Class of '64
February 1999

35th Anniversary Class · Class of 1964

May 28 & 29, 1999

Dear Classmates,

Spring semester began at Gustavus. At the end of the semester comes graduation and reunion time. You'll want to step out of your usual spring routine and spend time with the friends of our youth. Convenient to the airport, freeways, and "the locals," the Friday night event will be held at the Hotel Sofitel on the corner of #494 and #100. Saturday we'll be back on campus. A picnic lunch and program is planned in the arboretum, tours, concerts and plenty of time for catch up visiting is the order for the day. Should these winter months put you in the mood for sorting through old boxes of college memorabilia, bring it with you and we'll have fun looking at it.

You'll be both surprised and shocked at the appearance of the town and campus. Much has improved, but a lot has changed. Driving in to St. Peter one is struck by the lack of trees throughout the town. One immediately notices the campus, including the first floor of the dorms. No trees of any size shade the homes or buildings. My old schools have been bulldozed, the big Roman Catholic Church is down, and vacant lots stand where there should be homes. You can tell my St. Peter roots are showing.

Some new homes are under construction particularly on Main Street. Near the campus, the Catholics are preparing to build. The campus added dorms, the new food service building is underway, and everything looks new and clean. All this may be more than you want to know, but maybe it will whet your curiosity to come back.

Alumni office reports show that over 100 of us have already given to the alumni fund this year. To all of you who have sent in your checks, credit cards, stocks, etc., a thousand thanks. The records also show that a good number who gave in the past haven't yet. I know you'll want to remember Gustavus particularly in an anniversary year!! Gustavus continues to dream and act in bold ways. (And that should be interpreted to mean they will put your money to excellent use if you will only send it in!) Think generously! When you see younger Gusties, read about Gustavus, watch or listen to a Gustavus event, you'll see your money working. You will be pleased about giving and Gustavus will love receiving your gift.

Now for some updates on classmates:

Dan Johnson reports that one result of his Fulbright is debate teams at the University of Petrozavodsk and St. Petersburg. These are the first since the Revolution. (That was definitely before our time!) His manuscript of Dr. Reusch is on the drawing board.

see you at the reunion

Joyce Wallinder Johnson travelled to Kenya and Tanzania last March.

Judy Friesen Winters has four grandchildren, with new grandson, Zachary, born last October. I talked to Judy the same day Zachary arrived and she was a very excited grandmother.

Alan and Becky (Shager ’65) Gessner have seven grandchildren and are looking forward to #8. Alan was at his mother's home in St. Peter the night of the tornado. They have tornado stories.

Judy Swenson Myers was appointed to Excelsior United Methodist Church in July of 1995. She writes, "I find this congregation to be a wonderful place to be in ministry. My passions lie in the area of pastoral care and adult education. Both of my sons and their wives live close by... one in South Minneapolis and one in Lakeville. I have a 3 ½-year-old granddaughter who calls me DAM! It causes some fun moments and questioning looks. (It was supposed to be GRAM, but somehow DAM is the way it comes out.) Life is good!"

Norton Pederson spent ten days at the St. Cloud VA in September. We hope you'll be at the reunion.

Henning and Arlis (Husfeldt ’63) Anderson moved to Georgia from Tallahassee, FL, and purchased a home on Lake Lanier. They are now close to their daughter, Hallie, who lives in Dunwoody, GA.

Richard and Joan (Benson ’66) Dornfeld are in Austrailia on a teacher exchange program until May.

Rod and Jean (Axdahl) Bahnson are enjoying their first year of retirement and built a new house in Linwood, IA. Linwood is small (800 people).

You'll be at the runion, too?

Sharon Spande Geurkink has also retired, enjoys traveling, and is building a new house. They live in O'Fallon, MO.

Andy Stamson is planning to retire from Stamson and Blair soon.

Ed and Neta (Frykman) Lamp wrote that Ed is leaving retirement and returning to engineering. Their daughter, Abby ’94, has her five year reunion from Gustavus the same year as Ed and Neta celebrate their 35th reunion.

Sue Bolmgren Anderson sold her business, Sue's Lettering, and is relieved to be out of it.

