Class of '61
October 1999

Dear 1961 Classmates,

Your hearts have championship quality! In the 1999 Gustavus Fund the Class of 1961, with 71.8% of classmates included, was best in the decade in the percentage of participation. Your faithful support is gratefully appreciated by Gustavus. Taking such good care of your college enables it to give aid to more than 80% of its current students. The statistics show that 158 class members out of 220 sent $19,828.76 in unrestricted dollars (all gifts that you gave to Gustavus without limiting their use), and $62,291.45 is the amount of our total class credits (including all gifts to special funds and departments, interest or other payments from insurance plans or other financial set-ups, etc.).

The Gustavus Fund is the new name for the old Alumni Fund. It is changed a bit in the participants (now alumni, faculty and staff, parents, and other friends of the college) and in the giving categories (Black and Gold = $240 or $20/month, Old Main Tower = $600 or $50/month, Vasa Circle = $1,000/year, St. Ansgar Circle = $5,000/year, or Norelius Presidential Circle = $10,000/year). Every gift is greatly appreciated, as always. Payments of pledges may be made with credit cards so you can earn frequent flyer miles now if you have such a card.

Linda Lundgren Erickson, Minnetonka, did a great job of writing the class letter in April. She says that John (class agent for 1959) was a great help in pulling the information together; our appreciation extends to you, John. Our elder son, Scott ('88), married Christy Ray in Moline, IL, April 17, so Linda's work meant a great deal to me.

"Gus Link" calls have confused some of you. Current Gustavus students began telephone contact in September, and alumni will be called throughout the school year. Phonorama this fall was planned for reunion classes; I believe that I will be calling some of you in spring. Please give a generous pledge and supply news ideas for our letters to the student who contacts you. The Alumni Office forwards copies of news that you write on the donation envelope to me, too. During our upcoming class reunion year classmates will attempt to reach all members of the class.

Changes in the schedule of reunions are underway. Starting in the fall of 2000, most classes will hold class reunions in the fall on Homecoming Weekend, Sept. 29 and 30, 2000. Friday night gatherings will be held in the Twin Cities and Saturday events will be on campus. Our class will then have its 40th reunion September 21 & 22, 2001, to coincide with Homecoming. As soon as I understand how it will work, you will be informed.

The Nobel Conference, "Genetics in the New Millennium," on Oct. 5 and 6 was sold out and extremely interesting. The subject touched DNA sequencing, ethics surrounding new scientific findings, and genetically engineered food as well as other topics. Classmates whom I encountered included Bruce and Sue Gray, St. Peter; Dave and Jean Linne, Edina; and Dr. Arne and Miriam Lind Lagus, St. Croix Falls, WI.

Campus News

The 1999-2000 academic year opened with a record enrollment of 2,492 full-time students (compared with the previous record of 2,474 set last year), including 660 first-year students. Students returned to the new Campus Center housing the Evelyn Young Dining Room, the new Book Mark, post office, health service, and printing service. Renovation of the old dining service building will continue with expected completion in February. The renovation project will provide office space for student organizations, Office of Admission, specialty dining areas, Dean of Students office, and a faculty and staff center. Summer construction also included the landscaping of parking lots on the north end of campus. The landscaping provides a welcoming appearance to the College and helps break up the "frozen tundra" between Norelius Hall and the Campus Center.

Gustavus Adolphus College Ranked Among the Best Liberal Arts Colleges

Gustavus Adolphus College is once again ranked among the best of all national liberal arts colleges in U.S. News and World Report's 13th annual "America's Best Colleges" rankings. Gustavus is again in the top 80 of the overall quality listings for national liberal arts colleges. Ranked again in the second tier in the national liberal arts college category, Gustavus is one of only two Minnesota colleges included in the 38-college tier two listing and one of four Minnesota colleges ranked in the top 80. Gustavus is also included in the Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine list of "100 great values" among the nation's 1,600 private schools. The "Private Colleges Worth the Price" article appears in the September 1999 magazine. Gustavus is one of only four Minnesota colleges named a Top 100 Value in Private Colleges. The list is based on academic and financial measures.

The Gustavus Library Associates Once upon a holiday … A Royal Affair, is Saturday, November 13 at the Radisson South Hotel, Bloomington. Information and registration material was inserted in the Summer Quarterly.

Christmas in Christ Chapel, Even so, come, Lord Jesus, is December 3-5. Tickets only available for Friday and Sunday evenings. Contact Office of Public Affairs, 507-933-7520.

