Class of ’67

February 2012

Dear Classmates,

I know, I know........surely it can’t be 45 years since we were all finishing up course work, making job applications and anticipating/dreading being out on our own!  But it is almost 45 years and it’s time for us to get together and celebrate at our class reunion.  Although I’ve been back on campus several times, I haven’t really seen many classmates over the years.  I’m really looking forward to catching up with old friends and acquaintances.  I’m curious to know who stayed in professions they were pursuing at Gustavus and who went other directions.  Of course I’m sure none of us have changed a bit so we won’t have any difficulty recognizing each other!

The committee is hard at work planning events for the reunion.  The memorial service on Friday afternoon will be a time for us to remember those classmates who are no longer with us.  We’ll have a class picture taken following the service and then we can spend some time relaxing and eating with friends.  There will be seminars and tours all during the weekend.  Saturday we’ll have a Class of ’67 luncheon when we’ll have yet another chance to reconnect with friends and spouses.  If any of you have talents you’d like to share, let us know and we’ll put you on the program!  Later that afternoon we’ll have another chance to spend time together in Linner Lounge.  If you have memorabilia from our Gustavus years, bring it along and share at that time.

Reunion registration is likely to arrive in March – so stay tuned and register early when it arrives!  Remember to save the dates right now on your calendar – May 25-26, 2012.

There are always exciting things happening at Gustavus, some of which affect us as alumni.  We elected class officers once upon a time and now we’re going to be able to choose new class officers.  These officers will work to keep us involved at Gustavus and connected with our classmates.  At the luncheon during our reunion we’ll elect officers.  Now is your chance to look over the job descriptions (included again at the end of this letter) and nominate yourself or a friend for an office.  If you’re planning to nominate someone, please check with that person first.  Send nominations to Kathy in the Office of Alumni Relations at

Plan to attend our reunion so you don’t have to say, “Oh, I wish I’d made the time to go.”

I’m pretty sure that the lack of ’67 info in The Gustavus Quarterly doesn’t mean we haven’t been doing anything.  We’re all just extremely busy!  As you read the news we’ve collected so far, you’ll see some definite patterns.  Many of us are retired, many of us have grandchildren and thoroughly enjoy both−retirement and grandchildren!  Some of the information that’s been coming in recently includes the following:

Jon Magnuson has recently moved from campus ministry to being director of Cedar Tree Institute in northern Michigan.  Check it out at

John Folkerds has been retired for four years following 33 years as pastor in Buffalo.  He and his wife have a son who is also a pastor.

Harry and Karen (Swenson) Dittler are thoroughly enjoying traveling all over the world.  Harry was an underwriter for State Farm for 40 years.  They live in Coon Rapids.

Bob Karli lives in Austin, TX and is happy to be able to run races on Sunday mornings now that he’s retired from the ministry.

After Richard Nelson retired from 40 years of dentistry, he is now cruising the east coast and I.C.W. in “our UFF DA” trailer, and resides in Flagstaff and Scottsdale, AZ, enjoying five grand-daughters.

Keith Hammer, Boise, ID, has remained active in the ministry and continues doing interim work.

Eric Stenman, Hanover, PA, has been a hospital chaplain for seven years.  He and his wife, Joanne, were the first husband wife team to serve a parish together in the ELCA.

Penny Kuehn Fannemel has been a para professional in Aitkin for 20+ years, teaching reading in first grade.  She and her husband have three children and seven grandchildren.

Sara Jacobson Hensley and her husband moved from California to Hebron, Nebraska for retirement.  Their daughter lives in California.  Sara taught for a few years and then worked for Mervyn’s for 22 years.

Nancy Pierson Laible, New Brighton, MN, has been retired from her microbiology career for almost ten years.  She and her husband have two grandsons, ages 1 and 4 who live nearby.  Nancy and Steve have been active as volunteers with a Lutheran mission hospital and school located in Bangladesh for the past eight years.  Their focus is supporting education for children living in poverty.

