Class of '57
September 2005

Dear classmates,

I just came home from dear old Gustavus.  It was “Class Agents’ Day” now called “Volunteer Day” so Nancy and I were there.  We learned so much that I don’t know where to start, but Nancy took real good notes so she can fill you in on what I have forgotten!

First of all—President Jim Peterson ’64 told us that in the ranking of athletics of all of the MIAC Conference, Gustavus women are #1 and Gustavus men are #2.  Not too bad.  They are smart too.  They also have the largest incoming freshman class ever.  Wahlstrom is torn down, a new dorm has been built, the chapel is air-conditioned (Jim said he told the students that it is now a “cool” place to be), as is the Fine Arts Center.  Anyone who has been in that space in the summer time, as I have, will be very glad to read that!

We learned that by next year at this time, there will be two windmills on campus to create energy.  They couldn’t do it earlier because there wasn’t enough wind up there!!!  Now as a person who walked from Wahlstrom Hall over to Uhler for breakfast before 8:00 a.m. every day, I really find that hard to believe!  Anyhow—the technology is now there to make the turbines work!

Congratulations and thank you to the 14 members of our class who are members of the “Cec Eckhoff Society.”  That means that these 14 folks have pledged to give something every year to the Alumni Fund.  There is no dollar amount specified—just an annual gift!  I hope that several of you will jump on that bandwagon.  You may already be doing that, but have not signed up for it.  Just say that you want to do that when you send in your pledge or when you talk to someone at Phonorama.  You will get a remembrance from Gustavus when you do that.

I had the opportunity to email several of you this summer.  It was a very rewarding experience.  I got some wonderful feedback.  We experienced a very HOT summer up here in Minnesota.  I even went swimming in the lake a few times and it felt like bathwater!  Ted Granquist was at his cabin north of Duluth and he said the water temp was 85 degrees in August and it was 99 on Park Point in Duluth one afternoon.  That’s HOT!

Carole Swanson Minor was in Minnesota in June.  She had a fun time with Marcia Halgren Dale and Beth Carlson Helgoe and their husbands.  Marcia sent me a couple of pictures via the email and that was fun.  I printed them.  You guys never change!

When I was telling Roger Dahlin about our hot weather, he accused me of having bad eyesight and that the lake really was still frozen!  How about that Duluth temperature???  He and his wife were leaving for the Scandinavian capitals—four days in each.  Bet that was fun.  Marian Hennix Gabel took a trip to Alaska and missed our hot weather.  You really picked a great time to go!  Paul Brostrom still gets together with the G-flats.  (I am envious!  I would love to sing with my trio.)

Arne Walker has so much energy—he still takes youth groups on hikes in the Smoky Mountains.  Kind of like the Energizer Bunny!  He got to baptize grandchild # 9 this year.  I have to tell you that he said his goal is to send something every year to Gustavus.  Arnie, please tell the Alumni Fund that you are doing that.  You should be on the “Cec Eckhoff Society” list.

Judy Lund Erdman is another reincarnation of the energizer bunny.  She is in Romania teaching English to a group of people in the town of Keresztur.  (I hope I spelled that right.)  She is VERY busy with not much time by herself.  I’m not going to try to tell you what she is doing―we will let her write about it in a future letter.

Nancy and I sat in on the class of ’56 group as they were planning for their 50th reunion, which is in May of 2006.  My, but we have a lot of planning to do.  We need help with planning a class gift, planning the events on campus, helping to get EVERY living classmate there—and I can’t think of everything.  If you are interested in serving on a committee, please let either Nancy or me know.  My email is:  Nancy will put hers in later in this letter.  By the way, you do not have to live in the Twin Cities to be on these committees.  Just think―50 years!  Does it seem that long???  I don’t think so.

I can’t let this opportunity go by without putting in a plug for the Gustavus Library Associates’

First Frost * A Royal Affair.  There are lots of wonderful plans for a really fun night.  The silent auction has hundreds of fun items.  Get your reservation in early because it really fills up fast.  I guess all the things you have wanted to donate will have to wait till next time.  The deadline this time was September 15.  I will have my usual Chinese Steam Pot Dinner in the auction as well as several other things.

Well, I can’t remember anything else I planned to say so it will have to wait till the next letter.  I hope all of you start making plans to come to campus in May of 2007 for our 50th class reunion.  Some of us have gotten fat, some skinny, some have aches and pains, but we are all in this boat together.  We all got a great education at a wonderful college and had a fun time doing it.  Let’s all get together and reminisce.

