Class of '51
Dear classmates and spouses,
In her last class letter, Dorothy Johnson Lutz, requested that someone would write the January letter in place of her. I told her I would if no one else volunteered. Since no one else did, you end up with me, Ray Lundquist.
The primary reason I volunteered was to give Dorothy a temporary break. I’m sure there isn’t another class agent who works harder than Dorothy and does such a superb task of keeping our class informed as to the happenings occurring at Gustavus. This is more true than ever since Dorothy now lives in St. Peter and is a frequent visitor to the campus.
I also give Dorothy much of the credit for motivating our class to give annually to the Gustavus Annual Fund. We are usually top in our decade both in the amount given and the percentage of classmates participating in the Fund. In regard to that, I hope you will make every effort to make our class tops again this year. We are all very aware that these are difficult times in terms of the economy and all, but we need to remember also that the conditions make the needs of Gustavus more important than ever. I recently checked with the Annual Fund Office to see how we are doing as a class. So far 74 (33.6%) of you have given $33,258 this fiscal year, thus the hopes that many more of you will make a gift before May 31, 2009.
I feel we all owe Gustavus a great deal for the benefits we were given. In my own case, Chapel and Christianity courses make a big difference in my Christian faith. I met a dear wife, made life time friends, and was able to go on to graduate school and to work in the juvenile justice system of Hennepin County which I always enjoyed. I feel very blessed and grateful.
As I think of my years at Gustavus, I give so much credit to my professors, all of whom have gone on except Prof. Chester Johnson and Vic Gustafson ’42. Other professors who mentored me along with their expertise, as well as their friendship were individuals like Floyd Martinson, Olaf Swenson ’43, Arnold Swenson, Paul Stein, George Anderson ’33, Arnold Carlson, Luke Creel, Nels Langsjoen ’11, Doniver Lund and the list goes on. Every time I think of each of them it brings back special memories. How I wish I could converse with them, perhaps some day in another life.
I also feel we were very privileged to have Edgar Carlson ’30 as our college president while we were there. I would so enjoy being able to once again listen to one of his Chapel services. Having come from a small country parish, East Union, forerunner to locating Gustavus at St. Peter; our pastor was a fine, capable pastor, but I had never heard anyone give a sermon like he did when I think of his delivery, vocabulary, sincerity and his knowledge of the Bible. I for one was perhaps overwhelmed by it all, but it was a memorable experience as I think about it.
Fortunately, I have been able to meet his son, Dr. David Carlson ’60, a retired physician who is on the Gustavus Board of Trustees and who happened to be the Chairman of the Search Committee who selected Jack Ohle as our current president. I have enjoyed talking to him about his father and the influences he had on many of us. In a different setting, I have met David’s daughter, Edgar’s granddaughter, Linnea Carlson ’94, who is a teacher in the Hopkins School District. I participated in the annual golf fundraiser for Women’s Athletics and she was in my foursome. She was a tennis player at Gustavus. It was also enjoyable to talk to her about her Grandpa Carlson.
In regard to our new President Jack Ohle, it has been a joy to meet him. He is very friendly, a fine speaker with a lot of enthusiasm for Gustavus. He is very happy to be at Gustavus and I feel he will provide fine leadership. Here again fundraising will be the biggest challenge since we need to have more funding for our Endowment Fund which is a crucial need for the college.
We were able to attend Christmas in Christ Chapel on December 5. I thought it was excellent. A real high light for me was one of the opening songs, “Oh Holy Night” sung by two choir members from the balcony. Each of the three choirs did so well. I gave special attention to the Chapel Choir since my granddaughter Sarah Lundquist, a sophomore is a first soprano. What makes these choir members so good is the training, the voice lessons each of them have had. In Sarah’s situation, she has had private voice lessons since the 6th grade and sang in the concert choir and chamber singers at Robbinsdale Armstrong High School.
I also learned this fall, from Sarah, there is a major focus difference for sororities and fraternities as we knew them. They still have their floats for the Homecoming parade, proms and all that we had, but each sorority and fraternity has to have some project, mission to help an individual or group off-campus. You women who were members of Theta Xi Gamma Sorority, which was the sorority that Sarah pledged to can be very proud of what they did this fall and 2007. They adopted the Miracle of Mitch Foundation as their philanthropy. Mitch was a 9-year-old boy from Chaska who died at age 9 from cancer, but before he died he made his dad promise that he would set up a fund to help families of kids who have cancer, a truly amazing story. One of the sorority sisters knew the family and of the foundation. The sorority had a banquet fundraiser on November 22 to raise $5,000 as their goal and they surpassed it with a successful silent auction. We had banquet tickets, but unfortunately Lorraine woke up ill that morning and we couldn’t go, but several of Sarah’s friends made good use of our tickets. The Alumni Office informed us that this form of outreach in the community was started by President Axel Steuer who had a real passion for this type of service.
Speaking of death, we unfortunately have lost two more classmates since Dorothy’s last letter, namely, Gordon Holm, who died November 29 and Howard Rundquist who died December 2. Both of whom were good friends to many of us. I especially knew Howie Rundquist well since he, together with Jim Whitney, Don Jacobson ’53 and Howard Madsen ’52 lived adjacent to me, Lloyd Mathews, Don Wulf and a mix of other fellows for those years in Uhler Hall. There were a lot of fun times with a lot of good natured kidding since we all shared one bathroom. The kidding usually evolved around whose hair was in the sink since some us began balding at an early age. After Gustavus, Howard went off to Harvard, obtained an MBA and was very successful in the business of corporate work. Gordon had a successful career with First Federal Savings and Loan in Minneapolis. Our sympathy is extended to both families who will miss both of these great guys.
