Class of '55
January 2004

Warm post-holiday greetings to all:

By the time you read this, winter will be half gone.  It is a wonderful season if there is snow to play.  As those who are stay-at-homes can attest, this has been an atypical winter particularly in Southern Minnesota-no snow to speak of.  Already there is a noticeable lengthening of the day.  A morning glow comes earlier and earlier in our bedroom window stirring us to arise from the cozy warmth of the heavily quilted bed.  Here the ground is brown so that the prospect of green April is enticing.

I hope you all had wonderful Christmas and New Year holidays.  Those of you who had the opportunity to attend Christmas in Christ Chapel will likely agree that it was a magnificent experience, one of the best ever.  These young Gusties really know how to put on a show.  After the event Phil Eckman and I stuffed ourselves with some of the best lutefisk I have ever tasted.  Yes, I know what you are thinking.  We are the few diehard Swedes who still love the stuff.  It is better than a flu shot.

Here is some news from our classmates:

Paul Vrudny and wife, Myra, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary last August.  O. Demar Wanstrom has retired from teaching history and is now exercising his pedagogical talents in his Sunday school and leading adult Bible studies.  Ardis Johnson Haglin and her husband, Wayne, will be in Hawaii this April for the Thrivent Convention.  Wayne will be inducted into the Thrivent Hall of Fame.  Congratulations, Wayne!  One of the reasons for global warming comes from California where Norm Conrad and Donna Mae (Anderson) assembled their annual Christmas yard display containing 10,500 lights, six electrical trains and twelve hand-made figurines.  That must be a fantastic sight!

Shirley Nelson Chrest has an interesting numbers story to report.  She was born when her mother was 22.  The first grandchild appeared when her mother was 44.  At age 66 the first great grandchild arrived and when she reached 88 comes the first great-great grandchild.  Now, Shirley, we await the first great-great-great grandchild when your mother is 100, not an unlikely possibility in this era of increasing longevity.

Earl Austin exhibited one of his prints in the St. Peter Art Show last October.  Marilyn Anderson Stephan was re-elected to the Berkley, Michigan city council.  Don Bauer is a team leader for human resources for the Minnesota Conference of the United Methodist Church.  David Nelson has retired from Marigold Foods.  Helen Johnson Rotvig and husband, Roger ’52, recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.

Buck Emberg and wife, Jean, have started a 100-acre animal sanctuary in Tasmania and are developing an organic farm.  As one would suspect, they are deeply involved in environmental issues and the Green Party.

I regret to report the death of Neal “Benny” Arnold.  We have no details about his death and though we just learned of it, his death was on April 4, 2001.  Benny was a schoolmate of mine in Red Wing.  He was a veteran of the US. Air Force and served in World War II.  He was preceded in death by his wife, Mary and is survived by three sons and their families.

All the 50th wedding anniversaries remind me again of our approaching 50th class reunion.  More information will be given later this year.

All the best,

Dick DeRemee

1955 Class Agent

Campus News:

Building a Greater Gustavus Reaches Target

Gustavus celebrates reaching the $100 million target for the Building a Greater Gustavus capital campaign.  The campaign includes reconstruction projects following the 1998 tornados, the creation of the Center for Vocational Reflection, growth of the Christ Chapel Endowment, the C. Charles Jackson Campus Center, the Curtis and Arleen Carlson International Center, the Barbro Osher Svenska Huset (Swedish House), the new soccer and track complex, and more than 100 new scholarships.  Efforts continue to raise funds for campaign projects, such as Old Main renovation, Gustavus Alumni Fund, and further endowment growth.  Special thanks! goes to the volunteers and donors who contributed their resources to assist current and future Gusties. 

January Term

The theme for this January Term is “Undergraduate Research and Creativity,” to promote course offerings and activities in all fields, not just natural sciences and fine arts.  In addition about 375 students are on travel programs abroad in such places as Europe, Australia, Malaysia, Fiji, and Israel.  Also, 180 students are participating in internships and career explorations, now so essential for many students in securing a job, no matter what career field. 

New Gustavus Video

Have you been to campus lately?  Can you remember your first time seeing Gustavus? The Admission Office has created a new video/DVD for prospective students to take a look at the College. Take a look online if you wish at <>.

Fine Arts

The Gustavus Symphonic Orchestra will take a 16-day concert tour to China performing in such places as Beijing, the Great Wall, and Tianjin.  The Gustavus Choir will take a 10-day concert tour to selected cities in North Dakota, Colorado, Nebraska, and Minnesota, and will also present a concert in the Twin Cities on Friday evening, January 30, 2004, 7:30 p.m., at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, in St. Paul.  The Gustavus Wind Orchestra, formerly the Gustavus Band, will tour during Spring Break.

Extraordinary Place

Gustavus is among leaders in Academic All-Americans.  The College Sports Information Directors of America have recently released a list of institutions with the highest number of Academic All-Americans over the past three years. Gustavus ranks 14th out of all programs competing at the NCAA Divisions I, II, and III, and NAIA levels.

Extraordinary People

Peter Krause ’87 returned to Gustavus in November to meet and conduct workshops with students.  Krause has been nominated for Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild and Emmy awards for his role as Nate Fisher in the critically and commercially acclaimed HBO drama, “Six Feet Under.”  With the hope that the day would focus more on the students than on his newfound fame, Krause spent the afternoon doing acting work with classes and theatre and dance majors.

Great Teaching

In case you missed the note in the Fall 2003 issue of the Gustavus Quarterly, we are asking alumni to send in short reminiscences, tributes, and anecdotes about professors who made a difference in their education—“the teachers and mentors who have made a lasting impression, who have imparted life lessons, whom you remember for their wit, or their mastery, or their encouragement, or their exacting standards . . . or their idiosyncrasies.” We are planning to focus an upcoming issue of the Quarterly on “great teaching” and would like to hear from those who experienced the classes of those great professors.  Send your paragraphs and stories to either Randall Stuckey ’83, director of alumni relations (, or Steve Waldhauser ’70 (, managing editor of the Quarterly, or in the mail to the College.

Upcoming Chapter Events

  • Washington DC, Gustavus gathering – February 6
  • Atlanta, Georgia, Gustavus gathering – February 26
  • Tampa Bay, Florida, Gustavus gathering – February 27
  • Naples, Florida, Gustavus gathering – February 28
  • Vero Beach, Florida, Gustavus gathering – February 29
  • Sun City, Arizona, Gustavus gathering – March 19
  • Phoenix, Arizona, Gustavus gathering – March 20
  • Tucson, Arizona, Gustavus gathering – March 21