Class of '60
April 2009

Hi all!  It’s time for another round of Gustie news!  Because our 50th Class Reunion is coming up in May 2010 you will be receiving more frequent communication.  Please be sure to read the info about reunion planning, but, first!

Campus News

Steve Wilkinson Retirement

I attended the April Gustie Breakfast in Minneapolis.  The speaker was Steve Wilkinson, the head men’s tennis coach at Gustavus Adolphus College for the past 39 years and the winningest coach in men’s tennis collegiate history with 923 victories.  He gave us advanced news; which is now out there publicly, that he will retire from coaching at the end of the current school year.

Since Wilkinson took over the Gustavus tennis program in 1971, his teams have compiled an overall record of 923-278 (.768) and a Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) mark of 334-1 (.997).  His 923rd victory, which came in April against Wartburg College, moved him past Jim Verdieck of the University of Redlands into first place with most victories in the history of collegiate men’s tennis (Divisions I, II, and III, and NAIA).  Steve told us a lot about himself which I don’t have space to relate, but one interesting piece is that he started out at Gustavus teaching in the religion department and then was asked if he would volunteer to take over coaching some tennis!  That in itself tells me something about the amazing work he has done in tennis.  He said that tennis does not come first in his mind, but good academic learning!  In the summers, Wilkinson and his wife, Barbara, run the Tennis and Life Camps on the Gustavus campus.  The Tennis and Life camps are considered to be among the finest tennis camps in the country.  Steve told us some great stories about people who have come to these camps.

Ninety-one students from Gustavus traveled to three different locations to participate in a Habitat for Humanity work trip during the College’s Spring Break, March 21-29.  Thirty-six students went to Corpus Christi, Texas, 30 to Beaumont, Texas, and 25 students to Pensacola, Florida.  Participants assisted with the construction of houses including framing, sheet rocking, mudding and taping, painting, shingling, and siding.

Gustavus in the News

In the last month or so, Gustavus has had lots of good press in major newspapers.  Here are some examples:

On March 8, 2009 in the Minneapolis Star Tribune headline read:

Science may be solid, but its image is not:  Scientists must not only talk among themselves; they must reach out to a skeptical public.

Charles Niederriter, professor of physics and director of the Nobel Conference at Gustavus wrote that colleges and universities should play a larger role in making the sciences more public.  He said, “Most higher-education institutions hold conferences at which scientists speak to one another.  But what if more colleges made concerted efforts to hold science conferences aimed not at scientists but at the general public?  Would anyone come?

            “Yes, they would.  The college I serve offers proof.  For two days in early October each year, Gustavus Adolphus College plays host to the Nobel Conference.  Although the science discussed by the speakers is cutting-edge, the Nobel Conference isn’t just for scientists, but for the 5,000 or more high school and college students, interested adults, and lifelong learners who attend annually.  Presentations by some of the world’s foremost research scientists focus on scientific issues of theoretical importance and social significance.

            The prominent scientists I have met through this conference and elsewhere are eager to share their expertise and findings with the public.  America needs to maximize opportunities for them to do that.  Scientists and educators can no longer afford to leave the framing and interpretation of scientific issues to others.”

On March 13, 2009:

Six American Indians show new art at Gustavus Adolphus College

By Mary Abbe, Minneapolis Star Tribune

            “That artists of American Indian heritage defy stereotype should come as no surprise given the vast geographic territory and tribal diversity they represent.  “Migrations:  New Directions in Native American Art,” a handsome sampler on view at the Hillstrom Museum of Art in St. Peter, Minn., wisely narrows the field, focusing on just six artists whose photos, lithographs and sculpture are as much personal expression as cultural statement.

            Their education is as diverse as their geographic and tribal origins:  Star Wallowing Bull, a Chippewa from Minnesota’s White Earth Reservation, taught himself to draw by watching his celebrated father, Frank Big Bear, at work in their south Minneapolis home, while Marie Watt, a Seneca born in Seattle, honed her conceptual feminism while completing an MFA at Yale University.  The six were selected from dozens of nominees by a five-member panel including Siri Engberg, a Walker Art Center curator.”

On March 10, 2009:

Minneapolis, Star Tribune

Coach takes Gustavus to greatness

Mike Carroll’s road to the job wasn’t typical, but he’s quietly built a women’s hockey dynasty.  Carroll already was the baseball coach at Gustavus Adolphus College―a part-time position―as well as coach of the Mankato West boys’ high school hockey team and manager of the city’s All Seasons Arena.  Sons Mike and Matt were nearing college age.  When Carroll was offered the chance to add Gusties’ women’s hockey to his duties at the school, the dad part of his brain did the math:  Coaching two sports would make him a full-time employee, which equaled a tuition benefit for his boys.

A decade later, Gustavus remains the party reaping the greatest benefits.  Carroll’s quiet dynasty in St. Peter won its sixth consecutive MIAC playoff title last weekend with back-to-back shutouts of St. Olaf and St. Thomas, extending its unbeaten streak to 26 games and its shutout string to seven.  Carroll set about realizing it in short order.  His teams have won seven MIAC regular-season championships and have advanced to the NCAA tournament in seven of the past nine seasons.  The Gusties went 18-0 in league play last season, marking the first undefeated and untied season in MIAC women’s hockey history, and have not lost a league game in more than two years.

