Class of '51
February 2006

Dear Classmates and whoever reads this letter,

We just returned from a great concert by a great choir―the Gustavus Choir!  They sang a newly commissioned work by Paulus in memory of a recent graduate and former member of the choir.  It was beautiful.  It is a tradition to end the concert with Praise to the Lord

Don and Mary (Stollenwerk ’53) Berg had attended and were happy to hear that was the concert encore.  Don said, “It was really a very fine concert.”  After the concert, Laurie, a junior from Colorado, answered my usual question with, “It’s a good school and I love it!”  She and 32 co-eds sang their hearts out for us.

Nathan, a senior from Plymouth, MN, told me, “It’s a wonderful school and a wonderful choir to be a part of!  I’ve applied to four seminaries for next year.”

Ginny, a recent alumnus of Gustavus and of the choir, who works at our church, told us how she and another alumnus saw each other at the concert.  “It was such fun and we bonded again!  We have so many shared experiences!”

A Viking-looking tenor; a bearded, Jesus-looking singer; a very tall, thin young man and 26 others made up the men’s strong sections in the choir.  They all brought a message of hope and comfort to us.

In the church basement afterwards the choir sang a peppy song in Swedish, thanking the cooks for the full meal after the concert at Concordia Lutheran Church in Duluth.  The camaraderie of the choir was fun to watch!

The whole event energized me enough to start this letter to you!  The choir stops at high schools on the way.  “Dr. A,” as they affectionately refer to their director, Greg Aune, gives workshops and they sing.  Their 12th concert will be the “Home Concert.”  Next year the choir tour will be to South America.

Their hope to see a blue Lake Superior was granted when the rare sun and a blue sky greeted them Monday morning.  It was a bit chilly but above zero here in Duluth.  I hope they have good memories of their whole tour.

The Gustavus Wind Orchestra (band) toured Eastern Europe where it was unusually cold this month.  They were wearing gloves for some of the concerts!  That would make playing difficult!

Please remember our wonderful, “new” Gusties with a gift to the Alumni Fund before the end of May.  Many of the scholarships come from the Alumni Fund.  You may designate yours, if you like.

Ray Lundquist wrote, “…I will miss Jim Isaak ’86.”  (Jim, former Director of the Gustavus Fund, has left to raise money for the Mayo Foundation).  “Jim did a great job in a role that is a challenge.”

As Gusties, we learned to praise God during our daily chapel services.  It was great singing hymns together in that wonderful space.  Rev. Dr. Martin Marty, in his book, Our Hope For Years to Come wrote, “All this has one hope-filling intent:  to assure that praise fortifies all steps toward hope.”  I highly recommend it for devotions.  In a previous class letter I mentioned that he told our audience at Bjorling Hall how much he liked Gustavus.  His daughter was a student then.

I discovered another thing I have in common with our son-in-law, Dan McGinty ’84.  We “can’t live” without our two gray Gustavus sweatshirts―one tattered and the other one newer!  Guess what I got for Christmas!

Our son, Erik ’88, said he can Google “earth” and look at Gustavus so he sits at a computer at the board of education on the east coast of northern Japan and follows the paths in the Arboretum.  He assured me Christ Chapel and the dorms are still there!

Be sure to sit by the beautiful waterfall that David and Delores Johnson have provided near the Interpretive Center at the Arboretum the next time you are on campus.

Please come back for our 55th and get some more “Gustie glue” to bind us together.  You are all special!  Please add more sunshine and joy to our lives!  We need you to help celebrate our 55th anniversary on May 26 & 27, on campus.  We will be seated together at all the meals.  Florentine (Peterson) and Don Anderson, my husband Paul and I will be there for sure!  I love Gustavus more every year!

I marvel that the present students are still as wonderful as our student body was long ago.  The director of the Gustavus choir told our audience in Duluth how special the choir members are.  He also said the recent alums, of the choir who have died, were wonderful people.  If you received the Gustavus Fine Arts calendar, were you impressed like I was?  I turned it over and counted 33 student recitals this spring in addition to all the other concerts, plays, etc.  You can call the Fine Arts Department at Gustavus and get on the mailing list.

From Phonorama:

Dick and Barbara Erlandson live in Minneapolis.  He builds airplanes.

