Class of '69
May 2004

Dear Classmates,

Happy May!  The temperature is in the fifties, leaves are in the first stages of emerging, and once again it's spring!  Thirty-five years ago we were enjoying the final weeks until graduation, steeped in job applications, wedding plans, the last finals, finishing papers, planning graduation events, and increasingly mindful of last times with friends before dispersing in every direction.  It hardly seems that long ago - and now a number of us, some having witnessed the college graduations, weddings, and beginning families of their own offspring, are either planning or already enjoying retirement!

I'm dreaming fondly of the things I can do after retiring, but for the next five years those are only dreams.  Today's tasks include a frantic search for the Girl Scout flags that found their way into our garage after investiture last fall - let's see, was that three months ago?  The garage search yielded some surprises from Christmas; a present you've received and tucked away amidst oilcans and snow blower can be just as fun when you recover it from the pile of garage stuff.  With a little digging I found the flags and one stand and I'm hoping I can remember where its mate might have migrated - lest it be a flag ceremony with one of the flags propped against the wall.

It was necessary to move the snow blower to get at the box where the flag stand might have been, and now it just about seems safe to put it back in an unreachable corner until next year.  Our next door neighbor took his snow fence down at what David thought was too early a date - 1 April - risky in our part of Minnesota.  Today's promised snow has yet to materialize. 

I need to have a letter to you by tomorrow so this one must be brief.  It's time to once again thank you for your support of Gustavus and to urge you to be as generous as you can in this reunion year.  It's also a chance to remind you of our upcoming reunion.  Please mark the first weekend in October on your calendar.  More information about that event will be forthcoming. 

The envelope to us for this edition includes an interesting note from Linda (Kittleson Herrly) Haller.

Dear Alumni Friends and Class of l969,

            It has been some time since I have connected with my friends from Gustavus Adolphus, although in my professional life I keep making contacts that never cease to amaze me.  We must travel in the same circles.  Employed since l970, I continue to serve in the St. Paul Public Schools as a school nurse.  It is getting closer to retirement, two years is the most I will continue to work.  While retirement sounds wonderful, I am thankful that I still have the most challenging, unpredictable job in public health nursing.

            A career shift was made and I have been with the alternative high school programs since l995.  During that time I have created a position that serves the new immigrants arriving in the St. Paul School at the ALC Leap Program.  My students are second language learners and almost no one speaks English when they arrive.  Over the years, over 80 languages have been spoken here.  Needless to say, I usually have an interpreter.  Otherwise I have developed a "charades" approach.  It is very interesting.

            What I find so great are the students who come to America and then find Minnesota and then urban St. Paul.  One third come from Africa, predominately Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya; another third continue to come from the Asian countries of Laos, Vietnam, and China; and then the final third arrive from Central and South America.  Their needs are great.  The staff members can truly make a difference in the lives of these young people.

            Since a major life-healing crisis in 2000, I also have shifted in my personal life.  During the initial medical crisis, I followed a traditional Western allopathic medicine regime.  Since then I have explored many avenues of Eastern and alternative healing paths.  To my delight, I am feeling absolutely wonderful and healed on many different levels.  I continue to grow wiser about these pathways.

            Therefore another change occurred.  For the past several summers I have spent my days in Europe.  It was always my heart's desire to explore the back roads of France and Italy.  So that is what my husband Joe and I now do.  He drives and I tell him where to go.  We have spent many months in Austria, Germany, the Czech Republic, Switzerland, England, and Russia, but our first love is a tie between France (especially Provence) and Italy (especially Tuscany and the Cinque Terre).  I am so convinced that my retirement will be spent in France that I have restarted taking French lessons.  The Italian language is easier to understand, you just use your hands and everyone understands."

Susan Lewis just retired after working for 30 years for EDS as in infrastructure specialist in the telecommunications area.  When we visited there was also a plan to move from Toronto to a smaller more rural community nearby.  The one time I was in Toronto I loved it but we talked about what an expensive place it is to live.  Congratulations on your retirement.

Darius and Cynthia (Severance '71) Larsen have been missed in the St. Cloud community after Darius' many years of serving a congregation that grew out of Lutheran Campus Ministry on the St. Cloud State campus.  His new position with the ELCA is director of outreach and stewardship for the Montana Synod and Idaho/East Washington Synod.

Cheryl Maley Gelbmann wrote that their son, Dan, is finishing an MA in theater set design while daughter, Jane, is a senior at Hamline.  They may also be moving to new digs - we'll be anxious to hear more in October.

Congratulations to Tanya Wasenda Bergman on winning the Employee Recognition Award from her employer, Harper College.

Lynn Sundquist Fox continues to teach nursing at Maui College at the University of Hawaii.  She and her husband enjoy scuba diving and kayaking with the dolphins on their days off.  That sounds awfully easy to get accustomed to.

Jill Grise Nelson reports that her children have returned to the Cities after living overseas.  She managed a trip to Japan to visit her son who was teaching English there.

Congratulations to Sandra (Schrupp) Ziemer on the birth of her first grandchild, Carson Douglas, born in October.

