Class of ’52
60-Year Reunion ― May 26, 2012
Dear Gustie 1952 classmate,
The Gustie class of 1952 will celebrate 60 years this May. Our class agent, Barbara Eckman Krig, got several of us together recently and decided it is important to celebrate this anniversary. Therefore, we will gather together to reminisce on the afternoon of Saturday, May 26. Mark this date on your calendar. Registrations forms are in the mail. This is a heads up to gear for a celebration with our classmates.
As time catches up with us, we find memories worth looking at. Gustavus influenced our lives and developed our values. As a class of sixty years this is another opportunity to focus on what Gustavus means to us. Many in our class have made many contributions in various ways to our communities, our nation and the world. Through its graduates, Gustavus has become a first class college. Several have contributed to Gustavus with academic careers on the faculty and have been recognized in various ways. These include Jack Clark, Paul Granlund (wow! all those magnificent sculptures on campus and many other sites), Ellis Jones and Clair McRostie.
Two have been memorialized by our class with an established Class Endowed Scholarship. This is the Garmome Wondafrash and Seifu SelassieScholarship Endowment recognizing these two classmates. They were two young men who came from Ethiopia and then returned to their homeland to make a lasting historical contribution to the concept of progress in a nation ravaged by poverty and oppression. I was privileged to be a roommate of Garry’s with Jack Clark and Jim Nelson.
I have often said that Garry was an important contribution to my education in unique and unusual ways. He was a stellar, compassionate, humble and principled person with impeccable ethics and values, eager to learn. He and Seifu were also idealistic. They always intended to go back to their country, eager to make a contribution to their people, rather than remaining in our more affluent society. I believe it can be said that Gustavus instilled concepts and values in addition to a classical liberal arts education into the men they became. This is worth celebrating. Garry became the equivalent of director general for all the “mayors” of their cities and villages, a key position for community economic development.
In 1959 he was ignominiously executed before a brick wall in Addis Abba and hung by his feet in a city square for three days. There are few things worse than being a part of a failed African coup d'état seeking progress. I have been told he is now in the history books used in Ethiopia and is recognized as a “martyr for progress.” An Ethiopian surgeon I met said that if Garry had lived on, he would have become the UN Secretary General. I suggest that as you meet educated Ethiopian immigrates, ask them if they knew of Garmome Wondafrash. I predict about one-third would say yes.
In like manner, Seifu was also an admired individual who went back, married Miss Ethiopia and became a government cabinet member as Director of Education which was a more political position as we reconstruct our information. Paul Elofson, who roomed with Seifu knew him well and remembers long discussions between the two. Seifu became an influential leader and part of a progressive movement. African governments change. For his efforts he ended up dying in an Ethiopian jail at least a decade later probably about 1974. It is hard to ignore the profound meaning of such sacrifice and the values these classmates represent. This is particularly important in a world with the extremes of rich or poor, free or slave.
We hope you share with many of us the opportunity to spread the story and recognize the impact Gustavus had on such giants of humanity as Garmome and Seifu. Our class represents the advent of diversity on the Gustavus campus. This has continued to grow through the years and has now become a separate department with a staff director, Virgil Jones. Barb Eckman Krig has been impressed with their current student-led Building Bridges program now in its 17th year operating annually with meager funding. She suggested that one of the best ways to aid in such recognition and extend its impact is to use this 60 year anniversary as an opportunity to contribute a portion of our funds to the Building Bridges Conference Day as well as to the Garmome and Seifu Class Endowed Scholarship.
There are also funds recognizing other classmates in the Jack and Esther Clark Scholarship, the Edna and Paul Grandlund Scholarship and recognition funds for Ellis Jones and Clair McRostie as well as Sesquicentennial Campaign Gustavus. You may choose to alternately support one of these funds. I solicit your support with whatever means you can in this endeavor. Contributions can be sent to the Gustavus Adolphus College Advancement Office designated for our Class Scholarship and in advance of this year’s alumni gathering in May. Kathy Erlandsen, Associate Director of Reunion Giving at the college, is helping to organize our reunion efforts. This is also a plea on behalf of our Barbara Eckman Krig and those on the reunion committee. A letter will follow soon outlining the detailed plans for that day. Please join us on May 27!
Maynard E Jacobson
Class of 1952
2012 Alumni Association Awards Announced
The Gustavus Alumni Board of Directors has announced its 2012 award recipients:
Greater Gustavus Award – awarded to those “who by deed, have notably advanced and aided Gustavus Adolphus College”:
Jon and Anita Thomsen Young ’77 ’77, Eden Prairie, MN, for their volunteer leadership, service and philanthropy to the College.
