Class of ’51
September 2010

Dear Classmates,

This is our big 60th reunion year.  It will be so good to see so many of you again the last weekend in May.  Commencement 2010 was particularly exciting, because our grandson, Ryan McGinty ’10 graduated.  Each professor gives the diploma to each student according to his/her major.

Sixty-four percent of this class gave to the Gustavus Annual Fund.  They have 12 class agents, because that’s how many answered the e-mail request.  They divided the 593 graduates between them!  Speakers challenged them to use their education for the betterment of others.  Now there are almost 25,000 Gustavus alumni.  Professor Leila Braemer received the Edgar Carlson Award for Distinguished Teaching.  She said, “What makes Gustavus special is that we can come together, shoulder to shoulder, to provide the best liberal arts education in the country.  We do it with hard work.  We charge you (class of 2010)─go forward boldly!”  The seniors in the Gustavus choir sang, “Remember.”  The students meet their professors after the ceremony.  Our grandson was saying good-bye to Professor Sutphen who asked, “Are you ready?”  “Yes!”

“Gustavus is a very special place!”  A non-Gustie friend told me.  A former Gustie I met at a hockey game at Lund Arena told me, “I went to Gustavus two years, then ran out of money like many others, but my heart is still at Gustavus!  I played hockey there and I still keep in touch with Coach Don Roberts ’56.”

How could we ever forget Cec Eckhoff ’56 and all his energy?  The Cec Eckhoff Society has been renamed Cec Eckhoff Circle and includes anyone who pledges to give a gift from $1 to $249.  Cec really believed in making a gift every year.  The dollar amount didn’t matter so much as just participating.

When I heard the home concert of the Gustavus Wind Orchestra, I knew that their experiences in central Europe had been performed.  In the Gustavus Quarterly (summer issue) an article explains their adventures.  I was delighted to talk with some of the students when they returned.  It changed their lives!

Author, Robert Fulghum, tells two stories to graduating students at a college (Chicken Soup for the College Soul).  His second story is updating the talk of workers (cutting stone, washing windows, etc.) on the Chartres Cathedral who answer the question, “What do you do?”  “I am building a cathedral for the glory of God.”  He applied it to: this (college) is not just a school, but a part of this human endeavor of building, if not a cathedral for the glory of God, at least an invisible cathedral for the best in the human spirit.”  Gustie physics major, Nathan, said, “Of course, I love it here!  It is hard work, but it is worth it!”  Pastor Grady St. Dennis ’92, Director of Church Relations, wrote in The Spire:  “As we at Gustavus live out our church-relatedness, we seek to do so in a communal and relational manner─mindful of our important faith roots and our distinct calling as a Lutheran college. I am grateful for and inspired by the many faculty, staff, students, alumni, and friends who live out their faith in such a way that the love of Christ is made known in their daily living.”

The late Bill Holm ’65 (The Music of Failure) wrote, “the melody that counter points everything is my own life, and yours, and how they flow together to make the life of a community, and then a country, and then a world.” That’s good to remember as we look forward to our 60th anniversary.  May our melodies flow together to create a warm, Gustie community!

I’ll be at the Homecoming Memorial service as usual.  My sister, Marjorie Johnson Knutson ’50, will be honored.  We have a long list of classmates this year.  We will also honor our deceased members at our 60th anniversary.  Of course, spouses of deceased classmates are welcome to come to all events May 27-28, 2011.  If you know of someone who doesn’t receive our class letter after their spouse died, please let the Alumni Office know and they will get them back on the mail list.

Marie Norberg Bergstrom ’50 has promised to join us.  She enjoyed her own 60th last May.  We look forward to seeing Lloyd and Dorothy Stivers, and Stan and Marie (Schafer ’52) Benson on that eventful reunion in May.  Marilyn Street Turner was here for our 50th and hopes to come to our 60th!

