Class of '55
September 2002

Dear Classmates:

Fifty-four years ago I saw Lake Okoboji, Iowa for the first time.  It was just a brief visit.  Five years later, a pretty young blond, Lucy Fogelstrom ’56, would take me to her mother’s cabin at Okoboji.  I fell in love with Lucy and Okoboji in that order.  (Stay with me on this.)  We would build our own cabin next door to the old one and call it Lilla Van, “little friend” in Swedish.  It would become a gathering place for many Gusties over the years.  Many evenings were spent with the likes of Cecil, Dick Elvee, the Roberts, the Knautzs, the Curtins, Lisa Heldke, Esby, Lundborgs, Eckmans, Knapps and many others.  Also, my three Gustie kids, Lisa ’82, Brita ’83 and Bo ’85, have spent a few nights there as well.  This summer Lucy and I spent most of the summer at Lilla Van.  From that observation point I frequently reflected on the manifold blessings given me by Gustavus.  What would my life have been without the Gustie influence?  I suspect many of you have similar reflections on Gustavus.

At Okoboji I annually observe the sudden transition from summer to fall.  It is a special night when the lake changes from sunny summer to chill fall.  I awaken with a poignant sense of the change.  The moon is no longer summer’s lamp, but the autumn phantom’s prize.  (Continue to stay with me.)  I am immediately transported in my imagination back to the campus redolent with blazing leaves, football, friends we can’t wait to see, frat and sorority parties, even classes.  It continues to energize me and I would say it should happen to everyone.  In this connection I want to encourage you all to lend your support to the Alumni Fund so that the resources are available to continue the goals and ideals of our beloved college.  Of the 152 members in our class, 103 contributed in 2002.  I wish everyone would make even a small contribution, although I know 100% is unrealistic.  Maybe not.  Consider $5 or $10, or whatever just to register your continuing interest in Gustavus and what the college has meant to you.  In a short time we will be planning our 50th reunion.  I solicit your ideas, suggestions and support for this significant celebration.

Many thanks to Jerry Christianson for his guest class letter this June.  I enjoyed the story of the fishing trip.  As a Civil War history enthusiast, I envy Jerry’s situation in Gettysburg, a place I visited many times when I served in the Army in Washington, D.C.

Don Gustafson recently celebrated 40 years as professor of history at Augsburg.  He is hoping for at least 20 more.  He and Bev (Matson ’56) were in Namibia, Africa in July for a Fulbright seminar.

Joan Bonn Wright continues her efforts for Gustavus through her participation in the Gustavus Library Associates.  Thanks, Joan.  I look forward to hearing more of your stories.

The Gustavus family mourns the death of former President, John Kendall ’49.  We send Joanne and the family our deepest sympathy.  John was to be the chairman of the Alumni Fund for 2003.  Into his big shoes will step the very capable and esteemed Bob Peterson ’58 and his family.  We wish Bob great success.

Gustavus is replete with many capable and dedicated Gusties to fill vacated roles.  I was particularly pleased that Dennis Johnson ’60 was selected to serve as interim president.  He will make a smooth and effective transition for our new president.  Good luck and Godspeed, Denny.  Our prayers are with you.

Fall Phonorama takes place October 7, 8, 9 and 10 at the Doubletree Hotel by the St. Paul airport and October 14, 15, 16 and 17 at U.S. Foodservice (formerly Alliant) in Eagan.  It provides an opportunity to call old friends and to talk at leisure at no expense.  Your participation is eagerly solicited.  Call me or the Alumni office for details.


Dick DeRemee

1955 Class Agent

(507) 288 3745

Campus News:

Welcome Class of 2006

Approximately 690 new students arrived on campus this fall keeping the total student enrollment just over 2500.  There are many interesting opportunities for first year students even before school starts with a community service immersion experience in the Twin Cities, a cultural study in Paris and a wilderness experience in the Boundary Waters.

Gustavus named a “Best Buy”

The Fiske Guide has again named Gustavus one of forty-three “Best Buys” in the country.  This is based on an exceptional investment of tuition money for an exceptional education.

Hello Walk Online Community is featuring several discussions this fall including Nobel Conference Director Tim Robinson discussing nature vs. nurture, and Political Science Professor Don Ostrom discussing the upcoming elections.  Join the conversation by going to <>

Gustie students start new community service initiative called the AMIGOS program.  The 65 Spanish speaking volunteers serve the growing Chicano-Latino population in St. Peter by providing after-school tutoring, teaching ESL classes to adults and serve as big partners.  This program is in addition to the other on-going and one-time service opportunities that 75% of students participate in while at Gustavus.

Building a Great Gustavus Campaign was launched to the public on Saturday, September 7.  Since the tornadoes of 1998, the campaign has raised $77 million toward a $100 million goal.  The focus of the remainder of the campaign is on funding renovations in Old Main, growing endowment, and increasing gifts and participation in the Gustavus Alumni Fund.  Your personal financial support  and your leadership are needed and greatly appreciated.

Minnesota Legislature Cuts Financial Aid

Due to cuts with the Minnesota State Legislature, Gustavus lost $400,000 in money for student employment.  The college continues to work hard to meet financial needs of students since nearly 80% of Gustavus students receive financial assistance.  This includes $14 million from the colleges own budget.  Your support of the annual fund goes directly to help these students and is especially needed to help make up the financial gap for these current students.

Upcoming Events

Christmas in Christ Chapel is December 6 & 7.  The theme this year will be songs, stories and legends from Scandinavia.