Class of '64
October 2007

Dear Classmates

Linda and I opted for another ‘two author letter.’  That way what you read will be as good as we can do―or twice as good as you were expecting!

September 15th was Gustavus Volunteer Leadership Day, so we gathered with other class agents and reunion people for a motivational morning.  Good coffee, delicious pastries, lots of enthusiastic Gusties―especially the younger ones―set the stage for Gustie good feelings.  And a reminder for us that it is class letter time.

Our classmate and outstanding leader, Jim Peterson, has been extraordinary.  Linda and I feel a little extra Gustie pride since he is one of us.  Jim’s praises are sung by many.  Accolades will continue all year as Jim announced his retirement as of next summer.  Headlines on the centerfold in The Gustavus Weekly read, “Who Will Follow Our Leader” and was full of high praise for Jim from students.  Note the ‘our Leader’.  Check the Gustavus website, for more details.

The most conspicuous campus news is the new football stadium.  Being somewhat of a football bonehead, I asked former coach and Athletic Director, Jim Malmquist ’53, to describe it so I could understand it.  He calls it the best small college field he knows.  The field is recessed, providing excellent sight lines.  Around the perimeter of the field are extensive sloped areas for informal seating, catering to fans and families that prefer sitting on blankets and lawn chairs.  From the press box, according to Jim, you can see to LeSueur!  Anymore descriptions or third hand information and the football players in our class will spot my glaring ignorance and have a good laugh!  He did say, however, that the coach calls the plays from the sidelines―excellent acoustics and sight lines.  And with that I’ll stop.

The Class Scholarship has grown to the point that it now generates enough income to be awarded.  Roughly $1000 was given to a student in his third year.  Thanks to everyone whose contributions are now helping a student achieve the Gustavus experience.  We’ll introduce you to him later.  A great start we can build on!

And a special thanks to all 158 who gave to Gustavus last year.  Our total contribution was $44,097 (more than the previous year), $20,000 of it to the Annual Fund.  You are not only recognizing the importance of Gustavus in our earlier years, but also now investing in an excellent resource for present and future students.  On behalf of our alma mater, many thanks for your support.

The last Quarterly issue had a wealth of class news.  The article on “Three Views of Virginia:  A plant systematics field trip” (pp. 24-26) featured our own Bruce and Susan (Hill) Jones.  Bruce and Susan hosted seven Gustavus students and Professor Cindy Johnson-Groh for a week at their home in Virginia.  Their purpose was to learn the details of plant taxonomy.  Now that doesn’t sound too exciting, but Bruce and Susan created the perfect setting for a rich and interesting jaunt in the Blue Ridge Mountains.  Accolades for Bruce and Susan from the students made great reading.  The Gusties gave our classmates a great week as well.

Bill ’65 and Sharon (Hansen) Johnson hosted the Men’s and Women’s Golf teams during spring break at their home in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.  They also had a fantastic time entertaining (and being entertained) by the Gusties.  A color picture (p 54) shows not only Sharon and Bill and the golfers, but the entire Johnson family.  Great picture!

A request for help!

The Alumni Office was contacted about a month ago by the African American Students Foundation.  They are looking for former members of that program.  Two were at Gustavus when we were there.  The Alumni Office did not have any contact information, but ask for your assistance.  They write:

If anyone remembers Felix Meta, (attended/graduated Gustavus 1960-64) or Yomal Nkurlu, (attended Gustavus 1960-61), both who came to the US on the Africa Airlift sponsored by Tom Mboya of Kenya and funded by the Kennedy Family Foundation, and would like to participate in a book project, please contact Cora Weiss at <>.  Cora was the executive director of the African American Students Foundation and is co-writing a history of the historic airlift with Pamela Mboya of Kenya.  Many thanks.

More Class News

Some of it is recently submitted; but you may want to use your speed reading skills if you’ve read any of these more than once.

Gordon Olseen’s grandson just had his first birthday.  (That is old news, as the form from the Alumni Office sited his birth on Aug 3, 2006.  The timing is off, but that just means a year of fun grandparenting for Gordon.)

Betty Carlson Lahmers is retired.

