Class of ’61
February 2011

Dear ʼ61ers,

Happy New Year, golden anniversary classmates!  It does not seem reasonably possible, but 2011, OUR YEAR, has arrived.

The reunion committee continues to pull together plans for our gathering on Friday, May 27 and Saturday, May 28.  A final large gathering opportunity is coming up at Westwood Lutheran Church in St. Louis Park on Saturday morning, February 26.  If you have an idea for the reunion, please send a quick e-mail to me at before that date for group consideration.

Touring choir and band members and J-Term students who headed south are now looking brilliant!  Campus has been in “the cold zone” this winter and, it is rumored, areas may be missing under snow mountains.  There is so much snow that a second committee may have to do some shoveling before our reunion.

What a delight it is to send out the “Reflections” pieces that some classmates are submitting.  Such talent!  Such memories!  Thank you to Pat Ecklund Fick, Stu Johnson, Nita Swanson Anderson, Rev. Paul K. Hanson, and this month from Sally Enstrom and Carol Olson Heath.  There will continue to be space to print Reflections so please take a few minutes to pull something together during these winter months.

By now many of you should have enjoyed a telephone chat with a classmate from the reunion committee.  In February or March you will probably hear from another classmate (unless you have already made your commitment) enlisting a pledge from you, toward our class gift to Gustavus in honor of this milestone reunion.  If you can extend the pledge over three years, that three-year total will be credited to our class gift!  One huge effort is being directed toward scholarship aid.  As you have read in the last class letter, the Class of 1961 Endowed Scholarship has reached $25,000 and the earnings on that for this year have been awarded to a young sophomore male who is aiming for a medical career.  With interest rates being so low, the award is just over $1,000, so one reunion goal is to double our endowment for the class scholarship to $50,000.

When sending your gift to Gustavus, please designate what funds you want to give to our scholarship, to the annual fund or to another specific cause.  General fund gifts are urgently needed, too, and at present a major portion of those are being used for student aid as well.  This is also a wonderful time to join the Gustavus Heritage Partnership by including Gustavus in your will, in a special bequest or by setting up a family scholarship of your own to benefit current and future students.  Careful evaluation of your ultimate tax position may reveal a good plan for you to utilize to leave a significant bequest to your alma mater.  You may request that a representative from the Gustavus Advancement Office contact you with more detailed information.  See the enclosed card on Gift Annuities, for another great opportunity.  There are so many ways in which we can support our alma mater.  Thank you for all that you have done and will do.

Our 50th gathering cannot be successful unless many of you return for the events.  The Class of ’61 has a great record of participation.  This May will be the perfect time for more than 50% of us to return.  If you have not been at Gustavus for some time, you will be surprised by the new buildings (some made necessary by the tornado of 1998), the acclaimed landscaping (including new trees that have grown a lot in a decade), Granlund sculptures (Old Gus and the mill stone on Rundstrom Hall hill ruled the scene in 1961!), the Linneaus Arboretum and other changes.

In closing, following is some information that you may keep to make contacts easier:


(Use to request reunion information, to send your pictures and items for our anniversary booklet)


(Click on “Share with your class…”   Use to share news items with your classmates)


            (Use to check on who is coming to GAC in May)

Gustavus Adolphus College, 800 West College Ave., St. Peter MN 56082

Thank you, great Class of ’61.  A big valentine wish is tucked in for each one of you,

Virgene Grack Sehlin

1961 Class Agent

A Note from Sally Enstrom and Carol Olson Heath

After 50 years, we would hope to see new buildings, programs, and professors.  We would like you to know about one of the newest additions to the campus, The Hillstrom Museum.  Donald Myers ʼ83, an art instructor in art history at Gustavus, has directed the museum since its opening in 2000.

Reverend Richard L. Hillstrom ʼ38 began collecting art in the l940s.  After his retirement in 1982 he began building Lutheran Brotherhood’s collection of art.  He has given many works from his personal collection to Gustavus to create the museum which bears his name.

Located in the lower level of C. Charles Jackson Campus Center, The Hillstrom Museum will be open during our reunion and will feature an annual exhibit of works by graduating studio art majors.

The museum accepts donations and looks for opportunities to acquire new works of art.  Watch for articles about the museum in the Gustavus Quarterly.

For further information on the collection go to the website… arts/hillstrom/

We hope you enjoy visiting the Hillstrom Museum when you are on campus as much as we have enjoyed our visits to the museum.  See you at the reunion!


