Class of '51
November 2007

Dear Classmates, Spouses and Friends,

I wish you could meet a senior, Danielle Berg, who told me, “I’ve cried ten times already because I’m going far away to grad school next year.  Only Gusties understand!”  She is the granddaughter of the late Rev. Donn Escher ’50, who received the Gustavus Association of Congregations Award for Service (posthumously) this morning in chapel.  He was married to our classmate, the late Eileen Ludtke Escher, who died in 1991.  Danielle, her mother, and one of her aunts all went up to receive the award from President Jim Peterson ’64.

With a double major in physics and math, Danielle plans to attend school in astrophysics!  Gustavus has one of the top physics departments in the U.S.  The 15 or so majors get into the best grad schools every year.  She is “in good hands” here.  She loves Gustavus and will never forget Gustavus!

“News of President Peterson’s plan to retire was met with sadness by members of the Gustavus community.”  ~The Gustavian Weekly

            I wish I could include all of President Jim Peterson’s homily on opening day.  Here are several, profound excerpts from his manuscript which he gave me afterwards:

“I am also pleased this morning to welcome you all to this opening chapel service.  I hope you will return often.  For many of us, this daily 20 minute break is valuable time, a brief time in the day to stop, listen, to participate and to reflect.  Come when you can―and when you think you can’t come―too busy, no time, no need―that’s often the best time to come.  Everyone is welcome here, all the time…

            …And out of mystery, comes curiosity and intellectual effort to discover and understand―And out of curiosity and intellectual effort comes new knowledge.  Out of knowledge comes new wisdom and beyond wisdom―often, more mystery.  And so we thank God for the gift of mystery.

            I think throughout this academic year and beyond, these three elements of our text today are relevant to our work together.  Knowledge is to be presented, acquired, researched, tested, discarded, restated, accumulated, and put into new contexts.  Wisdom is to be revealed, shared, challenged and affirmed.  And finally we will seek to unravel mysteries together―seek answers, seek to uncover the right questions, seek new knowledge and wisdom.

            I hope especially that together we might hold a reverence for the mystery of things, those things that are unknown and perhaps unknowable, a reverence for the questions, large and small.

            The beginning of the academic year is a good time to express our gratitude:  for the gifts of intelligence and curiosity to acquire new knowledge―for the gifts of understanding and capacity to build wisdom―and for the gifts of awe and wonder to appreciate mystery.  And let’s not forget during the course of this 2007-08 academic year―how very fortunate we are―how blessed we are―each to have a place here at Gustavus and to engage together in this high calling.

            I close this morning with a personal note.  My sincere hope for all of us this year is a year of great productivity, academic success, high spirit and personal fulfillment…

            This is the year the Lord has made!  Let us rejoice and be glad in it!  Amen!!”

FLASH!!  From Nobel!  In 10 years it may be too late to avoid the tipping point in global warming said scientist, James Hansen at the Nobel Conference.  “It will be a struggle against ignorance and greed!”  Many speakers talked about efficiency and driving less.  They are working on research in many areas so plan for many solutions.

            Polar explorer, writer and educator, Will Steger said, “Do or die!  We have to stay together!  WORRY because we can change.  We can turn it around!”

Although it was Marilyn Barnes Robertz’s 80th birthday the same day in October that it was Bill’s, I said after the Nobel Banquet, “It was so nice that so many people turned out to help Marilyn celebrate!”

I saw L. Jen Schendel Sorensen, Bloomington, my freshman roommate at this Nobel Conference.  What a surprise!  (Long ago) Jean had twin boys who are still fine.  She enjoys her three great-grandchildren and walks at the Mall of America at 7:00 a.m.

I hear that Bob and Onie Isenberg will demonstrate lefse making at the Advent Workshop at First Lutheran here.

Chapel talk was about joy.  Dr. Mary Morton, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, talked about making choices that would be happy ones.  Choose “to learn, to rejoice and to love.”  The organist did not know the theme of the day so he played “Solemn March” after we sang “Joyful, Joyful” (Beethoven’s hymn to joy).

Hank Toutain, Dean of Students and Vice President for Student Affairs, described the new freshman class to me, “they’re lively!  They’re good kids.”  In chapel he quoted Edgar Carlson, “‘We need each other to become ourselves.’  I need you to become me!  Allow others to know you and to reflect their knowing back to you.  Welcome to the kingdom of identity!” (Referring to the title of Elvee’s book.)

