Class of '57
September 2007

Dear Classmates,

As I write this, we are having a day-long rain.  A nice gentle rain that we need very much.

Clem and I went to St. Peter on Saturday for a Class Agent’s meeting.  A beautiful drive, but the leaves had not yet begun to turn.  Judy Lund Erdman was there too.  We commented on how nice it was just to go to the meeting and not be worried about planning a reunion.  (Which, by the way, is still a very pleasant memory.)  We got an award!!!  Pat yourselves on the back—we had the largest percentage of participation of any class!  We felt quite proud about that—79% of us sent in a donation to the Alumni Fund.  Hooray!  Can we do it again?  I hope so.  We did very well dollar-wise too.  Our award was for our wonderful committee that put together our reunion.  We got the award, but you guys did the work.  And it all led up to a wonderful reunion.  Thank you all!!

There was not a football game on campus last Saturday, but they played there the week before and the new facility worked very well.  I only heard glowing reports.  Maybe some of you were there.  Write and tell us about it.  (Please.)

Remember how much fun it was to read blurbs from our classmates all throughout last year?  We can keep doing it.  If you feel the urge to do it—just write something and send it to me.  I promise I will put it in the next letter.  I will be happy to write more letters if the reason comes up.

I took a lot of notes, but I don’t know if I will do a good job telling you what went on that day.  One thing President Jim Peterson ’64 said was that it is the people that make things work.  “At Gustavus the faculty is strong, the support staff is strong and together they make for a strong college.”  The two windmills that he hoped would be up and running are still not there.  It seems that some places have ordered 25-50 of them and somehow, our 2 get moved down on the list in urgency!  Imagine that!  I will let you know when they become a reality.

President Peterson said that students still choose Gustavus because of the “spirit” they feel when they visit the campus.  It is hard to describe it, but we all felt it when we were there.  My kids felt it when they were there.  It is still there—and I am happy to hear that.  I think we felt it last spring when we were on campus for our reunion.

This has been a busy summer getting ready for the Royal Affair―Razzle-Dazzle.  There are some fantastic items on the silent auction and also some real exciting things for the live auction.  One that I have not seen but I will on auction day is an Australian Labrodoodle puppy.  The puppy will be about two-months old at that time.  They are going to try something new this year so that all of you can take part.  There will be an on-line auction.  Now, I am getting better with the computer, but I don’t think I will ever understand that.  You will be able to access the auction from the Gustavus web site.  Good luck.  You may be a winner!  As for me—I am going to the real thing.  It is the best party I ever go to with so much fun stuff and so many wonderful people.  Maybe I will see you there?

I have some class news given to me by Gustavus, but much of it is very out of date as it talks about the reunion as still being in the future.  I may not put that in.

Barbara Carlson Glenzinski was at the reunion.  She works at WHYMSY in the Galleria selling women’s and children’s clothing.  She also works for Gentle Transitions which packs and moves people who are over 65 years of age.  They unpack them at the other end too.  That sounds like a great service.  Nancy Reiter Grimes is in her 10th year of retirement and can hardly believe it.  She has spent the time traveling and enjoying her family.  She feels fortunate that her children all live in the Twin Cities area.

Gary Gabel received a quilt from the Tracy Lutheran Church last October when he retired as interim pastor of that congregation.  He retired from full time ministry in 2002, but has been serving as interim since then.  There is always a need for interim pastors.  We received a note from Ron Berg.  He said that “the three freshman” (Gale “Sook” Falk, BobNorton” Larsen, and Ron “Splash” Berg) planned on attending the 50th and having a visit with former swimming coach, Vic Gustafson ’42.  I know you were there, I hope you got to see Vic.  I have never heard the Norton and Splash nicknames.  Love it!

Judy sent in a note about Carol Lindig.  Carol was her freshman roommate.  She lives in the house next door to the house she lived in while a freshman in college.  Don Olson continues his pastoral career serving a congregation in Ocean Reef, near the Key West, Florida area.  Charles Hendrickson continues to work with his sons in the Hendrickson Organ Company in St. Peter, MN.

