Class of '51
April 2006

Dear Classmates and Spouses,

Last December, I received a request from Class Agent Dorothy Johnson Lutz to write the April class letter since all class agents were to obtain a volunteer, so here we are, namely, Ray Lundquist.  Trying to follow up a class letter of Dorothy’s is not an easy task.  I’m sure there isn’t any class that is more current with campus happenings than 1951.

The news will soon be going up another level since Dorothy and husband, Paul, have purchased the St. Peter home of Jim Isaak ’86, former Gustavus Fund Director, who became the director of annual giving a the Mayo Clinic Foundation on January 1 and moved to Rochester, MN.  I would assume Dorothy and Paul would be moving to St. Peter in the near future after they sell their Pike Lake property in Duluth.  In Dorothy’s next class letter, she will give you an update of where they are and what is happening.

As you all are aware, we reach a milestone in May when we celebrate our 55th anniversary on May 26 and 27.  I hope a lot of you can attend the various festivities, which will begin with a dinner on Friday evening for the 50-Year Club.  The Alumni Office will soon inform you of all the activities and events taking place.  It is always a very special weekend enjoyed by all.  Gustavus is always a splendid host.

I am very proud of how well our class has done each year in contributing to the Annual Fund.  As of now, we are leading our decade, the sixth (1946-1955) in the number of donors - 136, participation - 58% and dollars contributed - $72,715.

The Fund closes on May 31 so you have two months to get your gift accounted for.  I can remember several years when we were close to 80% class participation, which is very good.  For our 55th anniversary, wouldn’t be great to obtain that level or even higher?  Every gift is very much appreciated.  An envelope is enclosed for your participation.

As long as we are talking about money, let’s take it another step and talk about estate planning.  I’m very aware, a lot of people, even in our age bracket, don’t like to talk about this subject but if we want to maintain a strong Gustavus, we need to encourage you to consider doing this.  For the private college and universities, nothing is quite as important as their endowment fund, especially in aid to the prospective student and scholarship help.  As we all know, an incoming student will generally go where he or she can get the most financial help.

The current endowment fund of Gustavus is $90 million, which is a lot of money, but we pale in comparison to our rival sibling college, St. Olaf, whose current endowment is $248 million.  I have to say wow (!) and admit I wish we were a lot closer to them in their amount.  We are ahead of Concordia and Augsburg in dollar amounts, but a lot of hard work still needs to be done by all concerned.  Our current goal is to reach $150 million by the year 2012 when we celebrate our 150th anniversary.  Your will recall Gustavus was founded in 1862 at Red Wing.

Each September, there is a Gustavus Heritage Partnership luncheon for those individuals that have included Gustavus in their estate planning.  As of last September, 23 members of our class are included in that partnership.  Hopefully, that number has grown since that time.  Those of you who aren’t involved, please consider taking that step.

One of our class members, Carl Nelson and his wife, Leslie, were recognized in a major way by the Scottish Rite when they were pictured on the cover of the fall issue of the Scottish Rite magazine for their philanthropy.  Carl and Leslie have been wonderful role models in the sharing of their resources and talents.  Gustavus was mentioned in the article as one of their recipients as well as the Minneapolis Swedish American Institute.  They have also been very involved in starting a reading clinic in Elk River.  Congratulations and many thanks Carl and Leslie for all your fine work and generosity.

As I write about gift giving, estate planning, I think of the death of our good friend, Pat Pool Hasse, who died this past January.  Dorothy did include it in her last letter.  I think of her in a special way at this time because of all the help she and her close friend, Lois Hesselroth “Hesse” Hovland were at every Phonorama.  Gordy Sandbaken and I would schedule our calling night to make sure Pat and Hesse were available.  She will certainly be missed.

I also thought of Pat at the Gustavus Music Showcase that was held March 12 at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis featuring the Gustavus Choir, Symphony Orchestra and the Wind Orchestra.  You will recall Pat played in the Gustavus band.  It was a gala event.

It was enjoyable to see classmate, Art Adamson and his wife, Amy (Wampler ’54), as well as Bob Larson and wife, Ruth (Peterson ’52).  I also saw Wayne Ripley moving fast through the lobby.  I appreciate what a close non-Gustie friend who has spent years in choral music had to say about the choir, “The Gustavus Choir does not have to take a back seat to anyone, including the choir of St. Olaf and Concordia.”  All I could say was “thank you very much and I agree.”  Another Gustie friend said, “The Choir gets better every year.”  I want to add I thought both orchestras were superb.  Nothing biased about me.

Since Dorothy wrote a recent letter with class notes, mine will be quite brief.  Verna Lindgren Howard wrote to say that she has moved to a new apartment located at:  155 South Evergreen Road, #1228, Woodburn, OR  97071.  Weldon Burchill who lives in Mason, MI, wrote to say that he enjoyed very much a visit from Stan and Marie (Schafer ’52) Benson this past summer.  Roommate Don Wulf and I exchange thoughts and prayers for his grandson, Lt. Michael Harrison, who is leading a squad of 18 men in Afghanistan.  We have a nephew, Tom Bry, serving as a helicopter pilot in Bosnia.  The problem for Tom is that he has six children―five still at home.  He is age 48 and was just four months from discharge when he was called to active duty as a part of the North Dakota National Guard.