A flyer listed 13 student groups connected to chapel plus many volunteer opportunities.

I know that the students love Prof. Jim Gilbert ’62, our naturalist and enthusiastic “semi-retired” teacher at Gustavus.  He told his story about one of his three sons who graduated from Gustavus recently.  “Our youngest son did not want to go to Gustavus because I was a professor here.  The second semester he showed up in my class along with the guys who are still his best friends out of college.  I didn’t say his last name on the roll call so he asked me why.  ‘I thought you wouldn’t want me to.’  ‘Oh, no, I love it here and I want others to know you’re my dad.  I talked my whole section into taking this course!’”

Another day I saw Prof. Jim carrying a corn stalk wondering how many students would be able to identify it.  He told me, “yesterday I took some soybeans to class.  Only two knew what it was and they were from farms!”  He admits to crying after he gives a lecture on global climate change.

At the Holden Vesper service at chapel Wednesday night, I met Scott, a sophomore, biochemistry major from Ames, Iowa.  He went to all of the Nobel Conference lectures and hopes to do research that will help switch grass become a fuel for our cars.  He wants to help save the environment!  He is also fantastic on the bass trombone!

Paul and I were two of the crowd of 3800 people who saw the fantastic, first football game (free) in the new Hollingsworth Stadium.  It was a great experience!  Hope you can come for some event.  I love to see passes completed (for Gustavus) so there were many great moments.  Thanks to all of you who gave generously to “Build a Field” and “Pack the Stadium!”

Ray and Lorraine Lundquist and Robert and Darlene Smith signed up to attend the Football 50-Year Club luncheon at Homecoming.  The Cec Eckhoff Society and the other societies met at the renovated President’s Home.  I hope all of you can sign up for the Cec Eckhoff Society.  Just indicate your willingness to contribute any amount every year!

I met a student who had attended the funeral of a ’46 Gustie.  She was amazed that many of the lady’s Gustavus classmates were at the funeral!

This is an excerpt from Prof. Darrell Joddock’s October chapel sermon.  He is an outstanding scholar-teacher at Gustavus.

            “Today I will be talking about a martyr, the Danish playwright and pastor, Kaj Munk…

            Truth is not just an idea; it is a way of life.  How often, I wonder, have I said―not now.  There’ll be a more opportune time to live or speak the truth.  And then there never is…

            But there is an underlying question:  why should we bother to look into the mirror?  Why trouble ourselves?  Why not follow the common pattern of allowing ourselves to be distracted?  Because nestled in this text is also a promise:  that a full and meaningful life is a gift―a gift from the one who set his face to go to Jerusalem.  Every time we taste the inner joy of living and speaking the truth at just the right moment, of standing up for another, of finding a way to serve, of bypassing our fretful preoccupation with lesser things, we know, yes, we know that our calling is the avenue to a richer, fuller life.

            The promise to Munk, and the promise to you is that in all of our fumbling toward integrity, life will come your way―not because of your searching but because God is finding you.  Abundant life is a gift―a gift that frees you to risk all.  For such a splendid but dangerous gift, let us rejoice and be glad.  Amen.”

One of our grandson’s friends wrote this article for the Gustavian Weekly.  Sorry I can’t quote the whole article!  I’m a great fan of Kevin Kling ’79.

            “Stories and a place of solace are what 1979 Gustavus graduate, theater major, playwright, performer, storyteller and now author, Kevin Kling, has brought us in his first book, The Dog Says How...

            Kling wrote The Dog Says How like the little engine that could:  with one eye looking out the back of the caboose, carefully studying all of the ground that he has covered throughout his life, while the other eye looks out the front, ready for whatever the future may bring…

            Kling has written a good deal about his experiences after the crash.  During the hours afterward, he distinctly remembers that there was never any “white light” but that he was left to make a choice between a sense of peace or a chance to return with substantial consequences.  Thank goodness Kling decided to return, because all that he shares in his tales is invaluable.

            Kevin Kling brings us his insight, his experiences and his humor in a short, sophisticated and deeply personal way.  Even if his stories aren’t epics and they don’t become classics, there is quite a bit to learn from Kling in the hilarious and warm (and surprisingly insightful) autobiographical stories found in his debut novel, The Dog Says How.”

