Class of '62
I will begin this letter by sounding a clarion call for a Judy replacement: a willing (and preferably unsuspecting) classmate who has not yet exhausted every proper adjective, transitive and intransitive verb, and worn platitude in his or her word stock, and who also has the patience to extract a juicy slice of life from a one-liner response card. It will also be useful for him or her to understand what may cause the readers to nod off. I am an enthusiastic grandparent, but I have found that more than two sentences on that subject will bore the booties off even the best of friends.
I believe we need some new blood, from a donor who can bring a fresh perspective and a spirited voice to our class letter. Being a member of our volunteer team will always be important to me, but when several letters back I started yawning before I reached the fourth paragraph, I knew it was time to bring in someone from the bench.
Jan Eiffert Hoomani is a great partner in this engaging adventure of bringing you all together again, if only in a letter. It’s not hard work to enumerate all of the wonders of being a Gustie grad, and it’s gratifying to strengthen the everlasting bonds of friendship, faith, and fun that define our class of 1962.
I suggested to Jan the idea of enlisting Joan Eckberg as the new and improved Class Agent. In the distant past she was able to convince me to attempt and achieve things that I would never have had the courage or confidence to try, so I know she would easily convince you that supporting our alma mater is a top priority in a well-lived life. Since Joan has not yet been made privy to the plan, she may balk at first, but if she receives a stirring vote of confidence, she just may accept the call. Many of you remember the letters she wrote in the sixties. They were innovative, to say the least, and hilarious, to say the most.
Now for news from the super-duper classmates who took the time to email me and give me the lowdown on their lives, loves and passions.
David Johnson is in his last full year of work before retiring as senior pastor of downtown Trinity Lutheran Church in Lancaster, PA, though he hadn’t announced it when I received his email. He thinks it’s about time, but I doubt the congregation would agree, as they celebrate the 275th anniversary of founding! The church will be hosting the presiding Bishop of the ELCA in November as a last hurrah of special events. He said that he and Mary Ann have three kids (isn’t it lovely that no matter how old we are, our 30 and 40-year-old children are still “kids”) and are the proud grandparents of five, grandsons, scattered in Washington, D.C., Atlanta, and Minneapolis. He laments that they need more time to enjoy them, as do we all!
Pete and Judy (Anderson ’63) Lindell have inoculated themselves against bad weather by summering in Apple Valley and Bayfield, WI, and visiting his brother Tom ’63 and his wife, Marilyn, in Tucson in February. Pete likes to kid them about MN winters vs. AZ summers. As they swelter out there in July and August with temps running over 100 degrees on most days, Pete evokes the old canard: “We know it’s nice anyway, because it’s a ‘dry’ heat.” He and Judy are biking the KATY Trail across MO in September with several couples, then relaxing at B&Bs and enjoying the German wine country and the Missouri River bluffs.
Mark and Patti Skoog’s children have all been pastured out, so they are free to travel with the abandon of newlyweds. In May they went to Ireland, and this October are going on a River Cruise from the Black Sea to the North Sea, traveling on three rivers: the Danube, Main, and Rhine. Their floating hotel will make stops at many Eastern and then Western European towns. They just returned from visiting their three daughters, two sons-in-law, and two granddaughters out East (North Carolina and Pittsburgh.) Mark’s sentiments mirror mine in that he envies friends who have their families close to them. And who could disagree with him when he states, “We do have some wonderful classmates in our year of 1962. I treasure the memories I have of my time at Gustavus”.
Steve and Oronah Hanson just returned in mid May from a two-week Outreach program with 32 Gideons from 10 countries, along with the local Gideons in two large cities. They distributed nearly 400,000 Testaments in over 1,000 schools, universities, prisons, shelters, hospitals, and hotels in 100 degree 100% humidity in Ghana, West Africa. How many of you remember our classmate Stephen Dwimoh? Steve couldn’t locate him, but remembers how passionately he spoke of his country. And the glory of it is that Steve found his words were all true! The people were warm, hospitable and respectful toward women.
