Class of ’67

March 2012

Dear Classmates,

Reunion time is drawing closer and closer.  I hope you’ve checked your calendars and are planning to attend.  You’ll be receiving the registration information very soon.  We’ve planned opportunities for people to gather, reminisce and share where we’ve been, what we’ve done, what we’re doing now and what’s next on our agendas.  Come and join the fun!

There’s been talk of gathering people for an impromptu choir that would sing at the memorial service on Friday afternoon.  As of this writing we have no director but I’m pretty sure there are some of you who’d like to sing with this one rehearsal/one performance group.  Spouses would be welcome, of course!  Let me know if you’d be willing to lead the choir.  Contact <>

We’re also looking for talented classmates who might be willing to share a song, a reading, a comedy routine, whatever at our luncheon on Saturday.  Speak up!  It’ll be fun!  Steve Emerson will be our M.C. at the luncheon but he’d be happy to have someone join him up front.  Just let Kathy Erlandsen <> know and she’ll put you in touch with Steve.

Do you remember hearing stories about the tunnels at Gustavus?  Did you ever want to go down and see them for yourself?  Now, finally after 45+ years, the wait is over!  After our class luncheon on Saturday, you will have the opportunity to take a short tour of the tunnels.  If you’ve made a contribution to Gustavus during our reunion year (since June 1, 2011), you can go on the tour.  If you haven’t made a contribution you can do so now or at the last minute at our reunion.

One person I spoke to remembers going down in the tunnels with a friend.  Every time they’d go in, they’d find some doors left open and others locked.  During the many trips down into the tunnels they figured out that they’d been in ALL of them.  On one such excursion they were in front of Pittman (aka Valley View) and heard birds singing.  It was then they knew that they’d been in the tunnels most of the night.  Do you have a tunnel story?  Share it with Kathy, our contact at Gustavus who will be leading the tunnel tour.  She can be reached at 507-933-6514 or

Since we’ll be selecting class officers at the luncheon on Saturday the 26th we need to have some nominees.  Our new officers will help us stay in touch with classmates and keep us updated on happenings at Gustavus.  This won’t take much time away from retirement, but it will give you a chance to make a difference at GA.   With multiple class officers doing the job, it will be less work for everyone and more fun at the meetings!  If you’re planning to nominate someone, please check with that person first.  If you’d like to fill one of the officer positions yourself, notify Kathy Erlandsen at or 507-933-6514.

I’ve really enjoyed writing these class letters.  Of course, I’ve only done two.  I’ve come to really appreciate the efforts of Steve Emerson, Bob and Ginger Froyen Haddorff, Steve Hokanson, Sheri Anderson Menge, Dawn Ekstrom Michael, Karen Gruber Pagel, Sandy Chandler Williamson, Gary Wollschlager.  They faithfully wrote our class letters for many years.  I think I can speak for the class when I say THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for a job well done!

Have you filled out the questionnaire that we sent out?  Hmmmm......maybe not... but there’s still time!  Here’s a bit of encouragement to do so.

Here are some answers received to Question # 2 - The most important thing you learned at Gustavus

  • I learned poker the first semester and bridge the second.  These “academic” pursuits didn’t help my academic grade point average much, but they helped “round out” my life.
  • Freshman year - I learned how NOT to do laundry.  Some of my button down oxford cloth shirts couldn’t be salvaged.
  • On a serious note:  Life-long learning.  On a less serious note:  Never travel with a 30-inch suitcase if you are doing a lot of walking and carrying the suitcase yourself.  (My senior year of college I went on the Art History Tour of Europe during the January term.  Before going, I purchased a new set of luggage−a 30 inch suitcase and a tote.  This was before wheels on suitcases.  My thought for the 30 inch was that it would hold everything I bought while on the tour.  Well needless to say it was big and heavy and I was not a big person.  My tour-mates felt sorry for me and helped carry it sometimes-including Mr. Gregory, the instructor/leader!  Three or four years later, I managed quite fine with a 21 inch suitcase and the same tote, traveling for about three months in all types of climates.  I never made that mistake again and I love wheeled luggage!)
  • I was raised to go to college to find a husband, so I did!  That is all.
  • One key thing was that you can learn from books, but more importantly you learn from relationships.
  • Life experiences need to be sought for and appreciated in whatever form they come.
  • About myself:  I was smarter than I thought I was.  About learning:  keep researching everything always.
  • My friends then have remained my friends now−I didn’t realize the importance of those friendships until later.
  • Values, communication skills, and leadership.
  • Didn’t realize at the time what a wonderful well-rounded education I was fortunate enough to have been exposed to.  The ability to analyze life and work challenges and make sound decisions.

