Class of '60
September 2001

Dear Classmates:

I am sitting here at my computer exactly one week after the bombing of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.  I am still somewhat numb and a bit shaky, as perhaps you are.  Everyone says our world has changed.  Some wait for the next event to happen.  But it has also been a week that has seen us pack our respective places of worship.  It has been a week of seeing heroism and good emerge in people.  This is a time for the best in all of us.  I will not comment further as we have all been immersed in commentary.  I will tell you that the Gustavus community has been united in prayer and worship during these days.  So far, we have not learned of any alumni or family of students directly linked to victims of the bombings.

So, we try to get on with our day to day events, knowing how important it is to reach out to old friends with care and words of hope and encouragement.  We are all “old friends” and here is a bit of news of what has been happening with classmates:

Life is not the same around Gustavus with Bob Bellig retired from his teaching career at Gustavus.  Bellig made great contributions to the faculty and to the many students he taught over the years.  Bob joined the faculty in 1964 and retired after 36 years of service to the College.  During that time Bob lured students into the world of biology and wildlife studies, promoting international studies, mentoring students and watching them go on to graduate schools and successful careers.  Bob traveled the world as he led students to Tanzania, Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands.  And, he is not yet entirely done as he and Tucki are still planning to lead students to Tanzania again this January term.  Tucki, who retired a year ago from teaching, and Bob have left St. Peter and moved to the Bemidji area.  I am told that Tucki is in very good health and that, even as I am writing, Bob is out hunting.  Well, what else would he be doing in the Fall?

…Friends, this leaves only Keith "Joe" Carlson as the lone member of the class of 1960 on the faculty of our college.

Did you see the picture of Bob and Jim ’61 Krough in the Quarterly?  They were on campus for the first home track meet of the season that has been named, appropriately, the Lee Krough Invitational.  A nice honor for a great man.  The event will be held annually.

Dan Buendorf and Sandy have retired and moved from Litchfield to Maple Grove.  Dan is doing some volunteer ministry with his local congregation.

Bill Shogren writes that he spent the summer playing USTA league tennis (encouragement to all members of the class of ’60) and, together with his co-author, Bill has finished the revised edition of their fishing book.  The new title is The Trout Streams of Wisconsin and Minnesota.  Editor’s note: this book is sold in better bookstores, everywhere! Bill has a sales agency business that keeps him quite busy.  He and his wife still have a child in school and so they are “in the soup” for a few more years.  Shogie also does some calligraphy in his spare time.

Cathy Johnson writes from Bakersfield, California: “Sorry I missed the 40th―brother had a 50th anniversary the same weekend.”  She says life is good in Bakersfield and invites classmates to stop by (please). She has been substituting in special education classes, and enjoying being a grandparent to a junior high student.

Terry and Mary Lee Denley are back in St. Peter.  After living in Fergus Falls for the past 37 years, they have bought a town home near the campus.  Terry comments:  “We are excited to be near campus again to sample the Gustie spirit and take in the many and varied activities on campus.”  Congratulations Terry and Mary Lee on a wise choice.  However, we will be members of the same community for only a few more weeks as the Johnsons (that is, us―Dennis and Carol), after 24 years in St. Peter, have bought a condo in downtown Minneapolis!  We hate to leave St. Peter, but, we, too, are looking for a new adventure and new challenges.  We had a chance to “condo sit” last spring in the same building where we bought and enjoyed it very much.  So, we took the plunge.  I will be doing some part-time work in ministry and will tell you about that in the next letter.  For now, it is trying to sell a home and trying to lighten our load.  As with the Denleys, we, too, will be closer to family and many of our friends.

Joel and Nancy (Anderson) Wiberg are grandparents!  Daughter, Beth ’95, produced their first grandchild, shortly after going to work for Gustavus as the associate director for Annual Giving.  Beth has a million-dollar smile and upbeat attitude that will make her a great asset to Gustavus.

Jane Ellingson Shaw is now a certified spiritual director, giving guidance for those who seek a deeper development of their spirituality.  She is also a volunteer in her church and is kept joyously busy with several grandchildren.

