Class of 2002
January 2007

Hello Gusties – Class of 2002!

Happy New Year!  I am your guest author for the January 2007 class letter, Misti Koop.  I hope this letter finds you happy, healthy and enjoying the challenges and excitement of a new year.

Now that it is officially 2007, we encourage you to add our FIVE-YEAR REUNION dates to the new calendar that you just got for Christmas!  And to help you remember, Gustavus is sending each of us the enclosed magnet to put on our refrigerators, cabinet or desk to be sure to remind us to save the days ― October 12-14!  It’s not too early to set this date aside and keep it clear as your year progresses.  I believe I speak for many when I say that our class of 2002 would love to have as many classmates present as possible!

Allow me to join Toby and Emily from last month’s letter and highlight a few more classmates of ours.  Enjoy their updates!  Wouldn’t it be fun to run into these people again?!?! perhaps at our reunion.  J

Andrea Wentzel – Andrea recently completed her master’s of arts in music therapy and is engaged to be married shortly, after our five-year reunion this October.  She is currently working at a mental facility in Kansas City, KS, as a music therapist.  When asked what she misses most about Gustavus, Andrea replied, “I miss being able to live so close to my friends and having really nice pianos to practice on and not having to cook every night!”  Andrea reminisced about the many times she found herself watching Anastasia with Kiersti over and over again in Sohre Hall and having many crushes that always provided funny situations.  Andrea’s New Year’s Resolution this year is to quit making piles to “go through later,” continue to run 5K’s and work on fitness, get married as smoothly as possible and take time for the little things.  Andrea tells all of us to GO to the five-year reunion, “Because it will rock!”

Jen Brandenburg – Jen has been working towards a career in pharmacy by taking several outside classes through the University of Minnesota, Duluth and varied work experience.  She was recently accepted into the doctor of pharmacy program at the University of Minnesota and she is very excited!  When asked what she misses most about Gustavus, Jen replied, “I miss being able to spend time with good friends by just walking down the hall or across campus.”  YES – I think we all miss this.  One of Jen’s favorite memories was watching as Chaplain Johnson was raised into the air to the top of the new spire to dedicate it to the college after the tornado of 1998.  Jen says that when she gets back to Gustavus in October, “I will drive around ring road and then visit the Chapel and the Arboretum.”

Kiersti Wilen Willms – Kiersti moved out to Wyoming after graduation and began working on a master’s in sociology.  She is excited to announce that after she defends her thesis, this process will finally be done!  She currently works for the state as a juvenile probation officer―every day being very different and full of interesting situations.  Kiersti says her biggest upgrades since Gustavus have been having a full-time job and buying a house.  “The husband and the insane yellow lab puppy are pretty good upgrades too!” she concludes.  When asked what her favorite winter activity is, Kiersti responded, “Definitely snowshoeing in the mountains…as long as we don’t get my Jeep stuck in the huge drifts on the way to the trails…not that it has happened or anything…not with me driving…(pause).”  Kiersti plans to walk around campus when she gets back to Gustavus and see all of the changes that have taken place in the past few years.

Joanna Olson Kroschel – Joanna has worked as an RN since graduation; most recently at United Hospital in St. Paul.  She got married last summer and now has a house, a new car and two dogs, Strange and Gus!  When asked what she misses about Gustavus, Joanna replied, “I miss having a J-term.  I miss J-term broomball and playing Ultimate Frisbee in the Quad.”  Joanna says her favorite winter activity has been snowboarding.  “I tried it for the second time this winter and love it even though I spend most of my time on my rear!”  She will definitely be visiting her nursing professors when she gets to campus!  Joanna says that we should all return to Gustavus for our five-year reunion because, “We hardly see each other anymore…so many people live out of state.”

Meghan Harney – Meghan worked at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis for two years after graduation.  In 2004, she started medical school at the University of Minnesota - Duluth.   She will finish her official second medical school-year at the end of April and will eventually apply for residencies in New York or Chicago.  Meghan got married just before the holidays this school year, to Brian, a Ph.D. student in biochemistry at the University of Minnesota.  When asked what Meghan misses most about Gustavus, she replied, “Sunday morning brunch in the Caf, Chapel, singing in choir, crazy parties, all-nighters before finals (still happens in med school), favorite professors, J-term, Patrick’s, Gustavus music concerts, C in CC, checking my mailbox P.O. ten times a day, walking by “Gus,” the Nobel Conference, climbing the OLD, Old Main steps, getting lost in SSC every time!  Etc.”  Wow!  Meghan reported that her favorite winter activity was cuddling by the fire with a hot chocolate and a hot husband, watching the snow fall.  Meghan tells all of us to be at our five-year reunion for many reasons.  She is definitely going, “to see how everyone is doing and how they have changed.  We should have a few beers or drinks at Patrick’s together for old time’s sake, especially because a lot of us haven’t seen each other since graduation.”

