Class of ’61
May 2010

Dear Classmates,

Campus is luxuriant with the early and lingering spring in the Midwest this year.  If the rabbits do not eat them, the tulips supply vibrant color everywhere.  Let’s hope that next spring can repeat this performance as we come together on campus to celebrate our 50th reunion on Friday, May 27 and Saturday, May 28, 2011.

Every classmate can keep those dates open for a return to St. Peter and send ideas for what would make the event enjoyable.  Gustavus prepares an anniversary booklet for the 50th reunion and you can begin its preparation this summer by arranging for a current picture of yourself (spouse, optional, but not extended family).  Further details will be included in our next class letter.  Would you consider writing a class letter sometime during the year?  The committee will prepare information about plans and Kathy Erlandsen and I will help with class news and whatever you need.

Thanks so very much to the spirited classmates who attended the February meeting.  It felt like a mini-reunion that really should be taped and played next spring at our gathering.  Please feel welcome to attend the next session at 11 a.m., Thursday, June 3, at the Ridges at Sand Creek Golf Club in Jordan whether you were at the previous meeting or not─more help would be appreciated for the two-day event.  Those who came were Lorraine Sandvig Carlson, Fairmont, MN; Nan Dahl Carlson,White Bear Lake, MN; Judy Johnson Chaffee, St. Peter; Sally Enstrom, St. Louis Park, MN; Dennis Freeman, Ames, IA; Stu Johnson, St. Peter; Jim Krough, Deephaven, MN; Patti Maedl Krough, Deephaven, MN; Joanne Linnee, Winona, MN;  and Judy Fairbanks Sandberg, New Hope, MN.  Keep in touch with plans at the Gustavus web site, Class of 1961.

May 31 is approaching rapidly and it marks the end of Gustavus’ Fund year.  Our class remains one of the smallest in the decade and every classmate’s participation is vital.  Check your records and join the class with a gift if you can.  Remember our Class of 1961 scholarship; you may designate a part of your gift to that by enclosing a note to that effect.  Mark Anderson ’66, retiring vice president for admissions, noted at Saturday’s Heritage Partnership Lunch on campus, “What a great investment of your money has witnessed by the students who have received the financial aid.”  A sophomore from New York who could not have attended college without a scholarship thanked the group for the opportunity.  Ten other students have now come from there and two more will be in next year’s freshman class.

Gustavus’ Forensic Team again ranked in the top ten in the nation this year.  That is a remarkable achievement especially since there are no divisions of large or small colleges and the competition came from such schools as the University of Texas-Austin and U.C.L.A.

Did you see Gusties playing tennis on Twin Cities’ KTCA?  Gustavus’ tennis players joined Eric Perkins, a local TV personality, to set a Guiness Book world record during the first week of May.  Renowned, retiring tennis coach Wilkinson was part of the action.

Campus News

Groundbreaking for New Academic Building

Gustavus held a ceremonial groundbreaking at the future site of a new 125,000 square foot academic building just west of Christ Chapel on April 16.  The new academic building is part of a $44 million commitment made by the College’s Board of Trustees in January to move forward with three major building projects.  Also included in the plan is the development of a west mall extending from Christ Chapel and a major renovation of the Anderson Social Science Building.  The academic departments that will be housed in the new academic building include communication studies, history, psychology, economics and management, and sociology and anthropology.

GLA Membership

All of us remember the Folke Bernadotte Memorial Library.  It was a place for study and, depending on your era, finding a “coffee date.”  But, in the 21st century, it has become much more.  It is a technology-rich laboratory for learning and a storehouse of culture and recorded knowledge.  It must constantly be strengthened to ensure excellence in education.  The Gustavus Library Associates (GLA) provides financial support for the library and a program of events to its members.  Join this year and immediately make a difference.  Whatever membership gift level you choose, 100% goes directly to the library’s acquisition budget.  Join today at!!!

Former President Peterson Honored

James L. Peterson ’64, who served as the 15th president of Gustavus Adolphus College from 2003 to 2008, was awarded the Royal Order of the Polar Star at a special, private luncheon Thursday, April 29, on campus.  The honor was bestowed by the Swedish crown in appreciation and recognition of Dr. Peterson’s service to Gustavus and his continued work to foster relationships with individuals and organizations to strengthen ties with Sweden.

“Come on You Gusties” Breakfast

Once a month, Gusties gather for coffee, breakfast, and great conversation along with a campus speaker.  All Gusties are welcomed and invited to the breakfast, third Wednesday of the month, 8-9:30 a.m. at the Doubletree Hotel, Minneapolis-Park Place, 1500 Park Place Boulevard.  Cost is $10 at the door.  Upcoming speaker, May 19:  Al Molde ’66, athletic director and Tim Kennedy ’82, director of sports information.

Upcoming Events

  • May 19 – Twin Cities Alumni Breakfast
  • May 20 – Faculty and Administrator Breakfast
  • May 28-30 – Reunions/Commencement Weekend
  • June 4-6 – Nurses Reunion - 50 Years of Nursing
  • June 8 – Omaha Picnic – Zorinsky Lake Park
  • June 9 – Des Moines Picnic – Pearson Park

Class News

Ned Larson, Jr. passed away in Scottsdale, AZ, on April 2, after battling pancreatic cancer for fifteen months.  On behalf of the Class of ’61, I extend sympathy to Sue Peterson Larson ’63 and the family.  Many of you were reached by Ned’s Phonorama calls while he lived in the Twin Cities.  He was a willing helper whenever he was in town.  Before the move to Arizona, Ned was a vice president with Alexander & Alexander.  On campus he was co-captain of the track team with Wendy Nelson.  Ned was active in G-Club, the Eppie Fraternity and the National Alpha Kappa Psi.  Sue sent a note for classmates, as follows:  “His retirement days were short as he didn’t decide to officially retire from his career in insurance sales until just about six months before his death.  Luckily he had a break of about six months last year when he was shown to be “cancer free” which allowed us to take a road trip back to Minnesota where we visited all our old haunts.  Ned’s funeral was attended by 300 people with guests flying in from Minnesota, Denver, and Texas for the service.  Since we were original choir members in our church, Pinnacle Presbyterian, the entire choir sang for the service leaving Ned’s choir chair empty with his robe and stole draped over it.  After almost 48 years of marriage, my life is still in the process of adjusting to not having him here.”

