Class of ’71
December 2010

40-Year Reunion ― September 30 – October 1, 2011

Season’s greetings to the Class of 1971!

And special greetings and thanks to the following who, I’ve been told, have recently given a gift to Gustavus – Kevin Amundson, Diane Preblick Moerer, Ron Olsen, Margie Young Sampsell, Dave Peters, Diane Havlik Shallue, Mark Borglum, Sue Carlson Murray and Cheryl Christofferson Belluzzo!  Won’t you please consider joining these Gustie friends and give a Gustavus gift if you haven’t already done so this year?  Thank you!

I’m really looking forward to next fall’s reunion!  I’m sure I’ve mentioned before that my mom and dad went to their 10th Gustavus reunion in 1952 and then went back every year until Alumni Weekend in 2009!  Fifty-seven years in a row without missing!  One more thing−my mom and dad are blessed to be the last couple still living of their large circle of Gustavus friends.  There were two couples left until Edsel Johnson ’42 died.  He was the father of homecoming queen Dianne ’69 and Scott ’74.

Starting when I was in fourth grade (about a century ago) my folks took my brother and me to Saint Peter for Alumni Weekend, got us settled in our own dorm room and then, as the they went off to alumni activities, my brother and I explored the campus and Vic Gustafson ʼ42 always made sure the pool was open so we could swim in the afternoon.  Before going to the alumni banquet my dad took us downtown, ordered our dinner, paid the tab and left us money to go to whatever movie was playing.  (I actually remember “Susan Slade” was the movie we saw when I was in fifth grade, a movie about a woman pregnant before marriage.)  After the movie we’d hike up the hill to watch TV in the dorm lounge.  Really felt “grown-up”−just like being in college!  The point being, I had a relationship with Gustavus and Saint Peter long before ever heading down to the campus in the fall of ’67!

Speaking of Saint Peter, there’s a wonderful new restaurant in what is the Konsbruck Hotel called Richard’s.  We’re going to be having our 40th there on the Saturday evening, (October 1) of Homecoming Weekend!

I ate at Richard’s with friends before this year’s Christmas in Christ Chapel and we all agreed our dinners were excellent in every way!  For our reunion we’re planning to make a meal of “heavy” hors d’oeuvres.  The entire restaurant with its three rooms will be ours and they have a full bar as well.

The Class of 1984 had their reunion at Richard’s, by the way, and were very pleased!  It’s close to the campus−right down the hill after the football game!  The next time you’re sitting at your computer check out the Konsbruck Hotel and Richard’s.  If you want to reserve a room at the Konsbruck Hotel and stay where the party’s at−go online or call 507-934-3154, there are only three rooms left!

On Friday evening of Homecoming Weekend we are planning a class social hour from five to six-thirty before the big Sesquicentennial dinner in Lund Arena where classes will be seated together.  There is no cost to attend the dinner, and, if it’s anything like the dinner following President Jack Ohle’s inauguration it will be an outstanding event.  Gustavus always does things with class−and with great food, too!

More details about our reunion will be coming in future letters but, besides getting reacquainted with old friends and making new ones as well, you might also think of these things to do while you’re back on the Gustavus campus:  There will be a guided walking tour to view the Granlund sculptures, a morning praise and memorial service in Christ Chapel, the homecoming parade, a hospitality tent with snacks and soda and other food and beer for purchase and the football game when we play Concordia, Moorhead!  Then we’ll head down to Richard’s about five thirty to continue the fun!

And don’t forget Mike Ablan booked six tee times for 24 people at Shoreland on Saturday morning, October 1, at 9:15!  $20 for 18 holes plus a cart!  Contact Mike if you’re interested:

Now comes a list of Gustavus classmates that at the present time are “unlocated.”  We’d like to get reconnected with them so, please; if you know where these folks might be and can get in touch with them it would be greatly appreciated!  They are Richard Anderson, Dennis Bengtson, Jim Bleidl, Larry Brigham, Sandy Haggberg Grigg, Lark Hapke, Mary Olin Ingraham, Scott Kelly, Linda Klammer, Jon Krueger, Diane Lesman, Vicki Johnson Lindgren, Yoshio Okada, Michael Peterson, Almon Ritter, Chris Dandy Rossow, Donna Haney Stark and Steve ZacherDick Pattison’s on the list, too.  He, his wife and daughters live in Belgium and I actually hear from Dick quite often!

Support for need-based financial aid continues to play a critical role at Gustavus.  Of course the college works (as it always has) to provide an outstanding educational experience for students from a broad range of economic backgrounds.  Did you know approximately 70 percent of current Gustie students receive need-based grant money?  As determined by a formula set of the federal government many students need between twenty and twenty-five thousand per year for their Gustavus education!

Something we could consider, as the Class of 1971, is an endowed scholarship.  In the early days of the college when there were no scholarships, the Lutheran Church and its congregations contributed as much as 60 percent of the cost of each student’s education.  Most students did not realize or necessarily appreciate this direct subsidy because they only knew the amount they paid for tuition, room and board.  And, as we know, even that amount was difficult for many.  Today, though the relationship with the church is as strong as ever, financial support from the church is small.

It’s a challenge to all of us who care about Gustavus, what it meant to us and our lives and what it will mean to Gusties now and in the future, to understand and help build the endowment foundation of the college.

For some reason I recently remembered going to a recital given by Norwegian opera singer, Ingrid Bjoner (1927-2006) in the old auditorium.  It was either freshman or sophomore year−and also in the audience would have been Ron Olsen, Denny Douma, Irene Hartfield, Ann Dickinson, Vail Rollings, Connie BaerHelene Wlosinski because we, as music majors, were required to attend recitals!  (Dang!  Senior moment!  Who am I forgetting from Myron Falk’s music theory class?)

