Class of '52
Dear Classmates of 1952:
Did we really graduate fifty years ago? It doesn’t seem possible—time just doesn’t fly that quickly! John and I are even going to be celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary this fall. I was your class agent for about eight years, from 1975 to 1982. I got my first computer in 1983 in order to computerize my accounting clients books. (Barb Eckman Krig has been the class agent since 1985). That was before e-mail, before computer word processing, etc. When I say I cut and pasted my letters, I literally did that. I wrote and wrote on my typewriter, then cut apart and rearranged to my liking—tried to alphabetize comments about classmates, etc. Computers help newsletter writing so much, and I can even forward this one to the Alumni office via e-mail.
Since my stint as class agent, I have been treasurer of one townhouse association for six years, and now that we are in another townhouse area, I'm on their board as treasurer. I also write their newsletter when the muse strikes. I still have two accounting clients hanging in there, but I sort of wish they would drop by the wayside. It’s time to really retire. John retired in 1991 and we spend most of the warmer months at our lake place north of Brainerd, almost to Nisswa, on Little Lake Hubert. We are in the phone book up there, so give us a call if you are in the area. So with that place for the summer, we live in our Maple Grove townhouse the rest of the time, except for about six weeks, when we visit San Diego in the winter. Our only grandchildren are out there, and two of our three children. Luckily we still have one daughter in the Twin City area.
I just looked at the class letters that Dick Brown, Marv Granath and Marie Schafer Benson wrote, and they didn’t write so much about themselves, so guess I better get off that kick, except for the following: While we were in San Diego, I went to a Gustavus get-together for that area with our daughter, Marcia ’81. Guess there aren’t as many alumni in that area as in Phoenix, etc. (And speaking of alumni meetings, there was one in Brainerd on April 11, but that was before we open our lake place for the summer.) We were delighted to hear Jim Gilbert ’62 speak there and show slides. He will be having a seminar during our reunion weekend, and I strongly urge you to attend. He is a former high school teacher in Waconia, naturalist and director of the Gustavus arboretum now, teaches environmental studies at the college, is on WCCO radio sometimes, and a delightful speaker. As someone said in San Diego, “If I were at Gustavus now I think I would major in environmental studies, with such an enthusiastic director and instructor.”
While we were driving to San Diego, we stopped in Seguin, Texas, to have lunch with Janet Baker Westergard. But, sadly, Janet won’t be able to attend our reunion. As you may know, her husband, Jiggs ’43, passed away not too long ago. He was a retired coach at Texas Lutheran College, and had also coached at Gustavus. Then after visiting Karchener Caverns in southern Arizona, we had lunch with Ihleen Nelson Gunderson and her husband, Bob, as they were wintering in Tucson (from Sioux Falls, S.D.) I find it interesting that Nellie enjoys singing in a church choir in Tucson while there for three months, and they are planning on coming to the reunion. Then on our way back, we stayed with friends in Scottsdale for four nights, and spent part of one day with JoAnn Heyman Cory and Bob, who live permanently in Chandler, AZ, a suburb of Phoenix. They summer up in Flagstaff where it is cooler. Now to go out to dinner with Lois Carlson Johnson and Ron sometime soon (and play bridge) and we will have seen the four classmates that I do a lot of e-mail chatting with.
Do you know how you get lots of classmates to the reunion? Each one of you has to take responsibility to promote it with your friends. Call, write or e-mail them and encourage them to come. The Reunion Weekend program and reservation forms just came today, so now people will start thinking about it more.
John and I have had our motel reservations for quite awhile, and we couldn’t even get into the AmericInn in St. Peter, because we want to stay both Friday and Saturday nights. For his 1951 reunion last year, we did stay there for just Friday night, but Saturday night had already been reserved by parents of graduating seniors. Besides the motels listed, there are some smaller motels in St. Peter. I will list them at the end of this letter, but obviously they could be full by now. Have you noticed that only the 50th reunion class and the 50-year-club get together on graduation weekend? Remember, our previous reunions had been on that weekend. But now all other five-year classes meet on Homecoming weekend―Friday night in the Twin Cities and Saturday on campus. AND notice that all our meals are FREE!! Also dorm housing is free, and obviously, saves a bundle. We have done that in the past and it is quite fun.
Be sure you get there for the Class of 1952 memorial service on Friday afternoon. The class picture will be taken right before that, so get a hustle on that day. NOW, do you have your E-mail address registered with the Alumni Office, so that others may contact you easily? You can get Gustavus alumni and campus news, and even the class letters via e-mail if you want to. To register your e-mail address, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, to add yours. And notice that you can make reservations for the reunion weekend in four different ways (mail, phone, fax or email).
