Class of 1961

November 2013

Dear ’61 Classmates,

This autumn many of you have returned to campus for special events, and the upcoming Advent season, with Christmas in Christ Chapel, will surely draw many more back to the alma mater.  It was a long, relatively warm fall with many of the post-tornado plantings reaching truly beautiful growth stages.  Planning the areas for definite effect really has made the campus more beautiful than ever.  If you missed this one, do endeavor to return for autumn at Gustavus (maybe Homecoming) in the near future.

A very important search is underway to fill the vacancy left by the resignation of President Jack Ohle who will retire next July 1.  Warren Beck ’67, Board of Trustees, is heading the search committee.  For the most current information, you can access developments at “”  Another key appointment has been made that will impact alumni.  Glen Lloyd was named the Director of Alumni and Parent Engagement in mid-November.  Randall Stuckey ’83, who has been leading alumni activities in several capacities since Cec Eckhoff’s (ʼ56) retirement, has moved to a new challenge as Director of Athletic Development and Engagement.

A new recipient of the Class of 1961 Scholarship will be named in February, 2014.  The young man who qualified for the scholarship the last three years was graduated with the Class of ’13 in May.  The current value of the scholarship is $57,917, enabling an endowed scholarship of approximately $2,127 to be distributed annually.  Thank you for making the endowment available so that deserving students can be helped with attending Gustavus.  This gift will truly keep on giving!  Remember that you may continue to designate your gifts toward this effort by directing your check to the Class of 1961 Scholarship.

Again the Class of ’61 showed its class and generous hearts with its response in the 2012-13 Annual Fund.  By the May 31 deadline 64% of our remaining 194 classmates had sent gifts totaling $45,350.00.  Only the traditionally strong groups from 1958 and 1963 (ʼ63 was also the 50th year class) exceeded our total gifts, except for the very large totals registered by the Class of ’66 and ’67 at $217,080.65 and $219,639.55 respectively.  Thank you very much.  As we head onward in retirement, your class officers trust that many of you will consider setting up endowment gifts such as a family scholarship, a percentage or definite bequest in your will or whatever can be managed in your situation.  It is such a worthwhile effort to strengthen higher education in our country and Gustavus must depend on those who know it best and have benefited from the education received there.

“Michael Johnson in Concert” is offered again on campus Dec. 13 in Bjorling Recital Hall.  Michael Johnson has performed at Gustavus almost annually since 1968.  Johnson is accomplished as a composer, guitarist and singer whose most recent recording, “Moonlit Deja Vu,” was released in 2012.

Campus News

President Ohle Announces Retirement

Jack R. Ohle, the 16th President of Gustavus Adolphus College, has announced his retirement effective at the end of the 2013-14 academic year when he will complete his sixth year as president of the College.  He began his service to Gustavus on July 1, 2008, and will officially retire on June 30, 2014.  Ohle submitted, and the Board accepted, a letter announcing his retirement to the Board of Trustees at its June meeting.  The Board of Trustees has initiated a search to find President Ohle’s successor who will begin serving the College in the summer of 2014.

Nobel Conference XLIX

What is the universe made of?  Where did it come from?  Where is it going?  These questions were explored at Nobel Conference 49, “The Universe at Its Limits,” held October 1 and 2.  Eight invited speakers and about 5,000 guests explored these questions in the light of recent discoveries and spent time contemplating both their scientific and philosophical implications.

Upcoming Events

Christmas in Christ Chapel “Holy Wisdom, Holy Word” – Dec. 6, 7 and 8.

Festival of St. Lucia – Dec. 12

Twin Cities Gustie Breakfast – Dec. 18

Phoenix Chapter gathering, The Scottsdale Plaza Resort - Feb. 4

Tucson Chapter gathering, Feb. 6


Tom ’60 and Judy Krueger Mau, now have a Lake Suzy, FL address.  They send greetings to classmates and they comment that they definitely are enjoying the sunny southern weather.  Their granddaughter Carly Mau is a Gustavus freshman, Class of 2017.

Dr. Wendell Nelson, Sun Valley ID, in his retirement has identified a volunteer project that is fulfilling and enjoyable.  He delivers medical equipment-specifically wheel chairs-to handicapped individuals around the world.

Bob (’60) and Jean Stenstrom Eidsvold, Edina, are enjoying this autumn by traveling in China.  When they return, they plan again to escape the Minnesota winter on Sanibel Island, FL, where they have purchased a vacation home.

Ed and Karen Halvorson Carlson, Albuquerque, NM, continue to follow busy schedules.  In October relatives and family visited to enjoy the Annual Hot Air Balloon Fiesta.  Karen’s nephew, a physicist, visited in fall also in connection with a conference he was attending in the area.  He is a member of a team of scientists that works in the Antarctic measuring the nuclear activity that is taking place on our planet.

Dale Gustafson, Windsor Locks, CT, is very involved in retirement with three non-profit organizations and is the president of the board of one of those.  Recently he was preparing for a golf tournament which is one of the events to raise money for March, Inc., which is a group dedicated to establishing group homes for developmentally disabled individuals.  He has also been working on a not-for-profit endeavor that hopes to develop import/export trade between Connecticut and Sub-Saharan countries.

Dr. Fred ʼ62 and Lorraine Sandvig Carlson, Fairmont, have been on campus this fall for the Nobel Conference and Homecoming (seeing Gustavus win the football game over St. Olaf was great!).  In May they hope to join Fred’s dental school graduates on a trip down the Mississippi River.  Their son Paul ʼ92 is in the dental practice with Fred.  They attend many of their grandchildren’s events in Fairmont.

Reports about the Nobel Conference on campus on Oct. 1 and 2 indicate that few attendees left with many cobwebs remaining in their brains.  The topic, “The Universe at Its Limits,” challenged everyone and three Nobel Prize holders (Isn’t this a record?) joined the erudite list of presenters:  in 2004-Frank Wilczek, PhD in physics; in 1976-Samuel Ting, PhD in physics; and in 2006-George Smoot III, PhD in physics.  Classmates who were spotted at the event included Dr. Fred ’62 and Lorraine Sandvig Carlson, Fairmont; Chris Olson Misewich, Cambridge; Bruce and Sue Gray, St. Peter; and Dr. Arne and Miriam Lind Lagus, St. Croix Falls, WI.  Were there others in the large crowd?

Rev. Ted and Marietta (Bittrich ’63) Johns, Sunrise Beach, TX; Rev. Noel and Gretchen (Bittrich ’63) Estergren, San Diego, CA; and Rev. Dan Johns ’59, Tower, traveled to Japan where they were surprised to find a Gustavus-related treasure at the World Peace Symbol Zone.  Located at the site of the Atomic Bomb and Peace Memorial Park among gifts from around the world, is the USA contribution:  “Earth Constellation,” a sculpture created by former Gustavus sculptor-in-residence Paul Granlund ’52.  Check a picture of the event in the fall Quarterly on page 42.

The 50-Year Football Club was slated to gather during Homecoming in October.  Specific names of everyone who attended are not available; however a fair number of our classmates usually participate in the sporting events.  A picture of the 2012 group that celebrated together was also in the fall Quarterly on page 38, and it shows that among those attending last year were Dick Dalton, Cannon Falls; Tom Idstrom, Chatfield; and Jim Krough, Deephaven.

Incorrect information about Bruce Warner, Plymouth, our new class president, appeared in our May class letter.  Bruce, classmates join in sending sincere sympathy on the 2007 death of Deanna.  Bruce and Deanna have two sons.  Andrew, who was a Gustavus student, is starting in a new career in the insurance industry.  Cameron earned a PhD from Harvard University and is an associate professor at Arhus University in Denmark.  Cameron’s wife, Sarah, anticipates completing her PhD in 2014, and the couple expects a third child this fall.  Bruce went to visit them in July and toured around Europe after the family visit.  He hopes to return to Denmark at Christmas to meet the new grandchild.

Bruce was in attendance in autumn at a new venture on campus.  He writes, “I had the pleasure of attending the rededication of the pool in the Lund Athletic Center in October.  The pool was formally named “The Vic” after long-time swimming coach Vic Gustafson ʼ42.  Attendees included former swimmers from as far back as the early ʼ50s.  Alumni swimmers contributed to upgrade the pool facility in Vic’s memory.  Over 150 men and women participated in a meet of alumni and current swimming teams’ members.  It was refreshing to see so many women alumni.  When we were on campus in the early ʼ60s, there was only the male swimming team.  Jon Carlson ʼ88, swimming coach, was the host, assisted by Tom Brown, athletic director, and Arne Johnson ’60, our former captain, who gave the dedication speech.  There were many ’61 classmates in attendance.  Afterwards I attended the Gustavus vs. St. Thomas football game and was pleased to see the Gustie side for spectators almost full.  It was a great day and reaffirmed why I remain proud to be a Gustie.”

“A Royal Affair,” which was celebrated Nov. 16, to benefit the Gustavus library, attracted a nice group of classmates.  This year’s event was held at the Radisson Blu at the Mall of America and it featured a fabulous dinner, auction (live and silent) and listening/dancing to the music of the Kim Beyer Fragodt (ʼ83) Quintet.  Names that I noticed included Rev. Roger ’60 and Nita Swanson Anderson, Roseville; Dr. Fred ’62 and Lorraine Sandvig Carlson, Fairmont; Dr. David ’60 and Karen Westman Carlson, Edina; Herb and Pat Ecklund Fick, Northfield; Rev. Jerry ’59 and Joan Miller Hoffman, Minneapolis; Arne ’60 and Carol Weisbrod Johnson, New Hope; Jim and Patty Maedl Krough, Deephaven; and Harlan ’60 and Judy Fairbanks Sandberg, New Hope.

Stu Johnson, St. Peter, our vice president in charge of annual fund activity, has improved somewhat since our previous class letter in spring, but the entire process with pneumonia has led doctors to diagnose an illness that probably dates back to college days and his work in a quarry in the Mankato area.  His lungs have been affected and persistent damage probably exists.

Sid continues to struggle a bit with the “bumps” that 2013 brought for him.  The effects of his stroke in January had almost disappeared by summer, but a set-back in July forced more exercise and effort to get around.  As the holidays approach, he uses a walker only sometimes.

Bruce, Elsa, Stu and I, as well as our families, tuck in wishes for a wonderful holiday season and for renewed spiritual strength as we each return to the manger where we contemplate God’s greatest gift.

Virgene Sehlin,

1961 Communications Chair