Class of ’65
July 2010

Dear Gusties from the class of ’65,

Are you surprised to receive a class letter in the middle of the summer?  What’s up, you ask?  Well, those of us who were at our 45th reunion wanted to share some of what we experienced.  It was a great time, filled with memories of the past.  We had a beautiful memorial service honoring the memory of classmates who are deceased.  At this service, some of our classmates sang from the choir loft, “Go, My Children.”  We had a great Friday night party, including music from the pep band, viewed a video by Jan From Hanson and husband, Jim, that gave us a thrill, (it included the music from the Gamma choir, Remember) the Saturday luncheon, and then on to Tim Robinson’s home where we enjoyed more good food, drinks, and music.

reunion committee Thanks again to the Reunion Committee of (Front L to R):  Bonnie Borchert Ballard, Ethel Lind Richard, Shannon Shawbold Foster, Gloria Johnson Spong, Janet From Hanson, Bev Nordskog Hedeen.  (Back L to R): Tim Robinson, Arlyn Tolzmann, Michael Sponberg, and Paul Hammar.  The reunion committee was superb, and you will read some of their thoughts in this letter!

Go online and check out this web site:  You can watch videos taken from the Alumni Banquet of all the speakers.


by Paul Hammar

At the Saturday Luncheon at our 45th class reunion a proposal was made to establish a Scholarship Fund in the name of our class.  The proposal was met with positive reactions.  There was even $500 pledged on the spot.  More pledges have come in since the reunion.  We have made a start.  An endowed scholarship fund at Gustavus needs $25,000 in order to sustain itself.  When we reach this goal then a $1,000 scholarship will be rewarded yearly.  If the fund would increase beyond this then the scholarship amount would also increase.  Perhaps many in our class will want to give to the Scholarship Fund.  This endowed scholarship, in the name of our class, provides a new opportunity for us to support our college in a very specific way.  Scholarships help make Gustavus a competitive school attracting students from a variety of backgrounds and situations.  The Endowed Scholarship fund does not take the place of the Annual Fund, which is the major recipient of alumni donations.  The Annual Fund is used in a variety of ways by the College.  The endowed scholarship fund is very specific.

We thought that it would be good to make it possible for everyone in the class to participate as soon as possible so a Pledge Card and Giving Envelope has been prepared which is only for the CLASS OF 1965 ENDOWED SCHOLARSHIP FUND.  The Annual Fund appeal of the college will be in the fall.

Hopefully we can continue to help make Gustavus an even stronger College.  It would be great to be able to give a positive report about our Scholarship Fund at our 50th Reunion in 2015.  By the way our class achieved a 50% participation rate in giving to the Annual Fund this year.  I think we are to be commended.

Go Gusties!

Paul Hammar

Gustavus Class of 65 – 45-Year Reunion – Impressions by Paul Hammar

  • Biggest Impression:  We have aged
  • Next Biggest Impression:  What a great group of people
  • Never a Surprise:   How well you are treated “On the Hill” – Like dignitaries!
  • Renewed Memory:  What a beautiful place Gustavus is; what a campus!
  • Greatest delight:  The reappearance of the Gustavus Pep Band.  Gusties will shine…etc.
  • Most moving:  The memorial service in the Chapel
  • The guy who has changed the least with age:  John Harbo or maybe Arlyn Tolzmann
  • (All the girls looked fantastic as always)
  • The worst part of the reunion:  A night in hot and stuffy Pittman Hall
  • My petty jealousy:  Classmates who aren’t gray haired yet.
  • My hope:  An endowed scholarship by our class; maybe for one of our grandkids.
  • My heart says:  Thank you Gustavus for all that you are and hope to be.

