Class of '67
I think I’m back into the swing of this "class agent" thing again, though I apologize for missing a letter to you last spring. Once hockey season ended, we retreated to our home in Sanibel for several weeks, and my mind sort of turns to mush there (more than usual, that is.) Anyway, I had the pleasure of attending Class Agents’ Day at Gustavus two weekends ago and got excited about helping our wonderful Alma Mater once again. What an incredible job the "Gustavus folks" did to put the college back together again after the March 29 tornado! The buildings are all repaired (except for Johnson Hall, which is sadly missing), hundreds of trees have been planted, and the hope and encouragement of all involved are evident. However, Gustavus needs our financial help now more than ever before. There are many more financial needs due to the storm, in spite of great insurance coverage. I’m sure hoping you will consider sending a donation this year (perhaps for the first time in a long while; for you faithful givers, would you consider adding a few dollars? If you need extra encouragement, take a ride to St. Peter and look around!
For your information, Gustavus is arranging for credit card giving and for automatic withdrawals from bank accounts for our contributions. Phonorama will now be focused on reunion classes, so if you miss that call, let me know and we’ll call you!
I was on campus yesterday for a Gustavus Library Associates meeting and it was fun to see the students looking happy and excited about Homecoming, which began yesterday. Why is it the students look so much more sophisticated than we did?
I have very little class news to report, sorry to say. Where are you guys? Please report in to the Alumni Office, so we know what you’re up to. (Thanks in advance!) Now for the news:
Charles Peterson is in Withee, Wisconsin, and kindly offered "chainsaw services" to Gustavus following the tornado.
Harry and Karen Swenson Dittler reside in Coon Rapids and enjoyed a trip to South Africa last summer to visit their daughter.
Tim and Signe Wersell Cowen continue to live in Stillwater, where they are property managers.
Paul Palm is a senior programmer/analyst at the National Center for Environmental Research and Quality Assurance at the USEPA. His wife, Mary (Lock ’68) is an education coordinator for the Inova Health System at Fairfax Hospital and is also an adult nurse practitioner. They live in Springfield, VA.
Kari Hagen Conway continues to teach third grade at Seth Paine Elementary School in Lake Zurich, Illinois.
Congratulations to Owen and Toni (Holmberg ’66) Wahlstrand who won the WISPORT Bicycle Race Series Tandem Championship in 1997! The Wahlstrands live in Eau Claire, WI.
Jeanne Mingus Tolzman is master teacher at the Early Childhood Development Center at Metro State College in Denver. Arlyn ’65 is pastor of Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Wheat Ridge, Colorado.
Steve ’65 and Sandy Johnson Lundholm are still in Omaha, Nebraska, where Steve is now Executive Director of Immanuel Charitable Foundation.
Jane Gregory Gooding continues to teach second grade for the Douglas County School System in the Denver area.
The 1998-99 academic year opened with a record enrollment of 2,470 full-time students (compared with the previous record of 2,389 set in 1988), including a record 700 incoming students (compared to 648 of 1987). Contributing to the record enrollment is the stable 94 percent full-time student retention rate. Students returned to a campus that has been newly landscaped with 400 trees planted last spring and nurtured over the summer. They also discovered that 95% of all repairs made necessary by the tornado of March 29 are now completed. They returned to find Johnson Hall gone as it proved to be "beyond repair," but they also were greeted by a new College View Apartment addition, which houses 92 upper-class students, and the recently purchased Jefferson Avenue apartments (now known as Arbor View), which houses 60 upper-class students. In addition to new carpeting, painting, and furnishings, the campus is sporting 300 new state of the art computers for students and faculty, 28 new Steinway pianos (making us a member of a very elite circle of "All Steinway" campuses), 13 new high-tech multimedia systems for classrooms, new and upgraded outdoor and indoor athletic facilities, and new scientific equipment.
What remains to be done? The Prairie View Residence Hall, to be in place and opened in October, will house 60 students. It will be located west of Schaefer Fine Arts Center. Physically and symbolically the repair/restoration era will end with the placement of the spire and the cross back on the top of Christ Chapel. The spire will go up in sections over a two-day period and the cross is scheduled to be set on Thursday, October 22, weather permitting.
