Class of '56
February 2006


Reunion dates ― May 26 & 27, 2006

Happy Heart Month!

Greetings from “The Hill.”  All is well here, spring semester started Monday and it is around 5° above zero outside.  Why don’t we call it second semester instead of spring?  The wind keeps blowing up here even though we have had a very mild January.  Where are our wind turbines?

President Bush has given the State of the Union speech, presenting one view; Brokeback Mountain has been nominated for eight Oscars, another opportunity for conversation and the Steelers won the Superbowl.  Now, turning attention to our reunion, May 26 and 27.

During the weekend we will honor Cec Eckhoff with a chance to view Orbisc, the Granlund statue dedicated to Cec for the years of service he gave to the college.

President Jim Peterson ’64 and Professor Emeritus Milton Brostrom ’49 will kick off the weekend by telling us about our college, how it was, how it is, and how it will be.

If any of you have slides, videos, DVDs or whatever else, from college days, and would like to share them please bring them along.  They will be displayed sometime during the weekend.

Now to prepare you for the weekend I am presenting to you the Top 10 reasons for attending the Class of 1956 Gustavus Class Reunion:

10.  Getting a hole in one at the golf outing

  9.  Recognizing classmates at first glance

  8.  Class picture in the Quarterly

  7.  Touring the newly remodeled Old Main and other points of interest on campus

  6.  Parking your car in the lot that once was Wahlstom Hall

  5.  Finding out from Professor Bill Heidcamp (biology) what Nobel 2006 is all about

  4.  Hearing about nature from naturalist Jim Gilbert ’62

  3.  Exploring Antarctica with classmate, John Annexstad

  2.  Chapel service, an orchestra concert, an art exhibit

  1.  The Gustavus College food―second to none

Now to the news from our classmates.  Marilyn Lundberg Boyce was married on September 7, 2005 to John Solstad and they are living in Medina, MN.  Congratulations and best wishes to Marilyn and John!

Beverly Matson Gustafson writes, “I dabble with an assortment of part time jobs (coaching the Early Music Ensemble at Gustavus, painting signs for the Food Co-op, helping in the office at the little Episcopal Church on Minnesota Avenue) to keep out of trouble while Don ’55 is still teaching history full time at Augsburg.  We flew off in opposite directions during January―he to El Salvador with the Center for Global Education, I to Morocco.  I often wished I were a geographer or a geologist as we traveled though Morocco’s amazing variety of landscapes…tented in the desert for three nights, then had to make a long, long detour on the way to Marrakesh because mountain passes in the high Atlas were closed because of snowstorms.”

Ruth Chell Oliphant hopes to be at the reunion.  She writes that her daughter is expecting their fifth child, she now has four boys:  8, 6, 4, and 2.

Melba Johnson Gevik writes that she is coming to the reunion.  When her husband, Dean ’53, had his reunion, they appreciated the memorial service.

In November Donna Lindquist Chommie told me she was going to Europe with her son and she will be at the reunion.

Jerry Thayer is retired and lives in Las Vegas, NV.  He had heart surgery and says he is not getting along too well and will not make the reunion.

Paul C. Peterson writes that he is not coming to the reunion.  The Sacramento Jazz Festival is the same weekend, which he is involved with.  His family will be coming to Sacramento from Omaha.

Here is the current list of attendees that we know about.  Remember, this does not reserve you for the reunion, you will still need to send in your reservation form when you receive it in April.


