Class of '70
Dear Classmates of 1970,
It is "Class Agents' Day" at Gustavus and two of your three Class Agents, Lindy Turner Purdy and Diane Mickelson Brady, are on campus, determined not to return home until we have written our first letter of the year. Our compatriot, Karol Klint Greupner, is at work today, producing an Art Fair for the City of Plymouth, MN. Karol and husband, John Greupner, are doing well, empty nesting and occasionally contemplating retirement - or that next stage of life - looming
on the horizon for many of us. You won't be surprised to hear that Karol is still supporting and inspiring friends old and new.
Diane (that's me at this point of the letter) is also doing well, coming out from under a divorce after 30 years of marriage and heading up a nonprofit in these challenging economic times (recently termed "the perfect storm for nonprofits" by the Executive Director of the Minnesota Council of Foundations). I am grateful every day for long time friends and the gift of a liberal arts education, preparing one for change and leadership. One of the very nicest things that happened to me this past year was being elected to the position of the president of the Board of Directors of the Gustavus Adolphus College Association of Congregations. The Association, as you may know, maintains the relationship between the College and Lutheran congregations. Since the office also comes with a seat on the Board of Trustees, I am living a long held dream of service to the College. In my position with the Association, I work with Jack Niemi '69 who is now the VP for Church Relations at Gustavus and I am joined on the Association Board by friends Scott Lichty and Jim Skoog '68. The Board of Trustees includes classmates David Swenson and Patty Haugen (and also Jerry Del Pino '68 and Linda Bailey Keefe '69). It is great fun, but I do know that we have now reached some stage of maturity when I can look around the table of Trustees and realize that I know many of them from our years as students. And being a nursing major, I only lived on campus two years!
And our friend Lindy has embarked on a third career and a true calling. Lindy has been called to the ministry of Word and Sacrament. She graduated from United Theological Seminary this past May and is ready for parish ministry - anyone know of a UCC church in the Twin Cities that would benefit from the wisdom, leadership and caring of a remarkable Gustie (Diane's still writing and don't you dare edit this part, Lindy!) Ministry in so many denominations is
benefiting from the experience of pastors in their second and even third careers. And research shows again and again that many of us - we Baby Boomers - are exploring our spirituality anew. Lindy is completing her last term on the Gustavus Alumni Board by serving as president. She is leaving a legacy in that role and her legacy will include producing a self-guided tour of the Granlund sculptures on campus.
And now, I turn the pen (the laptop?) over to Lindy:
Thanks Diane—as I write this portion of the class letter, I have just found out that Paul Granlund '52 has died and Gustavus has lost a great friend and mentor. Over thirty of Paul's sculptures grace the campus of Gustavus Adolphus College, and some 700 are found throughout the world. Just this weekend I had the opportunity to take a "Granlund Sculpture Tour" with Elaine Brostrom. It was incredible, but the absolute highlight was the Dancing Francis sculpture, which is found at the southwest corner of Christ Chapel and derives its origins from St. Francis' The Canticle of the Creatures.
"Praise be to Thee my Lord with all Thy creatures
For Master Brother Sun who illuminates the day for us.
For Sister Moon and for the stars, shining, precious, fair.
For Brother Wind, for air and clouds, clear sky and all weathers
For Sister water, She is useful and humble, precious and pure.
For Brother Fire, He is fair and merry, boisterous and strong.
For Mother Earth, who nourishes and sustains us all.
O bless and praise the Lord of all creatures."
This light-hearted sculpture captures St. Francis dancing on top of the crescent moon, lifting high the sun. This sculpture is Granlund's attempt to capture the "shape of joy." When commissioned, the patron asked not for the serious animal-covered St. Francis that most often comes to mind, but for a vision of St. Francis as described in the Canticle included above. It is worth a trip to Gustavus just to see this magnificent sculpture-as well as the other 20
something sculptures around campus, especially the "Luna" sculpture in memory of Doug Sandberg. As Diane mentioned, I am working to prepare a self-guided tour of the Granlund sculptures for alumni returning to campus. Meanwhile, in the entrance to Christ Chapel, there is a brochure that will get you started. I also had the opportunity to visit the Arboretum. Jim Gilbert, Class of '62 and Gustavus naturalist and Arboretum curator has prepared a self-guided tour of the arboretum. If you haven't seen that, it is also well worth the trip back to campus.
It is an exciting time at Gustavus. The new President, Jim Peterson (Class of '64), has ambitious plans and high goals for elevating Gustavus in the national college rankings and in maintaining a high-quality education without sacrificing the "personal touch" that Gustavus is so known for. Gustavus is something special and we need to let people know-Loud and Proud. So wear your GUSTAVUS sweatshirts and get the word out. Alumni support is a key factor in the success of a college.
