Class of '56
January 2004

Happy New Year!

We wish you health, happiness and lots of adventures in 2004.  We're again writing the January newsletter from Hilo and Kailua-Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii.  There is snow on Mauna Kea, but balmy breezes on the beach!

Our class goal is to have 123 members (50%) participating in the Annual Fund campaign this year.  To date Gustavus has received 71 gifts, so we have a long way to go!  We do need all of you to get involved - now is a good time to send in that check.  NO AMOUNT IS TOO SMALL!


Now that the calendar has turned to 2004, while it may be hard to believe, only two years remain until we celebrate the 50th anniversary of that, now long ago, day, when we proudly received our diplomas!  What a time of celebration!!  And…indeed we want it to be a milestone enjoyed by all.  Please tell us that we are NOT crazy when we state that our goal is to have 100% (of all living graduates) participation at the reunion festivities, which will be held in late May 2006 on campus.  Mark your calendars NOW!  Alums will have the option of staying in one of the college dormitories or, for those who prefer, local motels are available for reservation.  Over the course of the next two years, reunion updates will be provided, but now we are soliciting input from YOU regarding events/things you would like to ensure are a part of our reunion (i.e. exercise for seniors, art exhibit, golf tournament, topical lecture, etc.) ...and/or what type of activities would compel you to attend.  The college has a series of routine events that are a part of 50th anniversary celebrations, but there is room to supplement those activities with some tailored to the unique desires of the class of 1956.

A successful reunion requires an event chair(s) and planning committee and an anniversary gift chair.  Clyde Allen has agreed to be our class gift chair…thank you Clyde.  Now we are putting out a call for the event chair(s).  That individual(s) and his/her/their committee will have the vast resources and support of the alumni office to assist.  LET US HEAR FROM YOU.  We would love to be inundated with responses!  E-mail Jo at or Carolyn at  The college annually hosts a retreat for upcoming 50th, 25th, etc. reunion committees to assist with planning.  The first retreat our class will attend is scheduled for August 13-14, 2004 on campus.  All interested in assisting with reunion planning will be invited to attend.  Think 50th at GAC!

Again we would like to refresh your memory about classmate recognition at Gustavus, so we present the list of those honored by being inducted into the Athletics Hall of Fame:

  • Carlton O. Anderson - 1990
  • Larry Baker - 1992
  • Nancy Adolphson Baker - 1997 (Coach)
  • Jack Colvard - 2002
  • Bob Erdman -1990
  • Don J. Hausken - 1987
  • Jack Henderson - 1985
  • John B. Patzwald - 1981
  • Don Roberts - 1985
  • Jim Springer - 1987

It was our great pleasure to receive e-mail correspondence from Steve Ekobena who lives in Brooklyn Park, MN during the summer and in Yaounde, Cameroon in the winter.  After graduating, he went back to Cameroon and served the country in several responsible positions ranging from senior district officer, director, permanent secretary in government ministries to the state inspector and director of the cabinet to the vice president.  He retired from active civil service in 1990 and since then has been writing a book on Cameroon civil service, which he hopes to have published soon.  Steve's wife was a teacher and they had six children - five residing in the Minneapolis area, and one daughter is a diplomat serving with her husband in Zimbabwe - and 12 grandchildren!

Alan Westberg sent news via e-mail and we're glad to let you know that he and his wife, Lorys, live on Ten Mile Lake south of Fergus Falls.  Alan has been retired from teaching for ten years but remains active in the Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Elbow Lake.  They spend winters in St. Augustine, Florida and like to travel (have spent time in Sweden, Greece and Israel).  They both are community volunteers and Alan continues to teach 55-Alive classes.  Future plans include attending our 50th class reunion in 2006!

Kay Rethwill Moline also answered our e-mail request for news.  She married Robert Moline, a retired geography professor from Gustavus, in 2000 and retired that same year after teaching 30 years in the nursing department.  They both teach one course each spring - Kay a course in women's studies and Bob a geography course.  Traveling in the West is their favorite hobby during the spring and fall.  Kay says that "Retiring in St. Peter is the best thing we can do and we intend to keep our home here.  Being part of the college and students helps to keep us active and happy."

Karin Sandelin Northrup and husband, Wally, are "doing fine."  They live in Falcon Heights, but enjoy their lake home near Hayward, Wisconsin during the summer.  Karin is an active volunteer at St. Michael's Lutheran Church in Roseville and enjoys seeing as much as possible of her seven grandchildren.  She had a telephone conversation with Mary Swanson during the holidays and told us that Mary is enjoying her retirement while still living in the Washington, DC area.

Paul Piche writes that "I get up, read the obituaries and when I find that my name is not there, I go back to bed…get up later and spend more time with wood working and Special Olympics."  He was presented with the "God Father of Fall Games" award so his ego made him commit to chairing the Virginia Fall Championships (Special Olympics) one more year!  He also reports that they weathered Hurricane Isabel with a little damage, but mostly to trees and property.  However, they were without electricity for two weeks!

Those wonderful greetings during the holidays have informed us that Faye Reber has sold her family home in Cambridge and will be spending January in Phoenix and February in Tucson.  Kent and Carol Lindberg Musser will be in Arizona from January to April and then are going on a tour of Eastern Europe.  Paul '55 and Mary Andreen Carlson have done extensive traveling and attended several family reunions that made them "very aware of our role as the senior section!"  Gerry and Mimi Johnson Eisele, who live on Pokegama Lake near Grand Rapids, will be golfing, hiking, reading and enjoying the sunshine in Palm Springs for a month and then to Big Sky, Montana for skiing in March.

