Class of '94
November 2003

Dear Class of 1994,

It's hard to believe, but already the holiday season is upon us!  I hope you all had a blessed Thanksgiving and you are enjoying preparations for the upcoming holidays.

As we reach the end of 2003, we are just around the corner from a major milestone in all of our lives: the tenth anniversary of our graduation from Gustavus!  Mark your calendars now for our reunion weekend, October 1 and 2, 2004.  (If you're interested in helping with reunion planning or have any suggestions for the reunion, please let us know: Amy Zenk James is heading up the planning committee, and I'll be serving on it as well.)

If you're like me, you've been thinking a lot about how far you've come in the 10 years that have passed since our senior year at Gustavus.  The last year alone has brought about significant changes for me, including getting engaged and buying a house!  By the time we see each other for the reunion I'll be married and nearly a year in our house.  Others of you are probably well along the path of raising families, developing careers, and/or finishing advanced degrees.  One thing we may all have in common is the completion of student loan payments!  (Well, those graduate and professional degree costs may still need some attention…but with most college loans set on a 10-year payment plan, many of us will have a little lighter financial burden come spring.)

Wherever you are in life and whatever the last ten years have brought you, I hope you can take some time to think back and appreciate how far you've come.  Please send us your updates for the Quarterly and in preparation for the reunion…I can't wait to hear what everyone is up to. 

There's already lots of news to report so without further ado…Here are some of the updates we have received recently:

