Class of '90
April 2007

Hello Class of 1990!

By now spring has sprung, even for those of us living in Minnesota, and hopefully this letter finds you well and ready to jump into outdoor activities.  We have some alumni updates, and of course news from campus. We also wanted to remind you that the Alumni Fund closes May 31.  If you’ve donated, THANK YOU, and if you haven’t, please consider making a donation this year.  Remember that every dollar counts and your participation matters most.

We also want to encourage you to send us news for future class letters -- career changes, weddings, babies, etc.  And, recognizing that we are more than the sum of our parts (jobs + kids), we’d like to hear about other interesting activities in your lives.  Tell us about volunteer or community service work you do, or any of your recent travels.  Does anyone play in a band?  Have you written a book?  Have you gone back to school?  Did you play golf more than Doug Dittbenner last summer?  Have you climbed a mountain?  Run a marathon (or a 5K)?  Seriously, we’d like to hear about it all.


  • Rob Berdahl is currently starring in the production, The Musical of Musicals – the Musical!, at the Chanhassen Dinner Theatre.  Rob is also directing, producing and starring in a play called Warm Beer Cold Women on Monday nights at the Music Box Theatre in Minneapolis.
  • Jeff Corl is living in Round Rock, TX, and is a manager at Best Buy.
  • Linda Achterhof Davis works for the American Lung Association of Rhode Island.
  • Annette Johnson Engeldinger, in addition to teaching English, owns a knitting and yarn shop in St. Peter, the Tangled Skein.  The Tangled Skein is conveniently located around the corner from Patrick’s.  Since becoming a small business owner, Annette has become much better at math.
  • Shari Pernu Frost and her husband Dan Frost ’91 welcomed a daughter, Airis Alexandra, in June 2006.
  • Margaret Anderson Kelliher.  Did you know?  Margaret recently became Speaker of the Minnesota House of Representatives.  By now many of you have heard this news, but we thought that Margaret’s impressive accomplishment deserved specific mention in the Class Letter. 
  • Scott Kneeskern recently became creative director at the Minnesota Orchestra.  Scott and his wife, Jill Davis Kneeskern ’91, also have a graphic design business, KDK Design, and are busy with their four children, Ellen (11), Noah (8), Abigail (5) and Anna (2).
  • Dan Michel will be on campus May 12 for the performance of The Tempest.  Theatre professor Rob Gardner, who will retire after the school year, will play Prospero in the production.
  • Greg Nissen, Ramsey, MN, is a senior technical operations scientist at Beckman Coulter.
  • Jay Perbix works for


Alumni Awards Announced

The Alumni Association announces the following 2007 awards selected by the Alumni Board of Directors.  Greater Gustavus AwardGiven to those who, by deed, have notably advanced and aided Gustavus Adolphus College:  Russ and Jan (Ledin) Michaletz ’74 ’74

Distinguished Alumni CitationsRecognizes outstanding and exceptional professional achievement

Paul Peterson ’94, principal, St. Peter High School, Minnesota State High School Principal of the Year.

Margaret Anderson Kelliher ’90, house speaker, Minnesota House of Representatives.

First Decade AwardsRecognizes early professional achievement

Jennifer Pleuss Spande ’97, diplomat, Political and Economic Section, U.S. Embassy, Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Alexander Hill ’97, senior scientist, Medtronic, Inc.

The Greater Gustavus Award and Distinguished Alumni Citations will be presented at the Alumni Banquet on Saturday, May 26, and the First Decade Awards will be presented during Homecoming Weekend, October 13.

Linnaeus Symposium Celebrates Birth of Carl Linnaeus

In celebration of the 300th anniversary of the birth of Carl Linnaeus, Gustavus will host its second Linnaeus Symposium, Linnaeus @ 300, on Wednesday, April 25, 2007. The daylong conference will feature presentations by ethnobotanists Mark Plotkin and Paul Alan Cox, and Linnaean scholars Hans Odoo and Paula Robbins. The day will also include tours of Linnaeus Arboretum, a special photography exhibition by Anders Bjorling, music, dance, and a Scandinavian feast. Visit <> or call 507/933-6181 to learn more.    

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 trader 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.

“Community Food Security” is Theme of MAYDAY! Peace Conference

"Community Food Security" is the theme for this year's Gustavus MAYDAY! Peace Conference, to be held on May 2.  This is an annual conference, devoted to a topic relating to human rights and social justice.  Among other events, the daylong conference will feature presentations from author Janet Poppendieck, who wrote Sweet Charity?: Emergency Food and the End of Entitlement, and Mike Hamm, Ph.D., chair of sustainable agriculture at Michigan State University.  For more information call the Office of College Relations at 507/933-7520.

Gustavus Choir Reunion to Celebrate 75 Years

Alumni and friends of the Gustavus Choir are welcome to attend a reunion on Saturday, May 5.  The day will include an alumni choir rehearsal, a banquet for past and current members of the choir, and a full concert with both the alumni choir and the Gustavus Choir.  For more information, contact the Office of Fine Arts Programs at 507/933-7013.

Celebrating 75 Years of Theatre at Gustavus

The Department of Theatre and Dance celebrates 75 years of theatre at Gustavus with a reunion on May 11 and 12.  Highlights of the weekend will include an afternoon program sharing memories and monologs from the past 75 years and viewing the performance of The Tempest in Anderson Theatre.  For more information and to register, go to the theatre reunion section of the Alumni website at <> or call the Alumni Office at 800/487-8437.

Upcoming Alumni Events

  • Linnaeus Symposium - April 25
  • Gustavus Association of Congregations – April 28
  • MAYDAY! Peace Conference: Community Food Security - May 2
  • Celebrating 75 years of the Gustavus Choir - May 5
  • Lindau Symposium – May 8
    Celebrating 75 years of Theatre Reunion  - May 11-12
  • Class of 1962 - 45th Anniversary Reunion – May 25 & 26
  • Class of 1957 - 50th Anniversary Reunion – May 25 & 26
  • 50 Year Club Reunion – May 26

Go Gusties!

Anne Miller

Liesl Batz

Dan Michel

Scott Nelson

1990 Co-Class Agents