Class of '71

February 2013

Greetings to Linda Mellingen, Linda From, Linda Olson, Linda Gruber, Linda Nordlund, Linda Schulz, Linda Klammer, Linda Christian, Linda Swanson, Linda Lindstrand, Linda Janisch, Linda Carlson, Linda Gunnerson and EVERYONE in the Class of 1971 NOT named Linda as well!  (And if you're a "Linda" I overlooked, please forgive me!)

Can you believe it was 45 years ago that we began our freshman year at Gustavus?  Last week I had lunch downtown Saint Paul at Macy's River Room.  Macy's was Dayton’s back in 1967 and I remember buying a number of things for my getting-ready-for-college wardrobe, including HIS brand permanent press pants and a truly cool (I thought) and practical black and brown reversible belt!  A lifetime ago and, on the other hand, a time that doesn't seem all that long ago.

I hope the month of January has been good for you!  After this fall's visit to Gustavus and Minneapolis by King Carl XVI Gustaf  and Queen Silvia of Sweden and then Christmas in Christ Chapel, I’m once more looking forward to heading down to Gustavus for the Gustavus Choir’s home concert on Saturday evening, February 16!  (The Gustavus Choir on Saturday, the Saint Olaf Choir on Sunday – two of my favorite concerts of every year!)

Speaking of the king and queen, I have to admit it was actually very exciting to be able join Gusties and friends to meet the royalty at a dinner in their honor at Interlachen Country Club!  As each table was dismissed to join the receiving line we were told we could say our name and a brief sentence or two of welcome.

I may have mentioned in another class letter that Swedish royalty came to Vasa, Minnesota, the Swedish village between Cannon Falls and Red Wing where my mom’s family settled when they first came from Sweden in the early 1850’s.  Eric Norelius founded Vasa Lutheran Church in 1855 and founded Gustavus Adolphus College in 1862.  In 1926 the crown prince and princess came to Vasa, and my mom remembered as a five-year-old watching the procession on its way to the church.  Because my grandmother’s china was the newest in the village, the head table was set with her china.  The crown prince later became king and was the grandfather of the present king.  As I went through the receiving line I did not mention that story.  It’s longer than “a brief sentence or two!”

A couple things before some news from our classmates…

I’d love to hear that you’d be willing to help Gustavus and the Class of ’71 by volunteering to be a class officer!  (Thanks to Mary Parkin Rasmussen who’s been helping with communications, by the way!)  We’re looking specifically for a vice president, a reunion chair, an annual fund chair and a student recruitment chair.  Please think about it!  If you have any questions you can call Randall Stuckey or anyone in the Office of Alumni Relations at 800-487-8437.  It’s quite possible some of you who are retired might have a little extra time to give to Gustavus.  (Yes, I know!  As one who’s been retired for a number of years, I know how incredibly busy retirement can be.  I’ve got so many things going I sometimes wonder how I ever had time to teach!)

I know I’ve mentioned before how a number of classes are having get-togethers in the Twin Cities in restaurants every now and then – drinks, appetizers or dinner and conversation.  Considering how many of us live in the Twin Cities Metro Area, I think this could be a fun way to reconnect!  And whether five, ten or twenty-five folks show up, it would be a fun time.  Another idea…  How about inviting friends from the classes close to ours, too?  Like ’70 and ’72.  What do you think about this?  Would you come?  Uptown, downtown Minneapolis, somewhere out on 494?

Now some news from our classmates…  Marie and Warren Borchert’s first grandson was born on October 24 in Juneau, Alaska.  The invitation is always extended to come to Idaho to vacation at Mystic Saddle Ranch where Warren continues to work part-time.  The Borcherts live in Mountain Home.  Karen Erickson McConville (Hudson, Wisconsin) writes, “I am anticipating retirement in early 2013 from my nursing job.  My husband and I are establishing a berry farm in Star Prairie Township and calling it Star Prairie Berries and Produce.  We planted hundreds of blueberries, raspberries and strawberries this past year.  It’s hard work and not for the faint of heart or the unfit but we are both very excited about making our retirement a reality.”  (I’ve been following Karen’s husband’s heart health issues on “facebook” and am happy to say things are looking good!)  Connie Madsen Dallmann (Batavia, Wisconsin) retired from Hoscheit, McGuirk, McCracken and Cuscaden.  (Wow!  Say the name of that law firm five times!)

