Class of '53
January 2000

Greetings Classmates:

Well, now that you have finished reading all of your Christmas letters, its time for that familiar class letter from your Alma Mater.

Let’s get one thing clear before you get into this letter and notice something seems different. You have a guest writer for this letter, so if the humor doesn’t sound quite as sharp as our faithful writer, Tom Boman, don’t be alarmed and cancel your subscription. First, Tom is in good health and is doing this at the suggestion of the Alumni Office. Secondly, this is a slow time between Phonorama calls and the class information well is pretty dry as far as comments so he knows this is a good time to hand it off to an unsuspecting guest writer.

When I pointed this out in one of our e-mail conversations his comment was that he’d make most of the stuff up anyway. Third, he is still busily employed trying to set the record as the last full time employed member of the class of ’53 while he bounces grandkids on his knee. As I write this from our winter home in Mesa, AZ, I have a hard time identifying with someone still working and, on top of that, in that zenith city of the unsalted sea, Duluth.

I’ll begin with the Class News:

Rod Hokenson ( reports that he is a volunteer PR worker for Habitat for Humanity in Lenawee County, MI (PR, is that for paint remover, plumbing repairer?). He also co-chairs an annual hymn-fest there that he started in ’97. His wife, Helen, and daughter, Stina who sings professionally, help out with solos.

Dave Hauck who you will recall went on to fame as the swimming coach at St.Olaf reports that this year was the first time that the Gustie swim team have beaten his team since 1981! Sounds kind of fishy to me. His son now coaches the team and Dave keeps busy as his assistant.

Art Dale had a nice write up in a newspaper article that was included. Unfortunately the name of the paper and date are not shown. He is serving as co-interim pastor in his home congregation of Immanuel and St.Paul’s Lutheran Church in Tower-Soudan, MN. He makes his home at Lake Vermillion’s Pike Bay. Nice article about his 50 years in the ministry and working with Operation Bootstrap in Tanzania.

Well there you have it. Dan Borg did send a nice long letter to Tom regarding reunions, but despite my pleas he is holding on to it so he will have something for his next letter.

I hope we can come up with some good ideas based on our high school reunions this summer. I enjoyed a two and a half day reunion for the Class of ’49 from Excelsior High with our fellow Gustie classmates, Jerry Goldschmidt and Jean Berglund Case. Jerry is busy building a home on the shores of Lake of the Woods in Canada. We were a class of only 64, so I don’t know if what we did would work for our Gustavus 50th. Come to think of it, three out of a class of 64. I wonder if any other school can claim that high of a percentage attending Gustavus in ’53.

Now that you have skipped to the end of the letter to see who is writing this, I will inject a personal note. The Marv Larson’s and their travel mates enjoyed a nice dinner with the Dwight Jaeger’s and their travel mates in Vienna, Austria in early November. While discussing our mutual travel plans this summer we realized that we would be in Austria at the same time. Who could have imagined we would be doing such things back in ’53 when a trip to Chicago seemed like a big deal. We had both spent a couple of weeks touring Eastern and Central Europe.

I had fun checking out the Gustavus web sites in looking for things to write about. You can find them at if you are interested. Very nice web site. For one thing it lists those in our class that are "missing". If you know where any of these people are, the alumni office could use their addresses. Just think, these poor souls are going without Boman’s class letters. Here is the list:

  • James B. Cho
  • Colleen Davidson Heltemes
  • John S. Lee
  • Shirley Hoyt Ryser
  • Irene Wallner Throckmorton
  • David Kobe

If any of you know their whereabouts or are into using the web to find lost friends, here is a test for you.

One thing that we did do at our class reunion was to collect all the e-mail address of those who were using computers. I have enjoyed some e-mail conversations with classmates that I haven’t seen for many years. The Gustavus Web Page has a place for us to list your e-mail address if we are interested. At the present there are only two names, Tom Boman at and Elaine Nagel Nelson at To have your name added send your email to The Alumni Office at

Some classes even have their own web page, which are linked to the Gustavus site. Anyone interested in setting one up for the class of ’53. I will have to add that some of the ones that I looked at were in need of updating.

Among other things that you can find on the Gustavus Web Page are the recent class letters from other classes if you are interested. I printed out Tom’s last letter for ideas and reread his overdose of Swedish boasting. I have been hunting in vain for some counter propaganda―for all of the non-Swedes that are in our class. As the Norwegian citizen told me, Sweden has one thing that Norway doesn’t have. Nice neighbors.

