Class of '57
April 2004

Dear Classmates,

Well, spring is slow in coming to Minnesota.  We have had sunshine and rain and all the important things, but it just can’t warm up and stay there.  The wind about blows one away, too.  So—guess I will stay inside and write the class letter.

I just came home from a “Gutsy Women” tour of Savannah and Charleston with Pat Truhn Schumacher and two other girls from Warren.  The rest of the women got a kick out of us four old ladies and could not even pronounce Gustavus!  We did have a wonderful time though.

Things have been busy on campus this Spring.  James "Jim" Peterson ’64 was installed as President of Gustavus during the weekend of April 15-18.  The Association of Congregations also had their meeting on campus that weekend.  I, unfortunately, missed them both.

I did go to “Breakfast With the Easter Bunny” which was sponsored by Gustavus Library Associates on March 6.  I took my three-year-old granddaughter.  There were about 300 people there.  Since I couldn’t help at the breakfast, I went over to Mt. Olivet on Friday to help set up for the party.  Evelyn Sponberg Young ’33 is always in charge of this event.  She just goes on and on!  What a privilege to work with her.  She is a real inspiration.

This year’s “Annual Fund” at Gustavus is wrapping up.  I hope you all have your pledges in.  Remember, participation counts, so please send something, even if you didn’t pledge.  If you have not been to campus lately, you would be amazed.  It doesn’t look much the way we remember it, but it is much better.  The students there get a marvelous education, and still have the Gustavus Spirit while they are learning.  None of this—new buildings, keeping up with new technology, all the finest athletic equipment, dormitories, and more—is free.  We need to help keep our campus one of the best.  And while I am on the subject, does anyone have any ideas about a “special gift” that our class can give Gustavus in our 50th anniversary year?

Gusties are a special bunch!  I remember being on campus at graduation time every year (band kept me there) and always running into an old gentleman whose name was G. Holmquist.  He had been superintendent of Warren Schools when my Dad went to school there and when my Mom taught school there.  He was a graduate of Gustavus and returned EVERY spring.  I remember being embarrassed at the time because he was hard of hearing and would shout at me as if I was too.  I would hope that I too would have that same feeling for Gustavus when I am old (which I hope will be a long time from now!). 

Nancy Reiter Grimes, Judy Lund Erdman, Beverly Bloomquist Todaro, Karen Larson Pone, and Carol Swanson Minor traveled to New Jersey for Marilyn Rhyne Herr’s retirement from the judge’s bench.  (I couldn’t go because I went to a wedding!)  They had a wonderful time.

Nancy has written the class news, so I will add it now.  But before I do, one more plea for the Annual Fund.  Please don’t forget that it ends May 31.  Send something!

Thanks in advance,

Marlys Mattson Nelson

1957 Co-class Agent


 Louise Borg Bergmann lives in Oxnard, California, and does substitute organ playing in the area.  In September, she and husband, Kenn, took a Mediterranean Cruise that started in Barcelona and cruised to Livorno, Italy, through Gibralter to Lisbon to Le Havre and the Normandy beaches to Southampton, England, and then across the Atlantic to New York City.  Kenn is a retired ELCA pastor and is active in the Rotary.  Carol Lundberg Owen is retired and lives in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.  She works for the symphony as a grant writer.  Orville Lind lives in Fernandina Beach, Florida, is retired, and has just returned from a Panama Canal cruise.  Glenn Leaf lives in Winona, Minnesota, and serves as an interim pastor.  He is currently serving three congregations in the Blair Parish in Blair, Wisconsin.

Gaylene Carlson Drew lives in Edgerton, Wisconsin, and enjoys her retirement and taking trips “up nort.”  Her church activities include Altar Guild, Meals on Wheels, and being a Befriender.  Ramona Lovold Hawkinson lives in Wyoming, Minnesota, and is retired.  Last year she went to her sister’s 50th Gustavus class reunion and found the Gustie spirit as friendly as always.  Patsy Truhn Schumacher is a retired teacher and lives in Camarillo, California.  Reynold W. Malmer lives in Kirkwood, Missouri, and recently published “War Letters Home,” a compilation of letters written by his uncle, William E. Malmer, who died in France during World War I.  Good coverage of the book was given by the Lafayette Ledger and the Winthrop News gave good coverage of the book.

