Class of '54
April 2009

55-Year Reunion ― May 29 & 30, 2009

Dear Classmates,

“Spring has sprung, the grass is rizz, I wonder where the flowers iz!”

Remember those Burma Shave signs along the highways of our youth?  ☺ Well, this May 29-30 the flowers will be at Gustavus when we gather to celebrate our 55th Anniversary.  Yes, there will be “flowers” of joy, concerts, memories, friends, close athletic games, conversations, gratitude for our Gustavus time, its impact on our lives, with its implications for generations to come!  The reservation form is enclosed, so please fill it out and return it to the Alumni Office.  I so look forward to our event with as many classmates as possible arriving to celebrate what was, what is, and what is yet to be.


Reflection is so integral to reunions, so do please send your “Reflection Piece” to Kathy Erlandsen at Gustavus by April 30.  Sharing thoughts will be a neat thing―these could be like a bit of a one-way conversation in print.  Some reflections have arrived so thanks for your response.  Let’s keep the reflections coming.  Mine is “still in the hopper” as well.

By the way, Judy Schultz at the Book Mark at Gustavus (507-933-6017) will be happy to talk with class authors to simplify the display and sale of your books at our 10:30 a.m. seminar, Saturday, May 30.  Give her a call.  There will also be a few books available to the seminar’s Inter-Religious theme ‑ some good stuff to chew on.

As we think of future Gusties, our ‘54 class gift to our alma mater, the Class of 1954 David C. Johnson Endowed Scholarship Fund, is so important.  It will live on as does our 50th Anniversary gift, the Carillon Bells.  Let’s do all we can as soon as we can to meet the goal, deliver the prize―Go Gusties!

It has been an honor and privilege to do the “Class Agent” role with Woody.  Thanks also to all of you for being there, living the Gustavus legacy of learning, loving, living, giving, in and through life’s challenges and celebrations!  See you in May!!

Helen Forsgren  Hokenson

1954 Co-Class Agent

Now heeee’rs Woody...

Dear Classmates,

Thanks also to you Helen for all the great times we have had together as Class Agents.  You are the energy behind these letters and what would we do without your careful follow through on all the details involved in planning, together with the whole team, our 55th reunion.

It was John Keats a great English poet in the 19th Century who wrote that “a thing of beauty is a joy forever.”  There is much truth in this as we approach the time of our reunion.  The campus will indeed be beautiful with the breath of spring.  Our fellowship together at our reunion will be beautiful and rewarding.  Our Memorial Service will be beautifully meaningful and our banquet together will be full of emotions and memories.  There will also be a special Carillon Bell concert on Saturday morning in Christ Chapel which will be full of beauty especially since the Bells were our very special gift to Gustavus at our 50th reunion.  And if you haven’t seen the new football field and the newly restored prairie grass addition to the Linnaeus Arboretum on the western edge of the campus with wild flowers and great walking paths you are in for a special treat.  Yes, “a thing of beauty is a joy forever.”

The opening event of our 55th reunion will significantly be the Memorial Service in Christ Chapel on Friday afternoon.  It is sobering to me to realize that 47 of our classmates are now deceased.  We look forward to remembering them by name in our worship together and a flood of memories from the past will rejuvenate our spirits.

We look forward to seeing you and being with you. Here’s hoping that you will decide now to be a part of what promises to be a great reunion!

Forrest “Woody” Chaffee

1954 Co-class Agent

Now heeee’rs Roger...

Dear Classmates,

Our class reunion is just around the comer and there are several of our classmates working on the details for a fun time together.  Our class also wants to be in a position at our reunion of granting its first Class of 1954 David C. Johnson Scholarship to a worthy student.  Many have given but there are several who have not pledged to date.  As of the moment of this writing the Alumni Office reports that the Scholarship Endowment is at $42,680 with gifts and pledges.

For those who have not pledged, please give serious consideration to making a gift today.  Your gift can be honored over a three year period if you’re unable to honor your pledge at one time.

Send your pledge or check today to the college and mark it for the Class of 1954 David C. Johnson Scholarship Endowment.

Many thanks,

Roger Carlson

1954 Reunion Giving Chair

Class News

Valerie Olson Andrews writes that she and her husband, W. T. Andrews, have traveled to 79 far!!

