Class of ’56

April 2013

Hello Class of 1956,

As I write this it is still wintery cold in Minnesota…even tho’ it is April! This is the time of year that I fondly remember the spring days on the Gustavus campus and looking forward to graduation. How many years is it ? − 57 years already!! In the past three years I have been fortunate to attend two graduations of our grandchildren from GA. It has been great to be on campus to see all the changes, tour new buildings , renew friendships, spend some time walking on Hello Walk and looking out over St. Peter and to feel the glow of being back. The wonderful part is that the hospitality of the school and the friendliness of the student body is the same as when we were there.

As you may be aware, this is a time of conflict on campus regarding the presidency of the college. There are processes in place at the college to help them resolve the issues at hand and the Board of Trustees will do what is best for Gustavus. No matter how it progresses and is resolved, we encourage you to look at it with the following spirit:

  1. The current conflict regarding the leadership of the college does not define its future. We celebrate the school’s strong past, and we will support its strong future, symbolized by the ongoing contributions to Gustavus from so many of you.
  2. As alumni, the focus of our giving is not to the administration, but to the mission of educating students for lives of leadership and service.
  3. As a college, we will learn from this moment of evaluation and visioning, just as a liberal arts college should.

Kudos to the Gustavus students and staff who worked with the Nicollet County Historical Center on the display which recounts the US−Dakota Indian War of 1862. The display consisting of 12 panels of pictures, text, and artifacts, entitled Commemorating Controversy, The Dakota-US War of 1862 has been selected to be sent to the Smithsonian Institute. It will be on display there from January 2014 through mid 2015. What an achievement and honor! We can be proud of these Gustavus students and faculty.

I would like to introduce you to Melissa Sorenson ʼ16 the current recipient of our 1956 Class Endowed Scholarship. Melissa is a first-year student from Lake Crystal, MN, a sociology and anthropology major. She grew up on a farm close to Lake Crystal and was very happy there - she had a cow to raise and even learned the important task of changing oil in the tractor. Pretty amazing. In high school she was an honor student and active in choir and played soccer, basketball and ran track. She chose Gustavus for college because of its strong reputation and the closeness to her home. She likes the fact that Gustavus is smaller than a big university where she thought she would feel lost. Melissa is living in Norelius Hall and loves it. Kay Rethwill Moline had lunch with Melissa for this interview and said she is a delightful young woman of whom we all can be proud.

As always, your gifts to the Annual Fund are appreciated and needed. The participation of alumni is part of what keeps Gustavus strong. Please send a gift before the end of the fiscal year, May 31. A gift to our scholarship fund would also be meaningful. Maybe we should set a goal of trying to significantly increase the scholarship fund by the time of our next reunion, May 2016. Currently the fund is at $80,841 and we give approximately $3,000 each year to our scholarship student recipient.

Kay and I would also like to receive personal news from any and all of you. Our 1956 column in the Quarterly has been very short in recent issues. Take a few minutes and drop a line to the Alumni Office or to Kay ( or myself - or call us.

Have a wonderful summer when it comes!

Mimi Johnson Eisele
1956 Class President

Gustavus is excited to announce that due to the generosity of a group of dedicated alumni, all gifts this spring to the Gustavus Annual Fund will be matched, dollar-for-dollar, up to $100,000! Make double the impact on the Hill today through April 30, 2013. Visit

Campus News

Upcoming SummerChapter Gatherings

National Chapter events for alumni, parents and friends have been taking place throughout the 2012-13 academic year and have focused on the College’s pillar of “Teaching and Learning.” Please save the date for the event in your area.

  • June 5 – St. Cloud – 6:00 p.m. - Le St. Germain Suite Hotel
  • June 6 – Willmar – 6:00 p.m. – The Oaks at Eagle Creek
  • July 9 – Duluth – 6:00 p.m. – Northland Country Club
  • July 10 – Grand Rapids – 6:00 p.m. – Sugar Lake Lodge
  • July 18 – Sioux Falls – 6:00 p.m. – Callaway’s
  • Aug. 19 – Rochester – 6:00 p.m. – Rochester Golf and Country Club

Christ Chapel Cited as One of the Most Beautiful

Here is a link that includes the Gustavus Chapel as one of the thirty most beautiful college chapels in a survey of schools across the country. Take a look at some of these beautiful chapels including our own Christ Chapel by going to

Alumni Travel Opportunities

2013 Pearls of Central Europe

Experience Central Europe with Gustavus professor emeritus of history Dr. Tom Emmert from September 10-21, 2013. This 12-day Gustavus study tour combines learning, exploring, leisure, lecture, food, and arts with special touches, all led by a faculty expert. The journey is focused around three showpiece cities of Central Europe: Prague, Vienna, and Budapest. For more information, contact Tom Emmert at:

U.S. Civil War Study Tour

Experience Antietam, Gettysburg and Washington D.C. with Gustavus Alumnus and Pulitzer Prize-winning Civil War Historian Dr. James McPherson ’58 from October 20 to 26, 2013. Dr. McPherson’s vast and insightful knowledge will bring to life all the drama of events at Antietam and Gettysburg. With unquestionable authority and skillful narrative, he will explain the momentous issues of the time and why the Civil War still resonates today as a “second American Revolution. For more information, visit Study Tours.

Twin Cities Gustie Breakfasts

Engage with other alumni and learn something new about your alma mater at the monthly Twin Cities Gustavus alumni breakfast. Please join us at the American Swedish Institute (2600 Park Ave, Minneapolis), on the third Wednesday of each month at 7:30 a.m. Cost is $10. Upcoming speaker for May 15th breakfast will be Tim Kennedy ʼ82, vice president for marketing and communication.

Books in Bloom

Books in Bloom is an initiative of the Gustavus Library Associates (GLA) that pairs books and other library materials with floral arrangements, by sponsoring several of the blooms! Each sponsorship directly supports the Folke Bernadotte Memorial Library's (Library) acquisitions. What an investment in resources for current and future students and faculty!

Last year’s Books in Bloom highlighted 30 different books/media and attracted over 500 people, some coming to campus for the very first time! In 2013, Books in Bloom will be held May 3-5. To see a visual presentation of Books in Bloom, go to and type Gustavus Library Associates in the search box. It will lead you to a gorgeous slide show of blooms and books. Then contact Gustavus Marketing/Communications Office at 507/933-7550 with your commitment to sponsor, or partially sponsor, a bloom for 2013. All designers and sponsors are invited to an opening reception from 5:30-7:30 on May 3. Great wine and snacks! Good company, too.