Class of '52
One last letter this year-it has taken time to get here, just like spring! I don't know how it is where you are, but we've had more rain and cold weather this season than any other time I remember. Bobby and I opened the cabin a week ago, and Sand Lake is higher than it's ever been. Tomorrow I leave for London with three other Gustie women-Jan Wampler Quist ’50, Jodi Thommen Pieschel ’50, Geva Lou Rodelius Severinson ’50-you may remember them. We'll be there just a week. According to the weather reports, England is not experiencing warm days and sunshine either, but nothing will dampen our spirits. We'll have a ball!
The main purpose of my letter is to remind you that there is still a little time, until the end of May, to send a check to Gustavus so that it will count in this year's annual fund drive. I know you will want to honor your pledge, or send a $ gift if you have not already done so. And please start making plans for next year, our 50th! This is a very special one! Share the Gustavus story with those you meet, especially the youth in your church congregations. It's worthy of praise!
Tell a friend, a co-worker, a teacher, tell someone! Don't be ashamed! Don't be afraid!
Bobby and I attended the MAYDAY! Conference this past week, "Revisiting the Traverse des Sioux Treaty after 150 Years." Several Native Americans agreed to participate in a peace ceremony, those folks who were direct descendants of the original participants. We gathered right outside the chapel as a part of the service, formed a large circle (about 400), and there, overlooking Minnesota Valley, the Indians performed a moving, spiritual ceremony, smoking the original pipe that was last smoked 150 years ago. I tell you, it was truly AWESOME! Winona LaDuke gave the keynote address following the ceremony, "Reconciliation in the New Millenium." I have never been more proud of our school. You would have been too.
Faith can move mountains!
Some Gustie news! A wonderful story appeared in the Windom paper a while ago highlighting Marilyn (Larson ’55) and Bill Peterson's extended stay last summer in Windom. They reside permanently in Phoenix now, but they return each year to Minnesota for a while, and last year they wanted to stay for two months. They made inquiries about renting a home in Windom, and some friends who have a lake place at Battle Lake complied. Everyone was happy. They look great in the picture, and from all that was said in the article they're busy and having a great time sharing their many interests. Bev Johnson Kindschuh writes that she is directing a bell choir and enjoying it very much. Dexter Linman has retired, plays a lot of golf, and has six kids. Wow! He and Clare deserve some time to relax. Roger Pearson is hospitalized at present with many physical problems. This was several months ago so he may no longer be in the hospital, but it is a difficult time. Keep him and Roberta in your prayers. Jim Nelson, Florida, just celebrated the first anniversary of his retirement from active parish ministry. Finally, Ellis Jones again was directly involved in the continent's largest hymn sing, Gymanfa Ganu, a Welsh tradition which celebrates St. David's Day. The entire congregation, 700 strong, joins the 200 massed student choir in song at the Gustavus Chapel. His goal is to gather 1,000 people. It's wonderful, Ellis! Ruth Lundvall Zahller collected this news for us at Spring Phonorama. Bless her heart!
Time for some campus news!
Gustavus was included in a March 30 Wall Street Journal feature on "College Admissions: The New Safety Schools." The front-page article listed 50 colleges and universities that top students are scrambling to get into as backups to Ivy League and other super-selective institutions. As competition for places in the classes of the most prestigious institutions has increased, some quality colleges and universities traditionally considered as "safety-net" schools have become just as competitive. The high school guidance counselors and college experts assembled by the Journal identified a new group of safety-net schools that are growing in reputation but may not yet be widely known. Their list is arranged in four categories, ranging from the "New Ivies" to the safest fallbacks. Only a few Midwestern schools, and only one other in Minnesota, were included on the list. (St. Olaf joins Gustavus in the "safest" category.)
Gustavus had been cited in the Top Ten in International Study Ranking. The college ranks seventh in the nation among baccalaureate institutions for the number of students sent overseas. For the year 1998-99 statistics, 408 Gustavus students studied abroad, and 43 percent of the graduating class of 2000 had an international educational experience.
This past winter the TV game show "Jeopardy" had this questions, "It follows the name Gustavus in the name of a St. Peter, Minnesota college." The guess was "Augustus." No one got it right. Let’s all work on getting the word out!
Reunion Weekend for the 50 Year Club and Class of 1951 is May 25 & 26. A schedule of events and registration material was sent in early April. Homecoming 2001, September 21 & 22, will feature gatherings for anniversary classes of 1956, 1961, 1966, 1971, 1976, 1981, 1986, 1991, 1996 and 2001. Class reunions will be held in the Twin Cities Friday evening, and will return to campus for activities Saturday. A schedule of events and registration material will be mailed in August. Complete schedules will also appear in the Spring and Summer issues of the Quarterly.
Well, I told you my letter would be short! Have a wonderful summer, everyone! Next fall we'll be in touch. Meanwhile, don't forget to send your check! Please-
More words to live by!
If of thy mortal goods thou art bereft,
And from thy slender store two loaves alone to thee are left,
Sell one and with the dole
Buy hyacinths to feed thy soul.
Barb Eckman Krig
1952 Class Letter