Class of 1957

April 2011

Dear Classmates,

Well, spring has FINALLY come to Minnesota.  Of course so has the high water over the roads and all that stuff making much of Minnesota and North Dakota a big huge lake!  My grass is turning green and the buds are peeking out of the branches.  I think life will go on!

I have spent several hours at the Apple Store since I last wrote.  I am getting better−but it is hard to teach an old dog new tricks as the saying goes.  It is kind of like my home away from home!  Ha!

Also, after reading my last letter, my conscience has bothered me!  I neglected to mention Roy Anderson when I was listing people at Bill Johnson’s funeral--he was there and I even talked to him!!  Sorry Roy--please forgive!

Last week I went to the Gustavus Library Associates’ sponsored Author Day at Edina Country Club.  A very nice event with a room full of Gusties and friends.  We had two authors that day− Lise and Heidi Erdrich.  They are sisters.  One of them writes poetry and the other prose.  Both were very interesting.

The next big thing with Gustavus and me is also GLA sponsored.  We are doing a “Books in Bloom.”  It is kind of modeled after Art in Bloom with floral arrangements depicting more than 20 different books, films, and periodicals will be placed throughout the library.  Each arrangement is sponsored by a $500 donation with all proceeds going to fund new acquisitions for the library.  Professional floral designers as well as those who simply love plants and flowers will create the arrangements.  This is the first time we have done it.  I am involved in a group doing the video “Out of Africa.”  We are excited about our exhibit and are anxious to see all the others too.  It will be held in the Library at Gustavus over honors weekend− May 6-7-8.  The exhibit is free and open to the public.  If you are anywhere near St. Peter on any of those days, be sure and stop by.  Then give us your feedback.

I am sorry to say that class news is not very abundant!  Gustavus sent me two pieces and I have picked up a couple more−please−if you want to get these letters−please send me something to write about!

One thing I must ask you to think hard about−Gustavus is revamping the class agents program.  They now have officers, rather than agents for each class.  We are in need of a president and a fund raiser.  I said I would continue in the roll of class communicator−I do like doing that−but, I am not Clem−I can’t ask anyone for money.  I also can’t organize anything.  I am happy to do what I can when asked.  Now I am pleading for you to come forward and volunteer.  Thank you in advance.  (We have another five-year milestone coming up soon.)

Lois Knapp is having a wonderful time visiting many places around the world.  She spent part of January on the island south of New Zealand where she had an incredible time.  She, her children, and grandchildren went on cruises to St. Johns in the Virgin Islands and Alaska too.  She reports that her son is Phil Pfister--the “Strongest Man in the World” winner of 2006.  And he DOESN’T use steroids!!!  Congratulations!

An “Officials Distinguished Service Award” was presented to Chuck “Cubby” DeCorsey of Bloomington at the State High School Coaches Association banquet in October.  Congratulations to you too.

Nancy Reiter Grimes was recently selected to join the Minnesota High School League Hall of Fame.  Nancy was the AVHS assistant principal for art and sciences starting in 1982.  Her responsibility was to design, develop, and implement an arts and activities program that was comparable to the athletic and academic departments at Apple Valley.  She did all that and more.  Nancy has resigned as my co-class agent and I will miss her very much.  She is VERY organized−I am not!  (Also, no reason to meet her for lunch to discuss our letters anymore!  Boo hoo!)

I know there were 15 “Chapter Events” held by Gustavus in various parts of the country during the year.  At these events, staff from the college come and tell you what is going on on campus and keep you in the loop.  If you lived in a city that hosted one, I hope you were able to take part in one of them, coming up this summer are the Gustie picnics, check the list below for one near you.

Marian Hennix Gabel hosted a gathering of Gustavus friends at her home in The Villages, Florida in January.  The Gustavus representative brought them all gifts from the college and updated them on campus news.  The tornado video was shown.  (I have that video and it makes one almost sick!)  Several were there, but from our era it was Char (Bukkila ’58) and Rod Westrum.  Marian said a good time was had by all.

