three nursing homes, one senior residence and two hospitals. 

            Together we hosted 31 passengers from Oslo, Norway through Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and Germany and on to Oberammergau in 2000 for the Passion play.  Eighteen day bus tour, just a tremendous trip for all of us.

            May 13-15―our Augustana Theological Seminary class of 1955 celebrated our 50th anniversary at the Theological Seminary in Chicago.

            Also, our 56th wedding anniversary on June 16, 2005.  God has blessed us abundantly.”

Vern and Marie (Norberg ’50) Bergstrom sent this note from Minneapolis, “Happy to be alive and well.  Enjoy having our large family all so close by.  Never a week goes by without some event with one of the families―grandchildren from ages 29 to 7 months and a great grandson expected in July.  Vern still enjoys writing special interest editorials for the Cambridge Star―and softball.  My (Marie) trip back to the land of my birth―Tanzania―in 2003 stirred memories that are with me always.  The thought of what the trillions our country is so willing to spend on war could do to help people is sobering.  A challenge in ‘turn back the tide’ of militarism.”

In the Superior, WI, paper were these quotes from Rev. Don Berg (and Mary Stollenwerk Berg ’53): 

     “The call into the ministry just evolved.  I’m a preacher’s kid, my father was a Lutheran pastor, and I have a twin brother also.  My dad never pushed us to go into the ministry or anything, but the influence of my parents led us that way.  And so both my twin brother and myself entered the ministry, and I’m going to see him now at the gathering in Chicago.  He’s retired and lives in Seattle and he’s coming for it,” Berg said.

     My wife, when she married me, said, ‘I don’t know, I’m really marrying into a pastorized family―pastorized because I was a pastor, my twin brother was a pastor, my father was a pastor and my youngest brother is also a pastor.  So it was kind of an overdose.”


     In Africa, Cameroon is bordered on the west by Nigeria and on the east by the Central African Republic.  Berg said he and Mary found their work exciting.  “All the things we suggested, they latched right on to,” he said.

     “Mary started a special Christian education ministry and women’s ministry.  And we started a prison ministry.  And in all my years as a pastor, I’ve been involved in radio ministry,” Berg said.  He suggested such a broadcast in Cameroon, and it quickly caught on.”

The Bergs returned from their volunteering (ELCA) work in 1991 and gave about 200 presentations on global missions.  The article told of the celebration of his 50th anniversary of his ordination―Pilgrim Lutheran Church invited me and my husband to celebrate with them on this great occasion.

Fred Tidstrom, Ashland, WI, is retired but sounds very busy as treasurer of the school board with problems like cuts in state aid, integrating education with the knowledge economy of the 21st century, new math electives, lawn mowing equipment, and school funding.

Lee Doering, Alexandria, MN (summers) and Naples, FL (winters) retired as a lawyer.

David Lindberg, Arlington Heights, IL wrote:  “I just completed three months of volunteer work as an ecumenical accompanier in the world council of churches’ ecumenical accompaniment program in Palestine and Israel.  I was stationed in Bethlehem, and coincidentally one of my successors in the next three month term in Bethlehem is also a Gustavus graduate, Fr Richard Cogwell from Capetown, South Africa.”

He enclosed a pamphlet explaining the program.  You can get involved in the EAPPI (World Council of Churches),

Donald and Marian (Edstrom ’53) Lundberg, Hackensack and Plymouth, MN wrote:  “We will attend graduation exercise, because granddaughter, Molly Lundberg ’05, will graduate.  Two more to go.  Besides me, my dad, my wife, my three children and now grandchildren attended Gustavus.  My first ‘dormitory’ room was under the football stadium―a far cry from the comparative luxury today.”

Dean Kjolhaug, husband of Marianne Ostrom Kjolhaug, died June 4, 2005, from complications from Parkinson’s.  Our sympathy to you, Marianne in Duluth.

