Class of '61
November 2010

Oh my gosh!  I’m having a hard time realizing we’re old enough to celebrate our 50th class reunion!  And a celebration it will be, if it’s anything like our experience last spring at my husband Roger’s (ʼ60) 50th Gustavus class reunion. Everyone was so friendly and happy to see all their classmates.  Personally, I’m eager to get re-acquainted with many of you after all these years.  So I’m sincerely hoping you’ll make a special effort to come back to our alma mater to celebrate our 50 years.Living in the twin cities metro area, it’s relatively easy to get back to Gustavus for special events (At the moment I’m looking forward to Christmas in Christ Chapel, coming up in a couple of weeks.). If you haven’t been able to return to the campus in a while, you’ll be amazed! several new beautiful buildingsnew trees planted after the tornado have grown talla new first-class football stadiuma beautifully-landscaped mall down the middle of campus Gustavus looks great !Come see for yourself!

Nita Swanson Anderson

1961 Reunion Committee Member


Chris Olson Misewich, Cambridge, MN.  Your classmates extend sympathy on the unexpected passing of your husband, Robert on June 15.  The entire Misewich family (l6 members) had retreated for a long weekend vacation in Bayfield, WI, and Robert was one of the drivers.  In the morning he awoke in considerable pain, then survived surgery for a perforated ulcer and later succumbed to heart issues.  The three Misewich daughters, including Nicole, and her husband, who are Gustavus graduates, and eight grandchildren, live in the Twin Cities area.  A trip to Scandinavia in June was cancelled, but now Chris has just returned from Arizona and she plans to go to their townhouse in Stewart, FL, for some winter months where family will join her part of the time.

Rev. Dr. James Lehman, Gainesville FL, has just been rostered to the LCMC (Lutheran Congregations Mission for Christ) and his re-ordination is currently being scheduled.  Meanwhile he is serving the Senior Ministry “Gray Haired Ministry.”  Jim completed certification courses and is serving as volunteer pastoral staff for Haven Hospice in Gainesville, FL.

Ron Zaniewski, Stillwater, shares one of his special prayers.  We have read others at reunions-past.  He writes, “God Bless Gustavus and my classmates.  May we cherish the bread before there is none.  Discover each other before we leave and enjoy each other for what we are while we have time.”

Orlin Billehus, Montevideo, writes that he would like to attend our 50th gathering on May 26 and 27 if at all possible.  His doctors have diagnosed “MDS indeterminate expectancy” giving him an undetermined future.  Orlin is retired from teaching.  I join our classmates in praying for a miracle recovery, Orlin.  We want to see you on campus in May.

Sally Enstrom, St. Louis Park, is one of the volunteers working on plans for the 50th reunion weekend.  This autumn she joined a group tour of China that focused primarily on the eastern one third of the country where most of the Chinese population resides.  As with most tours, this trip did not include the tiny hamlets in the large, remote areas of the country.  It was the diversity of that civilization and the cultural contrast to the American way of life that really was intriguing.

Richard Miller, formerly of Spring Lake Park, now lives close to his daughter in Miltona.  She holds a Ph.D. in physical therapy.  Their son teaches science in the Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg district.  Richard has retired from engineering.

Carole Paulson Olson, Wautoma, WI, writes that she will not be attending our reunion.  Her most recent trip was to Barcelona, Spain.  Both of her children, Eric ʼ90 and Johanna ʼ94, are also Gusties.

Bruce and Sue Gray, St. Peter, remain in the college town following Bruce’s retirement from the Gustavus Advancement Office.  Bruce is now working on a book that focuses on the diversity at Gustavus.  He is at the interviewing stage, a very busy, demanding activity.

Sandi Nordstrom, St. Paul, hopes to attend the 50th reunion. She inquired about accommodations.  The college does open dormitory space to alumni, but it is necessary to inform the Alumni Office of your space requirements when you register for the reunion events.  Reservation materials and registration forms will be sent in April 2011.

ALL CLASSMATES, please take time before the holidays to complete information on the reunion surveys which the Alumni Office sent in October.  Also, e-mail (or regular mail) a current photograph of yourself to Kathy Erlandsen ( or (Alumni Office, 800 West College Ave., St. Peter, MN 56082).  The picture is to be included in the 50th anniversary booklet being printed for our reunion.  Remember that you can access current reunion plans by checking our class web site.  Go to if you’d like to add a memory online, click on “Share with your class…” 

We plan to attend Christmas in Christ Chapel on Saturday, December 4 and hope to see many of you there.  Enjoy Thanksgiving and add to the rich supply of memories that have built over all of these years.  We certainly are thankful for the Gustavus our memories and for the people we met there, including you that made them possible.

Virgene Grack Sehlin

Your Proud 1961 Class Agent

A note from Stu Johnson, Class Giving Chair:

The 50th reunion committee is well on track to have all of the plans and most of the preparations in place for the next meeting of the reunion committee in Saint Louis Park in February 2011.