Lee ʼ68 and Ginny (Hendrickson) Petersen live in Spring, TX where Lee is still working as a petroleum geologist.  Ginny is an artist.  Wouldn’t it be fun to see some of her work?  They have four children and three grandchildren.

Marie Mikkelson Hanson is a volunteer in a nursing home.  She worked in assisted living facilities for many years.  She and her husband, Douglas, have two children and four grandchildren.  They live in Arden Hills and enjoy spending time at their cabin near Blackduck.

Luther ʼ65 and Carol (Lindstrom) Luedtke now live in Newton, MA, where Carol runs her own business dealing with cottage furniture and Luther is CEO of Educational Development Center.  Their two children and two grandchildren are in California, where their daughter lives in their home in Pasadena.

Sue Griebie Smith lives in St. Paul and is retired but subs in the school where she taught.  She and husband, Cliff, are enjoying their two daughters and five grandchildren.

Dewey Roach has retired to the beach at Baja Malibu, Rosarito, Baja California, Mexico.

Elsie Week Evenson retired from teaching and lives in Neenah, WI with her husband Carl.  They, like many others, thoroughly enjoy being grandparents.  She probably won’t be at the reunion because their family gathers to celebrate the birthday of their twin sons.  They have a daughter who is an ELCA pastor in Illinois.

Cheryl Klemenhagen Collins and her husband, Donald, have recently moved to Delano where they’re enjoying retirement.  They’re on their way to Florida for the first time to get away from winter.  They have two sons, one of whom graduated from Gustavus, and two grandsons.

Mary Brotherson Adams is now retired after spending her career as a med tech at the VA Hospital in Minneapolis.  She and her husband have eight grandchildren.  Mary stays fit by doing Zumba classes.  They live in Inver Grove Heights.

Craig ʼ66 and Dianne (Friday) Peterson are both retired.  They enjoy winter sports while at home in Grand Marais and then travel in their fifth wheel in the spring and fall so they won’t be at our reunion.  They have two daughters and two grandchildren.

Nancy Engen Rowley retired from teaching in 2005.  She’s a volunteer with a program that does grocery shopping for home bound clients.  She and her husband live in Camarillo, CA and have two daughters and a son and two grandchildren.  Unfortunately, Nancy won’t be able to attend the reunion.

Debbie Dalton Bowers’ husband Jerry ʼ66 has serious health issues.  They live in Minneapolis.

Joel ʼ68 and Donna (Davies) Bexell, Cottage Grove, have four daughters and five grandchildren with three on the way!  Donna hopes to be at the reunion, but it will depend on the arrival of twins, due in May.

Mary Gray Brinkman retired from being preschool teacher and church secretary in order to take care of sick older relatives.  Now she’s enjoying family (four children and three grandchildren) and friends.  She and her husband live in Fridley.

Karen Langsjoen Zins recently retired from her work at the Gustavus bookstore and is adjusting to a new lifestyle in Nicollet.  She, too, enjoys her three grandsons.  Her dad is in a nursing home.  She and her brother are enjoying going through all of the things he saved over the years.

Warren Beck is still working part of the time, but he and Donna (Gabbert ʼ66) split their time between Greenwood, MN and Tucson, AZ.  They enjoy spending time with their children and four grandchildren.

Margo Helgerson is still the mayor of Westhope, ND.  She is currently dealing with the influx of people coming to work on the North Dakota oil fields.  This includes planning for a new development in the area.

Mary Lipke Rodning is busy with grandchildren and with painting in the Haiga (Japanese) style in Semmes, AL.  You can access her work at and at

Jon Tollefson attended graduate school at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln after graduating from Gustavus.  He did not finish a degree because of the offer of a 3-year, federal job he could not refuse.  When the job ended, he returned to graduate school at Iowa State University.  After earning a Ph.D. in 1975, he remained at ISU as a faculty member.  Jon conducted research on the management of insect pests of corn and taught graduate and undergraduate students for 35 years.  Jon is now trying to adjust to sitting around home.

