Class of '57
April 2005

Dear Classmates,

I am sitting at my computer looking out at the trees that all of a sudden have buds all over them.  I have windows wide open and even though we did not have a bad winter, I love the spring!

I have not been down to Gustavus since the last letter, but will be heading down there on May 5 for a Gustavus Library Associates board meeting.  I love to go to the Book Mark to see what is new.  I always manage to find a few things.

Speaking of GLA, I hope you are thinking about what you will contribute to the Silent Auction portion of A ROYAL AFFAIR—First Frost.  I also hope you are thinking about coming to the party―October 29, 2005.  It will be held at the Sheraton Hotel (formerly the Radisson Hotel South) on Highways 100 and 494 in Edina.  Rooms are available at a lower rate for Gusties coming to the party.  Last time we had a pretty good representation both of items and people.  Let’s have more of each this time.  Those of you who said you would have sent something but I didn’t give you enough notice, I did mention it in January.  I will also send you a special letter soon.

When you read this, I will be on my way to (or be back from) San Diego.  I am meeting Pat Truhn Schumacher and two other high school friends.  Pat has been busy this spring.  She hosted Phyllis Holmberg Olsson and husband, Bill, when they visited in March.  Phyllis reported that MaryEllen Schulke Downs was a wonderful tour guide and showed them all around Los Angeles. 

Nancy Reiter Grimes and I had lunch with Vada Peterson Carlson, Judy Lund Erdman, and Marcy Rhyne Herr during Easter week.  We met downtown Minneapolis.  That was fun.  Marcy was in town visiting her sister, Rene Holm―enabling us to get together.

Jim Ellingson called me to report that he had gotten a great report back from his doctor.  He is now cancer free.  He has been battling cancer of the esophagus and stomach.  That is wonderful news.  Keep it up!!!

Gene Sandvig wrote that he continues to represent USA for international speed skating and their daughter, Susan, is an international referee.  Wow.  Keeps you traveling!

Eve Orfanidou Wincel is enjoying retirement and says she doesn’t know how she had time to work!  She has two granddaughters 13 years apart.  Her mother died in Greece last June so she spent the first five years of her retirement making yearly trips to Greece to care for her and relieve her sister.  She is looking forward to our 50th reunion in 2007.  I hope all of the rest of you are too.

Ruthie Lundgren Hutchins, Kathy Lundgren Peterson ’56, Mary Lundgren Hauck’54, and my cousin Mary Mattson Hanson ’53 were all here for lunch one day in February.  We had planned to do some singing, but we spent the whole time (almost 5 hours) gabbing.  We are all from Warren too so we had a lot of ground to cover.  Ha!

Speaking of our reunion—Nancy and I need some help in planning the party and deciding what kind of a class gift we would like to give Gustavus.  You can call or email either one of us and we will get in touch with you.  How would you like to serve?  Would you like to be the MC?  Would you like to plan a skit, or be in one?  Would you like to put together some memorabilia?  I don’t know about you, but my four years at Gustavus were some of the best years of my life.  I didn’t know how good I had it.

Another thing I need to bring up is the Gustavus Fund.  I know that I sound like a broken record, but Gustavus is such a great school.  It was when we were there, and it is now.  One way that we can give back some of what we received is by contributing to the Annual Fund.  Our class has not made much of a showing and I just know that we can do a better job.  You are not expected to send millions, but please send something.  Every contribution counts and your participation counts a lot.  Please, I am begging this time; send something (and add some news in the spot for it).  I only received two pieces of news this last time period and it is really hard to write a newsy letter with no news to report!

I am writing this letter myself this time as Nancy is doing a long-term substitute teaching job till the end of the year.

Please send something!

