Class of '64
February 2003

Dear Classmates from 1964  (Wow, 39 years ago),

I am sitting at the airport in Fort Myers, Florida looking at United, American, Northwest and Delta airplanes.  I found the luggage, but my husband missed the plane from Minneapolis.  He went to use the bathroom at the Minneapolis airport and when I got to the gate, he wasn’t back yet―so I got on and he missed the flight.  The next one comes in about two hours from now.  A retired teacher that shared an office with me has rented a condo in Naples, Florida with his wife for a month.  He invited us down for the last week in January.

I have never been to Florida before...  It is a lot warmer than the -13 degrees when we left Minneapolis this morning.  I was surprised that the curbside check in was operating in that cold weather.  I look forward to this week in the sun.  We plan on getting together with Larry and Karen Benson’64 Hanson and Jack and Shirley Schmidt Vold later in the week.  Karen and Larry bought a house in Bokeelia, Pine Island (not far from Ft. Myers) Florida. 

So some of us in our class are retired, some are still working and others are just starting on new adventures.  Perhaps some of you may want to get together and plan a part of our next reunion, not this September, but it will be in September 2004.  With e-mail that we have today, it could be planned via e-mail.  Speaking of that have any of you looked at the Gustavus web site?  (

There is a “Hello Walk” area for networking, memories and just ideas.  Check it out!  I put in “Suzie B’s, (Sue Bolmgren Anderson) idea for a singles group for people who want to meet other single Gusties that graduated in the ’60s decade.  Who knows, it may become a terrific dating service?  Sue is living in Winona, adjusting to single life, and looking for companionship.

I have some news from classmates...but it would help if you sent in some news, telling what you are doing.  Some of this news is from the fall Phonorama, but here goes...

Sharon Spande Geurkink and husband have a place in Arizona as well as their own home.

Sonja Madsen Kung and her husband, who is of Chinese decent, have been traveling.  Earlier this year they took 25 to China for three weeks.  She was a professor of math at the University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point.  They have three sons.  The first is at Whittier, California near Pasadena.  The second son is at Lexington, Maryland  He is a professor of mathematics at St. Mary’s College.  The third is in Minneapolis.  He is a jazz musician in a group called the “Urban Hillbillies.”  He plays with Kurt Jorgenson.  He is also interested in African Jazz.

This son is also in the landscape business (one must have money to survive…).

I also spoke with Barry Bloom.  He is retired and is living in Menominee, Wisconsin.  Barry is helping to make our roads safer by teaching drivers training.  His son is 24, graduated from the University of Wisconsin at LaCrosse, was married in August of 2002 and works in recreation management.  Barry’s other son is studying business packaging at the University of Wisconsin, Stout.

Nancy Johnsen Martin is retired from being in education and works in the better women's clothing at Marshall Fields Department Store in downtown St. Paul.  Nancy enjoys traveling.  She has two Gustie grads for children.  They graduated in ’91 and ’95.

Now for some news that you sent in with your gifts to Gustavus Alumni Fund:

David Garms now has a Ph.D. in public administration from LaSalle University, New Orleans.  He has just joined I.F.D.C. an international center for soil fertility and agricultural development based in Muscle Shoals, Alabama.  Dave is the Washington, D.C. representative, living in Fairfax, Virginia.

Sharon (Nelson) and Don Rahn live in Topsham, Maine.  They became grandparents of Rowan Larson on October 25, 2002.  Don is doing some fun work for L. L. Bean and Sharon is retired from teaching.  She has become a “Master Gardener.”

John Nurmi and his wife, Karen, are in Ossening, New York.  John is retired and Karen is an elementary teacher at Irvington Middle School.  John is working with Jon Romer on an instructional booklet for Native American Flute Players.  It is a college level program.

Diane (Rasmussen) and Bob Wolfgang are in Eagen, a suburb of Minneapolis.  Diane is with Wolfgang and Associates.  (She’s the president.)  Her husband is with Walter Anderson.  They have been doing lots of traveling.  They were on an Alaskan cruise, going to Mexico and maybe a cruise to Europe in the future.

Margy Forsman Nelson and her husband, Rev. Leslie Nelson, live in Libby, Montana.  Margy is the St. John’s Hospital office coordinator while her husband is minister at the Lutheran Church.  They will be on a two month sabbatical to Europe during February and March.

Ed and Neta (Frykman) Lamp are in Woodville, Ohio.  Ed is retired and I imagine very busy!  Neta is director of quality improvement at Fostoria Community Hospital.  Their daughter, Abby Lamp Heckman ’94 went to Gustavus.  Also Ed says that they have a new grandson as of March 8, 2002 Hunter Edward Kaminsky (this news isn’t old...happy 1st birthday a little early to Hunter!)

