Class of '52
May 2006

To my classmates:

At least a year has passed since I last wrote to you.  I have logged many miles on trips back and forth to the campus this past year in all kinds of weather.  Most recently, May 6, yesterday to be exact, I attended the Honor’s Day event and a special former trustee gathering hosted by the college.

Would that I could have taken all of you with me.  That being impossible let me share some impressions of the day.  The valley was clothed in spring green canopied by blue sky and bright sunlight―the Minnesota River was full and flowing leaving wet fields in its wake here and there―Old Main stood in stately repose at the "top of the hill" and the avenue was flanked with flowering crabs bright pink in color, an apt avenue for any procession but especially for the Queen of the May―the campus exploded in color, fruit trees, magnolias, early spring blooms and lush green grass―athletic fields were busy―dormitory doors and windows flung open to invite the warmth of this new season inside the long closed rooms―a few eager sunbathers dotted more secluded lawn space―the President’s house glowed with newly painted , expanded rooms and smoothly varnished floors―“food service staff” was extremely busy feeding hundreds of extra guests and the ever-hungry students―chapel was filled to capacity, especially colorful with faculty in full regalia and students in their Sunday best for this Honors Day event―and the STUDENTS, the very best part, with eager faces, energetic bodies and minds, smiles, hugs, hopes, dreams, comments were EVERYWHERE filling all the spaces with joy and hope and renewal.  Of course, the wind was blowing.  Perhaps this quote sums it up, for this is surely what was so in evidence as I absorbed the sights and sounds and heart of the campus yesterday!  We can all be proud!

“We must take fear and by love, change it into hope.”  ~Maya Angelou

A few notes about classmates.  I hear regularly from many of you but some news is old now (forgive me if I have slighted anyone or mixed up dates).  Often those items appear in the Quarterly under news of our class.  After Bobby’s ’53 death this past September, many of you took the time to write or call me.  What a wonderful support base you were.

Mitzi Walker Mikelson and her husband, Bob ’50, traveled to Lutherland last fall and while there celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary.  As well as comments regarding high points of their trip, they also enclosed a significant photo of a floor tile from a church in Wittenberg, Germany, that had an engraving “1631 GUSTAV II ADOLF.”  It was dramatic.

Ihleen Nelson Gunderson and husband, Bob, stay busy in Sioux Falls, SD.  She sings in the church choir and substitutes occasionally in Spanish classes at the high school.  Others probably experienced the same sentiment that Bob Pierson did.  “Sorry to see Wahlstrom go.” It was the former residence of his wife and of many of us.  The building was still fairly sound but the infrastructure was shot!  He was busy ice fishing this winter.  Don Peterson never ceases to amaze me.  In February 2005, he took a trip to Antarctic, and you know the other part of the story.  The following month his wife, Edie, his son, Ryan, and grandson, Whitney (both 2008 graduates at Gustavus) drove his 1946 Cadillac to Alaska and back.  Where were you, Don?  And how did you top this in 2006?  I received a nice personal comment about my class letters from Lowell McEwen.  (I didn't know his nickname was “Chico!”  Thanks, Lowell.  He still lives in Fort Collins, CO, and writes that he is a 98% retired ectoxicologist.

Gusties in Volunteer Endeavors (GIVE) was held this past weekend.  The day of community service where Gusties come together to help others.  This year it was focused on the Twin Cities’ Phillips Neighborhood.  This 1.6 square mile section of Minneapolis has 3,100 families, and 31 percent of those families live below the poverty level.  If you have never attended, please consider this next year.  It is now held annually on the last weekend in April.  Ruth Lundvall Zahller is a loyal volunteer, and this year she and I, along with many others, city officials, park staff, police and three young, wonderful Gustie women, ’03, hosted a Youth Summit in the Phillips neighborhood, at Stewart Park.  A wonderful day!

Last week I attended the memorial service for Phil Lindau ’58, age 70, brother of Paul Lindau, and an active, loyal Gustie.  I saw you from a distance, Paul and Jo, but by the time I could get close enough for a hello you had disappeared.  I’m sorry and my deepest sympathy!  They spent (or will spend) a month in Germany last summer where they lived 1965-68 when Paul was pastor of American Protestant Church, Bonn.  He continues as visitation pastor at First Lutheran, Beaver Dam, WI.

