Class of '60
October 2009

50-Year Reunion ― May 28-29, 2010

Hi to you all!  Yes, you just received a Class of ’60 newsletter last week!  Well, it was a month ago, but since we are closing in on our May 28-29, 2010 Reunion, it’s time for another round of Gustie news!  We will be sending a class letter every month until next May.


Housing:  people have been asking about housing.  Here’s the real deal:  Campus Housing is complimentary in Sohre and Pittman halls.  Rooms have a sink, and bedding and towels are provided.  An extra blanket or a fan, depending on the weather, and hangers for hanging clothing is recommended.  Elevators are not available in residence halls.  If you have specific health limitations for using such facilities, you are encouraged to stay in a local hotel.  There will be opportunity later to sign up for campus housing.

There is a hotel/motel list available and we have already learned that both motels in St. Peter are sold out that weekend, but 10 miles away in Mankato there is lots of housing.  Here is a link to local lodging:

Major things on the Schedule for Friday and Saturday:

Note: this IS Memorial Day weekend, but that may be an advantage for us with fewer obligations that weekend!

FRIDAY, May 28

1:00 -7:00 p.m. - Registration/Information Desk Open - Jackson Campus Center

4:00 p.m. - Class of 1960 Memorial Service - Christ Chapel

6:30 p.m. - Class of 1960 Banquet


12 Noon - Alumni Luncheon for 50-Year Club and Class of 1960 - Campus Banquet Rooms

3:00 p.m. - 1960 Class Gathering - Linner Lounge, Student Union

4:30 p.m. - President's Reception - Evelyn Young Dining Room

5:00 p.m. - Alumni Banquet - Evelyn Young Dining Room

There are many more things including reunion seminars and other socializing opportunities, but this gives you an idea!


By now you should have received a survey form in the mail and it is really important that you complete it and send it in soon.  This will give us a lot of the information we need for our Reunion Booklet.  You might use the return envelope to send a current photo of yourself which we hope to receive of everyone in the class―even if you cannot come to the reunion!  Also, older photos and videos of times at Gustavus are sought.  We ask that you identify who is in the photo and add some “what, where, and how” to describe the photo.  You can also send any photos to Kathy Erlandsen, Associate Director of Reunion Giving, Gustavus Adolphus College, 800 West College Ave, St. Peter, MN 56082-1498 or email them (in jpeg format) to her at:  She promises to return any photos if you so request.


We are pleased to have a great working group on our Reunion Committee including:  Jim Anderson, Marilyn Wiklund Anderson, Bill Benson, Dave Carlson, Terry Denley, Bob Eidsvold, Barb Nordstrom Hanson, Sonja Alvheim Hirsch, Dennis Johnson, Nate Lundgren, Steve Lundgren, Karen Schendel Nybo, Peter Nyhus, Bill Shogren, Jo Jensen Tollefson, Jerry Thrall, Paul Tidemann, Joel Wiberg, Nancy Anderson Wiberg


Each month we will have some thoughts from one of our Reunion Committee members who are focusing on giving to our alma mater.  This month we hear from David Carlson, retired physician:

“If you’re like me, you’re still at times shaking your head in disbelief after the financial debacle of 2008.  Belts remain tightened, and retirement account balances have a long way to go to reach pre-2008 levels.  It has been a challenging time also for colleges and universities, and Gustavus is no exception.  For example, a campus-wide wage freeze was implemented for the current academic year, in order to achieve a balanced budget.  But our economic times notwithstanding, there is much to celebrate about Gustavus’ past, its present, and its future.

While current circumstances might now warrant a cautionary approach to philanthropy, there appear to be definite indications that investment markets are rebounding.  Taking everything into account, I believe that we’ll want to truly stand up for our College during this special anniversary year.  As a class, we’ve had a terrific record of participation in the Gustavus Annual Fund.  In 2009, 65% of us contributed, decisively the best record in the decade of the 1960s.  Last year’s 50th anniversary class had a 71% participation rate.  Owen Sammelson’s class of 1958 is the all-time champ, with an 80% participation rate in giving during their anniversary year.  We believe that our class can do even better.  Let’s set a goal of 85% participation in support of the Gustavus annual fund this year!  That’s a high bar, but we can do it!  There’ll be more information about the Annual Fund to follow in subsequent class letters.

Landmarks such as our approaching 50th provide a special opportunity for anniversary classes to create a legacy for future Gusties.  Recent 45 and 50-year anniversary classes have established endowed, named scholarships as a way of saying thank you for all that was received so many years ago.  These scholarship funds will exist in perpetuity as part of the College’s endowment, with the principal gradually increasing over time.

