Class of '57
March 2007

50-Year Reunion

Reunion dates ― May 25 & 26, 2007

Dear Classmates,

Well, we finally had a good old fashioned snow storm here in Minnesota.  Mounds of pretty white snow all over.  The streets are pretty good—at least out here in the “burbs”—but the people that are supposed to shovel my sidewalk must be sleeping, cause it still isn’t done!

We were supposed to have a big day-long retreat at Normandale Lutheran Church on February 24, but because of the snowstorm, we didn’t get the program or the lunch, but we did have our ’57 meeting—Buddy Peterson, Vada (Peterson) and Denny Carlson, and Clem and I.  I want to go on record as saying we are going to have a GREAT reunion.  Everybody has done such a tremendous job.  We kind of wrapped things up so all will be ready and waiting on Friday, May 25 when we descend upon the campus.  We got our business finished and were on our way home by 10:30 a.m.  We could just stay in and watch the storm.

I am getting many positive messages about our “guest writers.”  I really think it is fun.  I have a few more to send along this time.  Remember, only about three more letters to go before the reunion.  We would love to put your memory in one.  Just send them to me snail mail:  5644 Heather Ridge Court, Shoreview, MN  55126 or e-mail:

Before I add the letters from four more of you—I will add some of the class news I have been holding.

Carole Swanson Minor works about four days a week at her office at the CIA.  She is now working across the agencies and with Negri Ponti, the UN ambassador.  She has two car seats in the back seat of her car for two grandchildren whom she enjoys.

David Pearson was in an engineering program while at Gustavus, so was only there for two years.  He now lives on Lake Vermillion and hikes in Sedona, AZ with his wife every year for several months.  He is now a retired minister, having served in pastorates all over the USA.

Glenn Leaf is now serving as interim pastor in Pine River, MN.  It is 30 miles north of Brainerd.  He and wife, Patricia, are planning to settle in that area.

Dave Borg and wife, Evie (Johnson ’56) celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary by taking their whole family on a Caribbean Cruise last August.  Both are active as volunteers in their church.

Phyllis Fox Paulson and husband, Don, are planning to go on a mission trip this month of February with a group from their church.  They are going to a base camp in Chuburna Puerto, a gulf coast village north of Meria, Yucatan.  They will be spending the week putting roofs on houses and helping out as needed.  They have two grade school grandsons and she loves to help in their classrooms.  They also have a new 18-month-old granddaughter that was adopted from China last April.  They get to baby-sit every Friday.

Judy Anderson Tucker takes dancing lessons and dances with the Sun City Dance Co.  She also marches with a drill team.  Her teacher is a former NY City Rockette and they dance on the Las Vegas strip now and again.  They do a huge show every two years, the next one in March of ’07.

Roger Lund and wife, Connie (Ostrom ’59) have become directors of Capitol Healing Rooms, Olympia, WA, of which there are 500 throughout the world.

Marlaine Barlau Gnan is farming 10 acres by herself.  Her husband, Earl, died five years ago.  Every time she cuts the grass it takes her nine hours!  Wow!  Much of that grass was used for grazing the cows until they quit milking in ’98.

Roger Dahlin and his wife, Bev, went to an Elderhostel on “The Splendor of Rome.”  They did volunteer pastoral interim during Advent and Christmas at Cross and Crown Lutheran Church, Rancho Cucamonga, CA.  This is the sixth time he has done this kind of volunteer work.

Bernie Anderson Galvin is involved in fundraising for the local Red Wing theater.  She sings in the City of Lakes Chorus—a Sweet Adeline group that gives concerts during holiday seasons and does competition in the spring.  She and husband, Jim, spend part of the winter in Phoenix.

Ron Berg is working out and getting in good shape for the reunion.  (Oh my—you will look too good!  Ha!)  He is still swimming.

Bill Lorette has been a district court judge in Stearns County, Minnesota for the last 40 years.  He still goes in two days a week.

Connie Wold Rome and husband, Dick, live in Arizona in the winter and Woodbury, MN in the summer.  Their granddaughter is a freshman at Gustavus this year.

Jo Spooner Lundblad has just finished up a design project in Florida and will soon close her business and semi-retire.  Daughter, Ann, lives close by in Florida with children 8, 7, and 5 years.  She and Roger have sold their home in Bloomington and will rent something while they look for another.  She just worked on a Christmas smorgäsbord in Florida where Eileen Swanson H’35 was the organizer and they had Evelyn Young’s ’33 rye bread!  (That stuff is famous!!)

