Class of '58
Reunion dates ― May 30 & 31, 2008
We are now just a few weeks from the great celebration! I have attached a list of those who indicated earlier that they were planning to attend; an asterisk marks those who have registered. If you have not registered, please do so. If you are still unsure, think seriously about attending. This will likely be our largest anniversary gathering!
I am advising those who might make a last minute decision to phone the Alumni Office at Gustavus at 1-800-487-8437 as soon as possible after you decide to attend. Please encourage your friends to attend! Our goal of 60% attendance is within reach!
Thanks to all of you who have contributed to the anniversary fund. Our gift total is now approaching $1.9 million, including the two class projects, the Gustavus Fund, bequests and capital projects. We are within reach of making both of our class goals, the Chapel accessibility proposal and the Class of 1958 Endowed Scholarship, achievable in the coming year.
A special thanks to our most recent donors: LLOYD and WANDA (HEUER) JOHNSON, MARTHA BANKE CURTIS, MARK WIBERG, CARL JOHNSON, ROBBIE ROBINSON, MARLENE ISENSEE THOMAS, DOROTHY PALM CHILKOTT, ADE and DONNA (ELVESTROM) SPONBERG, JIM EDMAN, BARBARA JENSEN OLSON, CLAUDETTE ANDERSON MC COLLAR, STAN LARSON, DON OLSON, CATHY BUGGE HANSON, YVONNE KUSKE TANDBERG, KENT PETERSON, JAN TOMERDAHL NORTHFIELD, DALE OLSON, DALE NOYED, JOYCE BEBENSEE YOUNG, DON ELVESTROM, JAN (THOMAS)and DOUG PRITCHARD, JOHN JOHNSON, ROBERT CHRISTENSON, MERYL NELSON JESSEN, JUDY HANSON TURNLUND, LARS LOFGREN, ARLENE JORNLIN RAMBERG, MARGO PETTERSEN FOHS, MORNA PELL TRAFFAS, JOHN DAHL,HELEN MAGNUSON SCHULZ, ANDERS BJORLING and DENNIS ERICKSON.
The reunion committee set a goal of 80% participation from our class and we are still hoping to meet that goal! As of today, May 13, we are at 68%, needing twenty-two more donors to achieve 80%. It will be a great achievement for our class to reach 80%, since few classes of our size have had such good participation. We are phoning our classmates to encourage you to join the others in our 50th celebration. Please join us! The class of 1958 has always been a leader in alumni giving!
How about some news? JODY SPRINGER LANGE is proud of their three daughters who graduated from Gustavus in the 1980’s. All three have gone on to either M.A.’s or certificates of higher education in their fields. Their daughter, Kristen ’84, has limited mobility due to a neurological condition. She was frustrated by the lack of accessibility in the Chapel. Our project is an important one for their family. DARLENE THOMPSON KRIEWALL is looking forward to the reunion. They celebrated their 50th anniversary by taking their family to Hawaii. Darlene keeps busy by often taking care of her special needs grandson, now 10-years-old and also by continuing to work at bookkeeping. JAN TOMERDAHL NORTHFIELD and Pete ’55 just finished painting and staining the exterior of their home in Tucson, where it has been very warm. We hope Jan is coming to the reunion! RON JOHANSON and Roxanne are selling their lake home in McGregor and moving to Ft Myers, FL. “Too many cold winters.” They have 10 grandchildren, including five that are the same age, including triplets! RON NELSON and Sharon are back from Florida, now that spring is here! I hope they also decide to attend the reunion.
SONYA JOHNSON HUBBARD BERG
I regret that I cannot make it back to Gustavus for the big 50th. My grandson is graduating from high school on the 30th.
My days at Gustavus were but three years. I majored in medical technology and I “lived” in Old Main, to say the least. I carried 24 credits a semester and my senior year internship was at Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena, CA. I have been very thankful for the great teachers, Doc Glass ’43, Arne Langsjoen ’42 and Kaufmanis.
I have wonderful memories of my freshman year and how excited we were being serenaded by the fraternity boys the first night we moved into the dorm. The 12 of us were in awe. There was the closeness of dormitory living and the remaining friendships we now have. Oh what fun we had getting ready for our dates for the fraternity banquets. I was so proud of our wonderful football and basketball teams that we cheered for. We sang with the pep band “who kicked Nellie in the belly in the barn” with gusto. In our sophomore year, there were seven of us that followed our basketball team to Missouri in an old car for the playoffs…the flat tire in the rain was one of the memories that I look back on and smile. We were proud Gusties!
Gustavus has always been a part of my life since I left. It was a beginning point in the forming of a solid foundation for the future. I have warm memories and definitely a pride to have been part of the great school and the class of 1958.
