Class of '61
October 1998

Dear Classmates,

You are truly a "black and gold" class: faithful to Gustavus and champions again in 1998. Gifts from 71.2% (158) classmates added up to $20,127.04 in unrestricted funds (not designated for a specific purpose) and $80,973.93 in total gifts. 1961 is a very good year! You are remembering the line from the song, "For you belong to GA College, and Gustavus belongs to you." This is unquestionably a time when Gustavus needs its alumni; you are appreciated very, very much.

Campus looks good. Trees are new but pleasant (the buildings have gained new prominence in comparison to shorter, smaller trees) and flowers and shrubs look terrific. One thing missing is Johnson Hall, which had too much structural damage to be saved. I will ask the Alumni Office to attach a "Fact Sheet" that details specifics about the rebuilding effort. At a class agents’ meeting Dennis Johnson, vice president for college relations, noted, "we didn’t do it ourselves." Help came from other colleges, many alums, churches, town groups, and busloads from the Twin Cities. About 50 members of Gustavus’ staff lost their homes, but almost all suffered damage. Staff members (Dennis said that, "physical plant people worked day and night") deserve huge thanks for all of their effort. Mt. Olivet Lutheran Church in Minneapolis invited all Gustavus staff members for two weekends at their retreat center to ease their constant work schedule in summer. Another tidbit from Dennis was that thousands of books in the library were spared because plastic was in place for an upcoming painting project and it could be pulled over exposed materials quickly after the storm.

The 1998-99 academic year opened with a record enrollment of 2,470 full-time students (compared with the previous record of 2,389 set in 1988), including a record 700 incoming students (compared to 648 of 1987). Contributing to the record enrollment is the stable 94 percent full-time student retention rate. Students returned to a campus that has been newly landscaped with 400 trees planted last spring and nurtured over the summer. They also discovered that 95% of all repairs made necessary by the tornado of March 29 are now completed. They returned to find a new College View Apartment addition, which houses 92 upper-class students, and the recently purchased Jefferson Avenue apartments (now known as Arbor View), which houses 60 upper-class students. In addition to new carpeting, painting, and furnishings, the campus is sporting 300 new state of the art computers for students and faculty, 28 new Steinway pianos (making us a member of a very elite circle of "All Steinway" campuses), 13 new high-tech multimedia systems for classrooms, new and upgraded outdoor and indoor athletic facilities, and new scientific equipment.

Another outcome of the tornado is that construction of an enlarged campus center has begun years ahead of schedule. The enrollment has overwhelmed the old facility, and the dining room was not handicapped accessible. Rather than repair the entire damaged building, construction has begun. The state of Minnesota designated its only allocation of money to the food service. The large dining room will be named the Evelyn Young Dining Room.

An article in the Mankato Free Press on October 13, headlined "Steeple Chase" describes the process involved in creating the new steeple for Christ Chapel which was put up over a three-day period beginning October 19. Tom Morken, an engineer for Stillwater Metals of St. Paul, had the job of making a new spire. He says, "This is horribly complicated. It’s been an engineering nightmare. Nothing is parallel. There are no right angle corners. It’s a six-sided, boomerang-shaped steeple." After the March 29 tornado, workers hauled away the former spire’s remains, and nothing remained to study, so the 1958 blueprints gave the only clues. Setter Leach & Lindstrom of Minneapolis were the original design firm. Morken says this was among the five most difficult projects that he has worked on. The cross was added to the new spire on October 22.

The only Phono of the year is in progress. Thanks to Dave Linne for spending an evening talking with classmates from Deli Express in Eden Prairie. The second week’s calls originate from Alliant Food Service in Eagan. The Gustavus Fund is the new name of the effort to support the college. New levels for donations are as follows: Black and Gold ($240), Old Main Tower ($600), Vasa Circle ($1,000), St. Ansgar Circle ($5,000), and Norelius Presidential Circle ($10,000). Modern ways to send your donations are in place or coming soon. You may use a credit card and soon an automatic bank draft through Lutheran Brotherhood, or the internet, where you can pull up information and use a credit card to give your gift securely. Some classmates designate an amount to be paid by credit card monthly. Following Phono, Gustie students will continue the Fund effort five nights a week. If we cannot reach you in October, please give generously when one of the students reaches you, and please add news notes to your donation envelop.

