Class of '64
February 2006

Hi Class of 1964,

I am hearing the sirens outside because it is the first Wednesday of the month; the day the city tests its emergency sirens.

Well, I think I am doing a great job of procrastination.  I am writing to you all because I have not ventured outside yet today in our new two-inch snowfall.   I can shovel later.  And I can also go to “The Athletic Club” and work out later.  I can also get my taxes organized later.  I can go and get new tires for my car later…and order a new dishwasher later.  But today, right now I am actually sitting down to write the class letter to you.  This is being done later because I had other things to do.  Procrastination is my game.

I have put this letter off because there is not much class news.  Gustavus students are making most of the calls to non-reunion year classes and it's more difficult to get news from all of you.  When they do call you, please give them plenty of news we can pass along in our letters as well as your annual gift to the Alumni Fund.  Joanna Carlson Swanson received a packet with some news from student callers and she has so nicely deciphered their writing and the news will be included in this letter.

I actually wrote to you once last fall and will include that letter here:

October 29, 2005

Okay, I have procrastinated long enough!  I am writing this letter NOW!  Well, actually I am in a van driving across Nebraska toward Denver.  We started at 6 a.m.  The purpose of the drive is to get a Classic Ski Pass to ski at Aspen in March.  It is possible then to renew this pass every year on the Internet.  Anyway some are snoozing and some are ooohing and aaaahing over the Nebraska scenery.

I hope everyone is happy and reasonably healthy.  More and more of us are retired now and finally we can catch up with old friends that we didn’t have time to visit before retirement.

Some of us have two places to live.  Some go to the South or West for winter.  Some can be home and enjoy and delight in their grandchildren.

Gustavus has done away with “Phonorama” as we have known it.  They are now using student callers to collect information and remind graduates of the Alumni Fund.  So…this means that in order to make these letters informative about our classmates, you can tell the student callers, send in information by “snail mail” or use the Internet to the Alumni Office (  I will make some phone calls to gather news.  Otherwise it’ll be about those I see or gossip I hear.  I should make stuff up and you would have to guess what is true.  (I really won’t do that!)

Last fall at the reunion Karna Peterson and Judy Kaeding Larsen stayed at my house and we decided to visit each other at least once a year.  So in July Judy flew in from Palo Alto, California and we started driving to Backus, Minnesota to see Karna.  The traffic was awful that morning so we took a detour/shortcut.  I looked down at my MiniCooper’s temperature gauge and it was HOT!  So what does one do but turn around and drive to her son’s house to wake him up so he can look at her car.

He was so sweet!  “Well, Mom, I just filled up my car with gas, you can take my car!”  Judy was sitting in my car and then saw smoke coming from under the hood.  Ooooh, no Fire!  It really wasn’t fire but the radiator spilling over in the overflow tank.  Later, we found out it was the power steering cooling fan that had seized up.

We did make it to Karna’s wonderful house.  What a woman!  She bought a “summer only” cabin, raised it up, insulated, put on an addition and a new roof.  It is really a lovely place with a wonderful view of sunrises on Johnson Lake.  We had the joy of watching loons so very close.  While hiking on the “Paul Bunyan Trail” we saw a beaver dam, and the Minnesota State Flower “Lady Slipper” growing wild.  We had a flower and butterfly identification book with us so we looked up many species.

Later that day, Gary Kenning invited us to his palace in the woods.  It is a truly well-planned place that Gary himself designed.  It is well-placed on the lot in great position, looking at marshland.  He has wonderful gardens including many raised beds, and a cutting garden.  And on his wall in the garage is the original model for the front of Nobel Hall Science Building at Gustavus.  Gary, Kermit Swanson ’62, Todd Heimdahl and Prof. Don Gregory ’47 made the molds for the relief sculpture that graces the front of that building.  They worked on it one summer on the stage of the old Fieldhouse.

I ran into a lot of Gusties at the Nobel Conference held September 27-28, 2005.  The theme was the “Legacy of Einstein.”  Next year, the Nobel Conference theme will be “Medicine.”  The dates will be the first Tuesday and Wednesday in October (October 3 & 4, 2006).  Our own Sharon Peterson Robinson’s husband, Tim ’65, puts it all together.  If you have never been, I would encourage you to visit.  The scientists present their specialty―planned for general audiences.  It is a beautiful time to be on the campus!  Fall is lovely in Jolly Green Giant’s Valley!  It is a chance to visit the campus and “go back again.”