Jane (Forsman) Harrison has taught school in Cambridge and St. Cloud and worked as an administrative assistant.  Her current position is a customer service representative for Lands End.  For the past five years she has been active in a Guatemalan women’s cooperative, which includes traveling to Guatemala.  Jane has been active in her church.  Two of her children have attended Gustavus.  She is currently trying to decide when and how to retire.

Karl Kaukis has worked for a number of companies in the line of business marketing.  He has two sons, one works in computer programming and the second is working on graduate degrees in math and statistics.

Dennis Oltmans worked with a power company and is now retired.  He picks up some occasional work that he says “keeps them in resources to travel.”

Gary Wollschlager attended law school at the University of Minnesota after his graduation from Gustavus.  His first practice was in Phoenix.  Gary started the practice with a partner and, after ten years, the firm had grown to include five attorneys.  Gary then left the firm to raise his children in his hometown of Fairmont, MN.  Gary’s three children attended Gustavus.  When asked if that was their idea or his, he replied that it was a little of both.

After leaving Gustavus, Chip Weseloh earned an M.S. at Michigan Tech and a Ph.D. from the University of Calgary.  He is an ornithologist and has remained in Canada, living in Toronto.

Tom Toftey taught in Madison, WI for 11 years and then spent 20+ years working at the American Medical Association in Chicago.  Then Tom started a consulting company (creatively called Toftey Consulting) ten years ago specializing in qualitative research−moderating focus groups and conducting in-depth interviews with professionals and consumers around the country.  He and his wife Jane (Hansen ʼ68) live in Winfield, IL.  They are grandparents of two granddaughters and one grandson.

We’ve left messages for some of you and will keep trying to get in touch with as many of you as possible.  There will be more news as soon as we have it to share.

Gary Wollschlager, Ginger (Froyen) and Bob Haddorff, Mim Sponberg Kagol, Pam Olson Lienke and Barb Calin Thomasson are all planning to attend the reunion.  Some of our classmates have already indicated that they won’t be able to attend and some are undecided.  Decide!  Come join the fun!

Check out all the information included with this letter.  If you have questions, don’t hesitate to ask.  The committee is working hard to make this a great reunion.  If you’d like to join the committee and/or make contact calls with classmates, just let us know.  We’d be delighted to have your input.  Contact or call 1-866-487-3863 and ask for Kathy if you’d like to join us or if you have questions.

Remember the 1967 Class Endowed Scholarship we started back at our 40th Class Anniversary and talked about in our last class letter?  We as a committee would like to challenge our class to get this scholarship up to $25,000 by the time of our reunion in May.  There are 214 active classmates in our class−if everyone chips in $100 toward the scholarship−we will have it made and a scholarship in our name will begin helping a current Gustie afford the wonderful educational experience that Gustavus offers!  Your $100 will give a student $1,000 (EVERY YEAR) from our compounded gift.  Better yet, seeing it is the 150th Anniversary of the college−we challenge you to give $150 for the 150 years Gustavus has been sending forth Gusties into the world!!  What do you say class?  We can do it!  An easy way to do this is during online reunion registration−mark the box which allows you to make your gift, with your registration, to our scholarship.   Registration is coming in March−so if you think you’ll forget by then, include your check in the envelope provided and return it asap.  Your support of our alma mater is very much appreciated−by students, by professors, by staff, and by us, your classmates.

One last thing we’d like you to do.  Would you please fill out the attached yellow sheet? We would like to incorporate your responses into future class letters and into the program held reunion weekend.  Take a minute to fill it out and return it in the enclosed envelope.  Thanks!

The reunion committee right now includes:

Jon and Carla (Rudquist) Tollefson

Steve Emerson

Marcia Sylte Belisle

Nancy Pierson Laible

Todd Harris

Jeanne Mingus Tolzmann

Class Officer Job Descriptions:

Class President

The president will preside over the officers and functions of the class.  Responsibilities include acting as primary leader, coordinator, recruiter and motivator for the class and class officers.  The president will work collaboratively with the Alumni Board of Directors, the Classes Committee of the Alumni Board, and the Office of Alumni Relations.

