Class of '65
April 2010

45-Year Reunion ― May 28-29, 2010

Reunion Registration is now open!

Included with this letter is your reunion registration brochure.  You can fill it out and mail it in or go online to and do it and be done!  If you want to see those classmates planning to attend, you can also click on “attendees” to see that list.  We hope each of you will join us the weekend of May 28-29 to come together to remember, reflect, and renew your years at Gustavus.  We’re anxious to see you!

Your 1965 Reunion Committee

Bonnie Borchert Ballard, Shannon Shawbold Foster, Paul Hammar, Janet From Hanson, Beverly Nordskog Hedeen, Linn Ostberg, Ethel Lind Richard, Tim Robinson, Michael Sponberg, Gloria Johnson Spong, and Arlyn Tolzmann

If you are interested in singing in a choir during the memorial service, please email Gloria Johnson Spong at  The following classmates will be singing:  Jack Johnson (and wife, Judy (Jagusch ’69)), Gary Bangstad (and wife, Elinor), Arlyn Tolzmann, Iris Benson Smyth, Jan From Hanson, Linda Johnson Diller, Paul Hammar, and Tim Robinson.

Dear Fellow Gusties Class of ’65,

English was not my major at Gustavus.  However, in a weak moment, I agreed to write a short testimony for this April class letter.

Dr. Gerhard Alexis, my second semester, freshman year, English professor, would be amazed to know I volunteered for this job.  He took a scared freshman student and worked hard to help develop my writing skills.  It was no easy task!  I hold a soft spot in my heart for this man, who was the head of the English department in that day.  His name struck terror into the heart of any student at Gustavus.  I found him to be a caring teacher who worked hard with that freshman student.  He is one of the many reasons I make an annual donation to Gustavus.

Please join me in supporting Gustavus and the current teaching staff with a gift to our class fund during our 45th anniversary.  Thank you.

~Bonnie Borchert Ballard

I remember…Gustavus

When I reflected on my years at Gustavus, I noticed that a big chunk of my heart has always been right there.  The memories are rich with stories from traveling with the Gustavus Choir…to enjoying a sense of community when invited to professors’ homes…to the Lucia queen and her court parading through the dorms…to Biology 101 pig specimens in our showers at Wahlstrom…to the dance/drama/music/poetry/pageantry within the sanctuary of the new Christ Chapel, to the many new friends and opportunities for leadership, scholarship, and community outreach.  AND, oh, the-bigger-than-life-personalities of Ma Young ’33, Chaplain Elvee, Evelyn Anderson ’29, Prof George, Dean Melva Lind, Phil Knautz ’48, and Dr. Reusch!  Gustavus is one of those places where the great minds of the world can come together:  Nobel Laureates, students, professors, and a Minnesota dirt farmer with a sixth grade education─my father─who stood at a podium there and shared his wisdom and stories with hundreds of people.  This is a place of opportunity for all.  I am so proud to share my Gustavus roots; I am so proud to share what I learned there; I am so proud to be a part of each of you.

~Mary Nielsen Allan

Most of my fond remembrances have to do with science education.

  • I remember sitting in the carrels in the library watching the bulldozer excavating for Nobel Hall when I should have been learning my definite integrals.
  • I remember carrying my drawerful of equipment from Old Main to Nobel when it opened.
  • I remember Prof. Art Glass ’43 commemorating Old Main as "- -this Venerable Pile- - ".
  • I remember Prof Hoogenboom trying to intimidate us into learning Organic.
  • I remember a frat brother at a frat meeting demonstrating the combustibility of biogas.

~Larry Estesen

After reading the March 2010 newsletter, a few things jumped out at me.

Like, I do remember the fetal pigs.  We carried them around campus in a plastic bag, mine had a red ribbon.  We named them, and even said good night to them as we deposited them in the designated shower at night.

But I don’t remember studying in the stacks in the library.  I thought we went there hoping to “hook up” with that special guy.

