Class of '64
October 2008

45-Year Reunion

Reunion dates ― May 29-30, 2009

Greetings to all of my fellow classmates…

Consider this a respite from all the political and economic media coverage.

Reunion Planning

Some of our reunion committee gathered on the Gustavus campus on September 13 to start the planning process for our reunion on May 29th and 30th in 2009.  (That is the weekend after Memorial Day.)  Ideas abounded as to where it should be held and what should be done.  We all agreed that it was energizing to be on the campus again, thinking of the event to come.  We hope you plan on coming and that you will contact friends to join you on campus that weekend.

Some of you have said that you would like to help with one of the three committees.  In this age of cell phones and e-mail anyone can be part of the process in any part of the country.  More detailed information is given later in the letter so you can read about your friends first.

Class News

Dave and Sue (Toftey) Hildebrand in Rice Lake, WI sent this in:  “I retired from the Northwest Synod of Wisconsin ELCA on December 31, 2007, was retired only 17 days and then took a new job as marketing director with Business & Estate Advisers, Inc. offices located in Wayzata and Rice Lake, WI.  New exciting challenges!”

Gordon Olseen is in Tipton, Iowa.

Karen Buss Torgersen lives in Shoreview, MN.

Jane Chelgren McFadden is in Groveport, Ohio.  She writes that she taught a January term course in hand bells at Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus.  She is still enjoying all of her music activities.  Their son, JD, is serving in Iraq with a Joint Forces Unit.

Marvin and Marcia (Johnson) Lindseth wrote:  “We downsized and moved to a nice town home in Prescott, WI last November and are enjoying it.  We traveled to Florida in February to escape the cold.  We went to Colorado in May to visit our daughter.  Our two sons and two grandchildren live in the Twin Cities area, so we get to see them often.”  Marcia will be doing some calling later this fall.

Marsha Krueger Levasseur lives in Britt, Minnesota.

David Spong retired this summer.  He and Gloria (Johnson ’65) celebrated by going to Italy for three weeks.

Gary Kenning and John and Joyce (Wallinder) Johnson are off to Egypt with nine others in October.  Maybe there will be a travel log here when they return.  Egypt was on their “bucket list.”

Dick Swenson, Gary Kenning, Rick Hokenson ’65 and Al Henderson ’62 had a week’s road trip to Glacier Park as well as Yellowstone this summer.  Ask one of them about their trip!

Not long ago I found a slip of paper and it had an e mail address on it.  I almost threw it away, but something made me keep it…I finally typed it in my computer and wrote:  “Okay... I am losing my mind...again. I have this e mail written on piece of scrap paper but I do not know to whom it belongs.  Who are you?  Thanks for the help!  Linda”  Guess who answers back…Dan Johnson.  Whoa, I am so glad I didn’t toss it out!

Dan’s book, Loyalty, about Dr Richard Reusch, professor of religion at Gustavus, is finally printed and ready for you to buy and read.  It is outstanding and you will love finding out the facts and the fiction regarding this gigantic figure from our college years.  The BookMark at Gustavus has copies or it can be ordered at:

I was visiting Nancy Jo Johnson Vrieze in Rice Lake, Wisconsin.  She had ordered the book online.  When I visited Nancy, Wayne Burmeister ’63 was also there.  We had gathered at Wayne’s request to fill in the “missing spots” of our 1963 Bernadotte European Study Tour.  Wayne had kept notes but only starting when he was on his own.  Nancy Jo had kept the playbills from the plays we saw in London and the opera we attended in Rome.  What memories came flooding back.  For most of us it was our first plane trip…to Montreal and then to our Greek Line Ship the Arcadia.  We remembered seeing icebergs in the water…the Swedish part of the trip where we were all together was in Stockholm and Sigtuna.  Then we split up and traveled the whole summer and regrouped in August in Glasgow, Scotland for our trip home.  The whole summer!  I think that many of us used the U-rail pass to travel.  Nancy Jo, Penny Johnson Rodman and friend Bonnie Ver Steg and I traveled in the Volkswagen bug that Penny’s dad bought for her.  We had a wonderful summer.  Ahhhh, memories!

Char Olson Jerney took a break from her nursing duties to travel with me to Tim ’65 and Sharon (Peterson) Robinson’s daughter, Marit’s, wedding.  It was held at Jackson Lake Lodge in Grand Teton National Park.  I had not been there before.  The Mountains are really beautiful.  We stayed in Coulter Bay in a log cabin.  Char and I rented a motorboat and motored on Jackson Lake.  As I was handing the man my credit card to rent the boat, I asked Char if she knew how to run a motor because I did not.  Luckily she did!  The wedding was wonderful.  What a backdrop…the Teton Mountains!  The reception was likewise great.

The next day Char and I hiked at Jenny Lake.  Another beautiful spot!  We got to Hidden Falls and then took the boat back across the lake.  The next event was at a ranch on the other side of the Tetons in Idaho.  Spectacular party and sunset.  Once again there was a party the next day at the groom’s parent’s mountain home.  We walked around Jackson Hole and also went to the ski area.

Today I leave for a trip to San Miguel de Allende in the mountains of Mexico.  My bag is ready to go, but I wanted to send this off to start the more numerous class letters that should be coming.  Of course, we also would LOVE for you to write a few paragraphs to put in the letters.  Send them to Gustavus alumni or to our e-mail ( or

Thank you all for giving so consistently to Gustavus.  Our 1964 scholarship is big enough so that a student was the recipient this past year!  Nathan Peterson ’09 is a senior this year and will be reporting in at a later date.

Well, I am off…to the bank and then my son takes me to the airport…

Linda Leonardson Hallman

1964 Co-class Agent

Joanna’s lifestyle is simple compared to Linda.