Alumni Chapters will be meeting again this year so mark your calendars today: Washington, DC, November 5; Boston, November 6; Chicago, December 11; Atlanta, January 31; Marco Island, February 5; Tucson, February 7; Phoenix, February 8; Sun City, February 9; Seattle, March 3; Bay Area, March 4; Los Angeles, March 5; San Diego, March 6; Denver, March 7.

ALUMNILLENNIUM 2000 - The Gustavus Artist Series -- For 30 years, the Artist Series has brought world-class artists to campus for performances, exhibitions and residencies. This year the tables turn as the Series features and celebrates the accomplishments of our alumni artists as they enter the new millennium, ALUMNILLENNIUM 2000. The Fall Series opened September 18 with the jazz trio October, featuring Andrew Benson ’95, Brian Rowe ’95 and Nik Lindell ’95; followed by the music of Steve Heitzeg ’82, on September 25. David Esbjornson ’75 directed a one-woman Virginia Woolf play on October 8; organist Timothy Strand ’82 presents his recital on November 14; and tenor Mark Thomsen ’78 will present a vocal recital on November 21. Spring semester events include an alumni art exhibiton in February; a concert by Neal Hagberg ’81 and Leandra Peak ’83 on February 19; pianist Stephen Carlson ’92 on March 4; and Peter Krause ’87, better known as Casey McCall on ABC's SPORTS NIGHT, will be in residency in April. Other events may be scheduled through the fall of 2000 as well. Ticket information and complete schedule will be posted to the Fine Arts Calendar on the Gustavus website.

Following extensive work to Christ Chapel's magnificent pipe organ this summer, a three-concert series of organ recitals was planned for the fall. Christ Chapel Organist, Dr. David Fienen opened the series with Organ Works by Charles-Marie Widor on October 10. A recital by Volodymyr Koshuba, Organist of the Kiev Concert Hall of Organ and Chamber Music and the Ukraine's "Honored Artist" for 1998, was presented on November 4. The final recital, mentioned in the ALUMNILLENNIUM 2000, is a recital by Timothy Strand ’82, Organist and Music Director for St. Luke's Episcopal in Minneapolis, on November 14, beginning at 3:30 p.m. The Fienen and Strand recitals are free of charge.

SMARTERsource is a new Web-based resume service exclusively for the students and alumni of Minnesota Private Colleges. The site is a job-searching tool for current students seeking internships or part-time employment, new or recent graduates launching a career, or alumni seeking new positions or career changes. The service lists resumes in more than a dozen categories. Check out this site at

As of June 1, 2000, the Career Center will destroy all credential files created on or before June 1, 1974. Credential files include letters of recommendation and/or student teacher evaluations. If you do not wish your file to be destroyed, please contact the Career Center by May 1, 2000, at 507-933-7586; fax 507-933-6277, or e-mail

Class News

Hilding (Ing) Nelson ('62), husband of Jan Huntington Nelson, died of a heart attack June 27. Services were held at Mount Olivet Church, Rev. Jim Anderson ('60), who was a life-long friend of "Ing"s, officiated. The obituary noted, "A fitness buff who walked often, Nelson was stricken last fall with a racing heart on an Iowa hunting trip with Taylor. (Frank Taylor, a Minneapolis lawyer) Bypass surgery followed at University of Iowa hospitals. Nelson was pronounced fit in April and was leading an active life when he died." His friend, Frank Taylor, observed, "He was straight-on honest. If he gave you his word, you had something. He valued people because they were interesting. He didn't do things for money or power." The obituary articles goes on, "The St. Peter, Minn., native earned physics and economics degrees from Gustavus Adolphus College. He is credited with creating or turning around an electronics-component firm, the predecessor company to what is now Pet Food Warehouse, and an auto dealership. He also was an investor for many years in Kinnard Investments, parent of the Minneapolis-based securities firm. He oversaw the company as chairman during a turbulent 1995-98 period, before retiring last year." The Nelson's daughter, Lonnie, and her family live in California. There are two grandchildren, and Ing's mother, two sisters and a brother survive.

Although our next class reunion is a year away, reunions have been part of this summer's activities for quite a few classmates. One of the largest gatherings seems to have been planned by Dick Dalton and Rod Goldberg, and it took place in July at the Cannon Falls home of Dick and Kathy (Walden '63) Dalton. About fifty people attended including team members from classes surrounding ours and '61 classmates: Jim and Pat Maedl Krough, Deephaven; Tom ('60) and Nan Dahl Carlson, Arnie ('60) and Carol Weisbrod Johnson, Dr. David and Janet Wettergren, Stillwater, Ray and Karen Rapp, Cannon Falls, and Sid and me. "Moose" Malmquist and Don Roberts, staff members and coaches whom many of us knew on campus, were there also. This was the football team that was ranked nationally with all of the "big" schools, and many of you will remember the thrilling Youngstown, Ohio, victory and the trip to the airport to welcome the team home.

