Class of '59
September 2007

Dear ’59 Gusties,

I’m racing to meet the September 30th deadline for this newsletter.  Don and I have just returned from a Scandinavian tour that made me feel very connected to Gustavus.  Everywhere I looked and every tour guide I listened to, reminded me of my Gustavus connections.  They talked about Gustav Adolf, their great king; I saw statues of him; I was in the Blue Room of Stockholm’s city hall where the Nobel prizes are awarded; they talked about how the Three Crowns are their national emblem; how the Folke Bernadotte family became heirs to the throne; their breakfast smörgasbords reminded me of Mrs. Young’s cooking; and so many of the people looked like they could have been on our campus!

As soon as I returned home, I was off to the Cities where twenty-nine of our classmates (all women) gathered to celebrate the fact that most of us have reached the magic age of 70.  What an afternoon of chatting and also listening to emails sent to us from those who couldn’t be there.  Those with us that afternoon were:  Lois Madsen Allen, Elaine Torrey Holmen, Linda Lund Anderson, (these three really organized the affair) Sandy and Sunny Anderson, Marilyn Gustafson Asp, Tusa Johnson Bergman, Jeanette Reinke Carlson, Betty Croonquist, Elizabeth Johnson Dahl, Joyce Johnson Elvestrom, Marilyn Espeseth Erickson, Donna Bjerkstrand Gray, Kay Carlson Gritton, Jodie Olson Gunderson, Carol Miller Hammarberg, Ann Hendrickson, Carol Hansen Johns, Connie Collamore Johnson, Dorothy Rylander Johnson, Norma Beyers Koos, Jeanne Turnquist Lindstrom, Ione Hultander Olson, Sally Nordstrom Sarff, Karen Walden Taylor, Marcia Hedberg Wallin, Sharon Wolff Baker, Colleen Kerns Walter and me (Carol Johnson Heyl)(Look for a picture of us in the next Quarterly).  It’s impossible to relay all their information―BUT―if you ever want to hear a good story about travelling in Italy and possibly meeting an Italian man, talk to Donna Bjerkstrand Gray.  She had us giggling all the way home!  And now for the news of those who couldn’t be with us.

Every email conveyed the wish to be at the party and sent their good wishes along with their news.  Jean Monson Foreman is a retired United Methodist minister living in Grand Junction, CO when they’re not traveling.  Their latest trip was a 102-day cruise around the world!  She keeps in touch with Karen Wahlstrom Compton and Marie Munson Rutter.  Marie also sent greetings.  She had been in Minnesota in July, but spent the rest of the summer on Vancouver Island.  Diana Sroder Johnson’s plane tickets to Minnesota were for later in the month and she couldn’t get a refund.  She and Cliff have been in Albuquerque for 17 years.  Their children live in Alaska and Dallas.  Susan Hansen planned to celebrate with her high school friends in Moorhead later in the month before heading to Texas to visit her daughter.  Susan is still working two days a week typing reports for the hospital.  Nancy Oman Ward writes that distance and the fact that she’s still working prevented her from attending.  Janet Sommers Chell was expecting a new grandchild in late August and a trip to Ted’s seminary reunion in Nebraska and just couldn’t fit in another trip.  Ted was preaching in several churches through the summer.  In late June they took an Alaskan cruise.  Ted will begin radiation treatment for prostate cancer when they return from his seminary reunion.  Lorraine Hanson was only at Gustavus one year but still feels very much a part of our class.  She couldn’t attend as she was out of town right then.  Lee (Allegra Nelson) Olson was unable to return to Minnesota as she had just been here earlier―around the time of the bridge collapse.

Roxanne Rosendahl Steiner was out of the state at the time of the party.  Liz Sandquist Brown had commitments to visit her daughter, Kim, in Minneapolis as well as their cabin in Spooner, WI.  She thought hitting 70 wasn’t such a BIG number after all.  Bev Nelson Schumacher was to be in Arizona at the time of the party.  Lynda Johnson Minnick returns to Minnesota frequently, but September was not a good date.  She is taking a 2-year course in ornamental plants from the Chicago Botanic Gardens.  Last April she and five colleagues explored sunny southern Portugal.  Marian Fickes Borg said that the route to Minnesota using “frequent flyer miles” was not very friendly.  She would have had to spend 11 hours and two layovers to get here and decided (even tho’ Paul ’58 encouraged her) to not come this time.  Shirley Zaske Sweeney is now permanently living in Arizona and would be travelling to Minnesota later in the month but couldn’t get there for the party.

Avis Baldwin Rill had planned on coming until Bill strained some muscles as they were moving to their new home on Mason Lake.  Bill may be facing some surgery because of this.  Carol Nelson Groseth was recovering from back surgery and also trying to finish a building project on their cabin on the North Shore.  Sheila Ice Olson was scheduled for skin surgery on the day of our party.  She writes that she has Parkinson’s disease, but feels that is under control.  Her biggest concern now is a protruding disc that is pressing on a nerve causing great pain.  Kathleen Coffman Westgard will be in Minnesota in October when Paul has his annual hunting expedition.  She and Paul had just returned to their home in Arizona from their summer get away in Park City, Utah.  Jeanette Westberg Johnston was scheduled for bladder surgery on the 13th, which was her excuse for not being with us.  She did send a fun page of pictures of her five precious grandchildren, a picture of their get together with Larry and Deone (Nordquist) Cartford and another one with Paul ’58 and Marian (Fickes) Borg and Roger and Bev (Duncan) Anderson ’57 ’58.  Sandy Alvig Lyons was on a walking tour of Ireland with her husband to celebrate their 70th birthdays.  Lois Johnson was on her way to Turkey on the party day.

