Class of ’56
55-Year Reunions ― May 28, 2011
Days are growing shorter….there is a bit of a nip in the Minnesota air, the beginning of the colors of autumn on the trees….. Dick and I are beginning to prepare to leave the Mainland for our winter retreat to the trade winds of Hawaii….all signs that it is time for our Fall Class Letter. As in several of our recent class letters this will include some personal remarks by one of our classmates…this time Co-Class Agent, Carolyn. In addition you will find bits and pieces of 1956 class news as well as an update on campus news at our Alma Mater. And, VERY IMPORTANT…..initial information about our upcoming class reunion in May, 2011, to celebrate the 55th Anniversary of our Commencement Day along with a questionnaire for your completion to facilitate planning for this important occasion.
MUSINGS ON A CAREER PATH SHAPED BY THE WOMEN’S MOVEMENT
Over the years as Jo and I have sat on the beaches of Hawaii preparing our winter class letter we have shared thoughts about a lot of topics……one of which was the Women’s Movement and how it ultimately shaped the lives of not only women, but men as well. Aware that my initial post college employment had been as a social worker as well as an elementary school teacher, traditionally “female” career options, Jo posed the question one day; absent the Women’s Movement would I have at mid-life pursued a career in the financial services as a stock broker? The answer was clear…..No! That set a lot of thoughts, memories and observations in motion…and, whatever an individual might think about the latter Twentieth Century life style changing Movement…positive, negative, indifferent….it has significantly changed the lives of women, as well as men, and truly the workplace.
In 1956 when we were freshly minted Gustavus alums seeking employment, typically one would review newspaper Help Wanted ads on a gender basis. Help Wanted – Male, Help Wanted – Female; married women were known to all except close friends as Mrs. John Johnson, not Mary Johnson and were a woman interested in pursuing a professional degree she found quotas on female admissions to medical, dental and law schools….and, how many female engineering degrees did the class of 1956 produce? We found shortly after graduation when credit cards and charge plates became readily available in the early sixties married women were unlikely to obtain one without a husband’s consent.
Looking back from this vantage point, aware that in 2008 a woman was the candidate of one of our major political parties for President of the United States, one recognizes that cataclysmic career/employment changes have taken place in our society since we first sang the Alma Mater as new graduates/alums. It has been an amazing journey! The changes have impacted each one of us, in subtle or non-subtle ways, changed society and surely have and are impacting the lives of our children and grandchildren. Commenting upon the impact change has played on my career path and how my experience and education at Gustavus prepared me to embrace and adapt to change is the thrust of this class letter.
Similar to the majority of women who graduated from college when we did, I expected to work a few years and complete my career. Following my “retirement” as a social worker from the County Welfare Department in 1963, apart from volunteer positions in community organizations my days were satisfactorily filled as a wife, homemaker and mother of three sons. Over the course of a number of years, ultimately the social forces impacting our common lives at the time in reference to the role of women, began to shape my thinking. During the child rearing years the school days offered me time for volunteer pursuits and skills training. To my great surprise, I became aware through these activities, I was developing new skills that might be translatable to the job market! As increasing numbers of my friends began to return to the work force in areas far different than their college preparation, I began to contemplate a potential return to employment
Always interested in the financial markets…I had long been a subscriber to the Wall Street Journal….reflecting the era, my paper was delivered to MISTER Carolyn Brusseau……and thought…“why not try?” Armed with the support of my family, the certainty of achieving goals, my Gustavus education and community volunteer experience had embedded in me, along with the support and encouragement of friends, in 1983 I walked into the St. Paul office of Paine, Webber, Jackson and Curtis (later to become UBS Financial Services, Inc.), asked to speak to the manager and told him I was interested in applying for a position as a stock broker (now referred to as financial advisor). Previous experience, I was asked? Social worker, elementary school teacher, community volunteer. Truly, not the typical profile of an applicant for that position.
A number of hurdles needed to be crossed between application and hiring…but, Gustavus had taught me to think boldly, take risks and to have the confidence that if I thought I could do something…do it! I eventually passed all the tests needed to proceed further in the application process, and while the New York headquarters office was of the opinion my prior experience, especially as a social worker, precluded a successful “hire,” I was able to convince the local branch manager that social work training had provided me excellent preparation to work with people, that additionally, my Gustavus education had prepared me to be flexible and social work skills were an excellent vehicle to have in assisting customers to consider financial goals and then to assist them in the important job of their financial planning. To the chagrin of the New York based training manager I was hired, but informed that he would be “watching and monitoring my every step.” Nothing further in regard to my employment was ever heard from him again!
In the early stages of my financial services career, there were few women in the business….an occasional female would be hired, stay for a year and then leave to pursue other career options; but, by 1990 more women were entering and staying in the profession and, when I retired twenty-seven years later on February 1, 2010, having earned the title of Vice President, my branch manager was a female! It was an interesting and satisfying journey for me and looking back over the years in retrospect now, a journey I would not have considered absent the force of what we refer to as the Women’s Movement that engaged us and shaped us all, one way or another, in our middle years.