One of the goals of the reunion committee is to have 95 of the 194 persons on the class list attend at least one of the 50th reunion activities planned for May 27 & 28, 2011.  I trust you will be in Saint Peter those days to celebrate.

Another goal of the committee is to raise between $75,000 and $85,000 from 65% to 75% of the class members for our annual class gift.  Historically, the last 10-year average for annual gifts from the class of 1961 has been 67% participation and $77,650 in gifts.  This being our 50th, we can surely best our average for the last ten years.  Don’t you think?

How does the Reunion Committee plan to raise this amount of money from this percentage of class members?  The answer is very simple, phone calls.  Normally, these calls are handled by a jillion students.  This year, because we are the 50th class reunion class, the committee will make the first calls. Pat Ecklund Fick, Jim Krough, Bruce Gray, and I have volunteered to call class members between mid-February through March 2011.

Now, 194 class members divided by four is a bunch of calls.  The callers could use a little extra help.  Call me @ 507-934-6135 to volunteer.  If class members give their class gift before December 31, 2010, they will receive a tax deduction for their contribution this year and avoid a call from one of us.  How is that for a deal?  Anyway, you can surely help by giving before year’s end.  Once the four of us (or more) finish our calls, the class members that have not responded will be called by the student callers starting April 1.

The Alumni Office has two additional suggestions for the class of 1961 regarding our annual gifts.  (1) Make a three-year pledge to help make our class gift even bigger!  Let’s say you normally give in December, fill out the three-year pledge portion of the card that is enclosed for 2010, 2011 and 2012 and they will put the total of the three pledges in the total gift we celebrate at the reunion!  (2) Join The Gustavus Heritage Partnership (GHP).  The GHP was established in1988 to recognize and thank those individuals who have included a gift to Gustavus in their estate planning.  Currently, 16 members of the class of 1961 are GHP members.  Congratulations to them!  If you’d like to give more, but cannot afford to do so−this is a great way to share “later” a gift of 1% of your estate−or a flat $1000.  To discuss GHP membership, please call William Johnson, Assistant Vice President for Institutional Advancement at 507-933-7543 or 866-487-3863.

The greatest need for dollars at Gustavus is scholarships.  The class of 1961 Endowed Scholarship fund has reached $25,000 and has awarded its first scholarship to a student from the class of 2013, Willie Lutes!  This is wonderful!  The nice thing is that you have a choice; you may designate your gift to the class of 1961 Endowed Scholarship fund, start your own scholarship fund, or give to the annual fund.  Every choice is a great choice−thank you in advance for making a gift to Gustavus this year!


Alumni Art Show

Over 60 alumni will participate in an Alumni Art Show in the Hillstrom Museum, November 22 through January 28.  A reception will take place on Monday, November 22, 7 p.m.  This will be the first alumni art showing in the Hillstrom Museum.


December 10, 4-6 p.m. – Melva Lind Interpretive Center.  To usher in the winter season and holiday spirit, the Linnaeus Arboretum will be hosting its third annual Julgran celebration.  This year’s Julgran, which means “Christmas Tree” in Swedish, will once again be highlighted by a cookie contest with hundreds of cookies to sample!  The contest results will be announced at 4:30, followed by live music courtesy of our own talented Gustavus students, and hot cider (as well as the requisite milk) may be enjoyed by the Interpretive Center’s log fireplace.  Or, if the weather is nice, stand by the outdoor fire pit and roast a marshmallow or two.

“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 breakfasts include:  Neal Hagberg ’81 and Leandra Peak ’83, musicians, on Dec. 15; and the winter sports coaches on Jan. 19.

Christmas in Christ Chapel Tickets

Tickets for Christmas in Christ Chapel 2010, “A Renaissance Nativity,” are available online.  Service dates are Friday, Dec. 3 at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, Dec. 4 at 3:30 p.m. and 7: 30 p.m.; and Sunday, Dec. 4 at 3:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.  Tickets are $17.50 each and available online via credit card at:  If you do not have access to the Internet, tickets are available by calling the Office of Marketing and Communication at 507-933-7520.

Chapter Gatherings

This year and next, President and Kris Ohle have many travel dates planned in order to reach out to all of our alumni and bring them an update from the College.  Please mark your calendar if you live in or near one of these locations:

  • Palm Springs – January 7
  • Los Angeles – January 8
  • San Francisco – January 9
  • Seattle – January 27
  • Tucson – February 8
  • Phoenix – February 10
  • Denver – February 11
  • Boston – March 2
  • New York – March 4
  • Washington, DC – March 5
  • Jacksonville, FL – March 26
  • Orlando – March 28
  • Tampa – March 29
  • Naples – March 30
  • Chicago – April 29