See you all in 2015 – The Lord willing.   Paul Hammar

Hats Off:  Reunion Reminiscences by Michael Sponberg

Surely every Reunion Committee member would agree, “Oh, what a fine time!”  Special thanks go to pastors Susan Pepin Peterson and Arlyn Tolzmann for planning and conducting our memorial service.  The bell was tolled and a candle lit for each of our thirty-one class members who have gone ahead.  A tip of the hat goes to Mike Pearson.  He suggested at Saturday’s luncheon that we all introduce ourselves.  A hat tip to Jan From Hanson, committee member, for her excellent display of memorabilia from 1961-65, so lovingly preserved.  Another tip to Jan and to husband Jim for constructing the engaging DVD of remembrance photos from our college years.  Kudos to Tim Robinson for assembling a great pep band that performed at the Friday social and at his home Saturday afternoon.  Let’s hope Dave Jordahl, Gary Bangstad, Tim, and special guest performer, retired math professor Milt Brostrom ’49, assemble as an ensemble at our 50th!  Thanks go to President Ohle for his talk at Friday’s social.  He saluted our fund raising efforts and explained the concept of Commission Gustavus 150.  Congratulations to Arlyn Tolzmann, newly chosen Class Agent.  A hat tip to Arlyn and Tim for emcee efforts at Saturday’s luncheon.  Lift the hat to Bev Nordskog Hedeen for her many years of Class Agent work and serving as consensus Chair of our Reunion Committee.  Raise high the hat to Paul Hammar for his efforts while chairing our Committee’s fund raising efforts and for his Class Scholarship Endowment proposal, announced at Saturday’s luncheon.  Among the Gustavus administration, hats are lifted to Kathy Erlandsen and Dean Wahlund ’72:  Kathy for eight months of Committee guidance and Dean for his engaging impersonations of Elvee, Kyle Montague, and Mrs. Young at Saturday’s luncheon.  Apologies to those who contributed, but whom I forgot to include.

From Janet Hanson’s Reflections

It was great fun working with the reunion committee who were enthusiastic about having our 45th be a special time for our class.  The memorial service, Friday night program and Tim, Gary, Dave and Milt’s music, luncheon and gathering at Tim’s were important parts in making our reunion weekend meaningful.

However, I spent a lot of time reflecting prior to the reunion while Jim and I were preparing the DVD.  I looked through scrapbooks, photos and yearbooks, which I had not done for over 40 years.  It brought back so many memories of my four years at GA.

Gloria Johnson Spong’s Reflections

Well, it was great!!!  Thanks to everyone for all that you did to make it such a great reunion experience.  There was a lovely memorial service, a fabulous choir, a nice check to Gustavus, the lovely video, the lunch, the reception, the programs, etc.  It all came together in a great way.  Nice going committee – we should be proud.

Bonnie Borchert Ballard’s Reflections

My thanks to those who worked to put together a meaningful class reunion.  Kathy Erlandsen, our Gustavus co-coordinator, was most helpful in planning and executing the weekend activities.  The memorial service led by Arlyn Tolzmann and Sue Pepin Peterson was a highlight.  A special thanks to our class Chapel Choir for their contribution.  Forty-five year old Christ Chapel can still inspire and help us to focus on what is truly important.  The reunion pep band provided some fun entertainment and “old” songs at several venues during the weekend.  Great job band!  The time spent connecting with classmates and old friends was a memorable time.  Looking forward to our 50th!

Arlyn Tolzmann’s Reflections

First off, I must say how much fun it was working with the Planning Committee and Kathy!  I think we adequately proved conference calls and emails can plan a reunion.  Having a couple on our committee who had attended last year’s 45th reunion was of immense help.

Jeanne (Mingus ’67) and I thoroughly enjoyed attending the reunion, but will likely opt for a motel room the next time around.  The informal nature of our time together seemed appropriate.  The band added SO much to the atmosphere Friday night and Saturday.  The DVD was great and it was good that we gave it a special place on the program, rather than just having it play in some corner.  I cannot speak about the seminars because I preferred talking to classmates and their spouses during those times.  Chatting with so many was a highlight for me.  The Service of Remembrance, Friday evening, Saturday’s luncheon, and the Robinson gathering were wonderful.  It was good to have classmates introduce themselves Saturday.  What a blessing to participate in the ways I did and I thank the Planning Committee for giving me the opportunity.  I cannot convey how humbled and touched I was when there was some applause when it was announced that I would be coming on board as another class agent.  Maybe that was coming from the present agents.