I wonder, Steve, how many of us would be warm and hospitable if our average annual income was $400. I get cranky when I can’t afford a designer dress for the holiday parties.
Steve recounts how the school children would come running, some in tears, saying, “You came all the way from America with a free Testament for us?” (In some U.S. areas they get spit upon and cursed.) The headmasters said: “You’re an answer to our prayers, as we have no textbooks!” Even the Moslem kids accepted them at great personal cost. Some of the children either were seated 3-4 to a desk, or had no desks or shoes. I think some Americans are being stifled by their over abundance.”
Thanks for reminding us, Steve, of how fortunate we are, and how grateful we are for people like you and Oronah, the Blessed Ambassadors, who represent not the bad and ugly, but the Good American.
Jerry Springston did what I never thought he could do – retire. On June 30, 2005 he stepped down after forty years in the ministry, nearly half of that at the First Baptist Church of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Saying that, he contradicts himself by telling us that he is now working with American Baptist Churches’ Interim Ministries (four days a week) assisting special needs congregations. Until further notice, which most likely will be a year or two, he and Terri are living in Blue Hill, Maine, working with a small congregation located in the midst of an art colony on the rocky coast of Maine. The “away” population is mostly yuppies and aging hippies, while the membership of the congregation is almost exclusively blue collar “Mainers.” Getting the two groups together may prove to be a challenge, so he would like us to keep the beautiful people of Blue Hill in our prayers.
Beautiful People of Blue Hill sounds like a great title for a book, Jerry, especially when you describe the setting and weather as gorgeous. Add to that abundant lobsters and blueberries and you have a recipe for bliss. He and Terri have been to Canada twice in as many weeks and took the CAT (catamaran) to Nova Scotia, staying on the Bay of Fundy. They also drove to Campobello Island, New Brunswick, which is the home of Roosevelt Campobello International Park where the Roosevelt family summered while F.D.R. was growing up. The mansion is open to the public and has been restored to identical condition as it was in the early 1900s. Jerry, you are making us all want to hop a plane, train or bus and visit the area you now call home. His only complaint is that his one and only granddaughter, six-month old Riley (her mother is Shannon Springston Rosati, GAC ’94) lives in Plymouth, MN, 1,300 miles away.
Terry Skone is currently in Minnesota for the summer (such as it is) but he does go to Marco Island, FL, once a month. His enviable schedule is usually about eight months in Florida and four months in Minnesota, but when he wasn’t either place he could have been found on a two-week Danube River cruise in Europe and a six-day fishing trip in Alaska, all since May 20th, 2005.
Several years ago he was approached by a group of friends in Florida to help them start a new bank on Marco Island and, of course, he said yes. (I know what I would say if someone asked me to help them start a bank; “ I’ll have to rob one first in order to secure the financing.”) The bank has been open about two years and is doing very well. Terry serves on several committees as well as the Bank Board and Holding Company Board and admits, “Guess I can not get it out of my blood.”
Sandy Hendrickson Walls informed me that she and Vail Peterson Parsons are trying to contact all thirteen nurses from their class in anticipation of the All-Nursing Reunion in October. Sandy has been living in Michigan since 1973 and in Grand Rapids since 1978. After leaving Minnesota in 1963 she moved to Colorado where she worked for health departments in Denver and Colorado Springs. She and her hubby moved to Tempe, AZ, in 1971, where she received her Master’s degree in Family/Child Nursing at Arizona State University, then two years later moved to Michigan. (Couldn’t take the “dry heat,” huh?)
Since 1982 she has been the director of nursing at the Kent County Health Department, where she is responsible for programs serving at risk families, moms, babies and older children. She says they also provide health services to refugees entering the community, which makes me wonder if Hurricane Katrina has rained down more refugees on them. Sandy has enjoyed her career so much that she hasn’t yet decided when or if to retire. But when she does decide, she will not be idle, since her two sons have provided her with five grandchildren to baby-sit and spoil royally.