Our Class of 1960 Scholarship Fund currently has contributions totaling approximately $5,000 (of the $25,000 minimum amount which is needed in order to activate the scholarship).  As we all know, the average college student of today faces major financial challenges.  At least 70% of Gustavus students require financial assistance in order to attend.  Scholarships at Gustavus play a crucial and increasing role in bridging the gap between educational costs and a student’s ability to pay.  They represent a major investment in future Gustavus students and what they will bring to the world.  We are recommending that our class aim for an initial goal of $35,000 for the Class of 1960 Scholarship Fund before May 31, 2010.  If we’re successful in achieving that, we’d suggest moving toward a further goal, bringing the total to $50,000 in order to create a more generous award.  Please give serious consideration to including a gift to the Class of 1960 Scholarship Fund along with your Gustavus Annual Fund donation this year.  Think a little more broadly and creatively, and make your pledge for the scholarship stretched out over three years.  You can indicate your intent on the enclosed donor card.  Working together, I am confident that we can achieve these goals.”

NEWS OF 70 PLUS GUSTIES: yes, most of us should be 70 years-old or more by now.  Here is some great news from people, most of whom passed this on in phone calls they received from Reunion Committee members.

  • David Silseth wrote:  We are enjoying retirement in Florida.  Leesburg is about 40 miles northwest of Orlando, pretty much in the center of the state.  We belong to and are active in a large ELCA church, Hope Lutheran, (about 1450 members) on the southern edge of The Villages, Florida.  My wife and I are both involved with a small museum of art in Eustice, FL, where she is in charge of their fledgling docent program and I am on the board and do some volunteer work hanging the rotating art exhibits.  My biggest involvement is with “Angel Flight Southeast,” one of the seven regions of that national organization that provides free air transportation for children and adults with medical or compelling humanitarian needs.  I do mission request hot line work and some work for the publicity speakers’ bureau for the group.  It would be great to do some flying for them, but I don’t fly enough hours a year to maintain that level of flight currency.  With that activity and some work in our “over 55” community and our fairly active travel schedule, we’re having fun and hopefully doing some good as well.  This year in addition to visiting our family in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Tennessee, in June we were in France for two weeks of river cruising and have used three weeks of time share time in North Carolina, Alabama and Florida and will leave from San Diego at the end of October for a two week Panama Canal Cruise.  Love to travel! David also added:  I was an officer and pilot in the Navy.  I retired in the fall of 1993 after a little over 33 years of active duty.  In the mid ’80s we lived in northern Italy, (Verona), where both of our kids graduated from high school.  My last assignment was as the Naval Attache to Pakistan where we lived for three years in the capital, Islamabad.  I retired as a captain.  For a second career I worked for Lutheran Brotherhood/Thrivent Financial for Lutherans for eleven years while we lived in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
  • Charles “Charlie” Johnson’s granddaughter, Annika ’12, is at sophomore at Gustavus.  Charlie sings in the Great Northern Union Chorus in the Twin Cities area which does 5-6 concerts a year.  On the Saturday before Thanksgiving they will have a show at Bethel College.  The Chorus was in an International Barbershop singing contest in Anaheim, California and came in third!
  • Diane Fahlberg Anderson:  We know how valuable our Gustavus friendships are after the death of our son, Paul (GA ’91) in 2007 due to ALS.  His Gustavus buddies continue to have “Remember Paul” gatherings.  Our daughters, Karna Nelson ’87 and Janet Schumacher ’88 have long-time friendships from their years on campus.  Our Gustavus nurses class (a great support to us) has been meeting every 2 to 3 years at various locations across the U.S.  Everett and I retired to Carefree, Arizona in 1997 and continue to spend summers in Minnesota.  We enjoy some international travel and love spending time with our seven grandchildren.
  • Maxine Jafvert Anton:  Maxine is a retired nurse.  She has 2 dogs, 2 daughters (one in Seattle and one in the Twin Cities).  She has 5 grandchildren and is an involved grandma.  Her daughter in the Cities is an OB/GYN physician and her other daughter an attorney.
  • Virginia Nelson Anderson:  She and her husband moved into a retirement complex in Janesville, Wisconsin and absolutely love it.  She stays very busy with the community and church.
  • Margo Pinney Cotton:  Living in Durango, Colorado is like God’s country, but Ernie and Margo still were able to leave to visit the East coast to see family and friends.
  • Arlan Burmeister keeping busy in retired life.  He plans a trip to Mexico in January, Arizona and California in February and has the date down for our 50th.
  • Ruth Ann Shervheim Danger:  Both Ruth Ann and her husband, Charles, are retired and enjoying life.  They have a summer home 15 miles out of Park Rapids, MN on West Crooked Lake close to Nevis, MN.  They have 3 boys and 5 grandchildren with another that was due in September.  One son lives in Mankato, one in Indiana and one son has had 9 tours of duty in an Air Combat Search & Rescue Helicopter.
  • Karen Carlson Danielson gets together with the Metro Nurses.  She teaches on occasion and is very involved with family.
  • Barbara Seastrand Eder:  Barbara and Joe lived in Forest Lake, MN until 9 years ago when they moved to Philipsburg, Montana.  They live just 2 miles from the Discovery Ski area, a new area being developed.  They have 3 children and 4 grandchildren.  Barb is very excited about seeing the area develop.