Some "brags" that have come from national media include 1) U.S. News and World Report places Gustavus in the second quartile of best national liberal arts colleges with Carleton, Macalester, and St. Olaf. It is also noted as one of the top three most efficient schools in the country that provides, "quality education while spending less." 2) Newsweek’s publication on colleges lists Gustavus as a "buried treasure in America, the only Minnesota college so recognized, with Davidson, Grinnell, Trinity in San Antonio, and William and Mary. Their reasons include personal attention and "you can’t slide by here."

A form requesting tickets for Christmas in Christ Chapel the first weekend of December will be included with this letter. There is also one in the last Gustavus Quarterly. Send it NOW for a chance at getting tickets.

An "unprecedented offer" from Aid Association for Lutherans (AAL) will match gifts to the Gustavus rebuilding effort until January 31, 1999. "When a tornado of this magnitude impacts a Lutheran institution, we feel it’s important to help," says Fred Ohlde, AAL senior vice president, in the company’s publication. The gifts will be designated to the rebuilding (capital) fund, and the matching effort applies from $50 to $1,000 per member, but only one match is allowed per member. "Parents also can make gifts for their AAL member children." Contact your AAL representative if you did not receive a form.

Children of alumni continue to be honored for their academic achievement and potential when they enroll at Gustavus. The Alumni Scholarship of $2,500 (renewable to $10,000 over four years) is awarded to children and grandchildren of alumni with high school grade point averages of 3.5 or better, or SAT scores of 1170 or an ACT of 26. This fall Gustavus welcomed to campus 70 new entering students who are children of alumni. Sixty-seven legacy students were awarded an Alumni Scholarship. This number includes 54 children of alumni and 13 grandchildren of alumni.

Nobel Conference XXXIV, Virus: The Human Connection was October 6 & 7. The Nobel Conference magazine was again inserted in the August Minnesota Monthly magazine and sent to the entire Gustavus mailing list.

The Gustavus Orchestra will perform its Autumn Concert at the Ted Mann Concert Hall on the campus of the University of Minnesota on Saturday, November 14, at 7:30 p.m. The featured violin soloist is Siqing Lu, one of the most important Chinese violinists of his generation. General admission tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for students and seniors. Call the University of Minnesota Arts Ticket Office (612-624-2345) or Gustavus Ticket Center at (507-933-7598).

G.I.V.E. (Gusties In Volunteer Endeavors), a day of community service, was a huge success for another year. Alumni, parents and friends gathered on Saturday, October 3 to work together in the spirit of service to better their communities. An impact was made around the country as nearly 1,000 Gusties worked in nine cities including: Atlanta, GA; Boston, MA; Duluth, MN; Fargo, ND; Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN; Orlando, FL; Saint Peter, MN; Seattle, WA and Washington, DC.

Recycle your Quarterly – after reading each issue of the Gustavus Quarterly, we encourage you to "recycle" the magazine by taking it to your place of business or worship and sharing it with others. Spread the good word about Gustavus!

Alumni Chapters will be meeting in cities around the country near you! Mark your calendars today for the following Alumni Association chapter visits: Chicago, November 14; Atlanta, November 19; Washington, DC, November 20; Boston, November 21; Denver, February 1 (Gustavus Band concert); Fargo, Feb. 20; Seattle, March 5; San Francisco, March 6; Los Angeles, March 7; Phoenix, March 8; and Sun City, March 9.

News items from classmates this time include items that I must have misplaced last year. I am pulling out information that remains pertinent but may not be completely up-to-date. Thanks for sending and calling with news. We have e-mail at home, and I welcome your items at