Vice President/ Reunion Chair

The vice president/reunion chair is responsible for recruiting a reunion committee and event chair during the main reunion (5th -70th) for the class, organizing class gatherings outside of the main reunion year, coordinating meetings for reunion committee members, and providing leadership for the reunion committee.  The reunion chair will also work closely with the communication chair and the annual fund chair to coordinate reunion or class gathering messaging.  The vice president will assume the responsibilities of the class president if he or she is unable to fulfill duties.

Annual Fund Chair

The annual fund chair, in coordination with the director of the Gustavus Annual Fund, by demonstration, education, and solicitation, develops a culture of philanthropy for Gustavus within each class member so that they will participate in the Gustavus Annual Fund.  Using class letters and other communication methods, the chair should build class awareness of the Gustavus Annual Fund and educate how the Gustavus Annual Fund supports students and the College.  Solicitation of class for gifts should be done in conjunction and coordination with the director of the Gustavus Annual Fund.

Communication Chair

The communication chair is responsible for recruitment and coordination of a class communication team to keep the class informed and connected with each other and the College.  Communication can be done through all communication channels applicable to the class including, but not limited to, class news published in The Gustavus Quarterly, email, class web page and social media.  The communication chair should work closely with other class officers to coordinate communication and messaging.

Student Recruitment Chair

The student recruitment chair is responsible for engaging classmates in recommending to Gustavus quality high school students and recruiting classmates to participate in the Gustavus Recruitment Network program.

For a current list of Class Officers and the entire Class Officer Handbook, please go to the Gustavus website at:

Campus News

National Sesquicentennial Celebrations

Throughout the coming year, Gusties are gathering across the country to reflect on Gustavus’s past, celebrate 150 academic years, and engage for the future.  In conjunction with the celebrations on campus, the College invites all alumni, parents, and friends for a celebration in an area near them.  Here is a list of some upcoming chapter events.  You can view them all and register for an event at

San Francisco - Saturday, February 18, 2012 - Hs Lordship

Los Angeles - Sunday, February 19, 2012 – The Paley Center

Palm Springs - Monday, February 20, 2012 - Escena Golf Club

Sun City - Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - Briarwood Country Club

Phoenix - Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - Rita’s Kitchen

Tucson - Friday, February 24, 2012 - Warren and Donna Beck’s Residence

Seattle - Friday, March 16, 2012 - The Swedish Cultural Center

Denver - Sunday, March 18, 2012 - Three Tomatoes Steakhouse and Club at Fossil Trace

Gustavus Music Showcase in the Twin Cities

Tickets are now on sale for the Music Showcase!  The Music Showcase will be taking place on Sunday, March 25, 2012 at 2 p.m. at Ted Mann Concert Hall in Minneapolis.  The Showcase will feature the Gustavus Choir, Gustavus Symphony Orchestra, Gustavus Wind Orchestra and the Gustavus Jazz Lab Band.  This is a great opportunity to hear four major touring ensembles, showcasing the excellent music program at Gustavus.  Each ensemble will perform a piece commissioned for the concert and in honor of the College’s Sesquicentennial.  Tickets are $17.50 for general admission and $10 for students.  For more information or to order tickets visit:

Join Gustavus Library Associates

“Whether you went to the college library to study, do research, meet a hot date, or create (or look for) a library prank, the library was an almost daily stop during our college years.  What better way to acknowledge that important relationship than by joining the Gustavus Library Associates (GLA)?  GLA's mission is to promote literature, learning, and the Folke Bernadotte Memorial

With this in mind, I encourage you all to become GLA members.  You can find the application form on the web at:  You’ll find all the news about the organization’s events and the membership forms along with a list of membership options.