Marlys mentioned Marcy Rhyne Herr's retirement party.  We had a grand time and were treated royally.  On Friday eve we attended a buffet dinner hosted by her three children; on Saturday morning we toured the Duke (Doris) Gardens; and on Sunday eve attended the gala at a local country club.  Marcy's two sisters and three children were in attendance plus about 150 others from all times in her life.  After the festivities Bev entertained Judy, Vada and me at her home in Virginia.  We toured the Kennedy Center and attended two plays, Sheer Madness and Uncle Vanya.  We really had our cultural desert watered that weekend!

I endorse everything Marlys said.  Don't forget to write on your yellow envelopes about what is going on in your life

Nancy Reiter Grimes

1957 Co-class Agent

Campus News:

President Peterson inaugurated

Dr. James Peterson ’64 was inaugurated during a ceremony in Christ Chapel on Friday, April 16.  Other inaugural events scheduled April 15-18, included a symposium featuring Rev. Dr. Martin Marty, tree dedication, Gustavus Association of Congregations meeting, G.I.V.E. community service day in St. Peter, music concert, art exhibition, and an alumni reception preceding the Nobel Symphony Concert at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis.

50th Anniversary Alumni Fund Closes May 31

The 2004 Alumni Fund will close May 31 with a goal of 50 percent alumni participation. Thanks to everyone who has already participated with a gift.  If you haven’t given, please think about sending a gift along with your news in the enclosed gold envelope. Gustavus alumni have a long tradition of strong alumni participation.  Help maintain our national ranking by participating in the 50th anniversary year of the Alumni Fund.

Scholarships and financial assistance at Gustavus

Did you know that scholarships and financial assistance for Gustavus students totals $18M, almost 25 percent of Gustavus’ annual budget?  Alumni Fund gifts, including designated and unrestricted gifts, help enable students to receive a Gustavus education.  Gustavus offers two types of scholarships to students -- merit awards given to recognize academic achievement, and tuition grants are used to assist students with recognized financial need.  Endowed scholarships are an important part of the Gustavus grant program and currently nine percent of scholarship funds come from the endowment.

Alumni survey

An alumni survey was sent to 2,000 members of reunion classes.  Approximately 600 have responded as of April 1.  Questions on the survey consist of how well Gustavus prepared them for employment and graduate education, activities involved in while at Gustavus, personal growth skills, alumni events and services, and overall satisfaction with the College.  Results of the survey will be included in the Fall Quarterly.

Winter sports summary

Women’s basketball finished third in the MIAC and advanced to the semifinals of the MIAC playoffs. Men’s basketball won the MIAC regular season and playoff championship titles before losing to eventual national champion UW-Stevens Point in the NCAA national tournament. Men’s hockey posted a third-place finish in the regular season and advanced to the semifinals of the MIAC playoffs. Women’s hockey finished second in regular-season MIAC play, but won the post-season tournament and earned an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. Men’s swimming won its third consecutive MIAC championship and completed their season by finishing ninth at the NCAA championships. Women’s swimming won the MIAC championship and completed their season by finishing 13th at the NCAA championships. Men’s Nordic skiing won its first-ever MIAC championship and finished fourth at the NCAA Central Region meet. Women’s Nordic skiing claimed their third consecutive MIAC title and completed their season with a fourth-place finish at the NCAA Central Region meet. Gymnastics posted a 6–1 dual meet record and a second-place finish at the National Collegiate Gymnastics Association (NCGA) West Regional. The women’s indoor track and field team finished second and the men fifth at the MIAC championships. 

Did you know …

●Nearly 80% of Gustavus students graduate in four years, compared with 56% of students from other Minnesota private colleges; the national average is 17%.

●There are seven choral ensembles and 23 instrumental ensembles, two jazz, four woodwind and three brass ensembles.

●More than 40 percent of Gustavus students volunteer through the Gustavus community service center on a regular basis.

●For student safety, the campus is well-lit, there is 24-hour Safety and Security patrol and escort service, residence halls are locked 24 hours a day, and there are blue light emergency phones throughout campus linked directly to Safety and Security.

●And looking back -- during the college’s early years, students were awakened by a bell at 5:45 a.m. and all lights had to be out by 10:30 p.m.

Upcoming events

  • Class of 1954 and 50-Year Club Reunions – May 28 & 29
  • Commencement – May 30
  • Alumni Fund closes – May 31
  • Class reunions on Homecoming & Family Weekend – October 1 & 2