Class of '53
April 2006

Dear Classmates of ’53

Let me alert you right off the bat that this is not your faithful class agent, Tom Boman, writing the class letter this time.  He has asked me to pinch hit for him this month as he tries to get the last good skiing in on the slopes of Duluth.  So this is your co-class agent, Marv Larson, writing today.

Let me say first of all that I feel wholly inadequate to fill the shoes of our great classmate, Bob Krig, who did such a great job over all of these years in keeping our class informed.  He was one of a kind and will never be forgotten for his dedication to our Alma Mater.

Living in the Twin Cities I had the pleasure of working with Bobby, along with a number of you, on the famous Phonorama’s.  Held twice a year in the spring and fall, it was an attempt to call every classmate to remind you of Gustavus and its needs, get you to part with some of your money, and hopefully gather some interesting information for the class letters.

In the early years Phonorama consisted of going to some corporate offices like Honeywell and/or General Mills to make use of those ancient WATS lines (Wide Area Telephone Service) where companies leased long distance lines instead of paying per call.  In later years we would meet at places like Central Lutheran and they would give us a cell phone to go off in a corner and make calls.

Phonarama would run for about eight nights over two weeks under the watchful eyes of Cec Eckhoff ’56 and later Randall Stuckey ’83 and others.  In my case I would make it down for one or two nights and if lucky would complete 8-10 calls per night between talking to answering machines and spouses explaining when a classmate would be home.  In contrast Bobby would be there most every night, slugging his way through the pile of cards for each classmate.  Not an easy job, but he was a trooper to the end.

Phonarama is history now, for a lot of reasons I suppose.  The calls now come from current Gustie students.  As a result we have lost the main source of information on what is going on with our classmates.  Personally I think we have lost one of the features that made the Gustavus Alumni the award winning alumni association that it is.  So what can we do now, as the Class of ’53, to replace this means of communication?

Perhaps the first question would be, is there an interest out there for this type of communication?  Do we want to know who could use a note or call from an old classmate to cheer them up?  Are you interested in reminiscing about our campus days and laugh at our stumbling way to adulthood?  For instance, are you interested in knowing why Boman was called before the Dean for some questionable humor that appeared in a “humor” column that we wrote back in those days?  It was a real laugher.

Give us some feed back on your feelings about these questions and your ideas on how to go about improving our communications.  Do we want to set up an e-mail or phone-calling network for instance?

You can contact:

Tom at:      or 218-724-2317

Marv at: or 763-545-0646

Meanwhile we have a few comments noted on the famous yellow envelopes with your contributions.

Russ Nielson writes from Fort Collins, CO that he enjoyed a great trip to Norway, Sweden, and Denmark with his brother-in-law visiting the birthplaces of their parents, his in Norway and Denmark.  “Great Experience” he says.

Carl Piekert writes from Forest Lake MN that he continues in practice at the Allina Clinic, and wife, Jean, holds down the job as parish nurse at their church, Faith Lutheran.   An interesting side note here, Carl, Del Anderson and I all married Augsburg girls from their class of ’53.

LeRoy Erlandson writes from Fridley, MN:  “Gods blessings of life and good health enabled us to enjoy three weeks in Sweden and Iceland besides the winter in Arizona.”

On a personal note, we enjoyed the company of Rod Hokenson for a couple of days at our winter home at Apache Wells, a senior’s community in Mesa, AZ.  Before he joined us Rod had spent some time with his former Gustavus roommate, Forrest Chaffee ’54 also in Mesa.  At Rod’s suggestion we joined the Chaffee’s at church on Sunday, only to discover that we and the Chaffee’s have been attending the same church, and same service for the last two or three years but never recognized each other.  I guess we do change some in 50 years.  The Chaffee’s are retired in St. Peter.

The Reunion Weekend is May 26 and 27, 2006 according to the bulletin that arrived in our mail yesterday.  As members of the 50-Year Club you are encouraged to attend (note the banquet is complimentary).  Not bad when you consider that the cost is about what we paid for meal tickets for a semester in ’53.

Maybe this is an occasion for some of us to arrange some mini-reunions of classmates that we didn’t get to spend as much time with as you would have liked at our 50th.

I noted with interest that one of the presenters on Saturday (1:30 p.m.) is John Annexstad ’56.  Some of you might remember him.  John, a geophysicist, is now a retired professor from Bemidji State.  He is the veteran of some 10 scientific expeditions and 4 ½ years of living in Antarctica― a long way from his folks’ Standard Oil Station on the corner of Minnesota and Broadway in St. Peter.  It looks like it would be a very interesting talk to attend.

Also there will be a Remembrance of Cec Eckhoff at 4 p.m. on Friday, May 26 on Hello Walk.

The Statistics are in on Class Giving for the year―from June 2005 through February 2006 are in and we are doing so-so as a class with 50.3% of the class participating.  The classes of ’50 and ’51 are doing better than we are. 

I don’t know if this data stirs you to get your contribution in before the May 31 deadline but just writing this letter or reading Tom’s many letters over the years always reminds me of the gifts that I received from my years at Gustavus.

Gifts that have now proven to be, as the commercial goes...priceless.  Think about it.  You can give that gift of Gustavus to others.


That’s it from this desk; the Alumni Office fills in from here with some updates for you on activities at Gustavus.  Hope to hear from some of you and the chance to send you an e-mail thanking you for your annual contribution.

Marv Larson

1953 Co-class Agent

Note:  Any errors in this letter were placed there deliberately for those who like to look for them.

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.

Gusties In Volunteer Endeavors (G.I.V.E.)

Gusties love to serve while they are students and after they graduate.  Gusties In Volunteer Endeavors (G.I.V.E.), the annual day of community service, will focus in 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.  This neighborhood also is home to the American Swedish Institute.  Come out to help make the community a little better.  To learn more about G.I.V.E. Day and to register, go to

Upcoming Alumni Events

  • Gusties In Volunteer Endeavors (G.I.V.E.) Day of Community Service in Minneapolis – April 29
  • Gustavus Library Associates Author Day with Robert Alexander – May 3
  • 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