Class of ’60
Our 53rd year! (Or maybe it’s the beginning of our 54th!)
There is lots of news on campus. Let me start by sharing a few things. You may have undoubtedly seen more detailed things about these changes in the fall Gustavus Quarterly:
Randall Stuckey has been in our alumni office for 28 years and as Alumni Relations Director since 1994. He has taken on a new position in the Gustavus Advancement Office as Director of Athletic Development and Engagement. We have really appreciated his relationship with us as he has done an outstanding job as alumni director and we wish Randy well. Then a familiar face showed up in the alumni office in the person of our friend Paul Tillquist ʼ63. Paul served a three month term as interim director of what is now the Office of Alumni and Parent Engagement. He is presently executive consultant to the president and vice president at Gustavus. His wife, Ruth (Anderson ʼ63) Tillquist is the sister of our classmate, The Rev. Roger L. Anderson.
But, continuing in the line of connections to our class, The Rev. James “Jim” Anderson’s parents, Ren ʼ34 and Sylvia (Benzon ʼ36) Anderson, served from 1945 to 1978 in public relations and also developed the alumni relations office. Ren became vice president for public relations in 1963 and appointed Cec Eckhoff ʼ56 as alumni relations director who served in that role until 1994. Many of us remember all of these persons as important to us as “old” Gustie alumni! A person who was close to me and others of us for our 50th Class reunion in 2010 was Kathy Erlandsen. Kathy has left the college after nine years in the Office of Advancement to move with her husband and three daughters to Arlington, Texas. One of the persons taking up some of her work is Maggie Hedlund ʼ09 as manager of the Annual Fund. You can be in touch with her about your gift to the Annual Fund!! And speaking of that, our class gave $48,270.02 to Gustavus in 2012-2013 and 113 (56%) of us contributed - we came in fourth in total giving and participation in the sixth decade of classes. Let’s see if we can raise that percentage of donors and total amount given in this coming year!
You have probably read about the two new Gustavus Chaplains who were installed on September 29 in Christ Chapel. They are the Rev. Brian Konkol and The Rev. Siri Erickson. (See the article in the fall Quarterly.) Pastor Erickson is a Carleton College and Claremont School of Theology graduate and then served as pastor of Lifelong Learning at Trinity Lutheran Church in Stillwater, Minnesota. Pastor Konkol graduated from Viterbo University in LaCrosse, Wisconsin and from Luther Theological Seminary in St. Paul. I have a good connection with him because he served his seminary internship in Guyana, South America and then returned to Guyana from 2005-2007 as pastor of Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Skeldon, Guyana. (I was a pastor in Guyana from 1974-78 and maintain active coordinating relationships there through the Guyana Mission Network in North America and so knew Pastor Konkol during his ministry in Guyana. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Guyana is one of the oldest churches in the western hemisphere and celebrates its 270th Anniversary in 2013. Learn more at www.guyanamissionnetwork.org or www.elcguyana.org) Pastor Konkol went on to serve in a young adult ministry in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in South Africa and then for a brief time as co-pastor of Lake Edge Lutheran Church in Madison, Wisconsin. We wish them God’s blessing as they take on this new ministry together at Gustavus!
Of course, we are aware that Jack R. Ohle will retire as president of Gustavus on June 30, 2014. He is known especially for leading Commission Gustavus 150, a strategic planning process which culminated in the college’s 150th year in 2012. He also shepherded major building initiatives including the completion of Beck Academic Hall, a Sesquicentennual Plaza and the College’s West Mall. Plans are underway to search for a successor—a new president for Gustavus, perhaps by the time President Ohle retires.
A PIECE OF SCHOLARSHIP AND MINNESOTA AMERICAN INDIAN HISTORY: When I was a student at Gustavus I was the recipient of the Jackson Scholarship. I always knew I received financial support from this scholarship, but I did not know anything about who “Jackson” was. Well, I should have! He was The Rev. Andrew Jackson (not related to the U.S. President), who is considered the second president of what is now Gustavus when the school moved from Red Wing to East Union in 1863. It was called St. Ansgar’s Academy then. The scholarship I received was established in Jackson’s honor. He came from Sweden (changed his name from Anders Jacobsson) in 1852 and ultimately attended Augustana College and Theological Seminary (the seminary alma mater of a number of us GA ʼ60 classmates!). He served as “Principal” of the school from 1963 through 1976.
