Class of '54
January 2006

Dear Classmates,

Once again we are looking forward and beginning to experience the adventures of another new year. As you will remember the month of January is named after the ancient Roman god called Janus who is identified with doors and gates and was represented as having two faces opposite from each other, one facing forward and the other backwards. Every new year is a time in which we look backwards and say "thank you" for all the blessings of the past and then we look forwards and say "yes" to all the gates and doors of opportunities that will open to us and by the power of the Lord our God, who is with us always, we will be able to pass through.

And speaking of looking forwards and backwards we can still bask in the glow of our great 50th class reunion in 2004 and we begin to look forward to our 55th reunion in 2009. Helen Forsgren Hokenson and I have been busy coordinating the establishing of a Reunion Planning Group which has been divided into some standing committees as follows:

Event Committee David Johnson* (612-333-6702)
John Chell (952-831-0447)
Jean Kirkvold Emholtz (715-425-6593)

Giving Committee
Roger Carlson* (952-937-9517)
Janet Hanson Jones (507-934-4184)
Howard Ruggles (651-464-2742)

Communication Committee
Dianne Anglemyer Clinton* (651-905-1136)
Rollie Herbst (763-479-4072)
John Sandquist (651-388-6215)
Betty Lindstrand Abrahamson (218-387-2228)
(volunteer caller)
*names with asterisks are chairpersons

The initial planning session meeting will be held next September 11 at Gustavus. We recognize that this could very well be the last reunion for many of our class. All of us, then, hope that this reunion will be the best and most helpful kind of reunion that we can plan. We want our being together to be stimulating, uplifting, joyful, and a lot of fun, and a time in which we experience the warmth and invigoration that comes from shared memories and renewed relationships. If you have suggestions and input for our planning please feel free to call any committee member or us, your class agents.

Sad news, of course, for the Gustavus family as you have probably heard and read is the death of Evelyn Sponberg Young '33 this past fall. A memorial service was held in Christ Chapel on December 8. It was just a year ago that the Library Associates put in motion plans to honor her at "First Frost, A Royal Affair" the fundraiser held on October 29. The plans remained in force following her death and an enjoyable film was shown at the gala event. It is a delightful piece which can be arranged for viewing at forthcoming events. I mention this again because she is an important part of our memories to be shared now and maybe again at our 55th reunion. How well many of us remember those delicious loaves of rye bread that she handed out on special occasions.

Special thanks to all who participated in the 2005 Student Phonorama. Alumni Director, Randall Stuckey informs us that this "putting the FUN into FUNdraising," which ran November 1-17 set a record as the most successful student phonathon in the program's three-year history. More than 350 students from various campus groups spoke with more than 3,500 alumni. These efforts resulted in more than 1,400 pledges worth $213,199 - more than doubling the total from the previous year.

Campus News~

Study Abroad Leader

Gustavus continues to be a leading institution for the number of students studying abroad, according to an annual ranking recently released by the Institute of International Education (IIE). Consistent with its mission of giving students an education that is international in perspective, Gustavus was ranked seventh in the "Top 20 Baccalaureate Institutions" list of the institute's "Open Doors 2005" report. Gustavus was one of four Minnesota private colleges to make the list of 20. The report was based on study abroad statistics from the 2003-04 academic year. Gustavus students engage in international learning through various programs in more than 100 locations throughout the world, ranging from Australia to India and Ecuador to Sweden. In recent years, 50 percent of Gustavus graduates have participated in at least one study-abroad experience.

New Carnegie Classification for Colleges and Universities

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching released a new classification system for institutions of higher education. Gustavus' classification is Arts & Sciences plus Professions, indicating that 60 to 80 percent of Gustavus students complete a traditional liberal arts major, such as political science, classics, or biology. The new classifications describe five aspects of colleges and universities: instructional programs, enrollment profile, undergraduate demographics, size, and setting. Undergraduate instructional programs are now designated as Arts & Sciences Focus, Arts & Sciences plus Professions, Balanced Arts & Sciences and Professions, Professions plus Arts & Sciences, or Professions Focus.

Insurance Programs

The Alumni Association, in partnership with Meyer and Associates and Liberty Mutual, offers an insurance program to alumni and their families. Products include insurance policies for life, short-term medical, auto, home, and renters. For life and short-term medical insurance call Meyer and Associates at 800-635-7801 or visit For auto, home, and renters insurance call Liberty Mutual at 800-524-9400 or visit

Gustavus to Perform at Orchestra Hall

The Gustavus Music Showcase will be Sunday, March 12, at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis. The Gustavus Choir, Gustavus Symphony Orchestra, and Gustavus Wind Orchestra will perform. This is a unique opportunity to hear three premier ensembles from Gustavus in one concert. This showcase also allows prospective students, parents, and alumni from the area to meet and connect. For tickets, call the Orchestra Hall box office at 800/292-4141. Tickets are $20 for general admission, and $10 for students 18 and under.


Two big stories from the fall sports are that Hailey Harren won the national NCAA Division III cross country title and the men's soccer team became the first MIAC school to play in the national championship game and finished second, losing 1-0 to defending national champion Messiah. For the second consecutive year, men's soccer coach Larry Zelenz has been named Coach of the Year in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America/Adidas NCAA Division III West Region. The men's hockey team is unbeaten in conference play, outscoring their opponents 28-5 in four games.

