Class of '63
May 2008

45-Year Class Reunion

Reunion dates ― May 30 – 31, 2008

Volume 45, No. 8

Dear Classmates!

Time is flying by so quickly.  Less than two weeks remain until we have our reunion on campus.  All has been prepared.  I hope that golfers will have contacted John Monson ( if you want to golf on Friday afternoon.  Please keep on hoping for nice weather on Friday and Saturday (especially Friday) since we will have a tent set up on the patio of the president’s residence for our social gathering and dinner.  The patio overlooks the Arboretum and is glorious if we have nice weather!


New Gustavus President Announced

The Board of Trustees of Gustavus has elected Jack R. Ohle to be the College’s 15th president.  Ohle, currently the president of Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa, will succeed Jim Peterson ’64, who is retiring after serving as president of the College since July 2003.  Ohle will take office July 1, 2008.

Gusties Gather! Hosts Needed

Gusties around the world are called to gather on Sunday, September 28.  The Alumni Board is designating this day as a day to intentionally connect with other Gusties.  Want to do more to be connected with Gustavus?  Sign up to host a Gusties Gather! event for your neighborhood or with your friends.

Grant Received for Science Education

Gustavus has recently been awarded $1 million for science education over the next four years from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) in Chevy Chase, MD.  The award will support a variety of programs that seek to transform the first-year student experience in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) disciplines―particularly through collaboration between the departments of biology and chemistry.

Celebrating 25 Years of Phi Beta Kappa at Gustavus

In April, Gustavus celebrated its 25th anniversary as a Phi Beta Kappa institution.  Phi Beta Kappa began during colonial times, in 1776, when its members secretly met to discuss revolution against the British throne.  It was the first Greek society founded in the United States and today remains the most prestigious of scholarly organizations.  Out of the nearly 5,000 colleges and universities in the country, only about 300 are authorized to host a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa.  The application process for a chapter charter is long and tedious.  The national board looks at a college’s ratio of Ph.D. faculty members, test scores, endowment, and the number of books in the library, among other things. A team then comes to do a physical inspection of the campus.  Gustavus applied five times before it was recommended for a chapter. After a year of planning, Gustavus members were first initiated in 1983.

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 8-9:30 a.m. at the Doubletree Hotel, Minneapolis-Park Place, 1500 Park Place Boulevard (Hwy. 394 & Hwy. 100) $10 per person.  Reserve a spot by calling Don Swanson ’55 at 763-533-9083.  Next date:  May 21 - featuring Sports Information Director, Tim Kennedy ’82

Your Gift is Twice as Nice from May 1 to May 25

The Gustavus Alumni Fund goal is to raise $1.95 million from 8,000 alumni donors by May 31.  So far 6,100 alumni have contributed $1.5 million toward our goal.  The Gustavus Board of Trustees has created a $50,000 challenge match for any gift to the Gustavus Alumni Fund from May 1 to May 25 to help achieve the goals.  Take advantage of this 1:1 matching opportunity to DOUBLE YOUR GIFT by May 31, 2008 and make a difference for current Gusties.


Softball clinched a spot in the MIAC playoffs and Julie Mahre became the Gustavus career hits leader with 207 hits.  The men's tennis team is the MIAC regular season and playoff champions and will be appearing in the NCAA tournament for the 15th consecutive year.  The women's tennis team won its 17th consecutive MIAC Title.  Junior Lisa Brown finished seventh in the javelin at the prestigious Drake Relays with a career best effort 156 feet, 5 inches; she was the only non-Division I competitor to finish in the top ten and broke her own school record by nearly two feet.  Brown's mark of 156-5 is the best mark in Division III so far this outdoor season.

Alumni Awards Announced

The Alumni Association announces the following 2008 awards selected by the Alumni Board of Directors.

Greater Gustavus Award - Given to those who by deed, have notably advanced and aided Gustavus Adolphus College:

Jim and Susan (Pepin) Peterson ’64 ’65

Distinguished Alumni Citations - Recognizing outstanding and exceptional professional achievement:

Craig Johnson ’69, bishop, Minneapolis Area Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Talmadge King ’70, chair, Department of Medicine, University of California San Francisco School of Medicine.

Barbara Berry Leonard ’63, nursing professor, University of Minnesota.

First Decade Awards - Recognizing early professional achievement:

Miho Ihara, senior consultant, CPCS Transcom Limited.

Jason Smerdon, Barnard Environmental Science/Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Environmental Science, Barnard College.

The Greater Gustavus Award and Distinguished Alumni Citations will be presented at the Alumni Banquet on Saturday, May 31 and the First Decade Awards will be presented during Homecoming Weekend, Oct. 4.

