Class of ’63

April 2012

Dear Classmates,

Campus News

Sesquicentennial Celebrations – You Are Invited to Celebrate

It is a very big year in the history of our college.  It’s the Sesquicentennial, the 150th anniversary.  What a great time to come back to campus.  If you haven’t been back for years, you won’t believe the difference.  The campus looks magnificent!  There are also numerous events on campus and around the country.  In conjunction with the celebrations on campus, the College invites all alumni, parents, and friends for a celebration at a site near them.  See a list of all the national Sesquicentennial Celebrations and register for an event at  Here is the list of celebrations coming up around the country.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012 – Madison, WI – The Harvest

Thursday, April 26, 2012 – Chicago – Gleacher Center with Allison Rosati ʼ85

Tuesday, June 5, 2012 – Rochester, MN – Somerby Golf Club

Monday, June 18, 2012 – St. Cloud – St. Cloud Civic Center

Tuesday, June 19, 2012 – Willmar – The Oaks

Wednesday, June 20, 2012 – Fargo/Moorhead – Hotel Donaldson “Stokers”

Monday, June 25, 2012 – Sioux Falls:  Minerva’s

Tuesday, June 26, 2012 – Omaha – Spezia Restaurant

Wednesday, June 27, 2012 – Des Moines - Wakonda Club

Monday, July 16, 2012 – Grand Rapids – Timberlake Lodge Hotel

Tuesday, July 17, 2012 – Duluth – The Clyde Iron Restaurant

2012 Alumni Association Awards Announced

The Gustavus Alumni Board of Directors has announced its 2012 award recipients:

Greater Gustavus Award – awarded to those “who by deed, have notably advanced and aided Gustavus Adolphus College”:  Jon and Anita Thomsen Young ’77 ’77, Eden Prairie, MN, for their volunteer leadership, service and philanthropy to the College.  Distinguished Alumni Citations – recognizing outstanding and exceptional professional achievement that brings unusual honor to the individual in his or her field of endeavor:  Scott Dee ’81, Farwell, MN, professor of veterinary population medicine, University of Minnesota, swine consultant, and international research veterinarian and director at Pipestone Veterinary Clinic; Mark Elfstrom ’01, Anchorage, AK, middle school math and science teacher, recipient of a 2011 Milken Educator Award and finalist for the 2012 Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching; Kurt Elling ’89, New York, NY, Grammy Award-winning vocal jazz artist.  First Decade Awards – recognizing early professional achievement in the 10th anniversary class:  Amy Brown ’02, Pittsburgh, PA, neonatology fellow at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center; Michael Bland ’02, St. Louis, MO, postdoctoral associate, earth and planetary sciences, Washington University.

The Alumni Association will present Faculty and Administrator Service and Retirement Awards at a dinner at Gustavus on May 16; honorees will be featured in the fall issue of The Gustavus Quarterly.

The King and Queen are Coming!

President Jack Ohle recently sent out an important announcement.  “I am excited to inform you that Their Majesties King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden will visit Gustavus Adolphus College and the American Swedish Institute in October 2012.  The King and Queen will start their two-day visit to Minnesota at Gustavus on Friday, October 5.  Their Majesties will be on campus for an extended chapel service in the morning and other activities on campus to highlight the College’s Sesquicentennial.  Details regarding the schedule and tickets for the Royal Visit will be announced in May by Gustavus and the American Swedish Institute.  We will be pleased to welcome Their Majesties to the Gustavus campus as part of our Sesquicentennial celebration.”  We had a king and queen as freshmen at GAC, but not these two!

“Those were the days my friends, we thought they’d never end…”

The sixties, when we had the privilege of gathering on the hill in St. Peter, to get an education.  We studied; played, laughed, cried, and studied some more while we defined our values and planned for the future.

We walked into a challenging decade ahead.  We faced the civil rights movement, the Vietnam War, women’s rights, assassinations of two Kennedys, and Dr. M. L. King, Jr., the hippie generation, earth day, world’s first moon landing, race riots, the first color televisions and our first jobs or adult responsibilities.

After all those years, we have another opportunity to gather on the hill to celebrate; our golden reunion.  A time to reflect, remember and renew will be May 31 - June 2, 2013.  Yes, it’s over a year away, but senior citizens are busy and we want you to put these dates on the calendar now.  Also, call a friend, make plans to stay in the dorm (I did that in 2008…not bad…much bigger than Wahlstrom) and if so inclined, help out with the planning.  Email me and let me know ( or call 952-920-1976.)

Remember May 31-June 2, 2013 we’re planning a Pizza Villa party on campus…just like the ʼ60s.  There will be a memorial service, a luncheon and the big dinner.  We also want to have an “after-glow” following the dinner with some fun entertainment.  The year will go quickly, as have the last 50.  I’m looking forward to a great weekend.   ~Ginny Larson Jones ʼ63


Tim Gamelin Shares Reflections on Faith, Vocation, and GAC

I suppose that my pastoral vocation has made me particularly sensitive to questions of faith.  Why does a person’s faith in Jesus rise and fall?  Why does personal faith oscillate between dry desert and luxurious forest?  What influences sustain faith during the desert times?

