Class of '51
October 2006

Dear Classmates and Spouses,

The laughter and friendliness of our returning classmates at our 55th Reunion was truly heart warming!  I wouldn’t have missed it for anything!

President Jim Peterson ’64, said six hundred would graduate which will make 24,000 alumni.

A class agent said, “Gustavus Adolphus College gets under your skin and remains there forever.”  One of the award recipients at the banquets said “Music in choir forever inspired me.”  There are 111 clubs at Gustavus Adolphus College.  Nearly every student belongs to one…10,000 people came to campus last summer.

We need a volunteer writer for the January letter!!  Please call me or the Alumni Office (1-800-GUSTIES) if you’d like to write to your classmates!!!  Deadline is January 15th.

Did you see the picture of 16 of our classmates at our 55th in the fall Quarterly (pg. 44)?  We had a great time, but missed YOU!

The late President Edgar Carlson ’30 said, “We need each other to become ourselves.”  I need to see you at reunions every year now that we are in the 50 year club!  Please plan to return again on Memorial Day Weekend.

September 2 was the day the freshmen, including our grandson, Ryan, were invited to Gustavus Adolphus College.  “These Gustie Greeters are really something!  They were yelling all the way up College Avenue as we drove up!  It was great!”  Our daughter, Lynn Lutz McGinty ’84, related.

They drove up to the assigned dorm, Norelius.  Soon the two beds were lifted and the small dorm room looked inviting.  Ryan’s sister, prospective Gustie at 16, and his 7th grade brother were very helpful, along with our daughter and her husband.

After a day full of activities, everyone was invited to the New Student Convocation at Christ Chapel.  Besides hymns and prayers there was a presentation of the class of 2010 and a response by the Interim Dean of Faculty.  On the back of the bulletin:  “Come join the tradition of attending Chapel Services!”  The parents were assured that their offspring would be just fine and they were welcome to leave.  More activities were planned for the Class of 2010!  Then there were the good-bye photos in front of the Chapel!

Our daughter called after this New Student Convocation and said excitedly, “We have another Gustie!  He has been convocated.  I shed a few tears but I’m alright!”  Our daughter gave me a Gustavus cup with Gustavus Grandma on it!  I’ll be 80 when my grandson graduates.

There are 678 freshman and 44 transfer students.

I wrote a yellow “Gustie Gram” to my grandson and reminisced, “Chapel was compulsory, but that didn’t bother me because I liked seeing my friends and feeling like one big family in the Chapel.  All the Johnsons were assigned seats in one area.”

Members of the Alumni Board met with us on Class Agents’ Day which is now called Volunteer Leadership Day.  Some of them toured the new dorm and met some Gustie guys who were baking pies!  Our morning meeting was terrific!  The new chairmen of the Alumni Fund are Dan ’94 and Sara (Tollefson ’95) Currell.  Read what they write, etc. because they were dynamite!  Sara said, “You create your own Gustavus story, but together they create the GUSTIE spirit because they are united by their experiences here.”  Dan convinced us that our gifts to the Alumni Fund directly help the students.  “Gustavus is not a wealthy school.  We have to mobilize all…we need everyone to help.”

At our meeting President Jim, explained why they will not require ACT tests for admission.  It is complex determining, “Is this student going to be successful as a student at Gustavus?”  He said (Gustavus) “is small enough for the real Gustie Spirit…we want to spend more on the student experience…the comprehensive fee is $30,000.  About 20% pay all, the rest receive financial aid.”

President Jim continued:  When people compare us with St. Olaf, I say, “STOP IT!  We’re better in lots of ways. We’re doing what we think is right for our students!  We have a sharp, energetic new class…we have a bright, enthusiastic faculty…for the last 20 years we have been operating in the black.  The Endowment is about $100 million.”  (We need $200 million)  We are great!  Extraordinary!  It’s TRUE!”

This college is not well known.  We need to work on visibility!  Memorize the College’s mission:  to prepare students for fulfilling lives of leadership and service to society.  He said that everyone in the world will know our graduates are like this!

