Class of '62
June 2010

Rounded Rectangle: Class Letter Guest Writers1.

As you may have noticed, the first article in the class letter is usually written by a classmate, sometimes someone who hasn’t been in touch recently.  The feedback from readers on the “guest writers” has been very favorable.  For this letter I asked Rolf Nelson to write.

My motivation to ask Rolf grew out of my knowledge of his practice of “elder law” as well as my conviction that all of us must have a will and trust.  I feel concern as I hear people our age saying, “I don’t have enough money to hire an attorney to write a will.  I don’t have an estate.”  And so, in my loving concern for the well-being of each of us, I asked Rolf to share some of his expertise.  Rolf has been an attorney in “elder law” for so many years that I felt he would be well-equipped to tell us about wills and trusts.  This is most definitely not an attempt to steer business in Rolf’s direction.  His practice is alive and well and he does not need to solicit business.  He does, however, have years of experience in dealing with and helping “elders” to prepare well for legal issues in life and death. 

I would love, of course, for each and every one of us to include Gustavus in our wills – the Gustavus Fund, Class ’62 Scholarship, an endowed chair, athletic facilities, library, whatever holds your interest and your allegiance.  Or you may simply name Gustavus with an unrestricted gift.  Another of  the attorneys in our class, Hap LeVander, has often told me that if everyone in our class left as little as 3% of his/her estate to Gustavus, the college would receive great benefit and no spouse, child or grandchild would suffer any loss.

When Rolf agreed to write I had no idea that we would become the beneficiaries of outstanding legal guidance – pro bono!  His information, because there is so much, is included separately at the end of this letter.

Thank you so much, Rolf!  To show our gratitude, Rolf, we are including in this letter a few really bad attorney jokes.  Thanks again, Rolf!  Good deeds do not go unrewarded…….

Rounded Rectangle: Personal News

Do you know that there are some people who do not read every page, every word of this literary journalistic masterpiece known as your Class Letter?!?!!!  The heartbreaking realization has come to me that there are some people who don’t read one single word of it.  Ah, “…the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune….”  Alas.  Woe be unto me.

But hark!  I heareth in yon distant email some voices that do console my languishing heart.  Who cometh?  Ah, it is fair maiden Linda and her cherished lady of long true friendship, Audrey.

What sayeth you, Linda?  “Hi Jan, You do a wonderful job with the newsletter!  Not only do you write well, but you’ve rounded up other voices to contribute interesting bits.  Thanks for the time and effort you put into it.”

And what sayeth you, Audrey?  “I want to quickly congratulate you on another amazingly interesting newsletter…  We thank you so much for keeping our ‘bonding-together’ going!  What interesting things everyone is doing in their retired years.  Wes’s piece was just fascinating and what joy in living he has created for himself─keeping all his muscles working to their fullest with such in-depth bicycling about the planet.”

Now to spare our literature scholars─and non-scholars─who are groaning and writhing in pain, let me attempt to relieve your pain with a little levity from Linda Johnson Blanding.

Government surveyors came to Ole’s farm in the fall and asked if they could do some surveying.  Ole agreed and Lena even served them a nice meal at noon time.

After their surveying was completed, they came back to Ole and said, “You were so kind to us, we wanted to give you this bad news in person instead of by letter.”

Ole replied, “What’s the bad news?”

The surveyors stated, “Well, after our work we discovered your farm is not in Minnesota, but it is actually in North Dakota!”

Ole said, “That’s the best news I’ve heard in a long time.  I was just telling Lena this morning that I don’t think I can take another winter in Minnesota.”

We have a photo of a Gustie gathering in Caracas, Venezuela, courtesy of Jan Helgeson Olson.  (Jan is another of those people of whom I am sincerely appreciative; she sends me news─ frequently.)  And though she admits to being a “pack rat,” I would never use that term on her.  No doubt, at our 50th reunion we will all be glad that Jan has saved so many treasures.  (Remember the picture in the most recent letter of Jan’s grandson in her freshman beanie?)

Text Box:In the last class letter (March 2010) the report was that Jan and her husband were en route to visit her Experiment in Living family in Chile and to see their son, Rolf ’93 and his family in Caracas, Venezuela.  In Jan’s most recent email she reports that they had a “fabulous month-long trip.”  “We had wonderful adventures in Venezuela with our Gustie son and his family even meeting another Gustie couple, 2003 grads.  Brian Beckmann ’04 works with Rolf at the embassy.”

