Class of '67
May 2007

40-Year Reunion

Reunion dates ― May 25 & 26, 2007

40-Year Reunion – A Milestone Celebration!

Life is filled with major events and our graduation from a wonderful college, set on a hill in a sleepy little southwestern Minnesota town, certainly was one for the class of 1967. 

On our final day together I remember being so impressed and proud that US Astronaut Buzz Aldrin was with us to accept an honorary doctorate degree.  Many of us may not have had the opportunity to travel in space in the last 40 years, but it has been fascinating to read in the Quarterly about the different paths the members of our class have taken.  The occupational, volunteer, and family experiences have been many and varied.  One thing I know that will be even better than reading about your lives will be gathering at our reunion on October 12-13th and hearing all your stories firsthand.  I for one love milestones and celebrations, in fact I think there should be more of them!  I hope you agree and are planning to come back to reminisce with old friends and share your plans for the future.  Oh yes, there will be concerns about expanding waistlines and receding hairlines―but think of us as a fine bottle of wine, with age we’ve just gotten better―and we can truly appreciate all of the joys and blessings of life.

For the last two years I have had the privilege of serving in leadership for a group that supports the Gustavus library.  As a result I spent a lot of time on campus.  The Quarterly has done a wonderful job of showing us all the new buildings and I think that when you return you will be impressed at how beautifully the grounds have recovered from the 1998 tornado.  But even more important, I can testify, that from a volunteer point-of-view, the spirit of the place is much the same as when they sent us off wanting us to succeed.  They’ve kept what is good about the college and only made it better.  In fact, do you remember the first Nobel Conference during our sophomore year?  It was on “Genetics and the Future of Man.”  The 43rd conference will start 10 days before our reunion, (October 2nd-3rd) and will draw thousands of attendees from all over.  You might consider planning a vacation in Minnesota this fall to take in the conference as the subject is so timely; “Heating Up:  The Energy Debate”.  Whenever I attend I marvel as I drive through miles of rolling farmlands that at the end of my journey I will be exposed to some of the brightest minds in the world as they discuss the topic at hand.  I guess, maybe, that little town wasn’t so sleepy after all.  I hope you come see for yourself this fall.  Come reacquaint yourself with the college and many of our classmates and we’ll all have a good time.

Your classmate,

Sandy Chandler Williamson

1967 Guest Letter Writer


William and Grace Murphy in Dallas, TX gave birth to son #3, Spencer James on November 6, 2006

Jane Forsman Harrison and daughter, Christa, climbed a volcano in Guatemala this spring while Jane was there at a total immersion Spanish school for 4 weeks and traveling one week.

Paul and Mary (Lock ’68) Palm traveled to Zambia, Botswana, and Namibia in Southern Africa on safari in November, visiting the wildlife national parks.  Paul is in his 35th year at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  Mary is a nurse practitioner with a neurology practice and the cerebro vascular service at Inova Fairfax Hospital in Northern Virginia.

Nancy Pierson Laible and husband, Steve, continue to co-direct the Friends of LAMB (Lutheran Aid to Medicine in Bangladesh).  Friends of LAMB coordinate shipment of medical supplies to the LAMB hospital, provide scholarships for village children to attend school, and assist a women’s group to generate income by making peanut butter.  They have made five trips to Bangladesh and continue to be motivated to do what they can to help those in this country of 140 million people.

David Spilseth retired after 39 years in December of 2005.  Flying for the Navy (5 years), Ozark Airlines (15 years), TWA (15 years) and American (4 years), totaling 20,000 flight hours and over 5,000 landings.  Dave now spends his time playing tennis, maintaining his house along with a college house by St. Thomas.  Daughter, Kate graduated from Scripps College in Claremont, CA and son, Andy is a junior at St. Thomas studying business.

Linda Kenning Olson and husband, Larry, continue to run a small antique business in Backus, MN.

Beverly Rathcke is currently doing ecological research in Michigan, Mexico and the Bahamas for the University of Michigan.

Mike ’65 and Gayl Gayman Pearson survived Katrina and still live in New Orleans!  Gayl is self employed as a tour guide and they have 2 granddaughters, ages 2 and 4.

Margaret Johnson Levey has taken up drawing and painting in the last few years and she has a studio in the Keg House (on the Grain Belt campus) in northeast Minneapolis.  Gusties are welcome to visit anytime!

Mary Lipke Rodning writes “I serve others and enjoy life!  Hope to be at Gustavus in May for Ellie’s graduation, but October (even without a hurricane) is always a very busy time of year for me.”  Husband Chuck ’65 continues educating the next generation of surgeons and caring for all the least cared for patients who live on the Coast.  They reside in Semmes, AL

Lana Landin Engbloom taught English in Laiwu, China in July of 2004, then visited Beijing and Shanghi.  She lived in Bukoba, Tanzania, Africa for 1 ½ years.  She now lives in Ogema, MN.

Sharon Larson Frank is a CASA volunteer (Court Advocate for children).  Last year she drove from New York State to Alaska!

After 31 years of working at Freightliner LLC, Duane Johnson retired only to start another career patch at Penske Truck Leasing.  He lives in Sherwood, OR and continues to enjoy being back home in the great Pacific Northwest!

Tom and Jane (Hansen ’68) Toftey live in Winfield, IL.  Tom continues consulting work in qualitative research (moderating focus groups, conducting in depth interviews), while Jane, after retirement a few years ago, and is very involved in singing in her Sweet Adeline Chorus, the Choral Aires that will compete internationally in Calgary in October.  They are new grandparents to Grace Emma.

