Class of '56
September 2004

Greetings to all Class of 1956 Classmates:

Well here I am writing a class letter!  My wife, Lois, was a 1959 class agent.  I saw all the work she put into that job including writing class letters.  I told Cec at that time that I wanted no part of that activity.  But I volunteered to write this letter as I want to introduce you to an exciting challenge that our class is undertaking.

You were all brilliant in math and can easily calculate that our 50th anniversary is happening in 2006.   Activity is underway early, planning the celebration, which will happen at graduation, 2006.   My job, which I gladly accepted, is to chair the anniversary gift leadership committee.  With this letter, I want to acquaint you to the challenge that the leadership committee has set for all of us.  My thanks to the following classmates who have joined this committee.

  • Lois Ledin Anderson
  • Carolyn Jens Brusseau
  • Keith Carlson
  • Lucy Fogelstrom DeRemee
  • Bob Erdman
  • Ruth Hanson Haberman
  • Jim Knapp
  • Joby Gould Knapp
  • Jo Johnson Lundborg
  • Kay Rethwill Moline
  • Faye Reber

We have set a goal to raise and present to Gustavus at our reunion dinner a total gift of at least $1.5 million dollars.  Now before all of you faint, let me explain how simple this is to do.  The gift would be made up of three components.  1)  Outright gifts to the alumni fund; 2)  A special Class of ’56 endowed scholarship with initial funding of $75,000; 3)  Planned gifts from our estates.  All the gifts and pledges made over the next three years count toward this goal.  Isn’t that simple?  I’m happy to announce that we already have commitments for over 1/3 of this total.   In the next months you all will be personally contacted for your enthusiastic response to this challenge.  Please respond to the caller and be ready to commit.  Gustavus will provide resources to discuss planned giving with you should you desire.  Quite a number of us ’56ers are already members of the Heritage foundation which recognizes persons who have named Gustavus in their estate plans or who have provided endowed scholarships.  Wouldn’t it be great if we could get 50% of our classmates in this organization?

We still need additional participation in this fund raising activity.  If any of you can help with contacting classmates, please give me a call at 952.888.2735.  Also persons are needed to plan the actual reunion activities.  Please call Carolyn Jens  Brusseau 651.774.7381 if you can help.

Now for news from classmates!

I had prostate surgery in August and thank the good Lord for an excellent urologist who managed to get it all!  Pathology reports were negative and I’m looking forward to getting back on the golf course.  Thanks to all of you who remembered me in their prayers and thoughts.   Men get your PSA checked!

Donna Lindquist Chommie writes she continues to work full-time as a Realtor in Bismarck, ND.  She says, “Life is good.”

Don Dahlstom is still covering the St. Peter Community Hospital as a radiologist.  Also he is licensed to practice in Louisiana.  He and Gail (Idstrom ’55) live in Minneapolis when they're not at their lake home near Hackensack.  One of their son-in-laws is a seminary student.

Bob and Lois (Knutson ’57) Keech reported that they live in White Bear Lake when not traveling north or to Florida.  They enjoy five grandchildren.  They expect to be at the reunion.

Jean Brown Larson reports that she and husband, Bob, are enjoying their first grandchild.  Isn’t it fun?  Bob had colon cancer surgery in November and is doing well after finishing chemotherapy in June.  Jean reminds all to have their colonoscopy scheduled!  Best wishes to you both as you spend time in Palm Springs recuperating and enjoying the remainder of your life.

Paul and Gloria (Swanson ’59) Lund report that they enjoy three grandsons and one granddaughter.  One grandson is a sophomore at Gustavus while another is on the soccer team at Colorado College.

Ray Norling spends time between the golf course and the office.  He is president of Willmar Poultry Company.  He lives five months of the year in Phoenix and the other on Eagle Lake near Willmar.  I hope the five months are during the winter!

Carolyn Jens Brusseau and Jo Johnson Lundborg will be writing the next letter from Hawaii.  Don’t you feel sorry for them?  Jo says that Carolyn had some exciting news, but wouldn’t you believe she ignored my request for the info.  UPDATE on Carolyn—She has a new granddaughter and will report her news in the January letter.

Again, please remember and start thinking about what Gustavus provided you and how generous you can be in helping future students at Gustavus in achieving their goals and degrees from Gustavus.  Sixty-eight percent of students at Gustavus require some financial aid.  WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

By the way, this was not difficult to compose.  If you’re asked to write a letter, respond in the affirmative.