John Tammi ’63 and Marilyn Lawson Tammi are still in Holland, Michigan.  John is a professor and director of the Theater at Hope College.  Marilyn was in elementary education and is now retired.  Their daughter, Jennifer Tammi, graduated from Gustavus in 1991.  John and Marilyn have a granddaughter, Hadley Louise, born on May 17, 2002.

Gordy Olseen and Susan have a grandson born last August.  Gordy is with State Farm Insurance as an agent and Susan is a secretary, receptionist.

Donna Sederburg Ogle and husband, Arthur, are in Chicago, Illinois.  Donna is a professor of reading and language at National Louis University.  She just completed a three-year term as president of the International Reading Association.

Paula Yocum Olson and husband, Rodney, have moved to Amery, Wisconsin and are retired.  She reports that “Living at the Lake” is wonderful!

Jane Chelgren McFadden and husband report two grand babies - twins (boy and girl) last November in North Carolina.  The older son is working on his MBA in North Carolina as an investment banker.  Jane is still ringing with the bell choir at David’s United Church of Christ in Goveport, Ohio.

Dan Johnson is at the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, Minnesota.  He took the debate team to St. Petersburg, Russia and hosted the Russian debate team here this past fall.  Dan, when can we read the book you wrote about Dr, Reusch?

Karen (Benson) and Larry Hanson report that “Life is Good!” in retirement.  They bought a place on the North Pine Island in Florida, outside of Ft. Myers.  Their son, Drew, lives in Duluth.

Nancy Johnson Vrieze and husband, Eldon, are retired in Rice Lake, Wisconsin.  They went to Fortworth, Texas in September with the Lyons Club.  Nancy and Eldon have a boy and a girl.  Their children had children 22 days apart.  (Daughter, Heidi had Ellie and son Mark had Alexis).

I hear an e-mail occasionally from Marcia Weyrach Sympson in Louisville, Kentucky.  Marcia’s mother is alive and well and now living with Marcia.

Carol Albrecht Peterson lives in Willmar, Minnesota where she and her husband have the Peterson Funeral Home.  Last summer Carol was at a workshop with Paul Granlund ’52 on the north shore of Lake Superior.  They have three children.  Tammy is in medical school, Tiffany, a chiropractor and Lance.  They said they would be grandparents again on this Valentine’s Day.

Portia Benepe Rey in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is now retired and really enjoying traveling.  She’s traveled to Europe and the Caribbean.

Todd Heimdahl has retired from teaching art and now has time to do his own artwork.  I saw one of his wonderful watercolors at the Minnesota State Fair Art Show this past summer.  He went to an Art Fair last summer in the Black Hills of South Dakota.  Todd and his wife, Carol, have a “lake place” south of Willmar, Minnesota.

Tom O’Connor and wife, Vivian, are in Marietta, Ohio.  He is now a 75% pastor and loves the freedom that goes with not being full time.  Their daughter is working on a Disney Cruise Ship.

Ed Blair and Karyl (Krantz) have retired and should be sending us a report on building a house in Arizona and living near the dessert.

Ina Street Sickels has also moved to Arizona.  Is it “snow bird” home or a permanent move?

Joanna Carlson Swanson, my partner, in this class agent business reported that she and Jack would be going to Florida, where Jack will be giving cancer talks to insurance doctors.  Joanna will be relaxing.  Her husband, Jack, is planning on retiring at the end of the summer.

I spoke briefly to Judy Kaeding Larson last fall.  She said that she had retired.  Nick and Judy were on a hiking trip to Bryce Canyon in October.

As for me...I am doing all the things I never had time to do while working, plus it is fun to drop everything to go to lunch with a friend.  I have been going to a Drawing Co-op on Tuesday mornings, and a Watercolor Painting Class on Wednesday evenings.  Ken and Mary (Strand ’66) Slinde let us take pictures of their son, Nate’s, groom’s dinner on Labor Day weekend.  We hope to make photography a side business.

Charlotte Olson Jerney and I have tentative plans to go to Sweden in September.  Does anyone want to join us?  Maybe some hiking, sightseeing, etc? 

As we age, we start to think about the future.  Consider a gift in your will to Gustavus or talk to the Advancement Office gift planners about an annuity.  Again, Joanna and I thank you for all your support to Gustavus and the Alumni Fund.   Consider joining the Cec Eckoff Society, where you agree to send in a gift to the Alumni Fund every year.  It need not be a specific amount, but it means sustained giving on your part.  Also, remember to send in information about what you have been doing.