Mark Anderson (Apple Valley) writes, “Our youngest daughter, Leah Joy Anderson, moved into Pittman (Valley View in our day) on August 31 as a member of the Class of 2016.  Her going to Gustavus means very much to the entire family and ensures I won’t be retiring in the next four years!”  Joel Henderson and wife, Jane Coleman, moved from Green Valley, Arizona, across the country to Venice, Florida.  They still have a condo in Burnsville “to keep in touch with the kids.”  Jane taught nursing at Gustavus for fifteen years.  Joel writes, “I’m working on my captain’s license and Jane’s working on her beach bum degree!  I’m sorry to have missed the last reunion.  We were traveling – checking off the bucket list!”

In the Star Tribune back on November 24, an article entitled “Forty Years of Food and Friendship” featured Gustie women from the Class of ’71:  “There was the Christmas after Kris Gruber’s dad died and she realized that, with him, went their traditional holiday meal.  ‘We’ll do it,’ said her gourmet group.  Recipes were shared and prepared, the women gathering for beef tenderloin, twice-baked potatoes, limpa bread and lime Jell-O with cottage cheese – a gesture that still brings Gruber to tears.  There was the time when Judy Johnson was considering adopting a child.  ‘Let’s meet at your house!’ said her gourmet group, whose members walked in on a Saturday morning with their kids in tow.  ‘If she was going to adopt,’ Naomi Peterson said with a shrug, ‘we just wanted her to know what she was getting into.’  There was the time when those carpooling from the northern suburbs to south Minneapolis somehow – they can’t imagine how – ended up in the Aquatennial Parade.  ‘I mean, we were ‘wave-at-the-crowd’ in the parade,’ Gruber said, inciting peals of laughter.  You make some good memories over forty years, especially when you’ve been getting together every month of those four decades!”  The group includes Judy Johnson, Naomi Peterson, Billee Kraut, Susan Mortenson Gavle (Crystal Lake, Illinois) and Kris Gruber.

Mark Bernhardson continues to work as City Manager for Bloomington and chairs the Gustavus Board of Trustees.  Son, Andrew (LT, MD, US Navy Medical Corps) has been deployed to Afghanistan serving in Helmand Province with the US Marines.  (When I heard from Mark, Andrew was expected to come home this month.)  Mark writes, “Please keep Andrew and all who serve in your thoughts and prayers.  Only one per cent of Americans have family who serve.”  Carol Hamrum Rutz (Northfield) continues to direct the writing program for Carleton College and has worked with the Gustavus English department with the assessment of their writing curriculum.  Gail Stewart (Minneapolis) recently published yet another nonfiction book for teens and young adults entitled “Sports Medical Research” with Reference Point Press.

From Jim Rusch (Cleveland):  “My son Evan and I have been doing a lot of traveling.  He is a librarian at Mankato State and single, so he plans the trips and I go along for the ride.  We have done history trips out east.  Our daughter Kyra lived in western New Jersey so we used her place as our base and traveled from there.  New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, Revolutionary and Civil War sites and lots of museums and baseball parks, too.  Last year we did San Francisco, this year Chicago.  Two years ago we spent sixteen days in Southern Germany, Switzerland and Italy.  “Rusch” is Swiss and we visited the town Evan’s grandparents left to come to the United States.  We did a mountain hike, scary for this old guy, and took a day trip to Liechtenstein.  We also toured a concentration camp and did a “Rise of Hitler” walking tour of Munich, toured two breweries, drank lots of beer and ate lots of sausage!  We went to Rome (Wow!) and Venice (Wow!) and spent several days in the “Cinque Terre” area of northwestern Italy, five small towns in the mountains.  Kyra and her family now live in Naples, Florida, so Kathy and I get there as often as we can.  Her daughters, four and a half and two and a half, are beautiful and smart!  Did I say beautiful and smart?  They have a house with four bedrooms and a pool so Kathy and I have our own bedroom and bath.  We’re going for Christmas and for Grandparent’s Day at nursery school in February.  Kathy is still working as a social worker for Le Sueur County but will cut back her hours next fall.  I’m still subbing and driving school bus, mostly for athletics.  I quit coaching high school hockey last year.  I’m getting too slow to get out of the way of the players on the ice during practice!  I still keep involved, though.  Life is great!”

