Class of '94
February 2002

Dear Class of 1994:

Although I have helped write a class letter once before, this is my first as a class agent.  One of the great things about doing this job for the college is that I am more in touch with what's happening on campus these days…if you haven't made a visit to St. Peter in a while, you'll be amazed at the changes and improvements that have been taking place—not just on campus, but off campus as well.  For all of you who remember scrambling to get a car just to get to a movie theater in Mankato, you may share my jealousy of today's students who have a theater right down on Main Street.

As you may have read in the Quarterly, the next project on the slate is renovating Old Main.  (It's hard for me to imagine that building as a source for air-conditioned comfort, but before long it will be!)  As always, alumni contributions are part of what make these projects possible, so as you budget for the new-year please keep Gustavus in mind!

Time for some class news (though some updates are newer than others!).  As we get closer to the 10-year mark from graduation there seem to be a lot of weddings and births!

WEDDINGS

  • Kimberly Kramer and Jason Nix came home to Minnesota to be married on August 18 at Lutsen Mountain.  The couple recently bought a home in Keystone, CO; Kim is manager of dining operations for Dillon Dam Brewery in Dillon, and Jason is a bartender for Blue Spruce Inn in Frisco.
  • Nicholas Peterson and Anna Delmoro were married September 29 at St. Lawrence Church in Minneapolis.  Nicholas is a program coordinator at Columbia University’s Business School, and Anna works as program coordinator for Columbia’s School of the Arts.  As residents of the New York City area, I'm sure the wedding is just one of many things Nick and Anna will remember from September 2001!
  • William Magowan was married to Heather Broman ’91 on June 30 at Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church in Minneapolis.  Will is self-employed as a day trader in Minneapolis.
  • Erika Midtbo married Ryan Skanse ’92 on June 2, 2001.
  • Sheldon Wagner married Faith Handevidt ’96 on June 9, 2001 in Menasha, WI.  The couple is living in Onalaska, WI.
  • Justine Olson married Jeff Wilson on January 20, 2001.  She is working as a restaurant manager at Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom.
  • Amy Jo Waggoner married Michael Cleary on September 8.
  • Kirby McDonald married Leigh Christensen on July 14, at St. Thomas of Jessenland Church in Henderson.  They live in Dresser, WI where Kirby is an elementary school teacher.
  • Tracy Otterness married Matthew Helgerson on June 23.  Tracy is working as a 6th grade language arts teacher for New Prague Public Schools.

BIRTHS

  • Heather Krause Quiram and her husband, Dion, welcomed son, Spencer Dion, on May 29.
  • Charles ’95 and Heidi (Block) Zemek welcomed their first son, Callen William, on April 12. 
  • Matt Mosiman and his wife had a son, Wyatt Daly Colwell Mosiman, on April 26.
  • Melissa (Thomas) Johns and Derek Johns ’92 had a daugher, Annika Elizabeth, on August 8. Another Annika!
  • Steve and Jana Odden Smith have a new baby girl, Annika Rae, born on March 18.
  • Nicole Peterson Mentjes had a daughter, Talia Elizabeth, on July 26, 2001.
  • Laurie Anderson-Molden had a daughter, Olivia, on January 6, 2001.  (Laurie, we didn’t know each other but I have an employee who used to work with you at Sprint PCS!)
  • Abigail Marie Swenson was born to Todd and Jae Swenson on June 24.
  • Bryndis Hovde and her husband, Paul Brown, also had a daughter, Isabel Toryn Brown, on May 18.
  • Brett Latterell and his wife had a son, Addison Thomas, on March 28, 2001.  Brett has also started work in a master's program in English at St. Mary’s.
  • Connie Nelson Laird had a daugher, Anneka Taylor Nelson Laird, on February 27, 2001.
  • Matthew and Jill Gabbert had a son, Nicholas Alan, on January 4, 2001.  (Happy first birthday, Nicholas!)