Distinguished Alumni Citations – recognizing outstanding and exceptional professional achievement that brings unusual honor to the individual in his or her field of endeavor:
Scott Dee ’81, Farwell, MN, professor of veterinary population medicine, University of Minnesota, swine consultant, and international research veterinarian and director at Pipestone Veterinary Clinic;
Mark Elfstrom ’01, Anchorage, AK, middle school math and science teacher, recipient of a 2011 Milken Educator Award and finalist for the 2012 Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching;
Kurt Elling ’89, New York, NY, Grammy Award-winning vocal jazz artist.
First Decade Awards – recognizing early professional achievement in the 10th anniversary class:
Amy Brown ’02, Pittsburgh, PA, neonatology fellow at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center;
Michael Bland ’02, St. Louis, MO, postdoctoral associate, earth and planetary sciences, Washington University.
The Alumni Association will present Faculty and Administrator Service and Retirement Awards at a dinner at Gustavus on May 16; honorees will be featured in the fall issue of The Gustavus Quarterly.
National Sesquicentennial Celebrations
Throughout the coming year, Gusties are gathering across the country to reflect on Gustavus’s past, celebrate 150 academic years, and engage for the future. In conjunction with the celebrations on campus, the College invites all alumni, parents, and friends for a celebration in an area near them. The president has gone to 14 different locations from New York to LA. There are still a few left. You can view them all and register for an event at gustavus.edu/150.
Chicago – Thursday, April 26, 2012 – Gleacher Center with Allison Rosati ʼ85
Madison – Tuesday, April 24, 2012 – Harvest Restaurant
Join your fellow Gusties for breakfast and to learn something new about your alma mater at the monthly Gustie Breakfasts. Speakers for April and May will feature former Gustavus presidents, Jim Peterson ʼ64 and Dennis Johnson ʼ60 (respectively). The St. Peter Breakfasts are held in the banquet rooms on campus at 7:30 a.m. on the second Wednesday of the month and the Twin Cities Breakfasts are held at the Doubletree Hotel in Minneapolis at 8 a.m. on the third Wednesday of the month. RSVP by calling 800-487-8437 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Hope to see you bright and early!
Celebration of Minnesota Poetry
On April 17 from 7:30-9:30 p.m., Gustavus will host “A Celebration of Minnesota Poetry in Honor of Poet Laureate Joyce Sutphen.” The renowned poet, and Professor of English at Gustavus, will read from her work, and she’ll be joined by six local Minnesota poets: Candace Black, Rebecca Fremo, Matt Rasmussen, John Rezmerski, Richard Robbins, and Richard Terrill. The evening promises to be a memorable one, as the Gustavus community gathers to celebrate not only Sutphen’s remarkable achievements but also the rich range of poetry being produced right here in Southern Minnesota. The event takes place in Alumni Hall and is free and open to the public. The evening is made possible thanks to the generous support of the English Department, the Office of the President, Curriculum II, and the Writing Program.
Gustavus alumnus, Civil War historian, and Pulitzer Prize-winning author James McPherson ’58 will return to his alma mater April 15-17 as a Sesquicentennial Scholar. On Tuesday, April 17, McPherson will speak at Interlachen Country Club in Edina at an event that is also open to the public. McPherson’s lecture will be titled “Why the Civil War Still Matters” and will address the ways in which the war’s impact on America is still being felt today. Those interested in attending this event, which will include a reception at 4:30 p.m., McPherson’s lecture at 5 p.m., and a book signing at 6 p.m., should RSVP by going online to gustavus.edu/go/mcpherson, or by contacting the Gustavus Office of Alumni Relations at 507-933-7511.
Lindau Symposium – Charles Krauthammer
Gustavus will host the 2012 Lindau Symposium featuring Dr. Charles Krauthammer as the keynote speaker on Thursday, April 12, 2012 at 7 p.m. in Alumni Hall. Dr. Krauthammer’s address is titled: “Politics in Washington.” Dr. Krauthammer is an American Pulitzer Prize winning columnist, political commentator, and physician. The Financial Times describes Krauthammer as the most influential commentator in America. Charles Krauthammer has been honored from every part of the political spectrum for his bold and original writing from the famously liberal People for the American Way (which presented him their First Amendment ward) to the staunchly conservative Bradley Foundation (which awarded him their first $250,000 Bradley Prize).
Books in Bloom
Gustavus Library Associates (GLA) is preparing to host the second annual Books in Bloom event May 4-6 at the Folke Bernadotte Memorial Library on the campus of Gustavus Adolphus College.
Books in Bloom is a unique event that will highlight books, media, and other resource material within the library though floral arrangements and artistic expression. More than 20 exhibits will be on display – each of them sponsored by an individual or family and created by professional florists and flower enthusiasts – that represent and illustrate a book or other holding within the library.