From News Notes sent in:

Rev. Russ Paulson served Bethel Lutheran Church in Sacramento, CA.  He is dean of the Foothill Conference, Pacific Southwest Synod, ELCA.  His youngest daughter, Stefany, was married in August.

Our sympathy to Edith Peterson Vogt and Paul in Olivia, MN, whose son, Mark, died last July.  Edith wrote, “We were deeply saddened when our oldest son, Mark, suddenly passed away on July 27, 2005.  His funeral was held on August 2 at Cross of Calvary Lutheran Church in Olivia.  And now our second son recently found out that he has non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and is receiving treatments for it.”

Kenneth and Lois Anderson Quist, live in Atlanta, GA.  Lois wrote that R. Genevieve Quist, their granddaughter, is a freshman at Gustavus.  Lois has lots of relatives who attended Gustavus through the years.  Lois wrote,” My grandson, Kyle Quist, from Pennsylvania and I visited Italy this summer.  We were gone for two weeks.  We traveled to Rome, Pompeii, Sorrento, Isle of Capri, Naples, Assisi, Venice, Pisa, Tuscany, Florence and Siena and then back to Rome.  We had a wonderful time with other folks from California, Canada and other states.”

Earl and Helen Leaf live in Willmar and have a long list of relatives who are Gusties.  He is a member of many historical societies in Minnesota and has written books on Swedish immigration.  He mentions:  “Research on County Poor Farms in Minnesota, including narrative on MPR special Over the Hill to the Poor House.  Research on Swedish immigration to Chisago County in 19th century including one-month scholarship in Vaxjo, Sweden in 1999.”

The Lutheran, January 2006, listed Gustavus as having 38 ministry candidates during 2005.  Also, see page 25 about a student, Ma Lee Vang, who received a wonderful scholarship.

When we went to chapel at Gustavus, little did we know that we were preparing for life’s struggles, disappointments and whatever would come our way.  We were also getting ready to “move mountains” which many of you are still doing.  I know I quoted President Carlson ’30 before, but it was many years ago so I’m including this:

“A college is not anymore, if it ever was, a place with clearly defined boundaries.  It includes more than those who teach and those who study; it includes also those who believe in what it is doing, those who accredit its work by the quality of their lives and service after they graduate, and those who provide the means which permit the work to go on.”                                                                                         ~Edgar M. Carlson

Ray and Lorraine Lundquist wrote us about representing his graduate school, Washington University in St. Louis, at the installation of the new president of Hamline last October.”  It was a once in a lifetime experience.”  Ray penned, “Ray and Lorraine both enjoyed Christmas in Christ Chapel, too.

We were able to attend “C in CC,” also, as the students call that special December service which begins the Christmas season for me.  My brother and sister-in-law, Wendell ’53 and Marilyn (Brust ’55) Johnson and their daughter, Julie (Eiden ’82), and their son, David ’84 all managed to go to different services from each other and me.  I’m sure some of you were at the fifth one!  It is a strenuous weekend for the students who sing and play!

We lost three members of our class already in January.  Eugene “Lindy” Lindgren, age 79, LeSueur died on January 13.  After graduating from Winthrop High School, he attended Gustavus.  Since he was married in 1950 he was one of our off-campus veterans.  His wife died five years ago.

Bob Hein, died on January 19 at the age of 83.  He was from St. Peter and attended Gustavus a year before serving during WWII.  After the war he finished his chemistry degree at Gustavus.  He was one of the married vets who graduated with us.  Two of his grandchildren are my piano students!  I have visited with Bob and Rose Hein at our recitals.  Small world!


Pat Pool Hasse died on January 20 after a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer a month before.  She has been one of our faithful callers on Phonorama!  She is survived by three sons and a daughter, Andrea Hasse Richert ’85.

Our sympathy to Dorothy Conrad Gaard, whose father, Dr. Ted Conrad ’25, passed away on December 29, 2005.  He turned 100 last November.  Did you see the article and photo in the Metro Lutheran?  He estimated that their group of 20 “oldsters” had sent about 10,000 letters to help prisoners of conscience through Amnesty International the past 12 years.  Many of you will remember him as a professor at Gustavus for 12 years.  I hear from you that he taught you Greek!