I did see Sharon Lossing Anderson at Nobel.  She was taking an Osher Lifelong Learning class through the University of Minnesota.  The class was about the Nobel Conference and the Einstein theme.  Sharon moved to Minneapolis from Chicago after her divorce and has found Minneapolis a good place to live.  She has used Osher Lifelong Learning to get out of the house.  (  It was good to see her and we plan to do more visiting later.  Some other Gusties I saw at Nobel were Dick Swenson and Helen Brostrom Ihrig.

Susan Bolmgren Anderson has been in Minneapolis to help with her grandchildren.  Sue and I have had dinner together when she has been in town.

Some of the Gustie art classmates got together for the Ramsey Hill house tour in St. Paul in September.  We got to see Garrison Keilor’s house too.  The theme of this year’s house tour was “ A touch of Cass” (Cass Gilbert, the architect.)  Linda Jean Larson McNary ’65 joined us for the house tour.  Ed Karels ’65 and his wife, Martha, could not join us because they were on a narrow boat tour of England.

Later we got a full report about the boat tour when some of us were at Westminister Church’s “Town Hall Forum” where we heard Edward Albee, the playwright, speak.  Later we all went to Brit’s Pub on the Nicollet Mall in Minneapolis for a good visit.

Well, that’s my letter from this fall.  I will now include Joanna’s interpretation of the student callers notes.

Class agent notes                      January 7, 2006

A sad note regarding Jim Foster.  Jim died on July 18, 2005 of mesothelioma, (a cancer caused by exposure to asbestos.  Jim is survived by his wife, Shannon (Shawbold ’65) and their daughter, Leesa, and her husband, John Koch.

Dick ’65 and Sue (Hansen) Rohloff wrote:  “Retirement and grandkids are great!!  Live on a lake in northern Minnesota and then winter in McAllen, Texas.  We have had Gustie visitors and welcome others as they come through.”  They celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary with a Caribbean cruise in January 2005.  Their son, Todd, still plays professional hockey and just signed with Tampa Bay Lightning.

Kathy Bigalke Ciabattoni joined her husband in retirement last May.  She enjoys the new lifestyle, especially relaxed mornings.  They plan to increase their travels as retirees.

Emmy Hanson Abello plans to tour Austria and Italy next summer with her community chorale group.  Son, Kyle, will also be on the tour.  Neal will meet her and they will continue for an extended tour of Spain and the Canary Islands.

Dennis and Jean (Kertsten) Youngerberg are the proud grandparents of nine!  The youngest was born on August 22, 2005 to daughter Penny and Jason Koets of Maple Lake, MN.  They enjoy all nine and are kept busy with all of them!  Jean still substitutes a bit and Dennis, along with his son, Dana, is still farming and raising Angus and Charolais.  And if you don’t know what that is, the Guslink caller added, “beef cows and calves.”

Sharon (Hansen) and Bill ’65 Johnson hosted the Gustavus Men’s and Women’s Golf teams last March.  The teams played four local courses.  They stayed in area homes, including the Johnsons and some of their friends.  Sharon writes, “what a great experience it was to see the wonderful quality of student athletes and coaches at Gustavus.”

Karen Larvick relayed news of a second grandchild, Ann Elise Rose, born last July 5.

Ed ’62 and Karyl (Krantz) Blair send greetings from Payson, Arizona.  Ed fills in occasionally as a retired ELCA pastor.  Karyl works as a homecare nurse for developmentally disabled clients.

Jane Chelgren McFadden continues to serve two churches as hand bell director/organist, teach organ and piano lessons and write music.  Check her website if you’re interested in what she has in print:  I saw some of Jane’s compositions for hand bells this winter at an Augsburg Fortress bookstore. Congratulations, Jane.

Shirley Smith Franklin was involved in a program with the Bloomington Art Center and Literary Council this past September.  Shirley was one of the featured writers in a program of music, dance, and poetry.  (Sometimes there is an element of detective work in putting together the class news section and you will have to understand if my conclusions are off.)

Campus News:

Study Abroad Leader

Gustavus continues to be a leading institution for the number of students studying abroad, according to an annual ranking recently released by the Institute of International Education (IIE).  Consistent with its mission of giving students an education that is international in perspective, Gustavus was ranked seventh in the "Top 20 Baccalaureate Institutions" list of the institute’s "Open Doors 2005" report.  Gustavus was one of four Minnesota private colleges to make the list of 20.  The report was based on study abroad statistics from the 2003-04 academic year.  Gustavus students engage in international learning through various programs in more than 100 locations throughout the world, ranging from Australia to India and Ecuador to Sweden.  In recent years, 50 percent of Gustavus graduates have participated in at least one study-abroad experience.

