Class of '63
December 2004

Volume 42, Number 1

Dear ’63ers!!!

Time marches on.  Turkey day is now a memory (only 24 hours ago).  “Black Friday” is upon us, but Ruth and I are enjoying a peaceful Friday at home watching the freezing rain make our driveway slick!  It is a good day for a fire and a good book ... after I finish this class letter.  Hope this letter finds you in good health and spirit!


143rd Academic Year Begins

Classes began September 8 with 657 first-year Gustavus students and 2,500 in all.  Long-standing orientation traditions such as the Square Dance and President’s Banquet have been joined by newer traditions like Gustie Greeter Orientation Groups and the Reading in Common program.  These newer programs were created to provide a more meaningful transition and to encourage students to meet others outside their residence hall.  Of course, in this enlightened day, green beanies and such commands as “Double Button, Frosh” would not be appropriate!!!!

Construction Projects

Work crews have been busy this summer and fall constructing a new residence hall on campus.  The goal is to have the building enclosed before winter.  The building, located southwest of the football field will house 200 students in suites and apartments and is scheduled to open for fall 2005.  Renovation of Old Main will begin in January.  A waterfall was also constructed in the Arboretum as a gift from some alums. I haven’t seen it yet, but am told that it is a wonderful addition to the beauty of the Arboretum.

Athletic Hall of Fame

The Gustavus Adolphus College Athletics Department chose eight individuals for induction into the Athletic Hall of Fame.  The 2004 inductees included Lori Allen ’88 (golf), Jim Chalin ’76 (basketball), Bruce Edwards ’77 (ice hockey), Barb Jaeger ’88 (soccer), Dean Kraus ’89 (football), Pachi Lopez ’71 (soccer), Greg Peterson ’88 (golf), and Gary Reinholtz (long-time athletic trainer, benefactor). 

Gustie Pages

Looking for a dentist, doctor, lawyer, pastor, realtor, and much more?  Make it a Gustie!  The Gustie Pages is an online database of Gusties who have submitted information about their profession.  Use the Gustavus network to meet your needs or submit your professional information if you would like other Gusties to be your customers.

Alumni Survey

At the Class Agents’ meeting David Menk ’94, Director of Institutional Research, presented some results of a recent survey (not a reunion survey) that was randomly sent to 2000 alumni.  These excerpts indicate an extremely positive picture of alumni attitudes, etc.  One of the main problems cited was cost, which you can help solve!  Gusties are happy alums!


Classes represented in the analysis: 1934 to 1999

All majors represented

62% female, 38% male

79% were in-state students when enrolled at Gustavus.

28% have since moved out-of-state

41% of out-of-state now reside in Minnesota

47% have a degree higher than a bachelor’s


80% master’s degree as highest goal, have reached their goal

90% of those who sought a doctorate, MD, JD, etc have reached their goal

94% reported that Gustavus prepared them very well/adequate for continuing their education

Alumni Events

75% have attended class reunions (5% not aware)

66% have attended Christmas in Christ Chapel (2% not aware)

62% have attended homecoming (3% not aware)

Alumni Giving

71% feel it is a way to help others have access to education

65% feel it is a reflection of the value they place on education

64% feel it is a way to thank Gustavus

Overall Satisfaction

82% definitely/probably would choose Gustavus if they had to do it over again

85% were very satisfied/satisfied with their academic involvement

86% were very satisfied/satisfied with their social involvement

85% would very strongly/strongly recommend Gustavus to a prospective student


Phonorama calls reached some of you.  If you want to use your gift as a tax deduction from taxes this year, please send a check during December as you usually do, and then either include news notes or wait for a call sometime before May.  Students are calling as part of the Gus Link program, but I have the cards for our class at this time.  It is possible that you won’t get a phone call, but don’t be offended.  There are now more than 21,000 active alumni, and Phonorama calls cannot reach everyone.

