Class of '98
August 2008

10-Year Reunion ― October 4, 2008

Greetings GAC class of ’98!  My name is Alicia (Sutphen) Schimke and I’m writing to you (once again) on behalf of our class’s 10-year reunion planning committee.  For me, the last couple of months have been everything that a Minnesota summer ought to be:  days spent at the beach, fishing and boating, camping and bonfires, baseball games and running without being able to see my breath.  For those of us with kids, we have also experienced the summer “joy” of kids that see each other entirely too much and are ready for something new to do.  Enter fall.  My kids are impatiently waiting for the first day of school.  I can relate…I remember being pretty excited to get back to school.  This always seemed so strange, given how antsy I was to get OUT of school in June.  But for me, getting back to life “on the hill” was always exhilarating.  Despite having two years under our belts, junior year was no less exciting.

Let’s think back to our junior year, shall we?  Karen took us back to our freshman year in March, Keegan reminded us of some sophomore year memories a few months ago, and now it’s time to think about our junior year at Gustavus.

When we hit our junior year, we were no longer the inexperienced runts of the campus.  We knew where all of the buildings were located, how to get all of our textbooks at the Bookmark, and had even (for the most part) figured out our academic paths and had chosen majors.  Many were involved in sororities/fraternities and didn’t have to worry about the impending “rush” season.  For those of us with work-study jobs, we either stuck with the same jobs (but were experienced and could therefore boss others around) or we moved onto way more glamorous jobs that were typically reserved for upper class men and women.  Personally, being the computer lab monitor was my favorite…e-mailing friends ranked quite a bit above doing dishes in the cafeteria.

Living arrangements got interesting, too.  If we stuck to campus living, we had some new choices available to us.  Uhler opened up it’s doors to the sophisticated juniors and seniors.  Some of us lived in the dorms as Collegiate Fellows (CFs) to help Gustavus create a positive dorm life for all its dorm residents.  College owned houses also became available, including the one that I lived in my junior year, named “Brick House” on the corner of College Avenue (which was fated to be destroyed by the tornado in ’98).  The College View apartments were another popular option.  The biggest change, though, was that off-campus living was FINALLY a possibility.  As if the freedom of dorm life wasn’t enough!  Renting a house with friends was popular (anyone remember names such as “Little Fourth,” “Big Fourth,” “Green Acres,” “1002” or “Seven Gables?”), as were apartments such as the Jefferson Apartments, Four Seasons, and Sugar and Spice.

The new experiences didn’t stop there.  Junior year is a popular year to study abroad.  I am so glad that I took advantage of the opportunity to pick up and live somewhere entirely different for six months!  It’s something that would be nearly impossible to do today, and Gustavus made it so simple.  I remember stepping into the office that was wallpapered with study abroad information from floor to ceiling.  When I entered the room, I was hesitant and overwhelmed…the thought of my trip was more of a dream than a reality.  Suddenly I was in Australia experiencing life “down under”!

Many people also took on an internship during junior year.  Internships gave you the opportunity to theoretically “try before you buy.”  I did a research assistantship under Mike Hvidsten during my junior year and discovered how much I loved programming.  It’s really what landed me in the IT industry after graduating from Gustavus.

Coursework during junior year proved to be a bit more demanding, and some of us had MCATs to help absorb the time as well, leaving us busier than in past years…but that didn’t stop us from going on Spring Break trips and frequenting local establishments such as Willy’s and Patrick’s (after we hit 21, of course).

A few other exciting things happened while we were juniors.  We kicked off the beginning of our year with a visit from the King and Queen of Sweden (they participated in the dedication of the new addition to Nobel Hall, and a Paul Granlund sculpture was also presented in their honor).  The 32nd Nobel Conference explored the relationships between human beings and apes, and was entitled “Apes at the End of an Age.”  Christmas in Christ Chapel included performances by the Gustavus Choir, the Chapel Choir, the Lucia Singers, the Gustavus Orchestra, the Christ Chapel Ringers and the Matching Tights Dance Company.  It was entitled “The Child of Light”.  Many of the Gustie athletic teams had great seasons, but I’ll highlight just a few:  women’s soccer, men’s golf, men’s basketball, and men’s and women’s tennis all had a first place MIAC titles.  Not bad!

Now let’s fast forward 11 years and get back to 2008.  OUR 10 YEAR REUNION IS COMING SOON!  Make plans to be there!

