Class of '52
October 2003

Dear Classmates,

It's a beautiful fall day in Minnesota―temperature high 82°―and I had planned to spend it at Gustavus for the first day of the Nobel Conference.  Unfortunately, I've been fighting a sore throat and headache, by this morning a full-blown cold!  So my plans changed, and instead I'm at home writing to you, and together we'll picture in memory that awesome Minnesota Valley in all it's fall splendor that we were so privileged to view each day from "the hill" about 50 years ago!  It's still vivid, isn't it?

A few verses from a poem by Jaqueline Bouvier, 1943, published by her daughter, Caroline:

I love the autumn,

And yet I cannot say

All the thoughts and things

That makes one feel that way.

I love wood fires at night

That have a ruddy glow.

I stare at the flames

And think of long ago.

The tangy taste of apples,

The snowy mist at morn,

The wanderlust inside you

When you hear the huntsman's horn.

Nostalgia―that's the Autumn,

Dreaming through September

Just a million lovely things

I always will remember.

Paul Granlund died on Monday, September 15, of respiratory failure and other complications of long-term exposure to the chemicals and dust involved in sculpting bronze for many years.  A public memorial service was held at the Gustavus Chapel on Saturday, September 20.  Many of you already know this, but others do not.  Several articles have appeared in various publications paying tribute to Paul and references continue to mark the life of this brilliant artist who walked among us as an ordinary guy and friend.  A particularly impressive article appeared in the Minneapolis Star Tribune immediately after his death.  I wish all of you could have read it.  The writer, Mary Abbe, spoke of Paul as a "natural teacher, generous with time and ideas."  He was certainly that and so much more.  During a bedside visit with the chaplain in his last hours as he struggled for breath, Paul was clear about the meaning of his art.  The chaplain remarked that he admired Paul's sculptures, especially the religious ones.  Paul lifted his oxygen mask and whispered, "They're all religious."  Those of you who knew him best will especially appreciate the strength of that moment.  For a time he belonged to us, and later he belonged to the world.  Although he traveled the world and worked and taught in other places, he never really left his Alma Mater.  For 25 years, 1971 - 1996, he taught there and was artist-in-residence.  I cannot do Paul justice in this brief recounting, but I know that we will remember him in many ways and always be proud of his connection with the College knowing that his Gustavus experience shaped his life in significant ways.  He is survived by Edna (Spaeth ’50), his wife, who is also a friend of some members of our class, three sons and a daughter, three sisters, seven grandchildren, numerous friends and admirers.  To all of them we offer our deepest sympathy.  We'll miss you, Paul, but you leave with us a dramatic legacy.  At present there are two outstanding exhibits of Paul's work, one at the American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis and one at Gustavus in the Hillstrom Gallery.  It can be said of Paul that he was generous to Gustavus in all ways― with his time, his talent, and his financial gifts.  We are grateful.

The area of giving is expressed in different ways.  Each culture has its proverbs, maxims and values as they relate to our gifts.

"A bit of fragrance always clings to the hand that gives..."  (Chinese)

"If everyone gives one thread, the poor man will have a shirt."  (Russian)

"All we can hold in our cold dead hands is what we have given away."  (Sanskrit)

Most organizations and institutions are feeling the impact of these challenging financial times.  YOUR SUPPORT FOR GUSTAVUS, YOUR COLLEGE, IS NEEDED MORE THAN EVER.  YOUR CONTRIBUTION, NO MATTER THE SIZE, IS IMPORTANT.  On Sunday evening, October 12, Phonorama callers and class agents began contacting classmates.  If you receive a call, please be generous; please share some news for the class letter.  Hopefully we will contact all of you during the next two weeks.  If for some reason you are not contacted personally during Phonorama, a letter will be sent informing you that GusLink student employees will be calling you to update records and invite support for the Gustavus Alumni Fund.

The last PHONORAMA held in April 2003, produced some news from classmates.  Let me share.

