Class of '64
October 2001

Dear Classmates of 1964...

I bring greetings from your old Alma Mater, Gustavus Adolphus College.  I have been on campus three times this fall.

On September 8, 2001 the class agents, Joanna Carlson Swanson and I were invited to attend the class agent meeting.  Dick Swenson was also there because he was elected to the Alumni board.

We heard from lots of Gusties, but the sweetest was from Evelyn “Ma” Young.  At eighty-nine she gave the best talk.  She told us to be sure to say “Thank you! for all you do for Gustavus!” She said tuition never really covers the cost of college education and that others gave when we were there and now it's our turn.  Of course her enthusiasm was wonderful!  She even made her Swedish rye bread and gave it away with a hug to each of us.  There will be a big 90th birthday celebration for her next year.

If you haven’t been on campus recently, the new dining room is named after her.  It is large, lots of windows and just a little north of the old one.  The “Marketplace" where the food is served is really big.  There are twice as many students there as when we were on campus.  The freshman class is 660+.  We send letters to our 1964 class of about 200.  Students are mostly living on campus but many are off campus.  My cousin’s daughter is living above the hardware store downtown.  THAT would be a cold walk in January!!!

As I was leaving campus yesterday afternoon after the third lecture of the day about 4:30 or so they were setting up for the Nobel banquet.

I saw several from our class at the Nobel Conference.  I ate lunch at “The Country Pub” in Kasota with some teachers from St. Louis Park, and got to sit next to Ina Street Sickels.  She told of the death of Merry Jones Luhman Anderson.  She died in August from a stroke.  I remember talking to her last year at Phonorama and how excited she was to have Zachary, her new grandson.

I also ran into Gary Kenning.  We were visiting and then saw Mike Hendrickson from Carmel, California.  He was the one who got Robert Mondovi vineyards to sponsor the Nobel Conference with a gift of 60 cases of wine.  I saw Jim Gilbert ’62 and talked with Al Henderson ’62 who is with American Express Company.  He was telling me that the class of 1962 or ’63 got together one night at a little bar in North Minneapolis where Gary Anderson ’62 was playing his guitar.  What was the name of the pizza place in downtown St. Peter, where he played when we were first at Gustavus?  “Scotch and Soda, Jigger of Gin, Oh what a spell you’ve got me in, Oh, my! Do I feel high…higher than a kite can fly…etc."

Some things just don’t change much…especially the beauty of the Minnesota River Valley.  On Tuesday, October 2, the first day of the Nobel conference, it was a lovely, windy day and 85 degrees outside.  The maple trees had turned their slow change from green to yellow green to yellow to orange to red.  The whole valley was a mass of those beautiful fall colors only interrupted by the pointed church spires.  Wednesday, was a colder 54 degrees and cloudy...but the trees were still so beautiful.

Sharon Peterson Robinson’s husband, Tim Robinson ’65 (psychology professor) headed this years Nobel Conference.  Everything went well.  One speaker could not leave California, so Hubbard broadcasting arranged to have his speech from San Francisco televised at Lund Arena in St. Peter.  Wow, the wonders of today.  As Tim Robinson quipped about his Dad’s generation seeing so many changes in his lifetime, the conference theme was “What is left to be discovered.”  Next year, the theme will be Nature vs. Nurture...

As for me, summer vacation seemed to be going on and on, school started and I didn’t have to go back.  Retirement...Ah, retirement!

Then what seemed like my new job started on September 11…to watch television for what seemed like nonstop for days.  The attack on the World Trade Center towers was awful.  As I watched the memorial service from the Minnesota Capitol, a high school junior Native American young woman expressed it well.  She said that maybe this is a test by our God.  How will America pass that test in handling the next phases.

Okay...Now I need your help.  We need news...what can you send us?  It does not need to be where you vacationed or what your kids are doing, although that’s good too.  How did the New York attack affect you?  What are you feeling?  What about life patterns that you see?  Have you got any stories that you would share with all of your classmates?  You can send it to Gustavus, or e-mail it to the Alumni Office.

We also would love for you to help call each other at Phonorama.  Call a friend or buddy to come with you and call, catch up on people you normally don’t take time to contact.  We will be calling on Oct. 15, 16 and 18, and also the next week Oct. 22, 23 and 25.  I’m going to try for three nights.  I love to visit so I don’t get too many calls in....  So will you help?  If so, call 1-866-487-3863, or e-mail the Alumni Office through the website―,

If you can’t do it now perhaps you might want to put in your name for a later time in the spring.

We can send more than three class letters and more news...  We would welcome guest writers.  Joanna Lundgren Kuehn...our freshman queen said she might.  Nancy Jo Johnson Vrieze said she would write.  Will you?