Betty Reusch Anderson-Oussaren and Bert wrote from Kenora, Canada, in their Christmas letter to us, about their many travels including Peru, Romania and Bulgaria.

Denny and Paula Lofstrom wrote in their Christmas letter about their new International Health Partners.  “As most of you know, we have done all that we can at Iambi for now and we’ve accepted assignments in other areas of Tanzania.  We have formed an NGO (non-governmental organization) called International Health Partners US-TZ and we’re spending our time now introducing that as we tour the U.S. speaking to whoever will listen.  God gives us assignments, we do our best.  God has sent us wonderful help, and that is one of the best things about doing what we do.”

The following is from an email about Lofstrom’s work: 

“They developed a five-year program for continued improvements to that hospital and have now been asked to broaden their mission to include other sites in Tanzania.  There are three immediate projects to be included in this new assignment:  the Mtoni Deaconess Dispensary on the outskirts of Dar es Salaam, the Maneromango dispensary about 91 km from Dar es Salaam and the procurement of a mobile medical/surgical/dental unit to be used by teams of people from the U. S. doing short-term medical clinics.  The project is more fully described on a website:”

When Fred Tidstrom and Ellenanne send their Christmas letter, I feel my mind expand.  Quote, “so you can see this old guy has been busy.  Here are a couple of one-liners for you:

1)  The difference between a visionary and a dreamer is, a visionary has lots of talented-committed friends, if you think you can do it alone, you ARE dreaming!

2)  The definition of a navigator is…some one who tells others where to go!

Thanks to lots of luck, pills and GOD’S GRACE we have remained healthy, not exactly wealthy and wise.  We support our church in it’s “legacy of the century” where we are restructuring the building to last an additional 100 years, our colleges and grandchildren activities plus our two black labs, hundreds of birds, back yard deer, bear, foxes, raccoons, rabbits, tree-rats and Yamaha riding lawn mower.

BIG BUCK LODGE as we call the DELTA hide-away is very busy and very quiet depending on when family has time to use it.  All of our children are at a very busy time in their own lives…they make it “home” whenever they can and we occasionally visit their homes.  (I vow to get to Fred and Tara’s in Lanesville, IN in 2006).  We stay in touch via email and many photos throughout the year.

Each year becomes more precious as time passes along with old friends.  We wish you all a Merry Christmas and the faith and courage to face a new year.  TOUCH ALL THE BASES AND STAY IN THE GAME!”

It sounds like he’s using his retirement to change his neck of the woods by serving on the school board with his innovative ideas.  He plans to connect both worlds―education and economic development.  Fred is also on a technology council, which will expand opportunities through his vision.  He brings people together and gets action in northeast Wisconsin.  Keep us informed, Fred!  On the card, which he carries, is this prayer:

A Believers Prayer

Our Father, God of creation, truth, and love.  Help us

to believe…to dream dreams, to accept the risk of failure,

to know the joy of love, to feel the inner peace of

accomplishment, to walk on this Earth with your son,

Jesus, in the Hope and Faith that whosoever believes

in him shall inherit eternal life, Give us that Faith to

believe - and the damnation of doubt shall vanish from

this world, and the next!

Earl Leaf writes from Willmar, “I traveled to Sweden September 23 to October 3, 2005, bringing along son, Jonathan and daughter, Heidi, who wanted to visit the sites of their ancestor’s homes and meet relatives.  We spent time in Vaxjo, Upsala, Stockholm and the island of Oland.  It was my third trip to Sweden.”

Dean Berg wrote that he celebrated 50 years in ministry.  He was ordained in 1955 by the Augustana Lutheran Church.  Dean and Barbara live in Federal Way, WA.

Rhoda Smith Nelson and Don, Hayward, WI wrote that they spend six months in Mesa, AZ.  (Guess which time of the year!)

Louise Borg Bergmann, Oxnard, CA wrote that she and her husband, Kenneth, “Spent a month in August-September in Europe:  London, the Danube River cruise, Budapest to Nuremburg, Prague and then a six-day trip on the Queen Mary to cross the Atlantic.  A great trip!  Spent some time with two sets of friends in London.  We are now having hot weather in southern California and the fires have started.  We are told that this is what happens in September and October.  The Santa Ana winds whip up and it doesn’t take much to ignite the dry brush.  We’re going again in October for a week to visit our friends and “old haunts” in Carson City and Reno.  Stayed with Marilyn Street Turner and Buck last June in their new/old home in Santa Rosa.  They had moved back to Marilyn’s house, which is fabulous.”

