Class of '86
March 2003

Hello all,

Here’s hoping that the dead of winter finds you where you want to be…  For some of you that’s a warm climate, for others on a snowmobile zipping across a frozen lake (mostly because there’s little snow on the ground).  This class letter is going to be a pot pourri of information on the college and lots of updates on classmates along with a few of my editorial comments on the meaning of life (I’m open to guest writers).

Let’s just get it out of the way right now.  The topic du jour these days seems to be whether the U.S. will/should go to war with Iraq.  Regardless of your opinion, I decided that these types of issues are good for the country…  It sometimes takes a polarized issue like just vs. unjust wars to get our mental backsides off the couch.  It’s also interesting that, while the majority of Americans (59% according to the latest CNN/USA Today Gallup poll) appear to support some type of military action against Saddam, the anti-war movement gets much more attention on the street and in the press.

On the lighter side of things, let’s talk sports for one quick minute… 

Wow, is anyone following the Gustavus men’s basketball team??  Coming into their final game against Number One-ranked St. Thomas (Gustavus was ranked a lowly Number Two at the time), they kicked Tommies’ b--t all over the court, finally putting them out of their misery with a score of 62-36, and claiming the MIAC Playoff Championship and earning an automatic NCAA Tournament berth!!!  This will be the Gusties seventh appearance in the NCAA Tournament in the last eight years, and tenth appearance in the last 17 years.  The Gusties are 13-9 in those appearances and 8-1 in first-round games.  Last night they whipped Whitworth College in the first Tourney game.  Tomorrow night they head to Wisconsin to play Stevens-Point.  Good luck!  (Editor’s Note:  The men’s team has now advanced to the Final Four for the first time in school history by winning two games this past weekend.)

Not to be outdone by the men, Gustavus women’s basketball claimed a share of its first-ever conference championship with a 63-62 win over Carleton on February 22nd.  Gustavus lost a coin toss with Carleton (that bites), and was the number two seed in the tournament with Carleton becoming the number one seed…  The Gustie women’s team then lost to Carleton, but received an at-large bid after finishing second in the MIAC Tournament.  Their regular season record was 20-2 in conference play!!  And just last night they won the first game of the tournament against Lora College.

What else is going on at Gustavus?  Over the years, I’ve occasionally heard from classmates that Gustavus was too politically insulated and that they wished Gustavus would expand its diversity and boundaries.  How’s this:   Conflict Resolution:  International, National, and Local is the theme of the 8th annual Building Bridges Conference to be held March 15 on campus.  Nobel Peace Laureate Oscar Arias Sanchez, former president of Costa Rica and a spokesperson for Third World countries, will give the keynote address.  The annual Building Bridges conference is a student-led, student-initiated diversity conference organized to promote mutual respect and understanding of diversity and to deal with diversity in a proactive, social, and informative way.  For more information go to:

Where’s the ’86er??

While they’re not from our class, I thought you’d find the following information on this year’s Distinguished Alumni Citation winners interesting:

  • John Biewen '83 of Durham, NC, is a correspondent/producer for American Radio Works;
  • Allison Rosati Dennis '85 of Burr Ridge, IL, is anchor for NBC 5 in Chicago;
  • D. Vaughn (Chip) Weseloh '67 of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, who is head of wildlife toxicology, Ontario Region in Toronto.

Cec Eckhoff Society

Most alumni believe in contributing to the Alumni Fund, and the Class of ’86 usually leads the pack.  I wanted to remind you that, to honor Cec Eckhoff (Gustavus’ former vice president of alumni relations) who built the tradition of alumni giving, the Cec Eckhoff Society has been established.  This society recognizes individuals who make a lifelong pledge to provide continuous annual support to the Alumni Fund, REGARDLESS of the amount pledged.  Chances are you’d do this anyway, so why not formalize it (and get some credit for a change, right?)?  To join go to


  • Since 1991 Gustavus has ranked among the top ten schools in the nation for the number of students qualifying to present at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research.
  • Old Main is built from Kasota stone, a limestone quarried in nearby Kasota, MN and has walls nearly 27 inches thick.

·        During the first years of the College in St. Peter, students living on campus were awakened by a bell at 5:30 a.m. and had to be in their rooms during the 7-10 p.m. study period, which was also marked by a bell. Lights had to be out by 10:15 p.m.

·        There are 30 bronze works by Paul Granlund, sculptor-in-residence, accenting the campus.

·        The Gustavus Athletics Department sponsors 25 varsity sports including 13 for women and 12 for men (How’s that for equality!)

