Class of 1954

April 2011

Dear Classmates,

For us “up north,” isn’t it great to know SPRING just didn’t pass us by?  (Remember our junior year at Gustavus when the temperature was -30◦F for six weeks?  Uffda!)

For classmates “elsewhere” we hope your WINTER was even greater…golfing…and the other fun stuff “down south.”  We do realize how you missed the snow! ☺ So be it!  ☺ …I hope the joy of good health, friends and family kept us energized and moving forward!

It would be wonderful to hear about your fun times, travel, even volunteer “ops.”  Habitat for Humanity has been an inspiration for me…and of course, the grandchildren and “great-grands”…what fun!  Since January 2008 we have walked closely in support of our son, Jim, as he lives through the diagnosis of Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD).  He’s been a singer all his life and he shares this gift with other residents at Magnum Health Care in our town…a caring, loving soul he is!

The Gustavus Quarterly and the recent Annual Report really excite me!  So many wonderful opportunities for students working to graduate and to “make your life count”…an impressive motto.  Thanks Gustavus!  How grateful we can be…the legacy goes on.  Our class members’ varied gifts and our David C. Johnson Scholarship help to make it so.  Roger Carlson’s and Paul Vollan’s dedication as our class’s Annual Fund Chairs, assist and challenge us to “bring home” the goal!  WE THANK THEM!

Giving to Gustavus

Have you heard how our Class Endowed Scholarship is doing?  Our class has raised over $40,000 since our reunion and we are now generating a scholarship for a sophomore student of almost $2,000.  Every year, our scholarship will be providing funds to students who are unable to pay full tuition.  This year it is Jacob Lorence of White Bear Lake!  How exciting is that!  We are hoping you will join us in the quest to raise $100,000 in this scholarship by our next reunion in 2014.  There are a couple of ways we can reach this goal with your help.  A three year pledge, to keep it rising towards our goal or a pledge with a future gift designated in your will or bequest.  Will you help us get there to show that the Class of 1954 is behind the Gusties of today?  Students will hear about us forever, our Class Endowed Scholarship is a forever gift.  We hope you will join us in making a gift this year.

Here’s a note from our scholarship recipient, Jake Lorence ʼ13:

“My name is Jake Lorence and I grew up in White Bear Lake, Minnesota.  It is a suburb just north of the Twin Cities.  I went to a private high school called Hill-Murray, which is located in Oakdale.  Hill-Murray is known for having a great hockey team, too bad I don’t play hockey.  I played football all four years at Hill-Murray and I was even lucky enough to be a captain my senior year.  I also ran track, was in band, and was in peer ministry which is a group of students that lead prayer for other students.  I chose Gustavus because it was the best school I could afford to come to and it gave me an opportunity to continue my football career.  I am the first person from my family to go to Gustavus, but I am the third of my siblings to go to a MIAC school.  I am planning on studying management and I am possibly going to go to law school if my GPA and LSAT are high enough.  I have done a few extracurricular activities at Gustavus.  I played football my freshman year, but I hurt my back and could no longer play.  Then, I signed up with study buddies, which is a program that tutors people throughout St. Peter.  Finally, this year I joined the diving team, which was a huge shift from football.  I had never done any diving before and my coach, Jeff Thomae, was really nice and patient with me.  Diving was a lot of fun.  I have really enjoyed my time at Gustavus and I couldn’t see myself going anywhere else.  Thank you for your support, it helped me to be able to come to this great college.”

Campus News

Alumni Association Awards Announced

The Greater Gustavus Award is the highest award given to those, who by deed, have notably advanced and aided Gustavus Adolphus College.  Walter Youngquist ’42, Eugene, OR, chair emeritus, Department of Geology, University of Oregon, and consulting geologist, was selected as the 2011 recipient of the Greater Gustavus Award.  Youngquist has established five different endowed funds at the College and is the recipient of a Gustavus Distinguished Alumni Citation in the field of geology in 2002.  Walter’s father, Walter Youngquist ’16, received the Greater Gustavus Award in 1953.

Distinguished Alumni Citations recognize outstanding and exceptional professional achievement, such as unusual honor accorded to the individual in his or her field of endeavor.  Named as 2011 recipients are John “Jack” Bergman ’69, St. Francisville, LA, lieutenant general, retired, United States Marine Corp., in the field of military service; Robert Brown ’83, Rochester, MN, John T. and Lillian Matthews Professor of Neuroscience, Chair of Department of Neurology, Mayo Clinic, in the field of medicine; and Mark Thomsen ’78, Henderson, NV, professional operatic tenor, in the field of music.