I do remember packing ourselves into a car on Saturday afternoon, and heading to Lake Washington “to get a tan,” so we would look fantastic in our spring banquet dresses.

I remember going to Cherry Creek for beer busts and having to climb a greased pole before you could have your first beer.

Oh, and as a senior in Rundstrom Hall, I remember the time “some” senior girls dressed up as nuns and paraded through the dorm “chanting.”   Let’s see, what did we use for the head piece across the forehead?

I, too, was in the canteen when John F. Kennedy was assassinated, (Larrie Rennerfeldt ’64 was imitating a cabbage with his face).  The sorrow we all shared at that moment along with the Christ Chapel memorial service remains an unforgettable Gustavus memory.

And who was that woman from St. Peter Hospital that worked in the canteen?

Yes, I do remember the classes and the professors and I am thankful for the wonderful education I received at Gustavus but, the lifelong friendships established and the fun we shared is what I remember and treasure the most.

Jim Foster (class of ’64) and I had 40 years of wonderful memories.  We traveled extensively and sailed “Gustie” our 42 ft. sailboat across the Atlantic.  Sadly, Jim died in 2005, 9 days after walking our only child, Leesa, down the aisle.  John and Leesa have a two year-old, Gunnar, and Leesa is due the weekend of the 45th reunion.  They live in Boston.  I divide my time between Seattle, Tucson (January, Februry, and March), White Bear Lake (summer) and Boston.

Hope to see many of you at the reunion.

~Shannon Shawbold Foster

Gustavus memories....

My son, Jonathan, says that if one remembers the ’60s they were not really there.  I don’t know what that says about me because I do remember the ’60s....well, most of them at least.

I remember toilet papering Joanie Bernard's room in honor of her birthday.  Arriving at the canteen we found out that Kennedy had been shot.  There was no celebration that night.

The snow storm our senior year....guys jumping out of dorm windows into snow drifts… not being allowed to leave the dorm..."borrowing" trays from the cafeteria to use to slide back down to Rundstrom...having a stack of trays under my bed until Ma Young ’33 sent out a plea for their return.

The food man.  Need I say more?  We lived for him.  He saw us at our worst and still kept coming back night after night.  My kind of guy.

Making aluminum foiled covered boxes to lay in so we could get tan before the frat banquets.

Studying for finals at the Flame because it was so quiet there in the afternoon.

The parties at the Holiday House.  Always bringing a big purse so that we could bring garlic bread back to our friends at the dorm.  Getting into our parents lockers.

Playing bridge.  Cutting chapel to play bridge in the women’s locker room.  We might have had a cigarette too.  Getting up in the middle of the night when someone yelled down the hall "Fourth for bridge?"

Someone (who shall remain anonymous) running right into Dean Lind as they were sneaking out of the dorm after hours.

After reading this, it is a wonder that I ever graduated.  I did and went to California to teach.  I thanked Gustavus every day for the great elementary education I received.  We were so well prepared.  I continue to see a number of the friends I made at Gustavus.  For that I am grateful too.  Today I live in Austin, Texas.  Both of our children live here.  Our daughter, Kristin Armstrong, is an author, a marathon runner and the mother of our three grandchildren.  Our son, Jonathan, works with young children with learning disabilities.  I am looking forward to the reunion.  I even talked David into coming.  Ya'll better show up!!

~Ethel Lind Richard

Class News

Correction from last newsletter:  Dr. Thomas Holm lives in Duluth, MN, not in Bayport.

