Class of ’65
45-Year Reunion ― May 28-29, 2010
I have three important reasons for writing this letter to you :
- To help you remember all the wonderful times we had when we were students at Gustavus Adolphus College.
- To encourage you to come and enjoy our 45th reunion of our 1965 class.
- To ask you to join me in giving a significant gift to Gustavus as you remember with love and gratitude all that Gustavus has done for you.
Remember those good times??? Here is a small part of what I remember:
- Hello walk
- Eppies serenading
- Peter, Paul and Mary
- Playing bridge
- Freshman beanies
- Swimming lessons in the Union
- Smothers Brothers
- Gustavus Choir
- Being in the Canteen when President Kennedy died
- Dramas in the Little Theater
- 12 girls in a section in Wahlstrom Hall
- Dorm hours for women students
- Dissecting fetal pigs
- The Holiday House
- Sororities and fraternities
- Open house in the dorms
- Meal tickets
- Lessons and carols at Christmas - before Christmas in Christ Chapel
- Ma Young
- Daily chapel with Chaplain Elvee
- Cheering for the “Golden Gusties”
- Studying in the “Stacks”
- And lots more good memories!!!
Last May 2009, I enjoyed the 1964 Gustavus reunion with my husband, David ’64, and his class. It was a wonderful gathering of friends. We laughed and cried and had a wonderful time.
I want to encourage you to come to our reunion this year─there are so many good reasons you should come and enjoy. Come to:
- See all the changes on the campus
- Remember all the good things that happened there
- Reconnect with all your college friends that you have not seen for a long time
- Experience the Memorial Service as we all remember those who have died in our class
- Hear the stories that classmates have to tell
- Learn about the vision for the future at Gustavus
Now that we are remembering the past, celebrating good times together, let’s look together to the future!!!
I would like to ask you to join me in giving a significant gift to Gustavus Adolphus College. The amount you give could be given:
- in honor and remembrance of one of those special classmates that have died since we left college
- In honor and remembrance of your gratitude for all that Gustavus has done for you
- In honor of those who will come in the future to Gustavus and will be blessed by all the good things that Gustavus has to offer
So, I invite you to come and remember, come with gratitude, and come expecting the best─as it was given to you, let’s give back!
See you at the reunion!
1965 Guest Writer
Gloria Johnson Spong
P.S. I am the preschool director at Oak Knoll Christian Preschool in Minnetonka, Minnesota. My husband, David ’64, is a retired ELCA pastor and is doing part time interim ministry in the Minneapolis area. We love to travel. We have three daughters that attended Gustavus, and now we have 12 grandchildren to love and enjoy.
Andrew Hagemann is active in his small law practice in Worthington, MN. His focus is on business legal matters, real estate, and trust and estate legal matters. Andrew is married and has three children.
Jim Fox retired to professor emeritus rank at South Dakota School of Mines recently. He taught geology and paleontology. He is married and has three children. Jim and his wife, Diana, spend winter months in Austin, TX and Albuquerque, NM with their children.
Bill Jafvert is in his 38th year as a financial advisor with Cambridge Investment Research. His specialty is working with individuals and small retirement plans. He has been married for 41 years, has two sons, and just added a fourth grandchild.
After earning a Ph.D. in mathematics at Duke University, Lee Hagglund taught math at Waynesburg College in Pennsylvania. He then took a teaching post at Wofford College in Spartanburg, SC, where he has taught for 33 years. Wofford is a liberal arts college with approximately 1400 students. Lee’s special math interests are abstract algebra and problem solving. He sang in the Gustavus choir and continued his interest in choral music by directing church choirs for 30 years. Presently he’s Chancel Choir Director at St. John’s Lutheran Church (ELCA) in Spartanburg. Lee is married and has two sons and two grandchildren. He wonders if his classmates remember “The West Winds Folk Trio,” featuring Paul Wolfe (’66) David Larson, and Lee.
Jack Johnson retired from his administration position at the University of Minnesota after 20 years’ service. He had a number of and variety of tasks given to him but the one constant assignment was responsibility for managing the annual Summer School. Jack is married and has three children and five grandchildren.