Jan continues, “And yes, we did get to Chile for a superb, memorable visit.  Felt one tremor which was exciting probably because it lasted just a short time.  We weren’t in areas to see physical damage but there has been a major impact on the feeling of well being.  My Experiment family went out of their way to welcome us and give us many, many special moments.”

Jan says that they are going to visit their other son who is in Austin, Texas.  They have been enjoying lovely spring days at home in Richmond, Virginia.

The Roys (Joan Rahm and Bob), the Hills (Judy Flom and George) gathered April 5 at the Blandings for a very elegant birthday dinner party for Dick Blanding.  (They sent me pictures.)  I was jealous because I could not be there to celebrate with them, especially since Dick and I share a birthday.  Since I don’t know Dick’s age, I cannot say whether we were born the same day and YEAR.

Mark Skoog and his wife, Patty, went to Baltimore for Easter to see their granddaughter, Lauren, and Lauren’s parents who are Mark’s daughter, Karna and her husband, David, and Kaia who flew in from California (twin sister of Karna).  Mark was delighted to be with two of his three daughters and sons-in-law AND GRANDDAUGHTER LAUREN.  Mark also mentioned that he would spread the word about the date of Gustavus Homecoming 2012.  It is October 13.  MARK YOUR CALENDAR!!!!!  Oops, SORRY ABOUT THE PUN.  Better say, PUT IT ON YOUR CALENDAR!

I enjoy receiving emails from my freshman roommate, Joan Henes Chesley, who lives in La Cañada, California.  Recently Joan wrote, “Bob Croonquist and Steve Hanson were in my high school class at Southwest.  Jan, I found my old diary that I kept during high school and part of our freshman year at Gustavus.  I would never have remembered that we ‘double dated’ a couple of times the last two weeks of school.”  Joan often asks about her high school friend, Sally, who is now my friend through church.  Small world…  Joanie also remembers working at summer camp with Roz Johnson Anderson.

Class agent, Ben Leadholm reports that he and Ruthie (Johnson) went to Mexico twice and skiing twice this winter and that recently Ruth went on her annual docent trip.  Ruth is a docent at the Minneapolis Institute of Art and she and several of her docent colleagues go on an annual museum trip.  This year the trip was to Chicago.  Each year they go to a different city to explore museums, see plays, take architectural tours, etc.  Ben goes on to say, “The pace seems too exhausting to me; I’m more of a sidewalk café wine sipper.  In May I’ll do a road trip with my St. Peter sister, Sara ’72, to visit our San Leandro sister, Mary, in California.  We’re commemorating the first anniversary of the premature death of Mary’s husband, Ron, who died of bladder cancer.  We traveled a lot with them through the years (foreign and domestic).  Otherwise summer is shaping up as the usual golfing, gardening (and lawn mowing) adventure.”

One entire page in the Minnesota Valley Business magazine was about Doug Anderson─ including photo!  For most of us Doug has been remembered as the “motel guy in Mankato” and has provided lodging and party space for us at reunion time.  Doug can indeed be recognized as much more than “the motel guy.”  Among his accomplishments cited were Owns the Best Western, which he opened as a Holiday Inn in North Mankato in 1969; Owns the City Center Hotel, formerly the Holiday Inn Downtown; Built  the new Holiday Inn Express on Mankato’s hilltop; This month is being inducted into Minnesota Lodging Association Hall of Fame.  CONGRATULATIONS, DOUG ANDERSON!

Jim Holm!  Jim Holm, are you out there?  Please send me an email.  (  I know you have been at the guys’ gatherings.  I am interested in knowing if you place yourself in the class of ’62.  You were with us for three years.  Did you leave and return to graduate with another class?  We consider you one of the Class ’62; do you also?