  • Betty Sexe Anderson lives in Decorah, IA and liked being a stay-at-home mom.  Recently she and her husband attended the Gustie gathering in the Tucson area.  She is sorry she cannot make the reunion because of a previous commitment, but she sends her greetings.
  • Jean Moss Betts retired in 1999 after being a social work supervisor and then field placement supervisor at the University of Louisville.
  • DeAnna Johnson Bourdaghs retired 10 years ago from the Minnesota ski industry.  She and her husband spend the winters in Sandy, UT skiing almost every day.
  • Kathy Pappas Carlson teaches certified nursing assistants half time in New Richmond, WI
  • Louise Carlson retired 10 years ago as a German teacher in Glencoe, where she still lives.
  • Due to eyesight problems, Tom Dashiell retired as an accountant in 1995.  He lives in Carol Stream, IL.
  • Howard Davis has lived in Windom for 40 years and retired in 1999 as a school guidance counselor.  He stays busy as the legal guardian for three men.
  • Bruce Dissell retired for two weeks three years ago and is interim pastor in Orr and Bear River, MN.
  • Gary Erickson retired as an oral surgeon ten years ago and lives in Sarasota, FL where he enjoys golfing as much as possible.
  • John Floreen is still teaching at Rutgers.
  • Almost all the guys in and near Uhler Hall remember Mike Fraysse's fancy 10-speed bike and his extended training sessions.  Mike left Gustavus to attend Farleigh-Dickinson University in Teaneck, NJ.  In 1965 he opened his own bike shop.  He started coaching cycling competitors in 1972.  Mike coached the U.S. Olympic teams in 1976, 1980, and 1984 (though the ’80 team suffered from the boycott).  In 1990 Mike coached Lance Armstrong in his first World Championship event at Moscow.  In 1993 Mike opened his own training center in Glen Spey, NY, where he continues to reside.  The training center occupies the restored Singer Sewing Machine mansion.  Mike continues to coach World Championship competitors and U.S. teams in the Pan-Am games.  Through the years Mike stayed in touch with classmate, David Curry.  Dave has accompanied Mike on coaching trips to Cuba and Central America.
  • Sue Widstrom Gamelin is retiring from ministry on June 1 from Emmanuel Lutheran in High Point, NC and will not be able to be at our reunion.  Her husband, Tim ’63, has served with her and he is seeking a call elsewhere.  In May she will be with classmates Louise Woods Rothrock, Janell Taylor Kohls, and Barb Olson Miller in Washington, D.C.  She tells us that Mary Tordsen Kitundu is presently overseeing the building of a hospital complex in Mwanza, Tanzania.  Mary─tell us more!
  • Diane Yost Graham is head school nurse, half time, at Brooklyn Center Elementary and High School.
  • John Harbo earned a master’s degree at Michigan Tech University and a Ph.D. at Cornell University, in entomology.  He worked doing honey bee research for the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture until he retired in 2005.  John married Carol (Brandland ’66).  They have two daughters and one granddaughter.
  • Carter Hedeen retired as a family practice physician in 2000.
  • David Hendrickson is in the process of easing out of work as an ophthalmologist.
  • Jeri Rodeberg Hirsch runs a not-for-profit, "Bridges to Learning," helping poor children in Viet Nam attend public school.  She hopes fellow Gustavus nurses will attend reunion.
  • Bill Johnson and his wife, Sharon (Hansen ’64) live at Ponte Vedra Beach, FL.  He is a vice president of Merrill Lynch serving as Wealth Management Advisor.  In March they will host and feed the Gustavus men’s and women’s golf teams.
  • Dave Jordahl is an emeritus associate professor of music, retired from the University of Wisconsin-Fox Valley six years ago.  His wife, Jerilyn, is a nutritionist at an Appleton hospital, and they have two children, living in San Francisco and Seattle.  Dave works with a few volunteer organizations, enjoys woodworking, camping, kayaking, and they travel as much as Jeri’s job allows.
  • Janell Taylor Kohls is church secretary/office manager at Peace Church, U.C.C. in Duluth, MN.
  • After retiring from St. Paul Insurance, John Kulander has been a school bus driver for special needs children.
  • Milo Larson married Judy (Boline ’66) in 1967.  In the fall of 1965 Milo began teaching business education classes at Canby High School, Canby, MN.  He retired from full-time teaching in 2000 but continues as a substitute teacher and with his golf team coaching at Canby High.  Milo and Judy have a daughter and son.  Their daughter, Jill, and husband live in Sioux Falls, SD with their two children.  The Larson’s son, Scott ’94, played basketball at Gustavus.  Scott has three children and lives in Forest Lake, MN.
