Class of '61
August 2006


Reunion dates ― October 6 & 7, 2006

Dear 45th Reunion Classmates,

Summer is not usually a time for class letters, but 2006 is not a normal year.  Our 45th reunion year gatherings are approaching quickly.  Friday evening, October 6th and Saturday noon October 7th get-togethers are only two months away.  Unless schedules for reunions change at Gustavus, this will be our final meeting in the autumn in connection with Homecoming.  After this reunion, we will probably meet at the end of May during commencement events.  I hope that you can be part of one or both of these gatherings.  If you need to travel from afar, it is time to work out the best plans that are possible.  Invitations are being prepared by the Alumni Office and will be sent to you soon.

Heartfelt thanks are in order to each of you who sent a gift to the 2006 Alumni Fund which closed May 31.  A recent report indicates that the Class of 1961 reached the highest level of participation among the reunion classes with 68% of our classmates responding.  Our donation total was $79,038, which was the second highest class gift total.  Gustavus thanks you so very much for remembering.

Such results could not have been possible without each of you and without the help of classmates who telephoned or worked on reunion plans:  Jim Knoble, Rev. Jim Wiberg, Nita Swanson Anderson, Jo Larson Karvonen, Miriam Lind Lagus, Arnette Johnson Nelson and Kathy Bunde Thorsell.  Thanks to Kathy, too, for the thorough and spirited class letter that she wrote in May.  It was a superior piece that covered activities during our times at Gustavus – a perfect 10, Kathy!

If you failed to get your gift sent before May 31, you might consider designating it this year for the 1961 Class Endowed Scholarship.  That effort will go on until we reach the $25,000 amount that is required to set up such a stipend.  That fund remains open, and statistics will be pulled together during our reunion week to indicate what the class effort has achieved.  This is a way that each of us can be part of a perpetual scholarship that will benefit a current Gustie student annually.

The Nobel Conference this year happens to fall during the week of our reunion events.  If you are coming to the reunion, you may want to include the conference in your plans.  That week and a week or two before tend also to be the leaf-color time in parts of Minnesota:  sometimes it has arrived in the Twin Cities and sometimes it can be found along the North Shore.  On Oct. 3rd and Oct 4th, the conference called, “Medicine – Prescription for Tomorrow,” will feature presenters from London, Harvard, Washington, D.C., Houston, and Toronto including Nobel laureate J. Michael Bishop from University of California-Davis.  I note Dr. Michael Osterholm will speak; formerly he was well known at the University of Minnesota and now is the national director for food protection and defense with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.  The next Quarterly will include details about getting tickets but do not delay if you wish to attend.


Test-Optional Admission Policy

Continuing their tradition of innovative and competitive admission policies and practices, the Gustavus Admission Office announced this spring that applicants for the Class of 2011 can choose whether or not to submit their standardized test scores for consideration in the admission process.  Gustavus’ high admission standards have not changed; this policy emphasizes that the College’s application-review process focuses on the abilities and experiences of the whole person, not just one number.  As the first MIAC college and Phi Beta Kappa institution in Minnesota to allow this option, Gustavus is receiving very positive feedback from prospective students and has received excellent coverage in local and national media. 

Gustavus Legacy Award

New Gusties enrolling next fall have a new financial aid opportunity.  Awards of $2,500 are given to students whose siblings are current Gustavus students or graduates or whose parents or grandparents are Gustavus alumni.  Scholarship recipients must have a grade point average of at least 3.5, or an ACT of 26, or an 1170 on the SAT.  The Gustavus Legacy Award expands upon the previous Alumni Scholarship by recognizing and awarding students who have Gustie siblings.  By applying for admission, students are automatically considered for this scholarship and awarded if they qualify.

Summer Reading

Each summer, incoming Gustavus students are asked to complete a “Reading in Common” that will be discussed during New Student Orientation and, for some students, during their First Term Seminar course.  The Reading in Common selection for 2006-07 is Honky by Dalton Conley.  This intensely personal and engaging memoir is the coming-of-age story of a white boy growing up in a neighborhood of predominantly African American and Latino housing projects on New York’s Lower East Side.  Dalton Conley will give a campus lecture on Wednesday, Sept. 20, in Christ Chapel.  Feel free to join us in this common Gustavus experience.

