Class of '56
October 2007

Hello Classmates!

It was Friday, July 27th when the telephone rang at 9:30 a.m. in the Musser Household.  What a nice surprise―it was Carolyn Jens Brusseau just calling to chat―NOT!  I knew in my heart of hearts why she was calling.  I also knew that it was time for another classmate to relieve Jo Johnson Lundborg and Carolyn of the responsibility of having to write the next class letter.  So, here I am, with Kent [Musser] as co-conspirator (ha!) trying to do what many of you have done so well in the past 50 years.

Speaking of 50 years―for us and also for many of you, it’s golden wedding anniversary time.  There were a ton of weddings both before and after ours in June of 1957.  Cec Eckhoff and Norm Carlson ’55 were two of Kent’s groomsmen.  Bev Johnson Anton and Ramona Amundson Burns were two of my attendants―both are childhood friends who were Gusties for a couple of years.  Dick DeRemee ’55 was our soloist!  A tradition at the time and most impressive to guests in attendance was the singing of the “Alma Mater” by all of the Gusties at the reception.  Memories…

There are many ways to celebrate special anniversaries.  We opted to take our whole family out to the YMCA Family Camp in Estes Park, Colorado.  There were 17 of us including 9 grandkids ranging in ages from 7-17.  It was a perfect vacation complete with white water rafting, horseback riding, hiking, jeep rides and the multitude of park activities and resources available.  We topped off our week in Colorado by going to see the Rockies baseball team play in Coors Stadium in Denver.

Paul ’55 and Mary (Andreen) and Carlson were in Minnesota this summer to celebrate their 50th anniversary with relatives.  Mary took time out from a busy schedule to meet for lunch with Faye Reber, Faith Walfrid Lindell and me.  Her sister-in-law, Judy Carlson Olson ’61 also joined us.  Judy is Paul’s sister.  Faith’s interesting experiences while living in Africa were one of our favorite topics.

Our paths have crossed with several Gusties in the last few months.  We went to a surprise 50th anniversary party for Don and Nancy (Lea) Roberts in St. Peter.  Among the many classmates in attendance were two that I hadn’t seen for probably 50 years:  Jan Samuelson Olmanson (my sophomore section mate) and John Speliopoulos’ wife, Angie.  We also have visited Dick and Char (Swansson) Erickson in Cross Lake.  After eating dinner with mutual friends, we went over to the Erickson’s home for dessert and more and more and more conversation.  At Kent’s 55th class reunion we visited with Colleen Mathies who also graduated in the class of ’52 from Sherburn High.  She’s back in Minnesota after living and teaching in California for 29 years.

Faye Reber and a friend took a great trip to Alaska this summer.  They flew out of Vancouver, British Columbia to Fairbanks; then, headed by car to Anchorage.  Along the way they stopped to view Mt. McKinley.  They were in luck as they actually got to see the peak…a rare occurrence.  A cruise ship took them back to Vancouver.

Ray “Padre” Johnson was in Minnesota recently and gave us a call.  He visited Gustavus for the dedication of the Hollingsworth Football Stadium.  While in the Twin Cities he made several presentations about his “inter-cultural travels and his observations of the human condition.”  He also visited Carlton “Ozzie” Anderson in Park Rapids before returning to his home in Cody, Wyoming.

Bob Erdman reports that he sold his summer basketball camps at Gustavus to Mark Hanson ’83, the current men’s coach.  Kent says that he heard that the price was $1 and a player to be named later(!).  That and a promise from Bob that he would never play in the annual “G.A. Basketball Scramble” again until he completes an anger management course.  Everyone else is invited to this great and fun golfing event.  Contact Coach Hanson if interested.  Get a foursome together and join the guys.

Have to mention the coming Phonorama.  All of our class stats are down from last year…only natural because that was our BIG reunion year.  We don’t need to try to top the amount we gave, but we could match the percentage of donors.  Last year’s participation was 75.2%.  So far this year it’s 65%...not bad, but just a few more pledges and we could easily raise that.  Randall Stuckey ’83, Director of Alumni Relations, says that “Gifts and participation are always higher during a reunion year, but it would be a solid goal to attain 70% participation.  Total dollars can fluctuate because of special gifts and estate gifts, but unrestricted support is more consistent.  The College is in most need of unrestricted support so any increase in that area is much appreciated.”

Campus News

President Peterson Announces Retirement

President Jim Peterson ’64 announced in August that he plans to retire at the conclusion of the current academic year, capping a five-year term.  His early announcement will provide the Board of Trustees enough time to undertake a thorough search process and assist in a smooth transition to new leadership.  Peterson will serve through June 2008 and has offered to assist in an orderly transition beyond that date if needed.