  • After 14 years as president of California Lutheran University, Luther Luedtke was unexpectedly recruited to become president and CEO of Education Development Center, Inc., a global non-profit specializing in education, health, and workforce development, headquartered in Newton, MA.  EDC was spun off from MIT in 1958 and currently does c. $170 million/annum of research-and-development work in all 50 U.S. states and, at any time, some 30 developing countries.  Luther was profiled in the Business Section of the February 21st New York Times, where Gustavus is also mentioned.  Luther and Carol (Lindstrom ’67) have a son and daughter and two grand-children, all living in California.
  • Susan Quest Manuel married Michael ’62 from St. Peter and they lived there for 10 years.  They now live in Omaha, NE.  After receiving a master’s degree in math and a Ph.D. in education administration, she’s now retired after 37 years in education, as a high school math teacher and then administrator.  She has one son and three grandchildren.  Susan remembers curfew, segregated dorms, sneaking out of Rundstrom at night, and Freddie’s Hamburger place.
  • Marianne Arndt Mullen lives in Tucson and works full time from home as patient services coordinator for AlphaNet, a not for profit in Florida.
  • Paula Gregory Olander lives in St. Paul fills in as a nurse when needed at the Hennepin Medical Center.
  • Mary Beth Schwanke Loosen retired in 2001 after being a stay-at-home mom and then working as a library assistant.
  • Linda Larson McNary cooks two days a week at The Wedge, a cooperative and just had artwork at “Foot in the Door,” Minneapolis Art Institute.
  • Judith Nelson retired 12 years ago as a guidance counselor at Pomona High School  in Arvada, CO
  • Joyce Rudeen Nenninger lives in Carbondale, CO and is an avid skier.  She retired from nursing to go into real estate.  She cannot make the reunion because she and her husband (a German native) are having company from Germany.
  • Kathy Larson Nickelson is teaching half time as clinical instructor at Ft. Morgan Community College.
  • Al Pearson attended Gustavus for two years.  While at Gustavus he and Gary Rettke traded places on the wrestling team’s higher weight classes.  Al transferred to Augustana College, Rock Island, IL where he finished his B.A. degree.  He received a master’s and Ph.D. degree from George Peabody College of Education at Vanderbilt University.  From 1973 to 2006 Al taught educational psychology, computer applications, and supervised student teachers at Gustavus.  He also served as chair of the education department for seven years.  Al resides in St. Peter with his wife Mary Ellen.  They have one son, Brett, who teaches at Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA.  Al and Mary Ellen have a grandchild, Nora.
  • Mike Pearson and his wife Gayl (Gayman ’67) were forced out of their home when Katrina’s after effects flooded nearly all of New Orleans.  Although their home was not flooded, they had to leave the city for forty-three days while infrastructure was repaired.  Mike has been teaching at Loyola University New Orleans for sixteen years.  He earned a Ph.D. at the University of Colorado in marketing.  For twenty-three years Mike served on the faculty at Bowling Green University in Ohio.  He and Gayl have two sons and two grandchildren, all living in the New Oleans area.
  • Marlyce Pedersen serves as director of music at First Presbyterian Church in Tequesta, FL.
  • Bea Webster Roscoe was a preschool teacher in the Brainerd School District until she retired in June of 2008.  She just visited in California with Jean Olmanson Andreen.
  • Louise Woods Rothrock retired in 2005 as a rehabilitation teacher with the Virginia State Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired.  She has gathered yearly for 20 years with five other of our classmates!
  • John Rowland lives in Bayport and is enjoying his two grandchildren.
  • Richard Shager is a sales representative for MassMutual Insurance.  Neala Johnson Shager teaches mathematics at the University of Wisconsin, River Falls.
  • Wes Tallman retired from the banking business in 1999 and is now living at their beach front property in Panama.  Mostly he and his wife have been traveling for the past 10 years.  He enjoys a lot of fishing and surfing.
  • Mary Kohlmeyer Tauer retired in 1994 as a public health nurse on a Navajo reservation at Crownpoint, NM.
  • Janis Karli Tietz retired in September as an accountant at a nursing home business office.
  • Carol Tewes Wolford lives in St. Cloud and retired from being a special education teacher, grades 7-12, at a residential treatment center