The Fact that Gustavus is an all Steinway school is very significant!  I was happy to hear five seniors give the recital to celebrate last May.

Excerpts ― The Gustavian Weekly

            “The new Provost, Mary E. Morton, starts this year at a new position.  The provost will be in charge of a number of things, including academic planning and strategic direction.

            ‘I really missed being at a liberal arts college so when this opportunity came up, I was very eager to explore it,’ Morton said.  ‘I was happy with the job I had but I am certainly delighted to be here.’

            Morton said she was actively looking at Gustavus because of its authenticity and sense of identity.

            ‘We have a good sense of who we are, even though we might not be able to clearly articulate that at time,’ said Morton

            Morton looks forward to meeting with more students at Gustavus and even hopes to teach in the future because of her strong belief in the liberal arts education.

            She would most like to encourage students to “find where [their] passion is and where [they] find the most interesting questions intellectually, and study that and continue to pursue it through life.”

I’ll add that she is very friendly so if you see her on campus, do talk with her, especially if her two young sons are with her at a concert!

At chapel I studied Granlund’s sculptures on the inside of the east entrance.  Guess which figures he sculpted for the following quotes:  “Something beautiful for God”  “A feather on the breathe of God.”  “Lord, make me an instrument of your peace…”  [Mother Theresa, Hildegard, St. Francis]

A new book, Esbj, the Heart and Mind of a Professor written by Dennis Johnson ’60 with Robert Esbjornson ’41 will give you a slice of Gustavus’ history by understanding this professor who was a creative teacher who loved and prayed for his students and the whole Gustavus community.  He was a constant chapel goer even after he retired.

His large, special memorial service on All Saints Day, November 1, included communion and wonderful hymn singing.  He befriended our family through the years.  He lived with a smile and a prayer on his face.  Someone wrote, “Bob had a gift for touching the lives of nearly everyone he met.”  He was a story teller and believed everyone is a story.

“It is the teacher’s job to light candles in students―candles of knowledge, hope and prayer.  We feast on hope.  Carry it into the darkness of this world.”  From a sermon by Pastor Don Holmstrom, First Lutheran.  His wife, Rachel Larson is one of the two chaplains at Gustavus.  I think this describes Gustavus profs who are great mentors to the students.

Mentoring is a tradition that the late Professor Bob Esbjornson ’41 was a part of.  He started teaching at Gustavus in 1950.  The bishop of this synod wrote:

            “Retiring in 1983, he continued teaching a few courses each year.  Esbj led retreats and was adept at bringing diverse people together for conversation about their work and the ethical and spiritual issues they face.  He was a prolific writer who believed in the value of ‘journaling.’  Even with advancing age and illness, he maintained his participation in ‘Night Writers,’ a group of community persons committed to writing…

            He was a mentor to many, many students who kept in touch with him over the years.  He also befriended new faculty at Gustavus, concerned to integrate them into the community and make them feel welcome.”

After the service I talked with Margaret Anderson Kelliher ’90, Minnesota Speaker of the House.  She said her daughter, age 10, has announced, “I’m going to Gustavus!”  I asked Margaret for a quote for this letter!  She said, “Attending Gustavus is like dropping a huge stone into water.  The ripples will continue for years and years!”

Stan and Marie (Schafer) Benson and I heard the author of Mountains Beyond Mountains, Tracy Kidder, speak at chapel about Dr. Paul Farmer who found his vocation in life.  He sees this world through the lens of public health and anthropology and is dedicated to helping the poorest of the poor.  It is an inspiring book.  Kidder challenged the students to find their vocation of serving.  This book was required reading for first year students.

Someone should write a similar book about Dr. Dennis Lofstrom, who is still active on the medical scene in Tanzania.  He was a missionary doctor in the ’60s at Kiomboi Hospital which my father started in 1933 as some of you know.

Here is some background info for someone to start that book:

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 to 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 nongovernmental organization called International Health Partners, US-TZ has been formed to funnel finances and the work of volunteers to targeted facilities throughout Tanzania (501c3 status has been obtained).

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 littler easier for God’s work to be done.”

Dennis and Paula had thought they would live on their property in Arkansas, build a retirement home, and live an easier life.  Instead, they’ve found the need for their life-long skills in great demand and have responded.  When asked, “Why do you do this?”  Paula responded, “My mother taught me that happiness is living a life that matters.”  Dennis answered, “Because it’s a challenge, and it’s worthwhile.”