Marian Hennix Gabel is living in Florida in the area called The Lakes which is 60 miles from Orlando.  She comes back to Minnesota for Christmas and helps a rosemaling artist, Karen Jenson, during the Minnesota River Art Crawl the first weekend in October.

Emily Backlund Cole is an organist at Zion Lutheran Church in Muscatine, IA and has been for 35 years and is still going.

Claudia Christianson Nimrichter says she loves life in Florida!  She is planning to be at our 50th reunion and hopes her old “buddies” will be there.  (I think several of them will be.)

Bob Wahman went to Bermuda this fall and was going to Costa Rica in February.  His daughter, Andrea, is an OB-Gyn and daughter, Karen, a psychiatrist, director of the program with the VA.  Daughter, Sally, is an administrator with Fairview.  Son, Jarrow, has a 2-year-old and a sports apparel store—is a long distance runner.

Anton Throldahl hopes to come to our Saturday luncheon.  He is on kidney dialysis three days a week, has six children, and 14 grandchildren who are all WAY above average.  He credits his excellent education at Gustavus for affording him two very good jobs—the first with U.S. Steel and the second with Green Giant in LeSueur.  He and his wife now live in Mankato.

I have a few more, but they will have to wait for another letter.  This one is getting way too long.  Be sure to make your plans to come to the reunion.  Then you can catch up with all your classmates in person.

Now, we have letters from Eve Orfanidou Wincel, Marcia Halgren Dale, John “Buddy” Peterson, and Phyllis Holmberg Olsson.  Thanks to all of you.  Remember, the rest of you, send me a letter!  Ha!

Marlys Mattson Nelson

1957 Co-class Agent


~by Eve Orfanidou Wincel

It is hard to believe that almost 53 years ago I left Thessoloniki, Greece and came to Minnesota wearing sandals and short sleeves…it didn’t take me long to get into fur boots and a warm winter coat that was given to me out of the “unclaimed lost and found” box.

In my wildest dreams I could never have imagined that human beings could survive in such a cold climate!  You see in Greece the average winter temperatures are 65-75 degrees.

I survived it by the grace of God without getting sick because in my heart, I felt I was living in a tropical climate due to the love, kindness, and hospitality I received from all the students, professors, and staff at Gustavus!

My memories at Gustavus are so many that I would need to write a book with all of them.  They are all equally important and played a big role in my career as a mother, substitute teacher, and school social worker.

Gustavus opened the door to opportunity for me in many areas and I feel very grateful.  Thank you so much each and everyone of you for everything and most of all—for being you!

God Bless you!

With sincere love,

Eve (Evdoxia) Orfanidou Wincel

Memories of Gustavus

~by Marcia Halgren Dale

Many highlights from my years at Gustavus can be summed up in the following quotations:

1)      “This is plagiarism, Miss Halgren!  Cite your sources!”

2)      “What happened during the Mozart, dear?”

3)      “They’re not married, and they’re living together!”

4)      “An A on your final?  Dans tes reves!”  (Translation: In your dreams!)

5)      “Kansas City, here we come!”

6)      “Mr. Berglund?”------“Here!”

7)      “Stop!  Stop!  The trumpets are flat!”

8)      “Don’t look at me…  It was Roger D.”

9)      “Hark, hark―a yellow-bellied sapsucker!”

10)  “Hang on―the brakes are gone!”

11)   “How now, wool-sack, what mutter you?!”


1)      Alexis, Gerhard, PhD.;  ENG-321:  American Literature; Fall 1955

2)      Pehrson, Ethel;  MUS:  Piano 222;  Spring 1956

3)      Dahlquist, Marlys;  BEST, Stockholm, Sweden;  June 1955

4)      Lind, Dean Melva; FRE-361 French Prose, Fall 1956

5)      Wahlstrom (or was it Rundstrom?)  Suitemates; Spring 1955

6)      Reusch, Richard, PhD; REL-115:  World Religions.  And from outside a classroom window, Berglund, Jon.  Spring 1957

7)      Falck, Myron;  MUS:  Band 165;  Winter 1955

8)      Halgren, Marcia;  MUS:  Band 165;  Winter 1955

9)      Hartson, Louis;  PS-232;  Social Psychology; Spring 1956

10)  Halgren, Marcia:  en route down the hill to the B & M Grill; Fall 1954

11)  Alexis, Gerhard, PHD;  ENG-337: Shakespeare; Henry IV, Part 1; Winter 1956

P.S.  I have one lasting regret; I always meant to call Dr. Alexis to tell him how much I appreciated the lessons he taught me.  But I waited too long, and then it was too late.