Lots of expressions of appreciation to Judy Oberbeck Johnson for her newsy classletter.  We will bring her back for an encore!  Who else would like to try their hand at “guest writing” a class letter?  Email me at

Virginia Nelson Anderson writes:  “Life continues to be extremely busy and rewarding.  We have much to be grateful for!  We have joined the ranks of “grandparents” as of January, when our daughter gave birth to a baby girl.  Another new grandparent is Judy Sand Burmeister who reports a February birth to Brock Miller.  Congratulations to both Judy and Arlyn.  Jule Cameron reports some freeing up of time to do special things as her husband retired from Penn State University in December.

Pete Nyhus is still hard at work wholesaling the American Funds to registered reps in Southeastern Minnesota and South Dakota.  He and Nancy built a log home in Park Rapids on Potato Lake where they will retire if and when that comes.  Nephew, Nate, just started his second year at Gustavus.  Another classmate still working and loving it is Marilyn Hallberg Gaffin.  She is teaching gifted education grades K-12 in a small, rural East Tennessee county.  She travels to six different schools and enjoys the great variety in her work.

John Bergstrom is looking to retire at the end of this year from his position at the VA Hospital in Apache Junction., Arizona.  However, like a lot of us, he looks forward to a meaningful second career.  Nancy Dege Gerhard has a meaningful retirement, “I am mentoring two groups of beginning teachers.  Please encourage people to go into teaching―the shortage will be a crisis soon.”

Dorothy Lind Hiebert is retired and living in Windom and enjoying time with her grandchildren.  Dorothy was widowed last year.  Our sympathy to you, Dorothy, and glad to know you are near family.

Dee Ann Nygren and husband, Will, are both retired and enjoying time in Florida.  Their daughter was married last March.  Karen Olson has been doing lots of traveling in retirement.  She went to France last summer and to Scandinavia this summer.  She lives in Austin.

Nice article in the Grand Forks Herald about John Youngs and his wife, Linda.  Youngs was an eye, ear, nose and throat specialist at Altru Health Services in Grand Forks.  He has retired and moved to Brainerd where he will be a “starter” two mornings a week at Maddens Resort.  In their spare time, the Youngs will watch the loons on Lake Hubert and enjoy being closer to four of their five grandchildren.  They have also ordered college courses on tape.  Hers in music and his on astrology.  And, they are avid travelers.  Best wishes to you both as you start this new phase of life

Finally, we leave the news section of the class letter by reporting the sad news of the death of Tom Hedin on August 29 in California.  Tom or “T” as he was often called at Gustavus, struggled with cancer for some years now.  His letters to us have been upbeat, his last one just before our 40th class reunion.  At the time he was feeling well, but knew his long-term prognosis was not good.  Peace to his memory.

Phonorama is upon us! Callers Needed!

The dates are October 15, 16, and 18 at the Hilton Garden Inn located in Shoreview.  October 22, 23 and 24 at the Radisson South Hotel in Bloomington.  October 17 and 24 in the banquet rooms of Gustavus.

Please note that these are all new locations offering convenience and great atmosphere for socializing before and after the calling.  We will be using cell phones donated by Sprint PCS.  Calling will be from 6-9 p.m.

Please call and volunteer to help. Call the Alumni Fund Office at 1-866-487-3863.  Save me from making an extra phone call to recruit callers.  I would love it.


Anxiety about the economic future?  Now is not the time to retreat to giving to our College whose mission is to train young men and women to make a difference in their communities and in our world.  Now is the time to give our best efforts to our churches, communities and to our college.

Love to you all.


“Life is short and we have not much time for gladdening the hearts of those who walk the road with us, O be swift to love, make haste to be kind.”  ~Ancient prayer

Campus News:

The Alumni Office is sending this class letter via U.S. Postal Service Mail and also e-mail to those alumni for whom we have an e-mail address.  Eventually class letters will be sent via e-mail only, when an address is available, unless you notify the Alumni Office that you prefer to continue to receive your letters via U.S. Postal Service.  Contact the Alumni Office at

As Gustavus enters its 140th academic year, the 2001-2002 year opened with an enrollment of 2,540 full-time students including 670 first-year students.  The Class of 2005, selected from a record number of applications (2,163), includes 18 National Merit Scholars and 18 international students, doubling last year’s number of nine international students.