Clyde Allen

1956 Guest writer

Campus News!

143rd Academic Year Begins

Classes began Sept. 8 with 657 first-year Gustavus students and 2,500 in all.  Long-standing orientation traditions such as the Square Dance and President’s Banquet have been joined by newer traditions like Gustie Greeter Orientation Groups and the Reading in Common program.  These newer programs were created to provide a more meaningful transition and to encourage students to meet others outside their residence hall.

Homecoming/Family Weekend

Homecoming and Family Weekend will be combined Oct. 1-3 to provide more events for alumni, current students, and families.  Alumni will gather by class in the Twin Cities on Friday night.  Saturday and Sunday, all alumni and their families are encouraged to come to campus for reunion class gatherings, the parade, a fun lunch with free popcorn and cotton candy, games for kids of all ages, a chapel service, sporting events, a walk in the arboretum, a chance to reflect with a seminar on your life direction, and performances by jazz singer Kurt Elling ’89, the Chicago Comedy Troupe, and many Gustavus music ensembles.  In addition, Gustavus will dedicate a new landscape waterfall, built with a gift from David ’51 and Delores Johnson and located outside the Lind Interpretive Center in the Linnaeus Arboretum.

Nobel Conference, The Science of Aging

The 40th Anniversary of the Nobel Conference will focus on the Science of Aging.  The campus is expecting over 6,000 guests October 5-6 to learn about the research molecular biologist are conducting on longevity, Alzheimer’s, and delaying debilitating disease and how this impacts life expectancy, the economy, and the health-care system.

New Residence Hall

Work crews have been busy this summer and fall constructing a new residence hall on campus.  The goal is to have the building enclosed before winter.  The building, located southwest of the football field, will house 200 students in suites and apartments and is scheduled to open for fall 2005.

Gustie Pages

Looking for a dentist, doctor, lawyer, pastor, realtor, and much more?  Make it a Gustie!  The Gustie Pages is an online database of Gusties who have submitted information about their profession.  Use the Gustavus network to meet your needs or submit your professional information if you would like other Gusties to be your customers.

Athletics Hall of Fame

The Gustavus Adolphus College Athletics Department has chosen eight individuals for induction into its Athletics Hall of Fame.  The 2004 inductees include Lori Allen ’88 (golf), Jim Chalin ’76 (basketball), Bruce Edwards ’77 (ice hockey), Barb Jaeger ’88 (soccer), Dean Kraus ’89 (football), Pachi Lopez ’71 (soccer), Greg Peterson ’88 (golf), and Gary Reinholtz (long-time athletic trainer, benefactor).  This group will be honored at the Athletics Hall of Fame Banquet, which will be held in Alumni Hall at 7:30 pm on Saturday, October 16.

Extraordinary Place

Gustavus is once again ranked among the top 100 liberal arts colleges in the nation in U.S. News and World Report's annual college rankings.  Gustavus is one of five Minnesota colleges in the top 100 national liberal arts colleges for overall quality (Carleton, Macalester, St. Olaf, Gustavus, St. John’s).  The ranking groups schools into categories based on a national educational classification that includes national liberal arts colleges, national doctoral universities (University of Minnesota, St. Thomas), regional master's degree-granting universities (Hamline, St. Catherine’s, Bethel, Augsburg), and comprehensive regional colleges (Concordia-St Paul).

Upcoming Events

  • Alumni Phonorama –September 26-30
  • Class Reunions for 1959, 1964, 1969, 1974, 1979, 1984, 1989, 1994, 1999 – October 1-3
  • Homecoming/Family Weekend – October 1-3
  • 40th Annual Nobel Conference: “The Science of Aging” – October 5-6
  • 35 Years of Gustavus Tennis – October 8-10
  • Athletics Hall of Fame Induction – October 16
  • Charlotte Area Gustavus Gathering – October 30
  • Christmas in Christ Chapel: “Seasons of Promise” – December 3-5
  • St. Lucia Festival – December 9
  • Class of 1954 and 50 Year Club Reunion – May 27-28
  • Class Reunions for 1960, 1965, 1970, 1975, 1980, 1985, 1990, 1995, 2000 – October 7-9, 2005