Class of '58
February 2008

50-Year Reunion

Reunion dates ― May 30 & 31, 2008

Leap Year Letter

Dear ’58ers,

Leap year day!  I needed another day of this great winter weather we have in Minnesota!

Thanks to all of you who have sent articles for the class letter.  I will save some for the March class letter in order to print as much classmate news in this letter.  And, the goal for the March letter is to be in the mail before the end of the month.

The registration packets for our 50th reunion will be sent in April, hopefully early April.  This packet will have the final schedule for our reunion days on May 30 and 31.  Here are some of the most important events:


4:00 p.m.  Memorial Service in Christ Chapel - Mark Wiberg chairs this committee.  Herbert Anderson will be the homilist, Bud Boberg the organist, Martha Telleen Peterson the soloist.  Names of deceased classmates will be read and special tribute will be given to the Honorary Chair of the Reunion Committee, Phil Lindau and to Barbara Andrews, as the memorial for the class project on Chapel accessibility.

4:30 p.m.  Class photo in Christ Chapel.

5:00 p.m.  Reception in the Dive (site of the swimming pool in our days).  Let the fun begin!

6:00 p.m.  Class of 1958 banquet in Alumni Hall.  Carolyn Lund Sandvig is the Events chair and is working with her committee on a program for the banquet.  Short, sweet and excellent.

8:00 p.m.  Social hour(s) back in the Dive. Could go on forever!


7:45 a.m.  Continental breakfast for our class in one of the banquet rooms.  Carole Lambert Cameron will perform her portrayal of Katie Luther in “My Life with Martin.”  Great!

9:00 a.m.  Seminar with naturalist Jim Gilbert ’62.  All seminars are open to the public.

10:30 a.m.  Seminar with our own Jim McPherson on “Tried by War:  Abraham Lincoln as Commander in Chief”

12:30 a.m.  Alumni luncheon for 50-Year Club and Class of 1958.  We get to join the club, ready or not!

There are additional seminars and a public vesper service in the afternoon, plus the President’s Reception.

5:00 p.m.  Gustavus Alumni Banquet

Special note:  Marlys Johnson Johnson has volunteered her husband, Stuart ’61, as the contact person for classmates who might wish to play golf on Friday morning in St. Peter.  You can make those arrangements by contacting Stuart at or by phone at:  507-934-6135.

Marlys Johnson, Communications Chair, reports that almost 20 classmates have submitted pages for the “reflections” portion of the Golden Anniversary booklet.  If you still wish to submit your thoughts, send them to Marlys by March 15.  The Golden Anniversary Booklet, which will be mailed in April, contains the names and addresses of all classmates, plus additional information about the class.  If you wish to add biographical information about yourself, return the gold biographical sheets (sent to your earlier, as soon as possible to the Alumni Office.  Lost them?  Call the Alumni Office (800-487-8437).

One of the goals of the reunion committee was to contact all classmates to invite them to the reunion.  We have reached 90% of you and are continuing our phoning of the remaining seventeen.

Our next goal was to have 60% of you attend the reunion.  We currently have 91 (48%) who have said they plan to attend the reunion.  See below.  Another 40 say they will make their decision in the coming months.  Encourage your friends!