Ray "Padre" Johnson wrote that he had a heart-wrenching summer and fall with the death of his fiancée followed shortly by the death of his mother and then a worrisome diagnosis for one of his sons.  Murray and Vonnie Anderson Casserly enjoyed their first Christmas as grandparents!

Thanks to fall Phonorama callers, Clyde Allen, Faye Reber, Lucy Fogelstrom DeRemee and Ruth Hanson Haberman, we have more news:

Mary Gruse Jennett lives in Ortonville and winters in Mesa, Arizona.  She and husband, Duane, expect a new grandchild in February.

Janice Samuelson Olmanson and husband, Vern, have a granddaughter, Susan, who is a Gustavus freshman this year and "she loves it!"

T. Duane Jensen has now retired as pastor of Grace Lutheran Church in Bountiful, Utah.  He and his wife, Marilyn, are staying in that locale and "looking for ways to better serve the Lord."

Charles "Dewey" Parrish and wife, Pat, had a chance to drive around the campus last spring and declare, "It really looks good."  They live in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin.

Ruth Chell Oliphant has a fourth grandson born in September.  She says she has "her own boys' choir."  Ruth and her husband, Bob, live in Edina.

Sid Puppe and his wife, Susan, had recently returned from traveling to London, Rome and points in between at the time of the Phonorama call.

George Hieber and his wife, Harleen, who live in Monroe, Washington, had just traveled to Las Vegas and British Columbia at the time of Phonorama.

Don Hausken retired in 1991 after 35 years of teaching and coaching high school students.  He and his wife, Carole, have celebrated 48 years of marriage and enjoy eight grandchildren.  They spend January through March in Laguna Hills, CA.  Don works part-time at Whispering Pines golf course when he is home in Annandale.  His volunteer activities include umpiring junior high and Little League baseball.  He plays golf regularly and still participates in hunting, fishing and his weekly men's Bible Study.

Carolyn Jens Brusseau                                                         JoAnn Johnson Lundborg

(651) 774-7351                                                                       (509) 548-6574

St. Paul, MN                                                                            Leavenworth, WA

Campus News:

Building a Greater Gustavus Reaches Target

Gustavus celebrates reaching the $100 million target for the Building a Greater Gustavus capital campaign.  The campaign includes reconstruction projects following the 1998 tornados, the creation of the Center for Vocational Reflection, growth of the Christ Chapel Endowment, the C. Charles Jackson Campus Center, the Curtis and Arleen Carlson International Center, the Barbro Osher Svenska Huset (Swedish House), the new soccer and track complex, and more than 100 new scholarships.  Efforts continue to raise funds for campaign projects, such as Old Main renovation, Gustavus Alumni Fund, and further endowment growth.  Special thanks! goes to the volunteers and donors who contributed their resources to assist current and future Gusties. 

January Term

The theme for this January Term is "Undergraduate Research and Creativity," to promote course offerings and activities in all fields, not just natural sciences and fine arts.  In addition about 375 students are on travel programs abroad in such places as Europe, Australia, Malaysia, Fiji, and Israel.  Also, 180 students are participating in internships and career explorations, now so essential for many students in securing a job, no matter what career field. 

New Gustavus Video

Have you been to campus lately?  Can you remember your first time seeing Gustavus?  The Admission Office has created a new video/DVD for prospective students to take a look at the College.  Take a look online if you wish at <>.

Fine Arts

The Gustavus Symphonic Orchestra will take a 16-day concert tour to China performing in such places as Beijing, the Great Wall, and Tianjin.  The Gustavus Choir will take a 10-day concert tour to selected cities in North Dakota, Colorado, Nebraska, and Minnesota, and will also present a concert in the Twin Cities on Friday evening, January 30, 2004, 7:30 p.m., at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, in St. Paul.  The Gustavus Wind Orchestra, formerly the Gustavus Band, will tour during Spring Break.

Extraordinary Place

Gustavus is among leaders in Academic All-Americans.  The College Sports Information Directors of America have recently released a list of institutions with the highest number of Academic All-Americans over the past three years. Gustavus ranks 14th out of all programs competing at the NCAA Divisions I, II, and III, and NAIA levels.

Extraordinary People

Peter Krause '87 returned to Gustavus in November to meet and conduct workshops with students.  Krause has been nominated for Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild and Emmy awards for his role as Nate Fisher in the critically and commercially acclaimed HBO drama, "Six Feet Under."  With the hope that the day would focus more on the students than on his newfound fame, Krause spent the afternoon doing acting work with classes and theatre and dance majors.

Great Teaching

In case you missed the note in the Fall 2003 issue of the Gustavus Quarterly, we are asking alumni to send in short reminiscences, tributes, and anecdotes about professors who made a difference in their education--"the teachers and mentors who have made a lasting impression, who have imparted life lessons, whom you remember for their wit, or their mastery, or their encouragement, or their exacting standards . . . or their idiosyncrasies." We are planning to focus an upcoming issue of the Quarterly on "great teaching" and would like to hear from those who experienced the classes of those great professors.  Send your paragraphs and stories to either Randall Stuckey '83, director of alumni relations (, or Steve Waldhauser '70 (, managing editor of the Quarterly, or in the mail to the College.

Upcoming Chapter Events

  • Washington DC, Gustavus gathering - February 6
  • Atlanta, Georgia, Gustavus gathering - February 26
  • Tampa Bay, Florida, Gustavus gathering - February 27
  • Naples, Florida, Gustavus gathering - February 28
  • Vero Beach, Florida, Gustavus gathering - February 29
  • Sun City, Arizona, Gustavus gathering - March 19
  • Phoenix, Arizona, Gustavus gathering - March 20
  • Tucson, Arizona, Gustavus gathering - March 21