Your classmate,

Marlys Mattson Nelson—and Clem too

1957 Co-class Agents

Greetings, classmates.  Yes, Marlys and I were at the Volunteer Leadership Day meeting on September 10.  This is a new endeavor to lump all those who serve in a volunteer capacity together—the Alumni Board, Class Agents, and Reunion Year Committees.  As usual, we learned a lot; however, this time we also realized that our 50-year reunion is only a short time away (graduation 2007).  We sat in on a planning committee meeting for the Class of ’56 and heard a report from the Class of ’55.  It was all very interesting and informative, but also very frightening.  It seems like there is a lot to do in a relatively short time.  There are several things that Marlys and I would like you to think about.  We need volunteers to work on and/or spearhead some planning committees.  We are looking for people to be a part of the following three groups:  Reunion Giving Committee (concerned with the Reunion Gift), Reunion Communications Committee (coordinates the calendar and communication to the class) and Reunion Event Committee (organizes and plans reunion events).  Just as a point of reference, the Class of ’55 had a Reunion Gift of $2.5 million.  Before everyone faints, this includes all sorts of dollar donations including, but not limited to, estate planning, annual fund, scholarships, etc. over a several year period.  You do not have to live in Minnesota to serve.  There are ways to work together using email, conference calls, etc.  Please consider this a call to volunteer.  This is not a Marlys and Nancy dog and pony show.  We need your help.  Please email one of us and indicate your willingness to serve in some capacity.  My email is:

These are the notes that we have from Phonorama:

LeRoy ’56 and Ruth Swanberg Sanders are spending three winter months in Ft. Meyers, Florida, and then living the rest of the year in Willmar.  Lee is teaching 55 Alive classes and doing some subbing.  Both of them deliver Hot Meals on Wheels and do volunteer work at their church.  They enjoy traveling and their last trip was to Nova Scotia.  Pat Truhn Schumacher is celebrating 14 years of retirement.  She saw Marlys Mattson Nelson and Phyllis Holmberg Olsson this summer and sees Mary Schulke Downes on a monthly basis.  She and Mary recently did an Elderhostel in San Francisco.  Pat was a grandmother in July.  Her son, David (who lives in Melbourne, Florida), had a girl.  Bruce L. Johnson lives in Corvallis, Oregon.  He is semi-retired.  He operates his own business (Business Service Associates) on a part-time basis.  J. Roger and Beverly (Duncan ’58) Anderson live in Arizona.  Roger volunteers at a homeless program in Phoenix; enjoys his hobbies of photography and model ship building; and serves on the board of Augustana Heritage Association.  Beverly tutors a Hispanic lady preparing for her GED; volunteers at a Lutheran Thrift Store, and is completing seven years on the Foundation Board of Mosaic (formerly Bethpage).  They traveled to California, Oregon, and Washington and took a cruise to Alaska.  They planned to spend July through September in California enjoying their kids and grandkids.

Judy Lund Erdman left July 10 for Romania.  She is living in a Family House in Transylvania with a caretaker family and Romanian orphans.  She is teaching English.  She plans to return after Thanksgiving. You go girl!  Husband, Bob ’56, continues to coach his grandchildren in basketball, mentoring coaches, and running his basketball camp.  Glenn Leaf lives in Winona and recently became the interim pastor at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Rochester.  He reports that a member of that congregation is Lucille Johns, the mother of Paul ’56, Dan ’59, Ted ’61, Peace Johns Finlayson, and Mary Johns Miller ’62. 

Chuck “Cubby” DeCorsey is retired, but teaches a Safe Driving class for AARP for his senior friends and acquaintances.  He reports that you save 10% on your car insurance if you complete the course.  He lives in three areas:  April, May, September, October, November, and December in Bloomington; June, July, and August in Starbuck; and January, February, and March in Destin, Florida.  He says he spends his time golfing, fishing, and boating.  He invites people to stop and says that coffee is always on tap!  Mary Kendall Dick lives in Edina.  She retired from directing the City of Lakes Sweet Adeline’s chorus after 38 years.  She continues to teach voice in her home and coach choruses and quartets.  A year ago she traveled to Christchurch, New Zealand, to coach and do vocal work with a chorus there.  As you read this, Clem and Marlys Mattson Nelson are on a two-week cruise to Russia.

Jerry Carlson lives in Hutchinson and coaches boys’ swimming and diving at the high school.  He was inducted into the Minnesota State Swimming Hall of Fame this past spring.  Pat Hoecke Olson and husband, Ray, live in Menifee, California.  They live in a new, gated senior community and take advantage of the many activities that are offered.  They planned to travel to Minnesota this past summer and visit Gustavus; attend their son’s wedding in Missouri; and attend Ray’s class reunion in Bigfork, Montana.