The Alumni Office received an email from Evelyn Bonander ’59.  Her brother Alan Bonander was at Gustavus with us our freshman year.  Perhaps some of you knew him.  Evelyn wrote, “Alan attended GAC his freshman year, then joined the army─much to our surprise.  Later he completed his education at the University of Minnesota.  In his late 30s he was diagnosed with young-onset Parkinson’s disease─much like Michael Fox.  He used his computer skills (that was his education and work) to develop computer based support networks which over the years extended around the world.  He was also the first in the U.S. to go to Sweden for experimental brain surgery and then developed a computer-based method for getting his medicine injected more regularly.  Fortunately his company let him work from home for several years and he continued to actively engage in all sorts of efforts within the Parkinson community.  He died in 1996 at age 56.  Shortly thereafter the Parkinson Unity Walk (a large collaborative fund raising campaign) named an award given annually….  For the past several years one of his sons, Ross, presents the award.”  You may look on line to learn more about the Bonander Award.

Jim Peters is a retired pastor.  He served at Emmanuel Lutheran Church.  He and Elaine live in Racine, Wisconsin.  Sam Forsythe has retired.  He and Phyllis live in Alton Bay, New Hampshire.  Denny Rodning has retired from Richfield schools and Jan (Spilseth ’63) is a retired dental hygienist.  Carol Harvey Shutte is a lymphatic therapist in Reno, Nevada.  Karen Koehn Anderson has a granddaughter, Eliza, who was born September 5, 2009.  Eliza is the daughter of Karen’s son, Nathan ’95.  Nan Forsman Buchanan lives in Youngstown, Ohio.  She is a freelance photographer.  Some time ago you read about her in the Quarterly; she received an award for a bracelet accepted into the YWCA women’s art show in Youngstown, Ohio.  Karen Stennes Osmundson lives in Longville, MN and has retired from medical social work at Mayo.  In case you missed her in the last Quarterly, below is reprinted the article and picture of Karen and her girls as they honored their husband/father, John Osmundson.pic

Now, look back at that paragraph.  I think it is simply awful that all I have to tell you about these people is one little snippet of information.  I would like to hear from all of YOU! or 919-556-6162 or 2537 Carriage Oaks Drive, Raleigh, NC  27614.

Thanks to Reporter Audrey Kylander Kramer I can tell you a little more about Sandy Berge Bearson.  Audrey called Sandy to check on her new grandchild.  “Sure enough, Joshua Bearson arrived as scheduled on March (the 14th to be exact), making Sandy a grandmother for the second time.  (First-born is Ben Bearson, 3 yrs.)  ‘Josh’ and Ben are born to Darren Bearson, Sandy’s son, and his wife Sonja, who live in Plymouth, MN.  Sandy’s daughter, Sheryl Bearson Hartzel ’92 lives in Locust Grove, VA, with her husband Brent Hartzel ’91.  They met at Woodale Church in Edina after graduating from Gustavus.

“Sandy has been a second grade teacher for some years, and is now retired and living at Ridgepoint Senior Housing, an independent living community in Minnetonka not far from Ridgedale Shopping Center.  Back in 2003 Sandy was diagnosed with Huntington’s Condition which affects the nervous system and body movement.  Sandy is happy living at Ridgepoint, enjoys the many activities there, and sees her son’s family every Sunday when they come to get her to take her to their home.”

Also in Audrey’s report is news of JoAnn Olson Ree.  “Joanne went into nursing after beginning Gustavus with our class.  Joanne spent her years of employment as a school nurse with the Orono School District and is now retired and living in Maple Plain.”

And now─about Audrey:  Aud describes her trip to Williamsburg as “joyous.”  She was with her brother, Bill, and his wife, Bia, and Audrey’s cousin, Margaret, from California.  They toured Jamestown excavations and Williamsburg colonial sites.  They also went to Washington, DC where they went to The National Gallery, the Natural History Museum and the Air and Space Museum.  Audrey says she saw the exterior of the Indian Museum with the Minnesota sandstone.  “In addition to the gorgeous weeping cherry blossoms, the best event was seeing the 3D movie of the Hubble Telescope Space Station repair mission.  It was as if they were right there suspended in space with long tools.  The amazing thing is that the mission was successful and now pictures of outer space come to Earth with greatly improved definition….”

Just this minute an email came in from Lynn Rosendahl Johnson.  “Hi Jan, I thought I would forward my message to you that I sent to Aud because I want to include you in my thanks for all the connections you keep through being our Class Agent.”  And her message to Audrey:  “Remember a comedy sketch from the ’50s and ’60s called ‘Man on the Street’ –the equivalent of what Leno does when he goes out on the streets of LA─fifties style.  Well, I’m dubbing you the ‘Woman on the Street’ or ‘Woman About Town’ sniffing out Gustie stories and Gustie sightings.  Hooray! for all your efforts to keep the connections.”  Well said, Lynn.  I add my less creative thanks to Audrey for being the “ace reporter” of the Great Centennial Class of 1962!

