Class of '53
January 2006

Dear Classmates,

My wife Mary and I attended Christmas in Christ Chapel this year at Gustavus.  We had dinner with President Peterson in what we remember as the gymnasium.  Remember that facility?  We had square dances in that place with the understanding that there would be no slow dancing.  Of course the music always got slower near the end of the evening, especially after the faculty chaperones had retired for warm milk and cookies.

The gym is now Alumni Hall and the place was magnificently decorated.  The food was amazing, just like we use to eat in the cafeteria located in the basement of Uhler Hall.  This food was amazingly good.  Even the lutefisk was edible and, according to my cousin Phil, it was worth three helpings.  I concentrated on the prime rib.

Before dinner and the concert we browsed the bookstore and helped their bottom line with some purchases.  The bookstore is marvelous and even sells books along with all the clothing and gift lines.  The clerks were cheerful and spoke English and Swedish―quite a contrast from the old bookstore in the early ’50s.  The bookstore then only carried books and some art supplies.  The store hours as I recall were from after chapel to lunchtime and it was cash on the line.  No credit cards.

The concert in the Chapel was superb.  Three big choirs, a full orchestra, brass group, bells, and organ made for amazing music.

Remember the music in the old chapel in the Auditorium/Administration building?  My favorite was the day that chapel consisted of organ music.  Most students were busy reading their mail or studying for the next hour’s class when out drifted a pair of panties from behind the organ pipes suspended on two very thin lines.  Only a few students noticed at first and started to chuckle.  Then the laughter picked up and pretty soon the place was in an uproar.  The college administration discovered a very clever launching device made from someone’s alarm clock.  Nothing like that happens in the new chapel.

After the concert we stepped out into the crisp night air and a gentle snowfall was coming down illuminated by the lights that surround the chapel and Eckman mall.  Remember the situation in our time?  The college was so broke that they could hardly pay to illuminate the campus at night.  A couple of bare streetlights were about it.  Women had to travel in small groups to protect themselves from wolves that roamed the campus at night.

We had parked in the lot next to the Lund Arena, named after benefactor Russ Lund who made food sales history with the development of Lunds fine foods.  There is an Olympic-sized pool, racket ball courts, weight rooms, and the list goes on.  I recall getting in to swimming meets in the old pool in the late ’50s when I was on the faculty by agreeing to judge diving.  There was no spectator space so everyone stood along the side.  Space was at a premium.  I knew nothing about diving but a chemistry colleague of mine convinced me that all one really needed to observe is how smoothly the diver enters the water.  I got into every swimming meet carrying my judging kit.

Times have changed and certainly for the better.  The campus is a magnificent place in no small part because Gustavus alumni are loyal and generous.  It makes you proud.  It makes a person look for that classic gold envelope that was set aside and that is designed to hold a check for Gustavus plus some news for classmates.  And, of course, you can just go to on the web and click on “Leave a Bundle.”  You can donate via your credit card.  Give on.

Well, on to the classmate news:

Janet Christenson Carlson did not get off to a good start for Valentine’s Day last.  She was climbing on a stool in her kitchen looking for a lefse recipe when she fell and broke her leg.  It took three screws to hold it in place.  Husband, Roger ’54, ever the good husband, has been an excellent caregiver.  He is writing a book about the experience titled:  “100 Ways to Serve Pizza.”

A note from Bob and Dar (Hill) Barke who live in Madisonville, LA.  They survived hurricanes Katrina and Rita with some water and wind damage but the whole family is safe, sound and repairing.  The note did say that Bob’s fishing has been put on hold for a while.  [Editor’s note:  Madisonville is just on the other side of Lake Pontchartrain from New Orleans].

Harlan ’54 and Inga (Carlson) Nelson report in that, while Harlan is hunting and fishing, Inga is hanging out at the pool.  If I recall correctly, she scared the daylights out of the Gustavus swimming team at the meet when she hit her nose on the diving board coming out of a dive.

The following reports come from sketchy notes taken by Phonorama people.  If the information is a bit unreliable, blame the note takers.

Dave Hauck continues to keep his hand in the St. Olaf swimming program.  His son, Robert, is now the head coach of both the men’s and women’s teams but has the sage advice from his father to help plot strategy.

Gus Harms has a problem.  His granddaughter wants to go to (note is unclear but assume it is a concert to hear) Courtney Mueller.  Is Courtney one of those singers who charge big bucks to attend and whose band is only slightly quieter than a DC 10 taking off?

Beverly Peterson has a great opportunity for travel.  She has a new great granddaughter in Ireland.  What a perfect excuse for a visit.

Charlie Hardt is never home since he is still on the road with his science show.  I wonder if he has added his slant on creationism vs. evolution into his routine?

Glen Sandquist is having a hard time retiring―but maybe this time it will stick.  This is his third retirement.  Must be related to the energizer rabbit.

Someone found a lost partial member of the class of ’53, Mary Mattson Hanson.  She was a freshman and sophomore at Gustavus and then transferred to the U.  At any rate, the Alumni Office now has her in their sights.