VARIOUS AND SUNDRY

  • In August Sarah Boehlke began a graduate program in music at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, AZ.
  • Linnea Carlson teaches ESL at Eisenhower Elementary in Hopkins.
  • Matt Pettis is "doing math and programming-type things" at West Group, as well as learning guitar and writing and performing comedy at the Brave New Workshop on Hennepin Avenue in Minneapolis.
  • Jennifer Anderson Warwick was recently elected to the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) Board of Directors.
  • Brent Lackas is living in Bena, MN with his wife, Andrea, and three kids (Nelson, 4; Beatrice, 2; and Gunnar, 17 months).  He is using mathematical theory to study how Minnesota tree frogs communicate—Brent, keep us updated on what those frogs have to say!
  • Michael Ibrahim received his Ph.D. in theoretical nuclear physics from Yale University in May 2001.  He helped start Safeweb Inc., a leading provider of privacy and security technology for the Internet, and he currently serves as chief technology officer.  Congratulations, Michael!
  • Karen Nisius has a new job as forwarding supervisor for Cargill, Inc. in Miami, FL and is teaching Spanish at the University of Miami.
  • Alice Barry Anderson started graduate school in counseling and student personnel psychology in September 2001.
  • Eric O'Denius has been working with the Bloomington Immigration and Naturalization Service for more than four years.  The job takes him all over the world as he repatriates persons to their countries of origin—his recent travels have included Austria, Canada, Nicaragua, Jamaica, UK, Germany, Mexico, Peru, India, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Barbados.  Eric is as he says "the hit of every cocktail party and class reunion I've been to, because I rack up, on average, 1.7 interesting anecdotes every week on the job."  So be sure to ask him for some of those good stories next time you see him!  (Hey, that 10-year reunion isn't too far away, folks.)
  • Christine Eilertson moved to the Denver area in 2001 to take on a job as policy specialist on child welfare for the National Conference of State Legislators.
  • Shannon Springston was recently promoted to manager at Deloitte Consulting.
  • Kendall Larson finished a master's degree in library and information studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in May 2001.  She is now working as an information gallery librarian and assistant professor at Winona State University.

A few members of the class of ’94 participated in Gusties In Volunteer Endeavors (G.I.V.E.), an annual day of community service where Gustavus alumni, parents and friends around the country work to better their communities.  Rose Buntjer-Litte, her husband, Joe, Leah Chernivec, and Will Magowan were among alumni who participated in a recent workday in the Twin Cities.  Twin Cities alums:  set aside April 27 on your calendar for the next Twin Cities G.I.V.E. work day.

Cara Larsen Alferness sent us an email suggesting that we tell of our classmates' experiences on and after September 11.  Cara wrote:  "Even though, at times, it seems like commentary on the event is everywhere, I think it would still be interesting to share how it has affected us as a class…I was in France with my husband (thank goodness he speaks French!) in an Iranian food store of all places, when we heard the news.  You just can’t imagine how caring and truly empathizing the people in France and Italy were to us.  When you hear about such tragedies while in a city that had been occupied by the Nazis and totally bombed out in WWII, it brings home to you how lucky we are as a nation, that the attack wasn’t any worse.  I had a woman holding my face, kissing me, whispering in my ears that we would be okay, that she had grown up in Paris during the war.  We had an Irish couple literally beg us not to change as Americans.  I had no idea anyone felt that way about us.”

Cara's not the only one who was overseas on that memorable day:  Dan Currell was on business in London for about a month leading up to September 11, and was stuck there when the attacks occurred.  At noon on Friday, September 14, Dan "stood shoulder-to-shoulder with thousands gathered outside St. Paul's for a memorial service that began with the Star Spangled Banner and ended with God Save the Queen."  He also had a ticket in hand for a flight home to surprise his wife, Sara Tollefson Currell ’95, for their fifth anniversary.  Not only did he make it home the evening of their anniversary, but he was on the first flight to fly out of Heathrow after September 11.

If you're interested in hearing more stories of where Gusties were on September 11 and how the events affected their lives, check out "Facing a changed world" in the Winter edition of the Quarterly.  Among the Gustavus alumni highlighted in the article is Katie Van Sluys, who is currently living in Bloomington, IN where she works as a teacher, teacher educator, and researcher with the Department of Language Education at Indiana University.  Katie told the Quarterly, "As I continue to watch children living in democratic classroom spaces, I see them engaged in conversations that matter…I am reminded of the hope that children offer if we provide learning spaces that invite their real stories, real questions, and real lives into classrooms."