Sharon (Maurer) and Gordy Edberg had a pleasant trip to Hawaii.  Back home on Whitby Island their son and his girlfriend have stopped in to visit.  Prior to that, their grandson came for a couple of days to celebrate his “4” birthday with “Nanapapa.”  (Smart boy; he seems to know where the birthday cake and the gifts are the best!)  Also from Sharon, “I got a recent email from Diane Kolander Loomer; she is on the mend.  We are going to hear one of her concerts on June 28th in Vancouver and I think we’ll be able to have lunch with her, their son and granddaughter.”

Sandy Luedtke Buendorf reports that “The Class of ’62 was very well represented at the Gustavus Association of Congregations convention on campus April 17.  It was my pleasure to talk with Jan (Swanson) and Kermit Swanson, Kay Estesen Mowbray (Dale), Anne Peterson Sorensen, Al Henderson, Ben and Ruth Leadholm, Dick and Judy Samuelson Hane and Pete Lindell.  If others of our class attended, please let us know.  It is good to see so many of our classmates involved in the activities at Gustavus.”

~Jan Eiffert Hoomani

Few Thoughts About Israel/Palestine

One of my lifelong dreams was to be in pilgrimage to the Holy Land for the Easter season and this year it was possible!  Palm Sunday was an incredible experience walking down the Mount of Olives with over 10,000 internationals!  Following Holy Communion Maundy Thursday, we processed from the Old City, across the Kidron Valley, and up to Mount of Olives for worship.  We also shared with a variety of denominations through the Stations of the Cross including members from Our Redeemer Lutheran Church.  Rising about 5 a.m. Easter morning we walked to the Garden Tomb to share in the sunrise service.  What an opportunity!!!  I am so grateful!!!Our pilgrimage, however, was also reminiscent of another pilgrimage.  We visiting the Church of the Dominis Flevit, erected in memory of Christ weeping over Jerusalem and his pain over our many separations from one another.  Whether in Hebron, Bethlehem, Ramallah, or West Bank areas, one is always aware of the miles of walls separating the Palestinians from one another and from their blood brothers.  It is indeed a troubled land for which we will pray.Spending a week in Ibillin, Galilee, was a major thrust of our pilgrimage visiting the school begun by Father Chacour for some 4,000 students.  As Father Chacour once said: “We are here to teach all of God’s children including Muslim, Jewish, and Christian,” with over 250 teachers from all three faiths, many with master’s and doctorate degrees.  We observed some amazing teaching with both students and teachers speaking beautiful English, certainly among those for whom we pray for as we look to the future and the numerous possibilities for peace in the Middle East.Augustana Victoria Hospital, the only hospital available for many Palestinians, as well as the work of the Lutheran World Federation and their housing project for Palestinians are a great source of hope for the future and for reconciliation!!!...and...and...and...there is so much more.  Thanks for reading─and listening!~Dr. Kay Jurgenson

Rounded Rectangle: Congratulations, Marcia Grann – O’Brien!!

In March Louise Rodine-Doucette sent an email saying that there was an article in the Providence Journal about the letter that Marcia Grann-O’Brien had written to Jackie Kennedy.  Just recently I lunched with Sue Schreiber Kear and she brought a copy of the book which included a small number of the thousands of letters that Jackie Kennedy received after the death of her husband, the President.

As is my practice, I sent an email to Marcia (email address obtained from Sue) asking her permission to run in our class letter the article from the Providence Journal.  I did not hear back from Marcia and was afraid she would not reply.  And then came this note, “Sorry I’m so remiss in replying.  Yes, you can certainly reprint the letter.  Also – one of the reasons for my slow response─Friday I was inducted into the Rhode Island Journalism Hall of Fame by the RI Press Association (banquet, speeches, whole deal).  The plaque will hang in the hall at the University of Rhode Island where the J-School is located.  Some of my family from out-of-state were able to come so last week was a tizzy.”

