Class of ’57

April 2012

55-Year Reunion ― May 26, 2012

Dear Classmates,

Well, spring has sprung so they say.  It hardly seems like we had any winter.  The grass is green and the trees are budding−and the rabbits are already eating my hostas!!!  Oh well!  Such is life here in Minnesota!

This letter is to be written collectively by our “class officers” so here goes.

Class President is telling you that as of March−50 members of a total 171 class members have given $23,715.55.  Last year we had 96 contributors and they gave $35,211.20.  We have a bit of catching up to do.  But when we all send our $$ in to our class scholarship endowment, I know our giving will increase!  Go for it!

Feel free to send any news to the Class Communications person.  It is up to that person to put news into the Quarterly−you may have noticed that there was no news from the class of 1957 in the last one.

Another thing you can do to generate Gustie Spirit for yourself and make it known to others is to wear “black and gold” on Fridays.  That sounds like fun.

Next−the Vice President in charge of Reunion events.  I hope you are all planning to come to campus for our reunion on Saturday, May 26 for our 55th reunion!  The College has sent out the reunion registration forms (you should have yours by now) and complete details are in there.  Our committee of Marian Hennix Gabel, Judy Lund Erdman, Bob Wahman and I have had several “conference calls” with Kathy Erlandsen at Gustavus and I think we are on our way to having a great reunion.  Lots of time to just reminisce with each other.  (Five people have sent in some memories for our little booklet−we would love to have a few more−just a paragraph or two about something you remember from life and times at good old GAC.)

On to the Annual Fund Chair−that would be me too.  You know how good I am at that!  I guess I told you in the Class President’s paragraph about our giving this year.  All I will add is that the class of 1955 has given $195,327.13 this year.  They have 44 donors out of 124 members.  Don’t forget that the Annual Fund closes on May 31 of this year.

Now the Communications Chair.  I will just continue to ask you to send me news so that I can communicate!  Ha!  If you have a new email, please send it to me at:

As for Student Recruitment−I am happy to announce that I will have a grandson in the freshman class at Gustavus in the fall!  Hooray!

Now, all of the “class officers” have reported in.  If any of you would consider serving in any of those categories, I would welcome the help.  You know that I will not beg nor do any arm twisting.

Arne Walker sent an email saying he had been hiking in Yosemite with his grandsons and also had the privilege of following in the footprints of St. Paul with a Seminary classmate and a group of Chinese-American Christians.  He says he is retired, but he still serves part-time at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Newport, TN.

Ardell Waxlax Markitans has been busy doing genealogy.  They have been working on it for three years and ended up with 283 pages and pictures too.  Sounds wonderful!  She said they went back to 1882.  Also that Wax Lake up by Two Harbors was named after her great-grandfather Johannes Waxlax who settled there.

Emily Backlund Cole has moved to Decorah, Iowa this spring.  What a fun place to live.  Her oldest daughter and family lives there.

I have not been in touch with Ellen Anderson Jacobsen for a couple of months, but I know she and Jake need your prayers.  Jake has been having some very bad heart issues and has been in a rehab-type care center.  I pray that he is home by now.

I was so proud of our classmates−I rode with Nancy and John “Buddy Pete” Peterson to Hutchinson and Paul Eddy’s funeral.  I may miss some of you−but Vada (Peterson) and Denny Carlson, Denny Kumlin, Roger Krantz, and Jerry Carlson were all there.

Speaking of Buddy−he is making some beautiful lawn furniture to keep busy.  I have a flyer of Adirondack chairs and Adirondack loveseats made of wood.  They look beautiful.  You can contact him at if you want to hear more.

This week I went to a funeral at Mt. Olivet and sat with Cubby DeCorsey and his wife, Gerry for lunch.

Ruthie Lundgren Hutchins called me the other day.  She is still living in Scottsdale.  It was great to hear from her.

Mary Jayne Arvidson Thrasher writes that she has been singing in the church choir for 40+ years and still counting.  She has sung with the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir for 28 years.  She has retired, but is now a substitute teacher at Cathedral High School−a private Catholic prep school.

Rod and Char (Bukkila ʼ58) Westrum live in Park Rapids, but spend some of the winter months in The Villages in Florida.

Peace Johns Finlayson has a double reason to be at our reunion.  Her granddaughter, Kyia Knutson will be graduating with the Gustavus Class of 2012.

Richard “Dick” Hinquist owns a women’s better sportswear store in the Galleria in Edina.  It is called H.O.B.O.

Evdoxia Orfanidou Wincel has lived in Indiana since graduating in 1957.  She loves to travel and meet people.  She still calls Minnesota home because of Gustavus.

I am wracking my brain trying to think of who else I may have seen or heard from, but I’m not coming up with anyone.

I really hope to see you at our reunion.  We keep losing people so the rest of us really need to keep in touch.  And don’t forget Gustavus and the Annual Fund.  The college thanks you and so do I.

I just got my reunion info in today’s mail.  There is a spot there to designate $$ for our class scholarship.  I am asking the Alumni Office to insert here the note written by this year’s recipient of our scholarship.  It is appreciated.

Hello class of 1957,

    I’m writing to you today so you know how much your generous scholarship was appreciated!  My name is Brittany Corson and I was lucky enough to be chosen as the recipient.  I'm currently a junior nursing major at Gustavus and I absolutely love it!  I hope to someday work in oncology before going back to school to become a nurse practitioner.  Your donation will help me be less likely to live in a cardboard box after graduation, and hopefully afford a nice rundown apartment!  Ha!  I know you’ve all been where I am now and I hope your years at Gustavus were as memorable as mine have been so far!

