Class of '90
January 2011

Greetings class of 1990!

Thanks so much to everyone who joined us on campus for our 20th class reunion in September!  We had over 120 classmates attend and to those who weren’t able to join us we look forward to seeing you at the 25th!

group pic

Several of our classmates commented to me after the weekend how great it was to be 22 again - if only for a weekend.  It’s really interesting how little some things have changed on campus like the Gustavus “uniform” of a GAC sweatshirt or t-shirt and jeans, the beauty of the walk to the chapel on Eckman mall on a crisp fall day and a party in the dive (okay, a brunch).  There are of course a lot of exciting changes that have taken place and continue to change the face of the college like the swanky cafeteria in the student union reconstructed after the tornado of 1998, the beautiful new football field and the new classroom building being built that will house the social science, economics, psychology, sociology/anthropology, history and communication studies departments.  Perhaps the most important change is the college’s newly adopted tagline:  “Make Your Life Count.”

As a class we made a really meaningful contribution to the college for our 20th reunion year.  Doug Dittbenner took one for the team kicking field goals to raise money for our class during half time of the Homecoming football game.  He’s still got game and easily cleared a 20-yarder− can’t wait to see him kick a 25-yard field goal in five years!  The “Make Ditt’s Kick Count” campaign added over $1500 to our total gift to the college as a class.  Our total gift raised between June 1, 2009 and September 24, 2010 was $23,562 with 24% of our class participating!  Thanks everyone!

Part of the fun of getting together with classmates after 20 years have passed was seeing what each of us is doing with our lives.  We’re teachers, doctors, lawyers, business people, scientists, leaders in the non-profit world, musicians, pastors, little league coaches, PTA presidents and a long list of other interesting occupations.  I was really proud to be a part of a group of individuals that have become such good citizens of the world.  Making our lives count.

Here are a few updates on what our classmates are up to these days:

  • Dan Hovland is working overseas as the principal of an international school.
  • Karin Kneeland works information technology project management for United Health Group.
  • Karina Doyle is a history teacher in Longmont, CO.
  • Jim Loe is president of Bank of America in Ladysmith, WI.
  • Kevin Hanson is the owner of Olson Funeral Home in Platteville, WI.
  • Steve Buterin is a lawyer and was made partner in 2010 for Coleman, Hull and Van Vliet.
  • Sue Goehl Hemme is a nurse practitioner manager for the Center for Reproductive Medicine.
  • Eric Hemme works for Oracle Corporation.
  • Shari Zeiszler McGuire owns emberBright and helped to launch the website
  • Perry Wiest is an analyst at Health Partners.
  • Matt Hamilton is a senior project manager at Brown University.
  • Matt Plowman graduated from William Mitchell School of Law in 2010 where he was class valedictorian and now works as a business litigation attorney for Gray, Plant and Mooty.
  • Liesl Batz is executive recruiter for Columbia Management (Ameriprise Financial).

Many thanks to all who gave of their time and energy to help organize a great 20th reunion and of course to all of those who contributed to the class gift for 2010.

Your class agents wish you and your families a very Happy, Healthy and Prosperous 2011!


Class Agents:  Liesl Batz, Dan Michel, Anne Miller, Scott Nelson

Campus News

Dr. Bernard LaFayette to speak in Chapel on MLK Day – January 17

Martin Luther King Jr. Day will be celebrated on Monday, Jan. 17, with a public lecture by civil rights movement activist Bernard LaFayette Jr. and a performance of African America by Minneapolis’s Mixed Blood Theatre.  LaFayette will give the College’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Lecture in Christ Chapel as part of the College’s daily chapel service at 10 a.m.  A question-and-answer session will follow LaFayette’s presentation at approximately 11 a.m. LaFayette co-founded the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in 1960 and played a leadership role in several key Civil Rights Movement events in the early 1960s, including the Nashville sit-ins in 1960, the Freedom Rides in 1961, and the Selma, Alabama, voting rights movement in 1965.