Next, a few words from my TARGET: Joan Eckberg, who says, “It has been an interesting re-entry to this society. I have found that I am my own best company. Two years of being with myself in a very different and beautiful society has taught me more than I ever learned in our society―at least at a spiritual and deeper feeling way of being.” Joan, it sounds to me like what you have gained in wisdom and spirituality you could pass on to the rest of us.
Al Henderson considers himself very fortunate in many ways. Like many of our classmates, his life is centered on friends and family (they have two granddaughters) as well as travel. His daughter, Emily ’99, who graduated from Gustavus, is teaching in San Diego County, and despite the miles between them they get together fairly often. Their son, Eric, lives in Minnesota in what was Al’s mother’s home in Moose Lake. He, like I, am lucky to have a mother still around to “mother.” His mom is 99-years-old and living in a nursing home. Al plans to retire next year and split his time between Minnesota and California. As a noted financial advisor, I’m sure he has all his ducks in a row and will live in fiscal comfort ever after.
Carolann Belmont Minor sent me an email that could only come from a fellow Gustie. She said “Giving to Gustavus is a joy, since the education received was fantastic, but just as important were the life experiences shared. Gustavus truly imparted values and taught us to have strong ethics.” What better endorsement for our college can you ask?
Carolann definitely made use of her education, becoming a true entrepreneur. She is now director of talent for SwapThing, a start-up company founded by her daughter, Jessica. The concept is to make swapping simple. The platform enables swapping of collectibles, services and second-hand goods, solving the lack of an online community for exchange between consumers, retailers and service providers. It also has a non-profit arm that allows non-profits to list donations they are seeking and SwapThing users to donate goods, cash, services or volunteer hours to the non-profits at no cost to either the non-profit or the donor. Donors receive a tax receipt for their donations. Carolann does all the Human Resources tasks, including policies like Standards of Business Conduct, emphasizing ethics in all phases of the business. (Business ethics! Some cynics would consider that an oxymoron.) Since launching in January, SwapThing has grown exponentially to over three million items listed and over 11,000 registered users. SwapThing will be making a big drive in the next several weeks for the second wave of giving for Hurricane Katrina victims. How’s that for a Gustie education working miracles. Take a look for yourself at: swapthing.com.
As a Fox News fan, I appreciate the fair and balanced approach, so I was delighted to see in the Gustavus Quarterly that one of the “fairer” newspersons is a gorgeous blond gal named Gretchen Carlson, daughter of Lee ’56 and Karen (Hyllengren ’61) Carlson. Which led me to wonder, where is our own Gretchen Carlson? If anyone is in contact with her, please tell her we would love to hear anything she would like to tell us about her life after GAC.
Thanks to the aforementioned classmates for making my job so easy by providing details. Now, on to the one-liners, who should be praised for contributing and supporting our school. I choose to consider it a compliment that they believe I am up to the challenge of reading between the lines. Um, I mean, between the line.
Marcia Grann O’Brien is editor of the Narragansett Times. I have never known a real newspaperwoman, except maybe for Katherine Hepburn. We’d love to get the inside scoop, Marcia.
Barbara Johnson Schmidt can be let off the hook for her one-liner, since she tells us quite a lot in few words: she is studying Hula Dancing, and in Arizona, at that, so I guess she can function very nicely in the “dry heat.”
Carol Harvey Schutte continues to do lymphatic therapy at the Reno Alternative Health Care Center, but took some time off to go to Spain in March. Her daughter, Sharon, and her family joined them in Marbella.
