Class of '88
August 2007

20-Year Reunion ― October 3 & 4, 2008

Dear Gustie Classmates,

October 2008 is going to be here before you know it.  Yes, I know it’s not even October 2007 yet, but soon it will creep up on you.  What’s so important about October 2008?  Our 20 year (I can’t believe I’m that old) Gustie reunion.  As the Reunion Event Chairperson, I am inviting all of you to make your way down to Gustavus on Saturday, October 4, 2008 to meet up with old friends for a day and evening of fun events.  Please start thinking about this date, call all your friends and encourage them to meet you there.  There’s no dressing up and standing around a ballroom at this reunion.  Instead, the atmosphere will be relaxed and casual as it will revolve around tent parties, the football game, food, drinks and reminiscing about our memories surrounding the sights and sounds of campus.

If you are interested in helping a little or a lot in planning the reunion and/or making calls inviting our classmates to the reunion, please contact me or the Gustavus Alumni Office (800-487-8437).


  • Kirsten Davidson Firehammer is in the process of adopting an international child.  Good luck and I hope it all goes quickly and smoothly.
  • Scott Jordan is living in Danville, California and recently passed the bar exam!  Congrats!
  • Dave Werner is living in Omaha and is the plant manager of a 3M facility.  A son, Jack Thomas, was born March 6, 2007.  Enjoy!!
  • Congratulations to Chris Calhoon!  Chris was married to MaryPat Cleveland on March 25, 2006.  They share four children and live in Lakeville.  Chris continues to teach physical education/health in Apple Valley, MN.
  • Tom Westrum and his wife, Noelle (Nielson ’89) live in Asotin, Washington.  Is Tom still teaching?
  • Kelley Swansson is teaching health and physical education at Sartell Middle School.
  • Kristin Finger Smith and her husband, Joel, live in Brooklyn Park, MN.  Kristin is now managing the house and kid(s) full time.
  • Steve McCarthy and his wife, Katrina, welcomed a baby girl, Annika Grace, into the family on January 19, 2007.  Congrats!!
  • Bryan Carter is an attorney in private practice.  He and his wife, Kristy Barnes ’82 live in Minneapolis.  Kristy is a librarian in the Dakota County Schools System.
  • Rob Melin recently accepted a new position as vice president – private banking/wealth management at Amcore Bank in Wisconsin.
  • Jill Smook is staying busy taking care of her two-year-old, co-chairing for ECFE Advisory Council in Apple Valley, and volunteering for the Family School in Eagan.
  • Julie Jung Gullickson is working her tail off raising four children.  Glenn Peter, IV (9), Stefan Erik (7), Nathaniel James (4), and Grace Annelise (1).  You have your hands full.
  • Tammy Bonnes Root is teaching preschool at Gethsemane Lutheran School in Maplewood, MN
  • Isabel Rogan received her master’s in nursing in May.  She is teaching critical care and other areas of nursing to nursing students at Nebraska Methodist College.  In addition, Isabel will be teaching a history survey class in the general education department as she also has a master’s in Latin American History.  In her spare time she cheers on her daughter who is a champion rider of Arabian horses, and she is hoping to publish a book she has written.
  • Gwen Whipple Walz mother to Hope and Gus (great name Gwen!) of Mankato, MN is an educational advocate, and the number one supporter of husband/politician, Tim Walz, who is a U. S. representative/first district and formerly a teacher/coach in the Mankato schools.
  • Rev. Chris Beckman and his wife, Trish (Zimmerman ’89) and their young, twin boys Leo and Urban have found their way back to Minnesota.  He is the new pastor at Highview Christiania Lutheran Church in Farmington, MN.  Chris has been pastor at Northfield Retirement Center, a couple of small congregations and a hospital chaplain in Missouri before making his way back to Minnesota.  Welcome home!
  • Karin Meisel Steffenson is a substitute teacher in the Owatonna area (ISD #761).  She and husband, Neal, have 8-year old twins.

Send any news of job or family change or anything else you would like to share with classmates to the Gustavus Alumni Office (email: or  Also let us know if we have printed any wrong information as well.


It’s August on campus and summer activities are winding down.  This week all fall sports players have returned to campus.  Soon to follow will be the Gustie Greeters and all the incoming freshmen.  Classes start on September 4.

Construction Update

Work on the new football stadium has progressed at a quick pace.  Considerable progress has been made with most major elements of the stadium now in place.  The stadium will be ready for the opening game on Saturday, September 8 when the Gusties host Willamette, OR.  It’s really awesome and will be a great place for Gusties to gather!  Take a daily peak at  Physical Plant crews are also busy constructing additional intramural and club sport fields west of the Swanson Tennis Center.  These fields will replace the fields that were previously on the stadium construction site.

Athletics Hall of Fame ― Gustavus will induct new members into its Athletics Hall of Fame at a banquet on November 3.  They are:  Tim DeJarlais ’91, golf; John Erickson ’81, hockey; Dave Hultgren ’92, baseball; Craig Miller ’91, cross country; Mindy Mayerchak Oosten ’88, softball, soccer; Mike Schumacher ’91, football; Ann Sommerness Simms ’92, swimming; and Ryan Skanse ’92, tennis.

Dr. Mary Morton, Gustavus’ new provost and vice president for academic affairs, assumed her position on Monday, July 2.  In this role as chief academic officer, she oversees academic programs and strategic planning at Gustavus.

Gusties Gather! – September 30

Gusties around the world are called to gather on Sunday, September 30.  The Alumni Board is designating this day as a way for Gusties to stay connected with each other.  In research among alumni, we know that Gusties already stay in contact with many alumni, and we know that Gusties have a strong interest in staying connected with other Gusties and with the College.  If there is a gathering in your area, we hope you will consider attending.  Check out the locations already scheduled at:

Upcoming Alumni Events

  • Gustavus Booth at Minnesota State Fair, Education Building, August 23-September 3
  • Twin Cities Breakfasts, September 19
  • Gusties Gather! – September 30
  • Nobel ConferenceHeating Up: The Energy Debate - October 2 & 3
  • Homecoming/Family Weekend – October 12-14
  • A Royal AffairRazzle Dazzle, October 27
  • Athletics Hall of Fame Banquet – November 3
  • Christmas in Christ Chapel – November 30-December 2

Once again, remember to start looking ahead to October 2008 and our reunion.  In addition, we are hoping for a generous financial class gift as this year is a “biggy” reunion year for us.  Thanks to all classmates who made donations this past year to Gustavus and we look forward to seeing all of you soon.

Go Gusties!

Gail Chase Ericson

1988 Co-class Agent