Class of 1953
Greetings fellow ’53 Gusties,
Well here we are, the 61st anniversary of our graduation from Gustavus, how time flies. Little did we know at that time that we would be octogenarians. We probably didn’t even have that word in our vocabulary.
Since one of the not so subtle reasons for these letters is to encourage you to support your alma mater I would like to start by expressing a hearty Thank You to all of you that have so faithfully supported Gustavus. With all of the high-powered forces in today’s world asking you to support this or that cause there are few that match Gustavus as the most worthy recipient of our donations.
In one of Tom’s earlier letters he mentioned that when we established the Class of ’53 Scholarship our goal was $50,000 and wouldn’t it be great if we could reach $60,000 on our 60th anniversary. Well, congratulations (!!) our scholarship was $64,233 as of 11/30/13. Income for distribution in the calendar year 2013-2014 was $2,165 and the recipient is a young man named Sam Wittwer ’16. Some of you may have been a recipient of aid from a Gustie giver and know from personal experience what that can mean to a struggling student.
The Annual Fund giving looks great too, with almost $32,000 received for the calendar year. A strong testimony that we want others to have the Gift of Gustavus that we treasure to this day.
While we are on the subject of contributions, I think there are a lot of you classmates out there that are good writers. We could make these class letters more interesting if we could add some input from you about how Gustavus affected your life, your career, you name it. The one thing that we all have in common now that we retired, or at least not working full time, is time to reminisce. Give it some thought. Our addresses are at the end of this letter. They don’t have to be typed, we can read handwriting. If we can’t interpret a word we will just take a stab at relaying what we think you meant to say. Hopefully what I have written below may prompt some thoughts.
I want to take you back about eleven years ago and talk about our 50th class reunion. Ruth and I downsized a while back and of course that means going through a lot of accumulated stuff. One thing I ran across was a copy of the talk that I had the honor of giving at that reunion. It brought back a lot of memories.
As part of the talk I had included some remarks to the current graduating class. It wasn’t long after the affair started that I realized that the Class of 2003 wasn’t there. Panic! Our class had been at a 50th class reunion when we graduated. I remembered an old cheerleader guy showing us one of the cheers the Class of 1903 used, with all the jumps and motions. Still had his letter sweater and all.
It finally dawned on me that class sizes mandated a change in such events. Needless to say, there were a lot of hastily crossed out words and revisions. The speech went okay but it certainly was not polished. You were kind and gave me a nice applause.
I thought it would be interesting to use this class letter to prompt some further thought about what our mind set was when we graduated those 61 years ago. In the talk at our 50th I used the expression “little did we know” but in retrospect it should have been more of a question and used the words like “did we realize?”
I started by reminding you that the translation of Alma Mater was “nurturing mother” and went on to discuss how we were truly nurtured and that the image of Gustavus as a “Mother” was an appropriate image. The question was how conscious were we of the magnitude of the nurturing we were receiving at that time. I went on to say:
Little did we know that when we sat in speech class we would use that experience to speak to much larger and much more important people than our classmate audience.
Little did we know when we participated in sports teams, orchestras, and choirs that we someday might hold the baton or be the coach, responsible for the organization and team work of such groups.
Little did we know that the simple experiments in chemistry class would give up the confidence to tackle much larger projects.
Little did we know in the education courses that we would be responsible for teaching students who would go on to great achievements, some to be leaders in our communities.
Little did we know that the charts and graphs we were learning about in economics would become valuable tools in managing the businesses in which we would be involved.
Little did we know how much our classmates and our campus activities contributed to our own personalities and self-confidence.
Little did we know the imprint that our mentors would leave on us. Those dedicated, caring, knowledgeable and concerned women and men who molded us.
Little did we know that someday we would become the mentors.
The examples could go on and on, a little different for each one of us. I have to say here that I spoke from my own naivety, many of you may have been more aware of what was happening than I was.
I concluded with the words Faith, Family, and Friends. I felt those words spoke to the experiences that we had during our years at Gustavus. Our Faith was strengthened, we became part of the greater Gustavus Family and we found many treasured life-long Friends.
