Class of ’60

May 2013

Dear Classmates,

Hi all - today is May Day!  Do you remember some of these things about the day?

•    MAYDAY is an international cry for help, often from ships, planes and the like.  It is said three times and, for those of you who took French from Dean Melva Lind, it comes from the French word m’aider which means “come help me!”

•    May Day is also a spring festival day.  Perhaps the most significant of the traditions is the Maypole, around which traditional dancers circle with ribbons.  Do any of you remember that this was done while we were at Gustavus—celebrated as a Swedish festival of dancing around a Maypole?  I recall the Gustavus Band playing some Swedish music and some vocal music sung as well!

•    May Day is also celebrated in over 80 countries as International Worker’s Day taking note of the efforts of the labor movement.

•    May 1st is also a day with a fading tradition of giving "May baskets," small baskets of sweets and/or flowers, usually left anonymously on neighbors' doorsteps.  In our neighborhood a nearby school still does this—putting baskets on our doors with information about the school and inviting community support and participation in the school.      AND

•    This day has also been celebrated from time to time as a day to note the need for peace in our world.  Gustavus has, on occasion, held a MayDay Conference focusing on the need to end violence and bring about peace in our world.  I was invited to speak at one of those Gustavus events way back in 1992!

So, I’d encourage you to find out ways in which you can celebrate this day for new life in Spring (in Minnesota we will be very glad to have an end to a long winter—we may even get some snow in May!), to…come to the aid of others in need, find a way to dance the day in the culture from which you come and pray for peace.

COMMENCEMENT:  Of course we also remember the end of May as Commencement time at Gustavus and elsewhere.  This year it occurs on Sunday, June 2.  I remember being in the Gustavus Band playing Elgar’s “Pomp & Circumstance (No. 1)” an endless number of times at many commencements!  We congratulate a new Class of 2013 (approximately 550) Gusties who are graduating this year!  And remember as members of the 50 Year Club, we are invited back each year for the reunion activities—you should have received a registration form in the mail by now.

SUPPORT GUSTAVUS:  I just want to encourage you to continue to make your annual gift to Gustavus before the end of May.  In 2012 our class gave another $1,300 toward our class endowed scholarship, helping us reach well over $45,000 in this fund to date!  If you’d like to keep building this up, make a note with your next gift.

I get giving reports every month on our class and over 105 of us have given gifts to Gustavus since June 1, 2012—thank you classmates for pushing us over 50%!  Let’s see if we can get to 65%, that’s only 30 more classmates out of the 206 of us!  Do so by the end of the fiscal year, May 31, and your gift will be tripled (thanks to a generous matching opportunity by some alums)!  Thank you for being generous Gusties.

DENNIS JOHNSON’S BOOK on President John Kendall:  Dennis is a great author and has completed another tome called “On His Watch,” about the career of the Rev. Dr. John Kendall ʼ49, professor of psychology and 12th President of Gustavus from 1981-1991.  It’s a good read.  Fifty percent of the sale price of "On His Watch" will go to the Kendall Center for Engaged Learning – a center you will read about in the book.  Dennis will be on campus during Reunion Weekend (May 31-June 1) and give a seminar about his book on that Friday at 2:30.  If you can’t make that you can order the book for $20 through the Book Mark at Gustavus.


Marilyn Hallberg Gaffin:  Well, I did make a major change in my life last September.  I moved from Kingston, TN, to Minden, Nevada to be near my daughter and family.  What a difference life in the desert and an elevation of 4,700 ft. makes.  It was a good move.  The pull of family is strong and if I wanted to be a part of my two young grandsons' lives, I needed to move.  I am 20 miles from Lake Tahoe and about 100 miles from the SUMMER route to Yosemite National Park.  I haven't met any Gusties yet, but sure hope I get some of you to come visit sometime.  This is a lovely area and I’m getting used to picking up the tumbleweeds that frequently blow in and gather at my front door.  I have joined a church, a community choir at South Lake Tahoe and the historical society in my county.  It has been exciting!  Life is good.

