Class of '57
December 2006


Reunion dates ― May 26 & 27, 2007

Dear Classmates,

I have three more letters to share with you.  These are from Sharon Johnson Eddy, Ted Granquist, and Barb Bredsten Stephens.  (Remember, your memories are always welcome—send them to me at: or Marlys Mattson Nelson, 5644 Heather Ridge Court, Shoreview, MN  55126

When you look back some things always stand out as special.  Coming back to the campus after Thanksgiving—time went really fast.

Winter had come with beautiful snow that covered “Hello Walk” and all the trees and evergreens.  We were headed toward the end of the semester.  We had music to memorize for choir, music for band and orchestra, and papers due.

Basketball had started and going to the Fieldhouse to watch Mrs. Young and listen to the Pep Band play “Who Kicked Nellie in the Belly in the Barn” was a must do!

We picked Barb Bredsten to be our St. Lucia and went to teas in the dorm and Dayton’s.

But I think the most memorable was the “Christmas Service” in the chapel the night before we went home for Christmas.  We (the choir) sang the Christmas portion of our concert.  It always sent shivers down your back.  We had real candles to light and left the chapel with that special feeling of youth!

With the snow falling outside, Gustavus was and is a special place.

Hope to see all of you at our “50th” class reunion.

Happy Holidays,

Sharon Johnson Eddy

1957 Guest Letter Writer


Dear Classmates:

It’s hard to believe that it’s almost 54 years since an unsophisticated “Yooper” (someone from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula) enrolled at Gustavus.  Now I’m asked to share a few memories.

Two things come to mind:  profs and questions.

Example:  The first prof I met when I arrived was Rod Davis―puffing away on his pipe as we talked while walking on the way to somewhere.  I came to know that in class he was prone to ask prodding questions.  I also came to know that in history class he taught far more than dates and events.  The unspoken question was “where does all this fit in the bigger scheme of things in the light of what is happening today?”

Example:  Conversations with Art Glass ’43 in genetics lab on Saturday morning when I came up to count my fruit fly population.  (I think he wondered what a pre-seminary student was doing in a genetics class.  I did too when my fruit flies got loose in the lab.)  But the class opened up an interest that has continued even today living in “Mayo Clinic Land” with all its human genome research.  Then and now—there is the question, “where does all this fit together in the larger scheme of things?”

Many of us found a small liberal arts college offered us an opportunity to “dabble” in a lot of areas.  As a pre-sem student, I found myself taking not only religion, languages, history and philosophy, but also inorganic chemistry, quantitative analysis, astronomy and…music appreciation.  That last one was almost my undoing!  I found myself sitting in the Art Barn on warm, spring Friday afternoons at 3:00 p.m. listening to…opera!  Now I have nothing against music or opera, but on a warm, spring Friday afternoon after a cold Minnesota winter???  That was pushing the envelope!!!  From then on I was more careful in my class scheduling!

Times have changed when you walk on campus today.  I came to G. A. with one suitcase and some warm clothes prepared to stay on campus until Thanksgiving—providing there was a ride home then.  (A couple of years later I got my freedom in the form of a 16-year-old ’39 DeSoto which had the disconcerting habit of blowing light fuses at the most inconvenient times.  Some of you had the privilege of riding in it on trips back to the UP or to NW Montana for a summer job.  That DeSoto cost me $100—four years later I sold it for $75.  A real bargain!)  Students today appear to have a little bit more when they arrive on campus!

Well, enough of that.  Suffice it to say that the campus has changed, the classrooms have changed, St. Peter has changed, but…none of us have changed!!!???  Hope to renew friendships with many of you in May, 2007.

Ted Granquist

1957 Guest Letter Writer


Dear Classmates,

Well, the frost is on the pumpkin here in California, and we’ve given thanks for our many blessings on Thanksgiving Day.  As we approach December and its festivities, many good and happy thoughts crowd my mind about Gustavus and Gustavus friends/classmates.  And the term “Golden Gusties” takes on new meaning as I look forward to our 50th reunion.  How impossible does that sound?  I felt very privileged to be part of our 50th reunion planning team which met in September at Gustavus.  I had been on campus many times, but being there working with good friends with that purpose in mind made the experience wondrous for me.  Whether it was 10 or 25 or 49 years since I’d last seen Judy or Marlys or Clem or Roger or Bernie or Vada and so on, it was as if I’d seen them just yesterday.  I’m very excited about our 50th and the possibility for reconnecting with all of you.  It will be good to introduce you to my husband, Mark, and to make plans to see you again.  Mark and I live in Sonoma in the heart of the Sonoma wine country.  It’s a bit of heaven that we would love to share with you.  It’s definitely quieter and more “user-friendly” than Napa.

