Class of 1964

April 2011

Dear classmates,

This letter comes in two parts:  the usual mixt (a little class news, a little college news, a thank you for your gifts to Gustavus and the reminder/encouraging words to give again) plus announcing Gustavus’ new way of working with alums.

This time we’ll start with the new plan−after we’ve thanked you for your contributions.  Perhaps some of you responded to the April 21st online giving campaign, others regularly contribute, and sometimes there are special gifts that reflect intentional planning and deep affection for Gustavus.  Thanks to all of you.  Since it is now 40 plus years that you have been on the donor list, you know that May 31st reflects the end point for this year’s contributions.  If a gift to Gustavus was on your “to do” list, there is only one month left for their financial year.  The current market value for the class scholarship stands at $45,229 (as calculated the end of winter quarter).  Thanks to all of you that contributed to it!

Before you read the most interesting parts, which are Linda’s, I’d like you to wade through my portion, which describes the new alumni format.  So here it is, and realize good opportunities can be lodged within long, dry paragraphs!!!

Change is in the air for Gustavus alums, especially class agents.  Linda and I want to give you the background and the opportunities accompanying new plans for the way Gustavus will interact with us.  Other colleges have used this model successfully so it comes highly recommended.

As classes (especially the recent ones) have grown and more alums enjoy remaining connected to Gustavus; new models of structuring alumni communication, interactions and events have evolved.  An alternative model to the class agent plan (now known as the Class Officer model) was adopted last month by the Alumni Board.  One of its distinctive features provides alumni with many more opportunities to be engaged with fellow classmates as well as the college.  With a variety of needs and choices, more classmates can participate in any of a number of meaningful ways.  Instead of two class agents, we will move into this class officer model.  Here is how we see it working.

The Class President recruits, organizes, and interacts with the rest of the officers (the Communication Chair, the Annual Fund Chair, the Reunion Chair/Vice President and the Student Recruitment Chair.  Each of these areas will need additional participants−you can see the math escalating−spreading the satisfaction of volunteering more broadly.

Let me suggest some reasons for you to consider reading on, rather than just plain throwing this page away. 

  • The freedom that comes with this stage of life allows us to re-engage in activities that formerly were put aside because of other responsibilities.  We have time for new activities.
  • For those of us who are retired, reconnecting with friends brings a great deal of pleasure.  In this case, it would be a chance to connect again with those from our college years.  Facebook, class webpage, email, and news for the Quarterly all need to be gleaned and shared.  You’ll notice Linda’s source of news was primarily from Facebook.
  • Investing time and energy to advance a cause that impacted us richly brings a great deal of satisfaction.
  • Gustavus casts a huge imprint on students, grads, and society in general.  In order to fulfill its mission, Gustavus needs the input, talents, ideas, and energy of her graduates.  Your service is needed.
  • I’m sure this is a short list, but long and complete lists don’t make interesting reading.

I’ll describe the new plan to you, not to put you to sleep or bore you (to death!!!), but in the anticipation that you’ll see something to contribute that you will enjoy and will work well for you (as well as Gustavus).

First, commitments run through the next reunion (2014 for us), but not beyond that.  Proximity to Gustavus or the Twin Cities is not essential.  With cell phones, emails, and social media, work can be done anywhere.  (The Class of 1965 planned their 45th reunion very successfully without holding a meeting.  It was all done remotely!  And look at what Linda’s done.)

Class Communication Team will specialize in communicating both among classmates and between Gustavus and our class.  Team members will work in a variety of areas:  Quarterly class notes, emails, class web page, and social media.  Class information will expand, focusing more on the Quarterly than on class letters.  Linda Leonardson Hallman will head up this group.  Her team will use the newer ways to communicate.  Those of you who are a natural at communications and are knowledgeable about social networks would enjoy being involved in this way.  And anything with Linda is great fun.

If you love reconnecting with your classmates either by phone or email, you’d find this a lot of fun.  It would give you an excellent reason to be in touch with friends from our college days.  And this isn’t a Phonorama plan with expectations of asking for contributions!

