Class of '64
October 2009

Hi Everyone in the class of 1964,

I (Linda) am sitting in the sunshine on the deck of a cabin that I rented on the Croftville Road just north of Grand Marais on Lake Superior in Minnesota.  The sun is warm, the wind 10-15 mph and the waves break before they reach the shore and are lovely.  The sunshine on the waters looks like a path of diamonds.  I thought it would be cold up here but the warm sunshine feels like a gentle hug.

Tuesday, I enjoyed the evening at the American composers Forum, ‘Tuesday Salon’, in Lowertown St. Paul.  Our own classmate Carl Franzen played/sang three of his original songs.  He uses only the lower part of the keyboard.  He has very interesting, intricate music and interesting lyrics.  Some of you may have heard his song “Thirteen Sisters” based on a group of our class gathering in the Gustavus Dorm after our Friday reunion last May.

Our own Todd Heimdahl had a wonderful blue ribbon next to his fine watercolor at the Fine Arts Exhibition at this year’s Minnesota State Fair.... Congratulations, Todd!

A few pearls from Volunteer Leadership Day

Joanna Carlson Swanson and I were at Gustavus recently for their Volunteer Leadership Day.  The Gustavus campus looks wonderful with great garden plantings and lots of young students in their first week of classes.  The “Book Mark” bookstore on campus was brimming full of articles with the Gustavus name and logo on them.

Tuition is up a bit from our freshman year of $675 per semester.  Now it is $29,900 a year.  69% of students get need-based financial assistance.  Nearly $29.1 million dollars of institutional scholarship assistance is available.

We make up part of the 25,000 plus alumni.  197 full time faculty and 53 part time.  The student to faculty ratio is 12:1.  There are 13 residence halls and 7 college owned houses accommodating more than 2,000 students on campus.

2011-2012 will be the Sesquicentennial (150) Year of Celebration for Gustavus Adolphus College.  Plans are beginning to form for the celebration.  If you have a great thought about the celebration, send it on to the college.  Maybe a visit from the Swedish Royalty will be in order?

And it was fun to see the class of 1965 begin to make plans for their reunion―and nice it was them and not us!

Now for the class news.

We are saddened to report the death of our classmate, Paul Kuehn this past August.  Paul and Joanna (Lundgren) Kuehn were unable to attend the reunion because of his battle with lung cancer. (Some of you signed a Gustavus sweatshirt for him.)  Paul’s memorial service at Mount Olivet in Minneapolis was a great celebration of his life and attended by a number of his classmates.

Some of this you may have seen earlier in the Quarterly, but since repetition is good for our brains, here is what Gustavus sent us.

Sharon Robinson called Susan Kerner Oberg.  She reported that Susan and her husband are both retired teachers whose main interests revolve around their children and five grandchildren.  Both children and their husbands are Gustie grads.

Ken Slinde tried to contact Henning Anderson.  Ken and the rest of us wonder if  JoJo is still a nickname.  Ken said he googled the address and was intrigued by the golf course on the island in the lake.  We need info.....

Larry Peterson lives in Wells, MN.

Geri Bakken Ramsfield and husband completed their masters in education and have made their home in Arkansas.  They had four biological children and adopted ten children with special needs.  Four of the ten are still with them and keep them very busy.  Their own children are grown, married and have children of their own and doing well.

Liz (Proeschel) Wold contacted Sue Toftey Hildebrand prior to the reunion.  She could not come to the reunion because of a prior church commitment, Sue worked eighteen years at a synod job then decided after retiring, she’d work for a financial firm.  Sue went on a trip to Ireland and then decided that she would retire for good to spend time with her three-year-old grandson,Thor, who lives in Washington D.C.  Sue stays busy with both church and community activities.

Sharon Robinson contacted Sharon (Nelson) and Don Rahn.  The Rahns love their lives in Freeport, Maine.  After 27 years with the Navy and 13 years with L.L. Bean, Don will retire this year.  He will continue to work for Outdoor Discovery School.  Sharon loves her retirement from teaching.  She fills her hours with volunteering for the Food Pantry; Habitat for Humanity; and working on her Master Gardening projects, even teaching gardening; and of course, visits to Minnesota to see their two grandsons.

Cleyo Keller Mathews and her husband, Bill have lived near Missoula, Montana for the past 13 years.  They left the Twin Cities because they love the beautiful “Big Sky” country.  Cleyo retired in 2005 after working many years both in the Twin Cities and Montana as a medical technician.  Cleyo and Bill have two sons and a daughter and three grandsons with whom they enjoy spending time.

Eldora Carlson Pearson was at the reunion.  She’s a retired music teacher who lives in Elgin, Illinois.  She has two daughters and two grandchildren.

Al Gessner’s 35-year work career was with Minnegasco in the Twin Cities.  After retiring he and his wife, Becky (Shager ’65) moved permanently to Arizona City, AZ.  They love being in the land of permanent sunshine and warmth.  Enjoying time with their 9 grandchildren ages 7-21 is big on their leisure list.  Al enjoys biking and playing golf.  Al and Becky’s grandson was graduating from Dubuque, Iowa on our reunion weekend last spring.