President Jim imagines more alumni volunteers helping Gustavus by saying to young people, “You should think of Gustavus!”  If we have enough volunteers, there is nothing we can’t do!  The people you touch and those they touch…Gustavus deserves it!”  Thanks for your inspiring leadership, Jim.

For our decade (’46 to ’55) we had the most donors, 160, which gives 67.2%.  The class of 50 got 70.2%.  Let’s try to top them in percentage and dollars next year by getting 75%.

At our meeting Jan Ledin Michaletz ’74 said, “A college is only as good as the alumni demand that it be…College can’t happen free!”  I am happy I could come to the meeting!

Next year “Gusties Gather” will be on September 30, 2007.  Gusties Gather is an event where Gusties around the world, are called to gather as a way for Gusties to stay connected with each other.  If you missed attending a gathering in your area last August, plan now to attend or host this informal gathering to share the Gustie Spirit!  We hosted one last August 6 and we had about 12 people attend.  We sang the Gustie Rouser and the Alma Mater with great gusto and had a terrific time.

One alumnus told me, “I moved to St. Peter and I think I’m in heaven!”

Dennis Lofstrom mailed me this information:

Because it Matters

Dennis and Paula Lofstrom answered the call to go to Tanzania to assess, and then to create a Five Year Development Plan for Iambi Hospital, and then implement the plan, and then to help finance it.  As much as can be done there, has been done at this time.

Now Dennis and Paula are being asked to take the skills they’ve learned at Iambi to health care facilities throughout Tanzania to bring medical care and education, hope, and economic development where there is desperate need.  A non-governmental organization called International Health Partners, US-TZ has been formed to funnel finances and the work of volunteers throughout Tanzania (application for 501c3 status is in process).

As a physician and nurse, Dennis and Paula have worked not only in the United States, but in Guatemala, Antarctica, and in Tanzania.  Medical care in developing countries is challenging and rewarding; it is doing the work of Christ in the world today, to bring modern medicine to age-old as well as new problems.  “We are not the ones who heal, God does that.  We just make the way a little easier for God’s work to be done.”

Because they are volunteers, your pledge is needed to support their ongoing dedication to the people of Tanzania.  It takes about $250 a month to support each of them.  With the help of twenty five people pledging $20 a month for Dennis and Paula, their work can continue.  If you include your e-mail address, you will receive regular updates on the progress being made through their work in Tanzania.

Contacts:  United States

Dr. Dennis E. Lofstrom, 9671 Reeder, Overland Park, Kansas, 66214 or

If you need more information such as the complete list of costs, hospital plans, complete proposal, power point presentation disc, information sheets, bulletin inserts or someone to come and visit you, contact those within the United States.

This is a good housing for all you volunteers and medical teams.  We look forward to you helping this needy diocese fulfill their vision.  There are so many needs and we can find one that will touch your heart.

Thanks, Denny, for this new window of opportunity.

If you gave $35 to the arboretum, it counts for our class.  The newsletter is terrific!  Look for classmates, Ann, David and Bob in this article from the Twin Flower:

“New President in Place”

David and Delores Johnson welcomed the Friends of Linnaeus Arboretum board of directors to their home for the winter board meeting in February.  Past president, Ann Komatz Basset ’51 ceremoniously passed the presidential “gavel” to David that evening.  Officers for 2006 also include:  Mary Rehwaldt, vice president; Bob Isenberg, secretary; and Harriet Mason, treasurer.  The Johnsons have been board members for nine years.  At press time Dave and Delores were just finishing the planting of their multiple flower gardens and stunningly colorful hanging baskets.

“Some of the other environmental stewardship projects currently being studied or implemented on the Gustavus campus:”

  • low energy flat-panel computer monitors
  • double glazed window installation
  • “low-flow” showers and toilets to lessen water consumption
  • upgrading all light on campus to electronic ballasts, T8 lamps, and compact florescent bulbs
  • converting or upgrading College vehicles to E-85 or bio-fuels, and the purchase of a gasoline-electric hybrid for the Safety and Security fleet
  • support of the Community Garden
  • increasing awareness of recycling opportunities
  • continuing to offer Environmental Studies as a major program

Brock Tidstrom ’09, grandson of Fred and Ellen Anne Tidstrom wrote:

A “Quinzhee Slumber Party.”  Brock Tidstrom wrote of his January-term quinzhee experience:  “Inside the snow cave we were all able to sit comfortably with our shirts off, which was remarkable because it was zero degrees Fahrenheit.  In the middle of the night I woke up to water dripping on my head and running down the walls from al the  heat generated by the eight of us.”