A Letter From The Heart

by Barbara Polichetti,  Journal Staff Writer

(reprinted from the Providence Journal)                        

picThree years before President Kennedy was assassinated, Marcia Grann was attending Gustavus Adolphus College where she was yearbook editor.  (Photo courtesy of Marcia Grann O’Brien.)  After the caisson carrying the flag-covered casket passed.  After the riderless horse pranced its lonely route.  And after a young John F. Kennedy Jr. gave his slain father a final salute, most Americans were left to struggle privately with their grief over the loss of their hopeful president.

Many chose to pour their feelings out in the form of condolences to Jacqueline Kennedy.  They wrote on notebook paper, they typed poems, they sent family photos, Bible verses and more.

Within seven weeks of President Kennedy’s assassination in November 1963, his widow had received more than 800,000 sympathy letters, and the missives kept coming for years, eventually numbering more than 1.5 million

Amid all those correspondences, was a heartfelt letter sent by Warwick native Marcia Grann O’Brien, who at the time was a 21-year-old newlywed teaching English at Long Island Lutheran High School in New York.

Her letter is included in a new book being released today by HarperCollins Publishers and entitled “Letters to Jackie:  Condolences from a Grieving Nation.”


Warwick native Marcia Grann O’Brien received a thank-you note for the letter she penned to Jacqueline Kennedy after President Kennedy’s death.  The book consists of 250 letters compiled by historian and University of New Hampshire professor Ellen Fitzpatrick after she spent months combing through thousands of letters at the JFK Library in Boston.

O’Brien, who now lives in South Kingstown, knew nothing of the book or the fate of her letter until last fall when the publisher called seeking permission to print the sympathy note she had typed more than 40 years ago.

“It’s been so long that I was flabbergasted when I got the call,” said O’Brien who signed the letter under her married name of Marcia Schwen.  “I also feel humbled and honored.”pic

Given the sheer number of letters written, O’Brien said she is amazed that her note, which for a time she even forgot that she had written, survived all these years.  According to Fitzpatrick, the bulk of the condolences — which would have comprised a quarter-mile length of storage boxes — made it impractical to keep them all.  Ultimately, the National Archives destroyed most, keeping all foreign correspondences and about 15,000 letters from Americans.

O’Brien recalled that she became enamored of Kennedy in the summer of 1960 when he was a presidential candidate and she was an exchange student in Guadalajara, Mexico.  Everywhere she went, O’Brien said, shops and businesses proudly displayed religious paintings alongside photos of John F. Kennedy.

Everyone, including a street sweeper, asked who she wanted as her next president and she was too ashamed to admit that she really wasn’t interested in politics.

That all changed when she returned to Gustavus Adolphus College in Minnesota and she began diligently following Kennedy in the news.  Although too young to vote, both she and her roommate braved the cold weather and Republican political climate to campaign for Kennedy, she recalled.pic Marcia Grann O’Brien’s letter to Jacqueline Kennedy in 1963 made it to the National Archives.  She remained a supporter after the election, heartened by the ideals of the Kennedy administration and charmed by the president’s young family.

As a young teacher right out of college, O’Brien said her world changed when she stepped into the lunchroom on a November Friday and heard the cook cry out the news that the president had been shot.  O’Brien walked back to her classroom in silence, too stunned to find words to comfort for herself or her students.

Like millions of Americans she spent Monday, Nov. 25, 1963, watching the black-and-white images of Kennedy’s funeral flicker across the television.  Three days later, on Thanksgiving Day, she wrote her letter to Jackie Kennedy.

“I was grief-stricken,” O’Brien recalled.  “And I think one of the things that compelled me to write was that I had just lost my father, and I felt so much empathy for Mrs. Kennedy and her children.”

Although she always summered in her home state, O’Brien, who became a journalist, did not return to Rhode Island permanently until 1993.  She has been editor of the Warwick Beacon, the Narragansett Times and the Rhode Island Catholic.

In the closing of her letter to Mrs. Kennedy she references a Biblical quote and writes: “To your late husband in death goes our pledge—that we will carry the torch that he lit—and that the world will be lit in his name.  For the watchman did not wake in vain.”

Rounded Rectangle: News from our Scholars

At the end of the year final exams, term projects, spring tours, etc. keep our scholars quite busy.  We have a message from only one of our scholars, Matt Crea ’11, and hope that in the next letter we will hear from more of them.  Darcy Reller ’12 and Nicole Abel ’11, current recipients, and Nicole Blake ’08 and Alex Kestly ’05, former recipients.