Let’s make this a really great reunion, one that in years to come we can say we’re glad we didn’t miss.  Come and join in the festivities.  See you in May!

And now for some more class news:

Nadine Wiechmann Hunt and husband Jim moved from Michigan to Colorado to be closer to their daughter and her family, and grandchildren−of course!  Their son-in-law is a professor at C.S.U.  Nadine and Jim’s son and his wife still live in Michigan.  Nadine’s 97 year old mother lives in an assisted living facility near them.

Judy Gustafson Von Ahsen and husband Gary have just moved into a home Gary built in Jefferson, IA.  He is remodeling and renovating their old home so that one of their four daughters and her family can live there.  Out of the four daughters, two are in the mission field and two are married to pastors.  Judy and Gary have four grandchildren.

Margaret Eckman Anderson lives in Coupeville, WA with husband Rich.  They live near their daughter and granddaughter.  They have a son who lives in Montreal with his wife and a son, recently married, who is a film producer in the NYC area.  Margaret taught, tutored, subbed, worked at Starbucks and a winery and obviously stayed very busy!  She and her family lived at Holden Village on Lake Chelan for a while.

Celeste Moberg Chayabutr received her Ph.D. in math and worked for UNICEF for 28 years.  Now she’s a programmer for a small ad company.  Celeste and her husband have three children and two grandchildren.  Her daughter Poji is a middle school orchestra teacher.

Lana Landin Engbloom and her husband Neal now spend six months north of Detroit Lakes and six months in Green Valley, AZ.  They weren’t sure they’d like Arizona, but they’re sold now.  Lana taught for a while and then was a librarian for 30 years.  They have two daughters who live in Portland, OR.  They also have two grandchildren.

Jane Gooding Gregory moved to Denver right after graduation.  She’s still there!  She and husband, Michael, have three children and four grandchildren who all live nearby.  They spend a lot of time in the mountains.

Kari Hagen Conway went to Denver with Jane but she returned to the Midwest after a couple of years.  She met her husband in Chicago.  They lived in Illinois, New Hampshire, and Wisconsin and ended up back in Illinois in Lake Zurich.  Kari taught and then took time to do other things.  She returned to teaching in 1993.  Now she’s retired but still subs on occasion.  She has three sons, one in North Carolina, one in Japan and one in Chicago.  She has one grandchild and one on the way.  Kari’s husband Jim passed away four years ago.

Paula DeLay Zakariasen will attend the reunion.  She lives just outside Madison, WI and both she and Ken are still enjoying working.  They have grandchildren in the area as well as in Cleveland so travel to Cleveland is pretty frequent.

Kay Hendrickson Dubbelde will attend the reunion.  She’s working at the Pipestone School District and thinking about retirement.  She’s likely to attend on Saturday for lunch.

Marilyn Turnquist Hoch and husband, Gary, their children and grandchildren just went on a cruise and trip to Disney World.  She won’t be attending the reunion because the whole family will be at their cabin in Luck, WI that weekend.

Karla Watrud Buckner (perhaps Dave) will be attending the reunion.  Karla does daycare in her home and Dave is retired.

Karen Gruber Pagel is attending the reunion.  She and Jack are Florida residents living on Sanibel Island and are active in the community there.  They will return in May in time for the reunion.

Donna Oradei Berger loves being retired.  She and her husband recently returned from a six and one half week trip around the world that included visiting Africa and Malaysia.

Kay Hollingsworth Walsh is busy taking care of grandchildren and working on her children’s houses.