Upcoming Music Tours

This year nearly 300 students will participate in music tours as members of the Gustavus Wind Orchestra, Gustavus Choir, Gustavus Symphony Orchestra, Gustavus Jazz Lab Band, and Choir of Christ Chapel. The Gustavus Wind Orchestra will tour Eastern Europe Jan. 14-30. Performances are scheduled for Germany, Czech Republic, Poland, and Austria. The Gustavus Choir will tour Jan. 27-Feb. 11 (see schedule below), with performances in Minnesota and Wisconsin. The Gustavus Symphony Orchestra, Gustavus Jazz Lab Band, and Choir of Christ Chapel will tour during Spring Semester.

Gustavus Choir Tour Schedule

  • January 27 at Augustana Lutheran Church, West St. Paul, 7:30 p.m.
  • January 28 at St. Joseph's Catholic Church, Grand Rapids, 7:30 p.m.
  • January 29 at Zion Lutheran Church, Grand Rapids, 8:30 a.m. morning service
  • January 29 at Concordia Lutheran Church, Duluth, 3 p.m.
  • January 30 at Bemidji High School Auditorium, Bemidji, 7 p.m.
  • January 31 at First Lutheran Church, Morris, 7 p.m.
  • February 2 at Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church, Marshfield, WI, 7:30 p.m.
  • February 3 at St. Francis Catholic Church, Brainerd, 7:30 p.m.
  • February 4 at Central Lutheran Church, Winona, 7 p.m.
  • February 5 at Faith Lutheran Church, Winona, 8 a.m. morning service
  • February 5 at First Lutheran Church, Red Wing, 2 p.m.
  • February 11 at Christ Chapel, Saint Peter, 7:30 p.m.

Upcoming Alumni Events

  • Tucson, AZ Gustie Gathering - February 10
  • Phoenix, AZ Gustie Gathering - February 11
  • Sun City, AZ Gustie Gathering - February 12
  • Gustavus Music Showcase at Orchestra Hall - March 12
  • Atlanta, GA Gustie Gathering - March 26


Dick Brubacher, Hopkins, Minnesota, has gone through successful heart bypass surgery last August and is recovering well and considers himself "lucky." He and his wife, Mary, are enjoying retirement and their summers at the lake.

Dick Bublitz, Woodland Hills, Georgia, is involved in magazine advertising and a travel business. He has run marathons in Honolulu, Albuquerque, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas in the past year.

Mary Lundgren Hauck, Northfield, Minnesota, states that her husband, David '53, has coached men's and women's swimming teams at St. Olaf College in Northfield for many years and now works with their son, Robert, the present men's and women's swimming coach.

Helen Forsgren Hokenson, Adrian, Michigan, is in Oakland, California, with her daughter who is going through major surgery. Her husband, Rod '53, has been driving across country to deliver an automobile to a friend in Scottsdale, Arizona, and has experienced renewed friendships and adventures like having a huge deer run into the car in the state of Indiana.

David Johnson, Minneapolis, Minnesota, has gone through successful major surgery and is enjoying new health and energy and somehow has found the time to remain active and involved in Gustavus events. Thanks also for your ongoing help to us as class agents.

Our sympathy is expressed to the wife, Karin, and family of Thomas Matthew Mattson who died at his home in Albert Lea, Minnesota, on September 1, 2004. After his graduation from Gustavus he attended and received his master's degree from Mankato State College (now Minnesota State University, Mankato) in 1969. During his life he taught secondary school and coached many sports in Cotton, Backus, Delavan, and Albert Lea, all towns in Minnesota. He served in the United States Army and was a 51-year member of the American Legion. In 1997 he was named Legionnaire of the Year.

Lewis Moon, Rockford, Illinois, now has his flying license and flies most every day and also helps manage the Cottonwood Airport in the Rockford, Illinois area.

Harlan and Inga (Carlson '53) Nelson, Battle Lake, Minnesota, are enjoying their retirement years. Inga writes that Harlan continues to enjoy hunting and fishing and she enjoys her swimming and hanging out at the pool.

Weldon M. Nelson Jr., Jamestown, New York, has gone through radiation treatments and surgery for throat cancer and is expected to experience a complete recovery.

As class agents we want to know what is going on in your lives so that we can share it with the members of our class of 1954. Please feel free to call, write a note, send an email, etc., that we might continue to grow in knowing each other and continue to be concerned about each other. In a sense we have had a family togetherness as graduates of Gustavus for over fifty years!

Judy and I are spending our fourth winter in beautiful sunny Mesa, Arizona and are enjoying new friendships as well as keeping up with our four children and ten grandchildren. We call our little double wide home "our cabin in the desert!" Our main home remains just west of the Gustavus campus where the Carillon Bells ringing out from Christ Chapel across the Minnesota River Valley remind us of our rich heritage as fellow Gustavians. May this New Year of 2006 in which we live be full of new ventures as well as health and strength, peace and joy.

Forrest "Woody" Chaffee

1954 Co-class Agent (with Helen Forsgren Hokenson)