Lois Knapp manages to keep incredibly busy.  She works full-time at the National Naval Medical Center; does ballroom dancing four nights a week; volunteers at the county recreation department and rents out their garden plots; has a garden of her own with peach, fig, and plum trees/grows roses and other flowers/grows vegetables and grapes; ushers at local stage plays; attends embassy parties at the British and Mexican Embassies; attends parties for Wake-Forest, George Washington University, and Tulane University (she is an alumna of each); and took four cruises in the Western Caribbean this past year with her father George “Ted” Knapp.  Her son-in-law visits every two weeks from Raleigh, North Carolina, and attends classes for a Ph.D. in psychoanalysis.  Her son is in the World’s Strongest Man Contests.  He made a movie in Thailand in April and wrestled a 1000-pound baby elephant.  He (Phil Pfister) placed second at the competition in Honolulu in April.

Vada Peterson Carlson had knee replacement surgery on her right knee this summer.  She recuperated very quickly and already is back to work at her two part-time jobs at a needlework shop and a “fancy” women’s clothing store.  She leaves on a trip to China in October.  Dr. Dennis practices orthodontics part-time and recently took my grandson on as a patient.  I had lunch in August with Carol Rylander Farrell and Phyllis Fox Paulson.  Carol lives in Littleton, Colorado, and continues to travel around the country taking watercolor classes.  Her work is quite spectacular.  Phyllis lives in Lake Elmo.  She baby-sits her grandsons one day a week, and she and Don take a major trip each year.

I (Nancy Reiter Grimes) really stretched myself last spring.  I agreed to take a long-term sub job teaching five classes of required 10th grade speech for three months.  I hadn’t taught for 28 years so I spent a lot of time preparing and correcting.  The first 10 days I went to bed at 6:00 p.m.!  I also realized that I had really adapted to retirement; I went three months without reading a book, going to a movie, going out for lunch, or traveling, and I missed them all.  Daily subbing in the future will be okay but no more LTS work.

Sad news about two of our classmates.  LavonaVon” Person passed away this summer after a lengthy illness.  Neal Perlich passed away in August.

Several other things that I’d like to relay from President Peterson’s talk at Volunteer Day:  There are three new Deans to provide academic leadership and the faculty currently has an academic review going on.  This may result in a major revision of the curriculum.  The fundraising for a new football stadium and the moving of the field is well underway.  $1.2 million has been pledged and $6 million is the goal.  There are 700+ freshmen this year, which puts the total enrollment at approximately 2550.  It “feels” to be the optimum size according to President Peterson.  Currently the student body is 9 percent people of color and the faculty is the same.  This is one of the areas that the new Deans are addressing.  Rolling Stone magazine recently named St. Peter as one of the “hot” college towns in the United States.  Is this the St. Peter that I remember?

Finally, in closing my part, I want to again urge you to volunteer to be a part of our 50th reunion planning.  We’re also looking for people who would like to write a newsletter.  As the reunion approaches, we’re hoping that we can have a monthly letter go out.  Marlys and I are meeting October 14.  Can we hear from you by then?

Optimistically yours,

Nancy Reiter Grimes

1957 Co-class Agent

Campus News:

A New Year Begins

The 144th academic year began September 7 with 2,600 students and approximately 710 new students, the largest enrollment and new class in college history.  Some changes in the general education curriculum will also be implemented this year, including a foreign language requirement for graduation.

Class Reunions/Homecoming

Class Reunions and Homecoming Weekend will be October 7-8.  This is reunion time for the classes of 1960, 1965, 1970, 1975, 1980, 1985, 1990, 1995, and 2000, but all alumni are invited to attend the events, even if it is not a reunion year.  There is a full schedule this year with athletic events; seminars on aging, Living CSI, and the Linnaeus Arboretum; dedications and tours of Mattson Hall and renovated Old Main; as well as performances by comedian Scott Novotny ’75, many Gustavus musical ensembles and the Rockin’ Hollywoods.  The schedule is designed to provide activities for alumni and families.

Wind Orchestra Tour

Join Gustavus alumni and parents on a companion tour with the Gustavus Wind Orchestra to Eastern Europe January 17-27, 2006.  The trip includes visits to the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, and Austria and will be hosted by Tom Emmert, professor of history, and Jon and Anita (Thomsen) Young ’77 ’77.

