Class of ’54

October 2012

Dear Classmates,

I attended the Nobel Conference 48:  Our Global Ocean at Gustavus a couple weeks ago and thought I’d share some highlights with you.

This 48th Annual Conference became a reality on October 2-3, 2012, with an attendance of close to 5000 people.  The Conference opened with David Gallo who grew up in central New York and early on battled with attention deficit disorder that gave him trouble in school.  When a teacher told Gallo he didn't have an aptitude for science it challenged him to work hard and by 1987 he had his Ph.D. in oceanography from the University of Rhode Island.  Gallo is probably most well-known for co-leading an exploration of the Titanic.  Looking for and mapping the two chunks of the ship was an exercise in patience, given the total lack of light.  He said, “It is akin to going to the Rocky Mountains to find two shoe boxes with a flashlight.”

Maya Tolstoy set a high bar for herself early in her talk when she made her audience care about the bottom of the ocean.  That comes easier for her than most. This marine geophysicist and seismologist first became fascinated with the power of earthquakes and “how tiny they make us realize we are.”  One summer, she went on a research trip in the ocean and completely “fell in love” with the sea.  In her presentation she spoke mostly about two very different types of undersea quakes:  tiny ones and big ones.  The tiny earthquakes create holes in the rock, allowing ocean water to seep in.  About 1 percent or 2 percent of the ocean is in the earth’s crust.  But it is the big earthquakes that do much damage.  On March 11, 2011, the seafloor near Japan jumped about 60 feet in a matter of seconds.  The massive quake lifted a wall of water that killed 227,898 people in Southeast Asia.  Unlike the mini-quakes, tsunami-triggering earthquakes happen when one plate slides beneath, or is simply pushed under another plate, and pushes it up.  She said there are plates off the Oregon and Washington coasts that will eventually trigger a large quake.  “It’s not a question of ‘if,’ it’s a question of ‘when.’”

Kathleen Dean Moore was an expert in helping us re-envision where humans stand with our global ocean.  She reminded us to celebrate, love, honor, and listen to the ocean−and the lake, river, meadow, forest, and desert.  She urged us to notice the birds, feel the sea spray on our face, and delight in the wind and waves.

Again the Nobel Conference featured several Gustavus music groups, a closing banquet, and of course hundreds of Gustavus youth that filled the balconies.

Woody Chaffee

1954 Co-class President

The class of 1954 Leadership Team (aka Reunion Planning Team) gathered on the Gustavus campus on Friday, September 14, 2012 to begin the planning process for its 60th anniversary reunion since graduation.  Co-Chairs Helen Forsgren Hokenson and Forrest Chaffee led the discussion with ten of the seventeen members in attendance.  The following outline was used as a planning tool:

  1. Setting the date and place of the reunion
  2. Setting the "tone" of the gathering, i.e. formal and informal gatherings/meetings.
  3. Review of possible activities for the weekend.
    1. campus tour
    2. campus update, i.e. new buildings, expansion of campus land
    3. worship service
    4. informal time to "meet and greet"
  4. Update on the Class of 1954 David C. Johnson Scholarship Fund
  5. Appointment of a Nominating Committee for new class officers to be elected immediately after the 2014 reunion.  Roger Carlson to serve as chair.
  6. Review of publicity plan to encourage the entire class to attend.

The next committee planning meeting will be held on Friday, September 6, 2013 at 1:00 PM at a location to be announced later.

Respectfully submitted,

Roger Carlson

Acting Secretary and Annual Fund Chair


Bob Gamm of Circle Pines is recovering from aorta aneurism surgery in February.  Happy to say he is recovering nicely and can now play 18 holes of golf.  His spouse Marlys Setterholm Gamm reports they had three children who attended Gustavus.  Now a grandson is attending with a legacy scholarship which is helpful and appreciated.

Just to clarify my beliefs of scribe duty.  Our mission is to facilitate lifelong relationships with each other and Gustavus.

