Class of '87
25-Year Reunion ― October 13, 2012
Dear Class of 1987:
Long time without an update. It has been an even longer time since I (Tom Alexander) have written one of these updates, but now is the time. This letter will cover several items: (i) lots of updates from many of you; (ii) exciting news about our upcoming 25th Reunion; and (iii) a soft pitch for the Gustavus Annual Fund.
I don’t know about you, but I can’t believe we graduated 25 years ago. I guess I have to stop telling my kids that I am 27 years old. My kids (18, 17 and 14) stopped believing me years ago, but I still try.
Tom Alexander is still a real estate attorney and shareholder at Larkin Hoffman Law Firm in Bloomington, MN
Brent Ashland is a high school principal in the Kenyon-Wanamingo School District
Valerie Flom Ashland is a third grade teacher in the Albert Lea School District
Jeni Lange Belvedere is a third grade teacher in Hopkins ISD #270
Paul Beuning is a teacher at New London/Spicer High School
Lisa Baumgartner Bonds is a senior vice president at The Lutheran Community Foundation
Ted Botten is president of Theodore P. Botton Insurance Agency, Inc.
Peter Breitmayer is a professional actor
Lydia Brooks owns Skoorb Designs
Beth Beach Bryant is an attorney at Linder, Dittberner & Bryant, Ltd
Dan Buchanan is a technical laboratory consultant at Mayo Clinic and owns Mosquito Squad of SE MN
Kathy Wahlert Chameli is a substitute teacher
Marian Oswald Delaney is a physical therapist/athletic trainer at the Institute for Athletic Medicine
Kian Dwyer is owner and design consultant at Order in the Home
Scott Edblom is a Senior VP of product management at Western and Southern Financial Group
Lee Fahrenz is an agent with Euler Hermes ACI
Christine Gustafson Fattore is director at Aeras in Rockville, MD
David Flaten is a professor of history and political science at Tompkins Cortland Community College
Darcie Hart Forster is a systems developer IV at Federated Mutual Insurance Company in Owatonna
Sue Guertin Fortunato is a supervisory counterfeit specialist with the U.S. Secret Service criminal investigative service
Ed Frickson is an executive director of Family Innovations
Paul Gesme is a vice president at Mesaba Bancshares
April Tilton Goddard is a physician assistant at the University of Florida Division of Gastroentology
Kelly Opheim Gordon is a project manager at Pacific Northwest National Lab
Steve Grimm is a physical education and health teacher and golf coach at Hinkley/Finlayson High School
Kevin Gruenewald is a sales representative at Viking Drill and Tool
Elizabeth Ackmann Gulden is an instructional assistant at Twin Lakes Elementary in Elk River, MN
Tara Hovland Hallman is an executive administrator at Covert Funeral Home, LLC
Joel Johns is looking for a new gig after 13+ years as vice president-salon operations at Regis Corporation
Janet Bahls Johnson is a manager-finance at Thomsen Reuters
Kris Hansen Johnson is a senior business systems analyst at Bally Technologies
Tim Keran is CEO/owner of Western Graphics
Stephen Klick is a mechanical engineer for ACS
Paul Koch is senior vice president/wealth advisor and portfolio manager at UBS Financial Services
John Koenig is president/CEO of Water Closet Media/Big Green Racecar
Nancy Koski is a clinical research specialist at 3M
Patti Boyce Leaf is an independent representative with Silpada Designs
Butch Leyda is a family practice physician at Hudson Physician’s
Tom Linder is a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP
Kris Lund is a cognitive scientist at Language Sciences Research Lab in France
Steve Mann is a director of sales at Oregon Scientific
Robert McGuire is president of Owens Illinois-China branch
Melissa Radeke McPhee is a sixth grade teacher in St. Cloud ISD #742 and is working on her doctorate of education degree at Bethel University
Tracy Melin is a manufacturing engineer for Thermo Fisher Scientific
Trudy Johnson Mencke is an administrator at Mission Point Christian Church in San Antonio, TX.