Call for Distinguished Alumni Citation Nominees

Each year the Gustavus Alumni Association presents Distinguished Alumni Citations.  The Distinguished Alumni Citation recognizes outstanding and exceptional professional achievement, such as to bring unusual honor to the individual in his or her field of endeavor.  Criteria appropriate to selection shall include the difficulty of accomplishment; quality, creativity, and distinctiveness of performance; recognition by professional peers; and lasting contribution to the world of ideas and affairs.  While the citation is a professional award, humanitarian achievements may also be weighed.  Nominees are now being accepted by the Alumni Board of Directors; please e-mail a resume or curriculum vitae to Randall Stuckey ’83, director of alumni relations, at .  For a complete list of past recipients, view the awards website .

Gustavus Choir Tour

The Gustavus Choir will embark on a tour of Italy this month.  The 57 student musicians, under the direction of Greg Aune, will travel to and sing at various locations in Italy Jan. 13-28.  As is the case with each Gustavus international music tour, it includes an educational component.  The students are learning about the Italian Renaissance in the month-long Cultures of Creativity course taught by Chaplain Brian Johnson ʼ80.  Joining the Gustavus Choir will be a companion tour of 15 Gustavus alumni, parents, and friends.

Gustavus Wind Orchestra Tour

Under the direction of Douglas Nimmo, the Gustavus Wind Orchestra will tour Minnesota and Wisconsin between the January Interim and Spring Semester.  All concerts are free and open to the public.

  • Saturday, Jan. 29, 7 p.m. – Tornstrom Auditorium, Brainerd
  • Sunday, Jan 30, 3 p.m. – Central High School Auditorium, Duluth
  • Monday, Jan. 31, 7 p.m. – Wausau East High School, Wasuau, WI
  • Tuesday, Feb. 1, 8 p.m. – Lawrence University Memorial Chapel, Appleton, WI
  • Thursday, Feb. 3, 7 p.m. – Schauer Arts and Activities Center, Hartford, WI
  • Friday, Feb. 4, 7 p.m. – St. Luke’s Lutheran Church, Middleton, WI
  • Saturday, Feb. 5, 7 p.m. – St. John Lutheran Church, Owatonna

The tour will wrap up with a home concert on Saturday, Feb. 12. at 2 p.m. in Christ Chapel.

“Come on You Gusties” Breakfasts

Engage with other alumni and learn something new about your alma mater at the monthly Gustie breakfasts. New this month: breakfasts in both the Minneapolis and St. Peter!  Minneapolis breakfasts are the 3rd Wednesday of the month, St. Peter breakfasts are the 2nd Wednesday of the month.

Speakers at the Minneapolis venue are Brett Petersen, men’s hockey coach, and Mike Carroll, women’s hockey coach.  The event is Wednesday Jan. 19, 8–9:30 a.m., at the Doubletree Hotel Minneapolis-Park Place, 1500 Park Place Blvd. Cost is $10 at the door.  Reserve your spot by e-mailing the Office of Alumni Relations at or by calling 800-487-8437.

The St. Peter speaker for January is Tom Young ’88, vice president for institutional advancement.  The breakfast is Wednesday, Jan. 12, 7:30–9 a.m. in a campus banquet room in the C. Charles Jackson Campus Center.  Cost is $8 per person, or $15 for two, payable at the door.  Reserve your spot by e-mailing or by calling 507-933-7512.

Upcoming breakfasts include Thomas Crady, vice president for enrollment management, in February; Kate Knutson, political science professor, in March; and Warren Wunderlich, director of the physical plant, in April.

Chapter Gatherings

This year President and Kris Ohle have many travel dates planned in order to reach out to all of our alumni and bring them an update from the College.  Please mark your calendar if you live in or near one of these locations:

  • Palm Springs – January 7
  • Los Angeles – January 8
  • San Francisco – January 9
  • Seattle – January 27
  • Tucson – February 8
  • Phoenix – February 10
  • Denver – February 11
  • Boston – March 2
  • New York – March 4
  • Washington, DC – March 5
  • Jacksonville, FL – March 26
  • Orlando – March 28
  • Tampa – March 29
  • Naples – March 30
  • Chicago – April 2