VELMA CARLSON retired last January and reportedly traveled to Germany in May.  She is, and has always been, one busy lady!  Velma taught for 38 years and then worked as a church secretary.  Now she is enrolled in classics classes at the University of Southern Oregon in Ashland and reports that she entertains company often!  Who wouldn't like to visit this energetic Gustie?

ELLIS JONES has retired as executive director of the Welsh National Gymanfa Ganu Association (WNGGA), but I am certain he continues to sing Welsh hymns.  The Welsh are known as the music-makers of the world, you know.  An event entitled "From Ellis to Ellis" was held on the Gustavus campus in July honoring Ellis for his years of service.  Many of you also know that Ellis participates in the Mankato Riverblenders Chorus and its "Magic" quartet.  They're terrific!  Congratulations, Ellis!  More honors!  Ellis was named 2002 Barbershopper of the Year by the Mankato Riverblenders Barbershop Chorus last November.  He received a special plaque and the unique BOTY (bowtie), which all past recipients are entitled to wear on special occasions.

DON PETERSON, Roswell, Georgia, known for numerous accomplishments, including his antique car collection and his generosity, recently received a $1,000 charity award entitled "2002 Hobby Hero of the Year" and donated it to Gustavus.  Thank you, Don, for your generous gift and for the wonderful example you set for gift possibilities.  He was re-elected to his fourth three-year term on the National Board of Directors of the Classic Car Club of America last January.

PAUL JOHNSON, Monroe, Alaska, reported that Lois recovered from her heart surgery and subsequent infection, a long and trying ordeal.  They were leaving for Fairbanks, Alaska, where their grandson was receiving an Eagle Scout award.  We wish for both of you good health and safe travel in the coming months.

RUSS GUSTAFSON, noted mayor of Emily, Minnesota, where he lives (near Brainerd), is lending his expertise to this community to develop good government.  I'm certain he is enjoying his job!

RUTH GUSTAFSON JETTE, Las Vegas, the ever-wonderful correspondent, writes that they have two grandchildren at the University of Las Vegas and one who graduated last year.  They generously help them through their education there.  They have a wonderfully diverse family and now a 9th grandchild, a foster child, whom their daughter, Joy, and husband plan to adopt.  This adds up to 13 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren.  Ruth always has interesting tales to relate.

LAVAUNE LINDQUIST PUTZIER continues to enjoy Lake Minne Belle near Litchfield in the summer and Casa Grande, Arizona, in the winter.  They've found the perfect combination, don't you agree?

BOB AHLSTROM, Sheboygan, Wisconsin, shared with Dick Brown during Phonorama that he is continuing to recover from brain surgery of three years ago.  He has therapy three times a week.  We're glad to know this, Bob, and will keep you in our prayers for continued healing.  Hope all continues to go well.

JOANN HEYMAN CORY writes of her sadness.  She was married to Bob Cory for over 50 years, a former Rochester school principal, and he died this past February 14, 2003.  I know they were truly sweethearts, and JoAnn often wrote about the activities and travel experiences they enjoyed together.  I'm sure you are very lonely without him, and we extend our deepest sympathy.  He was a Gustie by connection!

NAOMI BENGTSON GUTT, Oklahoma City, also saddened us with the news of Tom's death, her husband, just a little less than a year ago, November 2002.  We often spoke during Phonorama and I know how involved they were with their church in that area.  He is sorely missed, I'm sure, and we reach out to you with our sympathy and prayers.

