Class of ’61

October 2012

Dear ʼ61ers,

Landscapers must be heroes at our alma mater for having prepared the campus scene ready for the huge events.  The drought in the St. Peter area has required much loving care for plants to flourish this summer.  The first large event was the Nobel Conference, “Our Global Ocean,” held Oct. 2-3.  The main auditorium was sold out for a while.  Sweden’s King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Sylvia will be at the college for many special activities on Oct. 5.  The Sesquicentennial closing dinner takes place on Oct. 12, and many Homecoming events will follow throughout that same weekend.

Our Class of 1961 Scholarship had a market value of $51,019 at the close of the fiscal year ending last May 31.  This means that a scholarship of $2,121 can be distributed in the 2012 academic year.  I have not received the name of our current recipient but that will be included in our spring class letter.  Thank you so much for caring about current Gusties and contributing to help them with today’s high costs of college.

Class Officers attended kick-off meetings on Aug. 25, at the newly built addition to the American Swedish Institute in southern Minneapolis.  Stu Johnson, annual fund chair, and Elsa Cornell, vice president-reunions and our newest class officer, came to the Twin Cities for this meeting.  The gathering was opened with a presentation about the Alumni Mentoring Program which every Gustie student is encouraged to participate in with a Gustavus graduate.   Dr. Kathi Tunheim from the economics and management department and Mike Dueber ’89 from the Alumni Board explained the program.  “Everyone needs a little help” is a theme of the program that assists students with jobs, careers, housing or steps to take to receive an advanced degree, etc.  The goal is to connect every student who wants one with a mentor.  Could you serve as a mentor?  Check out the program by contacting Amy Gerber Pehrson ʼ91, Alumni Mentoring Program Coordinator.

Changes are being instituted in the manner in which class news is printed because the Quarterly has had to cut its budget and reduce the number of total pages.  Brief information will still be printed in the class section of the magazine but expanded details need to be in the class letters only.  Please send news items frequently.  My next deadline for the (spring) Quarterly is Dec. 7 and another one in the new year is Feb. 15.  You can send email to the Alumni Office and to us class officers by emailing: or my direct email remains, but you may also send notes with your check, to the Alumni Office.

Several items in the fall Quarterly have direct ties to our class.  Bruce Gray, Gustavus dean of students and, later, an associate in the advancement office, has published Black and Bold, with assistance from Dennis Johnson ’60, former interim president of Gustavus.  Further information is found on page 9 of the magazine.  The passing of Bob Peterson ’58 is noted on page 14.  Bob was a committed Gustie and a dynamic staff member rising to vice president for development and college relations.  He was dedicated to advancing Gustavus and secured major grants for the college.  You may remember the Weekly column by Sam and Pete when we were Gustavus students.  That was written by Bob and Owen Sammelson ’58 and it could give one a cause to pause and see the college in a unique way.  Owen rose to become vice president of administration and he spoke to us at our 45th reunion luncheon.

Campus News

Nobel Conference – “Our Global Ocean”

Nobel Conference 48, held Oct. 2-3, examined, “Our Global Ocean” as a source of inspiration, danger, and knowledge.  We know less about our own oceans than we do about the surfaces of other planets hundreds of millions of miles away.  Top researchers in biogeochemistry, oceanography, deep-sea biology, molecular genetics, and coral ecology discussed the most relevant topics concerning our mysterious oceans.

Hall of Fame

On September 29, the Gustavus Athletics Department inducted nine new individuals into its Athletics Hall of Fame.  The 2012 class of inductees included:  Rhonda Gorseth Alberts ’93 (Gymnastics), Brian Brekke ’95 (Football), Kara Bloomquist Drekonja ’96 (Cross Country), Brett Gross ’96 (Track & Field), Brock Guettler ’92 (Basketball), Mark Kruger ’86 (Tennis), Jason Lesteberg ’96 (Hockey), Scott Stoneking ’96 (Soccer), and Donald Swanson ’55 (Benefactor).

Homecoming 2012

October 12-14 – Homecoming 2012 will include the Sesquicentennial Closing Dinner, reunions, a football game, a performance by The Bend of the River Big Band, and more.  For information on reunion registration and the entire homecoming schedule, visit

Alumni Travel Opportunities

2013 Friends of Music Salzburg choral Tour

Gustavus Friends of Music has arranged for a Gustavus Alumni choir tour to Munich, Salzburg, Vienna and Prague June 23 – July 5, 2013.  Singers and non-singers alike are welcome.  Once in Salzburg, the singers will join the Mozart International Choral Festival and perform Mozart’s Coronation Mass in the Salzburg Cathedral on June 29.  Not a singer?  There is space available for non-performers as well.  For more information contact Jackie Neeck Peterson ’77 at or 800-726-6192.

