Class of '56
January 2002

Aloha from Hawaii!

Building on the fine tradition of our past class agents, we are taking our new responsibilities with great seriousness…to the point that Carolyn Jens Brusseau “flew” to Hilo to join Jo Johnson Lundborg in order to compose this newsletter to you!  Obviously, escaping from the cold winds of January in Minnesota did not play a part in her actions!!  (If that was the rationale for the timing of the trip, it was surely misplaced as we note by looking at the national weather report; there is currently more snow on Mauna Kea than there is in Minnesota!)  We are both looking forward to being class agents because it will allow each of us to have more interactions with YOU.

            Cheers and accolades to Bob Erdman who has been our illustrious class agent for the last four years.  You did a great job, Bob, and we all sincerely thank you.  We also want to express our appreciation to Judy (Lund) Erdman, his co-writer, for her efforts in keeping us informed on the comings and goings of the class of ’57.

In fact, we think it is time to again thank ALL of our past class agents who have kept us in touch with one another as well as with Gustavus:

  • Cec Eckhoff                             1956-1963       (deceased in 1997)
  • Faye Reber                             1963-1967
  • Don Dennison                         1967-1972       (deceased in 1986)
  • Nancy Lea Roberts                  1972-1976
  • Dallas Blenkush                      1976-1982
  • Yvonne Anderson Casserly     1982-1994       Twelve years is impressive!!
  • Robert Erickson                      1983-1988       co-agent with Vonnie
  • Charles & Kay Wold (Moline)  1988-1997      co-agents until ’94  (Charlie deceased in ’97)
  • Bob Erdman                            1997-2001

As always, alums who participated in the October Phonorama had a great time reconnecting with classmates.  We want to particularly thank those who were callers for our class:  Clyde Allen, Ruth Chell Oliphant, and Faye Reber along with Carolyn.  Make a special note that Phonorama participants always rave about how enjoyable it is to talk to “old” college friends.  Please consider volunteering for this fun and important activity.  AND please be sure to say YES to donating!!  Our class has a history of strong giving; let’s continue our fine performance!  You all remember Evelyn Sponberg Young ’33, the dynamic campaign chair for this year’s Gustavus Alumni Fund drive.

What a great 45th class reunion last September!!  As we reflect upon it today, we are struck by how hale, hearty and youthful we all still look! (???).  Hope you FEEL as good as you LOOK?!  The banquet on Friday night was outstanding with Bob Erdman as master of ceremonies and Harvey Davis (Black Sam) in a new role as the featured speaker.  Saturday on campus was exciting (except for the challenging weather) and Don Roberts stimulated us to reminisce at the reunion luncheon!  Seeing once again the tangible reminders of our college days (such as Hello Walk, Old Main, the statue of Gustavus Adolphus and the view of the river valley) prompted more memories of those wonderful college years.  Since our student days, the look of the campus has changed tremendously.  We hope the many new facilities and beautification of the grounds, as well as the continuing inspired sharing of knowledge, will provide the present students with the same lasting sense of connection to the school that has meant so much to all of us these many years.

We didn’t receive any NEWS from Jody Lindall, but she sent this “VARNING:  MinnySota Virus” via e-mail which will surely brighten your day:  “Ve haf just sent you da ‘Norvegian Virus.’  Since ve do not haf any programming experience and do not know how to actually damage your computer, dis Virus verks on da honor system.  Please forward dis Virus to eferyvone on your mailing list and den manually delete all of da files on your hard drive.  Tank you for your cooperation. 

Sven and Ole”   Please send some personal news next time, Jody.

Cynthia (Woody) Olson Heinrich writes that in the summer of 2000 she and her husband, Gary, “moved to the Napa Valley, a place we had visited frequently and love.  I was recovering from surgery for pancreatic cancer and this was a good place to do so.  We have had many guests, which we enjoy and have also done some traveling.  I had chemo for about a year and am doing well.  Our daughter lives in San Francisco so we see her and her husband often and our son, even though he lives in Austin, Texas, comes here frequently.  My immediate goals are to practice the piano more and become strong enough to play golf with my son when I see him next!”

Richmond and Lorraine Youngquist Anderson went to Norway, Sweden and Iceland in June of 2001.  They traveled with Richmond’s three sisters and their husbands and celebrated their 45th wedding anniversary in Lofthus, Norway.

