Class of '57
January 2000

Dear Classmates,

Well, this morning I am supposed to be at a Gustavus Library Associates board meeting, but it has been cancelled. We are having a good old-fashioned snow storm! The mound on my picnic table is getting higher by the minute! I'm glad that I can stay home. I hope they call off choir rehearsal tonight too. If they don't, I will have to go because our choir director is in Florida this week and I am to direct! No one else will be there!

Clem and I just spent a great weekend up in Nisswa with Dick ’54 and Mary Brubacher, Roger ’54 and Janet (Christenson ’53) Carlson, John ’54 and Joan (Bonn ’55) Wright, and Paul ’59 and Sharon (Schultz ’60) Magnuson. Would you believe that we spent a fair amount of time talking about Gustavus?

We talked about Christmas in Christ Chapel. We all felt it was the best one ever. I even kept the program and put it with my Bible. It was a very understandable story of Revelation done in a way everyone could understand. The music was terrific-mostly familiar. I had planned to be very stoic this year and not cry during Oh Come, All Ye Faithful-but, one of the choirs sang When He Cometh just before the end of the program. Well, that did me in. I am so sentimental. There I stood in the front row of the balcony trying to look normal! At that point I was wishing I were way in the back row in the dark! Anyhow-Elvee did himself proud!

I should tell you about St. Lucia Day, too. Well, first of all, the Lucia is from Grand Forks, so I felt a surge of pride!! That is almost home! The day was wonderful. It is really not like it was in our day. The chapel service has star people and tomtens with lanterns (always little kids that are so cute) leading the procession-and Lucia wears a crown of real candles. (They have finally gotten smart and they cover her head so it doesn’t get full of candle wax!) Last year’s Lucia tells the story-and even that has gotten much more interesting. The luncheon was held in Alumni Hall. There was a Swedish table with lutefisk, etc. And of course there was lefse. There was "normal food" too. No one went away hungry. The choir director, Greg Aune, and his wife, Julie, accompanied by Helen Baumgartner (also of the music dept.) and Brian Johnson, who is the new chaplain at Gustavus (also class of ’80) put on a delightful program. Wow-that was a long sentence! I drove out to get Phyllis Holmberg Olsson. She has a wonderful new town home in St. Michael, MN. Her new theme song is 0 Give Me a Home, Where the Buffalo Roam as there is a buffalo farm across the road from their development! As a member of the St. Lucia planning committee we stayed over night in the Guest House at Gustavus on Wednesday. We felt like royalty. It was fun! Had breakfast in the new Student Center-but I am getting way off the subject! You really should try to come to that event if you have a chance.

I bought some mittens that say Gustavus on them and gave them to my grandsons for Christmas. I said they were from Gustavus-and they really thought they were! (Gotta start the brainwashing early!)

The Alumni Office sent me some of our class news. I will share it with you.

Jon Berglund has retired from Federated Insurance Companies after 42 years. That is a long time. He held many positions within the company, but his final position was senior vice president, director of claims. He lives in Owatonna.

Rev. Arne Walker is in his 14th year as parish pastor in Gatlinburg, TN. And his 43rd year of reaching out to court-related youth. Wow! He writes that he was with his "Grey little brother" Bob Moland ’59 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada and recently with Grey roommate Chris Ross of Mission Viejo, CA. He feels as I do that lasting friendships was a gift of Gustavus.

Eve Orfamdou Wincel writes that she has been a widow for over nine years. She will be retiring as a school social worker in June of 2000. Her next goal in life is to be a Peace Corp. volunteer.

Bev Bloomquist Todaro retired after 42 years of teaching a variety of subjects in several states and foreign countries. Her last assignment was in Fairfax County,Virginia where she taught civics for 22 years. She says she is pleasantly surprised to find out how much she enjoys retirement! (By the way, Bev e-mailed me after my last letter, so we are keeping in touch. I love it!)

I feel like a broken record-Rev. Orville Lind is retiring from Trinity Lutheran Church in Chelmsford, Massachusetts in June of 2000.

Charles "Cubby" DeCorsey is not retiring. He is teaching 55 Alive courses for AARP and Adult Education at Mt. Olivet Lutheran Church. He also volunteers with the American Lung Association.

Ron Berg is finally retiring from coaching after 43 years-32 of them as swimming coach at St.. Anthony Village.

Sharon Johnson Eddy and Paul Eddy have both retired-he from 3M Company and she from Dana's Apparel. They now live in Dassell, MN.

Rev. Roger Anderson and wife, Bev (Duncan ’58), are serving Lord of Life Lutheran Church in Sun City West, AZ. We have some good friends from Michigan at that church-the Engstroms. Please say hi!

I was at a funeral at our church here in Shoreview and saw two of our classmates. Rev. Ted Granquist was there. I didn't get a chance to talk to him a lot, but it was good to see him. Dave and Eve (Johnson ’56) Borg were also there. I did have a good conversation with them. Since Clem's Mom died the first part of January, I will no longer run into them at Augustana Home.

I have been re-reading some of my Christmas cards-I will pass on some of the news.

Joyce (Kirkvold) and Gary Knoll decided to sell their home in Cambridge since they were spending so much time at their beautiful lake home. They didn't want to leave Cambridge entirely so they bought a new home in a senior citizen mobile home park. Sounds nice!

Nancy Reiter Grimes and Vada Peterson Carlson have really made use of retirement by taking in several Elderhostels. They took a trip to Italy too.

