Class of '54
June 2002

Dear ’54ers,

At last a class letter.  During the "working years" it seemed easier to find time for such projects.  Anyway, there's quite a bit to report:

Part I: The Carillon.  I begin with a letter from Marion Vorlicek L'Ivers.  Thanks, Marion, for expressing so well the concept which invigorated our committee:

A carillon, as a class gift!  It is an inclusive choice and I am grateful to the committee, Betty Lundgren Schlotthauer, Arlene Waxlax Sonday, John Chell, Roger Carlson, Mike Anderson and Dave Johnson for choosing something so representative of our class and the years at Gustavus.

A few years ago we drove into Edmonton, Alberta during the business lunch break.  It must have been September and the day was beautiful, made even more so by the music in the air...there was a church nearby with a carillon.  The attitude of the people seemed so joyous and buoyant.  This will be the scene at Gustavus because of our combined effort.

I read somewhere that memory is an effort to get acquainted with the stranger that was once you.  This reconnection with the past, in a celebratory gift, will reflect daily the opportunities for creative expression and freedom of choice that Gustavus made possible for each of us.

Gustavianly yours,

Marian Vorlicek L'Ivers

And now to report on that progress.  We're about half way home!  We have a combination of cash gifts and bequests that total $69,505.  Cash is crucial to purchasing the instrument and having it in place by the time we have our 50th reunion in 2004; bequests and other forms of deferred gifts are crucial to create an endowment which will assure both the maintenance of the instrument and the sponsoring of workshops for church musicians, e.g., bell choirs and organists.*

The carillon, to be built by a Dutch company regarded as the best in the business, will waft great music out over the campus and valley.  What a gift we are raising!

Here is our roster of donors to the project as of mid-May 2002:


($5000 or more over 3 years):                          ($3000-4999 over 3 years):

Roger Carlson                                                  Sharon Anthony Bower

David Johnson in memory of                             Vic Carter

            Jean Lunnis Johnson                             Barbara Gruse Johnson

Paul Olson                                                        Lavern Johnson

Arlene Waxlax Sonday                                     Janet Hanson Jones

Paul Vollan                                                       Marilyn Peterson Reaser


($1500-$2999 over 3 years):                            (up to $1500 over 3 years):

Darrell Anderson                                              Valerie Olson Andrews

Mike Anderson                                                Frances Gabrielson Blomgren

Marion Vorlicek L'Ivers                                    John Bjorkquist

Adelaide Rethwill Meyer                                   Delores Hanson Cedarholm

G. Howard Ruggles                                          John Chell

Ardis Peterson Schwarz                                   Roy Daumann

Gloria Brouilette Strom                                     Vianne Lager Engwall

Phyl Johnson Wegnert                                     Olga Gray

Grace Ronholm Westlund                                 Mary Lundgren Hauck

                                                                      Rollie Herbst

Sylvia Johnson Johnson

                                                                      Dayton Martinson

                                                                      Marilyn Reiten Meyer

                                                                      Arne Peterson

                                                                      Ellen Togikawa Ryusaki

                                                                      Betty Lundgren Schlotthauer

                                                                      Carl Towley

*Jim Isaak, director of the Gustavus Fund and our committee's liaison to the College, writes the following regarding bequests:

Consider putting Gustavus in your estate plan.  We will count any future gifts towards the Carillon.  Call Sara Titus or me at 507-933-7073 if you would like to discuss the possibility.

Part II: News Notes: And now some items which I've learned from you or gleaned from spies.  As I wrote in an earlier letter, volunteerism is a big chunk of our news now.  And perhaps reporting on a few of your activities will give ideas to someone else.  (In that spirit I'm enclosing a short form and asking you to return it to the alumni office with any other news notes you may have.  I'd like to have an information bank about what people are doing as volunteers:

Amy Wampler Adamson participated in last fall's G.I.V.E. (Gusties in Volunteer Endeavors), an annual day of community service.  Since its creation in 1996, G.I.V.E. has involved several thousand alumni, parents and friends in twenty different cities.

Dick Bublitz's project is to introduce boys in his California community who would not otherwise have someone to teach them the art of fishing.

Delores Hanson Cedarholm and husband, Del, are involved in prison ministry in their Newton, IA, area.

Helen Forsgren Hokenson, together with Rod, is involved in promoting a "Great Pasty Project" to raise money for their Lenawee County, Michigan, affiliate of Habitat for Humanity.

Paul Vollan serves as board member and treasurer for Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center in rural Spicer, MN.  The facility is a popular conference center as well as a teaching site for area schools.

In a related way to enrich retirement, this report on ’54ers in the classroom:

Paul Kaus is enrolled in classes on the 2000 presidential campaign, comparative religions and history of drama at University of Georgia, "all the courses I blew off at Gustavus."

Meanwhile, others in the class are still very much employed:

Roger Hanson of HCA, Hanson Contemporary Art in Hutchinson, MN ( had works exhibited at the Monteserrat Gallery in New York.

Arlene Waxlax Sonday continues to lecture and train teachers in the art and science of teaching reading to those with learning disabilities.  In 2001 that included trips to Hawaii, Pakistan, Thailand and many places within the continental United States.

Part III: From the Campus

Alumni newsletter.  A monthly e-mail newsletter from the Alumni Association is now online.  To subscribe, contact:  Campus news from that newsletter includes:

Evelyn Young, Director of the Food Service 1949-1981 (and who can forget her in throbbing Myrum Field House?) celebrates her 90th birthday at an event at Mount Olivet Lutheran Church on July 25.  No cost.  All are welcome.  Please call (800-487-8437) or email the alumni office ( to reserve.

Gustavus graduates largest class, 609, on June 2.  I somehow kept a copy of our commencement program from May 30, 1954.  We were 155.  Go figure.

On-line Community called "Hello Walk" is up and running.  For the rest of June it's a discussion with Chris Gilbert, Associate Professor of Political Science, on such topics as:  third parties, urban vs. rural issues, redistricting, and, the Minnesota Hot Button subject, Will Jesse Ventura run for another term?

If you're up north.  On July 9 an alumni gathering will be held in Walker, MN, with naturalist (WCCO's own) Jim Gilbert ’62.  More details to come or contact the Alumni Office.

Four presidents later.  (Carlson to Barth to Lindell to Kendall to Steuer) the college is embarking upon another presidential search.  In the meantime, Dennis Johnson ’60, pastor at First Lutheran when I returned to St. Peter, then vice president for Church Relations, subsequently vice president for Development and College Relations, has come out of a very recent retirement to be interim president for 2002-03.  He's just the right guy for the transition, sensitive to our history, enthused to keep moving the college ahead.



Please send to the Alumni Office, (Gustavus Adolphus College, 800 West College Avenue, St. Peter 56082) together with any other news items you may have.  Or you can email to:

My major project as a volunteer is the following:


(your name)