The Gustie spirit is alive and well—and waiting to welcome us to our 50th.  Come say “Hi” to Gus; gaze across the valley; eat some of Ma Young’s Rye Bread; experience worship in Christ Chapel; remember the good times (Dean Melva Lind’s rousing rendition of the “Yellow Rose of Texas?”  Battling your way to an 8:00 a.m. class in a driving snow storm?  Filling your assigned seat in chapel?).  I hope you can make time for the celebration.  Please put May 25 and 26, 2007 on your calendar.  Blessings!

Barbara Bredsten Stephens

1957 Guest Letter Writer


Barb also sent along some class news that she has gleaned:

Carol Lundgerg Owen lives in Minneapolis.  She is retired from a career in social work.  She has two boys (Tim and Tom), a girl (Stephanie) and a grandson.  Janice Peterson Hanson and her husband live in Hallock, MN.  Petey has spent her career providing family therapy to kids with mental health issues.  She and her husband also farmed until a year ago.  She has two daughters, a son, and seven grandchildren.  Marlys Jonason Nordgren and her husband live in Center City, MN.  She spent her career in social work.  She has two sons, a daughter, and six grandchildren.  Charlene Lind Olson lives in Mauston, WI (close to Wisconsin Dells).  She taught English for 30 years.  She has four children and seven grandchildren.  Always efficient and productive, Char had her children in an 18-month time period, with the second crew coming into this world as triplets!

Emily Louise Backlund Cole and her husband live in Muscatine, IA.  She has three daughters and six grandchildren.  She has been contributing her musical talent her entire life:  conducting vocal groups (Civic Chorus, Male Chorus) and playing the organ/directing choir at her church.  Gary Gabel and his wife live in Tracy, MN.  Gary retired from the ministry in 2002.  He is still making a significant contribution to the church by doing interim pastoral work.  He has two sons and a daughter.  Gary has a guardian angel on his right shoulder that helped him survive a health crisis in 2004.  For that we give thanks.  Jayne Arvidson Thrasher and her husband live in Indianapolis, IN.  She spent her career life in teaching.  She’s enjoying retirement and is gearing up to be our MC at our reunion.  Pat Hoecke Olson lives in Menifee, CA.  Pat and I are still playing telephone tag—but one thing I do know from her voice mail is that she and her husband enjoy camping and have recently spent some time in Zion National Park.


Gustavus Designated an “All Steinway School”

Steinway and Sons, makers of what many would say are the best pianos, has added Gustavus to its “All Steinway Schools” list.  This is an exclusive list of just 66 colleges, universities, or conservatories in the world.  To be considered for the Steinway designation, a school must first have at least 90 percent of its performance, practice, and teaching pianos be Steinways.

Gustavus Excels in Fitness and Dining

Men’s Fitness magazine has named Gustavus as one of the top 10 colleges in America for fitness.  Among the things considered in the rankings were nutrition and dining choices, whether physical fitness is included in the curriculum, and availability of workout equipment.  They also examined individual student responses to questions on topics such as alcohol consumption, tobacco use, fast-food indulgence, and exercise habits.  On a related note, the Gustavus Dining Service was listed in the top 10 in a U.S. News and World Report survey on the best campus food in America.

Gustavus Alumni Professional Apparel

Check out the two new oxfords on sale online through the Gustavus Book Mark.  The Book Mark is offering a women’s and men’s long sleeve shirt in a variety of colors and sizes.  The shirt features an embroidered three crowns and Gustavus.  A great idea for holiday shopping for your favorite Gustie.  Check them out online only at

Gustavus Legacy Award for Gustavus Admission

Mark Anderson, Vice President of Admission and Student Financial Assistance, is pleased to announce the Gustavus Legacy Award for new students beginning with the incoming class of 2007.  Renewable awards of $2,500 per year are given to new students whose siblings are current Gustavus students or graduates or whose parents or grandparents are Gustavus alumni.  Scholarship recipients must have a high school grade point average of at least 3.5 or an ACT of 26 or an 1170 (Critical Reading + Math) on the SAT.  For more information contact the Admission Office at 800/GUSTAVU(S) or email <>.

Upcoming Gustavus Events

  • Jacksonville Chapter Gathering – February 11
  • Orlando Chapter Gathering – February 13
  • Tampa Bay Chapter Gathering – February 15
  • Naples/Marco Island Chapter Gathering – February 17
  • Tucson Chapter Gathering – March 16
  • Phoenix Chapter Gathering – March 17
  • Sun City Chapter Gathering – March 18

Again I say thank you to our guest writers.  There is always room for your memories too.

Marlys Mattson Nelson

1957 Co-class Agent