  • Wendy Barth Terry and her husband, Peter '92 had a daughter, Hannah Elizabeth, on July 7, 2003.
  • Jesse Benson is a senior communications manager and WebMaster with Uniprise Technologies, UnitedHealthGroup in Minneapolis, MN.  He recently completed a prerequisite program for the master's of architecture degree at the University of Minnesota.
  • Sarah Boehlke graduated from Northern Arizona University in May 2003, with a master's degree in choral conducting.  She is now working as the head choral director at Chaska High School in Chaska, MN.
  • Karrilee Brix Holman was married to William Holman, a spokesperson/communications rep for the Air Line Pilots Association, on February 21, 2003.
  • Jonathan Buckley is an 8th grade teacher at Edina Public Schools.
  • Lisa Clark is working as a senior associate for volunteer resources with the American Red Cross of the St. Paul Area while completing her degree in leadership in student affairs at the University of St. Thomas.
  • Christine Eilertson has moved back to Minnesota to work as director of policy development for the Minnesota Department of Human Services.
  • Brian Erola is special agent criminal investigation command for the U.S. Army based in Columbia, SC.  He was deployed to Iraq on April 1, 2003 - just two weeks after he and his wife, Jolene, had a son (Brody Lee, born on March 19, 2003).  Best wishes for a safe return, Brian.
  • Nada Falak Olson and her husband, Chad, had a son, Armaan Aric Olson, on February 26, 2003.
  • Stephanie George Slavik and her husband, Robert, had a daughter, Paige Christine Slavik, on February 28, 2001.
  • Becki Greene married Daniel Hanson on June 21, 2003 and is in her last year at William Mitchell College of Law.  She is also working as the director of nursing for Minnesota Independent Living Services.
  • Brian Hane is an environmental, health, and safety (EHS) consultant with EORM, Inc. based in Portland, OR.
  • Kristine Helmstetter Kallman and her husband, Dana, had a son, Matthew David Kallman, on July 28, 2003.
  • Bryndis Hovde Brown and her husband, Paul, had a son, Joshua Finn Brown, on June 2, 2003.
  • Lisa Iverson Bolle and her husband, Paul, had a daughter, Ivy Ray, on May 3, 2002.
  • Melissa Jarosh Schmit and her husband, Dennis, had a daughter, Eliana Rae Schmit, on August 28, 2002.
  • Kellie Johnson is an assistant staff judge advocate in the Air Force, stationed at Eglin AFB in Florida.
  • Mark A. Johnson is teaching biology and coaching girls' hockey at Mounds View High School.
  • Paula Johnson Gagnon and her husband, Steve, had a daughter, Willa, on January 10, 2003.  Paula is employed as an aquatic ecologist with the Nature Conservancy.
  • Ross Kiehne is a partner with the Swine Vet Center in St. Peter, MN focusing on swine consulting.  He and his wife, Melissa, have two children, Samantha (9) and Matson (5).
  • Kristie Koehler, who works as the health and wellness coordinator for the Star Tribune, ran the Boston Marathon!
  • Vera Laine Stephenson and her husband, Joel, had their third child, Julie Louise, on August 10, 2002.  Their older children are Lucy Laine (6) and Benjamin Lee (4).
  • Eric Lindberg married Jessica Tishmack on June 7, 2003.  The couple is living in Isanti, MN.
  • Craig Long and his wife, Jina, had a son, Henry Michael, on November 7, 2003.
  • Mollie Meyer has moved to Bermuda for her job with Marsh Global Broking Bermuda Ltd.
  • Camela Newlon Waters and her husband, Brian, had a baby named Sydney on October 26, 2002.  Camela is working for Best Buy.
  • Charlott Nielsen Gunnufsun and her husband, Scott, had a daughter, Ellen, on February 12, 2003.
  • Anastasia Norton is writing her dissertation in sociology at Brandeis University.  Her husband, Matthew Scherer '93 is an active duty Army physical therapist working at Walter Reed Hospital.
  • In April, Jana Odden Smith assumed duties as director of Bethesda Home Health in Willmar, MN.
  • Rob Olsen began medical school at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in June 2003.
  • David Olson is a physician at the University of Minnesota.
  • Lara Olson Peterson and her husband, Chad, had a boy, Blake Brian, on November 30, 2002.  (Happy 1st Birthday, Blake!)
  • Tracy Otterness Helgerson and her husband, Matthew had a daughter, Ellie Grace, on June 9, 2003.
  • Justin Pagel is an investment executive with Stifel Nicolaus.  He and his wife had a daughter, Elianna, on February 28, 2002.
  • Darin Pavlish and his wife, Nicole, had a daughter, Paige Victoria Pavlish, on July 26, 2002.  Darin is a regional manager for AFLAC Insurance.
  • Mark A. Petersen is an attorney with Leonard, Street and Deinard in Minneapolis.  He and his wife, Karen Vidlock Peterson, had a daughter, Quinn Gracie Vidlock Petersen, on April 1, 2003.  (Leave it to Mark to have an April Fool baby.)
  • Erika Peterson Eklund is currently working as the development director at Mixed Blood Theater in Minneapolis.  She lives in Minneapolis with her husband, Nathan, and son, Samuel.
  • Kip Peterson and his wife, Heidi Hayer Peterson '96 had a son, Aaron Heyer Peterson, on February 12, 2003.
  • In July 2003, Paul Peterson took over as principal at St. Peter High School.  Paul has been teaching social studies at the school since 1999, and will continue to teach one class while supervising staff and students in grades 7-12.  Quite an impressive accomplishment, Paul!
  • Amanda Renner Peterson was married to Jeffrey Peterson on July 5, 2002.
  • Rebecca Schweppe and her husband, Wayne Kunze, had a son, Ethan Benjamin, on January 26, 2003.
  • Julie Smith Gamber and her husband, Brett, had a daughter, Kaitlyn Elizabeth, on March 4, 2003.
  • Steven Speichinger is a regional director for AFLAC Insurance in Orange, CA.
  • Paula Spoo is a children's librarian at Estherville Public Library in Estherville, IA.
  • Kelli Stuewe is teaching 6th graders at Norwood Young America, MN.
  • Barbara Thomas is employed as committee administrator for capital investment in the Minnesota House of Representatives.
  • Xavier Torres is working as a Sous-Chef in the Statler Hotel at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, where he will be attending graduate school.
  • Katherine Van Sluys graduated from Indiana University with a Ph.D. in literacy education in May 2003.  She is now an assistant professor of reading at DePaul University in Chicago.
  • Kurtt Walton began work toward a master's of science degree (clinical nurse specialist/family nurse practitioner) at the University of San Diego in August, 2003.  He is also a lieutenant with the Navy.
  • Tom Werner is the director of work conditioning and hardening at the Athletic and Therapeutic Institute in Willowbrook, IL.
  • Scott Woitaszewski is a professor of psychology at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.
  • Kari Wraspir was married to Jamie Rhode ('92) on May 3, 2003.
  • In May 2003, Julie Zitnak Connolly, a teacher for Moundsview Public Schools, was married to Michael James Connolly, a software engineer with Thomson West.