Mary Fahden McIlrath retired and takes full advantage of her freedom by living in Prior Lake, MN from May to October; then moves to McCormick, SC from October to May and escapes to Mexico for January and February.  She enjoys traveling, singing in choir and choruses, yoga, and being a foster mother for the Humane Society.

Retirement translates into busy for Andy Stamson also.  He does some consulting and is active on two boards of directors.  He highly recommends Alaskan fishing trips―or just trips to Alaska if you don’t fish.

Rudd Thabes practices family medicine in Bagley, MN.  He was also re-elected county coroner.

Lois Hornemann Banke became a trainer in safe community nursing which includes parish nursing.

Carla Johnson Stoneberg and Ted ’62 both enjoy retirement.  Their two daughters and families live within 10 minutes of their home.  Carla cares for their youngest grandson during the week.  Their five-year-old grandson, Andrew, has just completed months of treatment for leukemia and is in remission.

Noel Ostrom Whited had a nice reunion with Diane Rasmussen Wolfgang and Joy Parkinson Scofield in Jensen Beach.  It was the first time they had all been together since our freshman year.  Noel writes, “what fun!”

Nancy Johnson Vrieze teaches two days a week at Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College, is president of her church council, and enjoys their four grandchildren.  “Retirement is great!”

Emily Hanson Abello celebrated her 40th wedding anniversary with a trip to the Canary Islands and Spain.  She also toured with her local chorale group, singing in the cathedrals of Salzburg, Vienna, and Venice.  She hoped to travel to China and Tibet.  “Retirement is great and life is good!”

Shirley Smith Franklin retired from the Minneapolis public schools and then started, along with her husband, “PUSHPA,” a non-profit organization, in India.  It helps disadvantaged villagers to help themselves build healthier communities, keep children in school, and build sustainable livelihoods.

Paula Yocum Olson enjoys working as an activities director at Riverbend Assisted Living in Amery, Wisconsin.

I joined nine friends for a birthday gala in Colorado Springs in late September.  Lynn Ostebo Peterson, Joanna Lundgren Kuehn, Mary Lou Zimmerman Magnuson, Nicky Kerpen Bredeson, Beaty Fritz Graves, Cathy Moe Dietz, Joanell Sletta Dyrstad, Kirsten LeVander Dawson, and Donna Olsenius Hammer celebrated our “special” birthdays.  In addition to seeing the tourist sights, we had a fantastic time re-connecting and enjoying our friendships.  Look for us in the Quarterly at the top of Pike’s Peak!

Gusties Gather, held across the country on September 30, turned out to be a fun and interesting event.  I gathered at my brother’s home in Edina, (not a real venturesome move on my part, but read on), along with about two dozen others ranging from last year’s graduates to alums from the early ’40s.  The recent grads gave us the latest on inside campus news, especially about the frats and sororities.  We met grads from every decade including others from the ’60s (Jim Wiberg ’61 and Kristin Nelson Welbaum ’65).  Everyone was friendly and it was fun.  Did anyone else attend or host?

Should you attend Nobel next year, there are two things you can expect:  the first is being overwhelmed with the scope and depth of information; the other is seeing familiar faces.  Linda and I saw Helen Brostrom Ihrig, Gary Kenning, Joan Carlstrom Morehouse, Barb Koehn Bauman, and Karna Peterson.  Check the next Quarterly or website ( and you will understand why we were overwhelmed.

We know all of you are planning to give a monetary gift to Gustavus, but that isn’t the only way to stay connected!  Use the Quarterly to look for concerts and athletic events that you would enjoy, The Nobel Conference highlighted energy and plans are underway for next year.  The Royal Affair on October 27th in Minneapolis earns gobs of money for the library while giving attendees a truly gala event.  Christmas in Christ Chapel celebrates its 35th year and marks the beginning of the Christmas season.  Send the class your news–your friends find your travel, new ventures, retirement, grandkids, celebrations, and other information interesting.  Submit photos to the class website.  Those of you in Lutheran congregations in the Midwest might want to be involved with GACAC (for more info on that, contact Rev. Grady St. Dennis ’92).  Or help plan and connect for the next reunion in May 2009.

Have a great fall and winter.  Stay in touch.  Send class news (a little known fact―it can come ahead of your gift).  Remember Gusties!

