Class of ’59

November 2011

Greetings from Carol Heyl!

Apologies to the class of 1959!  This summer has been a little crazy for me and I was anticipating a normal class letter in the fall.  I missed the letter advising me that the Quarterly would now be the vehicle to spread our class news---so the Fall Quarterly will not have any of our news.  On top of this, my computer crashed and all the news I’ve filed away is inaccessible right now.  From memory, I’ll attempt to share what has been sent to me.

Roy Harley in Red Wing, MN emailed me a lengthy letter and when I can retrieve it, I’ll include his news in the next Quarterly.  Duane Aldrich is still in Willmar and Carol Sammelson Perkins is in Red Wing.  Mark Bjorkman in Denton TX sent me a list of 10 major things in our lives that will be eliminated during our lifetime.  I remember the newspaper and television as being two of them.  I’ll send the whole list when my computer is well.  Mark is hoping to sell his home and then move to Seattle to be near his daughter.  Our class has both bad and good news.  The bad news is that Dave Eckman passed away on June 11, just a few days before our Class President Paul Youngdahl who died suddenly on June 20.  The good news is that Elaine Torrey Holmen and Paul Magnuson will be married the Saturday after Thanksgiving!  Ben Johnson continues working as an interim pastor.

This isn’t class news, but for those outside of Minnesota may like to know that the governor appointed a poet laureate for the state and she is a professor at Gustavus.  Joyce Sutphen teaches literature and creative writing.

The class agent position has been changed by Gustavus and I find the concept exciting.  It’s very similar to how we were organized for our 50th reunion.  Jerry Hoffman has agreed to be president, Carol Miller Hammarberg is fund chairman, Ben Johnson is recruitment chair and I am the communications chair.  We’re still seeking a reunion/events chair.  Who likes to plan parties etc.?  As communications chair, I would like to develop a network of reporters who would feed class news from their corner of the world or from friends with whom they stay in touch.  I’ll be calling and emailing some of you soon.

Congratulations on your willingness to join me as Gustavus Class of ʼ59 Officers!  (Our official term continues until our 55th Class reunion - at which time there will be a more formal election of officers.)

The 1959 Gustavus Alumni Class Officers are:

VP/Annual Fund - Carol Miller Hammarberg


Communications Chair - Carol Johnson Heyl

Recruitment Chair - Ben Johnson


Greetings from Jerry Hoffman

You might ask how I became president of our class.  It began when I received an invitation to attend a Class Officers meeting on September 30.  I called and asked why and was told that because I am listed as the president of the class.  Really???  They apologized but encouraged me to come and bring my wife as well and then decide whether I am willing to do it.  Since there were going to be free meals, a good excuse to go down to Gustavus and tickets to the Sesquicentennial (150 years) kick-off banquet my wife Joan (Miller ’61) went.

Carol Johnson Heyl and I were the only ones from our class at the officers meeting.  I saw on a list of officers, Ben Johnson’s name, but he didn’t know he was one.  (He agreed to be the Recruitment Officer!)  We came away from the class officers’ orientation with a conviction that our efforts need to be focused on what we can do to help our class of 1959 connect with each other and with Gustavus.

The Sesquicentennial banquet, attended by nearly 800 people, was held in the hockey rink.  It was an amazing celebration.  The decor was incredible, the food exceptional, and the program very inspiring.  A $150 million Gustavus Campaign was launched.  Almost $72,000,000 has already been committed.  The lead gift for the project has been made by Warren and Donna (Gabbert) Beck ʼ67 ʼ66 who gave $16 million.  They also will serve as the co-chairs for the funding effort.  A new 125,000 square foot building named after Warren and Donna Beck was dedicated.  It is stunning!!!!  To learn more click on the following:

You can expect class a class letter in the fall and in the spring.  The Gustavus Quarterly will have more information about all the classes.  That is a great idea because many of our friends were in classes before and after us.

Finally, if you are fortunate, sometime this year you too will be touched by Flat Gus!


Jerry Hoffman

1950 Class President

2550 38th Ave NE #311

St. Anthony Village, MN 55421-5038


Campus News

Campaign Gustavus Announcement

At the Sesquicentennial and Campaign Kickoff Dinner held on campus on Friday Sept. 30, Board of Trustees Chair Mark Bernhardson announced the official kickoff of a comprehensive fundraising campaign, Campaign Gustavus.  The financial goal of the campaign is to raise $150 million by the end of 2015 to fund the strategic initiatives of Commission Gustavus 150.  The focus of Campaign Gustavus is to ensure the College has the resources to continue providing opportunities for teaching and learning in a caring community.  To find out more about Campaign Gustavus and how you can be involved, visit:

2011 Athletics Hall of Fame

Gustavus inducted new members into its Athletics Hall of Fame at a banquet on October 15.  Inductees for 2011 are Owen Sammelson ’58, benefactor; Amanda Murdock Diehl ’92, gymnastics; Jay Klagge ’92, basketball; Bryan Ripken ’94, swimming; Todd Anderson ’95, soccer; Tracy Erickson McMorrow ’95, tennis; Scott Moe ’95, golf; Laura LeVander Peters ’96, softball; and Colleen Barland Sherman ’96, soccer.  The Hall of Fame Moment is the 1991 Women’s Gymnastics National Championship, won with the final routine of the meet. 

Christmas in Christ Chapel

As the College’s Sesquicentennial Christmas in Christ Chapel, Julljus:  Light from the Old World, Light to the New brings us to the celebration of Christ’s light—to Sweden in the Middle Ages; to Minnesota in the 19th century; and to our fractured and darkened world today.  At the center of the 39th annual community celebration is Julotta, the traditional Christmas matins service brought by Swedish immigrants to the New World.  Tickets for Christmas in Christ Chapel 2011 are on sale online at  If you do not have access to the Internet, please call 507-933-7520 to place your credit card order.

Gustie Breakfasts

Join your fellow Gusties for breakfast and to learn something new about your alma mater at the monthly Gustie Breakfasts.  November speaker will be Rob Gardner, interim artistic coordinator for Christmas in Christ Chapel.  The St. Peter Breakfast will be held in the banquet rooms on campus at 7:30 a.m. on Nov. 9, and the Twin Cities Breakfast will be held at the Doubletree Hotel in Minneapolis at 8 a.m. on Nov. 16.  RSVP by calling 800-487-8437 or e-mail Hope to see you bright and early!