Class of ’60
February 2010

50-Year Reunion May 28-29, 2010

Our February class letter starts with some wonderful reflections by Barb Nordstrom Hanson, great Gustavus supporter and part of our Reunion Planning team.  Thanks, Barb!

Greetings from snowy Minnesota!
(Especially to you snowbirds who have escaped this tundra!)

Who can forget those long, cold, windy walks across campus from Wahlstrom Hall to classes in the Annex, Art Barn, Little Theatre and reaches beyond (we gals wearing skirts!).  Recently I spent a couple of hours perusing my college scrapbook (yes, it is still around though the pages are falling apart!)  What great memories of so many good times on campus─

Freshman Week activities, football games, sorority and fraternity events, Student Senate campaigns, dorm activities, and photos of dear friends.  Speaking of dorm activities, remember signing out each night, the crowd of couples just before 10 p.m., Mrs. Holmberg, dorm duty, counselors doing check-ins, (my daughter could not believe we had “hours” and “grace minutes!”).  Remember sharing our “miniature” rooms with a roommate at Wahlstrom Hall, one telephone on each floor, (I remember late night conversations sitting on the floor in the hallway.)  Remember making popcorn in the basement kitchen of Wahlstrom Hall (no microwaves or coffee pots in the rooms), as well as the “Smoker.”  I also recall racing across campus in the winter to be in the swimming pool by 8 a.m. for Vic Gustafson’s (’42) 440 class!  These days I drive to the YMCA for water aerobics!

Remember…Prince Bertil of Sweden crowning Jean Hilding as our May Queen...The old college bookstore in one of the houses on “Hello Walk”....Dean Melva Lind as an advisor to AWS and Student Senate....Mary McCreery as our lovely blond St. Lucia queen walking the hallways of the women’s dorms early in the morn (an ongoing tradition at GAC)...The many talented thespians from our class performing under the tutelage of Evelyn Anderson ’29.... serenades outside our dorm from the frat guys....Jan Jensen as Frost Queen....WAA and Aquatic League practices and shows....watching swim meets at the cramped pool in the Student Union.... elementary education majors living off campus for 10 weeks our senior year for student teaching in Rochester at Silver Lake Apartments...and beautiful Homecoming Queen Lin Eckman.

Undoubtedly there were many alumni supporting us and the college in countless ways back then.  When I have returned to campus over the past fifty years for Nobel Conferences, Christmas in Christ Chapel, athletic events, Association of Congregations meetings, the students are so impressive─smart, compassionate, strong in their faith, and with a sense of service.  Gustavus continues to develop these leaders.

There are many ways to give back to our alma mater─by serving on boards (Trustees, Association of Congregations, Library Associates), by our monetary gifts (what a grand idea to establish the Class of 1960 Scholarship Fund), in thanks for the education and blessings we received as graduates.  We can also encourage students in our congregations as well as communities to consider Gustavus and then connect them to the admission staff.  There are many memories each of us cherish─come and reminisce together on May 28-29 celebrating our past as well as the future of Gustavus!

Barb Nordstrom Hanson

1960 Guest Class Letter Writer

Continuing on with a message from Dave Carlson – thanks Dave!

Truly one of the high points of serving on the Gustavus board of trustees for the past eight years has been the opportunity to talk to current students several times a year.  I wish each of you could have the experience of doing that.  Gustavus students of today are amazing young people brimming with talent, industry, and a commitment to make the world a better place.  Compared with students of our generation, they are more likely to be involved in service learning, and much more connected to the world at large.

The College’s Mission Statement goal of “preparing students for lives of leadership and service,” focuses on ethical, servant leadership.  One wonderful example of this leadership is Ellen Reuters (’97), founder of Africa-Jam, an organization which engages and enhances the lives of disadvantaged South African youth, and which over the course of ten years has grown to involve 10,000 students.  Another example is the group of 22 current Gusties who volunteered in Peru during January term, earning praise from fellow Americans who wrote to President Ohle:  “it is so refreshing to be around young people interested in making a difference and willing to make some sacrifices or be inconvenienced.”  A third example is the Gustie senior with whom I recently had lunch; this motivated young man was completing his third internship relating to his economics major, while leading the campus activities board.  To my way of thinking, these young people, equipped with a Gustavus education, embody our highest hopes for the future of our planet.

A most sincere thank you to all who’ve made a 2010 annual contribution to the College.  Information from the Alumni Relations office indicates that approximately 41% of our classmates have made donations during the current fiscal year beginning June 1, 2009.  Although the total dollars given thus far has increased, compared with last year at this time, we are down a bit in terms of the number of donors.  So it is now time to accelerate our momentum in order to achieve that goal of 85% class participation!

