Class of '63
May 2009

Volume 43, No. 3

Dear Classmates,

Time flies!!!  Another academic year is soon completed at Gustavus.  Finals will arrive in about 10 days and soon over 600 seniors will graduate and join the 25,000+ alumni who are scattered around the world.  It has been a great year at Gustavus from early fall and Homecoming, Nobel Conference, and Christmas in Christ Chapel to January Term and exciting learning opportunities for students and through the spring semester with concerts, plays and lectures filling the daily schedule.


Commission Gustavus 150

In April, the eight Commission Gustavus 150 Task Forces finished meeting and completed recommendation drafting as part of the strategic planning process.  Starting next week, all recommendations will be posted on a secured website for employees, students, and alumni to provide input regarding the level of importance for each recommendation.  This information will be shared with the Board of Trustees for their August meeting to set priorities for action and funding.

Congratulations to the Gustavus Adolphus College Forensics Team, which won its second straight Minnesota Collegiate Forensics Association State Championship on Sunday, Feb. 22.  Gustavus finished with 446 points to beat out Minnesota State University, Mankato (408 points) and Concordia College, Moorhead (213 points).  Gustavus placed first in 6 of 13 events and placed four individuals in the top seven of the individual sweepstakes standings.  First-year student, Chloe Radcliffe, placed first in the individual sweepstakes and senior, Tasha Carlson, will represent Minnesota at the 2009 Interstate Oratorical Association National Contest―the oldest speaking competition in the country―on April 25 in Oxford, Mississippi.

“Come on you Gusties” Breakfast

Join us for a cup of coffee, breakfast, and great conversation.  All Gusties are welcome and invited to the breakfasts which are held the third Wednesday of each month.  This month our featured presenter is Katherine Tunheim, professor of economics and management.  Tunheim will bring news about the department and speak about business ethics and how it is incorporated in the department today.  The date will be Wednesday, May 20, 8-9:30 a.m. at the Doubletree Hotel Minneapolis-Park Place, 1500 Park Place Blvd.  Cost is $10 at the door.  Reserve your spot by calling Don Swanson ‘55 at 763-533-9083.  Upcoming summer breakfasts include Tom Emmert, professor of history, on June 17; Byron Nordstrom, retiring professor of history and Scandinavian Studies, on July 15; and Megan Ruble, director of student activities, and Mim Kagol, Gustavus Library Associates, on the Reading In Common program, on August 19.

Faculty/Administrator Service Dinner

Gustavus will honor John Bungum, professor of economics and management; Dennis Henry, professor of physics; Steve Hogberg, gift planner; Byron Nordstrom, professor of history and Scandinavian studies; Tom Thorkelson; men’s and women’s track coach, strength coach, and Lund Center special events coordinator, Edi Thorstensson; visiting instructor and academic librarian, and Steve Wilkinson; men’s tennis coach, upon their retirement and other faculty and administrators for their years of service at a May 21 banquet on campus.

Tribute to Bill Holm

Friends of acclaimed writer Bill Holm ’65, who died unexpectedly in February, gathered for a tribute on Thursday, May 7.  John Rezmerski (English, emeritus) emceed and presenters included Phil Bryant (English), Joyce Sutphen (English), Doug Huff (philosophy), Larry Owen (English, emeritus), and Athena Owen Kildegaard ’82, gave brief tributes or readings.  Music was provided by Paul and Helen Baumgartner (music, emeriti).

Time flies!!!  Many of us will be celebrating 50 years since graduation from high school.  I have talked with many of the plans to celebrate.  Questions abound about who has changed the most/the least?  Will we even recognize high school classmates?  I haven’t attended a class reunion in about 15 years and at the time of the 45th anniversary received a picture of those who came to the reunion.  I had to look carefully at the names which accompanied the picture before I finally did recognize all of them.

Time flies!  And with it news of how we are spending our first few years in retirement.  As you know, I crave news and am always grateful to those who take time to stroke a few keys and send me news via e-mail.  It also makes my letter writing easier since I can just cut and paste what you send.  Sooooo, keep those e-mails coming.


KATHY WALDEN DALTON sent a note:  “Dick ’61 and I just returned from a fun-filled week in Mexico with Al Eckloff ’62 his wife, Kathie and Pete Nyhus ’60 and his wife, Nancy.  Had a fabulous time and I have to mention that I took $3 off Pete golfing one morning!  Also, all three guys wore their "I Love GAC" t-shirts and received many comments and inquiries.  From Mexico we went to Palm Springs and spent some time with Ray Rapp ’61 and his wife, Karen.  Oh―also―our granddaughter, Mackenzie Dalton, was recently accepted into next year’s freshman class at Gustavus.  What fun!  Sorry to have missed the reunion.  Sounds as if everyone had a grand time!”

STEVE LARSON wrote and said:  “Thanks for the newsletter and for our wonderful reunion.  Those memories are priceless and the spirit of the class of ’63 is amazing.  I just returned from Kenya where I attended a good friend’s wedding and went on safari.  It was encouraging to see this beautiful East African Country continue to get its act together.  Twenty-five elephants and seven lions, at once, was the highlight.  A real Kenyan wedding was incredible.  Back to Minnesota this summer again for 50th year high school reunions―on the agenda of many.”

