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Letters to the editor

From attic to bedrooms - Harstad's first fifth-floor dwellers say thanks
On field and off, Lute football players provide leadership for scouts
PLU's 'Fighting Fools' boosted school spirit in '35

From attic to bedrooms - Harstad's
first fifth-floor dwellers say thanks

Front row: Ellen Henry Garrity*, Phyllis Brandt Babcock*, Myrna Shelver Heppe*, Thelma Nygaard Schwarz*. Back row: Laurella Frazier Miller, Marsha Knott, Marlys Solterbeck Pfrimmer*, Mildred Brammer, Delores Beck Carstensen. *

*Members of the Fifth-Floor Gang, with Kathy Gulhaugen Clare and Jan Geldaker Reierson, not pictured. All class of '56.

In reference to "A Window to the Past" by Virginia Isvick Johnson '48 in the Summer 1997 Pacific Lutheran Scene, I both chuckled and shed a nostalgic tear when I read Ms. Johnson's statement about Old Main - "Above the fourth floor was a musty old attic..." In the fall of 1952, 11 freshman women (including me) moved into that "musty old attic," renamed the fifth floor. We were the first residents. There were six rooms, one occupied by a junior who acted as our floor mother. The transition to college life was a smooth one as we became a close family.

Eight of the original Fifth-Floor Gang have stayed in touch for 41 years with a round robin letter and an occasional weekend in Seattle. We come from around the country to reunite as the Fifth-Floor Gang for one weekend every other year. Thanks, PLU, for cleaning up that "musty old attic."

Ellen Henry Garrity '56

On field and off, Lute football
players provide leadership for Scouts

From left: Junior Scout leader Ben Wilson (a student at Timberline High School), PLU football players Aaron Sonnichsen and Jess Nelson, junior Scout leader David Martin (a student at Olympia High School), and PLU football players Mark Mariani, Marcus Womack and Matt Hoffman.

Coach Frosty Westering,
For the second year in a row, five of your outstanding young men of the Pacific Lutheran University football program conducted leadership and team-building training for the youth leaders of Boy Scout Troop 266.

On May 10, Marcus Womack, Mark Mariani, Aaron Sonnichsen, Matt Hoffman and Jess Nelson were truly inspirational in reintroducing the PLU method of building a team.

Your Lutes served as superb role models, explaining to our junior leaders how to build the Scouting team by sacrificing for the younger Scouts. Once again, the Lutes let our Scouts know that winning doesn't have to consist of beating someone else, but rather of doing your best, serving others and serving God.

Marcus, Mark, Aaron, Matt and Jess explained how important it is for older Scouts to make young Scouts feel welcome, supported and appreciated.

The Lutes' training served as excellent preparation for Troop 266's equivalent of Breakaway - our annual Outdoor Leadership Camp, where the older Scouts model positive leadership to the younger Scouts and welcome them into Scouting and into the Troop 266 program.

When the guys of Troop 266 talk about PLU and its leadership/football program, they use words like "awesome." It's probably no accident that one of our extraordinary young men, Jeff Fehring, is a freshman at PLU this year. Jeff will be a great addition to a great university.

It comes as no surprise that our junior leaders have scheduled their second annual "October getaway" event at Sparks Stadium. On Saturday afternoon, Oct. 25, we're planning to be in the grandstands, cheering the Lutes on - in football and in life.


Dave Workman

Scoutmaster, and parent of PLU journalism major Kara Klotz '98 and environmental studies major Kirsten Workman '99.

PLU's 'Fighting Fools'
boosted school spirit in '35

Front row: Milton Nesvig '35, Stanley Ford '37, Ed Svinth '36, Marvin Hansen '35, Capt. Harold Votaw '36, John Fadness '33, Robert Martin '36, Russell Frye '37, Harold Nilsen '38. Middle row: Eldon Anderson '35, William Pflueger '35, Harold O'Conner '36, Francis Archbold '36, Reems*, John Van Leuven '35, Robert Mitchell '39, James Gillilan '36, Oliver Ludlow '37, Arthur Haavik '36. Back row: Coach Clifford Olson, Lawrence Grenier '38, Paul Hvidding '35, Orville Schlansbusch '37, '40, Carl Coltom '35, Lyal Sanderson '35, John Dreibelbis '36, O. John Stuen '34, '36, Chester Solie '37, Herbert Norgaard '35. Not pictured: Sheldon Moe '36, Gene Jack '37.

*Further identification unavailable

Before our class of '35 disappears over the horizon, I would like to tell of our exploits. It was in the very heart of the Great Depression, and PLC was a very struggling school. The teachers sacrificed to the bone to keep the school going.

It was our football team that I believe brought courage and hope to the school. Several returned from previous teams to become a team with a marvelous chemistry. We could sense the affection we had for one another. We played with utter abandon.

The Tacoma newspaper dubbed us the Fighting Fools of PLU. We started to win. At homecoming we defeated a strong team from a state school (Bellingham).

This attention by the newspaper encouraged more talented athletes to enroll at PLU. In a few years PLC defeated such football powers as Gonzaga University. I believe their lift benefited the entire school and put PLC on the way to becoming the outstanding private school it is today.

Some of our football men did not return from World War II. I offer a salute to the class of '35.


Paul Gerhardt Hvidding '35

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Source: Pacific Lutheran Scene, Fall 1997
Edited by: Linda Elliott, Summer Senior Editor (elliotlm@plu.edu)
Maintained by: Webmaster (webmaster@plu.edu).
Last Update: 12/09/97