Class of '53
October 2007

55-Year Reunion

Reunion dates ― May 30 & 31, 2008

Dear Classmates,

You deserve a class letter to add to your issues of Martha Stewart Living (or whatever the title is) as you plan for the big four celebrations that are forthcoming:  Halloween, Thanksgiving, Advent, and Christmas.  You may not get this in time for Halloween, but the other three will certainly profit from the information you get in this letter.

Is it fair to include Halloween in this mix?  In our neighborhood there are some houses that put more outside lights and fancy inflated figures up for Halloween than they do for Christmas.  I suspect that it has to do with the weather.  It is easier to put up decorations in the mild weather of October than in the harsh winds of December.

All of this discussion leads us automatically to reminding you that next spring will be our 55th anniversary from college.  Nothing will duplicate the hoopla and finesse of our 50th but we will try to do our best to have something special for the 55th.  The college is anxious to have everyone back on campus for graduation after they have passed their 50th so they offer free lodging and programming during commencement.  There are seminars, breakfasts, lunches, receptions, concerts, coffee urns everywhere, and discounts at the bookstore.  All you have to do is let them know you are coming.  Events start on Friday, continue on Saturday, and close with the Alumni Banquet on Saturday evening.  If you wish, you can hang around on Sunday and watch the current crop of graduates get their diplomas.  That could include some grandchildren among us.

Marv Larson (fellow co-class agent) and I will talk to the folks in the Alumni Office and set up some special gathering places for the class of ’53.  If you have suggestions for people you would like to meet and hear from, let us know and we’ll try to arrange it.  We should be able to find some presidential hopeful castoffs who would come since by then they will know that their cause is hopeless.

The college loves to have you back so that they can show off the campus and insure that you have arranged your will and trust accounts to leave something to the old alma mater when you pass through the pearly gates.

And speaking of pearly gates, you can see the real thing right in St. Peter.  As you enter town on Hwy. 169 from the north and get to the big intersection where the highway crosses that leads to the bridge across the Minnesota River and the Whiskey River, St. Peter’s premier off campus eatery, take a left for one block and there on your right will be a big, white-painted, elaborate iron gate next to the St. Peter Chamber of Commerce labeled, “Pearly Gates.”  Pretty hokey, but my guess is that some St. Peterite had an iron gate made for their estate and it didn’t fit so they donated it to the city as a tourist attraction.

You can have your picture taken standing in front of the gates which is more evidence than you will likely get to show people when the real thing happens.

I noticed the “Pearly Gates” a couple of weeks ago when my good wife and I drove our motor home (affectionately called “Lena”) to St. Peter while attending the Nobel Conference.  We camped at the St. Peter public park which has a nice camping area managed by the Police Department (a comforting arrangement).

The Nobel Conference was extremely good this year.  The conference dealt with energy options to cope with global warming.  All the speakers spoke understandable English and most of them had a clear idea of the lay audience they were addressing and kept their presentations at a pace and difficulty level that even us geezers could follow.  And speaking of geezers, I’d guess that out of the 6,000 that attended, 25% of the audience were in the geezer category.  We had advertised that the class of ’53 would meet in the bag lunch area each day for a mini-reunion.  I’d guess that we had close to a dozen of us at one time or another.  Kinda fun.  Maybe we’ll try it again next year.

A number of you have requested that I write a brief, succinct summary of the conference proceedings.  I think that a better idea would be for you to Google “Gustavus Adolphus College” and then either order DVD’s of the individual presentations or you can watch a video of the entire proceedings on-line, available after October 18.  If you watch only one presentation, watch Steve Chu, the Nobel winner in physics.  He was the lead-off speaker and titled his presentation:  “The World’s Energy Problem and What We Can Do About It.”

The next big campus event for alumni is Christmas in Christ Chapel on November 30 - December 2.  If you want to attend you need to get your requests for tickets in early.  The Alumni Office will add some other campus news here.


President Peterson Announces Retirement

President Jim Peterson ’64 announced in August that he plans to retire at the conclusion of the current academic year, capping a five-year term.  His early announcement will provide the Board of Trustees enough time to undertake a thorough search process and assist in a smooth transition to new leadership.  Peterson will serve through June 2008 and has offered to assist in an orderly transition beyond that date if needed.

Moes provide gift for Kendall Center

Gustavus parents Robert and Karin Moe have made a $1 million commitment to the John S. Kendall Center for Engaged Learning. This leadership gift brings the College closer to its goal of fully endowing the center, which is dedicated to advancing active and interdisciplinary learning across the campus. When fully funded, the endowment will generate funds to support two main areas: faculty development and student-faculty research.

Retreat about Live Purpose – November 10, 2007

The Linnaeus Arboretum is teaming up with the Center for Vocational Reflection to offer a workshop entitled:  Living on Purpose:  Seeds, Seasons, and the Undivided Life―A Workshop/Retreat to Explore Your Calling.  This workshop will allow you to “examine the roots, blossoms, and seeds” of your life.  For more information including registration materials, visit or call Shirley Mellema (507-933- 6181).

New football stadium opens

On September 8, the football team played its inaugural game at the College’s new football stadium.  The synthetic-surfaced field is recessed below ground level and features an earthen berm surrounding the entire field.  The field will continue to be named Hollingsworth Field after the late Lloyd Hollingsworth, who served as the College’s football coach from 1942-1960 and athletic director from 1961-1978.