I find it a real pleasure to see, almost every Sunday, at Calvary in Golden Valley, classmates Dave Johnson and Clint Lomis.  It use to include Gordy Sandbaken, but he is now singing in another church choir.  I miss him and hopefully he will return to our choir someday.  I also look forward Wednesday morning to a breakfast Bible study led by Ted Stoen ’50.  Ted is a marvelous leader and has led this group for years.  I think the Class of ’51 should claim him as one of us since some of his closest friends are from our class.

Enough from me, but thanks again for your gifts and if you haven’t sent your gift in as yet, please do, it will be greatly appreciated.  You’re a great class and I am so pleased to be a class member.  Hopefully, I will see many of you on May 27 and 28.

I thought I was done and then I remembered the funeral of Bobby Krig ’53 in which many Gusties were in attendance including the pleasure of seeing Ray Larson with his handsome golf tan.  At the reception, I saw Vern Mikkelsen, former Hamline basketball and Lakers great, a good friend of Bobby, sitting alone.  We had the best chat and you know who he wanted to talk most about, our dear departed Evelyn Young ’33.  In the early ’50s, the Lakers spent several years in pre-season practice at Gustavus.  The highlight of those weeks were Evelyn’s meals, which she personally prepared for the team.  She was such a delight to the whole team and the meals, of course, were the best.  He said he is in the process of writing a book and Evelyn will certainly be included.

A closing quote which I like, “Walk and talk and work and laugh with your friends, but behind the scenes, keep up the life of simple prayer and inward worship.”

May each of you have a wonderful Easter, the most triumphant and joyous day for Christians.

Best wishes to each of you.


Ray Lundquist

1951 Guest Letter Writer

P.S.  The Alumni Office will add some campus news here:

Campus News

The Alumni Board met on campus in February and made the final selection for the Alumni Awards:

Greater Gustavus Award:  Gustavus Library Associates, for providing financial resources for Folke Bernadotte Library, and engaging and introducing alumni and friends in the mission of the College.

Distinguished Alumni Citations:  Karen Bossart Rusthoven ’66, St. Paul, MN, founder and principal of Community of Peace Academy, St. Paul; Susan Semple-Rowland ’77, Gainesville, FL, professor of neuroscience, University of Florida and director, Neuroscience IDP Graduate Program; and Magnus Ranstorp ’85, St. Andrews, Scotland, chief scientist at the Centre for Asymmetric Threat Studies, Swedish National Defense College; and a Senior Honorary Research Associate and former Director of Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland.

First Decade Awards:  Rebecca Konrad ’96, Washington, DC, investment officer, global transaction team, The World Bank International Finance Corporation; and Milo Martin ’96, Philadelphia, PA, assistant professor, Department of Computer and Information Sciences, University of Pennsylvania. 

The awards will be presented on Commencement Weekend or Homecoming Weekend depending on the recipient’s schedule.

Gustavus Checks

Show your Gustavus pride every time your write a check.  You can now order checks with Old Main, Three Crowns, or the Gustavus football helmet at:

Gusties Helping Hurricane Victims

A group of 23 students spent three weeks during January in Mississippi aiding in the clean-up and rebuilding efforts of a town hit hard by Hurricane Katrina.  The group was student-led and sponsored by Men’s Christian Fellowship at Gustavus and coordinated through Lutheran Disaster Response.  While there the students provided many services, including clearing houses to the bare structure, rebuilding homes, working in kitchens, distributing supplies, and working in pastoral care, child care, and medical clinics.  The group was housed and fed in a “tent city” on the grounds of Christus Victor Lutheran Church.  This was one of the several vocation month experiences from which Gustavus students had the opportunity to choose.


Nordic Ski Team senior Erich Ziegler had a first-place finish among collegiate skiers in the15K freestyle at the NorAm SuperTour stop at Telemark Resort in Cable, Wisconsin.  Ziegler’s win was the first by a Gustavus skier in an NCAA/CCSA qualifier.  Men’s hockey continues to win, with a 7-1 record in the MIAC.  Men's swimming is 7-0 on the season and recently set two Lund Center pool record times.  Brad Hanson ’08 was victorious in the 1000 freestyle in a pool-record time of 9:51.46, and Matt Stewart ’09 posted a pool-record time of 1:44.49 to win the 200-freestyle. 

Upcoming Alumni Events

  • MAYDAY! Peace Conference on AIDS — April 19
  • Gustavus Association of Congregations Meeting — April 22
  • Gusties In Volunteer Endeavors (G.I.V.E.) Day of Community Service in Minneapolis — April 29