And, perhaps dear Classmate, you have a story of your life’s journey you are willing to share with us. As you know, we have three class letters to arrange for each year……let a future one be one that lets us know more about you!!!!!!! We await YOUR story…..be in touch!
Lucy Fogelstrom DeRemee and her husband, Dick, ’55, had a “fabulous” trip in early spring 2010, on a Russian river ship. Lucy writes that she was “enchanted” by the art treasures at the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, the galleries in Moscow, and the onion domed architecture everywhere. Dick was intrigued to see Lenin in his mausoleum and in awe to stand at the graves of Shostakovich and Prokofiev. Restoration since the war is amazing and the beauty of Moscow surprised us. The entire trip was a grand Russian history review.
Jo Johnson Lundborg enjoyed two weeks in France again this past summer with one of her daughters and family. This year they were in the Perigord region (rented houses in LeBuge and Sarlat) known for foie gras, truffles, strawberries, and walnuts along with medieval villages, castles, chateaux, sculptured gardens, prehistoric cave dwellings, and an amazing subterranean river.
Thanks to Roger Delgehausen for writing the April class letter.
Condolences to Don Dahlstrom on the recent death of his wife, Gail Idstrom Dahlstrom ’55.
Jerry Thayer, ’56, died in November 2009. He was a resident of Las Vegas, NV; a retired sales associate for Josten’s, served on the Alumni Board of Directors and had two sons who went to Gustavus.
Jean Brown Larson, ’56, died of complications of ALS in August 2010. She lived in Edina and is survived by her husband, Bob, two children and two grandchildren. In addition to Gustavus, she attended the University of Minnesota.
Now, Please, Please, Please…..complete your Reunion Questionnaire and return to the Alumni Office in the return envelope provided. We want your input to plan a reunion that you will want to attend. FYI: The following is the 2010 Reunion Day schedule. We can adapt our reunion to fit that schedule or change it to fit our needs/requests. The class of 1954 did have a Friday evening class dinner which we understand was well attended and well received. If there is a groundswell of interest among our classmates for a Friday evening event we can arrange for that, but we do need to HEAR from YOU!!!
Basic Reunion Schedule
7:30 AM: Registration
9:00 AM: Seminar
10:00 AM: Refreshments and conversation
10:30 AM: Seminar
12:00 Noon: Alumni Luncheon for 50 Year Club
2:00 PM: Seminar
3:00 PM: Campus tour; Granlund tour of class gatherings
3:30 PM: Vesper Service
4:30 PM: President’s Reception
5:00 PM: Alumni Banquet
8:00 PM: Gustavus Symphony Orchestra Concert
Your Class Agents,
JoAnn Johnson Lundbborg Carolyn Jens Brusseau
84 Pukihae Street #1206 728 E. Belmont Lane
Hilo, HI 96720 St. Paul, MN 55117
(808) 933-2404 (651) 774-7381
Gustavus will induct new members into its Athletics Hall of Fame at a banquet at 6 p.m. on Sat., Oct. 9. The Hall of Fame Moment is the 1990 women’s tennis team’s national championship. Team members are invited to return to revisit this memorable sports moment. Inductees for 2010 are: Evie Cieslar Erdman ’73, benefactor; Duke Paluch ’84, tennis; Erik Allen ’92, basketball; Peter Anderson ’92, golf; Leigh Stocker Berger ’92, volleyball; Angela White Vick ’92, track and field; Heidi Rostberg Carlson ’93, tennis; Erik Hendrikson ’94, hockey, football; Paige Tierney Sullivan ’95, soccer; 1990 Women’s Tennis National Championship―Hall of Fame Moment.
What is Good Food? Join us on October 5 & 6, 2010, for Nobel Conference® 46, Making Food Good, as we explore the many levels of this question and hear answers from our seven distinguished panelists. We will consider the ways in which varied and various conceptions of goodness intersect with, challenge, and are challenged by each other. We will consider contemporary food issues like community food security; the local foods movement; food crops as fuel crops; school lunches; genetic modification of food plants and animals; molecular gastronomy; and protecting genetic diversity of plants and animals. You can order tickets online at gustavustickets.com.
150th Anniversary Commemorative Alumni Directory
The Gustavus Alumni Association is bringing together about 25,000 Gusties to celebrate the College’s 150th anniversary. In partnership with Publishing Concepts, Inc. (PCI), Gustavus will produce the 150th Anniversary Commemorative Alumni Directory. Over the next couple of months, PCI will be contacting Gustavus alumni via phone, mail, and e-mail to request that you update your information. We know you don’t want to provide your information to just anyone, so we want you to be aware of this project and encourage your participation. For more information, call the Office of Alumni Relations at 800-487-8437.
“Come on You Gusties” Breakfast
Once a month, Gusties gather for coffee, breakfast, and great conversation along with a campus speaker. All Gusties are welcomed and invited to the breakfast, third Wednesday of the month, 8-9:30 a.m. at the Doubletree Hotel, Minneapolis-Park Place, 1500 Park Place Boulevard. Cost is $10 at the door. September’s speaker is President Jack Ohle.
- Oct. 4-5 – Nobel Conference
- Oct. 8-9 – Family Weekend
- Oct. 9 – Hall of Fame