Extraordinary Athletics

The National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) and the United States Sports Academy have announced the final totals for the 2005-06 Directors’ Cup and Gustavus finished 10th out of 435 competing NCAA Division III institutions.  The Directors’ Cup, which is the only all-sports competition in intercollegiate athletics, is awarded to four-year institutions in the NCAA and NAIA with the best overall athletic programs.  In Division III, standings are based on national tournament finishes in 25 sports with points awarded based on the number of teams participating in each specific national championship.  Gustavus is one of only seven institutions in Division III to have posted top 10 finishes in four of the past five years and is the only school from the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference to place in the top 20 this year.

Upcoming Events:

  • Gusties Gather! - August 6
  • Nobel Conference: “Medicine: Prescription for Tomorrow” - October 3 - 4
  • Homecoming/Family Weekend - October 7 - 8


Dale Gustafson, Manchester, CT, plans to come to Minnesota for our reunion—the first one for him, and he has some pretty exciting ideas for the gathering as well.  He connected with some classmates in California recently:  in Modesto he visited with Tom Norquist and in southern California he met Richard Lippert.  Dale enjoys automobile trips especially.  He is grateful for the love and comforting support of his children since the death of his wife Pat, who lost her long battle with cancer.  Your friends and classmates extend sympathy, Dale.  Shep and Eloise Johnson Hayman, St. Peter, definitely plan to attend our Saturday luncheon and homecoming events on campus October 7.  She comments that they miss living in Texas in February and March, but otherwise are very happy with their move back up North.  When their Phonorama call caught them, they were planning their favorite trip back to England to the little town where they lived; they remain in touch with some of their friends there.  Eloise revealed that Stu and Marlys (Johnson ’58) Johnson were traveling in Italy:  Tuscany, Rome, Florence, etc.  Those two were looking forward to great relaxation at a villa that they had rented.  Gretchen lives in Austin, TX, and Kirsten lives in the Twin Cities.

Dr. Mary Nelson, Chicago IL, is a recent 2006 winner of the NBC5 Jefferson Awards.  She is the president emeritus of Bethel New Life.  Mary is teaching graduate classes in community development for North Park University and also consulting in Asset-Based Community Development Institute at Northwestern University.  In winter she joined a large group at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., to protest the budget cuts that severely affect the lives of the poor.  She was arrested with Jim Wallis, founder of Call to Renewal, and 125 others.  Joanne Linnee, Winona MN, studied with an Elderhostel group in New Hampshire in April.  She spent a week renewing her knowledge of Emily Dickinson, music of the ’20s and ’30s and details about the Lewis and Clark expedition.

Doriann Fredrickson Thompson, Greeley CO, spent three weeks in July, 2005, climbing around in archeological sites in Turkey.  Doriann observes, “The most significant site was Catalhlyne, a 9500 Neolithic site where they met with a team and its leader Dr. Ian Hodder.”  Sally Enstrom, St. Louis Park, MN is featured in an article in the May/June 2006, Arts magazine published by the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.  Sally has volunteered at the Institute since her retirement as a teacher and arts coordinator in the Minnetonka Schools.  Since 1997, she has been an Art Adventure Guide.  Sally is quoted, “When you get involved at the Institute, you see what exposure to art can do for people…The museum can bring a whole new dimension to people’s lives, fostering thought and discussion, and providing a new perspective to the world…Images speak to me, and I want to share this joy with everyone.”  A half million visitors come to the MIA annually.

Alan Eliason, Eugene, OR still has “more ideas” after writing 25 books during the past 45 years.  He is retired and he and Jane enjoy traveling, hiking, biking and skiing.  They have traveled in Europe annually for the past seven years and are currently planning a trip to Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands and ancient Mayan ruins.  Alan’s family now lives along the West Coast, and he has not returned to Minnesota for the past nine years.  A recent pleasure was the opportunity to swim with wild dolphins on a trip.  Paul and Janet Williams Kaas, Pottstown, PA also swam with dolphins this past winter in Key Largo, FL.  Other points of interest for them were Key West, Ft. Myers and Naples.  They have retired and a favorite volunteer project is to help a Russian family that is being sponsored by four area congregations.  Their son will be buying the tooling for the new GM hybrid car that is coming out in 2007.  Their daughter is the director of finance for Sentara, one of the country’s top heart hospitals located in Virginia.