Jess Behrends – After working for a year, gaining a variety of experience, Jess ventured to get her master’s of science degree in social work from University of Wisconsin, Madison in 2005.  Since then she has been working for the State of Minnesota as a social work specialist/care coordinator at Child and Adolescent Behavioral Health Services in Willmar, MN.  Her position coordinates youth inpatient, psychiatric hospitalizations.  She says, “It’s different everyday and I LOVE it.”  When asked what she would do when she gets back to campus, Jess replied, “I would drive ring road, because the changes on campus happen so fast!  Then I’d make my way to the caf for chicken strips and mashed potatoes!”  Jess says that she wears her Gustavus clothing quite often.  She remarked, “Its funny how often a random person will stop me and say either ‘I went to Gustavus!’ or ‘Do you know so-and-so?’”  She says, “You’re never a stranger anywhere if you’re in your Gustie gear.”  When asked why we should return for our five-year reunion, Jess responded with, “pretty much because St. Peter is the best town in the whole world!  J  It’s changed a lot since graduation, but the important stuff is still the same…Patrick’s, Minnesota Square (Swede) Park, the community playground at Gorman Park, Ruttles, etc.”  Jess looks forward to the opportunity to relive being a freshman in Co-Ed again too!

Marne Gulley – Marne spent a year working for the Lutheran Volunteer Corps in Minneapolis and then began her teaching career, teaching high school English in Denver, CO.  She is now in her fourth year of teaching and sincerely enjoys her work and her students!  She also finished a master’s degree from the University of Colorado – Denver, focusing on language, literature and culture.  Marne tells us that, “with multiple large storms in Denver this year, my favorite winter activity has ironically become envying those of you in the tropical Midwest.”  When asked what she misses most about Gustavus, Marne replied, “I miss living right down the hall from my best friends in the world.”  Marne explained that her 2007 New Year’s Resolution was to continue her goal to remain appreciative for just how wonderful life is and share that joy with others.  Marne was asked to tell us why we, the class of 2002, should return to Gustavus for our five-year reunion.  She answered, “If enough of us show up, we can join forces to petition Chaplain Elvee to come and join the celebration!  Holy God  (Wednesday morning chapel!)”

And me…Misti Koop – Hi everyone!  I jumped into teaching band for four years after graduation, primarily elementary band in Shakopee, MN – full of squeaks and squawks and wonderful kids!  This year I made the move to go back to school for a master’s degree in theatre performance.  I am thoroughly enjoying eye-opening theatre training and will finish in the spring of 2008.  So far it has been quite a change of routine, especially attending the University of North Dakota in my hometown of Grand Forks, ND.  I’m still playing my saxophones in many different genres and have performed in several theatrical productions since Gustavus.  I am loving it!  Onward we go, right!

A Musical Request…

To you―my fellow classmates―I have a request.  We are planning to have a “Class of 2002” Pep Band for the Homecoming game during the reunion on Saturday, October 13.  If you play a musical instrument, PLEASE bring it with you!  The more the merrier.  We will need extras, too, to play auxiliary percussion instruments like cowbell and tambourine.  All instruments are welcome, even kazoos!  We’ll play the half hour before the game, during time outs and at half time.  It will truly be lots of fun!  Thank you in advance.  If you have questions/ideas regarding this event, let me know!  mistikoop@hotmail.com

2002 Gusties…Close your eyes and take a moment to think about what it may mean to you to return for our five-year reunion.  (Friends, memories, curiosity, a reason to visit, a reason to get away from your normal routines…anything)  Returning to Gustavus means something different to all of us.  My hope is that the anticipation and excitement leads you to home, to Gustavus and St. Peter this coming October.  I am sincerely looking forward to seeing ALL of you.  Lock in the date and I will see you there!

Happy New Year!  May our paths cross soon!  Take care, everyone!

Always,

Misti Koop

2002 Guest Writer

Class updates: What is everyone up to?!

Employment

  • Michael Anderson is self-employed as an insurance agent.
  • Chris Bremner is a market analyst for Knight Ridder.
  • Jake Dobosenski is a lab technician for Lens Crafters Corporation.
  • Kristin Johnson is an associate specialist for marketing operations at Target Corporation.
  • Heidi Kain is an auditor CPA for PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.
  • Melissa Klaas is an audience development manager with Emerald City Theatre in Chicago.
  • Nicole Schultz is an RN at the University of Minnesota Medical Center at Fairview.
  • Robert Schurrer is a provider analyst with Medica Insurance.
  • Matthew Tjosaas is an associate chemist with Valspar Corporation in Minneapolis.
  • Michelle Kurtz Wright is a sixth grade teacher at Edina School District.

