Class of 1951

June 2014

Dear Classmates, Spouses and other Readers,

I'm pleased to inform you of the results of the 2014 Annual Fund.  I am very happy with the results, which ended up at $109,512.  We had a total of 85 donors, which was 25 less than last year, but we lost several class members due to death and others coping with serious illnesses.

I wrote thank you notes to the individuals that gave in 2013-14 up until this past April.  In May, 16 classmates gave gifts to the Annual Fund and I will say a collective thank you and let you know your gifts were very much appreciated.

It should be mentioned that we now have five endowments and three are for scholarships existing in our class and a certain number of you gave to those scholarships.  These gifts are not recorded for the Annual Fund, but they are vitally important for the funding of student aid.

This month is when the change of Gustavus presidents will take place.  President Jack Ohle retires on June 30 and Rebecca Bergman assumes the presidency on July 1.  During the six years that President Ohle was at the helm, his forte was very much in fundraising, which resulted in our endowment fund approaching $150 million.  The addition of the Warren and Donna Beck academic building was also a real gem.  It has proven to be an excellent asset to our campus.  I also appreciated very much Jack's leadership of the celebration of the 150th anniversary of Gustavus in 2012.  This celebration was highlighted by the appearance of the King and Queen of Sweden.       

I had the opportunity to meet Rebecca Bergman at a Gustavus banquet in April.  She is a very charming, nice lady who will do very well, in my opinion.  Her 26 years of employment in research and development at Medtronic will be very helpful in the leadership of Gustavus.  Two of her children also graduated from Gustavus and she has served on the Board of Trustees since 2007.

It's interesting to note that Harvard is led by a female president and female presidents are also leading institutions such as St. Thomas, Hamline, Luther, St. Catherine, St. Benedict and Luther Seminary.  I believe if women were given equal status in the Arab world, there wouldn't be the mess that exists there today.

Classmate Dennis Lofstrom, M.D. informed me that the fundraising for the medical facilities in Tanzania is going very well.  The work of the International Health Partners was detailed in the letter this past April.  He wanted it known that I.H.P, which is building the new pediatric hospital, is led by an I.H.P. based in Mesa, AZ.  I noted in my last letter that the ELCA was involved in this endeavor, but have since learned that was an error.  Please note this correction.  I also want to express my gratitude to you, Dennis, and to your wife Paula, for all you fine work helping to build these facilities in Tanzania.

I also want to extend congratulations to the Gustavus men's tennis team, which won the conference championship for the 26th consecutive year.  The Carleton women's tennis team has aced out our Gustavus team for three years in a row; the Gustie women have placed second to them in each of those years.  Hopefully, next year we can reverse that outcome and follow the men's lead.

I have had several contacts with Dorothy Johnson Lutz in recent months and I'm pleased to report that her health issues have improved considerably since she was on sabbatical this last year.  She plans to assume the role of writing the class letter this fall, which I am very pleased about, and I know that all of you are, too.  There is no one who keeps us better informed as to what happens at Gustavus and with news of our classmates.

In closing, I would like to share several quotes from well-known individuals as well as a silly joke and a favorite Bible verse.  The first is by Winston Churchill:  "Let our advance worrying become advanced thinking and planning."  The next is from Harry S. Truman, who stated, "A pessimist is one who makes difficulties of his opportunities; an optimist is one who makes opportunities of his difficulties."  Martha Washington said, "A greater part of our happiness or our misery depends on our dispositions, and not our circumstances."  Benjamin Franklin offered, "Anger is never without a reason, but seldom a good one."  Lastly, Abraham Lincoln wisely stated, "I have been driven many times to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go.  My own wisdom and that of all about me, seemed insufficient for the day."

My silly joke:  It was a hot summer day and the husband was swatting flies in the dining room.  He told his wife that he had just swatted five flies -- three male adults and two females!  His wife wanted to know, how did you know the gender of the flies?  He replied, "The three male flies were on a beer can, and the two females were on the phone!"

Finally, one of my favorite Bible verses is Proverbs 3:5-6:  "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; but in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path."  And I will say Amen, it shall be so.

Blessings and best wishes to each of you!


Ray Lundquist

1951 Class Vice President