Last year Gustavus athletic teams finished 18th out of 395 competing in the NCAA Division III national Sears Directors Cup Standings.  Standings are based on national tournament finishes.  The Gustie women athletes won the MIAC All-Sports title for the first time in its 18-year history.

Gustavus ranked among top colleges – Gustavus is ranked in the second tier and one of the top 114 best national liberal arts colleges by U.S. News & World Report magazine.  Gustavus ranked in the first tier in two categories, retention and graduation rates.  Gustavus’ first-year to sophomore retention rate of 92 percent ranks in the top 15 percent of all national liberal arts colleges and graduation rate of 76 percent ranks in the top 20 percent of all national liberal arts colleges.  Alumni giving ranks in the top 25 percent, down from the top five percent and a tier one ranking five years ago.  Raising the percentage of participation of alumni giving is of highest priority for the college and the offices of Alumni Relations and Gustavus Alumni Fund.

Gustavus named Best Buy... Gustavus has been named one of the best colleges in America and a Best Buy by The Fiske Guide to Colleges.  In the 2002 guidebook, the College is one of 300 best American colleges and one of 43 Best Buys nationwide.  Within Minnesota, Gustavus is among seven best colleges and is one of two private college Best Buys.  To determine which colleges make the annual Best Buy list, Fiske researchers combine cost data with academic and lifestyle information about each college and university.  Those institutions named to the Best Buy colleges list are said to offer “remarkable educational opportunities at a relatively modest cost.”  Gustavus is also included in The Princeton Review’s 2001 edition of The Best 331 Colleges.

Nobel Conference XXXVII, What is Still to be Discovered?, is October 2 & 3.  This year’s conference includes five Nobel laureates and three other experts who will give participants a foretaste of what the next big discoveries might be as we look toward the second Nobel century.  This year celebrates the 100th anniversary of the Nobel prizes and the conference will include the premier of Steve Heitzeg’s ’82 The Nobel Symphony, two art exhibitions in the Hillstrom Museum, and an exclusive 10-course banquet with a menu recreation of the Nobel dinner 100 years ago.  Alumni are invited to visit the Alumni Hospitality Room during the conference located in the Hall of Fame Room on the second level of Lund Center.  Conference information and registration material was inserted in the Fall Quarterly or call Office of Public Affairs at 507-933-7520 or on the web at


G.I.V.E. (Gusties In Volunteer Endeavors), a day of community service, is scheduled for Saturday, October 13.  Numerous sites have been identified in the Twin Cities and alumni in other cities around the country are participating in the event.  Contact the Alumni Office at 800-487-8437 or for more information or visit the events section of the alumni page at


Comprehensive alumni directory – In partnership with Publishing Concepts, the Gustavus Alumni Association is publishing its fourth comprehensive alumni directory.  Surveys were sent to all alumni in August and information will be used only for publication of the directory and updating database information in the Alumni Office.  The book is available for purchase only by former students of Gustavus.  Please correct or update any information and return to Publishing Concepts in the enclosed envelope provided with the survey.


New chaplain announced - The Rev. Rachel Larson has joined Rev. Brian Johnson ’80 in the Office of the Chaplain.  Larson will work in partnership with Chaplain Johnson and the other members of the Office of the Chaplain to provide spiritual guidance, worship, leadership, counseling, teaching, and other pastoral services to Gustavus students, staff, and their families.  Larson is a graduate of Augustana College in Sioux Falls, SD, and of what is now Luther Seminary in St. Paul.

Christmas in Christ Chapel, A Celtic Pilgrimage, is November 30 & December 1-2.  A ticket order form was inserted in the Fall Quarterly.  Contact Office of Public Affairs at 507-933-7520.