2011 Newsletter - St. Olaf College
Fall 2011 newslet ter
• Class News
Class of 1964
From Boston to Northfield to San Francisco to London, Oles gather all the
time. Be sure to take part in one of these gatherings. With events as diverse
as faculty presentations, ethnic dinners, happy hours, or lefse making
events, we work to provide something of interest to everyone. Check out
the events page for other Alumni and Parent events around the country:
Connect with a network of 30,000 Oles!
• Update your records
• Find old roommates, classmates and friends
• Search for Oles in your same profession or geographical location
• Submit news of your life
• Define your own username and password
• Go to: stolaf.edu/alumni (and click on “online directory”)
St. Olaf on the Web
Roberta Aasen Pominville ’64
Want to stay in the loop? You can now follow St. Olaf online on
Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter. You can even sign up for our newsfeed
service. Visit the St. Olaf home page at stolaf.edu and follow the links in the
lower left-hand corner. Can’t get to campus? Visit our interactive map. Go to
stolaf.edu/map and experience the St. Olaf campus any time. It’s a great way
to see all the new spaces on the Hill and tour your old favorites. And don’t
forget our online streaming services at stolaf.edu/multimedia. You will find a
variety of St. Olaf events for viewing at anytime. Chapel services, concerts,
recitals, athletic events, and academic presentations ... all can be found on our
multimedia website. Did you miss the live streaming broadcast of an event?
You are even able to search for and view archived presentations.
Take advantage of our streaming services today. It’s the next best thing to
Greetings to all of you, ’64 classmates!
I hope this finds you well and enjoying life before the onset of winter. There is a bit of an urgency when the
calendar turns to November, because we know the snow is not that far off. I have enjoyed reading your
news notes and thank those of you who sent emails to me. Our class was in the news related to the King of
Norway, the football team, the Ole Choir Anniversary, and many other events of the past year.
My news includes a wonderful trip to Norway this summer, where I visited the Aasen, Bye, Bjerke,
Norgaard farms and stayed with many of my relatives. It was the fourth visit, so I feel like I know them
pretty well at this point. Also, one of my cousins spent the year in Fargo, ND, pursuing an education degree
at Concordia College and I was delighted to meet the whole Gresbakken family and then in June stay with
them in Norway. And I must say Facebook really helps to connect with Norway! My highlights were visiting
the farms and my 90 year old cousin in Hurdal, who sadly passed away this fall. It was a blessing to see him
Kay Gould Eichacker and I attended the summit on the hill to prepare us for our class agent jobs. It was
well attended by 200 Oles and very worthwhile. The Munsons were vacationing and couldn’t go. Our new
class agent is Judy Tidemann Parin, who lives just 15 miles from me. We had a 3 hour lunch getting caught
up this fall.
I wish you all a blessed holiday season!!!
Roberta Aasen Pominville
Marie Knutson Zeller of Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan, writes that she has never submitted anything
because they’ve simply been busy teaching school, then getting married, raising children and being active in
their Lutheran churches, so their news seemed humble. She has always been active in ELCA Women’s work
and was recently elected President of the Southeast Michigan Synod WELCA. The past four years she
served as vice president and was therefore coordinator for Synod Women’s Conventions. She is now serving
as President during her final two years of eligibility. She is proud to represent Michigan Lutheran women
and says God has blessed her richly. She is also thankful to be an eighteen year breast cancer survivor.
Patricia Hawkins Hiss of Bellingham, Washington, writes she has been happily retired from teaching, but
not creating, for sixteen years. She says the St. Olaf Choir reunion last June was awesome. “As Anton
Armstrong exclaimed, after we sang the first number, ‘hot diggety, you haven’t forgotten.’ And truly, all
950+ choir alumni did remember how to make beautiful music.” She invites all of the classmates to visit
www.patriciancrafts.etsy.com. She’d be happy to help with our holiday shopping, with free shipping to
anywhere. She sends her best to everyone.