In September Linda Johnson Blanding and Audrey Kylander Kramer discovered Marlborough Country and “plein air” art on a Dude Ranch in Wyoming. They also discovered temperatures 30 degrees colder than advertised. So they bundled up in every layer of clothing they had in their luggage and took comfort from the only heat source in their cabin: a wood-burning pot bellied stove, which gave up the ghost about midnight. Linda said they soon discovered they were the kindergarteners enrolled in high school, as their fellow artists were accomplished in oils and had years of experience. Even though they were self-deemed artistic “frauds” they found their fellow painters to be adventurous, fun loving and interesting. Another positive was the fantastic scenery. The 7D Ranch was the location for the photography done for the Marlborough ads, so there were wonderful vistas in all directions. (Now this is where I would part company with the dude duo.) As they were riding their horses, they came upon fresh bear tracks, along with fresh bear scat, which kept them on the lookout for the remainder of the ride. Most of their fellow “danger painters,” as their instructor called them, were from Minnesota, which is where Audrey found the dude ranch and the art instructor, Reid Galey. So, if any of you have the urge to play Marlborough men and women, who would rather paint than smoke, you know where to go.
Dr. Dennis Anderson, professor emeritus of history, College of St. Scholastica, is back in Duluth after years in England. He’s not yet certain what retirement means, aside from returning too the UK and Europe as often as possible.
Dianne Skalbeck Thunhorst had a great warm winter in McAllen, Texas, and is now back home digging in her garden. She says their welcome mat is out in “God’s country – Ely,” so come one, come all to visit the Thunhorst’s little slice of heaven.
Curt and Norma (Saari ’63) Johnson are finding out that life in Waconia has been improved by moving to Woodbury. I doubt the community will have the ups and downs of Bolivia and Peru, where they recently visited their daughter, Cathy, and her family. Cathy was a student at GAC and is now an RN at the American Embassy. Her husband works with Third World Projects to improve the lives of the native Bolivians. Curt and Norma also took a side trip to Macchu Pichu, but didn’t mention actually climbing it. I understand it’s one daunting adventure, which not even Joan Eckberg could convince me to undertake.
Lyle and Charlene (Lundahl ’63) Norris are enjoying their second year of retirement. They spent the winter in Arizona, but headed to the YMCA of the Rockies, Estes Park, CO, in May to work again. I’m not sure if this is an annual volunteer effort, so please update us, Lyle. They have a grand total of ten grand grandchildren.
Hap LeVander has a stock tip. He and E. Fred Fischer have been talking about reorganizing Development Associates International and building an airport in St. Peter. I don’t doubt for a moment that those two talented and foresighted men could pull it off. Or maybe they’re just pulling my leg. Hap hangs out regularly at the American-Swedish Institute functions, where he has been known to enjoy an excellent aquavit in the company of Ben Leadholm, Dick Strand ’63, Stephen Benson ’63 and Paul Tillquist ’63.
As for me, I have once again been thwarted by the travel bogeymen. George and I were scheduled to take a Paddleboat cruise in February, leaving from New Orleans. When God sends me travel warnings, He really means it. A missing pair of pants is one thing but a missing city is quite another. Thus, our only trip will be to Yosemite in November. I promise to alert my California friends before our departure, so they can gear up for a possible earthquake.
Until we meet again,
Judy Flom Hill
1962 Co-class Agent
Having just read Judy’s delightful letter, I am wanting to send emails and/or make phone calls to everybody who sent news. It is so much fun to hear about you that I just want to talk with you. Right now it is not possible to do that since I am leaving tomorrow for my daughter’s wedding in San Antonio. I am fortunate in that John and Katie have done all of the planning and arranging so all I have to do is show up and have a good time. Nevertheless, I do have to pack―and get this letter written.
I have been eager to write to you because I have some news, which I consider to be very good news, even exciting news. As we have observed over the years, the Alumni Board has traditionally been a quiet group hosting events, acting as good-will ambassadors and selecting the recipients of the Gustavus Alumni Awards. It has been my pleasure and privilege to serve on a Task Force of the Alumni Board along with four other Board members (Brad Hanson ’76, Jan Ledin Michaletz ’74, Jason Sawyer ’93 and Dan Currell ’94) and ex officio members (Randall Stuckey ’83, Jim Isaak ’86, and Brenda Moore). Each of us contacted two other colleges in the U.S. (being selected as demographically comparable to Gustavus) and learned what their Alumni Boards and Alumni Associations do that they consider to be effective or not so effective. We studied the professional reports of a consultant in the field. The resulting recommendations of the Task Force were placed before the entire Alumni Board at the September meeting and were approved.
