Class of '60
February 2003

Dear Classmates:

Well, here it is time again for another letter.  As Professor Creel used to say, “You must probe the muse!”  Well, I’ll start probing and we’ll see what happens.

I should just have a main heading of “Retirements” and then list all of our classmates who have or are planning to do it!  Virginia Nelson Anderson writes from Janesville, WI that she and her husband, Ray, remain happily involved in church and community activities.  She just returned from a trip to Connecticut to visit their only grandchild, who is now 15 months old.  They are planning a trip to Alaska for their 40th wedding anniversary in June.  After they make that trip, they will have visited all of the 50 states.

Lois Lindall Miller plans to retire from the University of Minnesota cancer research program.  She and her husband will spend much of the year at their home in Red Lodge, MT.

Marian Nelson McCollum and her husband do a lot of traveling and spend the rest of their time at their cabin in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  Hope the cabin is well insulated!

We received a short note from Jim Olson who spent his first two years of college at Gustavus.  He finished his education at the University of Minnesota and fondly remembers the time spent at Gustavus.

Sue Appelquist Tucker works in Colorado and visits Minnesota and California to see her children.

Carolyn Anderson Kvam wonders where the slow, easy life of retirement exists.  She lives in Punta Garden, FL where they have a pool and boat in the backyard.  The pool must be very large to accommodate a boat!

Norm and Norma Wold are retired and living in Lake Havasu City, AZ.  Norm enjoys four-wheeling in the desert.

Richard and Carol (Ofelt ’62) Duerr have retired and are living in Tucson, AZ.  She is music minister at Lord of Grace Lutheran Church.

Steve and Mary McCann live in Manhattan Beach, CA.  Steve says he attended the Gustavus/Azusa football game in November.  He enjoyed visiting with classmates and a past professor.

Mary Jane Lageson Putz has retired, but teaches part time at North Hennepin.

Tom and Carol (Villesvik ’61) Weston live in Lacey, WA.  They have both retired.

Tomoko Kai Reimer lives in El Cerrito, CA and is now retired.

Kent and Karen Carlander live in Santa Barbara, CA where Kent is a mental health counselor.  Those of us who continue to live in Minnesota could use his services!

Elaine Ruesch Greiner lives in Medford, WI where she is employed at Jim Greiner Realty.  Yes, Mr. Greiner is Elaine’s spouse!

Charlotte Benjamin Schoen and her husband, Paul, live in Hastings, MN.  Char has retired from RN utilization management.

Marcia Johnson Shaw writes from Rockford, IL that she is “mostly” retired as a clinical manager at a family consultation service.  Wonder how many hours per week compile “mostly”?!!

Sonja Alvheim Hirsch and her husband, Tom, are just back from a trip to Italy. 

Kathleen Tuomin Holmes and her husband, LeRoy ’61, have both retired and are living in Tower, MN.

Rosemarie Anderson Kohler is still a clinical and cardiac nurse at Palomar Medical Center in Vista, CA.  She writes that she just finished a golf tournament and the gold team, Silver Foxes, to which she belongs, plays in the winter in California.

David Swanson and his wife, Marion, live in Richfield, MN.  David has retired and they are proud grandparents.

Martha Larson Warehime is a homemaker in Fremont, NE.  Her daughter was married in April 2002.  Since both the bride and groom are mostly deaf, the ceremony was signed as well a spoken.

Jim Diede is president of Creative Financial Comps.  His wife, Christine, is his administrative assistant.  Jim has found a creative way to get good help!

John Schroeppel and his wife, Anne, live in Hutchinson, KS.  John is retired.

Diane Fahlberg Anderson and her husband, Everett, have both retired and are enjoying retirement in Carefree, AZ.  What a wonderful name for a town!

Paul and Sheri (Swanson ’62) Chell have both retired.  They spent twenty-two days in September and October in Sweden and Germany to celebrate their 40th anniversary.  They traced the steps of Martin Luther and found family history information in Sweden.

Lois Swanson Johnson and her husband, Todd, have both retired.  Their son, Dan, is getting married in May.

Patricia Ohnsted Anderson and her husband, Craig, are living in St. Charles, IL.  Pat is currently working as the art director at Bethlehem Lutheran Church.

Marna Colliander Reilly and her husband, Phil ’59, are living in Eden Prairie, MN.  Marna is retired and is volunteering in an assistance league.  They have a new grandson, Jacob Philip Reilly who was born in 2002.  (Can’t read the date.)

James Olson lives in Mendota Heights, MN and has retired from a U.S. Bureau of Research.

Dorothy Lind Hiebert has retired from teaching.  She has five grandchildren and is expecting another one.

Marjorie Lind Halvorson has retired as a teacher.  She is going on a mission vacation to Jamaica to work in an orphanage from January 25 through February 1.

Gordon Larson retired last year after 42 years as a mathematics teacher.  He and his wife, Marlene, celebrated with a trip to Hawaii.

David and Ruth Silseth live in Virginia Beach, VA.  Dave continues to work in the four-state region with Thrivent.

Donna Freeberg Mertens and her husband live in St. Paul, MN.  She is still working as a parent educator in St. Paul ISD #625.  Their daughter who lives in Washington, D.C. had twins.  Not sure of the date.

Harlan and Judy (Fairbanks ’61) Sandberg live in New Hope, MN.  They are neighbors of mine, in fact.  Harlan works part time at Brede Exposition.  I promised Judy that I wouldn’t make-up any news about them!  Tempting, though.

John and Mary (Linnerooth ’62) Petersen are both retired.  They have new twin granddaughters born in August.