Athletics Hall of Fame Induction

On Saturday, November 3, Gustavus will induct the following people into the Athletic Hall of Fame: Tim DeJarlais ’91 (golf), John Erickson ’81 (hockey), Dave Hultgren ’92 (baseball), Craig Miller ’91 (cross country), Mindy Mayerchak Oosten ’88 (softball & soccer), Mike Schumacher ’91 (football), Ann Sommerness Simms ’92 (swimming), and Ryan Skanse ’92 (tennis).

Twin Cities Gustie Breakfasts

Join other Minneapolis/St. Paul area Gusties for a once-a-month morning cup of coffee and breakfast while getting an update on Gustavus. The group meets the third Wednesday of each month at the Doubletree Hotel, Minneapolis-Park Place, 1500 Park Place Boulevard (Hwy. 394 & Hwy. 100), 8:00-9:30 a.m., $10 per person.  Reserve by calling Don Swanson ’55 at 763/533-9083

Wednesday, November 21

Winter sports coaches – Jon Carlson ’88 (men’s and women’s swimming & diving), Mark Hanson ’83 (men’s basketball), and Brett Petersen (men’s hockey)

Wednesday, December  19

Margaret Kelliher ’90, speaker of the Minnesota House of Representatives

Inaugural “A Royal Affair” Online Auction

“A Royal Affair,” the biennial fundraiser for the Gustavus library, is October 27.  New to A Royal Affair this year is an online auction that will be activated the week of October 22. This online auction will have unique items available only for bidding online and not at the evening event.  These items can be viewed through the Gustavus website and bidding will close prior to the October 27 Razzle Dazzle*A Royal Affair.  Also, the online auction is open to everyone – parents, alumni, students, faculty, and friends of Gustavus – even those unable to attend Razzle Dazzle*A Royal Affair.  Watch the Gustavus Library Associates website at for up-to-the-minute details on the online auction.

Alumni Fund

The 2008 Alumni Fund has a goal of $2 million from 8,000 donors.  Continue a Gustie tradition ― join other alumni to reach the goal with your participation in the 2008 Alumni Fund.

 efer a Gustie

As the school year starts, many high school seniors are getting serious about their college selection. If you know of high school seniors or juniors who may be a good fit at Gustavus, please send their names to the Office of Admission at Gustavus to help recruit the next generation of Gusties.  Contact the Admission Office at 800/GUSTAVU(S).

Calendar of events:

  • October 27                  Razzle Dazzle*A Royal Affair, Gustavus Library Associates
  • November 3                 Athletics Hall of Fame Induction Banquet
  • Nov. 30, Dec. 1-2        Christmas in Christ Chapel
  • December 6                 St. Lucia Day celebration on campus


Now on to the serious stuff about us.  In the last alumni fund drive we had a 58.2% response rate.  Not bad.  But let’s try to do better next year.  It doesn’t just take a big contribution to make people in the Alumni Office happy.  What makes them happy is when a lot of people contribute.  So if you have been sitting out for a year or so, jump back in this year.  Try this.  Take a $10 bill and put it on your computer desk or wherever you do your serious mail and bill paying.  Put a post-it note on the bill with “GAC” written on it.  Eventually you’ll remember to send something off to Gustavus.  Just be sure to let them know it is from a member of the class of ’53.

The Forest Lake Press ran a great article on Carl Peikert as he approached retirement after 45 years in medicine.  The article shows a picture of Carl playing his tuba getting ready for another performance of the Forest Lake City Marching Band which he founded over 26 years ago.  He also plays weddings and bar mitzvahs with his accordion and tuba combo.  Gotta love it.

The Country Messenger, the Pulitzer Prize winning publication from Scandia, MN, ran a great story on Moose Malmquist.  Seems his family had generations of ties to the community of Scandia so when Moose retired, he settled in Scandia.  He has held just about every volunteer post in Scandia and doesn’t miss a morning coffee call with the locals at the local bakery.  He’s beginning to run out of Lena and Ole stories so send him some of your finest.

Dick Engwall is seeking the recipe for the famous Gustavus sticky caramel rolls.  He would like the regular recipe which uses real butter, real cream, and plenty of cane sugar caramel.  His wife, Vianne (Lager ’54), would like the recipe with low fat, non-trans fat seasoning and caramel made with artificial sweetening.  She gets the real rolls and Dick gets the low fat models.  He makes it back to campus for lots of events including the GACAC annual meeting.  GACAC is the association of congregations that selects some of the trustees for the college.

Elaine Nagel Nelson is patiently sitting in her rocking chair on the porch overlooking Main Street in Albert Lea tending to her quilting and banner making.  She produces quilts for Lutheran World Relief and banners for the Albert Lea Good Samaritan Center.  Terrific projects!

Well, that’s the big news from your classmates.  You can send along interesting stuff directly to your editor:  Or you can write your story and attach it to the check for $1,000 that you are about to send to the Alumni Fund for this year.

Stay healthy, think good thoughts, do a good deed, and remember your old alma mater.

Tom Boman

Co-class agent along with Marv Larson