For me, and no doubt also for many others, the time at GAC was a time of doubt, college courses, even in religion, often taught us to challenge any “truth” through empirical methods.  And the basics of Christian faith, which enter us as revelations from God, don’t stand up well under scientific or historical or cultural analysis.  The most important truths of our existence−telling us by whom and for what purposes we have been created−do not come because we manage to figure them out.

So I am grateful for the experiences at Gustavus that kept the flame of my faith flickering during this era of empiricism.  I am grateful for the weekly matins services which breathed the mysteries of Jesus.  I am grateful for the music of the choirs, presenting Jesus in sounds that moved my heart.  I am grateful for the beauty of the chapel which lifted my eyes and stirred my soul.

After graduate studies in political science, as I settled into a teaching vocation, I returned to life in a Christian congregation.  Here my faith once again was nourished and, through ups and downs, was strengthened.  My faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior took its place as life’s foundation, while my vocation as a political scientist, my love of empirical insights, continued to bring delight.  Then, after ten years of college teaching, the Lord called me to enter seminary in preparation for pastoral ministry.  There faith in Jesus became not only my treasure but also my vocation.

Thank you, Gustavus, thank you faculty, administrators and fellow students, for sustaining me through a dry time of spirit.  And thank you Lord, for the faith that you instilled and sustained in me through times when doubt seemed ready to overwhelm faith.(Note:  Tim is currently serving as pastor of Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, Greensboro, NC.)

Class Competition Announced

You and your friends in the Class of 1963 are now locked in a friendly competition with all the other great Gustie alumni classes – who will win…?

  • The most proud – the alumni class that makes the most gifts to the Gustavus Annual Fund.
  • The most generous – the alumni class that gives the greatest amount.
  • Gifts made between March 1 and May 31, 2012, count in the competition.  Please consider a gift of $1,000 or more.  That counts for participation.  You’ll then do so much more to help your class and all Gusties who follow your lead.
  • Your gift demonstrates that you’re proud and loyal – and smart, too.  Each year, US. News & World Report and other organizations use alumni annual fund participation to grade and rank colleges.  That means your gift can strengthen the value of your degree!

Class News

Sandy Brown Johnston had a stroke last fall affecting her left side.  At last report, she was home recovering.  Cards sent to her in Hawaii would be great….Dick and Mary (Carlstrom) Strand hosted a Swedish Smorgasbord dinner back in January.  Guests included Paul and Ruth (Anderson) Tillquist, Ben and Ruth (Johnson) Leadholm ʼ62 ʼ62, Hap ʼ62 and Carla LeVander and J. Stephen and Judy Benson.  A good time was had by all.  Guests were limited to one glass of aquavit during the smorgasbord course!  Mary wanted to prove that she can still cook, even though she’s a great-grandmother now….Meanwhile, husband, Dick Strand has gotten his medical license to practice in South Dakota and he continues to be a “jock” with a recent ski trip to Vail and lots of tennis anticipated in Florida soon….Shortly after Christmas Rog and Joyce (Gulstrand) Amdahl left for their winter “digs” in Arizona (near Lake Havasu) and will also be visiting their son, Eric ʼ96, in California.

Section 308 Wahlstrom Hall is planning a "mini reunion" on Madeline Island in connection with our 50th Gustavus reunion….Brian and Jan (Hultberg) Johnson moved in late 2010 to Bella Vista, AR, “where it seems everyone is from someplace else.”… Bonnie Lewis McClees writes, “It’s my turn to operate in the middle of a generational sandwich, helping out my 97-year-old mother who still lives at home and ‘sitting’ (ha!) with my baby grands ages 1 and 3.”  Don’t think that Bonnie lets the grass grow under her feet−she celebrated her 70th birthday with a week of camping and kayaking on the Oregon coast in late October and planned 10 weeks of desert camping in California with a friend this past winter….Karen Pierson Tommeraasen and her husband, Courtney, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary, by joining a pilgrimage group that traveled to the Holy Land, Jordan and Rome.  She says, “It was an incredible experience…gave us a new spiritual focus.”  They’re looking forward to our 50th reunion in 2013!

Christine Swenson Wilmot reports that her nursing group gathered in October 2011, right after the Nobel Confernce.  Ten of the nurses (Pat Findley Casto, Barb Dahlin Johnson, Rose Omodt Jost, Mary Sundberg Larson, Barb Berry Leonard, Carolyn Helgeson Liebenow, Gloria Saffel Mueller, Christine Swenson Wilmot, plus Judy Magnuson Peterson and Addy Blotter Roadfeltdt) were all in Northfield for a luncheon at the Golf Club and then moved to Addy’s home for dessert, coffee and lots more conversation.  They lingered until after 5 p.m. just enjoying being together.  Everyone commented about how very special the afternoon seemed.  Unfortunately on Nov. 18 Addy passed away.  Her memorial service was held Jan. 7.  Four of the ʼ63ers, Mary, Carolyn, Barb L. and Christine were able to attend….Also, there is the sad news of the death of Lenore Karstad Adams who died December 29 after a lengthy battle with leukemia.  She is survived by two sons, Chris and Sean.