Would anyone who is good at tech stuff be willing to set up our class home page?  There is a place on the Gustavus Alumni section of Gustavus set aside for each class.  Take a look for yourself.  We also could form e-mail groups.  So you keep in touch with those who are your best friends.

While I am asking for help, there is a reunion coming in 2004.  If a group of people would like to remember, laugh, plan, and get together, let us know.

“Remember...the times you had here...Remember, when you’re away...  Remember the friends you made here...and don’t forget to come back some day... Remember the hills and valleys...The sky so heavenly blue.  For you belong to GA College and Gustavus belongs to you.”

And now some campus news from the Alumni Office:

Campus News:

The Alumni Office is sending this class letter via U.S. Postal Service Mail and also e-mail to those alumni for whom we have an e-mail address.  Eventually class letters will be sent via e-mail only, when an address is available, unless you notify the Alumni Office that you prefer to continue to receive your letters via U.S. Postal Service.  Contact the Alumni Office at

As Gustavus enters its 140th academic year, the 2001-2002 year opened with an enrollment of 2,540 full-time students including 670 first-year students.  The Class of 2005, selected from a record number of applications (2,163), includes 18 National Merit Scholars and 18 international students, doubling last year’s number of nine international students.

Last year Gustavus athletic teams finished 18th out of 395 competing in the NCAA Division III national Sears Directors Cup Standings.  Standings are based on national tournament finishes.  The Gustie women athletes won the MIAC All-Sports title for the first time in its 18-year history.

Gustavus ranked among top colleges – Gustavus is ranked in the second tier and one of the top 114 best national liberal arts colleges by U.S. News & World Report magazine.  Gustavus ranked in the first tier in two categories, retention and graduation rates.  Gustavus’ first-year to sophomore retention rate of 92 percent ranks in the top 15 percent of all national liberal arts colleges and graduation rate of 76 percent ranks in the top 20 percent of all national liberal arts colleges.  Alumni giving ranks in the top 25 percent, down from the top five percent and a tier one ranking five years ago.  Raising the percentage of participation of alumni giving is of highest priority for the college and the offices of Alumni Relations and Gustavus Alumni Fund.

Gustavus named Best Buy... Gustavus has been named one of the best colleges in America and a Best Buy by The Fiske Guide to Colleges.  In the 2002 guidebook, the College is one of 300 best American colleges and one of 43 Best Buys nationwide.  Within Minnesota, Gustavus is among seven best colleges and is one of two private college Best Buys.  To determine which colleges make the annual Best Buy list, Fiske researchers combine cost data with academic and lifestyle information about each college and university.  Those institutions named to the Best Buy colleges list are said to offer “remarkable educational opportunities at a relatively modest cost.”  Gustavus is also included in The Princeton Review’s 2001 edition of The Best 331 Colleges.

Nobel Conference XXXVII, What is Still to be Discovered?, was October 2 & 3.  This year’s conference included five Nobel laureates and three other experts who gave participants a foretaste of what the next big discoveries might be as we look toward the second Nobel century.  This year celebrates the 100th anniversary of the Nobel prizes and the conference included the premier of Steve Heitzeg’s ’82 The Nobel Symphony, two art exhibitions in the Hillstrom Museum, and an exclusive banquet with a menu recreation of the Nobel dinner 100 years ago.

Comprehensive alumni directory – In partnership with Publishing Concepts, the Gustavus Alumni Association is publishing its fourth comprehensive alumni directory.  Surveys were sent to all alumni in August and information will be used only for publication of the directory and updating database information in the Alumni Office.  The book is available for purchase only by former students of Gustavus.  Please correct or update any information and return to Publishing Concepts in the enclosed envelope provided with the survey.

New chaplain announced - The Rev. Rachel Larson has joined Rev. Brian Johnson ’80 in the Office of the Chaplain.  Larson will work in partnership with Chaplain Johnson and the other members of the Office of the Chaplain to provide spiritual guidance, worship, leadership, counseling, teaching, and other pastoral services to Gustavus students, staff, and their families.  Larson is a graduate of Augustana College in Sioux Falls, SD, and of what is now Luther Seminary in St. Paul.

Christmas in Christ Chapel, A Celtic Pilgrimage, is November 30 & December 1-2.  A ticket order form was inserted in the Fall Quarterly.  Contact Office of Public Affairs at 507-933-7520.

Thank you for your past support of the Alumni Fund and we hope you will continue your support.

Be safe, enjoy life, laugh and love often!!!


Linda Leonardson Hallman

1964 Co-class Agent