The First Decade Award recognizes early professional achievement to one female and one male in the 10th Anniversary Class.  Selected were Kirsten Cullen Sharma ’01, New York, NY, clinical assistant professor, New York University Child Study Center, New York University Langone Medical Center, and Jonathan Poole ’01, Washington, DC, special agent, violent crime branch, Diplomatic Security Service, U.S. Department of State.  The Awards will be presented at the Alumni Banquet on Saturday, May 28.

Sesquicentennial Award

In 2011–2012, Gustavus will celebrate its 150th academic year.  The Board of Trustees has established an award in honor of this Sesquicentennial anniversary to recognize individuals who have made a significant difference in the life of the College.  The award, called “The Sesquicentennial Award,” will acknowledge and pay tribute to living alumni, parents, friends, and retired faculty and staff who:

Through actions in their personal or professional lives, have advanced the status of Gustavus as a premier liberal arts college;

Have set a new precedent in the ways they supported and advanced the mission of the College as an institution dedicated to preparing students “for fulfilling lives of leadership and service in society”; and/or

Have brought particular dignity or honor to the College.

Please submit nominations online at  For more information about the Sesquicentennial Awards, visit

“Come on You Gusties” Breakfasts

Engage with other alumni and learn something new about your alma mater at the monthly Gustie breakfasts.  The speaker at both the St. Peter and Minneapolis breakfasts for April will be Warren Wunderlich, director of the physical plant.  The Minneapolis breakfast is Wednesday, April 20, 8–9:30 a.m., at the Doubletree Hotel Minneapolis-Park Place, 1500 Park Place Blvd. Cost is $10 at the door.  Reserve your spot by e-mailing the Office of Alumni Relations at or by calling 800-487-8437.

Chapter Gatherings

This year President and Kris Ohle have traveled to many parts of the country and made 15 stops in various cities, in order to reach out to all of our alumni and bring them an update from the College.  There is still one more on the calendar, so if you live in the Chicago area, please mark your calendar for – Friday, April 29.

Summer will bring another round of picnic gatherings – so please mark your calendar if you live near one of these locations:

Mankato, MN – May 31

Rochester, MN – June 1

Sioux Falls, SD – June 6

Fargo, ND/Moorhead, MN – June 7

St. Cloud, MN – June 8

Apple Valley, MN – July 12

Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN – July 13

Long Lake, MN – July 14

Duluth, MN – July 26

Grand Rapids, MN – July 27

Brainerd, MN - July 28

Books in Bloom

“Books in Bloom,” a new initiative hosted by GLA to benefit and celebrate Folke Bernadotte Library, will be held on Honors Weekend, May 6-8, 2011.  Based on the Minneapolis Institute of Art’s “Art in Bloom,” floral arrangements depicting more than 20 different books, films, and periodicals will be placed throughout the library.  Each arrangement is sponsored by a $500 donation with all proceeds going to fund new acquisitions for the library.  Professional floral designers as well as those who simply love plants and flowers will create the arrangements.  The exhibit is free and open to the public.  Hours are Friday 3-7 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. - 6p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.  A brochure with a brief description of the materials and a map for self-guided tours will be available.  Also, student led tours are scheduled throughout the weekend.

Thanks to Woody for his thoughts on the following:

A Goldmine of Gustavus Beauty – The Linnaeus Arboretum

It has been a thrill to see spring arrive with all of its beauty on campus at Gustavus after a very rugged winter.  Part of the beauty has been the development of the Linnaeus Arboretum through the years.  In 1972 the idea for the Arboretum was initiated when President Barth asked Charles Mason, professor of biology and future arboretum director, for trees around the president’s house.  The first trees of the Arboretum were planted by volunteers in 1973.  Today the Arboretum covers 125 acres which includes the new 70 acre Coneflower Prairie in 2008.

Here are some other interesting facts:

  • There are 682 trees in the formal Arboretum with many more in the natural areas.
  • There are 114 different species throughout the Arboretum
  • The Arboretum is home to two restored wetland ponds hosting native wetland species.
  • Over 150 species of birds have been sighted in the Arboretum.
  • 27 volunteers called “Nasturtiums” have agreed to care for the gardens and pool again this year guaranteeing another season of well-manicured plots.
  • Hundreds of tulips were planted last fall and are now emerging from the cold ground ready to entertain us with an array of warm colors during the next few weeks.

Gustavus is becoming one of the most beautiful of campuses around.  If you come to or through Minnesota this summer take time to visit!

Back to you, Helen!

So…dear classmates, have a fabulous, happy, fun and relaxing summer…you deserve it!


Helen Forsgren Hokenson

1954 Co-class Agent with Woody