Class of 1954

Summer 2011

Dear Classmates,

Well…summer did come although “up north” we began to wonder …if…or when!  I hope you’re enjoying the season in every possible way!!  Having good times with grand and great grandkids is great fun for Rod [Hokenson ʼ53] and me.  We’re grateful for each “event!”

The Gustavus Alumni Association is moving into an expanded alumni function plan…a team leadership approach, involving more classmates than the Class Agent plan, is taking shape.  Our class of ʼ54 leadership team members now are:  Roger Carlson, Paul Vollan, Dianne Anglemyer Clinton, Vic Carter, Woody Chaffee, and Helen Forsgren Hokenson.  Each team member has responsibility for a “piece” of the team’s tasks and opportunities.  It feels good as we move into it.  We look forward to September 30, 2011 when the Alumni Leadership Teams will gather at Gustavus to learn more and prepare to move forward.

It is pure joy for me to now “celebrate” knowing that an Adrian High School graduate 2011 is going to Gustavus this fall!!  Yes, he is a member of the largest freshmen class to enroll at our Alma Mater!  What a grand reality as Gustavus celebrates its 150th anniversary!  What an inspiration for all of us to “walk with” Gustavus into a creative future with continued love and support!


Dear ʼ54 Classmates,

Remember those days in 1950 as you were making plans to go to Gustavus?  Those were exciting days of anticipation.  I went to Gustavus with much encouragement from home.  Because tuition and room and board were reasonable, a good summer job provided dollars for me to pay for Gustavus.  After four years, I left with a degree, a future wife and no debt!

Today’s students face $45,000 bill for ONE year at Gustavus.  Reducing student debt is critical.  I recently saw a note from a sophomore student expressing gratitude for his scholarship.  Without it he could not have gone to Gustavus.  He is going into pediatric medicine.  Might one of our grandchildren or great-grandchildren have this man as their doctor in the future?

In celebration of our graduation anniversaries, I, Janet (Christenson ʼ53) and Paul and Sandy (Clark ʼ57) Vollan have made cash gifts to the Class of 1954 David C. Johnson Scholarship Endowment.  Grants from this fund help to reduce student debt.  But, are there ways other than cash gifts by which we can help to make this endowment fund grow?  With the help of Paul Tillquist ʼ63 from the Advancement Office we are preparing a couple of communications to you with some suggestions about how you can include our Class of 1954 Endowment in your planning.  This first letter will focus on a bequest from your estate.

Would you consider a gift to the endowment in your estate plans?  We periodically review our estate plans.  We want to pass on something to children and grandchildren.  But, like Warren Buffet, we want to “leave our children enough to do anything, but not so much they can do nothing!”

We are planning a gift to Gustavus to help produce that physician, teacher, or pastor who might have an impact on our own family.  Perhaps our gift will help a student who might go on and find the cure for Alzheimer’s?  A simple amendment to our Living Trust provides a gift to the Class of 1954 Scholarship Endowment upon the death of the last of us to die.  A simple Will provision could accomplish the same goal.  How much could it be?  Consider a gift of 3-5% of the net worth of your estate upon the death of the last to die.

I have worked with Paul Tillquist ʼ63, Executive Consultant for Institutional Advancement for several years.  He would be very willing to provide answers to questions and illustrations for your consideration.  You can contact him at or by cell phone:  651-271-0536.

I encourage you to give strong consideration to your own legacy at Gustavus.  It could be helping a student who may, at some point, maybe as your doctor, be in a position to help you.

Roger Carlson and Paul Vollan

1954 Annual Fund Co-chairs


Campus News

586 Graduates Receive Degrees

On Sunday, May 29, 2011, 586 seniors received their Bachelor of Arts degrees from Gustavus Adolphus College.  Senior Phil Helt of Gladstone, MO, delivered this year’s commencement address And Associate Professor of Nursing Barbara Zust received the 2011 Edgar M. Carlson Award for Distinguished Teaching.

“Come on You Gusties” Breakfasts

Engage with other alumni and learn something new about your alma mater at the monthly Gustie breakfasts.  The speaker for July is Steve Waldhauser ʼ70 and Dean Wahlund ʼ72 from the Office of Marketing and Communications.  August speaker will be Barb Larson Taylor ’93 who will speak about the Sesquicentennial plans.  The Minneapolis breakfast is Wednesday, July 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.

The St. Peter breakfast will be Wednesday, August 10, 7:30–9 a.m. in a campus banquet room in the C. Charles Jackson Campus Center.  Cost is $8 per person, or $15 for two, payable at the door.  Reserve your spot by e-mailing or by calling 507-933-7512.

Summer Picnics

The Gustie summer picnics, held in 11 different cities, are coming to an end with just three left on the agenda.  If you leave near one of these areas please join President Jack and Kris Ohle as they reach out to all of our alumni and bring them an update from the College.

Duluth, MN – July 26

Grand Rapids, MN – July 27

Brainerd, MN - July 28

Nobel Conference 47 - The Brain and Being Human  Oct. 4 & 5, 2011

In recent years, novel collaborations between neuroscientists and researchers in seemingly disparate fields have forged new ideas and new questions about the working of the brain.  Aspects of daily human life are now incorporated into the scientific arena in a new synthesis to understand the human experience and what it means to be human.  The braiding of neuroscience with the humanities, arts, social sciences, theology, and engineering has empowered explanations of the motivations and operations of our daily activities.  This insight engenders uncertainty in terms of how to best apply this knowledge responsibly and ethically, and perhaps is even challenging the distinctiveness of our own species.

It would be great to hear what you’re doing “for fun” these days…or what volunteer activities you are involved with…or travel…whatever!  Although graduation day 1954 is a “few” years ago…it would be fun to share thoughts of what’s happening on “our journey” as the years fly by…thanks!

Be well, enjoy life remembering…”The times you’ve had here, and don’t forget to come back some day…”  “Hi,” from our Leadership Team!!

Helen Forsgren Hokenson

1954 Vice President/Reunion Chair