Class of '57
January 2002

Hello everyone.  Happy New Year!

I am having a little trouble calling this a “winter letter” because my yard is green and the temperature may hit 46 degrees today!  My snowmobiling son is having conniptions!

You might say that this has been my “Gustavus” week.  On Sunday afternoon, Clem and I hosted a Chinese Steam Pot dinner that we donated to the Royal Affair two years ago.  There were 10 people here all with some connection to Gustavus.  Two of the couples must have really liked the dinner because they were in a group that bought it another time too.  One of the girls here was a cousin of Harlan Nelson ’54.  She was a Gustie too.  Clem and I met them at the door with our black and gold “Gustavus” aprons on!  Dick Lindholm ’53 bought it this time.  He bought it another time too.  It is fun.

Tuesday we had a Gustavus Library Associates board meeting out at Minnesota Valley Country Club.  It couldn’t be any farther away from me and still be in the Twin Cities.  It was fun to go because I heard how much we made at the Royal Affair.  The final figures aren’t in, but they will be somewhere in the ballpark of $194,000.00.  It all goes to an endowment for the Library.  We worked hard, but it was worth it.  What a party!  Evelyn "Ma" Young ’33 was at the meeting.  She is Chairman of our “Breakfast with the Easter Bunny” which we have each year at Mt. Olivet Lutheran Church.  She is a marvel.  We don’t plan to make money, but we never go in the hole!  Evelyn is soon to be 90 years old!  I believe there is to be a party for her this summer.  Come if you can.  You will hear all about it in another mailing.

The next event was Christmas in Christ Chapel.  Clem didn’t go (true to his word), but he was home sick.  I took an Ole friend with me.  We both thought it was very good this year.  Nothing way out!  The music was very good.  My friend sang in the choir at St. Olaf and she thought it was good too.  We were seated at a table for dinner and as we were talking with the others, one of them, a professor at Gustavus, and my friend realized that the professor and Donna’s daughter had been housemates when both attended St. Olaf.  Small world!  (I did eat Lutefisk—smothered in melted butter and white sauce.)

I, along with 14 of my friends from church, made the trip to Gustavus for Lucia Day.  It was a beautiful day.  The chapel service is always so nice.  We even sang a hymn in Swedish (I faked it).  The book store loves that day too.  Lots of Christmas presents are bought that day.  We went to Alumni Hall for lunch.  This year there were 362 people squeezed into that place.  Phyllis Holmberg Olsson was there with some friends.  If we hadn’t found each other in chapel, we would not have gotten together at all.  I looked for her up in Alumni Hall, but it was too crowded and I couldn’t find her.  And, yes, I ate Lutefisk again.  I may turn into a Swede after all.  (I will never cook the stuff though!)

Our pastor, who is also a Gustie, talked about Edgar Carlson ’30 in his sermon on Sunday.  He was talking about smart people with vision.  Edgar’s vision for Gustavus was that there be a chapel for worship, and that it be the center of the college.  Now, when you go to Gustavus, the first thing you see coming in to town is the spire of Christ Chapel.  It is the “center” of the college.  All of the buildings, Nobel Hall, Bjorling Hall, Anderson Fine Arts Center, Old Main, Student Center, Lund Arena―I could go on―all of these buildings ring the chapel.  Edgar’s vision has been carried out.  And not with just buildings, but with campus life as well.  Students come to the chapel, not because they have to, but because they want to.  It is a place to connect with God.

I must tell you about a fun Christmas party Clem and I went to.  We were “Lundgrens for a night” and were invited to their party.  Ruthie (Hutchins) was there from Scottsdale, Kathy (Peterson ’56) from Williamsburg, and Mary (Hauck ’54) from Northfield.  Mary brought music, so of course, we sang.  Good thing it was only relatives listening, but we had a ball.

I received a wonderful picture from Marlaine Barlau Gnan.  It was of her and Ardele Waxlax Markitans.  Waxy, you must have been in a cocoon all these years.  You look exactly the same while the rest of us have all changed!  (Just a little)  I had sent Marlaine a clipping from the paper after her husband, Earl, died.  I also spoke with her sister at the Royal Affair.  She and Faye Reber ’56 were there.

I told Judy that I would save the class news for her letter, but there is one piece that is too good to keep.  Someone had emailed me the news too.  Ginny Field has said “yes” to Clyde Cable.  They were married in a small church in Kaneohe, Hawaii.  I believe he is a retired airline pilot.  They will be living in her home till their new one is built.  It sounds so “romantic.”

Speaking of e-mail—If you have an address, and would like to be kept up on little details, I have put together a class of ’57 group.  I would love to include you.  If you have not gotten anything from me, you can e-mail me at and I will enter you in.  I don’t use it often and promise not to send jokes, but I would love to hear from you.

I used that group to tell of the death of Clem’s cousin, Rev. David T. Nelson ’56 of Chicago.  I got some great e-mails back.  Roger Anderson wrote that he has retired, becoming an “artist” (he has his first welded metal sculpture on display at the Verizon Gallery in Northern Virginia).  Way to go Roger!  Another thing he did is serve as an interim pastor in a three-point parish of Hettinger, ND and Lodgepole and Duck Creek, SD for the whole month of December.  He said that no church should be without a pastor for Advent and Christmas!

