Class of ’64

May 2012

Dear Classmates….

The lilacs are blooming outside my window and spring is still in full bloom.  It is a little early but still welcome.  My lawnmower no longer is self-propelled and so it is very difficult to push.  Soon I will bring it in to have it repaired.

We (Joanna Carlson Swanson, Biz Johnson Ekholm, Jim Peterson and Dave Spong) met at IKEA on Monday 4/30/2012 to discuss our upcoming reunion.  It seems a long two years away but we want to make it very special and involve the whole class.

The annual fund ends May 31, 2012 so we wanted to send out a reminder to be sure you knew about the matching grant for this the Sesquicentennial year.  So whatever your gift, it will be matched.  I still need to make out my check to the Annual Fund.  It is possible, if you do computers, to give online, just go to:… no stamps necessary.  Remember your gift will be doubled!

Last night I was at the Guthrie Theatre to see “Time Stands Still.”  It was a thought provoking piece about a photographer returning from war.  Excellent acting!

So now some news… We have some new iPad users.  Jeanne Axdahl Bahnson, Joanna Carlson Swanson, Gary Kenning and me.  Anyone else?

Nancy Johnsen Martin has been working diligently on her family genealogy.  She’s quite familiar with the history center in St. Paul.  Her mother lived in Lancaster, Minnesota so she dug into microfilm from newspapers from that town.  Now she said she can learn a lot about family history online.

Some of us traveled to campus to hear Chaplain Elvee, who was back on campus for a week.  His talk was entitled “A Portrait of the Times 1962-1985 and the People Who Embodied Them.”

Edgar Carlson – Professor of Christianity

Evelyn Anderson – Theater

Kyle Montague – Business Law

Robert Esbjornson – Religion

Don Gregory – Art

Cecil Eckhoff – Alumni Director

Robert (Bob) Peterson – VP of Development

Moose Malmquist – Athletic Director

Elvee brought his “A” material for the program.  The campus looks good.  When I am back on the Gustavus campus, I always think about how gradually it has changed since we were all there.  Nobel Hall is now 50 year old and ready for renovation.  Remember all the Nobel Laureates of 1963?  Where has the time gone?

There is an article in the Gustavian Weekly from May 3, 1963 which reads:  “Twenty-Seven Nobel Prize Winners will Participate in Dedication Events.”  Linus Pauling was going to stay a little longer on campus after the dedication before returning to The California Institute of Technology.  Ralph Bunch was to be an after dinner speaker.  Glenn Seaborg was the speaker at the dedication ceremony held in the Fieldhouse with a later procession to the new Nobel Hall of Science.

In that same issue, there was an article about the tennis players going to the Carlton Invitational.  It speaks about the St. John’s meet where John Remington, Jim Uecker and Roger Peterson were victorious in single competition and the teams of Uecker and Paul Swanson were winners in the doubles event.

Rumpelstiltskin was the spring children’s play.  Cheryl Downy ʼ66 was the elf; the miller’s daughter was played by Sharon Peterson.

Biz Johnson Eckholm was at IKEA and shared news that I could share with you.  Biz has been elected to the General Auxillary board of Shriners Hospital.  She is also working for the National Park System with 4th, 5th, and 6th graders on “Big River Journey” on the Mississippi River.  It is a paddleboat and she’ll be working with Park Rangers and the kids.  Her part will be the geology piece.  Others will do the ecology, birding and invertebrates.  Biz is so excited to be doing this!  It sure sounds like fun.

The American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis will host the official grand opening of the Carl and Leslie Nelson Cultural Center on Saturday, June 30, 2012.  The opening of the ASI’s long-anticipated addition positions the museum as a significant cultural center for the region, a place to experience the remarkable and unexpected aspects of Nordic arts, music and culture.

The Nelson Cultural Center also includes an educational partnership with Gustavus.  The College has an office suite in the Center giving Gustavus a presence in the Twin Cities area for outreach to alumni and prospective students, and for educational programming.

Of course you have probably heard that the King and Queen of Sweden will be on campus this fall (October 5-6) as well as at the American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis.

Some of from our class will be on campus in June for the Augustana Heritage Society.  Garrison Keilor will speak, as well as our own Dan JohnsonJoanna Carlson Swanson will have information about her father Edgar Carlson ʼ30.

The College’s Nobel Conference will be October 2-3, 2012.  Come and join your 1964 classmates in the rear left section of Lund Center.  We will lunch together at noon both days.  I have already ordered my ticket from

Well, it is time to get this into the Alumni Office so this letter can be sent to you.  It would be nice if you each sent in a news snippet to the Alumni Office so we can pass the information to classmates.

Thank you for remembering Gustavus with your annual gift (this year it will be matched).  Once again the deadline for this year is MAY 31.

Remember to put the reunion on the 2014 calendar (Memorial weekend).  We will officially become members of the 50 Year Club!



Linda Leonardson Hallman ‘64

1964 Co-Communications Chair

Campus News

National Sesquicentennial Celebrations

Throughout the coming year, Gusties are gathering across the country to reflect on Gustavus’s past, celebrate 150 academic years, and engage for the future.  In conjunction with the celebrations on campus, the College invites all alumni, parents, and friends for a celebration in an area near them.  The president has gone to 14 different locations from New York to LA.  You can view them all and register for an event at

Upcoming Chapter Events

June 5, 6:00 - 8:30 p.m.

Sesquicentennial Celebration - Rochester (Somerby Golf Club, Byron MN)

June 18, 6:00 - 8:30 p.m.

Sesquicentennial Celebration - St. Cloud (St. Cloud Civic Center, St. Cloud MN)

June 19, 6:00 - 8:30 p.m.

Sesquicentennial Celebration - Willmar (The Oaks at Eagle Creek, Willmar MN)

June 20, 6:00 - 8:30 p.m.

Sesquicentennial Celebration - Fargo/Moorhead (Stokers at Hotel Donaldson)

June 25, 6:00 - 8:30 p.m.

Sesquicentennial Celebration - Sioux Falls (Minerva’s Restaurant and Bar, Sioux Falls, SD)

June 26, 6:00 - 8:30 p.m.

Sesquicentennial Celebration - Omaha (Spezia Restaurant, Omaha NE)

June 27, 6:00 - 8:30 p.m.

Sesquicentennial Celebration - Des Moines (The Wakonda Club, Des Moines IA)

July 16, 6:00 - 8:30 p.m.

Sesquicentennial Celebration - Grand Rapids (Timberlake Lodge Hotel, Grand Rapids MN)

July 17, 6:00 - 8:30 p.m.

Sesquicentennial Celebration - Duluth (Clyde Park Restaurant, Duluth MN)

Nobel Conference 48 – October 2 & 3, 2012

The oceans have long been a source of fascination, from the tales of Sinbad to the popular Blue Planet documentary.  The marine world provides us with necessities like seafood and medicines, fertilizers and petroleum.  But the oceans are also associated with danger, from the devastating hurricanes we face each year to the under-reported facts of the oceans’ roles in climate change.  Nobel Conference 48 examines “Our Global Ocean” as a source of inspiration, danger, and knowledge.  To order tickets online go to: or call the Office of Marketing/Communications at 507/933-7520.

Sweden’s King and Queeen to visit Gustavus – October 5

Their majesties King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia will visit Gustavus on Friday, Oct. 5, 2012 and ASI on Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012.  The visit will commemorate the sesquicentennial at Gustavus and the opening of the new Nelson Cultural Center at ASI.  It comes after a long period of planning by both parties.