Class of ’65
October 2009

45-Year Reunion ― May 28-29, 2010

Gustie Greetings to the class of ’65,

This September I attended the Volunteer Leadership Day at Gustavus – A time of celebration, training, and information.  We heard a lot about the college and its future plans.  This may have been my 20th or 25th year of being on campus for this event.  It is always a pleasure to be called back to campus…the drive is beautiful at that time of year, the staff is fresh, and students have been on campus for only days.  There is definitely excitement in the air.  After the large meeting in Alumni Hall and smaller group gatherings we were invited to a picnic lunch at President Ohle’s home and then on to the football game at the beautiful new football stadium.  I had the pleasure of seeing the first half of the game from the Presidential Suite high above the home team bleachers.  The view was breathtaking.

Do you realize that this spring is the 45th anniversary of our graduation?  And, to help with this event planning, Paul Hammar and Michael Sponberg joined me at the Leadership Day and we started the discussion and making plans for our 45th reunion.  It was wonderful to have their company and their ideas.  We have six committee members in addition to Paul, Michael, and me.  At this time, these people are on the committee – Bonnie Borchert Ballard from Walla Walla, WA, Janet From Hanson, Bloomington, MN, Ethel Lind Richard, Austin, TX, Arlyn Tolzmann, Wheat Ridge, CO, Tim Robinson, St. Peter, MN and Gloria Johnson Spong, Chanhassen, MN.  And, we still would like additional committee members!  Please e-mail me at to say that you would like to be involved…it takes a whole lot of helpers to put on a successful reunion.  We would truly appreciate your help.

We have only begun the planning of our reunion, but wanted you to know the dates are Friday, May 28 and Saturday, May 29th, 2010 in St. Peter, MN.  It is graduation weekend and the students will have left except for those lucky seniors.  Complimentary housing will be available in one of the dorms.  We have decisions regarding our Friday night activities, menu, location, program, a memorial service, contacting classmates, class gift to the college, and Saturday events!  We welcome your ideas and involvement.

Campus News

Gustavus gets 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!!!

“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:  Chaplain Brian Johnson ’80 – Nov. 18, Thomas Young ’88 – Dec. 16.

Upcoming Events

  • Gustavus Library Associates – A Royal Affair – November 14, 2009
  • Christmas in Christ Chapel – December 4 – 6, 2009
  • Festival of St. Lucia – December 10, 2009
  • Farewell for Steve and Barb Wilkinson, Minneapolis Hyatt - December 12

royal affair

Class News

Michael Sponberg writes that he completed 30 years of teaching in Texas on June 1, 2008.  For eleven years he served at a day and boarding school in Denton and for 19 years he taught U.S. history and geography at Laredo Community College.  He also served as a tutor for adults learning English, as part of the Literacy Volunteers-Laredo program.  Later he served on the Board of Directors as secretary.  Michael served as Sunday school teacher, confirmation students’ tutor, as an Elder, and as congregation Vice-President at Faith Lutheran Church, a parish of the L.C.M.S.

Paul Hammar writes:  My wife Carolyn and I are both retired and live on a lake just north of my hometown of Chisholm, Minnesota.  Every summer we await the annual visit of our five grandkids.  It was an honor to be a part of (Gustavus) Commission 150 Task Force that met in Tucson, AZ not far from our winter home.  I spent this last Super Bowl Sunday with Bill Holm - not watching the Super Bowl but rather having an absolutely great conversation.  We reminisced about our Gustavus English professors, talked politics, bemoaned our contemporary society’s lack of interest in the finer things of life like good music and good literature, and even talked religion.  Bill attacked all areas head on and was not at a lack for opinions.  All this took place at his cousin’s house in Tucson.  From there he went to Patagonia just south of Tucson to write and spend time with other writers.  We have lost a great person, a genius, a warm human being, and someone who lived and sensed life deeply and passionately….Bill Holm, a writer, poet, teacher, musician, traveler, and our classmate, died on Feb. 25th in Sioux Falls, SD after being stricken with pneumonia.  His funeral was at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Minneota, MN.

Gary Bangstad’s daughter, Kelly ’01, a Gustie, received her doctorate in communication last spring from the University of Indiana at Bloomington.…Gloria Johnson Spong is the preschool director at Oak Knoll Lutheran Preschool and lives in Chanhassen, MN.

Allan and Rose Anne (Farmer) Hoekstra live in Round Lake, IL and are involved in the printing business…Ken and Sharon (Stueland ’64) Olson live in Waukon, IA where Ken is practicing family medicine.  Sharon is a retired teacher.  They have two children:  Lori Morris, an elementary and Spanish teacher in Robbinsdale, MN and Brett, a graduate student in environmental science pursuing a master’s in coastal zone management at Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale and one grand-daughter, Josephine Claire Morris, two-years old…Jack and Judy (Jagusch ’69) Johnson of Stillwater, MN report that Jack is now retired from the University of Minnesota, but will continue to teach a class now and then in the graduate Liberal Studies Program.

Kathleen Pappas Carlson writes in that she retired from 20 years of being a school nurse for the Amery School District and is now employed part-time teaching certified nursing assistants for Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College.  She and her husband have four grown children and six grandchildren which they enjoy very much…Ebenezer Howe is in the Alden news…He gave his first unit of blood while a student at Gustavus and has now donated 47 gallons of blood so that others can be helped….Karen Johnson Chapin is manager of Health Programs, University of Minnesota, and was written up in Twin Cities Business Magazine.  She oversees the medical, pharmacy, wellness, dental, life, and long-term care programs for the University’s employees, retirees, and their dependents.  She has also been an active board of director’s member for several nonprofit organizations.

Because it’s a special reunion year, you will be receiving more communications from me and other classmates.  Paul Hammar says it so well; “Gustavus meant a lot to us.  It shaped our character, and it challenged our thinking and prepared us to contribute to our society in so many meaningful ways.  Let’s see if we can’t gather as many of our classmates as possible on May 28th and 29th in St. Peter.”

Best wishes,

Beverly Nordskog Hedeen,

1965 Class Agent