Another gathering, this one on Labor Day, was hosted by Arnie and Carol Weisbrod Johnson at their cabin near St. Croix Falls, WI. The focus this time was on the swimming team. Someone will need to fill me in on all of those present, but the group included Dick and Kathy (Walden '63) Dalton, Cannon Falls, John Jambeck('62) and his wife; Dave Nelson and his wife; Bruce and Deanna Warner, Plymouth; and Ron and Eloise Zaniewski, Stillwater. By the way, Ron Zaniewski is seeking a copy of Dr. Richard Reusch's textbook used for the World Religions course to be used for a class that Ron is teaching. Can anyone locate a copy?

Happy 60th Birthday, everyone! A group of a dozen classmates made special plans to celebrate the milestone birthday by gathering for an October weekend in downtown Minneapolis. The party included great gab sessions, a "survey" of items in the Minneapolis Institute of Arts led by Sally Enstrom, Minnetonka; a dinner; and a concert at Orchestra Hall. Those celebrating, in addition to Sally, were Jan Sanftner Elvekrog, Birmingham, MI; Jean Stenstrom Eidsvold, Bloomington; Karin Erickson Gaskell, Hopkins; Carol Olson Heath, Minneapolis; Miriam Lind Lagus, St. Croix Falls, WI; Dori Bergstrom Macek, Minneapolis; Julie Nelson Neyhart, Juneau, AK; Lorna Jafvert Reed, Friendswood, TX; Gloria Eckberg Swenson, Plymouth; and me. The local members of this group have rotated potluck meals at each other's homes during the school-year months since the winter after our graduation in 1961. Members of the group have changed a bit from one decade to another as people moved away and sometimes returned to the Twin City area.

Our classmate Rod Goldberg, Austin, needs the prayers of classmates. He is battling illness and had surgery at Rochester Mayo Hospitals early this week. Rod and Marlys have dealt with several serious health problems during the past year: Marlys had surgery at Mayo this spring and is continuing to have serious arthritic symptoms, and her brother lived with them in his final stages of cancer this summer. Rod, our cheers to you; be assured that we are pulling for a miracle for you.

Dr. R. Michael Blaese has left the National Institutes of Health at Bethesda, MD, to join a Philadelphia company that specializes in new efforts in gene therapy to find help for people with C Rigler-Naijar syndrome. "In the condition, C Rigler-Naijar syndrome, a substance called bilirubin, a waste product from the destruction of worn-out red blood cells, builds up in the body. Bilirubin is produced constantly in the human body, and normally, it is broken down by an enzyme in the liver and excreted through the intestines." Mike is quoted, "I left what I thought was the best job in the world to do this because I believe so strongly in it and believe we'll be successful....I think it will really fundamentally change the way we practice medicine." The work is with Amish children and Mennonites in Lancaster County in Pennsylvania. The newspaper article appeared in the New York Times, was picked up by the Houston Chronicle, and was shared with me by Lorna Jafvert Reed.

Dr. David Wettergren, Stillwater, is into a "second career" after retiring as superintendent of schools in Stillwater. David works at Springsted Inc., headed up by our classmate Ronald Langness in Hudson, WI. Janet participates in a marionette troupe, an interest group in the AAUW that gives shows. The group has a repertoire of seven shows, and it chooses one per season, primarily for elementary students. Last year over 700 school children came by busloads to see the live performances, and then they were led in making hand puppets. The AAUW project has been active for more than 25 years.

Dr. Mary Nelson, Chicago, will be very busy especially this fall as Bethel New Life observes its 20th anniversary. A Gala event will be held Dec. 2, at the Adler Planetarium from 6 to 9 p.m. The festivities include a silent auction, a light show at the Planetarium, a buffet supper, and the showing of a new video on Bethel New Life. Jazz musician Kurt Elling will perform. Mary is the president of Bethel New Life, and her message in their fall newsletter focuses on "Cease Fire," the theme of their program to take back the streets from violence and fear. Mary writes, "There is a 'tipping' theory which states that a lot of smaller actions and activities somehow over time add up to a tipping point, when the tide of public opinion and action turns from one persuasion to another." From the Bible she notes 2 Timothy 1:7, "The spirit God has bestowed upon us is not one that shrinks from danger! It is a spirit of action, of love and of discipline."

