Class of ’59

April 2012

To the Gustavus Class of 1959,

Reflection by Jerry Hoffman, Class President

In 1955, I applied for entrance to Gustavus Adolphus for the class of 1959.  Later I saw my picture in a Gustie publication announcing that I was “The First Frosh Over the Horizon.”  I had never been on campus.  I never applied to any other college.  The only person I knew was Prof. George Anderson who did supply preaching in our church.  All I know is I got it in my head that I wanted to go to Gustavus.  I loved my time at Gustavus and when I go there now, I still do.

After graduation we scattered all over the map in a variety of locations and occupations.  We became disconnected.  As class officers we have as a simple goal; we want to facilitate a reconnection.  Therefore we are making an effort to contact you by telephone or email.  To help facilitate this effort send us your news and that of classmates you know.

If nothing else, even if you think we know please send your current:

Home Phone Number

Cell Phone Number

Email Address

Street Address

Alternative Address

Send the information to Carol Johnson Heyl


Postal Mail:  52 Janet Marie Lane, Winona, MN 55987

Cell Phone:  507-429-1508

Home Phone:  507-429-1508

News from Carol Johnson Heyl, Communication Chair

Although the world has drastically changed, a value that remains consistent is the desire to be connected.  Are you curious about what has transpired in the lives of your Gusties classmates?  Do you ever wonder about what happened to a classmate?

A change in the Quarterly magazine calls for more inclusion of class news in that publication.  That will be coming out shortly.  There will be information in the Quarterly about members of our class that is in addition to what follows.

The saddest news is that Tusa Johnson Bergman passed away March 23rd.  Tusa fought cancer for many years and was always an inspiration with her optimism.  We will miss her and as someone wrote, “Our little Tusa is now in the heavenly choir.”  I did hear from many classmates after I sent out an email.  They all expressed similar thoughts.

In addition, we want to extend sympathy to Clyde ʼ56 and Lois (Madsen) Allen on the death of their son Paul ʼ83 on Wednesday, March 28.  He had health challenges caused by diabetes.

Sandra and Sonia Anderson spent three weeks in Florida this winter and a month up North last summer in various timeshares.  They keep very busy with their crafts.

Kay Carlson Gritton finally entered the 21st century by buying an iPad and now says she can’t live without it.  Kay is one busy woman working at the Edina Art Center—“the best kept secret in the Twin Cities;” two antique booths and the Whymsy in the Galleria.  Plus she finds time to enter juried art shows with her jewelry and water colors!

Carol Miller Hammarberg did some phoning for me and contacted these friends:

Ann Hendrickson is developing a line of gluten free baked goods—her specialty is brownies.  Ann also has a cottage on Green Lake to sell.  Is anyone interested?

Barb Endersbe Wallin in retirement has become a nanny to their three grandkids.  She also volunteers at her church one day a week.

Carol Sammelson Perkins and her husband have a farm near Red Wing.  They are semi-retired as their sons take over the farm.  They remain very active in their church and with their family.

Jeanette Westberg Johnston says her time is filled with grandkids and all their sporting activities.  Sound familiar to anyone else?

I had a long enjoyable visit with Evie Bonander.  She is retired but not inactive.  She volunteers with a pastoral education chaplaincy, raises money for the cancer center, works at a homeless shelter and is on a review board at Harvard University for the Arts and Sciences.  In addition she still cross country skis and dog sits for many friends.  When she returns to the Midwest, she visits friends and relatives in St. Peter and White Bear Lake.  (I hope I’ve interpreted my scribbled notes correctly!)

Stanley Jurgenson lives with his son Michael in Las Vegas, Nevada.  Michael reported that his dad has had some life threatening health challenges.  But he is making progress and will be home soon where Michael and his wife will be able to give him the care he needs.  When asked about whether Stan continues to sing, he replied.  Oh yes!  He sings very loud!

Ralph and Bev (Gustafson) Akermark live in Des Moines, Iowa.  Ralph is now a professor Emeritus from Grand View College where he spent many years teaching Western Civilization.  Ralph developed particular interest in Austrian economics.  He believes that the prevailing economic practices in the world are leading us to a collapse of civilization.

Ardeth Doherty resides in New Brighton.  She talked about her work as a home economics teacher at Columbia Heights (Minnesota) High School.  Her beginning salary was $3,900.  She remembers it cost her $5,000 for her four-year education at Gustavus.

Ron and Lorene (Johnson ʼ61) Johnson continue to enjoy their retirement years in Fairfield Glade, Tennessee.  Ron is a board member of the Peavine Care Center Foundation.  They are active in their congregation.  They keep in close touch with their three children.  One lives near Chicago, another in Texas and a third in Minnesota.  Since Ron was a few years older than the rest at Gustavus, he became the elder brother who in good humor and robust laughter gave all sorts of advice about relationship issues.

