Class of '52
May 2009


Dear Classmates,

It’s a beautiful day in the Twin Cities!  Spring is truly bursting out all over, and I hope wherever you are, that you’re feeling the wonder too.  Since you last heard from me, I have moved.  I was fortunate enough to sell my house to my daughter who gave me ample time to find an apartment, pack with some semblance of organization (until the end, of course―then it’s just throw, throw, throw), and then finally move.  First of all, I couldn’t find an apartment I liked.  Friends helped, gave advice, packed, and kept reminding me I had to do this.  I finally found a space, but I was scared to death to move.  I had never lived in an apartment, not even when we were first married.  I was certain I would walk down one of those long halls and probably not be found again in this lifetime or at best by spring.  The last thing to go was my bed―I kept going back to my house to sleep―but after the holidays came to a close, I did it.  And during that first week in January, I took the leap.  That first morning, after driving my car out of a heated garage into below zero temperatures, I knew I had made the right decision.  I’ve loved it ever since.  Added bonus―I’m surrounded by beautiful walking paths, a lake hidden in the woods with an island, wild life, and flowering trees and plants right in the middle of the city. I’m so lucky.

“It Feels Magical To Linger In The Simple

Unremarkable Moments Of One’s Life.”

~Excerpt from The Grace of Ordinary Days

Class News

Norma (Johnson) and Don ’51 Carlson sent a most wonderful article that was published in the Mille Lacs County Times on February 12, 2009, just after they celebrated their 57th wedding anniversary.  What they’ve said is inspirational!  I wish you could read it in its entirety.  Two components were key to their successful marriage―being involved and never going to bed mad.  “Church has been very important in our lives too,” said Don.  “We’ve had a good life.”  They have lived in numerous places including Minneapolis.  They have settled in at Country Meadows Assisted Living in Milaca, and that’s where they will spend the next part of their marriage journey.  Congratulations to both of you!  Yours is a story worth telling!

Emily Kemp Skunes and Orrin sent news that they have a new GREAT grandson, Connor, born last August.  Emily and Orrin live in Helena, MT.  Pretty special!

There’s a greeting from John Mielke and Pat in Stone Mountain, Georgia.  It must be a good place.  You’ve lived there a long time.

Patsy O’Connell Sherman died in February 2008, but continues to be lauded for her co-invention of Scotchgard® with her colleague, Samuel Smith.  Again a recent article was written about them.  Patsy was often quoted as saying, “Girls should follow their dreams!”  She is survived by two daughters, both of whom entered the field of science.

We have also received word of another classmate immigrant named Eberhard Fuhr.  He was 17 when he came to the U.S. with his parents in 1927, then classified as “citizens of enemy ancestry.”  He grew up in Cincinatti where he and his brother stayed after their parents and younger brother were taken into custody by the FBI and interned after they were accused of being Nazi sympathizers.  Eberhard and his brother, Julius, were left to fend for themselves.  They stayed in high school and did very well, Julius in athletics and Eberhard in student council and football and baseball.  The older brother graduated and went to college on an athletic scholarship.  Six weeks before graduation FBI agents arrested and handcuffed the high school senior in front of classmates and teachers.  Julius was picked up later that day.  They were interned for four years in a Texas camp and eventually were transported to Germany.  Eberhard was able to finish his high school courses during internment and was accepted at Gustavus.  Eventually Fuhr returned to Minnesota and raised three children in Edina.  One of his sons, Rob Fuhr, is a teacher at Hopkins High School.  Ten years ago Bobby ’53 and I contracted with Rob to remodel a part of our house, change part of the walls, build and install new windows, etc.  He worked with my son-in-law, John, who did most of the work, and Rob consulted.  All these years have gone by, and I see Rob at the high school when I’m subbing there.  Not until today did I know this story, and now you can read it too.  I often think that our lives must pass within inches of one another, and we never know until the time is right.

When there are no words . . .

Know that the silences are carrying the

thoughts and prayers of all who love you.

(dawn dais)

Most of us knew Dwight and Carol (Matson) Holcombe.  They graduated in 1951, just a year ahead of us.  This past March their son, David, age 51, was killed in a snowmobile accident near Grand Marais.  His survivors include his wife, LuAnn, and two daughters, his parents, and a brother, Dike ’77.  Please keep them in your prayers.

Our class, after discussion and consideration, has established a new endowed scholarship named in memory of our two friends and classmates, Garmame Wandafrosh and Seifu Selassie from Ethiopia; named The 1952 Class Endowed Scholarship in Memory of Seifu and Garmame.  If you recall, I invited your opinions and observations last year.  Maynard Jacobson was a friend of Garmame’s, and he proposed the scholarship.  At that time he wrote Garmame’s story in detail.  I received emails from a number in our class including Marie Schafer Benson who also knew him and has her own story to tell.  Paul Elofson was well-acquaiinted with Seifu Selassie and strongly suggested we include him in the naming, a tribute to both, although the stories and reasons for their deaths are quite different.  Next fall I’ll send the stories of each of them in a shorter form so you will have the details.  Meanwhile, the amount has reached $25,000 which is the total needed for an endowed scholarship.  The scholarship will be awarded for the 2009-10 academic year and each year thereafter.  I hope you are pleased with this decision.