’Till next time,

Marlys Mattson Nelson (and Clem too)

P. S.  The Alumni Office will add some other campus news here:

Campus briefs

Gustavus has been known for its strong tradition of alumni participation in annual giving.  Gusties support their Alma Mater in many ways and show their pride with their gifts.  All alumni and current students have benefited from previous and current support.  Gustavus will be as strong as its alumni want it to be.  The 2005 Alumni Fund closes May 31.  Make sure you are included with many members of your class and other alumni that have chosen to keep Gustavus strong.  Three easy ways to give – send your check to the Alumni Office (by using the enclosed envelope), call 866-487-3863, or on-line at 

Alumni Awards

The Gustavus Alumni Association has announced 2005 award recipients.  The Greater Gustavus Award to George Torrey ’55 for his lifetime volunteer service and philanthropy to the College. Distinguished Alumni Citations to G. Barry Anderson ’76, Apple Valley, MN, associate justice, Minnesota Supreme Court; Deanna Nelson ’64, Cary, NC, president/founder, BioLink Life Sciences, Inc.; Rick Webb ’73, Edina, MN, owner of Ciao Bella, Zelo and Bacio Restaurants; and John Wirth ’75, Pacific Palisade, CA, writer/executive producer, Paramount Studios.  First Decade Awards to Joe Gaugler ’95, Lexington, KY, assistant professor, Department of Behavioral Science, University of Kentucky College of Medicine; Debbie Lightly Mascaro ’95, Fargo, ND, research scientist, North Dakota State University Center for Nanoscale Science and Engineering.


The Gustavus women’s hockey team finished third at the NCAA national championship after winning the MIAC title, the men’s basketball team won the MIAC regular season title and conference tournament and advanced to the NCAA national tournament, the men’s swimming and diving team won the MIAC title and placed seventh at the NCAA national tournament and had seven swimmers earn All-America honors and the women’s team had four swimmers earn All-America honors.

Extraordinary Students

Senior Rachel Batalden, a double major in mathematics and secondary education with a 3.898 grade point average and two-time MIAC All-Conference selection at setter for the women’s volleyball team, has been selected as one of 56 student-athletes from across the country to receive a $7,500 NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship.

Senior Paul Fraser, a music and computer science major has been selected as the winner of the second annual Caltech-Occidental Composition Contest for new music for concert band. The contest drew entries from all over the world, and as the winner, Paul will receive a cash award and a recording of the world premiere of the work at a concert by the Caltech-Occidental Concert Band in Pasadena, Calif., in May.

Bricks and mortar

Southwest Residence Hall is being constructed across the Campus Drive from the arboretum on the west side of the campus and is scheduled to be finished by June.  The L-shaped facility is configured with apartments for four and six and will accommodate nearly 200 students.  A hostel space for summer programs and confirmation retreat groups is included in the residence’s plans.

With the new Southwest Residence Hall coming on-line, the College will be taking down Wahlstrom Hall to make way for future residential construction.  Crews will start the dismantling process in July with asbestos abatement, and the Kasota-stone residence hall will be razed in August.  Alumni returning for reunion and commencement festivities on May 27–29 will be able to take a last tour through the building’s public areas, stairwells, and walk-through sections following a “decommissioning” ceremony to be held on Saturday morning, May 28.

Construction crews working on the renovation of Old Main discovered a cistern under the basement flooring in March.  Gutting the interior has provided evidence of layers upon layers of remodeling done over the years, including an old stairwell in the middle of the building and what appears to be an attempt to raise the third-floor ceiling.  The Old Main project, which includes the installation of an elevator in the northwest corner of the building, is scheduled to be completed in August.

The education and nursing departments have been relocated to the newly erected Mattson Hall, which is sited just west of the Schaefer Fine Arts Center and Prairie View Residence Hall, on the south side of the campus.  These departments will remain there until a new social science center is built at some point in the future.

Upcoming Events

  • Association of Congregations Meeting – April 23
  • G.I.V.E. Community Service Day – April 30
  • Class of 1955 and 50-Year Club Reunions – May 27 & 28
  • Commencement – May 29
  • Alumni Fund closes – May 31
  • Reunions on Homecoming – October 7 & 8
  • Nurses Reunion – October 8