Class of '53
May 2008

55-Year Reunion

Reunion dates ― May 30 – 31, 2008

Hi Gustie Classmates,

You may recall that in his last couple of class letters Tom has been promoting a gathering of our class to celebrate the 55th year of our graduation.  A great opportunity to do this comes at the 2008 – 50-Year Club event that takes place on campus May30-31.

A number of classmates have already registered (see names listed below), but we would like to encourage more of you to join in the fun.  Spring on the Hill is one of the prettiest times of the year to be there.  One advantage of meeting at this time is that we may see some of our friends from classes before and after ours.

It is hard to plan anything for our class until we know how many will be there, but as you can see on the schedule below there is time set aside for Class Coffee Hour at 7:00 p.m. after the 50-Year Club dinner on Friday night.

It seems like the Cafeteria has been the best meeting place with its nearby coffee pot and snacks.  There are always tables available as the school year comes to a close so let’s set that up as our gathering place.  Take a hard right as you come into the Cafeteria and we will hold down some tables in the southeast corner of the room.  Plan on having breakfast there on Saturday morning between 8:00 and 9:00 a.m.

Hope you will give this reunion some serious thought.  You will be missed if you don’t make it!

Here is the schedule for the two days.  To make your reservations, return your reservation form or call the Alumni Office at:  507-933-7511 or 800-487-8437.

Here are those who are registered as of 5/12/2008

  • Del Anderson ’53
  • Betty Anderson
  • Val Barlau ’53
  • Daniel Borg ’53
  • Janet Christenson Carlson ’53
  • Roger Carlson ’54
  • Rod Hokenson ’53
  • Helen Forsgren Hokenson ’54
  • Charles Jacobson ’53
  • Marilyn Anderson Jacobson ’53
  • Joann Christenson Jasica ’53
  • Wendell Johnson ’53
  • Marilyn Brust Johnson ’55
  • Marjorie Kaus Jenkins ’53
  • Roy Jenkins
  • Marv Larson ’53
  • Ruth Larson 

Reunion Weekend 2008

50 Year Club

Friday, May 30

 1:00 – 7:00 p.m.  Registration – Jackson Campus Center

 2:30 p.m.             Reunion Seminar I – Alumni Hall -            The Peterson Presidency, 2003-08

                             Jim Peterson ’64 will reflect on his five-year tenure as president and the         status of the College today.

 5:00 p.m.             50 Year Club Dinner – Campus Banquet Rooms

 7:00 p.m.             50 Year Club and Reunion Classes Coffee Hour – Campus Banquet Rooms

Saturday, May 31

 8:00 a.m.             Breakfast available ala carte - Evelyn Young Dining Room

 8:30-5:30 p.m.     Registration – Jackson Campus Center

 9:00 a.m.             Reunion Seminar II – Alumni Hall - Discover Our Natural World

Naturalist Jim Gilbert ’62 will demonstrate the greatest show on earth is just outside our back doors everywhere we look.  This seminar will provide you with awareness to get the best seat in the house.

10:00 a.m.            Refreshments and Conversation – Alumni Hall

10:30 a.m.            Reunion Seminar III – Alumni Hall - Tried by War: Abraham Lincoln as Commander in Chief

James M. McPherson ’58 will discuss ways in which Lincoln, who had no formal military training and virtually no military experience, mastered a steep learning curve to become an effective commander in chief during the Civil War.  Topics discussed will include the various levels of the commander in chief responsibilities in wartime; war aims; national strategy (including the issues of slavery and emancipation); military strategy; military operations; and Lincoln’s relations with prominent generals, including McClellan, Meade, and Grant.

12 noon                Book Signings – Johnson Student Union, second floor -      James McPherson ’58, and Dennis Johnson ’60.

                             Books available by McPherson include:  Battle Cry of Freedom:  The Civil War Era, This Mighty Scourge:  Perspectives on the Civil War, Crossroads of Freedom: Antietam, For Cause and Comrades:  Why Men Fought in the Civil War, and Abraham Lincoln and the Second American Revolution.

                             Johnson will be signing the second printing of Esby!  The Heart and Mind of a Professor, a collaborated book written with the late professor emeritus of religion Robert Esbjornson ’41 prior to his death last October.  The book is described as the memoirs of Esbjornson’s long career and includes a collection of his writings.  Johnson provided the narrative and context.

                             Other Gustie writers who will have book signings on first floor are J. Lyman Hall ’48 with his book is titled, “A Native Tarheel’s Journey, WWII and Korea.”  John Linner ’39, who has written a book called, “Normandy to Okinawa” and Lois Walfrid Johnson ’58, author of several books for young readers including, “The Disappearing Stranger” and the “The Hidden Message.”

12:30 p.m.            Alumni Luncheon for 50 Year Club and 1958 – Campus Banquet Rooms

 2:00 p.m.             Reunion Seminar IV – Alumni Hall - Is There an Elephant in the Room?

The intriguing title refers to the awkward dilemma that evolution presents to believers.  The elephant is a metaphor for the Godless process of evolution by Natural Selection that posits that all life gradually appeared without any guidance or external influence – no intelligent designer.  Thomas J. Lindell ’63, a scientist and believer will examine whether it is possible to do theology in light of this impasse.

 3:30 p.m.             Vesper Service – Christ Chapel

 4:30 p.m.             President’s Reception – Evelyn Young Dining Room

 5:00 p.m.             Alumni Banquet – Evelyn Young Dining Room

Presentation of Greater Gustavus Award to President Jim and Susan (Pepin) Peterson ’64 ’65 and Distinguished Alumni Citations to Craig Johnson ’69, Bloomington, MN, bishop, Minneapolis Area Synod, ECLA; Talmadge King ’70, Oakland, CA, chair, department of medicine, University of California, San Francisco; and Barbara Berry Leonard ’63, Marine on Saint Croix, MN, professor, Long-term Care of Children and Youth, School of Nursing, University of Minnesota.

 8:00 p.m.             Gustavus Wind Orchestra Concert – Christ Chapel

10:00 p.m.            Candlelight Chapel Service – Christ Chapel

Other News

Gustavus has a new College President!

Jack Ohle, currently the president of Wartburg College since 2003 has been named Gustavus’ 15th College President.  He will take office on July 1, 2008.  As you have previously heard, President Peterson ’64 is resigning this summer and the process to find someone to replace him has been underway since last fall.  On April 25 the Board of Trustees met and announced our new College President.  I’m sure we’ll be hearing more about this exciting development.

We are sorry to report the death of classmate, Dennis Welch, of New Hope.  Dennis died on March 25, 2008.  He served in the US Army during the Korean Conflict and was a 30-year teacher of industrial arts at Columbia Heights High School.  Dennis is survived by his wife, Shirley (Thornquest ’54), son, Steven and a daughter, Mary and their families.  Our heartfelt sympathy to their families.


If you have any questions, drop me a line at or call me at:


Look forward to seeing you at the Reunion!

Marv Larson

1953 Class Agent