Denny and Paula are now working with projects in three different parts of Tanzania.  Denny writes, “We have opened a baccalaureate level nursing school in Dodoma in collaboration with St. John’s (Anglican) University and are working with another independent NGO in Dar es Salaam on an HIV-AIDS pediatric Hospital at Bagamoya.

            I wanted to give you an idea of the extent of the program that I.H.P. US-TZ (International Health Partners-U.S.-Tanzania) has undertaken.  We are building a 120 bed general hospital at Nyakato, a suburb of Mwarza (population 2,000,000).  It will have 18 building units.  One, the outpatient clinic, is up and running…”

Denny told me, “We’ve been in Tanzania for five years so far.  Our home is in Tanzania.  We came here to raise money for the projects.”  For volunteering, etc. there email is:  They probably came the farthest to attend the Nobel Conference!  They flew here and stayed with Stan and Marie Benson for the annual event, “The Energy Debate.”

Here’s my latest story from Lund Center!  “Help!  (Quietly)  A lovely, almost weight-less, gal was in a weight machine.  I had helped her figure it out, but she couldn’t get out.  It’s the beginning of the year so the heavy weight guys on other machines didn’t seem to know how to help her out of her machine.  Luckily, I had learned that trick last week!

In the local paper:  Why did you choose to come to college in St. Peter?  A student named, John, answered, “My sisters both went to Gustavus.  They explained to me that there are lots of community service opportunities.  I wanted to get away from the big-city feel.”  He was a Gustie Greeter on College Avenue as the first year students arrived this fall.

Someone called St. Peter a “holistic town.”  There is a wonderful town/gown relationship especially after the tornado nine years ago.  If you haven’t seen the Tornado video which the Book Mark sells, it is a must.

There are 45 Johnsons at Gustavus.  Since I was a Johnson, I noticed there are 45 students named Johnson this year!  There are many other Scandinavian names, but also names I can’t pronounce or identify.  Fourteen percent of these students are helping our diversity image.

First Lutheran here is celebrating the 150th Anniversary.  One of the bits of history I learned was that after this tornado Stan Benson proceeded to work hundreds of hours on the reconstruction of Resurrection Cemetery and continues to help until now, nine years later.

Our grandson, Ryan McGinty ’10, loves Gustavus!  I heard him tell his sister, “It’s a great college.  You should go here!”  As a second year English major he enjoys the challenges and opportunities.  Watch for his articles in the Gustavian Weekly.  One of the sports he covers is cross-country.  He is the best sports writer I’ve ever read.

“Hey, Ryan’s grandma,” two co-eds wrote in my book after Ryan introduced us at the Fall Poetry Classic in Alumni Hall.

Their English professor, Joyce Sutphen, was one of the editors of the new book of Minnesota women poets called, To Sing Along the Way.  Quite a few poets were invited to read their own poems from the book that night.  I was thrilled to meet them.  They also worked with students in classes.  All together, I got 10 autographs that night!

The freshmen did their search on the internet, visited campus and made their decision.  Now they are beginning to discuss what a great college they chose in every way.  They could have asked alums and upper classmen or even the president!

You’ll have to wait till January for a special guest class letter.  You’ll hear about the unusual, hilarious, fantastic group of gals from our class of ’51 who gathered on campus last August.  But, I have to tell you a few funny things:  My husband tried to escape the party at our house, but did not succeed!  He still talks about the great time he had.  Then we won’t mention names, but a few of the gals I took on two tours of the Arboretum got lost.  Actually, they loved the “Arb.”  You can not imagine how wonderful it was to share life and life stories with those we met 60 years ago when we became Gusties!  I would encourage others to gather a group and take over the Retreat House for a few days.

It was special to receive several thank you notes after our gathering.  Lois Hesselroth Hovland, “Hessie,” added “I imagine campus life is really busy these days.  It’s wonderful for you to be in the middle of it.”  I agree!

Imagine sitting with three retired professors and a few others on comfortable chairs in the “Canteen” area.  That’s what I did after chapel this lovely, September morning.  Emeritus professor, Chester Johnson regaled us with Gustie stories of long ago.  He still chuckles and has a twinkle in his eye.  He and Marian Swanson Johnson ’41 attend many concerts at Gustavus.