I was thinking about what to put in this letter when we were invited to some close friend’s home in Arizona for dinner before we headed back to Minnesota for the summer. I looked across the room, and there on their wall was a very nice plaque with the words, Faith….Family….Friends.
So think about how you might jot something down that will be of interest to your classmates. It would be great to hear from some of you as to how you came to recognize the gifts we had received in those some meaningful, important years at Gustavus.
On to a more mundane subject. You may recall that while we were at our 60th Reunion there were two class pictures taken. We were scheduled to have this done on Saturday, but for some reason it was done on Friday. A number of classmates only attended the reunion on Saturday so to be sure we had photos of everyone there was a second picture taken. Good thing since there were also some classmates who only attended on Friday. Unfortunately only the Friday picture appeared in the Gustavus Quarterly. I checked with the Alumni Office and there were no copies of the Saturday in the school data base. Good news, bad news, after an extra effort the photographer was contacted and yes he did have a copy of the Saturday picture. The bad news is that the office could not find the names of those in the picture.
Enclosed with this letter are both pictures. So we have an interesting project for you. Name the classmates in the Saturday picture (easy to identify, it is the one without names). It may be just, “that’s me, Joe Doe, second from the left in the second row,” or you may pass on the crossword puzzle for the day and take a stab at naming all of them. Do your best.
We will send everyone a list the names when we have it completed.
Keep in mind the recent quote from a high school graduation…“The journey matters as much as the destination.”
Keep in touch,
3790 Lawndale Lane North
Plymouth, MN 55446
1231 Maryland St.
Duluth, MN 55811
Rydell Professor Presentation
Dr. David Sedlak, a Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at California-Berkeley, will be speaking about meeting the future challenges of providing adequate water resources to a growing population in a changing world. Please join us for a reception at Irvine Park on Monday, June 30 in St. Paul beginning at 5 pm. Dinner and Dr. Sedlak’s presentation will follow at 6:30 at the Science Museum of Minnesota. For more information or to RSVP, please contact Jeff Jeremiason (firstname.lastname@example.org), professor of chemistry and environmental studies. Dr. Sedlak’s book Water 4.0: The Past, Present, and Future of the World’s Most Vital Resource is based on a concept that he developed during conversations with fellow presenters and attendees at the 2009 Nobel Conference. The book can be purchased in the Book Mark.
June Gustie Breakfast
The St. Peter Gustie Breakfast speaker on June 11 will be the program founder, Mike Dueber ’89, owner of Dueber Consulting, Inc. The breakfast begins at 7:30 a.m. in a campus banquet room in the Jackson Campus Center. Cost is $8 per person, or $15 for a couple. RSVP to 507-933-6664 or email@example.com.
The Twin Cities Gustie Breakfast speakers on June 18 will be Amy Gerber Pehrson ’91, Mentoring Program coordinator and assistant director of Vocation and Integrative Learning in the Center for Servant-Leadership, and Glen Lloyd, director of Alumni and Parent Engagement. The breakfast begins at 7:30 a.m. at the American Swedish Institute (2600 Park Ave., Minneapolis), with the program following at 8 a.m. Cost is $10 per person, and advance registration is required due to limited seating. Please register online at gustavus.edu/forms/june-gustie-breakfast, or contact the Office of Alumni and Parent Engagement at 800-487-8437 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Alumni and Parent Engagement Team is “on the road” this summer, and we are road tripping to see all the Gusties across Minnesota! You will have a chance to meet the new Director of Alumni and Parent Engagement, Glen Lloyd, and hear what is new on campus and what is next for Alumni and Parent Engagement in the 2014–15 academic year. There is no cost for these events. Each gathering will gather from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. and the Engagement Team will provide brats, beverages, and paper goods—and in good smörgåsbord fashion, we ask that all attendees bring their favorite dish to pass. The dates and locations include:
July 15 – Grand Rapids, MN
July17 – Duluth, MN – Tom ’53 and Mary Boman home
July 22 – Brainerd, MN,
July 24 – Fargo, ND/Moorhead, MN - Teresa Harland ’94 home
July 29 – St. Cloud, MN – Mike and Janna (Larson) LaFountaine ’81 ’81
July 31 – Willmar, MN
August 5 – St. Peter/Mankato, MN - Sibley Park
August 7 – Rochester, MN