Class of '64
April 2005

Hi 1964 classmates,

Whew…a lot of years have past since that 1964 date and the Minnesota weather today reminds me of the day we graduated.  I can still remember posing for a picture with my "roomie" Sue Bolmgren and Prof. George Anderson.  It was warm and sunny...

Retirement is sure making my mail and things-to-do stack up on my desk.  Maybe because I don't stay home so much anymore.  Of course, I should be getting my taxes ready to take to my tax preparer and raking the lawn, but right now writing this class letter seems like a lot more fun.

Our high school class (St. Louis Park, MN 1960) is planning our reunion this summer and I have been working on that committee.  I think that 14 of my high school class went to Gustavus.  Sometimes I forget that I have both in common with some of you.

This following email arrived from Karen Benson Hanson regarding their hurricane ravaged home on Pine Island near Bokeelia.  I remember last summer when we were cooking at Mount Olivet's Cathedral of the Pines Camp and watching the hurricanes brewing off of the Florida Coast.  Karen Benson Hanson was there reading the paper as to where and when it would come ashore.  Then where it did hit then the phone call to camp from Larry Hanson the roof was off.  She left camp to go to Duluth and then to get their motor home, fill it up with building supplies and head to Florida.  In February, while visiting with friends in Naples, Florida, we had brunch with Karen and Larry.  They have been trying to get permission to rebuild.  Oh, the tales of who can and should decide what they can do and when.  Karen has spent most of the months since waiting by the phone to hear.  Of course, when you call a government agency they have to phone you back.  So I was glad to get this email from Karen.


HOORAY!!!  Date:  Tue, 29 Mar 2005 15:54:55 –0500

Seven and a half months after Hurricane Charley, we're happy (to put it mildly) to report that we finally have our building permits.  We'll begin internal destruction and internal and external construction in the next few days.  Don't know what this will all do to Wisconsin return, etc., but we're just happy to be "on the way."

If I haven't responded to e-mails, written, etc., I apologize.  We've been single-minded, staying off of the computer/phone waiting for calls, or trying to get in touch with builders, code and zoning folks, and the like.  Hey, even if the house isn't back, we're back.  Cheers, Karen

Now we can be thankful that we don't have to go through all that.  Since the first of the year I have been traveling…Naples, Florida with the retired art teachers from Hopkins, MN.  In March, I flew to Phoenix, Arizona.  It was my first time in that state.  I know there are pros and cons to Florida and Arizona for those that retire and are "snowbirds" in the winter.  I was pleasantly surprised.  First I stayed with former neighbors in Surprise, AZ (Sun City-Grand).  They were great tour guides all around the city.  Later, I drove to Sedona, to visit our classmate and fellow art major, Gary Kenning who has been renting in Arizona for a few years from mid-February thru mid-April.  I understand that the Arizona weather had been mostly rain in January and February, but the week I was there it was warm and sunny.  We got to see the "spring green" of the new leaves come out on the trees.  The "Red Rocks" of Sedona were magnificent!  Gary was a terrific guide on hikes into those hills.  I even got my "Golden Age Pass" to the national parks and forests while I was there.  We drove to see the Grand Canyon one day.  It was my first time to see it.  I thought you just looked at it from one spot, but we looked at it from many.  The big hotel (El Tovar) was being refurbished so we couldn't go in, but the experience was wonderful.  I would definitely go back to Sedona again.

My last leg of the Arizona journey was to Phoenix, then through Tucson and south to Green Valley, Arizona.  Some friends just had a house built there and guess who was at the lunch?  Ina Street Sickels.  Ina and her husband have a house across the highway.  We went shopping in Tubak and then were invited to see Ina and David's wonderful adobe home. was fabulous!  Plain on the outside but so wonderful inside.  Ina has a flair for decorating and putting everything together.  They have been in their place for three years and I think have a small place just north of St. Paul.  We had a wonderful visit.

