Class of '57
January 2007 A

50-Year Reunion

Reunion dates ― May 25 & 26, 2007

Dear Classmates,

I have SO much stuff to tell you that I don’t know where to start.  I guess I will send you some memories of three more of our classmates.  (I am having so much fun getting these—hope it gets you thinking!)  Phyllis Fox Paulson, Gale and Lois (Wicktor) Falk and Gary and Joyce (Kirkvold) Knoll have sent their memories.  For your reading pleasure I will add them here:

Dear Classmates,

Last summer, Nancy Reiter Grimes asked me if I would help with some calling for our 50th reunion and so I have become somewhat involved.  Just thinking about our reunion has certainly gotten me reminiscing about life at Gustavus.

I remember, while in high school, getting a brochure in the mail telling about G.A. college with pictures of Old Main, dormitories, etc.  I thought it looked wonderful and I immediately decided that this was the college I wanted to attend.  Gustavus would be my first choice for college.  It was a great choice and I am always proud to say that I am a graduate of Gustavus.

I remember arriving at Wahlstrom Hall and going up to 401 and being so wonderfully received by my section mates.  Janet Renquist’56 was the first girl to greet me and we ended up being roommates.  I was rather shy, coming from a small town and a graduating class of 36 but I felt truly accepted and ready to settle in and enjoy.  We had so many fun parties and gab fests that first year.

I have memories of going to church on Sunday mornings and hurrying back for special lunches at the cafeteria.  I especially liked a fruit salad that we only had on Sundays.  I also think about our daily gatherings at the Canteen.  I learned how good brownies with chocolate ice-cream are.

Sorority activities and dances were memorable.  Since I dated Don, who did not attend Gustavus, I was very thankful when Dale Propp would offer to find sleeping arrangements for him.

Classes also bring back memories.  I think about all the religion classes and later the elementary education classes with Professors Anderson and Kidd.  Student teaching was so much fun and we had such a great time in Rochester.  I celebrated my birthday during that time and a surprise party was planned.  I always remember it as one very special birthday.

I loved football and basketball games and didn’t miss many.  It was wonderful attending games in the city and staying overnight at Carol Rylander’s home.  We had many memorable times there.  I was also thrilled to go to the Kansas City basketball tournament.  What a fun time!

I have very special memories of the years 1982-86 when our daughter Beth attended Gustavus.  I loved the times that we had occasions to visit her.  It was great being back on campus.  We even ran into former classmates on parent’s day.

We have not attended many of the reunions but did go for our 45th which was held in Minneapolis.  We had a wonderful time and are looking forward to May when we celebrate our 50th.  Hope to see many of you there.

Phyllis Fox Paulson

Blurb from Lois (Wicktor) and Gale Falk

            We are very excited about attending our 50th Gustavus class reunion in May and renewing old acquaintances.

            Gale is looking forward to reminiscing with his swim team members.  He has fond memories of Swim Coach Vic Gustafson ’42 who did so much for him.  One year he lived in his basement with Ron Berg, Bob Larsen and Buzz Flolid ’59.  (I wonder if he still sleeps with one eye open.)  He also remembers the swim trip to Florida with six guys in each car.  They drove straight through without overnight stops to the Fort Lauderdale Swim Forum―fixing and eating lunchmeat sandwiches in the back seat of Vic’s station wagon.

            Dr. Ove S. Olson ’18 was chairman of the Education Department.  One of his lectures included his philosophy that “abstainers are gainers and boozers are losers.”  All future educators were required to take an oral exam, one-on-one, with Dr. Olson.  He was a formidable instructor.

            From Wahlstrom Hall to the cafeteria or to class on Hello Walk was the coldest trek one could imagine when the wind was blowing “on the hill.”  Lois fondly remembers being a part of the Tau Mu Tau Sorority.  Joyce Kirkvold Knoll, who was my roommate at Rundstrom Hall, is now living on Lake Benedict near Bemidji and is once again my “neighbor.”

            We proudly speak of Gustavus Adolphus College as our Alma Mater.  We’re grateful that GAC provided us with the foundation to pursue our careers in education.

Gustavus memories by Joyce Kirkvold Knoll

            Many Gustavians met their future spouse at Gustavus.  In chapel, Gary and I were separated by one seat―someone whose name started with Kn.  We didn’t really get acquainted until the spring of our sophomore year.  We were in sister-brother sorority and fraternity (Sigma Delta and Kappa Sig.)  Back to chapel, in the next years the person who sat between us wasn’t always there, so we would move over to sit together―after attendance was taken, we thought.  I got in trouble with chapel cuts and had to see Dean Lind.  I had been involved with the Women’s Association (v.p.) and she did believe me!  The romance continued and Gary and I were married the summer after graduation.  We are also celebrating our 50 years of being together in 2007.

