Class of '55
September 2001

Dear Classmates:

I have a confession to make; I must bare my soul.  It is very difficult for me to ask people for their money.  Since I was a kid in Red Wing it has been so.  Undoubtedly this arises from my penurious conservative immigrant Swedish Lutheran background.  Given my lack of developmental zeal I may not be the best person for the role of class agent.  I feel for all of you as you are bombarded almost daily with requests for donations to a multitude of worthy institutions and causes.

It has been and is my conviction that the prime mission of the class agent is to foster a continuing link between Gustavus and its graduates; to remind them of their days on the Hill and all the good things that happened to them there that continue to affect their daily lives.  Most of us acknowledge an abiding affection for Gustavus and this is what I want to affirm and to provide a channel for expression.  Where there are good feelings and good will, gifts of gratitude will follow.  That is the order I see.  I would only ask you to consider this in ordering your priorities for giving.  As I write there are many young people whose minds and spirits are being shaped by Gustavus just like ours were.  Gustavus continues to be a shining light for good, worthy of our affection and support.

In my class letter last spring I noted the tragic death of Paul Haglin, age 29, son of Ardis Johnson Haglin.  She said in a letter to the Alumni Office, “I am especially grateful that Gustavus is small enough to care and big enough to share its heart for our loss.  Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.”  I am happy we could share in the sadness and the healing.

Even some that did not graduate continue to think of Gustavus as did Jim Orton, a retired California highway patrolman, who recently e-mailed: “Very interesting!  I attended Gustavus in 1951-52.  Played football on the JV squad.  My dorm was Johnson Hall.  I would have graduated with the class 1955.  Enlisted in US Navy during Korean War.  I really enjoy your website and see a lot of my friends’ names.”

More kudos for Don Swanson.  In June he was inducted as a charter member of the Patrick Henry High School Hall of Fame.  Congratulations, Swanie!  Nancy Hagberg Johnson says she missed our 45th reunion to accompany her husband, Jerry, to the 50th anniversary of the Inchon landing during the Korean War.  We fully understand your excuse, Nancy.  Jackie Carlson had an extraordinary experience as a part of a music mission to Nigeria.  She played in an orchestra that sang and played its way through Nigeria as a part of the dedication of a Good Samaritan Society of America Mission near the village of Fiditi.

By now you have received forms for the next Gustavus directory.  I urge you to complete them, as that data can be a good source for future class letters.  The Gustavus Alumni Fund is back in name as a part of the Gustavus Fund.  It is good to have our fund back.

Send me your letters, faxes (507 288 5221), calls (507 288 3745) and e-mails ( to keep me on track.  Once again, our 50th is not far away. Put it on your calendars and on your minds.

With all best wishes,

Dick DeRemee

1955 Class Agent

Campus News:

The Alumni Office is sending this class letter via U.S. Postal Service Mail and also e-mail to those alumni for whom we have an e-mail address.  Eventually class letters will be sent via e-mail only, when an address is available, unless you notify the Alumni Office that you prefer to continue to receive your letters via U.S. Postal Service.  Contact the Alumni Office at

As Gustavus enters its 140th academic year, the 2001-2002 year opened with an enrollment of 2,540 full-time students including 670 first-year students.  The Class of 2005, selected from a record number of applications (2,163), includes 18 National Merit Scholars and 18 international students, doubling last year’s number of nine international students.

Last year Gustavus athletic teams finished 18th out of 395 competing in the NCAA Division III national Sears Directors Cup Standings.  Standings are based on national tournament finishes.  The Gustie women athletes won the MIAC All-Sports title for the first time in its 18-year history.

Gustavus ranked among top colleges – Gustavus is ranked in the second tier and one of the top 114 best national liberal arts colleges by U.S. News & World Report magazine.  Gustavus ranked in the first tier in two categories, retention and graduation rates.  Gustavus’ first-year to sophomore retention rate of 92 percent ranks in the top 15 percent of all national liberal arts colleges and graduation rate of 76 percent ranks in the top 20 percent of all national liberal arts colleges.  Alumni giving ranks in the top 25 percent, down from the top five percent and a tier one ranking five years ago.  Raising the percentage of participation of alumni giving is of highest priority for the college and the offices of Alumni Relations and Gustavus Alumni Fund.

Gustavus named Best Buy... Gustavus has been named one of the best colleges in America and a Best Buy by The Fiske Guide to Colleges.  In the 2002 guidebook, the College is one of 300 best American colleges and one of 43 Best Buys nationwide.  Within Minnesota, Gustavus is among seven best colleges and is one of two private college Best Buys.  To determine which colleges make the annual Best Buy list, Fiske researchers combine cost data with academic and lifestyle information about each college and university.  Those institutions named to the Best Buy colleges list are said to offer “remarkable educational opportunities at a relatively modest cost.”  Gustavus is also included in The Princeton Review’s 2001 edition of The Best 331 Colleges.

Nobel Conference XXXVII, What is Still to be Discovered?, is October 2 & 3.  This year’s conference includes five Nobel laureates and three other experts who will give participants a foretaste of what the next big discoveries might be as we look toward the second Nobel century.  This year celebrates the 100th anniversary of the Nobel prizes and the conference will include the premier of Steve Heitzeg’s ’82 The Nobel Symphony, two art exhibitions in the Hillstrom Museum, and an exclusive 10-course banquet with a menu recreation of the Nobel dinner 100 years ago.  Alumni are invited to visit the Alumni Hospitality Room during the conference located in the Hall of Fame Room on the second level of Lund Center.  Conference information and registration material was inserted in the Fall Quarterly or call Office of Public Affairs at 507-933-7520 or on the web at

G.I.V.E. (Gusties In Volunteer Endeavors), a day of community service, is scheduled for Saturday, October 13.  Numerous sites have been identified in the Twin Cities and alumni in other cities around the country are participating in the event.  Contact the Alumni Office at 800-487-8437 or for more information or visit the events section of the alumni page at

Comprehensive alumni directory – In partnership with Publishing Concepts, the Gustavus Alumni Association is publishing its fourth comprehensive alumni directory.  Surveys were sent to all alumni in August and information will be used only for publication of the directory and updating database information in the Alumni Office.  The book is available for purchase only by former students of Gustavus.  Please correct or update any information and return to Publishing Concepts in the enclosed envelope provided with the survey.

New chaplain announced - The Rev. Rachel Larson has joined Rev. Brian Johnson ’80 in the Office of the Chaplain.  Larson will work in partnership with Chaplain Johnson and the other members of the Office of the Chaplain to provide spiritual guidance, worship, leadership, counseling, teaching, and other pastoral services to Gustavus students, staff, and their families.  Larson is a graduate of Augustana College in Sioux Falls, SD, and of what is now Luther Seminary in St. Paul.

Christmas in Christ Chapel, A Celtic Pilgrimage, is November 30 & December 1-2.  A ticket order form was inserted in the Fall Quarterly.  Contact Office of Public Affairs at 507-933-7520.