Class of '59
June 2008

Dear Classmates,

In a little less than one year from now, on May 29-30, 2009, we will be gathering to celebrate 50 years since we graduated from Gustavus!  News is beginning to flow in from all of you about what you’ve been doing and why you’re looking forward to being together again.

Marilyn Gustafson Asp has taken on the role of raising her 14-year-old granddaughter and sounds like she is coping with teenager stuff quite well.  She also writes:

            “It is difficult to wrap my mind around the fact that 50 years ago I graduated from G.A.!  What an adventure those fifty years have given to me.  It has been an adventure enriched by the maturing experienced during the four years at G.A. surrounded by exciting learning, deepening spiritual life and a variety of friendships.

            I will always remember the daily choir practices and the wonder of singing with others, bringing the Gospel message as we toured.

            There were delightful times of sharing ideas over coffee in the canteen, challenging classroom lectures and discussions, anticipated social events, the theater in which classmates performed, study in the stacks and fun after, and the special worship services―all these experiences were what it meant to be at Gustavus for me.

            When I will join with classmates all those memories will surround us and enrich our time together. That will be a very special occasion.

            Sincerely, Marilyn Gustafson Asp”

I also heard from Ben Johnson today.  He’s received some responses from our last questionnaire—but would really like more―by JUNE 30th.  In case you’ve misplaced the questionnaire, here are the five questions.

1.      How did you catch your first sense of what you ended up devoting your life to?

2.      Did experiences at Gustavus contribute to that sense?  If so, who or what (professor, roommate, friend, group)?

3.      What was the area or areas that you ended up choosing to focus upon?

4.      Did you need additional education or experience to prepare you for that vocation?  If it was more education, please list school/schools and degrees attained.

5.      We would be particularly interested in how your undergraduate experience served you, and could have perhaps served you better, or had served you better than the people with whom you studied or worked.

So―please get your responses to Ben soon.  His address is:

1628 13th Ave SE, St. Cloud, MN 56304 or email is:

You’ll be hearing more from us as reunion plans take shape.  In the meantime, send news.  My email address has changed to:

Gustavianly yours,

Carol Johnson Heyl

1959 Class Agent


Campus News

New Gustavus President Announced

The Board of Trustees of Gustavus has elected Jack R. Ohle to be the College’s 15th president.  Ohle, currently the president of Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa, will succeed Jim Peterson ’64, who is retiring after serving as president of the College since July 2003.  Ohle will take office July 1, 2008.

Gusties Gather! Hosts Needed

Gusties around the world are called to gather on Sunday, September 28.  The Alumni Board is designating this day as a day to intentionally connect with other Gusties.  Want to do more to be connected with Gustavus?  Sign up to host a Gusties Gather! event for your neighborhood or with your friends.

Celebrating 25 Years of Phi Beta Kappa at Gustavus

In April, Gustavus celebrated its 25th anniversary as a Phi Beta Kappa institution.  Phi Beta Kappa began during colonial times, in 1776, when its members secretly met to discuss revolution against the British throne.  It was the first Greek society founded in the United States and today remains the most prestigious of scholarly organizations.  Out of the nearly 5,000 colleges and universities in the country, only about 300 are authorized to host a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa.  The application process for a chapter charter is long and tedious.  The national board looks at a college’s ratio of Ph.D. faculty members, test scores, endowment, and the number of books in the library, among other things. A team then comes to do a physical inspection of the campus.  Gustavus applied five times before it was recommended for a chapter. After a year of planning, Gustavus members were first initiated in 1983.

Gustie Breakfasts

The June Twin Cities Breakfast will feature Professor of Chemistry Larry Potts who retired June 1 after 36 years at Gustavus. Potts will reflect on his 36 years of teaching and talk about undergraduate science research.  Join other 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.  Doubletree Hotel, Minneapolis-Park Place, June 18, 8-9:30 a.m., 1500 Park Place Boulevard (Hwy. 394 & Hwy. 100), $10 per person.  Reserve a spot by calling Don Swanson ’55 at 763-533-9083

Upcoming Events

  • Summer Solstice Garden Tour - June 22
  • Gusties Gather! - September 28
  • Homecoming/Family Weekend - October 3-5