Marjorie Erickson-Geisler, Minneapolis, died October 2, 1998. I know that all classmates join me in offering sympathy to Jim, her husband of four years. Last year Marj established a fund at Gustavus named the Marjorie G. Erickson-Geisler Memorial Scholarship, and memorials are preferred to this fund. Marj battled a brain tumor valiantly, but the cancer resisted all forms of treatment. At her memorial service I saw Carol Olson Heath, Dori Bergstrom Macek, Judy Brown Mortenson, Ruth Hilgendorf Weber, and David and Jean Linne. Milo and Carole Paulson Olson attended the funeral earlier in the week at First Lutheran in Trimont. Their daughter, Johanna (’92), wrote a beautiful message to Jim Geisler, and Carole shares it with classmates. I will quote a portion of it: "To me, she was an aunt of adoptive choice, she was a teacher of whom I sought approval, my ‘substitute’ mom who lived in the big city of Minneapolis. She was assurance and love and in growing up, she meant an extension of home to me. Other worlds were safe to explore with her. The newness and vastness of a city, I felt comfortable with her because she was the guide. In her crazy cooking, I felt fine to go along and watch and wonder just what was she going to do with those clams and thinking it fun. I would look forward to seeing her VW (which would be the sole VW in Wautoma that weekend) turn into our drive as she would faithfully come to visit Mom and the rest of us on Mom’s birthday. With Margie, I could see parts of Mom’s history and hear stories. She would call mom 'Paulsie.’ No one else did. There was always a sense of wonder of why she did what she did and yet, always open and approachable to a little child who grew to love her." An obituary article in the Minneapolis Tribune mentioned her 36-year teaching career in St. Louis Park. She was a finalist for Minnesota Teacher of the Year. She championed the arts, and was a longtime volunteer at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts where she chaired the Evening Division of Friends. Her students enjoyed an annual field trip to the Institute, and many of them surprised people because they could identify a Seurat or a Van Gogh. She encouraged politeness and manners among her students, and the effect was noted by school staffers and parents. She was president of the Metropolitan Council of the Minnesota Federation of Teachers and of the St. Louis Park Federation of Teachers. She served on boards of the East Calhoun Community Organization Neighborhood Assn. and of the Kobe College Corp. (promotes education of young women in Japan). She also volunteered for the American Swedish Institute and the Gustavus Library Associates.

Dr. Carolyn Wedin, Whitewater WI, and her husband Tony Rolloff, returned to Norway where she was on a Fulbright last year to speak about her newest book, Inheritors of the Spirit: Mary White Ovington and the Foundation of the NAACP (published by John Wiley & Co., New York in Nov. 1997). From there it was on to Cameroon, West Africa, for a six-week visit with two of her three grandchildren (and their parents).

Milo and Carole Paulson Olson, Wautoma WI, have set up a family foundation to supply scholarships to students at Gustavus and at Luther College. Carole notes that ¾ of the annual interest goes to Gustavus and ¼ goes to Luther. The principal of the foundation is not touched by the yearly scholarships to students, just the interest amount is given. They say, "We believe it is important to give charitably for education. We believe in the parable of talents." The foundation should remain for a long time, and it is part of their estate planning process. A Gustavus student is reaping the value of the scholarship this year. Great going, Milo and Carole.

Peter and Julie Nelson Neyhart, Juneau AK; Dr. Arne and Miriam Lind Lagus, St. Croix Falls WI; and Drs. Bill and Reet (Lind ’62) Henze, Huntsville AL, hiked and toured with a group in Norway this summer. The Neyharts also went to Lancaster, CA, in winter to meet their new granddaughter, Lilly Elizabeth Neyhart. Lilly has a brother, Sam, 19 months old, "so their Mom was glad to have us keep the kids occupied for a couple of days."

Dr. Mary Towley Swanson, St. Paul, presented a lecture on the Monet exhibit at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts in early July that I enjoyed with Sally Enstrom and Carol Olson Heath. Mary impressed us with insights into Monet’s works in the exhibit and also with her command of French. Later she noted that she telephoned her son, who lives in France, to learn correct pronunciation. Mary is a professor of art history at St. Thomas, and she leads student tours to Europe (a recent one included five Gusties). Mary serves on the Board of Swenson Archives, an immigrant institute. After Phonorama last fall, she was going to Rock Island, IL, for a meeting at which Nils Hasselmo, former University of Minnesota president, was speaking.

Ruth Hilgendorf Weber, Eagan, spent part of September touring Europe (London, Vienna, parts of Finland, etc.) with friends. It was especially interesting because a history teacher led the tour.

M. Joanne Linnee, Edina, has a great situation in place because she gets her car taken care of by her son, who owns a Tires Plus facility, and she can baby-sit her granddaughter while the work takes place. Mary Frances Nyhus was born Jan. 15, 1998, in Winona. Jo observes that Mary "can speak Greek."

Dr. Joe and Sylvia Peterson, Backus, have sold their home in town and have been doing a lot of work on a large home on Johnson Lake. They would appreciate prayers from classmates asking for God’s help as Joe fights a brain tumor. He has had surgery and chemotherapy and will be receiving another round of the same in Fargo, ND.

