Class of '55
April 2007

Dear Class mates:

First I want to thank Don Gustafson for his guest letter.  It was superb!  What a great experience to look in on the current lives of some of our venerated profs.  Maybe some of you keep contact with them.  I am sure that would enliven their days.

Beginning in July 2003 following heart surgery, I embarked on a regular exercise program.  Ever since, I have walked one mile six days a week with a few exceptions due to inclement weather or traveling.  By my reckoning, I have walked over one thousand miles and in the same pair of old shoes.  The walk is similar to the one I made every school day from the Southside Motel where I worked and lived during my freshman and sophomore years at Gustavus.  I am sure many if not most of you engage in more strenuous programs to keep the old body in the best possible shape.

I bring this up only to tell you that the solitude of my morning strolls has given me much time for reflection.  (Pardon me again for this rank sentimentality.)  Yesterday our entire family gathered here for Easter dinner.  Lucy and I were so proud to embrace our three Gustie kids, Lisa, Brita and Bo and hug all the seven grandchildren they produced.  No doubt many of you had a similar experience.  This morning, with the bustle of Easter Sunday celebrations still resounding in my head, my thoughts were filled with Gustavus and how much my experience there embellished my life.  I hope many, many others will have similar opportunities and that Gustavus can go on forever.

The support our class has given Gustavus makes me very happy and proud to represent you.  Keep up your generosity and help our dear college succeed and prosper.  The current fiscal year ends May 31 so send your gifts soon to make this another exemplary year.

Dick and Jo (Johnson ’56) Lundborg moved back to their condo in Hilo, Hawaii having sold their previous lovely home in Leavenworth, Washington.  Lucy and I are thrilled we can go in the winter to play golf and eat exotic food.  Phil and Julie Eckman also made a significant change in domicile.  They are now permanently ensconced in their beautiful “cabin” deep in the woods twenty or so miles from Duluth.  We were with them two weeks ago to enjoy hikes in the snow.

Buck Emberg writes from Tasmania, Australia that he is in his last year of study at the University of Tasmania for a Ph.D. in history.  Meanwhile his wife, Joan, is engaged in stopping the establishment of a polluting pulp mill nearby.

Oliver Demar “Sonny” Wanstrom seems to be leading double lives in the Saddlebrooks Retirement Community in Oro Valley, Arizona and back in Aitkin, Minnesota.  In both venues he is busy teaching Bible studies and playing singles and doubles tennis four to six times a week.  (That sounds like a more strenuous program than mine.)

Please keep me informed of your lives by e-mail, letter or phone.  I may be calling on one of you soon to be a guest writer.


Alumni Awards Announced

The Alumni Association announces the following 2007 awards selected by the Alumni Board of Directors.  Greater Gustavus AwardGiven to those who, by deed, have notably advanced and aided Gustavus Adolphus College:  Russ and Jan (Ledin) Michaletz ’74 ’74

Distinguished Alumni CitationsRecognizes outstanding and exceptional professional achievement

Paul Peterson ’94, principal, St. Peter High School, Minnesota State High School Principal of the Year.

Margaret Anderson Kelliher ’90, house speaker, Minnesota House of Representatives.

First Decade AwardsRecognizes early professional achievement

Jennifer Pleuss Spande ’97, diplomat, Political and Economic Section, U.S. Embassy, Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Alexander Hill ’97, senior scientist, Medtronic, Inc.

The Greater Gustavus Award and Distinguished Alumni Citations will be presented at the Alumni Banquet on Saturday, May 26, and the First Decade Awards will be presented during Homecoming Weekend, October 13.

Energy Wars

Minnesota colleges and universities competed during February in the Campus Energy Wars.  The Campus Energy Wars challenge was to see which campus conserved the most energy throughout the month.  Gustavus students and faculty made a concerted effort to change their behaviors by turning off unused lights in their dorm rooms or classrooms, unplugging appliances, and lowering thermostats to reduce energy consumption.  The culminating event was a campus competition to pedal stationary bicycles to see who could pump the most energy into an electrical generator supplied by the Minnesota Department of Commerce.

Linnaeus Symposium Celebrates Birth of Carl Linnaeus

In celebration of the 300th anniversary of the birth of Carl Linnaeus, the Swedish botanist who established genus/species used today, Gustavus will host its second Linnaeus Symposium: Linnaeus @ 300 on Wednesday, April 25, 2007.  The daylong conference will feature presentations by ethnobotanists, Mark Plotkin and Paul Alan Cox, Linnaean scholar and impersonator Hans Odoo, and author Paula Robbins, who has written about Pehr Kalm, one of Linnaeus’s “apostles” to America.  The day will also include tours of Linnaeus Arboretum, a special photography exhibition by Anders Bjorling ’58, music, dance, and a Scandinavian feast.  The festivities begin at 10:00 a.m. and close at 9:00 p.m., so save the date and join us at Gustavus this spring.  For more information, go to <> or call 507/933-6181.

Upcoming Alumni Events

  • Linnaeus Symposium - April 25
  • Gustavus Association of Congregations – April 28
  • MAYDAY! Peace Conference: Community Food Security - May 2
  • Celebrating 75 years of the Gustavus Choir - May 5
  • Celebrating 75 years of Theatre Reunion  - May 11-12 <>
  • Class of 1962 - 45th Anniversary Reunion – May 25 & 26
  • Class of 1957 - 50th Anniversary Reunion – May 25 & 26
  • 50 Year Club Reunion – May 26


Dick DeRemee

1955 Class Agent