Free Software of the Day

You know those rumors about hidden software systems that download and attach themselves to your computer while you’re surfing the net, and track your activities for the rest of your life?  Well unfortunately they’re true, but there is something you can do about it.  Several computer software sites are giving away a free software program called Ad-aware v6.0, which finds and purges the heinous items.  I’ve used it for about 4 weeks now and discovered no fewer than 15 unauthorized programs on my hard drive.  If you want to improve your Internet privacy, feel free to download the program at:, then click on “downloads,” then click on “popular utilities.”  They also have a free “pop-up ad” eliminator program…

Before we jump into the long list of classmate updates, I’d like to thank everyone who pledged their support to the Alumni Fund this year.  If you haven’t yet sent it in, please remember that the fiscal year ends May 31.  As you know, your support goes to many good causes including student aid, building maintenance and myriad campus activities.  On behalf of the 2500 students who now call Gustavus home, THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!

Lots of Class!

There’s always a lot going on with the class of ’86ers.  We seem to be an active, interesting bunch.  If you’re not listed here, or in previous class letters, it’s because we haven’t heard form you in a while!  Please drop me a line at!  I apologize if my info is incorrect in any way; if it is, let me know.

First I want to share some very sad news…  Julia Burgess Sullivan passed away unexpectedly this past December 14th, leaving behind Kevin, her husband of 12 years and two children, Nancy & Frank.  Julia was a 13-year employee of Colliers Towle, and a former member of the Dakota Valley Symphony Orchestra where she greatly enjoyed playing her cello.  She’ll be sorely missed by everyone who knew her.