I’m really excited about the proposed Coneflower Prairie, the third biome of the Arboretum, which is 70 acres west of campus.  There is a matching grant in place until the end of May.

Excerpts ― The Gustavian Weekly

“Prairie grasses should grow very well here, because prairie once covered most of southern and western Minnesota.

            A committee is working to plan the details of the restoration project, using the Honors Thesis of Gustavus biology graduate Althea Archie as an outline…

            Another decision the committee will make is where to locate a hill that is to be built in the prairie.  This hill will help create a sense of space by blocking the view of surrounding buildings.  This way visitors will be able to ‘stand at the bottom of the hill and see prairie [stretch on] forever,’ said Johnson-Groh.

            The hill will also aid in the goal of maximizing the diversity of life on the prairie by creating different ecological zones.  This is desirable because the prairie is ‘intended to be educational, with high species diversity and an ability to attract wildlife,’ said Johnson-Groh.

            Another unique addition to the prairie will be the installation of several power-generating wind turbines.  According to President Peterson, the college is ready to purchase several wind turbines.  However, it may be a few years until this occurs, due to the high demand for turbines, which makes them difficult to obtain.

            This restoration is expected by some to have far reaching positive effects, both among the campus community and the St. Peter community as a whole.  Besides being personally pleased about the addition of the wind turbines, Environmental Studies professor Jeff Jeremiason said, ‘the Arboretum is a key component of Environmental Studies,’ so he and other professors are ‘certainly excited about the new addition.’”

Gustavus is outstanding in a lot of sports.  It is fun to read about the athletes as they make records and receive awards.

Spell Gustavus TENNIS in big letters!  The team, under Coach Steve Wilkinson, is amazing!  Not only did they do well in the national tournament, but Andy Bryan ’08 was named the top sportsman there!  Steve emphasizes sports ethics and our team’s example over the years has changed the whole atmosphere, so that fans of only one team booed the refs!!

In chapel some of the international students spoke in their native languages.  They were from Sweden, Morocco, Russia, France and China.  The girl from China wrote music for a Chinese poem, played guitar and sang.

Did you discover the on-line auction for Gustavus Library Associates?  Razzle-Dazzle-A Royal Affair was held Saturday, October 27 and was a great success.  One week prior to that time, you could go on-line and place bids on auction items.

If you were at the Royal Affair, you probably saw the dinner decorations; they were designed by my nephew’s wife, Sheryl Brolander Johnson ’83 and their young daughter!  Our daughter, Lynn Lutz McGinty ’84, was a tireless worker on the committee so my husband and I donated something for the “real” silent auction.

Our daughter received her two tickets for the St. Lucia luncheon at Gustavus.  They were sold out a month in advance!

Thousands (including my husband and me) smelled the Corpse Flower!  See the fall Quarterly.  There was a line every day.  Sorry, I can’t describe the (rotten) smell!

From the Gustavus choir newsletter, Spring 2007, students wrote:

1)      After Orchestra Hall concert:

“The biggest highlight of the G-Choir’s fall semester occurred on November 19.  We joined four other Lutheran college choirs on the stage of Orchestra Hall to celebrate the 135th anniversary of F. Melius Christiansen’s birth…

      The keynote speaker was Luther College legend Weston Noble (another Lutheran choral director who needs no introduction).  He spoke on the importance of emotion in singing, and the risk that singers take by wearing their emotions on their sleeve.  He said that we as singers need to be able to allow ourselves to be ‘vulnerable.’  After his speech we all sang an excerpt from Eric Whitacre’s Sleep.  What an honor to be able to hear and be touched by a man of such integrity and love of music!”

2)                  After the choir sang in Spain and Portugal:

“When I think of 75 years of the Gustavus Choir and how many members must have felt that same energy and life, I am astounded.  I guess that’s what makes trips like this special and Gustavus Choir members unique.  It is diving in never knowing what to expect or what to pack and coming out with something you never could have prepared for anyway.”

Also from the Gustavus Choir newsletter:  Reverberations:  “Achieving Perfection,” by Karen Bossart Rusthoven ’66, St. Paul, Minn.  Editor’s Note:  “Reverberations” is an occasional feature in the newsletter in which choir alumni can share memories of their time in the Gustavus Choir.