You may have read about the fact that Gustavus has, recently, provided a good deal of study and teaching about the U.S./Dakota War which lasted six months in 1862. I have been involved in learning and leading discussions on this as well through the Saint Paul Interfaith Network since 2012. That year was the 150th Anniversary of the largest mass execution in the history of the United States which took place on December 26, 1862 in Mankato, Minnesota when 38 Dakota Indian men were hung due to their involvement in the war in which many American settlers were killed. I encourage you to learn more about this. What brings me to raise this is that a book was recommended to me by a friend and colleague called “Death of a Dream: One Family’s Experience of the 1862 U.S./Dakota War” by the Rev. Paul Lundborg. Pr. Lundborg is an ELCA Lutheran pastor, recently retired, and he writes about how his Swedish ancestors settled in Minnesota in 1961 and, a year later, 13 of them were killed by some of the Dakota Indian warriors. Lundborg writes about Pastor Andrew Jackson, the pastor to his Swedish ancestors and how he shepherded the Swedish Lundborg family through this horrific time and stood with the eight survivors. What is also good about this book is that Pr. Lundborg also acknowledges the fact that the Dakota people also suffered deeply during this time in which Minnesota and U.S. government leaders gave the Dakota people little support as their lands were being taken from them. Pastor Lundborg’s book is really worth reading and is available at Amazon.com and some local bookstores.
Well now, that is quite a lead-in to sharing with you some news that has come from our class of 75-year olds! So, here goes:
Tom Mau and Judy (Krueger ʼ61) Mau send greetings from sunny, hot, humid Florida and report that their granddaughter, Carly Mau, just graduated from Eagan (Minnesota) High School and is attending Gustavus this fall. ..We were sorry to hear from Cam “Scooter” and Jeanette (Westberg) Johnston that their son, Eric, died unexpectedly on August 17. Our prayers and good wishes to them . . . Our classmate Jeanette Flury Ziegler died on July 21. Her degree at Gustavus in social work and biology and she worked for Blue Earth County Social Service from 1966 until her retirement in 1998. Jeanette played in the Gustavus Band and Orchestra. Jeanette is survived by her husband, Ken Ziegler of rural Mankato; two children, Paul Ziegler (Barb Michels) of Mankato and Annie (Eric) Legg of Lake Crystal, Minnesota . . . Our classmate Dennis Johnson is publishing a lot! He wrote a book recently on the life and contribution to Gustavus of the late Dr. John Kendall ʼ49 (“On His Watch,” former GA President. And, most recently, Dennis assisted Dr. David Chester Johnson, former Dean at Gustavus in the 1980s, in the writing of a book entitled “Shtetls to Shipsides: The Religious Roads of My Mother’s People” about the discovery by David Johnson that his mother’s family was Jewish. An interesting read! Dennis also wrote “Esbj!: The Heart and Mind of a Professor,” and assisted Bruce Gray ʼ61 in the writing of “Black and Gold” a history of African American students at Gustavus. He also wrote “Chaplain of the House” about the chaplains of the Minnesota House of Representatives including some of their prayers. Dennis was House of Representatives chaplain in 2009-2010 . . .
Speaking of classmate authors, Dr. Melvyn Hammarberg, associate professor emeritus of anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania, has just published his book “The Mormon Quest for Glory: The Religious World of the Latter Day Saints,” published by the Oxford University Press. Mel presented information about his work on this subject at our 2010 reunion. Mel writes about his work: “Identity as a Latter-day Saint centers on family relations that connect the generations through the sealing ordinance of ‘celestial marriage,’ creating what are popularly known as ‘forever families’ in the new and everlasting covenant. These celestial marriages are performed only in LDS temples, which are being built around the world as converts and members-of- record seek to spread the LDS gospel among all nations that are open to the work of missionaries, who seek to reach ‘every people, tongue, kindred, and nation.’ (Yes, I have just started reading my new copy!) Mel also wrote “The Indiana Voter: The Historical Dynamics of Party Allegiance During the 1870's.”