Dick Bublitz sent a note telling us that in the last 55 years after graduating from Gustavus that 40 of those years were spent in California.  His advertising/travel business still keeps him on the go throughout the United States and other parts of the globe.  He is on the Board of Directors of the Travel and Tourism Marketing Association and the Ventura County Fishing Club.  So, in addition to his business travel assignments, he tries to fit in fishing trips and his other “hobby,” marathon running events.  He has also been invited to cover the 2000th year “Celebration of Hermann’s Victory” in New Ulm, Minnesota (his wife’s hometown) September 17-19, 2009.

Vic V. Carter was awarded the “Volunteer of the Year” award by the Credit Union of the State of Delaware.  Congratulations!

Sylvia Johnson Johnson has been very active in First Evangelical Lutheran Church in White Bear Lake, Minnesota teaching Sunday School and Bible School.  She tutors one day a week at the church’s elementary school, leads a confirmation small group, and belongs to a Bible study circle.  She also is the president of the Women’s Ministry program.  Her husband the Rev. Dwight R. Johnson ’56 is now deceased.

Marian Vorlicek L'Ivers has written that her husband, James, has published a math textbook for kids called Math Fun with Doctor Vectra.  (Congratulations to both of them!)

George Skogg who was the chief chemist/supervisor at Nelson Paints in Kingsford, Michigan, has several noteworthy patents:  (1) Liquid for plastic pebbles used in war games; (2) Canadian patent for blister resistant Alkyo oil house paint (also held by two other chemists).  George also has created special identification coating for Beagle dogs for use in dog runs held by the Beagle Clubs of the United States of America.  He and his wife, Joan, recently went on tour with the Detroit Symphony.

Campus News

Update on Commission Gustavus 150

Recently posted to the Commission website is a summary of the common issues and “big ideas” discussed at the first nine National Summit meetings regarding the College’s five core values (Excellence, Faith, Justice, Service, and Community).  The participants were asked how the College might ensure that the core values would be lived out in the lives of alumni, faculty, staff, and students.  The summary is being shared with all members of the eight task forces of Commission Gustavus 150.  The common issues and big ideas will help shape the recommendations made by the Task Forces to the Gustavus Board of Trustees and ultimately form the basis for the College’s long-range strategic plan.

Gustavus Forensics Team Wins State!

Congratulations to the Gustavus Adolphus College Forensics Team, which won its second straight Minnesota Collegiate Forensics Association State Championship on Sunday, Feb. 22.  Gustavus finished with 446 points to beat out Minnesota State University, Mankato (408 points) and Concordia College, Moorhead (213 points).  Gustavus placed first in 6 of 13 events and placed four individuals in the top seven of the individual sweepstakes standings.  First-year student, Chloe Radcliffe, placed first in the individual sweepstakes and senior, Tasha Carlson, will represent Minnesota at the 2009 Interstate Oratorical Association National Contest―the oldest speaking competition in the country―on April 25 in Oxford, Mississippi.

Gustavus’s Day at the Capitol

Hundreds of students and financial aid supporters from Gustavus Adolphus College and other Minnesota private colleges and universities gathered on various days at the state Capitol this spring to advocate for need-based student financial aid.  Gustavus’s Day at the Capitol was March 5, shared with Hamline University and St. Mary’s University.

“Come on You Gusties” Breakfast

Join us for a cup of coffee, breakfast, and great conversation.  This month our featured presenter is Steve Wilkinson, men’s tennis coach.  All Gusties are welcomed and invited to the breakfast, Wednesday, April 15, 8-9:30 a.m. at the Doubletree Hotel, Minneapolis-Park Place, 1500 Park Place Boulevard.  Cost is $10 at the door.  Reserve your spot by calling Don Swanson ’55 at 763-533-9083.

Linnaeus Symposium

The Linnaeus Symposium is scheduled for Wednesday, April 22, 2009 and will include Dr. Margaret Lowman, a tree ecologist and Gustavus alumnus, Gail Johnson Speckmann ’73, whose water color art display will premier during the conference; and there will be a special choreographed dance production on the theme of trees.

MayDay!  Peace Conference

“Tiananmen + 20 Years” is the topic of Gustavus Adolphus College’s 29th annual MAYDAY! Peace Conference to be held Wednesday, April 29, 2009 on the college campus.