Dr. Maury and Jan Sanftner Elvekrog, Birmingham, MI both continue to work “because we like what we do.”  Maury has a management consultant firm and Jan is a dean at Oakland University.  When the Gustie call reached them, they had just spent the weekend with Eric, Jackie and 18-month-old Jonathan.  Jan, your classmates send sympathy on the death of your mother in Ames, IA, at age 97.  Maury and Jan’s expansive backyard lost seven majestic ash trees to an ash borer disease – Sad!  Kay Peterson Gutzmann, Falcon Heights, continues to work three eight-hour days weekly at the Barnes and Noble bookstore in Har Mar Mall.  She also plays the violin in the Roseville Stringed Ensemble (about 40 musicians) and the summer chamber music group (about 30 members).  She occasionally sees Gusties:  Jerry Doebbert from Detroit Lakes, Jo Larson Karvonen from St. Paul and Judy Lund Erdman.  Kay has one son and twin grandchildren:  a young man and a young lady.

Richard Carlson, Pennock MN, has remarried and his wife was the interim pastor in Litchfield when Gustavus’ call found him.  He has five grandchildren ranging in age from seven to fourteen, including twin girls.  Richard is sad to have lost roommates and Gustie friends including Rod Golberg, Paul Boman ’62 and Paul Thompson.  He noted that Denny Freeman Ames, IA was also a roommate.  Dick and Kathy (Walden ’63) Dalton, Cannon Falls, MN talked about a planned trip to Disney World in May which would include their entire family that now includes five grandchildren ranging in age from four to fifteen years.  Dick enjoys meeting “for talk, talk, talk,” with a group of Gusties at Starks, a place on the southern side of the metropolitan area.  I didn’t catch all of the names, but some of the talkers were Bill Nordstrom ’62, John Casey, and Pete Wold ’62.  Dick and Kathy have a cabin near Cumberland, WI, where he sees Bill Ekenstedt at times.  He notes that Bill has been retired for a long time and doesn’t seem to have done anything for quite awhile!  Dick continues to edit the newspaper in Cannon Falls because “I love it.”  At Phonorama Kathy had just returned from a golfing trip to Laughlin, NV, “where I one-armed $10 into $50.”

Marcee Muller, Tecumseh, NE had just returned from Reno where she and a friend participated in the National Bowling Tournament.  Their results placed them “in the money” so far, but things can change.  Reno has hosted that national event four times; next year it is scheduled in Charlotte, NC.  The bowling organization has reorganized into one group serving men, women and youth and Marcee is presently serving as the Nebraska state president.  Marcee also enjoys attending Nebraska’s Big Red football games.  She is being kept busy these years attending the weddings of nieces and nephews; this year these took her to Orlando, FL, and to Chicago, IL.  She also plays bridge whenever possible.

Dave Frykman, Evansville, MN went on two tours of France last year.  He enjoyed the rural country of Normandy and Lorraine the most.  The second adventure went into Belgium.  This summer he was planning to return to Europe, this time to Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Ireland.  Dave attends basketball games at Gustavus whenever it is possible.  His younger brother, Richard ’69, just retired.  His older sister, Neta Frykman Lamp ’64 continues working in nursing.  Dave’s mother is well at 85.  Judy Lenzen, Sun City West, AZ has returned to working three days a week as a physical therapist at Maryvale Hospital in the Tucson area.  In Sun City West she volunteers for a community Bible study, doing a lot of telephoning in that effort.  Her newest project is to learn weaving, especially tapestry, place mats, etc.  She was able to attend one of the Gustie Chapter meetings last year, and there she met classmate Bruce Gray.  It was an enjoyable lunch and meeting event.

Robert and Chris Olson Misewich, Cambridge, MN winter in Stewart, FL on the eastern coast of the state.  They plan to attend our 45th reunion and, by that time, they will be able to announce the arrival of their seventh grandchild who is expected in September.  Grandchildren are a real joy in their lives.  Chris enjoys attending Nobel Conferences at Gustavus and she tries to attend each year.  Orlin Billehus, Montevideo, MN was in California over Easter visiting his daughter Jodi ’85 and her family.  Jodi, a Gustie graduate, practices real estate transactional law in the Bay Area.  His other daughter, Vicki, lives in Prior Lake with two of Orlin’s grandchildren.

