Class of ’54
October 2010

Tears, idle tears, I know not what they mean,

Tears from the depth of some divine despair

Rise in the heart, and gather to the eyes,

In looking on the happy Autumn-fields,

And thinking of the days that are no more…

            ~Alfred Lord Tennyson (1809-1892)

Dear Classmates,

There is something about autumn and its changing colors that reminds one of the swiftly passing years of life that bring on both joys and tears and a sense of nostalgia.  Certainly the Linnaeus Arboretum is arguably the most beautiful place on the Gustavus campus to observe the changing foliage and one feels with Tennyson as we think with him of the days that are no more.  But there is always the return to the present day where one can be rejuvenated in our faith by living in the here and now.  I hope that this Class Letter will be a reminder of Gustavus and its growth and development and excitement in the present.  Such a joining of the today and a looking forward to what is to be will guarantee “no idle tears…”


  • Gustavus is listed as the 33rd best liberal arts college in the country by Washington Monthly Magazine.
  • Gustavus ranks seventh all-time in Division III in number of Cosida Academic All Americans with 80.
  • Ranked 40th by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine among liberal arts colleges for “best value.”
  • Ranked 7th for number of students participating in study-abroad opportunities among baccalaureate institutions by Institute of International Education.
  • Named a green college by Princeton Review.
  • Listed as one of U.S. News and World Report’s top 100 liberal arts colleges in the nation, ranking 80th.
  • Named to the 2009 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.
  • Receives one of the highest ratings each year for its great food service and the fact that there’s always fresh fruit near the exit!


Bernice Hecht Martino has suffered a heart attack this past year but is pretty much on the mend and is feeling much better.  Her son, Robert, works for International Telephone and Telegraph and has much to do with government contracts.  Daughter, Catherine teaches telecommunication lessons by computer.  Bernice has two granddaughters and one grandson and all live in Pennsylvania near Philadelphia.  During her life she has been a world traveler and still has a goal of traveling to Japan.

Roger Hanson graduated from Gustavus with a bachelor of music education degree and wanted to teach music but other adventures have intervened.  He also has a master’s from the University of Colorado.  Roger has become a recognized artist and has shown his work throughout the United States and at several shows in Europe.  He has written three books:  Unleaded, published in 2008; Red Pickup, published in 2009; and Peter’s Vision, in the process of being published by Publish America.  Roger writes, “There’s some bad stuff happening in the first half of the book, but God has other plans for my hero, and the second half of the book is quite religious.”  Congratulations Roger!

Helen Forsgren Hokenson and her home which had been destroyed by fire is rebuilt and her eye which went through surgery and was threatened by blindness is on the mend.  She is well enough now to volunteer to write thank you notes to classmates who have made donations to Gustavus.  Thank you Helen and any time you decide again to be a Co-Class Agent we all will say hooray!

Carolyn Gooder Towley along with her gift to the Gustavus Annual Fund writes, “I’m happily retired; live in an assisted living suite here in Alexandria–have 13 grandchildren and one great grandchild–AMAZING!  I play the piano and organ regularly and enjoy life in general.  Have a granddaughter at Gustavus–really great!  I thought that the last Gustavus Quarterly was one of the best.”


Once again more than 5000 people were present at Gustavus in the Lund Center Arena to consider the subject of “Making Food Good.”  Distinguished scholars from the United States, Italy, and India made excellent presentations followed by outstanding question and answer sessions.  It was also noteworthy that this Nobel Conference again hosted several hundred high school students each day.  Our thinking was stimulated and challenged with a wide range of food issues, from human health to the health of our planet’s ecosystems, and from taste to food scarcity.  Special music provided a special note of celebration and inspiration before each session featuring The Gustavus Wind Orchestra, the Vasa Wind Orchestra, The Gustavus Symphony Orchestra, and the Gustavus Jazz Band.  Here are a few special quotes that added a unique flavor to the presentations.

  • “America’s obesity rate has doubled between 1980 and 2000.  It’s not that we’re lazy but that we eat too much that leads to America’s obesity problem perhaps more importantly there’s more food to eat…3,200 calories per person in food supply in 1980’s increasing to 3,900 calories per day per person, in food supply today.”

Marion Nestle, Ph.D., M.P.H.

Professor of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health

New York University, New York City

  • “Seed vaults exist as humanity’s safeguard against a gathering storm which includes shortages of land, water, nutrients, and energy combined with climate change requiring agricultural adaption as never before.  At its core our entire civilization is dependent upon agriculture and seeds.”

“Some of the happiest days have been spent in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, an insulated freezer near the North Pole where I and my colleagues are able to preserve some 400,000 samples of seeds.  In addition, I keep track of what is going on in more than 1,700 gene banks around the world…”

Carl Fowler, Ph.D.

Executive Director, Global Crop Diversity Trust

Rome, Italy

  • “For millions of poor globally, any food is good…ninety percent of the world’s undernourished live in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa.  They don’t need (and can’t afford) expensive farm technology like tractors and fertilizers.  They do have and are willing to use a sense of common cause and cooperation.”

Bina Agarwal Ph.D.