At our Memorial Service, the names of our deceased classmates were read and a candle lit in their memory:

Mark Ahlstrom, Erik Anderson, Mark Harvey Anderson, Mary Ann Anderson, Frieda Beier, Ronald Bloomquist, Conrad Carlson, Diana Peterson Carlson, Pamela Erickson Conner, Douglas Dahlberg, Sharon Rupprecht De Gatica, Susan Midtaune De Lapp, Charles Digatono, Chip Edstrom, Robert Hawkinson, Bill Holm, Kathryn Kindstrom Kay, Gladys Aagard Laughlin, Richard Lofgren, Steve Lundholm, Owen Olson, Ulla Akerlof Ostborg, Allan Palmquist, Daryl Schreiber, Spencer Smith, Mary Gans Stofft, Gail Thornburg Storlie, Merrilee Stennes Vanek, Gary Walton, Doreen Geiss White, Paul Woe

Reunion Poem by Arlyn Tolzmann for the Gustavus Class of ’65

Spring 2010 with gratitude and apologies to Theodor S. Geisel, Dr. Seuss

Somehow forty-five years have come and passed

in a blur it seems, they’ve gone so fast.

It seems but yesterday we headed up the hill,

soon with color of fall and winter’s chill.

At Gustavus we lived, fall, winter, and spring;

it was our blessing to do such a thing.

Some came, knowing what they wanted to be,

the rest of us would wait and then we’d see.

For men, the rules were very few,

the women had more, plus curfew.

We marvel how co-eds let this pass,

no riots or protests held en masse.

On campus, women were not to openly smoke cigs,

yet it was fine to carry around smelly fetal pigs.

Christ Chapel was new, spire with cross atop

reaching for the heavens, our gaze, our stop.

Food in the caf or canteen was sought,

at chapel was offered food for thought,

Every day we would chat and walk

as we greeted all on “hello” walk.

Some English profs scared us to death,

awaiting grades on papers, we held our breath.

I did not like pulling an all-nighter.

I did not like being a term paper writer.

I did not like Wahlstrom steps at all.

I did not like them no, not at all!

One history prof was pleased not to be God,

which to many of us seemed mighty odd.

If our parents knew,

what would they do?

With such blasphemy would parents say, “Enough,

we could have sent you to the U for that stuff!”

If on a Sunday School faith we rested,

religion classes made sure it was tested.

When Rundstrom hill became an icy glaze,

we slid down it on cafeteria trays.

In May of ’63 Nobel was dedicated with twenty-seven laureates;

their awards and honors from various categoreates.

The world heard of Gustavus, I do not kid,

this really happened, it did, it did!

That fall came JFK’s assassination;

we stared at the TV in stunned fascination,

shaken and stirred

by what we heard.

The Chapel Choir was robing for a service

when the shocking news came to unnerve us.

How could this be, how could this be,

was said by you, was said by me.

Before we knew it, our senior year arrived,

we had made it, we had survived and thrived.

In March came the blizzard of all blizzards,

and we were buried way up to our gizzards.

Then the April thaw dawned with a thud,

we sandbagged like crazy against the flood.

The Dean advised us to get out of Dodge,

lest we’d have no food, only a place to lodge.

We had ups, downs; at times we cried or laughed

and for some would come Uncle Sam’s draft.

I do believe being here was a blessing.

I do believe it, there is no guessing.

I do believe much for life was here learned.

I do believe it was grace, not something earned.

I do believe what happened in this place

gives us cause to rejoice and embrace.

The college has changed, so have we;

such is life, the way it should be.

We are here by grace, by grit,

lives intertwined, together knit.

For parents, classmates, and profs who have died,

our humble thanks to them and God, we cannot hide.

Let us raise a toast, class of ’65,

while giving to God a hearty high-five.

By these words this day you have been Seussed,

that I’m sure you’ve already deduced.

Your class agents, Elaine Buck Stenman, Arlyn Tolzmann, and I look forward to hearing from you some time in the next year.  We will be back on campus on September 11th for our next Volunteer Leadership Day.

Best Wishes,

Beverly Nordskog Hedeen

1965 Co-class Agent








A big thank you to Jeanne Mingus Tolzmann ’67 for taking these pictures at the reunion.