Sonja Alvheim Hirsch reported that our classmate, Loretta Sundberg died July 19, 2013. She had been a teacher in the White Bear Lake, Minnesota schools. Her memorial service was in Mora, on August 3, 2013 and Pat Skalbeck Wharton and Sonja attended. Loretta had several medical problems the last few years, but remained positive and feisty to the end. Sonja went on to say that “the big change that Tom [ʼ64] and I made this year was to sell our Scottsdale home, after 30 + years. We are opting for more travel and less home maintenance.” And read this from Sonja! “If anyone is looking for a way to create a nice lifetime cash flow and a significant tax deduction, we would recommend a Gustavus charitable gift annuity. It is a great way to support Gustavus and is a win-win situation.”
We have several classmates who are international travelers: Barb Nordstrom Hanson was on a river boat to Russia – from Moscow to St. Petersburg and finishing with four days in Stockholm. Barb said they were looking forward to viewing all the art and history of that area! “We continue to enjoy life in beautiful Red Wing and the bluff country.” . . . David Silseth spent time in Norway visiting families of the original Silseth stock still thriving along the fjord and then Ruth and Dave spent 12 days on a Hurtigruten Line doing a round trip to the Russian border and back to Bergen stopping briefly at 34 ports each direction on a working/modified cruise ship . . . Pete Nyhus says he and his wife, Nancy Novak were in Glasgow, Scotland, then to Penrith, England to participate in a National Geographic Adventure titled England: Coast to Coast, a walk of about 192 miles that begins at St. Bees in the Lake District, and stretches across the country horizontally to Robin Hood’s Bay in North Yorkshire. It’s a 13 day trip on foot for about 150 miles of the 192 miles. They trained for this event for some time. Pete says that they hope the old mind and body will hold up. . . . Margo Pinney Cotton and husband, Ernie, were on a Norwegian Coastal Voyage and Lapland which was spectacular cruising along the coast of Norway in and out of fjords and visited Bergen and Oslo and many other coastal towns . . . Jo Jensen Tollefson notes that the 1960 Minnesota/Wisconsin Gustie nurses are planning a reunion Sept 22 to 25, 2014 at Breezy Point in Minnesota. She says, “We do really plan this far ahead so some can visit their family and friends. We have luncheons to plan which make the planning fun fun fun. And in personal news, our family of 21 spent a week on Cape Cod. It was so much fun to see the cousins play, either by the ocean or the lawn. We had four houses in a compound so if anyone needed quiet time it was there. Our oldest grandson just got engaged so we celebrated a beautiful girl into our family. Of course there was a lot of fish and lobster enjoyed by all.” . . . Nancy Dege Gerhard tells that she went to Ireland in June after attending her granddaughter’s wedding in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. We actually had four sunny days (out of 12), a record according to our tour guide. Ireland is a truly beautiful green country, and I enjoyed the music, storytelling, dance, and the arts in general. Speaking of art, I have been working in art since I retired (amateur only), but I was recently in two shows, one of which was juried (meaning it was by judging that you get in.) One was at the Muzeo in Anaheim, the city museum, and the other was in the Tustin Senior Center. At the Senior Center, one of my paintings won Honorable Mention—so I guess I am getting better.
We always like to hear from David Wold in Sweden: “I’ve recently updated my website: www.davidwold.se. Check out the menu. One of the updates there is a section there about our travels to important Martin Luther sites. Under Touring with friends, I’ve added Istanbul, Berlin, Verona as well as London and the Proms. Under bike/wine tours, I’ve added my last two Giro di Sardinia and Sonoma. In the Blog portion of the menu I’ve added career, family and faith. This piece is long, but bear in mind it spans 75 years. Of course, you’re welcome to view and read as much of this website as you like. Hopefully, you’ll enjoy it and get back in touch with me with your comments, If you don’t like it, please let me know and I promise never to bother you with it again.” . . . And now, from Byron Helgeson: “I finally did retire from Disney after twenty plus years and it was the most enjoyable and satisfying time in my entire employment career. Disney isn’t so successful by accident, and although I am very prejudiced, it truly is a company which works very hard at “exceeding the guests expectations”---and it does it like no other company in our fine country. So enjoy the best family entertainment that money can buy, and send your kids and grandkids to the land of Mickey and Minnie, or as my grandkids would say— Disneyworld reminds them of the character Goofy, who is like my grandpa.” By says he never met Walt Disney, but is reading his book! . . . Muriel Woods is a retired library administrator in Boulder, Colorado and has quite a story to tell and see: “As you know, I live in the Frasier Meadows Retirement Community in Boulder. Frasier residents received a memo about the last few days. Among other things we learned that our administration learned that “Frasier is the single largest flood disaster/clean up in this entire storm and flooding event.” Also, The Weather Channel was here, took some video about the clean up and interviewed out CEO. One of our staff took a video of the flooding event as it happened (I understand); it is now posted on the Weather Channel with a short segment with our CEO. You can find it on www.weather.com/video/elderly-rescued-from-flood-38998. The damage to our facility and individual losses (over 100 cars, mine among them) was great. However, our staff has been nothing short of stellar. In the midst of it all, we did not have a single person injured -- God is so good.”
