Class of ’56

April 2012

Dear Classmates of 1956,

By now you are aware that Gustavus is well into the celebration of 150 years of educating men and women for careers and for (equally as important) becoming leaders and servants in their communities.  It is hard to believe that when we were graduating in 1956 the College was still in its first 100 years.  So much has changed, but as we look at the Five Core Values of Faith, Community, Service, Excellence and Justice that the College is committed to and lifting up during this sesquicentennial observation, we realize that Gustavus is still the strong and wonderful college we all call our alma mater.

It has already been a remarkable year at the College:

  • The 125,000 square foot Beck Academic Hall opened for our five largest departments:  psychology, economics/management, communications studies, history and sociology/anthropology
  • Largest first-year class in the history of the College; largest applicant pool for next year’s class
  • Largest gifts in the history of the College given through our current campaign
  • Nobel Conference 47, which focused on the Brain and Being Human, was sold out
  • The Gustavus Symphony Orchestra toured South Africa in January and was accompanied by a companion tour of alumni, parents and friends of Gustavus
  • Both the men’s and women’s hockey and men’s basketball teams advanced to national tournaments
  • There has never been forward momentum at Gustavus like there is right now

Kay Rethwill Moline is part of a group of Gusties who are reaching out to our alumni and friends to share with them the excitement of where Gustavus is and to learn where their interests at Gustavus align with the College’s priorities.  She would welcome the chance to visit with you and to talk about ways we are partnering to secure the future of Gustavus.  You will hear more about this in a later communication.  Our 150th anniversary is a remarkable opportunity to reflect on the past, celebrate where we are, but most importantly look to the future to where we want to be.

A significant honor has been awarded to two Gustavus professors.  John Lammert, biology professor, and Richard Leitch, political science professor, have been included in the Princeton Review’s “The Best 300 Professors”.  The recently published book profiles 300 outstanding professors from 122 colleges in the U.S.  Lammert has taught at Gustavus since 1982, and Leitch began teaching at Gustavus in 1996.  Congratulations!  For more information, visit

We extend sympathy to Clyde Allen and his wife, Lois (Madsen ’59) on the death of their son, Paul D. Allen ʼ83, on March 27, 2012.  Paul, 51 years, was preceded in death by his wife, Ann, and is survived, along with his parents, by son, Ryan, daughter, Stacey, and a grandson.  Our thoughts and prayers are with their family.

Deirdre “DeeDee” Arnold ʼ12, the recipient of our 1956 class scholarship, will be graduating this May and has sent us an update on her busy GA life.  DeeDee was the lead athletic training student for the volleyball team; she is still in the Big Partner/Little Partner program and mentors a little girl once a week; she is involved in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and also a member and secretary of IOTA, a honors club for the athletic training program.  She plans to go on to grad school for physical therapy.  Good Luck to Dee Dee!

A quote from her letter:  “I’m thankful for generous people, like you, who have given me this opportunity to receive such a great education.  Without your support, I would not be at Gustavus.  Thank you so much.”  It is great to get such a positive report on the good effect our 50th anniversary scholarship is having.

Remember to wear your Gustavus colors on Fridays to bring awareness to Gustavus.  It is fun.  I have had a couple of unexpected conversations as a result of wearing my golden Gustie sweatshirt.  It was good to see Dick ʼ55 and Jo (Johnson) Lundborg’s picture with their Gustie garb and holding a Flat Gus brochure in the Spring Quarterly.  Have you received Flat Gus from anyone yet?  When you do be sure to send him on his way as fast as you can.  The Alumni Association hopes to reach thousands of alumni before Homecoming, October 2012.  There are 150 Flat Gus’s traveling around the world−watch for him.  A personal note−my grandson Chris ʼ12 was on the student committee that came up with this idea for connecting with Gusties everywhere.