Campus News

Gustavus Announces Major Building Projects

At its Monday, Jan. 25 meeting, the Gustavus Adolphus College Board of Trustees voted unanimously to move forward with three major building projects.  The College will erect a new 125,000 square foot academic building with a large 3-story atrium at the center providing natural light to many of the spaces.  It will qualify for a “gold LEED” qualification as a green building.  This will develop a mall extending west from its iconic Christ Chapel.  It will house the largest departments on campus (economics and management, psychology, and communications).  Also, plans are under way to renovate A. H. Anderson Social Science Building.  Construction timelines for the projects are not yet finalized, but the College expects to break ground on the new academic building late this spring.

The effort is a significant early implementation step of Commission Gustavus 150, an innovative, constituent-based strategic planning process that has engaged hundreds of alumni, students, faculty, staff, and other stakeholders over the past year.  “These projects will greatly enhance learning and teaching, student recruitment, and institutional advancement for many years to come,” said President Jack R. Ohle.

Alumnus, Kurt Elling ’89, Wins Grammy Award

Kurt Elling, a 1989 graduate of Gustavus Adolphus College, took home his first Grammy Award Sunday, Jan. 31 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, Calif.  Elling won the “Best Jazz Vocal Album” category for his album Dedicated to You: Kurt Elling Sings the Music of Coltrane and Hartman. This year marked the ninth time Elling was nominated for a Grammy.

Elling typically performs annually at Gustavus and did so most recently on Oct. 10, 2009 in Jussi Björling Recital Hall.  He has also had the distinct honor to perform in front of President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama and their 350 guests at the White House State Dinner on Nov. 24, 2009.

Wind Orchestra Tour

The Gustavus Wind Orchestra, under the direction of Conductor Douglas Nimmo, has returned from a 15-day concert tour through Germany, Poland, the Czech and Slovak Republics, Hungary and Austria.  The Choir of Christ Chapel will be traveling to the Phoenix/Tucson area this spring.  On April 15 they will be at Lord of Life Lutheran Church in Sun City West, April 16 at All Saints Lutheran Church (LCMS) in Phoenix, and on April 17 at Lord of Grace Lutheran Church in Tucson.  For other campus news please check the website at

Admission News

Applications for next year are ahead of where they were last year at this time which makes Mark Anderson ’66, the director of admission, very happy.  We graduated two very large classes in the last two years so we need to have somewhat larger classes in order to maintain our enrollment at about 2,500.  Mark Anderson will retire at the end of the academic year so a search is going on to replace him.  Gustavus has had only three directors of admission since 1950 (Howard Holcomb ’49, Owen Sammelson ’58, and Mark Anderson ’66) which is quite an amazing track record.

 “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 speaker:  Virgil Jones, director of multi-cultural programs.

Upcoming Events

  • Apr. 10 – Gustavus Jazz Lab Band Home Concert
  • Apr. 11 – Gustavus Symphony Orchestra Home Concert
  • Apr. 22 – New York Chapter Event – The Core Club
  • Apr. 23 – Choir of Christ Chapel Home Concert
  • Apr. 25 – Boston Chapter Event - Bay Back Hotel
  • Apr. 28 – May Day! Peace Conference
  • May 1 – Gustavus Choir Home Concert
  • May 3 – Chicago Chapter Event – The Chicago Club
  • May 4 – Denver Chapter Event