I think that the gift of a Gustavus education is the integration of learning with physical, emotional and spiritual growth. I believe that all of us want to be able to talk about those things that have ultimate meaning in our lives, and a Christian liberal arts college is best suited to that challenge. Gustavus is preparing students for a better future, and Gustavus needs the support of all of us to meet that challenge. Just as those that went before us paved the way for our education, we need to support those who will be Gustavus' future. It is all about the students.
After the Class Agent's meeting, Diane and I sat in the caf-now the Evelyn Young Dining Room - had a coke from the MarketPlace, and talked about what we remembered about our "good old days" at Gustavus. Do you remember:
-Sunday noon dinner of roast beef, corn, mashed potatoes and gravy? Or
-Sunday night - ring bologna?
-Red velvet cake, almond cream pie, pecan pie and THE chocolate dessert?
-Drinking coffee and sitting around for hours in the canteen?
-Butter pats on the ceiling?
-Friendships that were forged during that turbulent time?
As we reminisced, we thought it would be fun to collect all of our lasting memories. Along with this letter, you will be receiving a goldenrod envelope. Please take a moment to jot down all of your news, your whereabouts, an e-mail address and especially your memories. We will try to find a way to share all of this collected information and share it with you. Phonorama starts soon, and we hope to talk with many of you at that time. Be generous with your news, we all are interested in what is happening in your lives. Call us, or the Alumni office if you wish. And try to make it back to campus-there is so much to see and do.
OK, back to Diane here. Does this make you dizzy?
Here's some of the news we have heard from you, your friends and some of the people who were important in your life a few short years ago:
- Congrats to Lee Pederson, who graduated from Dominican University in River Forest IL with a master's of library and informational science.
- Eric Pietz is our man for the slopes! He is now the senior sales manager, worldwide wholesale for Winter Park Resort. He actually asks if anyone wants to go skiing! But I notice he didn't include his phone number. He and Kathy have welcomed a new family member - Frieda a special hunting dog (Pudel Pointer) and very accomplished per Eric.
- Mark Swanson is working for Xcel Energy at the Prairie Island Nuclear Generating Plant. (Sorry, Eric, I see images of Bart Simpson as a co-worker here.) He is looking forward to joining the Red Wing Area Seniors, but that could be because his beloved wife is the director. Mark and Nancy hosted two members of the Gustavus Orchestra when they played at First Lutheran - which as Mark notes, was the original site of Gustavus. I didn't know that! He says, "Meeting these guys showed the quality of talent and character of future alums." We should all have that opportunity.
- Richard Renquist is working as a horticultural physiologist on wine grapes in Hawkes Bay, New Zealand. Contact the Alumni Office to see about an address and phone number for him!
- Jean Ann (Bjorling) Young serves as a surgeon and doctor in a missionary hospital in Ghana and has served in a number of hospitals in that West African country. She too is living out her call and is grateful for her preparation at Gustavus.
- Carolyn Glenz is employed as a stroke coordinator in the neuroscience center at Gunderson Lutheran in La Crosse, WI.
- Carol Kingbay Kuhl is teaching at St. Luke's Christian Preschool in Bloomington. Thank you, Carol, for being one of the unsung heroes in our children's lives.
- Randy Chase has been promoted to customer service manager for 3M Telecom Products Division while continuing as a supply chain specialist. Congrats, Randy, on 33 years at 3M, an outstanding corporate citizen and a leader in corporate service to its communities. (That was a personal endorsement from Diane who is grateful to 3M for its leadership in volunteerism. My nonprofit specializes in volunteerism)
- Alice Stohl Roufa is teaching a visual merchandising course at Fontbonne University in St. Louis and works in visual merchandising for Ann Taylor.
- And congrats to John Holt for being named the William R. Kenan Jr., Professor of Humanities in Religion and Asian Studies. John has been at Bowdoin for 25 years and 22 years ago, started a consortia study away program in Sri Lanka in 1982. I wonder, who inspired you at Gustavus and inspired your future work, John?
- One of the more memorable conversations I've had at one of our reunions was with Marcia H. Gustafson who was with the Close Up Foundation in Washington DC for 18 years. Marcia has now moved back to Vermont to a new job in lead abatement training with the Department of Health.
- Jon Biebl has a stepdaughter attending Gustavus… the legacy continues.
- Mark Johnson is the manager of the J. C. Penney Store in Nashport, OH. Becky is a community volunteer.
- When Lindy spoke with Pam Kyllo Nersesian last, her son was in Baghdad. Certainly, our prayers are with you all, Pam.
- And, a little bird has told me that Ruth Carlson Anderson was recognized this year for her 30 years as a public health nurse for the City of Bloomington. And I was there to see her first day! Good going, Ruth! Your good work has made a difference for countless new babies and their families.
Dear friends, your college needs your support. We, all three, invite you to demonstrate your gratitude for the gifts we received during the challenging, turbulent and memorable years we spent together at GAC. Then, as now, a student's education was made possible by the generosity of Alumni and friends. This is only one - but an important one - of the ways we can give back and make a difference in the world.