Rev. Paul K. and Kay (Johnson ’63) Hanson, Billings MT, hope to come for our reunion.  When Paul was contacted last November, he had just telephoned Dr. Paul D. Hanson, Belmont MA.  They have November birthdays just one day apart as well as having the same name, and they have called each other every year since Gustavus graduation.  Paul says that babysitting the grandchildren is their chief job now and the best paying!  They enjoy Montana and retirement but they can’t remember the last Gustie that they encountered in that state.

Al ’60 and Carol Anne Magnuson Moberg, Tampa FL, are still working on the possibility of attending our 50th.  Keep trying, you two!  (Wasn’t your last visit for our 25th gathering at the Shoreland Country Club in St. Peter?)  Their family has created “good looks” at their photography studio in Tampa, including team pictures for the N.Y. Yankees and pictures for the George Steinbrenner family.  Al also took great campus shots for the G.A. Weekly and the Gustavian annual while we were on campus.

Dale and Barb Knutson Richter, Rochester, MN, traveled extensively in European and Mediterranean regions last year.  On a Danube River boat cruise they stopped in Croatia, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey.  Then in September they started in Rome and made stops in Greece, Turkey, Israel at Nazareth, Jerusalem and Bethlehem, in Egypt and Italy.  Dale is active on the boards of the Samaritan Bethany Foundation and Rochester’s Senior Center.  Barb is very active (past president) of the Methodist Hospital Auxiliary, coaching at the computer lab in the senior center and enjoying Red Hat activities. Dr. Maury and Jan Sanftner Elvekrog, Birmingham, MI, enjoyed travels to Mexico during one week last year and then to Greece, Turkey, Egypt and Israel on a two-week cruise in September.  Jan retired from Oakland College as an assistant dean a few years ago.  Maury is retiring, with the help of his sons, Eric and Jonathan, who are negotiating to sell the Seger-Elvekrog stock, a management firm of which Maury was the founding partner thirty years ago. John ’59 and Lillian Hanson Edman, Okatie, SC, have enjoyed fifty years of married life in Lincoln, NE (two years); Manhattan, KS (2 years); Vero Beach, FL (11 years); Amherst, MA (25 years); Davis, CA (5 years) and now Sun City Hilton Head in Okatie, SC (6 years).  They recently purchased a summer place near Bemidji, MN.  (On your way to Bemidji this summer, your classmates hope that you can stop at Gustavus for the reunion!)

Rev. Dr. James and Luray Wiberg, Silverthorne, CO are considering attending our 50th, but there is also a reunion that may cause conflict at Holden Village in Washington, the Christian retreat that a number of our classmates have enjoyed.  A Gustie daughter, Kymm ʼ96, teaches English in Eagan MN.

James and Marilynn Clark Tanner, Hot Springs Village, AR are planning to come to Minnesota for the 50th.  They join the classmates who cruised in the Mediterranean last year.  Their cruise with friends from their years in Connecticut covered Italy, Greece and Turkey plus extra days in Barcelona, Spain, which they enjoyed the most.  They took an annual trip with Minnesota friends (the “Loonies”); this year the destination was Lake Chelan, WA:  “stops at apple orchards, wineries and the Grand Coulee Dam were great…And the drive over the Cascades from Seattle was spectacular.”  Marilynn’s 98-year-old mother passed away in May following a fall causing a broken hip. Also cruising in the Mediterranean region last year were Dr. Arne and Miriam Lind Lagus, St. Croix Falls, WI.  Their adventure was on a small sailing vessel that began its journey in Rome.  They found Rome to be a wonderful surprise with all of the magnificent art and beauty.  The cruise took them to southern locations including Pompeii, the Amalfi coast and such sights.  Drs. William and Reet (Lind ’62) Henze were fellow passengers.

Mary Beth Larson Wold, Fresno, CA cannot attend our reunion but she remembers, “…our 45th was such fun!”  She says that her greatest joy is being the grandmother of Michael and Sara Collins, the children of her daughter, Kristin (Wold ’88) Collins, who passed away in 2005.  The Wolds also had one son, Erik.

At this time the list of  classmates who have indicated that they plan to be at our reunion include: Michael Blaese, Sandra Allumbaugh Bolin, Kathy Moody Buegler, Karen Westman Carlson, Lorraine Sandvig Carlson, Nan Dahl Carlson, Judy Johnson Chaffee, Janice Berntson Davick, Jean Stenstrom Eidsvold, Jan Sanftner Elvekrog, Sally Enstrom, Noel Estergren, Betty Estesen, Pat Ecklund Fick, Dennis Freeman, Karin Erickson Gaskell, Bruce Gray, Rudy Gulstrand, Paul K. Hanson, Carol Olson Heath, Barbara Wellner Hokenson, Stu Johnson, Joanne Larson Karvonen, Arlyn Kettner, Jim Knoble, Bruce Kobs, Jim and Patti Maedl Krough, Miriam Lind Lagus, Jo Linnee, Joanne Swenson Lippert, Jim Mansfield, James and Judy Brown Mortenson, Ken Nelson, Julie Nelson Neyhart, Phil and Carol Cope Nord, Lorna Jafvert Reed, Judy Fairbanks Sandberg, Sid and Virgene Grack Sehlin, Richard Skogg, Gloria Eckberg Swenson, Ralph Swenson, Marilynn Clark Tanner, Kathy Bunde Thorsell, Bruce Warner, Douglas Weber, Ruth Hilgendorf Weber, Carolyn Wedin and Jim Wiberg.  Can we add you?

