Class of 1966

April 2014

Dear Classmates,

Hi, my name is Bill Laumann and I am your new Communications Chair-person.  Curious as to why the Gustavus Quarterly hadn’t published any alumni news from our class in some time, I contacted the Office of Alumni and Parent Engagement to inquire.  “Your class does not have a communications chairperson,” I was told, “would you like to be it?”  Knowing I really would enjoy hearing from classmates, I decided to give it a go.  So, I am now wearing my new Communications Chair hat, ready and willing to do the job and eager to hear from every one of you.  Please send any news, updated information and interesting life events to my e-mail address or to the alumni office either by slow-mail, or e-mail, to addresses listed below.  We want to hear from you.

My e-mail:

GAC e-mail:

Mailing Address:  Office of Alumni and Parent Engagement

Gustavus Adolphus College

800 West College Ave.

St. Peter, MN  56082-1498

The summer Quarterly (due out in early May) is already in the proofing stages and will include some alumni updates for our class that had been received previously, but had not been published.  All new updates, if received by June 6, will appear in the fall Quarterly. Anything later will appear in the winter edition or subsequent editions as they arrive.

Wow, here we are 48 years after graduation.  Could you have ever visualized as a student in the ʼ60s how your life would turn out, the places you would live and see, the experiences and jobs you would have?  I certainly didn’t ever think that in 2014, I would be back in St. Peter, living within eye-sight of the Gustavus campus, but this is where I ended up.

I retired from teaching (mainly art) in 1999, after 30 years in the classroom, 28 of which were in Albert Lea.  I also spent 3 years in the Army and had 7 years as a librarian/bookmobile driver, a really neat retirement job.  My wife, Robin, (Mankato State grad) was an elementary education teacher—turned shoe business owner.  In 2001 our two daughters encouraged us to move from Albert Lea to St. Peter, so we would be closer to where they lived.  They had an ulterior motive, free babysitting for our three grandkids, but that was fine with us.  Kelly, our Gustie daughter (class of ʼ96) still lives in St. Peter, but Shannon, our first born, (in fact, our Army baby, born while I was in Vietnam), moved and is now working for the Justice Department in Washington, DC.

Living in St. Peter, I occasionally run into a few retired Gustavus professors.  My old basketball coach and former professional basketball player with the Minneapolis Lakers, Whitey Skoog lives just down the road from me.  Whenever I see Whitey I’m reminded what a humble, kind person he is.  Throughout the years I’ve known him I have never heard him use a harsher word than…”gosh.”  Here is a man gifted with loads of athletic talent and accomplishment, yet unless you knew his history, he would pass as just common place.  Do any of you remember the annual Gustavus faculty vs. student fast-pitch softball games?  The students never won in the four years I was there, mainly due to two key faculty members, Whitey Skoog for his hitting and Myron Anderson, (biology prof) for his pitching.  They were quite the dynamic duo.

Other retired profs I have visited with in St. Peter are Milt Brostrom ʼ49 (mathematics), Clair Johnson (now deceased, religion prof) and Dr. Art Glass ʼ43 (natural sciences).  My wife, Robin and Milt Brostrom’s wife are in the same P.E.O. Chapter, so on social occasions I have become acquainted with Milt.  I never had a class from him, but I bet he was a good instructor.  He is a very intelligent and interesting man.  I did take a religion class from Clair Johnson and remember how much I enjoyed it.  I had never taken a class from Dr. Art Glass, but got to know him as a resident in town.  Not long ago the St. Peter Legion Club honored Some WWII vets and Art was one of them.  Not many of his past students know that Dr. Glass got his undergraduate degree from Gustavus and then was a decorated Marine Corps Officer during World War II.  After the war, Art used the GI Bill to go back to school for his doctorate degree at the University of Minnesota before returning to his alma mater to teach until retirement.

One of my favorite professors was George Anderson.  Some of you who had Prof Anderson for freshman English, perhaps still remember him on the first day of class, walking into a hushed classroom and without preamble, started in with, “the outlook wasn’t brilliant for the Mudville nine that day; the score stood 4 to 2 with but one inning more to play.”  He went on to recite “Casey at the Bat” without error and with great emotion and right away I knew this guy loved his job.  He was very good at what he did and his enthusiasm was contagious.

The Gustavus campus has always been attractive and well kept.  It is even more-so now.  If you have not been back for a number of years, I would recommend you make a visit in the summer or fall to see first hand just how beautiful it is.  The landscaping crews do a masterful job with their tree, shrub and floral plantings.  They are to be commended for a job very well done.  Also, the new classroom building, the Beck Academic Hall is fabulous.  You probably are aware that classmate Donna Gabbert, married Warren Beck, class of ʼ67 and that they are the driving force behind this new addition.

I live close enough to the campus that, weather permitting; I can easily bike over, which I occasionally do.  As I wander the campus I can’t help but reminisce.  If the buildings are open, I will sometimes stroll the halls, trying to recall what classrooms I sat in.  The old art barn and field house are not there anymore.  I spent a lot of time in both of those places.  They were sort of comfort zones for me I think.  On the flip side, the food service was not.  I still tread lightly in the food service, expecting Ma Young to come around a corner, grab me and haul me back to the dishwasher.  I spent many hours with that dishwasher, or one like it.  That was my school job to help pay tuition.  In all fairness to Mrs. Young, she ran a tight ship, but she was fair and the food, as I remember it, was very good.

Gustavus holds many memories for all of us, but most of all, are the memories of classmates.  I’m sure, like I do, you think of some of those classmates from time-to-time and wonder what happened to them, what their lives are like, where do they live now, what did they do for an occupation, did any go into the military or the peace corps during the tumultuous ʼ60s, what honors, awards and accomplishments did they achieve in their life time?  We all have a story.

Don’t think you have anything to offer?  Mark Twain said it best, “There was never yet an uninteresting life.  Such a thing is impossibility.  Inside of the dullest exterior there is a drama, a comedy and a tragedy.”

Hope to hear from you,

Bill Laumann

1966 Communications Chair

Campus News

Rebecca M. Bergman Named 17th President of Gustavus Adolphus College

The Board of Trustees of Gustavus Adolphus College has elected Rebecca M. Bergman to be the College’s 17th president.  Bergman is the first woman in the 152-year history of the College to be named president and will succeed Jack R. Ohle, who is retiring after serving as president of the College since July 2008.  Bergman will officially take office July 1, 2014.

Bergman, who has served on the College’s Board of Trustees since 2007, has spent the past 26 years at Medtronic, Inc., including the last 14 years as a senior executive.  She currently serves as Vice President of Research, Technology, and Therapy Delivery Systems for the company’s Cardiac Rhythm Disease Management (CRDM) business, where she leads a research and development team of scientists and engineers.

Travel with Gustavus - Exploring Luther’s Reformation – Oct. 4-16

Journey on an educational tour focused on Luther’s Reformation with prominent Lutheran scholar, Gustavus professor emeritus of Religion Rev. Dr. Darrell Jodock.  Travel to Germany and Poland from October 4 to 16, 2014 to learn about the life and teachings of Martin Luther, along with the ongoing significance of his theology.  The trip is open to Gustavus alumni, parents, friends, and non-Gusties.  For more information, please visit or email Professor Jodock at  Registration deadline is May 31.

Upcoming Events

April 16 – Twin Cities Gustie Breakfast featuring Marcia Bunge, professor in religion

April 29 - Chicago Chapter Gathering

April 30 – 34th Annual MAYDAY! Peace Conference

May 30-31 – Reunion Weekend

June 1 - Commencement