I came home; got the mail...planned Easter dinner for my relatives then flew to Aspen to ski with friends for a week.  It was luckily cold so the snow was just super for skiing, not like snow cones, which it could be at that time of year.  My legs were screaming to quit early on the first few days so I did, but we had a terrific time.  No injuries this trip.  My son "Gus ’00" came out to join us for a few days.  He left in a snowstorm.  This week I have been avoiding the tax stuff and now it is the 10th so I better call the tax man and find out what I need to do for an extension.  I feel like I did writing term papers, my room at the dorm was never so clean nor my nails as polished as when I had a big project or test to work on.

My son, Gus, is between jobs so I figured that maybe it would be a good time for a trip since he said he would be looking for a job soon.  So, we are taking two weeks, flying to London and then coming home from Paris.  I figure I can still walk and he has no job or obligations to a family, when will this happen again??  So we are going!  Today too much time was spent looking on the Internet for hotels in London...finally found one and made a reservation.  Whew, that's all I have planned so far.  We need a place in Paris and then somewhere to go in between.  I have been rambling too much about myself.  I did get an envelope with news turned in to Gustavus, so…here it is:

Emily Hanson Abello writes from Santa Ynez, California that they survived a rainy winter and even some snow on local mountains.  They are looking forward to a western Caribbean Cruise in April to do some snorkeling.

Mary Fahden McIlrath in Prior Lake, Minnesota retired from computer consulting this year.  She continues to travel, sing in choir, volunteer for the humane society, and take yoga classes, book club and investment club.  Mary writes that life seems busier than ever.  She said she is spending part of the winter in Progreso, Mexico, each year.

Tom Turner in Vista, California writes:  "The same year (’99) Kim and I retired, Kim came down with a brain tumor and died.  So I'm back to "work" volunteering as a counselor at Tri City Christian School and as a marriage family therapist at our church (North Coast).  “Remember every moment together is to be cherished!"

Liz Proeschel Wold is working for Holiday Companies as a credit analyst.  Pete's ’62 retired from Mosby Publishing (and keeping busy working a few mornings a week at Lund’s Food Stores.)  Liz writes "a highlight of life is spending time with our kids.  Pete ’92 and wife, Tami (Jergenson ’92) and Molly ’94 and Wade Sedgwick and grandkids Harrison 6, Greta 4, Asa 2 and Tommy and Penny.  We love trips to Dodge Nature Center and Minnesota Children's Theater, the Science Museum of Minnesota and playing outdoors with them make us feel young and happy."

Last Sunday I was driving to church and had a CD "Bound for Glory" by the Great Northern Union Chorus playing in my car.  I was thinking that I should send a note off to Ken Slinde who is singing in that award-winning group.  I was going to hear them sing January 21st at Bethel College here in the Twin Cities.  A snowstorm thwarted my plans to hear them, but I later ordered a CD from the Internet.  ANYWAY, when I got to church, who was marching down the aisle instead of the Senior Choir?  The Great Northern Union Chorus.  Fabulous group...terrific singing.  I love to hear a group of men singing.  It must be a throw back to the serenades from the fraternities on campus?

Now it is 12:48a.m. (just after midnight) and I think I will be almost done with this letter...I know that the Alumni office wanted it last Friday.  The Alumni Fund year ends at the close of May so if you haven't given, do it NOW.  If you have given, THANK YOU!!!  Or give again.  One year I gave three times, because I thought I hadn't!  I really didn't miss it and Gustavus is striving to be better, our dollars can help.

Now at the end of this letter the Alumni Office will add some campus news.  Please send in some of your personal news so these letters can be more about you.  Even if you think that it isn't important, it will be interesting to others.  I hope this finds you well and with more time now to rekindle old friendships from Gustavus days.  Thanks for putting up with my ramblings

Campus briefs

Gustavus has been known for its strong tradition of alumni participation in annual giving.  Gusties support their Alma Mater in many ways and show their pride with their gifts.  All alumni and current students have benefited from previous and current support.  Gustavus will be as strong as its alumni want it to be.  The 2005 Alumni Fund closes May 31.  Make sure you are included with many members of your class and other alumni that have chosen to keep Gustavus strong.  Three easy ways to give – send your check to the Alumni Office (by using the enclosed envelope), call 866-487-3863, or on-line at 

