Class of '55
What an honor to be asked by our class agent, Dick DeRemee, (now retired from his illustrious medical career at the Mayo Clinic), to be the guest writer for this edition of the newsletter. I so much enjoy reading the newsletters, Quarterlies, and the donor lists because it brings back to me so many wonderful memories of our college days―so full of building friendships and expanding our knowledge and understanding of the world. I do note that our percentage of participation in donating is not very robust, nor is the amount credited in the 2000-01 year. We owe so much to those who made Gustavus what it was for us, and what it is today for others. I hope that every alumnus will double their efforts to help it become even better as we go forward into the 21st century.
Before getting into some of the news, I have some Gustavus related history for you that you may find interesting. Since my days at Milan Public School, I have been working on family genealogy, culminating two summers ago with a visit to the area and church in Sweden from which my fraternal great, great grandparents along with their six children immigrated to a homestead farm near Sunburg, Minnesota (northwest of Willmar) in the late 1850’s. They were to have a rough time in their new country. In August of this year 2002, we shall be commemorating the 140th anniversary of the “Great Sioux Uprising of 1862.” That bloody war left three of my great grandfather’s brothers dead and one wounded. Hundreds of settlers died. Many soldiers, Sioux warriors and civilians died too, including the 38 Sioux warriors who were hanged at Mankato after the conflict. I often wonder how the surviving Lundborgs coped with their loss and why they stuck it out in Minnesota, but they did, moving to a farm near West Union (just southwest of Minneapolis). I mention this because it will lead into the Gustavus connection and because I note on page 53 of the winter Gustavus Quarterly that Daniel Homstad ’90, has published a novel about the 1862 conflict.
When the surviving Lundborgs moved to West Union, John, the oldest son and my great grandfather, and his wife were expecting their first child. They eventually had a large family including my grandfather, August Lundborg, who later courted a neighbor girl named Anna Wahlstrom. She had a musical talent and on several occasions she traveled to St. Peter and took organ lessons from Gustavus faculty members. While there she stayed with her half-brother Matthias Wahlstrom, the president of Gustavus. He had assumed the presidency in 1881 and early-on lived in the only building on campus, the Old Main (see page 31 of the winter Quarterly.) When Anna visited him later, the family was living in South Hall. When our class of ’55 started at Gustavus, South Hall was still standing, just off the main sidewalk on the uphill side just across from Johnson Hall. You will probably remember that the bookstore was in the downstairs level and the second level had apartments.
Back home in West Union, Anna was the organist at her church for several years. August served several years in the Third Cavalry, his last duty station at “Fort Yellowstone” (now called Mammoth Headquarters at Yellowstone National Park). He was discharged just before the Spanish-American war broke out. He and Anna married shortly thereafter and eventually settled on a farm near Stockholm, Minnesota (near Cokato) and that is where my father Oscar grew up.
Matthias Wahlstrom was president at Gustavus for over twenty years and in the early 1900’s moved to Chicago to be the administrator of Augustana Hospital. Some time later on campus, a dormitory was named for him and that is where JoAnn Johnson Lundborg lived for two years when she attended Gustavus in the class of ’56.
Now on to the news from some of our classmates:
Homer and Carolyn (Monson x’57) Russ report that they now spend most of the year in Florida, but drive to northern Wisconsin lake country for the summers. Their children and grandkids are scattered about Minnesota and Wisconsin. Homer attended the 50th anniversary of his high school graduation in Blue Earth last September. They are “reasonably healthy” and very active with family, golf, art classes, and renovations—including their 100-year-old church building. They finally joined the computer age with their first home computer, and judging by their computer-derived letter, they are now definitely high tech!
Don Ranstrom sends a beautifully printed note from Davis, California that is worth quoting for its tickling thoughts―“We’re raising a 15-year-old grandson. It doesn’t get easier. Becoming re-acquainted with local police and school authorities. Keep saying to ourselves ‘this too shall pass.’ (Even though, school-wise, grandson may not.) I’m on board of directors of International House, Davis―that distracts me when I’m getting uptight. So does woodworking (furniture design and construction), and whatever travel we can squeeze in. A motor-home trip across Mexico in February/March gave us some much needed distance while grandson was otherwise occupied.” Good luck, Don, with your PROJECTS.
Audrey (Anderson) and Dwight ’53 Jaegar have more traveling time together now that Dwight has retired from his orthopedic practice in St. Cloud. They are probably on the road to Oregon as you read this to visit their daughters and then heading south to Arizona for a couple of months. Audrey will no doubt really enjoy the break as she hosted the entire family over the holidays.
Dick and Lucy (Fogelstrom’56) DeRemee report in with much happy news: grandchild count now up to seven (five boys and two girls) and all reasonably close for fun―Twin Cities and near Ely. They celebrated New Year's at their Lake Okoboji “retreat” and were able to skate on the lake (not a frequent event because it requires the chance confluence of perfect weather conditions for good ice). Last fall they ventured to Europe where Dick gave some lectures (in German), visited Joan Hallander Hengel ’53 (1952 Gustavus Homecoming Queen), toured Italy’s spectacular Amalfi Coast and made the rounds of their favorite cities: Munich, Rome, and Venice. The latter is the site of the Church of Saint Geremia and Lucia, wherein lies a glass sarcophagus holding the remains of the real St. Lucia. Dick reports that her face is covered with a gold mask, but you can still see her fingers and toes.