Karen Carlson Danielson and her husband, Jerald, live in Eau Claire, WI.  Although Karen has retired, she still does seminars in nursing continuing education.

Barb Nordstrom Hanson and her husband, John, have moved to Red Wing, MN.  Barb reports that they have a gorgeous view of the Mississippi River, Wisconsin Bluffs and downtown Red Wing.  They are going in February on a mission trip to the Dominican Republic to help build a new school.  They are going with 40 other members of the Prince of Peace Church in Burnsville.  They will be extending the trip a week to do some sightseeing.

Anne Kilty Wiberg and husband, Mark ’58, are happy to announce that they are first time grandparents.  Their son and daughter-in-law had a son in December 2002.  Even though they are a little late in all of this, they are nonetheless very excited.

More news from Ron Jorgenson.  This fall, he accepted a teaching position to teach educational psychology and information systems at Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College, which is an affiliate of the University of the West Indies.  The college is located on the Island of St. Kitts about 275 miles southeast of Puerto Rico.  He has owned a home there for 10 years, but he and his wife decided to live there for a while.  He calls it a warm sabbatical!

Lots of news to report, but it certainly makes it worthwhile to write a class letter!

Keep those cards and letters coming.

Judy Oberbeck Johnson

1960 Class Agent

Campus News

Campus Conversations about Gustavus’ Mission

President Dennis Johnson is leading a campus-wide initiative to talk about the mission of Gustavus.  Conversations will be both philosophical and practical as the community discusses goals and visions, but also within the context of challenging budgeting times.  The goal is to prepare the campus for the search and hiring of the next Gustavus president.

A Study Abroad Leader

Gustavus is a leading institution for the number of students studying abroad, according to an annual ranking recently released by the Institute of International Education (IIE). Reaffirming the mission of giving students an education that is international in perspective, Gustavus ranked 8th in the "Top 20 Baccalaureate Institutions" list of IIE’s "Open Doors 2002" report.  The College has been in the top 20 since 1994-95 and in the top 10 for the past 3 years.  Gustavus was 1 of 5 Minnesota private colleges to make the list.  During 2000-01, 397 Gustavus students studied abroad.  In 2002, 52 percent of the Gustavus graduating class had an international educational experience.

Peer Assistants Making a Difference

Like many colleges Gustavus relies on a wide range of students to help educate other students about issues, one such group is the Peer Assistants.  Created in the 1980s, this group of 15 students focuses on teaching Gusties about making healthy lifestyle choices.  They speak in residence halls, conduct workshops and do one-on-one counseling about such topics as alcohol and tobacco use and relationships.  For the 5th time since 1996, the Peer Assistants were presented with an "Outstanding Affiliate" award for colleges with an enrollment below 7,500 at the annual National Peer Educator Conference.

Upcoming Events

  • March 14 – Tucson, AZ Campaign Event
  • March 15 – Phoenix, AZ Campaign Event
  • March 16 – Sun City, AZ Campaign Event
  • March 22 – Easter Bunny Breakfast, Minneapolis
  • April 4 – Bay Area, CA Campaign Event
  • April 5 – Seattle, WA Campaign Event
  • May 3 & 4 – Gustavus Band 125th Year Celebration
  • May 10 – G.I.V.E. Service Day

Our Building a Greater Gustavus Campaign Success Interpreted

There are many questions among alumni, students and parents about the College’s financial situation.  People hear of our success in the capital campaign and ask, “How come the budget is so tight and some items are being cut?” 

One might look at an $80 million total to date of the $100 million goal and conclude that we have plenty of spendable resources.  A closer look at the designations of our campaign gift and pledges hopefully provides a helpful explanation.  During the past 5 years of this 6 ½ year campaign:

$23 million has been given for post-tornado rebuilding projects, including the Jackson Campus Center, the new outdoor track, the Curtis and Arleen Carlson International Center, a new residence hall and the replanting of trees.  As I’ve already reported, another $1 million has been designated for Old Main renovation.

$24 million has been committed to us in the form of “future gift” commitments.  These are typically planned gifts that provide an income to the donor, or they are bequest commitments.   In either case, these are not dollars that are available for the College to use at this time.  However, they hold great promise for the future.

$16 million has been given to the College’s endowment fund to support scholarships, academic chairs and other programs.  While our endowment is significantly below that of our comparison schools, we must continue our progress toward increasing that number well beyond the end of this particular campaign. 

$8 million has been received as restricted dollars for various programs such as the Center for Vocational Reflection funded through a grant from the Lilly Endowment.

$8 million – approximately $1.5 million per year – has been received without restriction.   These are the only dollars raised during the course of the campaign available for use in the College’s $60 million annual operating budget.  Herein lie the concerns related to our present budget challenge and where you can make the greatest impact.  We are in the second year of the three-year 50 by 50 Campaign.  The goal is to achieve 50 percent participation of all alumni in the Alumni Fund by the 50th Anniversary in 2004.  Our class totals through December 31, 2002 are 85 donors and $ 47,934 in total gifts.  Our goal is to achieve 159 donors by May 31, 2003.  Thanks to those that have made their gift.  If you have not made your gift yet, please respond to the next mailing, log on to, or call toll free 866-487-3863.  Remember, while we were students, we benefited from alumni who made gifts to the alumni fund.  Let’s do our part to help future Gusties.

Presidential Search Process

The Presidential Search Committee is well underway, and the members have set an ambitious timetable.  Candidates have already been recently interviewed on campus.  It is hoped that a recommendation to the Board of Trustees will be made in April for ratification and election of the new president.  If all goes according to the plan, a new president will be in place by mid-summer.  You may read the “Presidential Prospectus” by going to the Gustavus website and finding the President’s Office.