Thanks to Ray Lundquist you will receive one more class letter this spring.  I ended up with the “middle letter” this year.  I hope he’ll say more about the GHP (Gustavus Heritage Partnership), which you all can join easily!

Thanks for your encouragement and thanks for the wonderful memories throughout these 59 years since we started as the Class of ’51, long ago!  Please share some of these memories when we gather again!


Dorothy Johnson Lutz

1951 Class Agent

P. S.  Gustavus will add news items here:

Study Abroad Leader

Gustavus continues to be a leading institution for the number of students studying abroad, according to an annual ranking recently released by the Institute of International Education (IIE).  Consistent with its mission of giving students an education that is international in perspective, Gustavus was ranked seventh in the "Top 20 Baccalaureate Institutions" list of the institute’s "Open Doors 2005" report.  Gustavus was one of four Minnesota private colleges to make the list of 20.  The report was based on study abroad statistics from the 2003-04 academic year.  Gustavus students engage in international learning through various programs in more than 100 locations throughout the world, ranging from Australia to India and Ecuador to Sweden.  In recent years, 50 percent of Gustavus graduates have participated in at least one study-abroad experience.

New Carnegie Classification for Colleges and Universities

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching released a new classification system for institutions of higher education.  Gustavus’ classification is Arts & Sciences plus Professions, indicating that 60 to 80 percent of Gustavus students complete a traditional liberal arts major, such as political science, classics, or biology.  The new classifications describe five aspects of colleges and universities: instructional programs, enrollment profile, undergraduate demographics, size, and setting.  Undergraduate instructional programs are now designated as Arts & Sciences Focus, Arts & Sciences plus Professions, Balanced Arts & Sciences and Professions, Professions plus Arts & Sciences, or Professions Focus. 

Insurance Programs

The Alumni Association, in partnership with Meyer and Associates and Liberty Mutual, offers an insurance program to alumni and their families.  Products include insurance policies for life, short-term medical, auto, home, and renters.  For life and short-term medical insurance call Meyer and Associates at 800-635-7801 or visit  For auto, home, and renters insurance call Liberty Mutual at 800-524-9400 or visit

Gustavus to Perform at Orchestra Hall

The Gustavus Music Showcase will be Sunday, March 12, at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis.  The Gustavus Choir, Gustavus Symphony Orchestra, and Gustavus Wind Orchestra will perform.  This is a unique opportunity to hear three premier ensembles from Gustavus in one concert.  This showcase also allows prospective students, parents, and alumni from the area to meet and connect.  For tickets, call the Orchestra Hall box office at 800/292-4141.  Tickets are $20 for general admission, and $10 for students 18 and under.


Two big stories from the fall sports are that Hailey Harren won the national NCAA Division III cross country title and the men’s soccer team became the first MIAC school to play in the national championship game and finished second, losing 1-0 to defending national champion Messiah.  For the second consecutive year, men's soccer coach Larry Zelenz has been named Coach of the Year in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America/Adidas NCAA Division III West Region.  The men's hockey team is unbeaten in conference play, outscoring their opponents 28-5 in four games.

Music Tours

This year nearly 300 students participated in music tours as members of the Gustavus Wind Orchestra, Gustavus Choir, Gustavus Symphony Orchestra, Gustavus Jazz Lab Band, and Choir of Christ Chapel.  The Gustavus Wind Orchestra toured Eastern Europe Jan. 14-30.  Performances were scheduled for Germany, Czech Republic, Poland, and Austria.  The Gustavus Choir toured Jan. 27-Feb. 11, with performances in Minnesota and Wisconsin.  The Gustavus Symphony Orchestra, Gustavus Jazz Lab Band, and Choir of Christ Chapel will tour during Spring Semester.

Upcoming Alumni Events

  • Gustavus Music Showcase at Orchestra Hall - March 12
  • Atlanta, GA Gustie Gathering - March 26