Alumni Awards

The Gustavus Alumni Association has announced 2005 award recipients.  The Greater Gustavus Award to George Torrey ’55 for his lifetime volunteer service and philanthropy to the College. Distinguished Alumni Citations to G. Barry Anderson ’76, Apple Valley, MN, associate justice, Minnesota Supreme Court; Deanna Nelson ’64, Cary, NC, president/founder, BioLink Life Sciences, Inc.; Rick Webb ’73, Edina, MN, owner of Ciao Bella, Zelo and Bacio Restaurants; and John Wirth ’75, Pacific Palisade, CA, writer/executive producer, Paramount Studios.  First Decade Awards to Joe Gaugler ’95, Lexington, KY, assistant professor, Department of Behavioral Science, University of Kentucky College of Medicine; Debbie Lightly Mascaro ’95, Fargo, ND, research scientist, North Dakota State University Center for Nanoscale Science and Engineering.


The Gustavus women’s hockey team finished third at the NCAA national championship after winning the MIAC title, the men’s basketball team won the MIAC regular season title and conference tournament and advanced to the NCAA national tournament, the men’s swimming and diving team won the MIAC title and placed seventh at the NCAA national tournament and had seven swimmers earn All-America honors and the women’s team had four swimmers earn All-America honors.

Extraordinary Students

Senior Rachel Batalden, a double major in mathematics and secondary education with a 3.898 grade point average and two-time MIAC All-Conference selection at setter for the women’s volleyball team, has been selected as one of 56 student-athletes from across the country to receive a $7,500 NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship.

Senior Paul Fraser, a music and computer science major has been selected as the winner of the second annual Caltech-Occidental Composition Contest for new music for concert band. The contest drew entries from all over the world, and as the winner, Paul will receive a cash award and a recording of the world premiere of the work at a concert by the Caltech-Occidental Concert Band in Pasadena, Calif., in May.

Bricks and mortar

Southwest Residence Hall is being constructed across the Campus Drive from the arboretum on the west side of the campus and is scheduled to be finished by June.  The L-shaped facility is configured with apartments for four and six and will accommodate nearly 200 students.  A hostel space for summer programs and confirmation retreat groups is included in the residence’s plans.

With the new Southwest Residence Hall coming on-line, the College will be taking down Wahlstrom Hall to make way for future residential construction.  Crews will start the dismantling process in July with asbestos abatement, and the Kasota-stone residence hall will be razed in August.  Alumni returning for reunion and commencement festivities on May 27–29 will be able to take a last tour through the building’s public areas, stairwells, and walk-through sections following a “decommissioning” ceremony to be held on Saturday morning, May 28.

Construction crews working on the renovation of Old Main discovered a cistern under the basement flooring in March.  Gutting the interior has provided evidence of layers upon layers of remodeling done over the years, including an old stairwell in the middle of the building and what appears to be an attempt to raise the third-floor ceiling.  The Old Main project, which includes the installation of an elevator in the northwest corner of the building, is scheduled to be completed in August.

The education and nursing departments have been relocated to the newly erected Mattson Hall, which is sited just west of the Schaefer Fine Arts Center and Prairie View Residence Hall, on the south side of the campus.  These departments will remain there until a new social science center is built at some point in the future.

Upcoming Events

  • Association of Congregations Meeting – April 23
  • G.I.V.E. Community Service Day – April 30
  • Class of 1955 and 50-Year Club Reunions – May 27 & 28
  • Commencement – May 29
  • Alumni Fund closes – May 31
  • Reunions on Homecoming – October 7 & 8
  • Nurses Reunion – October 8

Love to you all,

Linda Leonardson Hallman

1964 Co-class Agent


1.  Der's only one God, ya know.

2.  Don't make dat fish on yer mantle an idol.

3.  Cussing ain't Minnesota nice.

4.  Go to church even when yer up nort.

5.  Honor yer folks.

6.  Don't kill.  Catch and release.

7.  There is only one Lena for each Ole―No cheatin'.

8.  If it ain't yer lutefisk, don't take it.

9.  Don't be braggin' bout how much snow ya shoveled.

10.  Keep yer mind off your neighbor's hotdish.