Class of 1957

October 2011

55-Year Reunion ― May 25-26, 2012

Dear Classmates,

We have been having some very nice weather up here in the North Country.  Today is Homecoming at Gustavus−and a beautiful day.  Go Gusties!  As you see−I am not there−I am at home writing my letter.  I was at Gustavus ALL day yesterday.  Marian Hennix Gabel went with me.

I must tell you about our day.  We began with a nice lunch in one of the dining rooms.  Then proceeded to Alumni Hall to hear about our “new class structure” and then, since I am the “communications” person, we went to that particular meeting.  That meant that we were not represented in the “reunion planning” and we have a reunion the weekend of May 25-27.  It will be our 55th celebration of our graduation.  Please put it on your calendar and try to get there.  Right now I can’t tell you anything about the plans except to say that it WILL happen−probably on that Saturday.  Much more info to follow.  If any of you would like to help me plan this event−I would welcome your participation with open arms!!!  I will call Gustavus this week because they promised to give me some guidelines.  ( (ph.# 651-483-5818)  Two ways to get in touch with me.

Now, back to the day.  There were SO many friends there−some for only the meetings− some for the kickoff dinner for Gustavus 150−hard to realize that the college has been in existence for 150 years.  Even harder to believe that we have been a part of it for about 59 years−from our freshman year!  By the way, the current freshman class is the largest in the history of the college.  Again−Go Gusties!

But I digress−I saw Bob ʼ56 and Judy Lund Erdman, Paul ʼ54 and Sandy Clark Vollan, we sat with Dick and Connie Wold Rome for dinner.  The dinner was really something!  The floor of Lund Arena was carpeted and filled with round tables of 10 people.  There were at least 750 people there.  There will be pictures on the Gustavus web site for those of you who are on-line.  I can’t describe it and do it justice.  The food was very good from the salad to the pumpkin dessert.  We “toasted” the college with Kristan Regale.  It was very festive.  (I got home at midnight−well past my bed time!  Ha!)

I was at Gustavus earlier in September for a Gustavus Library Associates Membership Tea at the President’s home and then a board meeting.  Of course, I went to the book store.   There is a new book that I just have to tell you about.  It is a large paper-back called GUSTAVUS−150 Years of Images and Stories.   I bought it and could not put it down till I had read the whole thing.  It is full of wonderful pictures from all eras of Gustavus.  Even ours.  Judy and Erdy are featured on a Legacy page starting with her Grandfather, parents, children, and grandchild now enrolled.  We have several families like that in our class.  It is really fun to see.  At that same time I bought a calendar−16 month so it is already in use− that also has wonderful pictures of Gustavus−past and present.  If you get to the book store, be sure to look for them.  You can also order them online from the Book Mark  (

This summer I had the chance to meet Marilyn Rhyne Herr, Judy Lund Erdman and Vada Peterson Carlson, for lunch at the Mall of America.  We had a wonderful time.  (I know some of the rest of you do that very same thing−I wish you would let me know so I could have some news for the letter!)  This week I have talked to Patsy Truhn Schumacher and Phyllis Holmberg Olsson.  I won’t tell you how long each conversation lasted!  I will just say it was fun.

I did get a couple of pieces of news from Gustavus:  Carol Swanson Minor has retired…Doug Johnson has retired…Dale Propp has retired.  Janet Renquist Wiewel is working for the Colorado Environmental Legislative Campaign and for Colorado State University in Colorado Springs as sorority director.

Wally Johnson has written a new Old Testament Study Book−”Following the Good Shepherds.”  It is available thru Tate Publishing, Amazon Books, Barnes and Nobel, and his own email at  I am anxious to find it.

Lee ʼ56 and Ruth Swanberg Sanders sent a wonderful note (in April−I just got it) telling about their winters in Florida.  There are several other Minnesota folks there too.  They go to a Minnesota Day at the Twins ball park−tailgating and all.  Carol Lundberg Owen spent a couple of months in Ft. Myers this year and Jayne Arvidson Thrasher and her husband visited with them too.  (Thanks Ruth!)