  • Tammy Weihe Arnold lives in Georgia, just outside of Atlanta.  Tammy is a rehabilitation case manager at the Atlanta Medical Center.
  • Nancy Weaver Webster is starting her Ob/GYN residency at the University of Minnesota.  Her hubby Mitch Webster works for the State of Minnesota.
  • Eddy Andoh is living in Redwood City, California but I’m not sure what he’s doing out there besides staying warm…  Let us know what’s keeping you busy, Eddy!
  • Hi Joyce Evans Burke!  Kitty Opatz says “ Hi.”  As far as I can tell, Joyce is now a full-time mom in North Carolina.  You must have finally gotten burned out on New York City?
  • Joel Hansen, whose lovely wife is Susan, is self-employed in Lindstrom, Minnesota.  Susan is a teacher in Forest Lake.
  • Gregg Dahlke is a senior research specialist at 3M and lives in St. Paul.  Gregg spent many late-night hours this past January looking for the St. Paul Winter Carnival Medallion (not).
  • Laura Anderson Long is another Gustie who couldn’t handle the cold Minnesota winters and moved to Dunedin, FL.  If I understand things, Laura recently took a new position as an account executive for the Mony Group.
  • Maynard Manthe is married to Lisa McLain from the Class of ’87 and works for Carlson Craft in Mankato as an E-commerce manager.
  • Shawn Baker Jansen and Bill Jansen live in Sandstone Minnesota.  Shawn provides family day care (my gosh, what patience you must have!), and Bill works for Nemadji Research Corporation.
  • Debbie Dittberner is a family physician at the Alexandria Clinic (in Alexandria, Minnesota of course), and Jay Sieling is president of Northeast Outfitters.
  • Dan Jansen is a technology manager for Wells Fargo Online Banking and lives in San Francisco.
  • Mike Dicke is a lawyer for the Security Exchange Commission (no insider trading please), and has been covered by the Wall Street Journal and Fortune magazine.
  • Carol Wertjes Kuster is married to Joe and is the general manager of KWBG radio in Boone, Iowa (I think Scott Malm ’87 came from Boone).
  • Julie Folkvord Jordan works double-time as an account manager AND the owner/operator of the Pizza Zone in Stacy, Minnesota.
  • Amy LeClaire Sachs and Jim Sachs are happily married and living in Minneapolis.  Amy is busily raising their three kids and Jim works at St. Thomas as the assistant dean of students.  Jim, who do you root for when St. Thomas plays Gustavus?
  • Bruce Lively lives in Minneapolis and works at American Express.  Hey Bruce!
  • Lisa Maule Dutton lives in the Northwest burbs (Plymouth) and works as a supervisor in actuarial services for Minnesota Life.
  • Tom Illies is married to a younger Gustie (Tracey Bowers ’89), lives in Edina and works as a division marketing manager for Farmers Insurance (I sense a trend of insurance company jobs in our class…  When is someone going to offer us a deal on life, auto or home insurance??).
  • Chris Angelos, class of ’86 or ’87 depending on what day you ask him, is the president of Athens Financial (the Greek Connection).  If you need good financial planning assistance, Chris is the man to call.
  • Steve Hoelscher and Kristen Nilsson live in Austin, Texas (How far is GW’s ranch?); Steve is a professor at the University of Texas.  I’m not sure what Kristen is doing, but I suspect she’s busy raising their new daughter, Emma.  Congratulations!!
  • Riley Horan works for Gelco Trade Management and lives in Excelsior, Minnesota.  Hey Riley, still knocking those tennis balls around?
  • Paula Rokke Seeberg lives in Northfield (no, she isn’t a St. Olaf turncoat), Minnesota and works for Greenville Elementary School.
  • Judy Nakata Schmidt is married to Paul, lives in Los Gatos, California and teaches pre-school at Saratoga Presbyterian Preschool.
  • Stephanie Nichols Frehner is still expanding her brainpower as a graduate student in environmental education at the University of Minnesota.  I believe she’s also still teaching somewhere in the Twin Cities.
  • Blake Nordin works in public health for the State of Minnesota and lives up in beautiful Deerwood, Minnesota.  Hi Blake!
  • Dan Kelly and wife, Allison, live in Excelsior.  Dan is the manager of the New Business Group at US Bank.  Dan and Allison are celebrating the 9-month birthday of their new baby boy.
  • Doug Galuk is an orthopedic surgeon in Wisconsin Rapids, and is the proud father of three busy boys.
  • Kristin Kopplin lives in Mount Shasta, California and works for Siskiyou County as a clinical psychologist.  Her son, Miles, was born last July 31st and plans to be part of the Gustie class of 2024!!
  • J.J. Schaidler is both the owner and director for Point Blank Pictures in Minneapolis.  That sounds interesting, JJ.  Drop us a line and give us some details on some of the projects your company is working on.  JJ’s daughter, Anna, was born almost one year ago!
  • Brian Hays and wife, Heidie, live in Hastings; Brian works for Dakota County as a clinical supervisor.  Their son, Sawyer, was born last September (those Virgo babies are a hand-full; I know.)
  • Jeff Krohn and his wife, Josette, also live in Hastings.
  • Jena Jordahl and husband, Mark Henry, are keeping in Massachusetts where Jena is president of Global Connect Technology.  Jena just celebrated the 2nd birthdays of her twin daughters!
  • Kurt Bartell lives in cool Duluth, Minnesota and works for ReMax Realty.  Kurt keeps busy as a dad and tennis coach (congrats on your state champ student!).
  • Jon Fasching and wife, Beth, live in Bloomington.  Jon also works for Minnesota Life as a consultant.  Jon and Beth had a baby girl last October 1st.  Great News!
  • Jim Larson lives in Shoreview, Minnesota and works for School District 916 as a special education teacher.  On top of that Jim is a busy father of a two-year old!
  • Paul Legaard lives in Pennsylvania in the city of Broomall.  Paul recently was a lawyer for Woodcock, Washburn & Kurtz (& Legaard?), but I believe he may have switched jobs recently.  Paul’s daughter, Maria, is celebrating her 2nd birthday this spring.
  • Tamara Wiebusch Liansi lives in New Jersey and works for Kraft Foods as a consumer promotions manager (how about creating a promotion for ’86ers?  My son loves Kraft Macaroni & Cheese).  Tamara and Keith are newlyweds by the way!
  • Jackie Hunt Christensen lives in Minneapolis and works for the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy.  Her hubby, Paul, works for Land O’ Lakes.
  • Steve Weimerskirch is a project manager at Norstan Consulting, but more importantly is a happy new father to Katilyn Renee, born this past November.
  • Reede Webster now works for the Minnesota Department of Revenue as their communications director.  I suspect Reede can now tell us everything that really went on in the Ventura Administration.
  • Steve Warner and Janie (Rademacher ’85) Warner live in Shorewood, MN.  Steve is a financial consultant with Wells Fargo Investments and father to Samuel and Emily.
  • Mike Theilmann is married to Nancy and is a vice president for Tricon Global Restaurants.  Mike may also get the award for longest commute since he lives in jolly ol’ England.