There are many off campus Gustavus events this year throughout the U.S.  Look for them and attend one in your area.  Gerry and I took in the Gustavus Music Showcase at the Ted Mann Concert Hall at the University of Minnesota in March.  We were treated to a marvelous concert by the Woodwind Orchestra, the Symphony Orchestra, the Jazz Band and the Concert Choir.  There also are Gustie Breakfast meetings in the Twin Cities and St. Peter/Mankato areas - May 16 and June 20, 8 a.m. (Twin Cities) and May 9 and June 13, 7:30 a.m. (Mankato). 

Last but not least−THANK YOU to all of you who have made a gift/s to the Annual Fund this year.  Gustavus appreciates your gift and so do I.  Keep them coming− let’s hear from all our classmates this year:  The Annual Fund closes on May 31, 2012 .

Looking ahead−it is not too early to mark your calendars for the Nobel Conference on October 2 and 3.  “Our Global Ocean” is the topic.

Go Gusties!!

Mimi Johnson Eisele

1956 Class President

Campus News

2012 Alumni Association Awards Announced

The Gustavus Alumni Board of Directors has announced its 2012 award recipients:

Greater Gustavus Award – awarded to those “who by deed, have notably advanced and aided Gustavus Adolphus College”:

Jon and Anita Thomsen Young ’77 ’77, Eden Prairie, MN, for their volunteer leadership, service and philanthropy to the College.

Distinguished Alumni Citations – recognizing outstanding and exceptional professional achievement that brings unusual honor to the individual in his or her field of endeavor:

Scott Dee ’81, Farwell, MN, professor of veterinary population medicine, University of Minnesota, swine consultant, and international research veterinarian and director at Pipestone Veterinary Clinic;

Mark Elfstrom ’01, Anchorage, AK, middle school math and science teacher, recipient of a 2011 Milken Educator Award and finalist for the 2012 Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching;

Kurt Elling ’89, New York, NY, Grammy Award-winning vocal jazz artist.

First Decade Awards – recognizing early professional achievement in the 10th anniversary class:

Amy Brown ’02, Pittsburgh, PA, neonatology fellow at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center;

Michael Bland ’02, St. Louis, MO, postdoctoral associate, earth and planetary sciences, Washington University.

The Alumni Association will present Faculty and Administrator Service and Retirement Awards at a dinner at Gustavus on May 16; honorees will be featured in the fall issue of The Gustavus Quarterly.

National Sesquicentennial Celebrations

Throughout the coming year, Gusties are gathering across the country to reflect on Gustavus’s past, celebrate 150 academic years, and engage for the future.  In conjunction with the celebrations on campus, the College invites all alumni, parents, and friends for a celebration in an area near them.  The president has gone to 14 different locations from New York to LA.  There are still a few left.  You can view them all and register for an event at

Chicago – Thursday, April 26, 2012 – Gleacher Center with Allison Rosati ʼ85

Madison – Tuesday, April 24, 2012 – Harvest Restaurant

MayDay! Conference

On Wednesday, May 2, Gustavus will host the 32nd annual MAYDAY! Peace Conference.  “Multicultural Sweden” is the topic of the 32nd annual MAYDAY! Peace Conference.  Dilsa Demirbag-Sten, Swedish journalist and media contributor on such topics as integration and amnesty, opens the daylong conference at 10 a.m. in Christ Chapel.  There are many other events scheduled for the remainder of the afternoon.  The conference, an event designed to educate the campus community and beyond about issues related to peace, human rights, and social justice, is open to public at no charge.

Books in Bloom

Gustavus Library Associates (GLA) is preparing to host the second annual Books in Bloom event May 4-6 at the Folke Bernadotte Memorial Library on the campus of Gustavus Adolphus College.  Books in Bloom is a unique event that will highlight books, media, and other resource material within the library through floral arrangements and artistic expression.  More than 20 exhibits will be on display – each of them sponsored by an individual or family and created by professional florists and flower enthusiasts – that represent and illustrate a book or other holding within the library.