Class of '57
January 2004

Dear Classmates,

I see that it is time to write to you again and update you on life at Gustavus and on each other.  Time sure does fly.  My daughter is having a "back to the 80's" party next weekend.  That threw me!!  Ha!

I trust you all had a good holiday season.  Let me tell you a bit about mine.  There were only four of us here for dinner on Christmas Day―daughter, Carol, son, Craig, their respective dogs, and Clem and I.  I fixed a 5# boneless pork roast (I love left over pork) for dinner.  After dinner, we were sitting around the table when I heard a funny noise in the kitchen.  Cassie―the big one—had pulled the roast onto the floor and the two dogs were having a feast!  So much for leftovers!  Later, Carol and I were doing the dishes when I heard another strange noise coming from the dining room.  Here was Tipper—the little one—up on the table enjoying my gingerbread house!  One way to get rid of it quick!

There is so much to tell you about at Gustavus that I don't know where to start.  I guess I will begin with the Royal Affair―pa rum pa pum pum!  It was a huge success!  We exceeded our goals and the food, decorations, entertainment, live auction, and silent auction were fabulous!  We made about $200,000.00 for the library endowment fund, which is now close to two million dollars!  Thanks to all of you who helped make that possible.  Because of our success, Gustavus was able to meet its campaign goal set two years ago.  That is wonderful!  Denny and Vada (Peterson) Carlson both contributed wonderful items for the auction.  Den painted a beautiful picture of Old Main and Vada needle pointed on a black cloth with gold metallic thread—the three crowns and GUSTAVUS and put it in an acrylic box and filled it with rollos.  I really tried to get that, but I didn't!  I'm sorry some of the rest of you didn't show off your talent.  Maybe next time.

Next came Christmas in Christ Chapel.  The theme was "Some Children See Him" and the music was outstanding.  All of the choirs and the orchestra and handbells and dancers did so well.  The Gustavus choir sang a song that required everyone to clap in a very intricate pattern.  Clem decided that the basses in our choir would have a bit of trouble executing that!  Ha!  The decorations were so unique.  There were lots of different sized and different colored balls hanging from the ceiling of the chapel.  During the service, some of them were lit.  We as a congregation sang several hymns (carols), mostly familiar.  Of course we ended the whole service with "O Come, All Ye Faithful" with all the bells and whistles, which just makes a person feel good all over!!  I still get a lump in my throat when we sing it, but the lump is finally getting smaller, after all these years.  It does give one shivers tho.

The following Thursday I went to Gustavus again for the Festival of St. Lucia.  It has come a long way since we were there.  The Lucia Singers sang the Lucia song and the whole chapel service was done by the Lucias.  Last year's Lucia gave the homily and made it so meaningful.  After chapel, we went to Alumni Hall for a wonderful Swedish buffet.  (There is always lutefisk and lefse—and I ate some—smothered in both white sauce and melted butter!)  That is such a popular day on campus.  I brought friends with me and saw several classmates.  Let's see how good my memory is—Sharon Johnson Eddy, Phyllis Holmberg Olsson, Barb Carlson Glenzinski, Jan Neidt Bjorling, Bernie Anderson Galvin, and if I saw someone else and forgot to mention you, I am so sorry.  I know I did see Diana Pool Scheff '55 and Pat Johnson Hall '55 who were a couple of classes ahead of us.  I had a good time.  I even saw a friend from Warren who is married to a Gustie and lives in Mankato.

As I am writing this, I know that Phyllis Holmberg Olsson is out in California visiting Patsy Truhn Schumacher.  I know they are having fun.  They plan to see Mary Ellen Schulke Downes, too.

Someone was talking about reunions to me the other day and they just didn't think they were all that much fun.  As I write this letter, I think of each one of you and count you all as my friends.  I just love to see you.  I guess I like to hang on to my past as well as look to my future, but Gustavus is just such a big part of who I am.  And that goes for all of you, whether I ever see you or not.  I don't really know where that thought is going, but to ask you to remember Gustavus, and all of us in your thoughts and prayers.  Send $$ when it is possible.  It always feels good to give back to something that gave us so much.

I went to a GLA board meeting the other day.  The library is getting a new computer system that will do everything but tie your shoes!  It is called INTEGRATED LIBRARY SYSTEM.  If I understand it right, it will be connected to other libraries, too.  Good thing I am not a student now.  I am lucky to know how to turn my computer on and type this letter!  I would never be able to figure that out.