  • Todd Weir and Cheryl Schwanz Weir live a little bit closer (Edina, MN).  Todd works for Heat-N-Glo and Cheryl now works for Fiber Options.
  • Tami Peterson lives down in Arlington, Texas and is a music teacher at James Bowie High School, AND plays in the Waco Symphony Orchestra.  Tami, what are the odds that someone could move from Arlington, MN to Arlington, TX?
  • Doug Rogers is the co-owner of Genesis Fitness & Nutrition in Eden Prairie, and would probably give you a discount if you tell him you also went to Gustavus.  Doug and wife also live in Eden Prairie and have two children, Jaynee and Jack.
  • Jon Rayfield lives out in the Great Northwest, Gig Harbor Washington to be exact.  Jon works for Merck, but is NOT likely to give you a discount for being a Gustie.  Jon’s children Reid and Emily keep him quite busy.
  • Ariel Racine received her master’s in social work from Augsburg College and is the director of social services for Trevilla of Golden Valley.
  • Deb Ross Kittlesen will be celebrating the first birthday of her son, Jadon, this coming July 29th.
  • Susan Phillips lives in Bear, Delaware (now that’s an interesting name for a town).  Susan, who works for MBNA America, will be celebrating her 10th anniversary to hubby, Joe, this coming August.  Susan has two lovely children named Emma and Reed.
  • This April Marsha Olson, who works at Community Memorial Hospital in Ventura, California, will be celebrating her 5th anniversary (me too!) to David.
  • Laura Peterson Olson and Phil just hosted their daughter Ellen’s 2nd birthday party and I wasn’t invited…  In fact, Laura didn’t send me a Christmas card this year either.
  • Alison Madson works as a contract administrator for Travelers Express Corporation in St. Louis Park, MN.
  • Charlotte Pratt Nordstrom lives in Minneapolis and works for Century College in White Bear Lake, which is a pretty long commute in rush hour traffic.  Her husband, Henrik, is the owner of Scandinavian Translation Service, and their son, Nils, is three years old by my reckoning…  Hi Charlotte!
  • Sandra Hendrickson Olson lives in St. Louis Park and somehow finds (part) time to work at National Map Marketing while raising three kids.  Her daughter, Amanda, already is saving up for her four fabulous years at Gustavus…as a class member of 2012.
  • Phil Nordberg and his wife, Kathy, will be celebrating their (drum roll please….) 18th wedding anniversary later this year!  Congratulations!
  • David Ellingson lives out west in Jackson, Wyoming and works for Life-Link International as a product manager.
  • Laurie Schrupp Noenning is an RN with Ridgeview Medical Center in Waconia, MN.  Laurie and Joel are the parents of four children ranging in age from 2 to 16.
  • Amy Nichols is living (and skiing?) in Denver, Colorado these days.  Amy is the communications director for American Select, wife to Jorge, and mother to Matthew who just turned three last month.  Hi Amy!
  • Binh Tang Ngo left Minnesota for Monterey, California and works as a financial Analyst for Iron Mountain Record Management.  Binh:  Dave Meyers says “hello”!
  • Dan Murray, who lives in Oakdale, Minnesota, is writing this class letter.  His employer recently changed its name from the ATA Foundation to the American Transportation Research Institute.  He continues to direct a range of transportation research for the public and private sectors.
  • Melanie Schmidt Frederick is a computer programmer for Taylor Corporation and lives in Cleveland, Minnesota.  Her hubby, Keith, is a narcotics investigator for the Le Sueuer County Sheriff’s Department.
  • Jan Jetland Murphy is a project analyst with Target Corporation, in their new downtown headquarters building.  Jan is available to give tours.  She’s married to Edgar and has two children, Quinn and Paige, to keep her busy.
  • Jeff Lunde is a teacher (BOTH pysch and geography; how’s that for using your Gustavus education?) at Mayo High School in Rochester and is a member of the Rochester Orchestra and Chorale.  Hey Jeff!
  • Also heralding from the greater Rochester area is Tim Mettler (Owatonna), who now works at the Mayo Medical Center as a patient management system analyst/programmer.
  • Andrew Miller is a software architect for Fourth Generation, Inc.  His wife, Janet, is a speech pathologist.
  • Katrina Krueger and husband, Steve, got married a little over a year ago in Christ Chapel and now live in Vadnais Heights.  A belated congratulations to you both!
  • Janice Berkness Laven (who I’ve known since our days at Alice Smith elementary school in Hopkins and who DIDN’T attend this year’s HS reunion) teaches in Edina and lives in Chanhassen.
  • Patrice Kortuem moved back to the Twin Cities and now works for the Center of the American Experiment as their development coordinator.
  • Shawn Hayes Jones is a consultant for MDA Consulting in Minneapolis.  Shawn (who moved back from Vail; not enough snow?) is married to Brian and has two kids, Nicholas and Jessica.
  • Martin Johnson and Kerry live in Plymouth, Minnesota.  Martin is the king of his career castle as the accountant/CPA for Martin Johnson, CPA.
  • Susan King Christenson is a registered nurse with the YMCA down in Red Wing I believe.  Hi Susan!
  • Sarah Johnson lives in St. Paul and works downtown as a clinical manager/RN at HealthEast St. Joseph’s.  Her son, Michael, just turned 11 years old.  Happy Birthday!
  • Elizabeth Weyhmann Freeberg lives just north of the Twin Cities in Lino Lakes.  Elizabeth and her husband have adopted four great children, and were involved in the creation of the Minnesota Adoption Resource Network (MARN) and other important adoption initiatives – both local and national.  Their efforts have been highlighted in a number of publications including the Star Tribune and Woman’s World magazine.  Great work, Elizabeth!
  • Lee Houserman Holmes is an E.R. physician (the real thing; not that TV crud!) in Little Falls, Minnesota.  She and her husband, Harnath, have two kids, Brenna and Mackenna.
  • Mark (Doc; but not the real thing) Hanson is a commodities broker for Farmland Atwood LLC.  And, if my moles are correct, Mark got married not that long ago!
  • John Hanka is the manager for computer productions with Hanley-Wood Integrated Marketing in Minneapolis.  John and Beth now have, and I apologize if this number is not accurate, six children!
  • Dan Felton is a legislative analyst for a financial services entity in Washington, DC and spent part of last year performing at the Kennedy Center in their Sondheim Celebration.
  • Joel and Leslie Good Norton are happily raising their two children Jessica and Christopher; Joel also finds time to work at Boynton Health Services and Leslie at the Silver Lake Clinic.
  • Julie Latterell got married this past January to a nice guy named Scott Dickinson; they now reside in Spring valley, WI.  It sounds like the wedding was lots of fun with a number of Gusties in attendance, although it didn’t generate any calls to the police.
  • Sandy Setter got married last August to a fellow teacher named Wally Larsen…