Jim Luther retired in 2000 from Edina High School where he taught psychology and biology. While at Edina he also coached baseball (for 30 years) and football. He serves as official scorer for University of Minnesota home baseball games. Jim is married and has two boys. His wife, Peg, just retired from South View Junior High in Edina. She was a 6th grade teacher there for 17 years.
Darlene Sederburg Kuhlman is retired and lives in suburban St. Louis with her husband who works for Boeing. Darlene served as a teacher for a few years, then left that calling to rear three children. She earned a law degree after the children were older. Darlene recently retired from law practice where she specialized in civil litigation. She has eight grandchildren and will visit her son and his children in Germany soon.
Bruce Swanson recently retired from CPA work. He sold his company which he organized and operated. Prior to that, he worked for Price Waterhouse. Bruce has two children and two grandchildren.
Gary Rettke retired in 2000 from teaching and coaching in Spring Lake Park. In the final years of his career Gary taught Physical Education and Health at the senior high level. Football and wrestling were his coaching specialties. He has three children and five grandchildren.
Barb Schwartz Darr retired from teaching in Redwood Falls, MN one year ago. She and husband, Jim, live in the home they had constructed in the late 1960s. Jim retired from teaching in the same system a few years ago.
Dick Rohloff retired from Lutheran Brotherhood (now Thrivent) in 2003. That followed 27 years’ service to insurance clients in the Grand Rapids area. Now he spends time in the area hosting his grandchildren on hunting and fishing excursions. Dick was recently inducted into his high school (Annandale) athletic hall of fame.
Hans Engman's family lives in Crosslake, MN and has a retreat center in their home. The Center is used for small church groups and family groups. Hans retired 10 years ago after serving in endocrinology and internal medicine at the St. Cloud Hospital.
Dave Larson retired in 1999 from State of New Mexico Personnel Office. He married Barbara in June 1979 and became step-father of two boys, now 40 and 44. Dave and Barbara have two grandchildren, ages four and eight. Barbara is retired from Office of Information Systems, State of New Mexico. They own a home in Santa Fe and travel extensively. They have visited every continent!! David’s mother, Ruth, age 97 and Gustavus class of 1933 resides in St. Peter, where Dave attended K-12 public schools.
Ethel Lind Richard and her husband split their time between Austin, Texas and Santa Barbara, CA. Their two children and three grand children all live in Austin. They will be attending the reunion.
Phil Johns retired in 2008 from teaching bio-chemistry at University of Wisconsin, Whitewater for 32 years. Phil is now taking piano lessons, "for the fun of it. But I am not yet proficient.” When the children were young the whole family focused on camping trips as an outdoor experience. Phil and his wife have three children, one grandchild, and two step-grandchildren. Two of his daughters earned Ph.D.s, both in bio medical engineering.
Wayne Erickson’s primary career was serving as an E.L.C.A. pastor. He retired from the active clergy in 1991 and then worked for Kampgrounds of America for 15 years. He lives near Carlos, MN, which is close to Alexandria. Wayne’s wife is Linnea, a Swedish name, but she’s 100 % German! They have a daughter, Sarah, who is married and lives near by, in Alexandria. Linnea graduated from Moorhead State University with a math major and worked as office manager for a surgery center in Poulsbo, WA, near where Wayne served a church. Then she joined Wayne as a manager with K.O.A. Wayne served parishes in Evanston, IL; Billings, MT and Bainbridge Island, WA. Wayne also served as secretary of the Pacific Northwest Synod of the L.C.A. for six years.
Bonnie Borchert Ballard moved west almost 40 years ago and Walla Walla, WA has been her home for most of those years. She was a teacher for many years and then retired to raise two children, Jennifer and Kevin ’00. Volunteering in her community and church along with travel occupies her retirement.
Joan Gremmert Segner retired in 2003 after teaching English in the North St. Paul-Maplewood-Oakdale school district for many years.
After 29 years in the aerospace business, Julie Stensland Andrews retired from her position of communications director for United Launch Alliance as of December 2009. She was privileged to be a part of the unmanned launch side of the American space program and traveled to many launch sites─Florida, California, Alaska, and Kazakhstan─to witness launches of the Atlas, Titan, Delta, Proton and Athena launch vehicles with the many critical scientific and commercial payloads they carried. Julie and Patrick plan to remain in Colorado in retirement after living in California and Florida for most of their married years. They have come to enjoy the change of seasons again and being able to look in awe at the majestic Rocky Mountains every day (well every clear day!)
