Class of ’54

November 2011

Dear classmate,

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 a $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, we 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 ’63 from the Advancement Office, Paul Vollan and I 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 I, like Warren Buffet, want to “Leave my children enough to do anything, but not so much they can do nothing!”

Janet (Christenson ʼ53) and I 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 ’63 from the Advancement Office for several years.  He would be very willing to provide answers to questions and illustrations for your consideration.  You can contact him by calling:  651-486-8273 or emailing him at  He has a vast storehouse of knowledge about creative ways of giving.

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

Thank you for your loyalty to the college and to the class of 1954

Roger Carlson

1954 Co-Annual Fund Chair