BETTY LOU RIGGLE BULLARD, Eugene, Oregon, has contracted Alzheimer's disease and resides in an Alzheimer's facility in Eugene.  I received a caring note first sent to Gustavus from her husband, Bob.  She was diagnosed in late 1999, and Bob continued to be her caregiver until September, 2003.  At that time it became necessary to place her in this facility in the city where their son, David, also resides.  Bob writes, "Betty is extremely happy in her new environment, and I was able to purchase a small house nearby.  After 42 years of living in Santa Clara, CA, it has been a very big (but not traumatic) change for both of us.  More me than her."  Those of you who have also experienced Alzheimer's in a loved one will know what he means.  Change is no stranger to any of us at this age nor is sadness.  Thank you, Bob, for your continued generous support.  And we wish you all the best as you continue your journey with Betty.

DEX LINMAN, Plymouth, MN, and I have a friend in common, my connection from school, his from Holy Name Church.  We keep track of each other that way.  He reports that he has a new granddaughter and an oldest grandson who goes to Fergus Falls Jr. College.  In his freshman year he was voted All Conference for Minnesota Jr. Colleges.  "He is a lot bigger and better looking than his grandpa," Dexter writes.  Well, I don't know about the better looking part!  He'd like to see him at Gustavus, but he has fallen in love, and you know how that goes.

RUTH LUNDVALL ZAHLLER, Eden Prairie, MN, is recovering well from recent knee replacement surgery.  Prayers for continued healing, Ruth.  We attend the same church, Gethsemane in Hopkins, so we see each other often.  Ruth has been a wonderful Phonorama caller.

That's all, folks! I hope we'll have more personal news soon after Phonorama.  Save the HEADLINE stuff!  Now it's time for Campus News.

College opens 142nd Academic Year – More than 700 new students, including transfer students and international students, joined the Gustavus community this fall, keeping the total student population around 2,515. The retention rate of students from the first to second year remains at 90 percent. These students will be taught by 198 full-time and 55 part-time faculty. Gustavus was again ranked in the top third of the 214 national liberal arts colleges by the U.S. News and World Report.

The Alumni Fund Turns 50 – On June 30, 1954, the first Alumni Fund officially closed with 1,204 donors (32 percent) and $26,013, under the direction of the executive committee of Dr. Hobart Johnson ’21, Dr. Edgar Carlson ’31, The Rev. J. Millard Ahlstrom ’34, and Ren Anderson ’34.  Dollars and donors continued to grow and, under the leadership of Cec Eckhoff ’56, alumni participation continually exceeded 50% each year, making Gustavus a national leader recognized with 17 national awards. Alumni contacting alumni has been the hallmark of success; we depend on Phonorama volunteers to make the difference. Help the alumni fund again reach over 50% participation by contributing before May 31, 2004, or by volunteering to make calls during Phonorama, October 12-16 and 19-23.  Do your best to participate in the Alumni Fund to continue the Gustavus tradition of strong alumni support and return the College to national recognition.

Alumni Board members selected – Seven alumni have been selected to serve a three-year term on the Alumni Board.  They are Liesl Batz ’90, Minneapolis, senior vice president and director of marketing, Lakeside Investment Partners; Jan Eiffert Hoomani ’62, Raleigh, NC, Realtor, JB Realty; Jim Malmquist ’53, Scandia, MN, retired athletics director, Gustavus; Jan Ledin Michaletz ’74, Edina, volunteer/homemaker.  Incumbents to serve a second term include Vivian Foyou ’02, Mankato, graduate student, Minnesota State University, Mankato; Jason Sawyer ’93, Plymouth, vice president, Cronin & Co.; and Dan Currell ’94, Alexandria, VA, director of corporate leadership council, Corporate Executive Board.

2003 Hall of Fame inductees -- Nine individuals were inducted into the Athletics Hall of Fame on September 27. Inductees were Val Flom Ashland ’87 (volleyball), Wendy Ericksen Bachman ’87 (soccer), Karen Ahlstrom Bishop ’86 (gymnastics), Jay Coatta ’87 (basketball and golf), Marv Gunderson ’53 (football), Jim Hearn ’81 (tennis), Dave Najarian ’82 (football), Betty Wannarka Ringeisen ’84 (basketball and track and field), and Larry Shelhamer ’76 (soccer).