Our class of 1960 Endowed Scholarship is a very significant way in which we can help to make the experience of a Gustavus education a possibility for future generations of students.  At last report the scholarship fund is just shy of $10,000, a long way from our goal of $35,000.  As you sit down to write that Annual Fund check, if at all possible please include a contribution for the scholarship fund.  As Fred “Rubber” Rogers wrote last month, “we need to dig a little deeper in this most historic year.”  Achieving our goal will be a source of great pride for our class.  Let’s roll!

Dave Carlson

Class of 1960 Reunion Giving Committee


PALMER NORLING:  After losing my wife, Carolyn (Johnson ’63) to breast cancer in 2000, I was most fortunate to find a wonderful widow living 12 miles from home, whom I had never met before.  Deloris (she wants to be known as Dee) and I were married in 2001.  My 16 grandchildren, and her 4, make quite a birthday card list.  I am still slightly involved in our family business, which has been my only place of employment for life.  Spending 4 months in Minnesota, 6 months in Arizona, 2 months in Hawaii, all the while being able to play golf, racquetball, fly our airplane, survive cardiac arrest, and watch our family grow, makes me want to shout, “God is good.”  Looking forward to the reunion.

DEATH OF JIM ADAMS:  We have reported before that we had had contact with Jim last November.  Jim started out with our class for 2+ years, went into the army, lived in Germany, came back to Gustavus and graduated in 2006, but we still considered him one of us.  Paul Tidemann has a photo of Jim plastering him with a pie for an auction in our freshman year.  Jim died on December 24, 2009 of cancer.  Jim was employed by Honeywell for many years and worked with several other firms before joining the State of Minnesota, Dept. of Human Services.  He retired from DHS in 2008.  Over the years, Jim developed an avid interest and considerable expertise in Norton motorcycles, old clocks, Lionel trains and 1969 Corvettes.

ANN MUESING BEHNING:  no recent news, but a couple of years ago she entertained section mates and some nurses and high school (and Gustavus) classmate, Linda Pierson Engebretson.

LORNA CHUMLEY BERLIN:  still teaches painting and sells paintings that she paints.

CAROLYN KRON:  3rd grade teacher for 30 years, has lived in New York state for over 30 years; knits hats and gloves for the homeless.

DONNA FREEBERG MERTENS:  spent her freshman year at Gustavus, sang in the Gustavus choir and went on tour; graduated with a home economics major from University of Minnesota.  She and her husband, Paul, practiced third world medicine in Liberia.  Paul is revising the health care handbook for medical personnel in Liberia.

RICHARD HOSTIN: a native Californian has been retired for about 10 years from a career with wholesale paper distributor San Diego Nationwide Papers.  He continues to live in San Diego county.  He stated he’d like to come to the reunion and visit the campus after having been away for many years.  He will see if he can work it out.

ERNEST BADE: is a medical doctor and is still in practice in Hawaii.

DENNIS JOHNSON:  has taken up his duties again as chaplain of the Minnesota House of Representatives.  With all of the turmoil over budget cuts, effect on the poor, etc. Dennis has an especially challenging task, not only praying at House sessions, but providing pastoral care for House members.

Look who’s planning on joining us at the reunion!  You will still need to register and registrations should arrive by April first, but if you’d like to be included in this list now – email  To view the most current list, go online to:

  • Diane Fahlberg Anderson
  • Jim Anderson
  • Marilyn Wiklund Anderson
  • Mark Anderson
  • Norma Urbach Anderson
  • Roger Anderson
  • William Benson
  • John Bergstrom
  • Karen Olson Brown
  • Arlan Burmeister
  • Jule Carlson Cameron
  • Dave Carlson
  • Keith “Joe” Carlson
  • Stephen Carlson
  • Margo Pinney Cotton
  • Ruth Ann Shervheim Danger
  • Karen Carlson Danielson
  • Terry Denley
  • Ross Dickie
  • Barbara Seastrand Eder
  • Bob Eidsvold
  • Jan Jensen Eilers
  • Linda Pierson Engebretson
  • Dewey Erickson
  • David Folkerds
  • Marlyn Windedahl Franzen
  • Donna Mertens Freeburg
  • Marilyn Hallberg Gaffin
  • Nancy Dege Gerhard
  • Jackie McKenna Gimse
  • Melvyn Hammarberg
  • Rollie Hanks
  • Barb Nordstrom Hanson
  • Sonja Alvheim Hirsch
  • Arne Johnson
  • Charley Johnson
  • Dennis Johnson
  • Helen Hannover Johnson
  • Orpah Jungclaus Johnson
  • Suzanne Wasgatt Johnson
  • Cameron Johnston
  • Ron Jorgenson
  • Carolyn Anderson Kvam-Hansman
  • Gordon Larson
  • Craig Lawson
  • Don Lind
  • Dick Loomer
  • Nathan Lundgren
  • Stephen Lundgren
  • Joanne Hedlof Merta
  • Donna Freeberg Mertens
  • Lois Lindall Miller
  • Martha Jonson Miller
  • Bev Lingwall Mooney
  • Joanne Bjorkquist Nelson
  • Palmer Norling
  • Karen Schendel Nybo
  • Peter Nyhus
  • Roger Oster
  • Owen Peterson
  • Marge Day Philipson
  • Andrea Noren Rogers
  • Fred Rogers
  • Charlotte Benjamin Schoen
  • Lester Schuft
  • Bill Shogren
  • David Silseth
  • Lois Sundberg Smedstad
  • John Soll
  • Peter Strand
  • Jean Hilding Stuart
  • Jerry Thrall
  • Paul Tidemann
  • Jo Jensen Tollefson
  • Carol Schumacher Vamvakias
  • Donal Ward
  • Carol Villesvik Weston
  • Tom Weston
  • Carol Berg White
  • Anne Kilty Wiberg
  • Joel Wiberg
  • Nancy Anderson Wiberg


Gustavus Announces Major Building Projects

At its Monday, Jan. 25 meeting, the Gustavus Adolphus College Board of Trustees voted unanimously to move forward with three major building projects.  The College will erect a new 125,000 square foot academic building with a large 3-story atrium at the center providing natural light to many of the spaces.  It will qualify for a “gold LEED” qualification as a green building.  This will develop a mall extending west from its iconic Christ Chapel.  It will house the largest departments on campus (economics and management, psychology, and communications).  Also, plans are under way to renovate A. H. Anderson Social Science Building.  Construction timelines for the projects are not yet finalized, but the College expects to break ground on the new academic building late this spring.

The effort is a significant early implementation step of Commission Gustavus 150, an innovative, constituent-based strategic planning process that has engaged hundreds of alumni, students, faculty, staff, and other stakeholders over the past year.  “These projects will greatly enhance learning and teaching, student recruitment, and institutional advancement for many years to come,” said President Jack R. Ohle.

Alumnus, Kurt Elling ’89, Wins Grammy Award

Kurt Elling, a 1989 graduate of Gustavus Adolphus College, took home his first Grammy Award Sunday, Jan. 31 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, Calif.  Elling won the “Best Jazz Vocal Album” category for his album Dedicated to You: Kurt Elling Sings the Music of Coltrane and Hartman. This year marked the ninth time Elling was nominated for a Grammy.

Elling typically performs annually at Gustavus and did so most recently on Oct. 10, 2009 in Jussi Björling Recital Hall.  He has also had the distinct honor to perform in front of President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama and their 350 guests at the White House State Dinner on Nov. 24, 2009.

Admission News

Applications for next year are ahead of where they were last year at this time which makes Mark Anderson ’66, the director of admission, very happy.  We graduated two very large classes in the last two years so we need to have somewhat larger classes in order to maintain our enrollment at about 2,500.  Mark Anderson will retire at the end of the academic year so a search is going on to replace him.  Gustavus has had only three directors of admission since 1950 (Howard Holcomb ’49, Owen Sammelson ’58, and Mark Anderson ’66) which is quite an amazing track record.

Attend a Chapter Event Near You!

There will be Gustavus alumni chapter events in the following cities:  Tucson, February 19; Phoenix, February 20; Naples, March 14; Seattle, March 19; San Francisco, March 20; Los Angeles, March 21.  Other events in Boston, New York, Chicago, and Denver are still in the planning stages.  President Ohle will be attending all of those events so we hope that you will make an attempt to attend and hear what he has to say.  He is providing outstanding leadership!

Upcoming Events

  • Feb. 27 – Reunion Committee Winter Retreat
  • Mar. 6 – Breakfast with the Easter Bunny
  • Mar. 14 – Naples Chapter Event – Naples Grande Beach Resort
  • Mar. 17 – Gustie Breakfast – Amanda Nienow, assistant professor of chemistry
  • Mar. 19 – Seattle Chapter Event – Bellevue Club
  • Mar. 20 – San Francisco Chapter Event
  • Mar. 21 – Los Angeles Chapter Event – Jet Propulsion Laboratory