Linda “Leonard” Leonardson Hallman

1964 Co-class Agent

Campus News:

Campus Conversations about Gustavus’ Mission

President Dennis Johnson is leading a campus-wide initiative to talk about the mission of Gustavus.  Conversations will be both philosophical and practical as the community discusses goals and visions, but also within the context of challenging budgeting times.  The goal is to prepare the campus for the search and hiring of the next Gustavus president.

A Study Abroad Leader

Gustavus is a leading institution for the number of students studying abroad, according to an annual ranking recently released by the Institute of International Education (IIE). Reaffirming the mission of giving students an education that is international in perspective, Gustavus ranked 8th in the "Top 20 Baccalaureate Institutions" list of IIE’s "Open Doors 2002" report.  The College has been in the top 20 since 1994-95 and in the top 10 for the past 3 years.  Gustavus was 1 of 5 Minnesota private colleges to make the list.  During 2000-01, 397 Gustavus students studied abroad.  In 2002, 52 percent of the Gustavus graduating class had an international educational experience.

Peer Assistants Making a Difference

Like many colleges Gustavus relies on a wide range of students to help educate other students about issues, one such group is the Peer Assistants.  Created in the 1980s, this group of 15 students focuses on teaching Gusties about making healthy lifestyle choices.  They speak in residence halls, conduct workshops and do one-on-one counseling about such topics as alcohol and tobacco use and relationships.  For the 5th time since 1996, the Peer Assistants were presented with an "Outstanding Affiliate" award for colleges with an enrollment below 7,500 at the annual National Peer Educator Conference.

Upcoming Events

  • March 1 – San Diego, CA Campaign Event
  • March 14 – Tucson, AZ Campaign Event
  • March 15 – Phoenix, AZ Campaign Event
  • March 16 – Sun City, AZ Campaign Event
  • March 22 – Easter Bunny Breakfast, Minneapolis
  • April 4 – Bay Area, CA Campaign Event
  • April 5 – Seattle, WA Campaign Event
  • May 3 & 4 – Gustavus Band 125th Year Celebration
  • May 10 – G.I.V.E. Service Day

Our Building a Greater Gustavus Campaign Success Interpreted

There are many questions among alumni, students and parents about the College’s financial situation.  People hear of our success in the capital campaign and ask, “How come the budget is so tight and some items are being cut?” 

One might look at an $80 million total to date of the $100 million goal and conclude that we have plenty of spendable resources.  A closer look at the designations of our campaign gift and pledges hopefully provides a helpful explanation.  During the past 5 years of this 6 ½ year campaign:

·        $23 million has been given for post-tornado rebuilding projects, including the Jackson Campus Center, the new outdoor track, the Curtis and Arleen Carlson International Center, a new residence hall and the replanting of trees.  As I’ve already reported, another $1 million has been designated for Old Main renovation.

·        $24 million has been committed to us in the form of “future gift” commitments.  These are typically planned gifts that provide an income to the donor, or they are bequest commitments.   In either case, these are not dollars that are available for the College to use at this time.  However, they hold great promise for the future.

·        $16 million has been given to the College’s endowment fund to support scholarships, academic chairs and other programs.  While our endowment is significantly below that of our comparison schools, we must continue our progress toward increasing that number well beyond the end of this particular campaign. 

·        $8 million has been received as restricted dollars for various programs such as the Center for Vocational Reflection funded through a grant from the Lilly Endowment.

·        $8 million – approximately $1.5 million per year – has been received without restriction.   These are the only dollars raised during the course of the campaign available for use in the College’s $60 million annual operating budget.  Herein lie the concerns related to our present budget challenge and where you can make the greatest impact.  We are in the second year of the three-year 50 by 50 Campaign.  The goal is to achieve 50 percent participation of all alumni in the Alumni Fund by the 50th Anniversary in 2004.  Our class totals through January 31, 2002 are 108 donors and $37,292 in total gifts.  Our goal is to achieve 150 donors by May 31, 2003.  Thanks to those that have made their gift.  If you have not made your gift yet, please respond to the next mailing, log on to, or call toll free 866-487-3863.  Remember, while we were students, we benefited from alumni who made gifts to the alumni fund.  Let’s do our part to help future Gusties.

Presidential Search Process

The Presidential Search Committee is well underway, and the members have set an ambitious timetable.  Candidates are to be interviewed at an off-campus site in February, with three candidates being invited to interview on campus in March.  It is hoped that a recommendation to the Board of Trustees will be made in April for ratification and election of the new president.  If all goes according to the plan, a new president will be in place by mid-summer.  You may read the “Presidential Prospectus” by going to the Gustavus website and finding the President’s Office.