I’m finishing this during Nobel Conference (while Linda is in Mexico).  This year the topic is “When We Became Human.”  The presenters use words and concepts that are challenging to follow, to say the least.  But connecting with classmates and our contemporaries is easy and part of the reason for going.  Nicky Kerpen Bredesen, Barbara Koehn Baumann, Carolyn Johnson Holje, Helen Brostrom Ihrig, Kirsten LeVander Dawson, and Joan Carlstrom Morehouse plus Steve Benson ’63, Wayne Henrikson ’63, Dave Baumann ’63, Bill Lahti ’63 made the breaks great fun.  The river valley was absolutely stunning in reds, yellows and greens.  As far as when we became human, let’s just say it was a long time ago.

I’ll also fill you in on more reunion plans.  I can’t tell you how fun it is to see classmates again:  we got a taste of that at Gustavus in September.  Vicki Krenik Hedlin traveled the farthest, combined a trip to Cleveland, MN to visit her mother with our plans; Karen Benson Hanson, Barb Koehn Baumann, Susan Bolmgren Anderson, Karna Peterson, Dick Swenson, Elizabeth “Biz” Wold Ekholm, Dave Spong, Gary Kenning, Earl Rodine, Sharon Peterson Robinson, Mike and Lynn (Kirchoff) Torkelson, plus Linda and I pooled ideas for making our reunion a very enjoyable weekend.

There are still lots of ways you can participate in the fun of planning and contacting classmates. 

Here are a few:

Callers.  We have a dozen and would like around 10 more.  The Gustavus data base will be the source of phone numbers and record keeping.  Callers reconnect with classmates, gather news and encourage attendance at the reunion.  They will be able to answer the question, “I suppose you want money?”  (Answer:  use the website to give online, look for a mailing, etc.), but the goal is to connect not solicit.

Caller Captains.  Relays information including directions on using the data base, encouraging callers.  Fun way to stay connected.

Guest Writers for Class Letters.  We hope to have 12-15 (at a minimum) write about what you’ve done; how Gustavus influenced you; profs that helped you; fun, unique, crazy things you did that you want to share; you get the idea.  Several are already on board to write, but more is better.

Some of you have wonderful computer and camera skills.  We could put those together and any and everyone can view pictures from our years together.

That’s all for now.  Have a great fall.  We’ll be in touch.

Joanna Carlson Swanson

1964 Co-class Agent

Campus News

Presidential Inauguration

Gustavus Adolphus College inaugurated Jack R. Ohle as its 16th president on Friday, Oct. 3 in Christ Chapel.  Various inaugural events were held over a four-day period.  On Homecoming Saturday, Oct. 4 the celebration was capped-off with an Oktoberfest; a buffet-style dinner immediately following the Homecoming football game with about a thousand Gusties in attendance.

Twin Cities Gustie Breakfasts

Join other Minneapolis/St. Paul area Gusties for a morning cup of coffee and breakfast while getting an update on Gustavus.  The group meets the third Wednesday of each month.  Future presenters include Tim Robinson ’65, director of Nobel Conference 2008, in October and in November Tom Young ’88, vice president for institutional advancement.

Doubletree Hotel, Minneapolis-Park Place, 1500 Park Place Boulevard (Hwy. 394 & Hwy. 100)

Third Wednesday of the month - 8-9:30 a.m.

Cost is $10 per person.  Reserve a spot by calling Don Swanson ’55 at:  763-533-9083.

Nobel Conference ― Who Were the First Humans?

Nobel Conference XLIV held Oct. 7 and 8, 2008 focused on the first humans.  Presenters considered the full range of recent evidence about the first modern humans going beyond archaeologists and paleoanthropologists to the work of biologists, climatologists, geneticists, mathematicians, and psychologists who have been adding to the scientific database.

Twin Cities lecture on international terrorism

Dr. Magnus Ranstorp '85, research director for the Center for Asymmetric Threat Studies at the Swedish National Defense College in Stockholm, Sweden, will present a public lecture titled, “The Threat of Global Terrorism,” on Thursday, Nov. 6, 7:30 p.m., at Interlachen Country Club, 6200 Interlachen Blvd., Edina, MN.  Ranstorp, who will be in the United States to cover the presidential election for Swedish television, will address some of the key terrorism trends and challenges for the next U.S. presidency.  He will also be presented a Gustavus Distinguished Alumni Citation in international relations.  RSVP to the Office of Alumni Relations at 800-487-8437.

Need medical insurance?

Are you between jobs?  Self-employed?  Not covered by an employer health plan?  If you need health insurance you can find the right coverage for yourself and your family through the alumni association.  Whether you need temporary or permanent coverage, please visit to learn more about the range of coverage options available.

Legacy Award for Gustavus admission

The Gustavus Legacy Award was created for new students wh

Upcoming Alumni Events

ose siblings are current Gustavus students or graduates or whose parents or grandparents are Gustavus alumni.  Renewable awards of $2,500 per year are given to scholarship recipients who have a high school grade point average of at least 3.5 or an ACT of 26 or 1170 (Critical Reading + Math) on the SAT.  For more information, contact the Admission Office at 800/GUSTAVU(S).

  • Gustie Breakfast with Tim Robinson ’65, Director of Nobel Conference – Oct. 15
  • Gustavus Library Associates Fall Author Day — Nov. 5
  • Twin Cities Lecture, “The Threat of Global Terrorism,” Dr. Magnus Ranstorp '85 — Nov. 6
  • Twin Cities Gustie Breakfast, Thomas Young ’88 — Nov. 19
  • Christmas in Christ Chapel – Joyeux Noel – December 5-7
  • Twin Cities Gustie Breakfast, Steve Kjellgren ’86 — Dec. 17