Steve and Linnea Rian Peterson were on campus for the 100th anniversary of the choir. He says it was
the hottest day of the year and included a choir concert, with an alumni performance, a dinner and slide
presentation, and then more singing, great voices, particularly Carol Meyer Ramsey. He sees the everyouthful Rob Lund at the monthly St. Olaf breakfast club and also David and Karen Minge, usually
bicycling, canoeing or quilting. David, Dan Mason and he trek up to the Boundary Waters every February
for four days of cooking and cross-country skiing, going on twenty years now. Linnea and he bought one of
Dan’s paintings at his last show, now they have two of them. Steve is retired for three years now and they
spend a lot of time at their summer cabin at Crosslake, and often visit Bruce, a terrific cook, and Dianne
Ohland on Upper Hay Lake. “We’ll spend most of December and January in Colorado with our son and his
family, trying to hook up en-route with John and Barb Wollan in Denver. If any classmates plan to be
anywhere in the Roaring Fork Valley during those times, let’s meet for coffee.”
A recent visit to Minnesota from King Harald and Queen Sonja of Norway had connections to the class of
1964! The delightful little four-year-old girl who presented a bouquet of flowers to the Queen is the
granddaughter of Miriam
Larson Gandrud and Gary
Gandrud, Norway’s honorary
consul for Minnesota. Bergen
Gandrud Pickett was well
coached by her grandmother,
who told her, “Don’t forget to
smile and look her right in the
eye.” Bergen curtsied and said
to the Queen, “For your
majesty.” The Queen asked,
“What’s your name?” And thus
was born a story that she can
tell her children and
grandchildren in future years.
For now, the Gandruds are very
Rosella Berg Kameo of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Java, Indonesia, writes she and her husband are
enjoying his sabbatical at Eastern University and visiting their son, relatives, and friends along the east coast.
By Christmas time they will be returning to Indonesia, where they have lived since 1979. In 2008, Rosie
retired from a 34-year career of teaching English and developing libraries in Asia and the Middle East with
ELCA Global Missions. Since then, she has been enjoying life with extended family, pets, digitalizing an
enormous slide collection, and writing a book. Light for the Journey: 75 Devotional Reflections from CrossCultural Experiences is being published by Winepress Publishing and should be out in another month or so.
She says if travels ever bring any of you to that part of the world, please let them know. They rarely see Oles
in Java and would relish the chance to welcome you there. Rosie, Betsey Solsrud Elling and I roomed on
third floor Mellby our freshman year. Memories of Alice Weinhardt and the proper etiquette lessons!
Judy Karlson of Northfield, Minnesota, and Phoenix, Arizona, writes she has spent her last two summers
in Northfield, where her oldest daughter lives, and now has purchased a small condominium close to
downtown. She says, “It’s such a lovely town!” She is retired from Western International University in
Phoenix and spends her winters in Phoenix. Judy and I have a plan to meet for coffee in Northfield next
summer. Does anyone want to join us?
Kay Wold of Lanesboro, Minnesota, retired from the ministry in July and moved back to her old house in
Lanesboro. She’s busy meeting people, making new friends, going to Commonweal Theatre, repainting the
house, and enjoying the beautiful area. She also does supply preaching occasionally, which is fun and is still
paying her student loan from seminary days. She’s involved in Beginning Experience, which is for divorced,
widowed and separated folks and is helping to facilitate a weekend retreat. She says, “Life is good.”
Robert and Sandra Munson, of Maple Grove,
Minnesota, sent in news about Bob winning a Blue
Ribbon for a tray and a Red Ribbon for a plate at the
Minnesota State Fair this year. Both were painted in the
Telemark style of Norwegian Rosemaling, which is his
specialty. The headline read: “Maple Grove Senior wins
state fair acclaim…” Bob says, “Now it must be official
that I am a ‘Senior.’” Bob enjoys this kind of folk art
painting and considers it his contribution to preserving
history. Bob was the guest speaker at four services at
their church and for a program at the Maple Grove
Amphitheater on 9/11/11, speaking of his work in
NYC following the World Trade Center tragedy. This
year marked the 10th anniversary of that tragedy. Bob spent three weeks in 2001 and four weeks in 2002
working with 89 families from 30 countries who had lost a family member in the WTC collapse.
