Class of '86
January 2006

20-Year Reunion ― October 6 & 7, 2006

Dear class of 1986:

Greetings and Happy New Year!  So far, it looks a lot like the old year here in Minnesota—grey and damp.  What happened to a good old Minnesota snow-storm?

I hope by now many of you have had a call or email from a classmate filled with enthusiasm for our reunion in October!

The reunion committee is busy planning a fun-filled weekend over the 6th and 7th of October.  There have been some minor changes, so details will be coming soon.  Please keep the dates open, we are hoping for a great turnout to celebrate 20 years.

Please also consider a monetary gift this year in honor of our class.  We have set class gift goals of 42% participation and $25,000.  These goals, while more than in the recent past, are not out of reach for our class.  If you are not in the habit of giving, please consider at least $20 for 20 years.

The class of 1986 continues to work, play, raise families and be active in our communities.  Here are just a few examples:

  • Jim Isaak has left the hallowed halls of Gustavus to become the director of annual giving at the Mayo Foundation in Rochester.  We will miss having Jim “on staff” but he will continue to work with us as a reunion committee member.  Congratulations and good luck, Jim.
  • Erik Haasenstab works for Thomson West and keeps busy with his 10-month-old son, Adam.
  • Jackie Attlesey-Pries is a nurse administrator for Mayo systems.  She has two boys ages 15 and 12.
  • Penny Peterson Vizina is an optometrist for the Sault Tribal Health Center.  She also has two boys ages 15 and 12.  She said she is able to squeeze some golf in, however, on occasion.
  • Kristie Vikse continues her work at Merit Property Management and lives in sunny southern California.  She keeps her interest in art alive by traveling to beautiful places like Greece and Italy.
  • David Ellingson is the president of Northstar Solutions in the state of Wyoming.   He and his wife, Anne, welcomed a daughter, Quinn, into the family in 2002 and a son, Tate, in 2003.
  • Sarah Shella-Stevens is an attorney who was recently nominated for a position as a trial court judge in Stearns County.  Congratulations, Sarah.
  • Tim Mettler is a senior analyst/programmer at the Mayo Clinic in the area of patient management.
  • David Nelson is a senior associate at SRF Consulting Group in Minneapolis.  He is currently the lead roadway design engineer for the TH212 construction project through Eden Prairie and Chaska, MN.  In their spare time, David and wife, Kim (Olson ’85), raise their four children.
  • Nancy Halverson Kallgren is a self-employed attorney, specializing in the area of estate planning, probate and trust administration.  She and husband, Dan Kallgren, have two children and live in Wisconsin.  Dan is an associate professor of history and associate dean at the University of Wisconsin.
  • Kathy Larson Bergquist is a busy mom who home-schools her three children ages 14, 10 and 8.
  • Susan King Christenson continues to live in Red Wing, MN where she and her husband are also busy raising 3 kids ages 11, 9 and 7.
  • Linda Green is an ESL instructor at Minneapolis Community College.  She and her husband, Ken, have two children.  Linda has taught English overseas in Mexico, Indonesia, Egypt, Romania and Argentina.  She also has run eight marathons including the Boston Marathon.  She finished second in an Ironman triathlon and holds two state age-group records in swimming.

After 18 years, I decided to leave my outside employment to stay home full-time.  I’m never bored with two teenagers and a 10-year-old to shuffle from place to place.  I’ve been able to do much more volunteering, which I’ve always enjoyed.

Please continue to send us your information.  It is great to hear what has transpired in people’s lives over the past 20 years.

The campus is always busy and changing.  Here are a few updates from Gustavus:

Study Abroad Leader

Gustavus continues to be a leading institution for the number of students studying abroad, according to an annual ranking recently released by the Institute of International Education (IIE).  Consistent with its mission of giving students an education that is international in perspective, Gustavus was ranked seventh in the "Top 20 Baccalaureate Institutions" list of the institute’s "Open Doors 2005" report.  Gustavus was one of four Minnesota private colleges to make the list of 20.  The report was based on study abroad statistics from the 2003-04 academic year.  Gustavus students engage in international learning through various programs in more than 100 locations throughout the world, ranging from Australia to India and Ecuador to Sweden.  In recent years, 50 percent of Gustavus graduates have participated in at least one study-abroad experience.