Gustavus is 1 of 10 Swedish-American destinations in the nation according to USA Today, September 8, 2006.

Donn Larson, Duluth, wrote historical vignettes reflecting the times and tenure of the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra’s first seven conductors.  Donn and Donna have kept the same symphony seats ever since the auditorium was built.  They remember the wooden folding chairs at the armory before that.  Donn wrote about the chimes conductor, Hu, who left in 2000, “Hu has since returned to his homeland as a classical composer, the place and vocation where his heart is happiest.”

Thanks to Ray Lundquist‘s guest letter last Spring, you may be envisioning me in St. Peter.  However, our lake home near Duluth has not been sold yet so we’ll be “up north” until the listing disappears.  It may be a while before we move.

Gustavus is going “green” with attention to environmental concerns.  One or two wind turbines will be in use by next fall.  You may know that some of Gustavus vehicles run on bio-diesel fuel using grease from the Caf!  There is a community organic garden at Gustavus used by students, faculty, and community people.  “Just click it” campaign by students to remind people to turn off the lights.  Electricity costs have raised a lot.

Marilyn Street Turner and Ransom Turner of Santa Rosa, CA, write, “Took twin 16-year-old granddaughters to Kawai during spring break.  Fun!  Now that the rains have finally stopped we are busy gardening…now have a mini-Dachshund that was rescued from Katrina.”

Rhoda Smith Nelson and Donald have moved to Kaneohe, Hawaii.  “We have moved to a retirement center in Hawaii.  We are near to our son, who lives in Honolulu.  We will be going to the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago May 13 and 14, where my husband, Don, and his classmates will be honored for 50 years since their ordination.  Then we will spend three and half months at our cabin in Wisconsin before returning to Hawaii.”

Don and Mary Osell write:  “we still divide our time between Cohasset, (Grand Rapids) and Fountain Hills, Arizona.  Volunteering, writing, board memberships, fishing, some travel―that more than takes up our time.  We feel fortunate to live where and when we do.”

It was good to get a letter from Ruth Holle Collard, East Wenatchee, Washington, who enjoys the newsletter.  “My cup is half full, not half empty.”  She is optimistic in spite of health problems.

Mary Miller the wife of our late classmate, Jerry Miller, Belle Plaine, died on July 19, 2006.  They are survived by eight children.

Pat Oster McCloskey moved to Sarasota, Florida, where her daughter, grandchildren and great grandchildren live.

Jim and Bev (Luckemeyer ’52) Whitney, Minnetonka write, “Bev broke her left femur (tangled with a golden lab) at the lake on May 8―will be there till June 20 for the last x-ray.  At least it is a great place to be.  Not a great start of summer, but it could be worse.  Jim is cook, bottle washer, maid, nurse and goes to bed with a cold cloth on his head.  The good news, I don’t have to scrub floors.”

Art and Amy (Wampler ’54) Adamson, Eden Prairie, are members of the Gustavus Association of Congregations with their church in Hopkins.  So I see them at Gustavus Association of Congregation meetings.

Elmer and Bonnie Luke, Maple Grove, MN write: “Elmer was inducted into the Minnesota State High School Coaches Association Hall of Frame.  At the same banquet his son, Brian, was honored as ‘Girl’s Swimming Coach of the Year.’”

Bob (Robert R.) Johnson, Balsam Lake, Wisconsin, wrote, “I won’t be able to attend the 55th anniversary on May 26 and 27.  Family commitments on Memorial Day weekend that had to come first.  I’ll sure miss seeing my classmates and other “old” friends.  I had a lot of fun when I attended the 50th in 2001 and also the following year.”