Randy and Karin Wilburn live in Amherst, Maine, and welcome any and all to come enjoy their B&B,
homesuitehomeamherst.com. He says, “After fourteen years in Palo Alto, CA, New England is a welcomed
change.” Randy served full time parish ministry for 37 years and since 2005 has been an Intentional Interim
in New England Lutheran Congregations. He is now Interim Rector at Trinity Episcopal in Lenox, MA.
This is historic as he is the first Lutheran clergy to serve this “Gilded Age” parish. Randy also does
consulting with Gronlund Sayther Brunkow, and provides Strategic Planning, Board Development, Staff
Development, Conflict Management, Organizational Assessment, and Annual and Capital Stewardship
Appeals. They have three grown children and four grandchildren; one family near them in Massachusetts,
and another family and single daughter in California. Most importantly, they have Sadie, a four year old
Boxer who goes everywhere with Randy.
Naurine Dierks Lennox, of Northfield, Minnesota, writes she thinks most classmates are aware that she’s
been working at St. Olaf for a number of years, establishing the Social Work Program. This is her last oncampus semester. She will take one more interim class to Mexico in January 2012 and then stay on for the
rest of the winter in Cuernavaca where she has a small apartment for enjoying retirement. St. Olaf is one of
the participants in a Consortium of colleges with Social Work Programs that has made it possible for majors
to study in Mexico for a full semester. She taught in the program for two semesters and looks forward to
returning to the community.
Dale Liesch, of Burnsville, Minnesota, sent in an update on the 50 year reunion of the 1961 Championship
Football Team. Here is the article: A 50 year reunion of the 1961 St. Olaf Championship Football Team was
held on Friday, October 14, and Saturday, October 15, at St. Olaf College. Friday evening included an early
bird gathering at the home of Coach Tom Porter and his wife, Gloria. Saturday included a continental
breakfast at the Kings’ Room followed by a campus tour of all the new buildings, lunch, and conversations
at the alumni letterman’s tent at Manitou Field, a team photo, the St. Olaf vs. Carleton football game, half
time introductions, a pre-banquet reception at the home of Jeannie Canfield and a reunion dinner and
program at the Kings’ Dining Room. Those in attendance were: Pete Aus, Ted Bogda, Jim Glendening,
Mark Hoven, Bruce Koch, Dale Liesch, Fred Meyer, Chuck Peterson, John Ruohoniemi, Ken Throlson,
and Keith West. Many of us had not seen each other for 50 years but we picked up right where we left off.
What a joy to visit with “old” teammates and rehash many of the games! Great article, Dale, and my
memories of attending football games, especially Homecoming, came back. Kudos to the team!
Norris Nordvold, Phoenix, was one of forty American volunteers serving as an election monitor for the
Azerbaijan election in November 2010. Nordvold was paired with an employee of the Russian Foreign
Service, and they worked in a city very close to the Iranian border. He has participated in fourteen election
monitoring trips and enjoys meeting people from all over the world.
Many of you knew Sandy Skustad Jerstad ’66 and her late husband, Mark Jerstad ’64. Sandy has recently
published a new book, available at the St. Olaf Bookstore…
Letters of Love found its beginnings at St. Olaf College and the mission and message of the college are
woven into its pages. Sandy Skustad Jerstad ’66 did what her late husband, Mark (’64), was always going to
do: edit sermons he preached as campus pastor at Augustana College to make them timeless and put them
together in a book. Sandy began adding her own reflections after each sermon, including vivid life stories of
life and death. Her real life reflections anchor Mark’s sermons, stories of the hilarity, joy, and adventure
which depict what living life with Mark was like. You will share with her a near-death experience, the perils
of a solo 600 mile bike ride, her world of coaching, life in the South Dakota Senate, the death of her father
and the difficult journey through Mark's dying and death. As Sandy writes, “For 31 years I had the privilege
of living with a man who never said never. His belief in aiming high and dreaming big dreams was
something he lived and shared with us, his family. I can only imagine the dreaming he is doing now.”
