Class of '63
October 2007

45-Year Reunion

Reunion dates ― May 30-31, 2008

Volume 45, No. 1

Dear ’63ers,

Greetings to you as we soon will approach an anniversary of 45 years since graduation from Gustavus or, if you want to look at it another way, 49 years since we walked on the campus as first-year students.  While the years have flown by, I will venture to say that we are healthier, better looking, and more engaged than many who started their college careers five decades ago.  We have been blessed having grown up in an unprecedented era of growth, good health, and prosperity.

We will be celebrating our anniversary of graduation on the weekend of May 30-31, 2008 at Gustavus.  A committee of 29 people have volunteered or have been recruited to help plan this event.  We met on the campus a few weeks ago for a planning session and came up with some great ideas to make for a memorable event.  You will hear more about the events in coming months as they take form.  For now, anticipate a great weekend with a dinner at the President’s residence, a time for relaxation and conversation at the Arboretum Interpretative Center, a golf and tennis outing, and a memorial service to honor those classmates who have died.  Put the dates on your calendar, check your World Perks for miles, and begin making plans!!!  And, remember, your housing on campus is provided by the College at no cost.  Think about the opportunity for conversations late into the night.  While the intimate sections of Wahlstrom Hall are gone, you will still have the thrill of walking down the hall to the bathrooms in one of the residence halls!!!!

Anticipate that in coming weeks, you will receive a telephone call from a classmate extending a personal invitation to you to come to the campus in May 2008.  They will also ask you for news (my request) so that we can fill class letters with updates on all of the things that you are doing… while still working or in retirement.  And, yes, we will include news about achievements of your children and grandchildren if so blessed!!!  You will also be asked to make a pledge to the 45th Anniversary Class of 1963 Annual Fund with a choice of designating your gift to the Annual Fund or to the Class of 1963 Scholarship Fund which, as of this date, has reached almost $50,000.


U.S. News & World Report recently released its 2008 “America’s Best Colleges” rankings.  Gustavus and 17 other institutions appeared under a new ratings category called “Unranked.”  This move evidently results from confusion over how and whether Gustavus uses test scores in its admission process.

“I opened the paper and read the headlines that Gustavus had vanished,” said President Jim Peterson ’64, “So I walked out of my house to take a look.  Sure enough, our beautiful campus was still there.”

The “unranking” was greeted by indifference in the Gustavus community because of the widespread view that the U.S. News ranking system does not fully measure the excellence and uniqueness of higher education experiences.  This is increasingly the perception of students themselves.  Fewer than four percent of Gustavus first-year students report that they consulted U.S. News rankings as a basis for their decision to attend, according to surveys of incoming students.

“We’re excellent on our own terms,” said Gustavus Board Chair Jim Gale ’83.  Gustavus President Peterson echoed this view.  “Our students are interested in our school, not our ranking,” he said.  “We are nationally known for our academic excellence and for our robust environment for student growth and learning.  Gustavus is a success model for student research, study abroad, and faculty-student interaction.  Our annual Nobel Conference brings internationally renowned scientists to campus every year as well.”

Applications were up 24% this year and hit an all-time high of more than 3,000 for this year.  The incoming class is the most diverse in the College’s history with 12.5% of the class being students of color, and mirrors the demographics of the State of Minnesota.  The percentage of first-year students in the top 10 percent of their high school classes is also up from last year.  The male/female ratio is approaching the desired goal of 50%.

These results confirm the success of many efforts, including “test optional,” the admissions innovation that appears to have brought about some confusion at U.S. News.  “We’re excited about test optional,” said Vice President for Admission and Student Financial Assistance Mark Anderson, “but it’s one of several areas not yet well understood or captured in U.S. News methodology.”

Because of increasing questions regarding the validity and relevance of U.S. News rankings, more and more college presidents are expressing concern and calling for alternatives.  Some within higher education are assembling new criteria and measures to support the college choice process.  The best known of these is the University and College Accountability Network’s Consumer Information Project, due for launch as soon as next month.

“To us, Gustavus students are more than a test score,” said Peterson.  “And to our students, we are more than a ranking.  Gustavus will continue to do what it does best, which is to prepare students for fulfilling lives of leadership and service.

President Peterson Announces Retirement

President Jim Peterson ’64 announced in August that he plans to retire at the conclusion of the current academic year, capping a five-year term.  His early announcement will provide the Board of Trustees enough time to undertake a thorough search process and assist in a smooth transition to new leadership.  Peterson will serve through June 2008 and has offered to assist in an orderly transition beyond that date if needed.