Here’s some information that we have determined so far about our upcoming event:

Ø      We want to see as many of you as possible on Saturday October 4th.  This is why we don’t have an “official” event on Friday night.  However, some people are flying in from out-of-state and would like to see other Gusties out on the town!  We have a suggestion for you…there will be a group of Gusties gathering at Gasthof’s (2300 University Ave. NE, Minneapolis) on Friday October 3rd.  This will be a very informal gathering.  It should be fun…after all, Gasthof’s is the home of “the Boot.”

Ø      On Saturday, there will be campus tour at 10:30 a.m.  There has been an unbelievable amount of transformation since our time up on the hill, so go for a walk and check out everything that has changed.

Ø      At 11:30 a.m. we will be serving brunch at the ’98 tailgating tent.  The buffet will include pulled pork and beef, among other things.

Ø      At 1p.m. head to the football field to cheer on the Gusties.  Check out the beautiful new stadium!  You may even want to bring a blanket to use on the grassy berm, if you are coming with your family.

Ø      If you miss the 10:30 a.m. tour (or if you just didn’t feel like you soaked it all in), there may be another campus tour at 1:30 p.m.

Ø      4:30 until 5:30 p.m. will be “Happy Hour” – come have a free drink and socialize.  Child care will be provided starting at this time.

Ø      6:00 until 9:00 p.m. will be our official dinner and program, consisting of a sit-down dinner, the “First Decade” awards, a video of the tornado, music and mingling.  This portion of the evening will cost $25 per person.

Ø      If you can, head to Patrick’s for a few drinks.

IMPORTANT!!!  There is a block of rooms booked at the AmericInn in Mankato.  The price is $89 for a standard room.  It’s under Gustavus 1998 Reunion.  The phone number is 507-345-8011 and the rooms will only be held until September 4th.  THERE WILL BE A FREE SHUTTLE (provided by Gustavus) at certain times throughout the day, to and from this hotel.  The last one back to the hotel will leave from campus (and may swing by Patrick’s) to Mankato at 12:00 a.m.

Please, consider sending…

Ø      PICTURES!  Please send photos (scanned or digital copies, please) and anecdotes you’d like to contribute to the Alumni Office via email at alumni@gustavus.edu.  We would particularly like any pictures that you may have of the post-Tornado Gustavus/St. Peter area.  Any pictures are appreciated!

Ø      DONATIONS!  We set a goal to have 40% participation, and so far it looks like we are at about 20%.  That means we need 103 more people to give a donation (ANY donation).  Can you add to our total?  Keep in mind that the level of alumni participation is more important than you would think when trying to secure money from other foundations.  Even if you don’t normally give financial gifts to Gustavus, please consider a gift this year in honor of our 10-year reunion.  Any gift given through October will go toward our goal.  If you look online at gustavus.edu/giving/gustavusfund/classtotals, you can track our class’ progress.

Employment Updates:

  • Jocelyn Bauer works for transportation policy in Washington D.C.
  • Rebecca Gurney is a family practitioner in Woodbury, MN.  She has been participating in endurance sports, and is planning to do a 100-mile bike ride!
  • Jennifer Koehnen is the director of young adult ministries at Woodridge Church in Medina, MN.  She is also attending Bethel Seminary in order to get her Master of Divinity degree.
  • Jeff Mauk is a page at the Minnesota State Capitol.
  • Pete Johnson is an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Valparaiso University in Indiana. 
  • DeAnn (DeLoach) Deitner is a 2nd grade teacher at Lake Elmo Elementary.
  • Aneka Swanson is a pollution control specialist at the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (in the Small Business Environmental Assistance Program).
  • Amanda Peterson Caspers is the director of internal operations for the U.S. Compliance Corporation in Minnetonka.
  • Sara Huntley is a senior communications consultant at Schauer Global Health in Burnsville.
  • Jon Koenigs is a tennis pro at Lifetime Fitness in Eden Prairie.
  • Karen Wight Hoogheem is a pastor at Bethesda Lutheran Church in Iowa.
  • More Education (for those that can’t get enough):
  • Matty Olson will soon be getting his Law degree (December of 2008) from Thomas Jefferson School of Law.  He plans to continue with a Masters of Law in entertainment at Southwestern University in Los Angeles.
  • Suzanne Trunnell graduated from St. Kate’s as a nurse practitioner.
  • Clinton Dietrich completed his Master of Arts at the University of Manitoba (in Winnipeg) in May of 2008.

