Class of '57
January 2001

Dear Classmates,

There must be something about snowstorms that make me think of you! We were planning to go to the lake today, but the snow is coming down like gangbusters! We are having a winter here in Minnesota like when we were kids. Only then I would go out and play in the stuff and build forts, slide on hills that only were there in the winter, and not give a thought to getting stuck. How did I get so old?? Before this storm hit, Minnesota had gotten all but 6 inches of the snow we got ALL last winter. I guess we are paying for the last three very mild winters we have had.

I was to Gustavus two times in month of December. Clem and I went for Christmas in Christ Chapel—which for both of us was a disappointment. There was no Christmas in it—not in the music—not in the decorations of the chapel. We did sing O Come All Ye Faithful at the end, but I didn’t have the usual lump in my throat this time. Clem insists that he is not going again unless it changes back to Christmas! Unfortunately, I agree. I did go down for Lucia Day. I brought friends—it was well worth it. The chapel service was so nice. Kind of fun to sing a hymn in Swedish—even if I don’t know what I sang. The Lucia Singers sang the Santa Lucia song and as usual, it was beautiful. We proceeded to Alumni Hall for a wonderful lunch (complete with lutefisk and lefse if you so desired) and program. Tom Hegg was our speaker. He recited his A Cup of Christmas Tea and several other works he has written. He ended with a new Peef book that will be out next season. We had a sellout crowd and had to turn people away. A nice problem to have! That did give me the Christmas Spirit!

We lost another classmate on December 13 (which is the real St. Lucia Day). Grace Johnson Karstad died on that day. Her son, Peter, called to tell me. (He plays in the Bend in the River Big Band with our son, Keith) Hard to imagine that we will not hear that beautiful soprano voice singing out any more. I will miss her.

I have heard from many of you over this Christmas Season. I hope you don’t mind if I share some of your news. I would love to send pictures too. The ones you sent me are covering my kitchen cabinets and will probably be there till July. I love looking at them!

Nancy Reiter Grimes jolted me when she wrote about turning 65 and getting her Medicare card. The same thing happened to me and I am sure most of you! What a shock! I’m not sure that I like it!

Lois (Larson) and Glenn Mauston are enjoying life in Florida. They play a lot of golf and do a bit of traveling. Lois has started a youth clown club for their church and is busy sewing costumes for them. I wonder if they have any idea how lucky they are! They are both working on the board of directors of their homeowners group. (I hope I got that right!)

Ruthie Lundgren Hutchins is living in Scottsdale. She spent the summer there—HOT! She was planning on coming up to the Twin Cities for Christmas with her two daughters and families. It sure was a change from the Hot!

Barb Carlson Glenzinski is busy ringing bells at her church. She is taking two quilt classes and has made 40 squares in one of them! Wow! I am impressed.

Phyllis Holmberg Olsson works part time (two days a week) at the University of Minnesota on a cancer research project. She says she can take time off whenever she wants to, but take it from me—it is hard to find time to get together!

I heard from Karen Larson Pone Lasher. It was great to hear from her. She had enjoyed seeing Bev Bloomquist Todaro, Judy Lund Erdman, Nancy Reiter Grimes, Marcy Rhyne Herr, and Vada Peterson Carlson when they went on a trip through the Hudson Valley. I missed that one.

Speaking of Bev (Bloomquist Todaro), she went to Hawaii in October to "bond" with her new granddaughter. That is a long trip from Washington DC. Fun though.

Gaylene Carlson Drew has retired and now torments me by sending me things that I can’t find once I download them on my computer! Ha! Not really—my son put a "download" icon on my desktop and now I don’t have nearly as much trouble!

Bill Johnson is still Clem’s and my dentist, but he is semi-retired. What do old folks like us do when our "caregivers" retire!? (That is almost worse than getting Medicare!)

I had such a nice card from Marlaine Barlau Gnan. She has had quite a year. Her mother died, her husband had a very serious illness, so they sold her Mom’s farm, had an auction of equipment and antiques, plus. Things can only get better from here!

Another death to report. Many of you may have already heard about the passing of Pat Hasselmo on December 31. Pat was the Dean of Women here at Gustavus when we were students. She served from 1954-56 and then she was a member of the Board of Trustees at Gustavus from 1975-81. She also was the First Lady for the University of Minnesota as her husband, Nils served as President there.