David and Jean Linne, Edina, enjoyed the wedding of their son Jonathan ’91 to Katie Bloedl on June 20. Jonathan teaches at Edison High School and Katie is a teacher in Hastings. Dave is retired and finding numerous projects, but Jean continues to teach at the University of Minnesota. Jean’s latest book covers laboratory procedures for medical technicians, and Mosley Publishers is dividing it into two books (I hope that means double the royalties!) While reading Search for God at Harvard by Aril Goldman for a class Dave is teaching on listening for God, he found a reference to classmate, Dr. Paul D. Hanson. It comes when a woman takes an adult class at Harvard, and it is a course in Second Isaiah with Dr. Paul D. Hanson, a Lutheran, Midwestern scholar of the Old Testament. The woman finds that two hours in the class go by like ten minutes, and soon she can’t wait for Thursday afternoons to come around. One day Professor Hanson says that if anyone is over his head, they are welcome to come in to see him. This woman scurries to his office and introduces herself, "Professor Hanson, I’m your token housewife." To that, Paul is said to have responded, "Now wait a minute. I’m married to one of those and she’s the most challenging person in my life." The book goes on, and this matron matriculates into Harvard.

Milt and Lorna Jafvert Reed, Friendswood TX, are keeping their home in St. Petersburg, FL, for eventual retirement. Milt works on the Shuttle for NASA in Houston. Lorna was in the Twin Cities in summer and enjoyed lunch with some of the Gustie Club members. A huge project in her life is sorting through her mother’s belongings now that she has moved from the family home in Iowa.

Arne (’60) and Carol Weisbrod Johnson, New Hope, looked wonderfully relaxed when I visited with them while shopping this fall. Extended stays at their cabin in the St. Croix Falls area are doing wonders for them now that they have both retired. Carol was thinking about school a little bit when we met, but she did not seem ready to return to work.

Al and Karin Erickson Gaskell, Hopkins, also are tasting the new fruits of retirement since Al ended many years of work with Honeywell. They have not firmed up winter plans except for talking about one direction: South.

Hilding "Ing" ’62 and Jan Huntington Nelson maintain a residence in Minneapolis, but also have a home in northern California. Ing was mentioned at class agents’ meetings as a member of a campaign cabinet working on funding the new Gustavus campus center, which includes the dining facilities and will cost over $18 million. Hilding retired "again" in May, and Dick Youngblood in a Star Tribune column on May 18, featured Ing’s career. Youngblood wrote that Ing "is credited with holding the John G. Kinnard brokerage business together during a recent period of financial crisis…as chairman of the parent Kinnard Investments, Inc." This apparently was the fourth time he tried to retire in the last decade. Youngblood goes on, "If this retirement holds, Nelson figures he has enough ‘adventures’ lined up to keep him hiking briskly into the turn of the century, including trips into the Sierra Nevadas, the Gaspe Peninsula of eastern Canada and the Copper Mountains of Mexico. Then, if he can arrange it, he figures to spend two or three months tramping through the vast wilderness of the Patagonia region of Argentina." Bill Farley, former vice chairman of First Bank System, says of Ing, "He kept this place alive in the face of enormous pressures, including several class-action lawsuits that literally threatened the survival of the company." The article includes a Nelson quote about finding his first job after Gustavus, "Jobs were scarce, so I had my wife drop me off at the intersection of County Rd. 18 and Bass Lake Rd., where some of the early electronics companies were clustered, and told her to pick me up again in six hours. Then I went door to door until somebody finally hired me."

Dr. Mary Nelson, Chicago, took on another big job with Operation Clean Sweep in the West Garfield Park community in Chicago’s west side since April. The goals were 1) cleaner community/buildings, 2) more people involved, and 3) fewer "drug corner hot spots". Volunteers and city employees cleaned, planted flowers, cleared dumps, and swept streets. Portable street offices were set up at the worst drug spots. Block clubs "adopted a block" in an agreement with the city to keep it clean. Other events improved life in the area. Mary is the president of Bethel New Life, Inc.

John (’59) and Linda Lundgren Erickson, Minnetonka, have both retired, but Linda says, "she is more retired than John." Linda taught for more than 30 years, about 24 years in nursery school and about 6 years in first grade. They have taken trips to Arizona, Florida, and Washington, D.C. since retiring. Four of their grandchildren live near. Linda, please accept you classmates’ sympathy on the death of your mother on Oct. 3. The Star Tribune obituary included the phrase, "How can I keep from singing."