Class agent and St. Peter resident, Sandy Luedtke Buendorf, has taken time to go to campus and meet each of our scholars.  She says that each one of our scholars is an amazing young person─all good scholars, well rounded and active in extra-curriculars and simply delightful to get to know.

Saturday evening, May 8, I had a phone call from Ben and Ruth (Johnson) Leadholm who had just returned home from the Heritage Partners Luncheon where they had met and had an opportunity to sit with Darcy Reller.  They were so impressed with her that they just had to call and tell me how much they like her.  Ruthie mentioned that she is in nursing, which is Ruth’s field.  Darcy is preparing to be a public health technician.  Public health is the area of nursing in which Ruth worked for many years.  Darcy sings in the Gustavus Choir.  And she told Ben and Ruth that her family has not been encouraging in her desire to go to college and can give her no financial help.  So she is especially grateful to receive money from the Class ’62 Scholarship.  Another way she works to pay expenses is that she serves in the Air National Guard.

One of our new scholars, Matt Crea, did send us an introductory note.

Hi, My name is Matt Crea.  I am a junior biochemistry and molecular biology major at Gustavus Adolphus College.  I am also a recipient of the Class of 1962 Scholarship, for which I am extremely grateful.  I am looking to go into pharmacy after graduating from Gustavus in the spring of 2011.  On campus I, along with another classmate of mine, founded and serve as president of the Pre-Pharmacy Club on campus.  We founded this club in the fall of 2009 to help bring students interested in pharmacy together once a month to share experience, contacts, and advice.  As of now, the club has around 10-15 members, ranging from seniors to first year students.  It has been really great to see how everyone can learn from each other and help each other figure out how to navigate the often difficult and confusing road that gets one from undergraduate work to being accepted to pharmacy school.  Along with the Pre-Pharmacy Club, I am also employed by campus safety and security, am involved in intramural activities such as soccer and tennis, and am a member of the Gray's fraternity, Nu Upsilon Gamma.I really appreciate the foresight that the Class of 1962 had to create a scholarship for future students.  It has certainly aided me in being able to attend Gustavus, and there is nowhere I would rather be for my undergrad.  In fact, when applying to schools during high school, Gustavus Adolphus was the only college I applied to.  Again thank you for your support, and I hope this brief message gives you some idea of the real students (such as myself) who your scholarship helps support. Best,

Matt Crea ’11

Rounded Rectangle: Attorney:  Now doctor, isn’t it true that when a person dies in his sleep, he doesn’t know about it until the next morning?  Witness:  Did you actually pass the bar exam?

Rounded Rectangle: Reunion News

The year 2012 is the year of our 50th Class Reunion.  It would be most appropriate for the celebration of our 50th year, since graduation, to occur during the traditional Reunion/Commencement weekend festivities.  The Class of 1962 has been invited to join the class of 2012 as participants in the Commencement ceremony as part of our 50th reunion at Gustavus.

The Sesquicentennial at Gustavus will publicly kick-off at Homecoming fall of 2011 with a celebration banquet in Lund Arena on Friday, September 30, 2011 and will close at a banquet in the Evelyn Young Dining Room during Homecoming in October of 2012.  Discussions are underway with the Royal Court of Sweden about the possibility of a visit by Their Majesties’ King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia during the Sesquicentennial year of celebration.  One possibility is in the Spring of 2012 and perhaps for Commencement.  Gustavus will not know for certain about the possibility of a Royal visit for at least a year, but remains hopeful that that such an honor could occur.  Sesquicentennial planning is now going in full force on campus with many, many ideas being considered.  As the year of celebration approaches, you will be well-informed of all the activities for the College and for our class.  Surely it will prove to be a wonderful year to celebrate the history of Gustavus and to look ahead to the future.

Rounded Rectangle: Alumni Board News

The Alumni Board of Directors announced 2010 award recipients:  Greater Gustavus Award to Mark Anderson ’66, vice president and dean of admission; Distinguished Alumni Citations to Carolyn Kruger ’64, Purcellville, VA, maternal and child health specialist, World Vision, in the field of social work, and Patricia Walker ’77, Afton, MN medical director, Center for International Health & International Travel Clinic, Region’s Hospital/Health Partners, St. Paul, in the field of medicine; and First Decade Awards to Christine Torborg ’00, Bethesda, MA, senior research fellow, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, and Brian Smith ’00, Oxford, England, tenure-track faculty position, visiting scientist, Clarendon Laboratory, experimental quantum optics and quantum applications, University of Oxford.  Awards will be presented at the Alumni Banquet, Saturday, May 29, 5 p.m.

