Class of '56
March 2006

Dear Classmates,

This is Bob Erdman writing.  You've heard from the other guest writers the last few months.  All of them have made it perfectly clear that they would like to have a great turn-out for a 50th Class Reunion.  I would like to encourage you as well, and yes, I hope you will also give a special gift to Gustavus this particular year knowing full well that everyone else that needs your financial support is hoping you will do the same for them.

As George Colman says, “I praise the bridge that carries me over.”  Well, we all have responsibilities to more than one of those bridges.  But, this is our 50th !!  And hopefully we’ll be able to do something above and beyond our usual giving to Gustavus.  Our class has always done well in supporting Gustavus financially, hence, it’s a little more difficult to dig a little deeper.  To paraphrase:  To cut two or three strokes off a good golfers’ game is difficult.  To cut a stroke or two off an average or poor golfers’ game is a lot less difficult.  Do what you can and be pleased.

What’s really important is you make an effort to be on campus this 26th and 27th of May―this year!

We all have missed a school bus

We've missed a meeting or two

A birthday, an anniversary?

I’ve missed way too many shots in basketball

And Judy tells me I'm missing the point.

Well, I've missed enough things in my life

Not to make a big deal about them.

But missing our 50th Class Reunion―

Well now, that's serious!!

Class News:

Donna Lindquist Chommie is living in North Dakota and selling real estate―she loves what she does!  She still has time to travel the world―London, Brussels, and Cypress this last time around.

John Patzwald―In February, John received a 25-Year Superintendant Award at the National Association of School Administrators Convention held in San Diego.

Campus News:

The Alumni Board met on campus in February and made the final selection for the Alumni Awards:

Greater Gustavus Award:  Gustavus Library Associates, for providing financial resources for Folke Bernadotte Library, and engaging and introducing alumni and friends in the mission of the College.

Distinguished Alumni Citations:  Karen Bossart Rusthoven ’66, St. Paul, MN, founder and principal of Community of Peace Academy, St. Paul; Susan Semple-Rowland ’77, Gainesville, FL, professor of neuroscience, University of Florida and director, Neuroscience IDP Graduate Program; and Magnus Ranstorp ’85, St. Andrews, Scotland, chief scientist at the Centre for Asymmetric Threat Studies, Swedish National Defense College; and a Senior Honorary Research Associate and former Director of Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland.

First Decade Awards:  Rebecca Konrad ’96, Washington, DC, investment officer, global transaction team, The World Bank International Finance Corporation; and Milo Martin ’96, Philadelphia, PA, assistant professor, Department of Computer and Information Sciences, University of Pennsylvania. 

The awards will be presented on Commencement Weekend or Homecoming Weekend depending on the recipient’s schedule.

Gustavus Checks

Show your Gustavus pride every time your write a check.  You can now order checks with Old Main, Three Crowns, or the Gustavus football helmet at:

Gusties Helping Hurricane Victims

A group of 23 students spent three weeks during January in Mississippi aiding in the clean-up and rebuilding efforts of a town hit hard by Hurricane Katrina.  The group was student-led and sponsored by Men’s Christian Fellowship at Gustavus and coordinated through Lutheran Disaster Response.  While there the students provided many services, including clearing houses to the bare structure, rebuilding homes, working in kitchens, distributing supplies, and working in pastoral care, child care, and medical clinics.  The group was housed and fed in a “tent city” on the grounds of Christus Victor Lutheran Church.  This was one of the several vocation month experiences from which Gustavus students had the opportunity to choose.


Nordic Ski Team senior Erich Ziegler had a first-place finish among collegiate skiers in the15K freestyle at the NorAm SuperTour stop at Telemark Resort in Cable, Wisconsin.  Ziegler’s win was the first by a Gustavus skier in an NCAA/CCSA qualifier.  Men’s hockey continues to win, with a 7-1 record in the MIAC.  Men's swimming is 7-0 on the season and recently set two Lund Center pool record times.  Brad Hanson ’08 was victorious in the 1000 freestyle in a pool-record time of 9:51.46, and Matt Stewart ’09 posted a pool-record time of 1:44.49 to win the 200-freestyle. 

Upcoming Alumni Events

  • Gustavus Library Associates’ “Breakfast with the Easter Bunny” at Mt. Olivet Lutheran Church in Minneapolis — March 25
  • MAYDAY! Peace Conference on AIDS — April 19
  • Gustavus Association of Congregations Meeting — April 22
  • Gusties In Volunteer Endeavors (G.I.V.E.) Day of Community Service in Minneapolis — April 29

As I was looking at our senior class pictures in the Gustie annual of 1956, I really liked who we were.  And those of you with whom I've had some contact since, I like even better today.  I never was a social butterfly, but it would’ve been nice if my circle of friends had been more than my roommates and a few fellow athletes.  It will be worth the trip, if nothing more than to renew old and cherished relationships.  But you may be lucky enough to actually meet a classmate that you really didn’t know that well.  It could be the most enjoyable part of your day.  Hey, if it turns out to be uneventful for you personally, don’t come to our 75th reunion!  If you’re not there we will understand.  You’re still a Gustie and we’ll still miss you!!

1956 Guest Writer,

Bob Erdman