Louise Borg Bergmann wrote about their five generations of Gusties:

Reverend A.F. Seastrand, Academy

Helen Seastrand Borg ’26,

David Borg ’57

Carolyn Borg Krech ’82

Andrew Krech ’08 (currently attending)

Last Christmas Louise’s husband, Kenn, wrote:  October 10th is Louise’s birthday and that they have a “traditional way” of celebrating each one.  They go to Carson City, NV, where they served a parish for seven years.  She gets to choose the birthday she wants to celebrate and this year she chose her 54th.

Metro Lutheran in April ’06 excerpts from the article:  “101 Years in the Gustavus Religion Department”  Three colleagues arrived on campus in the same decade.  They became fixtures, and a collective legend, in the Gustavus religion department… Clair Johnson calls them “the three patriarchs.”  He’s referring to himself and two fellow emeriti professors of religion at Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter, Minnesota.  The trio is Johnson, Bernhard Erling and Robert Esbjornson.  Adding the year together, their three careers add up to 101 years of teaching at the ECLA College.  All three arrived at Gustavus in the 1950’s…All three men still live in St. Peter…Erling, Esbjornson and Johnson get together regularly every two weeks.

President Jim said, “Glorious music has been a hallmark of Gustavus…since its earliest days.”

Many of you knew Jack Clark, ’52.  He passed away on March 7, 2005.  His obituary read the following:  Professor Emeritus Jack L. Clark, who taught religion and classics at Gustavus for 37 years died on March 7, 2005, in St. Peter. He was 76.  Clark retired in 1999.  Ever the consummate educator, he was still seeing students of Hebrew and Greek in his room at a nursing home during the last months of his life.

Did you see the photo of the new waterfall in the Arboretum (Quarterly, Spring ’06)?  It was a gift from David and Delores Johnson.  Also, look at p. 41 to see a photo of Pat Keckeisen and Bud and Dorothy Hovern.

I read this in the Eastman Notes:  “The friends you made at Eastman are probably some of the best people you will ever meet in your career and your life.  Keep in touch, share your joys and disappointments, and don’t lose track over the years.  To paraphrase the poet William Butler Yeats, “When you are old and grey and full of sleep and nodding by the fire, those are the people who will warm your soul.”  I think this ring’s true for our class of ’51.  Please plan to return for our 60th reunion in four years!

Purpose:  “…the purpose of a Gustavus education is to help students attain their full potential as persons, to develop in them a capacity and passion for lifelong learning, and to prepare them for fulfilling lives of leadership and service in society.”

Denny and Paula Lofstrom are back from Tanzania.  They stayed with Stan and Marie (Schafer ’52) Benson while attending the Nobel Conference.  I’m sure there were other classmates in attendance and I hope to hear from some of you!

Thanks to Stan and Marie Benson’s hospitality, our son, Erik and I were able to attend Homecoming.  (Erik is writing for his visa so he can return to Japan to teach English.) 

Stan and Marie also celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary in July at Gustavus.

Read Donn Larson’s epilogue in The Will and the Way, “should be required reading for all development and civic activists.”

Fred and Ellen Anne Tidstrom live in Ashland, Wisconsin.  From an article praising Fred:  “Dr. Tidstrom operates on an “I can” philosophy.  When one door closes, he opens another.  He strives for true partnership, focusing on the creation of a win-win situation.  Win-win situations can be obtained as long as you can put yourself in someone else’s shoes and recognize what motivates them.”

This is an urgent message from Jim, our president.  These are quotes from a letter you may have read about giving to Gustavus.  “A new giving opportunity has now presented itself as President George W. Bush recently signed into law a long-awaited charitable giving initiative.  If you have an Individual Retirement Account (IRA), the next two years are critical in your planning and giving.  The new law may allow you to make larger gifts to charitable organizations you care about without the tax implications that you may have previously faced.  But the current law only creates this opportunity for this year and next…This opportunity may very well apply to you.  If so, please talk to your tax advisor, IRA custodian, or one of our Gustavus gift planners.  You can reach our staff at Gustavus by calling 800-726-6192 (toll free) or 507-933-7512 or email”

I’ll look for some of at Christmas in Christ Chapel on Dec. 1, Friday evening.  If you see a 6’4” student with us, he will be my grandson, Ryan.  The McGinty family will be there in full force.