Marian Nelson McCollum from Williamston, Michigan:  Not a lot going on in our life right now EXCEPT we have a new granddaughter born Jan 20 in Fort Collins, Colorado.  She makes grandchild #3 and all of them are girls.  We went to Colorado to meet her and then continued on down to Tucson, AZ.  We’ll be here till May.  Life is good.  Have a wonderful Easter.

Jo Jensen Tollefson:  The 1960 Gustavus Nurses are starting to plan our next reunion sometime in 2014.  We have heard from several nurses with news of their health status.  I will let them share their updates.  We truly need to be thankful for each day we are blessed with status quo or a recovery of a health incident.  Our family is headed to Sanibel Island this Friday and we plan to attend Chapel By The Sea on Easter.  We look forward to walking the beaches compared to shoveling snow in Minnesota.  We had a trip to Bozeman, Montana the end of February and viewed lots of animals in North Yellowstone National Park.  I was able to ski several days with my sister at Moonlight Basin.  Thought you would like to know where we go to church.  It is on Captiva Island.  One has to drive through Sanibel Island to get to Chapel By The Sea.  It is a great place to worship as you can be inside the chapel or sit on chairs outside in the shade.  Sometimes we even know the pastor.

Fred Hanson:  I am still farming (St. Peter area) with the crop enterprise taking a bigger part of the business.  We still work with hogs, but are contract feeding.  We were blessed with good yields last year in spite of the dryness.  The eternal optimists (as farmers are) we are looking forward to 2013 and asking God to bless us again.  My wife and I took Dr. Darrell Jodock's class which was offered last year entitled, "Religion and Politics."  We both enjoyed the class very much.  My wife took Jodock's fall 2012 class, "Christianity and Judaism after the Holocaust."  She has taken several of the classes offered.  We enjoy attending the Gustavus breakfasts held each month.  In 2012, we were blessed to have two daughters marry.  We enjoy attending events of our three grandchildren, even though they are 70 miles away.

Nancy Dege Gerhard:  My oldest granddaughter, Chelsea, will be married in June in Durham, N.C.  After the wedding, I am flying to Ireland for 12 days.

Suzanna Wasgatt Johnson:  Greetings.  Ben (Johnson ʼ59) and I have become great grandparents to Maliyah Warren on March 7.  Such a little bit, but so much love surrounds her.  Ben like's the “great” part.  Minnesota Center Chorale (including Suzanna) will be singing Mozart's Requiem on April 13th at 7pm at the Paramount in St Cloud.  The St. John’s Boys Choir will be also be on the program.  Waiting for spring just like everyone else in Minnesota.  God bless!

Dave Ehline:  Fred and Andrea (Noren) Rogers and I were the only class of ʼ60 representatives at the recent gathering of Gustavus alumni held in Lakewood, CO, a suburb of Denver.  I continue to make wooden toys for Toys For God's Kids, as well as other items that I donate to various charitable fund-raising efforts.  Triple coronary by-pass surgery two years ago wasn’t exactly successful; as I recently learned that two of the three by-pass vessels have failed and are not functional.  But the ticker is still tickin' and I’m still kickin'!  I’ve been retired for several years, but still do pulpit supply whenever asked.  The Lutheran congregation to which we belonged, voted to leave the ELCA, and we’re now members of the local Presbyterian Church USA.

Terry Denley:  Terry Denley and Bishop Herb Chilstrom traveled from Green Valley, AZ to Tucson, AZ on January 31 for a Gustie gathering at the home of Warren ʼ67 and Donna (Gabbert ʼ66) Beck.  As you may recall, it was their large gift that made the building of the Beck Academic Hall possible.  It was a gracious and happy gathering with food and fellowship for about 60 Gusties.  Be sure to keep your hearts and wallets open to continue our support for Gustavus Adolphus College.  We have much to be proud of!

