Class of '57
September 2008

Dear Classmates,

I don’t know how to say this in a positive way, so I will just say it.  This is very hard, but Clem had a stroke on June 22 and another big one on June 25.  He died in St. Joseph’s Hospital in St. Paul on July 9.  My life is forever changed.  He was never able to communicate with me after June 24.  We had a wonderful celebration of his life at our church on July 15.  The minister even brought up the pigeons in Chapel!  He started his homily with “Oh Clem” and I can’t tell you how many times I have said that in the weeks since then.  Gary, the minister, said that he did not know that Clem had not graduated from Gustavus, but only went there two years.  I guess that tells you that he loved GAC and followed thru on that by his actions.  Okay, I will stop about my problems now except to say that I really miss him.  It has been Clem and Marlys since October 29, 1953—our very first ALL SCHOOL DANCE!  I was not ready to let go.

Nancy Reiter Grimes and I spent a wonderful day at Gustavus on Saturday, September 13.  It was a rainy day, so it was not at all hard to be inside.  The meeting of class agents and reunion committees and alumni board was held up in Alumni Hall.  Randall Stuckey ’83 introduced our new president, Jack Ohle.  He was great!  He said the thing that was different for him was that he did not get his bachelors degree from Gustavus, but he is now, like us, a Gustie!  He does, however, have a son that attended Gustavus.

When that part of our day was over, the non-reunion people went to another room and Steve Kjellgren’86, head of the Gustavus Dining Service, told us about how things are done now and how it has all evolved.  They have three levels of food service plans now and you only pay for what you eat.  Nancy said that was interesting and that they had come full circle as that is what we did in our day too—only with meal ticket books!  Ha!

Phyllis Holmberg Olsson organized two wonderful luncheons for us “girls” this summer.  The first one was in early August while Pat Truhn Schumacher was here from California and the second was in September when Lois Larson Mauston was here from Florida.  Now, I will try to remember who was there:  Pat Truhn Schumacher, Vada Peterson Carlson, Nancy Reiter Grimes, Sandy Clark Vollan, Nancy Irgens Derauf, Sharon Johnson Eddy, Marian Hennix Gabel, Barb Carlson Glenzinski, Connie Wold Rome, Marilyn Johnson Bertelsen, Marcia Halgren Dale, Judy Lund Erdman, Beth Carlson Helgoe, Joyce Kirkvold Knoll, Jo Spooner Lundblad, Lois Larson Mauston, Phyllis and I.  Some of us were at both luncheons.  We hope to get together as often as we have an excuse to do so.  Both times we met at a restaurant in Maple Grove.  It was fun.  Some of the out-of-town girls were able to be there because they had 55-year high school reunions.

I’m sure many of you saw the picture of some of us in the Quarterly—all in costume at a “Viking Dinner.”  We “bought” it at last fall’s GLA sponsored Royal Affair.  We had food that might have been served at any Viking Dinner in about 750 AD.  Our “plates” were wooden boards and we brought our own sharp utensil to cut the meat with and a drinking vessel.  We were met on campus and driven out to the “hall.”  We were greeted by a sign that told us to leave weapons at the door and horses too.  We had to find our names which were written on stones in the “runic” alphabet.  Of course, Clem waited for the rest of us to find ours!  Then he knew where to sit.  The whole evening was so much fun.  We did a lot of laughing and a lot of eating.

The dinner was the day before Mother’s Day, so we all had to get back to our homes.  Clem and I had to be back because our new granddaughter, Rory Wahlstrand, was baptized.  She is now six-months-old.  She is the daughter of our daughter, Carol Nelson Wahlstrand ’90, and her husband, Carl.  Of course, she is beautiful.

Clem has always proof-read my letters to you.  This one is all on my own.  I have to tell you that I have really felt the support and prayers of my Gustavus “family.”  An interesting side light is that the protestant Chaplin at St. Joe’s is Brian Gutzman—Gordy Gutzman’s son.  He was a big help thru this ordeal.

Please send us some news.  We did not get any news from you for a spring letter and none for this one either.  I hope I don’t have bad news like this to write about any more.

Your classmate,

Marlys Mattson Nelson

1957 Co-class Agent

5644 Heather Ridge Ct.

Shoreview, MN.   55126


Dear Classmates—

Marlys has all of the news that I know of, with the exception of one luncheon I attended in August.  Carol Rylander Farrell was here from Colorado, and she, Phyllis Fox Paulson, Marlys Chelgren Hebaus (nursing 1958), and Barbara Holslin Haag (nursing 1958) and I met at the Lowell Inn in Stillwater.  Carol comes to Minnesota annually and it is always great to see her and to have a chance to get together with some other Gusties.  This year she was here to attend her 55-year high school class reunion at Johnson High School in St. Paul.