Excerpts from article in The Gustavus Weekly:  “Christmas in Christ Chapel”  “I love to sit out in the front pew and look at the orchestra, the hand bell choirs, the choirs and everyone committed to doing something meaningful.  It is so gratifying to see the energy and intensity of all the participants, “ said Aune…Carr said she is most looking forward to singing “O Come All Ye Faithful” for the very last time…”It represents the college’s advent gift to the college and the community,” said Aune.  “For many the Christmas season does not begin until Christmas in Christ Chapel.”

Prof Aune is the director of the Gustavus Choir.  Carr was a senior last year

We have 16 classmates who are members of the Cec Eckhoff Society.  All it takes is a pledge that one will give something each year, there is no amount tied to this pledge.  Each year there is a gathering and thank you for all members at the President’s House at Homecoming.  Please join the Cec Eckhoff Society!!

We have classmates who are members of the Gustavus Heritage Association which means they have included Gustavus in their wills, etc.

The Gustavus Alumni Fund started in 1954.  Thanks to Russ Paulson, Ray Lundquist, Dwight and Carol (Matson) Holcombe, Shirley Swanson Dye and Bill and Marilyn (Barnes) Robertz for all those class letters in the early days.  Cec called me in 1971 so this is my 35th year.  Wow!

Your gifts help Gustavus students received a wonderful education at Gustavus.  There are special opportunities for giving scholarship money, etc.  We definitely need more classmates to beat the Fund deadline at the end of May.

Did you know that half of the graduating class studied abroad at over 100 sites?  There are 31 international students this year. 

I liked these suggestions from a handout given to those at the Gusties Gather events.  It’s called Gusties Gather!  Making Connections

  • Share a story about a favorite professor at Gustavus
  • When was the last time you returned to campus and for what?
  • Share a memory from when you first moved to campus as a student.
  • What interests or hobbies began for you at Gustavus?
  • What activities did you participate in while a student?
  • Share a story about a memorable classroom experience.
  • What experiences at Gustavus prepared you best for the future?

The next Gusties Gather will be in your neighborhood on September 30, 2007.  Think of hosting a meeting!  It’s fun!

Here is another article taken from the Metro Lutheran“Lutheran Theologians Exchange Views at Gustavus Gathering.”  Suppose we define the church as the Body of Christ serving the deep needs of the world.  Christenson argued that teachers, not only of theology or philosophy, but all faculty members at Lutheran colleges and seminaries constitute the church.  “Teaching is one of the ways in which the love of God is refracted into the world.” 

            Christenson reported asking his students what gifts are required of people who try to meet the world’s deep needs.  Their answers included:  peacemaking, justice, viewing the world holistically rather than in terms of “us” and “them,” knowing how to live sustainably, and having the ability to combine realism with hope.

A friend told us that she knows a professor who just loves to teach at Gustavus.  This is her third teaching position and she wants to stay forever!  Other people have said that, the faculty they know are very happy here.

At the Saturday banquet Pres. Jim said, “It will take all of us working together for the future of Gustavus.  There are 24,000 alumni.  They are our chief support and recruiters of new students.”

I liked this description of professor and naturalist, Jim Gilbert ’62, who is retired, but still teaches a course at Gustavus:  “a man with a big heart, a warm smile, and a gracious spirit, who is passionate about his faith, his family, his church and the outdoor wonders of creation.”

At Homecoming, at the President’s house, I asked one father why his daughter decided to go to Gustavus after she had visited many prestigious colleges out east.  He said she watched a swim meet and saw three ladies in the viewing section wearing sweatshirts that said, “I’m a GUSTIE GRANDMA.”  She said, “Dad, you have to get me out of Tufts.  I want to go to Gustavus!”  A few years later her sister wanted to fly to the west coast to see colleges so they did.  Soon afterwards they drove up the “Hill.”  She said, “The campus is so beautiful.  I’m going to Gustavus!”