What a thrill the fall opening convocation always is.  The faculty wears their robes and process.  They are amazing and come in all sizes and ages.  Chaplain Brian Johnson ’80 led us in prayer, “Let us pray.  Oh God, we commit to your keeping this new term which stretches before us.  We do not ask for comfort or an easy time, but we ask that you grant us growth in knowledge, faith, and love.  Remind us that we are all working together in the task of learning whether we are planting, watering, or weeding.  Enable us to do your will, as we live each day in your grace.  Amen”

Here is a quote from our bulletin:  Our Theme for 2010-2011:  “We are all one at Wisdom’s holy feast.” This phrase, our worship theme for the 2010-2011 academic year, is a fitting counterpart to the campus-wide focus on food.  To the questions raised by the Gustavus Global Insight and the Noble Conference theme, Making Food Great, we added a theological and liturgical dimension:  what gifts do we bring to the table, how might we best serve our neighbor with them, and how is wisdom acquired and enhanced?  Martin Luther, in Table Talk and other writings extols the virtues of wisdom and reminds us of its dangers by those who would use it for false pretense.  As we gather around our holy table throughout the coming year, we will study the examples of individuals whose lives are situated at the intersection of the Church and the Academy:  what do Hildegard of Bingen, Dag Hammarskjold, Francis of Assisi, Theresa of Avila, physician and Evangelist Luke, and others teach us about wisdom?  How can our sense of vocation be nurtured by their examples?  What makes this feast good?”  A list of 15 opportunities invites student participation.  Activities are listed on the Chaplain’s office website:

I was inspired by this note from LaVonne Teske Duerr, Mesa, AZ:  “I know we all treasure our four years at Gustavus and why we all look forward to your class letter.  You do a great job by not only updating us on our classmates, but also informing us on our campus happenings and student contacts.  You deserve a big gold star.  Over the years, I know you have spent many hours of your time and I sincerely thank you.”

Ed and Joan Cravens Benson were at the Heritage luncheon last spring and Joan commented that it was good to have an excuse to come back to the campus.  They spend most of their summers at their cabin in Brainerd and about three months in Fallbrook, CA during the winter.

Ray Lundquist sent me a clipping from the Star Tribune last June.  There was a sketch of the proposed Nelson Cultural Center, an addition to the American Swedish Institute.  It is named for benefactors, Leslie and the late Carl Nelson who were also instrumental in planning offices for Gustavus in the new building.  There will be space for alumni relations, etc.

What a tremendous Volunteer Leadership Day we had with other class agents and the Alumni Board on Saturday, September 11.  Randy read a letter from an excited freshman who was so happy to be here because the alumni provided a scholarship through the Annual Fund.  Thanks to all those who walked on Phonorama throughout the years, but it died about 10 years ago.  Since we want to keep in touch our 60th year, some of us will be calling you from our homes starting in April.  IF you don’t want to be called, say that on your news note to the Alumni Office.  I asked Jeff Marshall ’75, Alumni Board Member, for a story from his time as a young black student at Gustavus Adolphus College:  “I was a shy boy from Houston, but thanks to my Gustavus professors, I majored in political science and speech, and now teach at a college in Houston.  I was student council president here.”

After the football game, the Ohles hosted an outdoor buffet.  Under the tent I met Jack Norman and his daughter, Linda.  Two Gustavus student ambassadors, Drew and Eric, were great conversationalists and we learned a lot about Gustavus.

Last year 112 of our 196 living members gave a gift, for our lowest percent ever of 57.1%.  We’re usually in the 60th percentile.  Since it is our 60th, we’ll definitely need to rise to the occasion!  Unrestricted gifts to the Annual Fund go mainly for scholarships.  You may join GLA (Gustavus Library Associates) or Friends of the Arboretum or Friends of Music or contributions to any department are welcome.  It all counts toward our class standing in the Annual Fund.  Remember our percentage of participation is watched as a college strength.

Ray and Lorraine Lundquist’s grandson, Jonathan Shirley ’14, from Hudson, WI, is a freshman at Gustavus.  LaVonne Teske Duerr said, “I’m so proud of Gustavus!” She had just read the Annual Report in the Gustavus Quarterly.  Thanks for your encouragement, LaVonne.