The consummate teacher, Vance Eckstrom, has retired from Bethany College, Lindsborg, KS, and is now home schooling his 14-year-old granddaughter.  What a wonderful experience― lucky you, lucky young lady.  It must be California, Carolyn!  Carolyn Moll Gillio Tennefoss sounds just like the fairly new bride she is!  Still in private practice half time, “and thoroughly enjoying my work, three-year-old marriage to Marvin and life along the Pacific Ocean.”  She also spent five weeks in North Carolina, last spring, I think, visiting her son, Mark.

Hurricane survivors and grandparents of eight children, George Wolfe and Shirley (Lister ’55), are happily retired in Clearwater, FL.  I always hear from Nancy Sanzenbach Newman in Gladwin, MI and I love it!  No news this time about any recent kayak trips!  Elmer, you’re amazing!  Still continuing as director of music at Peace United Church of Christ in Shawano, WI, you may be certain that Elmer Ackerman will always be productive and busy.

Our dear friend, Renee Johnson Mohagen, died in Elbow Lake last July 4.  She is survived by her husband, Harold.  Renee was an accomplished organist and pianist and served as organist at Bethany Lutheran for 38 years despite serious illness.  She has been committed always to Gustavus, and she and Harold have been generous contributors to the Gustavus Alumni Fund.  It was always a pleasure to call her on Phonorama nights.  Dewey Litsheim also died this past year, January 2, 2006, in El Cajon, CA.  I'm sorry that I know none of the details, but I do know that he and Marilyn (Swedberg ’49) have been generous to Gustavus through the years.  It is with great sadness and warm memories that I report these deaths.  We all shared a very special time in our lives.  My deepest sympathy to your families and friends and a very special thank you from Gustavus.  You will be missed.

One more classmate note.  At the Honor’s Day event yesterday I was pleased to read that the Mary Lee Anderson Knips endowed scholarship is awarded each year.  It was established initially by family and friends of Mary Lee following her death in 1959, and augmented with a major gift from the estate of Carl I Salstrom in 1989.  It is still possible to add to that scholarship honoring Mary Lee, whom many of us will still remember.

“Courage does not always roar.  Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow.’”  ~Mary Anne Radmacher

Bob Werness has returned part time to the mortuary business, working for Washburn-McReavy and serving families at Werness Brothers Chapel in Bloomington, Dawn Valley Chapel, and in Edina.  Our “old” Gustie bridge club, once 12 strong, has diminished in size significantly, but we still gather occasionally, but not to play bridge.  Recently Pat (Price ’53) and Rod ’55 Baxter hosted us, and I spent the evening with Bob and Shirley, Bev (Parks ’53) Swanson (Gordie Swanson), and the Baxters.  Bob and Shirley enjoy spending time at their other home in Arkansas.  Lavaune Lindquist Putzier and her husband winter in Casa Grande and spend their summers at Lake Minnie Bell south of Litchfield.  I love that name―distinctive rather than Sand or Grand or whatever.  They’re in good health!  Better let us in on the secret, Lavaune.  And my dear friend, Marion Hier Fredrickson wrote just before she and Ken left for Panama City Beach last November for the 5th year.  They were looking forward to a nice winter, which included a Caribbean cruise and a visit with Ken’s sister at Cape Coral, FL.  Now you’re safely back in Minnesota, I hope.  Thanks for your thoughts.

Our class again this year has responded wonderfully to the call for funds.  However, I cannot resist one more “ASK.”  This year’s drive will end shortly, May 31, 2006.  If you haven’t put your check in the mail, please consider doing that now.  I know we all receive many requests for money, but most of us at least have been blessed abundantly, especially when we compare our situations with the millions who live with nothing in the rest of the world.  Gustavus played a big role in our success in life, not just in preparing us for a job or profession but also inspiring us to live full lives, lives of service to our God and to others.

I believe that Gustavus is educating young people to go into the world and continue to fulfill that mission, that legacy.  We must pray for them as we pray for our own children and grandchildren, and we must support a college with a strong academic and spiritual foundation.  By our gifts we will be building an endowment that will insure the future success of this college we love!  Please help and a very special thank you for all you have done and still do.

