Class of '88
January 2007

Welcome to Winter!

It’s nice to see that it has finally arrived.  Some more snow would be really fun!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and New Years.  It was a busy, fun-filled month for our family.  We hosted our 3rd Annual Christmas Dessert Party, which is typically on the first Sunday of December.  It’s an open house format, and we invite oodles of family and friends.  No one is allowed to bring a dessert, however, as this is our treat!  I spend about a week prior to the party baking like crazy and pride myself on serving all homemade goodies!  It’s a great reason to get together and to start out the Christmas season, getting prepared to celebrate Christ’s birth.  This year, we counted 86 people, including the kids!  Wow, what a great turnout!  There were several Gusties there with their families, as well.  How fun it was to see everyone!

Can you believe its 2007 already?  We have our 20-year reunion in just two short years!!  Yikes!  Time sure does fly.  I certainly don’t feel “old” as a 40-year old!  Age is just a number and I believe it’s more about how you “feel” as opposed to the number!

Anyway, on to more exciting news about our classmates……

Gregory Hemme is living in Berlin, working as a social worker with a “semi-independent living program,” for a company called Tiele-Winckler-Haus.  He stated that he always enjoys reading the class letter!  Great to hear from you, Gregory!  Keep up your important work.

Nate Torgelson and wife, Katherine, are living in the Seattle area, and Nate is executive manager of Community Development for Seattle Mayor, Greg Nickels.  Sounds like interesting work, Nate!

Jill Smook lives in Apple Valley and is a mom and volunteer for the Art Adventure program, teaching art appreciation at her son’s school.  She was coordinator of Pack 290 Food Drive for Dakota County Food Shelf.  Jill, keep up the great work!

Lisa Egnell Walker lives in La Palma, CA, and is taking a leave of absence from being a physical therapist to raise her daughter, Madison, who was born July 5, 2005.  She is also the chief financial officer and co-owner of Walker Vineyards.  Congratulations on your new baby!

John Koller, of Worthington, MN, received the 2006 District 518 Teacher of the Year award for Worthington High School!!  Great job, John!  This is not his first award, however.  He has received Teacher of the Year for the second time, and was named “Top Teacher” at Round Lake nine years ago.  He teaches advanced algebra, integrated math and grad math.  His wife is Tammy, and they have two children, Rachel, 7, and Adam, 4.  Keep up the fantastic work, John!

JoNes Van Hecke is dean of student life at Central College, Pella, in Iowa.  She was recently featured in The Des Moines Register GC with such notable achievements as:  Rackham Dissertation Fellowship recipient from the University of Michigan, 2006; track coordinator and leader volunteer for Therapeutic Riding, a non-profit organization that teaches children with disabilities how to ride horses.  Her off-the-job interests include the BWCA, camping, reading, quarter horses and dogs.  Congratulations, JoNes!

Christine Middlestadt Warga, and husband John, live in Westminster, CO.  Christine works for Accenture Technology Solutions as a programmer analyst since Dec. 2005.  John is a homemaker.  Hope the new position is going really well, Christine!

Chris Clemens and his wife, Carmen, recently had another baby girl, Grace, who joins her 2-year old big sister, Sophia.  Grace was born on December 4, weighing in at 6.5 lbs and 21 inches long.  Chris and family live in Excelsior, MN.

A group of Gustie girls stole away to Captiva Island, FL, in mid-October over MEA, to celebrate our 40th birthdays!!  The group included:  Julie Elvestrom Kuehn, Kris Amundson-Gritters, Mary Schoenfelder Lee, Kari Hubbard Witt, Anne Sarkinen White, and me, JoJo Wackerfuss Quackenbush (thank goodness I don’t hyphenate, huh?).  We left all 14 kids at home with their dads and other dedicated moms, mother-in-laws, aunties, friends, etc.  We were gone for six nights, and had an absolute blast!  The weather was hot and humid, and we were able to get some much-needed R&R on the beach, eating out and just catching up with each other.  We would highly recommend a trip like this to you all….with or without kids!  40 is feeling pretty good!  Look for our picture in the Quarterly!

I look forward to hearing from you all regarding your lives, work and families.  Please let Gustavus know how and what you’re doing so that we can get the word out!  Take good care, and until next time….

