Class of '87
December 2006

Season’s Greetings from Gustavus!

As I write to you, students across campus are decorating their dorms and apartments with holiday lights and window paint.  The campus is abuzz in preparation for Christmas in Christ Chapel this weekend, and bitter winds have descended upon us, bringing the non-natives into the Book Mark in droves to pick up mittens, caps and scarves.  Every day reminds me of my time as a student here at Gustavus, and every day I am reminded how blessed I am to be a GUSTIE.

My life as a GUSTIE started here, and has made its way back here, in the great little town of St. Peter.  After graduation, I began a career with Lady Foot Locker that would span the next eight years, crossing paths with Ann Christensen Bjork in the same line of work!  In the summer of 1989 I took my first store manager position and relocated (with my fiancé) to Richmond, Virginia, where I ran into Scott Dingman ’86 one day at the post office!

My fiancé was Woody (Marc) Bachman ’88 and yes, we did manage to plan a wedding 1500 miles away and even made it home in May of 1990 for the big event.  We eventually moved back home to the Minneapolis area in the fall of 1990 and I managed Lady Foot Locker stores in City Center, Ridgedale and Burnsville Center.

The next series of events in our lives were a bit of a blur and certainly a leap of faith.  In June of 1992 we welcomed our first born, Beau, and in March of 1993 we purchased our first home in Bloomington.  Then in August of 1993, Woody accepted a position at St. Peter High School as 10th grade World Geography teacher and football coach.  I had just begun a job-share situation at the store and we decided to stay put for the first year and have Woody commute to St. Peter.

By December, we were expecting our second child and knew we would be bringing this baby home to St. Peter!  Sure enough, Alina was born at Fairview Southdale August 3, 1994 and we moved in to our home in St. Peter on August 5th.

I commuted to the Burnsville Lady Foot Locker three days a week until baby #3 arrived.  When Chloe was born in April of 1996, I resigned from Lady Foot Locker and began my dream job (but never ever dreamed of it)―working at Gustavus!  I wonder if Alan Meier ever dreamed he’d be working here too?!  I have spent the last 10 years greeting students, staff, visitors, and alumni at the Red Desk in Lund Center, and the past three doing the same at the Book Mark.

We are enjoying life in St. Peter.  Avery joined us in January of 1998 and he was just 10 weeks old when the tornado came through.  It was a terrible disaster, but certainly brought us closer as a community both in town and on campus.  Jim ’86 and Tracie (Riebesell ’88) Amsden have quite the tornado story to tell.  When you come for our 20th reunion, you’ll have to pick up a copy of the Tornado Video at the Book Mark, it is AMAZING.

If you haven’t been back to campus since 1998, you will truly be amazed at the changes, but awed by the realization that it is still “home.”  This place is still energized by that great GUSTIE spirit, fueled by the amazing, tireless workers who devote their lives to making this a Greater Gustavus, and enlivened by the unique and gifted students who, year after year, graduate to become modern-day replicas of us, Gustavus alumni.  And we, as alumni, ensure this great circle of GUSTIE life continues on by our gifts of support to this college we love.

I hope you will share all the wonderful things about Gustavus with your families at our Homecoming celebration next fall.  I am currently the Events Chair (looking for a co-chair!  “Hint, hint”) and am excited to gather your input to make this day all you would like it to be.  So please, email me, Wendy Bachman, at with your thoughts on Reunion Day activities.  What would absolutely get you to come spend the day on campus?  Brainstorm with classmates, pull out your Gustavians and your Griblys (are yours still at mom’s too? call Gwen Kleven Olson (she has her Gribs on her coffee table) and send as many ideas as you can.  This is our reunion and we get to plan it….lets make it the BEST!

As I close this portion of our class letter, I invite you to consider being a guest writer for an upcoming letter.  We all have a little story to tell…..and if you’re anything like me, you LOVE to read each and every one of them.  Contact our Communications Chair (& class letter editor), Tom Alexander if you’re interested.  Also note that our esteemed Reunion Chair is Paul Koch  J

Cindy Lee Melin will have to endure plenty of Reunion talk at her holiday gathering of Myrtle girls.  I hope you will do the same if you are fortunate to gather with GUSTIES this holiday season.

God’s richest blessings to you and yours,

Wendy Ericksen Bachman

Reunion Events Chair

Class of 1987


Class News

Tom Alexander and his wife, Laura, live in Savage, MN with their daughter (Emily – age 13) and sons (Erin – age 11, and Ryan – age 9).  Tom is a real estate attorney and shareholder of Larkin Hoffman law firm in Bloomington, MN, and is the Chair of the firm’s Real Estate and Land Use Department.

Doug Bailey is employed at Surgical Consultants of Burnsville, MN, and lives in Bloomington, MN.

Steve and Terry (Haley) Bloom live in Lakeville, MN.  Steve still owns Pragmatek Consulting Group and started Social Venture Partners of Minnesota, a non-profit organization that helps at-risk youth (  Terry continues to raise llamas and loves being a mom to Haley (14) and Jenna (12) – two future Gusties!  She also serves on the Gustavus Library Associates team.

Elizabeth Beach Bryant lives in St. Louis Park, MN with her husband, Mike ’86 and two sons (Thomas – age 6, and David – age 5).  She is a family law attorney in Edina.