Joanna Carlson Swanson

1964 Co-class Agent

Hi all…

It seems as if I start each Class ’64 letter with a weather report from what I see outside of my home office window.  This time it is the green leaves of summer brushed with color of fall.  My flowers are still blooming in the garden and sometimes it is warm enough for just a shirt and no jacket.

Seeing the beauty of the outdoors reminds me of when Joanna and I were at Gustavus for the Linnaeus birthday celebration.  I am enclosing the table prayer that was said.

Lord of all that ever was, that is, that will ever be:

Lord of lichen and lemon

Of lily and lilac

Of larch and lavender

Of leek and lettuce

Of ling and lobelia

Of leaf and landscape

Lord of Linnaeus

Lord of Love:

Lord of all that is, that ever was, that ever will be.

Fill us with gratitude and wonder as we eat these gifts of Mother Earth.

In the name of Him who gives life, Amen.

That day was most interesting.  I am reading a book by Plotkin, who was one of the speakers at that Symposium.  Mark Plotkin, renowned ethnobotanist and author of Tales of a Shaman’s Apprentice has been recognized by Smithsonian magazine as one of 35 individuals nationwide who is making a difference.  Dr. Plotkin has spent 20 years working with the shamans in the rainforests of Central and South America and has written and lectured extensively about healing plants and shaman traditions.  Dr. Plotkin currently serves as president of the Amazon conservation team, a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting biological and cultural diversity of the tropical rain forest.  It is a fascinating book.

I vacationed on the “north shore” of Lake Superior in August with Judy Kaeding Larsen and Karna Peterson.  We stayed just south of Two Harbors for a week, exploring the area.  Neither Karna nor Judy had been to Lake Superior before.  We hiked, explored, ate wild raspberries, collected and identified lots of different rocks.  We had a fine tour of Finland, Minnesota and Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center.  We saw wonderful views from there!  A highlight was a two-hour tour of the Taconite Plant and tailing dumping area in Silver Bay, Minnesota.  The best part, of course, is to be with lifelong Gustavus friends.

I have heard that the Gustavus theater reunion was quite wonderful.  Perhaps someone from our class could write about that reunion so it can be included in the next class letter.

Ina Street Sickels had some Gustie classmates to lunch at their lovely home near Stillwater and Dellwood.  It was a true delight to see all the wonderful decorating that Ina and David have done to their house on the lake.  Every inch is so interesting!  Ina and her husband David have already made the trip to Green Valley, Arizona for the winter.

Sue Bolmgren Anderson has been busy golfing at her home in Winona.  She has also assisted her children in preparing houses for sale and helping them move.  She’s done the same for her parents, now moving into a nursing home from assisted living.  “We did have a chance in September to get away to Grand Marais for a few days.  We witnessed a thunderstorm on Lake Superior and loss of electricity for the whole Grand Marais area on Labor Day.  We also enjoyed checking out the golf courses in the north as well as a nice hike on the Oberg Loop.”

Last weekend, many of our class were in attendance at the funeral for John and Joyce (Wallinder) Johnson’s 37 year-old-son, Kirk Johnson.  We learned a lot about Kirk and his philosophy of life and read some of his writings.  We extend our sympathy to you both.

Dan Johnson has moved to Mexico.  He is about 20 miles south of Tijuana.  He bought a new townhouse in a development.  He does not have a car and is getting acquainted with his Mexican neighbors.  He said he is close enough to the USA so he can do his banking here along with being able to hear public radio on his radio.

Just in case you like to plan ahead, our 45th Gustavus Reunion will be during Memorial Weekend in 2009.  If you would like to have fun planning for it please let Joanna or me or Gustavus Alumni Office know.  If lots of us plan then no one will get the brunt of the work.

Also… a plea…  Please send some information about your activities!  It’s fun to hear about trips, grandchildren, etc.  It keeps us in the loop.  Maybe we should send a copy of Christmas letters to the Alumni Office.  It might work!  Keep happy and healthy and enjoy life everyday.