    Having late nights in the library hyped up on way too much coffee, packing 10 people into a small dorm and onto an even smaller futon just to watch a movie, and expressing my Gustie pride at sporting events will be memories I will always cherish.  I just want to reiterate my heartfelt gratitude for your gracious support in my efforts at Gustavus, I am truly thankful for each and every one of you.  I hope your years at Gustavus are never forgotten and you never lose your Gustie pride.

Thank you,

Brittany Corson ʼ13

Your humble “Communications Chair,”

Marlys Mattson Nelson

5644 Heather Ridge Court

Shoreview, MN  55126



Campus News

2012 Alumni Association Awards Announced

The Gustavus Alumni Board of Directors has announced its 2012 award recipients:

Greater Gustavus Award – awarded to those “who by deed, have notably advanced and aided Gustavus Adolphus College”:

Jon and Anita Thomsen Young ’77 ’77, Eden Prairie, MN, for their volunteer leadership, service and philanthropy to the College.

Distinguished Alumni Citations – recognizing outstanding and exceptional professional achievement that brings unusual honor to the individual in his or her field of endeavor:

Scott Dee ’81, Farwell, MN, professor of veterinary population medicine, University of Minnesota, swine consultant, and international research veterinarian and director at Pipestone Veterinary Clinic;

Mark Elfstrom ’01, Anchorage, AK, middle school math and science teacher, recipient of a 2011 Milken Educator Award and finalist for the 2012 Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching;

Kurt Elling ’89, New York, NY, Grammy Award-winning vocal jazz artist.

First Decade Awards – recognizing early professional achievement in the 10th anniversary class:

Amy Brown ’02, Pittsburgh, PA, neonatology fellow at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center;

Michael Bland ’02, St. Louis, MO, postdoctoral associate, earth and planetary sciences, Washington University.

The Alumni Association will present Faculty and Administrator Service and Retirement Awards at a dinner at Gustavus on May 16; honorees will be featured in the fall issue of The Gustavus Quarterly.

National Sesquicentennial Celebrations

Throughout the coming year, Gusties are gathering across the country to reflect on Gustavus’s past, celebrate 150 academic years, and engage for the future.  In conjunction with the celebrations on campus, the College invites all alumni, parents, and friends for a celebration in an area near them.  The president has gone to 14 different locations from New York to LA.  There are still a few left.  You can view them all and register for an event at

Chicago – Thursday, April 26, 2012 – Gleacher Center with Allison Rosati ʼ85

Madison – Tuesday, April 24, 2012 – Harvest Restaurant

Gustie Breakfasts

Join your fellow Gusties for breakfast and to learn something new about your alma mater at the monthly Gustie Breakfasts.  Speakers for April and May will feature former Gustavus presidents, Jim Peterson ʼ64 and Dennis Johnson ʼ60 (respectively).  The St. Peter Breakfasts are held in the banquet rooms on campus at 7:30 a.m. on the second Wednesday of the month and the Twin Cities Breakfasts are held at the Doubletree Hotel in Minneapolis at 8 a.m. on the third Wednesday of the month.  RSVP by calling 800-487-8437 or e-mail  Hope to see you bright and early!

Celebration of Minnesota Poetry

On April 17 from 7:30-9:30 p.m., Gustavus will host “A Celebration of Minnesota Poetry in Honor of Poet Laureate Joyce Sutphen.”  The renowned poet, and Professor of English at Gustavus, will read from her work, and she’ll be joined by six local Minnesota poets:  Candace Black, Rebecca Fremo, Matt Rasmussen, John Rezmerski, Richard Robbins, and Richard Terrill.    The evening promises to be a memorable one, as the Gustavus community gathers to celebrate not only Sutphen’s remarkable achievements but also the rich range of poetry being produced right here in Southern Minnesota.  The event takes place in Alumni Hall and is free and open to the public.  The evening is made possible thanks to the generous support of the English Department, the Office of the President, Curriculum II, and the Writing Program.

McPherson Lecture

Gustavus alumnus, Civil War historian, and Pulitzer Prize-winning author James McPherson ’58 will return to his alma mater April 15-17 as a Sesquicentennial Scholar.  On Tuesday, April 17, McPherson will speak at Interlachen Country Club in Edina at an event that is also open to the public. McPherson’s lecture will be titled “Why the Civil War Still Matters” and will address the ways in which the war’s impact on America is still being felt today.  Those interested in attending this event, which will include a reception at 4:30 p.m., McPherson’s lecture at 5 p.m., and a book signing at 6 p.m., should RSVP by going online to, or by contacting the Gustavus Office of Alumni Relations at 507-933-7511.

Lindau Symposium – Charles Krauthammer

Gustavus will host the 2012 Lindau Symposium featuring Dr. Charles Krauthammer as the keynote speaker on Thursday, April 12, 2012 at 7 p.m. in Alumni Hall. Dr. Krauthammer’s address is titled: “Politics in Washington.”  Dr. Krauthammer is an American Pulitzer Prize winning columnist, political commentator, and physician.  The Financial Times describes Krauthammer as the most influential commentator in America.  Charles Krauthammer has been honored from every part of the political spectrum for his bold and original writing from the famously liberal People for the American Way (which presented him their First Amendment ward) to the staunchly conservative Bradley Foundation (which awarded him their first $250,000 Bradley Prize).

Books in Bloom

Gustavus Library Associates (GLA) is preparing to host the second annual Books in Bloom event May 4-6 at the Folke Bernadotte Memorial Library on the campus of Gustavus Adolphus College.  Books in Bloom is a unique event that will highlight books, media, and other resource material within the library though floral arrangements and artistic expression.  More than 20 exhibits will be on display – each of them sponsored by an individual or family and created by professional florists and flower enthusiasts – that represent and illustrate a book or other holding within the library.