That’s all the news there is to print.

Til next time,

Dan Murray

1986 Co-class Agent

P.S.  Now for some news from campus:

New President of Gustavus Named

Dr. James Peterson '64, president and CEO of the Science Museum in St. Paul, MN, has been named the 14th president of Gustavus Adolphus College.  You may read about the president at:

Our Building a Greater Gustavus Campaign Success Interpreted

There are many questions among alumni, students and parents about the College’s financial situation.  People hear of our success in the capital campaign and ask, “How come the budget is so tight and some items are being cut?” 

One might look at an $80 million total to date of the $100 million goal and conclude that we have plenty of spendable resources.  A closer look at the designations of our campaign gift and pledges hopefully provides a helpful explanation.  During the past 5 years of this 6 ½ year campaign:

$23 million has been given for post-tornado rebuilding projects, including the Jackson Campus Center, the new outdoor track, the Curtis and Arleen Carlson International Center, a new residence hall and the replanting of trees.  As I’ve already reported, another $1 million has been designated for Old Main renovation.

$24 million has been committed to us in the form of “future gift” commitments.  These are typically planned gifts that provide an income to the donor, or they are bequest commitments.   In either case, these are not dollars that are available for the College to use at this time.  However, they hold great promise for the future.

$16 million has been given to the College’s endowment fund to support scholarships, academic chairs and other programs.  While our endowment is significantly below that of our comparison schools, we must continue our progress toward increasing that number well beyond the end of this particular campaign. 

$8 million has been received as restricted dollars for various programs such as the Center for Vocational Reflection funded through a grant from the Lilly Endowment.

$8 million – approximately $1.5 million per year – has been received without restriction.   These are the only dollars raised during the course of the campaign available for use in the College’s $60 million annual operating budget.  Herein lie the concerns related to our present budget challenge and where you can make the greatest impact.  We are in the second year of the three-year 50 by 50 Campaign.  The goal is to achieve 50 percent participation of all alumni in the Alumni Fund by the 50th Anniversary in 2004.  Our class totals through January 31, 2002 are 106 donors and $8,608 in total gifts.  Our goal is to achieve 197 donors by May 31, 2003.  Thanks to those that have made their gift.  If you have not made your gift yet, please respond to the next mailing, log on to, or call toll free 866-487-3863.  Remember, while we were students, we benefited from alumni who made gifts to the alumni fund.  Let’s do our part to help future Gusties.