The final outcome is that your Alumni Board will be more active and more communicative. Board members will be required to take a more active role in leadership of the Alumni Association. Board members will be assisting class agents in their job of regular communication and in organizing for reunions. Board members will work actively to engage alumni in the life of the College―visiting campus, recruiting or recommending good students for admission, keeping current with Gustavus, AND getting together just for fun where ever and when ever possible.
The Alumni Board will have four standing committees: Engagement, Alumni Giving, Recognition, Nominating. And guess which one is the largest and will be expected to do A LOT?? ENGAGEMENT!!
It has already begun. September 10, 2005, was Volunteer Leadership Day (replacing Class Agents meeting day). This day brought together Alumni Board members and Class Agents to share experience, expertise, ideas and support. In addition to class agents, committee members from upcoming reunion classes were present to begin planning their reunions. (Ours is coming up. Start thinking about it!) I was absolutely blown away to hear these groups plan what THEY want for their reunion. Each age group had different desires; for example, the people who have little kids and need a sitter were not interested in a two-day event while some of the older classes wanted to be on campus for two whole days. It is exciting to think about what our class will do.
Please contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org or 919-556-6162) and let me know your desires and ideas for our reunion in 2007. WE will have the opportunity to plan the kind of event we want, where we want it and what we want. I want to hear from you!
The "new" Alumni Board will be working smarter by having committee meetings outside regular Board meetings. With this new procedure, we hope to get people who are not on the Board to become involved with Board committees and task forces. I hope you will not be shy―or lazy! Let the Alumni Office or me know what you want to do. There is a lot of energy, experience and expertise in our great class that can be put to use in bringing us together and in strengthening our dear old GAC.
It has been so much fun serving on the Board and I am so delighted that the Alumni Board will be, as President Peterson encourages, LOUDER AND PROUDER, and will be taking a more active role in leadership and in bringing Gusties together. I hope that all of us will be in touch more often―not just at reunions―but in touch in person and by word of mouth.
I couldn’t believe my eyes when I read that Jerry Springston was in Blue Hill, ME, and Campobello. Hank and I were there this summer and loved it! Jerry, did you go to Haystack? We visited this world-famous school for artists and craftsmen/women and were totally captivated. And it was a pleasure to visit Joan (Rahm) and Bob Roy on Deer Isle. Such fun we had in Maine!
Saw Al Henderson, Jim Gilbert, Karen Koehn Anderson and Gwen Westman Nesburg at the Nobel Conference and enjoyed chatting with each of them. Before Nobel, Hank and I played golf with Ben and Ruth (Johnson) Leadholm and, of course, we saw Swannie and Sam in St Peter. Did you know that Owen Sammelson ’58 is retiring from his position of vice president at Gustavus? There is nobody who knows (and remembers!) facts, details, figures, history and events at Gustavus better than Owen Sammelson. I am sure he will truly be missed on campus.
Hap and Fred, I think I will pass on the opportunity to invest in an airport in St Peter. I think I will make a more secure investment, the Class of ’62 Scholarship!
Love and best wishes,
Jan Eiffert Hoomani
1962 Co-class Agent
Now for some news from the campus:
A New Year Begins
The 144th academic year began September 7 with 2,600 students and approximately 710 new students, the largest enrollment and new class in college history. Some changes in the general education curriculum will also be implemented this year, including a foreign language requirement for graduation.
Evelyn Sponberg Young, one of Gustavus’ best ambassadors of goodwill, hospitality and spirit, and friend of many, many Gusties through the years, died at her home on September 29, at the age of 93. Evelyn graduated from Gustavus in 1933 and taught English in several schools in southern Minnesota. She returned to campus in 1949 as director of the College's dining service, serving the College 32 years until her retirement in 1981. A memorial service will be held at Gustavus Adolphus College, Thursday, December 8, 2:00 p.m., followed by a reception in the Evelyn Young Dining Room.