Joanne Swenson Iverson was in Banff, Alberta, Canada in the Lake Louise area on party day.  She visited her two beautiful grandchildren in Alexandria VA in July.  Her daughter, Betsy, is married to a lieutenant colonel who is stationed at the Pentagon right now.  Her other daughter, Chris, lives in Milwaukee.  Connie Ostrom Lund in Olympia, WA was getting ready to move into a new condo.  She and Roger had been living in a 27-foot motor home for four months!  Pat McLane Olson’s husband Rich ’58 reported that Pat is laid up with an infection following surgery bypassing her femoral artery—and is feeling a little discouraged.  I don’t blame her!  Deone Nordquist Cartford hoped to be in France when we had our party.  They split their time between their homes in Wisconsin and Arizona.  Ben Johnson and his wife, Suzanne (Wasgatt ’60) recently visited Larry and Deone.  The Cartfords also welcome visitors in Arizona if you’re down that way.  Barb Endersbe Wallin still works three-fourths time and Wednesdays are her busiest days so she couldn’t be with us.

Floie Vane had plans to be in Minnesota later in the month and couldn’t push the date up.

Jocelyn Neufeld Palmer was unable to attend but sent her good wishes.  Merida Peterson Worner had to care for her grandchildren that week.  Lila Hattstrom Luther was in Colorado with her daughter and grandchild.  Lucy Blilie Edlund phoned her regrets.  Myrna Landmark Noyed greeted us on behalf of the Bethesda nursing students.  She said they get together every last Tuesday of the month at Nordstroms-Mall of America.  Might be fun to drop in on them.  Myrna is also scheduled for cataract surgery in October.  Evie Bonander was on her way to Georgia to celebrate her great nephew’s first birthday.  When she gets to Minnesota, she’d like to have lunch or coffee with some of us.  Marion Johnson Sansted’s granddaughter was getting married the following week and she had to prepare for family coming from the East Coast.  Joanne Belanger Broten had really hoped to be with us but at the last minute plans fell through.  Joyce Miller Biagini was heading back to Costa Rica–that sounds interesting—what is she doing in Costa Rica?  Lynette Street Flato wished she could be with us but instead wished everyone a HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Through all the phone calls for the event, we did find two of our classmates who have recently passed away.  Ellen Svensson Marean died of ALS August 11.  Janice Larson Darcy is no longer with us.  So many of our class seem to be having surgery and other health problems.  We wish them all a speedy recovery.

I also received news from Gustavus about classmates.  Evie Bonander has returned from a Pilgrimage to Israel and the Palestinian Territories.  She said worshiping with Palestinian Lutherans in and around Bethlehem was most meaningful.  If you have opportunity to go—“Go-it’s an important and eye-opening experience.”  Next she was off to Alaska for a month.

Larry and Deone (Nordquist) Cartford spent three weeks in Bhutan and India.  In January and in April they were on a cruise in Hawaii.  I’m not sure how they keep up two homes and all this travel!

Colleen Kerns Walter has sold her home and is moving to Florida—but did find time to be with us.

Following the party on September 12, I dashed off to St. Peter on the 15th to attend the annual Volunteer Leadership Day (aka Class Agents’ Day).  As always, the campus was beautiful, the food delicious, and the speakers inspiring.

Jan Ledin Michaletz ’74, president of the Alumni Association made the point that many colleges look alike, but the one thing that makes Gustavus special is our spirit and where alumni are in their communities.  Typically, they are the leaders in their churches, schools and communities.

President Jim Peterson ’64 and Mary Morton, provost, brought us up-to-date on where Gustavus is now.  As you must know by now, President Peterson is retiring at the end of this year but promises to remain involved in all aspects of campus until then.  All of the goals and objectives set out earlier are being worked on and progress is being made.  Physically, the objective of opening up the campus to the west is happening.  The old football stadium has been replaced by a beautiful new one.  The previous football space will be a prairie and green space from the chapel to the arboretum with classrooms bordering the area.  Gustavus maintains a student population of 2500.  Fifty percent of the students are Lutheran and most are from the five-state area.  Twelve percent are students of color which is about the same as the state of Minnesota.  The students are politically and religiously diverse.  They are socially active.  Gustavus’ $70 million budget is balanced.

The Provost position is a new one for Gustavus.  Mary Morton’s main responsibility is to oversee the two academic deans and to ensure the strategic planning is implemented.  She gave us the five goals for the next ten years.  They are:

            Educate to lead and serve.