Dennis Hinton’s career has been in investment banking and resort development.  Don Eckberg lives in Silver Spring, MD.  His career has related to fields of finance and auditing.  Roger Olson retired from teaching mathematics at Dana College in Nebraska.

Laurel Western Peterson could not attend our reunion.  She loves living back in the northwest near their kids.  Travel is their life.  They have researched genealogy in Sweden and Norway many, many times.  They had just been on a 24-day cruise to the Amazon and were going to Hawaii next.  Wow—I get tired!  Ha!

Everyone is traveling!  Peace Johns Finlayson and husband spent some time in Mexico last winter.  John Erickson was a banker during his career living first in Duluth and then in St. Cloud.  Beverly Bloomquist Todaro has made the move from McLean, Virginia to Seattle, Washington.  (Can’t get away from Washington I guess!  Ha!)  She and husband Joe are in the process of building a house there.

Barbara Bredsten Stephens and her husband, Mark, have both retired from education and are now living in the “paradise” called Sonoma—30 miles from San Francisco—where they take advantage of music, ballet, and sports events.  They raised two kids while Barb created a special education program helping people to make a good transition to adult life and Mark worked as a special education administrator.

Marian Hennix Gabel lives in the Twin Cities in the summer and in the winter she goes to Florida, to a place called The Villages, in Caroline, which is 60 miles from Orlando.

Well, that seems to be it.  I love to hear from all of you and share your info with our classmates.  You don’t have to send your whole life history, just a little blurb for me to share.  It really doesn’t take long.  Send me an email.  And don’t forget about good old Gustavus Alumni Fund.  That is the place that brought us together and helped shape the people that we have become.


Till next time---

Marlys Mattson Nelson

1957 Co-class Agent

5644 Heather Ridge Ct.

Shoreview, MN   55126

Ph#    651-483-5818

Campus News

Gustavus has traditionally been ranked by U.S. News and World Report in their feature called “America’s Best Colleges.”  If any of you see this annual ranking, for the year 2008 Gustavus was listed as “Unranked.”  This is because of confusion over how Gustavus uses test scores as part of its admission process.  No need to worry, Gustavus is doing well and more than 3,000 students applied for admission, admitting that they are more interested in the school’s academic excellence and reputation rather than these rankings.

Athletics Hall of Fame ― Gustavus will induct new members into its Athletics Hall of Fame at a banquet on November 3.  They are:  Tim DeJarlais ’91, golf; John Erickson ’81, hockey; Dave Hultgren ’92, baseball; Craig Miller ’91, cross country; Mindy Mayerchak Oosten ’88, softball, soccer; Mike Schumacher ’91, football; Ann Sommerness Simms ’92, swimming; and Ryan Skanse ’92, tennis.

Esbj!  The Heart and Mind of a Professor  Rev. Robert Esbjornson ’41 has collaborated with Dennis Johnson ’60 in writing a book.  It’s part biography, part memoir and includes a sample of Esbj's writings.  Former students of Esbj will find this a rare opportunity to revisit all the excitement of encounters and conversations with this beloved professor.  Johnson and Esbjornson will be on campus during homecoming for a book signing from 10:30-12:00 in the Campus Center.  After that day, the book will be available in the Book Mark.  Proceeds will benefit the Esbjornson Fund within the Chapel Endowment.

Dr. Mary Morton, Gustavus’ new provost and vice president for academic affairs, assumed her position on Monday, July 2.  In this role as chief academic officer, she oversees academic programs and strategic planning at Gustavus.

Gusties Gather! – September 30

Gusties around the world are called to gather on Sunday, September 30.  The Alumni Board is designating this day as a way for Gusties to stay connected with each other.  In research among alumni, we know that Gusties already stay in contact with many alumni, and we know that Gusties have a strong interest in staying connected with other Gusties and with the College.  If there is a gathering in your area, we hope you will consider attending.

Upcoming Alumni Events

  • Gusties Gather! – September 30
  • Nobel Conference – Heating Up:  The Energy Debate - October 2 & 3
  • Homecoming/Family Weekend – October 12-14
  • A Royal Affair – Razzle Dazzle, October 27
  • Athletics Hall of Fame Banquet – November 3
  • Christmas in Christ Chapel – November 30-December 2