Class of '52
I believe in peace and love…
When they come together, we experience community.
Roland Thorstensson, director of the new Swedish House, spoke these simple but inspirational words at the dedication ceremony for the Curtis and Arleen Carlson International Center, the newest building on the campus completed this past summer. I hope you can see it some day¾ it’s awesome¾ and like me you’ll probably wish you could move right in and start the whole deal over again, at least parts of it. What struck me, however, is that his words expressed the Gustavus motto for the 21st century. Perhaps it’s where we all strive to be in our own communities and surely in the world. Certainly it doesn’t happen everywhere, but we can be ambassadors wherever we are. I believe that Gusties do that in large measure, and I also believe that students who leave that college today after 1, 2 or 4 years are embeded with that spirit and live out that statement.
I have a story to tell you. Bobby and I have spent a lot of time on campus this fall. First, we attended the Class Agents’ meeting in mid-September; then Homecoming; a Library Associates author lecture, (the author of the best seller, Julie and Romeo, by Jeanne Ray is the mother of Heather Patchett, former director of the Gustavus Fund (and now development associate). It’s wonderful¾ I recommend it); G.I.V.E., the national volunteer event which headquarters in the Twin Cities and took place last Saturday; and finally that evening, October 7, we returned to campus to listen to Nellie Stone Johnson, who delivered the keynote address at "Our Story," a conference presented by the Pan-African Student Organization at the college. Nellie is a 94-year-old black woman from the Minneapolis area who has a distinguished record of public service in support of minority and labor concerns. Wow! She was amazing! During the course of her talk she mentioned meeting a young white woman on Nicollet Mall whom she has never forgotten. This woman said to her, "I think we need to color Gustavus." Nellie went on to say, "Her name was Margaret Berry, and I have never forgotten her. By any chance does anyone in the audience happen to know her?" I literally jumped out of my seat, raised my hand, and exclaimed, Yes, I know her! She was my roommate!" We lived together, 12 of us in Wahlstrom 212, and she was Peggy then. Remember? Imagine her surprise and mine! Then she told us that her nephew was Shorty Patterson, and his daughter attends Gustavus today. First of all, I know you’re saying as I did, "What a small world!" And yes, it’s true, but there is an even more poignant truth, and that is that each of us can make a difference just as Peggy did that day on Nicollet Mall. You remember that she died a few years ago, but she leaves a legacy that made a difference in many ways. I’m sure she’s smiling somewhere in eternity!
The 2000-2001 academic year opened with a record enrollment of 2,510 full-time students (compared with the previous record of 2,490 set last year), including 675 first-year students. When students arrived on campus in early September they were welcomed by the newly completed Carlson International Center/Swedish House, a new outdoor track/soccer field, and a newly completed Courtyard Café in the lower level of the Jackson Campus Center. This new café offers specialty coffees, bagels, pastries, and sandwiches, and opens to an outdoor eating area on the Johns Courtyard between the Jackson Campus Center and Lund Center.
Gustavus Adolphus College is once again ranked among the best of all national liberal
arts colleges in U.S. News and World Report's 14th annual "America's Best Colleges" rankings. Gustavus is again in the top 80 of the overall quality listings for national liberal arts colleges. Ranked again in the second tier in the national liberal arts college category, Gustavus is one of only two Minnesota colleges included in the tier two listing and one of four Minnesota colleges ranked in the top 80.
Gustavus recently received the results of a comparative alumni survey that measures alumni responses to a series of questions about their college experience. The study provides comparisons to other groups of colleges including Lutheran colleges, member colleges of the Minnesota Private College Council and, most importantly, with large public universities. We will share with you results of the survey in class letters this year. A sampling of responses to remembrances of college academic life include the following:
· Alumni agree that professors often challenged them, but also personally helped them to meet the challenge. Gustavus alumni agree 78%, large public universities 38%.
· Alumni agree that a large majority of classes were taught by professors as compared to teaching assistants. Gustavus alumni agree 90%, large public universities 32%.
· Alumni remember a high quality, teaching oriented faculty. Gustavus alumni agree 61%, large public universities 25%.
· Alumni remember many small classes with fewer than twenty students. Gustavus alumni agree 50%, large public universities 9%.
Gustavus has received word from the Lilly Endowment that it was one of 20 awardees (out of a pool of 31 colleges and universities) of a $1,963,425 implementation grant. It is the largest program grant the College has ever received. The award will support a comprehensive initiative to more effectively carry out some key aspects of the College's mission statement and encourage theological reflection and moral questioning that forms character, shapes lives, and guides career choices. It will build upon the ethos and climate of Gustavus by supporting already-existing programs, adding new ones, and creating a center to coordinate and intensify those vocation-oriented activities. In doing so, it will provide students with the foundational tools necessary for a lifelong exploration of their calling and a lifetime of community leadership and service to others.
Christmas in Christ Chapel, Heaven and Nature Sing, is December 1-3. A ticket order form was inserted in the Summer Quarterly. Contact Office of Public Affairs at 507-933-7520.
The morn’s are meeker than they were.
The nuts are getting brown.
Lest I should be old-fashioned,
I’ll put a trinket on.
