Class of '62
Before I bring you all up to date on the lives of our classmates, most of whom travel far, wide, and often, I would like to offer you some Travel Tips for Dummies. Or, more accurately, for Dumb Blondes such as I. I recently returned from my very first (and very likely last) cruise to the Mexican Riviera on the Holland America Statendam. Ten days spent on the high seas shored up my appreciation of the little things in life―like being able to walk a straight line; sleep without the need of a guardrail; ignore any and all blasting bells; sit down to dinner not early, not late, but at just the right time; and feel no obligation to tip or thank anyone, but God for my daily bread.
First-time cruisers, be mindful of the size of your cabin's bathroom. You will find it way too wee to accommodate you, Montezuma, and all his sundry forms of revenge. Conversely, the ship is too large for one to achieve directional orientation in a mere ten days, so bring a compass.
Your bags must be packed and set outside your cabin for pickup on the night before entering home port, but avoid being too conscientious, or you will likely be caught with your pants down. Literally. Unfortunately, I packed everything, including the pants I was to wear the following morning. Thus, at 7 a.m., while everyone else prepared to leave the ship, I stood half-clad, pleading on the phone with the faceless person one is forced to plead with when one has no pants, "Please tell me that this kind of thing happens all the time." With cruel honesty, she replied, "No, Ma'am, this is a first."
My hero, George (wearing pants and an unreadable expression) set off in search of a lone piece of luggage among the thousands stacked six deep and eight high in the bowels of the ship. The task was too daunting even for heroes, so he returned empty handed, only to resume the search when all the luggage was unloaded on the pier. I've seen An Affair to Remember at least a dozen times, and this was not how the end of a romantic cruise was supposed to go. But God was with us, George was with me, and he eventually returned with my pants. Thankfully, without a "How could I love someone so dumb?" countenance.
I probably should mention that near the end of the cruise we witnessed the Coast Guard rescuing an aged cruiser who, though comatose, swung through the air with the greatest of ease. With all these things in mind, I ask you: 1) What is the ratio of fun to disaster in the normal course of travel? 2) Can I expect my son to allow me to baby-sit his child?
I know Floyd Flowers understands me, because he chooses to focus only on my assets; one being my "flowery prose." He does, however, lament the fact that being older and first with everything has a downside. Well, Floyd, we're no spring chickens either, you know. An upside: Harriet, his wife of forty-nine years is doing nicely after her second hip replacement. A downside: Floyd failed to convince his oldest granddaughter to go to Gustavus. Upside: the third grandchild is fully committed to attending grandpa's college, and will be in the class of 2009. Count 'em, Floyd. The upsides outnumber the downsides, so be of good cheer.
Jerry Delgehausen retired a year ago and doesn't miss the daily grind at all, and he's not referring to Starbucks. He fills his days with good books and the satisfaction that comes with tackling home projects. I find it interesting that the words satisfaction and home projects are not antithetical to all men. Anyone who can patch a roof or replace a faucet washer without swearing is a hero in my book, Jerry.
Craig Martens retired from IBM so now he and Diana Jacobson Martens can concentrate on spoiling their new grandson in Spokane. Craig and Diana, either it's possible to do long-distance spoiling―in which case I would love to know how, since my new granddaughter will be living unspoiled in Long Beach―or you are planning to spend a lot of time advertising your brand of deodorant and toothpaste and displaying your underwear for the titillation of security checkers and fellow travelers at the airline terminals.
If you come to the 40th reunion, you'll get to see them, and perhaps a peck of pictures of the aforementioned grandson.
Sandy Johnson Neagle has had a mother's dream come true. Her son is an MD. The nightmare (in my opinion as an unathletic, overprotective mom) is that he's also a rock climber. Sandy, have you actually seen your son perched precariously on one of those pinnacles? Perhaps his wife-to-be will offer a less death defying adventure when they marry in June on a beach at Port Townsend Island; a ferry boat ride from Seattle. They'll then be moving to Salt Lake City where he will do a Fellowship in intensive care. Smart fellow; apparently not insensitive to the perils of his avocation.
Vail Peterson Parsons is still working as a licensed school nurse and lives in Eden Prairie. She spends more time at Concordia than Gustavus, though, because she has a stepdaughter going there. You should have conferred with our tenacious Floyd, Vail, and your stepdaughter might be going to the better of the two colleges.
Sam and Phyllis Miller Forsythe had the pleasure of seeing Mark Skoog in Mankato last summer and surely spoke of the good old' days before Sam became president of Triple S. I recall a discussion some years ago on the origins of the provocative company name, but if he's not going to elaborate, I won't probe.