As you can guess, this new plan does not downplay giving.  There will be an Annual Fund Chair who builds awareness of the Annual Fund and the ways it benefits Gustavus, encourages a culture of philanthropy, and introduces various ways classmates can include Gustavus in their long range financial plans.  This chair acknowledges gifts from classmates (email, handwritten cards, online postcards, etc.)  He/she sets goals for participation and amount raised.  And this will be spread among a team of two or three.  I’m sure that, within our class, are classmates who have not only been involved in raising money, but have taken considerable satisfaction in making goals, offering others an opportunity to experience great pleasure through gifting, and have expertise, experience, and affection for Gustavus.  If this sounds at all like what you did, what you wished you had done, or what you might like to try… this might be just right for you.

One of the ongoing officers will be the Reunion Chair who also functions as Vice President. This chair recruits the reunion committee (for us the big 50th), co-ordinates planning meetings for reunions, organizes any other class gatherings, and works with communication and annual fund chairs.  It sounds like a great way to plot and plan to be with old friends and reconnect with new ones.

In addition, there will be a Reunion Event Chair who works just with the events surrounding the reunion.  That person finalizes all the reunion events including locations, menus, or decorations, as well as being the contact person for the Alumni Relations office.

Finally, in the interest of encouraging a pipeline of future Gusties, a Student Recruitment Chair will be needed.  That person encourages classmates to recommend qualified high school students for consideration.  Enlisting other classmates to participate in the Gustavus Recruitment Network is also part of this position.  Those opportunities include calling or emailing admitted students to congratulate them, volunteering at an admissions fair, working with your church to connect your congregation with Gustavus resources, or calling/emailing admitted students in the late summer with a greeting.  This opportunity has no geographic limitations.  With cell phones and email, everyone is equidistant to Gustavus and prospective students.

IS ANYONE STILL READING THIS?  You may find this hard to believe, but I have spared you the details and tried to condense our information.

Here is what you can do: mull this over and see if one of these opportunities feels like a good fit for you.  Either Linda (  or myself ( ) can answer questions or give you more information.  If you know you’d like to be involved, get back to us and we’ll be delighted.

Linda and I think co-chairs would also be a successful approach to any of this.  I’m planning to stay on as Class President through the transition and our reunion in 2014.

Finally, it has been great fun being your class agent all these years.  Connecting with classmates, sharing news over the years, and staying connected to Gustavus have all been much more than rewarding.  Thanks for letting Linda and me into your post-Gustavus years.  We’ll still keep in touch.

Now for Linda’s portion:

Dear Fellow Classmates from Gustavus 1964,

I have put this letter off long enough.  I did not think I had enough news to write about.  You could help me here and send some news my way.  As you’ll discover, Facebook is my new resource for keeping in touch with you.

I am writing on a new computer; my old one would not start up and so I figured out that maybe it was time to replace.  That one lasted 11 years with no problems so if this one lasts that long I will be 80 or dead.  So I got a good one with a big, 27” screen.  Now I am having fun using Hulu to watch TV shows.  I click a button and my whole 27 inch screen is filled.  Not bad for free.  It started when I wanted to find out when “Doc Martin” on Public TV was on.  Then I realized that I could watch each of four seasons and view them in any order that I wanted.  Sweet!

I opened the letter recently that was from Gustavus... It said, “Class News” on the outside of the envelope.  Three small pieces of paper came out.  So here is what they said:

Lois Hoernemann Banke from Ashland, Oregon retired on the 30th of January 2010 and is training to be a volunteer chaplain.

Ed ʼ62 and Karyl (Krantz) Blair are in Payson, Arizona.  Their news was their son, Nathan ʼ92 and wife, Laura had a son, Simon David Blair on May 24, 2010.  (Gee... old news, Simon will be one soon.)

Wallie Weihe in Gainesville, Georgia is director of organizational development for Georgia Perimeter College.  (Wallie, did Henning Anderson get a hold of you??)