One last note!  Most of you know by now that my beloved Bobby died last September 15 after a fairly long struggle with kidney disease.  I miss him terribly, beyond words, but the wonderful support I receive from family and friends helps me meet each day with renewed hope and energy.  I never imagined the “grief journey.”  It is unique and different and painful, and I reach out to all of you who are walking with me on your own path.  Scott Moe, Gustavus golf coach, honored Bobby in a fabulous way.  As you probably know, Bobby remained connected with the Gustavus golf team through all these years, following their successes, fund raising for them, encouraging in any way he could.  I do believe it was his first love, but I was a very close second.  This spring college teams from the upper Midwest were invited by Scott and Gustavus to play in the first Bobby Krig Invitational held on April 17 and 18 at LeSueur Country Club and the Ridges at Sand Creek in Jordan.  Our son, David ’82, and I were invited to attend and to present trophies to individual winners and teams.  It was a thrill I can’t describe to you!  Bobby was very present as well, I assure you.  Watch for an article in the forthcoming Quarterly and know how much it means to me.

“We spend precious hours fearing the inevitable.  It would be wise to use that time ADORING our families, CHERISHING our friends, and LIVING our lives.”  ~Maya Angelou

Go in God’s grace,

Barb Eckman Krig

1952 Class Agent


Campus News

The Alumni Board met on campus in February and made the final selection for the Alumni Awards:

Greater Gustavus Award:  Gustavus Library Associates, for providing financial resources for Folke Bernadotte Library, and engaging and introducing alumni and friends in the mission of the College.

Distinguished Alumni Citations:  Karen Bossart Rusthoven ’66, St. Paul, MN, founder and principal of Community of Peace Academy, St. Paul; Susan Semple-Rowland ’77, Gainesville, FL, professor of neuroscience, University of Florida and director, Neuroscience IDP Graduate Program; and Magnus Ranstorp ’85, St. Andrews, Scotland, chief scientist at the Centre for Asymmetric Threat Studies, Swedish National Defense College; and a Senior Honorary Research Associate and former Director of Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland.

First Decade Awards:  Rebecca Konrad ’96, Washington, DC, investment officer, global transaction team, The World Bank International Finance Corporation; and Milo Martin ’96, Philadelphia, PA, assistant professor, Department of Computer and Information Sciences, University of Pennsylvania. 

The awards will be presented on Commencement Weekend or Homecoming Weekend depending on the recipient’s schedule.

Gustavus Alumni Directory

The 2006 Gustavus Alumni Directory will be published soon and our goal is to represent your information as accurately as possible in the printed edition.  PCI:  the data company, is publishing our directory and a short phone call will update or verify your information.  Call toll free:  1-800-982-1589, Monday-Saturday, 8:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m. CST, and Sunday, 11:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m. CST.  International callers dial:  1-972-386-0100, Monday-Friday CST.

MAYDAY! Peace Conference:  "AIDS + Africa, the Unfolding Crisis"

The 26th annual MAYDAY! Peace Conference was on Wednesday, April 19.  This year's topic was AIDS in Africa.  The conference featured a keynote address by Robert Gallo, co-discoverer of the HIV virus, and Marjorie Mbilinyi, social activist and professor in Tanzania.  The AIDS Memorial Quilt was also on campus for viewing.  Robert Gallo spent time on campus during March and April sponsored by the Robert E. and Susan T. Rydell Distinguished Professorship, a residency program for Nobel Laureates and similarly distinguished scholars.

Gusties Gather!

Gusties around the world are called to gather on Sunday, August 6!  The Alumni Board is designating this day as a way for Gusties to stay connected with each other.  In research among alumni, we know that Gusties already stay in contact with many alumni, and we know that Gusties have a strong interest in staying connected with other Gusties and with the College.  Ever think you want to do more to be connected with Gustavus?  Now is your chance, signup to host a Gusties Gather! event.  Complete event check-list, host kit, and details will be provided.  Sign-up via e-mail at <> or call 800/487-8437.

Upcoming Alumni Events

  • Reunion for Class of 1956 and 50-Year Club – May 26-27
  • Commencement – May 28
  • Gusties Gather! – August 6
  • Reunions for the classes of 1961, 1966, 1971, 1976, 1981, 1986, 1991, 1996, 2001 – October 6-8
  • Homecoming/Family Weekend – October 7 & 8