Upcoming Alumni Events

  • Gustie Breakfast - May 21, featuring Sports Information Director, Tim Kennedy
  • Class Reunions - for 50-Year Club, 1958, and 1963 - May 30 and 31


I have had several of you respond to my invitation to provide news for the class letter.  Thank you to Wayne Burmeister, Judy Magnuson Peterson, Marcia Day Anderson, and Claudia Hayden Schroeder for sending news.  It makes for such interesting reading.  I also suggest that you go the Gustavus website (, click on alumni, click on Class of 1963 and see the beautiful horse that Wayne has carved accompanied by his original poem.


Greetings ’63 classmates,

It’s 4:00 am and I can’t get back to sleep.  I woke up from a dream seeing your faces mixed with friends from other eras.  Signing up for the May reunion last night and seeing the pictures on the Internet might have had something to do with it.

It took me a while to bolster the nerve to attend another reunion.  The last one I attended was the tenth―I won a bottle of Geritol for having aged the most.  Having my trophy bride with me, (she looked 15 years younger, but is actually only 5 years) eased the torment of the award.  I saved it for many years with the intent of giving it back at a future event.  It went to the landfill when Connie and I moved in 2001, the year I retired.

Perhaps that award helped me to think and act young in spite of my appearance.  Here comes the braggy part.  After turning 50, I competed in downhill skiing for several years at the Badger State Games and added three sports to my enjoyment―snowboarding, wake-boarding and sail-boarding.  I still get out west each year for skiing and water ski at our cottage in Minocqua, Wis.  Sail-boarding needs the most work―I can only go across or against the wind.  Going with the wind is most difficult.  This seems to be part of my personality―going against the wind.

The first years at Gustavus were difficult for me.  Most of you seemed to quickly adapt to the academic and social life.  I was scared of failing academically and was socially inept.  The class size was more than ten times larger than my high school class.  I joined the business fraternity instead of a social frat.  I enjoyed the beer busts, but seemed to be more concerned than anyone else about being caught.  The second semester of my senior year, I was finally of age, but job hunting demanded any extra time.  I blew my one chance at gaining some self esteem.  No one told me that I would be awarded the Wall Street Journal Award the Awards Banquet.  I didn’t bother to attend.  Dumb, huh!

Instead of starting my job in June as most grads would do, I went to Europe ($5 a day really was possible) for the summer and started work in late August.  I was hired into a management training program in Neenah, Wisconsin, with the expectation of an accounting career.  My winds of fate landed me in the industrial engineering division, which led me to Alabama for six months during the Martin Luther King Jr. civil rights marches.  This Yankee was treated kindly when the locals found out I was working at “the mill” instead of interfering with their way of life.  Many stories...

In 1965, my minor in math paid off.  Thank you Prof. Kaufmanis for intimidating each class member at the chalkboard.  A job as a computer programmer was the start of my 36 year career in data processing―now known as information technology.  After several years and different companies, and moving into management, I again seemed to go against the wind.  I was “given” employees who were talented but not performing according to some other manager’s expectations, i.e. free spirits, unmanageable, over-the-hill, etc.  Thus started the group to manage the proliferation of a new phenomenon―personal computers.  Those little machines were considered a scourge by many computer techs.

Text Box:  Rocking horseIn retirement, I have taken on woodworking.  A friend accuses me of making my projects difficult because of my added ornamentation.  This hidden need for artistic expression eventually surfaced in the form of a carved carousel rocking horse.  The horse is not just a toy, but something I hope will be passed on to future family.  After a year and a half, I finished it four days before Christmas.  There are brass plaques on the frame with the horse’s name, “Imagination,” a plaque for each “blessed rider” and several blanks.  The night after I finished it, I was awakened by the need to tell future riders about the horse.  While my poetry may not be eloquent, I hope you enjoy it.  My lowest grade was from Prof. Suderman.  I wish I could take that most dreaded English Literature class again.

This wood once living, now quiet and still

Awaits a young rider to climb the next hill.

She’s more than wood and paint and glue.

Made with chisels and rasps and love just for you.  Using pictures and patterns the daunting task grew.  Overwhelming it seemed, my talents so few.  The first chips like sawdust, too small to be seen.  My confidence blossomed; you’ll see what I mean.  “How do you know where to chisel the wood?”  Was queried by friends in the neighborhood.  With a stolen phrase I wryly replied, Just imagine a horse is somewhere inside.  Align the chisel with grain of course; then cut away that which isn’t the horse.  A year and a half had quickly gone by Before the horse acquired an eye.  Then painting ensued and triggered elation.  When a fevered dream named it IMAGINATION.  Kids need a horse, a horse made for rocking.  But not plastic nor one that fits into your stocking.  Young riders imagine astride a wood steed, evil in shackles, the good to be freed.  So driven was I with a project like this, future riders will know that I do still exist.  Not in my body and blood as before, but in you, I am yours evermore.  Now you know why I started this job, my ego, it’s true, turned the right knob.  To open a door that spans all time, I see your smile and hope you see mine.