I note that the reunion seminar on Friday afternoon is about charitable gifts. We have found in recent years that giving appreciated stock to Gustavus and our two churches is such a tax saving. And even in these times of some recession, we all might have some stock that we have held for a number of years with profit built in. It’s great not to have to pay capital gains taxes on the gain, or pay brokerage fees on the sale, and also get a charitable contribution deduction on the current market value. Attend the seminar and find out how it works.
When my daughters Marcia ’81 and Sue ’78 were here last fall for reunions, we went with them down to Gustavus for Homecoming (sadly the football game was rained delayed). But the campus was in all its glory with huge plants and flowers. In the spring when we will be there, things will have a good start, especially the lovely huge variety of hostas.
So what can I do to make this letter not the same old babbling along that I tend to do? Guess I will have to go back and edit more, as I have to do with our Christmas letters. Perhaps if I use more bold face, Italics or underlining it might help? But guess nothing will help the fact that I am not as eloquent as many of our classmates, but hope I am just as ardent in my support of our college. And I hope I have been able to convey that to you. I know some people just don’t care for reunions—don’t think they will know anyone, etc. But even if you only see one or two really close old friends, wouldn’t it be worth it?
And seeing the campus again will be such a treat. You may think it will look so different after that terrible tornado, when over 80% of the glass was broken, and almost all of the roofs had to be replaced, over 2,000 trees were lost, and Johnson Hall was torn down. The really huge change that strikes John and me is seeing Old Main from all the way down College Avenue. So many huge trees on St. Peter streets are gone. The new Campus Center and food service area is fabulous (quite a change from the basement of Uhler), and that building has elevators for those with achy knees like I have. And I always find things to buy at the great bookstore. How long has it been since you were there?
Here is some news from the campus provided by the Alumni Office:
Hello Walk On-line Alumni Community (hellowalk.gustavus.edu) has been launched and Gusties of all ages are invited to join this meeting place for anything from small talk to debate to caring conversations. Hello Walk at Gustavus is the sidewalk running from Uhler Hall on the north side of campus past the front of Old Main to Pittman Hall on the south side, which, for decades, was the main “artery” and gathering point on campus.
It has been an extremely successful winter sports season at Gustavus. Five Gustie coaches were named Coach of the Year in their respective sports. (The Alumni Office provided a lot more about sports, but I think one can read about that in the Quarterlies.)
G.I.V.E. – Gusties In Volunteer Endeavors is moving to the spring. Work projects will happen in the Twin Cities on Saturday, April 27. Register on-line at gustavus.edu under the alumni events section.
The 22nd MAYDAY! Peace Conference, May 1 will address the topic "Sanctions and Beyond: What is the Human Price?" For conference information and reservations, call the Office of Public Affairs (507/933-7520).
Evelyn Sponberg Young’s 90th birthday celebration
The Twin Cities Chapter of the Alumni Association invites all Gusties and friends of former Gustavus food service director and 2002 Alumni Fund Chair Evelyn Sponberg Young ’33 to her 90th birthday celebration on July 25, 2002 at Mt. Olivet Lutheran Church, 5025 Knox Avenue South, Minneapolis, at 6:30 p.m. with a 7:30 p.m. program. Evelyn will be serving her famous Red Velvet Cake and all guests will receive a loaf of her famous Swedish rye bread. A book of remembrance will be compiled as a gift for Evelyn. Please send remembrances and stories of Evelyn to Alumni Office, Gustavus Adolphus College, 800 West College Avenue, St. Peter, MN 56082. Reservations should be made with the Alumni Office at 800-487-8437, e-mail at email@example.com or visit our web site at gustavus.edu, alumni, events.
NOBEL CONFERENCE® XXXVIII, The Nature of Nurture – The Early Years, will be held on campus October 1 & 2. The conference will explore the forces that are most important in shaping a child’s personality, gender identity, and language acquisition and learning ability. History, discoveries, research, and clinical studies will all be surveyed to draw a better understanding of biological forces and environmental influences on brain development.
For more news and information about Gustavus, check out the web site at gustavus.edu.
And now for some news of our classmates. I am sure there will be a lot more items in the next class letter, as people will be sending in their donations for our class gift, and reservations for the reunion. I’m sure we will be getting some extremely interesting observations. Since some of them are long, I think we will have to have a scrapbook for all to look at, and check out correspondence from our old friends.
Marie Schafer Benson and Stan ’51 visited the late Bob Ek in Kenora, Ontario in Sept. 2000, and have a neat picture to share. Marie also has sent along her Christmas letter from Carolyn Moll Padillo Gillio who is now marrying Marvin Tennefoss about this time in April in Hawaii. She writes “ We are going to Florida for Christmas, then the Rose Bowl, where Marvin played in the game fifty years ago, and then Hawaii for several weeks to be married. Then in May to Washington and Montana meeting family across country, ending up in Minnesota for my 50th Gustavus reunion.”
Dennis Holt hopes to attend the reunion. Last March he and Marjorie traveled to Greece and Turkey, following St. Paul’s missionary journeys.
