Class of '63
Reunion dates ― May 30-31, 2008
Dear Classmates of the Great Class of 1963,
Hopefully, most of you have been contacted by one of our classmates by now regarding our upcoming 45th reunion being held on campus May 30 & 31, 2008. If you haven’t heard from someone yet, you will in the near future. We are hoping that lots of you will be able to join us that weekend for a fun filled time.
Paul asked me if I would write a letter reminiscing a bit about our Gustavus years and so I dug out a box of memorabilia that I hadn’t looked at in years. Do you remember those gold envelopes that would appear once in awhile in our mail after we graduated, stamped “class letter”? Well, in my box I found a couple of Class Letters that we received before we even set foot on campus written to us by Howard “Hooks” Holcomb ’49. I’m sure he was responsible for recruiting many of us. I thought I would share a few things from a couple of those letters that are dated June 1959. He wrote: “Here is another class letter for the gang of ’63. Right now you’re probably deep in the activities of ’59 and high school graduation. Ye old Ed hopes you are having a lot of fun, and that you have no accidents or other tragedies. We want to see you in September.” Here are some of the things he shared about the people who were to become our classmates in September.
“George Emerson, St. Louis Park, won the Pro Deo et Patria and alternate appointments to three academies---Dick Monson, Minneapolis, Washburn, runs cross-country---Stefan Sylvander, Lake City by way of Sweden, is going to stay in this country next year, and at GA---John Tammi, Anoka, is co-captain of the hockey team---Mary Carlson, Edina, loves the French Club---Bob Briggs, St. Paul Park, was homecoming king---Bonnie Lewis, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, is a member of the Mt. Royal College Orchestra---Bonnie Kuseske, Kimball, edits the annual---Sherry Lyn Erkkila, Cloquet, solos with choir and madrigals---Clayton Peterson, Hopkins, served on the student council---Donna Mueller, Belle Plaine, has belonged to band four years---Barbara Dahlin, Marquette, Mich., has established an all-time academic record there---Dorothy Jacobson, Minneapolis, Roosevelt, belongs to Swedish Club---Judy Anderson, Richfield, teaches in her Sunday School---Don Granberg, Willmar, lettered in basketball, baseball and football---Paul Tillquist, Belle Plaine, is on a trip West.”
In these letters we learned a little bit about our soon-to-be classmates who we would meet on September 10, 1959 when we arrived for six days of orientation. In my box I also found the “Program for New Students.” Four-hundred, thirty of us arrived on the 10th to move into our residence halls which opened to us at noon that day. It sure was a lot different back then. We came with clothes, maybe a typewriter, a radio and a camera. No computers, iPods, Blackberries, etc. I do remember lots of upper class guys on the steps of Wahlstrom waiting to help us with our suitcases. The girls were in Wahlstrom― the guys in Uhler or the New Dorm (as Sorenson was called back then). On the program for that Thursday was a Watermelon Bust at 7:00 p.m. held south of Folke Bernadotte Library. (I don’t remember that, but my memory isn’t always so good). At 8:15 p.m. there was a Vesper Service and at 9:00 p.m. there was a get-acquainted mixer held in Wahlstrom Hall. That was our first day as Gusties. The next five days were filled with lectures, meetings with advisers, tryouts for music activities, dramatics, oratory and debate, a football game, a picnic, a style show and of course registration. Tuesday, September 15, the Opening Convocation was held at 8:00 p.m. in the old Aud with the Reverend David J. Maitland, Chaplain, Carleton College, speaking. Wednesday, September 16 at 8:00 a.m. classes began.
We made our way down Hello Walk to places like Commerce Hall, Classroom Annex, The Rancherino, The Art Barn and maybe climbed the steps to the top floor of Old Main for Biology 101. In these buildings we met people like Prof. George, Alexis, Dr. Reusch –“Yahweh is Angry,” Esby ’41, Engberg and Erling ’43. Chaplain Clair Johnson, Dr. Vickner, D. M. Anderson, John Kendall ’49, Don Slarks, Knautz ’48, Evan and Evelyn Anderson, Floyd Martinson, Don Gregory ’47, Rod Davis, Doniver Lund, Oscar Winfield, Doris Stuckey, Arne Langsjoen, Art Glass, Charles Hamrum, Rufus Logan, Kyle Montague, Karlis Kaufmanis, Whitey Skoog, Vic Gustafson ’42, Nancy Baker ’56, Lloyd Hollingsworth ’36, Oliver Hagglund and “Ma Young ’33.” They were all there when we began our GA journey.
We were the last class to eat in the cafeteria located in the basement of Uhler and to socialize in the Canteen that was also downstairs in Uhler. We bought our first college textbooks in the old Bookstore on Hello Walk. When we returned for our second semester, the new cafeteria, canteen, bookstore and P.O. were opened. They would remain until the tornado of 1998 blew them away.
We spent eight days that September wearing green beanies and attending Kangaroo Court each noon on the steps of Old Main to see which one of our classmates had disobeyed the rules that day. Can you believe we did that?
We elected to lead us that first year: President, Gary Ilstrup, Vice President, Dick Strand, Secretary, Karen Lundquist and Treasurer, Doug Miller. Our freshman Homecoming Royalty were Queen Abby Arthur and King Greg Armstrong and the football season that year was a lot different than the one this year. The Gusties were the MIAC Champs with an 8-0 record and a Homecoming win over Macalester 26-13.
As the year continued, we experienced, for the first time, things like Santa Lucia, Carol of Nine Lessons, and Frost Weekend. We followed our Gustie athletic teams and some experienced their first choir or band tour. We laughed and we cried. We fell in love and we fell out of love. By the end of our first year, we had made lifetime friends. We still had three years to go, but that first one was a very memorable one for me.
This past October, we returned to the campus for Homecoming. It was there that we met several students who were very impressive. These are bright personable and articulate young people who bode well for the future. Our college and our legacy are in good hands. Our gifts help these students close the gap financially as they pursue their education. Already we have set up an Endowed Class of 1963 Scholarship. We want to move that effort along as well as address other needs of the College with our 45th Anniversary gifts. Please be generous.
We have been very fortunate to have Paul Tillquist as our Class Agent for these past 45 years and I want to say Thank You, Thank You, Thank You, Paul, for the fantastic job you do in being our leader!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Let’s all make an effort to return to campus on May 30. If you haven’t been there in the last few years, you will be amazed. It is a gorgeous campus and of course there are some buildings no longer there like Johnson and Wahlstrom. It’s a time to reconnect with those friends we first met on September 10, 1959.
Diane Hammargren Anderson
1963 Guest Letter Writer