Class of '59
September 2008

Dear ’59ers,

Start your diets!  Exercise three times a week at a minimum!  Look for that perfect outfit!  Just kidding―we might have done all those things 25 years ago, but now we’re just happy to have made the 50-year mark and look forward to seeing everyone on May 29-30th 2009.

Jeanette Reinke Carlson wrote about this year’s reunion:

The last week in May, I had the opportunity to attend the 1958 class reunion with my husband, Alan ’58.  The college “rolled out the red carpet” and treated us royally.  I thought perhaps Sweden’s King Carl was on campus, but it was all for us!  We experienced several memorable worship services in our beautiful chapel with the Gustavus choir in full voice.  Imagine my surprise when we stepped down into The Dive for snacks and fellowship and were offered wine and beer!  Our meals were gourmet; of course (the spirit of Ma Young is alive and well).  We attended seminar sessions (SRO) and will long remember James McPherson’s ’58 presentation on Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War.  Oh, to sit in his class at Princeton University everyday!  The Gustavus wind orchestra concert was superb.  We strolled down Hello Walk and paid homage to Old Gus, still the center of the campus, shopped for sweatshirts in the bookstore, and―best of all―shared memories with classmates of yore.  I anticipate our ’59 class reunion next spring will be just as delightful.  Remember…there won’t be a R-E---N-I-O-N without “U.”  See you there!    ~Jeanette (Reinke) Carlson

On Saturday, September 13th, seventeen of our classmates met at Gustavus for the annual Volunteer Leadership Day.  It is always such a treat to be on campus and see how beautiful it is.  I hope the current students appreciate what a gorgeous setting they have―it’s breathtaking!  In the morning we heard from our new Gustavus president, Jack Ohle, who is very enthusiastic about the future of Gustavus.  Tom Young ’88 has been named vice president for institutional advancement (raising money)—and he claims to bleed “gold and black”—he comes from a long line of Gusties.  Awards were given to the Class of the Year—1958 and to the Class Agents of the Year:  Owen Sammelson ’58 and Luther Hagen ’88.  The 1958 class had an amazing year and have thrown down the challenge to 1959.  Forty percent of their class attended the reunion and they had 80% of the class donating to their class gift.  I know we can match or do better than that!  At lunch, we heard talks from three current students and three faculty members.  Everyone looked so young—even the faculty—and hearing them talk about why they’re at Gustavus and all that they’re involved in just made me want to come back to school and start all over!

After lunch our group got serious about planning for next May.  I can guarantee you this will be an affair not to be missed.  We’ll have a mixture of fun and seriousness.  Have you completed your questionnaire to Ben Johnson?  He’s had a good response but will take more up until January 1.  Remember, he will not reveal anyone’s identity―so tell it like it is.

We’re hoping to produce a video of past and present pictures.  Send snapshots from Gustavus days and one current picture of yourself alone or with family to Carol Heyl.  Please be certain to identify them so we can return the originals to you.  My address is:  152 Janet Marie Lane, Winona, MN 55987.

We will have a reception room for those classmates who would like to display their accomplishments and/or creative endeavors that have been developed in retirement or over the years.  If you are interested in doing this, contact me by email: or phone: 507-454-5543

Some of the nursing students who started at Gustavus with us have dropped off our mailing list.  If you know of someone who should know about the reunion, please get that information to us.

In case you think all the planning is over—think again!  We need a lot of help—jobs can be big or small―and we do a lot of meeting over email.  Please come join us!

Class News

The last Gustavus Quarterly had no news from our class—because no one sent in any news!  I have received a few items for this letter.

Jeanette Westberg Johnston attended the 1958’s reunion because she actually started out with them—but took time out to work for a year—thus ending up with us.  She and Scooter ’60 live in Moscow, Idaho where their two daughters and five beautiful grandchildren live.  Their son, Eric, lives in Bozeman, MT.  She claims they have plenty to do as the University of Idaho is here and Washington State is just across the border.  She’s contemplating studying computers or theology!

Pat McLane Olson and husband, Richard “Red” ’58 hope to see their grandson, Mac Marti, attend Gustavus in another year.  His father graduated in 1979—it seems a real dynasty is forming.

Jerry Hoffman, a reunion committee member, filled me in on what he’s been up to lately.  He and Joan (Miller ’61) have been married 49 years and have two married daughters and four grandchildren.  This past year, he and Joan had an adventure in Tanzania including mission activities with the people and went on an African safari—seeing it all.  Jerry retired in 1999, but failed retirement and is now director of the Center for Stewardship Leadership at Luther Seminary in St. Paul.