That’s all there is to report on old classmates.  We could use some more new news so just drop a line via e-mail to:  Or drop me an email at:  Simple and you can get your name in print.

The news from Gustavus will be inserted as soon as I sign off for both Marv Larson (currently in Arizona playing golf and, when not on the course, our new co-agent) and me.

Tom Boman

Editor in Chief, Class of ’53 Newsletter

Winner of the Geezer Award for reporting in 2005

Campus News:

Study Abroad Leader

Gustavus continues to be a leading institution for the number of students studying abroad, according to an annual ranking recently released by the Institute of International Education (IIE).  Consistent with its mission of giving students an education that is international in perspective, Gustavus was ranked seventh in the "Top 20 Baccalaureate Institutions" list of the institute’s "Open Doors 2005" report.  Gustavus was one of four Minnesota private colleges to make the list of 20.  The report was based on study abroad statistics from the 2003-04 academic year.  Gustavus students engage in international learning through various programs in more than 100 locations throughout the world, ranging from Australia to India and Ecuador to Sweden.  In recent years, 50 percent of Gustavus graduates have participated in at least one study-abroad experience.

New Carnegie Classification for Colleges and Universities

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching released a new classification system for institutions of higher education.  Gustavus’ classification is Arts & Sciences plus Professions, indicating that 60 to 80 percent of Gustavus students complete a traditional liberal arts major, such as political science, classics, or biology.  The new classifications describe five aspects of colleges and universities: instructional programs, enrollment profile, undergraduate demographics, size, and setting.  Undergraduate instructional programs are now designated as Arts & Sciences Focus, Arts & Sciences plus Professions, Balanced Arts & Sciences and Professions, Professions plus Arts & Sciences, or Professions Focus. 

Insurance Programs

The Alumni Association, in partnership with Meyer and Associates and Liberty Mutual, offers an insurance program to alumni and their families.  Products include insurance policies for life, short-term medical, auto, home, and renters.  For life and short-term medical insurance call Meyer and Associates at 800-635-7801 or visit  For auto, home, and renters insurance call Liberty Mutual at 800-524-9400 or visit

Gustavus to Perform at Orchestra Hall

The Gustavus Music Showcase will be Sunday, March 12, at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis.  The Gustavus Choir, Gustavus Symphony Orchestra, and Gustavus Wind Orchestra will perform.  This is a unique opportunity to hear three premier ensembles from Gustavus in one concert.  This showcase also allows prospective students, parents, and alumni from the area to meet and connect.  For tickets, call the Orchestra Hall box office at 800/292-4141.  Tickets are $20 for general admission, and $10 for students 18 and under.


Two big stories from the fall sports are that Hailey Harren won the national NCAA Division III cross country title and the men’s soccer team became the first MIAC school to play in the national championship game and finished second, losing 1-0 to defending national champion Messiah.  For the second consecutive year, men's soccer coach Larry Zelenz has been named Coach of the Year in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America/Adidas NCAA Division III West Region.  The men's hockey team is unbeaten in conference play, outscoring their opponents 28-5 in four games.

Upcoming Music Tours

This year nearly 300 students will participate in music tours as members of the Gustavus Wind Orchestra, Gustavus Choir, Gustavus Symphony Orchestra, Gustavus Jazz Lab Band, and Choir of Christ Chapel.  The Gustavus Wind Orchestra will tour Eastern Europe Jan. 14-30.  Performances are scheduled for Germany, Czech Republic, Poland, and Austria.  The Gustavus Choir will tour Jan. 27-Feb. 11 (see schedule below), with performances in Minnesota and Wisconsin.  The Gustavus Symphony Orchestra, Gustavus Jazz Lab Band, and Choir of Christ Chapel will tour during Spring Semester.

Gustavus Choir Tour Schedule

  • January 27 at Augustana Lutheran Church, West St. Paul, 7:30 p.m.
  • January 28 at St. Joseph's Catholic Church, Grand Rapids, 7:30 p.m.
  • January 29 at Zion Lutheran Church, Grand Rapids, 8:30 a.m. morning service
  • January 29 at Concordia Lutheran Church, Duluth, 3 p.m.
  • January 30 at Bemidji High School Auditorium, Bemidji, 7 p.m.
  • January 31 at First Lutheran Church, Morris, 7 p.m.
  • February 2 at Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church, Marshfield, WI, 7:30 p.m.
  • February 3 at St. Francis Catholic Church, Brainerd, 7:30 p.m.
  • February 4 at Central Lutheran Church, Winona, 7 p.m.
  • February 5 at Faith Lutheran Church, Winona, 8 a.m. morning service
  • February 5 at First Lutheran Church, Red Wing, 2 p.m.
  • February 11 at Christ Chapel, Saint Peter, 7:30 p.m.

Upcoming Alumni Events

  • Tucson, AZ Gustie Gathering - February 10
  • Phoenix, AZ Gustie Gathering - February 11
  • Sun City, AZ Gustie Gathering - February 12
  • Gustavus Music Showcase at Orchestra Hall - March 12
  • Atlanta, GA Gustie Gathering - March 26.