Jeffrey Mostrom is an IT analyst at Thrivent Financial for Lutherans
Cheri Bishop O’Hagan is a media associate at Spirit Lake School District
Phil Olson is owner/guitar instructor at Oslo Studios in Burnsville, MN
Roz Johnson Peterson is a leasing and sales associate with Cerron Commercial Properties
Pat Ploumen is a finance manager at Marquette Transportation Finance in Bloomington, MN
Tim Rask is an agent for GEICO
Jayne Radke Rothschild is executive director of Honors Choirs of Southeastern Minnesota
Jenni Ryberg is employed in the billing department at Merrill Corp
Kathryn Kumm Schechinger owns and is officer manager at Schechinger Farms, Inc. in Iowa
Erik Schindler is owner and CEO of Norcostco Inc.
Cheryl Flor Scott is a property claims supervisor at Pemco Insurance
Jay Scott is owner/president at Solomon Real Estate Group, Inc.
Joni Roust Stapfer is a perennial grower and salesperson at Green Valley Greenhouse in Ramsey, MN
Amy Showers-Stone volunteers with the St. Paul Public Schools
Carolyn Falk Sund is a teacher in the Wayzata Public Schools
Patrick Swetala is a district marketing manager with Federated Mutual Insurance Company in Edina
Michael Thelander is a CEO of Signals Research Group, LLC
Beth Perry Theibault is a partner at Deloitte Consulting LLP
Jodi Lawrence Tuthill is a product manager at Wenger Corporation
Brenda Oian Vust is a licensed marriage and family therapist at Blue Earth County Mental Health
Chantal Dozois Weatherford is president of McKenzie Consulting Group in Plymouth, MN
Jill Swanson Whisler is a computer applications teacher at Lake Middle School in Woodbury
Nicci Abraham Will is a co-owner and website administrator for The Wills Company
Brian Wing is a vice president at First State Bank, Ashby, MN
Rich Wipperfurth is a senior vice president, sales, at Catalyst Health Solutions
It’s time for our 25th Reunion and your reunion committee has a fun day−October 13, 2012−in the works. The committee (from left to right below) if you did not recognize us, consists of Jill Swanson Whisler, Sue Perkins Olson, Melissa Radeke McPhee, Joel Johns, Terry Haley Bloom, me, and Wendy Ericksen Bachman.
We were a good looking group of kids 25 years ago, but what do we look like now? You’ll never know unless you come to the Reunion, because we all know that people can Photoshop pictures on Facebook.
If you weren’t at the 20th Reunion, a great time was had by all on campus and at The Flame, so we are going to keep it casual and do it again. More information and details will be forthcoming so keep an eye out for it or check us out on Facebook at Gustavus Adolphus College Class of 1987.
If you are interested in helping with the planning, let me or one of the other committee members know. Our email addresses are listed below.
I ask that each of you make an effort to come to our Reunion (and contact some of your closest Gustie friends and ask them to join you). We all know that as we get further and further away from GAC (25 years is a long time) and on with our lives, we need to make a better effort to stay in touch with the school and our Gustie friends, and two recent events reminded me of that and that life is too short to let friendships drift apart.
The first event, which was a terrible tragedy for my daughter (Emily – a freshman at North Dakota State University) and our family occurred on February 20, 2012, when Emily’s college roommate and friend since they were 12 years old (Lauren Peterson) and her three passengers were killed in a tragic car accident in Alexandria, MN. Emily was forced to grow up very quickly as a result of the accident, and after finishing her freshman year at NDSU by correspondence, she is now planning to attend UW LaCrosse this fall. This accident and the weeks afterwards made me think a lot about how fragile life is and how important it is to spend time with your family and friends whenever possible.
The other event was the death of Paul Koch’s brother Joel (class of 1985) in mid-April. Joel was my and Paul’s CF our freshman year on Sorenson (2). Over the years, I had kept apprised of Joel’s life and accomplishments through Paul, but over the last several years (as Paul began raising his family), we lost touch a bit and thus I had not seen or heard much of Joel either. Hearing of his death, through four sources (two of which were non-Gustie co-workers of mine at Larkin Hoffman, whose kids had been greatly impacted by Joel−he was a basketball coach in St. Louis Park) made me realize how I need to make a better effort to keep in touch with my Gustie friends.
Therefore, I ask you to please make every effort you can to come to our reunion and reconnect with a large group of your classmates and friends. My wife (a non-Gustie) and I attended our 20th Reunion and we both had a ball. We will be there for sure. I hope to see you there.
Proud Member of the Class of 1987
Committee Email Addresses: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; and firstname.lastname@example.org
P.S. Please make a donation (of any amount) to the Gustavus Annual Fund.