February 25, 2009 - Gustie, Class of 65, Bill Holm, died

You can read more on the Gustavus website.  The newspaper said:  “He was larger than life, a man of letters, a man of the prairie, a man of the world.  Poet and essayist Bill Holm collapsed after getting off a plane in Sioux Falls, S.D., and died Wednesday night of complications from pneumonia.  He was 65.  Six-and-a-half-feet tall and bearded, with a passion for justice, and a booming, generous personality, Holm was the author of Coming Home Crazy, Boxelder Bug Variations, and, perhaps his most beloved book, The Heart Can Be Filled Anywhere On Earth, his homage to his hometown of Minnesota, in western Minnesota near Marshall.”

The Gustavus Department of Philosophy is planning to host Professor Erazim Kohák of Charles University in Prague September 14-17.  Professor Kohák taught in the department of philosophy at Gustavus in the late 1950’s and is still remembered as a charismatic teacher.  He went on to a long and very distinguished career at Boston University.  When the Velvet Revolution occurred in 1989 he returned to his native Czechoslovakia where he became a professor at Charles University.  (The Charles University website has a list of its most distinguished intellectuals since it was founded in the mid 1300’s, among them Erasmus and Kohák.)  He is among the best known public intellectuals in Prague―an advocate for democracy and the environment―and an advisor to the President of the Czech Republic.  Professor Kohák’s best-known books, The Embers and the Stars and The Green Halo are, in his words, “...inquiries into the moral sense of nature.”  While at Gustavus he will be giving a chapel talk and an evening lecture.  He is also available for class visits.  There will also be an evening discussion of one of his books.


I could rattle on about lots of things that have been in the press about Gustavus, but this gives you an idea!

Our 50th Class Reunion

Okay―put it on your calendar right now:  Friday-Saturday, May 28-29, 2010 is our Gustavus 50th Class Reunion―at Gustavus.  Yes, it is Memorial Day weekend, but that ought to make it even easier for more of us to come!

I am pleased to tell you that we had the first meeting of our Reunion Committee on April 14.  Those who came to the first meeting were:  Jim Anderson, David Carlson, Barb Nordstrom Hanson, Dennis Johnson, Nate Lundgren, Karen Schendel Nybo, Peter Nyhus, Bill Shogren, Jo Jensen Tollefson. In addition Roger Anderson, Sonja Alvheim Hirsch, Nancy Anderson Wiberg and Joel Wiberg have agreed to be with us.  We have our eye out for others of you.  Please send an email if you would be willing to share in this effort.  We can also benefit from those who are farther away who would be willing to make phone calls and the like.

OUR NEXT REUNION COMMITTEE MEETING will be on Monday, June 8, 1:00 p.m. at the home of Dennis & Carole Johnson, 1235 Yale Place #1605, Minneapolis, MN  55403-1948, phone 612-659-0328.  We really would welcome a few more people!  Our next big meeting after that will be Saturday, September 12, the Gustavus Volunteer Leadership Day, on campus, morning planning, lunch and a Gustie Football Game in the new stadium.

Just to give you a sense of the weekend:  Friday will be our solo big daya memorial service for those of our class who have died, a class photo, a reception, and then our Class of 1960 dinner in Alumni Hall, memories and entertainment.  Saturday there is breakfast, a lunch during which we are inducted into the 50-Year Club, and an evening Alumni Banquet with all classes.  Lots more details to come!

Support the Gustavus Annual Fund

The Gustavus Annual Fund consists of annual donations that are used during the year in which they are received to meet current needs, primarily scholarship support for current students.  Gustavus’ fiscal year runs from June 1 to May 31.  It is the umbrella name for all annual fund contributions from alumni, parents, friends, corporate and foundation gifts, Minnesota Private Colleges, and matching gifts.  May 31 is coming up quickly and we’d like to see our class participation percentage grow.

Did you know that about four years ago some of our classmates started a Class of 1960 Endowed Scholarship Fund?  Right, given the ups and downs of the market, it has about $4,000 in it.  When it grows to $25,000 then the earnings from the Fund can be used for a scholarship.  One of the goals we discussed in the Reunion Committee was to try to reach $25,000 by May 2010.  But you can contribute to it right now!

Make your gift today!  Some of our classmates have already made remarkable gifts to a variety of efforts.  Thanks to everyone who has contributed!

News of our Class!

Eileen Johnson Delk has moved to Red Wing, Minnesota, joining Barb Nordstrom Hanson and Karen Schendel Nybo who also live in Red Wing.  Eileen says that she moved there to be closer to her children and grandchildren.

