Class of '58
May 2004

Dear ’58ers,

It would seem that the writer could do better in completing a letter for you, but age and procrastination, and lack of news all play a role in no letter since December.

Spring is here in Minnesota.  The trees in front of my office window are fully leafed, the crab apples blossoms are done, and the campus planting of flowers is about to beginning.

I am ending my 44th year and it seems like such a short time.  But then, as the memory fades, the years appear to go by more quickly!  Unlike Bob Robinson, I do not plan to be working until I am 70, and most of you say rightly so!  Our friends in the class of 1959, Paul Magnuson and Paul Youngdahl show no signs of slowing down, but they are younger and smarter than I am.

President Jim Peterson ’64 is marvelous to work for, filled with good ideas, enthusiasm, humor and recognition that his first job at Gustavus, as a student, was a tour guide in Admissions when I was a young counselor.  Just for another bit of personal history, this is the sixth president that I have worked for, plus three acting presidents, one of them twice.  I liked them all!

Thanks to the 100 plus of you that have made your gift to the Gustavus Fund this year!  Great!  My count, however, shows 45 classmates that gave last, but year have not done so this year!  Time is counting; please try to make your donation before the end of the month.  You must have one of those eternal return envelopes somewhere.

NEWS, such as what we have...

Carolyn (Clogston) and Tom ’56 Engquist moved to Prior Lake this fall and now live in a townhouse at 4642 Priorwood Street, S.E., enjoying the view in their new location.

The author of the history of Lowry, Minnesota, Ellwood Johnson, continues to work on his two web sites, one on Lowry and another on political connections.  He says he is okay.  Char (Bukkila) and Rod ’57 Westrum are retired and divide their time between Park Rapids and The Villages in Florida.  Both are retired educators.  We had not heard from Dean Fredlund in a long time and thank him for his note.  Dean has been retired from teaching for seven years (biology and geology) in British Columbia.  His daughter is a designer for IKEA and his son is studying criminology.

Doug Moe, a member of our class for a few years sent a nice note with his annual gift.  (He graduated from the University.)  Doug's son, Scott ’95, is the men's and women's golf coach at Gustavus and also the assistant men's hockey coach.  The men's golf team again won the conference title and is competing, as we write, in the national Division III tournament.  Another former classmate, Meryl Nelson Jessen has retired to Cleveland, MN.  She was an R.N. and they have four grown children.



Marlene Isensee Thomas and her husband, John, are retired and enjoy seven grandchildren.  Jim McPherson is completing his term as president of the American Historical Association and will be retiring from full-time teaching after forty-two (42!) years at Princeton University.  A remarkable career!

Thanks to Arlene Jornlin Ramberg and Morna Pell Traffas for their recent gifts.  Arlene and her husband, Harland, live in Chisago City, while Morna continues to work in Wyomissing, PA and enjoys her five grandchildren.

I see local residents, Anders and Jan Neidt Bjorling, Steve Hilding, Bob Peterson, Marlys Johnson Johnson and Dennis Erickson on campus as well as visitors like Phil Lindau, Mark Wiberg, Lee Anderson and Dick Eklund on campus.  And someone I am sure I missed.

For those of you who have given, thanks!

For those of you who will be sending in your gift in the next few weeks, thanks!

For the rest of you, I am sorry we could not get together.


Owen Sammelson

For the Class of 1958

Campus News:

President Peterson Inaugurated

James Peterson ’64 was inaugurated during a ceremony in Christ Chapel on Friday, April 16.  Other inaugural events scheduled April 15-18, included a symposium featuring Rev. Dr. Martin Marty, tree dedication, Gustavus Association of Congregations meeting, G.I.V.E. community service day in St. Peter, music concert, art exhibition, and an alumni reception preceding the Nobel Symphony Concert at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis.

50th Anniversary Alumni Fund Closes May 31

The 2004 Alumni Fund will close May 31 with a goal of 50 percent alumni participation. Thanks to everyone who has already participated with a gift.  If you haven’t given, please think about sending a gift along with your news in the enclosed gold envelope. Gustavus alumni have a long tradition of strong alumni participation.  Help maintain our national ranking by participating in the 50th anniversary year of the Alumni Fund.

Scholarships and financial assistance at Gustavus

Did you know that scholarships and financial assistance for Gustavus students totals $18M, almost 25 percent of Gustavus’ annual budget?  Alumni Fund gifts, including designated and unrestricted gifts, help enable students to receive a Gustavus education.  Gustavus offers two types of scholarships to students -- merit awards given to recognize academic achievement, and tuition grants are used to assist students with recognized financial need.  Endowed scholarships are an important part of the Gustavus grant program and currently nine percent of scholarship funds come from the endowment.

Alumni survey

An alumni survey was sent to 2,000 members of reunion classes.  Approximately 600 have responded as of April 1.  Questions on the survey consist of how well Gustavus prepared them for employment and graduate education, activities involved in while at Gustavus, personal growth skills, alumni events and services, and overall satisfaction with the College.  Results of the survey will be included in the Fall Quarterly.

Winter sports summary

Women’s basketball finished third in the MIAC and advanced to the semifinals of the MIAC playoffs.  Men’s basketball won the MIAC regular season and playoff championship titles before losing to eventual national champion UW-Stevens Point in the NCAA national tournament.  Men’s hockey posted a third-place finish in the regular season and advanced to the semifinals of the MIAC playoffs.  Women’s hockey finished second in regular-season MIAC play, but won the post-season tournament and earned an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.  Men’s swimming won its third consecutive MIAC championship and completed their season by finishing ninth at the NCAA championships.  Women’s swimming won the MIAC championship and completed their season by finishing 13th at the NCAA championships.  Men’s Nordic skiing won its first-ever MIAC championship and finished fourth at the NCAA Central Region meet.  Women’s Nordic skiing claimed their third consecutive MIAC title and completed their season with a fourth-place finish at the NCAA Central Region meet.  Gymnastics posted a 6-1 dual meet record and a second-place finish at the National Collegiate Gymnastics Association (NCGA) West Regional.  The women’s indoor track and field team finished second and the men fifth at the MIAC championships.

Did you know …

●Nearly 80% of Gustavus students graduate in four years, compared with 56% of students from other Minnesota private colleges; the national average is 17%.

●There are seven choral ensembles and 23 instrumental ensembles, two jazz, four woodwind and three brass ensembles.

●More than 40 percent of Gustavus students volunteer through the Gustavus community service center on a regular basis.

●For student safety, the campus is well-lit, there is 24-hour Safety and Security patrol and escort service, residence halls are locked 24 hours a day, and there are blue light emergency phones throughout campus linked directly to Safety and Security.

●And looking back -- during the college’s early years, students were awakened by a bell at 5:45 a.m. and all lights had to be out by 10:30 p.m.

Upcoming events

  • Class of 1954 and 50-Year Club Reunions – May 28 & 29
  • Commencement – May 30
  • Alumni Fund closes – May 31
  • Class reunions on Homecoming & Family Weekend – October 1 & 2