I have some news from all of you that you have sent in to the Alumni office.  (It sure does help to write this letter when we have something to tell you—and that is how we get the news.)

Gale and Lois Wicktor Falk have both retired and are now having fun by supervising student teachers from Bemidji State.  They think it is really fun.  They are looking forward to a trip to Australia and New Zealand in the spring.  Marilyn Rhyne Herr (Marcy) is retiring in April of 2004 after 15 years as a judge in the Superior Court of New Jersey.

Lois Allen Knapp wrote a wonderful letter filling us in on what she has been up to.  Thanks Lois.  Anyhow, she works at the National Naval Medical Center, which is the President's hospital.  She and her father also find time to take a lot of trips and cruises.  Lucky you!  She also volunteers as an usher at the local theaters and rents a garden plot from the county and grows flowers and vegetables.  You keep busy!

Rod and Char (Bukkila) Westrum divide their time between Little Sand Lake in Park Rapids and The Villages in Florida.  Rod has retired from coaching and counseling in the Robbinsdale School district.  Dave Borg lives in Stillwater.  He reports that he has 12 grandchildren—two on the women's gymnastic team at the University of Minnesota.  He is busy with Lions Club and church council and still finds time to travel quite often.  Gary and Joyce Kirkvold Knoll live on Lake Benedict, part of the Leech Lake chain.  They volunteer in their church with Meals on Wheels, etc. and fish!  (Isn't fishing a requirement for one who is retired?)

Gayla Manuel Clemons loves retirement.  She has moved from Lake Forest, IL (where she retired from being physical education chair and assistant athletic director) to Winona, MN.  She states she is still trying to play golf in Winona.  That can't mean that you haven't played since moving there.  It must mean that you think you should be doing much better, right?  Ha!  Beth Carlson Helgoe is the contracting officer for the Federal Aviation Administration.  She lives in Edina.  Beverly Bloomquist Todaro writes that she is a blood platelet donor.  I am impressed.  With my fear of needles, I could never do that.

Arne Walker is still in Gatlinburg, TN.  He was one of three costumed "Luthers" for their Reformation Fair as they reminded everyone of the power of the Word of God turned loose.  I would like to see you as Luther.  By the way, Clem and I saw the movie "Luther" and thought it was very well done.

Thanks for all your "in put," that's how we (Nancy and I) are able to write a letter with any news at all.  And put a few $$ in with your news.

The thought occurred to me that we should do something special for Gustavus for our 50th reunion year.  I am asking now if anyone would be willing to chair such a committee to figure out what we should do and then help us to do it.  PLEASE!

Time for me to sign off.  Nancy has some words of wisdom to add and I will ask the gang in the Alumni Office to fill us in on campus life new.

Till next time,

Marlys Mattson Nelson

1957 Co-class Agent

Here is some info culled from Nancy Reiter Grime's Christmas Cards:

In order to help prepare herself for her impending retirement (see Marlys' letter), Marilyn "Marcy" Rhyne Herr spent the Christmas holidays with friends in Portugal.  Because of a beautiful (and bountiful) snowfall on the east coast, Marcy and Beverly Bloomquist Todaro were prevented from going on their annual trek to the Army/Navy football game.  The snow was also prevalent in Park City, Utah, where Bev and husband, Joe, spent Thanksgiving with their daughter and family.  They plan a trip to Florida in February to see their son and his family.  Both Bev and Joe are retired but manage to do a little part-time work with their former employers.

Phyllis Fox Paulson and husband, Don, went on an Alaskan cruise with their daughter and her husband in July.  Their 50th high school class reunion in Clear Lake, Wisconsin, last summer included a featured place in the annual city parade.  I'm not sure anyone's reunion can top that.  If you can, let us know!  Marlys Mattson Nelson and husband, Clem, had Thanksgiving at their beautiful lake home in Balsam Lake, Wisconsin.  Clem continues his work with American Phoenix and Marlys directs the women's chorus LARKS.  She has built the organization to include 60+ members.  They perform at care centers in the area and then put on an annual spring concert for the public.

Judy Lund Erdman and husband, Bob, are co-leading a hiking trip to Romania in September.  All six of their grandchildren are basketball players—it must be the genes from Grandpa.  Carol Rylander Farrell and husband, Jim, visited New Zealand, Australia, and Fiji last year.  She says that they accepted no invitations to dinner in Fiji since it was previously known as the Cannibal Islands.