Bruce and Sue Gray have moved into their new condominium in the Pine Point area of St. Peter just south of campus, where their former condominium was destroyed by the March 1998 tornado. Bruce is approaching retirement in a great way by working in the Gustavus development office five days a month. At the Nobel Conference he observed that this arrangement is the perfect way to work!

Carol Paulson Olson, Wautoma WI, thinks that our class should have a Web page on the Internet. (There are a number of classes that are active with Web pages). I may need some help with that, Carol! Carol and Milo are taking their family along on a ten-day tour to Norway with the Luther College choir next May.

Rev. Ronald Koch is serving as secretary of the Gustavus Board of Trustees. He was doing interim ministry at Gloria Dei Lutheran in the Redwood Falls area through the summer and was planning to do another interim starting sometime this fall.

Jo Linnee, Winona, announces a granddaughter, Mary Nyhus, born Jan. 15, 1998, to Andy and Judy Nyhus. She moved from Edina to Winona to be helpful to the new family whenever possible. Jo has purchased a house there from which she can see Lake Winona.

John and Linda Van Deusen, Columbia, SC, write, "John's father, Robert Van Deusen, ended his ministry here on earth when he was called home the day before his 90th birthday."

Herb and Judy Carlson Olson, Mound, traveled to Prague, Czech Republic, for the birth of their second granddaughter to Jennifer ('87) and Tom Linder ('87) in late spring.

Jim and Judy Brown Mortenson, Bloomington, went to Norway and Sweden for 16 days in July and August with Judy's Minnetonka Orchestral Assn. Last New Year's they spent in Laughlin, NV, and in Arizona playing golf. They did not indicate what plans they have for New Year's 2000.

Stanley and Hazelle Dahl Gordon spent a month of the winter in New Zealand; in reality, it was summer while they were there. In their retirement since 1996, they have been very involved in Walnut Grove restoring their farmhouse. Some remainder is on the farm property that relates to the Laura Ingalls Wilder books. Stanley is the president of the board of directors of the Wilder museum, and Hazelle works at the museum and its gift shop.

David and Jo Larson Karvonen, St. Paul, toured Padre Island in Texas last winter. John works with Lutheran Brotherhood. David is working on a master's degree in environmental engineering in Seattle, but he has been on a project related to that field in Denmark.

Rev. Dr. Paul K. and Kay (Johnson '63) Hanson write, "We live in Slovakia where we are working with the Division for Global Mission of the ELCA. Paul is pastor of an international English language congregation, and teaches religion at a Lutheran High School that has been around since 1607. Kay is working on health care issues with the Harvard Institute for International Development. We are looking forward to a trip to Egypt in April for a pastor's conference, and to see Gustie friends at the Lincoln, NE, Global Mission Event in July."

Joan Miller Hoffman retired from teaching in June 1998. Rev. Jerry ('59) continues as the senior pastor at Nativity Lutheran Church in St. Anthony Village.

Robert and JoAnn Schwartz, Chanhassen, spent almost three weeks in Hawaii last winter. They vacation there annually.

Kay Peterson Gutzmann, Falcon Heights, works in freelance exhibit and design and in historical research.

Stan Davies, Shakopee, works part time with Dave Brown Realtors with residential properties. He also maintains a web site on the internet that sells some music.

Richard Lippert, San Clemente, CA, continues to work. He sees Tommy Meyer sometimes during shopping trips, and he saw Rev. Ted and Marietta (Bittrich '62) Johns and Rev. Noel and Gretchen (Bittrich '62) Estegren, at Ted's 60th birthday party in winter. Suzanne Lippert was planning to be married in Los Angeles April 10, 1999.

Dr. Maury and Jan Sanftner Elvekrog, Birmingham, MI, were thrilled with their early Christmas gift last year. Lauren Brooke was born Nov. 30, 1998, to John and Julie Tillman in the Chicago area. This September Jon married Allison Jones in New Hampshire; the couple will live in San Francisco. Maury's mother died in August, 1998, right before her 90th birthday. On behalf of classmates, I express sympathy to both of you.

It is a beautiful autumn in Minnesota this year. The "illuminated woods", as Jim Gilbert ('62) describes the fall beauty often on his WCCO Sunday morning appearance, has now passed at Gustavus, but the wonderful weather continues to be appreciated. I wish you blessings for the upcoming holidays, and there will be another letter arriving soon after we enter the new millenium. Thank you, each one, for being the very special class that you are. I hope that you will remember Gustavus as well as you can again in 2000.