Dr. Veryl and Carol Becker, Glencoe, MN have sold their dairy cattle and are now only raising calves and heifers.  Veryl and his neighbor have been delegates to the Gustavus Association of Congregations meeting on campus for 19 consecutive years.  They find that the presentations and discussions have value to their home congregation.  Veryl comments that the campus looked absolutely beautiful.  The sound system in the chapel, however, needs adjustment.  They found it difficult to hear in some locations in the building.  David and Karen (Lacher) Dowd, Duluth MN, live on a lake about 20 miles north of Duluth.  They see other Gusties in the area, such as Jim and Carmen (Jones ’62) Knoble, McGregor and Florida, and Dick and Barbara Skogg, Duluth.  The Dowds’ take annual trips to a relaxing spot in Jamaica for about two weeks.  Their four children and eight grandchildren live near them.

Dr. Mary Annexstad Francis, Juneau, AK is the executive director of the Alaska Council of School Administrators.  It is the school administrators’ professional organization serving superintendents, principals and business officials.  Mary retired in 2002 after 21 years of school administration in various parts of Alaska.  Rev. Roger ’60 and Nita Swanson Anderson, New Brighton MN, are planning a trip to Norway and Sweden in September.  While there, they will attend the wedding of their AFS student from 20 years ago.  During this past year they have also traveled to Alaska and Mexico.  They look forward to seeing members of the Class of ’61 at our fall reunion.  At home Roger and Nita enjoy helping out with their grandchildren.

Allan (’60) and Carol Anne Magnuson Moberg, Tampa, FL write that their son Mark ’86 and Daria hope to come to Gustavus in October for Mark’s reunion and, if everything works out, they would like to accompany them to be at our reunion.  Their daughter, Stephanie, and husband, Bob, are parents for three of their grandchildren, including the newest granddaughter who was born this winter.  The Mobergs enjoy babysitting their grandchildren.  Allan continues to be very busy with the photographic studio but Carol Anne now goes in to work only about once a week at most.  Frank and Sue (Appelquist ’60) Jorgensen, Dunnell, MN enjoy their eleven grandchildren; the newest is Ana who was born April 30 to son Bob ’90 and Rhonda Lund.  Their note was cut off, but additional news indicates that seven of their other grandchildren live in California.  Sue “thinks” that she is retired but she helps her family a lot.

Richard and Barbara Miller, Spring Lake Park, MN visited Hi Point, NC and Savannah, GA where they stopped at Fort Stewart, Richard’s former army base at Hinesville, GA.  He said that about all he recognized was the laundry building, the motor pool and the facility where uniforms were issued in 1961.  His unit went to active duty when President Kennedy ordered activation in response to the establishment of the Berlin Wall.  In 1962, President Kennedy visited Fort Stewart.  A museum is also located there.  John ’59 and Lillian Hanson Edman, Bluffton, SC are spending their first year of retirement in a retirement community:  Sun City Hilton Head in South Carolina.  John retired from the University of California at Davis where he was the director of the Center for Vector Borne Disease.  Lillian retired as a special education teacher and coordinator of Special Education Services in Massachusetts prior to their move to the West Coast in 1999.

Rev. Ron (’59) and Lorene Johnson Johnson, Fairfield Glade, TN, look forward to seeing classmates in October at the reunion.  They spend considerable time on the road because their children live in Minnesota, New York State and Texas.  In March in the Houston, TX, area they had a great lunch with Dr. Milt and Lorna Jafvert Reed, Friendswood, TX, and also a lunch with Ron’s friend, Paul Jerome Anderson ’62 and his wife, Cindy.  At Easter they were in Buffalo, NY with son Gregg and his family.  At Christmas they came to Minnesota to be with daughter, Jamin ’88 and David ’88 Schneider.  At the time of Dr. Mary Towley Swanson’s death, Lorene sent a moving piece about remembrances of Mary.  I will keep looking for it to share in an upcoming letter, but it does not surface at this time.  Mary Ann Swanson Strand, Centreville, VA teaches kindergarten in a private pre-school near the Manassas Battlefield National Park in Virginia.  She has three grandchildren by her son in New York; two of them are married and the other one is attending Wagner College in New York.  Daughter Laura is a children’s librarian in Cleveland.