New Carnegie Classification for Colleges and Universities

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching released a new classification system for institutions of higher education.  Gustavus’ classification is Arts & Sciences plus Professions, indicating that 60 to 80 percent of Gustavus students complete a traditional liberal arts major, such as political science, classics, or biology.  The new classifications describe five aspects of colleges and universities: instructional programs, enrollment profile, undergraduate demographics, size, and setting.  Undergraduate instructional programs are now designated as Arts & Sciences Focus, Arts & Sciences plus Professions, Balanced Arts & Sciences and Professions, Professions plus Arts & Sciences, or Professions Focus. 

Insurance Programs

The Alumni Association, in partnership with Meyer and Associates and Liberty Mutual, offers an insurance program to alumni and their families.  Products include insurance policies for life, short-term medical, auto, home, and renters.  For life and short-term medical insurance call Meyer and Associates at 800-635-7801 or visit  For auto, home, and renters insurance call Liberty Mutual at 800-524-9400 or visit

Gustavus to Perform at Orchestra Hall

The Gustavus Music Showcase will be Sunday, March 12, at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis.  The Gustavus Choir, Gustavus Symphony Orchestra, and Gustavus Wind Orchestra will perform.  This is a unique opportunity to hear three premier ensembles from Gustavus in one concert.  This showcase also allows prospective students, parents, and alumni from the area to meet and connect.  For tickets, call the Orchestra Hall box office at 800/292-4141.  Tickets are $20 for general admission, and $10 for students 18 and under.


Two big stories from the fall sports are that Hailey Harren won the national NCAA Division III cross country title and the men’s soccer team became the first MIAC school to play in the national championship game and finished second, losing 1-0 to defending national champion Messiah.  For the second consecutive year, men's soccer coach Larry Zelenz has been named Coach of the Year in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America/Adidas NCAA Division III West Region.  The men's hockey team is unbeaten in conference play, outscoring their opponents 28-5 in four games.

Upcoming Music Tours

This year nearly 300 students will participate in music tours as members of the Gustavus Wind Orchestra, Gustavus Choir, Gustavus Symphony Orchestra, Gustavus Jazz Lab Band, and Choir of Christ Chapel.  The Gustavus Wind Orchestra will tour Eastern Europe Jan. 14-30.  Performances are scheduled for Germany, Czech Republic, Poland, and Austria.  The Gustavus Choir will tour Jan. 27-Feb. 11 (see schedule below), with performances in Minnesota and Wisconsin.  The Gustavus Symphony Orchestra, Gustavus Jazz Lab Band, and Choir of Christ Chapel will tour during Spring Semester.

Gustavus Choir Tour Schedule

  • January 27 at Augustana Lutheran Church, West St. Paul, 7:30 p.m.
  • January 28 at St. Joseph's Catholic Church, Grand Rapids, 7:30 p.m.
  • January 29 at Zion Lutheran Church, Grand Rapids, 8:30 a.m. morning service
  • January 29 at Concordia Lutheran Church, Duluth, 3 p.m.
  • January 30 at Bemidji High School Auditorium, Bemidji, 7 p.m.
  • January 31 at First Lutheran Church, Morris, 7 p.m.
  • February 2 at Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church, Marshfield, WI, 7:30 p.m.
  • February 3 at St. Francis Catholic Church, Brainerd, 7:30 p.m.
  • February 4 at Central Lutheran Church, Winona, 7 p.m.
  • February 5 at Faith Lutheran Church, Winona, 8 a.m. morning service
  • February 5 at First Lutheran Church, Red Wing, 2 p.m.
  • February 11 at Christ Chapel, Saint Peter, 7:30 p.m.

Upcoming Alumni Events

  • Tucson, AZ Gustie Gathering - February 10
  • Phoenix, AZ Gustie Gathering - February 11
  • Sun City, AZ Gustie Gathering - February 12
  • Gustavus Music Showcase at Orchestra Hall - March 12
  • Atlanta, GA Gustie Gathering - March 26

Have a wonderful start to 2006.  Be kind to your classmates who continue to call, and we hope to see you in October!

Melinda Moen Batz

1986 Co-class agent