My objectives include dissemination of college and class information, share individual activities, magnify memories and enhance our friendships.

My hidden agenda is for each of us to share our activities, thinking and passions (no politics, please) in our class letter and The Quarterly.  I believe some 80 years of living experiences will yield much thought, value and some fun.  So please submit your own comments or thoughts on any activity or passion you have.  Two sentences, two paragraphs or two pages are welcome.

Below are a couple of starter concerns:

  • If reward is on earth or in heaven, believe mine is on earth and will not make it to heaven.
  • A camel getting thru the eye of a needle is also a stretch.  This is major concern.
  • Also it appears to me that Scandinavians are masters at understatement.  This can be very good but my experience indicates this costs much recognition and many promotions in the workaday world.

Please send your updates to both your class officers and to the Alumni Office by emailing or send your own items/thoughts to me, Vic Carter at: or call me 302-731-4712.

Vic Carter

1954 Communications Chair

Campus News

The Royal Visit

On Friday, October 5, their Majesties King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden visited Gustavus in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the founding of the College by Swedish immigrants in 1862.  Look for photos in the next issue of the Quarterly.

Hall of Fame

On September 29, the Gustavus Athletics Department inducted nine new individuals into its Athletics Hall of Fame.  The 2012 class of inductees included:  Rhonda Gorseth Alberts ’93 (Gymnastics), Brian Brekke ’95 (Football), Kara Bloomquist Drekonja ’96 (Cross Country), Brett Gross ’96 (Track & Field), Brock Guettler ’92 (Basketball), Mark Kruger ’86 (Tennis), Jason Lesteberg ’96 (Hockey), Scott Stoneking ’96 (Soccer), and Donald Swanson ’55 (Benefactor).

Alumni Travel Opportunities

2013 Friends of Music Salzburg Choral Tour

Gustavus Friends of Music has arranged for a Gustavus Alumni choir tour to Munich, Salzburg, Vienna and Prague June 23 – July 5, 2013.  Singers and non-singers alike are welcome.  Once in Salzburg, the singers will join the Mozart International Choral Festival and perform Mozart’s Coronation Mass in the Salzburg Cathedral on June 29.  Not a singer?  There is space available for non-performers as well.  For more information contact Jackie Neeck Peterson ’77 at or 800-726-6192.

2013 Pearls of Central Europe

Experience Central Europe with Gustavus professor emeritus of history Dr. Tom Emmert from September 10—21, 2013.  This 12-day Gustavus study tour combines learning, exploring, leisure, lecture, food, and arts with special touches, all led by a faculty expert.  The journey is focused around three showpiece cities of Central Europe:  Prague, Vienna, and Budapest.  For more information, contact Tom Emmert at

Gustie Breakfasts - Twin Cities – New time and place

Engage with other alumni and learn something new about your alma mater at the monthly Twin Cities Gustavus alumni breakfast.  Please join us at the American Swedish Institute (2600 Park Ave, Minneapolis), on the third Wednesday of each month at 7:30 a.m.  Cost is $10.  Gustie breakfasts are also being held on campus the second Wednesday of each month.

November 21 – Donald Ostrom – November elections

December 19 – Terry Morrow – Minnesota Vikings stadium

Upcoming Chapter Gatherings

National Chapter events for alumni, parents and friends are scheduled for the 2012-13 academic year and will focus on the College’s pillar of “Teaching and Learning.”  Please save the date for the event in your area.  Time and location details will be forthcoming

Nov. 8 – New York City

Nov. 10 – Boston

Nov. 10 – Dallas

Nov. 11 – Houston

Nov. 13 – Washington, DC

Jan. 29 – Phoenix

Jan. 31 – Tucson

Feb. 3 – Los Angeles

Feb. 4 - Palm Springs

Feb 13 – Tampa

Feb. 15 – Naples

Feb. 28 – Seattle

Mar. 2 – San Francisco

Mar. 9 – Madison

Mar. 12 – Denver

Mar. 14 – Chicago

Apr. 11 – Atlanta