2013 Pearls of Central Europe

Experience Central Europe with Gustavus professor emeritus of history Dr. Tom Emmert from September 10—21, 2013.  This 12-day Gustavus study tour combines learning, exploring, leisure, lecture, food, and arts with special touches, all led by a faculty expert.  The journey is focused around three showpiece cities of Central Europe:  Prague, Vienna, and Budapest.  For more information, contact Tom Emmert at

Gustie Breakfasts - Twin Cities – New time and place

Engage with other alumni and learn something new about your alma mater at the monthly Twin Cities Gustavus alumni breakfast.  Please join us at the American Swedish Institute (2600 Park Ave, Minneapolis), on the third Wednesday of each month at 7:30 a.m.  Cost is $10.  Gustie breakfasts are also being held on campus the second Wednesday of each month.

October 17 – Nobel Conference Recap

November 21 – Donald Ostrom – November elections

December 19 – Terry Morrow – Minnesota Vikings stadium

Upcoming Chapter Gatherings

National Chapter events for alumni, parents and friends are scheduled for the 2012-13 academic year and will focus on the College’s pillar of “Teaching and Learning.”  Please save the date for the event in your area.  Time and location details will be forthcoming.

Nov. 8 – New York City

Nov. 10 – Boston

Nov. 10 – Dallas

Nov. 11 – Houston

Nov. 13 – Washington, DC

Jan. 29 – Phoenix

Jan. 31 – Tucson

Feb. 3 – Los Angeles

Feb. 4 - Palm Springs

Feb 13 – Tampa

Feb. 15 – Naples

Feb. 28 – Seattle

Mar. 2 – San Francisco

Mar. 9 – Madison

Mar. 12 – Denver

Mar. 14 – Chicago

Apr. 11 – Atlanta


By now, all 1961 class members should have received their Gustie Pride Card.  This certainly is a unique way to remind us that school is in session, and we as members of the Class of 1961, should be thinking about our gift to Gustavus this year.

When we give to Gustavus, we can select a number of different buckets for our contributions.  For example, the Gustie Pride cards’ promotional dollars go to the Annual Fund bucket.  The Annual Fund provides capital to help bridge the gap between tuition dollars and the College’s operating budget.  This is an account much like our personnel checking accounts.  These dollars are expended during the year the funds are received and are used for whatever the need is.  This use could be for financial aid, repair of a sidewalk, etc.  Gifts to various athletic teams, musical and theatre groups are counted in the Annual Fund.  This is a very helpful fund to have.

Some designated donations are used for endowments.  A good example of this bucket is the Class of 1961 Scholarship Endowment.  As of 31 August 2012, this endowment had a market value of $ 53,075.  Thanks, Class of ʼ61, for giving to this very important cause.  Scholarship dollars are probably the largest Gustavus need.  Check out the December 2011 class newsletter to see the current recipient of our class scholarship.

Endowments can be set up to achieve whatever you want your gift to do.  In order for endowments to be firmly established and distribute dollars, the endowment must have a minimum of $25,000.00 in principle.

Class members have set up endowments to help fund a variety of programs at Gustavus, including memorial scholarships or named scholarships.

Capital Campaigns are another bucket.  The new Beck Academic Building, the current Don Roberts ʼ56 hockey arena renovation, the new football stadium, the new Hollingsworth Field, The Johns Family Courtyard are just a few examples.  If you want to give to capital projects, the choice is yours.

You can also name Gustavus in your financial planning documents.  While I am not the person to advise you on this particular subject, Gustavus has the expert staff to help you with this process.  At this point in time, 21 members of the class of 1961, including three deceased members, have named Gustavus in their financial planning.

What has the Class of 1961 given in the past?  Good question.  Keep in mind that the fiscal year for Gustavus is 1 June−31 May.

According to Gustavus personnel, the class average (starting from year 2000) is $77,600, and class participation is about 64%.  Our greatest year, not surprisingly, was our 50th reunion year when we gave $1,509,743.  This number includes gifts from many of the buckets mentioned earlier:  annual fund, campaign gifts, and endowment gifts.  It also includes matching gifts and estate declarations.  And get this; our participation rate was 65%!  Just 1% above the average.

For the year 1 June 2011 through 31 May 2012, the Class of 1961 gave $62,440.  Class participation was down to 55 percent.  So you see, we’ve slipped a bunch last year.  Going for a participation rate of 67% is not a big push.  We can do it without a sacrifice.

We are now four months into this fiscal year.  At this point in our lives, we can certainly keep the average giving and participation rates going, right?  But then, aren’t we, “all above average?”  So, let’s see what we can do in the next eight months!

In December you will get an update.