George and Ruth Olson, write from Marinette, WI, “We will celebrate our Golden Wedding Anniversary on June 24, 2005.  I will celebrate my 80th birthday on September 12, 2005.  We attended the Augustana Heritage celebration in June 2004 and the campus was beautiful.”

Warren Doesken, Chisholm, MN, retired science teacher, writes:  “I have enjoyed the first 20 years of retirement and am now in the first year of the next 20!!”

Kenneth and Lois Anderson Quist write from Atlanta, GA, “We will be attending two graduations of our grandchildren in the coming weeks.  Our granddaughter, R. Genevieve Quist, will graduate from Cornell University, Ithaca, NY with a B.S. degree in industrial labor relations with honors on May 29, 2005.  She plans to teach for ‘Teach for America’ in LA in July.

            Our grandson, Andrew D. Quist, will graduate from Central Buerks East High School with honors in Doylestown, Pennsylvania.  He will attend the University of Southern California, LA, majoring in English.”

(Sorry, there was a little more, but the ending was lost under the glue on the envelope.) 

Someone sent this newspaper clipping about Elmer Luke, Maple Grove, MN:

“Pool Sharks,” a Minneapolis newspaper story October 19, features formerRapids teacher Elmer Luke, his son, Brian and his swimming family at Stillwater.

            Elmer, now 78, was a Greenway High School graduate and a swimming star at Gustavus Adolphus College at St. Peter before he came to Grand Rapids.  He moved to Hopkins in 1957 as an assistant coach and became head coach at Hopkins Lindbergh in 1970.  Son, Brian was his first team captain and earned all-conference swimming honors at Southwest State.  He became the coach at Stillwater in 1975 and coached his 900th meet last season.

            Grandpa Elmer retired in 1993 but volunteered as assistant coach for his son’s Stillwater team.  He sits in a chair on the pool deck and helps with stroke technique.  Brian’s wife, Jane, is the announcer at home meets.

            Their oldest daughter Melanie, 23, is a volunteer assistant coach.  Daughter Marnie, a sophomore, is a distance specialist.  So there are five Lukes involved at Stillwater.  Grandpa Elmer is a member of the Minnesota Swimming Hall of Fame.”

Phonorama News―

Our sympathy to Ken Samuelson, Post Falls, ID:  His wife, Maribel Samuelson, passed away on the 16th of April.

Don Osell writes from Cohasset, MN:  “Blessed and busy…with eight months here in the Grand Rapids, MN area…four in Fountain Hills, AZ.  We follow the growth of Gustavus with close interest.  Times and buildings change but the ‘spirit’ is intact.  The intangible ‘extra.’”

Thanks to all of you who sent news!  This update is from Alumni Director, Randall Stuckey’s letter to Class Agents, etc.  “Welcome back―to all of us!  As we get into the new academic year, classes are getting into full swing, new daily/weekly routines are becoming familiar, anticipation and expectations build, and the campus is becoming fully alive once again.  It’s a good feeling!…There are so many important things to accomplish this year.  These are but a few.  I am expecting a very good and productive year, in classrooms and labs, on athletic fields, in offices, in performance spaces, and other areas across the campus.  Again, I welcome you back and look forward to our work together.”

Be sure to read about Prof. Karlis Kaufmanis in the preface to the new book, The Messiah Medallions, which was inspired by Kaufmanis.  A few quotes:

Before the Nazis―supposedly Eduard Roschmann―came to Riga, the Soviets were there first, tormenting innocent people.  One survivor was Karlis Kaufmanis, an astronomy professor at the University of Riga…(He had to go into hiding.)

            In 1941 the Nazis invaded the Soviet Union and Kaufmanis was given a reprieve―sort of.  He was conscripted by the Nazis to work for the German war effort in Austria.

            At the end of the war the Soviets re-occupied Latvia, so Kaufmanis didn’t dare return and instead he immigrated to Minnesota.  But there was something special that Kaufmanis brought to Minnesota.  Kaufmanis brought with him a special insight into the Star of Bethlehem, a key element in our story.  And the insight that Kaufmanis had acquired was yet another instance when “tiny chances” changed someone’s history.

