Class of '55
Dear Class Mates:
In the midst of these trying times my thoughts often return to our days together at Gustavus. I can still see President Edgar Carlson standing at the lectern in Chapel talking about the death of a Gustie who had been a prisoner in the Korean War. Please don’t hold me to all the details. Some of you may have a clearer recall. In any event I believe the gist of his remarks concerned what the victim may have learned at Gustavus that sustained him during his ordeal. He talked about the sense of fellowship and community he was exposed to and how that community was sustained by the spiritual values of Gustavus. I would add there was a dimension of joy and just good fun that was also a part of the Gustavus experience. Maybe some of you reach back from time to time to similar experiences, to all the wonderful friends and fun that continue to give us a sense of identity and purpose. At times of trouble and stress we peel back all the layers to reach the cores of our souls and hopefully in that core is to be found the Gustavus experience.
Please excuse the sense of pride I take, not in my own letters, but mostly in the quality of the guest writers I have enlisted, the latest being Diana Pool Scheff. Having spent a lot of time with Diana on choir tours I knew just how witty and clever she was so I knew I had a winner. Thanks, Diana. I repeat my thanks to the other guest writers, Phil Eckman, Dick Lundborg, Don Swanson, and Gerry Christianson. There will be more.
I was very pleased to learn that this summer Dr. James Peterson ’64, currently director of the Minnesota Science Museum, will become our new Gustavus President. There is a personal angle to this story I must relate. Dr. Peterson’s father was my pastor in Red Wing during my high school years. He was truly my mentor at that time. When I graduated, his son, Jimmy, our new president to be, was just nine years old and of course I saw the youngster frequently. There is another connection. Dr. Peterson’s wife, who as pastor of Gloria Dei Church in St. Paul, presided over the marriage of our daughter Lisa ’82. I hope the connections will continue.
Phonorama will occur April 27 through May 1 at Radisson South in Bloomington. I would enjoy having as many of you as possible participate in this very important activity. I note that our class participation was 86 this year with a 50 by 50 (50% on the 50th anniversary of the Fund) goal set at 103. That is just 17 short of the goal. As I have previously said, I see my chief role as a sustaining link to our Gustavus memories. I see your participation in the Gustavus Alumni Fund as an indicator you still remember and treasure your Gustavus experience. So, give whatever amount you can and let Gustavus know you still remember.
Buck Emberg reports from Tasmania that he has a radio program on ABC/Tasmania entitled “Heroes and Disasters.” He and wife, Joan, are also working on a pilot TV production, “G3: Ghosts, Ghouls and Graveyard.” Gordie Holm and wife, Corrine (Rhyne ’56) are moving back to Minnesota in the spring. He was working in Omaha. Marilyn Anderson Stephan told me on the phone she was serving as mayor pro tem. for the City of Berkley, Michigan. She was also serving as treasurer for a candidate for the Michigan House of Representatives. It was interesting to talk to Don Lortie in his New York City apartment. He teaches English as a second language. Audrey Swenson Anderson tells me she still works at the Maid-Rite restaurant in St. Cloud and sings at church.
The old Kappa Sig brother, Don Churchill, gets to St. Peter periodically to see his 101-year-old mother. I remember her well from college days. Don has started a foundation to support the Appleton, Wisconsin library. Marilyn Lundell Majeska continues her work as an editor at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. Lucy and I frequently sit with her brother, Dean, at Minnesota Orchestra concerts. Ardis Johnson Haglin wrote, “…I still feel a special family connection as an alumna. Not every college has this claim to fame! I feel so blessed to have been a Gustie.” Thanks, Ardis. That says it all.
I wish you all a pleasant summer and God-speed until we meet again.
1955 Class Agent
Dr. James Peterson Named 14th Gustavus President
James Peterson ’64, president and CEO of the Science Museum of Minnesota in St. Paul, was selected as the next Gustavus president. Peterson is married to Rev. M. Susan Pepin Peterson ’65, senior pastor at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in St. Paul. They have two married children including Erika Peterson Eklund ’94. Jim will start his official responsibilities at Gustavus in July 2003.
Alumni Fund Closes May 31 – 1000 new donors needed
The Alumni Fund closes May 31. Gustavus alumni are trying to again be the best Lutheran college in percentage of alumni annual giving. The goal is to reach 45% participation this year. If you have already given, THANK YOU! If you have given in the past and not yet this year, Gustavus students need your support again. If you have missed giving, Gustavus needs only 1,000 new donors to reach the goal. Give online at <gustavus.edu> or call 800/487-8437.
Campus Focuses on Peace
Three annual conferences this spring discuss peace. Conflict Resolution: International, National, and Local was the theme of the annual student-run “Building Bridges” Conference in March featuring Nobel Peace Laureate Oscar Arias Sanchez, former president of Costa Rica. The Association of Congregations Meeting will feature Protestant leader Lyle Schaller to talk about the future of the church and the changing role of laity and church staff. And the annual MAYDAY! Peace Conference in April is titled, “World Religions: Waging War or Promoting Peace?” featuring keynote speaker Krister Stendahl, emeritus professor of divinity, Harvard University, and former bishop of Stockholm, Sweden.
Gustavus Band 125 Year Celebration
What started as 13 silver instruments in 1878 has evolved into the Gustavus Band, which is celebrating its 125th anniversary in May. Highlights for the weekend will include the performance of the 100+ member alumni band and the commissioned work, Of Wind and Wood, by composer Steve Heitzeg ’82 which will be premiered by the current Gustavus Band.
Men’s Basketball Team National Runner-up
The men’s basketball team lost a heartbreaker in the NCAA Division III championship game 67-65 to Williams, on two game-winning free throws in the final seconds of play. Gustavus was the first MIAC team to ever make it to the championship game.
Celebration of Community Service
The Community Service Center at Gustavus is ten years old. Since its creation, students participating in community service and service learning in the class room has dramatically increased. Currently 60% of the student population participates in some sort of community service program while at Gustavus. The annual G.I.V.E. (Gusties In Volunteer Endeavors) day of community service will be a time for alumni and students in Minnesota to gather at Gustavus to celebrate and serve, while alumni in other cities will also be doing service projects in their own communities.
- Association of Congregations Meeting – April 26
- Phonorama – April 27-30, May 1
- 125th Anniversary of the Gustavus Band – May 3 & 4
- G.I.V.E. Day and 10th Anniversary of the Community Service Center – May 10
- 1953 and 50 Year Club Reunion – May 30 & 31
- Alumni Fund Fiscal Year Closes – May 31
- Commencement – June 1