Diane Rasmusson Wolfgang could not attend our reunion because her husband, Bob, was chairman of his Gettysburg College reunion (the same weekend as ours.)  Diane and Bob have a son and daughter with a 17 year-old granddaughter who is considering Gustavus.  They also have a 13 year-old grandson in Washington D.C.  Diane has had her own executive search business since 1985.  She’s kept in touch with Noel Ostrom Whited in West Palm Beach, Florida and Joy Persinger Lester.  Diane and Bob live in Florida three months in the winter and they also enjoy traveling.

Leon Lentz has a busy business during May and was not able to attend the reunion.  He has The Paper Place.  Leon and Debra have a 27 year-old son and 31 year-old daughter.

LaRae Hopko Anderson works for Hennepin County in Maple Grove, a Minneapolis suburb.  She has two adult children; a daughter in Lino Lakes and a son in Rochester.  There are four grandchildren , one attending the University of Minnesota in Duluth and the others are in high school.  LaRae’s nine-year-old dog keeps her active.

Carol Berg Gustafson taught kindergarten and preschool until 8 years ago, when her grandchildren were born.  She’s a “hands-on” grandmother 2-3 days a week.  Carol’s husband taught English for 36 years and now subs at the same school in Hudson, Wisconsin.  They have two sons that graduated from Wartburg College.  One is a bachelor and the other met his wife on the 3M softball team.  Carol has her 6 year-old granddaughter and 8 year-old grandson to complete her retirement.

Judy Fletcher Kloster reports having left the Twin Cities 14 years ago because of her husband’s job change.  She has been and is still teaching in Willmar, MN.  She teaches English (academic English) to Hispanic and Somali students in kindergarten.  Judy and her husband enjoy their grandchildren 6 years to 4 months.  Her younger daughter got married in August on their 44th anniversary.

Denny and Karen (Lund ’65) Nielsen retired from their “Reel Addiction Charters” in Altoona, Wisconsin.

Sharon Stueland Olson (Ken Olson ’65) still lives in Waukon, Iowa.  Ken is a doctor in family practice in Waukon.  Sharon is retired from teaching.  Their daughter, Lori, is an elementary and Spanish teacher in Robbinsdale.  Their son, Brett, is a graduate student in environmental science pursuing a master’s degree in coastal zone management at Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale.  There is one granddaughter, Josephine Claire Morris, age two.

Joan Carlstrom Morehouse and husband, Terry, live in Waconia and came to our reunion this past May.

Ruby Monson Englund retired from her nursing faculty position at Seattle Pacific University two years ago.  She resumed an oral history project in which she records memories of nurses whose careers began in the 1940’s.  She has completed four interviews and has plans for two more in the next few weeks.  The Washington State History Museum had an exhibition depicting one hundred years of nursing in the state.  She served on the planning committee and provided her collection of nursing uniforms, caps and capes worn by a student from Pacific Lutheran University, many of who had volunteered for the event.  Her husband traveled to six countries in Eastern Europe last year and will be going to Israel in November with their church group.

Donna Sederburg Ogle has been a professor at National Louis University in Chicago for the past 35 years.  She earned her Ph.D. in reading education and curriculum.  In the past few years she has been heavily involved in “Literacy Across the Curriculum” projects in the middle schools of Chicago.  In addition to her teaching, she writes college textbooks on teaching language arts.  This summer, she traveled to Peru to attend the International Reading Association’s Latin American Regional Conference where she delivered the keynote address on “Literacy in Science.”  Donna is married to Pastor Bud Ogle who directs Good News Partners, an organization that helps provide housing and other services to people on the north side of Chicago.

Karen Buss Torgersen and her husband retired from the family land surveying business two years ago.  They divide their time between Minnesota and Yuma, Arizona.  Karen loves the mild weather and sunshine during the winter months.

That’s about all the news from the envelope from the Gustavus Alumni Office.  I talked to Helen Brostrom Ihrig in Chicago.  She is coming to St. Peter for the Nobel Conference and then traveling to California for her daughter, Britt’s, wedding.

Rick Hokanson and Gary Kenning and I (Linda) visited Dick Swenson at his apartment this past week.  Nicky Kerpen Bredeson joined us later for lunch.  She still works six days a week.

Doug Person is back in his apartment in Bloomington, MN after having more surgeries.

I have been reading the book Enrique’s Journey which all incoming Gustie freshman must read.  Nancy Johnson Martin and I went to hear the author speak at Gustavus

The Nobel Conference will be on water this year and is held on October 6-7.  Hope to see many of you there.

I found some of you on “Facebook.”  I am trying to learn how it’s kind of interesting....stay tuned.

Enjoy the fall.


