Class of '88
April 2005

Gustie Classmates,

Happy Spring!  Sorry for such a long delay in getting a class letter out to you.  Hopefully this finds you all healthy and happy.  I’m sure many of you are happy because it‘s time for the big dance (College basketball play offs). 

While on the subject of sports I would like to congratulate three of our own for being inducted into the Athletics Hall of Fame this last October.  Those outstanding athletes were Lori Allen for golf and basketball, Barb Jaeger for soccer, softball and alpine skiing, and Greg Peterson for golf.  Big congratulations to the three of you!

Now to some other news about our classmates:

  • Jim Howard and his wife, Paula Montague Howard, welcomed daughter, Allison Carol, in January of 2001.
  • Susan (Koch) Myers and husband, Mark, who have two children, Clayton, (2) and Hank, (4) began their own company in Colorado Springs called Myers Construction and Design.  I hope the business is taking off.
  • Dushan Monchilovich living in Lawrenceville, GA is now employed by South Star Funding.  His son, Lincoln, keeps him and his wife, Lina, busy.
  • Chris Anderson of Apple Valley has earned his certification in financial planning and work for LPL Financial Services.  Good luck with that Chris.
  • JOOOONES VanHecke is just about finished or maybe all done?  With her, (Is it your 3rd or 4th ?) degree.  She says hi to all.
  • Sean Bradley is busy managing his family business, Floor to Ceiling, in Duluth while his wife, Christine, manages their two sons, Quinn and Max.  Max was born in July of 2001.
  • Rebecca Pohlman is working in Fridley as a critical resource nurse at Unity Hospital and as a parish nurse for her church, Peace Lutheran Church (Coon Rapids).
  • Kris Munson Gritters of Stillwater now has a one and a half year old girl, Sydney Meredith Amundson Gritters, born November 12, 2003.  She joins brother Alexander.  Congratulations!  Kris is working for Goff & Howard, a general communications contractor company in Stillwater.  She specializes in helping clients create and manage partnerships with surrounding neighbors and communities.
  • Joel Kowski, Menomonie, WI is a podiatrist partner at Foot and Ankle Clinics, LLS.
  • David Van Brunt is enjoying his work as a research scientist at Eli Lilly and Co. in Indianapolis, IN.  His wife, Carrie (Valparaiso ’90), is on the faculty at DePauw University.
  • Dean Larson and his Gustie bride, Kris Mortensen Larson, are residing in Rochester, MN.  Dean is now working at Stifel and Kris is a nurse manager at Mayo (I hope I got that right).  You sound busy!
  • Melissa Carucci has been married for four blissful years to Jesse Logan.  They have a beautiful daughter, Lily, who keeps them busy outside their work lives as physicians at Kaiser Permanente in Salem, OR.  Hi Melissa!
  • Another doctor in the class, Brett Duke, cares for man’s best friends at Elm Creek Animal Hospital in Champlin, MN.  Brett teaches and gives seminars on dog agility competition, and has competed at the AKC National agility championships with his own dogs the last eight years.
  • Amy Hetland Sasik who is married to a much older Gustie, Chris Sasick ’86, (just kidding) has two daughters Emily (9), and Annika (5).
  • Donna Bluhm Caywood has a new daughter, Lauren Rebecca Hope, who will be 2 on May 28th.  She lives with her husband, Doug, in Stillwater, MN.
  • Penny Noeska Johnson and her husband, Dr. Niel Johnson, welcomed a new baby boy into their home on September 16, 2004.  His name is Lance Mathew Johnson.  Her husband, Major Johnson, was expected to leave for Iraq in January 2005 and be on duty for at least one year.  Our prayers go out to you for a safe and quick return home―and THANK YOU!
  • Kim Friedrichsen Cressy and her husband, Mark, added baby, Joe, to their family in March of 2004.  He’s a cutie Kim!  Did he have fun at the Gustie Easter Bunny Breakfast?
  • Lee Schmitz of Greenfield, MN and his wife, Leah, had a son, Layton Mathew, born August  4, 2004.  Congrats!
  • Martha Klein Conway currently of Naperville, Illinois, is teaching 5th graders at Patterson Elementary School.
  • Bruce Blonigen and wife, Denice, of Eugene, OR had a baby boy, Ben, born on August 19, 2004.  Bruce continues to teach social science at the University of Oregon.
  • Sophia Marie was born September 5, 2004 to JoJo Wackerfuss Quackenbush and her husband, Jim.  She is also a step-mom to 12-year-old, Austin, and is enjoying her time as a stay-at-home mom.  Congrats to you on the little girl.
  • Janice Suhr Haines and hubby, Ben, are excited to announce the birth and adoption of their daughter, Anastasia Lyudmila.  She was born June 6, 2003 and adopted October 21, 2003.  What great news!!!
  • Brent Anderson of Eagan, MN is vice president of marketing at QSGI in Eagan.
  • Steve Butler and his Gustie wife, Wendy (Lewis ’87) of St. James, MN are both busy teaching and raising a family.  Steve is teaching middle school science in New Ulm and Wendy is teaching 7, 10, 11 and 12th grade science in Sleepy Eye.  In addition they made a trip to Bogota, Columbia in 2003 to bring home their daughter, Lorena.  She was greeted by brother, Isaiah.  Congratulations.
  • Jeff Matz is a senior staff fraud investigator at Allstate Corporation.  Jeff and his spouse, who live in Winsted, MN welcomed a boy to their family on December 19, 2004.  His name is Stanley Chellis Matz.  Congrats to you!!!
  • Rob Melin of Saukville, WI is currently vice president of private client services for TCF National Bank in Milwaukee, WI.
  • Steve McCarthy and his wife, Katrina, of Circle Pines, MN have a 1-year-old, Lily Fae, who was born April 14, 2004.  Congrats and Happy Birthday Lily!
  • Tim Ahcan and wife, Michelle, had baby boy, Grant, join their family in May of 2002.  Tim is working as a branch claims supervisor at Farmers Insurance Group.
  • Jane Holmberg Meyer and her husband, Joel, are staying very busy as owners of four Papa Murphy’s stores (Brainerd, Alexandria, Fergus Falls and St. Cloud locations).  I believe Jane is also continuing to teach 5th grade at Wagner Elementary.  If in the area stop by for some ‘zza.
  • Nate Torgelson is still hanging out in Seattle and is working as an economic development manager for the City of Kent.  Nate and wife, Trina, had a baby girl, Julia Katherine, a few months ago on November 4, 2004.
  • Mary “Blair” Vos Schrader says that she is “not lost” because she knows where she is.  Blair is living in Sauk Rapids, MN and is a senior business analyst and technical writer for Bankers Systems, Inc.  I’m glad you were found.
  • Julie Elvestrom Kuehn and hubby, William, had a baby boy, Christopher Aaron, on July 29,2004.

