Class of 1951

June 2012

Dear Classmates and Spouses,

With encouragement and full support from our class president and communication chair, Dorothy Johnson Lutz, I, Ray Lundquist, Chair of our Class Annual Fund, will write this letter.  The primary purpose is to inform you of our class results for the year ending May 31.  I am so very pleased with the results.  The total to the Annual Fund was $81,843; the Dorothy Johnson Lutz Music Scholarship is at $19,664 and other giving such as giving to the Endowment Fund, the arboretum, annuity plans comes to $151,006 which amounts to a total class giving of $252,513.  I think these results are marvelous and I express my grateful thanks to each of you for your gifts for the first 11 months of this fiscal year.  I wrote thank you notes to each of you which came to 66 thank you notes.  In the month of May, 42 of you gave gifts so from now on; this will be my first of thanks.  Some of you will say "good" because a typed letter is easier to read than my hand writing.

I don’t have our percentage of class giving, but the total was 108.  Again, I am so grateful to each of you for your gifts.  They are greatly appreciated.

Needless to say, this letter will not give us the information of the campus and all that Dorothy gives us, but I will say, “Who could?”

I will share some information that I knew which again is limited.  The Alumni Office gave me a short list of classmates to call who normally give to the Annual Fund, but had not heard from.  One of the calls was to Evodia Johnson Hopper, Alabama.  In speaking to her husband George, he quickly informed me that Evodia died last August 20, 2011 of “multiple health problems.”  I expressed sympathy to him and told him Evodia was a good friend to many in our class.  He thought he had informed the Gustavus Alumni Office, but according to their records, they were not notified.

The calling of classmates for several nights reminded me of another era when we had Phonorama.  Most of the time the callers were Lois Hesselroth Hovland, Pat Poole Hasse (who unfortunately has passed on), Gordy Sandbaken, Wayne Ripley and myself.  There were others participating at various times, but those names come to me first.  Due to costs and all, now the calls are done by students, which I feel, has worked out fine.

Lorraine and I were down to the campus on two consecutive Saturdays in May.  The first was for the Gustavus Heritage Partnership luncheon on May 19.  This is for Gustavus alumni and other individuals who have included Gustavus in their legacy planning.  Nine members of our class were present.  There are a total of 30 classmates, including several who are deceased who have included Gustavus in their planning.  The list grows slowly, but surely each year.  If you are considering legacy planning, I would suggest you contact Laurie Dietrich, CPA, in the Office of Gift Planning at Gustavus.  Laurie is a 1980 Gustavus graduate (same as my son, Ron), and can be reached at:  800-726-6192.  Laurie was very helpful in my planning.

There is a great deal of planning and work being done at the present time to have the College endowment total reach 150 million during our 150th anniversary.  The importance of this was made known to me this past week by family friends whose daughter chose St. Olaf over Gustavus primarily because she was able to obtain more scholarship help from St. Olaf.  St. Olaf, who usually is attempting to enroll the same students as we are, has an endowment of over $340 million which makes a big difference as to the amount that can be offered for scholarships.

On Saturday, May 26, we were at the 50 Year Club luncheon during alumni weekend.  It was enjoyable to see classmates there as well as members of the 1952 Class who, of course, were celebrating their 60th Anniversary.

There are two programs I always enjoy following at Gustavus.  They are the music program and athletics.  My niece, Karrin Meffert-Nelson, enjoyed her first year teaching in the Music Department.  She was the director of one of the wind orchestras and teaches clarinet.  She was impressed by the talent of her students.  As to athletics, the Gusties made a very interesting hire for a new women’s basketball coach.  Mickey Haller resigned after the season due to family needs.  The new coach is Laurie Kelly who has coached the past nine seasons at Division I Northern Arizona where she won 117 games and one Big Sky Conference in 2006.  She is a graduate of St. Thomas and has a master’s degree from Mankato State.  She is a native of Rochester.  It is the first time that I am aware of that a coach has moved from Division I to Division III.  I’m not putting down Division III at all, but in Division I, winning always seems to take over importance rather than being the student athlete which we favor.  It will be interesting to meet her sometime.  I’m told she was an excellent player at St. Thomas.

I was hesitant to include this paragraph, but I felt if I didn’t, Dorothy would have it in her next class letter.  In a letter which we received last week, President Jack Ohle stated that the Board of Trustees had approved that Lorraine and I would receive the College’s Sesquicentennial Award which is being given to 150 individuals or couples as part of the 150th anniversary.  I was totally surprised as was Lorraine over our selection.  I had no idea that it was forthcoming, so was grateful and honored as well as humbled.  I have certainly, in my own way, tried to do what I could to support the College mission and vision.  Lorraine, a Moorhead-Concordia College alumnus, has always been a support in our effort.