At the time of the Phonorama contact, John Annexstad and his wife, Judith, reported that they are enjoying life in Walker, Minnesota and “snow was on the way.”  Still waiting, John?

Mimi Johnson Eisele and husband, Gerry, continue to enjoy living on Lake Pokegama (near Grand Rapids) and have seven grandkids ranging in age from 14 years to 5 months.  Mimi is very active and busy with Habitat for Humanity and says, “it has become her passion.”  Her church involvement will take her to El Salvador during Holy Week and Easter to visit a Sister Parish community.

The Southwest is once again a winter destination for Faye Reber.  Last winter she especially enjoyed Monument Valley and Canyon de Chelly and adds that “the desert flowers were also spectacular.”

Lucy Fogelstrom DeRemee states that Rochester is still their home base.  She and Dick ’55 now have a grandchild count of seven, all born in the last seven years.  “They live in the Cities and the woods near Ely, so gatherings are lively and frequent in Minnesota and at our Lake Okoboji, Iowa, retreat.”  Skating on the lake was a highlight of their New Years at Okoboji.   Last fall Lucy and Dick made another of their frequent foreign trips and toured Italy’s Amalfi Coast, favorite cities of Venice, Rome and Munich, and visits to friends in Switzerland, including Joan Hallander Hengel ’53, the 1952 Gustavus homecoming queen.  “By the way, we went back to see the real St. Lucia who lies in a glass sarcophagus in the Church of Saint Geremia and Lucia on the Grand Canal in Venice.  A few years ago when we were in Venice on St. Lucia Day, December 13, we learned that she was there and lit candles and attended a mass in her honor.  Her face is covered with a gold mask, but you can still see her fingers and toes!”  You will recall that Lucy was St. Lucia queen at Gustavus during our sophomore year!

Kent and Carol Lindberg Musser packed and unpacked again during their travels in Italy, Greece and Turkey.  They “reflected on Paul’s journeys” when they visited the incredible ruins of Ephesus.  Their children and nine grandchildren “are blessed with good health and happy lives.”  They are again spending the winter in Mesa, Arizona.

A mountaintop wedding at Aspen occurred in July for Don and Nancy Lea Roberts when one of their sons was married.  Wedding bells rang loud and clear for the Roberts this year as another son had been married in February.

The coldest part of the winter will find Bev Johnson Anton and her husband, Frank, serving as judges to select the St. Paul Winter Carnival Queen.

Mary Andreen Carlson writes that she and Paul ’55 “chalked up a lot of miles” this year as it was the first full year of Paul’s retirement.  Besides Arizona early in the year, Florida in March, and Mexico in June, they took a three-week trip to the Pacific NW and were, coincidentally, with Jo and Dick Lundborg in Washington on the fateful day of September 11.  They were only home two days before they took off again for four weeks in Minnesota and included our reunion on their agenda.  Mary came out of retirement to teach a couple classes when the director of her church preschool got hit in the face with a baseball at one of her kid’s games!

“As snow begins to cover glass smooth frozen Detroit Lake,”  Jim and Joann "Joby" Gould Knapp “dream of returning to Bora Bora to snorkel the coral gardens, of riding ‘le truck’ in Papeete, Tahiti, to see Motavai Bay where explorers Wallace, Bougainville, Cook and Bligh landed each to claim this land for his nation, and of resisting the dessert tables on the Crown Princess cruising the islands of Hawaii and French Polynesia!!  Other highlights include seeing a rainbow at Waimea Canyon and finding taro chips at a little home ‘factory’ on Kauai, doing a sketch at the window in Papeete where Matisse sketched, and having three different schools of dolphins play with our boat while whale watching (yes, we saw spouts and backs and flukes and one breach far off).  At Gustavus homecoming, Jo and Dick Lundborg casually mentioned that they were signed up for this trip and said ‘Why don’t you come along?’.  So we did.  What a wonderful thing it is to have college classmates with whom you share rapport and experiences throughout 45 years.”

Carolyn continues to work as vice president-investments at UBS/PaineWebber and is also active in a range of community organizations.  She will be completing a four year term as chair of the Children’s Hospitals and Clinics Foundation Board, and is also a trustee of the F.R. Bigelow Foundation in St. Paul (a grant-making organization).  She serves as nominating chair of the Indianhead Council of the Boy Scouts of America, is secretary of the Schubert Club (a pioneer arts organization), has committee responsibilities with the Rotary Club of St. Paul (she was the first woman president in 1994-95) and she loves her book club.  She traveled twice during the past year to Florida, Arizona and Mexico (the latter two to see her new grandson), went to Boston for one of her three son’s graduation from medical school, and made her first trip ever to Las Vegas.