Well, that is it.  Please send news!   And please don’t forget your donation to Gustavus.  The end of the fiscal year is upon us!

Your class agent,

Marlys Mattson Nelson


Campus News

Alumni Association Awards Announced

The Greater Gustavus Award is the highest award given to those, who by deed, have notably advanced and aided Gustavus Adolphus College.  Walter Youngquist ’42, Eugene, OR, chair emeritus, Department of Geology, University of Oregon, and consulting geologist, was selected as the 2011 recipient of the Greater Gustavus Award.  Youngquist has established five different endowed funds at the College and is the recipient of a Gustavus Distinguished Alumni Citation in the field of geology in 2002.  Walter’s father, Walter Youngquist ’16, received the Greater Gustavus Award in 1953.

Distinguished Alumni Citations recognize outstanding and exceptional professional achievement, such as unusual honor accorded to the individual in his or her field of endeavor.  Named as 2011 recipients are John “Jack” Bergman ’69, St. Francisville, LA, lieutenant general, retired, United States Marine Corp., in the field of military service; Robert Brown ’83, Rochester, MN, John T. and Lillian Matthews Professor of Neuroscience, Chair of Department of Neurology, Mayo Clinic, in the field of medicine; and Mark Thomsen ’78, Henderson, NV, professional operatic tenor, in the field of music.

The First Decade Award recognizes early professional achievement to one female and one male in the 10th Anniversary Class.  Selected were Kirsten Cullen Sharma ’01, New York, NY, clinical assistant professor, New York University Child Study Center, New York University Langone Medical Center, and Jonathan Poole ’01, Washington, DC, special agent, violent crime branch, Diplomatic Security Service, U.S. Department of State.  The Awards will be presented at the Alumni Banquet on Saturday, May 28.

Sesquicentennial Award

In 2011–2012, Gustavus will celebrate its 150th academic year.  The Board of Trustees has established an award in honor of this Sesquicentennial anniversary to recognize individuals who have made a significant difference in the life of the College.  The award, called “The Sesquicentennial Award,” will acknowledge and pay tribute to living alumni, parents, friends, and retired faculty and staff who:

  • Through actions in their personal or professional lives, have advanced the status of Gustavus as a premier liberal arts college;
  • Have set a new precedent in the ways they supported and advanced the mission of the College as an institution dedicated to preparing students “for fulfilling lives of leadership and service in society”; and/or
  • Have brought particular dignity or honor to the College.

Please submit nominations online at .  For more information about the Sesquicentennial Awards, visit .

“Come on You Gusties” Breakfasts

Engage with other alumni and learn something new about your alma mater at the monthly Gustie breakfasts.  The speaker at both the St. Peter and Minneapolis breakfasts for April will be Warren Wunderlich, director of the physical plant.  The Minneapolis breakfast is Wednesday, April 20, 8–9:30 a.m., at the Doubletree Hotel Minneapolis-Park Place, 1500 Park Place Blvd. Cost is $10 at the door.  Reserve your spot by e-mailing the Office of Alumni Relations at or by calling 800-487-8437.

Chapter Gatherings

This year President and Kris Ohle have traveled to many parts of the country and made 15 stops in various cities, in order to reach out to all of our alumni and bring them an update from the College.  There is still one more on the calendar, so if you live in the Chicago area, please mark your calendar for – Friday, April 29.

Summer will bring another round of picnic gatherings – so please mark your calendar if you live near one of these locations:

Mankato, MN – May 31

Rochester, MN – June 1

Sioux Falls, SD – June 6

Fargo, ND/Moorhead, MN – June 7

St. Cloud, MN – June 8

Apple Valley, MN – July 12

Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN – July 13

Long Lake, MN – July 14

Duluth, MN – July 26

Grand Rapids, MN – July 27

Brainerd, MN - July 28