Lynette Street Flato emailed me from California early this summer to let me know the forest fires were not near them at least right then.  The area she lives in would be celebrating their centennial year and I imagine she was caught up in the festivities.

Through the reunion planning process, Paul Magnuson heard from Paul WestgardPaul and Kathy (Coffman) live in Arizona and they will be helping the reunion group down in Arizona.  Paul W. has been involved in a program mentoring soon-to-be-released inmates—helping them find employment and effectively re-enter society.  Paul M. has just returned from another trip to Armenia.  We’ll have to get the complete story at reunion.

Paul Youngdahl emailed me with news of Dave Eckman.  Paul visited Dave this summer in Superior, Wisconsin where Dave is living in a nursing home.  He is severely depressed but Paul reports that Dave radiates when he talks about his love for all his Gustavus classmates.  Sandie and Sunny Anderson have also seen Dave and report that he loves Hershey with almonds candy bars.  Paul Y. himself has had two back surgeries this summer but hopes to be out golfing and shooting baskets soon.

Last winter when I visited Cliff and Diana (Sroder) Johnson in Albuquerque, we started reminiscing over the days we lived in the huts (married students housing).  Since then Diana has made a list of things she recalls and I’ll share them over the coming year.  Most of the husbands drove bus for the St. Peter schools and car-pooled to their buses each morning.  Our only bathroom was under the football stadium which we shared with anyone coming to the games—and you can imagine leaping snowdrifts in the middle of winter to get there.  (I suspect a few kept a coffee can for midnight needs.)

An Endowed Scholarship has been established for the class of 1959 by one of our classmates.  This scholarship may be added to by all of us.  As part of the reunion, we will be presenting Gustavus with a monetary gift from our class.  This may consist of many different forms of gifts―you’ll hear more about this during the year.  An Endowed Scholarship is one type of gift and now that has already been started.  Thank you!

That’s all the news for this edition.  You’ll be hearing from us often this year.  Be sure to mark the dates of May 29 and 30, 2009 for our reunion.  We’d love to have more of you on the committee―don’t be bashful—everyone can help in some way—even from a long distance.

Gustavianly yours,

Carol Johnson Heyl

1959 Class Agent

152 Janet Marie Lane

Winona, MN 55987


Campus News

Presidential Inauguration

Gustavus Adolphus College will inaugurate Jack R. Ohle as its 16th president at 3:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 3 in Christ Chapel.  The public is invited to celebrate this event along with a reception on Eckman Mall that will follow the ceremony.  On Homecoming, Saturday, Oct. 4 Gustavus will celebrate with an Oktoberfest; buffet-style dinner immediately following the Homecoming football game in the Lund Center Forum.  Cost is $7 per person.  For more information about Inaugural Week events, contact the Office of College Relations at 507-933-7520.

Gusties Gather!  The Reason to Connect with Other Gusties

Gusties Gather! is a day for Gusties across the country to have an opportunity to connect or re-connect with other Gusties in their area.  It is a time to build Gustavus friendships and networks and is in no way a fundraiser.  Most gatherings are on Sept. 28.  Watch for gatherings in your area or check out the Alumni website for a location near you.

Twin Cities Gustie Breakfasts

Join other Minneapolis/St. Paul area Gusties for a morning cup of coffee and breakfast while getting an update on Gustavus.  The group meets the third Wednesday of each month.  Future presenters include Tim Robinson ’65, director of Nobel Conference 2008, in October and in November Tom Young ’88, vice president for institutional advancement.

Doubletree Hotel, Minneapolis-Park Place, 1500 Park Place Boulevard (Hwy. 394 & Hwy. 100)

Third Wednesday of the month - 8-9:30 a.m.

Cost is $10 per person.  Reserve a spot by calling Don Swanson ’55 at:  763-533-9083.

Nobel Conference ― Who Were the First Humans?

Nobel Conference XLIV is scheduled for Oct. 7 and 8, 2008 and is focusing on the first humans.  Presenters will consider the full range of recent evidence about the first modern humans going beyond archaeologists and paleoanthropologists to the work of biologists, climatologists, geneticists, mathematicians, and psychologists who have been adding to the scientific database.

Upcoming Alumni Events

  • Gusties Gather! - Sept. 28
  • Presidential Inauguration/Homecoming/Family Weekend - Oct. 3-4
  • Nobel Conference - Oct. 7-8
  • Gustie Breakfast with Tim Robinson ’65, Director of Nobel Conference – Oct. 15