Class of ’64

November 2012

Autumnal greetings to all my classmates,

It has been an exciting fall on the Gustavus campus.  It was fun to be an alum living an hour away from campus.  It would have been even more interesting to live closer and have taken in more of the activities and events.  The next Quarterly should be full of news from our college as well as news from our class.

Sharon Peterson Robinson and Linda Leonardson Hallman are outstanding in contacting classmates and collecting news.  (Some of you – due to a computer surprise - may have received via email a preview of what will be in the winter Quarterly early, in mid September.  If not, you will be in for a treat.  Lots of news and written in a delightfully engaging style.)  If you want to contribute your news, just send an email to Linda at or Sharon Robinson at  Or you can also submit news when you donate on line, or you can enter and find the “Tell Us Your News” button.

Gustavus entertained the King and Queen of Sweden in early October.  The campus was at its spectacular best.  Some of your classmates took in the festivities:  Dave Spong, Elizabeth Johnson Ekholm, Linda Leonardson Hallman, Helen Brostrom Ihrig, and I (and very likely more that I didn’t see) were royalty watchers the morning of October 5.  Protocol was exceedingly proper:  we stood when told, arrived at events one half hour early but were last out of the building after the royals, and followed all directions exactly.  Security was tight and our photo ID became our best friend.  It was a fun day.  Fun to see Gustavus shine, fun to see and hear royalty, and fun to be on campus.  High winds whipping across the hill that day brought back memories from our youth and recalled the saying “some things never change.”

The campus has a new mall expanded to the west – towards the site of the old football stadium.  The Sesquicentennial statue stands on that mall.  You’ve seen pictures of it in The Quarterly.  I’ve heard St. Peter residents referring to the statue as “The Tornado!”

Check the Gustavus website at and see how you can access a number of programs from your computer.  Using Live Streaming, it is possible to archive programs, lectures, and concerts.  I listened to Chaplain Elvee’s presentations that way.  In the alumni/class/1964 portion of the website you can glimpse a number of great photos of your classmates celebrating that special birthday so many of us have in common.

There are several items from your class officers to pass on to you:

First, thanks to everyone who contributed to the Annual Fund or gave in other ways to Gustavus.  With the fiscal year running from May 2011 to May 2012, college records show that half of our class contributed to the Annual Fund and collectively gave $26,000.

So, many thanks for your loyalty and your gifts.  And for all who are planning to give before the 2012 calendar year ends, our thanks precedes your gift.

Helen Brostrom Ihrig, now at home in St. Peter, works with alumni involvement and class recruitment.  That title translates into encouraging our classmates to participate in two areas, one mentioned earlier plus a new opportunity.  Helen wrote:  “As class recruitment officer, I have asked you to forward names/addresses of students you feel would be suited to Gustavus life and studies.  I now want to recruit YOU to a new program that matches a Gustie student to an alumnus mentor with expertise in the student’s chosen field of study.

Amy Pehrson is the Mentoring Program Coordinator.  Please contact her at or 507-933-7169 if you are willing to share your many years of experience.”  With cell phones, Skype, and other approaches, it is not necessary to live near St. Peter to participate.  This program started with business majors and will be expanding.  Helen can be contacted at

Dave Spong and Elizabeth Johnson Ekholm have started thinking about our 50th College Reunion.  If you have ideas, questions, or would like to help, you may reach any of us through the Gustavus website, or at or

Finally, a note from Jim Peterson, class fundraising chair:

“I like setting goals.  I’m way short of obsessive but I like to know what needs doing, when it needs to be done, and what my role is in getting it done.  As alumni and friends work for a successful Gustavus150 campaign and especially as our 50th class reunion approaches, we’re thinking the Class of ’64 might be setting some goals too.

So, from a class fundraising perspective, here’s what needs doing – in two parts.  First, we need to enhance our annual class giving.  I’m hoping we can find ways to raise our annual fund contributions from about $26,000 last fiscal year (ending May 31) to a sizably larger total over the next two years.  Secondly, we should start imagining doing what every class does in preparation for their 50th reunion – challenge ourselves to leave a major class legacy gift to the College and its students.  More on setting these specific goals later.

As to when this needs to be done, the answer is within the next two years and it really needs to start right away.  More on this timing business later also.

Finally, who’s responsible for getting these things done?  The answer of course is all of us.  However, to help plan this whole effort, to reach everyone and engage everyone in the class in a successful effort, we need a core group of people willing to pitch in.  I’ll be contacting some of you individually but we’ll need a large group of willing, able and enthusiastic committee volunteers.  Please e-mail me at if you think you might enjoy giving a little time to the effort.  Thank you!”

Tom Hirsch already responded to Jim’s request to help.  Many of you will want to follow their lead as well.

The business portion of the letter is over.  All that is left is for me to sign off, wishing all of you a very pleasant Thanksgiving surrounded by the right combination of good friends, good company and good food.  Gustavus roots and college connections are one of our great gifts.  Thanks for everything!

Joanna Carlson Swanson

1964 Class President

Other Campus News

Invitation to Hear Marine Scientist William Fitzgerald

Gustavus invites you to a public lecture at the Science Museum of Minnesota, St. Paul on Monday, December 3, beginning at 7:00 p.m. in the SMM Auditorium to meet and hear Rydell Professor William Fitzgerald, Ph.D., noted geochemist and one of the foremost experts on the chemistry of iron from an oceanographic and environmental perspective.  His presentation is titled “Iron in the Oceans:  What’s the Fuss About?”  A reception at the Elements Cafe will follow the talk.  There is no charge for the event; however, seating is limited so, advance reservations are requested online at  Contact the Office of Marketing and Communication at 507-933-7520 for further information.

Upcoming Events:

Nov. 17 – Gustavus Wind and Vasa Wind Orchestras – Bjorling Hall – 1:30 p.m.

Nov. 18 – Adolphus Jazz Ensemble and Gustavus Jazz Lab Band – Bjorling – 2:30 p.m.

Nov. 21 – Twin Cities Gustie Breakfast – American Swedish Institute – 8:00 a.m.

Nov. 30-Dec. 2 – Christmas in Christ Chapel – the Jubilee Year

Dec. 6 – Festival of St. Lucia