Class of '58
February 1999

Dear '58ers,

Greetings from balmy St Peter! Forty degrees this afternoon―I never write a class letter when the temperature is below zero. I can see Mankato from my office window on a clear day, but I miss Johnson Hall. Wahlstrom and Rundstrom are striking against the blue skies and the wooded valley to the south. The new campus center is moving steadily skyward north of the current dining center. Walking in that area, I try to remember the location of the Ranchereno (where did it get that name?). All of the cedar trees that surrounded it were destroyed by the tornado and they used to serve as a mark for the building that housed KGAC and the Weekly.

The new campus center will include space for smaller dining rooms. Perhaps we will again have a Wheel Room!

Thanks to the many who have already contributed to The Gustavus Fund. Among the many who had contributed by mid-January were:

Noel Behne, Bill Binger, Jan (Neidt) and Anders Bjorling, Ellen (Maus) Boler, Paul Borg, Alan Carlson, Robert Christenson, Martha (Banke) Curtis, Mike Dale, Don Elvestrom, Dennis Erickson, Janet (Olson) Green, Steve Hilding, Rollie Hirman, Karen (Holman) Hubbard, Andrea (Grant) Janousek, Ron Johanson, Elwood Johnson, John Johnson, Wanda (Heuer) and Lloyd Johnson, Marlys (Johnson) Johnson, Don Koch, Emily (Hildebrandt) Kulenkamp, Stan Larson, Elizabeth (Nelson) Lempp, Phil Lindau, Darrell Lorsung and Herb Lundeen.

Gifts have been received from 78 class members, but we are a long way from our goal of 140 donors. The average gift to the unrestricted fund thus far is $135.41 and we need to average $142 to meet the goal of $20,000 from our class. A challenge!

Don Loomer sent a nice letter on the joys of non-retirement. "I am still active in pastoral ministry only my ministry base has been greatly expanded. In 1993 I had the privilege of spending three weeks in central Siberia doing follow-up work with some new believers there and this past spring I spent two weeks in the Ukraine working with a new organization. In my own ministry, God is opening doors for me to work with younger Christian leaders. The future has never been more filled with anticipation and excitement for me."

Another non-retiree: Bob Robinson has taught for 41 years and still loves it. He also coaches track and his teams have won five state championships in Arizona. Congratulations! Robbie and others will be pleased to know that Gustavus has included an outdoor track on the top priority list with construction to begin as soon as the funds are raised. The new track will encircle the varsity soccer field rather than the football field. A much-needed addition.

Robert Christenson continues work with the company he started in 1995, Infinitive Health. Infinitive Health Healing Centers recently purchased a medical clinic from Health East that blends alternative therapies with conventional medicine.

Another group to thank for their gift to the Gustavus Fund. Ruth Peikert Maddox, Don Milton, Ruth (Raarup) Mitchell, Aaron Moen, Dr. LeRoy Mueller, Dale Noyed, Jeanine Lundahl Olson, Marlene (Gastler) Petersen, Bob Peterson, Larry Ray, Bob Robinson, Pat Trench Rosenberg, Carolyn Lund Sandvig, Marilyn Carlson Sherman, Richard Sodergren, Donna (Elvestrom) and Ade Sponberg, Marlene (Isensee) Thomas, Charles Thompson, and Dave Wagner. Thanks very much!

And notes from the retirees: Don Koch retired in Colorado Springs, golfing, skiing and wood working. Barry Coulter has retired from the St Peter Regional Treatment Center. Aaron Moen has retired after 31.5 years as professor of wildlife ecology at Cornell. They have purchased a lake home in upstate New York and Aaron will continue to do some writing. Bill Binger has retired from Hennepin County.

Marlys (Johnson) Johnson retired as vice president with Citizens Scholarship Foundation of America, but continues as a consultant for the Search Institute. Stuart ’61 continues to work for Citizens Scholarship as they rapidly expand their operation in St.Peter.

Char Jonson Berndt continues to work at the Community Bank of Wheaton-Glen Ellyn in Wheaton, IL. Gloria Anderson Twete works at Becky's Pendleton Clothing in Coeur D' Alene, ID. Paul Borg will be spending a 10-week sabbatical leave at Weber State in Ogden, UT beginning January 1. The Borgs have two grandchildren. Marjorie (McKay) Miller volunteers at Brazasport Memorial Hospital in Lake Jackson, TX. Linda (Eckblad) and Darwin ’60 Knochenmus travel around the world every year with an organization called Friendship Force. They spent a week in October in Izmir, Turkey with a family and another week touring the country.

