Class of '63
May 2005

Volume 42, Number 3

Dear ’63ers!

“Spring has sprung, the grass has riz, I wonder where the flowers is?”  A Burma Shave sign on Highway 169 c.1950s!  With Minnesota weather as it has been for a couple of weeks, we may never see flowers because of the cold.

CAMPUS NEWS  The campus has been a hotbed of activity with all of the normal spring activities:  spring play, All’s Well that Ends Well, is playing in Anderson Theatre.  The Gustavus and Christ Chapel choirs have done their spring concerts.  Golf sport has started again.  Remember the Gusties were NCAA Division III winners last year.  They were invited in March to play winners of Division I and II at a tournament in Houston, TX.  Men’s tennis team will most likely win the MIAC championship again and move on to regional and national tournaments.  Sorority and fraternity banquets are in full-swing.  Honors Day on May 7 featured the honors won by 870 students.  This high number is what one would expect given the number of high caliber students on campus.  The Board of Trustees met and approved fundraising to begin which will permit moving the building of a new football stadium immediately to the west of Lund Center.  Over 20 years ago, when Olin Hall was built, the College agreed to move the football field.  Now, plans are underway to build an additional academic building on the space occupied by the football field.  This building will be part of a new “West Mall” leading westward from Christ Chapel.  There are already three buildings on the south side of the mall:  Olin Hall, the International Student House, and a new residence hall (Southwest Hall), which will be completed by the start of the fall semester 2005.  Old Main renovation is proceeding on schedule.  This $4 million project will also be ready for the start of the fall semester.

The College held its annual MAYDAY! Peace Conference, titled "Energy for Peace," with speakers Mark Hertsgaard and Terry Tempest Williams, on Wednesday, May 4.  Hertsgaard, is an accomplished author in the field of environmental study and an environmental correspondent for The Nation.  His latest book, The Eagle's Shadow:  Why America Fascinates and Infuriates the World, has placed him among numerous independent journalists and critics with whom the Bush Administration must reconcile in respect to environmental policy.  Williams is regarded as one of the nation's best speakers on the environment and a contributing author to such publications as The New Yorker and The Nation.  Williams is best known for her book, Refuge:  An Unnatural History of Family and Place, in which she brings the subject of environment close to home by chronicling her mother's fatal battle with ovarian cancer, which Williams attributes to nuclear testing carried out in the Nevada desert near her home in Salt Lake City.  The MAYDAY! Peace Conference was established by Florence and the late Raymond Sponberg ’37 of North Mankato.

A very interesting campus story centers on Senior Johanna Johnson who will perform her final oboe recital accompanied by Joe Johnson of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra.  When Johanna was a passionate 16-year-old oboe player, she was diagnosed with lymphoma.  As part of an opportunity made available to her by the Make-a-Wish Foundation, she had a chance to realize a dream of not only rehearsing with the New York Philharmonic, but to also sit in with the orchestra during a performance, wear a black formal dress and hold her instrument.  She met Joe Robinson, principal oboist for the Orchestra, formed a friendship, which continued as her musical skills flourished and her cancer receded.  That evening, Robinson presented her with a new instrument and Johanna played alongside Robinson.  Robinson described her performance as “stellar.”  Since the first meeting at the Lincoln Center, Robinson arranged for Johanna to attend a music summer camp and has played in her hometown of Grass Valley, CA.  They keep in touch often.  Robinson will stay on campus for one week, serving as an artist-in-residence and performing with the Gustavus Symphony Orchestra.

Mark Anderson ’66, Dean of Admission, is plowing new ground to increase opportunities for the gift of a Gustavus education for students from other cultures.  Through the efforts of an alumna in New York City, we have had six first-generation college prospects apply and be accepted for admission:

  • Julissy.  Mother emigrated from Honduras.  College prep courses. 3.5GPA
  • Benjamin.  Originally from Ghana.  Solid S.A.T. scores.  Summer internships at Smith Barney brokerage house in Manhattan.
  • Jerry.  Ranks in top 10% of class.  Ethnic background is Aztec.
  • Kira.  Family comes from Ecuador.  Exceptional test scores.  Interested in nursing.
  • Stephanie.  Top 5% of class.  Hispanic.
  • Shana.  Determined young Black woman interested in studying sociology.  Good test scores with immense potential.