Schooling

  • Daryn Collins is pursuing his master’s in biology from the University of Minnesota.
  • Kristin Donley is a doctoral student in physical therapy at the University of Minnesota.
  • Vivian Foyou will graduate in May of 2007 with her Ph.D. from West Virginia University.
  • Heather Pearson is attending the University of Minnesota Medical School.
  • Jennifer Boorman Schurrer graduated from the University of Minnesota – College of Veterinary Medicine with her doctor of veterinary medicine degree.  She is practicing at Companions Animal Hospital in St. Cloud, MN and finishing her master’s in infectious agents at the University of Minnesota.

Weddings

  • Erick Hoberg and Tracy Hohertz ’05 were married on October 14.  Erik is also pursuing a master’s degree at Minnesota State University.
  • Trisha Loveland and Ben Fisher were married on September 30 in Glenwood, MN.  The couple resides in Plymouth.
  • Micaela Erdall was married to Rob Yanda on March 25.

(Your Name Here) is doing (insert really cool or even slightly boring thing here).  Yes, you too can be listed in this section!  Just email your info or update to:  2002classofficers@gustavus.edu.  By using that address your class agents and the Alumni Office will receive your news.  Or you can even do it online, just go to the Gustavus web site and click on Alumni and follow the links to submitting your news!

News from the Hill…

CAMPUS NEWS

Alumni Starring in The Cherry Orchard

The Department of Theatre and Dance is celebrating 75 years of theatre at Gustavus this year with two featured events:  Theatre Reunion May 11-12 and a gala performance of The Cherry Orchard followed by admission to the cast party on February 10.  The Cherry Orchard will be Professor Rob Gardner’s final directing work before retirement.  A cast of professional theatre alumni will join the student actors for this very special production.  The alumni cast includes:  Peter Breitmayer ’87, Karen Esbjornson ’80, Kevin Kling ’79, Scott Novotny ’75, and Michael Glenn (Waldhauser) ’97.  A sold-out performance is expected for this unique celebration, so order your tickets soon.  For more information and to order tickets, go to the Cherry Orchard site from <gustavus.edu/alumni>.

Gustie Pages

Looking for a dentist, doctor, lawyer, pastor, Realtor, or other professional?  Make it a Gustie!  Look in the Gustie Pages, an online database of Gusties who have submitted information about their profession.  Use the Gustavus network to meet your needs, or submit your professional information if you would like other Gusties to become your customers.  Go to the Gustie Pages at the alumni website at:  <gustavus.edu/alumni>.

Career Connections with Students

Sign up now for the 2007 Gustavus Career Connections Reception.  The reception will be Monday, February 19, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Minneapolis Hilton.  The gathering allows Gustavus alumni to provide advice, encouragement, and career networking opportunities to Gustavus students seeking internships and career opportunities.  Alumni are invited to attend and assist current students in their career search.  You do not have to be hiring at your company to attend – just willing to share your experience.  E-mail the Career Center at career-centerter@gustavus.edu or call 507/933-7586 if you can attend or want more information.

Give Every Year to Gustavus?

Do you give to Gustavus every year and plan to give every year in the future?  Then you should become a member of the Cec Eckhoff Society.  Members of the Cec Eckhoff Society simply make the public commitment that they plan to give financially to Gustavus every year.  It does not matter how much you give and this is not a formal pledge for a certain amount of money.  Cec Eckhoff ’56 led the alumni office from 1963-1994.  Cec believed that part of being an alum of Gustavus was to give monetarily each year to the College.  To become a member of the Cec Eckhoff Society, please call The Gustavus Fund office toll-free at 866/487-3863 or e-mail <gustavusfund@gustavus.edu>.  Thank you for your support of Gustavus!

Upcoming Music Tours

This year nearly 300 students will participate in music tours as members of the Gustavus Wind Orchestra, Gustavus Choir, Gustavus String Orchestra, Gustavus Jazz Lab Band, and Choir of Christ Chapel.  The Gustavus Choir will tour Spain and Portugal January 11-30.  Performances are scheduled for Lisbon, Seville, Malaga, Grenada, and Madrid.  The Wind Orchestra will tour Minnesota, Madison and Milwaukee, WI and Chicago.  The String Orchestra will be in Nebraska, Kansas, and South Dakota.

Upcoming Alumni Events

  • The Cherry Orchard Gala Performance – February 10
  • Orlando Gustie Gathering – February 13
  • Tampa Bay Gustie Gathering – February 15
  • Naples/Marco Island Gustie Gathering – February 17
  • Tucson Gustie Gathering – March 16
  • Phoenix Gustie Gathering – March 17
  • Sun City Gustie Gathering – March 18