I looked at the 1955 Annual this morning and was surprised at the number of freshmen who began with us who did not graduate from Gustavus. My rough tally showed 55% of our entering class graduating, a handful with the class of '59. Today at Gustavus 76% graduate in four years and another 3-5% in five years. Of course, it is now possible to complete a nursing major here and most engineers now graduate from Gustavus in a 3-2 program. Do you remember Bunny Anderson, Jim Beltz, Vira Erickson, Stan Hendrickson, Dave Nordlie, Earl Olson, Myrna Olson, Doug Perkins, John Rood, Greta Strom, and Jim Vanasek, among others.

Another list of donors! Agnes (Voss) Bode, Dick Bratt, Barbara (Anderson) Johnson, Joanne (Nelson) McCarthy, Marjorie (McKay )Miller, Doug Moe, Richard Olson, Nancy (Johnson) Peterson, Lenida (Jepson) Sandahl, Judy (Swanson) Teeters, Gloria (Anderson) Twete, Marlene (Haugen) Widmark, plus our honorary classmates, Beth Choi and Irene Winfield giving in memory of their husbands.

Goals! Goals! and more goals! We pledged $20,000 from 140 donors in our class to the unrestricted operating budget at Gustavus. This does not include gifts to the endowment or the capital (building) funds. We have significant gifts from many classmates, all above the $20,000, for endowment and the capital campaign. At this writing, out total class giving for this year is well over $125,000. Remarkable support from a number of friends!

The $20,000 from 140 donors seems like such a small amount after 40 years. It is a goal we should make. And, here is how!

There are 77 classmates who usually give to the Gustavus Fund or have done so in the last three years. An average gift of $100 would contribute $7,700 to the goal. Another 49 classmates have not given for the last three years. How about an easier average of $50? This provides $2,450 in gifts and the goal is met. We would also break every existing record for participation! You can do it.

Director of Alumni Affairs, Randy Stuckey ’83, will now provide information about Gustavus. In the event he does not mention the women's ice hockey team, I will point out that they defeated RPI, the number #2 team in the country last week. Team captain is Tiffany Holmen, daughter of Doug '61 and niece of Karen (Holmen) Hubbard. Karen comes to the campus regularly as a member of the campus beautification committee.

Some news from campus:

Spring Semester started February 8 after another busy January Term. Once again, many students are took advantage of J-Term opportunities with 127 on internships, 308 on study abroad programs, and 86 students studying at other domestic institutions. Progress is being made on construction of the new Campus Center due to be open in the fall of 1999. After a week and a half of classroom preparation covering the history and culture of South Africa, the Gustavus Choir participated in a concert tour of the country January 14-February 2. The Gustavus Band traveled to South Dakota, Nebraska, Colorado, and Iowa for their concert tour during touring week, January 30-February 6. Athletic teams are in full swing with all teams being competitive in MIAC play. Over Christmas break many teams traveled for non-conference games including men’s basketball winning a tournament in California, men’s hockey playing in Italy, and the swim teams competing in Bermuda.

Gustavus is once again in the news, making some national rankings. Gustavus ranked 12th among the top 22 leading small colleges in the nation providing active Peace Corps volunteers. Gustavus is ranked 15th in the listing of top 20 bachelor’s institutions that sent the most students overseas for international study during the 1996-97 academic year. Gustavus is ranked 18th of national liberal arts colleges in the number of National Merits with 17 students. Mark Anderson ’66, Dean of Admission, reports that applications for admission for the fall of 1999 are running 20 percent ahead of last year. The Admission Office instituted several new campus visit days in the summer and fall to account for the fact that few students could visit last spring. Alumni are reminded of the Alumni Scholarship Program ($10,000 over four years for children and grandchildren of alumni) available to qualified applicants. Call the Admission Office at 1-800-GUSTAVU(S) for applications.

In closing I would like to give you Ten Ideas for Your Gift to Gustavus:

1. Scholarships, of any kind.

2. Academic equipment - computers, microscopes etc.

3. The Christ Chapel Endowment

4. The Barb Andrews endowment for scholarships for students with physical challenges.

5. Unresticted gifts to the Gustavus Fund.

6. The Campus Center

7. Athletic facilities, the new track, a football stadium, equipment for a specific sport.

8. Trees!

9. Endowment for the chairs honoring Kyle Montague, Art Glass, Arne Langsjoen and Charles Hamrum.

10. HOCA! (Humor our class agent)

Owen Sammelson

1958 Co-Class Agent