Herb and Nancy (Lindstrom ʼ61) Johnson live in Lindsborg, Kansas.  Herb is active in their congregation and gathers regularly with other retired pastors for Bible Study and efforts to solve the world’s problems.  He enjoys reading and recommends the works of Bernard Cornwell who is a historical novelist particularly about English history.  They thoroughly enjoy living close to their children and grandchildren.

Your Giving Makes a Difference

When we were at Gustavus, most of us didn’t stop and think of the generosity of others down through the years that helped to make our education possible.  Their giving then made a difference in our lives.

The same holds true today.  Do you realize that 90% of the students at Gustavus received some sort of financial aid?  A significant number could only attend Gustavus because of that aid.

The annual fund appeal ends on May 31.  So far 63 of us have chosen to make a gift toward providing a quality education for students who will make their lives count!  Our gifts total thus far is $56,291.  If you haven’t made a gift for this annual appeal, please do so by May 31.

Students at Gustavus are attending a church-related, residential, liberal arts college firmly rooted in its Swedish and Lutheran heritage.  The college is guided by five core values: community, excellence, faith, justice, and service.

Class Reunion Chair Sought

It is not too early to start thinking about our 55th class reunion in 2014.  We are seeking someone who will chair this event.  Our past chairwomen are more than willing to help, but need a break from the overall responsibility.  Your suggestions for a chair person would be appreciated.  This reunion will be a piece of cake compared to all of the planning for the last one!

News You Can Use

A Reading Suggestion for Your Book Club

Each year Gustavus identifies a book that they encourage all students, faculty and the community to read in common and discuss.  This year the book is titled:  The Other Wes Moore:  One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore 2012-13 academic year.  The book tells the story of two kids with the same name, living in the same city.  One grew up to be a Rhodes Scholar, decorated combat veteran, White House Fellow, and business leader.  The other is serving a life sentence in prison for felony murder.  Told in alternating dramatic narratives that take readers from heart-wrenching losses to moments of surprising redemption, the book tells the story of a generation of boys trying to find their way in a challenging and at times, hostile world.

The 48th Nobel Conference October 2-3.

Top researchers in biogeochemistry, oceanography, deep-sea biology, molecular genetics, and coral ecology are coming together on Oct. 2-3, 2012, for “Our Global Ocean,” the 48th annual Nobel Conference at Gustavus Adolphus College.  They will meet to discuss the marine realm:  what we know, what we don’t know, and how we humans rely upon healthy vibrant seas.

Watch past Nobel Conference video archive presentations on line.  For information go to

Swedish King and Queen

Their majesties King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia will visit Gustavus on Friday, Oct. 5, 2012 and American Swedish Institute on Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012.  The visit will commemorate the sesquicentennial at Gustavus and the opening of the new Nelson Cultural Center at American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis.

Gustavus Increases Presence in Twin Cities

Gustavus will have office space in the new Nelson Cultural Center and American Swedish Institute which gain the academic resources of Gustavus.  The partnership will include lectures from Gustavus faculty at ASI and use of the office as a home base for internships and community service in the Twin Cities area.

Gustavus has Hockey Success

For the ninth straight season, the Gustavus women’s hockey team is the proud owner of an MIAC playoff championship title.

The Gustavus men’s hockey team lost the NCAA quarterfinals after an eight game winning streak.

Tornado Became Defining Moment

On March 29, 1998 an F3 tornado hit St. Peter, causing devastating damage to the campus.  Students returned from spring break to find their cars totaled and their campus in ruins.  But Gustavus rose from the ashes.  If you haven’t been on campus for a while, it is worth a stop and a tour.

Gustavus Population by the Numbers

Students:  2,456 (FTE, fall 2009) students

57.3% women; 42.7% men

From 41 states and 13 countries

Faculty:  199 full-time faculty; 87 part-time

97% of tenure-track faculty hold the terminal degree in their fields

Make Your Life Count

While on the campus last fall I became aware of the theme that Gustavus has adopted – “Make Your Life Count!”

Go to the Make Your Life Count website at:

I invite you to go to the website and read stories that celebrate Gustavus students, alumni, faculty, staff, programs, events, and organizations.

Wear black and gold Gustavus apparel on Fridays!

As class officers, we acknowledge that our Gustavus connections are a special part of our lives.  Thank you for your efforts to relate with each other and with us.

We are grateful for who you are and what you do,

Jerry Hoffman, Class President,

Carol Johnson Heyl, Communications Chair,

Ben Johnson, Student Recruitment Chair,

Carol Miller Hammerberg, Annual Fund Chair,

By The Way:  Did you know that Gustavus...

  • Has hosted 95 Nobel laureates on campus.
  • Is consistently in the top 20 among undergraduate institutions for the number of its students who study abroad.
  • Was named "exemplary in sustainability" by the National Wildlife Federation.
  • Has earned a Top 10 ranking from the Peace Corps for the number of its students volunteering to serve.
  • Is ranked among the top 50 U.S. colleges by Kiplinger’s for "best value."
  • Was named to President Obama's National Community Service Honor Roll in 2010.
  • Had its pennant taken to the moon by astronaut Buzz Aldrin.