Moes provide gift for Kendall Center

Gustavus parents Robert and Karin Moe have made a $1 million commitment to the John S. Kendall Center for Engaged Learning. This leadership gift brings the College closer to its goal of fully endowing the center, which is dedicated to advancing active and interdisciplinary learning across the campus. When fully funded, the endowment will generate funds to support two main areas: faculty development and student-faculty research.

Retreat about Live Purpose – November 10, 2007

The Linnaeus Arboretum is teaming up with the Center for Vocational Reflection to offer a workshop entitled:  Living on Purpose:  Seeds, Seasons, and the Undivided Life―A Workshop/Retreat to Explore Your Calling.  This workshop will allow you to “examine the roots, blossoms, and seeds” of your life.  For more information including registration materials, visit or call Shirley Mellema (507-933- 6181).

New football stadium opens

On September 8, the football team played its inaugural game at the College’s new football stadium.  The synthetic-surfaced field is recessed below ground level and features an earthen berm surrounding the entire field.  The field will continue to be named Hollingsworth Field after the late Lloyd Hollingsworth, who served as the College’s football coach from 1942-1960 and athletic director from 1961-1978.

Athletics Hall of Fame Induction

On Saturday, November 3, Gustavus will induct the following people into the Athletic Hall of Fame: Tim DeJarlais ’91 (golf), John Erickson ’81 (hockey), Dave Hultgren ’92 (baseball), Craig Miller ’91 (cross country), Mindy Mayerchak Oosten ’88 (softball & soccer), Mike Schumacher ’91 (football), Ann Sommerness Simms ’92 (swimming), and Ryan Skanse ’92 (tennis).

Twin Cities Gustie Breakfasts

Join other Minneapolis/St. Paul area Gusties for a once-a-month morning cup of coffee and breakfast while getting an update on Gustavus. The group meets the third Wednesday of each month at the Doubletree Hotel, Minneapolis-Park Place, 1500 Park Place Boulevard (Hwy. 394 & Hwy. 100), 8:00-9:30 a.m., $10 per person.  Reserve by calling Don Swanson ’55 at 763/533-9083

Wednesday, November 21

Winter sports coaches – Jon Carlson ’88 (men’s and women’s swimming & diving), Mark Hanson ’83 (men’s basketball), and Brett Petersen (men’s hockey)

Wednesday, December  19

Margaret Kelliher ’90, speaker of the Minnesota House of Representatives

Inaugural “A Royal Affair” Online Auction

“A Royal Affair,” the biennial fundraiser for the Gustavus library, is October 27.  New to A Royal Affair this year is an online auction that will be activated the week of October 22. This online auction will have unique items available only for bidding online and not at the evening event.  These items can be viewed through the Gustavus website and bidding will close prior to the October 27 Razzle Dazzle*A Royal Affair.  Also, the online auction is open to everyone – parents, alumni, students, faculty, and friends of Gustavus – even those unable to attend Razzle Dazzle*A Royal Affair.  Watch the Gustavus Library Associates website at for up-to-the-minute details on the online auction.

Alumni Fund

The 2008 Alumni Fund has a goal of $2 million from 8,000 donors.  Continue a Gustie tradition ― join other alumni to reach the goal with your participation in the 2008 Alumni Fund.

Refer a Gustie

As the school year starts, many high school seniors are getting serious about their college selection. If you know of high school seniors or juniors who may be a good fit at Gustavus, please send their names to the Office of Admission at Gustavus to help recruit the next generation of Gusties.  Contact the Admission Office at 800/GUSTAVU(S).

Calendar of events:

  • October 27                  Razzle Dazzle*A Royal Affair, Gustavus Library Associates
  • November 3                 Athletics Hall of Fame Induction Banquet
  • Nov. 30, Dec. 1-2        Christmas in Christ Chapel
  • December 6                 St. Lucia Day celebration on campus

I did it…and filled more space than I thought I would.  Randall Stuckey had to search high and low for class news, but couldn’t find any so I was pretty much on my own.  I encourage all of you to send in any news that you might have.  Real, make-believe or just plain lies will be accepted.

Carolyn and Jo will return in January with more class info (hopefully) and some special stories about their August cruise down the Danube River from Budapest to Bucharest.  They planned to explore the Danube Delta where the river flows into the Black Sea and also to attend the church wedding of one of Carolyn’s sons in Constanta, Romania.  Sounds like a fabulous trip.

Carolyn Lindberg Musser  (Kent, too…sort of)

1956 Guest Letter Writer