Class of '52
Dear friends, far and wide,
I'm writing to you on election eve. Tomorrow at 7:30 a.m. Bobby and I will be at one of the political headquarters to spend the day driving folks to the polls, getting out the vote. I suspect that each of you will be involved in your own way, and by the time you receive this letter, votes will be counted, results will be announced, ads will be off the air (thankfully) and our federal, state, and city governments will be back in business (hopefully). Here in Minnesota we have experienced a heart-wrenching ordeal. When Senator Paul Wellstone, Sheila, his wife,
and Marcia, his daughter, plus three staff people and two pilots were killed in a plane crash; our political world came to an abrupt halt! We lost a man whose voice was heard across our land, a man and his family whose dedication, commitment, spirit, and passion were unrivaled. Whether or not you agreed with him, everyone admired him. I fear that it will take us a long while to recover.
This has been a year of many losses. Bobby and I experienced numerous significant losses this past year, both friends and family. It was hard. Some have struggled with the loss of health and energy. Others have seen economic stability ebb. The entire nation still feels deeply the effects of 9 /11. It takes courage sometimes to go on. Oprah Winfreys' words are full of hope. "When I look into the future, it's so bright it burns my eyes" And another author penned these lines:
Take each day as you find it.
If things go wrong, don't mind it.
For each day leaves behind it,
A chance to start anew.
Last spring seems an eternity ago! Those of you who were at Gustavus on May 31 and June 1 will likely remember it well. Those of you who couldn't come were sorely missed and in turn missed an outstanding 50th reunion. Let's do a little reminiscing, a walk down memory lane for those who came, and an overview for those unable to join us. Classmates began to arrive late morning on Friday, and, of course, none had changed at all! We recognized each other immediately. Two seminars were held mid-afternoon, and at 4:30 we gathered in Chapel for our class picture, that you have seen and perused, I'm sure, in the fall Quarterly, and aren't we a grand looking group?! The memorial service led by Paul Lindau and Roger Magnusson included a candle lighting ceremony, which memorialized each of our classmates who have died. It was a special time of remembering. Following the service we "recepted" in The Dive prior to our dinner in Alumni Hall, Johnson Student Union. It was a special evening! The food was delicious, the atmosphere decorous, conversation delightful, and Red Rehwaldt was a masterful emcee, keeping us entertained, on task and on time. The alumni committee formed the choir and perhaps enjoyed even more than the audience singing under the direction of Paul Elofson the wonderful tunes written by him some years ago, parodies of well-known songs with a Gustie theme. A coffee hour followed in the Dive, but most of us were too full and too fatigued to attend. Although there was one group of hearty souls who gathered around the piano with alums from other classes to sing some of the old familiars 'til the wee hours, at least until 10:30.
Saturday dawned bright and beautiful, and we gathered for breakfast in the fabulous Evelyn Young Dining Room for more food, frolicking and friendship. By 9:00 a.m. we were involved in a wonderful seminar, "The Beauty and Wonder of our World," led by Jim Gilbert ’62, director of Linnaeus Arboretum and environmental studies instructor. There were more refreshments on Eckman Mall, a Granlund Sculpture Tour, and then a luncheon with the other members of the 50-Year Club in the Campus Center. We are now the youngest, the babies of the group, but only for a year. The remainder of the afternoon was spent at another seminar, a Vesper service, the President's reception, and finally the Alumni Banquet, a large event held in Evelyn's Dining Room, an auspicious occasion and place. The Gustavus Orchestra rounded out the day with a magnificent concert followed by coffee and social hours, but by then many had left for home.
What can I say? It was a fantastic weekend, a memorable reuniting, a Gustie gala! Folks came from both shores; Roger and Helen (Johnson ’55) Rotvig from as far east as Maine, and Carolyn Moll Tennefoss and husband, Marv, and Jean (Youngquist) and Marold Strand from California; from the deep South came John and Pat Mielke and from distant Germany, Irmgard Meissner Schulte and many, many in between. We laughed and cried, sang and danced, remembered and remembered and remembered, and ate, ate, ate. The weather was beautiful and the campus spectacular, a very special weekend according to many who wrote or called afterwards. I only wish you all could have been there. You now have a standing invitation to attend free of charge as guests of the college and the 50-Year Club each spring on graduation weekend. Think about it.
You may be interested in some statistics. Fifty-two members of our class had died prior to our reunion and they were all named at the memorial service. Those in attendance numbered 124. That was the dinner crowd including spouses. We raised $62,180.19 (don't you always wonder how they arrive at that 19 cents?) during the 2002 Fund Drive. BEST OF ALL 79.1% of our class participated increasing our participation rate by 9%. That's PHENOMENAL! THANKS EVERYONE! Now let's keep it up!