1956 Reunion Attendees as of 1/31/05

  • Clyde Allen
  • Lois Ledin Anderson
  • Lorraine Youngquist Anderson
  • John Annexstad
  • Dick Bergman
  • Joan Krantz Braun
  • Carolyn Jens Brusseau
  • Ramona Amundson Burns
  • Keith Carlson
  • Lee Carlson
  • Lynn and Bev (Runez) Carlson
  • Mary Andreen Carlson
  • Reuben Carlson
  • Vonnie Anderson Casserly
  • Dick Chilkott
  • Donna Lindquist Chommie
  • Jo Cipra
  • Phyllis Sletten Dalager
  • Roger Delgehausen
  • Lucy Fogelstrom DeRemee
  • Mimi Johnson Eisele
  • Tom Engquist
  • Bob Erickson
  • Dick and Char (Swansson) Erickson
  • Bob Erdman
  • Charmaine Nelson Flen
  • Melba Johnson Gevik
  • Carole Kilander Griggs
  • Beverly Matson Gustafson
  • Ruth Hanson Haberman
  • Don Hausken
  • George Hieber
  • Corrine Rhyne Holm
  • Ray “Padre” Johnson
  • Robert Keech
  • Jim and Joann (Gould) Knapp
  • Joan Lindall
  • JoAnn Johnson Lundborg
  • Bev Aanonsen Martens
  • Kay Rethwill Moline
  • Roger and Helen (Sandgren) Munson
  • Kent and Carol (Lindberg) Musser
  • Moon Mullin
  • Erland Nord
  • Rayburn Norling
  • Ruth Chell Oliphant
  • Charles "Dewey" Parrish
  • Paul Piche
  • Vonnie Kettner Propp
  • Faye Reber
  • Don and Nancy (Lea) Roberts
  • Joanne Johnson Satter
  • Barbara Carlson Ulven
  • Alan Westberg

Clyde Allen, Reunion Committee, Fundraising Chair, will add a report at the end of this letter.  Remember to send whatever news you may have for Bob Erdman’s March letter, or save it for reunion weekend conversations.

Looking forward to seeing many of you in May,

Kay Rethwill Moline

1956 Guest Writer

Class of 1956 Anniversary Gift

(June 1, 2004 through January 30, 2006)


Class Total                                         162

Total Donors                                      124

Total Participation                             76.5%


Class of 1956 Endowed Scholarship

Gifts                                                  $12,118.75

Pledged amounts not yet received   $  5,900.00

Total Gifts and Pledges                    $18,018.75


Anniversary Celebration Gift

Gustavus Alumni Fund             $     17,470.90

Designated Gifts                      $     23,507.50

Capital Gifts                            $     18,500.00

Endowment Gifts                     $     13,714.38

Matching Gifts                         $       4,675.00

Pledged Gifts                          $       3,785.00

Scholarship Pledges                $       5,900.00 

Total Gifts and Pledges            $     87,552.78

Estate Gift Declarations             $1,108,198.00

TOTAL CLASS GIFT             $1,195,750.78


Gustavus Alumni Fund

Gifts to undesignated current operating budget

Designated Current Gifts

Gifts that are designated by the donor to a specific area, i.e., scholarship, athletics, Linnaeus Arboretum, Library Associates or a specific academic department.

Capital Gifts

“Bricks and Mortar” projects, i.e., Campus Center, Swanson Tennis Center, Swedish/International Center, Track Project, Soccer Project and the Johns Family Courtyard.

Endowment Gifts

Gifts to ensure the future of the College, i.e., unrestricted endowment, scholarship endowment, professorships, library endowment, Christ Chapel endowment, and Nobel Conference endowment.

Matching Gifts

Gifts received via Lutheran Brotherhood, Aid Association for Lutherans, or a donor’s employer.

Other Credits

Credit for gifts given by a business, family foundation, or “in the name of.”  This ensures that alumni will receive class credit for their gift.

Fellow Classmates, HELP!!!

With only five months until we meet for our reunion, the class gift requires the participation of all of us.  All of you should have been called by now.  If you have not and have questions, be sure and call me.  Remember there are three areas to give:

1)  The Alumni Fund

2)  The Cec Eckoff Class of ’56 Endowed Scholarship

3)  Include Gustavus in your estate plans

It would be exciting to see large numbers of us doing all three.  Remember a pledge spread over three years counts toward our total class gift.

Remember our goals are 100% participation and $3,000,000 total gifts and declarations.  WE NEED YOU TO BE COUNTED!  Send your cards in ASAP.

Clyde Allen