I had an opportunity to add an interesting class to my life this past month.  It's been a long time since I made time for something that didn't yield continuing education credits and it's really been fascinating.  Several Sundays ago David was paging through the West Metro Lutheran while waiting for Karlie at church and noticed a course called "The Theology of the DaVinci Code" offered by the Lay School at Northwestern Seminary.  Having told anyone who would listen how much I liked this novel, I could not fail to enroll.  The theology professor teaching this course is incredibly interesting.  He goes through the whole two hours without stopping - no cookie break as one of my classmates pointed out.  It's definitely been worth three trips to St. Paul.  The brochure lists a lot of interest-provoking titles.  I highly recommend the opportunity to anyone near St. Paul.  All of them cost only $50 for the three two-hour sessions and no final.  Tomorrow is the final meeting - focusing on the women.

I recently talked with Tim Haut during one of those interesting "contrast days" that those of you who have left the Midwest may have forgotten.  Records were broken as the temperature reached 92 degrees in St. Cloud that afternoon.  Twenty-four hours later it was forty degrees cooler.  Tim related that he'd gone along with his wife, Phyllis, to a nursing seminar in New Brunswick, Canada.  When they left Connecticut the world was starting to turn green and close to perfect.  They landed in a snowstorm and were told not to worry - the next day was expected to reach +7 degrees (not even being a place that measures temperature in Celsius helped).  Their children are scattered but their granddaughter, Arianna, is nearby and spends a day each week with them.  When I asked about her I learned that "she's wonderful," walking with "a jaunty step" and seems ready to take on the world.  One recent "errand day" offered a chance to ride in her car seat in the back seat of "Poppy's jeep," a special spring day that was warm enough to have the windows open.  Tim enjoyed her laughter as the wind blew in her face.  There's such delight in watching life's simple pleasures produce joy.  Let us all create an image of a toddler delighting in experiencing spring winds blowing on her and be determined to rediscover life's magnificently simple joys.  Welcome spring!

Jane Norman Leitzman

1969 Co-classs Agent


Campus news:

President Peterson inaugurated

Dr. James Peterson '64 was inaugurated during a ceremony in Christ Chapel on Friday, April 16.  Other inaugural events scheduled April 15-18, included a symposium featuring Rev. Dr. Martin Marty, tree dedication, Gustavus Association of Congregations meeting, G.I.V.E. community service day in St. Peter, music concert, art exhibition, and an alumni reception preceding the Nobel Symphony Concert at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis.

50th Anniversary Alumni Fund Closes May 31

The 2004 Alumni Fund will close May 31 with a goal of 50 percent alumni participation. Thanks to everyone who has already participated with a gift.  If you haven't given, please think about sending a gift along with your news in the enclosed gold envelope. Gustavus alumni have a long tradition of strong alumni participation.  Help maintain our national ranking by participating in the 50th anniversary year of the Alumni Fund.

Scholarships and financial assistance at Gustavus

Did you know that scholarships and financial assistance for Gustavus students totals $18M, almost 25 percent of Gustavus' annual budget?  Alumni Fund gifts, including designated and unrestricted gifts, help enable students to receive a Gustavus education.  Gustavus offers two types of scholarships to students -- merit awards given to recognize academic achievement, and tuition grants are used to assist students with recognized financial need.  Endowed scholarships are an important part of the Gustavus grant program and currently nine percent of scholarship funds come from the endowment.

Alumni survey

An alumni survey was sent to 2,000 members of reunion classes.  Approximately 600 have responded as of April 1.  Questions on the survey consist of how well Gustavus prepared them for employment and graduate education, activities involved in while at Gustavus, personal growth skills, alumni events and services, and overall satisfaction with the College.  Results of the survey will be included in the Fall Quarterly.

Winter sports summary

Women's basketball finished third in the MIAC and advanced to the semifinals of the MIAC playoffs. Men's basketball won the MIAC regular season and playoff championship titles before losing to eventual national champion UW-Stevens Point in the NCAA national tournament. Men's hockey posted a third-place finish in the regular season and advanced to the semifinals of the MIAC playoffs. Women's hockey finished second in regular-season MIAC play, but won the post-season tournament and earned an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. Men's swimming won its third consecutive MIAC championship and completed their season by finishing ninth at the NCAA championships. Women's swimming won the MIAC championship and completed their season by finishing 13th at the NCAA championships. Men's Nordic skiing won its first-ever MIAC championship and finished fourth at the NCAA Central Region meet. Women's Nordic skiing claimed their third consecutive MIAC title and completed their season with a fourth-place finish at the NCAA Central Region meet. Gymnastics posted a 6-1 dual meet record and a second-place finish at the National Collegiate Gymnastics Association (NCGA) West Regional. The women's indoor track and field team finished second and the men fifth at the MIAC championships. 

Did you know . . .

●Nearly 80% of Gustavus students graduate in four years, compared with 56% of students from other Minnesota private colleges; the national average is 17%.

●There are seven choral ensembles and 23 instrumental ensembles, two jazz, four woodwind and three brass ensembles.

●More than 40 percent of Gustavus students volunteer through the Gustavus community service center on a regular basis.

●For student safety, the campus is well-lit, there is 24-hour Safety and Security patrol and escort service, residence halls are locked 24 hours a day, and there are blue light emergency phones throughout campus linked directly to Safety and Security.

●And looking back -- during the college's early years, students were awakened by a bell at 5:45 a.m. and all lights had to be out by 10:30 p.m.

Upcoming events

  • Class of 1954 and 50-Year Club Reunions - May 28 & 29
  • Commencement - May 30
  • Alumni Fund closes - May 31
  • Class reunions on Homecoming & Family Weekend - October 1 & 2