Professor of Economics

University of Delhi, India

  • “Taste and smell, I would’ve told you a few years ago are completely different until I anesthetized my mouth and discovered that the lack of feeling in my tongue blunted my sense of smell as well…It appears that people with more taste buds weigh less, perhaps because high-fat foods taste too rich and are cloying to them.  Likewise, they are less likely to drink alcohol and smoke cigarettes…sweet tastes can lessen pain, an adaptation to allow people to eat despite hurting.”

Linda Bartoshuk, Ph.D.

Professor of Dentistry and Behavioral Science

University of Florida, Gainesville

Announcing:  Nobel Conference 47:  “The Brain & Being Human” October 4 & 5, 2011


150th Anniversary Commemorative Alumni Directory

The Gustavus Alumni Association is bringing together about 25,000 Gusties to celebrate the College’s 150th anniversary.  In partnership with Publishing Concepts, Inc. (PCI), Gustavus will produce the 150th Anniversary Commemorative Alumni Directory.  Over the next couple of months, PCI will be contacting Gustavus alumni via phone, mail, and e-mail to request that you update your information.  We know you don’t want to provide your information to just anyone, so we want you to be aware of this project and encourage your participation.  For more information, call the Office of Alumni Relations at 800-487-8437.

Nobel Conference

What is Good Food?  The Nobel Conference® 46, Making Food Good, was held Oct. 5-6.  It explored the many levels of this question.  From our seven distinguished panelists we considered varied and various conceptions of goodness and the challenges involved with the way they intersect with each other.  Contemporary food issues like community food security; the local foods movement; food crops as fuel crops; school lunches; genetic modification of food plants and animals; molecular gastronomy; and protecting genetic diversity of plants and animals were considered.  You can hear the talks online at:

Athletics Hall of Fame

Gustavus inducted new members into its Athletics Hall of Fame at a banquet on Sat., Oct. 9.  Inductees for 2010 are:  Evie Cieslar Erdman ’73, benefactor; Duke Paluch ’84, tennis; Erik Allen ’92, basketball; Peter Anderson ’92, golf; Leigh Stocker Berger ’92, volleyball; Angela White Vick ’92, track and field; Heidi Rostberg Carlson ’93, tennis; Erik Hendrikson ’94, hockey, football; Paige Tierney Sullivan ’95, soccer; and the Hall of Fame Moment−1990 Women’s Tennis National Championship.

Alumni Art Show

Over 60 alumni will participate in an Alumni Art Show in the Hillstrom Museum, November 22 through the end of the semester.  A reception will take place on Monday, November 22, 7 p.m.  This will be the first alumni art showing in the Hillstrom Museum.

“Come on You Gusties” Breakfast

Once a month, Gusties gather for coffee, breakfast, and great conversation along with a campus speaker.  All Gusties are welcomed and invited to the breakfast, third Wednesday of the month, 8-9:30 a.m. at the Doubletree Hotel, Minneapolis-Park Place, 1500 Park Place Boulevard.  Cost is $10 at the door.  Upcoming breakfasts include Jim Dontje, Oct. 20, with a recap of the Nobel Conference; Jeff Stocco, dean of students, on Nov. 17; Neal Hagberg ’81 and Leandra Peak ’83, musicians, on Dec. 15; and the winter sports coaches on Jan. 19.

Christmas in Christ Chapel Tickets

Tickets for Christmas in Christ Chapel 2010 will be available on Monday, Oct. 18 at noon.  Service dates are Friday, Dec. 3 at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, Dec. 4 at 3:30 p.m. and 7: 30 p.m.; and Sunday, Dec. 4 at 3:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.  Tickets are $17.50 each and available online via credit card at:  If you do not have access to the Internet, tickets are available by calling the Office of Marketing and Communication at 507-933-7520.


This Scholarship Fund continues to grow with your ongoing giving.  Are there any estates out there that would help this Scholarship Fund to grow dramatically???  This is the kind of giving that will keep on giving and growing beyond our lives.  Here is the latest report concerning this Scholarship Fund:

                        Beginning Market Value as of June 1, 2009                           $25,116

                        Gifts Received and/ or Income Added to Principal                   9,849

                        Funds Distributed, 2009-2010 Academic Year                                 0

                        Change in Market Value                                                            $1,827

                        Ending Market Value as of the present moment                       36,998

The Funds available for distribution for the coming academic year are based on the College’s valuation period of November 30, 2009.  Based on the College’s spending policy, $1,291 is available for distribution this year.  This fund will be active for the 2010-2011 school year.

I know that $1,291 is not a big scholarship but it will be helpful to some student who would be happy to use it for books which are not exactly cheap!  Here’s hoping that you are challenged to give to it and make it grow!!!


Thanks for reading through this letter.  I have been in conversation with Helen Forsgren Hokenson during the writing of this letter and she informs me that she is feeling healthier than ever and is confident that her eye will not lose its sight.  So please note that from this moment we are a team again!  In fact, the Alumni Office wants each class to expand its Class Agents Team to at least four members.  Please let us know if you can and want to help.

Blessings and Best Wishes Always,

Forrest “Woody” Chaffee

Co-Class Agent (Hooray!, Hallelujah!)