            I do remember interesting and caring profs and our small group of elementary education majors.  About 14 of us lived in Rochester in three apartments for most of the last semester while doing our student teaching.  I can’t remember how we got around to all the schools, not many of us had a car.  After almost four years of eating at the cafeteria, we also had to cook!

            I am so thankful that I was able to attend a small school and live in a dorm.  It was a home and we were all connected in various ways.  We were really connected our freshman year living in Wahlstrom Hall―12 in a section that was built for 6!  As sophomores we thought we were in a castle when we then were down to 6.  There was a lot of caring and sharing amongst us, living as closely as we did.  We did find time for some antics and tricks between the sections, also!

            Marcy Rhyne Herr and I were section mates for two years and became roommates in Rundstrom for our senior year.  There are many great memories I could write about these years and the many friends who were a part of my life.  Time spent at G.A. was a wonderful part of my life.  Gary and I will certainly be attending the celebration and 50th Reunion, and we hope to see many classmates!

Clem and I were not the only classmates to take in Christmas in Christ Chapel this year.  Vada (Peterson) and Denny Carlson and Nancy Reiter Grimes were there when we were.  I know that Judy (Lund) and Bob Erdman were there on a different day.  It was very good.  Could have done a little more Christmas for me, but it was still good.  And yes, I cried when I tried to sing O Come All Ye Faithful.  It is just something you all should experience.  Words can not explain it.

I took my daughter, Carol ’90 down for the St. Lucia Festival.  She saw her good friend Kia (Peterson) Lindholm ’90, (John “Buddy” and Nancy (Johnson ’58) Peterson’s daughter) there so that made the day for her.  Again—I hope all of you have a chance to come some year.  Sharon Johnson Eddy was there too.  She comes to many GLA events.  Fun!

Here is something I should have put at the beginning of this letter.  If you have pictures that you would like to put in a memory book for our reunion, please send them to the Alumni Office at Gustavus.  The staff will scan them and return the original to you.  They should probably come in no later than April.  I hope we see a lot of them.  We have some other fun things to include in our memory book too—so get your contributions in!!!!

Now for some class news that you have sent in:  Wally Johnson and wife, Ellen, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary by taking their family (19 total) on a Caribbean cruise this June.  Three of the family members are Gustie grads.  He says they are enjoying decent health and like to travel when they have the time.

Judy Lund Erdman says they keep living their lives with their children and beautiful grandchildren—far too busy volunteering and maintaining life, limb, and property.  (Judy did come over to my house to make a batch of English toffee.  She learned how and now she makes it too.)

John Livingston shared a memory with us.  He said he was attending Mankato State in the fall of 1957.  Three freshmen from Gustavus (class of ’61) came by car to burn up the wood gathered for the homecoming bonfire.  My new classmates captured these boys.  They had driven their car into a fenced-in area.  One of the rough Mankato students sent for me to pass judgment on these poor fellows.  I was asked, “Livingston, what should we do to these people?”  At that moment Jesus told me I had to save those boys.  I was just to open my mouth and the right words would come out.  “It’s alright, they are friends of mine.”  The tough guy said, “OK, you heard Livingston—clear a path for their car.”  Away they went!  I felt that I might be killed that evening.  (Wow—what a memory.  Not a fun one—but very good.  Thank you.)

Annmarie Cederberg Blomstrand, Lund, Sweden, said that she will not be able to attend our reunion.  She was glad she was able to spend a year at Gustavus through a scholarship from the Sweden-America Foundation.  She sends her greetings and wishes us luck on our reunion.

Jeanenne Andersen Fernstrom taught grade school in Plainfield, NJ for 20 years, retiring nine years ago.  Her classes were overwhelmingly black students and she has had some very heartwarming experiences with very special children.  She is enjoying her own four children and 12 grandchildren and considerable travel since she retired.  She and Gaylord ’53 will celebrate a 50th wedding anniversary in late June, but hopes to attend our 50th reunion.  They always come to Lake Washington to their cottage for about a month every summer and will do so in July this year.

Gayla Manuel Clemons has lived in Winona near her sister, Sandy, since retiring from Lake Forest High School (in Illinois) in 1994.  She enjoys small town living, sees Jinny Field Cable occasionally and also plays golf—only in nice weather though.  She hopes to attend our reunion with Jinny.

Ann Borneman Ruggles is retired.  She and Howard ’54 have five children.  She thinks that her Gustie gifts get credited through Howard’s class—not true Ann.  They give both of you credit.  I get credit for half of Clem’s gift too.