            In December 1936, a half dozen female college students came to Kaufmanis’s office at the university wanting a physical explanation for the Star of Bethlehem.  Not wanting to admit that he didn’t know, Kaufmanis offered explanations for what it could have been, such as a nova or a comet.  One of the girls whom Kaufmanis was planning to ask to a dance said she didn’t want to know what it could have been; she wanted to know what it was…

            The culmination of Kaufmanis’ research was his famous Star of Bethlehem lecture.  During every holiday season starting in 1949, Kaufmanis would give his lecture at the University of Minnesota.  It didn’t take long for the lecture to gain in popularity and become a tradition in the Twin Cities area.  Other colleges, churches, local clubs, and a variety of other organizations kept Kaufmanis booked each Christmas season until 1997, when Kaufmanis had to move to Florida with his wife due to health reasons.  He had given his lecture well over 1,000 times.”

Note from your class agent:  I took astronomy from Prof. Kaufmanis at Gustavus.  Unfortunately, Gustavus had to cut back the math department so Prof. K got a job at the University of Minnesota.  He was a fantastic person and professor who would recognize me when I went to his “Star of Bethlehem” lectures through the years.  He died in 2003.

From a “displaced person” camp in Germany he had chosen to write to Gustavus asking for a job because he thought it would be a good college with a name like that.  What a blessing he was to Gustavus!

Hope to see some of you at Christmas in Christ Chapel and at the GACAC Convention in April.  We are reminded that Gustavus cost more than we paid for our education even then.  Out of thankfulness we can give to present day students through the Annual Fund so they can develop values and give back to the world.  Our daughter added, “extraordinary” to my list of adjectives about Gustavus as she is driving me to Christmas in Christ Chapel.  I always cry when I stand next to her when she sings the descant and the hundreds of students, plus the visitors sing “O Come All Ye Faithful” at the end of the service each year.

Our son, Erik ’88, still claims that his four years at Gustavus were the happiest years of his life.  He is teaching English in northeast Japan.  An earthquake woke him up last week.

This info was in the Minnesota Monthly, September 2005.

            Gustavus Adolphus College


            Campus:  Saint Peter, MN

            Total enrollment:  2,542

            Student-teacher ratio:  13:1

Known for its excellent student-teacher relations, outstanding four-year graduation rate, rigorous and caring professors, and a wide variety of educational opportunities―students can explore every ability they possess at Gustavus Adolphus College.  Gustavus is a private liberal arts college and the oldest Lutheran college in the state.  “I love the sense of community and scholarship at Gustavus,” says a 2005 graduate.  “Faculty members are so supportive and encourage students to do great work and set their standards high.”  New programs include environmental and Japanese studies; unique programs include Scandinavian studies and peace studies.  Gustavus is fully accredited and known for strong science, writing, music, athletic, study-abroad, and service-learning programs, as well as the nationally-attended Nobel Conference―celebrating its 41st year.

Plus remember the Thrivent matching gift program.  My husband has a policy so Gustavus sends in the form for us.  You can pay $10 to be an associate member and Thrivent will match your gift, too!

I like the photo of our faithful Phonorama volunteers in the spring Quarterly, p. 36.  Thanks to them and those who gathered at Ray and Lorraine Lundquist’s home in September for a mini Phonorama!

Our class participation in the Fund last year was 68.1%.  We’re so close to the 70% mark, it would be fun to get into the 70% participation.  That’s my challenge to you all!

The College will add campus news at the end of this letter.  Thanks for all you do for Gustavus!!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year,

Dorothy Johnson Lutz

1951 Class Agent

Campus News

Evelyn Sponberg Young, one of Gustavus' best ambassadors of goodwill, hospitality and spirit, and friend of many, many Gusties through the years, died at her home on September 29, at the age of 93.  Evelyn graduated from Gustavus in 1933 and taught English in several schools in southern Minnesota.  She returned to campus in 1949 as director of the College's dining service, serving the College 32 years until her retirement in 1981.  A memorial service was held at in Christ Chapel on December 8.