Two students have been appointed to the Alumni Board.  Mat Olson ’10 will serve the spring semester as a student representative and begin a three-year term as an alumnus in the fall of 2010.  Megan Myhre ’11 will serve as a student representative through May 2011.

Rounded Rectangle: Gustavus  In The Twenty-First Century


In 1862 by Swedish Lutheran immigrant and Pastor Eric Norelius in Red Wing, Minnesota; moved from Red Wing to East Union in 1863 and to St. Peter in 1876.


First named Minnesota Elementar Schola in 1863 and changed to St. Ansgar’s Academy in 1865

In 1876, named Gustavus Adolphus College to honor Swedish King Gustav II Adolf (1594–1632)

Academic Calendar

4-1-4:  A 4-month fall semester, a 1-month interim in January, and a 4-month spring semester; students typically enroll in 4 courses each semester and 1 in January.

Costs (2009–2010)

Tuition — $31,460

Room and Board — $5,000/$2,900

Fees — $650

Books and Incidentals (estimated) — $1,810

Academic Distinctions

A chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation's oldest scholastic honor society

Host of the Nobel Conference, the first ongoing educational conference of its kind sanctioned by The Nobel Foundation in Stockholm, Sweden

Fulbright, Goldwater, Marshall, National Science Foundation, Rhodes, and Truman fellowship winners

Peace Education Program and the annual MAYDAY! Peace Conference

80 percent 4-year graduation rate

90 percent of underclass students enrolled in the previous fall return for the next fall

Acclaimed Writing Across the Curriculum program

Award-winning community service programs

Strong career development and internship programs

50 percent of graduating seniors study abroad

Individualized majors

Curriculum options:  Curriculum I (distributive core) and Curriculum II (integrated core)

First Term Seminars—Students take a small class to improve critical thinking and college writing skills from a professor-adviser

Numerous student research opportunities, including research, scholarship, and creativity grants available for faculty/student collaboration

Rounded Rectangle: Philip Knautz ’48 Dies

Known as “Mr. K,” he is significantly remembered by most of us as the director of the Gustavus Choir.  This article from the Mankato Free Press is excellent:

Philip Frederick Knautz, Colby, Wisconsin — 1923-2010

Long time Gustavus Adolphus College concert choir director and Associate Professor of Music Philip F. Knautz died on April 26, 2010 at Pine Ridge Assisted Living Center in Colby, Wisconsin.  Visitation and service was at First Lutheran Church, St. Peter, on May 1, with the Reverend Alan Bray officiating.  The Rev. Dennis Johnson gave the sermon for the service and some of our classmates joined others in an alumni choir.

Mr. Knautz was born in Finshafen, New Guinea, on July 12, 1923, to missionaries Fred and Margaret Knautz.  He attended public schools in Fargo, N.D. where he was primarily interested in music and the theater and graduated from Central High School in 1941.  He attended Concordia College in Moorhead, MN until he was called into military service in WW II.  He served with the 45th Infantry Division was wounded and briefly captured.  He later served with the 508th Battalion Military Police.  He received the Combat Infantryman badge, the Purple Heart, Bronze Star and African-Mideast-European campaign medals.

Following his discharge, he enrolled at Gustavus Adolphus College, graduating with a B.A. degree in 1948.  He began graduate study at the University of Colorado, Boulder and received a Master of Music degree from the University of Texas, Austin.  He directed the concert choir and taught music at Texas Lutheran College, Seguine for six years.  In 1954, he accepted a similar position at Gustavus.  He directed the concert choir and taught music courses until 1980 when he became the Director of Fine Arts program until retiring in 1985.  Other activities included chorus director and dean of American Legion Boys State, director of the St. Peter and Mankato area barbershop choruses, performed many roles in community theaters and was soloist for many musical events.  He was a member of the American Legion and V.F.W.