I was happy to be able to attend the Alumni Memorial Service.  The names of all those who passed away this past year are read.  A bell tolled for each one:  Pat Pool Hasse, Bob Hein, Mary Miller and Robert Sjostrom were among those on the roster.  It was a very special service.

I enjoyed meeting “Gustie Moms” and “Gustie Grandmas” as they wore their special identifying tags on Homecoming.  I told one Gustie Grandma, “Now you can love two colleges, St. Olaf where your four children attended and now Gustavus where your grandchildren are.”  She said that her grandchildren felt so welcomed at Gustavus.

Ray Lundquist’s way of writing in his guest letter is great:  “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.”

I’m running out of time in St. Peter after Homecoming/Family Day, as I want to finish this letter before I go, so you’ll have to hear the rest from other sources.  The Sunday morning communion service was a grand worship experience with students, families, faculty and administration.  It was full of great music with one of the orchestras and Chapel Choir performing.  Many of the other musical organizations will be on a program later today to top off a fantastic weekend!  Thanks to Stan and Marie Benson’s hospitality, it was a memorable time.

Keep in touch!


Dorothy Johnson Lutz

1951 Class Agent

Campus news:

Honor Roll of Donors

If you haven’t had a chance to find yourself online, please go to: to check out the 2005-2006 Honor Roll of Donors.  The Honor Roll of Donors recognizes those who made gifts to Gustavus between June 1, 2005, and May 31, 2006.  To find your name or check your class results, just point and click from your home or office computer.  For those who do not have access to a computer, you may call toll-free 866/487-3863 to receive a copy in the mail (supplies are limited).

Obtain Life Insurance at Group Rates

September is Life Insurance Awareness Month.  According to a recent national survey, 68 million Americans have no life insurance.  Fortunately, the Alumni Association sponsors a life insurance plan, Life for Life, with exceptional features and low initial rates.  Maximum coverage is $2 million and insurance can increase repeatedly even if your health fails and you become uninsurable.  Obtain information online with the Alumni Association partner, or call 800-635-7801 for more information about this and other sponsored insurance.

Omega Kappa Fraternity Celebrates 100 Years

The OKs will celebrate 100 years of Modesty, Diversity, and Brotherhood on Saturday, October 21, at the Science Museum on Minnesota in St. Paul.  The evening will be filled with stories, photos, shared memories, artifacts, histories, and singing.  For more information, go to

Gustavus Alumni Professional Apparel

Check out the two new oxfords on sale online through the Gustavus Book Mark.  The Book Mark is offering a women’s and men’s long sleeve shirt in a variety of colors and sizes.  The shirt features an embroidered three crowns and Gustavus.  A great idea for holiday shopping for your favorite Gustie.  Check them out online only at

Athletic Hall of Fame Induction

On Saturday, September 30, Gustavus inducted the following people into the Athletic Hall of Fame:  Deborah Jungwirth Borman ’87 - Volleyball, Tina Pulido Draper ’87 - Gymnastics, John Huepenbecker ’80 - Football, John Jambeck ’62 - Swimming, Deanne Sand Johnson ’89 - Tennis, Dick Kumlin ’55 (posthumously) – Basketball, Dan Prochnow ’78 - Golf, Jerilyn Ree ’88 - Basketball, and Stacey Rodman ’89 - Swimming. 

Gustavus Legacy Award for Gustavus Admission

Mark Anderson, Vice President of Admission and Student Financial Assistance, is pleased to announce the Gustavus Legacy Award for new students beginning with the incoming class of 2007.  Renewable awards of $2,500 per year are given to new students whose siblings are current Gustavus students or graduates or whose parents or grandparents are Gustavus alumni.  Scholarship recipients must have a high school grade point average of at least 3.5 or an ACT of 26 or an 1170 (Critical Reading + Math) on the SAT.  For more information contact the Admission Office at 800/GUSTAVU(S) or email <>.

Upcoming Events

  • Omega Kappa – 100-year celebration – October 21, 2006
  • Christmas in Christ Chapel – December 1-3, 2006
  • St. Lucia Day – December 7, 2006