Class of '93
July 2003

Hello Everyone!

I hope you have all had a fabulous winter and spring.  My apologies for the tardiness of this letter, it should have been sent in eons ago but I can’t seem to get caught up ever since I returned from my March vacation to Australia and New Zealand with fellow classmate Andrea Dunderi.  The trip was fantastic, I could write volumes about what we did and saw on this trip, but instead I will recap a few of my favorite moments:

  • Climbing to the top of the Harbour Bridge in Sydney with the Sydney Opera House to my left and a perfect sunset to my right.
  • Standing on a very shaky, yet very cool Indiana Jones-type bridge over a raging waterfall in the middle of the rainforest.
  • Sitting on a catamaran out in the middle of the Great Barrier Reef, overlooking the bluest water I have ever seen.
  • Watching a very large crocodile swim towards me without thinking once about how easily he could kill me.
  • Ordering and eating fish in a restaurant for the first time in my entire life (my good friends know how monumental an event this is).
  • Completing a 430-foot bungee jump, which included an 8 second free fall and traveling at speeds up to 65 miles per hour (I can assure you that Andrea did not feel the same about this experience.  In fact, if you ask her she will likely tell you that this was one of the most traumatic experiences of her life.  Wimp!)
  • White-water rafting down the same canyon where scenes from Lord of the Rings were filmed.  Truth be told, I have not seen either of the movies yet, but it was still pretty cool…
  • Returning home knowing how fortunate I am to have experienced such a trip.

I could go on and on, but I won’t because there is important business to discuss. 

First and foremost, I am pleased to announce that the Class of 1993 reached its annual goal for the fiscal year ending May 31, 2003!  We had just enough donors to surpass our goal, and while that is fabulous, it just means that we will need to aim higher for the current year.  For those of you who missed out this year but would like to make a donation, simply contact the Alumni Office at alumni@gustavus.edu, or call 800-487-8437.  You will also have plenty of opportunities to make a donation at all of our Ten Year Reunion activities, which I will discuss at the end of this letter.  Let’s keep up the trend and see if we can’t reach our goal for a second year.

There was hardly any news to share this time, and for the first time in Class of 1993 history, we have no weddings to report.  Just new babies and career news, so without further ado, here it is.

Baby News

  • Jason and Carrie (Schafer) Barnett welcomed daughter, Ava Elise, on December 7, 2002.  She joins older brother Landen.
  • Dawn Koenen Soong and husband, Darren, welcomed identical twin girls, Lauren Leilani and Megan Makana on October 4, 2002.
  • Wendy Bexell Sweeney and husband, Shannon ’92, welcomed identical twin boys on June 9, 2003.  Dawn, you may need to give Wendy some advice!  Reese Todd and Daniel John join big sister, Madison.
  • Dan Domagala and wife, Lisa, welcomed daughter, Riley Kathryn, on June 2, 2002.
  • Stephan Dunning and his wife welcomed son, Noel Martin, on April 26, 2003.  He joins big sister, Evelyn.
  • Jen Ekeland Ruggle and husband, Joel, welcomed daughter, Katrina Eleanor, on February 25, 2003.
  • Rhende Hillman Wilton and husband, Dennis ’94, welcomed daughter, Elise, in December Nathan Lind and wife, Krista, welcomed daughter, Claire Louise on May 20, 2002.
  • Kris Odegaard Tlapa and husband, Jeff, welcomed son, Jennings on May 29, 2002.
  • Christy Rodman Axmear and husband, Andrew, welcomed son, Raif Rodman on November 30, 2002.  I believe Raif is baby #4 for Christy!
  • Stacey Schrock Simonett and husband, Andy, are expecting baby #2 in November 2003.  “It” will join big sister Sara.
  • Mark Simpson-Vos and wife, Juliellen ’91, welcomed daughter, Sydney Grace on January 27, 2003.
  • Michelle Weiss Alpers and husband, Kurt ’90, welcomed son, Brandon Mark on September 1, 2002

Career News

  • Sarah Carlson Buckley is a family practice physician at Allina Medical Health Center in Eagan.
  • Jeff Erickson is a Spanish teacher and department chair at Minnetonka High School.
  • Andy Leider is the founder of Cornerstone Leaders, a leadership development company focused on building individual leadership skills for the sake of promoting contribution and increasing potential.  He still dabbles with Outward Bound, climbs mountains, writes stories and ran his first marathon this spring.  He and his dog Sam are regulars on the trails around Durango, Colorado, and Red Lodge, Montana.
  • Nathan Lind is an instructor with the Science Museum of Minnesota.
  • Michael Nelson will be teaching a class for Presbyterian College in Italy this summer.
  • Kris Odegaard Tlapa is a Major with the US Marine Corps.
  • Rolf Olson is a Foreign Service officer in Washington D.C.
  • Kris Robelia Oppegard is a high school youth minister at Trinity Lutheran Church in Owatonna.
  • Laura Skattum Boomgaarden received her MBA from St. Thomas in May 2003.  Way to go Sunshine!

Class Reunion

I am sure everyone has marked his or her calendars for September 26 and 27 to attend our ten-year reunion.  I look forward to seeing everyone and hearing all your news!  You will begin receiving information from Gustavus regarding the reunion this month, including the schedule of events that will take place over the reunion weekend. 

Friday, September 26, 2003

The reunion will be held on Friday, September 26 at the Radisson South Hotel in Bloomington starting at 7:00 p.m.    There will be heavy appetizers and a cash bar.  Dress is work-day casual.  Non-Gustie spouses and significant others are invited to attend.  Or Gusties from other class years that just know many people from our class can come as well.

Saturday, September 27, 2003

There will be numerous alumni events on Saturday.  Besides the ala carte tailgate lunch which will have food and fun activities for kids, there will be the football game, soccer game, the parade, and a guided walk in the arboretum.

Following the football game, the Class of 1993 and their guests are invited to Barb Larson Taylor’s  house, she is head resident in Pittman Hall, for a post-game party. 

It will also be fun to see your own “additions,” so please bring your families to the events at Gustavus on Saturday! 

Registration materials will be sent to you the beginning of August, so please be on the lookout for these materials.  It is going to be a great weekend, and I hope you will be able to make all of the events.  For those of you who have not been to St. Peter lately, it has changed a great deal, and there are lots of additions to the campus that will be fun to see. 

Contact Classmates

Enclosed is a printout of the class.  Please contact each other to just check in, but also to encourage those you know best to attend the events.  If your information is not accurate, please contact the Alumni Office.

If there are any questions about the reunion, please feel free to contact the Alumni Office or myself.

That is it for now, but as I mentioned, there will be plenty of communication coming your way over the next couple of months.  If you have any news to share go to the alumni site at alumni@gustavus.edu, call the Alumni Office at 800/487-8437 or you may contact me directly at Kristen.lamont@genmills.com.  I hope you all have a fabulous summer, and I will see you all at the reunion in September!

Your Class Agent,

Kristen Lamont