Barb Eckman Krig received a great letter from Peter Zimmerman, who lives in Portugal and is a television journalist. He attended Gustavus for only one year 1950-51, as a junior. He came from Germany on a Fulbright tuition, along with another German student, Peter Zill (who died in 1988). Peter’s visa was limited to just one year. I will quote from his letter: “You may imagine my enthusiasm when I took up this scholarship, my gratefulness for this chance to experience a wonderful year at Gustavus, which has been a fundamental impact on my further life. But as well my grief, being forced by circumstances beyond my range to leave the U.S. with my college education incomplete. More than 50 years have passed in the meantime. The grief has disappeared, but prevailing are all the unforgettable positive memories. Since many years, it has been my wish to once return to the place where I have spent one of the most enjoyable times of my life.” (And now he is planning on coming. I must get out my junior annual to find the two Peters.)
Another interesting missive came from E. H. “Kink” Kindschuh:
“Few except the Wolf House Gang (the late Shorty Fisher, Paul Johnson, Paul Lindau, Dennis Holt, Dale Holt and myself) may remember this Nebraska Cornhusker who spent only two semesters at Gustavus. Beverly (Johnson ’51) and I were married after my second semester at G.A., moving to Augustana College, Rock Island, IL, where I completed my college education and then four years in Augustana Seminary, and my doctorate in Berkeley,CA. But I have not forgotten G.A.
“Far more than the incredible snows of that winter where we no longer shoveled—we just mounted the drifts and climbed down into the main entrances of each building, hooded like Eskimos entering igloos; far more than a fine football season; far more than the great Gustavus Male Chorus, in which I sang. GA was to me much more than these.
“Gustavus gave me intellectual provocations complemented by traditional dynamics of Lutheran faith peeled down to the core. I ‘got’ what I needed at Gustavus; that education, primitive by today’s standards, has stood me in good stead and has NEVER let me down." (It doesn’t sound like "Kink” will be at our reunion, but at his 50th at Augustana.) I will give both full letters to Gloria for our display.
Our 50th Anniversary committee met today at Mt. Olivet Church. Red Rehwaldt will be the master of ceremonies at our Friday evening dinner. Barb Eckman Krig is coordinating the requests for lighting candles for the deceased members of our class. Let the Alumni Office know if you would like to honor an old friend.
Gloria Anderson Samelian is still looking for memorabilia to display. She will probably have a bulletin board and table to display things. If you can’t send, please bring something along to registration on Friday. Mark who the picture (or other item) came from, identify people, and whether or not you want it returned. Items kept will be added to the College Archives. (A suggestion was made that perhaps you want to leave a copy of the letter, photo, or whatever you might wish to display, so you can keep original.)
I sat next to Clair McRostie, retired head of the Economics Dept. at Gustavus. He asked about Janet as they had worked together on the Annual. And we had a chat about computers. Clair was the first on campus to have a laptop computer. You are going to be totally amazed to see the computer stations in the halls of the Campus Center. Clair would like to organize a golf outing at Shoreland on Friday morning, about 10:00 or so. If you are interested, call the Alumni Office at 1-800-487-8437 (1-800 GUSTIES). Ruth Lundvall Zahler has kept in touch with Irmgard Meissner Schulte of Germany, who is planning on attending our reunion. Ellis Jones and his wife, Janet (Hanson ’54), will be hosting a get-together of classmates at their home on Saturday night after the Banquet. They live at 628 West Jefferson, which is by the Wahlstrom tennis courts, so it is not far to go. He hopes that a number of you will stay for one more chance to socialize. I guess the Class of 1951 had a good crowd at Robertz's last year.
NOW TO THE MOST IMPORTANT ITEM OF BUSINESS. Our class (as well as the 25th and 40th anniversary classes) is going to be organizing Endowed Scholarships. Phonorama will be held April 22-25, and when you are contacted, please make a pledge for this class gift. If you have already given to the 2002 Alumni Fund, please consider an additional amount for the scholarship. The neat thing about an endowed scholarship is that it lives on, and we can keep adding to it every year we donate to Gustavus. We can designate our gift to be divided in any way we wish.
Why should you donate to Gustavus? We received a good education there; we met our spouses there; we made our best friends there; we believe that a liberal arts education at a small Lutheran college will help train the next generation; we have more money in retirement than we thought we would have; we hope at least one of our grandchildren will attend Gustavus; they are treating us royally at our 50th celebration; all of the above.
P.S. Here are the names and numbers of the smaller motels in St. Peter. Guess the college doesn’t list them as they are so small—12 to 24 units, but you might get lucky, if you do not care to stay in dorms.
St. Peter Motel (north end of town) 507-931-3100
Viking Junior Motel 507-931-3081
South Side Motel 507-931-4100
Arlene Hansen Bloom
1952 Guest Letter Writer