Stu Johnson

1961 Annual Fund Chair


Hi, Hi ʼ61ers− just a note to say that I volunteered for the VP who is supposed to excite and get going on any reunion plans!!  Well−we don’t have an official reunion this year; however, if any of you are going to be on campus for Homecoming on Oct. 13, let’s meet in the white tent at the north end of the football field (even though it is a smaller one than last year) hopefully we’ll find a table and a sign so we can find each other and get caught up with one another!  Perhaps those of you who were in the choir will be back to sing once again with the musical alums!  Whatever−hope to see those of you who will be here for Homecoming!

Elsa Cornell

1961 VP/Reunion Chair

P.S.  I shall be calling around one of these days−we still need some ʼ61 “officers” to work on various alumni issues!!  Soooo−I shall be in touch!

Virgene said that I should write a few lines in regard to the Altar antependium which will be “blessed−dedicated−whatever” on Friday, Oct. 5, when the King and Queen of Sweden will be on campus.  When my father was the pastor of Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Brooklyn, NY, the antependium was given to that parish−in 1948.  It was dedicated during their 75th Anniversary in the spring of 1949.

When Marion Palm was on campus for her, Noah’s graduation in 2007, Lenny Vretholm accompanied her for the event.  (Lennart has been sort of a father to Noah!)  Anyway, Marion and Lennart were over for dinner and during that time Marion shared her concern for the altar cloth’s future at Bethlehem.  Obviously, I got “on the horn” so to speak and through information that Marion had as to persons to contact−eventually, the antependium was picked up in New York−and Gustavus has been given the job of caretaker of this beautiful treasure!!

It was the present King’s great grandfather (also a King!) who designed and embroidered this beautiful piece of useful art!!  Anyway, I did find a black and white picture, showing my father and someone (who looks like a Swedish Embassy type person) holding the cloth.  It has been a conundrum, however, as we cannot find any written confirmation as to who it is in the picture and why Bethlehem was one of the fortunate recipients of the King’s handiwork.  However, we are now the caretakers here at Gustavus and it is a special “babysitting job” indeed!!    Elsa


Class News

Robert Lamphere, Lincoln NE, passed away on March 21.  Bob and Carrie (Olson) both were employed by the state of Nebraska and they maintained a summer place in the Alexandria region where the family gathered often to enjoy summers.  Their son, Jim ’79 was one of the earliest of our second generation Gusties to be graduated from Gustavus.

Your classmates send sympathy to you and your family, Carrie.  Also noted is the passing of Joel Koch ’85 on April 17.  Joel was the son of Rev. Ron and Darlene Koch.  His younger brother, Paul Koch ‘87, is a member of Gustavus’ Board of Trustees.

Dan ’63 and Mary Beth (Longe) Malloy, Hiawatha IA, are retired but not really!  They announce the arrival of a new grand baby, Greta Rose Malloy.  Dan continues to rebuild pianos and he enjoys golfing.  Both of them volunteer in musical activities at First Lutheran.  Dan recently directed a performance of his cantata, “Way of the Cross,” which was composed and performed 43 years ago while he lived in Ethiopia.  Mary Beth continues to volunteer at Hospice House and she sings in the church choir.

James and Susan Davis, River Falls WI, will again be volunteer teaching in Europe.  This year they anticipate spending a month in that capacity in eastern Italy.  We met the Davises at a wedding in Ramsey which Sid and I attended for the groom and Jim and Susan attended for the bride.  It was a funny encounter because we saw each other, knew that we were acquainted, but didn’t know what the connection was so we just kept smiling and greeting each other.  Thanks, Jim, for speaking up and figuring it all out.  Jim is a mathematics professor at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.

Dr. Carolyn Wedin and Tony Roloff remain in Frederic, WI.  Carolyn writes, “I was sad to see about the death of Robert Peterson ’58 – he was a friend of my sister Harriet, I believe in the same confirmation class….”  When Bob and Carolyn last spoke, Bob remembered how cute Carolyn was as a little preschooler in front of the church in the Christmas program.  This year Carolyn published a reference book for college students for a series put out by Infobase Learning on how to write about various authors.  Her book was Bloom’s How to Write About Maya Angelou.  She observes, “My editor told me that it may be the last one of the whole series published in hard copy – everything is moving to on-line.”

One big moment for us this summer involved our 11-year-old grandson Justin.  In previous years he came from the Quad Cities with Scott ’88, Christy and Kyle for Steve Wilkinson’s family tennis and life camps.  This year Justin and a doubles partner attended alone as the young players in one of the categories.  They didn’t upset the older fellows, but at the closing ceremony on Friday Justin was awarded the sportsmanship award.  That was a proud moment for Gustie grandparents.

Keep the notes, e-mails and gifts coming!  Some items are needed for the Dec. 7 deadline for the Quarterly.  Thank you each one for remembering what Gustavus did for us and making it possible for today’s younger generation to experience Gustavus, too.  Did many of you ever see Flat Gus as he traveled around during the Sesquicentennial?  It would be fun to know where he visited.

Have a great autumn!

Virgene Grack Sehlin

1961 Communications Chair