Class of '55
January 2001

Dear Classmates:

I have the distinct honor of "sitting in" for Dick DeRemee as guest class letter writer. Some with long memories may recall that I was our first class agent, but it was for a very short term…medical school didn’t leave any time for me to send out class letters or pursue annual fund activity. I guess I was replaced within the first year! Dick’s masterful literary style is a tough act to follow¾ one of his more recent books is entitled Clinical Profiles of Diffuse Interstitial Pulmonary Disease. It’s a "must read"¾ once you put it down, you just can’t pick it up!

I must mention again our 45th class reunion last October. It’s a wonderful thing to see those great friends (and to try to remember their names)! Merrill Widmark was at the Sofitel reception in a wheel chair with his leg in the biggest cast I’ve ever seen¾ heard it was a sports injury, only he was the ref! Evelyn Young ’33 appeared at our reception and greeted everyone by name. Try your best, dear classmates, to make these events¾ they warm the heart with fond and fun memories of times at Gustavus.

Then there was Christmas in Christ Chapel. The theme, "Heaven and Nature Sing" was remarkably brought to music in a stirring performance. It’s a fine time to visit the campus during the Advent season.

The Phonorama was again a success¾ the reports detail great conversations with so many of our classmates. Too many to mention except a note from Don Gustafson correcting the exaggerated reports of his retirement¾ in fact, he was teaching at Augsburg the evening of our class reunion! This is a good way to keep your friends (and the Alumni Office) informed about your whereabouts and the events in your life. I guess we’re all aware that these connections become ever more important as time rolls on…

My Julie and I are enjoying life on the sunny shore of Lake Superior. We would welcome a visit from you as you travel up the north shore. I’ve been involved with the newly opened Great Lakes Aquarium, and it’s an exciting attraction for you to visit the next time you're in Duluth. We do see Janet Ford Schramm every so often¾ usually on skis!

I must get back to DeRemee again before closing¾ he was inducted into the Red Wing High School "Wall of Fame." A real honor, sponsored by a student organization symbolizing success, opportunity, achievement, and recognition. Congrats, Dick! But the funny part was that he and Lucy got to ride on the back of a convertible in a parade, surrounded by throngs of cheering students! Wouldn’t you have loved to have seen that?

Campus News

The Gustavus campus is enjoying another busy and exciting January Term with 2300-plus students enrolled for credit! We are offering over 100 January Term courses, including 16 travel courses (plus 36 international courses through our UMAIE consortium). There are also 15 courses on the special Environmental Studies theme for J-Term 2001. Some of these courses include, Chemistry in the Environment, The Literature of Winter, Geographical Issues in the Third World, Global Environmental Change, Amazonia: An Eco-Historical Perspective, GIS in Environmental Analysis, The Changing Face of Agriculture, and Environmental Journalism. Next year (2002) the January Term theme will be "Global Village" and will feature both international and domestic diversity focused courses. After that J-Term themes are planned for "Service-Learning" (2003) and "Undergraduate Research" (2004).

You are invited and encouraged to attend these upcoming national chapter alumni events. Invitations are sent to alumni in chapters. For more information, please call the Alumni Office at 800-487-8437 or look on the web at

  • Albuquerque Chapter, Gustavus Choir Concert, January 28
  • Santa Fe Chapter, Gustavus Choir Concert, January 29
  • Denver Chapter, Gustavus Choir Concerts, January 30 & 31
  • Rapid City Chapter, Gustavus Choir Concert, February 1
  • Sioux Falls Chapter, Gustavus Choir Concert, February 2
  • Twin Cities Chapter, Gustavus Choir Concert, February 4, Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church, 12650 Johnny Cake Road, Apple Valley, 3:30 p.m.
  • Gustavus Band Home Concert, February 4, Christ Chapel, 7:30 p.m.
  • Gustavus Choir Home Concert, February 10, Christ Chapel, 7:30 p.m.
  • Marco Island gathering February 24
  • Vero Beach gathering February 25

Reunions 2001

50th Anniversary Class and 50-Year Club reunions will take place on campus, May 25-26 for the Class of 1951 and the 50-Year Club. Registration material will be mailed in April.

A reminder that all other reunion classes (1956, 1961, 1966, 1971, 1976, 1981, 1986, 1991 and 1996) will have their reunions at Homecoming on September 21-22. Class gatherings will take place in the Twin Cities at the DoubleTree Hotel, Minneapolis Airport at the Mall, on Friday, September 21. Homecoming activities will take place on campus on Saturday, September 22.

Will you help Gustavus remain strongly church related? Encourage your ELCA congregation to join the Gustavus Adolphus College Association of Congregations. There is no cost. For more information, call the Office of Church Relations at 800-726-6194 or e-mail Craig Johnson at

Well, that’s it¾ thanks for reading! And as Garrison always reminds us, "be well, do good work, and stay in touch."

Phil Eckman

1955 Guest Letter Writer