Class of '59
April 2007

Dear Classmates,

A friendly reminder from the Alumni Office at Gustavus appeared in my email today―to remind me that the next class letter is due―SOON!  Actually, I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately and how I would begin it.  There’s just no pleasant way to write bad news.

Soon after the last letter was sent, we learned that Bob Holmen’s limp was caused by a brain tumor.  Bob passed away on February 5 with his loving wife, Elaine (Torrey), and all his family with him.  Experiencing both Wilt’s and Bob’s death has made me very appreciative of every day on this earth and am learning to treasure each moment.

I have heard from a number of classmates recently.  Ben Johnson was curious whether Owen Wallin was really a Norwegian as the newspaper article stated.  I checked with Marcia (Hedberg) Wallin and she did indicate that Owen was both Swedish and Norwegian.

Stu Anderson called from Nebraska to chat about our class.  He had just had a late Christmas gathering of his large clan at Mahoney State Park in Nebraska.  Stu has five boys and when they all got together, there were a total of 28.  This included three girl friends of grandchildren.  Isn’t it amazing that we’re now talking about grandchildren getting married.  We could be great grands any day—now that makes me feel old!

Another phone call was from my fellow Winonan—Dean Brown.  I do see him around town occasionally, but since I don’t golf, we never meet on the golf course or where he’s playing cards.  He said that his wife, Nancy—who I do see at Goodview Elementary School—has one year left to teach.  They plan to stay in Winona after she retires.  Dean’s two daughters live in the Twin Cities and New Orleans.

In mid-March, Tusa Johnson Bergman and Marilyn Espeseth Erickson hosted a lovely party for Elaine Torrey Holmen.  It happened to be near Elaine’s birthday—so a wonderful excuse to get together.  Others there were—Lois Madsen Allen, Linda Lund Anderson, Jeanne Turnquist Lindstrom, Liz Johnson Dahl, Betty Croonquist and me.  We had fun reminiscing about the good old days.  Tusa recalled how Mrs. Holmgren was allergic to angel hair—so their dorm unit had angel hair all over to keep Mrs. H away.  They also fondly remembered Mrs. Almen at Johnson baking cookies for everyone.

Marilyn is very active in the Library Friends group in LeSueur.  Don and I hope to get some ideas from her for our Friends group in Winona.  Linda regaled us with her adventures in moving to a new apartment and her volunteer duties of decorating the apartment complex at Christmas time.  Betty Croonquist is a good source of news.  She was with the Aldriches (Duane and Barbara) and Carlsons (Alan ’58 and Jeanette (Reinke))recently in Willmar.  She’s travelling to Florida and Washington, DC.  While in Florida, she’ll see the Proeschels (Jack and Connie)With all her contacts, Betty could be a class agent since we’ve made her an honorary class member!

John Bold called from Arizona after attending one of the Gustie gatherings down there.  He and Cherrie split their time between their homes in Edina, Tucson and Whitefish Lake.  They found themselves in China last November for three weeks too.  John and Cherrie have a granddaughter playing rugby for Gustavus.  I asked him what he thought about the Dayton’s sale to Macy’s― he wasn’t thrilled with it and is happy to be retired from there.

The last note I received was from Bruce Heyl.  He writes that he’s in good health, enjoying life, practicing psychiatry half-time and has a poor golf handicap.  Bruce and I both enjoy our adult children and grandchildren.  Two of them are in college—Lawrence University in Appleton, and University of Wisconsin-Madison.  A third one is ready to take off this fall—we’re not sure where at this point.  It is great fun to watch them mature and become adults.  So far we’ve not been able to sell any of them on Gustavus.

Don and I will be on Amtrak when you receive this epistle.  We’re taking the train to Seattle where my son, Dan, lives.  We’ll spend some time with them, but also tour part of the state before heading home again.

In February, I received a list of 35 classmates who have contributed to the Alumni Fund.  I had good intentions to write each of you a thank you note―and then my computer died and my time to hand-write personal notes vanished.  I do thank each of you for your gift to Gustavus.  I was discussing tuition costs with my son last weekend and was amazed at how expensive every school is today.  Our gifts to Gustavus will help students immensely whether it’s through a scholarship or enrichment to the school.  Remember that the close of the Alumni Fund is May 31.  If you have not given, please consider a gift.  All gifts, no matter what the size, can make a difference.

And now, I’ll send this on to Gustavus for their update on what’s happening on campus.  Enjoy Spring as it reaches you and treasure every day!

Gustavianly yours,

Carol Johnson Heyl

152 Janet Marie Lane

Winona, MN 55987



Alumni Awards Announced

The Alumni Association announces the following 2007 awards selected by the Alumni Board of Directors.  Greater Gustavus AwardGiven to those who, by deed, have notably advanced and aided Gustavus Adolphus CollegeRuss and Jan (Ledin) Michaletz ’74 ’74

Distinguished Alumni CitationsRecognizes outstanding and exceptional professional achievement

Paul Peterson ’94, principal, St. Peter High School, Minnesota State High School Principal of the Year.

Margaret Anderson Kelliher ’90, house speaker, Minnesota House of Representatives.

First Decade AwardsRecognizes early professional achievement

Jennifer Pleuss Spande ’97, diplomat, Political and Economic Section, U.S. Embassy, Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Alexander Hill ’97, senior scientist, Medtronic, Inc.

The Greater Gustavus Award and Distinguished Alumni Citations will be presented at the Alumni Banquet on Saturday, May 26, and the First Decade Awards will be presented during Homecoming Weekend, October 13.

Energy Wars

Minnesota colleges and universities competed during February in the Campus Energy Wars.  The Campus Energy Wars challenge was to see which campus conserved the most energy throughout the month.  Gustavus students and faculty made a concerted effort to change their behaviors by turning off unused lights in their dorm rooms or classrooms, unplugging appliances, and lowering thermostats to reduce energy consumption.  The culminating event was a campus competition to pedal stationary bicycles to see who could pump the most energy into an electrical generator supplied by the Minnesota Department of Commerce.

Linnaeus Symposium Celebrates Birth of Carl Linnaeus

In celebration of the 300th anniversary of the birth of Carl Linnaeus, the Swedish botanist who established genus/species used today, Gustavus will host its second Linnaeus Symposium: Linnaeus @ 300 on Wednesday, April 25, 2007.  The daylong conference will feature presentations by ethnobotanists, Mark Plotkin and Paul Alan Cox, Linnaean scholar and impersonator Hans Odoo, and author Paula Robbins, who has written about Pehr Kalm, one of Linnaeus’s “apostles” to America.  The day will also include tours of Linnaeus Arboretum, a special photography exhibition by Anders Bjorling ’58, music, dance, and a Scandinavian feast.  The festivities begin at 10:00 a.m. and close at 9:00 p.m., so save the date and join us at Gustavus this spring.  For more information, go to <> or call 507/933-6181.

Upcoming Alumni Events

  • Linnaeus Symposium - April 25
  • Gustavus Association of Congregations – April 28
  • MAYDAY! Peace Conference: Community Food Security - May 2
  • Celebrating 75 years of the Gustavus Choir - May 5
  • Celebrating 75 years of Theatre Reunion  - May 11-12 <>
  • Class of 1962 - 45th Anniversary Reunion – May 25 & 26
  • Class of 1957 - 50th Anniversary Reunion – May 25 & 26
  • 50 Year Club Reunion – May 26