Class of '55
January 2000

Dear class of '55:

In this, my second class letter, I again continue to have GAC flashbacks prompted by the seasons. Before Christmas I vividly recall the big service in the auditorium followed by some good cheer in Uhler Hall as we said goodbye to return to our respective homes for the holidays. There was a certain sadness even though our separation would be brief. Back we came in January bracing ourselves against the fierce wind and snow sweeping across hello walk. I can still see many of us clinging to a lamppost lest we be blown down the hill into the frozen Minnesota river. What a time!

On October 18, I was joined by the faithful Rod Baxter at Phonorama. He spent three nights at it for which he deserves our applause. Great work Rod! It was fun to talk with many of you. Such as: Jerry Christianson (he sounds like the old Jerry), Norm Carlson (he's off to Arizona for the winter), "Pete" Northfield (he's going there, too). Joan Bonn Wright supplied me with a few new jokes. Other notable voices included Jackie Carlson (she is formulating medical practice guidelines for Health Risk Management). Jean Matz Carlson is enjoying her musical life in Wells. She suggests we have a sing fest at our reunion next September 29. Any possibility of getting a karaoke machine, Don? Paul and Mary (Andreen '56) Carlson, out in Palo Alto, are busy with grandkids and trips to Alaska as Paul continues his fascinating work. Ralph Sonday eschews full retirement; still going strong. It was good to again hear the mellifluous voice of Carol Roberg Lind. Don Bauer's family continues to grow, now working on his sixth grandchild. The Reverend Bill Albertson has assumed new duties as minister of Pilgrims United Church of Christ in Maple Grove. (Do you still answer to "Willie," Bill?).

Gene Frisk has been my chief e-mail correspondent. Incidentally, I encourage everyone to contact me with stories and comments at Gene reports that the peripatetic pair, Don and Bev (Matson '56) Gustafson were in Cambodia and Vietnam early in last year and then decided that South Africa was more important than their garden. Gene has also had contact with Buck Emberg. Where are you Buck and what are you doing? Again, by e-mail, Arlo and Patti (Monk) Lien tell me they are enjoying their dream home in Oro Valley, Arizona. They say they have a nice guestroom, at least they offered it to me. Last November, Lucy and I had fun visiting Dick and Jo (Johnson '56) Lundborg in their Hilo, Hawaii retreat. They still look like the couple we all enjoyed watching reading the Sunday paper in the sequestered cove at Wahlstrom. Phil Eckman is enjoying his retirement after his busy life as CEO of the Duluth Clinic. To this I can personally attest as we have spent many fun times with him and his wife, Julie.

Campus News:

The Gustavus campus is in the midst of January term with over 20% of the student body away from campus this month participating in internships, study abroad programs, student teaching or studying at other domestic institutions. On campus there are many unique classes being offered such as Archeology and the Bible and Analyzing Japan in addition to numerous classes and programs around a J-Term 2000 theme - Focus on Women's Studies. Next year January Term will focus on environmental studies. Winter sports, fine arts and extra-curricular activities are also in full swing. Even though there is little snow at Gustavus the new Nordic Ski Team is preparing for competition. The band and choir are preparing for southern tour destinations—the band to Florida and the choir to Texas.

Construction on campus continues as the new Campus Center will be finished in February with the completion of renovating the former dining service building. Many offices will then move to their new location in the Campus Center including Admission, Dean of Students, Student Activities and Residential Life. Construction of the new International House-Swedish House, a new residence hall/international center to replace Johnson Hall and the Swedish House that were destroyed in the March 1998 tornado, will begin this spring. Construction on an outdoor track and new soccer field stadium will begin this summer. If you have not been back to campus lately, you are encouraged to make a visit to see these exciting changes.

If you can not make it back to campus, but want to stay connected, check out the Internet site at The college is thrilled to recently have hired a web coordinator who has been busy updating the Gustavus home page. Look for more changes to alumni services on the web coming this spring.

You are invited and encouraged to attend these upcoming alumni events:

  • Naples gathering February 5 (Marco Island gathering cancelled)
  • Tucson Chapter gathering February 7
  • Phoenix Chapter gathering February 8
  • Sun City Chapter gathering February 9
  • Seattle G.I.V.E. project February 19 and Seattle Chapter gathering on March 2
  • Bay Chapter gathering March 4
  • Los Angeles Chapter gathering March 5
  • San Diego Chapter gathering March 6
  • Helen and Paul Baumgartner, Gustavus music faculty will perform two piano recitals in the Twin Cities on March 12, 1:30 p.m. at Cross of Glory Lutheran Church, Brooklyn Center and March 19, 7:00 p.m. at Wayzata Community Church
  • 50th Anniversary Class and 50 Year Club reunions - May 26-27

A reminder that all other reunion classes (1955, 1960, 1965, 1970, 1975, 1980, 1985, 1990 and 1995) will have their reunions at Homecoming on September 29-30.

A new method of giving to the College is now available! Lutheran Brotherhood created a highly successful and popular program for Lutheran churches called Simply Giving and has just extended this opportunity to Gustavus and other Lutheran colleges. Simply Giving is an automatic bank draft program that allows you to make regular monthly gifts from a checking or savings account to the College. You do not need to be Lutheran to participate, there is no cost to you or the College for this service, and you can make changes at any time. For so many people, it is much easier to give $50 a month than to write a $600 check once a year. Please call Heather Nancarrow at (800) 726-6192 or (507) 933-7518, or e-mail her at to request more information.

So, dear classmates, put the date of Friday, September 29, 2000 on your calendars. Come for the great fun of seeing old faces in different bodies and hear the old tales that will perhaps be a little embellished by the passage of 45 years.


Dick DeRemee

1955 Class Agent