Class of 1961
50-Year Reunion

May 2011

Reunion Dates- May 27-28, 2011

Dear Great Golden Anniversary Class,

It’s almost here!  We are awaiting your reservations to attend the Big 50th gathering.  Online reservations can be made at, you can send the paper reservation found in the invitation brochure, or if you’ve misplaced all registration materials – call 1-800-487-8437.

Please also take a few minutes to share your ideas for the questions sent by the Friday evening program committee, too – you can see and fill out the questions at  (deadline, May 13th!).  Registrations are coming in nicely.  It may well be the largest class membership that has gathered since June 4, 1961!

Check out who is registered so far:

Mary Strand Anderson

Nita Swanson Anderson

Sandra Allumbaugh Bolin

Kathy Moody Buegler

Marilyn Swanson Burke

Karen Westman Carlson

Nan Dahl Carlson

Elsa Cornell

Jim Davis

Susan Dahl Doe

Jean Stenstrom Eidsvold

Jan Sanftner Elvekrog

Sally Enstrom

Gwen Sorenson Feick

Pat Ecklund Fick

Mary Annextad Francis

Jon Fredlund

Dennis Freeman

Don Fultz

Karin Erickson Gaskell

Rudy Gulstrand

Dale Gustafson

Paul K Hanson

Eloise Johnson Hayman

Carol Olson Heath

Gary Hillman

Joan Miller Hoffman

Barbara Wellner Hokenson

Alice Nelson Holm

Paul Holm

Ted Johns

Stu Johnson

Joanne Larson Karvonen

Jim Knoble

Bruce Kobs

Miriam Lind Lagus

Ronald Langness

Mary Erickson Lindahl

David Linne

Jim Mansfield

Dottie VanCampen Mau

Christine Olson Misewich

James Mortenson

Judy Brown Mortenson

Mary Nelson

Wendell Nelson

Julie Nelson Neyhart

Carol Cope Nord

Phil Nord

Wayne Otto

Richard Skogg

Ralph Swenson

Marilynn Clark Tanner

Kathy Bunde Thorsell

Bruce Warner

Ruth Hilgendorf Weber

Carolyn Wedin

Carol Villesvik Weston

Final preparations are underway.  Great effort is being expended by many committee members, especially by the chairs of each event including:  Stu Johnson, goals and finance; Kathy Bunde Thorsell, Friday gatherings and program; Nan Dahl Carlson, the 50th Anniversary Memory Book; and Judy Johnson Chaffee, Memorial Service.  Twenty other classmates have volunteered hours of work to make this two-day gathering very special.

Events crowd the Friday schedule.  A program follows the banquet.  Dr. Ohle is expected to address us and to receive a representation of the 1961 Class Gift.  There will be a light hearted remembrance about professors and a video presentation about our class through the years.  (We know that will show that we are at our best, vintage stage now!)

On Saturday a full day of events is also offered.  At the noon luncheon the Class of ’61 will join the Gustavus 50-Year Club.  From this year forward we will be invited to reunion events annually with a table designated for us at the Saturday noon lunch but special reunions will still be held every five years.

An exciting opportunity will be available during the reunion days to get a print by native St. Peter artist Mary Pettis called “Old Main.”  If you make a $60 or more contribution (tax deductible) on those days, you will receive a free 8” x 10” print.  This project was planned by classmate Miriam Lind Lagus and only a limited number of prints will be available at a special table.  An interesting tidbit is that Bruce and Sue Gray hold the original painting in their personal collection.

Ride Requested:

If anyone lives near the St. Paul, Woodbury, or Stillwater area, Sandi Nordstrom is looking to come to the reunion, but needs a ride.  If you are able to provide transportation, please call Sandi at 651-340-7790.


I can remember about four things I learned in undergraduate school−in classrooms, that is−twenty years after the fact.  First, I remember a Western Civilization 101 class in which the daft instructor had four of us go out in the hall and rehearse the lyrics “How you gonna keep ʼem down on the farm, after they’ve seen Pari” to illustrate causes of the fall of Rome.  Second, I can remember a German teacher who repeated the line “zwishen Berg und Tiefen Tal” (between the mountain and deep valley) every time he saw a buxom beauty walk by the classroom.  Third, I recall a literature instructor who broke up his lectures with appropriate lines of poetry or music and then jumped on someone in the class.  “Had we but world enough, and time…’Miss Wedin!  Who wrote that?”  Fourth, I remember a seminar on the Book of John and the joy with which I witnessed the efficient putting down of a science whiz, who beat the heck out of me in zoology, but could not make his limited logical mind even work in a religion course.

Let me tell you the things I don’t remember: the ten thousand hours I spent taking lecture notes in zoology, in chemistry, in sociology, in philosophy.  Nor do I remember the other ten thousand hours spent memorizing the notes and the hundred hours spent validating the power of the left hemisphere of my brain−the memorizing half−by answering questions on tests.

(Written at a previous time in her career and submitted by Dr. Carolyn Wedin.)


Class of 2016 – The Admission Department has already received deposits for over 750 new students next fall.  This is way up from previous years when only 50 – 100 deposits would have been received by this time.  Looks like the secret is out about Gustavus!

Women’s Tennis Defeats St. Olaf 9-0, Secures 20th Straight MIAC Title - The Gustavus women’s tennis team brought the regular season to a close with a 9-0 win over St. Olaf on Tuesday afternoon in St. Peter.  With the victory, Gustavus locks up its 20th straight MIAC regular season title, improving to 17-9 overall and 10-0 in the MIAC.