Letters of Love will be available through the St. Olaf bookstore by Dec. 5 or may be ordered earlier directly
19 Riverview Heights
Sioux Falls, SD 57105-0252
Blessed be the memory of these dear departed classmates…
Michael Berkvam, from Bloomington, Ind., died on Aug. 21, 2011. He was a professor emeritus of
French literature at Indiana University. No one could know Michael very long without being made aware of
his Norwegian roots. And woe to anyone who suspected him of being Swedish. When Michael’s ancestors
came to this country, they took a new family name, Berkvam, from a railway station in one of the most
beautiful areas in Norway. From his forebears, Michael inherited a love of cold weather and northern climes
and the spirit of adventure that marked so much of his career.
Growing up in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, also shaped Michael’s broad interests in international cultures,
histories, and sports. He knew practically everyone in town, and it was there that he developed the
interpersonal skills that made him such a deeply loved instructor, colleague and friend.
When Michael was a boy, the Boston Braves moved to Milwaukee. His love of baseball led to his becoming
a radio announcer for WBIZ radio, broadcasting the Eau Claire Braves games. When Michael moved to
Bloomington in 1971, he received a new lease on his baseball life by transferring his allegiance to the
Cincinnati Reds, to whom he remained fiercely loyal throughout their thicks and thins. Football was another
of Michael’s great enthusiasms, especially the Green Bay Packers. One of his most cherished gifts from his
wife, Mirka, was fifty-yard line seats for a bone-chilling game at Lambeau Field.
Michael was educated at St. Olaf; the Sorbonne in Paris, France; and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Michael joined the French and Italian department at IU in 1971, following various teaching positions in
France. He served as resident director of the Indiana-Purdue Foreign Study Program in Strasbourg in 19841985 and as resident director of the summer program in Quebec in 1989-1990. Michael was a core member
of the IU Honors College and was director of graduate studies in French literature from 1998 through 2003.
He retired as a full professor in 2006.
Michael was a sophisticated scholar and intellectual. He was fluent in French and spoke several other
languages. His research was supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Lilly
Foundation. Michael was an author and made numerous contributions to exhibitions and catalogues at the
Lilly Library. His academic focus was French literature, culture and history and the Enlightenment as well as
the literature and cinema of the second half of the 20th century. He was known as an energetic and
imaginative creator of new courses. Among these were courses on women writers, French cinema, and
French civilization, as well as a departmental introduction to literary analysis and civilization known as the
Michael was a noted and beloved teacher, who took particular interest in his students. He had an
exceptional capacity to challenge and engage them through his creative approaches to teaching and learning.
Not surprisingly, he was the recipient of numerous departmental and campus teaching awards.
Michael will be remembered for his generosity, his intelligence, and his wit. He was extremely well read and
retained a wealth of knowledge. He was a wonderful conversationalist who enjoyed good company, a hearty
laugh, and a bad joke. All of these qualities endeared him to his family, many friends, colleagues and
Michael will be missed by many and is survived by his wife Mirka; daughter Stephanie Dos Santos; son
David and his wife Rachel; step-daughter Inka Davis and her husband Kevin; granddaughters Safia and
Kiara Dos Santos; his brother Mark and his wife Geri; and nephews James and Christopher Berkvam. A
scholarship fund in Michael’s name will be established at Indiana University.
Susan Edwardson Hindermann, from Flemington, N.J., died on April 20, 2011. She was born in
Jacksonville, Fla., the daughter of Stanley and Alicemary Robinson Edwardson. Susan had formerly resided
in Kansas City, Mo. prior to moving to Readington in 1979. She received her BA from St. Olaf College and
her MA in English from Jersey City State College. She was a longtime English teacher at the junior high,
high school and college level. A member of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Raritan Township, she was also a
member of the Hunterdon Tennis Center and Newcomer’s Club and was a volunteer for the Hunterdon
County Symphony and the Holly Trail.
She is survived by her husband, Dr. David Hindermann ’62, and two children, Jennifer Hindermann and
Mark Hindermann ’92; two grandchildren, Anna and Jack Hindermann; and several cousins.
St. Olaf College
Class of 1964