Rev. Don and Eunice (Holm ’63) Fultz, Shoreview, MN continue to volunteer in Iringa Diocese in Tanzania as congregational coordinators for the St. Paul Area Synod and Iringa Diocese partnerships.  They spend three and a half winter months in Tanzania and then return to Minnesota to be with family and to keep the partnerships active.  Rev. Dr. Paul and Kay (Johnson ’63) Hanson, Billings, MT hope to be at out 45th reunion.  This spring they joined other international pastors for a conference in Zurich, Switzerland, and then visited their former congregation in Bratislava, Slovakia.  They are now retired, but Paul “cannot seem to resist the urge to work so he is the interim pastor at Hope Lutheran in Powell, WY.  They have a grandson, Leif Magnus, in Billings and they enjoy a fair amount of babysitting “for the little Swede.”  (Certainly sounds like a little Gustie!)

Paul and Phyllis Kamman Johns, Mankato, MN have lived in that area for 26 years.  Paul has been retired with a disability for 16 years with MS.  They have visited with Ellery Peterson ’49, former business and accounting professor at Gustavus as well as serving more recently as the mayor of St. Peter.  The Johns have three daughters and four grandchildren, one of whom had just returned from volunteer work rebuilding houses destroyed by Hurricane Katrina.  The Johns hope to attend at least one reunion event.  Doug Weber, Blue Earth, MN indicates that he also hopes to be with classmates at the October reunion.  Doug continues to handle commercial insurance accounts in his own agency, Main Street Agency.  He and Carolyn have eight children between them and 15 ¾ grandchildren (as of the March telephone contact).  They have been able to travel, especially frequenting Alaska and Graz, Austria, where they have friends to visit.  Doug’s son, Timothy, is pastor of Evergreen Community Church in the Twin Cities.

James and Kathryn Mansfield, Winston-Salem, NC plan to attend our reunion.  The 40th gathering which they attended five years ago was the first reunion they had ever been able to attend.  Jim retired in 2004, just in time to help with his daughter’s wedding.  Anna Katherine and her husband, John Emery, live in Minneapolis, where she is the research wine-maker/enologist at the University of Minnesota and she is working on her Ph.D. in food science.  Their son, Haynes, is a water sports photographer working in some very beautiful parts of the world.  (This seems most appropriate—do you remember Jim taking photographs for the Weekly on the beautiful Gustavus campus?)  Last fall the Mansfields celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary with a leisurely trip up the East Coast all the way through Maine.  Dr. Arne and Miriam Lind Lagus, St. Croix Falls, WI have enjoyed two Gustie connections in unusual spots this summer.  In a strawberry patch they found that they were searching for the best berries with Arnie ’60 and Carol Weisbrod Johnson, who have addresses in New Hope, MN; Ft. Myers, FL and St. Croix Falls, WI.  In addition, during a July weekend in Dickinson, ND where Mim gave a presentation on Estonian heritage, in connection with the museum’s featuring a collection of her Estonian possessions, they were sponsored by Carl and Esther Larson.  Conversation eventually came to the Larson’s son who is a Harvard University graduate and took a religion class from Dr. Paul D. Hanson, Cambridge, MA.  Apparently the Larsons rented a place that the Hansons owned during one summer when they were at Harvard for studies.

Ron Zaniewski, Stillwater, MN has retired as a junior high science teacher and an instructor in adult education.  He took the time to write a class prayer for our upcoming 45th reunion:

To each new day

With its warm light

To peace and shelter

Thru the night

To health, food, love,

Classmates and GAC

To you, Oh Lord

Who gives us these wonderful things,

Thanks for all the great memories.

This summer should be a time of recreation and re-creation for each of you.  I hope that many will be able to return to Gustavus in October.  Brief programs are being planned for each gathering and events will surround us as part of homecoming on campus on Friday.  The lodging rates at the Radisson-Plymouth are reasonable for this area and that facility is located in a lovely area.  The Sehlins are still dominated by medical things, but there is some hope that the steroid treatments and physical therapy can enable Sid to get around totally on his own again.  Thank you, classmates, for your gifts and for all of the news items.  Another letter in early September will include more news and more details about the reunion gatherings.

Virgene Grack Sehlin

1961 Class Agent