While we have some 120 students from diverse backgrounds who are mostly from Minnesota, successful matriculation of these additional students would move us forward in our efforts to diversify the student body at Gustavus.  Mark intends to recruit a similar group each of the next four years.  So, if any of you have an interest in “adopting” a student, I would ask you to consider a gift of $5,000 in 2005 and each of the following three years.  A fun and meaningful relationship could be the result.


Rose Omodt Jost writes with sad news that her husband died in June after battling lung cancer.  Rose cared for Lou at home until the end.  Since then, she has returned to work at the Bloomington Public Health Department.  She also inherited an antique business.  Classmates are invited to the Hopkins Antique Mall if interested in antiques.  She works two days a month at the store, usually on a Sunday.  Rose had an interesting suggestion regarding each of us writing down information about our lives.  Lou’s great-grandfather wrote a brief life story about his coming to America at age 16.  Our own story would be a great gift to family and future generations.  John Lipke stood for reelection in March for his union and was elected for a three-year term to the governing board of Education Minnesota, a union of over 70,000.  John is a member of the union by virtue of his being a school bus driver for McLeod West Schools.  The union drafted him for local president a little over a year ago…no one wanted the job and they guilted John to get him to do it.  He now finds himself an activist, giving money to PACs, and all of those things, which one does as a member of an affiliate of the AFL-CIO.  John gets to Gustavus quite often since his daughter, Kari ’98, works for Gustavus in the Community Service Center and Chaplain’s Office.  John is also helping her build a house in St. Peter.  Judy Anderson Lindell and Pete are planning an Elderhostel bike trip on the Gota Canal in Sweden from Gothenberg to Stockholm next July.  Uffda. . .that’s a long ways!!  Tim and Sue (Widstrom ’65) Gamelin are back in pastoral ministry as co-pastors at Emmanuel Lutheran Church in High Point, NC.  They are in the second year of a three-year term call to do healing ministry in a congregation that has been through difficult times.  They also enjoy staying in contact with their four grandchildren.  Kay Johnson Hanson is back in this country after seven years working in Slovakia.  They have settled in Billings, MT.  Yvonne Gabbert Laddusaw will be a grandmother for the first time in August 2005.  Gary F. Anderson is enjoying a stint as the chaplain at Luther Seminary, which will end by January 2006.  Gary and Mary Ann Carlson Anderson are looking forward to a trip to New Zealand in early 2006.  Deanna Dirks Boe retired in January after teaching with Department of Defense schools for 16 ½ years and a total of 27 years in teaching.  Her career began in the spring of 1963 and she has taught at every grade level, with the exception of 3rd and 4th grades.  Deanna taught at Seoul American High School in Seoul, Korea, Kinnick High School, Yokosuka, Japan, Hanau Middle School, Hanau, Germany, and has ended her teaching at W.T. Sampson High School in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.  Her more favorite assignment was teaching Advance Placement U.S. history to junior students.  All four of Deanna’s daughters are graduates of Seoul American High School.  She and Larry have built a retirement home in Akron, IA.

That’s all the news that is fit to print.  I can always use news.  Please use my e-mail address ( to keep me up to date on what’s happening.  By the way, anyone competent in building a Web page?  I have been thinking about a Class of 1963 Web page where I could post news items and y’all could add items of interest.  The idea comes from conversation with a Carleton College grad.  Go to the Carleton website, click on alumni and then pick a class.  There are several web pages including one from the Class of 1963.  I envision a interaction with classmates posting ideas, suggestions, news, books they have read, movies that one must see, Medicare supplemental insurance options…you get the picture!