JoJo Wackerfuss Quackenbush

1988 Co-Class Agent


Alumni Starring in The Cherry Orchard

The Department of Theatre and Dance is celebrating 75 years of theatre at Gustavus this year with two featured events:  Theatre Reunion May 11-12 and a gala performance of The Cherry Orchard followed by admission to the cast party on February 10.  The Cherry Orchard will be Professor Rob Gardner’s final directing work before retirement.  A cast of professional theatre alumni will join the student actors for this very special production.  The alumni cast includes:  Peter Breitmayer ’87, Karen Esbjornson ’80, Kevin Kling ’79, Scott Novotny ’75, and Michael Glenn (Waldhauser) ’97.  A sold-out performance is expected for this unique celebration, so order your tickets soon.  For more information and to order tickets, go to the Cherry Orchard site from <>.

Lindau Symposium brings Richard John Neuhaus to campus

The Rev. Richard John Neuhaus, a well-known conservative Catholic intellectual, will address “Religion in American Public Life” at the inaugural Lindau Symposium at Gustavus on Tuesday, May 8, 2007, 7:30 p.m. in Alumni Hall.  A gift to the College from Phil ’58 and Nancy Lindau, given prior to Phil’s death last April, established the symposium at Gustavus that bears his name.  Lindau, a commodities broker and executive who served Gustavus as a board member, campaign chair, and longtime volunteer leader, was passionate about the faith-life intersection and the church-relatedness of his alma mater.  The symposium, which the Lindau family and College officials anticipate will be an annual event, aims to provide a forum in which diverse intellectual voices and mainstream beliefs and values can be brought together in a liberal arts environment.

Gustie Pages

Looking for a dentist, doctor, lawyer, pastor, Realtor, or other professional?  Make it a Gustie!  Look in the Gustie Pages, an online database of Gusties who have submitted information about their profession.  Use the Gustavus network to meet your needs, or submit your professional information if you would like other Gusties to become your customers.  Go to the Gustie Pages at the alumni website at:  <>.

Career Connections with Students

Sign up now for the 2007 Gustavus Career Connections Reception.  The reception will be Monday, February 19, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Minneapolis Hilton.  The gathering allows Gustavus alumni to provide advice, encouragement, and career networking opportunities to Gustavus students seeking internships and career opportunities.  Alumni are invited to attend and assist current students in their career search.  You do not have to be hiring at your company to attend – just willing to share your experience.  E-mail the Career Center at or call 507/933-7586 if you can attend or want more information.

Give Every Year to Gustavus?

Do you give to Gustavus every year and plan to give every year in the future?  Then you should become a member of the Cec Eckhoff Society.  Members of the Cec Eckhoff Society simply make the public commitment that they plan to give financially to Gustavus every year.  It does not matter how much you give and this is not a formal pledge for a certain amount of money.  Cec Eckhoff ’56 led the alumni office from 1963-1994.  Cec believed that part of being an alum of Gustavus was to give monetarily each year to the College.  To become a member of the Cec Eckhoff Society, please call The Gustavus Fund office toll-free at 866/487-3863 or e-mail <>.  Thank you for your support of Gustavus!

Summer Sport Camps at Gustavus

Gustavus’ strong athletic tradition is evident with numerous summer sports camps featuring knowledgeable coaching staffs, acclaimed athletic facilities, and quality dining service and housing accommodations.  Camps offered this year include: golf, hockey, basketball, tennis, volleyball, soccer, throwing, and swimming.  For more information go to <> or contact the Athletic Department at 507/933-7617.

Upcoming Music Tours

This year nearly 300 students will participate in music tours as members of the Gustavus Wind Orchestra, Gustavus Choir, Gustavus String Orchestra, Gustavus Jazz Lab Band, and Choir of Christ Chapel.  The Gustavus Choir will tour Spain and Portugal January 11-30.  Performances are scheduled for Lisbon, Seville, Malaga, Grenada, and Madrid.  The Wind Orchestra will tour Minnesota, Madison and Milwaukee, WI and Chicago.  The String Orchestra will be in Nebraska, Kansas, and South Dakota.

Upcoming Alumni Events

  • The Cherry Orchard Gala Performance – February 10
  • Orlando Gustie Gathering – February 13
  • Tampa Bay Gustie Gathering – February 15
  • Naples/Marco Island Gustie Gathering – February 17
  • Tucson Gustie Gathering – March 16
  • Phoenix Gustie Gathering – March 17
  • Sun City Gustie Gathering – March 18
  • Celebrating 75 years of Theatre Reunion – May 11-12