Betty Nyberg Reed and husband, William, have three children.  She likes to send her gift to Gustavus to the Jean Larson Scholarship Fund.  That is a great place.  I have given to that one too.  Scholarships help to educate kids.  Hope to see you at the reunion.

R. John Singh is now retired.  He has been to seven reunions and will not miss this one.  He has already made plans to be there.  John has written his memories and they will come in the next letter.

Earl O. Nelson is retired from farming.  He has one son by his deceased wife and shares three more children with Evelyth (Peterson ’59) (Bob Peterson’s ’58 sister), his second wife.  They have 11 grandchildren.  He is planning to attend the reunion.

Lou Schroedel lives in West Des Moines, Iowa.  He has two daughters.  He plans to be at our reunion.

Phyllis Holmberg Olsson called me today.  She was making her motel reservation.  That made me remember that I have not made mine yet—have you?  Don’t wait!!!

OK—this is very long.  More to come…this is fun!  See you soon.

Marlys Mattson Nelson  



Alumni Starring in The Cherry Orchard

The Department of Theatre and Dance is celebrating 75 years of theatre at Gustavus this year with two featured events:  Theatre Reunion May 11-12 and a gala performance of The Cherry Orchard followed by admission to the cast party on February 10.  The Cherry Orchard will be Professor Rob Gardner’s final directing work before retirement.  A cast of professional theatre alumni will join the student actors for this very special production.  The alumni cast includes:  Peter Breitmayer ’87, Karen Esbjornson ’80, Kevin Kling ’79, Scott Novotny ’75, and Michael Glenn (Waldhauser) ’97.  A sold-out performance is expected for this unique celebration, so order your tickets soon.  For more information and to order tickets, go to the Cherry Orchard site from <>.

Gustie Pages

Looking for a dentist, doctor, lawyer, pastor, Realtor, or other professional?  Make it a Gustie!  Look in the Gustie Pages, an online database of Gusties who have submitted information about their profession.  Use the Gustavus network to meet your needs, or submit your professional information if you would like other Gusties to become your customers.  Go to the Gustie Pages at the alumni website at:  <>.

Career Connections with Students

Sign up now for the 2007 Gustavus Career Connections Reception.  The reception will be Monday, February 19, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Minneapolis Hilton.  The gathering allows Gustavus alumni to provide advice, encouragement, and career networking opportunities to Gustavus students seeking internships and career opportunities.  Alumni are invited to attend and assist current students in their career search.  You do not have to be hiring at your company to attend – just willing to share your experience.  E-mail the Career Center at or call 507/933-7586 if you can attend or want more information.

Give Every Year to Gustavus?

Do you give to Gustavus every year and plan to give every year in the future?  Then you should become a member of the Cec Eckhoff Society.  Members of the Cec Eckhoff Society simply make the public commitment that they plan to give financially to Gustavus every year.  It does not matter how much you give and this is not a formal pledge for a certain amount of money.  Cec Eckhoff ’56 led the alumni office from 1963-1994.  Cec believed that part of being an alum of Gustavus was to give monetarily each year to the College.  To become a member of the Cec Eckhoff Society, please call The Gustavus Fund office toll-free at 866/487-3863 or e-mail <>.  Thank you for your support of Gustavus!

Summer Sport Camps at Gustavus

Gustavus’ strong athletic tradition is evident with numerous summer sports camps featuring knowledgeable coaching staffs, acclaimed athletic facilities, and quality dining service and housing accommodations.  Camps offered this year include: golf, hockey, basketball, tennis, volleyball, soccer, throwing, and swimming.  For more information go to <> or contact the Athletic Department at 507/933-7617.

Upcoming Music Tours

This year nearly 300 students will participate in music tours as members of the Gustavus Wind Orchestra, Gustavus Choir, Gustavus String Orchestra, Gustavus Jazz Lab Band, and Choir of Christ Chapel.  The Gustavus Choir will tour Spain and Portugal January 11-30.  Performances are scheduled for Lisbon, Seville, Malaga, Grenada, and Madrid.  The Wind Orchestra will tour Minnesota, Madison and Milwaukee, WI and Chicago.  The String Orchestra will be in Nebraska, Kansas, and South Dakota.

Upcoming Alumni Events

  • The Cherry Orchard Gala Performance – February 10
  • Orlando Gustie Gathering – February 13
  • Tampa Bay Gustie Gathering – February 15
  • Naples/Marco Island Gustie Gathering – February 17
  • Tucson Gustie Gathering – March 16
  • Phoenix Gustie Gathering – March 17
  • Sun City Gustie Gathering – March 18
  • Celebrating 75 years of Theatre Reunion – May 11-12