A few notes on athletics, which I always enjoy. We have a new football coach, Peter Haugen, a graduate of Bethel University where he was a three sport standout. He has been a very successful football coach at Washburn High School in Minneapolis where he has won 11 league championships in 15 years. I do not know him, but three friends of mine do and they each feel he will do well at Gustavus. Our men’s basketball team will celebrate their 100th year of basketball on February 7, 2009 with a game against Hamline at 3:00 p.m. and a banquet to follow. Our women athletes are having a great year. The women’s golf team won the conference championship, the women’s volleyball team took second in the conference, and the hockey team is undefeated as is the women’s basketball team. The men’s teams are holding their own, but right now, the women’s teams are surpassing them.
Homecoming 2009 will be Saturday, October 10. Even if you aren’t a football fan, take a good look at the new stadium. It is beautiful and such good viewing from any location. Our opponent will be Pacific Lutheran of Tacoma, Washington; one of the first times I can recall our playing a non-conference opponent for Homecoming, but it should be fun since I know some of you have close ties to Pacific Lutheran because of grandchildren attending there as well as children of friends as I do.
Don Osell continues to be our most prolific author. He has just finished a book titled, “Johnny McGovern: The Little Giant of Minnesota.” The story recounts the life of John McGovern, the first All-American Football player at the University of Minnesota. He was also named to the 1909 All-American team. If anyone is interested in a purchase, Don can be reached at: 218-326-6226 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The monthly Gustie breakfast at the Doubletree Hotel, held the third Wednesday of each month, continues to be very enjoyable and successful. Randall Stuckey ’83, our alumni director and Don Swanson ’55, provide fine leadership. The speaker is usually from campus and on occasion, a Gustie from the community, like Margaret Anderson Kelliher ’90, majority leader for the Minnesota House of Representatives.
Last month, Steve Kjellgren ’86, director of the Gustavus Dining Service, which I consider the best, was our guest speaker. A special gift for each of the attendees was a plate of fresh rolls. Our class always has the most in attendance which generally includes: Art and Amy (Wampler ’54) Adamson, Clint Lomis, Bob Smith, Gordie Sandbaken, Jim Whitney, Dave Johnson and Wayne Ripley. Many of you know Ted Stoen ’50 who is a regular. As an aside: I am in a weekly Bible study with 14 guys led by Ted who does a marvelous job. By the way, it would be great if any of you women classmates could attend our monthly breakfast. There are almost as many women as men in attendance. I know you would enjoy it.
The Alumni Office will add any additional campus news at the end of this letter. In closing, I do hope each of you will send a gift to the Gustavus Annual Fund and let’s make each gift in honor of Dorothy and her fine work as our class agent. May each of you have a very happy New Year as well as a healthy year. Someone in our age bracket recently said to me, “Ray, what is more important at our age than good health?” I said “Amen.”
Best wishes to each of you and God’s blessings.
1951 Guest Letter Writer
Haugen Named Head Football Coach
Peter Haugen was named the new head football coach in mid-December. Haugen posted an 111-44 record in 15 years at Washburn High School. He is the 17th head coach in the 93-year history of Gustavus football. Haugen will start the second week of January.
President Ohle is on the road!
Please join President Ohle, his wife Kris, and other Gustavus staff at a dessert reception near you. President Ohle will be visiting 11 cities around the country in the coming months and all alumni, parents, and friends of the College are invited to attend a reception. Dates are listed below or check out the Alumni website to find out more details.
Mustaphi Named Michelle Obama’s Deputy Press Secretary
Semonti Mustaphi ’03 was recently named Deputy Press Secretary for First Lady Michelle Obama. Mustaphi worked on the Obama campaign, and has also held communications positions for three senators. Mustaphi graduated with a political science and communication studies double major, danced in the Gustavus Dance Company, and was an Anderson Scholar.
Freed to Speak at January Breakfast
Join us for the January “Come on You Gustie” Breakfast featuring Gwen Freed, vice president for marketing and communication. The breakfast is Wednesday, Jan. 21, at the Doubletree Hotel, Minneapolis-Park Place, 1500 Park Place Boulevard (Hwy 394 and Hwy 100). The breakfast runs from 8-9:30 and is $10 per person. Reserve a spot by calling Don Swanson ’55 at (763) 533-9083.
Upcoming Alumni Events
- Naples Chapter Gathering - Jan. 8, Collier Athletic Club, 7 p.m.
- Washington D.C. Alumni Gathering - Jan. 12, Crystal City Marriott at Reagan National Airport, 7 p.m.
- Twin Cities Gustie Breakfast, Gwen Freed, vice president for marketing and communication - Jan. 21
- Chicago Alumni Gathering - Jan. 29, Hyatt Regency O’Hare, 7 p.m.
- 100th Anniversary of Gustavus Men's Basketball - Feb. 7
- Twin Cities Gustie Breakfast, Kris Kracht, communications; forensics head coach - Feb. 18
- Tucson Chapter Gathering - Feb. 19, Westward Look Resort
- Phoenix Chapter Gathering - Feb. 20, Millennium Resort, Scottsdale
- Los Angeles Chapter Gathering - Feb. 28, Art Director's Guild, Studio City
- Boston Chapter Gathering - Mar. 14, Hyatt Regency Cambridge
- New York Chapter Gathering - Mar. 16, New York Marriott East Side
- Twin Cities Gustie Breakfast, Ken Westphal, vice president for finance - Mar. 18
- Seattle Chapter Gathering - Mar. 21, Trinity Lutheran Church, Freeland, WA
- San Francisco Chapter Gathering - Mar. 23, Hotel Vitale
- Twin Cities Gustie Breakfast, Steve Wilkinson, retiring men’s tennis coach - Apr. 15