He is survived by wife, Marlys, daughter, Cheri Roberts (Red Wing, MN), son and daughter-in-law Paul and Valerie Knautz (Abbotsford, WI), son Timothy Knautz (Crystal, MN) along with five grandchildren, one great-grandchild and four step-children and spouses.  He was preceded in death by his parents, wife, Ruth, and son-in-law Clayton

Rounded Rectangle: Campus News

2010 Commencement

On Sunday, May 30, 593 seniors became college graduates.  The graduates received their diplomas from the faculty chair in their respective major, a tradition that began in 1973.  Also at the ceremony, Leila Brammer, associate professor of communications studies, was awarded the Edgar M. Carlson Award for Distinguished Teaching.  Mary Cunningham ’10 gave a fantastic senior student speech.

GLA Membership

All of us remember the Folke Bernadotte Memorial Library.  It was a place for study and, depending on your era, finding a “coffee date.”  But, in the 21st century, it has become much more.  It is a technology-rich laboratory for learning and a storehouse of culture and recorded knowledge.  It must constantly be strengthened to ensure excellence in education.  The Gustavus Library Associates (GLA) provides financial support for the library and a program of events to its members.  Join this year and immediately make a difference.  Whatever membership gift level you choose, 100% goes directly to the library’s acquisition budget.  Join today at!!!

Former President Peterson Honored

James L. Peterson ’64, who served as the 15th president of Gustavus Adolphus College from 2003 to 2008, was awarded the Royal Order of the Polar Star at a special, private luncheon Thursday, April 29, on campus.  The honor was bestowed by the Swedish crown in appreciation and recognition of Dr. Peterson’s service to Gustavus and his continued work to foster relationships with individuals and organizations to strengthen ties with Sweden.

Summer in the Garden

A benefit for the Linnaeus Arboretum will be held on Sunday, June 27, from 4 to 7 p.m.  Enjoy a late afternoon in the spectacular setting of Linnaeus Arboretum while sampling wines, cheeses, coffees and desserts, music and other entertainment, a silent auction, tours, and more are planned.  This event is sponsored by the Friends of Linnaeus Arboretum.  Cost is $25 (Friends members receive a 10 percent discount and kids under 12 are free).  Tickets (non-refundable) are available via credit card at; if you do not have access to the Internet call Dana at 507-933-7520.  Tickets can also be purchased the day of the event.

“Come on You Gusties” Breakfast

Once a month, Gusties gather for coffee, breakfast, and great conversation along with a campus speaker.  All Gusties are welcomed and invited to the breakfast, third Wednesday of the month, 8-9:30 a.m. at the Doubletree Hotel, Minneapolis-Park Place, 1500 Park Place Boulevard.  Cost is $10 at the door.  Upcoming speaker, Bob Neuman, office of admission on June 16.

Upcoming Events

June 16 – Gustie Breakfast – Doubletree Hotel

July 6 – Grand Rapids Picnic – Veteran’s Memorial Park

July 22 – Twin Cities Picnic – St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church, Mahtomedi

July 25 – Twin Cities Picnic – Purgatory Creek Recreation Area, Eden Prairie

July 26 – St. Cloud Picnic – Riverside Park Shelter

July 27 – Fargo/Moorhead Picnic – Teresa Harland-Ostby home, Moorhead

July 28 – Robbins Island Park, Willmar

Rounded Rectangle: Attorney:  Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check a pulse?  Witness:  No  Attorney:  Did you check for blood pressure?  Wittness:  No  Attorney:  So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy?  Witness:  No  Attorney:  How can you be so sure, Doctor?  Witness:  Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar.  Attorney:  I see, but could the patient have still been alive, nevertheless?  Witness:  Yes, it is possible that he could have been alive and practicing law.

This “Spring 2010 Class Letter” was written in May and sent to the Alumni Office.  When I spoke with Philly Kauffman, the “saint” who puts these letters into the computer, takes them to the printer and puts up with me, I realized that it was complete nonsense to ask her to work on our class letter when she was in the midst of graduation, reunions and all sorts of people on campus.  So I said, “hault” and our spring letter is now our summer letter.  There is already news stashed in my files for the next letter but this letter is long enough.  Keep on sending in the news and pictures and I’ll try to get a letter out in summer or early fall.

When you are on campus go to the Alumni Office and introduce yourself to Philly and say thanks to her for her work on our class letter.  Or send her an email: