Class of '55
April 2004

Dear Classmates:

Friday April 16 was truly a rite of spring.  Lucy and I were at Gustavus for the inauguration of President Jim Peterson ’64.  Although the skies were overcast, the air was comfortable and redolent with fragrances of spring that all of you associate with St. Peter.  I was filled with many grand memories of my time as an undergraduate.  President Peterson gave one of the most eloquent addresses I have ever heard in Christ Chapel and you know how much eloquence has reverberated there.  He spoke of where the College had been, where it is and what it must become to fulfill its core mission.  It was a true moment of Gustavus consciousness.  At this critical moment in our history, the advent of Jim Peterson is an immeasurable blessing.

Following the rite of inauguration, we drove up the oft-followed path of Highway 169 to Orchestra Hall where we heard the Minnesota Orchestra give a magnificent performance of what else but Stravinski’s Rite of Spring.  It was a fitting close to that Friday in spring at Gustavus.

In just over one year we will meet spring once again in St. Peter for our 50th reunion.  I have assembled what I believe to be a stellar committee who are:  Rod Baxter, Jerry Christianson, Phil Eckman, Gene Frisk, Pat Johnson Hall, Phil Hall, Carol Roberg Lind, Diana Pool Scheff, Eileen Eckberg Scott, Don Swanson, George Torrey and Joan Bonn Wright.  Carol and Swanie are co-chairpersons who will energize us in our quest for a high participation.  In the near future you will hear more of the plans from the committee.

Ruth Norberg Nye and her sister, Marie Norberg Bergstrom ’50, recently returned to the mission station in Tanzania where they lived for ten years while their father, Dr. C. Einar Norberg ’22, served as a physician.  George Davies reports that his wife, Dody, continues her inspirational-entertainment activities from their home in Willmar, MN.  Marilyn Lundell Majeska continues her work at the Library of Congress in the history department.  She and husband, George, enjoy seeing their two grandsons, one of whom is a U.S. Marine.  Jackie Carlson is a retired librarian in Minnetonka.  Tom Skalbeck has introduced a new generation to Gustavus in the person of his granddaughter, Hallie.

Soon, on May 31, this year’s Alumni Fund will close.  I urge you, with the highest intensity I can muster, to participate in it.  No matter how much you give, your gift will register your support for the mission of the College that has meant so much in all of our lives.

Yours sincerely,

Dick DeRemee

1955 Class Agent

Campus News:

President Peterson inaugurated

Dr. James Peterson ’64 was inaugurated during a ceremony in Christ Chapel on Friday, April 16.  Other inaugural events scheduled April 15-18, included a symposium featuring Rev. Dr. Martin Marty, tree dedication, Gustavus Association of Congregations meeting, G.I.V.E. community service day in St. Peter, music concert, art exhibition, and an alumni reception preceding the Nobel Symphony Concert at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis.

50th Anniversary Alumni Fund Closes May 31

The 2004 Alumni Fund will close May 31 with a goal of 50 percent alumni participation. Thanks to everyone who has already participated with a gift.  If you haven’t given, please think about sending a gift along with your news in the enclosed gold envelope. Gustavus alumni have a long tradition of strong alumni participation.  Help maintain our national ranking by participating in the 50th anniversary year of the Alumni Fund.

Scholarships and financial assistance at Gustavus

Did you know that scholarships and financial assistance for Gustavus students totals $18M, almost 25 percent of Gustavus’ annual budget?  Alumni Fund gifts, including designated and unrestricted gifts, help enable students to receive a Gustavus education.  Gustavus offers two types of scholarships to students -- merit awards given to recognize academic achievement, and tuition grants are used to assist students with recognized financial need.  Endowed scholarships are an important part of the Gustavus grant program and currently nine percent of scholarship funds come from the endowment.

Alumni survey

An alumni survey was sent to 2,000 members of reunion classes.  Approximately 600 have responded as of April 1.  Questions on the survey consist of how well Gustavus prepared them for employment and graduate education, activities involved in while at Gustavus, personal growth skills, alumni events and services, and overall satisfaction with the College.  Results of the survey will be included in the Fall Quarterly.

Winter sports summary

Women’s basketball finished third in the MIAC and advanced to the semifinals of the MIAC playoffs. Men’s basketball won the MIAC regular season and playoff championship titles before losing to eventual national champion UW-Stevens Point in the NCAA national tournament. Men’s hockey posted a third-place finish in the regular season and advanced to the semifinals of the MIAC playoffs. Women’s hockey finished second in regular-season MIAC play, but won the post-season tournament and earned an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. Men’s swimming won its third consecutive MIAC championship and completed their season by finishing ninth at the NCAA championships. Women’s swimming won the MIAC championship and completed their season by finishing 13th at the NCAA championships. Men’s Nordic skiing won its first-ever MIAC championship and finished fourth at the NCAA Central Region meet. Women’s Nordic skiing claimed their third consecutive MIAC title and completed their season with a fourth-place finish at the NCAA Central Region meet. Gymnastics posted a 6–1 dual meet record and a second-place finish at the National Collegiate Gymnastics Association (NCGA) West Regional. The women’s indoor track and field team finished second and the men fifth at the MIAC championships. 

Did you know …

●Nearly 80% of Gustavus students graduate in four years, compared with 56% of students from other Minnesota private colleges; the national average is 17%.

●There are seven choral ensembles and 23 instrumental ensembles, two jazz, four woodwind and three brass ensembles.

●More than 40 percent of Gustavus students volunteer through the Gustavus community service center on a regular basis.

●For student safety, the campus is well-lit, there is 24-hour Safety and Security patrol and escort service, residence halls are locked 24 hours a day, and there are blue light emergency phones throughout campus linked directly to Safety and Security.

●And looking back -- during the college’s early years, students were awakened by a bell at 5:45 a.m. and all lights had to be out by 10:30 p.m.

Upcoming events

  • Phonorama - April 25-29, Central Lutheran Church
  • Mayday! Conference, The United Nations at the Crossroads – April 28
  • Cec Eckhoff Society Reception – May 1
  • Class of 1954 and 50-Year Club Reunions – May 28 & 29
  • Commencement – May 30
  • Alumni Fund closes – May 31
  • Class reunions on Homecoming & Family Weekend – October 1 & 2