--thanks Emily Dickinson
NOW NEWS FROM CLASSMATES
Russell Peterson completed 11 years as visitation pastor at Zion Lutheran, Chisago City and 10 years at Chisago Lake Lutheran in his retirement years. Must be nice to have him at home more, Gladys, but not for lunch. He and his son, Wayne, attended "A Luther Seminar in Wittenberg, Germany, " on May 7-20, 2000.
Wayne Farnberg and Dorothy (Bugge ’55), returned to Norway and Sweden a year ago visiting family and friends in both countries, and perhaps best of all the family farm in Norway.
JoAnn (Heyman) Cory and Bob had another wonderful year in Arizona last year, but they touched down in numerous other places as always, Minnesota, Florida, and Holden Village, WA, my favorite retreat spot. I receive email from her regularly, but must let you know, JoAnn, my email has been down for six weeks, big troubles, so I’m inactive to date.
Tony Almen keeps busy with "Befrienders" at All Saints Lutheran in Minnetonka and works with the recycling program (aluminum cans) that has raised over $30,000 for World Hunger Programs in the past 12 years. What a great accomplishment and so necessary! Marilyn retired from teaching June 1999.
Vance Eckstrom writes and I quote, "Gustavus Board member (now former), Rev. Arland Hultgren, Professor of New Testament at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, and I have co-edited a book, The Augustana Heritage: Recollections, Perspectives, and Prospects, published by the Augustana Heritage Association, December 1999. The book is a collection of essays presented at theAugustana Heritage gathering at Chautauqua, New York, in September. The "Augustana" in the title of the organization, the gathering event, and the book refers to the Augustana Lutheran Church, with which Gustavus Adolphus College was affiliated until 1962, when Augustana was merged into the Lutheran Church in America , which in 1988 merged into today’s ELCA."
Ona Lee Whitman Iverson wasn’t at home the last time I called. They were traveling in Spain and Portugal. They still travel to see their grandchildren, but not as far now, only to Ames where he is an assistant professor at Iowa State. She also mentioned the 2002 reunion. It’s coming up sooner than you think, so get it on your calendars.
Speaking of reunions Dewey Litsheim and Marilyn (Swedberg ’49) sent their best to the class of ’50 this year and hoped that their reunion would be as great as the ’49ers. Sorry I didn’t get the message soon enough to pass it on, but according to all reports they did have a wonderful turnout and time.
From Stone Mountain, Georgia, comes word from John Mielke that he and Pat are doing well and so is his mother, 95, in Lafayette. "Praise God!" He and Pat enjoy St. George Island on the Gulf and go there often.
Now here’s a problem¾ possibly you have some advice for Bob Ek in Fort Frances, Ontario, who keeps trying to fully retire. He continues to be asked to conduct worship, celebrate communion, conduct baptisms, confirmations, marriages and funerals wherever. A need exists on both sides of the border in Fort Frances and International Falls. Bob, my advice is to stay involved. That keeps us young, but maybe you could say "no" now and then too.
Paul Lindau and Joanne (Runez ’53) wrote. "He’s working on illustrations for children’s public." Is that books¾ library? Sounds interesting. There are several news items I cannot report because the copies that came to me from Gustavus are so faint I can’t read them. Even in this day and age of very modern technology, things go wrong. Maybe that’s a good plug for giving¾ the Xerox machine needs help!
Phonorama starts it second week on October 23, 24 & 26 and we’ll be calling you for news and money. Please don’t let us down. You may get a call from me, from Lois (Carlson) and Ron Johnson, or possibly from another classmate. I’m not sure yet who plans to show up, but I always get good help. I received a few notes that were stamped "never been called." We’ll try to remedy that.
The joy of being friends is just
A simple code of faith and trust,
A homey comradeship that stays
The threatened fear of darker days;
The kind of faith that brings to light
The good, the beautiful and bright;
And best and blest
And true and rare
Is having friends who love and care.
I hope that all of you enjoyed wonderful summer days and now are blessed with the energy of autumn. The Gusties are performing well on the football field this fall as are the Vikings, in case you haven’t heard. G.I.V.E. was a great success again. If you haven’t participated, put it on your calendar for next year, the first Saturday in October. The leaves have never been more beautiful where we live, and Bobby is still playing golf. I’m joining him this afternoon. We had my 16-year-old cousin, Karin, from Sweden living with us for the month of July. That was an interesting, challenging experience. Fun to be the parents of a teenager again. Now we still need to close up the cabin, and then perhaps we’ll be ready to turn thoughts and energies toward the holidays.
Make no mistake¾ this letter is about money, your gifts to Gustavus, and news, your news about your life for my letters. No liberal arts college can provide an effective, meaningful education and life philosophy for today’s graduates without the generous help of its alumni who with unrestricted dollars will purposefully secure a greater endowment. This is a heritage we leave! A gift to Gustavus is a gift that grows!
Learn this great lesson that the sun each day proclaims: as the sun on a cold day shines on us and imparts its warmth, believe that the living God will work in you with love and almighty power. God will reveal Himself/Herself as life and light and joy and strength to the soul that waits upon Him/Her.
My benediction for you as you travel the last months of this new year. Be blest and be a blessing wherever you go!
Peace and love to you and yours,
Barb Eckman Krig
1952 Class Agent