Class of '55
September 2008

Dear Classmates:

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”  These words from Charles Dicken’s historical novel, A Tale of Two Cities, came immediately to mind as I contemplated what I would write in this letter.  Have you ever seen the world in such turmoil?  I haven’t except for vague memories of our national condition in the throes of WW II.  The worst need not be recounted here.  It is in abundant evidence.

What then can be said of the best of times?  I am sure each of you will have a different list.  I wonder, as did Edgar Carlson ’30 did in one of his classic chapel homilies, what we all learned at Gustavus that sustains our confidence in the future.  He was speaking of an alumnus who died in a Korean prison camp during the curious Korean War.  Somehow we will make it through.  It seems to me that hope, optimism and good humor was something many of us took away from our Gustavus experience.

Our hope for the future now involves our new President, Jack Ohle.  I am sure we all wish him much success in continuing our great traditions and to find new and innovative ways to strengthen Gustavus to meet the challenges for the worst of times.

If any one personifies hope, optimism and humor it is Pat Johnson Hall. She was recently inducted into the Redwood Valley Hall of Fame for her long service as an inspiring educator in music.  Heartiest congratulations, Pat!  The class is proud of your achievements.  Pat was a colleague of mine in The Gustavus Choir so I can personally attest to her qualities.

Gene Frisk sent some information he found in the 1899-1900 College Catalog.  This is dear.  “Students are expected to abstain from the use of intoxicating liquors, tobacco, profane and unbecoming language, from card and billiard playing, from visiting saloons and theatrical plays, since an indulgence of these will advance neither their mental nor moral standing.”  Well, maybe hope is not an illusion.  Gene also notes that overall expenses were $140 per year.  It was a different time.

I want to add my personal thanks to you that have contributed to the Gustavus Annual Fund between June 1, 2007 and May 31, 2008.  You will be interested to know that our class was second only to the class of 1953 in participation, 65.9% to 66.3%.

Campus News

Presidential Inauguration

Gustavus Adolphus College will inaugurate Jack R. Ohle as its 16th president at 3:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 3 in Christ Chapel.  The public is invited to celebrate this event along with a reception on Eckman Mall that will follow the ceremony.  On Homecoming, Saturday, Oct. 4 Gustavus will celebrate with an Oktoberfest; buffet-style dinner immediately following the Homecoming football game in the Lund Center Forum.  Cost is $7 per person.  For more information about Inaugural Week events, contact the Office of College Relations at 507-933-7520.

Gusties Gather!  The Reason to Connect with Other Gusties

Gusties Gather! is a day for Gusties across the country to have an opportunity to connect or re-connect with other Gusties in their area.  It is a time to build Gustavus friendships and networks and is in no way a fundraiser.  Most gatherings are on Sept. 28.  Watch for gatherings in your area or check out the Alumni website for a location near you.

Twin Cities Gustie Breakfasts

Join other Minneapolis/St. Paul area Gusties for a morning cup of coffee and breakfast while getting an update on Gustavus.  The group meets the third Wednesday of each month.  Future presenters include Tim Robinson ’65, director of Nobel Conference 2008, in October and in November Tom Young ’88, vice president for institutional advancement.

Doubletree Hotel, Minneapolis-Park Place, 1500 Park Place Boulevard (Hwy. 394 & Hwy. 100)

Third Wednesday of the month - 8-9:30 a.m.

Cost is $10 per person.  Reserve a spot by calling Don Swanson ’55 at:  763-533-9083.

Nobel Conference ― Who Were the First Humans?

Nobel Conference XLIV is scheduled for Oct. 7 and 8, 2008 and is focusing on the first humans.  Presenters will consider the full range of recent evidence about the first modern humans going beyond archaeologists and paleoanthropologists to the work of biologists, climatologists, geneticists, mathematicians, and psychologists who have been adding to the scientific database.

Upcoming Alumni Events

  • Gusties Gather! - Sept. 28
  • Presidential Inauguration/Homecoming/Family Weekend - Oct. 3-4
  • Nobel Conference - Oct. 7-8
  • Gustie Breakfast with Tim Robinson ’65, Director of Nobel Conference – Oct. 15

May hope, optimism and good humor continue for you all.


Dick DeRemee

1955 Class Agent