I’m sure you’re aware that Gustavus has a new President, Jack Ohle.  His wife, Kris, is also an important part of their team.  President Ohle is finishing his first year at Gustavus.  He is an energetic, enthusiastic ambassador, and one of his major expectations is to raise the Gustavus endowment well beyond where it is now.  All of you are needed to help with this cause.  I know that these are very difficult economic times, and our inclination is to pull back, to excuse ourselves for various reasons.  Gustavus has weathered other crises―beginning when Eric Norelius was at the helm, the years of the early Swedish Lutheran Church, World Wars I and II, the Depression, the ’60s and ’70s, the ’80s.  We have always managed to stand proud “on the hill,” to send graduates into the world with outstanding academic backgrounds, highest values, and a devotion to service.  We must not fail her now, our beloved Alma Mater.  You still have until May 31 when the fiscal year closes to take out your checkbook and write a generous gift for the future.  They are our future, these outstanding Gusties, who believe in the missions they will fulfill.  THANKS!  I know you won’t let Gustavus down!

My Benediction to you―

The cross is the way of the lost…the staff of the lame…

The guide of the blind…the strength of the weak…

The hope of the hopeless…the freedom of those in bondage…

The water of the seeds…the consolation of the unemployed…

The source of those who have lost everything…the cloth of the naked.


Peace and Love,

Barb Eckman Krig

1952 Class Agent

Campus News

Commission Gustavus 150

In April, the eight Commission Gustavus 150 Task Forces finished meeting and completed recommendation drafting as part of the strategic planning process.  Starting next week, all recommendations will be posted on a secured website for employees, students, and alumni to provide input regarding the level of importance for each recommendation.  This information will be shared with the Board of Trustees for their August meeting to set priorities for action and funding.

Congratulations to the Gustavus Adolphus College Forensics Team, which won its second straight Minnesota Collegiate Forensics Association State Championship on Sunday, Feb. 22.  Gustavus finished with 446 points to beat out Minnesota State University, Mankato (408 points) and Concordia College, Moorhead (213 points).  Gustavus placed first in 6 of 13 events and placed four individuals in the top seven of the individual sweepstakes standings.  First-year student, Chloe Radcliffe, placed first in the individual sweepstakes and senior, Tasha Carlson, will represent Minnesota at the 2009 Interstate Oratorical Association National Contest―the oldest speaking competition in the country―on April 25 in Oxford, Mississippi.

“Come on you Gusties” Breakfast

Join us for a cup of coffee, breakfast, and great conversation.  All Gusties are welcome and invited to the breakfasts which are held the third Wednesday of each month.  This month our featured presenter is Katherine Tunheim, professor of economics and management.  Tunheim will bring news about the department and speak about business ethics and how it is incorporated in the department today.  The date will be Wednesday, May 20, 8-9:30 a.m. at the Doubletree Hotel Minneapolis-Park Place, 1500 Park Place Blvd.  Cost is $10 at the door.  Reserve your spot by calling Don Swanson ‘55 at 763-533-9083.  Upcoming summer breakfasts include Tom Emmert, professor of history, on June 17; Byron Nordstrom, retiring professor of history and Scandinavian Studies, on July 15; and Megan Ruble, director of student activities, and Mim Kagol, Gustavus Library Associates, on the Reading In Common program, on August 19.

Faculty/Administrator Service Dinner

Gustavus will honor John Bungum, professor of economics and management; Dennis Henry, professor of physics; Steve Hogberg, gift planner; Byron Nordstrom, professor of history and Scandinavian studies; Tom Thorkelson; men’s and women’s track coach, strength coach, and Lund Center special events coordinator, Edi Thorstensson; visiting instructor and academic librarian, and Steve Wilkinson; men’s tennis coach, upon their retirement and other faculty and administrators for their years of service at a May 21 banquet on campus.

Women’s Softball

The Gustavus softball team defeated Webster University of Missouri 14-6 in five innings on Saturday and advanced to the NCAA Indianola Regional Championship game for the first time in the program’s history.  The Gusties are now one win away from advancing to the NCAA Championship Finals, which will be held May 15-19 in Montclair, New Jersey.  The Gusties exploded for 14 runs on 13 hits.  Rachael Click led the hit parade with three hits in four at-bats including two home runs.

Gustavus Tennis

Gustavus Adolphus men’s tennis earned its 10th consecutive trip to the NCAA Team Championship Finals after defeating Luther College 5-0 on May 10, 2009 in St. Peter.  The Gusties, who are now 27-8 overall, will compete at the NCAA Team Championships hosted by Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges on May 19-21 in Claremont, California.  And the Gustavus women’s tennis team advanced to the NCAA Championship Finals with a 5-0 win over Wheaton College at the Swanson Tennis Center on May 9, 2009