College opens 142nd Academic Year -- More than 700 new students, including transfer students and international students, joined the Gustavus community this fall, keeping the total student population around 2,515. The retention rate of students from the first to second year remains at 90 percent. These students will be taught by 198 full-time and 55 part-time faculty. Gustavus was again ranked in the top third of the 214 national liberal arts colleges by the U.S. News and World Report.
The Alumni Fund Turns 50 – On June 30, 1954, the first Alumni Fund officially closed with 1,204 donors (32 percent) and $26,013, under the direction of the executive committee of Dr. Hobart Johnson '21, Dr. Edgar Carlson '31, The Rev. J. Millard Ahlstrom '34, and Ren Anderson '34. Dollars and donors continued to grow and, under the leadership of Cec Eckhoff '56, alumni participation continually exceeded 50% each year, making Gustavus a national leader recognized with 17 national awards. Alumni contacting alumni has been the hallmark of success; we depend on Phonorama volunteers to make the difference. Help the alumni fund again reach over 50% participation by contributing before May 31, 2004, or by volunteering to make calls during Phonorama, October 12-16 and 19-23. Do your best to participate in the Alumni Fund to continue the Gustavus tradition of strong alumni support and return the College to national recognition.
Alumni Board members selected -- Seven alumni have been selected to serve a three-year term on the Alumni Board. They are Liesl Batz '90, Minneapolis, senior vice president and director of marketing, Lakeside Investment Partners; Jan Eiffert Hoomani '62, Raleigh, NC, Realtor, JB Realty; Jim Malmquist '53, Scandia, MN, retired athletics director, Gustavus; Jan Ledin Michaletz '74, Edina, volunteer/homemaker. Incumbents to serve a second term include Vivian Foyou '02, Mankato, graduate student, Minnesota State University, Mankato; Jason Sawyer '93, Plymouth, vice president, Cronin & Co.; and Dan Currell '94, Alexandria, VA, director of corporate leadership council, Corporate Executive Board.
Gustavus Finishes sixth in Director's Cup -- Gustavus finished sixth out of 395 Division III institutions for the 2002-03 Director's Cup announced recently by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics. The only all-sports competition in intercollegiate athletics, the award honors four-year institutions with the best overall athletic programs. Last year Gustavus placed 10th.
Chapel Program -- The Gustavus Chapel program is one of the strongest in higher education averaging 350 students attending Daily Chapel. In addition, there are many student-led programs including: Apprentice - students who are interested in being part of ministry and open to see where the Spirit might be leading; Christ Chapel Volunteers - assist in the ministry of Christ Chapel by ushering, carrying the cross and candles, reading lessons, writing and/or reading prayers, and serving as assisting ministers; Community Service Center Programs - one-time and on-going service programs; Fellowship of Christian Athletes - athlete or not, time for fellowship, worship, speakers, service projects and mission trips; Gustavus Youth Outreach - committed to sharing the Gospel and providing opportunities to serve by participating in off-campus youth ministry; Habitat For Humanity/Spring Break Work Trips - Habitat works locally and Spring Break Work Trip nationally to fundraise for and build affordable housing; Jewish Organization of Gustavus - for students, faculty and staff who were either Jewish or interested in the Jewish faith; Newman Center - dedicated to building a deeper understanding of the Catholic faith; Prepare - build a new generation of believers through mentors, mission trips, Bible study, prayer and worship; Proclaim - Bible-based contemporary worship and teaching; Taizé - a contemplative worship service of music, prayer, readings and silence; Wednesday Friends – visits St. Peter Regional Treatment Center residents weekly.
Don't miss A Royal Affair . . . pa rum pum pum pum -- Gustavus Library Associates is presenting their biennial benefit for our College's Folke Bernadotte Memorial Library on Saturday, November 15, at the Radisson Hotel South in Bloomington, Minnesota. If you have names for invitations (reservations are due by October 31), an auction item to donate (no later than October 15 please), volunteer time to offer, or if you wish to contribute financially to help defray expenses, we welcome your call today; Marty Penkhus, 507/388.5474 and Susan Wilcox, 952/944.5972, Co-Chairs.
Upcoming Events – call the Alumni Office at 800/487-8437
- Charlotte, NC, Gustavus Gathering - October 18
- Phonorama -- October 12-16 and 19-23, Minnesota Valley Country Club, Bloomington
- Our Story Conference, The Growing Gender Gap in the African American Community -- October 24-25, Campus
- Reformation Festival featuring the Gustavus Choir, Central Lutheran Church, Minneapolis -- October 25
- JFK Assassination 40 Years Later, presented by David Jones '83 and Political Science Professor Chris Gilbert at Minnesota Valley Country Club in Bloomington-- November 4
- A Royal Affair, benefit sponsored by Gustavus Library Associates in the Twin Cities -- November 15
Lindy Turner Purdy and Diane Mickelson Brady