John Schroeppel:  I’m still preaching here and there doing this and that.  Last Sunday I was at Messiah Lutheran on the campus of Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kansas.  I also want to work with Billy Graham’s national outreach this year called "My Hope with Billy Graham."  Anyone wanting to do this can check it out at  Two of our children have completed medical school at the University of Kansas.  Paul is presently doing a year of Fellowship at Tria Orthopedics in Minneapolis.  They serve high schools, colleges, perhaps Gustavus, and professional teams such as the Vikings, hockey teams and the Minnesota Twins whom he got to go south with for a while.  He, his wife Mandy and three children, will return to Kansas City and the University of Kansas where he will be one of their doctors.  Daughter, Sarah, is finishing her first year of residency in radiology at the University of Kansas and is married to Chris DeBacker who is a patent lawyer.  We’re all big KU basketball fans!  Easter blessings and greetings to all from John and Anne Schroeppel in Hutchinson, Kansas.

Owen Peterson: Menominee, Wisconsin—No news of importance here.  Waiting (impatiently) for golf season to begin.  Went to Myrtle Beach in early March for spring training with hopes of golfing soon when we got home.  Went to our golf course this week—but it was for cross country skiing—sadly, I’m afraid it will be late April before golfing around here.

Dan and Sandra (Luedtke ʼ62) Buendorf:  Like many of our classmates I just celebrated my 75th birthday.  We traveled to Las Vegas for a week enjoying the sights and sounds of sin city.  Excellent place for people watching.  One of my friends referred to it as “Lost Wages city.”  Lot of truth to that.  We continue to enjoy many events at Gustavus since we live close by.  We attended Ragamala Dance performance of 1001 Buddha’s:  Journey of the Gods.  Anderson Theatre was the perfect setting for that performance.  Chapel has been exciting.  Students are sharp, talented, easy going, generous with time through the Center for Servant Leadership.  Posters abound for events to attend and studies to pursue.  The Association of Congregations will meet on April 20 with our keynote speaker Dr. Martin Marty speaking on the topic “What does Lutheranism have to offer the 21st century.”  We are blessed to live in the St. Peter community.

David Carlson:  Youʼve probably heard already from Joel Wiberg about the choral tribute in memory of Diane Kolander Loomer ʼ62, wife of our classmate Dick Loomer, which was held in Vancouver on January 11.  Assuming that, perhaps you can meld these comments into Joelʼs for the letter.  Karen (Westman ʼ61) and I felt truly privileged to attend this event, performed by the several choirs which Diane had founded and led.  It was a glorious and inspirational musical event, filled with beautiful music, reverence and warmth, and some good humor as well.  Our classmate Joel was one of two speakers at the event (the other being Dianeʼs brother, Dave), and he gave a moving tribute to Diane, one that would have made all of his classmates proud.  That’s our main news; we enjoyed the past two weeks vacationing at Marco Island, Florida.  Like everyone, we’re looking forward to spring and believe it or not, getting back to that yard work.  Karen and I enjoyed reading your article in the recent Quarterly about Roopnarine John Singh ʼ57; his is quite a story.

Byron Helgeson:  Nothing new here, just continuing to enjoy the warm and beautiful Florida sunshine, grass, flowers, and ocean blue.

Paul Tidemann:  Janet’s (Ryan) class of 1963 celebrates their 50th Reunion at the end of May.  We have sold our three-story house and are moving May 22 to a condo at 6051 Laurel Ave #113, Golden Valley, MN 55416, right on the edge of Minneapolis.  I will continue to be very involved in Saint Paul stuff, including at Gloria Dei Lutheran and Saint Paul Interfaith Network.  Janet had a fall at home and is in a rehab program at Episcopal Church Home and is coming along well.  My email address ( and cell phone (612-940-3602) will not change.  I note the remark from David Carlson about the article that I wrote about the Rev. Dr. Roopnarine John Singh ʼ57, Gustavus, 1957.  John died March 22, 2013, but not before he had a chance to appreciate the article about him in the Gustavus Quarterly.  I presided at his funeral in March 29 at St. Philip’s Lutheran Church, Fridley, MN.