Beverly Duncan Anderson

Gloria Anderson

Herbert Anderson

Vahan Assadourian

Norene Heine Becker

Noel Behne

Bill Binger

Anders Bjorling

Edward Boberg

Ellen Maus Boler

Paul Borg

Karen Mattson Bruning

Carole Lambert Cameron

Alan Carlson

Dorothy Palm Chilkott

Robert Christenson

Ruth Lind Christenson

Barbara Bennett Christopherson

Martha Banke Curtis

John Dahl

Michael Dale

Heather Peterson Davis-Peabody

Loren Eckberg

James Edman

Donald Elvestrom

Carolyn Clogston Engquist

Dennis Erickson

Janet Olson Green

Myrtice Jostad Haney

Loren Herbst

Stephen Hilding

Roland Hirman

Karen Holmen Hubbard

Chester & Marcia Amundson Janasz

Ellwood Johnson

John Johnson

Lloyd & Wanda Heuer Johnson

Lois Walfrid Johnson

Marlys Johnson Johnson

Kenneth Jorgensen

Margaret Lund Kinney

Kenneth Kozel

Darlene Thompson Kriewall

Emily Hildebrandt Kulenkamp

Jo Ann Springer Lange

Stanley Larson

Herbert Lundeen

Charles Majeske

Lois Jungas Marston

Joyce Strand Marvel

Claudette Anderson McCollar

James McPherson

Ronald Michelson

Ruth Raarup Mitchell

Aaron Moen

Barbara Johnson Morris

LeRoy Mueller

Ronald Nelson

Dale Noyed

Barbara Jensen Olson

Dale Olson

Donald Olson

Jeanine Lundahl Olson

Richard Olson

Robert Ortloff

Kent Peterson

Martha Telleen Peterson

Nancy Johnson Peerson

Bob Peterson

Doug & Janet Thomas Pritchard

Pat Trench Rosenberg

Owen Sammelson

Glenn Sampson

Carolyn Lund Sandvig

Helen Magnuson Schulz

Carolyn Eisgrau Seidner

Marilyn Carlson Sherman

Ade & Donna Elvestrom Sponberg

John Sternaman

Lynn & Janice Carlson Strand

Duane & Sonya Harbo Talus

Judith Hanson Turnlund

Charlene Bukkila Westrum

Mark Wiberg

Joyce Bebensee Young

Our third goal is to have 80% participation in our 50th anniversary gift.  We are currently at 50%.  We encourage you to consider this as the most important time to return a gift to your College.  Thanks to all of the following for their early gift!

Gloria Anderson

Westen Anderson

Norene Heine Becker

Noel Behne

Char Jonson Berndt

Anders Bjorling

Bud Boberg

Ellen Maus Boler

Paul Borg

Dick Bratt

Chuck Busch

Kay Jacobson Carlson

Alan Carlson

Jane Schonberg Chase

Beth Choi

Barbara Bennett Christopherson

James Cone

John Dahl

Mike Dale

Heather Peterson Davis-Peabody

Peggy Gotfredson DeLong

Dick Eklund

Jim Edman

Don Elvestrom

Carolyn Clogston Engquist

Carol Lund Garone

Janet Olson Green

Ed Gutzmann

Barbara Holslin Haag

Loren Herbst

Steve Hilding

Rollie Hirman

Karen Holmen Hubbard

Chet & Marcia Janasz

Barbara Anderson Johnson

Ellwood Johnson

John Johnson

Lloyd & Wanda Johnson

Marlys Johnson Johnson

Shirley Lundgren Kanne

Ken Kozel

Emily Hildebrandt Kulenkamp

Jody Springer Lange

Stan Larson

Roberto Walker Loreno

Herb Lundeen

Jim McPherson

Doug Moe

Aaron Moen

Barbara Johnson Morris

Ken Nelson

Dale Noyed

Susan Elam O’Connor

Robert Olson

Glen Peters

Nancy Johnson Peterson

Patricia Miller Peterson

Bob Peterson

Roger Roettger

Patricia Trench Rosenberg

Owen Sammelson

Lenida Jepson Sandahl

Carolyn Lund Sandvig

Bob Shogren

Duane & Sonya Talus

Charles Thompson

Shirley Larson Ward

Char Bukkila Westrum

And, how about some news!  Ron Nelson hopes to come to the reunion.  He and his wife spend their winters near Winter Haven, FL.  Heather Peterson Davis-Peabody also winters in Florida, but spent a week in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.  Marlene Isensee Thomas will be unable to attend the reunion because her grandson is graduating from high school at the same time in Washington.  Lenida Jepson Sandahl is on the committee to plan the festivities for the 125th anniversary of Bethesda Hospital in St. Paul.  Her dad was a member of the 1928 graduating class at Gustavus and her mother attended St Ansgar’s Academy at Gustavus in the late ’20s.  I believe that Karen Holmen Hubbard’s father was also a member of the class of 1928.  Bev Duncan Anderson and Roger ’57 are going to Russia the first two weeks in May.  Anders Bjorling will travel to Morocco in May with other noted photographers on a special photography expedition.  As noted in the Fargo, ND newspaper, Jim Mc Pherson is the only Pulitzer Prize winner to be born in North Dakota.  And then, he moved!

Our sympathies to Claudette Anderson McCollar and Barbara Johnson Morris on the passing of their husbands this winter.  James Ogren died on August 19, 2007.  Claudette found a newspaper story in her files from a trip to Tanzania ten years ago that told of the death of Tuntemeke Nnungi Sanga in 1997.  Mr. Sanga was a Makete Member of Parliament for many years and was a member of the National Executive Committee of the ruling party.