“Seldom in our lives are we given the opportunity to achieve perfection.  When it happens, it is a life-changing experience and one that will never be forgotten or taken for granted.  Singing in the Gustavus Choir allowed me many such transcendent moments.”  (Rusthoven is the founder and principal/executive director of Community of Peace Academy in St. Paul.)

It is wonderful to be able to go to chapel often.  I not only remember to pray for the students, but for everyone who helps them in any way.  The music is inspiring.  The homilies are incredible.  The sunlight makes it a joyful place to worship.

As I wrote for 15 minutes on this letter the beautiful sunrise over the valley inspired me!  This morning I get to meet with the two Gusties who are taking a communication course learning to really listen to my story and communicate.  In December their class will host a party for us senior citizens who volunteered (including Stan and Marie Benson!) and give us a write up of our three sessions together.  I can hardly wait another month!  You should meet these two Gusties.

Here is Emma from Woodbury, MN:  “I just love Gustavus, I’m sure that some of my friends here will be lifetime friends!  It is a great school with many opportunities!  Here you aren’t just a number, but a real person who they care about.  That extends to students caring about students.”

Scott, from St. Louis Park, MN:  “It’s a great school!  I’m on the Student Senate.  There are a wide variety of activities so students can participate in what they are passionate about.  I volunteer in the Youth Program down town.  The people in St. Peter are really nice to us!”

They both told of seeing the tornado video as freshmen and being profoundly moved!

Stan and Marie (Schafer ’52) Benson told us that Seifu Selassie died in an Ethiopian prison some years after the coup that dethroned his uncle, the Emperor Selassie.  While in prison he had led Bible studies.  I remember his splendid chapel talk before he graduated from Gustavus.  He was thankful for his years at Gustavus!  Seifu married “Miss Ethiopia.”  The last time Stan and Marie saw Seifu was when he was the Minister of Education.  He took them to the airport in Ethiopia in 1969 when they flew to Tanzania.

Excerpts ― The Gustavian Weekly – “Local Food, Global Impact

            “The Kitchen Cabinet, composed of staff, faculty, administration and students, is an advisory committee whose mission is to work on food-related projects and to disseminate ideas.  ‘The goal is to address the many ways in which Gustavus can, should or might realize that mission with regards to health, aesthetics, environmental and ecological―food carries meaning!” said Lisa Heldke, professor of philosophy and co-head of the Kitchen Cabinet with Kjellgren…

            …[Prof.] Heldke also said that there are choices individuals can make to reduce their carbon footprints.  In terms of food, Heldke said.

            …that we can ‘eat lower on the food chain and lower on the processing and packaging chain.  [Choose] things that take less than three layers of packaging to get to.  We should also learn to eat more reflectively.  Learn to notice each bite and notice the ways in which our food choices are related to every other worldly sphere.”

Did you see the photo of Sam Odell on p. 50 of the fall Quarterly?  Great article!  A newspaper quoted him, “I’ve been blessed to be able to teach life lessons through working with youth developing the skills needed to succeed and excel.”  He still coaches youth in his “retirement” about 18 years ago.

Lois Anderson Quist wrote from Atlanta, GA, “Genevieve Quist, 22-year-old granddaughter of Ken and Lois (Anderson) Quist was awarded a 2007 Rhodes Scholarship.  She will study at Oxford, England for two years.  Genevieve attended Gustavus her freshman year, then graduated from Cornell University, Ithaca, NY in 2004.  She is presently with Teach for America, teaching 6th grade English and social studies in central Los Angeles.  She will run the LA marathon in March.

Although Carolyn Peterson Ruggles and her husband, Henry ’52, are both retired, Carolyn’s new career is buying and fixing up foreclosures to sell.

We will miss seeing Carl Franklin Nelson at Gustavus events.  He passed away in November 2006, so many of you know that, but I wanted to quote from his obituary written in the Mankato Free Press, which I just received:  “…travel was their main hobby, and they took many major trips each year, until 2003, when they became involved in their new passion―the establishment of the Scottish Rite Childhood Language Clinic in Elk River.  By the time the Clinic opened in June of 2004, Carl was too sick to enjoy traveling any longer.  He continued serving as vice president of the RiteCare Clinic Board until his death.”

Congratulations to Elmer Luke, who has been inducted into the Hopkins High School Athletic Hall of Fame!  He coached swimming there for 38 years.