Hope to see you at the Reunion, Wayne Burmeister, 27 Fairview Trail, Waunakee, WI 53597

608 850 5940

JUDY (MAGNUSON) PETERSON  (Spouse - Owen ’60)

We’ve lived in Menominee located in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan on the shores of Green Bay (Lake Michigan) 55 miles north of Green Bay for 40 years.  Since we’re making plans to return to St. Peter for my reunion this year, we’ve been doing a lot of reminiscing about our Gustavus experiences.  And I know everyone has a unique and different story!

I transferred to the Gustavus Nursing Program from Northern Michigan University in Marquette, Michigan at the beginning of my sophomore year September 1960.  I was assigned to live in Rundstrom Hall with mostly all upper classmen.  My roommate was an education major and naturally I got to know my dorm mates best that year (along with my sophomore nursing classmates of course!)  As nursing students, our junior and senior years were spent at the Bethesda Hospital campus―where we bonded well and became very close.  My campus life at Gustavus had been different and somewhat limited.

However, during the summer of 1962 (due to my transfer to Gustavus) I returned to St. Peter to take some classes.  There I met my (future) husband, Owen ’60, who was back on campus doing some biology class work.  We were both from the U.P. of Michigan―had friends in common, but had never met.  The timing was right―and we fell in love!  That summer we experienced Gustavus in a whole new way!  This time I lived in good old Johnson Hall.  Swede Park, Mineopa Falls, the Holiday House, rides around the town and countryside all had new meaning.  My living in Rundstrom and getting to know so many juniors and seniors my sophomore year was a great connection to people Owen had known when he was on campus as an undergraduate.  We were married in the summer of ’63.  Three of my nursing classmates were in our wedding.

Over the years, I’ve actually had more contact with Gustavus grads from Owen’s era than my own.  In any case, our memories of and connections to Gustavus are important and cherished.  My brother, Jon ’67, his wife, Diana (Gunvaldson ’71), and their daughter, Samantha ’01 are all graduates of Gustavus

I worked for about four years before we had three children.  Then I was a stay-at-home mom for 11 years.  When I returned to the work force, most of my nursing career was in public health and geriatric nursing.  Owen was a high school science teacher and coach.  We both tried a new path for five years (1997-01) as co-managers of a low-income HUD senior housing facility.  It was good being on the same schedule:  interesting and sometimes challenging working together in the same office and building!  Our children are all married and have great spouses (so we feel we have six kids.)  We also have six grandchildren.  Our two sons and families live in northern Virginia and Chicago.  Our daughter and family live in our neighboring town and we do some babysitting for two grandkids here.  It’s the greatest!  O has a flexible part time job driving de-icing trucks to airport destinations all over the U.S. and Canada.  He’s had some very interesting adventures in his work.  We also love to travel and have had opportunities to visit many states including Hawaii and Alaska.  We try to see our grandkids in Virginia as much as possible.  Life has been good―with all of the inevitable ups and downs.  But we wouldn’t want to be making the journey without our faith in God and trust in His guiding and supportive hand!

Neither of us has been back for any Gustavus reunions so we are really looking forward to this one!


Hello Classmates,

I am so looking forward to seeing many of you at our 45th class reunion.  Ye gads!!!  45!!

I’ve enjoyed the letters some have written for our class letter sharing life experiences and perspectives.  Most impressive.  I know many of us have not had such vast experiences, but have contributed to the world in our own positive ways.  I know that my life has been blessed and rich in important ways.  I enjoyed teaching little children, I married a wonderful guy and had two daughters who married great guys and gave us six grandchildren.  We lived in California for 35 years and moved to Flagstaff, AZ when I retired in 2001.  We love Flagstaff and especially the fact that our kids are all living within a mile of us.  Our blessings have been many.

The reason I write all this is for you.  Last year we experienced the worst of tragedies and I want you to avoid a similar fate.  Our youngest daughter had three children; Mac, Megan and Cami.  She and her husband purchased a boat and joined friends following the 4th of July at Lake Powell.  Mac and Megan were good swimmers and no one worried when Megan, along with a friend, swam behind a boat parked on shore to climb aboard.  The mother watching noticed that her daughter’s eyes rolled back and everyone rushed to aid her.  Meanwhile Megan had disappeared below the water having also been attacked by carbon monoxide from the generator.  Megan was lost for half an hour, flown to Page Hospital where she was pronounced dead at seven years, on the 7th of July in 2007.  Our other daughter called her “God’s little jackpot.”  Four sevens.  Sadly it was not ours.  It has been grief beyond belief for all of us, but especially for her parents and siblings.  She was so full of life, love, beauty, creativity and enthusiasm that her loss is huge.