Nancy Reiter Grimes and Vada Peterson Carlson spent three weeks in Poland, the Czech Republic, and Hungary this past fall.  They visited mountain villages, Auschwitz, Czestochowa and the Black Madonna, Wawel Castle and many other historic and scenic places.  They've planned no new trips together (as yet).  This was the 21st trip they've taken together since they retired in 1997.

Everything that Marlys says I endorse whole-heartedly.  We are so lucky to have her as our class agent.  She really "lives and breathes" Gustavus and keeps us up-to-date on developments.  I hope someone will answer her call to lead a committee to pursue a 50th reunion gift.  Give it some consideration.  Send or call in news so we have something to write about in these class letters.

Nancy Reiter Grimes

1957 Co-class Agent

Campus News

Building a Greater Gustavus Reaches Target

Gustavus celebrates reaching the $100 million target for the Building a Greater Gustavus capital campaign.  The campaign includes reconstruction projects following the 1998 tornados, the creation of the Center for Vocational Reflection, growth of the Christ Chapel Endowment, the C. Charles Jackson Campus Center, the Curtis and Arleen Carlson International Center, the Barbro Osher Svenska Huset (Swedish House), the new soccer and track complex, and more than 100 new scholarships.  Efforts continue to raise funds for campaign projects, such as Old Main renovation, Gustavus Alumni Fund, and further endowment growth.  Special thanks! goes to the volunteers and donors who contributed their resources to assist current and future Gusties. 

January Term

The theme for this January Term is "Undergraduate Research and Creativity," to promote course offerings and activities in all fields, not just natural sciences and fine arts.  In addition about 375 students are on travel programs abroad in such places as Europe, Australia, Malaysia, Fiji, and Israel.  Also, 180 students are participating in internships and career explorations, now so essential for many students in securing a job, no matter what career field. 

New Gustavus Video

Have you been to campus lately?  Can you remember your first time seeing Gustavus? The Admission Office has created a new video/DVD for prospective students to take a look at the College. Take a look online if you wish at <>.

Fine Arts

The Gustavus Symphonic Orchestra will take a 16-day concert tour to China performing in such places as Beijing, the Great Wall, and Tianjin.  The Gustavus Choir will take a 10-day concert tour to selected cities in North Dakota, Colorado, Nebraska, and Minnesota, and will also present a concert in the Twin Cities on Friday evening, January 30, 2004, 7:30 p.m., at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, in St. Paul.  The Gustavus Wind Orchestra, formerly the Gustavus Band, will tour during Spring Break.

Extraordinary Place

Gustavus is among leaders in Academic All-Americans.  The College Sports Information Directors of America have recently released a list of institutions with the highest number of Academic All-Americans over the past three years. Gustavus ranks 14th out of all programs competing at the NCAA Divisions I, II, and III, and NAIA levels.

Extraordinary People

Peter Krause '87 returned to Gustavus in November to meet and conduct workshops with students.  Krause has been nominated for Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild and Emmy awards for his role as Nate Fisher in the critically and commercially acclaimed HBO drama, "Six Feet Under."  With the hope that the day would focus more on the students than on his newfound fame, Krause spent the afternoon doing acting work with classes and theatre and dance majors.

Great Teaching

In case you missed the note in the Fall 2003 issue of the Gustavus Quarterly, we are asking alumni to send in short reminiscences, tributes, and anecdotes about professors who made a difference in their education—"the teachers and mentors who have made a lasting impression, who have imparted life lessons, whom you remember for their wit, or their mastery, or their encouragement, or their exacting standards . . . or their idiosyncrasies." We are planning to focus an upcoming issue of the Quarterly on "great teaching" and would like to hear from those who experienced the classes of those great professors.  Send your paragraphs and stories to either Randall Stuckey '83, director of alumni relations (, or Steve Waldhauser '70 (, managing editor of the Quarterly, or in the mail to the College.

Upcoming Chapter Events

  • Washington DC, Gustavus gathering – February 6
  • Atlanta, Georgia, Gustavus gathering – February 26
  • Tampa Bay, Florida, Gustavus gathering – February 27
  • Naples, Florida, Gustavus gathering – February 28
  • Vero Beach, Florida, Gustavus gathering – February 29
  • Sun City, Arizona, Gustavus gathering – March 19
  • Phoenix, Arizona, Gustavus gathering – March 20
  • Tucson, Arizona, Gustavus gathering – March 21