Okay, that’s the news that Gustavus sent.  Now you see why I need a little more to write a whole letter.  So PLEASE send it something!  Thanks.

I somehow got talked into doing Facebook and I must admit that I am enjoying it.  You do not have to answer it:  just look and you can write comments and send private messages.  Here is my news from Facebook:

I learned that Emily Hanson Abello was in the “Artists and Easels” Show on March 19th.  She had her silk paintings and watercolors at Grange Hall.  She has Gustavus friends on Facebook, including Beaty Fritz Graves.

Sue Bolmgren Anderson and I went on our usual trip in February to Puerto Vallarta to use her timeshare there.  Sue bought a kayak this past fall so is gearing up to paddle on the river or lakes.  What energy!

This has been the longest, snowiest winter in Minnesota, then yesterday, April 20, it snowed again.  It was just a week or so ago that the snow was off my front bushes.  The Christmas lights had only been a glow during the holidays so I put them on one last time before I stuffed them away for another winter.

My son and I, and other friends drove to Colorado to ski at Aspen the second week of March:  wonderful snow, cool temperatures and terrific skiing.  Right after Easter, I am heading with my MINI Cooper to the Smokey Mountains for a Mini Cooper Rally MOTD 2011.  We have a nice cabin rented at Fontana Resort−the hub of the action.  Maybe we will stop to see Marcia Weyrauch Sympson on the way in Louisville, Kentucky as we did last year.  Marcia and her mother and sometimes her brother spend the winter in Tampa, Florida in a place they bought last year.  It is very close to Marcia’s daughter and two grandchildren.

Our own Sharon Peterson Robinson has been sending (by Facebook) pictures of their place and life in Sarasota’s Lido Key.  I especially love the pictures of the dinner she eats, the umbrella drinks and the fabulous desserts.  Keep on sending them, Sharon!  Tim Robinson ʼ65 is sometimes there too.  He has his trumpet and occasionally plays with other musicians there.  What fun for him!  He is still teaching at Gustavus, but gave up planning the Nobel Conference.

My next outing will be to Tucson, AZ with Sue Bolmgren Anderson to help Char Olson Jerney moved back to the Madison area in Wisconsin (Verona).  Char has been shaping up operating rooms at a hospital in Tucson for 11 months.  She bought herself a nice Mustang convertible and already had a company leased car.  So Sue and I are going to help drive it back to Madison during the Memorial Weekend (with the top down?).  I thought I would go a little early and visit some friend and relatives in Tucson and Phoenix.

I think that Rod and Jean (Axdahl) Bahnson have now bought a “casa” in Mesa (Phoenix).  They have been“RVing” through the USA for the past few years, but finally bought a place of their own.  Not that they stay put there for long.  They sent some great pictures when their granddaughter visited from Colorado (also sent on Facebook).  Maybe I will catch them home.

Nicky Kerpen Bredeson stopped by the other day with her newly leased car, a Kia Soul in a lovely green labeled “alien.”

Shirley Smith Franklin continues her work with India.

Carl Franzen continues to make wonderful music and some of us try to catch a few of his gigs.

Dan Johnson is still in Mexico about twenty minutes south of San Diego.  He is happy to enjoy National Public Radio from the States.  At Christmas we got to see pictures of his two faithful dogs.

I saw some of Tim Hallinan's pictures from a trip last year to the former Yugoslavia.  Looked like a great trip!

Sue Toftey Hildebrand is really retired and loving it!

Helen Brostrom Ihrig sought the sunshine again in Destin, Florida.  She’s home now and adding moral support to her brother, Milton ʼ49.  Elaine Brostrom (former public affairs director at Gustavus) had a stroke and was getting medical attention at Mayo Clinic in Rochester.

Dick Lindquist was in Hawaii in December, from the Facebook pictures.

Kathy Felsted Matson lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Yesterday, April 21, was Give to Gustavus Day.  I will send in my check in today for this year, just one day late.  Thank you for sending $$ to Gustavus!

