Class of ’54

April 2012

Dear classmates,

Our heart goes out to Helen Forsgren Hokenson and family with the loss of their son, Jim who shared his passion for music with so many others.  Helen cherishes the planter and flowers given by classmates in sympathy.  She will reuse the planter many times in his memory.  May we all move closer to “His way for me” by Gerhard Frost.

“What It Means to be a Minnesotan”

David Johnson, who was chancellor at the University of Minnesota, Morris is scheduled for a return visit in May to give a talk as part of a series on the above subject.  His students idolized him as a professor and we were fortunate to have him as our class president of '54.  We really look forward to a summary of his part and the whole series on “What it means to be a Minnesotan.”

Summit Meeting

John and Joan (Bonn ʼ55) Wright, Paul and Sandy (Clark ʼ57) Vollan plus Twig ʼ53 and Phyllis Anderson Erickson assembled at Palm Desert, CA in March to examine world problems and play golf if time permits.  Recommendations will be published when provided.

Annual Fund closes on May 31

Over the years, many in our class have given generously and regularly.  Some have given less regularly or not at all.  I’d like to challenge each one of us to step up this year−to really step up our giving−to recognize the value of our own Gustavus education and that of current Gusties and those to come.  If you haven’t already done so, please respond enthusiastically if you get a call to make a donation.  And let’s all try to be in before May 31, the end of the fiscal year.  your support matters.

Reunions 2004-2014

Special thanks to all those who planned, executed and attended the 2004 reunion.  The messages delivered in the chapel by Woody Chaffee, John Chell and others made me proud to be your classmate.  Living at home while attending GAC may have caused me to miss a major part of college education, but knowing many of you better in the last few years has been a special treat of later middle age.

So we are really looking forward to the 2014 reunion.  Please give us your ideas, suggestions and thoughts for some fun at our gathering.

Vic Carter

1954 Class Officer

Campus News

2012 Alumni Association Awards Announced

The Gustavus Alumni Board of Directors has announced its 2012 award recipients:

Greater Gustavus Award – awarded to those “who by deed, have notably advanced and aided Gustavus Adolphus College”:

Jon and Anita Thomsen Young ’77 ’77, Eden Prairie, MN, for their volunteer leadership, service and philanthropy to the College.

Distinguished Alumni Citations – recognizing outstanding and exceptional professional achievement that brings unusual honor to the individual in his or her field of endeavor:

Scott Dee ’81, Farwell, MN, professor of veterinary population medicine, University of Minnesota, swine consultant, and international research veterinarian and director at Pipestone Veterinary Clinic;

Mark Elfstrom ’01, Anchorage, AK, middle school math and science teacher, recipient of a 2011 Milken Educator Award and finalist for the 2012 Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching;

Kurt Elling ’89, New York, NY, Grammy Award-winning vocal jazz artist.

First Decade Awards – recognizing early professional achievement in the 10th anniversary class:

Amy Brown ’02, Pittsburgh, PA, neonatology fellow at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center;

Michael Bland ’02, St. Louis, MO, postdoctoral associate, earth and planetary sciences, Washington University.

The Alumni Association will present Faculty and Administrator Service and Retirement Awards at a dinner at Gustavus on May 16; honorees will be featured in the fall issue of The Gustavus Quarterly.

National Sesquicentennial Celebrations

Throughout the coming year, Gusties are gathering across the country to reflect on Gustavus’s past, celebrate 150 academic years, and engage for the future.  In conjunction with the celebrations on campus, the College invites all alumni, parents, and friends for a celebration in an area near them.  The president has gone to 14 different locations from New York to LA.  You can view them all and register for an event at

Upcoming Chapter Events

June 5, 6:00 - 8:30 p.m.

Sesquicentennial Celebration - Rochester (Somerby Golf Club, Byron MN)

June 18, 6:00 - 8:30 p.m.

Sesquicentennial Celebration - St. Cloud (St. Cloud Civic Center, St. Cloud MN)

June 19, 6:00 - 8:30 p.m.

Sesquicentennial Celebration - Willmar (The Oaks at Eagle Creek, Willmar MN)

June 20, 6:00 - 8:30 p.m.

Sesquicentennial Celebration - Fargo/Moorhead (Stokers at Hotel Donaldson)

June 25, 6:00 - 8:30 p.m.

Sesquicentennial Celebration - Sioux Falls (Minerva’s Restaurant and Bar, Sioux Falls, SD)

June 26, 6:00 - 8:30 p.m.

Sesquicentennial Celebration - Omaha (Spezia Restaurant, Omaha NE)

June 27, 6:00 - 8:30 p.m.

Sesquicentennial Celebration - Des Moines (The Wakonda Club, Des Moines IA)

July 16, 6:00 - 8:30 p.m.

Sesquicentennial Celebration - Grand Rapids (Timberlake Lodge Hotel, Grand Rapids MN)

July 17, 6:00 - 8:30 p.m.

Sesquicentennial Celebration - Duluth (Clyde Park Restaurant, Duluth MN)

MayDay! Conference

On Wednesday, May 2, Gustavus will host the 32nd annual MAYDAY! Peace Conference.  “Multicultural Sweden” is the topic of the 32nd annual MAYDAY! Peace Conference.  Dilsa Demirbag-Sten, Swedish journalist and media contributor on such topics as integration and amnesty, opens the daylong conference at 10 a.m. in Christ Chapel.  There are many other events scheduled for the remainder of the afternoon.  The conference, an event designed to educate the campus community and beyond about issues related to peace, human rights, and social justice, is open to public at no charge.

Books in Bloom

Gustavus Library Associates (GLA) is preparing to host the second annual Books in Bloom event May 4-6 at the Folke Bernadotte Memorial Library on the campus of Gustavus Adolphus College.  Books in Bloom is a unique event that will highlight books, media, and other resource material within the library through floral arrangements and artistic expression.  More than 20 exhibits will be on display – each of them sponsored by an individual or family and created by professional florists and flower enthusiasts – that represent and illustrate a book or other holding within the library.