Steve Hilding, retired math professor from Gustavus, still plays cello with the Mankato Symphony and has two grandsons attending Gustavus.  Dick Jameston is retired from Cargill and lives in Arkansas.  Charles Majeske retired as financial director for the Guthrie Theatre and does some financial consulting.  Dick Sodergren retired from working with the State Health Department in Seattle.  Ken Jorgenson also retired from a life in financial management, much of it with Emory University in Georgia.  Don Koch lives in Colorado Springs and enjoys skiing moguls several times a week.  Born on the flatlands of Cosmos, MN, he is making up for starting skiing at age 41.  Char Bukkila Westrum and Rod ’57 just returned from a six-week trip to New Zealand.  Six weeks!  I am jealous!  Mim Anderson Olsen is retired in Rockport, TX and has this great line for our reunion, “I’ve always held our lives are like a L O N G ride on a Greyhound bus and our obligation is NOT to tell precisely true stories to our seatmates, but rather INTERESTING, COLORFUL and EXCITINGLY and FREELY ENHANCED stories.”  Great!  The only person who might equal Mim on such stories at our reunion would be Mary Ellen Young.


Reflections from a somewhat cognitive impaired, rambler who is in great need of a cognitive performance enhancer!

To suggest that Gustavus opened the door to my long career in higher education is a gross understatement.  From the day that I was dumped in the basement of Wahlstrom I knew that I wanted to spend the rest of my life on a college campus and, gratefully, that has occurred.

Looking back on my life in music and French on the campus I still howl re my involvement with Dear Melva Lind.  What a treat!  Just exactly what the circumstances were that led her to asking me to be her accompanist remains cloudy.  Perhaps she had heard me play for chapel or accompany students― whatever.  I won the jackpot!

There were a few issues that got in the way of a totally legato relationship.  Not having learned anything in Flossie Fredrickson’s first year French course didn’t help the second year of French with Lind.  Always about a D+ student in language, she was alarmed and would call me in her office to suggest a more serious approach to the learning of French.  That was the clarion call to a cat-and-rat game.  The conversation went something like this:  ML – “Mary Ellen, you are going to have to do much better in French or you will fail” MEY – “yes, Dr. Lind, but I will have to give up my accompanying job for you so I can devote more time to the study of French.”  She was paying me for each performance.  Well, we had this type of conversation at least three times during the year.  And up moved my grade each time to about a C-, then gradually sink to a D- ad infinitum.  Just exactly why she was willing to put up with this junk from me is a mystery except we hit it off very well as a singer and accompanist.  You can’t imagine what it was like to travel to St. Paul to serve as her accompanist when she sang for the State Senate.  Remember, she was an honorary Ojibway princess.  Costume and all.  She was really a hit and a treat (!) with the yellow rose between her teeth when she sang the song of the same name!  She would perform on campus with alarming frequency so many of you were able to hear her memorable singing antics.  The grade cat-and-rat game is memorable and I had several memorable encounters with her.  Remember Keith Beggs―he took roll in chapel (upper left hand corner was his perch).  After about 25 unexcused chapel cuts one spring Myron Falck received written word that I was ineligible for band in the fall because of the unexcused cuts.  He was not amused since he needed me to play the Bb bass clarinet.  He suggested that a meeting with Dean Lind was in order.  Off to her office where she made me place my hand on her Bible and swear to God that I was not lying about my chapel cuts―naturally I had disputed the absence calculations of Dean Beggs.  Of course, I was lying―Lind knew it and so did I―more cat-and-rat stuff.  In thirty years of life in higher education some of this has returned to me―it’s called karmic retribution.


The Reunion committee encourages classmates to make a three-year pledge as their gift in this our 50th anniversary year.  Since many members of our class are annual donors, a pledge can enhance your anniversary gift.  This way, a $100 gift becomes $300, $250 becomes $750, $50 becomes $150, and $500 can become $1,500.  It is also possible to have different amounts in a pledge if you wish.  If you have already made a gift for this year, you can pledge for the remaining two years.

The College also provides the opportunity for a five-year pledge if your pledge is at least $2,500 per year.  Several classmates have chosen this option as a way to express their anniversary gift.