I am working at Flagship Athletic Club part-time doing physical therapy and keeping three kids schedules managed.  I hope everyone had a great Easter.  Anyone with information they want to pass on to classmates, please send an e-mail or note to Gustavus and they will direct it to me.

The Alumni Office will add some campus news here:

Campus briefs

Gustavus has been known for its strong tradition of alumni participation in annual giving.  Gusties support their Alma Mater in many ways and show their pride with their gifts.  All alumni and current students have benefited from previous and current support.  Gustavus will be as strong as its alumni want it to be.  The 2005 Alumni Fund closes May 31.  Make sure you are included with many members of your class and other alumni that have chosen to keep Gustavus strong.  Three easy ways to give – send your check to the Alumni Office (by using the enclosed envelope), call 866-487-3863, or on-line at 

Alumni Awards

The Gustavus Alumni Association has announced 2005 award recipients.  The Greater Gustavus Award to George Torrey ’55 for his lifetime volunteer service and philanthropy to the College. Distinguished Alumni Citations to G. Barry Anderson ’76, Apple Valley, MN, associate justice, Minnesota Supreme Court; Deanna Nelson ’64, Cary, NC, president/founder, BioLink Life Sciences, Inc.; Rick Webb ’73, Edina, MN, owner of Ciao Bella, Zelo and Bacio Restaurants; and John Wirth ’75, Pacific Palisade, CA, writer/executive producer, Paramount Studios.  First Decade Awards to Joe Gaugler ’95, Lexington, KY, assistant professor, Department of Behavioral Science, University of Kentucky College of Medicine; Debbie Lightly Mascaro ’95, Fargo, ND, research scientist, North Dakota State University Center for Nanoscale Science and Engineering.


The Gustavus women’s hockey team finished third at the NCAA national championship after winning the MIAC title, the men’s basketball team won the MIAC regular season title and conference tournament and advanced to the NCAA national tournament, the men’s swimming and diving team won the MIAC title and placed seventh at the NCAA national tournament and had seven swimmers earn All-America honors and the women’s team had four swimmers earn All-America honors.

Extraordinary Students

Senior Rachel Batalden, a double major in mathematics and secondary education with a 3.898 grade point average and two-time MIAC All-Conference selection at setter for the women’s volleyball team, has been selected as one of 56 student-athletes from across the country to receive a $7,500 NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship.

Senior Paul Fraser, a music and computer science major has been selected as the winner of the second annual Caltech-Occidental Composition Contest for new music for concert band. The contest drew entries from all over the world, and as the winner, Paul will receive a cash award and a recording of the world premiere of the work at a concert by the Caltech-Occidental Concert Band in Pasadena, Calif., in May.

Bricks and mortar

Southwest Residence Hall is being constructed across the Campus Drive from the arboretum on the west side of the campus and is scheduled to be finished by June.  The L-shaped facility is configured with apartments for four and six and will accommodate nearly 200 students.  A hostel space for summer programs and confirmation retreat groups is included in the residence’s plans.

With the new Southwest Residence Hall coming on-line, the College will be taking down Wahlstrom Hall to make way for future residential construction.  Crews will start the dismantling process in July with asbestos abatement, and the Kasota-stone residence hall will be razed in August.  Alumni returning for reunion and commencement festivities on May 27–29 will be able to take a last tour through the building’s public areas, stairwells, and walk-through sections following a “decommissioning” ceremony to be held on Saturday morning, May 28.

Construction crews working on the renovation of Old Main discovered a cistern under the basement flooring in March.  Gutting the interior has provided evidence of layers upon layers of remodeling done over the years, including an old stairwell in the middle of the building and what appears to be an attempt to raise the third-floor ceiling.  The Old Main project, which includes the installation of an elevator in the northwest corner of the building, is scheduled to be completed in August.

The education and nursing departments have been relocated to the newly erected Mattson Hall, which is sited just west of the Schaefer Fine Arts Center and Prairie View Residence Hall, on the south side of the campus.  These departments will remain there until a new social science center is built at some point in the future.

Upcoming Events

  • Association of Congregations Meeting – April 23
  • G.I.V.E. Community Service Day – April 30
  • Class of 1955 and 50-Year Club Reunions – May 27 & 28
  • Commencement – May 29
  • Alumni Fund closes – May 31
  • Reunions on Homecoming – October 7 & 8
  • Nurses Reunion – October 8

May 31, 2005 is the end of the fiscal year for the Gustavus Fund.  Please support our school, teachers, students and St. Peter community by sending in your donation today.  Thanks so much.


Gail Chase Ericson

1988 Co-class Agent