Nurses Reunion

All Gustavus nurses are invited to the 45th anniversary of the nursing program at Gustavus on Saturday, October 8.  Events will include the dedication and tour of Mattson Hall, the facility that houses the nursing and education departments, a luncheon with keynote speaker Dr. Donald Swenson on “Celebrating Our Roots,” and a slide show presentation of the history of the college's nursing program.

Announcing the Gustavus 2006 Alumni Fund Campaign

“When you get your invitation in the mail or receive a call from a Gustie student or classmate, commit to making your gift to the Alumni Fund this year,” encourages Jan Michaletz ’74, alumni board member, class agent, and 2006 Alumni Fund Chair.  The Michaletz family―Russ ’74, Mara ’02, Annie ’05, and John ’08―have agreed to chair this year’s alumni fund drive.  The 2006 Alumni Fund goals are to achieve 9,000 donors and $1,185,000 dollars in alumni giving.  The 2006 fiscal year began June 1, 2005 and ends May 31, 2006.  Gifts to the Alumni Fund will immediately support current Gusties in the classroom, in labs, on the playing field, in the library, and more.  Tuition does not cover the real cost of educating students today, nor did it when you were a student at Gustavus.  Since its inception in 1954, the goal of the Alumni Fund has been to help keep the Gustavus educational experience accessible for current students.  Give the gift of Gustavus to a current Gustie by making your Alumni Fund gift this year.

The 2004-2005 Honor Roll of Donors is now available online at:  The Honor Roll of Donors recognizes those who have made gifts to Gustavus between June 1, 2004 and May 31, 2005.  To find your name or to check out your class results, point and click from your home or office computer.  To have your name included in the 2005-2006 Honor Roll of Donors, go to to make a gift online.

Nobel Conference

The College’s 41st Nobel Conference, The Legacy of Einstein, will be held September 27-28.  The panel will consist of scientists in the areas of statistical physics, relativity, cosmology, and unified theories, who will discuss current work in the areas of Einstein’s greatest contributions.  In addition, a historian of science will explore the impact that Einstein’s discoveries and his social and political views have had on science and humanity.  Also, a play, Clockworks:  Einstein Time, will be premiered, the Physics Force group will perform, and a symphony orchestra concert will celebrate Einstein through music.

Alumni Directory

In partnership with Publishing Concepts (PCI), a comprehensive alumni directory is being produced and will be released in 2006.  PCI will be contacting alumni to get current information.

First Frost * A Royal Affair

Since 1977 Gustavus Library Associates has helped raise funds for the endowment of Folke Bernadotte Memorial Library located at Gustavus.  Over 1,000 guests will attend First Frost * A Royal Affair, the biennial gala dinner/auction benefit at the Sheraton Hotel in Bloomington on Saturday, October 29.  This year Evelyn Young ’33, a long-time GLA supporter, is being honored.  The program will feature tenor Mark Thomsen ’78 and will be hosted by former Miss America Gretchen Carlson and physician and Gustavus parent John Najarian.  Contact the Office of Public Relations at 800/726-6198.

Athletics Hall of Fame

On Saturday, September 24, Gustavus will induct the following people into the Athletics Hall of Fame:  Holly Brodmarkle Cervin ’87, track and field; Marc Illies ’85, baseball and football; Marc Iverson ’89, football; Gretchen Koehler, coach; Jay Rooker ’85, soccer; Rich Skanse ’84, tennis; Dick Walters ’75, hockey.  Mary Mansour ’85, softball, has also been selected but will be inducted Fall 2006.

Campus Progress

Whether it’s planning for brand new buildings or renovating old ones, the Gustavus campus is always changing.  A new web site has been designed to keep you updated on the changes taking place on campus.  Check it out at:

Upcoming Alumni Events

  • Gustavus Heritage Partnership Luncheon — September 24
  • Athletics Hall of Fame Induction — September 24
  • Nobel Conference — September 27 and 28
  • Washington, D.C., Gustavus gathering — October 7
  • Class reunions for 1960, 1965, 1970, 1975, 1980, 1985, 1990, 1995, 2000 — October 7-8
  • Nursing reunion — October 8
  • Homecoming — October 8
  • Family Weekend — October 7-8
  • Black Student Organization/Pan Afrikan Student Organization Reunion — October 14 – 15
  • Washington, D.C. Gustavus gathering — October 23
  • A Royal Affair * First Frost — October 29
  • Wind Orchestra Companion Tour to Eastern Europe — January 17-27