Sadly we need to report that Judy Rasmussen Phillips, Yelm, WA passed away on Feb. 13, 2012.  Several classmates had been in close contact with her prior to her death.

We’ve made many calls and left many messages.  It’s been great catching up!  I’m just sorry that we haven’t been able to talk to all of you.

Think about it and then decide.  Come to the reunion!

Jeanne Mingus Tolzmann

(for the ’67 reunion committee)

And now, some Gustavus memories from Nancy Pierson Laible

Like many of us, I was also very nervous about leaving home (“the farm”) for college.  Those fears were greatly eased when I met my wonderful section mates at Wahlstrom Hall.  I couldn’t tell you the number of our section, but it was so much fun meeting new young women from other parts of Minnesota and the country.

There was a day I’ve never forgotten:  Nov. 22, 1963.  I was walking to my biology class and was just west of the Chapel when a friend came up to tell me that President Kennedy had been shot.  We all gathered in Dr. Hamrum’s (Ham’s) class and he was very despondent and unable to talk.  He dismissed us and we gathered around the only TV in the dorm for the next few days, mesmerized by the tragedy.  I think being away from home for the first time (for me anyway) made this event especially memorable and difficult to process.  We did it together though, one of those special bonds of my college days.

I also fondly recall the dedication of Nobel Hall and all those Nobel Laureates that visited our campus.  It was the beginning of the Nobel Conferences at Gustavus and after attending two of these as a student, I was finally able to return to campus for number 43!

I look forward to re-connecting with as many of you as I can this coming May.  Our time together helped make us who we have become and we can all be thankful for that experience.

Campus News

2012 Alumni Association Awards Announced

The Gustavus Alumni Board of Directors has announced its 2012 award recipients:

Greater Gustavus Award – awarded to those “who by deed, have notably advanced and aided Gustavus Adolphus College”:

Jon and Anita Thomsen Young ’77 ’77, Eden Prairie, MN, for their volunteer leadership, service and philanthropy to the College.

Distinguished Alumni Citations – recognizing outstanding and exceptional professional achievement that brings unusual honor to the individual in his or her field of endeavor:

Scott Dee ’81, Farwell, MN, professor of veterinary population medicine, University of Minnesota, swine consultant, and international research veterinarian and director at Pipestone Veterinary Clinic;

Mark Elfstrom ’01, Anchorage, AK, middle school math and science teacher, recipient of a 2011 Milken Educator Award and finalist for the 2012 Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching;

Kurt Elling ’89, New York, NY, Grammy Award-winning vocal jazz artist.

First Decade Awards – recognizing early professional achievement in the 10th anniversary class:

Amy Brown ’02, Pittsburgh, PA, neonatology fellow at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center;

Michael Bland ’02, St. Louis, MO, postdoctoral associate, earth and planetary sciences, Washington University.

The Alumni Association will present Faculty and Administrator Service and Retirement Awards at a dinner at Gustavus on May 16; honorees will be featured in the fall issue of The Gustavus Quarterly.

McPherson Lecture

Gustavus alumnus, Civil War historian, and Pulitzer Prize-winning author James McPherson ’58 will return to his alma mater April 15-17 as a Sesquicentennial Scholar.  On Tuesday, April 17, McPherson will speak at Interlachen Country Club in Edina at an event that is also open to the public. McPherson’s lecture will be titled “Why the Civil War Still Matters” and will address the ways in which the war’s impact on America is still being felt today.  Those interested in attending this event, which will include a reception at 4:30 p.m., McPherson’s lecture at 5 p.m., and a book signing at 6 p.m., should RSVP by going online to, or by contacting the Gustavus Office of Alumni Relations at 507-933-7511.

Celebration of Minnesota Poetry

On April 17 from 7:30-9:30 p.m., Gustavus will host “A Celebration of Minnesota Poetry in Honor of Poet Laureate Joyce Sutphen.”  The renowned poet, and professor of English at Gustavus, will read from her work, and she’ll be joined by six local Minnesota poets:  The event takes place in Alumni Hall and is free and open to the public.