Class of '55
February 2005

Dear Classmates of 1955~

Our last class letter, (January 2005) Carol Roberg Lind, mentioned that her Christmas tree was standing in the corner looking “forlorn.”  Well, I have been directed by my dear friend, Dick DeRemee, that if I didn’t get busy on this letter, I too, would be standing in the corner looking forlorn.

We have all experienced many educational successes in our quest for further knowledge in the 50 years since we left Gustavus Adolphus College.  One thing I have never learned is how to ask for financial support (money) and make it sound like you are not asking for money (again).

The many Gustie envelopes, either in white-gold-black; black and gold; black and white; whatever, always end in the age-old line, “please give money.”  This letter is no different! 

Yes, we all have the same problems, how do we make the amount of income we have and divide it to make everybody happy―probably impossible.  Our lists of needs seem to grow with age, rather than lessen.  Families, health, grandchildren education, lake homes, taxes, insurance, basic household needs, just to name a few.  In this letter I am not asking you for money, but maybe we should take a real good look at what we owe to Gustavus.

I am enclosing a statement from Gustavus from 1955 stating the cost of school was approximately $910 for one year.  I did not take the “board” so my cost was $610.

As many of you are aware, the costs of one year at Gustavus now is approximately $27,000.  I have done the math, in my physical education major way, and figured we got “quite a deal!”  So looking at it from that perspective, we owe the college $26,390 for our education.

Of course we don’t expect you to pay that amount in one lump sum, but spread it out to your advantage and not affect your normal life style.

I hope this meets with your approval, and remember (we) the committee, are not asking for money, but maybe we should think aobut paying our debts.

When you receive this letter, if you feel a little guilty, or maybe just a little upset―please don’t call me, I am very busy trying to balance my check book and see if I qualify for welfare assistance.


Your classmate of 1955,

Don L. Swanson

1955 Guest Letter Writer

Campus News:

Old Main has served the Gustavus campus since 1876 when it housed the entire campus.  To keep Old Main a functional part of campus, a complete renovation of the building will begin in February.  Classrooms and offices will be reconfigured and updated to accommodate current teaching technology. Central climate control and an elevator will also be added.  Mattson Hall has been built west of Schaefer Fine Arts to house faculty and staff during the renovation.  The new residence hall being built southwest of the football field is progressing and will be ready for fall semester

Gustavus music ensembles are on tour.  The Gustavus Choir is taking a 17-day East Coast tour (January 20-February 5), the Wind Orchestra (formerly the Gustavus Band) is touring nine days (January 28-February 5) in Minnesota, North Dakota and Montana, and the String Orchestra is touring nine days (January 29-February 6) in Iowa, Nebraska, and Colorado.  The Gustavus Choir, Wind Orchestra, and Symphony Orchestra will perform at the Gustavus Music Showcase, St. Andrew Lutheran Church, Eden Prairie, on March 20.

Announcing a new tool for all Alumni:  The Gustavus Gift Planning website is a resource for alums of all ages to learn more about planning for their financial future.  The site explores some basics like the need for a will and health care proxy.  It also provides information about planning for the transfer of assets to benefit you and your family, a gift calculator to see how to make a gift that pays you and also provides tax benefits, e-brochures for more information, and how to have a meaningful impact on a non-profit organization important to you.  Check it out today at

The 2003-2004 Honor Roll of Donors is now available under the Gustavus Fund at  The Honor Roll of Donors recognizes those who made gifts to Gustavus between June 1, 2003 and May 31, 2004.  To find your name or check out your class results, just point and click from your home or office computer.  For those who do not have access to a computer, you may call toll-free 866-487-3863 to receive a copy in the mail (supplies are limited).

Upcoming Alumni Events

  • Marco Island Chapter Boat Cruise Luncheon – Feb. 5
  • Diversity Center Reunion/Building Bridges Conference – March 12
  • Tucson Chapter with Professor Dick Martin – March 18
  • Phoenix Chapter with Professor Dick Martin – March 19
  • Sun City Chapter with Professor Dick Martin – March 20
  • Twin Cities Gustavus Music Showcase – March 20
  • Seattle Chapter with President Jim Peterson ’64 – April 1
  • Bay Area Chapter with President Jim Peterson ’64 – April 2