Marlys talked about the Volunteer Leadership Day that she and I attended.  It was our first introduction to the new Gustavus president, Jack Ohle.  Of course, some jokes were made about his name.  How could an “Ole” be the lead “Gustie?”  His theme for his inauguration is Celebrate Gustavus with emphasis on Excellence, Community, Justice, Service, and Faith.  He extolled the virtues of having a strong alumni and said that a “strong institution rests on its alumni.”  He is planning on a process that will help alumni take ownership of the institution.  He emphasized that it was important to build this institutional loyalty early by developing relationships with the students during their four years at Gustavus so that this loyalty will extend into their alumni years.  He posed the question, “Why should someone give to Gustavus?”  His answer was “because Gustavus is taking seriously its positioning as a first tier college” in order to make alumni proud and to assist in the recruitment of students.  He feels that Gustavus needs to identify its brand and tell its story better in order to extend its “giving” reach.  Currently alumni make up 60% of the donors and friends and parents make up 40%.  It is the latter group that he hopes to broaden.   He posited that to bring Gustavus into that first-tier, it was important to build the institution, build the endowment, and bring in “good” students.

A second point that he emphasized was that Gustavus was a college of the church and that we need to be proud of that connection.  He also explained his stance on signing the college and university presidents’ initiative on student drinking.  He said the purpose of this initiative was not to lower the drinking age to 18 but rather it was an initiative to open up discussion on campuses around the U.S. regarding risky drinking on and off campus.  He felt that opening up a conversation on campus would help to educate students regarding the wellness of their body and their soul.

It was a very interesting morning, and I have captured only a small part of his talk.  Of course, we also talked money!  The 2007-2008 Gustavus Annual Fund hit an all-time high and brought in $1.98 million.  There were gifts from 30% of the alumni, and 9% gave $1000 or more and 7% gave $5000 or more.  The annual fund is a pool of money with unrestricted use; it is what makes the college run.  Endowment funds are restricted in nature and we are encouraged to give to both types of funds.  Another way to ease the “giving” is to make a three-year pledge.  That eliminates the phone call requests.

The statistics for the Class of 1957 for the 2007-2008 Annual Fund are as follows:

                        Number of donors—97  (143 last year)

                        Class Participation—54.2%

                        Annual Fund (unrestricted)--$19,012  ($42,114.27 last year)

            Total Dollar Credit to Class- (unrestricted and restricted)

            $72,598.56  ($118,843.94 last year)

Notice that our giving went down considerably from our 50th anniversary year.  Let’s try and raise our level again in 2008-2009.

I know that I express the feelings of all Class of 1957 members when I extend our condolences to Marlys and her family on the loss of Clem.  He was truly a stellar classmate who loved Gustavus dearly.

Send those notes on what you are doing to either of us or to Gustavus.  We want to know what is going on, and we’d like to share the news with all of our classmates.

Nancy Reiter Grimes

1958 Co-class Agent

Campus News

Presidential Inauguration

Gustavus Adolphus College will inaugurate Jack R. Ohle as its 16th president at 3:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 3 in Christ Chapel.  The public is invited to celebrate this event along with a reception on Eckman Mall that will follow the ceremony.  On Homecoming, Saturday, Oct. 4 Gustavus will celebrate with an Oktoberfest; buffet-style dinner immediately following the Homecoming football game in the Lund Center Forum.  Cost is $7 per person.  For more information about Inaugural Week events, contact the Office of College Relations at 507-933-7520.

Gusties Gather!  The Reason to Connect with Other Gusties

Gusties Gather! is a day for Gusties across the country to have an opportunity to connect or re-connect with other Gusties in their area.  It is a time to build Gustavus friendships and networks and is in no way a fundraiser.  Most gatherings are on Sept. 28.  Watch for gatherings in your area or check out the Alumni website for a location near you.

Twin Cities Gustie Breakfasts

Join other Minneapolis/St. Paul area Gusties for a morning cup of coffee and breakfast while getting an update on Gustavus.  The group meets the third Wednesday of each month.  Future presenters include Tim Robinson ’65, director of Nobel Conference 2008, in October and in November Tom Young ’88, vice president for institutional advancement.

Doubletree Hotel, Minneapolis-Park Place, 1500 Park Place Boulevard (Hwy. 394 & Hwy. 100)

Third Wednesday of the month - 8-9:30 a.m.

Cost is $10 per person.  Reserve a spot by calling Don Swanson ’55 at:  763-533-9083.

Nobel Conference ― Who Were the First Humans?

Nobel Conference XLIV is scheduled for Oct. 7 and 8, 2008 and is focusing on the first humans.  Presenters will consider the full range of recent evidence about the first modern humans going beyond archaeologists and paleoanthropologists to the work of biologists, climatologists, geneticists, mathematicians, and psychologists who have been adding to the scientific database.

Upcoming Alumni Events

  • Gusties Gather! - Sept. 28
  • Presidential Inauguration/Homecoming/Family Weekend - Oct. 3-4
  • Nobel Conference - Oct. 7-8
  • Gustie Breakfast with Tim Robinson ’65, Director of Nobel Conference – Oct. 15