Class of ’55
March 2010

55-Year Reunion ― May 29, 2010

55th – Year Reunion for the Class of 1955!

Hello Classmates:

As you may have noticed, Dick DeRemee has asked a number of us to take a shot at writing the class letter this year.  Although I’m a little late, I agreed to take the month of February.

The big event for our class this year will obviously be the 55th reunion which will be held May 28th and 29th.  I’m including the schedule of activities later in this letter.  A number of you have already indicated your plans to attend.  I hope the thought of a great spring weekend on campus will prompt many more to sign up with the Alumni Office.

I have enjoyed the opportunity to get back on campus several times during the past three years.  In addition to attending Christmas in Christ Chapel, Phyllis and I were able to see my grandson, Mitch Carlson ’11, play varsity hockey.  He’s a junior this year and his brother, Tucker, is a freshman ’13.  Whenever we see them, they both assure us that the “Gustie Spirit” is still very much alive and well.  Incidentally, both the Gustie men’s and women’s hockey teams won the MIAC championship this year.

Several weeks ago, we attended the annual alumni gathering here in Phoenix.  Our class was also represented by Marilyn Larson Peterson who was there with husband, Bill ’52.  President Ohle was the featured speaker and discussed Commission Gustavus 150, a strategic planning effort which will commemorate the 150 year anniversary of the college in 2012.  Plans include a classroom building to be constructed on a new West Mall which will be located in the area of the old football stadium.

The Alumni Office provided the following information concerning our classmates:  Esther Zimmerman Atcherson is retired from Indiana State University and lives in Indianapolis; Rod Baxter is retired and continues to live in Wayzata; Jean Matz Carlson lives in Wells, MN and is organist at Good Shepherd Church; Janet Fallstrom Englemann resides in Burnsville and teaches piano; Patti Monk Lien is retired and lives in Tucson, AZ; Helen Johnson Rotvig lives in Biddeford, ME and is an avid quilter and gardener.  Homer Russ is a retired physician and lives in Green Cove Springs, FL.  Joyce Nygren Stomquist is a retired artist and resides in Red Wing, MN; Paul Vrudny is a retired teacher and lives in Brainerd, MN.

Schedule of events for the 55th Reunion

Saturday, May 29th

7:30 AM          Registration

8:00 AM          Breakfast – Campus Center Banquet Room

9:00 AM          Seminar – Alumni Hall

10:00 AM        Coffee & Conversation

10:30 AM        Seminar – Alumni Hall

Noon               50 Year Club Luncheon

2:00 PM          Seminar – Arboretum

3:00 PM          Class of 1955 Gathering – The Dive

(An event similar to the one at our 50th reunion)

5:00 PM          Alumni Banquet – Campus Center

I hope to see many of you there!

Norm Carlson

1955 Guest Letter Writer

Campus News

Gustavus Announces Major Building Projects

At its Monday, Jan. 25 meeting, the Gustavus Adolphus College Board of Trustees voted unanimously to move forward with three major building projects.  The College will erect a new 125,000 square foot academic building with a large 3-story atrium at the center providing natural light to many of the spaces.  It will qualify for a “gold LEED” qualification as a green building.  This will develop a mall extending west from its iconic Christ Chapel.  It will house the largest departments on campus (economics and management, psychology, and communications).  Also, plans are under way to renovate A. H. Anderson Social Science Building.  Construction timelines for the projects are not yet finalized, but the College expects to break ground on the new academic building late this spring.

The effort is a significant early implementation step of Commission Gustavus 150, an innovative, constituent-based strategic planning process that has engaged hundreds of alumni, students, faculty, staff, and other stakeholders over the past year.  “These projects will greatly enhance learning and teaching, student recruitment, and institutional advancement for many years to come,” said President Jack R. Ohle.

Alumnus, Kurt Elling ’89, Wins Grammy Award

Kurt Elling, a 1989 graduate of Gustavus Adolphus College, took home his first Grammy Award Sunday, Jan. 31 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, Calif.  Elling won the “Best Jazz Vocal Album” category for his album Dedicated to You: Kurt Elling Sings the Music of Coltrane and Hartman. This year marked the ninth time Elling was nominated for a Grammy.  Elling typically performs annually at Gustavus and did so most recently on Oct. 10, 2009 in Jussi Björling Recital Hall.  He has also had the distinct honor to perform in front of President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama and their 350 guests at the White House State Dinner on Nov. 24, 2009.

Wind Orchestra Tour

The Gustavus Wind Orchestra, under the direction of Conductor Douglas Nimmo, has returned from a 15-day concert tour through Germany, Poland, the Czech and Slovak Republics, Hungary and Austria.  The Choir of Christ Chapel will be traveling to the Phoenix/Tucson area during spring break.  On April 15 they will be at Lord of Life Lutheran Church in Sun City West, April 16 at All Saints Lutheran Church (LCMS) in Phoenix, and on April 17 at Lord of Grace Lutheran Church in Tucson.  For other campus news please check the website at

Attend a Chapter Event Near You!

There will be Gustavus alumni chapter events in the following cities:  Naples, March 14; Seattle, March 19; San Francisco, March 20; Los Angeles, March 21; New Orleans, March 30; New York, April 22; and Boston, April 25.  President Ohle will be attending most of those events so we hope that you will make an attempt to attend and hear what he has to say.  He is providing outstanding leadership!

“Come on You Gusties” Breakfast

Once a month, Gusties gather for coffee, breakfast, and great conversation along with a campus speaker.  All Gusties are welcomed and invited to the breakfast, third Wednesday of the month, 8-9:30 a.m. at the Doubletree Hotel, Minneapolis-Park Place, 1500 Park Place Boulevard.  Cost is $10 at the door.  Upcoming speaker:  Amanda Nienow, assistant professor of chemistry will speak of her January term class “Chemistry & Crime:  Examination of CSI-type TV Shows & Real Life Forensic Science.”

Upcoming Events

  • Mar. 14 – Naples Chapter Event – Naples Grande Beach Resort
  • Mar. 17 – Gustie Breakfast – Amanda Nienow, assistant professor of chemistry
  • Mar. 19 – Seattle Chapter Event – Bellevue Club
  • Mar. 20 – San Francisco Chapter Event
  • Mar. 21 – Los Angeles Chapter Event – Jet Propulsion Laboratory
  • Mar. 30 – New Orleans Chapter Event – Sheraton New Orleans Hotel
  • Apr. 22 – New York Chapter Event – The Core Club
  • Apr. 25 – Boston Chapter Event - Bay Back Hotel