Campus News

The Gustavus campus is enjoying another busy and exciting January Term with 2300-plus students enrolled for credit! We are offering over 100 January Term courses, including 16 travel courses (plus 36 international courses through our UMAIE consortium). There are also 15 courses on the special Environmental Studies theme for J-Term 2001. Some of these courses include, Chemistry in the Environment, The Literature of Winter, Geographical Issues in the Third World, Global Environmental Change, Amazonia: An Eco-Historical Perspective, GIS in Environmental Analysis, The Changing Face of Agriculture, and Environmental Journalism. Next year (2002) the January Term theme will be "Global Village" and will feature both international and domestic diversity focused courses. After that J-Term themes are planned for "Service-Learning" (2003) and "Undergraduate Research" (2004).

You are invited and encouraged to attend these upcoming national chapter alumni events. Invitations are sent to alumni in chapters. For more information, please call the Alumni Office at 800-487-8437 or look on the web at

  • Seattle Chapter, Gustavus Choir Concert, January 13
  • Portland Chapter, Gustavus Choir Concert, January 15
  • Bay Area Chapter, Gustavus Choir Concerts, January 17-19
  • San Diego Chapter, pre-concert dinner and Gustavus Choir Concert, January 21
  • Los Angeles Chapter, Gustavus Choir Concerts, January 22 & 24
  • Sun City Chapter, pre-concert dinner and Gustavus Choir Concert, January 25
  • Phoenix Chapter, pre-concert dinner and Gustavus Choir Concert, January 26
  • Tucson Chapter gathering on January 27
  • Albuquerque Chapter, Gustavus Choir Concert, January 28
  • Santa Fe Chapter, Gustavus Choir Concert, January 29
  • Denver Chapter, Gustavus Choir Concerts, January 30 & 31
  • Rapid City Chapter, Gustavus Choir Concert, February 1
  • Sioux Falls Chapter, Gustavus Choir Concert, February 2
  • Twin Cities Chapter, Gustavus Choir Concert, February 4, Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church, 12650 Johnny Cake Ridge Road, Apple Valley, 3:30 p.m.
  • Gustavus Band Home Concert, February 4, Christ Chapel, 7:30 p.m.
  • Gustavus Choir Home Concert, February 10, Christ Chapel, 7:30 p.m.
  • Marco Island gathering February 24
  • Vero Beach gathering February 25

Reunions 2001

50th Anniversary Class and 50 Year Club reunions will take place on campus, May 25-26 for the Class of 1951 and the 50 Year Club. Registration material will be mailed in April.

A reminder that all other reunion classes (1956, 1961, 1966, 1971, 1976, 1981, 1986, 1991 and 1996) will have their reunions at Homecoming on September 21-22. Class gatherings will take place in the Twin Cities at the DoubleTree Hotel, Minneapolis Airport at the Mall, on Friday, September 21. Homecoming activities will take place on campus on Saturday, September 22.

Will you help Gustavus remain strongly church related? Encourage your ELCA congregation to join the Gustavus Adolphus College Association of Congregations. There is no cost. For more information, call the Office of Church Relations at 800-726-6194 or e-mail Craig Johnson at

I don’t know about you, but I am getting anxious for our next reunion. Our numbers are dwindling too fast. The traditional reunion dates have been changed from the spring to the fall, so plan on homecoming weekend, September 20 and 21, 2002. The Friday night event will be held in the Twin Cities and Saturday will be on the Gustavus campus. If you have not seen the campus since the tornado—it is really worth the trip.

I had a conversation with a lady from our church the other day. I don’t know her, but she asked about Gustavus. She said that it seems as though the alumni go back for things and really seem to keep in touch more than any other school she has heard of. You know, that is really true. And alumni seem to connect through the years. When I meet another Gustie, there seems to be an instant bond. I have a new friend. I love it. I hope that you have the same experience.

Getting back to my Christmas cards…Joyce (Kirkvold) and Gary Knoll sent a picture of them skiing in Copper Mountain, CO. Looked like fun. They were hoping for enough snow to really enjoy winter and enough cold so the lake would freeze and Gary could go ice fishing. I think they will have their wish!

I sent a couple of T-shirts from Gustavus to Ann Russell Johnson in Arizona a while back. So far, they have not caused any comment. Bet they will soon.

Some of you sent e-mail addresses with your Christmas cards. I am going to enter them into my address book. My own e-mail is: in case you want to write to me for any reason.

Don’t forget to send in your pledges for the Gustavus Fund. I am just assuming that you all have pledged. We have a great school at Gustavus and we all can be very proud of its traditions. Help keep all of this alive by supporting it with whatever you can. Thank you.

Your classmate,

Marlys Mattson Nelson

1957 Co-Class Agent