  • Ruth Grandstrand Engdahl is enjoying retirement.  Ruth and her husband Charles have done more traveling since Charles’ diagnosis of lung cancer.  They have 3 children in the Twin Cities metro area and 8 grandchildren ages 4 to 19.  They attend a lot of games in which they enjoy watching the grandchildren.
  • Linda Pierson Engebretson:  Linda and Paul ’59, both retired, just returned from 16 days in Alaska.  Linda traveled to Bangladesh last November and has been busy presenting her awareness of the country.  Her sisters and other family have been involved in the LAMB Hospital project, a hospital serving the poor in Bangladesh.
  • Rosemarie Anderson Kohler is just in process of moving out east to be with family.
  • Carolyn Anderson Kvam-Hansman had contact with the class of ’59 as well as class of ’60.  She and Robert attended the reunion in May 2009.  This summer they were in Colorado at Beaver Creek and in September plan to go to the Baltic Coast in Germany for 2 weeks.  They continue to do singing at various community places.
  • Craig Lawson has been retired since 1998.  They are involved with a lot of family in the Texas area.  At present they are enjoying cooler weather in Breckenridge, Colorado where they do hiking in the mountains.  They also ski there in the winter.
  • Karen Olson has been retired for 11 years and taught grade school for 37 years.  She does a lot of traveling and community work.  She is president of the Austin, MN Medical Auxiliary and a women’s group at her church.  One of her fund raisers was making lefsa and meatloaf.  In one day they use 320 pounds of potatoes to make lefsa and did this 3 days in a row.  They hope to make $100,000 dollars for a new chapel at the hospital.
  • Char Benjamin Schoen entertained the class of ’60 Metro Nurses so they could plan a little pre-reunion gathering 2 days before May 28-29.  Char, living in Hastings, MN has a yard with various gardens that were just fantastic.  Char stays very busy with her grandchildren.
  • Carol Schumacher Vamvakias had hip surgery this August and is recovering nicely.  Carol’s son is Chief of Staff at the Joint Readiness Training Center in Ft. Polk, Louisiana.  This is where U.S. soldiers get their training before going to Afghanistan
  • Carol Berg White is recovering from surgery so hasn’t been able to keep her flowers and yard as groomed as she is used to.  Carol lives in Louisiana and tries to meet her family on an annual basis in Minnesota.
  • William Benson:  Bill plays in Prairie Winds Band in Willmar, MN and also in the Willmar Symphony Orchestra.  He plays trombone and baritone in community concerts.  Carol (Hansen ’61) is also in the band.  Great fun!  Their four sons are doing well.  One teaches at Ridgewater Community College in Willmar, another lives in Sartell, one son in Mesa and a son living in England.  Several grandchildren.  Bill is retired from teaching at the Community College.  He recently joined our Reunion Committee!
  • Richard Duerr and wife Carol (Ofelt ’62) relocated two years ago from the Tucson, Arizona area to the Green Valley (Sahuarita, AZ) area.  He said he appreciates the “nice touch” of the personal phone call.
  • Nancy Dege Gerhard is a retired teacher.  She and husband, Rick, travel a great deal―just returned from Australia, New Zealand and Fiji.  Her husband has leukemia, but is currently in remission.  Their oldest grandchild is turning 20.
  • Donna Coulter Carpenter is utilizing her medical technology background working part time as a phlebotomist at a fertility clinic in Waltham, Massachusetts.  She owns some vacation property on Prince Edward Island and is going there for three weeks.  Her brother, Barry ’58, lives in St. Peter.
  • Tom Carlson spends much of his time on projects at the family’s lake home in northwest Wisconsin.  Another major interest is following the activities of Nan’s (Dahl ’61) and his five grandkids, the eldest of who will graduate from high school next spring.  He is a retired teacher from the North St. Paul, MN school district.
  • Melvyn Hammarberg, while “technically retired,” is under contract with the Oxford University Press for a book entitled:  “The Mormon Quest for Glory,” which is in the final stages of completion.  The Mormon church has been an important focus of Mel’s academic work for some time.  He and his wife just returned from two weeks in Europe.
  • Peter Strand:  Of their 11 grandchildren, 1 is a Gustie grad, 2 are currently enrolled at Gustavus, (one of whom will graduate in May) and 2 more are likely future Gusties.  Pete and Jan (Gardner ’61) enjoy biking and skiing.  They left for their home in Arizona for the winter in mid-October.
  • Thomas Hutchings lives in Palm Desert, CA where he works part time as a technical consultant.  He and his wife, Grace, live in a retirement community where he enjoys golf.
  • Marshall Anderson is retired from Millersville University in Millersville, PA where he taught in the Department of Mathematics.  He is now concentrating on raising the grandchildren.
  • Ross Dickie winters in Arizona and spends some time in the summer at Mille Lacs cabin.  They also raise foster children.
  • Bill Nordstrom is in Tucson, Arizona in winter, still has a summer place on the North Shore of Superior and takes in Sweden once each year.  He volunteers at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport as a travelers’ assistant.
  • John Soll’s close buddy is his German shorthair pointer dog that shares his hearth at his Grand Rapids, MN residence.  He’s active in the church there and volunteers at the local food shelf.
  • Paul Tidemann was a voting member at the ELCA Church-wide Assembly in August.  He and Janet (Ryan ’63) were in Michigan, near his first parish, in late September where Paul presided at a memorial at Michigan State for Kyle Woodring, who died from suicide.  He was a well-known professional drummer, who Paul baptized 44 years ago.  Paul and Janet are good friends of the family.  It was a wonderful gathering of over 300 people.