Carolynn Walstrom Rowell and her husband are going to visit Minnesota in August, but sadly won't be able to attend the reunion. I'm sure they do a good bit of traveling now that they are retired and have children and grandchildren living in California. If they live anywhere near Los Altos, please stop and have a Gustie Special with the Hills on your next visit, okay, Carolynn?
Mark and Roz Johnson Anderson headed for Australia and New Zealand in January and will spend the rest of the winter in Arizona. The shadow knows that they will also be skiing at Snowmass in March with the Blandings, Leadholms, and Audrey Kylander Kramer and her son, Steve. What a life!
I'm sure Sandy Berge Bearson has some enviable perks, thanks to her sons; one of who works in the White House in personnel under President Bush. The other son works on policy matters for Florida Governor Jeb Bush. No doubt they were both inspired by their mother's early political savvy as a member of the Gustavus Republican Club. Involvement at any level in making our country's policies is truly awesome, yet I don't remember having one political discussion in college. Shows you how vapid a coed I was. Between your two sons, Sandy, you must have garnered a few scoops you might want to share. Like, do you, Barb, and Laura ever swap recipes???
In his retirement Ron Barrett has taken up golf. With a vengeance, he adds, just before teeing off in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. You golfers may be able to empathize when he boasts that his short game is good, but he is still working on the long game. Since he plays three times a week, he'll have both games down to a science in no time at all. That's the way it works, isn't it?
E. Fred Fischer has made good use of his degree. He's teaching economics and management at Concordia University at Austin, Texas, which includes microeconomics, principles of management, and management practicum (that's business simulation for aforementioned dummies). His consulting practice, E. F. Fischer & Company, pioneered the consolidation of hospital clinical laboratories with projects in eleven states. He's assembled 8,000,000 square feet of land at Sainte Agathe des Monts in the Laurentian Mountains, forty-five minutes from Montreal, which he thinks would make an excellent university site.
Fred, I'm not sure that pouring over tomes on management practicum or tackling the epic Beowulf could steal the show that God puts on every day in the beautiful forest covering three mountains and overlooking a large lake, which you describe. It would take more self-discipline than most young students possess.
No doubt Fred's debating experience at Gustavus also helped in his creation of the Institute for Medical Relief Services, a non-profit, which moved medical supplies to refugees in third world countries. In a period of five years, medical supplies were moved to over 200,000 refugees in some twenty countries. At present they are storing about $10,000 of hospital medical supplies that will be sent to Honduras.
You might think that Fred had enough on his plate, but on his mini-farm in New Sweden, Texas he grows vegetables. The farm stands on an historical Swedish site where the Swedish flag and sometimes the King's standard are flown. It is holy ground, since one spot is the old location of the Swedish Methodist Church, which burned to the ground, and on the other was the first Lutheran Chapel at New Sweden. When flying the Swedish flag Fred thinks of Gustavus and the rich ideals that came to Texas with the Swedes who settled that area.
One of his proudest accomplishments is being married to the same woman for 38 years. He and Jeanne have two children: Charlotte, who graduated from Rice University and received a law degree from the University of Texas, is now general legal counsel for ICO. Jason graduated from the University of Texas at Austin and became a stockbroker. He is now a risk manager in energy trading at Enron.
Hold that uncharitable thought! Gusties don't rush to judgment. Jason is one of the good guys, and one of the few employees retained with the energy trading group that is being purchased by the Swiss company of UBS Walburg. Having legal counsel and a risk manager in the family makes a lot of sense in this litigious and very risky age.
I wish all of you would be as forthcoming as Fred in filling me in on your lives and loves. He modestly said that he was giving me more information than anyone wanted to know, but I disagree. Everyone in our class has a tale to tell that is unlike any other, and each of these tales is endlessly fascinating to me, and I'm sure to all of you.
Not only do we all have tales to tell, but we have gifts to give. Enclosed with this letter you will find a Gift Planning Worksheet that will help you decide how best to make the Centennial Class of 1962 the class that "sets the bar" for future anniversary classes, thereby determining the future of Gustavus and the students whose lives will be changed forever by our gifts.
The goals set by the Anniversary Gift Leadership Committee are to contact every classmate and to increase classmate participation in giving to 80% (from 58%) for the Anniversary year counting period.
We would like to begin the Centennial Class of 1962 Endowed Scholarship with the intent that it be active (at least $25,000 given to the scholarship and recorded as received by Gustavus by May 31, 2002) so that a first recipient might be identified by the time of the Reunion on September 20, 2002.
