Past Times at St Cloud State University

Thursday, September 28, 2006

They came from the Twin Cities and small Minnesota towns – eight anxious, enthusiastic freshmen moved into Lawrence Hall to begin new adventures in learning and new friendships to last a lifetime. It was 1947 and, like all newcomers, they then endured the green beanies and settled into their majors. Classes and socializing brought them closer, and friendships grew deeper as they shared exciting years of discovery and good times: whist at Gussies, hockey games behind Shoemaker Hall, school dances and story teller meetings.

1949 Group Picture

It was 1949 when the tightly knit group of students said goodbye to the first three graduates. Pictured outside Shoemaker Hall are (back row): Terry Prasch '49,who died in a car accident at Yellowstone Park, where the young women all worked the following summer (her funeral was their first reunion); Shirlee Weber Saatzer, St. Paul; Mary Nelson Schmitz ’49, Lindstrom; Shirley Lorenz Shanahan ’51, Ventura, Calif., and Joan Nord Campbell ’49, Elk River; (front): Karen Rogstad Winger ’51, Canyon County, Calif.; and Shirley Mann Schramm ’51, Glenwood.

Their reputations as graduates of St. Cloud helped secure them great teaching positions and prepared them for life challenges. "Our professors were outstanding and as graduates we felt confident and secure," said one. Years passed, but the friendships were not forgotten. They attended each other’s weddings and stopped to visit each other from Minnesota to California. "Round robin" letters kept them up-to-date on personal news. Then, in 2004, the women planned a reunion in Colorado Springs. Did they recognize each other? Of course. Smiles and hugs don’t change over 53 years.

P.S. The women met again in Santa Fe, N.M., in April and are talking about another reunion, this time back in St. Cloud – at Lawrence Hall, of course.

2006 Group Picture

In April 2006 the group met once again at Santa Fe, N.M. (back row): Mary Nelson Schmitz ’49; Shirley Mann Schramm ’51; Shirley Weber Saatzer; Joan Nord Campbell ’49; and Lillian Root Irvin ’50, Litchfield, Minn. (front): Karen Rogstad Winger ’51; Shirley Lorenz Shanahan ’51; and Carroll Mann McDaniel ’50, Sun City, Ariz.

- Marsha Shoemaker

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