We were sad to hear that Judy Diane (Miner) Hanson wife of our classmate, Fred Hanson of Norseland passed to her Heavenly Home on Tuesday, September 10, 2013 at Benedictine Community Living Center, St. Peter with husband Fred at her bedside following two strokes in the past five months. A graduate of St Peter High School and Mankato State College where she had worked as a secretary in the home economics department, Judy taught home economics at Nicollet High School and physical education at John Ireland Elementary. Judy wrote articles for the St. Peter Herald from an agricultural viewpoint. She was a columnist for The Land Magazine and freelance writer for the Mankato Free Press and Rochester Agri News. Our thoughts and prayers are with Fred and family. They have sons Chris (Jill) Hanson of Olivia, and Jay Hanson of Norseland; daughters Lena (Tate) Burckhardt of Lake Benton, and Grace Hanson (Michael Mechtenburg) of St. Paul.
Tom and Carol (Villesvik ʼ61) Weston’s son, Dave and daughter-in-law (Yai - from Thailand) own the Aroy Thai restaurant in Silver Spring, Maryland. It recently won the GrubHub "GoldenGrub Award" for the best Pad Thai in the area. It’s one block from the University of Maryland campus. By the way, the word "Aroy" means delicious, or tasty, in the Thai language. Other than that we are well, and have the usual assortment of grandkids in high school and college. Grandson Ben may attend Gustavus next year if we are persuasive enough . . . Marilyn Wiklund Anderson says that summer has flown by. Nine of our classmates had a celebration of our birthdays in Red Wing in June. Our group has been gathering for 10 years. This year’s gathering was hosted by Barb Nordstrom Hanson and Karen Schendel Nybo. Also attending were Nancy Anderson Wiberg, Bev Lingwall Mooney, Marilyn Hallberg Gaffin, Marg Day Philipson, Mary McCreery Teppen and Marilyn Wiklund Anderson. “In July, my granddaughter, Victoria, age 10, took an intergenerational sailing trip on a tall ship around the San Juan Islands on Puget Sound. It was a working and learning trip and was a wonderful adventure. Life is good in Minnetonka, Minnesota.”
Joel and Nancy (Anderson) Wiberg went to Chicago for a visit with Joel’s brother, Mark ʼ58 and Anne Kilty Wiberg in September. Anne says that they hoped to “whoop” it up in the Windy city.
So, this is the good word from Gustavus for early fall. Always feel free to send us more news about what’s going on in your lives or in the lives of other classmates.
Gustavus Live Long!
1960 Class President
Gustavus Library Associates - A Royal Affair
On Saturday, November 16, Gustavus Library Associates (GLA) will host its 18th biennial benefit...A Royal Affair. More than 500 guests are expected to attend this gala dinner/auction benefit at the Radisson Blu Mall of America, Bloomington, Minnesota. Realized proceeds are designated for the GLA endowment of the Folke Bernadotte Memorial Library.
Nobel Conference XLIX
What is the universe made of? Where did it come from? Where is it going? These questions were explored at Nobel Conference 49, “The Universe at Its Limits,” held October 1 and 2. Eight invited speakers and about 5,000 guests explored these questions in the light of recent discoveries and spent time contemplating both their scientific and philosophical implications.
Vic Gustafson Pool Naming Event, Hall of Champions, Lund Center, Oct. 12
Networking Event – Westin Galleria, Edina – Oct. 23
Athletics Hall of Fame Banquet – November 2
Gustavus Library Associates – A Royal Affair – Radisson Blu, Bloomington – Nov. 16
Lifelong Learning Event – JFK Assassination by David Jones ʼ83 – Nov. 19
Christmas in Christ Chapel – Dec. 6, 7 and 8.