This summer I read the book that Gustavus freshmen all read (and the one before it).  They were “Neither Wolf nor Dog” and “Wolf at Twilight” both by Kent Nerburn.  They had the author at Gustavus for freshmen week to discuss the book with the kids.  I got to hear him at Diamond Lake Church.  It was a very interesting evening.

Judy sent me a bit of sad news.  Emily Backlund Cole’s husband, Austin, died this summer.  They live in Muscatine, Iowa.  EmyLou−I sure know how hard it is and what you are going through.  We all need to keep our friends and classmates in our prayers.  These things happen all too often.

Well, my friends−that is all the news I have.  I did go to Clem’s cousin, Jon Nelson’s ʼ55 memorial service this summer.  I was with my two brothers- in- law.  There were so many Gusties there−some having a part in the service.  The interesting thing to me was that I knew many more people there than Clem’s brothers and they were the relatives.  That is what happens when you go where Gusties are!  Go Gusties!

I am confused about my class officer responsibilities, but I will keep on writing if you will keep on sending me something to write about.  I will also try to get a couple of extra letters out to inform you about the up-coming reunion−can you believe it−55 years!

Your Classmate,

Marlys Mattson Nelson

1957 Class President/Communications Chair

Campus News

Campaign Gustavus Announcement

At the Sesquicentennial and Campaign Kickoff Dinner held on campus on Friday Sept. 30, Board of Trustees Chair Mark Bernhardson announced the official kickoff a comprehensive fundraising campaign, Campaign Gustavus.  The financial goal of the campaign is to raise $150 million by the end of 2015 to fund the strategic initiatives of Commission Gustavus 150.  The focus of Campaign Gustavus is to ensure the College has the resources to continue providing opportunities for teaching and learning in a caring community.  To find out more about Campaign Gustavus and how you can be involved, visit:

2011 Athletics Hall of Fame

Gustavus will induct new members into its Athletics Hall of Fame at a banquet at 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 15, in Alumni Hall.  Inductees for 2011 are Owen Sammelson ’58, benefactor; Amanda Murdock Diehl ’92, gymnastics; Jay Klagge ’92, basketball; Bryan Ripken ’94, swimming; Todd Anderson ’95, soccer; Tracy Erickson McMorrow ’95, tennis; Scott Moe ’95, golf; Laura LeVander Peters ’96, softball; and Colleen Barland Sherman ’96, soccer.

The Hall of Fame Moment is the 1991 Women’s Gymnastics National Championship, won with the final routine of the meet.  Team members are invited to return to revisit this memorable sports moment.  Banquet tickets are $15 per person. Reservations are requested by October 7. Register online or contact the Alumni Office at 800-487-8437 or

GLA Author Day

Anyone who loves reading, writing, dogs, newspapers, the Northwoods, and travel will enjoy hearing journalist Laurie Hertzel at the Fall Author Day event on Tuesday, October 18, at Edina Country Club.  The cost is $25 for brunch and Hertzel’s presentation.  Make your reservations online at or call the Office of Marketing and Communication at 507-933-7550 by Wednesday, October 12.

Christmas in Christ Chapel

As the College’s Sesquicentennial Christmas in Christ Chapel, Julljus:  Light from the Old World, Light to the New brings us to the celebration of Christ’s light—to Sweden in the Middle Ages; to Minnesota in the 19th century; and to our fractured and darkened world today.  At the center of the 39th annual community celebration is Julotta, the traditional Christmas matins service brought by Swedish immigrants to the New World.  Tickets for Christmas in Christ Chapel 2011 go on sale online on October 17 at noon at  If you do not have access to the Internet, please call 507-933-7520 after noon on October 17 to place your credit card order.

Gustie Breakfasts

Join your fellow Gusties for breakfast and to learn something new about your alma mater at the monthly Gustie Breakfasts.  October speaker will be President Jack Ohle and for November – Rob Gardner, interim artistic coordinator for Christmas in Christ Chapel.  The St. Peter Breakfast will be held in the banquet rooms on campus at 7:30 a.m. on Nov. 9, and the Twin Cities Breakfast will be held at the Doubletree Hotel in Minneapolis at 8 a.m. on Oct. 19.  RSVP by calling 800-487-8437 or e-mail  Hope to see you bright and early!