Wind Orchestra Tour

Join Gustavus alumni and parents on a companion tour with the Gustavus Wind Orchestra to Eastern Europe January 17-27, 2006.  The trip includes visits to the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, and Austria and will be hosted by Tom Emmert, professor of history, and Jon and Anita (Thomsen) Young ’77 ’77.

Announcing the Gustavus 2006 Alumni Fund Campaign

“When you get your invitation in the mail or receive a call from a Gustie student or classmate, commit to making your gift to the Alumni Fund this year,” encourages Jan Michaletz ’74, alumni board member, class agent, and 2006 Alumni Fund Chair.  The Michaletz family―Russ ’74, Mara ’02, Annie ’05, and John ’08―have agreed to chair this year’s alumni fund drive.  The 2006 Alumni Fund goals are to achieve 9,000 donors and $1,185,000 dollars in alumni giving.  The 2006 fiscal year began June 1, 2005 and ends May 31, 2006.  Gifts to the Alumni Fund will immediately support current Gusties in the classroom, in labs, on the playing field, in the library, and more.  Tuition does not cover the real cost of educating students today, nor did it when you were a student at Gustavus.  Since its inception in 1954, the goal of the Alumni Fund has been to help keep the Gustavus educational experience accessible for current students.  Give the gift of Gustavus to a current Gustie by making your Alumni Fund gift this year.

The 2004-2005 Honor Roll of Donors is now available online at:  The Honor Roll of Donors recognizes those who have made gifts to Gustavus between June 1, 2004 and May 31, 2005.  To find your name or to check out your class results, point and click from your home or office computer.  To have your name included in the 2005-2006 Honor Roll of Donors, go to to make a gift online.

Nobel Conference

The College’s 41st Nobel Conference, The Legacy of Einstein, was held September 27-28.  The panel consisted of scientists in the areas of statistical physics, relativity, cosmology, and unified theories, who discussed current work in the areas of Einstein’s greatest contributions.  In addition, a historian of science explored the impact that Einstein’s discoveries and his social and political views have had on science and humanity.  Also, a play, Clockworks:  Einstein Time, was premiered, the Physics Force group performed, and a symphony orchestra concert celebrated Einstein through music.

Alumni Directory

In partnership with Publishing Concepts (PCI), a comprehensive alumni directory is being produced and will be released in 2006.  PCI will be contacting alumni to get current information.

First Frost * A Royal Affair

Since 1977 Gustavus Library Associates has helped raise funds for the endowment of Folke Bernadotte Memorial Library located at Gustavus.  Over 1,000 guests attended First Frost * A Royal Affair, the biennial gala dinner/auction benefit at the Sheraton Hotel in Bloomington on Saturday, October 29.  This year Evelyn Young ’33, a long-time GLA supporter, was honored posthumously.  The program featured tenor Mark Thomsen ’78 and was hosted by former Miss America Gretchen Carlson and physician and Gustavus parent John Najarian.

Athletics Hall of Fame

On Saturday, September 24, Gustavus inducted the following people into the Athletics Hall of Fame:  Holly Brodmarkle Cervin ’87, track and field; Marc Illies ’85, baseball and football; Marc Iverson ’89, football; Gretchen Koehler, coach; soccer; Rich Skanse ’84, tennis; and Dick Walters ’75, hockey.  Jay Rooker ’85 and Mary Mansour ’85, softball, have also been selected but will be inducted Fall 2006.

Campus Progress

Whether it’s planning for brand new buildings or renovating old ones, the Gustavus campus is always changing.  A new web site has been designed to keep you updated on the changes taking place on campus.  Check it out at:

Upcoming Alumni Events

  • Wind Orchestra Companion Tour to Eastern Europe — January 17-27
  • Vocation Conference – February 11-18, 2006
  • Gustavus Music Showcase, Orchestra Hall – March 12