Well, short of creating some pure fiction that might get me in trouble, that is about all that I have for this guest appearance of class letter writing. I will close with some copy from the alumni office that may be of interest to some of you. Sorry if this letter became overly electronic for some of you non-computerized classmates, but I hope some of you are keeping up with your grandkids. I hope this finds all of you looking forward to a great New Year and New Century.

Campus News

The Gustavus campus is in the midst of January term with over 20% of the student body away from campus this month participating in internships, study abroad programs, student teaching or studying at other domestic institutions. On campus there are many unique classes being offered such as Archeology and the Bible and Analyzing Japan in addition to numerous classes and programs around a J-Term 2000 theme - Focus on Women's Studies. Next year January Term will focus on environmental studies. Winter sports, fine arts and extra-curricular activities are also in full swing. Even though there is little snow at Gustavus the new Nordic Ski Team is preparing for competition. The band and choir are preparing for southern tour destinations—the band to Florida and the choir to Texas.

Construction on campus continues, as the new Campus Center will be finished in February with the completion of renovating the former dining service building. Many offices will then move to their new location in the Campus Center including Admission, Dean of Students, Student Activities and Residential Life. Construction of the new International House-Swedish House, a new residence hall/international center to replace Johnson Hall and the Swedish House that were destroyed in the March 1998 tornado, will begin this spring. Construction on an outdoor track and new soccer field stadium will begin this summer. If you have not been back to campus lately, you are encouraged to make a visit to see these exciting changes.

Glen Johnson '50 underwent emergency surgery last week; therefore, Glen and LaVonne will be unable to host their always-wonderful Gustavus event on Marco Island February 5. We are fortunate that Eileen Swanson (widow of Bud Swanson '35) has graciously offered to host a luncheon and reception for alumni, friends, and the Gustavus Band at the Royal Poinciana Golf Club in Naples at 12:00 noon-2:00 p.m. on the same date. The Gustavus Band will perform a 7:00 p.m. concert that evening at the Gulf Coast High School Auditorium, 7878 Immokalee Road, Naples, FL. We wish Glen a complete and speedy recovery

Other alumni gatherings which we encourage you to attend:

  • Tucson Chapter gathering February 7
  • Phoenix Chapter gathering February 8
  • Sun City Chapter gathering February 9
  • Seattle G.I.V.E. project February 19 and Seattle Chapter gathering on March 2
  • Bay Chapter gathering March 4
  • Los Angeles Chapter gathering March 5
  • San Diego Chapter gathering March 6
  • Helen and Paul Baumgartner, Gustavus music faculty will perform two piano recitals in the Twin Cities on March 12, 1:30 p.m. at Cross of Glory Lutheran Church, Brooklyn Center and March 19, 7:00 p.m. at Wayzata Community Church
  • 50th Anniversary Class and 50 Year Club reunions - May 26-27
  • A reminder that all other reunion classes (1955, 1960, 1965, 1970, 1975, 1980, 1985, 1990 and 1995) will have their reunions at Homecoming on September 29-30.

A new method of giving to the College is now available! Lutheran Brotherhood created a highly successful and popular program for Lutheran churches called Simply Giving and has just extended this opportunity to Gustavus and other Lutheran colleges. Simply Giving is an automatic bank draft program that allows you to make regular monthly gifts from a checking or savings account to the College. You do not need to be Lutheran to participate, there is no cost to you or the College for this service, and you can make changes at any time. For so many people, it is much easier to give $50 a month than to write a $600 check once a year. Please call Heather Nancarrow at (800) 726-6192 or (507) 933-7518, or e-mail her at to request more information.

Brenda Peterson, Director of Development for the past two years at Concordia College, Moorhead, MN, has been named vice president for institutional advancement at Gustavus, and assumed her responsibilities January 10. Peterson, a graduate of Concordia, has served the nonprofit sector for 16 years as an advancement professional, mainly in programs connected with Lutheran institutions. Working for the Lutheran Church in America and subsequently the ELCA, she provided fund-raising and stewardship consulting services to more than 75 synods, congregations, colleges, seminaries, and other ministries of the Church. As director of development for the Northwestern University Settlement, Peterson successfully completed a capital campaign and developed a planned giving program. Peterson has a master's degree in management from Northwestern University.

Marv Larson

1953 Guest Letter Writer

2162 No. Middlecoff Drive

Mesa, AZ 85215