From Marjorie Aasness Schaffer (Eden Prairie):  “I gave two oral presentations at the Sigma Theta Tau Research Congress in Brisbane, Australia, this past July and then vacationed with husband Eric in Queensland.  We snorkeled, sailed, kayaked and canoed and had only one day of rain!”  Marjorie is professor of nursing at Bethel University.  And from another Gustie nurse, Jennifer Villas Lipke (Hibbing):  “I am enjoying being on sabbatical from teaching nursing at Hibbing Community College.  My sabbatical project includes exploring the feasibility of offering a global service-learning travel-abroad elective.  If anyone has tips for developing such a course I’m open to suggestions!  [Husband] Al ’70 and I were at Gustavus for Nobel 48, ‘Our Global Ocean.’  The speakers were exceptional!  Yumiko Oshima-Ryan, Gustavus associate professor, and others from the music department treated conference-goers to an outstanding evening concert in Christ Chapel.  Al and I also attended a mentoring lunch meeting with current students where we ran into Norm Quinn.  I was impressed with how well these students expressed their commitment to and enthusiasm for helping others and maintaining ethical boundaries in their future work.  Their spirit testified that the community of Gustavus is alive and well!  In response to the data shared by Nobel speakers, I am hoping Gustavus will construct additional solar panels on campus in order to become more energy independent and reduce the carbon footprint.  I plan to earmark future donations to support solar energy expansion on campus.”

I have among my Gustavus class letter notes a list of the following items:  olive oil, almonds, steamed asparagus (and other vegetables), oatmeal, pinto beans, blueberries, tomatoes, avocados and dark chocolate.  Maybe I was going to suggest we all include these in our diets.  And here's another list:  apples, low fat yogurt, cauliflower, eggs, peanuts, fish, bulgar and salad! 

Also among my random class letter notes I found the following sentence but I don’t remember who said it:  “A place is not a thing.  It’s a relationship.”  Gustavus.  Both a place and a "relationship."  Think of the relationship you began with our alma mater 45 years ago!

As always, thank you for your Gustavus support!  Keep in touch!  And it would be great to hear from YOU!

Go, Gusties!


1971 Class President

Campus News

Upcoming Chapter Gatherings

National Chapter events for alumni, parents and friends are scheduled for the 2012-13 academic year and will focus on the College’s pillar of “Teaching and Learning.”  Please save the date for the event in your area.

Feb. 28 – Seattle – 7 p.m., JM Cellars Winery

Mar. 2 – San Francisco – 2 p.m., Rock Wall Winery

Mar. 9 – Madison – 11:30 a.m., Quivey’s Grove

Mar. 12 – Denver – 6 p.m., 240 Union

Mar. 14 – Chicago – 6 p.m., Hotel Lincoln

On His Watch:  John S. Kendall at Gustavus

Dr. John Kendall ’49 served Gustavus as a faculty member for 23 years and as president for 10 years.  Rev. Dennis Johnson ’60, also a former president of Gustavus, wrote a book about the record of John Kendall as a professor and as a president.  As such, it is a study in leadership.   It is about a man who came up through the academic ranks to lead one of America’s best colleges.  It is about his preparation for that office and his hopes once he occupied it.  It is about passion, purpose, leadership and heart.  It is also about issues still at the core of higher education today. And, it deals with the frustrations, conflicts and disappointments that go with the job.  It is how this man took on the challenges, met them with humor and persevered to advance the college he loved.  It is what happened “on his watch,” as he often described his time at the helm.  The book is available at the Gustavus Book Mark.

Christ Chapel Cited as One of the Most Beautiful

Here is a link that includes the Gustavus Chapel as one of the thirty most beautiful college chapels in a survey of schools across the country.  Take a look at some of these beautiful chapels including our own Christ Chapel by going to

Alumni Travel Opportunities

2013 Pearls of Central Europe

Experience Central Europe with Gustavus professor emeritus of history Dr. Tom Emmert from September 10-21, 2013.  This 12-day Gustavus study tour combines learning, exploring, leisure, lecture, food, and arts with special touches, all led by a faculty expert.  The journey is focused around three showpiece cities of Central Europe:  Prague, Vienna, and Budapest.  For more information, contact Tom Emmert at:

U.S. Civil War Study Tour

Experience Antietam, Gettysburg and Washington D.C. with Gustavus alumnus and Pulitzer Prize-winning Civil War Historian Dr. James McPherson ’58 from October 20 to 26, 2013.  Dr. McPherson’s vast and insightful knowledge will bring to life all the drama of events at Antietam and Gettysburg.  With unquestionable authority and skillful narrative, he will explain the momentous issues of the time and why the Civil War still resonates today as a “second American Revolution.  For more information, visit Study Tours.

Gustie Breakfasts - Twin Cities – New time and place

Please join us at monthly Twin Cities Gustavus alumni breakfast at the American Swedish Institute (2600 Park Ave, Minneapolis), on the third Wednesday of each month at 7:30 a.m.  Cost is $10.  Gustie breakfasts are also being held on campus the second Wednesday of each month.  Speaker for March is Scott Bur, professor of chemistry.