Gustavus Live Long!

Paul Tidemann

1960 Class President

Rounded Rectangle: Great news!  The spring match has been extended and you can now have TRIPLE the impact with your gift to Gustavus Adolphus College.  Thanks to a great group of alumni and friends, the Gustavus match is now a 2-to-1 match to the Gustavus Annual Fund through May 31, 2013.  Visit today!

Campus News

Upcoming Chapter Gatherings

National Chapter events for alumni, parents and friends have been taking place throughout the 2012-13 academic year and have focused on the College’s pillar of “Teaching and Learning.”  Please save the date for the event in your area.

June 5 – St. Cloud – 6:00 p.m. - Le St. Germain Suite Hotel

June 6 – Willmar – 6:00 p.m. – The Oaks at Eagle Creek

July 9 – Duluth – 6:00 p.m. – Northland Country Club

July 10 – Grand Rapids – 6:00 p.m. – Sugar Lake Lodge

July 18 – Sioux Falls – 6:00 p.m. – Callaway’s

Aug. 19 – Rochester – 6:00 p.m. – Rochester Golf and Country Club

Christ Chapel Cited as One of the Most Beautiful

Here is a link that includes the Gustavus Chapel as one of the thirty most beautiful college chapels in a survey of schools around the world.  Take a look at some of these beautiful chapels including our own Christ Chapel by going to

Alumni Travel Opportunities

U.S. Civil War Study Tour

Experience Antietam, Gettysburg and Washington D.C. with Gustavus Alumnus and Pulitzer Prize-winning Civil War Historian Dr. James McPherson ’58 from October 20 to 26, 2013. Dr. McPherson’s vast and insightful knowledge will bring to life all the drama of events at Antietam and Gettysburg.  With unquestionable authority and skillful narrative, he will explain the momentous issues of the time and why the Civil War still resonates today as a “second American Revolution.

2014 Study Tours and Friends of Music Tours

Gustavus music ensembles have a wonderful tradition of concert touring.  We’re inviting you to join us as the Gustavus Wind Orchestra continues this tradition with a tour to Eastern Europe in January, 2014.

The Gustavus Wind Orchestra companion tour is a unique educational opportunity to study, travel and be immersed in the history and culture of Eastern Europe.  Under the leadership of Dr. Douglas Nimmo, join Gustavus students, friends and alumni on a trip to this historic and culturally-rich part of the world.  Explore some of Europe’s most magnificent and legendary cities; Prague, Krakow, Kety, Budapest, Vienna, Salzburg and share wonderful music while traveling with the Wind Orchestra.

For more information on either of these trips, visit

Twin Cities Gustie Breakfasts

Engage with other alumni and learn something new about your alma mater at the monthly Twin Cities Gustavus alumni breakfast.  Please join us at the American Swedish Institute (2600 Park Ave, Minneapolis), on the third Wednesday of each month at 7:30 a.m.  Cost is $10.  Upcoming speaker for May 15 is Tim Kennedy ʼ82, vice president for marketing and communication.

Books in Bloom

Books in Bloom is an initiative of the Gustavus Library Associates (GLA) that pairs books and other library materials with floral arrangements, by sponsoring several of the blooms! 

Each sponsorship directly supports the Folke Bernadotte Memorial Library's (Library) acquisitions.  What an investment in resources for current and future students and faculty!

Last year’s Books in Bloom highlighted 30 different books/media and attracted over 500 people, some coming to campus for the very first time!  In 2013, Books in Bloom will be held May 3-5.  To see a visual presentation of Books in Bloom, go to and type Gustavus Library Associates in the search box.  It will lead you to a gorgeous slide show of blooms and books.  Then contact Gustavus Marketing/Communications Office at 507/933-7550 with your commitment to sponsor, or partially sponsor, a bloom for 2013.  All designers and sponsors are invited to an opening reception from 5:30-7:30 on May 3.  Great wine and snacks!  Good company, too.