Jo and Dick’55 are perfecting the “art of retirement” and spend about seven months (spring, summer and fall) in Leavenworth, WA, a picturesque Bavarian Village near their six grandchildren, and five months in Hilo, HI where they lived, worked and played for 18 years.

Please write or call us with your news before the next newsletter in April.

Carolyn Jens Brusseau       (651) 774-7351  St. Paul

JoAnn Johnson Lundborg  (509) 548-6574 Leavenworth

(808) 933-2404 Hilo

Campus News

Hi!  My name is Tracey Hanson.  I’m a senior, double majoring in Communication Studies and Business Management.  I’ve worked in the Alumni Office all four years and can hardly believe that I’m in the middle of my last J-Term!  After a longer-than-usual Christmas break, it’s great to be back on campus.  Instead of taking a class (and doing homework) this J-Term, I’m spending my time slaving away in the Alumni Office.  It’s great to have the extra time to relax and do other activities that J-Term allows.  Having unlimited time at home each night has made for some great cooking!  And getting to watch “Friends” without worrying about the homework you should be doing instead is also a plus! 

The campus is full of life and excitement.  The theme for J-Term 2002 is "Our Global Village," and the month will be a celebration of cultural diversity as we grapple with social, political, economic and philosophical aspects of our ever-shrinking world neighborhood.  Faculty are offering 29 different classes that tie into this global theme, many of which are travel courses.  Examples include Islam and Culture, and Chinese Cooking and Culture.  This year, 2319 students are enrolled in J-Term courses, with many studying abroad, participating in internships, student teaching or studying at other domestic institutions.  I get very jealous when I read e-mails from my roommates who are studying in warm, sunny Australia.  J-Term themes for the coming years include “Service-Learning” (2003) and “Undergraduate Research.” (2004).

Winter athletics are also in full swing!  Gustie teams are off to a great start.  The men’s basketball team leads the MIAC with a conference record of 6-1, 11-1 overall.  They are also ranked in the top ten in the nation in the NCAA Division III Men’s Basketball Ranking.  The women’s hockey team also posts an outstanding record.  They are currently 6-0-0 in the MIAC and ranked fourth in the U.S. College Women’s Hockey Online Poll.  It has been exciting to watch our sports teams compete this winter!   

Gustie music ensembles are also very busy.  The Gustavus Band will embark on an international tour this J-Term.  The band is touring Sweden and Norway, presenting “Music from America.”  The tour dates are January 16 through February 10.  The tour concludes with a homecoming performance at 4 p.m. Feb. 10 in Christ Chapel.  The Gustavus Choir is busy preparing for their tour of the Midwest during Touring Week in February, concluding with their home concert Feb. 16 in Christ Chapel.  The Gustavus Orchestra will tour Minnesota, the Dakotas, Colorado, Kansas and Iowa.

You are invited and encouraged to attend these upcoming alumni events:

February 2      Chicago Chapter event - 6:00 p.m. dinner, 7:30 p.m.

Gustavus Choir Concert

                        Our Saviour's Lutheran Church, 815 S. Washington St., Naperville, IL

February 16    Naples Chapter event - Naples Beach Club

                        851 Gulf Shore Boulevard, Naples

                        11:30 a.m. social, 12:30 p.m. luncheon

February 17    Vero Beach Chapter event - Dawn (Ekstrom ’67) and Ted Michael residence

                        2506 Ocean Drive, Vero Beach

                        12:30 p.m. social, 1:30 p.m. luncheon

March 7          San Diego Chapter event

March 8          Tucson Chapter gathering

March 9          Phoenix Chapter gathering

March 10        Sun City Chapter gathering

More information will be sent to alumni and friends in these chapter areas.

RSVP to Alumni Office at 800-487-8437 or e-mail

As I prepare to graduate in June, I find it increasingly hard to think about leaving this place.  It hardly seems possible that four years have flown by, and that in six months I, too, will be considered an alum.  I will always carry with me fond memories of my four years here.  GO GUSTIES!!!