Mary Shifflet Crippen and her husband, Joseph ’85, live in Northfield, MN.  Mary is a human resource training manager for Ziegler Inc.  Joseph is senior pastor at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Northfield.

Kian Dwyer wrote a critically acclaimed book “Living Your Chosen Eulogy” and is the founder of World Help Organization (

Linda Ieleja Gerstman lives in Winnetka, Illinois, and had her first child, Leo Henry, on February 6, 2006.  Editor’s note:  Congratulations!  Being a parent is the greatest job you will ever have.

Bradley Johnson and his wife, Andrea Kowal, live in Ystad, Sweden and had a son (Viktor Gilman Griffin Kowal) on December 2, 2005.  Editor’s Note:  Congratulations!  Brad works with Global Business Media AB, representing The Financial Times Group, Financial Times Deutschland, Vedomosti (Russia’s Financial Times), Business Standard (India’s Top Business title) and Intermedian Korea.

Paul Koch is now a senior vice president for Wealth Management at Citigroup Smith Barney with his office in Wayzata, MN.  He and his wife, Michelle, celebrated the birth of their third boy, Edward “Teddy” on October 30, 2006.  Editor’s note:  Congratulations!

Brett Koopman and his wife, Heidi, live in Brooklyn Center, MN.  Brett recently accepted a position as a financial associate with Thrivent Financial (f/k/a Lutheran Brotherhood) after 16 years at Youth Encounter.

Paula Glynn Lammers is a jazz musician in the Twin Cities.  She is also a voice teacher and sings in several genres from opera to jazz.  In 2005 she released her first CD “A Blanket of Blue.”

Kristi Multhaup lives in Davidson, North Carolina and is a professor of psychology at Davidson College.

Gwen Kleven Olson lives in Milan, MN and is a cost accountant – Value Added for Jennie-O Turkey Store, and is an EMT and works for CCMH Ambulance and Milan EMS.  She and her husband, Richard, recently celebrated their 10th anniversary.  Richard is self-employed as a farmer.  They have two sons (Jack – age 8; and Alex – age 7).

Roz Johnson Peterson lives in Lakeville, MN with her husband, Tim ’85.  Roz is executive vice president of D & T Property, Inc. and Mike is pharmacy business development director at Snyder Drug Stores.

Kristi Lund Picken lives with her husband, Jeff, in Appleton, Wisconsin, and is a homemaker.  They adopted Marissa Isabella (born January 28, 2005) from Bogotá, Columbia in June 2005.  Editor’s Note:  Congratulations!

Brian Pickering lives in Sammamish, Washington and is a data analyst for Electronic Evidence Discovery in Kirkland, Washington.

Steve Sutherland is president-elect of the Minnesota Society for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.  He practices child, adolescent and adult psychiatry at the Human Development Center in Duluth, MN, and teaches on the clinical faculty at University of Minnesota, Duluth, School of Medicine.

Michael Thelander lives in Oakland Hills, California (outside San Francisco) with his wife, Kirsten.  Mike runs a wireless focused research consultancy called Signals Research Group, LLC.

Matt Von Eschen and his wife, Kirsten, live in Eden Prairie, MN and had their first child, Luke Matthew, on November 21, 2005.  Editor’s Note:  Congratulations!  Matt is territory manager for Lifetouch National School Studios.

Mary Hopkins Weber lives in Reston, Virginia with her husband, Tim, and is senior project manager in the Speech Solutions Division of Convergys Corp.

Mike Woizeschke lives in Eden Prairie, MN with his wife, Heide, and daughter, Kate Emma (2005).  Mike is an elementary teacher in the Eden Prairie school district.

Todd Zabel lives in White Bear Lake, MN with his wife, Julie, and six (yes, 6) kids.  He owns Technology Advisory Group, LLC which specializes in accounting assistance and accounting software solutions.  He also coaches soccer and hockey.

Campus News

Gustavus Designated an “All Steinway School”

Steinway and Sons, makers of what many would say are the best pianos, has added Gustavus to its “All Steinway Schools” list.  This is an exclusive list of just 66 colleges, universities, or conservatories in the world.  To be considered for the Steinway designation, a school must first have at least 90 percent of its performance, practice, and teaching pianos be Steinways.

Gustavus Excels in Fitness and Dining

Men’s Fitness magazine has named Gustavus as one of the top 10 colleges in America for fitness.  Among the things considered in the rankings were nutrition and dining choices, whether physical fitness is included in the curriculum, and availability of workout equipment.  They also examined individual student responses to questions on topics such as alcohol consumption, tobacco use, fast-food indulgence, and exercise habits.  On a related note, the Gustavus Dining Service was listed in the top 10 in a U.S. News and World Report survey on the best campus food in America.

Upcoming Gustavus Events

  • Jacksonville Chapter Gathering – February 11
  • Orlando Chapter Gathering – February 13
  • Tampa Bay Chapter Gathering – February 15
  • Naples/Marco Island Chapter Gathering – February 17
  • Tucson Chapter Gathering – March 16
  • Phoenix Chapter Gathering – March 17
  • Sun City Chapter Gathering – March 18

If you haven’t done so already, don’t forget to save the dates for our 20th Reunion:

October 12-14, 2007!