Stu Johnson, St. Peter, notes that, “the Tomten and Chicken business is taking off!  What is this?  Contact  Dr. Maury and Jan Sanftner Elvekrog, Birmingham, MI, cruised in southeast Asia (Singapore, Manila, Bangkok, Hong Kong and Malaysia) on Holland America.  In September they celebrated milestone events with family and friends in Minnesota.  Jan says, “Retirement is growing on me.  The relaxed pace is appealing.  Maury still drives off to the office each day, although I am hoping he will join me soon…”  Their grandchildren range from 1 ½ years to 5th grade.

Rev. Roger ’60 and Nita Swanson Anderson, New Brighton, report that Roger is recovering well following surgery for an abdominal mass and they are looking forward to his 50th reunion on campus in a few weeks.  Roger, the Class of ’61 joins me in wishing you great days of healing and rest this summer as you and Nita retreat to your cabin.  Nita’s younger sister, Sheri Swanson Chell ’62, passed away on January 2 following a lengthy battle with cancer melanoma.  Sheri was the wife of Rev. Paul Chell ’60 and they lived in Olympia, WA.  Sally Enstrom, St. Louis Park, spent about a week in southern California and Scottsdale, AZ, in March and found wonderful weather as only California can present it when it is at its best.  She says that she learned more about how the other half lives during her family reunion events in Palm Springs and Scottsdale.

Jo Linnee, Winona, is helping the Gustavus admission department in her area.  She says, “There is a high school girl in my church choir who’s looking at colleges so I have been keeping her informed about the wonders of Gustavus.”  Dr. Milt and Lorna Jafvert Reed, Friendswood TX, made four trips to Florida and two to Minnesota during the past year.  Their son’s family lives in Florida and their daughter is in the Twin Cities.  They are working on their house in St. Petersburg, FL, where they plan to retire.  Milt’s associates at Boeing in the Houston area, where he has worked for the past fifteen years, honored him with a retirement lunch last October.  Now he is working on a major document about the space shuttle, on which he worked, through NASA publications.

At the Heritage Luncheon on campus in early May I saw numerous Gusties from our era, but there were only a few from our class.  People with whom I spoke were Bruce and Sue Gray, St. Peter, and Nita Swanson Anderson, New Brighton.  At the lunch Mark Anderson ’66 introduced vignettes about some of the current and former Gusties who have been aided by scholarships that were absolutely critical for them to come to Gustavus.  Mark, one of only three admission directors that Gustavus has ever had, will be retiring this spring.  Your gifts go mostly for scholarships so you have been helping these young people get the Gustavus experience and go on to advanced degrees, Fulbright scholarships and great activities within our communities.

With Sally Enstrom, St. Louis Park; Carol Olson Heath, Minneapolis; and Miriam Lind Lagus, St. Croix Falls, WI and I came to campus in April to catch the exhibit at the Hillstrom Museum.  The exhibit was called, “Elmyr de Hory, Artist and Faker.”  It was a surprising display that made it easy to see why even experts were fooled by these copies of the masters.  Also in April I accompanied Mim to her Theta sorority alumnae event held at Jo Jo’s Rise and Wine (Look it up; it’s an interesting place owned by a Gustie alum) in Bloomington.  The Thetas are doing well and are now the sister sorority of the Red’s fraternity.  The Greek newsletter that Gustavus e-mailed in April is a great summary of Greek activities, then and now─a fun read!

Nancy Williams Rensink, Pleasanton CA, thank you for the greeting that you sent from the meeting you attended at the Gustavus Chapter in northern California.  Paul Tillquist, class agent for the Class of ’63, shared the greeting—yes, he remembered!  Were any other Gusties from “our time” at the meeting?

If you can help with planning or anything for our BIG 50th next year, please send word.  Our e-mail is and the head of reunion activity in the Alumni Office is Kathy Erlandsen, whose e-mail is

Be sure to check the most recent (summer) issue of the Gustavus Quarterly for little more news/pictures of ’61 Gusties.  As you can see, there was not much news from classmates during the last few months.  It is appreciated so much if you send some little tidbit once in awhile!  The letters will be interesting only if many classmates participate.  How about concentrating on reading material that you have enjoyed or recommendations of places to go?

Remember to send a gift to Gustavus before the May 31 deadline for this year’s fund.  Think about news (we would like something from every classmate during the reunion year) and also take a picture that you can share (via computer would be best) for our 50th reunion anniversary booklet.  (The early rules on that are that you may NOT send a shot of your 25-year-old son, daughter, grandson, etc.).  (Yes, Dale Bosch, we remember the earlier reunion when graduation pictures were attached to name tags, and you wore your former roommate’s picture saying, “He always was better looking than I.”)

Sid and I joined our older son, Scott ’88, Christy and our grandsons in southern California that same perfect week─plus that Sally Enstrom was there.  My brother and family live in Fountain Valley and we spent a lot of time near San Diego.  Scott’s family has registered for a Wilkinson Tennis and Life family camp in July so we hope to get to campus sometime while they are there.

Have a relaxing summer,

Virgene Grack Sehlin

1961Class Agent