Recent news from Denny Lofstrom in the northwest Tanzania.  Denny is vice president and COO of International Health Partners, U.S. and TZ.  Yesterday the Austrian medical student and Denny and Paula went to an orphanage and vaccinated 50 to 60 children.  International Health Partners reached out to the community in many ways, and one of those ways is giving free care to orphans.  Nyakato Health Center is the care center for five boarding schools and several orphanages.  [Look for Denny and Paula Lofstrom at the Nobel Conference, October 5 – 6.  After that they are available for presentations on their work at the Tanzanian hospital.]  Last May a medical student from England wrote about Lofstrom’s work at the hospital, “The work Denny and Paula do here is priceless and the effort they put in is astounding!”

The Gustavus Alumni Association is bringing together about 25,000 Gusties to celebrate the College’s 150th anniversary.  In partnership with Publishing Concepts, Inc. (PCI), Gustavus will produce the 150th Anniversary Commemorative Alumni Directory.  Over the next couple of months, PCI will be contacting Gustavus alumni via phone, mail, and e-mail to request that you update your information.  Please give your information for the directory when someone calls you from PCI.  We know you don’t want to provide your information to just anyone, so we want you to be aware of this project and encourage your participation.  If you have questions, call the Office of Alumni Relations at 800-487-8437.

On page 32 of the Quarterly there is a photo of my brother, Wendell Johnson ’53, his wife, daughter and son-in-law.  On page 46 there is a photo of me celebrating our grandson’s graduation of the 5th generation Gustie.  My grandfather was in the first graduating class of 1890.  It was an exciting year at Gustavus!  I was going to skip the Annual Report section in the middle.  Don’t!  And yes, I was one of the 5,000 viewers (and smellers) of the newest bloom of the famous corpse flower this summer.

On pages 12 and 13 it shows the Twin Cities Alumni Breakfast meets on the 3rd Wednesday of each month at 8:00 a.m.  The programs are fantastic!  All alumni are invited.  Our class has a good turnout each month -- Ray Lundquist and others will welcome you all!

On page 45 are the obituaries.  There are four classmates listed.  Our sympathy goes to Jim Whitney whose wife, Bev, died.  We would like to offer our sympathy to Clint Lomis on the death of his wife, Helen, in August.  I read that Evodia Johnson Hopper’s sister, Eunice (Johnson ’54) Cox, died in King, NC.

We will miss all of our departed classmates including:

  • Paul Glaeser, Waconia, died on 8/10/10.  Survived by his sister-in-law, Marion Glaeser; and a niece and her husband.
  • Keith Dickie of Prior Lake, MN, on February 19, 2010 passed away.  He was a retired Air Force pilot and employee for Minnesota Job Service, and is survived by his wife, Annette, two daughters, three brothers including Ross ’60, and two sisters.
  • Susan Regier Franzen of Peoria, AZ, passed away on March 1, 2010.  She is survived by her husband, Jack Franzen, two sons, one daughter, three sisters, and one brother.
  • Genevieve Johnson Petersen passed away in Hutchinson, MN, on March 1, 2010.  She was a retired marketing and communication coordinator for several employers and is survived by two daughters, one son, and one brother.

I used to get to the obituary notices from the Alumni Office.  Now I realize I should look at them in the back of the Quarterly.  If I miss some, please let me know because I think they should also be included in our class letter.  The following were listed in the Quarterly:

  • June Seim Wick passed away in Hudson, WI, on June 28th.  She was a retired educator who taught in Hutchinson, MN.  She is survived by sons Cal ’79, Brad ’84 and Steve ’87.
  • Bonnie Feehan Klucking, Ellesburg, WA, who died on October 25, 2009.  Bonnie was owner of Wold and Associates.  She is survived by her husband, Edward.
  • Gene Payne of Sioux Falls, SD, on June 6, 2010, he was a retired special agent for the FBI and was inducted into the Gustavus Athletics Hall of Fame in 1988.  He is survived by his wife, Beatrice, a son and two daughters.
  • Robert W. Yess of Circle Planes, MN, died on January 12, 2010.  He was a volunteer for the Minnesota Veterans Home and is survived by a son and a daughter.

Our sympathy goes out to their families and friends.