Tak sa mycket, Gustavus Adolphus College, for the memories!

Dear Classmates,

Wow—50 years!  I remember arriving on campus with my brother, Lowell, for the start of football season.  It was great to be on campus early and have a feeling of belonging with the football team.  All through the years I’ve felt a unique camaraderie with these teammates wherever we meet.

Roger (Anderson) and Judy’s (Erdman) recent letter indicated that the Class of ’57 Endowed Scholarship needs more dollars to reach its goal.  I’d like to encourage your contributions by telling my own story.

Being a farm kid from a large family, enrolling at Gustavus was a real stretch.  I remember quite clearly not knowing if I could return for my junior year.  The money I’d made building silos that summer wasn’t going to cover it.  I drove to Minneapolis with no arrangement or appointment to see if I could get a personal loan from Grandpa’s brother, Dr. Henry Linner ’02.  I had my chance to visit with him and his sons, Drs. John and Paul.  They told me to go back to Gustavus—“We’ll do something for you—you just go back.”  A few weeks later I got news that I would be an additional recipient of the Linner Pre-med Scholarship.  It was a very significant gift—and it meant I could stay in school.  So I know that the Class of ’57 Scholarship will be a great boost for someone.

Junior year, Ozzie Anderson and I lived in that unusual Fieldhouse accommodation known as the “Rat’s Nest’, a windowless 6 x 8 bunkroom high up in the Fieldhouse, in exchange for being the security team.  Then, that spring, Gus and Evelyn (Sponberg ’33) Young were helping recruit staff for Camp Lincoln.  When approached I explained I needed to find a construction job to make more money.  Evelyn said if I would work at Camp Lincoln she would give me a job in the cafeteria that fall.  That’s when she gave me the name “Buddy Pete.”  I also got a dorm floor position in North Hall.  That senior year was almost free of cash concerns—a huge relief!

So another pitch for money—help some kid struggling to get a college education.  They’ll be forever grateful.  Open your dusty wallet and give!

I do have one big regret—being one of the Phi Alph “pigeon” pledges.  About 20 of us participated—and only five took the consequences.  Hey, now is the primetime for the rest of you to clear your conscience with a sizeable dollar pledge.

Gustavus has been and will always be such a special place to me.  To quote Moose Malmquist ’53—“This small college who loved us, cared about us, educated us, then sent us on our way safe in the knowledge of God’s Grace.”

It is always a thrill to meet old Gustavus friends.  See you May 25th!

                                                John “Buddy” Peterson

                                                1957 Guest Letter Writer

Dear Classmates,

Before long we will gather on the hill to celebrate our 50th anniversary.  It doesn’t seem possible that it has been that long since we graduated and that we could possibly be of such an age!  I was thrilled to be able to go to the same college that my father attended as well as my uncle and aunt.

I, however, was the only student who arrived on campus with my mother and we both stayed.  Other parents went home, but mine remained—as the head resident in Wahlstrom Hall—while I moved into one of the sections in the dorm.  It was exciting to meet our section mates as we all tried to figure out where we could put everything in those small rooms.  However, making new friends and learning to live together was the beginning of four wonderful years at Gustavus.

Campus life was so much more than I anticipated.  The challenge of taking classes as an underclassman from professors that made us stretch our thinking such as Dr. Alexis or Dr. Winfield helped prepare me for the following years.  I had the opportunity to work in the social work office and have many informal discussions with the profs—for which I got paid!  I remember Mary Alice Erickson introducing herself in one o f the classes by stating her name, that she was the wife of Dr. Erickson, Chairman of the English Department and that they had two daughters, both of the same sex.

Chapel was a welcome part of most days—and for some it meant a chance to catch a quick catnap—no names mentioned.  How exciting it was to attend football and basketball games, which was a grand part of college life—even making a couple of trips to the Kansas City Tournaments.  Gustavus gave me an opportunity to participate in many different phases of college life and to develop life-long friendships which I will always cherish.  I look forward to seeing many of you in May.

Phyllis Holmberg Olsson

1957 Guest Letter Writer