Campus News:

College opens 142nd Academic Year - More than 700 new students, including transfer students and international students, joined the Gustavus community this fall, keeping the total student population around 2,515. The retention rate of students from the first to second year remains at 90 percent. These students will be taught by 198 full-time and 55 part-time faculty. Gustavus was again ranked in the top third of the 214 national liberal arts colleges by the U.S. News and World Report. 

The Alumni Fund Turns 50 - On June 30, 1954, the first Alumni Fund officially closed with 1,204 donors (32 percent) and $26,013.  The Alumni Fund has had a strong tradition at Gustavus exceeding 50% participation for many years, making Gustavus a national leader recognized with 17 national awards.  Help return the Alumni Fund to reach over 50% participation by contributing before May 31, 2004.  Do your best to participate in the Alumni Fund to continue the Gustavus tradition of strong alumni support and return the College to national recognition.

Sculptor Paul Granlund '52 dies - Paul Granlund died on September 15, 2003.  He was sculptor-in-residence at Gustavus from 1971-1996.  His figurative bronze sculptures are found in private collections and public installations nationally and internationally, including 30 bronze works on the Gustavus campus.

Alumni Board members selected - Seven alumni have been selected to serve a three-year term on the Alumni Board.  They are Liesl Batz '90, Minneapolis, senior vice president and director of marketing, Lakeside Investment Partners; Jan Eiffert Hoomani '62, Raleigh, NC, Realtor, JB Realty; Jim Malmquist '53, Scandia, MN, retired athletics director, Gustavus; Jan Ledin Michaletz '74, Edina, volunteer/homemaker.  Incumbents to serve a second term include Vivian Foyou '02, Mankato, graduate student, Minnesota State University, Mankato; Jason Sawyer '93, Plymouth, vice president, Cronin & Co.; and Dan Currell '94, Alexandria, VA, director of corporate leadership council, Corporate Executive Board.

Gustavus Finishes sixth in Director's Cup - Gustavus finished sixth out of 395 Division III institutions for the 2002-03 Director's Cup announced recently by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics. The only all-sports competition in intercollegiate athletics, the award honors four-year institutions with the best overall athletic programs.  Last year Gustavus placed 10th.

Chapel Program - The Gustavus Chapel program is one of the strongest in higher education averaging 350 students attending Daily Chapel.  In addition, there are many student-led programs including: Apprentice - students who are interested in being part of ministry and open to see where the Spirit might be leading; Christ Chapel Volunteers - assist in the ministry of Christ Chapel by ushering, carrying the cross and candles, reading lessons, writing and/or reading prayers, and serving as assisting ministers; Community Service Center Programs - one-time and on-going service programs; Fellowship of Christian Athletes - athlete or not, time for fellowship, worship, speakers, service projects and mission trips; Gustavus Youth Outreach - committed to sharing the Gospel and providing opportunities to serve by participating in off-campus youth ministry; Habitat For Humanity/Spring Break Work Trips - Habitat works locally and Spring Break Work Trip nationally to fundraise for and build affordable housing; Jewish Organization of Gustavus - for students, faculty and staff who were either Jewish or interested in the Jewish faith; Newman Center - dedicated to building a deeper understanding of the Catholic faith; Prepare - build a new generation of believers through mentors, mission trips, Bible study, prayer and worship; Proclaim - Bible-based contemporary worship and teaching; Taizé - a contemplative worship service of music, prayer, readings and silence; Wednesday Friends - visits St. Peter Regional Treatment Center residents weekly.

Upcoming Events - call the Alumni Office at 800/487-8437

Alumni Chapter Events:  Washington DC - February 6; Atlanta - February 26; Tampa Bay - February 27; Naples - February 28; Sun City - March 19; Phoenix  - March 20; Tucson - March 21.

Sincerely,

Mary Crippen

1994 Co-Class Agent