When I went on the music tour in Europe for January Term our junior year I saw Ingrid Bjoner in an opera in Munich.  I left word that I’d heard her at Gustavus and she called me early the next morning to say she was leaving me an autographed photo of her and I told her the auditorium at Gustavus where she had performed had just burned!

Speaking of music, did you know a third of current Gusties participate in music at Gustavus?  Another way you can show your Gustavus support is by joining Gustavus Friends of Music!

Here’s the latest we’ve heard from our Gustie classmates…

Shirley Gholston Key was to be part of our reunion planning committee but earlier this fall became seriously ill.  She’s been suffering from progressively severe headaches for the past two years and then had a headache that wouldn’t stop so she ended up in the emergency room where she was treated.  She continues to be treated under the care of a great team of physicians.  The doctors don’t know exactly what caused her condition or what exactly it is.  She was told it was “sarcoid-like.” Shirley asks if you as a Gustie classmate in biology, medicine or other health-related fields might know something about this, please share your knowledge or references!  (If you were at our 35th reunion you’ll recall the excellent video presentation Shirley prepared.  We’ll be sharing it at the 40th as well.) We hope you’re doing better, Shirley!

Warren Borchert again spent the summer in the Sawtooth Mountains at Mystic Saddle Ranch near Stanley, Idaho.  (You can log onto “Mystic Saddle, for trip information.)  Warren writes, “Did you know there’s a little town in Alaska called Gustavus?  My oldest son, Nick, is in Juneau which is about 40 miles away from Gustavus by boat or plane.”  Who knew?  Gail Norton Parker is retired from teaching in Spring Lake Park where she taught English and language arts…

Mark Borglum is employed by PSI where he’s a controller.  (Is that in Mendota Heights or Burnsville, Mark?  Sue Zenk Miller and husband Tom’72 are in South Bend, Indiana, where they’ve finished restoring a house built in 1906…Rachelle Lindorff Nickels has retired from Nickels Corporation in Saint Charles, Missouri…John Thomas is manager at the University Club in Saint Paul and owns Four Key Limo Service…

Bill and Cheryl (Salmela) Kautt are in Saint Peter.  Cheryl retired this year as a kindergarten teacher.  (My mom actually started the kindergartens in Saint Peter way back!  Her first year she was hired to teach second grade with the promise that she could start kindergarten the next year.  She taught in one school in the morning and walked through town to the other school in the afternoon.  Rev. Maurice Swenson, who graduated from Gustavus in 1933, had a son in my mom’s kindergarten and when he asked his son how the second day of school was, the son replied, “Same teacher, different dress!)

Robyn Wieman Hansen, Saint Paul,  was named to the Circle of Excellence and one of the top women in finance by “Finance and Commerce,” Minnesota’s daily business newspaper.  Robyn is an attorney with Leonard, Street and Deinard…Dave Miller has retired from Florida for the second time.  He is now employed in Maryland as a Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness Instructor for Dorchester County in Cambridge…Norm Quinn and wife, Barb, were getting their house ready to sell in the Virgin Islands and moving to Arizona where they’ll be working on grant projects…Kathy Wangerin Pederson’s mom lives in an apartment down the hall from my folks in Maplewood so it’s fun to see Kathy often!

I think it would be wonderful to hear from EVERYONE from the Class of ’71 over the next nine months and before our reunion, fun to have the names of ALL our classmates appear in a class letter!  Please let us know how things are going for YOU!  It’s easy to do, just email

Because things go around the internet so fast, you may have already seen the “flash mob” performance from Macy’s in Philadelphia.  If you haven’t, it’s great fun!  So is the same concept from the train station in Belgius of “Do, Re, Mi!”  Just go to and type in those titles to see them.

I hope you’ve all been enjoying the Christmas season!  Christmas blessings to you and those you love and may you have a very happy 2011!

Keep in touch!

Bruce Johnson

1971 Class Agent

Campus News

150th Anniversary Commemorative Alumni Directory

The Gustavus Alumni Association is bringing together about 25,000 Gusties to celebrate the College’s 150th anniversary.  In partnership with Publishing Concepts, Inc. (PCI), Gustavus will produce the 150th Anniversary Commemorative Alumni Directory.  PCI has been contacting Gustavus alumni via phone, mail, and e-mail to request that you update your information.  We know you don’t want to provide your information to just anyone, so we want you to be aware of this project and encourage your participation.  For more information, call the Office of Alumni Relations at 800-487-8437.

“Come on You Gusties” Breakfast

Once a month, Gusties gather for coffee, breakfast, and great conversation along with a campus speaker.  All Gusties are welcomed and invited to the breakfast, third Wednesday of the month, 8-9:30 a.m. at the Doubletree Hotel, Minneapolis-Park Place, 1500 Park Place Boulevard.  Cost is $10 at the door.  Upcoming January breakfast includes the winter sports coaches on Jan. 19.

Chapter Gatherings

This year and next, President and Kris Ohle have many travel dates planned in order to reach out to all of our alumni and bring them an update from the College.  Please mark your calendar if you live in or near one of these locations:

  • Palm Springs – January 7
  • Los Angeles – January 8
  • San Francisco – January 9
  • Seattle – January 27
  • Tucson – February 8
  • Phoenix – February 10
  • Denver – February 11
  • Boston – March 2
  • New York – March 4
  • Washington, DC – March 5
  • Jacksonville, FL – March 26
  • Orlando – March 28
  • Tampa – March 29
  • Naples – March 30
  • Chicago – April 29