Class of ’56

October 2013

Dear Friends in the Class of 1956,

I am really sorry that the class letter is so late this time.  I am writing this today, September 29, from Bishop, California.  Bob and I are on a journey west, final destination San Francisco we and won’t be home until October 18, then the letter would be really late.

On September 10 I left with Tom Emmert, retired history professor from Gustavus and 31 others for a trip to Central Europe.  We visited Prague, Vienna and Budapest, truly “Pearls of Europe.”  On our last evening, September 20, we had a River Cruise on the Danube River, Budapest.  It was a marvelous experience and I will have happy memories of those days for many years to come.  Tom is a super leader; we had great guides for every turn of the way.  If you want to spend some time on trips abroad, please take my advice and take them with Tom.

So, I was home for one full day until we left home again.  I feel a little sad that I am missing Homecoming and the Nobel Conference, but there will be others for me to attend.  At least I am counting on that.

I talked to Bob Erdman before I left for Europe, he and Judy (Lund ʼ57) are doing well and were going to their lake place to a Bocce Ball competition with friends there.  I will miss seeing Judy and Bob this year as I did the last few.  Their basketball star grandson, Ben Biewen ʼ13, graduated so they may not come down to St. Peter as often as they have the last few years.

Good to get the news from the following.

Mimi Johnson Eisele is looking forward to visiting her granddaughter Claire Duhaime ʼ15 who is studying in Alicante, Spain for the fall semester.  Accompanying her will be daughters Paula Eisele Duhaime ʼ84 and Susan Rusnacko.  Claire is hoping to finish the course work for her Spanish minor while there.

Mimi has other big news — her grandson, Chris Duhaime ʼ12 is has recently been hired at Gustavus as the Assistant Manager, Gustavus Annual Fund.  Mimi’s connections to Gustavus continue to be strong.

Donna Lindquist Chommie writes, “I keep saying, "this is the year I retire" and then, I get calls from past clients, needing help, and I tell myself; “maybe NOT,” this year!  I enjoy my work at Bianco Realty, Bismarck, ND.  Every day a new challenge!  My son and his wife want me to come to France for Christmas.  If my two new knees behave themselves I plan to do just that!  I am pleased to relay that I have a grandson who is starting his second year at Gustavus.  He loves it!

This summer, my brother, Willie, took me on a tour of the campus.  A few changes have been made since our graduation in ʼ56.  AWESOME!!  That was time well spent!”

Joann Gould Knapp had this to share:  “With gratitude for having known a good man and for good health I have traveled to the Galapagos to snorkel and hike with daughter Pam Black on a National Geographic/Lindblad photo expedition in March, to Winnipeg for an overnight with the Detroit Lakes Bird Festival birders in early June, and to hike part of the North Country Trail through Tamarac Wildlife Refuge here in Becker County as we celebrated the completion of that trail through our area.  My knees are still recovering.

Granddaughter, Brenna Sneed ʼ16, has completed her first year at Gustavus.  Hope to see some of you at the Nobel Conference in October.  Each day is a gift.  Love, Joann”

A big thank you to Mimi, Donna and Joann for sharing some news—writing these class letters gets pretty tough when there is no news to share and we really enjoy hearing from each of you.

Enjoy this beautiful autumn — ʼtil next time,

Kay Rethwill Moline

1956 Communications Chair

Campus News

Gustavus Networking Event

Register now for our second Gustavus Networking Event on Wednesday, Oct. 23.  All alumni and current students are invited to the Westin Galleria Edina from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. for networking, appetizers, a seated dessert and short program.  Registrants will be asked to select a career area from business, finance, marketing/communications, public service, law, technology, and biology.  Cost is $15 for alumni, $10 for students.  For more information and to register, visit

President Ohle Announces Retirement

Jack R. Ohle, the 16th President of Gustavus Adolphus College, has announced his retirement effective at the end of the 2013-14 academic year when he will complete his sixth year as president of the College.  He began his service to Gustavus on July 1, 2008, and will officially retire on June 30, 2014.  The Board of Trustees has initiated a search to find President Ohle’s successor who will begin serving the College in the summer of 2014.

Gustavus Library Associates - A Royal Affair

On Saturday, November 16, Gustavus Library Associates (GLA) will host its 18th biennial benefit...A Royal Affair.  More than 500 guests are expected to attend this gala dinner/auction benefit at the Radisson Blu Mall of America, Bloomington, Minnesota.  Realized proceeds are designated for the GLA endowment of the Folke Bernadotte Memorial Library.

Upcoming Events

Gustavus Networking Event – Westin Galleria Edina – Oct. 23

Vic Gustafson Pool Naming Event, Hall of Champions, Lund Center, Oct. 12

Athletics Hall of Fame Banquet – November 2

Gustavus Library Associates – A Royal Affair – Radisson Blu, Bloomington – Nov. 16

Lifelong Learning Event – JFK Assassination by David Jones ʼ83 – Nov. 19

Christmas in Christ Chapel – Dec. 6, 7 and 8.