And, a lovely note from MARCIA DAY ANDERSON.  “I do want to thank you for faithfully writing to us all these years!  Since I’ve not been back to Gustavus since I left in 1961, I especially appreciated your letter which compared the now with the then!  Thanks!

            I continue my work as academic dean at a tiny college called Discipleship College in Kenya, East Africa.  It is amazing how students are the “same” yet each one unique and special in God’s eyes.  I love my students; see their struggles, their longing to learn and grow and their passion for God and His kingdom.  I am grateful to be here in this beautiful place which sends flowers to Europe, yet struggles with ancient tribal hatreds, control by spirits which distort life’s purpose for many, and practices which mutilate and subjugate women.  Yet, there are the shining lights such as the young couple who took in 26 children left orphaned by the violence.  Another couple suffering from HIV/AIDS shared their home with 12 children also afflicted by the disease.  There is Elias who has no shoes, but is determined to finish high school so that he eventually can be a doctor.  These examples of faith and love stir me to a higher determination to follow our Savior and be his hands and feet here in this special place where God has put me.

            Besides teaching our beloved “Old” Testament, I mentor students, struggle with their transcripts, persevere to develop new programs―an early childhood development education program and a child care-givers certificate for those working in children’s homes.  Stretched beyond the limit, the possible keeps growing.  I am thankful.  This week-end I will go to speak to widows.  What can I say?  I who have never experienced hunger and deprivation?  That God is faithful and impartial and loves them and will make a way for them!  Until He Returns.

ALICEJEAN LEIGH DODSON edited a portion of their Christmas letter to bring us up to date on her life.  “Retirement is good, you know the litany:  ‘How did I have time to work?’

            The year has flown by in a blur—in fact we wonder how we got to the end of it without even starting, but then, looking back, we see a year full of changes, some excitement, new beginnings, a little travel, not quite enough visits from friends and relatives, the uncertainty that these times bring, and all the goings on that make our lives.  We are grateful.

            (Col, U.S. Army, Retired), Jonathan’s (USMA ’68) volunteer activities with the Wounded Warrior Mentor Program at Walter Reed Army Medical Center with the seriously wounded soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan (Wounded Warriors) consume his weeks.  He is at the hospital many days, with meetings, visiting and doing interviews with the Wounded Warrior patients.  All of that is followed by lots of computer time as he writes and reviews reports about the Wounded Warriors and prepares information for them and their families to navigate the complex Military and VA systems.  He also makes local trips to meetings and a couple out-of-town jaunts in conjunction with this program.  He continues in the prospective candidate interview process for West Point.  This was a reunion year for the 1968 USMA class and also for the company he served with in Viet Nam-Delta Company, 1st Battalion, 12th Cavalry; 1st Cavalry Division.  Both reunions brought back strong memories and friendships.

            Alicejean, after retiring as program manager for the Marine New Parent Support Program in December of 2005, is a part-time (paid a pittance) Historic Interpreter at Mount Vernon, or commuting to and from that lovely estate.  Don’t get her started about it unless you have time to talk, for she is immersed in the 18th century and fascinated about all things George Washington.  She secretly hopes that the place is peopled by spirits and that she will get to meet them.  Her latest talent is making chocolate the colonial way, roasting, shelling, grinding, and working the beans in the way it was done in the 1700’s, all of in colonial dress and with a big smile.  Coming up on two years now, how long will she do this?

            And so it goes, some of us finding our way, some of us starting out, some of us looking for our niche, but all of us nourished with amazing love.  May you find hope, comfort, and peace in the New Year.

            Much love today, and all the days, Jon, Alicejean (Aj) and 2 year-old Thacker (she is a Blue Heeler [healer?] and the dearest dog God ever made).”

BRIAN and JAN (HULTBERG) JOHNSON spent a couple of weeks enjoying Arkansas this winter and then took the month of April to enjoy spring weather in Fountain Hills, AZ.  PAUL and RUTH (ANDERSON) TILLQUIST also spent time in Arizona where they had coffee with Brian and Jan, lunch with TOM and Marilyn LINDELL, and lunch with KAREN LINDBORG JONAITIS and Chuck.  GARY and MARY ANN (CARLSON) ANDERSON spent six weeks in Vilnius, Lithuania where Gary was a visiting pastor at the American church.  Gary also received recognition from the Gustavus Adolphus College Association of Congregations and was presented the Covenant Award “in grateful appreciation for strengthening the partnership between Gustavus and congregations of the church.”  RICHARD and MARY (CARLSTROM) STRAND alternated between cold Minnesota and their home in warm Florida during this past winter.  BILL LAHTI spent his winter months again this year in Sun City Grand, AZ.


Thus ends Volume 46 of these class letters.  I do enjoy writing them, especially when you send e-mail clippings of how you’re spending your time.

As the academic year closes, I must remind some of you that the Gustavus Annual Fund for this year closes on May 31.  Almost 85% of you made a gift last year.  We are a little behind that pace so I am encouraging you to make your gift soon.  You can do so easily with your credit card and make your gift on-line:  While the current economic slump may affect some, I am hoping that all of you will make an attempt to give something so that we can count you as a donor.  As I have said over the years, the impressive alumni support has been very helpful as the College applies for grants from foundations.  Foundations are more willing to give to colleges when alumni also support their alma mater.

Thank you so much for your continued friendship and support.  You are the greatest!!


Paul F. Tillquist

1963 Class Agent


royal affair