Paul and Mary (Andreen ’56) Carlson paid Jo and me a visit at our Leavenworth, Washington home last September. Paul is in his first full year of retirement as a geologist working mostly on projects involving the ocean floor off the west coast of North America. With a great surge of post retirement energy they did a lot of traveling including visits to Arizona, New Mexico, Florida and Mexico. In the fall they spent three weeks in the great Northwest using Paul’s 50th high school class reunion in Spokane as the main motivation. On September 10 they crossed Puget Sound on the Vashon Ferry and arrived later that day in Leavenworth. The next morning we stayed glued to the TV as the terrorist attack played out. While most everything in Washington State shut down, including the Vashon Ferry and access to the large Columbia River dams, Paul and Mary did drive up to see the dams. Paul said, “you can’t hide a dam” and was able to get some good pictures of Grand Coulee and Chief Joseph dams.
Gusties In Volunteer Endeavors (G.I.V.E.) is an annual day of community service where Gustavus alumni, parents and friends around the country work to better their communities. Since its creation in 1996, G.I.V.E. has involved several thousand Gusties working in twenty different cities. We salute Barb Schaer Ziemer for participating in the last work day in the Twin Cities and Dick Williams who helped set-up a work site in Seattle for a work day. There will be a G.I.V.E. workday in the TWIN CITIES this spring on Saturday, April 27th.
Dick Williams retired from the faculty at the University of Washington in 1998. He has continued to teach a graduate course there each winter and has been serving as a visiting professor at Seattle University. He has also been doing some consulting here and, last year, in South Africa. Like many of the rest of us, he is enjoying the freedom that retirement brings!! Thanks to Dick for being the Gustavus Chapter Agent for the state of Washington.
News from Campus:
Hi! My name is Tracey Hanson. I’m a senior, double majoring in Communication Studies and Business Management. I’ve worked in the Alumni Office all four years and can hardly believe that I’m in the middle of my last J-Term! After a longer-than-usual Christmas break, it’s great to be back on campus. Instead of taking a class (and doing homework) this J-Term, I’m spending my time slaving away in the Alumni Office. It’s great to have the extra time to relax and do other activities that J-Term allows. Having unlimited time at home each night has made for some great cooking! And getting to watch “Friends” without worrying about the homework you should be doing instead is also a plus!
The campus is full of life and excitement. The theme for J-Term 2002 is "Our Global Village," and the month will be a celebration of cultural diversity as we grapple with social, political, economic and philosophical aspects of our ever-shrinking world neighborhood. Faculty are offering 29 different classes that tie into this global theme, many of which are travel courses. Examples include Islam and Culture, and Chinese Cooking and Culture. This year, 2319 students are enrolled in J-Term courses, with many studying abroad, participating in internships, student teaching or studying at other domestic institutions. I get very jealous when I read e-mails from my roommates who are studying in warm, sunny Australia. J-Term themes for the coming years include “Service-Learning” (2003) and “Undergraduate Research.” (2004).
Winter athletics are also in full swing! Gustie teams are off to a great start. The men’s basketball team leads the MIAC with a conference record of 6-1, 11-1 overall. They are also ranked in the top ten in the nation in the NCAA Division III Men’s Basketball Ranking. The women’s hockey team also posts an outstanding record. They are currently 6-0-0 in the MIAC and ranked fourth in the U.S. College Women’s Hockey Online Poll. It has been exciting to watch our sports teams compete this winter!
Gustie music ensembles are also very busy. The Gustavus Band will embark on an international tour this J-Term. The band is touring Sweden and Norway, presenting “Music from America.” The tour dates are January 16 through February 10. The tour concludes with a homecoming performance at 4 p.m. Feb. 10 in Christ Chapel. The Gustavus Choir is busy preparing for their tour of the Midwest during Touring Week in February, concluding with their home concert Feb. 16 in Christ Chapel. The Gustavus Orchestra will tour Minnesota, the Dakotas, Colorado, Kansas and Iowa.
You are invited and encouraged to attend these upcoming alumni events:
February 2 Chicago Chapter event - 6:00 p.m. dinner, 7:30 p.m.
Gustavus Choir Concert
Our Saviour's Lutheran Church, 815 S. Washington St., Naperville, IL
February 16 Naples Chapter event - Naples Beach Club
851 Gulf Shore Boulevard, Naples
11:30 a.m. social, 12:30 p.m. luncheon
February 17 Vero Beach Chapter event - Dawn (Ekstrom ’67) and Ted Michael residence
2506 Ocean Drive, Vero Beach
12:30 p.m. social, 1:30 p.m. luncheon
March 7 San Diego Chapter event
March 8 Tucson Chapter gathering
March 9 Phoenix Chapter gathering
March 10 Sun City Chapter gathering
More information will be sent to alumni and friends in these chapter areas.
RSVP to Alumni Office at 800-487-8437 or e-mail email@example.com.
As I prepare to graduate in June, I find it increasingly hard to think about leaving this place. It hardly seems possible that four years have flown by, and that in six months I, too, will be considered an alum. I will always carry with me fond memories of my four years here. GO GUSTIES!!!
A final personal note to all my friends in the class of 1955. Jo and I live officially most of the year in Leavenworth, Washington, a beautiful tourist town on the east side of the Cascades, midway between grandkids in Seattle and Spokane. We generally try to spend the winter in Hilo, Hawaii where I had worked for many years as anesthesiologist. Jo and I drove to Minnesota to visit family and friends and attend Jo’s 45th Gustavus class reunion in late September. It was our first trip to St. Peter since the tornado. We attended the reunion dinner in Minneapolis on a Friday and spent the next day on campus. What an amazing sight to see Gustavus from the valley and to see the valley from the campus. When the trees get bigger both views will be changed. I urge you, if you can, to try to visit soon and make a point of checking out those two views. The campus looks grand and the staff and students were vibrant and friendly. We hope to go back in the spring. Hope you enjoyed the newsletter.
1955 Guest Writer