I worked thirty-five years with Whirlpool Corporation, starting in 1958 at their St. Paul Division, then on to St Joseph, MI and finally the last twenty-one years in Findlay, Ohio.
My sweet wife, Elizabeth (Johnson ’59) hung with me on this journey. We acquired two lovely children along the way, who are now gainfully employed in Boston (Caroline) and Chicago (David, along with his wife, Sima). We are the proud grandparents of Emma, age 3+, a gift from our daughter, Caroline.
I retired in January of 1992, moved back to Minnesota in 1998. We currently spend summers at our cabin on Lake of The Woods, winters (sometimes) in Florida and between seasons live next door to the animals at the Minnesota Zoo in Apple Valley.
We have our reservations in Mankato for the 30th and 31st along with JOHN JOHNSON and HERB LUNDEEN and hope to attend all the planned 50th reunion activities on Friday and Saturday. Our thanks to Bob and Sam for their good work in promoting Gustavus and keeping us updated on our ’58 classmates.
LOIS WALFRID JOHNSON
When I wanted to do the Viking Quest series, I wondered how I could write the Viking story in a way that would have my usual cliffhanger at the end of every chapter, yet also provide the family-friendly reading for which I am known. In order to research the five novels, I traveled to Norway, Ireland and Northern Ireland. When a 91-year-old Norwegian, a linguist, historian, author, and teacher, heard about me, she said, “I want to talk with Lois when she comes.” We talked non-stop for three days with both of us so tired we couldn’t talk anymore. At the end of that time, I woke up one night, knowing who my Norwegian father could be. Once I understood that, I also knew how to write the Viking Quest series in an exciting, family-friendly way.
By the time I finished the five novels, I liked the characters so much that I didn’t want to stop writing about them. Professions in six countries had helped me. One of these was the archaeologist who followed the person who discovered L’Anse aux Meadows, the Leif Erickson site in Newfoundland. When I completed the novel, I was afraid to send it to her. I still feel grateful for her response: “Lois, we have all kinds of authors who ask for our help. We give them all our good stuff, but they set it aside, thinking they know better. You got it right, Lois. You got it right.”
ARLENE JORNLIN RAMBERG
I really thought I was going to make the festivities on the 30th, but my husband’s recent complications from surgery forced me to change my plans. Most of you probably didn’t know that when I came to Gustavus as a sophomore that I was 25-years-old. Yes, it is true. I had been working as a secretary in Minneapolis and was “challenged” to study social work by my pastor. I said he was crazy; women just didn’t go back to college at my age. But, I accepted the challenge and the rest is history. I went to New York City the summer after we graduated and worked there, which was quite an experience. I became young with all the youngsters in our class and had a great three years!
Meetings at concerts are the thing for classmates. Earlier this year ROLLIE HIRMAN met BOB RAVEN at a Gustavus concert in Florida and more recently LLOYD and WANDA (HEUER) JOHNSON attended the same concert in Bemidji as ALEX NADESAN. Alex has retired as a professor at Bemidji State University. MARGE STEENERSON WRIGHT lives in Plymouth and has ten grandchildren. We hope she comes to the reunion. MORNA PELL TRAFFAS works nine hours a week at her church and enjoys being able to do volunteer work with the symphony orchestra league. She also hopes to come to the reunion. BOB BROLIN retired after forty years in banking and enjoys his family of four sons, four grandsons and four granddaughters.
A final thought for someone in our class to consider, or several people. Our goal for our 50th anniversary is to raise $2 million dollars and some people thought we were out of our minds! Well, we stand at $1.9 million with 16 days to go, leaving only $100,000 to reach our goal. One simple way for us to get there, might be if there are one, two or three classmates who would consider a bequest to the College by including Gustavus in their will. A letter indicating this intent is possible, even at this late date. Eight classmates have already made their intentions known to the College. Kathy Erlandsen stands ready to take your calls. She will walk you through the process of documenting your estate intentions for Gustavus. (Examples of estate intentions include wills, life insurance, qualified retirement accounts, etc.). Please contact her in the Advancement Office at: 866-487-3863. We can do this together! We are so close!
Thank you to everyone for your great support for the Class of 1958!
Big News on Campus
Gustavus has a new College President! As you have previously heard, President Peterson is resigning this summer and the process to find someone to replace him has been underway since last fall. On April 25 the Board of Trustees met and announced our new College President, Jack Ohle. Jack is currently the president of Wartburg College since 2003. He will take office here on July 1, 2008. I’m sure we’ll be hearing more about this exciting development.
The following page has the list of those signed up to attend and those who have indicated they are planning to attend, but have not yet committed. Look it over, if someone you want to see is not signed up yet, give them a call!
Planning to Attend the 1958 Class Reunion (* Registered for the events already!)