            Engage education at the intersections—in other words-educate the whole person

            Engage students with the world to make a difference

            Engage students in their faith to inspire understanding and to lead lives of            

            leadership and service.

            Engage students to be responsible stewards of Gustavus and the whole world.

Awards were given out to outstanding class agents.

Class of the Century-1962.  They are phenomenal—they already have two endowed scholarships.

Class of the Year-1957—they had a committee of 32 planning their reunion.  80% of the class was contacted and 40% came.

The Tom Wersell Class Agent of the Year Award—2002—they set out to beat 2001 and did!  Their goal was $15,000 and they brought in $20,000—that’s from a class newly employed.

I then met with the class of 1958 as they began their planning for their 50th reunion.  They were just beginning for next May and they feel that they’re already behind the 8-ball.  Therefore, I hope to begin our planning late winter or early spring.  I’ll be calling many of you to help and some of you have already volunteered—THANKS!  It appears there are three main chairmen/women needed—Events Chair, Communications Chair, and Giving Chair.  The more we have involved, the more fun and easier it will be for everyone.

The last item of the day was to encourage everyone to give to the annual fund drive.  I’ve already made my pledge and hope that after reading this lengthy newsletter, you will do likewise.  Students have been asked why they chose Gustavus and invariably their response is, “There’s just a feeling-spirit about Gustavus that was the determining factor.”  Keep that spirit alive with your gifts.

And now I’ll send this on to Gustavus for their latest campus news—and I’m off on a three-day bike ride.  Who said 70 is old?

Gustavianly yours,

152 Janet Marie Lane

Winona, MN


Campus News

Moes provide gift for Kendall Center

Gustavus parents Robert and Karin Moe have made a $1 million commitment to the John S. Kendall Center for Engaged Learning. This leadership gift brings the College closer to its goal of fully endowing the center, which is dedicated to advancing active and interdisciplinary learning across the campus. When fully funded, the endowment will generate funds to support two main areas: faculty development and student-faculty research.

New football stadium opens

On September 8, the football team played its inaugural game at the College’s new football stadium.  The synthetic-surfaced field is recessed below ground level and features an earthen berm surrounding the entire field.  The field will continue to be named Hollingsworth Field after the late Lloyd Hollingsworth, who served as the College’s football coach from 1942-1960 and athletic director from 1961-1978.

Athletics Hall of Fame Induction

On Saturday, November 3, Gustavus will induct the following people into the Athletic Hall of Fame: Tim DeJarlais ’91 (golf), John Erickson ’81 (hockey), Dave Hultgren ’92 (baseball), Craig Miller ’91 (cross country), Mindy Mayerchak Oosten ’88 (softball & soccer), Mike Schumacher ’91 (football), Ann Sommerness Simms ’92 (swimming), and Ryan Skanse ’92 (tennis).

Twin Cities Gustie Breakfasts

Join other Minneapolis/St. Paul area Gusties for a once-a-month morning cup of coffee and breakfast while getting an update on Gustavus. The group meets the third Wednesday of each month at the Doubletree Hotel, Minneapolis-Park Place, 1500 Park Place Boulevard (Hwy. 394 & Hwy. 100), 8:00-9:30 a.m., $10 per person.  Reserve by calling Don Swanson ’55 at 763/533-9083

Wednesday, October 17

Professor Jeff Jeremiason, recap of Nobel Conference

Wednesday, November 21

Winter sports coaches – Jon Carlson ’88 (men’s and women’s swimming & diving), Mark Hanson ’83 (men’s basketball), and Brett Petersen (men’s hockey)

Wednesday, December  19

Margaret Kelliher ’90, speaker of the Minnesota House of Representatives

Inaugural “A Royal Affair” Online Auction

“A Royal Affair,” the biennial fundraiser for the Gustavus library, is October 27.  New to A Royal Affair this year is an online auction that will be activated the week of October 22. This online auction will have unique items available only for bidding online and not at the evening event.  These items can be viewed through the Gustavus website and bidding will close prior to the October 27 Razzle Dazzle*A Royal Affair.  Also, the online auction is open to everyone – parents, alumni, students, faculty, and friends of Gustavus – even those unable to attend Razzle Dazzle*A Royal Affair.  Watch the Gustavus Library Associates website at for up-to-the-minute details on the online auction.

Alumni Fund

The 2008 Alumni Fund has a goal of $2 million from 8,000 donors.  Continue a Gustie tradition ― join other alumni to reach the goal with your participation in the 2008 Alumni Fund.

Refer a Gustie

As the school year starts, many high school seniors are getting serious about their college selection. If you know of high school seniors or juniors who may be a good fit at Gustavus, please send their names to the Office of Admission at Gustavus to help recruit the next generation of Gusties.  Contact the Admission Office at 800/GUSTAVU(S).

Calendar of events:

  • October 13                  Homecoming & Family Weekend
  • October 27                  Razzle Dazzle*A Royal Affair, Gustavus Library Associates
  • November 3                 Athletics Hall of Fame Induction Banquet
  • Nov. 30, Dec. 1-2        Christmas in Christ Chapel
  • December 6                 St. Lucia Day celebration on campus