Registration forms will be mailed to you in April for our class reunion.  I’m highlighting a few events for our class.  There are 2 elevators. Watch for white signs with 1951.  Our ribbons will be white.  Friday, May 27th will be very special with a Reunion Seminar followed by three events for just our class.  Marilyn (Barnes) and Bill Robertz will greet you by the door to the campus Dining Room.  Our reception starts at 4:00.  During the 5:00 p.m. banquet, Ray Lundquist will emcee a program.  We’ll have a printed listing of deceased classmates.  You will not want to miss this!  Marilyn and Bill have graciously invited us to their home near campus from 7-9:00 P.M. that evening!

Saturday, May 28th, there is a full schedule from 9:00 a.m. to that evening.  We’ll be sitting together at the luncheon and banquet.  Our class will have a reception at the Johnson Water Garden, Linnaeus Arboretum at 3:00 p.m.  You may want to park your car near the arboretum.  The Vesper Service is on Saturday afternoon, with the banquet at 5:00 p.m. and the concert at 8:00 p.m.  There is always room at the 9:00 a.m. baccalaureate service Sunday morning in Chapel.  You’ll see our committee there for sure.  Feel free to contact them!

Ray Lundquist

Jack Norman

Wayne Ripley

Gordy Sandbaken

Bob Smith

Marilyn Barnes Robertz

Dorothy Johnson Lutz  (Ex- officio)

Guest letters will be a treat with Marilyn and Bob Robertz, Ray Lundquist, and others writing as we travel to May 2011.  Please send news to the Alumni Office all year!  We want you to come back─the more the merrier!  “Gustie Glue” helps us hang together.

Come, Gusties, Come!

Dorothy Johnson Lutz

1951 Class Agent

Campus News

Athletics Hall of Fame

Gustavus will induct new members into its Athletics Hall of Fame at a banquet at 6 p.m. on Sat., Oct. 9.  The Hall of Fame Moment is the 1990 women’s tennis team’s national championship.  Team members are invited to return to revisit this memorable sports moment.  Inductees for 2010 are:  Evie Cieslar Erdman ’73, benefactor; Duke Paluch ’84, tennis; Erik Allen ’92, basketball; Peter Anderson ’92, golf; Leigh Stocker Berger ’92, volleyball; Angela White Vick ’92, track and field; Heidi Rostberg Carlson ’93, tennis; Erik Hendrikson ’94, hockey, football; Paige Tierney Sullivan ’95, soccer; 1990 Women’s Tennis National Championship―Hall of Fame Moment.

Nobel Conference

What is Good Food?  Join us on October 5 & 6, 2010, for Nobel Conference® 46, Making Food Good, as we explore the many levels of this question and hear answers from our seven distinguished panelists.  We will consider the ways in which varied and various conceptions of goodness intersect with, challenge, and are challenged by each other.  We will consider contemporary food issues like community food security; the local foods movement; food crops as fuel crops; school lunches; genetic modification of food plants and animals; molecular gastronomy; and protecting genetic diversity of plants and animals.  You can order tickets online at

150th Anniversary Commemorative Alumni Directory

The Gustavus Alumni Association is bringing together about 25,000 Gusties to celebrate the College’s 150th anniversary.  In partnership with Publishing Concepts, Inc. (PCI), Gustavus will produce the 150th Anniversary Commemorative Alumni Directory.  Over the next couple of months, PCI will be contacting Gustavus alumni via phone, mail, and e-mail to request that you update your information.  We know you don’t want to provide your information to just anyone, so we want you to be aware of this project and encourage your participation.  For more information, call the Office of Alumni Relations at 800-487-8437.

“Come on You Gusties” Breakfast

Once a month, Gusties gather for coffee, breakfast, and great conversation along with a campus speaker.  All Gusties are welcomed and invited to the breakfast, third Wednesday of the month, 8-9:30 a.m. at the Doubletree Hotel, Minneapolis-Park Place, 1500 Park Place Boulevard.  Cost is $10 at the door.  September’s speaker is President Jack Ohle.

Upcoming Events

  • Oct. 4-5 – Nobel Conference
  • Oct. 8-9 – Family Weekend
  • Oct. 9 – Hall of Fame