Class of '57
January 1999

Dear Classmates,

Well, there is no joy in Mudville--the mighty Vikings have lost!! I even wore purple, but it didn’t help.

But, I digress before I even get started. A lot has happened at Gustavus since the last time I wrote. You may recall, I was devastated by what the tornado had done. Well, I have been down several times since then and the rebuilding process has been fantastic. I was there two times in July to help move books in the library. Can you believe that every book had to be moved, the carpet torn up, and replaced―all at once. It seemed like an impossible task, but they were so organized that it went like clockwork.

In September, I went down for a GLA board meeting that was held in the Arboretum. To see what has gone on there is heartwarming. The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum came to their aid, and Jim Gilbert ’62, retired Hopkins schoolteacher as a naturalist and outdoor educator (and owner of a couple Wild Bird Stores), has become executive director of the Linnaeus Arboretum. Things are moving ahead there. I would have loved to have that place to go study when I was a student!

The other buildings look good, too. The steeple is back on Christ Chapel, Alumni Hall (former gym to us) has been refurbished, and though I have not seen the dormitories, they have been redecorated, too.

Clem and I went down again for Christmas in Christ Chapel in early December, and yes, I cried through all of “O Come All Ye Faithful”―again! But, it is just so thrilling to hear all of the people, all of the brass (not forgetting about the herald trumpets) and all of the choirs, I just can’t help it!

On December 10, I went down for St. Lucia Day. Our program was singer, Michael Jorgensen with his wife at the piano. He is a professor of music at Gustavus. Wow! What a powerful singer. Our theme for the day was Swedish, and we all got a little straw ornament as a favor. I write to tell you all these things hoping that one of these years, you might be tempted to come down too.

By the way, if any of you get a chance to see the "tornado tape,” entitled “Rebuilding A Greater Gustavus?” If you get a chance―see it! I have a copy and have showed it to several groups in the area. I still get teary every time I see it. I know it will be shown at all of the area alumni events. GET THERE!

I hear from so many of you at Christmas time, that I will pass along some of that news. The rest of the class news will be included in the spring letter.

Joyce (Kirkvold) and Gary Knoll sent a picture of their wonderful log lake home near Walker. We got a commercial card of a log house that wasn’t any prettier. Pat Truhn Schumacher and husband, Bob spent Christmas with son, David in Florida. Pat, Bob, and Phyllis Holmberg Olsson and husband Bill came up to our lake place for a couple of days this summer.

Dr. Bill Johnson has started to cut back in his dental practice, but he still takes care of his old patients like Clem and I. He really is the dentist for quite a few of us from our class. He and Vi spend as much time as they can in Hackensack, MN.

Marcy Rhyne Herr and Bev Bloomquist Todaro went to the Army/Navy game this fall. Bev’s husband, Joe, is a West Point graduate. Bev stopped by to see me at Balsam Lake this summer, too.

Lois (Larson) and Glenn Mauston spend a lot of time going between Florida and Minnesota. Lois is still clowning around as Luffly. Wouldn’t it be fun to see her in action?

Do you believe that Nancy Reiter Grimes’ mother is 105? And she lived with Nancy until just a few years ago. She and Nancy and Vada Peterson Carlson went to an Elderhostel in Louisiana in February to study Cajun cooking, the Mardi Gras, and Louisiana in the Civil War. I know they had a wonderful time.

Roxanne McLaughlin Mellema lives in Walled Lake, MI. I hope they have snowplows in Walled Lake as it is a suburb of Detroit!

Ann Russell Johnson spends half of her time in Anoka and the other half in Arizona. She golfs, square dances, goes to the pool, potluck suppers, etc. And is a very busy lady.

Did anyone happen to see our new governor’s swearing-in ceremony? The Honorable Paul Magnuson ’59 did the honors. We watched a very small part of the Inaugural Ball―kind of scary! We are too old!

Well gang―that is it for me. I’m going to send it down to Gustavus and have the Alumni Office add here the campus news:

Students and staff are in the midst of January Term and the campus landscape is covered with a beautiful blanket of snow. Once again, many students are taking advantage of

J-Term opportunities with 127 on internships, 308 on study abroad programs, and 86 students studying at other domestic institutions. Despite the cold weather, progress is being made on construction of the new Campus Center due to be open in the fall of 1999. After a week and a half of classroom preparation covering the history and culture of South Africa, the Gustavus Choir will participate in a concert tour of the country January 14-February 2. The Gustavus Band will travel to South Dakota, Nebraska, Colorado, and Iowa for their concert tour during touring week, January 30-February 6. Athletic teams are in full swing with all teams looking to be competitive in MIAC play. Over Christmas break many teams traveled for non-conference games including men’s basketball winning a tournament in California, men’s hockey playing in Italy, and the swim teams competing in Bermuda.

Gustavus is once again in the news, making some national rankings. Gustavus ranked 12th among the top 22 leading small colleges in the nation providing active Peace Corps volunteers. Gustavus is ranked 15th in the listing of top 20 bachelor’s institutions that sent the most students overseas for international study during the 1996-97 academic year. Gustavus is ranked 18th of national liberal arts colleges in the number of National Merits with 17 students. Mark Anderson ’66, Dean of Admission, reports that applications for admission for the fall of 1999 are running 20 percent ahead of last year. The Admission Office instituted several new campus visit days in the summer and fall to account for the fact that few students could visit last spring. Alumni are reminded of the Alumni Scholarship Program ($10,000 over four years for children and grandchildren of alumni) available to qualified applicants. Call the Admission Office at 1-800-GUSTAVU(S) for applications.

Till next year at this time,

Marlys Nelson

1957 Co-Class Agent

P.S. Please don’t forget to pledge and to send that pledge to the Gustavus Fund drive. Gustavus needs our $$$ more than ever. The tornado made them go out on a limb for new housing, student center, etc. Come on down and see for yourself just what a great place it is. And the same old Gustie spirit is still there!!