Linda Leonardson Hallman

1964 Co-class Agent

Campus News

President Peterson Announces Retirement

President Jim Peterson ’64 announced in August that he plans to retire at the conclusion of the current academic year, capping a five-year term.  His early announcement will provide the Board of Trustees enough time to undertake a thorough search process and assist in a smooth transition to new leadership.  Peterson will serve through June 2008 and has offered to assist in an orderly transition beyond that date if needed.

Moes provide gift for Kendall Center

Gustavus parents Robert and Karin Moe have made a $1 million commitment to the John S. Kendall Center for Engaged Learning. This leadership gift brings the College closer to its goal of fully endowing the center, which is dedicated to advancing active and interdisciplinary learning across the campus. When fully funded, the endowment will generate funds to support two main areas: faculty development and student-faculty research.

Retreat about Live Purpose – November 10, 2007

The Linnaeus Arboretum is teaming up with the Center for Vocational Reflection to offer a workshop entitled:  Living on Purpose:  Seeds, Seasons, and the Undivided Life―A Workshop/Retreat to Explore Your Calling.  This workshop will allow you to “examine the roots, blossoms, and seeds” of your life.  For more information including registration materials, visit or call Shirley Mellema (507-933- 6181).

New football stadium opens

On September 8, the football team played its inaugural game at the College’s new football stadium.  The synthetic-surfaced field is recessed below ground level and features an earthen berm surrounding the entire field.  The field will continue to be named Hollingsworth Field after the late Lloyd Hollingsworth, who served as the College’s football coach from 1942-1960 and athletic director from 1961-1978.

Athletics Hall of Fame Induction

On Saturday, November 3, Gustavus will induct the following people into the Athletic Hall of Fame: Tim DeJarlais ’91 (golf), John Erickson ’81 (hockey), Dave Hultgren ’92 (baseball), Craig Miller ’91 (cross country), Mindy Mayerchak Oosten ’88 (softball & soccer), Mike Schumacher ’91 (football), Ann Sommerness Simms ’92 (swimming), and Ryan Skanse ’92 (tennis).

Twin Cities Gustie Breakfasts

Join other Minneapolis/St. Paul area Gusties for a once-a-month morning cup of coffee and breakfast while getting an update on Gustavus. The group meets the third Wednesday of each month at the Doubletree Hotel, Minneapolis-Park Place, 1500 Park Place Boulevard (Hwy. 394 & Hwy. 100), 8:00-9:30 a.m., $10 per person.  Reserve by calling Don Swanson ’55 at 763/533-9083

Wednesday, November 21

Winter sports coaches – Jon Carlson ’88 (men’s and women’s swimming & diving), Mark Hanson ’83 (men’s basketball), and Brett Petersen (men’s hockey)

Wednesday, December  19

Margaret Kelliher ’90, speaker of the Minnesota House of Representatives

Inaugural “A Royal Affair” Online Auction

“A Royal Affair,” the biennial fundraiser for the Gustavus library, is October 27.  New to A Royal Affair this year is an online auction that will be activated the week of October 22. This online auction will have unique items available only for bidding online and not at the evening event.  These items can be viewed through the Gustavus website and bidding will close prior to the October 27 Razzle Dazzle*A Royal Affair.  Also, the online auction is open to everyone – parents, alumni, students, faculty, and friends of Gustavus – even those unable to attend Razzle Dazzle*A Royal Affair.  Watch the Gustavus Library Associates website at for up-to-the-minute details on the online auction.

Alumni Fund

The 2008 Alumni Fund has a goal of $2 million from 8,000 donors.  Continue a Gustie tradition ― join other alumni to reach the goal with your participation in the 2008 Alumni Fund.

Refer a Gustie

As the school year starts, many high school seniors are getting serious about their college selection. If you know of high school seniors or juniors who may be a good fit at Gustavus, please send their names to the Office of Admission at Gustavus to help recruit the next generation of Gusties.  Contact the Admission Office at 800/GUSTAVU(S).

Calendar of events:

  • October 27                  Razzle Dazzle*A Royal Affair, Gustavus Library Associates
  • November 3                 Athletics Hall of Fame Induction Banquet
  • Nov. 30, Dec. 1-2        Christmas in Christ Chapel
  • December 6                 St. Lucia Day celebration on campus