Students also noted the beginning stages of construction on the new Campus Center. This project, part of our strategic plan, was accelerated by the storm. The official groundbreaking ceremony will take place Monday, October 19. This $18.6 million, 51,000 square foot construction project will double the size of the Dining Service Building, providing students, faculty and staff with expanded and improved dining, meeting and office spaces. The Dining Room will, appropriately, be named for Evelyn Young ’33, longtime director of the Dining Service at Gustavus. In progress also is an addition to the Melva Lind Interpretive Center to house the Department of Environmental Studies.
US News and World Report continues to give Gustavus high ranking. This fall’s issue again placed Gustavus in the top half of the 162 national liberal arts colleges in the country. Gustavus is one of four colleges in Minnesota to be in this category. The others are Carleton, Macalester and St. Olaf. The other ELCA schools in addition to Gustavus and St. Olaf are Gettysburg, Muhlenberg and Augustana (IL). Many of the schools with which you are familiar are classified as either a "national" or a "regional" college. National liberal arts colleges have the most selective admission policy, recruit nationally and offer most of their degrees in the liberal arts. Regional liberal arts colleges are less selective in admitting students and grant fewer than 40% of their degrees in the liberal arts.
US News further honored Gustavus by ranking the College third nationally (out of 90 schools) in operating efficiency. This ranking measures academic quality and dollars spent to deliver that quality. Gustavus was the only Minnesota college ranked in this comparison of national liberal arts colleges.
Newsweek magazine’s college publication again listed Gustavus as a "buried treasure." These are colleges that are known as "Hot Schools, Cool Spots." The magazine describes Gustavus as a place where "Personal attention rules--can’t slide by here." Other buried treasures include: Davidson College, Davidson, NC; Grinnell College, Grinnell, IA; Pomona College, Claremont, CA; Trinity University, San Antonio, TX; and College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA. Good company, indeed.
Children of alumni continue to be honored for their academic achievement and potential when they enroll at Gustavus. The Alumni Scholarship of $2,500 (renewable to $10,000 over four years) is awarded to children and grandchildren of alumni with high school grade point averages of 3.5 or better, or SAT scores of 1170 or an ACT of 26. This fall Gustavus welcomed to campus 70 new entering students who are children of alumni. Sixty-seven legacy students were awarded an Alumni Scholarship. This number includes 54 children of alumni and 13 grandchildren of alumni.
Nobel Conference XXXIV, Virus: The Human Connection is October 6 & 7. The Nobel Conference magazine was again inserted in the August Minnesota Monthly magazine and sent to the entire Gustavus mailing list.
Christmas in Christ Chapel is December 4, 5 & 6. The theme this year is The Holy Family. A ticket order form was inserted in the center of the Summer Quarterly and another form is enclosed with this class letter.
The Gustavus Orchestra will perform its Autumn Concert at the Ted Mann Concert Hall on the campus of the University of Minnesota on Saturday, November 14, at 7:30 p.m. The featured violin soloist is Siqing Lu, one of the most important Chinese violinists of his generation. General admission tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for students and seniors. Call the University of Minnesota Arts Ticket Office (612-624-2345) or Gustavus Ticket Center at (507-933-7598).
G.I.V.E. (Gusites In Volunteer Endeavors), a day of community service, was a huge success for another year. Alumni, parents and friends gathered on Saturday, October 3 to work together in the spirit of service to better their communities. An impact was made around the country as nearly 1,000 Gusties worked in nine cities including: Atlanta, GA; Boston, MA; Duluth, MN; Fargo, ND; Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN; Orlando, FL; Saint Peter, MN; Seattle, WA and Washington, DC.
Recycle your Quarterly – after reading each issue of the Gustavus Quarterly, we encourage you to "recycle" the magazine by taking it to your place of business or worship and sharing it with others. Spread the good word about Gustavus!
Alumni Chapters will be meeting in cities around the country near you! Mark your calendars today for the following Alumni Association chapter visits: Chicago, November 14; Atlanta, November 19; Washington, DC, November 20; Boston, November 21; Denver, February 1 (Gustavus Band concert); Fargo, Feb. 20; Seattle, March 5; San Francisco, March 6; Los Angeles, March 7; Phoenix, March 8; and Sun City, March 9.
I shall try to find a "guest writer" for the January newsletter, as suggested by the Alumni Office. I hope this finds you all in good health and exuberance for the day at hand. Thanks for taking the time to read this and consider the needs at Gustavus. It’s a wonderful place!
God bless you and your families,
Karen Gruber Pagel
1967 Class Agent