Wind Orchestra Tour
Join Gustavus alumni and parents on a companion tour with the Gustavus Wind Orchestra to Eastern Europe January 17-27, 2006. The trip includes visits to the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, and Austria and will be hosted by Tom Emmert, professor of history, and Jon and Anita (Thomsen) Young ’77 ’77.
Announcing the Gustavus 2006 Alumni Fund Campaign
“When you get your invitation in the mail or receive a call from a Gustie student or classmate, commit to making your gift to the Alumni Fund this year,” encourages Jan Michaletz ’74, alumni board member, class agent, and 2006 Alumni Fund Chair. The Michaletz family―Russ ’74, Mara ’02, Annie ’05, and John ’08―have agreed to chair this year’s alumni fund drive. The 2006 Alumni Fund goals are to achieve 9,000 donors and $1,185,000 dollars in alumni giving. The 2006 fiscal year began June 1, 2005 and ends May 31, 2006. Gifts to the Alumni Fund will immediately support current Gusties in the classroom, in labs, on the playing field, in the library, and more. Tuition does not cover the real cost of educating students today, nor did it when you were a student at Gustavus. Since its inception in 1954, the goal of the Alumni Fund has been to help keep the Gustavus educational experience accessible for current students. Give the gift of Gustavus to a current Gustie by making your Alumni Fund gift this year.
The 2004-2005 Honor Roll of Donors is now available online at: gustavus.edu/giving/honorroll. The Honor Roll of Donors recognizes those who have made gifts to Gustavus between June 1, 2004 and May 31, 2005. To find your name or to check out your class results, point and click from your home or office computer. To have your name included in the 2005-2006 Honor Roll of Donors, go to https://secure.gac.edu/giving/giving.cfm to make a gift online.
The College’s 41st Nobel Conference, The Legacy of Einstein, was held September 27-28. The panel consisted of scientists in the areas of statistical physics, relativity, cosmology, and unified theories, who discussed current work in the areas of Einstein’s greatest contributions. In addition, a historian of science explored the impact that Einstein’s discoveries and his social and political views have had on science and humanity. Also, a play, Clockworks: Einstein Time, was premiered, the Physics Force group performed, and a symphony orchestra concert celebrated Einstein through music.
In partnership with Publishing Concepts (PCI), a comprehensive alumni directory is being produced and will be released in 2006. PCI will be contacting alumni to get current information.
First Frost * A Royal Affair
Since 1977 Gustavus Library Associates has helped raise funds for the endowment of Folke Bernadotte Memorial Library located at Gustavus. Over 1,000 guests will attend First Frost * A Royal Affair, the biennial gala dinner/auction benefit at the Sheraton Hotel in Bloomington on Saturday, October 29. This year Evelyn Young ’33, a long-time GLA supporter, is being honored. The program will feature tenor Mark Thomsen ’78 and will be hosted by former Miss America Gretchen Carlson and physician and Gustavus parent John Najarian. Contact the Office of Public Relations at 800/726-6198.
Athletics Hall of Fame
On Saturday, September 24, Gustavus inducted the following people into the Athletics Hall of Fame: Holly Brodmarkle Cervin ’87, track and field; Marc Illies ’85, baseball and football; Marc Iverson ’89, football; Gretchen Koehler, coach; soccer; Rich Skanse ’84, tennis; and Dick Walters ’75, hockey. Jay Rooker ’85 and Mary Mansour ’85, softball, have also been selected but will be inducted Fall 2006.
Whether it’s planning for brand new buildings or renovating old ones, the Gustavus campus is always changing. A new web site has been designed to keep you updated on the changes taking place on campus. Check it out at: http://gustavus.edu/campusprogress/
Upcoming Alumni Events
- Black Student Organization/Pan Afrikan Student Organization Reunion — October 14 – 15
- Washington, D.C. Gustavus gathering — October 23
- A Royal Affair * First Frost — October 29
- Christmas in Christ Chapel ― December 2-4
- St. Lucia Day ― December 8
- Wind Orchestra Companion Tour to Eastern Europe — January 17-27