Class of 1966

June 2011

Dear Class of 1966

It was great fun to see many of our classmates at our 45th reunion.  The “walk down memory lane” about favorite and not-so-beloved professors as well as the many times “cold” was mentioned as part of our Gustavus experience made it seem that it couldn’t have been 45 years ago.  If you didn’t make it this year, mark your calendar for Memorial Day/graduation weekend in 2016!

A special thank you to all who made donations to our Class of 1966 Scholarship Fund.  As I said in the last class letter and at the reunion, this is a project near and dear to my heart as I couldn’t have attended Gustavus without scholarships.  We had set a goal of raising $25,000 by our 50th reunion, and as of the night of our 45th, we went over that goal!  This means we can start awarding a scholarship next year.  But we don’t need to stop at $25,000.  Continued contributions to the 1966 Endowed Scholarship will mean the awarding of additional scholarship dollars to deserving students.  And it’s likely that we can meet one of those students at our 50th reunion.

By the way, if you have pictures from the Reunion that you’d like to share, go to the “Tell us your news” button at the bottom of the 1966 class webpage: and follow the instructions. Or, if you prefer, you can send them to and they will be posted.

Margaret Raedeke Holste


Eric Gustavson wrote:  “This was one of the best reunions I have attended.  The Gustie spirit of congeniality, humor and common appreciation of our beloved school was evident everywhere.  I was so proud of our classmate, Richard Leider, and his fine seminar on finding purpose in our lives...especially after retirement.  President Ohle’s appearance with his wife, Kris, was uplifting, affirming and I believe was a motivating factor in helping us to achieve our class gift goal.  In short, it appeared that all in attendance found our reunion to be worthwhile event.”

Big thanks to the following classmates for their efforts at making such a grand reunion!

Seecy Sandin Basley

Marcia Wilson Borgie

Jerry Bowers

Sharon Anderson Engman

Deidra Moehring Gustavson

Eric Gustavson

Margaret Raedeke Holste

Vicki Brown Johnson

Loel Johnson Kuehne

Richard Leider

Esther Peterson Martens

Al Molde

Joyce Henrikson Ramseth

Mary Strand Slinde



Rachel Lind Gilbertson sent a note prior to the reunion, “I plan to take my two grown kids to Sweden and Norway in June to meet relatives and find our roots.  My husband and I are retired.  We love to travel and also are privileged to help care for two granddaughters after school two days a week!”

Jerry Bowers and wife Debra (Dalton ’67) are enjoying retirement.  Jerry retired in 1996 from the investment business with Piper Jaffray and Dain Bosworth’s.

Dick Sundberg manages the Brokerage Service Center at Thrivent Financial for Lutherans in Minneapolis.

Donley and Kathy (Glaeser) Johnson returned for the 45th reunion weekend, which was also their 45th wedding anniversary.  They have two children, Christopher ʼ93 and Erin ʼ97, both Gusties are partners in their law firm in Forest Lake.  They have five grandchildren whom they spend a lot of time with in their retirement.  They both play golf and spend winter time between Florida and Arizona.

J. Paul Carlson was unable to attend the reunion but “I know you will have a wonderful time.  I am now in my 35th year at Park Nicollet Cancer Center in St. Louis Park doing hematology and oncology.  I have cut down to working full time (No weekends or night calls!) and continue to enjoy clinical medicine.  Anne (Berg ’68) and I have our three children close by in Minneapolis and see our four grandkids frequently.  I sing in the Apollo Male Chorus and invite any GA singers to contact me if they wish to continue making fine choral music.  My best to all of you.”

John D. Blair married Grace Allison on March 5, 2011 in Lubbock, TX, where he is the Gracie G. and William B. Snyder Professor in Management at Rawls College of Business at Texas Tech University.  Grace moved from Dallas and is the host of her internet radio show “Be Your Own Superhero.”  John’s first wife, Starr (Hall ’68), died three years ago after a long fight with the complications of diabetes.  They had been married for 40 years.  Rev. Ed Blair ’62, conducted both wedding ceremonies and Karyl Krantz Blair ʼ64 was in both wedding parties.

Joan Benson Dornfeld is enjoying retirement and working occasionally at Dodge Nature Center when not traveling.


Hamlet Presented

The Department of Theatre and Dance at Gustavus presented the timeless classic Hamlet in Anderson Theatre this past May 5-14, 2011.  The matinee on May 8th was a particularly special performance because a few alumni and members of the cast from the 1966 performance of Hamlet attended that performance.  Linda Gulder Huett played the role of Gertrude, Gary Rankila ’68 played Horatio, and Eric Gustavson played the tremendous role of Hamlet the last time Gustavus put on a production of Hamlet.  They enjoyed the performance immensely, and both casts had a good time meeting each other and discussing the performance at a reception afterwards, which included reciting many Shakespeare lines!

587 Graduates Received Degrees

On Sunday, May 29, 2011, 587 seniors received their bachelor of arts degrees from Gustavus Adolphus College.  Senior Phil Helt of Gladstone, MO, delivered this year’s commencement address and Associate Professor of Nursing, Barbara Zust received the 2011 Edgar M. Carlson Award for Distinguished Teaching.

Alumni Association Awards Announced

The Greater Gustavus Award is the highest award given to those, who by deed, have notably advanced and aided Gustavus Adolphus College.  Walter Youngquist ’42, Eugene, OR, chair emeritus, Department of Geology, University of Oregon, and consulting geologist, was selected as the 2011 recipient of the Greater Gustavus Award.  Youngquist has established five different endowed funds at the College and is the recipient of a Gustavus Distinguished Alumni Citation in the field of geology in 2002.  Walter’s father, Walter Youngquist ’16, received the Greater Gustavus Award in 1953.

Distinguished Alumni Citations recognize outstanding and exceptional professional achievement, such as unusual honor accorded to the individual in his or her field of endeavor.  Named as 2011 recipients are John “Jack” Bergman ’69, St. Francisville, LA, lieutenant general, retired, United States Marine Corp., in the field of military service; Robert Brown ’83, Rochester, MN, John T. and Lillian Matthews Professor of Neuroscience, Chair of Department of Neurology, Mayo Clinic, in the field of medicine; and Mark Thomsen ’78, Henderson, NV, professional operatic tenor, in the field of music.

The First Decade Award recognizes early professional achievement to one female and one male in the 10th Anniversary Class.  Selected were Kirsten Cullen Sharma ’01, New York, NY, clinical assistant professor, New York University Child Study Center, New York University Langone Medical Center, and Jonathan Poole ’01, Washington, DC, special agent, violent crime branch, Diplomatic Security Service, U.S. Department of State.  The Awards were presented at the Alumni Banquet on Saturday, May 28.

Summer Picnics

Summer is a good time to reconnect with some Gusties in your area.  Please join President Jack and Kris Ohle as they travel to the following locations in order to reach out to all of our alumni and bring them an update from the College.  Please mark your calendar if you live near one of these locations:

Apple Valley, MN – July 12

Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN – July 13

Long Lake, MN – July 14

Duluth, MN – July 26

Grand Rapids, MN – July 27

Brainerd, MN - July 28