Chapel Program - The Gustavus Chapel program is one of the strongest in higher education averaging 350 students attending Daily Chapel.  In addition, there are many student-led programs including:  Apprentice - students who are interested in being part of ministry and open to see where the Spirit might be leading; Christ Chapel Volunteers - assist in the ministry of Christ Chapel by ushering, carrying the cross and candles, reading lessons, writing and/or reading prayers, and serving as assisting ministers; Community Service Center Programs - one-time and on-going service programs; Fellowship of Christian Athletes - athlete or not, time for fellowship, worship, speakers, service projects and mission trips; Gustavus Youth Outreach - committed to sharing the Gospel and providing opportunities to serve by participating in off-campus youth ministry; Habitat For Humanity/Spring Break Work Trips - Habitat works locally and Spring Break Work Trip nationally to fundraise for and build affordable housing; Jewish Organization of Gustavus - for students, faculty and staff who are either Jewish or interested in the Jewish faith; Newman Center - dedicated to building a deeper understanding of the Catholic faith; Prepare - build a new generation of believers through mentors, mission trips, Bible study, prayer and worship; Proclaim - Bible-based contemporary worship and teaching; Taizé - a contemplative worship service of music, prayer, readings and silence; Wednesday Friends - visits St. Peter Regional Treatment Center residents weekly.


JERRY RAEDEKE has a fine art gallery in Nisswa, MN, which features his own work and several other artists.  Ruth and I have stopped a couple of times and it is a wonderful place to browse and see examples of the wonderful work that Jerry has done through the years.  BARBARA LUNDELL BENSON is thoroughly enjoying three grandchildren and retirement.  RUTH SAMMELSON ROTHCHILD and Irwin hosted the Atlanta chapter of Gusties at their home last February.  Atlanta Gusties where impressed with the new president, Jim Peterson ’64.  KONNIE RICKERT BRUNBERG spent 10 days last May on a church mission trip to Martin Bible School in Martin, Slovakia, and helped with the construction of a dormitory.  RUTH ANDERSON TILLQUIST also spent time in Martin, Slovakia, in July with a group teaching vacation Bible school.  MARK GILDERHUS is enjoying his grandchildren in Texas.  TOM ANDERSON has officially retired after 37 years of ministry.  He finished his ministry doing interim ministries in New Mexico.  Congratulations, Tom, thou good and faithful servant.  And, on the same note, GARY F. ANDERSON has also retired from ministry having most recently served at Incarnation Lutheran Church in Shoreview.  However, for the first time in his life he has failed at something ... this time ... retirement.  After spending a summer with MARY ANN CARLSON ANDERSON renovating a lake home, he accepted a position as the interim campus pastor at Luther Seminary in St. Paul.  CHARLENE LUNDAHL NORRIS and Lyle are enjoying “retirement.”  They have been in Colorado working at the YMCA of the Rockies as well as living in Arizona.  They plan to be away from Fairmont until the spring of 2006.  They are also glorying in their 10 grandchildren!  BRUCE BENSON and Janet are enjoying lakeside living at Pequot Lakes and venture to warmer climes in the winter.  SHERRY ERKKILA HAUCK and Dick are busy.  Sherry has “retired” but is still doing substitute teaching.  Dick remains busy working at Lund Implement in Madison, MN, and also sings in three groups.  They love their lake cabin in Alexandria.  KAREN NIELSEN NAU continues to spend time in her “granny flat” in Coffs Harbour, Australia, where her son lives as well as in Atlanta, GA, where her daughter and family live.  Her new venture in 2005 will be teaching at the University of Xi’an, China, from March through June.  PAT FINDLEY CASTO is busy caring for her 84-year-old father and is learning about oxygen and wheelchairs and “having far too much experience with hospitals.”  Her husband is also battling cancer so much of Pat’s time has been to focus on care for her two ill loved ones.  Pat writes:  “The current chaos in the world also keeps me focused on several excerpted lines from a prayer by John Donne:

            “No man is an island.”

            “Any man’s death diminishes me because I am involved in mankind.”

DEAN JOHNSON has retired from the practice of law and has moved back to Houston, TX.  DON WICKLUND has retired and is busy doing World War II living history with a 1942 Jeep and lots of gardening, officiating high school, Big 10, and MIAC track and field meets.  He has even been seen officiating at meets where Gustavus competes!!!

That’s all the news for now!  Thanks for sending notes along with your gifts to the Gustavus Fund.  They make my letter writing a little bit more interesting.  Keep those cards and letters coming.  I also encourage you to send your gift to the Gustavus Fund NOW and take advantage of a tax deduction for 2004.  You can even do your gift on-line (earn those World Perk miles, ya know)!  President Jim Peterson has a vision for Gustavus to move the College from “Good to Great!”  You are an essential part of that process!

Blessings to all of you during this holiday season.  I close with a thought for the day which was sent to me by CHRIS SWENSON WILMOT.

“Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn-out, and loudly proclaiming.  WOW, what a ride!!!!”

Thanks for your continued friendship and support.

Paul F. Tillquist

Class Agent

79 Pleasant Lake Road East

St. Paul, MN  55127