Our hope is to celebrate an overall Anniversary Gift of $1,000,000. This includes all gifts and pledges for the Gustavus Alumni Fund, for the Class of 1962 Endowed Scholarship, and for other purposes, as well as estate or planned gift intentions received from June 1, 2001 through September 20, 2002. In order to help reach our million-dollar goal we invite you to tell Gustavus how you have included the College in your estate plans (see Section III of the Gift Planning Worksheet for information).
As you have been reading about the achievements and successes of our classmates, it is easy to see how we have been blessed. We now have a great opportunity to pass those blessings along― and in a very big way.
You have no doubt already given some thought to how you can help our class meet the goals we have set for ourselves. If you, like I, have noticed the days passing more swiftly and the months racing by like the Orient Express, you will come to the realization that we must all decide sooner rather than later if we are going to be indifferent or make a difference. After 9/11 we all learned what is important, what we are prepared to fight for, and what we will sacrifice to preserve. How wonderful it would be for us to be able to say, "We did it!" when we meet again forty years after we all said good-bye to Gustavus and to each other. Little did we know then what life would bring to each of us and what we would bring to life. There is still much we do not know. But there is something we do know: Gustavus will continue, because for it not to continue is unthinkable. We left our hearts there, still beating and still rejoicing in the way we were, the way we are. Go Gusties!
See you in September,
Judy Flom Shoemaker Hill
1962 Class Agent
P. S. Now for some campus news written by a current Gustavus student:
Hi! My name is Tracey Hanson. I’m a senior, double majoring in Communication Studies and Business Management. I’ve worked in the Alumni Office all four years and can hardly believe that I’m now starting my final semester! Instead of taking a class (and doing homework) this J-Term, I spent my time slaving away in the Alumni Office. It was great to have the extra time to relax and do other activities that J-Term allows. Having unlimited time at home each night made for some great cooking! And getting to watch “Friends” without worrying about the homework you should be doing instead was also a plus! The start of the spring semester (thus, the start of homework) has been a sudden shock to my system!
The campus is full of life and excitement. A successful and busy J-Term just ended, and spring semester is now underway. The theme for J-Term 2002 was "Our Global Village," and the month was a celebration of cultural diversity as we grappled with social, political, economic and philosophical aspects of our ever-shrinking world neighborhood. Faculty offered 29 different classes that tied into this global theme, many of which were travel courses. Examples include Islam and Culture, and Chinese Cooking and Culture. This year, 2319 students enrolled in J-Term courses, with many who studied abroad, participated in internships, student taught or studied at other domestic institutions. I got very jealous when I read e-mails from my roommates who were studying in warm, sunny Australia. J-Term themes for the coming years include “Service-Learning” (2003) and “Undergraduate Research.” (2004).
Gustie winter sports teams are having a great year, as all are near the top in the MIAC.
Gustie music ensembles just returned from their tours. The Gustavus Band embarked on an international tour this J-Term. The band toured Sweden and Norway, presenting “Music from America.” The tour dates were January 16 through February 10. The tour concluded with a homecoming performance on Feb. 10 in Christ Chapel. The Gustavus Choir toured the Midwest during Touring Week in February, concluding with their home concert Feb. 16 in Christ Chapel. The Gustavus Orchestra toured Minnesota, the Dakotas, Colorado, Kansas and Iowa. The orchestra concluded their tour with a home performance Feb. 17 in Christ Chapel.
The Alumni Association is on the road this winter and spring connecting alumni to each other and the College. Director of the Linnaeus Arboretum and Instructor of Environmental Studies, Jim Gilbert ’62, will travel along to provide an interesting and informative program. Complete information is listed on our web site under events. If you need more information, give us a call at 800-487-8437.
March 7 San Diego Chapter event
Dinner hosted by John and Paula Penrod ’79, ’79
March 8 Tucson Chapter gathering
Dinner - Warren and Donna (Gabbert) Beck ’67, ’66 residence
March 9 Phoenix Chapter gathering
Dinner at Pera Club, Tempe
March 10 Sun City Chapter gathering
Dinner at Bella Vista Restaurant, Peoria
April 5 Bay Area Chapter event
April 6 Seattle Chapter event – Luncheon at Buca di Beppo Restaurant
April 7 Denver Chapter event
More information will be sent to alumni and friends in these chapter areas.
RSVP to Alumni Office at 800-487-8437 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
As I prepare to graduate in June, I find it increasingly hard to think about leaving this place. It hardly seems possible that four years have flown by, and that in six months I, too, will be considered an alum. I will always carry with me fond memories of my four years here. GO GUSTIES!!!