New football stadium opens

On September 8, the football team played its inaugural game at the College’s new football stadium.  The synthetic-surfaced field is recessed below ground level and features an earthen berm surrounding the entire field.  The field will continue to be named Hollingsworth Field after the late Lloyd Hollingsworth, who served as the College’s football coach from 1942-1960 and athletic director from 1961-1978.

Athletics Hall of Fame Induction

On Saturday, November 3, Gustavus will induct the following people into the Athletic Hall of Fame: Tim DeJarlais ’91 (golf), John Erickson ’81 (hockey), Dave Hultgren ’92 (baseball), Craig Miller ’91 (cross country), Mindy Mayerchak Oosten ’88 (softball & soccer), Mike Schumacher ’91 (football), Ann Sommerness Simms ’92 (swimming), and Ryan Skanse ’92 (tennis).

Twin Cities Gustie Breakfasts

Join other Minneapolis/St. Paul area Gusties for a once-a-month morning cup of coffee and breakfast while getting an update on Gustavus. The group meets the third Wednesday of each month at the Doubletree Hotel, Minneapolis-Park Place, 1500 Park Place Boulevard (Hwy. 394 & Hwy. 100), 8:00-9:30 a.m., $10 per person.  Reserve by calling Don Swanson ’55 at 763/533-9083

Wednesday, October 17

Professor Jeff Jeremiason, recap of Nobel Conference

Wednesday, November 21

Winter sports coaches – Jon Carlson ’88 (men’s and women’s swimming & diving), Mark Hanson ’83 (men’s basketball), and Brett Petersen (men’s hockey)

Wednesday, December  19

Margaret Kelliher ’90, speaker of the Minnesota House of Representatives

Inaugural “A Royal Affair” Online Auction

“A Royal Affair,” the biennial fundraiser for the Gustavus library, is October 27.  New to A Royal Affair this year is an online auction that will be activated the week of October 22. This online auction will have unique items available only for bidding online and not at the evening event.  These items can be viewed through the Gustavus website and bidding will close prior to the October 27 Razzle Dazzle*A Royal Affair.  Also, the online auction is open to everyone – parents, alumni, students, faculty, and friends of Gustavus – even those unable to attend Razzle Dazzle*A Royal Affair.  Watch the Gustavus Library Associates website at for up-to-the-minute details on the online auction.

Calendar of events:

  • October 13                  Homecoming & Family Weekend
  • October 27                  Razzle Dazzle*A Royal Affair, Gustavus Library Associates
  • November 3                 Athletics Hall of Fame Induction Banquet
  • Nov. 30, Dec. 1-2        Christmas in Christ Chapel
  • December 6                 St. Lucia Day celebration on campus


RANDY CROOKS sends news from Deerwood, MN that their son finally decided to get married this last spring.  SANDY ENGLEBERT-JOHNSON attended the Nobel Conference in 2006 and was looking forward to the conference on Energy which was held in October 2007.  Sandy regularly goes to see friends and family in Belgium.  Sandy also reported that JUDY LANGKOS DONOVAN was in the U.S. for a short visit and spent hours in reminiscing over old times including being campused on the last day of their senior year.  Sandy did not include any details for this harsh action on behalf of Dean Lind!!!  Judy continues to live in York, England.  STEVEN LARSON writes from Austin, TX.  Their youngest daughter is in her 2nd year at the University of Texas in Austin.  Steve continues his work as a therapist in a Texas prison.  STEVE MUCH sends greetings from Savage with this note:  “If I was vain enough to have a ‘vanity plate’ it would read: 5HOLSIN1.  Need I say more?”  I am not sure if there is hidden meaning in that communication.  JANET RYAN TIDEMANN was planning to have deep brain stimulation surgery for Parkinson’s disease, but had to postpone the surgery for some months because of other issues.  Please keep Janet and Paul in your prayers.  JIM STEPHAN writes from Parma Heights, OH.  He and wife, Marti, have been married for 25 years.  Jim works at his “retirement job” at a hunger center in Cleveland.  They have 12 grandchildren.  Life is good!!!  SID SMART has retired from his work with State Farm Companies in Bloomington, IL.  I am sad to report that SUSAN CARLSON OLSON passed away in Circle Pines, MN.  She will be remembered along with other classmates at a memorial service in May 2008 for members of the Class of 1963.  HEATHER HARSHBERGER FLUCK is busy with her work with Thrivent and traveling to Europe where her daughter, Linda, is an opera singer in Germany and Karen, a captain in the U.S. Army.