Sandy (Chandler) and Dale Williamson live in North Oaks, MN.  Sandy continues to do a lot of volunteer work, most recently she is completing a two-year term as president of the Gustavus Library Associates.  They have one grandson who resides in Rochester, MN, but will be moving to Phoenix, AZ this summer.  They would love to follow him there!

Doug Jones has supported the Zoomobile since 2002 and was given a salute in the Foundation News of the Minnesota Zoo.  The Zoomobile reaches approximately 45,000 people each year at schools, community organizations, and senior centers, bringing the Zoo’s animals and naturalists to groups that may not be able to visit the zoo in person.  Every year Doug receives piles of thank you letters from students who have benefited from his donations.  His support along with others will help ensure that the Zoomobile can continue to provide quality environmental education throughout the state well into the future.


Gustavus Forensics Team Continues to be National Leader

The Gustavus Adolphus College Forensics Team participated in the 30th American Forensics Association National Individual Events Tournament (AFA-NIET) in April, earning a top 20 national ranking for the first time in school history.  Fourteen of the top 20 schools are Division I institutions.  The team has had a full schedule of tournaments this year, although the AFA-NIET is considered by many to be the most competitive collegiate forensics tournament in the country.

Refer a Gustie

Are there outstanding students in your church or neighborhood?  Are there sophomores or juniors in high school who are related to you or are friends of your family and whom you think could be a good fit at Gustavus?  Please send their names to the Office of Admission at Gustavus to help recruit the next generation of Gusties.

Gusties Gather!  Hosts Needed

Gusties around the world are called to gather on Sunday, September 30th.  The Alumni Board is designating this day as a day to intentionally connect with other Gusties.  In its inaugural year last August, 60 hosts planned events.  Want to do more to be connected with Gustavus?  Sign up to host a Gusties Gather! event for your neighborhood or with your friends.  Sign up by contacting Alumni Board member Dick Swenson ’62 at: or 612/824-8052.

A Royal Affair — Razzle Dazzle

Save the date!  Saturday, October 27, 2007 is Gustavus Library Associates’ biennial benefit for the Gustavus Folke Bernadotte Memorial Library.  It will be held at the Sheraton Bloomington Hotel in Bloomington, MN.

If you have volunteer time to offer . . .

If you have an auction item to donate, or know someone who does . . .

If you know someone who should receive an invitation . . .

If you would like to contribute financially to defray expenses . . .

We’ll welcome your call today!

Co-chairs:  Susan Engelsma Wilcox ’73, 952/944-5972 and Nacia Dahl ’92, 952/808-3212.

Rare Flower Bloomed at Gustavus

A Titan Arum or Amorphophallus titanum, otherwise known as a Corpse Flower, was in bloom May 12-14 in the Department of Biology’s greenhouse.  The first known Corpse Flower to bloom in Minnesota, this rare flowering plant is found only in the tropical rainforests of Sumatra, Indonesia.  The largest un-branched inflorescence in the world, the flower’s name comes from the repulsive scent it omits during and after its bloom period.  The plant’s cluster of flowers can grow to almost 10 feet.  “This plant is one of the wonders of the botanical world,” says Brian O’Brien, associate professor of chemistry who received and planted the seeds in 1993.

Upcoming Alumni Events

  • Class of 1962 - 45th Anniversary Reunion — May 25 and 26
  • Class of 1957 - 50th Anniversary Reunion — May 25 and 26
  • 50 Year Club Reunion — May 25 and 26

If you have not done so already, it’s not too late to join our class effort by contributing to the Gustavus Alumni Fund.  There are several opportunities for us to show our appreciation for all that Gustavus has meant to us.  Including Gustavus in your estate planning, a percentage left to Gustavus in your will (after your family is taken care of), gift annuities, and many other possibilities.  Such gifts are included in the reunion gift totals for our class.  A full list of options for your giving can be found at: consider a gift in any amount to be added to our class total as a way to say “Thank you” to the school that impacted our lives in so many positive ways.

May 31st is the end of the college fiscal year and the last day to make a gift if you’d like to be included in the Honor Roll of Donors which is released right before our reunion.  At our reunion, however, we will celebrate all gifts made between June 1, 2006 and October 11, 2007.  Our goal has been adjusted to raising $200,000 during this time frame and we are currently at $74,016.  We also have a goal of getting 68% of our classmates participating in the gift to Gustavus this year―and we are over half way there with39%.  We hope you will join us in the celebration gift and in celebrating our 40th Reunion!

The Class of ’67 Box Score Board

2007 Reunion Goals

    Goal                              Actual

Cash and Pledges                                    200,000                             $74,016

New GHP Members                                        13                                        1

Total GHP Members                                       20                                        8

Number of Donors                                         150                                       91

Donor Percentage                                          68%                                    41%

Event Participants                                          75

Event Participation Percentage                        35%

Remember:  Three-year pledge totals will count towards our goal!  For example if you are willing to commit to $500 each year, for three years―we will be able to count $1,500 towards our glass goal of $200,000!

GHP stands for Gustavus Heritage Partnership and includes the following:

Deferred Gifts

Gift vehicles such as charitable gift annuities and charitable trusts created by donor(s) at Gustavus and designated by the donor for endowment, the Gustavus Fund, or other purposes, but for which funds are not available for use until the donor(s) or other beneficiaries die.  The amounts reported reflect the commitment for specific purposes by those who choose to use such gifts as part of their financial planning and charitable giving.

Estate Gift Declarations

Future gifts not yet received by Gustavus, but documented by donors to declare the portion of their estate intended for the College at a future date, usually death.

If you are interested in becoming a GHP member or have already included Gustavus in your will and would like to let the college know, please contact the Gustavus Office of Institutional Advancement at:  1-800-726-6192.