And now my annual plea!  The Annual Fund closes on May 31!  We are a bit down in our participation.  It would warm the heart of your “old” class agent if you would make an unrestricted gift this year.  For some of you who have sent designated gifts to scholarship funds, etc. etc. a small unrestricted gift to Gustavus would be most appreciated.  I still want to focus on participation by all of our classmates.  The mission of Gustavus remains strong.  We have much about which we can be proud.  The academic program is stronger than when we were there and, quite frankly, I think the students (as a whole) are even brighter (if you think it possible) than when we were there.  The opportunities for research are so prevalent.  The Christ Chapel program is strong and students participate in a variety of opportunities for worship and study and strengthening their Christian faith.  Gustavus is worthy of your gift!

So, send your check today…or, even better, go on line ( and make your gift on-line with your credit card.

Thanks again for your continued friendship and support.  Keep those cards and letters coming!  I need the news.


Paul F. Tillquist

1963 Class Agent

79 East Pleasant Lake Road

St. Paul, MN  55127

P. S.  The Alumni Office will add some other campus news here:

Alumni Awards

The Gustavus Alumni Association has announced 2005 award recipients.  The Greater Gustavus Award to George Torrey ’55 for his lifetime volunteer service and philanthropy to the College. Distinguished Alumni Citations to G. Barry Anderson ’76, Apple Valley, MN, associate justice, Minnesota Supreme Court; Deanna Nelson ’64, Cary, NC, president/founder, BioLink Life Sciences, Inc.; Rick Webb ’73, Edina, MN, owner of Ciao Bella, Zelo and Bacio Restaurants; and John Wirth ’75, Pacific Palisade, CA, writer/executive producer, Paramount Studios.  First Decade Awards to Joe Gaugler ’95, Lexington, KY, assistant professor, Department of Behavioral Science, University of Kentucky College of Medicine; Debbie Lightly Mascaro ’95, Fargo, ND, research scientist, North Dakota State University Center for Nanoscale Science and Engineering.

Extraordinary Students

Senior Rachel Batalden, a double major in mathematics and secondary education with a 3.898 grade point average and two-time MIAC All-Conference selection at setter for the women’s volleyball team, has been selected as one of 56 student-athletes from across the country to receive a $7,500 NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship.

Senior Paul Fraser, a music and computer science major has been selected as the winner of the second annual Caltech-Occidental Composition Contest for new music for concert band. The contest drew entries from all over the world, and as the winner, Paul will receive a cash award and a recording of the world premiere of the work at a concert by the Caltech-Occidental Concert Band in Pasadena, Calif., in May.

Bricks and mortar

With the new Southwest Residence Hall coming on-line, the College will be taking down Wahlstrom Hall to make way for future residential construction.  Crews will start the dismantling process in July with asbestos abatement, and the Kasota-stone residence hall will be razed in August.  Alumni returning for reunion and commencement festivities on May 27–29 will be able to take a last tour through the building’s public areas, stairwells, and walk-through sections following a “decommissioning” ceremony to be held on Saturday morning, May 28.

Construction crews working on the renovation of Old Main discovered a cistern under the basement flooring in March.  Gutting the interior has provided evidence of layers upon layers of remodeling done over the years, including an old stairwell in the middle of the building and what appears to be an attempt to raise the third-floor ceiling.  The Old Main project, which includes the installation of an elevator in the northwest corner of the building, is scheduled to be completed in August.

The education and nursing departments have been relocated to the newly erected Mattson Hall, which is sited just west of the Schaefer Fine Arts Center and Prairie View Residence Hall, on the south side of the campus.  These departments will remain there until a new social science center is built at some point in the future.

Upcoming Events

  • Class of 1955 and 50-Year Club Reunions – May 27 & 28
  • Commencement – May 29
  • Alumni Fund closes – May 31
  • Reunions on Homecoming – October 7 & 8
  • Nurses Reunion – October 8