Lois Lindall Miller lives in Montana and writes that we love Montana and our town of Red Lodge.  Many ways to stay busy with volunteering, outdoor stuff and I’m working part-time at the pharmacy.  We have received 61” of snow―just last week!  The mountain is only open until April 11 so Lois hoped to do some more skiing.  They don’t know where to put it and one needs a four-wheel drive vehicle.  However, it is beautiful.  Unlike the Twin Cities, the snow stays so white so it’s a winter wonderland.  We’re five minutes from the ski area and a friend was in mid-thigh powder yesterday.  That’s not my kind of skiing; I need to see my boots and skis!  We’re used to Trollhaugen and skied a lot at Lutsen years ago so the skiing here is a whole lot different.  The elevation is significant; our home is at 6,000 feet.  I played flute in the Gustavus band and let our daughter play it in high school and then eventually sold it which I regret.  After moving to Marine on St. Croix in 1972, I worked at the Osceola, Wisconsin hospital for 25 years and loved rural nursing.  I retired in 2003 after five years at the University of Minnesota in cancer research.

Jackie McKenna Gimse had hoped to participate in our Reunion Committee, but is regretfully unable to do so.  She has had two hip replacements and a recent knee replacement, and needs to have the second knee done.  Her husband, Mac, wrote that “she has loved Gustavus for these 50 years and is sad not to participate more fully.  I hope she can attend the reunion.  I met her during the time she was Dean Lind’s assistant and courted her while she lived in Wahlstrom Hall.  That means I love Gustavus, too!”

Virginia Nelson Anderson in Janesville, Wisconsin says that she and her husband, Ray, are enjoying good health and active at a facility called Cedar Crest.  They enjoyed a Mediterranean Cruise in October, but have done no traveling through the winter.  She had a third corneal transplant and is looking forward to good vision by May and new glasses!

Barb Nordstrom Hanson wrote that she and her husband, John, recently returned from a fantastic trip to Greece and the Greek islands.  So much history, archaeology, great food and wonderful people.  Our special thanks to Barb and John for their generous gift for the John S. Kendall for Engaged Learning which supports faculty in achieving their potential as teachers and scholars.  They have known the Kendalls through the years and this gift is a sign of that appreciation.

Reports From Our Retirees

Marilyn Hansen Ehline is living in Saginaw, Michigan; Norma Johnson Talbert, who had been a second grade teacher, is retired in Odenton, Maryland; David Silseth, who was a career United States Navy officer, is retired in Leesburg, Florida;  Willis Swenson is retired from Minnesota Malting Co. and still living in Cannon Falls, Minnesota.  Anne Kilty Wiberg and Mark ’58 are still living in Des Plaines, Illinois; Anne has had a bout with cancer but has a good prognosis.  She sent me an article from the Chicago Tribune about the death of Ms. Janet Jagan, former President of Guyana, who was born in Chicago.  Joel and Nancy (Anderson) Wiberg are still in their home in Minneapolis and one of their daughters, Beth ’95, lives a block away from the Tidemanns and the Wibergs spend a good bit of time in grandchild care.  Dennis Johnson is still serving as Chaplain of the Minnesota House of Representative, praying and counseling our representatives who are in the throes of dealing with a terrible budget deficit.

Finally, I (Paul Tidemann) was asked to come to a dinner at Gustavus hosted by the philosophy department in an ongoing series, entitled “Mom, Dad…I’m a philosophy major” has become something of a cult hit with our students, who are curious to see what folks really do with a philosophy major.  My wife, Janet (Ryan ’63) and I went down for the dinner and had a great time.  I started out by saying, “I do not drink coffee.  My last cup of coffee was in an advanced studies in philosophy course at Gustavus in 1960 (Prof. Kohák was the fantastic leader of that seminar those last two semesters).  It was a senior seminar which met weekly in the evening for 2-3 hours and we all drank coffee like mad in that full year seminar.  When I finished all of that I had to detox on coffee and have never had a cup since!”

I went on to say, “It was in my second year at Gustavus that a new person came to the campus to teach philosophy.  You may not know the song from the ’60s that was sung by the Diamonds, but this new professor was somewhat epitomized by the chorus of this song which went:

            “He wore black denim trousers and motorcycle boots

            And a black leather jacket with an eagle on the back

            He had a hopped-up ’cycle that took off like a gun

            That fool was the terror of Highway 101.”

“This was Erazim Kohák.  He had graduated from Yale with a Ph.D. in philosophy.  He did not appear to be like most of the Gustavus faculty.  He did indeed have a black motorcycle and a black leather jacket.  He was blond-haired and had a flat top haircut.  I just do not have time to tell the whole story, but I have to say that this man was responsible for a renaissance in my life.”  I keep in touch with him by email regularly and enjoyed a reunion with him and his wife a couple of years ago when they were in Minnesota and we met at Gustavus.  If you really want to know everything I said, go to (It’s not as stuffy as it may seem!)

Change of Address and Email

If you have a change in contact information, please let Gustavus know!  You can email (that way both the Alumni Office and I get a copy) or drop a line when you send in your gift to the Annual Fund.

Hey, everyone―this has carried on long enough.  I hope that more of you will send me some news about your life, memories of Gustavus, or whatever!

Gustavus live long!

Paul Tidemann

1960 Class Agent

1079 Goodrich Ave.

St. Paul, MN 55105-3135