Nobel Conference 47 - The Brain and Being Human Oct. 4 & 5, 2011

In recent years, novel collaborations between neuroscientists and researchers in seemingly disparate fields have forged new ideas and new questions about the working of the brain.  Aspects of daily human life are now incorporated into the scientific arena in a new synthesis to understand the human experience and what it means to be human.  The braiding of neuroscience with the humanities, arts, social sciences, theology, and engineering has empowered explanations of the motivations and operations of our daily activities.  This insight engenders uncertainty in terms of how to best apply this knowledge responsibly and ethically, and perhaps is even challenging the distinctiveness of our own species.


A “Must See” at the reunion will be the salute that Rev. Dr. Paul D. Hanson, Belmont MA, plans:  “I promise to do penance in front of the Gustavus statue upon arriving with my wife Cynthia on May 27.”  This guilt was inspired by Paul’s spending the spring semester at St. Olaf College in Northfield as the Martin E. Marty Visiting Professor of Religion and the Academy.  Paul has retired from his professorship at Harvard University.  Paul, rumor has it that Old Gus was spun around in the opposite direction by the tornado in 1998.  What will this do to him??

Harlan ’60 and Judy Fairbanks Sandberg, New Hope MN, verify that their daughter’s family, Rev. Mark and Betsy (Sandberg’89) Borseth and three sons were affected by the tornadoes near Huntsville, AL, last month.  They are working to plant a mission congregation and the chapel they were using was badly damaged.  Prayers from all of us are appreciated very much.

David and Jo Larson Karvonen, St. Paul, plan to be with the class in May.  Jo was an English professor at Augsburg College and retired from administrative work at the V.A. Medical Center.  Jo and David have two sons, Andrew and John ’91 and two grandsons.

Dr. Gary and Judith Hillman, Centennial, CO write that Gary has retired following a celebrated career in teaching and educational pursuits.  His honors included honorable mention as teacher of the year in Colorado in 1979 and teaching awards from the University of Colorado, School of Education in 2002.  They have two children, Gary and Stephanie.

A note from Jeanette Palmquist Momot:  “I really belong to both the class of ʼ61 and ʼ62, as I started at Gustavus in Jan. of 1958, and so then finished December 1961, but of course graduation wasn’t until the following June ʼ62.  I continue to keep and breed honey bees, in addition to producing and selling honey.  In my spare time I play fiddle with a senior’s band.  We play old-time music at nursing homes and assisted living apartments, as well as for dances now and then.”

Dr. Jon Fredlund, Anoka, MN was a family practice physician for 30 years.  He also served as a Special Forces army airborne medical doctor.  When his sister developed kidney disease and needed a transplant, Jon donated a kidney to her.  The Fredlunds have two children, Diane and Brian.

Jean Linnerooth Scherfenberg, Mendota Heights, MN plans to attend our 50th gathering.  She has retired from teaching and they spend at least some of their time in northern Minnesota.  One of her daughters is in SFO and is preparing to adopt a Korean baby.

Dr. Paul ’60 and Kay Dahlquist Serenius live in Centerville, OH (suburban of Dayton).  Paul is a retired dentist and Kay oversees their family of three children, a dozen grandchildren and four great grandchildren.

Dr. Gordy Thies, Temecula, CA retired six years ago from Chapman University, but now works for a Christian mission organization called Global Recordings.  They distribute CD’s that hold gospel messages in many languages.  He will not be able to attend our reunion, but he sends greetings and a special hello to Dr. Paul and Alice (Nelson) Holm.

Carole Paulson Olson, Wautoma, WI is president of the local artists’ group called Real Rembrandt, the oldest art group in Wisconsin.  The organization has about 60 members from the whole area, and their spring art show and sale took place in April.  Carole teaches an art class for adults.  Her children, Erik and Johanna, are Gusties.

Peter and Julie Nelson Neyhart, Juneau, AK plan to attend our 50th reunion.  (Julie has been a very faithful Gustie who has returned from a good distance for most of our reunions.)  They volunteer for the Juneau Convention and Visitors Bureau and Julie helps at the State Museum and at their church.  Travels this year took them to Hawaii, California, Arizona, the barrier islands of Georgia and the Canadian Rockies among other locations near family or friends.

Pauline Matson Smith, Pelican Rapids, MN volunteers in numerous capacities for Central Lutheran Church.  At present she serves on the church council and is organizing strategic planning and job description data for the church.  Prior to retirement, she was an accountant.

Rudy and Bonnie Gulstrand, Rocky River, OH have three daughters, Jennifer, Julie ’90 and Joanne ’90.  Rudy skied from Russia to Sweden across Finland at the Arctic Circle last March with John Tammi ’63, and he is a master skier.  He remains a part-time pharmacist and serves on the State Pharmacy Association.

Dale Gustafson, Hartford CT, has three children, Britt, Stephan and Karen.  He works as a mission developer in Connecticut with an emphasis on social services and community outreach.  Dale, we thought about you when the anniversary of the Freedom Riders was observed recently since you revisited some of those cities in the South after our last reunion.

Bob ’60 and Jean Stenstrom Eidsvold, Edina, MN and Sanibel, FL report that their entire family was able to join them in the south for the Thanksgiving holiday.  They have a son and two daughters plus nine grandchildren (including one granddaughter!).  They are hoping to be at our reunion.

Now it is onward to our milestone 50th!  Thank you, thank you from Gustavus for remembering the alma mater with your donations to the ’61 Class Gift and to our scholarship.  Don’t be shy about introducing yourself to me and each other on May 27 and 28; the vision has grown dim (and even dimmer without glasses!).  Let’s make it a great time of FUN and MEMORIES.

Virgene Grack Sehlin,

1961 Class Agent