New Babies (aka Future Gusties!):

  • Peter ’99 and Erika (Jeffrey) Vickerman had a daughter named, Summer Linda (born on June 12, 2008).  They currently reside in Minnetonka, MN.
  • Jim and Sonja (Roiger) Timmerman had a son named, Matthew (born on December 21st, 2007). 
  • Suzanne Trunnell and Jon Bentley ’97 have a little one named Roland, and are due to have another in September.
  • James ’97 and Angela (Colt) Hultgren had a daughter named Payton Kay on December 5, 2007.  They now have two little girls.
  • Cristina (Zarate) Larson and husband, Blake, had a daughter named Brianna Joy (born on March 11, 2008).  Brianna joins big brother, Wesley, and big sister, Eliza!
  • Jim and DeAnn (DeLoach) Deitner had a daughter, McKenzie Lee (born December 27, 2007).
  • Ryan and Karen (Lantz) Holt had a daughter, Ingrid Martha (born on December 17, 2007).
  • John ’95 and Angela (Luukkonen) Nolde had a son named Andrew James (born February 11, 2007).  Angela had her work cut out for her, as Andrew was 11lbs, 6.5 oz!

Something You Probably Didn’t Know (Fun Stuff):

Melissa Seitzer (theater major) was the set costumer for the movie “Smart People” (with Dennis Quaid and Sarah Jessica Parker).  She worked 16-hour days, making sure that the actors wore what they were supposed to wear, checking that the costumes looked right, and looking for possible discrepancies when shots are edited together into a single scene.  Look for her name in the credits!

Thanks for taking the time out of your busy schedules to read this letter.  I hope it finds you well.  I can’t wait to see you all on the 4th of October!  Don’t miss out on the opportunity to see old friends, remember good times, and see the changes that have happened up on the hill.

Alicia Sutphen Schimke

(and the rest of the Reunion Planning Committee)

Campus News

Gustavus Welcomes

Gustavus Adolphus College will inaugurate Jack R. Ohle (pronounced OH-lee) as its 15th president at 3:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 3 in Christ Chapel.  The public is invited to celebrate this event along with a reception on Eckman Mall that will follow the ceremony.  On Homecoming, Saturday, Oct. 4 Gustavus will celebrate with an Oktoberfest; buffet-style dinner immediately follow the Homecoming football game in the Lund Center Forum.  Cost is $7 per person.  For more information about Inaugural Week events, contact the Office of College Relations at 507-933-7520.

Alumni Directory Online

The Alumni Directory is password-protected and all alumni have been mailed a user name and password in a postcard within the last couple of months.  If you need this information, please contact the Alumni Relations Office at 800-487-8437 or alumni@gustavus.edu.

Gusties Gather!  The Reason to Connect with Other Gusties

Gusties Gather! is a day for Gusties across the country to have an opportunity to connect or re-connect with other Gusties in their area.  It is a time to build Gustavus friendships and networks and is in no way a fundraiser.  Most gatherings are on Sept. 28.  Watch for gatherings in your area or check out the Alumni website for a location near you.

Twin Cities Gustie Breakfasts

The Twin Cities Gustie Breakfast for September will feature Jay Schoenebeck ’80, football coach, and Al Molde ’66, athletics director.  Join other Minneapolis/St. Paul area Gusties for a morning cup of coffee and breakfast while getting an update on Gustavus.  The group meets the third Wednesday of each month.  Future presenters include Tim Robinson ’65, director of Nobel Conference 2008, in October and in November Tom Young ’88, vice president for institutional advancement.

Doubletree Hotel, Minneapolis-Park Place, 1500 Park Place Boulevard (Hwy. 394 & Hwy. 100)

Third Wednesday of the month - 8-9:30 a.m.

Cost is $10 per person.  Reserve a spot by calling Don Swanson ’55 at:  763-533-9083.

Nobel Conference ― Who Were the First Humans?

Nobel Conference XLIV is scheduled for Oct. 7 and 8, 2008 and is focusing on the first humans.  Presenters will consider the full range of recent evidence about the first modern humans going beyond archaeologists and paleoanthropologists to the work of biologists, climatologists, geneticists, mathematicians, and psychologists who have been adding to the scientific database.

Upcoming Alumni Events

  • Gustie Breakfast with Jay Schoenebeck and Al Molde - Sept. 17
  • Gusties Gather! - Sept. 28
  • Presidential Inauguration/Homecoming/Family Weekend - Oct. 3-5
  • Nobel Conference - Oct. 7-8