Campus News:

Some of us were on campus September 14-16 when Dr. Erazim Kohák, former professor of philosophy at Gustavus, 1958-60, was back to offer lectures and a book conversation.  Dr. Kohák has returned to live in Prague, Czech Republic after years of teaching at Boston University.  His lecture, “When Democracy is Not Enough,” was a remarkable exposition of the situation of the European Union.  Kohák is a highly respected leader in the Czech Republic and is often consulted by national and local leaders.  Large groups of faculty, students and alumni attended the sessions, including Paul Tidemann and Luther Granquist from our class.  Kohák is the author of many books and his most current ones focus on environmental philosophy including the issue of global warming.

Gustavus Gets High Rankings

Gustavus Adolphus College is listed as the 33rd best liberal arts college in the country according to a new set of college rankings released on Thursday, September 3, by Washington Monthly magazine.  The publication states on its website that schools were ranked based on their contribution to the public good in three broad categories:  social mobility (recruiting and graduating low-income students), research (producing cutting-edge scholarship and Ph.D.s), and service (encouraging students to give something back to their country).

Gustavus once again ranked among the top 100 liberal arts colleges in the nation in U.S. News and World Report’s annual college rankings.  Gustavus moved up eight places from last year’s rankings to 80th on the magazine’s “Best Liberal Arts College’s” list.  Gustavus is one of six Minnesota colleges that placed in the top 100 in this year’s rankings.  One of the measures used to capture the various dimensions of academic quality at each college is alumni giving percentage; therefore, participating in a giving program at Gustavus, regardless of amount given, is important to the College.

GLA Membership

All of us remember the Folke Bernadotte Memorial Library.  It was a place for study and, depending on your era, finding a “coffee date.”  But, in the 21st century, it has become much more.  It is a technology-rich laboratory for learning and a storehouse of culture and recorded knowledge.  It must constantly be strengthened to ensure excellence in education.  The Gustavus Library Associates (GLA) provides financial support for the library and a program of events to its members.  Join this year and immediately make a difference.  Whatever membership gift level you choose, 100% goes directly to the library’s acquisition budget.  Join today at!!!

“Come on You Gusties” Breakfast

Once a month, Gusties gather for coffee, breakfast, and great conversation along with a campus speaker.  All Gusties are welcomed and invited to the breakfast, third Wednesday of the month, 8-9:30 a.m. at the Doubletree Hotel, Minneapolis-Park Place, 1500 Park Place Boulevard.  Cost is $10 at the door.  Upcoming speakers:  Chaplain Brian Johnson ’80 – Nov. 18, Thomas Young ’88 – Dec. 16.

Upcoming Events

  • Gustavus Library Associates – A Royal Affair – November 14, 2009
  • Christmas in Christ Chapel – December 4-6, 2009
  • Festival of St. Lucia – December 10, 2009
  • Farewell for Steve and Barb Wilkinson, Minneapolis Hyatt - December 12royal affair

Gustavus Live Long!

Paul Tidemann, Class Agent