Cara Alferness also replied to Amy Zenk James' request for favorite Gustavus memories, but had some trouble narrowing it down to just one:  "When I remember Gustavus, it's the whole memory, every little detail seems magical, even the cafeteria food!  Those four years are so precious to me, and I think largely because when you devote yourself to seeking knowledge you are in a different world.  When you are surrounded by people who respect and challenge you, it’s easier to venture out into the unknown.  Gustavus set a precedent for adventure in my life that I continue to seek out.”  We couldn't have said it better ourselves. 

Happy New Year!!

Mary Crippen '94

Co-Class Agent

P.S.  Now for some other campus news written by a current Gustavus student:

Campus News

Hi!  My name is Tracey Hanson.  I’m a senior, double majoring in Communication Studies and Business Management.  I’ve worked in the Alumni Office all four years and can hardly believe that I’m now starting my final semester!  Instead of taking a class (and doing homework) this J-Term, I spent my time slaving away in the Alumni Office.  It was great to have the extra time to relax and do other activities that J-Term allows.  Having unlimited time at home each night made for some great cooking!  And getting to watch “Friends” without worrying about the homework you should be doing instead was also a plus!  The start of the spring semester (thus, the start of homework) has been a sudden shock to my system! 

The campus is full of life and excitement.  A successful and busy J-Term just ended, and spring semester is now underway.  The theme for J-Term 2002 was "Our Global Village," and the month was a celebration of cultural diversity as we grappled with social, political, economic and philosophical aspects of our ever-shrinking world neighborhood.  Faculty offered 29 different classes that tied into this global theme, many of which were travel courses.  Examples include Islam and Culture, and Chinese Cooking and Culture.  This year, 2319 students enrolled in J-Term courses, with many who studied abroad, participated in internships, student taught or studied at other domestic institutions.  I got very jealous when I read e-mails from my roommates who were studying in warm, sunny Australia.  J-Term themes for the coming years include “Service-Learning” (2003) and “Undergraduate Research.” (2004).

Gustie winter sports teams are having a great year, as all are near the top in the MIAC.

Gustie music ensembles just returned from their tours.  The Gustavus Band embarked on an international tour this J-Term.  The band toured Sweden and Norway, presenting “Music from America.”  The tour dates were January 16 through February 10.  The tour concluded with a homecoming performance on Feb. 10 in Christ Chapel.  The Gustavus Choir toured the Midwest during Touring Week in February, concluding with their home concert Feb. 16 in Christ Chapel.  The Gustavus Orchestra toured Minnesota, the Dakotas, Colorado, Kansas and Iowa.  The orchestra concluded their tour with a home performance Feb. 17 in Christ Chapel.

The Alumni Association is on the road this winter and spring connecting alumni to each other and the College.  Director of the Linnaeus Arboretum and Instructor of Environmental Studies, Jim Gilbert ’62, will travel along to provide an interesting and informative program.  Complete information is listed on our web site under events.  If you need more information, give us a call at 800-487-8437.

 

February 23    Orlando Chapter event – Sam Snead’s Tavern

                        301 East Pine Street, Orlando

                        7:00 p.m. Dutch treat dinner

March 7          San Diego Chapter event

                        Dinner hosted by John and Paula Penrod ’79, ’79

March 8          Tucson Chapter gathering 

Dinner - Warren and Donna (Gabbert) Beck ’67, ’66 residence

March 9          Phoenix Chapter gathering

                        Dinner at Pera Club, Tempe

March 10        Sun City Chapter gathering

                        Dinner at Bella Vista Restaurant, Peoria

April 5             Bay Area Chapter event

April 6             Seattle Chapter event – Luncheon at Buca di Beppo Restaurant

April 7             Denver Chapter event

More information will be sent to alumni and friends in these chapter areas.

RSVP to Alumni Office at 800-487-8437 or e-mail alumni@gustavus.edu.

As I prepare to graduate in June, I find it increasingly hard to think about leaving this place.  It hardly seems possible that four years have flown by, and that in six months I, too, will be considered an alum.  I will always carry with me fond memories of my four years here.  GO GUSTIES!!!