Gordon Sandbaken wrote, “we continue to attend Christmas in Christ Chapel with Gustavus alums:  Wayne Ripley, Clinton Perkins, James Whitney.  This has been going on for longer than we can remember.”

A note from Betty Correll, Black Mountain, NC, “Still doing volunteer work here in North Carolina with Christian Believers United.  Love living in the foothills of the Smokey Mountains.”

Marilyn Street Turner, Santa Rosa, CA, wrote, “We now have a granddaughter living with us and going to our local college.  It is fun having a teenager again.”

Ray Lundquist, his wife, Lorraine and I agreed that the Gustavus Heritage Partners (GHP) luncheon at Gustavus was wonderful.  Other classmates who were there included:  Ole ’50 and Bonnie Seaberg Bergman, from Wayzata and John Bloom with his new wife, Marjorie (they have known each other for about 50 years!), from Maple Grove.

Why were we all invited on September 22 to the Gustavus Heritage Partnership luncheon?  Everyone there had put Gustavus in their will, given a scholarship or named Gustavus as a beneficiary in their life insurance policy, etc.

Please come back for the 50-Year Club reunions next May 30-31, 2008!

Our class placed third, in our decade, for total dollars contributed to the Alumni Fund and ranked sixth place in percent of class participation with142 of us sending in a gift or 60%.  Let’s up that participation!

Please send Gustavus your news and gifts.  That will help the students and you will feel more connected to our Alma Mater.

Flash!  As I close this letter, I just received word that our granddaughter will be a freshman next fall at our grand college―Gustavus!  She will carry on the fifth generation tradition!


Dorothy Johnson Lutz

1951 Class Agent

Campus News

President Peterson Announces Retirement

President Jim Peterson ’64 announced in August that he plans to retire at the conclusion of the current academic year, capping a five-year term.  His early announcement will provide the Board of Trustees enough time to undertake a thorough search process and assist in a smooth transition to new leadership.  Peterson will serve through June 2008 and has offered to assist in an orderly transition beyond that date if needed.

Moes provide gift for Kendall Center

Gustavus parents Robert and Karin Moe have made a $1 million commitment to the John S. Kendall Center for Engaged Learning. This leadership gift brings the College closer to its goal of fully endowing the center, which is dedicated to advancing active and interdisciplinary learning across the campus. When fully funded, the endowment will generate funds to support two main areas: faculty development and student-faculty research.

New football stadium opened

On September 8, the football team played its inaugural game at the College’s new football stadium.  The synthetic-surfaced field is recessed below ground level and features an earthen berm surrounding the entire field.  The field will continue to be named Hollingsworth Field after the late Lloyd Hollingsworth, who served as the College’s football coach from 1942-1960 and athletic director from 1961-1978.

Athletics Hall of Fame Induction

On Saturday, November 3, Gustavus inducted the following people into the Athletic Hall of Fame:  Tim DeJarlais ’91 (golf), John Erickson ’81 (hockey), Dave Hultgren ’92 (baseball), Craig Miller ’91 (cross country), Mindy Mayerchak Oosten ’88 (softball & soccer), Mike Schumacher ’91 (football), Ann Sommerness Simms ’92 (swimming), and Ryan Skanse ’92 (tennis).

Twin Cities Gustie Breakfasts

Join other Minneapolis/St. Paul area Gusties for a once-a-month morning cup of coffee and breakfast while getting an update on Gustavus. The group meets the third Wednesday of each month at the Doubletree Hotel, Minneapolis-Park Place, 1500 Park Place Boulevard (Hwy. 394 & Hwy. 100), 8:00-9:30 a.m., $10 per person.  Reserve by calling Don Swanson ’55 at 763/533-9083

Wednesday, December  19

Margaret Kelliher ’90, speaker of the Minnesota House of Representatives

Refer a Gustie

As the school year starts, many high school seniors are getting serious about their college selection. If you know of high school seniors or juniors who may be a good fit at Gustavus, please send their names to the Office of Admission at Gustavus to help recruit the next generation of Gusties.  Contact the Admission Office at 800/GUSTAVU(S).

Calendar of events:

  • Nov. 30, Dec. 1-2        Christmas in Christ Chapel
  • December 6                 St. Lucia Day celebration on campus