Dale Bosch, Edina, says that my last class letter gave him more credit than he deserved for his employer’s (Lutheran Social Services) efforts in the Grand Forks floods a year ago and the March 29, St. Peter tornado. Dale handles the information technology supporting a lot of peoples’ hard work. He attended GACAC meetings on campus in April at which President Steuer talked about experiences during the tornado. Dale, Rick Carlson, and Paul Boman ’62 lived in a brick house in St. Peter during college days which was destroyed now. He also observed that Esby had sold his house on Friday before the tornado struck and moved into an apartment. The Rod Davis home lost its upper level, and Bill Roberts’ home lost its roof. Chet and Marion (Swanson ’41) Johnson are still living in the basement of their home while repairs continue. Bruce and Sue Gray now live in LeSueur; they lived in Mankato for awhile after their Pine Point condo was totally destroyed. One of the Langsjoen homes was totally destroyed; there was a picture of Carol Langsjoen in the papers, and she was standing at her fireplace looking at articles on the mantle that stood in place. Nothing else of the house remained.

Rev. Jerry (’59) and Joan Miller Hoffman, Minneapolis, have four grandchildren. Karin has two sons plus owning a consulting business in management and marketing in New Brighton. JoAnne has two children and is a pediatrician with the South Lake Pediatric Group in Minneapolis. Jerry is senior pastor at Nativity Lutheran in St. Anthony Village, and Joan teaches second grade in the Mounds View Schools.

Charles (’60) and Jo Louise Hanson Johnson, Mankato, share the news of their daughter Lisa’s (’88) marriage in Christ Chapel a year ago on September 20 to Chris Cutts. Chuck works for a Glen Taylor-owned company, and they get to Timberwolves games now and then.

Bob and Carrie Olson Lamphere, Lincoln NE, report that work, not retirement, remains their lot. All of their children now live fairly near.

Gerald Doebbert, Detroit Lakes, says, "retirement will be when all I do is teach." He continues to officiate high school athletic events, and he will be officiating a football game at the Metrodome this fall. He is planning to quit doing some of the events after his birthday in January. Gerald and Linda’s daughter was married at Christmas, 1997, "on the only December weekend that bad weather did not close the interstate." He enjoyed Christmas in Whitefish last year.

David and Karen Lacher Dowd, Duluth, saw Jim and Carmen (Jones ’62) Knoble at a wedding before Phono last fall. They are fortunate to have their grandchildren near so that they can see them often. Jim Knoble, I know that I talked with you on a Saturday on Phono about a year ago and took notes about your news, but those notes seem lost; did they show up in Carmen’s class letter? Send or e-mail some items please.

Allan (’60) and Carol Magnuson Moberg, Tampa FL, your news items elude me also. The photo copy of your contribution envelope shows your "Inside" indication, but no other information is visible.

More items will probably show up soon after this letter takes off for St. Peter via the e-mail. Look for yourself in the spotlight in January. My family has news also this time, with Scott ’88 engaged to Christine Ray, an occupational therapist who lives in Moline, IL. The wedding is planned for spring. Jonathan ’01 has returned to live in Pittman Hall on campus, and he seems to like Gustavus a lot. Sid continues to struggle with equilibrium problems, but he is able to work and feels lucky to be alive. It is a bit early, but you and your family are wished a wonderful holiday season. Perhaps we’ll see you at Christmas in Christ Chapel in about a month. You are one great class –thank you from Gustavus for all that you do.


P.S. These are recipes that you might like to try. Dave Linne visited with Evelyn Young at Phono, and she shared these two recipes with him. Thanks, Dave!

Sugar Cookies

Beat these at least 15 minutes with a beater:

½ cup butter

½ cup Oleo

½ cup powdered sugar

½ cup sugar

Then add:

1 egg

½ teaspoon almond extract

½ teaspoon vanilla

Then sift together and add:

2 cups plus 2 heaping tablespoons flour

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon cream of tartar

Sift and add to the mixture above.

Bake 350 degrees until gold at edges – about 10 min.

Use #100 ice cream scoop to put cookies on the cookie sheet. Butter a smooth bottom glass pan. Dip the scoop in sugar before each cookie. (Makes 4-5 dozen cookies)

Scones (for the brave to try—the secret, whatever, is in mixing technique)

Sift together

2 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

1/3 cup sugar

Using a mixer, combine with ½ cup butter (don’t skimp!)

Add to the flour mixture

1 egg

½ cup whipping cream

You can add ¼ cup currants or craisons, cut up

Beat extensively until you have soft dough

Turn out on a floured board and knead. Then spread one inch thick. Cut with a ¾ inch cutter. (

Dip in flour and put on parchment paper or insulated pan.

Bake 350 for 18-19 minutes Makes about 25 scones.

Before baking, brush on egg yokes and ½ teaspoon sugar?