Linda Leonardson Hallman

1964 Co-class Agent


Hi from Joanna,

With this the first class letter since our reunion, I want to chime in with a THANK YOU to everyone who attended.  How fun to reconnect, visit, and meet your spouses and friends.  The last Quarterly shows who was there and how great we look, as well as filling you in on all sorts of information.

Another huge THANKS to everyone who helped.  Event planner Elizabeth Johnson Ekholm arranged a spectacular weekend.  Worship planners, Dave Spong, Linda Hammarberg Willette, and Donna Olsenius Hammer, along with organist, Jane Chelgren McFadden and a choral group helped us remember classmates.  We ate and talked our way through the reunion, first at the new football stadium (thanks to Mike Torkelson’s influence), then at the arboretum where Jim Peterson amused us with his account of how to plan your life so that you could become a college president.  Nancy Johnsen Martin produced an amazing slide show by delving into college archives, yearbooks, and Weeklys and then setting her production to music.  Dan Johnson told us about the creation of his fascinating work on Dr. Reusch, carefully and affectionately separating legend and fact.  Thanks to all the callers and writers who encouraged classmates to remember and reconnect, playing a big role in creating such a good turnout.  And very interesting class letters too!  (If I try to name some, I’ll make omissions.  Just know you all played a key role in reunion planning.)  You were incredible and everyone benefited from your good work.  Thanks a million!!!

It wouldn’t be a class letter without thanking you also for the monetary gifts given.  Even with a miserable financial year, almost 60% (actually 59.2%) made a gift.  For those who like to see numbers, the total for last year was $32, 450.  Many thanks to all of you for remembering Gustavus!

That’s all for now.

Joanna Carlson Swanson

1964 Co-class Agent

Campus News

Gustavus get High Rankings

Gustavus Adolphus College is listed as the 33rd best liberal arts college in the country according to a new set of college rankings released on Thursday, September 3, by Washington Monthly magazine.  The publication states on its website that schools were ranked based on their contribution to the public good in three broad categories:  social mobility (recruiting and graduating low-income students), research (producing cutting-edge scholarship and Ph.D.s), and service (encouraging students to give something back to their country).

Gustavus once again ranked among the top 100 liberal arts colleges in the nation in U.S. News and World Report’s annual college rankings.  Gustavus moved up eight places from last year’s rankings to 80th on the magazine’s “Best Liberal Arts College’s” list.  Gustavus is one of six Minnesota colleges that placed in the top 100 in this year’s rankings.  One of the measures used to capture the various dimensions of academic quality at each college is alumni giving percentage; therefore, participating in a giving program at Gustavus, regardless of amount given, is important to the College.

GLA Membership

All of us remember the Folke Bernadotte Memorial Library.  It was a place for study and, depending on your era, finding a “coffee date.”  But, in the 21st century, it has become much more.  It is a technology-rich laboratory for learning and a storehouse of culture and recorded knowledge.  It must constantly be strengthened to ensure excellence in education.  The Gustavus Library Associates (GLA) provides financial support for the library and a program of events to its members.  Join this year and immediately make a difference.  Whatever membership gift level you choose, 100% goes directly to the library’s acquisition budget.  Join today at!!!

Homecoming and Family Weekend – October 9 & 10, 2009

Join us for Homecoming and Family Weekend festivities this year!  Parents, alumni, and friends of the College are invited to return and reconnect on this great weekend.  Check out all the activities on the Gustavus alumni web site

A Walk in the Arb

As part of Homecoming Weekend, the Linnaeus Arboretum will be hosting its annual Fall Fest on that Saturday, October 10.  Come enjoy a guided hike through the arboretum and browse its many beautiful flower gardens and tree collections.  Maple trees will be in their fall peak this weekend.  Master Gardeners and tree care experts will be available to address your questions and concerns, so bring a branch!  Bring your kids (accompanied by an adult) for a hayride through the arboretum.  Have a look at this year’s scarecrows around the Borgeson cabin!  Enjoy cookies and lemonade, purchase an arboretum t-shirt.  There will be books available for purchasing and signing by two local authors, Jan Dunlap (Birder Murder Mysteries) and Jim Gilbert (Minnesota Nature Notes).  Join Us!

“Come on You Gusties” Breakfast

Once a month, Gusties gather for coffee, breakfast, and great conversation along with a campus speaker.  All Gusties are welcomed and invited to the breakfast, third Wednesday of the month, 8-9:30 a.m. at the Doubletree Hotel, Minneapolis-Park Place, 1500 Park Place Boulevard.  Cost is $10 at the door.

Upcoming speakers:  President Jack R. Ohle – Oct. 21, Chaplain Brian Johnson ’80 – Nov. 18, Thomas Young ’88 – Dec. 16.

Upcoming Events

  • Nobel Conference:  H²0 Uncertain Resource – October 6-7, 2009
  • Homecoming/Family Weekend – October 9-10, 2009
  • Athletics Hall of Fame – October 17, 2009
  • Gustavus Library Associates – A Royal Affair – November 14, 2009
  • Farewell for Steve and Barb Wilkinson, Minneapolis Hyatt - December 12

royal affair