Stein Mydske is still working as General Secretary of The Norwegian Bible Society. In that capacity, he does a lot of travelling to other countries, especially in the former Soviet Union where they have many projects that they support. His wife, Astri, is also still working as a junior high school teacher in Fredrikstad where they live. Their family keeps growing. They now have 6 grandchildren ranging in age from 9 to 2. In the beginning of November, their daughter, Ingvild, moved to Houston, Texas to work as the head pastor in the Norwegian Seaman’s Church in Pasadena. Her Swedish husband also works there and their two children are learning English in kindergarten. Another daughter, Birgitte, is a high school teacher close to Oslo. She has a boy who is 2. The oldest son, Kjell Reidar, is the European director of a Swedish company selling mobiles and other electronic devices. They have three boys, 9, 7, and 5. The Mydske’s youngest son, Per Olav, is single, but with a girlfriend, and works as a free lance artist, and as a rapper doing hip hop music! They never have a dull moment!!! Check out their family pictures on Facebook.
Wally Swanson and wife, Carolyn, are retired and live in Tonawanda, New York. Wally taught elementary and junior high classes for 35 years. He is presently chairman of his Church Council and working on merging ministries of a number of small local congregations.
Presently wintering near Brownsville, Texas, Fred ’66 and Elaine Buck Stenman are planning a trip up to Corpus Christi where they will participate in an exhibition of their relief carvings and paintings along with teaching classes.
Gary Southers moved back to his hometown of Louisville after doing social work in Youngstown, Ohio for 25 years. He is retired and enjoying his family and is active in children's work in his church along with a food distribution program for the poor.
Collin Kivi is living in Walker, Minnesota and enjoying fishing on Leech Lake along with participating in community service projects and spending time with family.
Dave Johnson continues to operate the family farm outside of Skandia, Minnesota along with some insurance sales.
Rick Hokanson retired from a job with the State of Minnesota where he, among other things, provided consultation on management practices. Rick is a widower having lost his wife in July of 2006.
Dr. Thomas Holm continues with his dermatology practice at St. Luke’s in Duluth. He is living in Bayport, MN and enjoying his two little grandchildren.
Chuck Peterson is living in Wheeling, Illinois─retired. His wife, Liz, continues to do consulting work and his two children live in the Chicago area.
Cindy Stordahl Sullivan lives in Claremont, California. She is working part time at her husband’s architecture company.
Barbara Raitz-Gaugert is living in Phoenix, AZ. She is managing a volunteer income tax association. This is a busy time of the year for her.
Judy Norman Fahlberg lives in Fairhope, AL. She will not be able to attend the reunion as she will be on a cruise to Italy. She has 3 children and 4 grandchildren.
Joanie (Robertson) and Denny Bellig live in Little Falls, MN. She is semi-retired from the Little Falls school district.
Ilza Berka Olson lives in Westbrook, CT. She keeps busy with her organic garden. She cooks, plays bridge and does a little real estate selling.
Bea Tourtelot Cashetta lives on the island of Guenes, a five minute ferry ride from Anacortes, WA. She retired early so she could spend her time boating and RVing. She had a nice visit with Louise Woods Rothrock in Virginia.
Jim and Kathy (Connor) Schwandt live in Minnetonka, MN. She reports that she has no job, no salary and is busy every day with her five grandchildren.
Joanie Bernard Kojis has retired from teaching and is living in Glendale, CA.
Susan Bergquist Lindvall is living in Minneapolis and working for a company that creates, distributes, scores and reports on school tests.
I REMEMBER FROM IRIS BENSON SMYTH:
- Being shown around Old Main by Professor Arne Langsjoen ’42 (who we mistook for a janitor until he introduced himself) when my parents took me to have a look at Gustavus the summer before going there. I had accepted admission sight unseen!
- The tiny rooms in Wahlstrom Hall, but the wonderful fellowship those suites provided in getting to know twelve classmates immediately.