I love Christmas Cards.  I keep in touch with a lot of you that way.  I wish it would be more, but with all our busy lives, I guess that is what will be.  I have all the pictures up on my kitchen cupboard doors and they will stay there till at least July.  I love looking at them.  Some are of families, some grandkids, all of them are fun.  Anyhow, a lot of you also sent news via the card.  I hope you don’t mind if I share some of it.

Roxanne McLaughlin Mellema and husband, Dale, left January 1, for Texas—to get away from the cold, but it isn’t cold.  Dale could probably still go fishing in Lake St. Claire!

Karen Larson Lasher wrote that she had been to Gustavus in August to attend the wedding of her nephew in Christ Chapel.  Her comment was that the campus had changed so much—but Wahlstrom Hall is still standing!

Glenn and Lois Larson Mauston are enjoying life in Florida.  I saw them in October when they came up for Lois’ father’s funeral.  I had spent a lot of time at their home while at Gustavus.  They were on a trip to Ireland, Scottland, and Wales on September 11.  They said the concern and love shown by the people living there overwhelmed them.

Bill Johnson is still working on our teeth.  I spent lots of time in his chair this fall.  I had to have a “root canal.”  It is kind of hard to talk when he has his fist in my mouth, but it is fun to see him (if going to the dentist can be fun!).  I “get” to go again in February.

Vada Peterson Carlson and Nancy Reiter Grimes took a trip to Austailia in March.  Sounds like a fantastic trip.  When she got home, Nancy fell and broke her ankle.  She now has titanium supplements—pins, plates, and screws in her ankle.  I hope it will be easier for you to get thru airport security than it was for Rep. Dingell at Reagan airport!

Gary and Joyce Kirkvold Knoll spend much of their time at their lake place on Lake Benedict and Cambridge.  They love seeing their grandkids and grandkids love the lake (at least ours do).

Gaylene Carlson Drew (please don’t get mad at me for sharing this, but I love it) and husband celebrated 45 years of marriage by bringing in McDonalds.  Actually, she was sick.  They did celebrate in style later.

I don’t know how I have so much to say.  I hope you enjoyed part of it anyhow.  Before I close, I have to bring up Ma Young again.  She sent Christmas cards to people this year as a thank you to all that do a little extra for Gustavus.  She is Chair of this year’s fund drive.  She went to all the class reunions last fall and was a smash from all I have heard.  Let’s not let her down this year!  Contribute something, anything, to the Alumni Fund.  Participation counts SO much.  OUR college just gets better and better every year.  We can all be so proud of it.  As my dear departed mother once said, “Gustavus certainly has a lot of friends.”  She was so right.  Are you one of them?

Your classmate,

Marlys Mattson Nelson

P.S.  Remember our 45th Reunion is coming up!  Be sure to mark the dates of September 20 & 21 on your calendar.  More information to come.

Campus News:

Hi!  My name is Tracey Hanson.  I’m a senior, double majoring in Communication Studies and Business Management.  I’ve worked in the Alumni Office all four years and can hardly believe that I’m in the middle of my last J-Term!  After a longer-than-usual Christmas break, it’s great to be back on campus.  Instead of taking a class (and doing homework) this J-Term, I’m spending my time slaving away in the Alumni Office.  It’s great to have the extra time to relax and do other activities that J-Term allows.  Having unlimited time at home each night has made for some great cooking!  And getting to watch “Friends” without worrying about the homework you should be doing instead is also a plus! 

Winter athletics are also in full swing!  Gustie teams are off to a great start.  The men’s basketball team leads the MIAC with a conference record of 6-1, 11-1 overall.  They are also ranked in the top ten in the nation in the NCAA Division III Men’s Basketball Ranking.  The women’s hockey team also posts an outstanding record.  They are currently 6-0-0 in the MIAC and ranked fourth in the U.S. College Women’s Hockey Online Poll.  It has been exciting to watch our sports teams compete this winter!   

Gustie music ensembles are also very busy.  The Gustavus Band will embark on an international tour this J-Term.  The band is touring Sweden and Norway, presenting “Music from America.”  The tour dates are January 16 through February 10.  The tour concludes with a homecoming performance at 4 p.m. Feb. 10 in Christ Chapel.  The Gustavus Choir is busy preparing for their tour of the Midwest during Touring Week in February, concluding with their home concert Feb. 16 in Christ Chapel.  The Gustavus Orchestra will tour Minnesota, the Dakotas, Colorado, Kansas and Iowa.

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

  • February 2      Chicago Chapter event - 6:00 p.m. dinner, 7:30 p.m. Gustavus Choir Concert

                            Our Saviour's Lutheran Church, 815 S. Washington St., Naperville, IL

  • February 16    Naples Chapter event - Naples Beach Club

                            851 Gulf Shore Boulevard, Naples

                            11:30 a.m. social, 12:30 p.m. luncheon

  • February 17    Vero Beach Chapter event - Dawn (Ekstrom ’67) and Ted Michael residence

                            2506 Ocean Drive, Vero Beach

                            12:30 p.m. social, 1:30 p.m. luncheon

  • March 7          San Diego Chapter event
  • March 8          Tucson Chapter gathering
  • March 9          Phoenix Chapter gathering
  • March 10        Sun City Chapter gathering

More information will be sent to alumni and friends in these chapter areas.

RSVP to Alumni Office at 800-487-8437 or e-mail

As I prepare to graduate in June, I find it increasingly hard to think about leaving this place.  It hardly seems possible that four years have flown by, and that in six months I, too, will be considered an alum.  I will always carry with me fond memories of my four years here.  GO GUSTIES!!!