Class of '57
October 2006



Dear Classmates!

Think of it.  Next year will mark 50 years since our graduation from Gustavus.  As the Class of 1957, we’ll be lifting up that accomplishment with a milestone celebration on the Gustavus campus on May 25-27, 2007.  It is our great desire and goal to have every able-bodied classmate present for this festive event.  Marlys Mattson Nelson has already created the excitement of remembering our days at Gustavus in her recent class letter.  Our letter is meant to inspire, to encourage, and to describe a number of ways all of us can share the gift of Gustavus with future Gusties.

The first way we can share is to mark the dates and BE THERE TO CELEBRATE.  Gustavus will honor us with a festive banquet and a luncheon with the 50 Year Club.  We will also gather in Christ Chapel for a Memorial Service for classmates who have gone before us.

Each 50 Year Class at Gustavus has given a significant gift at their 50th Reunion and we of the Class of 1957 are challenged to do the same.  As co-chairs of the Giving Committee, we have offered to write and call all of you to answer that challenge.  Others have joined us on this Giving Committee.  You will be hearing from them as well.  Thank you to Roger Dahlin, Nancy Irgens Derauf, Marcy Rhyne Herr, Jo Spooner Lundblad, Carole Swanson Minor, Clem Nelson, John (Buddy) Peterson, Bob Wahman, and Rod Westrum.  And there are more!  Those at the Planning Committee meeting, at Gustavus on September 9th, have also agreed to call, so we are well prepared to call and ask you to pledge as much as you possibly can for our Golden Anniversary Gift.

Did you know that when we were students at Gustavus the Church paid for up to 60% of the cost of our education?  President Edgar Carlson is quoted as saying, “the Church is our endowment.”  Today Gustie alums have become the strength and fiber of Gustavus as this former resource has dwindled substantially, although church support in other ways is stronger than ever.  If Gustavus were to provide the kind of financial support we were given, the college would need a much larger endowment than the $92 million it now has.  The Gustavus Fund Chairs for this year, Dan and Sara (Tollefson) Currell ’94 ’95, have stated their highest priority is, “to preserve and ensure that the next class of Gusties can afford an education.”  Hence our Class of 1957 Endowed Scholarship and challenge to our generosity.  Hey!  Let’s do it!  We can, you know!

In order to rise to this challenge, we who care about Gustavus and want to help ensure its future can respond in several ways.  Look at the Anniversary Class Giving enclosure.  Notice the three areas of support which we describe further below:

The Class of 1957 Endowed Scholarship:  As a part of our Golden Anniversary Gift we are hoping to

raise at least $25,000 as our Class of 1957 Endowed Scholarship.  Your gift can be pledged and paid for over the next three years.


The Gustavus Alumni Fund:  Our committee has agreed that our class can meet a challenge goal of $100,000 in cash gifts over three years if:

                                                                  3 of us give $5,000+ per year for 3 years

                                                                  3 of us give $1,000+ per year for 3 years

                                                                  4 of us give $   750+ per year for 3 years

                                                                70 of us give $   500+, 250+, or 100+ per year for 3 years

We know we can reach this goal.  As a way to encourage and challenge your generosity, the two of us are making three year pledges totaling $8,000.  That’s 8% of our challenge goal of $100,000.

Other:  This includes Designated and Deferred gifts.

Designated Gifts are monies pledged and given to specific causes like the new football stadium,

The Arboretum, Gustavus Library Associates, etc. 

Deferred Gifts are those you give from your estate, insurance policies, annuities, etc.  Making such

future gifts enrolls one in the Gustavus Heritage Partnership.  There are currently over 750      members of this society, seven of them from our class.  Are there 25 more of us who will include Gustavus in our estate plans?  If you have already named Gustavus in your estate plan, please let the college know.

Remember that all gifts and pledges, including deferred, count toward our Golden Anniversary Gift.  We believe our class should be able to provide at least $1.5 million for Gustavus and future Gusties!  That amount would come close to the gifts of the preceding two 50th Anniversary Classes.

Also enclosed is an informational piece describing a law signed by the President in August of this year regarding giving IRA mandated distributions as charitable gifts, allowable only in ’06 and ’07.  This presents an unprecedented opportunity for those of us 70 1/2 or older to consider directing our IRA mandated distributions to Gustavus!  You will want to consult with your financial advisor on this important possibility.

With great excitement we look forward to this whole year of celebration.  We will be hearing from our classmates on a regular basis through class letters and phone calls.  There is something magical about picking up where we left off 50 years ago!  Trust us.

We are deeply grateful to Gustavus and for each one of you.  See you at the Reunion!


Roger Anderson and Judy Lund Erdman

Co-Chairs, the Giving Committee

3 Enclosures:  Anniversary Class Gift Card, Explanation of IRA mandatory distribution for charitable gifts and a return envelope.

Note and idea from Judy:  I find this one year so significant that I have turned down almost all solicitors since the beginning of 2006 saying, “All the money I give to charity this year will go to my college alma mater for my 50th Class Reunion.”  I am met with silence in some cases, “Good for you,” in others, and one political caller who said, “But, Judy, we have to save the world!”  I figure that for this year I am saving my own little part of the world.