Gustavus Finishes sixth in Director's Cup – Gustavus finished sixth out of 395 Division III institutions for the 2002-03 Director’s Cup announced recently by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics. The only all-sports competition in intercollegiate athletics, the award honors four-year institutions with the best overall athletic programs.  Last year Gustavus placed 10th.

Chapel Program – The Gustavus Chapel program is one of the strongest in higher education averaging 350 students attending Daily Chapel.  In addition, there are many student-led programs including: Apprentice - students who are interested in being part of ministry and open to see where the Spirit might be leading; Christ Chapel Volunteers - assist in the ministry of Christ Chapel by ushering, carrying the cross and candles, reading lessons, writing and/or reading prayers, and serving as assisting ministers; Community Service Center Programs - one-time and on-going service programs; Fellowship of Christian Athletes - athlete or not, time for fellowship, worship, speakers, service projects and mission trips; Gustavus Youth Outreach - committed to sharing the Gospel and providing opportunities to serve by participating in off-campus youth ministry; Habitat For Humanity/Spring Break Work Trips - Habitat works locally and Spring Break Work Trip nationally to fundraise for and build affordable housing; Jewish Organization of Gustavus - for students, faculty and staff who were either Jewish or interested in the Jewish faith; Newman Center - dedicated to building a deeper understanding of the Catholic faith; Prepare - build a new generation of believers through mentors, mission trips, Bible study, prayer and worship; Proclaim - Bible-based contemporary worship and teaching; Taizé - a contemplative worship service of music, prayer, readings and silence; Wednesday Friends – visits St. Peter Regional Treatment Center residents weekly.

Don't miss A Royal Affair . . . pa rum pum pum pum - Gustavus Library Associates is presenting their biennial benefit for our College's Folke Bernadotte Memorial Library on Saturday, November 15, at the Radisson Hotel South in Bloomington, Minnesota. If you have names for invitations (reservations are due by October 31), an auction item to donate (no later than October 15 please), volunteer time to offer, or if you wish to contribute financially to help defray expenses, we welcome your call today; Marty Penkhus, 507/388.5474 and Susan Wilcox, 952/944.5972, Co-Chairs.

Upcoming Events – call the Alumni Office at 800/487-8437

  • Charlotte, NC, Gustavus Gathering - October 18
  • Phonorama -- October 12-16 and 19-23, Minnesota Valley Country Club, Bloomington
  • Our Story Conference, The Growing Gender Gap in the African American Community -- October 24-25, Campus
  • Reformation Festival featuring the Gustavus Choir, Central Lutheran Church, Minneapolis -- October 25
  • JFK Assassination 40 Years Later, presented by David Jones ’83 and Political Science Professor Chris Gilbert at Minnesota Valley Country Club, Bloomington-- November 4
  • A Royal Affair, benefit sponsored by Gustavus Library Associates in the Twin Cities -- November 15


1. Great friends

2. Caring, enthusiastic professors

3. The Canteen

4. Nickel coffee

5. Inspiring chapel

6. Hellos on Hello Walk

7. The beautiful valley

8. Sorority Banquets

9. Championship football

10.Gustie Spirit

Why do you love Gustavus?  Let me know!


God be good to you in all your days.

God be kind to you in all your ways

God give strength to you when crosses lean

God send light to you the clouds between

God give peace to you in times of strife

God bless everything that fills your life

God send joy to you when grief is o'er

God make way for you at heaven's door.

Watch the geese as they wing their way south this fall.  They fly in V-formation supporting each other.  They're a team!.  We need to be a team too―a donor team, a support team, a prayer team―for our beloved Gustavus!  GIVE AND GIVE GENEROUSLY!

By the way, if you haven't seen "Winged Migration", don't miss it.

I'm grateful for all of you.  Take care of yourself and enjoy the day!

Barb Eckman Krig

1952 Class Agent