- Making long distance calls home only once a week on the pay phone because they cost a lot, and taking the bus to Minneapolis when I wanted a weekend at home.
- Going to 10 p.m. vespers in the chapel after memorizing anatomy and physiology terms, and being grateful for the warmth, the peace, and the perspective it provided.
- Ma Young’s Sunday noon dinners in the caf after attending church in town─baked chicken, mashed potatoes, and pecan pie!
- My first “clinical” at the nursing home in St. Peter─and fainting! I’ve come a long way, baby.
- The cozy, under the eves, rooms on the third floor of Johnson Hall, and Mrs. Almen, our “head resident”
- Making friends with Ulla Akerlof, an exchange student from Sweden, and the friendship we kept until her untimely death in ’03.
- Esby and his encouragement that first semester to journal and process what was happening to us.
- Getting a C in Professor Creel’s freshman English class and being grateful! He scared me, but I loved his southern accent.
- Ironing Professor Sven Langsjoen’s ’48 white shirts every Friday afternoon for some spending money!
- The relationships that I’ve kept with so many over the years that go back to those four memorable years at Gustavus.
~Iris Benson Smyth ’65
AND A NOTE FROM PAUL HAMMAR:
The weekend of May 27th is our 45th reunion. All of us on the reunion committee hope that it will be a great weekend when memories are shared, friendships remembered, and we once again get to see the beautiful campus on the hill where our lives were shaped and molded mostly for the good.
My task on the reunion committee is to encourage class giving to the annual fund. Each year you have likely been contacted and asked to give. Many in our class have responded year after year. My wife, Carolyn, and I have given now for the last 25 years. Yet, our class has not done so well in comparison to other class years. Let’s change that.
Years ago, Lutheran churches gave significant gifts to the college. Gustavus students of our time were beneficiaries of those gifts. Today churches give virtually nothing to the college. Since Gustavus is not a public institution, tax dollars are unavailable. The college must rely on us─the alumni, in order for Gustavus to compete in the world of higher education.
The Reunion Committee has set a goal of 70/50 ─ 70 percent participation and $50,000.
This is an increase of 40% over last year. It is doable!
If you have not yet responded please use the Reunion Class Giving Card that is enclosed. We will let everyone know if we meet our goal of 70/50.
Hope to see you at the reunion!
~Paul Hammar ’65
Reunion registration information will be sent in April, but here is a list so far, of those that have indicated they are planning to attend the reunion in May:
Interesting Side Note:
Retired Gustavus English Professor, John Rezmerski, lectured to a senior citizens study group in Mankato. Florence Sponberg (Hon ’37) invited Prof. Rezmerski to speak. John began his speech, “Your life Can be a Great Poem” with a one-hour discussion of Walt Whitman’s work. But after a 10-minute break, John turned his attention for 45 minutes to Bill Holm’s ’65 very popular book from 1985, Boxelder Bug Variations . . . Judging by the frequent laughter, the audience loved the presentation. Following John’s speech Michael Sponberg, Florence Sponberg and one guest, hosted John at hilltop Perkins. For one hour over coffee and dessert John entertained us with more Bill Holm stories and interesting anecdotes on English professors our class knew, including Dr. Alexis, Dr. Suderman, and Prof. George.
Attend a Gustie Event Near You!
- Mar. 6 – Breakfast with the Easter Bunny
- Mar. 14 – Naples Chapter Event – Naples Grande Beach Resort
- Mar. 17 – Twin Cities Gustie Breakfast – Amanda Nienow, Assistant Professor of Chemistry
- Mar. 19 – Seattle Chapter Event – Bellevue Club
- Mar. 20 – San Francisco Chapter Event
- Mar. 21 – Los Angeles Chapter Event – Jet Propulsion Laboratory
- Mar. 30 – New Orleans chapter Event – Pelican Bar, Sheraton New Orleans Hotel
- Apr. 21 – Twin Cities Gustie Breakfast – Virgil Jones, Director of Multicultural Programs
- Apr. 22 – New York Chapter Event – The Core Club
- Apr. 25 – Boston Chapter Event – Back Bay Hotel