So many of you live in Minnesota with all those lakes and boats.  Warn everyone about the danger of carbon monoxide.  So many people who boat have never heard of that danger.  Some think it is only from houseboats.  We are working with attorneys and the state representatives to get laws passed warning all boaters.  Only California and Washington State presently have laws in effect.  The stories we’ve heard from attorneys, etc. about circumstances taking lives are amazing.  One, a teen girl jumped off the back of a boat to go to the bathroom and made the guys turn away briefly and when they turned back, she was gone.  It only takes a couple of breaths before you pass out.  Never swim behind or beside a running boat or generator.

If you want more information, go to  Thanks for reading this and spread the word.  To protect others from such a death is the only benefit to come from such a loss.

See you at the reunion. I can hardly wait....Your OLD friend, Claudia


This is my first contribution to Gustavus Adolphus since I left there.  I am grateful for the scholarship I was awarded, but which I did not complete.  It is time to say thank you!

My journey has taken me far from Gustavus.  I traveled away from my early childhood beliefs, finally doubting that even Jesus is the Son of God until the Lord caught up with me in Iran.  Unfortunately seeds of unbelief were sown in my heart in religion classes at Gustavus.  I was quite unprepared for the liberal theology I met there for the first time and didn’t know how to handle it.  I left the school with many unresolved issues, married my childhood sweetheart and finished school at a secular university.  Living in a Muslim culture in Iran revealed to me not only the barrenness of that desert nation, but also the barrenness of my own heart, which I surrendered to the Lordship of Jesus Christ in September of 1972.

My revived faith proved a problem to my husband, and finally, after 26 years of marriage, we separated.  I then faced the challenge of beginning a new life on my own.  My teaching certificate had expired long before, but God had a different plan.  I entered the Church of God Theological Seminary and began to train as a missionary.  Three years later I was assigned to co-pastor a Filipino congregation in Singapore.  Invited to teach the seminary in Manila, I returned to study at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and completed a ThM in Old Testament and Semitic languages.  After teaching 10 ½ years in the Asian Seminary of Christian Ministries in the Philippines, and completing a Th.D. in Old Testament from the South East Asia School of Theology, the Lord re-directed my steps to Africa.

I am currently serving as Academic Dean at Discipleship College, Eldoret, Kenya.  I thought the Lord brought me here because of the slower pace and clean air!  However, I was soon to discover that I had arrived in a nation about to be torn apart by old tribal hatreds and remembered wrongs.  It seems my dissertation on “carefronting” wrongs in a biblical way (particularly after models found in the life of David) was going to be put to some practical testing.  How desperately we need to learn to speak the truth in love!

As I write this, I am preparing to travel to a nearby town where youth from five congregations are gathering for a conference.  I will be speaking on Joshua on how he is calling forth a new generation in Kenya who choose to live in reconciliation with one another.  Please join me in praying for this nation that is so “key” to God’s work in Africa.

May God bless you as you continue to serve Him.  Yours in Christ,  Marcia Anderson

I am so grateful to all of you for sharing news during the last ten months.  Many thanks to the Reunion Committee who worked so hard in contacting you to invite you to the reunion.  We have an outstanding number of people coming to the reunion.  It isn’t too late to register by just going to the Gustavus website.

A highlight will be the recognition of Barb Berry Leonard with a Distinguished Alumni Citation at the Alumni Banquet on Saturday evening.  We will also have a chance to congratulate Barb in person at our luncheon on Saturday.  And speaking of the luncheon, I am happy to announce that Dan Johnson ’64 will be our speaker and will tell us about his new book on Richard Reusch.  Dan has been working on this book for 15 years and traveled to Africa, Russia, Estonia, and Canada doing research on the amazing Reusch.  Dan will also be signing books so you can get a copy at the reunion.

Many thanks to all of you who have made your gift to the Gustavus Alumni Fund and the Class of 1963 Scholarship Fund.  We are moving towards a record number of people making a contribution.  If you have not already done so, you can do it on-line by going to and using a credit card.  I will be trying to call all of those who have not made a gift to see if you would send something before May 31 so that we might count you as a donor this year.  You can save me a lot of time and energy by making your gift before I call you!!!

Thank you again for all of your kind feedback regarding the Class of 1963 and my work as class agent.  It has been great fun over these 45 years to keep up with the lives of so many of you.  The news that you have sent has been exciting to share.  Keep those cards and letters coming!

See you in a couple of weeks.

Paul F. Tillquist

1963 Class Agent