Lois (Larson) and Glenn Mausten have gotten in some travels too. They took a trip to Scandinavia in September. Did some genealogy stuff in Sweden. (I would love to do that some day-but I can't get motivated!)

Gaylene Carlson Drew has retired and is taking "Befriender"classes at church. She wants to visit those people who seem to have no visitors at nursing homes. Good for you!!

Ruthie Lundgren Hutchins lives in Scottsdale, AZ. Her sisters, Mary Lundgren Hauck ’54 and Kathy Lundgren Peterson x56 were there to see her. She sent me a picture. Made me sad-I miss them and all the fun times and the singing we did together.

Jean Bernard Johnson has been doing some traveling too. She went to Alaska this summer, and was in Big Sky for Christmas.

Campus News:

The Gustavus campus is in the midst of January term with over 20% of the student body away from campus this month participating in internships, study abroad programs, student teaching or studying at other domestic institutions. On campus there are many unique classes being offered such as Archeology and the Bible and Analyzing Japan in addition to numerous classes and programs around a J-Term 2000 theme - Focus on Women's Studies. Next year January Term will focus on environmental studies. Winter sports, fine arts and extra-curricular activities are also in full swing. Even though there is little snow at Gustavus the new Nordic Ski Team is preparing for competition. The band and choir are preparing for southern tour destinations—the band to Florida and the choir to Texas.

Construction on campus continues as the new Campus Center will be finished in February with the completion of renovating the former dining service building. Many offices will then move to their new location in the Campus Center including Admission, Dean of Students, Student Activities and Residential Life. Construction of the new International House-Swedish House, a new residence hall/international center to replace Johnson Hall and the Swedish House that were destroyed in the March 1998 tornado, will begin this spring. Construction on an outdoor track and new soccer field stadium will begin this summer. If you have not been back to campus lately, you are encouraged to make a visit to see these exciting changes.

If you can not make it back to campus, but want to stay connected, check out the Internet site at The college is thrilled to recently have hired a web coordinator who has been busy updating the Gustavus home page. Look for more changes to alumni services on the web coming this spring.

You are invited and encouraged to attend these upcoming alumni events:

  • Naples gathering February 5 (Marco Island gathering cancelled)
  • Tucson Chapter gathering February 7
  • Phoenix Chapter gathering February 8
  • Sun City Chapter gathering February 9
  • Seattle G.I.V.E. project February 19 and Seattle Chapter gathering on March 2
  • Bay Chapter gathering March 4
  • Los Angeles Chapter gathering March 5
  • San Diego Chapter gathering March 6

Helen and Paul Baumgartner, Gustavus music faculty will perform two piano recitals in the Twin Cities on March 19, 7:00 p.m. at Wayzata Community Church and on April 9, 10:00 a.m. at Cross of Glory Lutheran Church, Brooklyn Center.

50th Anniversary Class and 50 Year Club reunions - May 26-27

A reminder that all other reunion classes (1955, 1960, 1965, 1970, 1975, 1980, 1985, 1990 and 1995) will have their reunions at Homecoming on September 29-30.

A new method of giving to the College is now available! Lutheran Brotherhood created a highly successful and popular program for Lutheran churches called Simply Giving and has just extended this opportunity to Gustavus and other Lutheran colleges. Simply Giving is an automatic bank draft program that allows you to make regular monthly gifts from a checking or savings account to the College. You do not need to be Lutheran to participate, there is no cost to you or the College for this service, and you can make changes at any time. For so many people, it is much easier to give $50 a month than to write a $600 check once a year. Please call Heather Nancarrow at (800) 726-6192 or (507) 933-7518, or e-mail her at to request more information.

Members of the New Millenium: Knowing that we are in a technological age, we want to encourage all alumni to get involved and get online. If you have access to a computer and the internet, we hope you will check out the Gustavus Alumni Association homepage regularly. We publish information about upcoming events, post class letters, provide information about the Alumni Office, list e-mail addresses of alumni and more. Check us out under the alumni section at

We are planning on corresponding on a regular basis with all alumni who have e-mail addresses. Please send a message to so we can get you on the list. (Be sure to keep us posted on any e-mail address changes, also.)

Now I am going to add a paragraph from my mother-in-law's class of ’33 letter. We won't have the opportunity to read it anymore, but I just want to let you read this. It was written by Ruth Snyder Larson '33: You who come back occasionally may marvel at the growth Gustavus has experienced. The campus, the arboretum, the impressive buildings are obvious, but what is also obvious to those of us who live here is the position obtained as a part of the community. Its faculty and numerous other employees as well as the students are visible as participants in many activities. I was pleasantly surprised last fall to get a call from a student volunteer group asking if I needed help with fall yard work. They came and cleaned my eave troughs and then moved onto a paint job down the street. What a deal

I thought it would be good to know how the students help out. Gustavus is truly a great place-I may have said that once or twice before! Oh well!

As I look out my window, I can hardly see across the pond. We are getting LOTS of snow.

When someone calls you on Phonorama, please give him or her a good pledge. The college now has a crew of students doing most of the calling. I know you miss Clem's arm twisting-but just pretend it is him—urging your participation! All of our $$$ count, as does our 100% participation. Am I dreaming? I hope not. You can make it happen.

Happy New Millenium! Please send news.

Till next time—"Come on you Gusties"

Marlys Mattson Nelson