Several weeks ago Phonorama happened. I called some of you and so did Gloria Anderson Samelian and Lois Sletvold Ringquist. Thanks a bunch, ladies. We don't always reach you and end up leaving messages on your recorder, not quite as effective but better than no call at all. We'll try to catch up with the rest of you in the spring. Meanwhile don't hesitate to send in your checks or return your pledge cards. Gustavus, like the rest of us, has suffered the effects of a downturn in the economy as well as cuts in the Minnesota State Grant program and Work Study. Those cuts are deep and are hard on a budget that is mostly tuition-driven. The college is in the throes of a Capital Campaign to raise that endowment. The 100 million dollar goal is within reach and will make a difference in financing, certainly more security and opportunity for building an already outstanding academic program. BE GENEROUS! Our world needs leaders like the kind Gustavus graduates, young people who are well-educated, well-rounded and committed to service to others in their communities, their nation and the world. Gusties make a difference! I believe that with all my heart.
"There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it."
In August our dear friend and classmate, Wally "Wick" Olson, died. Wick and Pat have lived in Edina for many years. He was a retired vice president with Merrill Lynch, a devoted husband, father, friend and Gustie. Wick served in many ways. You may remember him at Gustavus as a business student and powerhouse football player on those championship teams. He loved his God and was committed to service in his church. He was Bobby's groomsman in our wedding and our close friend. We miss him terribly, but know that he is in a better place. Wick suffered from Alzheimer's for about eight years, which he and Pat faced with courage and hope. I know you join me in extending sympathy to his wife, Pat, and daughter Ginny and extended family.
Some news from a while ago―George and Shirley (Lister ’55) Wolfe live in Clearwater, Florida. Harold and Ruth (Seashore ’46) Horton have three grandchildren currently attending Gustavus. Frank Koenecke sent greetings to all the attendees at the reunion. Ruth Gustafson Jette always writes upbeat notes from Las Vegas where she lives with 4 out of 5 children and most of her grandchildren and greats. Joan Onkka Peterson sent a wonderful greeting but couldn't attend. Grant ’51 and Bernice Johnson Peterson recently moved from Austin, MN, to Mankato. Mary Iverson Anderson planned to come in May but couldn't for health reasons, sent a greeting. Howard ’49 and Doris (Larson) Fehr celebrated 50 years of marriage in July. Betty Barnes Swanson lives in Sacramento, CA. and sent a note via her husband Al ’51 through Gordy Sandbaken. Al is still running his own business and they're doing well. Kink Kindschuh sent a long and reflective greeting. Howard Madsen had back surgery so was unable to attend. Hope you're feeling much better, Howie. Gail Hulslander Kline was unable to come, but sent a greeting and gift. Thanks! Well, that's enough news. I'll have more next time from this last Phonorama.
Now I'll let the Alumni Office insert their "stuff" of interest (and ours), but not without first telling you what a fabulous group of people they are. Everyone on the Reunion Committee will attest to that. Without their help we could never have done this and certainly not with the flair and spin they gave it.
Welcome Class of 2006
Approximately 690 new students arrived on campus this fall keeping the total student enrollment just over 2500. There are many interesting opportunities for first year students even before school starts with a community service immersion experience in the Twin Cities, a cultural study in Paris and a wilderness experience in the Boundary Waters.
Gustavus named a “Best Buy”
The Fiske Guide has again named Gustavus one of forty-three “Best Buys” in the country. This is based on an exceptional investment of tuition money for an exceptional education.
Gustie students start new community service initiative called the AMIGOS program. The 65 Spanish speaking volunteers serve the growing Chicano-Latino population in St. Peter by providing after-school tutoring, teaching ESL classes to adults and serve as big partners. This program is in addition to the other on-going and one-time service opportunities that 75% of students participate in while at Gustavus.
Building a Great Gustavus Campaign was launched to the public on Saturday, September 7. Since the tornadoes of 1998, the campaign has raised $77 million toward a $100 million goal. The focus of the remainder of the campaign is on funding renovations in Old Main, growing endowment, and increasing gifts and participation in the Gustavus Alumni Fund. Your personal financial support and your leadership are needed and greatly appreciated.
Minnesota Legislature Cuts Financial Aid
Due to cuts with the Minnesota State Legislature, Gustavus lost $400,000 in money for student employment. The college continues to work hard to meet financial needs of students since nearly 80% of Gustavus students receive financial assistance. This includes $14 million from the college’s own budget. Your support of the annual fund goes directly to help these students and is especially needed to help make up the financial gap for these current students.
Christmas in Christ Chapel is December 6 & 7. The theme this year will be songs, stories and legends from Scandinavia.
Our committee had a great time working together planning, sharing, initiating. Thanks to all of you!
When a friend calls to me from the road
And slows his horse to a meaning walk,
I don't stand still and look around
On all the hills I haven't hoed,
And shout from where I am, What is it?
No, not as there is a time to talk.
I thrust my hoe in the mellow ground,
Blade-end up and five feet tall,
and plod: I go to the stonewall
For a friendly visit.
Goodbye for now, my friends. Thanks for the visit. Happy Thanksgiving!
Barb Eckman Krig
1952 Class Agent