Marcia Day Anderson sent a Christmas letter and photos from Kenya where she continues her missionary work having previously been in Singapore and the Philippines.  The first photo showed her with a group of Sunday school children.  She says that it could be entitled, The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light.  Marcia expressed her gratitude for an amazing 20 years as a missionary in Singapore, Philippines and Kenya.

The “girls” of Wahlstrom, section 308 are planning a mini-reunion during our class reunion.  They had better not try to have the reunion at Wahlstrom Hall.  It’s gone!...Lee and Mette Miller report that they travelled extensively last year including trips to the Philippines and the United States from their home in Denmark.  Meanwhile, Mette has taken up an interest in opera and, as Lee says, “coerced” him to attend several operas in a variety of great opera houses….Paul and Ruth (Anderson) Tillquist traveled to Peru and Ecuador recently.  They visited Machu Pichu and the Galapagos, a truly exciting trip with many new experiences.  Gary and Mary Ann (Carlson) Anderson went to minister to the sun worshipers in Florida and Mexico this past winter as did many other classmates, most of whom were either in Florida or Arizona.  Don ʼ61 and Eunice Holm Fultz were once again in Iringa, Tanzania where they have been involved for many years in the St. Paul Area Synod (ELCA) mission partner work.  They were there for several months ministering in a variety of ways.

Claudia Hayden Schroeder, in response to a request for some news from our class, suggested that classmates be presented with a question or a subject.  She wondered about maybe sharing memories of our golden time at Gustavus.  If those memories were sparked with a certain subject, like say the Canteen memories, or Wahlstrom’s serenading or how about the Pizza Villa and Holiday House or Joes or . . . . Any stories you want to share are welcome.  They will, of course, be edited so that nothing inappropriate gets published lest our newsletter be censored in the future.  Yes, do send me stories of favorite experiences and memories from our time at Gustavus.

Pat Hart asked me, your still new Communications Chair, about how I arrived at this post.  The answer is easy.  Tilly asked me.  And as we all know, he is a hard person to say “no” to when he asks for our support!

Don’t forget that we are moving toward a very important year for us—our 50th anniversary.  It isn’t possible, I know, but I am told it is coming anyway.  Yes, 2013 is the year that we will look back on 50 years since we said goodbye to our “ye old college on the hill.”  Save the dates of May 31 – June 2, 2013.

Class News−Please Submit It!

As you may now know, there is a new class structure in place.  For some strange reason I won’t ever understand, I was asked to be the “class communicator.”  But I can’t do that without your help!  Without you, I have little to communicate about our class.  A group of people has been asked to be “newshounds” to spot news of our classmates.  But each of you can serve in that role.  No special appointment is needed!  To send your news to BOTH me and the Alumni Office, send your news to:  Or you may send it directly to me, your class communicator.  In that role, your help is much needed and appreciated.  My email is:  Don’t be too shy, in typical Gustavus/Scandinavia fashion, to send news to me about yourself.  Also, if you would like to write a classmate story or editorial for the next edition, just let me know!  Who knows, you might even win a Pulitzer Prize for your writing skills.


Gary F. Anderson

(Remember I always have to use my middle initial.)

1963 Communications Officer

A 1963 class letter would not be complete without a word from “Tilly” our long-time correspondent.  Paul has accepted a new role as Gustavus Annual Fund Chair for the Class of 1963 and will keep us informed as to how we are doing in supporting our alma mater.


The Class of 1963 has contributed $38,661.13 so far in the 2011-2012 Annual Fund.  So far in this annual fund year, gifts have been received from 72 classmates which is about 29% of our class of 246.  Last year we had 49% of our class make gifts.  Our goal is to increase that percentage.  The Class of 1963 is also locked in friendly competition with other classes.  The class that has the largest number of donors by May 31, 2012 will receive special honors as will those classes who are the most generous.  Each year, U.S. News and World Report and other organizations use alumni annual fund participation in ranking colleges.  Participation is important!!  Alumni are encouraged to make a gift of $1,000 or more if possible, but know that all gifts are appreciated.  Gifts made between March 1 and May 31, 2012 will count in the competition.  Be sure to write “Class of 1963” in the “Comments” box when you make your Gustavus Annual Fund gift.  Also, be sure to include a news note for the class news section in the Quarterly.  Travel, grandchildren and news of winning the Mega Gifts Lottery all make great items to share with classmates.

Of course, we continue to encourage extra gifts to the Class of 1963 Scholarship Endowment Fund.  That Fund has a value of $49,250 as of June 1, 2011.

One of the easiest ways to make a gift is to go online to: and make a donation with your credit card.  Remember that the Annual Fund closes on May 31, 2012!!!

Paul Tillquist

1963 Annual Fund Chair