Many have inquired about accommodations, so here’s some information to help you figure out your plans.

Campus housing is complimentary in Sohre and Pittman halls – just mark your request on the registration forms when they arrive in April.  Rooms have a sink; bedding and towels are provided.  An extra blanket or a fan, depending on the weather, and hangers for hanging clothing are recommended.  Elevators are not available in residence halls.  If you have specific health limitations that affect your use of such facilities, you are encouraged to stay in a local hotel.

Some Local Hotels:

AmericInn, St. Peter – 507-931-6554

AmericInn, Mankato – 507-345-8011

Best Western, Mankato – 507-625-9333

Butler House (B&B), Mankato – 507-387-5055

Country Inn & Suites by Carlson, Mankato - 507-388-8555

Fairfield Inn, Mankato – 507-386-1220

Hilton Garden Inn Downtown, Mankato – 507-344-1111

Holiday Inn Express, Mankato – 507-388-1880

Locust Street Hotel (B&B), St. Peter – 612-990-0090

Mankato City Center Hotel, Mankato – 877-345-5577

Microtel Inn & Suites, Mankato – 507-388-2818

Ask for special Gustavus rates – maybe you’ll be pleasantly surprised!


Gustavus Choir

The Gustavus Choir is embarked on a tour of Italy in January.  The 57 student musicians, under the direction of Greg Aune, travelled to and sang at various locations in Italy Jan. 13-28.  As is the case with each Gustavus international music tour, it includes an educational component.  The students are learning about the Italian Renaissance in the month-long Cultures of Creativity course taught by Chaplain Brian Johnson ʼ80.  Joining the Gustavus Choir is a companion tour of 15 Gustavus alumni, parents, and friends.

Gustavus Wind Orchestra Tour

Under the direction of Douglas Nimmo, the Gustavus Wind Orchestra will tour Minnesota and Wisconsin between the January Interim and Spring Semester.  All concerts are free and open to the public.

Thursday, Feb. 3, 7 p.m. – Schauer Arts and Activities Center, Hartford, WI

Friday, Feb. 4, 7 p.m. – St. Luke’s Lutheran Church, Middleton, WI

Saturday, Feb. 5, 7 p.m. – St. John Lutheran Church, Owatonna

The tour will wrap up with a home concert on Saturday, Feb. 12. at 2 p.m. in Christ Chapel.

“Come on You Gusties” Breakfasts

Engage with other alumni and learn something new about your alma mater at the monthly Gustie breakfasts.  New in January was the start of the breakfasts in St. Peter.  Minneapolis breakfasts are the 3rd Wednesday of the month, St. Peter breakfasts are the 2nd Wednesday of the month.

The speaker at both the breakfasts for February will be Tom Crady, vice president for enrollment management.  The Minneapolis breakfast is Wednesday, Feb. 16, 8–9:30 a.m., at the Doubletree Hotel Minneapolis-Park Place, 1500 Park Place Blvd. Cost is $10 at the door.  Reserve your spot by e-mailing the Office of Alumni Relations at or by calling 800-487-8437.

The St. Peter breakfast will be Wednesday, Feb. 9, 7:30–9 a.m. in a campus banquet room in the C. Charles Jackson Campus Center.  Cost is $8 per person, or $15 for two, payable at the door.  Reserve your spot by e-mailing or by calling 507-933-7512.

Upcoming breakfasts include; Kate Knutson, political science professor, in March; and Warren Wunderlich, director of the physical plant, in April.

Chapter Gatherings

This year 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:

Tucson – February 8 – Warren and Donna (Gabbert) Beck ’66 ʼ67 residence

Phoenix – February 10 – Fired Up Grill

Denver – February 11 – Denver Athletic Club

Boston – March 2 – Henrietta’s Table

New York – March 4 – The Birdland Jazz Club

Washington, DC – March 5 – Council of Advancement Support of Education headquarters

Jacksonville, FL – March 26

Orlando – March 28

Tampa – March 29

Naples – March 30

Chicago – April 2