Class of '65
May 2007

Greetings Classmates,

I have had a nice winter season…spending October through April in sunny southwest Florida is a treat, although I must confess that I went “home” to Minnesota for six weeks in November and December for Thanksgiving and Christmas…As I get older, I like those “fixes” of decorating our house, having our grandchildren for overnights, baking cookies, shopping and even being in that snow and cold.

In Florida, Curt and I still like to golf about three times a week, we keep trying to improve, but things just basically stay the same.  And then we justify by saying, “we are so lucky to just be out here golfing!”

My new favorite pastime is duplicate bridge.  I love the challenge and am in several groups.  There are eight of us on our Highland Woods team, (the community where we live) and this year we took first place in our Interclub duplicate bridge group.  It is quite a feat, believe it or not, and I owe my beginning bridge playing to finals of my freshman year when three of you girl classmates yelled “fourth for bridge” and I sat in holding that hand and that was it.  I’ve played it ever since, but now am more serious.  Our Gustavus bridge group, including Jan From Hanson, continues to gather for games of bridge and together time, and includes four from the class of ’64.  They are Karen Benson Hanson, Barb Koehn Baumann, Barb Nelson Martens, and Shirley Schmidt Vold.  We have been getting together since graduating and we are quite proud of our 40 plus years of being friends.  In fact, we just were together in Fort Myers to tailgate on Minnesota Twins Day and then take in the game.

Do you know why I’m writing so much about myself???  Because I don’t have enough news from you!

This January my mother turned 100 years old!  We had been anticipating this milestone event for several years, because she has always been so healthy and capable.  She sold her house five years ago, (I grew up in that house) she lives alone, cooks for herself, still plays lots of bridge, and pays her own bills.  The part that really amazes me is that she takes care of her own taxes and knows what’s going on!  Anyway, we had a fabulous party at the Women’s Club in Duluth with our families and about 150 people came to have a glass of wine, appetizers, and of course birthday cake.  It was a very memorable and special time.

Okay, that’s it!  I’m done with “It’s all about Me!”  Next time, write or send me a picture, it will be “All About YOU!”  Speaking of pictures, I thought our classmates “girls in pearls” picture in the Gustavus Quarterly was pretty cute!

Here is the news that we have received from classmates:

Dr. Algene Pearson writes that he is enjoying retirement after 33 years as a professor at Gustavus.  His wife, Mary Ellen, also retired after 31 years as a professor at Minnesota State University, Mankato.

Karen Nilsson Nelson was awarded the 2006 Barbara O’Grady Excellence in Public Health Nursing Leadership by the Local Public Health Association of Minnesota.  The award was for creativity, innovation and leadership in promoting the health of the public.  The award was presented on November 15, 2006.  Karen is the director of Public Health for Wadena County and the Community Health Services Administrator for the Morrison-Todd-Wadena Board of Health.

Reverend Bruce Dissell retired in January from Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Hibbing, Minnesota.  He started in 1974 and continued as the pastor there for 30 plus years…Prior to 1974 he studied chemical dependency counseling in Berkeley, Calif.  He graduated from Luther Seminary and was ordained in 1969 and pastored two churches in Kandiyohi, MN before graduate school.  Bruce and his wife, Marilyn (Bliss ’67) plan to continue to live in Hibbing and he hopes to pursue many hobbies including photography, family history, gardening, traveling, and spending more time with his four children and nine grandchildren.

We have two more classmates that have joined the retired list...Colin Kivi from the State of Minnesota Corrections Department, and Mary Lee Sellergren Killion from their Hy-Vee Drug Store.  Mary Lee lives in Red Oak, IA and Colin in Walker, MN. (I hope I read that news note correctly).

Do you know what May 31st means, besides the obvious?  It’s the close of the 2006-2007 annual fund.  Is your name included in the list of people who have given Gustavus a gift?  As of March 31, 35% or 86 of us have remembered Gustavus with a gift, and I thank each of you very much!  Thank You.  If you have not participated yet this year, what would it take to get YOU to send a check or put it on your Visa card?  I believe in Gustavus and I believe in you.  Thanks for reading this and thank you for considering what your gift will be.  In this time of defining who and what the people of the United States are, institutions like Gustavus deserve our support.  I hope you agree.  Send a gift...The Gift of Gustavus.


Gustavus Forensics Team Continues to be National Leader

The Gustavus Adolphus College Forensics Team participated in the 30th American Forensics Association National Individual Events Tournament (AFA-NIET) in April, earning a top 20 national ranking for the first time in school history.  Fourteen of the top 20 schools are Division I institutions.  The team has had a full schedule of tournaments this year, although the AFA-NIET is considered by many to be the most competitive collegiate forensics tournament in the country.

Refer a Gustie

Are there outstanding students in your church or neighborhood?  Are there sophomores or juniors in high school who are related to you or are friends of your family and whom you think could be a good fit at Gustavus?  Please send their names to the Office of Admission at Gustavus to help recruit the next generation of Gusties.

Gusties Gather!  Hosts Needed

Gusties around the world are called to gather on Sunday, September 30th.  The Alumni Board is designating this day as a day to intentionally connect with other Gusties.  In its inaugural year last August, 60 hosts planned events.  Want to do more to be connected with Gustavus?  Sign up to host a Gusties Gather! event for your neighborhood or with your friends.  Sign up by contacting Alumni Board member Dick Swenson ’62 at: or 612/824-8052.

A Royal Affair — Razzle Dazzle

Save the date!  Saturday, October 27, 2007 is Gustavus Library Associates’ biennial benefit for the Gustavus Folke Bernadotte Memorial Library.  It will be held at the Sheraton Bloomington Hotel in Bloomington, MN.

If you have volunteer time to offer . . .

If you have an auction item to donate, or know someone who does . . .

If you know someone who should receive an invitation . . .

If you would like to contribute financially to defray expenses . . .

We’ll welcome your call today!

Co-chairs:  Susan Engelsma Wilcox ’73, 952/944-5972 and Nacia Dahl ’92, 952/808-3212.

Rare Flower in Bloom at Gustavus

A Titan Arum or Amorphophallus titanum, otherwise known as a Corpse Flower, is in bloom in the Department of Biology’s greenhouse.  The first known Corpse Flower to bloom in Minnesota, this rare flowering plant is found only in the tropical rainforests of Sumatra, Indonesia.  The largest un-branched inflorescence in the world, the flower’s name comes from the repulsive scent it omits during and after its bloom period.  The plant’s cluster of flowers can grow to almost 10 feet, although the plant at Gustavus is expected to bloom slightly smaller.  “This plant is one of the wonders of the botanical world,” says Brian O’Brien, associate professor of chemistry who received and planted the seeds in 1993.

Upcoming Alumni Events

Class of 1962 - 45th Anniversary Reunion — May 25 and 26

Class of 1957 - 50th Anniversary Reunion — May 25 and 26

50 Year Club Reunion — May 25 and 26

Gusties Gather! — Sept. 30

Homecoming — Oct. 13

A Royal Affair — Oct. 27

Let us hear from you………you can call 1-800-Gusties, write a note in the gold envelope, or e-mail to  It’s always good to read your news―wherever you are and what you are doing.

Remember: The Alumni Fund closes on May 31st

As I close this spring class letter, I send my good wishes for health, wealth, and happiness.

1965 Co-class Agent