Of course we're all coming to the reunion!

Camille Janzen Bunch will retire on July 1 after 31 years of teaching, 28 at the junior high middle school level. On July 3, she leaves for a tour of Norway. She is looking forward to our 35th reunion.

Dennis Nielsen was appointed interim president of Metro State for two years. He has been vice president of academic affairs at Winona State University. Both the Minneapolis and Winona newspapers carried articles about him in his new position and his background. Congratulations!

Diane Kvols Schweizer was brushing up on Spanish in anticipation of visiting her daughter, Amy, who is teaching in Ecuador.

Stan and Sylvia (Wilson) Kittelson live in Litchfield where Slyvia is teaching.

Helen Brostrom Ihrig plans to come to the reunion. She went to the Swedish Folk Art Show at the Field Museum in Chicago.

Susan Toftey Hildebrand wrote that her daughter, Kim, is working on her PhD at the University of Washington, their son lives in Milwaukee. She visited with Mim Borg in California. Sue and Nancy Jo Johnson Vrieze play "Vintage Vimon" (aka Scandinavian Bag Ladies).

Carl Franzen's son, Ted, is a freshman at Gustavus and plays soccer. Carl continues to coach youth soccer and lives in South Minneapolis.

Denny and Cathy (Moe) Dietz live in Westlake Village, CA. Their son married last summer and is working on his MBA. Their daughter is a massage therapist.

Valerie Donner Sechler spends the winter months teaching art classes at the Octagon Center for the Arts in Ames, IA. In the summer, she is at the "Little Morgandale Resort" on Green Lake in Spicer, MN.

come to the reunion

Carla Johnson Stoneberg writes from Andersonville, IN, about her project with teenage girls last November. She chaired a "Sister-to-Sister Summit" for 54 middle school girls. "The summit provided a forum for teenage girls to discuss common problems such as peer pressure, self-esteem, teen pregnancy, violence, and substance abuse. The girls then developed an action plan to prevent these threats from becoming barriers to their achieving their own life goals." These summits were sponsored by American Association of University Women and have been held nationwide.

Emily Hanson Abello's son, Kyle, enrolled as a freshman at the University of California-San Diego. She and Neal are adjusting to being a twosome again.

Marlys Sanders Siverson is a substitute teacher. Their son, Lars, is in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve as an M.P. He is also a bus mechanic. Son, Olaf, is a junior at St. Olaf College majoring in chemistry and math and sings in the Chapel Choir. Daughter, Sonja, is a sophomore at Luther College majoring in social work.

Some news from campus:

Spring Semester started February 8 after another busy January Term. Once again, many students took advantage of J-Term opportunities with 127 on internships, 308 on study abroad programs, and 86 students studying at other domestic institutions. Progress is being made on construction of the new Campus Center due to be open in the fall of 1999. After a week and a half of classroom preparation covering the history and culture of South Africa, the Gustavus Choir participated in a concert tour of the country January 14-February 2. The Gustavus Band traveled to South Dakota, Nebraska, Colorado, and Iowa for their concert tour during touring week, January 30-February 6. Athletic teams are in full swing with all teams being competitive in MIAC play. Over Christmas break many teams traveled for non-conference games including men’s basketball winning a tournament in California, men’s hockey playing in Italy, and the swim teams competing in Bermuda.

Gustavus is once again in the news, making some national rankings. Gustavus ranked 12th among the top 22 leading small colleges in the nation providing active Peace Corps volunteers. Gustavus is ranked 15th in the listing of top 20 bachelor’s institutions that sent the most students overseas for international study during the 1996-97 academic year. Gustavus is ranked 18th of national liberal arts colleges in the number of National Merits with 17 students. Mark Anderson ’66, Dean of Admission, reports that applications for admission for the fall of 1999 are running 20 percent ahead of last year. The Admission Office instituted several new campus visit days in the summer and fall to account for the fact that few students could visit last spring. Alumni are reminded of the Alumni Scholarship Program ($10,000 over four years for children and grandchildren of alumni) available to qualified applicants. Call the Admission Office at 1-800-GUSTAVU(S) for applications.






Joanna Carlson Swanson

1964 Co-Class Agent