Moving on, it is marvelous that the Nelson Cultural Center is about to open as an annex to the American Swedish Institute.  There is an grand opening on Saturday, June 30 from 11:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.  Our classmate, Carl Nelson, and his wife, Leslie, have made it all possible.  We are sorry Carl is no longer with us, but Carl will always be there in spirit and Leslie will be there in person.  It will be great to have a Gustavus office in the Twin Cities.  Our monthly Gustie alumni breakfasts will begin there in September rather than at the Doubletree Hotel in St. Louis Park.  I have never missed a breakfast, but now it will be more of a challenge since the breakfast will start at 7:30 in an attempt to attract younger alumni who live in the area and need to get to work.  I continue to commend Randall Stuckey ʼ83, Alumni Director for his leadership of the breakfast and his fine array of speakers usually Gustavus staff members and alumni.  The May breakfast was very special with three former Gustavus Presidents present, Ed Lindell, Jim Peterson ʼ64 and Dennis Johnson ʼ60.  I should mention the 7:30 start is not a problem, but the morning traffic commute will be, but we will leave early and try to avoid the rush.

A classmate mentioned to me that I had the date confused as to the early history of Gustavus which was in my supplement to Dorothy’s letter.  Sometimes, things can go a little awry for no reason at all, perhaps most of all; it might have been my handwriting.  I have four sisters, all of whom have great handwriting including my 94 and 93 year-old sisters.  When I graduated from Chaska High School, I received an award for the best male typist.  That skill soon passed since I didn’t have a typewriter at Gustavus, my first wife, Georgia (Gustafson ʼ52), was a fine typist as was Lorraine and at work, I either dictated a letter to my secretary or used a Dictaphone.  That is a long excuse to clarify the dates.  There was only one sentence that needed to be corrected.  It reads from 1863 to 1925, should be 1875, Gustavus which was known then as St. Ansgar Academy at East Union didn’t become Gustavus until 1876 rather than 1826 when the school moved to St. Peter.

This letter which was originally to be a thank you to all of you faithful givers got to be more.  Here’s hoping you will all continue your giving to the Annual Fund and we will want Dorothy’s Scholarship to reach $25,000 or more by November 1, plus any other areas of the college you wish to contribute.  All your gifts are very much appreciated and I sincerely hope, those of you who didn’t contribute to this past fund year will do so before next May 31.  We miss you and need your help.

Best wishes to you all, you’re a great class.  Have a most happy summer as well as the remainder of the year.  May you have the best possible health year.

Most sincerely,

Ray Lundquist

1951 Annual Fund Chair

Campus News

National Sesquicentennial Celebrations

Throughout the coming year, Gusties are gathering across the country to reflect on Gustavus’s past, celebrate 150 academic years, and engage for the future.  In conjunction with the celebrations on campus, the College invites all alumni, parents, and friends for a celebration in an area near them.  The president has gone to 14 different locations from New York to LA.  You can view them all and register for an event at

Upcoming Chapter Events

June 25, 6:00 - 8:30 p.m.

Sesquicentennial Celebration - Sioux Falls (Minerva’s Restaurant and Bar, Sioux Falls, SD)

June 26, 6:00 - 8:30 p.m.

Sesquicentennial Celebration - Omaha (Spezia Restaurant, Omaha NE)

June 27, 6:00 - 8:30 p.m.

Sesquicentennial Celebration - Des Moines (The Wakonda Club, Des Moines IA)

July 16, 6:00 - 8:30 p.m.

Sesquicentennial Celebration - Grand Rapids (Timberlake Lodge Hotel, Grand Rapids MN)

July 17, 6:00 - 8:30 p.m.

Sesquicentennial Celebration - Duluth (Clyde Park Restaurant, Duluth MN)

Nobel Conference 48 – October 2 & 3, 2012

The oceans have long been a source of fascination, from the tales of Sinbad to the popular Blue Planet documentary.  The marine world provides us with necessities like seafood and medicines, fertilizers and petroleum.  But the oceans are also associated with danger, from the devastating hurricanes we face each year to the under-reported facts of the oceans’ roles in climate change.  Nobel Conference 48 examines “Our Global Ocean” as a source of inspiration, danger, and knowledge.  To order tickets online go to: or call the Office of Marketing/Communications at 507/933-7520.

Sweden’s King and Queen to visit Gustavus – October 5

Their majesties King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia will visit Gustavus on Friday, Oct. 5, 2012 and ASI on Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012.  The visit will commemorate the sesquicentennial at Gustavus and the opening of the new Nelson Cultural Center at ASI.  It comes after a long period of planning by both parties.