We urge classmates to consider a multiple-year pledge for their gift.  Thanks to those who have already chosen this option.


 “Gustavus and My Career”

I majored in chemistry and psychology and minored in math at Gustavus.  The chemistry department, chaired by Arne Langsjoen ’42, was on the third floor of Old Main.  In those days, there weren’t many women in advanced chemistry and math classes.  I look forward to finding out how much that has changed in recent years.

I hoped to find a job in the field of food research, but because I was “a young married woman who would probably only work for a couple of years” I couldn’t find one in my chosen field.  I did work for a couple of years, but not in research.  I “retired” to raise a family and, once my three sons were in school, began again to think about my career.  I would need more education to pursue research.  I was a married woman with three children and had been out of school for 15 years.  Thus, it was a challenge to convince graduate schools that I was serious about graduate school.  My chemistry degree from Gustavus helped as the Chairman of the Nutritional Sciences Department at University of California, Berkeley, was familiar with the excellent reputation of the Chemistry Department at Gustavus.

I completed my Ph.D. and began a very rewarding career in nutrition research.  I was a research scientist at USDA Human Nutrition Research Center and was an adjunct professor, first at UC Berkeley, and then at UC Davis.  My area of research involved using stable isotopes, which are not radioactive and can be used as tracers in humans, to follow the metabolic fate of trace elements under a variety of conditions.  It was a new approach in human nutrition and received a lot of attention.  The research results were used by the National Academy of Science in establishing dietary recommendations for several trace elements, copper, zinc, and molybdenum.  The research gave me opportunities to travel to scientific meetings throughout the world to present research methods and results.  I thoroughly enjoyed my career, retiring only two years ago, and was especially proud to receive the Distinguished Alumni Citation from Gustavus in 1988.

Even though I have lived in California for nearly 40 years, some of my dearest friends today were classmates at Gustavus, especially those from Section 206 in Wahlstrom Hall.


There are three things I learned at Gustavus that have given my life path its direction.  One was strong encouragement by certain professors to explore beyond life’s paradigms.  A second was to continually experiment with new ways of learning.  And the third was that you help yourself most when you help others.  As evidence of this variegated lifestyle, these are my current clients and endeavors:

·                    SUMA MRI in Golden Valley that offers Stand+Up(TM) Multi-Positional MRI scans.  This technology, which received the Wall Street Journal 2007 award for innovation, scans patients in their-bearing position where they feel pain to obtain an accurate diagnosis.

·                    Financial Exchange Security, St. Paul, a start-up company of Vietnamese preparing to Market a new type of Visa embossed debit card that can be used to transfer funds from people in the U.S. to loved ones in their home country for a fee of $1 per transaction for any amount up to $10,000.

·                    Hmong Nature Research Center, Minneapolis, which has collected over 400 herbs used by healers in Laos.  HNRC is working on initiatives to educate Laotians on protecting the environment where the herbs grow, and building a greenhouse in Laos for endangered species.

·                    Another Hmong client is starting a nonprofit to transport financially disadvantaged Hmong to health clinics in the Twin Cities.

·                    Fridley History Center, where I volunteer in conducting history conversations that are videotaped for cable TV and in raising funds for a history book of Fridley.

·                    Minnesota Health Care Roundtable that I co-founded in 1994 and serve as moderator.  The 29th Roundtable on April 24 is on pay-for-performance and high-deductible health plans

A report of our funding progress for the 50th reunion.

We set out to raise a total of $2 million and we are at $1.5 million!  We have had some great bequests and capital gifts as well as gifts of all sizes from many classmates.  We think we have a good chance of making our goal.

Our individual projects are not faring as well at this point.  We set a goal of $200,000 for the Chapel accessibility project because that was the amount the College estimated to accomplish the necessary remodeling in the Chapel.  This project has been popular with many classmates and we hope to continue to receive support.  The story on the Gustavus website about the Barbara Andrews memorial may attract attention from others outside of our class.  We want to raise enough money in the Chapel accessibility project to be able to encourage the College to begin the project.  We have raised about $20,000 at this point.

The goal for the 1958 Class Scholarship was also set at $200,000, perhaps an optimistic figure.  We have raised about $20,000 and this scholarship can become active at $25,000.  It would be great to reach $50,000!

SO, let’s hear from you!

Owen Sammelson

1958 Class Agent