New Carnegie Classification for Colleges and Universities

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching released a new classification system for institutions of higher education.  Gustavus’ classification is Arts & Sciences plus Professions, indicating that 60 to 80 percent of Gustavus students complete a traditional liberal arts major, such as political science, classics, or biology.  The new classifications describe five aspects of colleges and universities: instructional programs, enrollment profile, undergraduate demographics, size, and setting.  Undergraduate instructional programs are now designated as Arts & Sciences Focus, Arts & Sciences plus Professions, Balanced Arts & Sciences and Professions, Professions plus Arts & Sciences, or Professions Focus. 

Insurance Programs

The Alumni Association, in partnership with Meyer and Associates and Liberty Mutual, offers an insurance program to alumni and their families.  Products include insurance policies for life, short-term medical, auto, home, and renters.  For life and short-term medical insurance call Meyer and Associates at 800-635-7801 or visit  For auto, home, and renters insurance call Liberty Mutual at 800-524-9400 or visit

Gustavus to Perform at Orchestra Hall

The Gustavus Music Showcase will be Sunday, March 12, at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis.  The Gustavus Choir, Gustavus Symphony Orchestra, and Gustavus Wind Orchestra will perform.  This is a unique opportunity to hear three premier ensembles from Gustavus in one concert.  This showcase also allows prospective students, parents, and alumni from the area to meet and connect.  For tickets, call the Orchestra Hall box office at 800/292-4141.  Tickets are $20 for general admission, and $10 for students 18 and under.


Two big stories from the fall sports are that Hailey Harren won the national NCAA Division III cross country title and the men’s soccer team became the first MIAC school to play in the national championship game and finished second, losing 1-0 to defending national champion Messiah.  For the second consecutive year, men's soccer coach Larry Zelenz has been named Coach of the Year in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America/Adidas NCAA Division III West Region.  The men's hockey team is unbeaten in conference play, outscoring their opponents 28-5 in four games.

Music Tours

This year nearly 300 students will participate in music tours as members of the Gustavus Wind Orchestra, Gustavus Choir, Gustavus Symphony Orchestra, Gustavus Jazz Lab Band, and Choir of Christ Chapel.  The Gustavus Wind Orchestra toured Eastern Europe Jan. 14-30.  Performances were scheduled for Germany, Czech Republic, Poland, and Austria.  The Gustavus Choir is toured in Minnesota and Wisconsin  Jan. 27-Feb. 11.  The Gustavus Symphony Orchestra, Gustavus Jazz Lab Band, and Choir of Christ Chapel will tour during Spring Semester.

Upcoming Alumni Events

  • Tucson, AZ Gustie Gathering - February 10
  • Gustavus Choir performance in Christ Chapel - February 11
  • Phoenix, AZ Gustie Gathering - February 11
  • Sun City, AZ Gustie Gathering - February 12
  • Gustavus Music Showcase at Orchestra Hall - March 12
  • Atlanta, GA Gustie Gathering - March 26

I am looking out the window now and see the new snow on the branches of the big old trees and also on the pine trees.  Naturalist, Jim Gilbert ’62, author of Nature Notes states that one of the great beauties of nature is snow clinging to the branches of pine trees.  Jim has retired from teaching in Hopkins and has been working at Gustavus in the Arboretum and for the college.  He has a radio show on WCCO Twin Cities 830 (AM radio).  The show is on at 7:15 a.m. on Sunday mornings.  If you do not live in the twin cities you can get the radio show by “streaming” live radio on the Internet.  (

I was also thinking it would be fun for our Gustavus Class of 1964 to see the “Church Basement Ladies” a play now showing at the Plymouth Playhouse in a suburb of Minneapolis.  It is based on the book Growing up Lutheran written by Janet Martin and Suzann Nelson.  To find it on the web go to:

I was thinking that I should reserve tickets for sometime in April…maybe a Thursday evening or Sunday evening?  Maybe just after Easter.  Any thoughts?  Give me a call if you think you might be interested.  My phone number is:  952 922-4604 or leave a voicemail.  My e-mail address is:  I’ll send more information about the play in the next letter.

Sorry for all the ramblings.  Enjoy the winter and reconnect with your old Gustie friends.  A sincere thank you to all who contribute to Gustavus and send your checks to the Alumni Fund.  Remember the Alumni Fund year closes May 31.

With love,

Linda Leonardson Hallman ’64

Co class agent with Joanna Carlson Swanson’64