RALPH “PUDGE”JOHNSON is enjoying retirement life in Florida, Pennsylvania, and at his lake place in Aitkin, MN.  KEN ABRAM writes from Noblesville, IN that he has been retired for a year.  They winter in Venice, FL and enjoy grandchildren and spending time watching sport activities.  Ken has been a great mentor in that their grandchildren, for some strange reason, have migrated towards playing basketball and are true students of the game.  Ken enjoys training his fox red Labrador as a hunter and companion.  NANCY BECK STROM is enjoying retirement and is blessed to have daughter-in-law and grandson, Alex, living with them.  Son, Mike, is training with the U.S. Air Force.  Nancy is growing her Tahitian Noni Health Business worldwide.  Write to Nancy ( to hear about how TNJ has changed her health over the last 10 years.  TIM and SUE (WIDSTROM ’65) GAMELIN have no desire to retire as long as physical health and mental acuity decline only slowly.  They are engaged as co-pastors in a dynamic ministry with and to Christian refugees from Sudan…incredible, faith-filled people who have been persecuted for their Christian faith.  Emmanuel Lutheran Church in High Point, NC is a 100 year old congregation deeply engaged in the adaptations which are a consequence of new relationships.

LYLE ’62 and CHARLENE LUNDAHL NORRIS continue to go to Arizona for about five months each winter (Apache Junction) and spend the spring and fall in Minnesota.  They spend summers working at the YMCA of the Rockies near Estes Park, CO.  They have 10 grandchildren.  DON ’61 and EUNICE HOLM FULTZ continue to volunteer part of the year in Iringa Diocese, Tanzania as coordinators of the partnerships between congregations in the Saint Paul Area Synod and parishes in the Iringa Diocese.  When they return to Minnesota they visit the partner congregations and assist with group mission trips.  RUTH SAMMELSON ROTHCHILD IS NOW RETIRED.  Ruth and Irwin traveled to California to see a grandson born last October.  Daughter, Jennifer, and her husband teach at the University of Minnesota, Morris, and have started an orphanage in Nepal.  CLAUDIA HAYDEN SCHROEDER lives in Flagstaff, AZ amidst forests and blue skies.  Claudia does volunteer work for the Assistance League, Symphony Guild and a Family Food Center.  She enjoys doing Plein Air Painting and ceramics and is also completing a remodeling and landscaping project at their home.

DOROTHY “JAKE” JACOBSON DELEGARD  writes with a question:  “Do retirees have time to write notes for class letters, what with calendars full of bridge games, theater, movie dates, dinners, investment club, gardening, poker (with MIM LARSON STOHL), book club, and occasional travel?  Oh, and I forgot babysitting a six and five-year-old, five days a week and inventing entertainment for them.  It’s okay since they’re grandchildren!”  Whew, I get tired even thinking about all of the above!  ELLI GILBERT HOLT is living in Texas near a daughter and granddaughters.  Her son has two children in the Atlanta area.  Elli is retired and loves traveling around the world.  JERRY RAEDEKE is currently exhibiting 40 original oil and watercolor paintings at the Jaques Art Center, Aitkin, MN and also exhibited at the Anoka Game Fair in August.  He continues to manage his art gallery in Nisswa and invites Gusties to stop by and see him.  KAREN HEGLAND HAGEN writes from Minnetonka.  They have seven grandchildren, four in Chaska, MN and three in Wheaton, IL.  RUTH ANDERSON TILLQUIST and PAUL spent two weeks in Tanzania, East Africa in September/October with a small group of 15 including:  Ben and Ruth (Johnson) Leadholm ’62 ’62 and Mark and Roz (Johnson) Anderson ’60 ’62.  They spent six days on game drives and also spent time in a Masai village, visited a Women’s Cooperative outside of Arusha, and spent some time in an elementary school.

That’s all of the news for now.  Again, please put May 30-31, 2008 on your calendar for our 45 Anniversary Celebration!  And, please, enjoy a conversation with a classmate in the next couple of weeks who will be personally inviting you to attend the reunion.  They will also ask you for some news notes.  As I have said before, if I don’t get news from you I will have to make up something and you know what a vivid and wicked imagination I have!!!!!

Thanks for your continued friendship and support.


Paul F. Tillquist

1963Class Agent