Class of '54
January 2011

Dear Classmates,

What a time we had!  Five former Johnson Hall room-mates, plus one townie and one former University of Minnesota college president, and their wives, spent a week together seeing the sites of the East coast and our nation’s heritage.  The group consisted of:

Roger and Janet (Christenson ʼ53) Carlson

Vic and Janet Carter

David Johnson

Bob & Marlene Lee

Paul & Andrea Olson

Paul & Sandie (Clark ʼ57) Vollan

John and Joan (Bonn ʼ55) Wright

The first week the entire group bunked in at the Carter’s sea-shore Maryland retreat with each day filled with seeing the sites, enjoying the food of the sea, walking the beach, and of course, renewing their friendships.  Vic and Janet Carter were our hosts as they shared the uniqueness of the Delaware coast and culinary delicacies of the sea.  Fun.  Fabulous food and tales of our past, embellished and enjoyed by all was our entertainment.

High on our list of heroes were John “Archy” Wright and Arthur “Bobby” Lee and their skill and patience in digging in the surf for clams in the ocean floor.  A delectable experience was the preparation of crab meat; that is the cracking, picking and preparing them for a treat at cocktail hour.  The clams and crabs ocean feast was prepared by the Carters.

From the coast of Maryland we motored to Philadelphia, PA and to Paul and Andrea Olson’s domain as they were the hosts for the next few days.  History 101 was revealed before our eyes as we once again witnessed history in the making.  Ben Franklin greeted us at Independence Hall as we toured the first home of the Continental Congress along with a wonderful variety of historical interests.  Betsy Ross was busy sewing a red, white and blue flag, and our costumed guide for the day, by his expert story- telling, brought the entire group back to our country’s beginning, in a very vivid and meaningful way.

As someone once said; “a good time was had by all.”  If anyone in our class or their friends is interested in an expertly guided tour of the Maryland shore or of our history in Philadelphia, Vic and/or Paul would love to be their guide!

Now on to another important subject; the Class of 1954 David C. Johnson Endowed Scholarship Fund!  As of December 1st, our class has contributed over $36,000 towards a goal of $100,000.  An additional $14K in pledges remains, which will bring us up to the half way mark!  Congratulations−this means that a student will be awarded over $1,700 towards their education this next year from our class efforts!

We, Paul Vollan and Roger Carlson, have agreed to be Co-Chairman of the Giving Committee with a goal of achieving the $100,000 by the fall of 2011.  As of December 1, 2010, 51 of our 128 classmates have given or pledged a gift to the scholarship and in this regard, both Paul and Roger will be contacting each of the 77 who have not yet pledged to date.  Contacts will be made in written requests and in person.  We look forward to talking with you!

We all know that there are many demands for our resources.  No argument there.  However, we all want to honor David Johnson as the former president of our class and at the same time provide financial assistance to a worthy student who has selected Gustavus as their college.

To the 51 members of our class who have already given or pledged, thank you for your continued loyalty to the college.  To those who have not yet pledged, we believe our scholarship is a good one, as the proceeds of the investment go directly to a worthy student EVERY YEAR in perpetuity and we hope you will join us in participating!  What better way to help the college and a student at the same time?  Please consider a pledge/gift, enclosed is a giving envelope for your use.

On a much lighter side, a new academic building is under construction and if you have the chance, drive down to St. Peter and the campus and see for yourself.


Roger Carlson

Paul Vollan

Co-Chairmen, Giving Committee, Class of 1954

Campus News

“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:  winter sports coaches on Jan. 19 and Tom Crady, vice president for enrollment management on Feb. 16.

Dr. Bernard LaFayette to speak in Chapel on MLK Day – January 17

With a welcoming address from President Jack R. Ohle and an introduction from senior Mayanthi Jayawardena, Rev. Dr. LaFayette will deliver the chapel address entitled “Lose, Gain, and be Gained.”  There will be a question and answer session prior to the closing prayers.

Rev. Dr. Bernard LaFayette, Jr., Ed.D., co-founded the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in 1960, and played a leadership role in several key Civil Rights Movement events in the early 1960s including the Nashville sit-ins in 1960, the Freedom Rides in 1961, and the Selma, Alabama Voting Rights Movement in 1965.

In addition to his involvement in the Civil Rights Movement in the sixties, LaFayette has also been a minister, educator, lecturer, and is an authority on the strategy of nonviolent social change.  He has served as Director of Peace and Justice in Latin America; Chairperson of the Consortium on Peace Research, Education and Development; Director of the PUSH Excel Institute; and minister of the Westminster Presbyterian Church in Tuskegee, Ala.

Call for Distinguished Alumni Citation Nominees

Each year the Gustavus Alumni Association presents Distinguished Alumni Citations.  The Distinguished Alumni Citation recognizes outstanding and exceptional professional achievement, such as to bring unusual honor to the individual in his or her field of endeavor.  Criteria appropriate to selection shall include the difficulty of accomplishment; quality, creativity, and distinctiveness of performance; recognition by professional peers; and lasting contribution to the world of ideas and affairs.  While the citation is a professional award, humanitarian achievements may also be weighed.  Nominees are now being accepted by the Alumni Board of Directors; please e-mail a resume or curriculum vitae to Randall Stuckey ’83, director of alumni relations, at  For a complete list of past recipients, view the awards website.

Chapter Gatherings

This year President and Kris Ohle have many travel dates planned in order to reach out to all of our alumni and bring them an update from the College.  Please mark your calendar if you live in or near one of these locations:

  • Palm Springs – January 7
  • Los Angeles – January 8
  • San Francisco – January 9
  • Seattle – January 27
  • Tucson – February 8
  • Phoenix – February 10
  • Denver – February 11
  • Boston – March 2
  • New York – March 4
  • Washington, DC – March 5
  • Jacksonville, FL – March 26
  • Orlando – March 28
  • Tampa – March 29
  • Naples – March 30
  • Chicago – April 29