So that’s about as much news as I can manufacture on this Good Friday.  I hope you are well and enjoying life.  If you have some news, send it my way and we will include it in future communications.

Linda “Leonard” Leonardson Hallman

and Joanna Carlson Swanson

1965 Co-class Agents

Campus News

Alumni Association Awards Announced

The Greater Gustavus Award is the highest award given to those, who by deed, have notably advanced and aided Gustavus Adolphus College.  Walter Youngquist ’42, Eugene, OR, chair emeritus, Department of Geology, University of Oregon, and consulting geologist, was selected as the 2011 recipient of the Greater Gustavus Award.  Youngquist has established five different endowed funds at the College and is the recipient of a Gustavus Distinguished Alumni Citation in the field of geology in 2002.  Walter’s father, Walter Youngquist ’16, received the Greater Gustavus Award in 1953.

Distinguished Alumni Citations recognize outstanding and exceptional professional achievement, such as unusual honor accorded to the individual in his or her field of endeavor.  Named as 2011 recipients are John “Jack” Bergman ’69, St. Francisville, LA, lieutenant general, retired, United States Marine Corp., in the field of military service; Robert Brown ’83, Rochester, MN, John T. and Lillian Matthews Professor of Neuroscience, Chair of Department of Neurology, Mayo Clinic, in the field of medicine; and Mark Thomsen ’78, Henderson, NV, professional operatic tenor, in the field of music.

The First Decade Award recognizes early professional achievement to one female and one male in the 10th Anniversary Class.  Selected were Kirsten Cullen Sharma ’01, New York, NY, clinical assistant professor, New York University Child Study Center, New York University Langone Medical Center, and Jonathan Poole ’01, Washington, DC, special agent, violent crime branch, Diplomatic Security Service, U.S. Department of State.  The Awards will be presented at the Alumni Banquet on Saturday, May 28.

Sesquicentennial Award

In 2011–2012, Gustavus will celebrate its 150th academic year.  The Board of Trustees has established an award in honor of this Sesquicentennial anniversary to recognize individuals who have made a significant difference in the life of the College.  The award, called “The Sesquicentennial Award,” will acknowledge and pay tribute to living alumni, parents, friends, and retired faculty and staff who:

  • Through actions in their personal or professional lives, have advanced the status of Gustavus as a premier liberal arts college;
  • Have set a new precedent in the ways they supported and advanced the mission of the College as an institution dedicated to preparing students “for fulfilling lives of leadership and service in society”; and/or
  • Have brought particular dignity or honor to the College.

Please submit nominations online at .  For more information about the Sesquicentennial Awards, visit .

Chapter Gatherings

This year President and Kris Ohle have traveled to many parts of the country and made 15 stops in various cities, in order to reach out to all of our alumni and bring them an update from the College.  There is still one more on the calendar, so if you live in the Chicago area, please mark your calendar for – Friday, April 29.

Summer will bring another round of picnic gatherings – so please mark your calendar if you live near one of these locations:

Mankato, MN – May 31

Rochester, MN – June 1

Sioux Falls, SD – June 6

Fargo, ND/Moorhead, MN – June 7

St. Cloud, MN – June 8

Apple Valley, MN – July 12

Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN – July 13

Long Lake, MN – July 14

Duluth, MN – July 26

Grand Rapids, MN – July 27

Brainerd, MN - July 28

Books in Bloom

“Books in Bloom,” a new initiative hosted by GLA to benefit and celebrate Folke Bernadotte Library, will be held on Honors Weekend, May 6-8, 2011.  Based on the Minneapolis Institute of Art’s “Art in Bloom,” floral arrangements depicting more than 20 different books, films, and periodicals will be placed throughout the library.  Each arrangement is sponsored by a $500 donation with all proceeds going to fund new acquisitions for the library.  Professional floral designers as well as those who simply love plants and flowers will create the arrangements.  The exhibit is free and open to the public.  Hours are Friday 3-7 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. - 6p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. hroughout the weekend.