Class of '93
April 2005

Hello Gusties!

Sorry again that this letter is late, but since the last one was late too it probably doesn’t feel as if this is truly late.  However, there are now two people responsible for this tardiness instead of one.  As reported in the last letter, Craig Anderson has joined on as Class Agent.  Craig has the following message to share:

It is with great pleasure that I am able to join Kristen as being an agent for our class.  I think that she has done a great job going it alone for the past several years, and I look forward to working with Kristen and the Alumni Office to help our class achieve its goals financially as well as keeping connected to each other.  I certainly treasure the friendships that I made at Gustavus, and I hope to help further the mission of the College through our alumni efforts.

We know Craig will do a fantastic job as Class Agent.  Many thanks to Craig for volunteering his services for this important effort.

We have some sad news to report.  Dave Wiberg’s wife, Jenn, passed away on December 28, 2004 from Hodgkin’s disease.  Dave and Jenn welcomed the birth of their first child, daughter Alexandria, on December 12, 2004.  Dave and Jenn had been living in Austria for several years, and a memorial was held on January 22, 2005 in Vienna.  Another memorial service for Jenn will take place in Minnesota this spring.  Dave, our condolences go out to you and your family during this difficult time.

The end of Gustavus' fiscal year is coming up, which means it is time to remind everyone to make their annual donation to the Alumni Fund.  As you all know, we are constantly trying to increase the number of donations to the Alumni Fund.  Last year contributions for our class actually went down, and that is obviously not the direction we wish to continue.   Your donations are critical to the success of Gustavus.  Each year tuition from students only covers about 80% of what it takes to educate a student.  The rest of the money needs to come from a variety of other places, including the Alumni Fund.  The Alumni Fund also helps pay for financial aid, which is so important given the rising cost of tuition.   For those who don’t currently contribute, please reconsider, as your nominal donations today can make it possible for someone else to enjoy four terrific years at Gustavus just like you did.

It is not important how much you give, it’s that you give at all and give each year between June and May (Gustavus' fiscal year).  Major corporations and foundations look at annual alumni participation when making decisions to give grant monies to Gustavus, so your contribution will absolutely make a difference.  Even $5.00 a year will help, so when someone phones you during Phonorama, please consider giving.  If you wish to make a donation and weren’t contacted during Phonorama, you may give online <>, or call 800-487-8437.  Remember, we are more interested in the number of donors versus the amount donated, so anything you can give is appreciated. 

Yes, we know, you want to hear what is going on with everyone, so here is what your classmates have been up to recently:


  • Jodi Haniwalt and Ken Krieser on January 29, 2005.
  • Kai Johnson and Tricia Simpson on June 12, 2004.
  • Nicole Krueger to Christopher Ruhland on August 14, 2004.
  • Heather McCleery and Andrew Capistrant on October 9, 2004.


  • Cherrish Arganbright Holland and Matt Holland welcomed Miller Lynn “Millie” on October 8, 2004.
  • Kim Beecher Engelhardt and Jeff Engelhardt welcomed son, Liam Patrick, on July 2, 2004.
  • Lola Danielson Amendt and husband, Trent, welcome son, Peter, on July 16, 2004.
  • Angie Diedrich Bystrzycki and husband, Michael, welcomed daughter, Brynna Kaye, on October 10, 2004.
  • Amy Downham Schwanz and Mark Schwanz welcomed daughter, Kyra Helen, on June 21, 2004.  She joins big sister, Brynn.
  • Jennifer Hartley Fernandez and husband, Alejandro, were expecting a child in March.  Let us know what you had!
  • Kari Heikes Easterly and husband, Jim, welcomed daughter, Kate Elizabeth, on January 10, 2005.
  • Rachel Helgeson Luken and husband, Dan, welcomed son, Noah James, on September 24, 2004.
  • Erik Jelinek and wife, Jennifer, welcomed daughter, Sierra Catherine, on October 23, 2004.
  • Karin Johnson Wald and husband, Dave, welcomed son, Joseph David, on August 12, 2004.
  • Mara Johnson Widmann and husband, Jonathan, welcomed son, Soren Lucas, on February 6, 2004.
  • Gretchen Kittelson Jerva and husband, Fred, welcomed daughter, Zoe Grace, on December 7, 2004.
  • Cliffy Kleven (aka “Mark”) and wife, Jenny, welcomed son, George Marshall, on January 8, 2005. 
  • Kris Kolvig Prokopec and husband, Todd, welcomed son, Evan, on December 6, 2004.
  • Kara Marschke Sokol and husband, Rob ’91, welcomed son, Jack Robert, on January 26, 2004.
  • Carey Martin McLaughlin and husband welcomed daughter, Melisandra Rowan, on August 17, 2004.
  • Nicole Misewich Brown and Trent Brown welcomed daughter, Kaisa Lauren, on November 8, 2004.
  • Jennifer Mitchell Simphoukham and husband, Southin, welcomed son, Winston Mitchell, on February 8, 2005.  He joins big sister, Kristin.
  • Jen Monge Nichols and husband, Matt ’92, welcomed son, Hudson Jack, on July 13, 2004.
  • Sarah Myers Sammon and husband, Brett, welcomed daughter, Grace Elizabeth, on June 16, 2004.
  • Melinda Nissen Chouanard and husband, Kevin, welcomed daughter, Nora Elizabeth, on November 14, 2004.  She joins big sister, Megan.
  • Nic Olson Sampson and husband, Rob, welcomed daughter, Ella, on April 18, 2004.  She joins big brother, Logan, and big sister, Haley.
  • Shannon O’Neill Kratochvil and husband, Andrew, welcomed son, Cullen Andrew, on September 27, 2004.  He joins big sisters, Quinn and Britt.
  • Jessica Opitz Hartmann and husband, Jon, welcomed son, Benjamin, on November 17, 2004.
  • Ray Pike and wife, Stella, welcomed daughter, Anna Virginia, on May 24, 2003.  Ray and his family are currently living in Sao Paolo Brazil.
  • Kristin Rantala and Al Zylka welcomed son, Isaac Joseph, on October 5, 2004.  He joins big brother, Zachary.
  • Jess Rogich Deakin and husband, Rob, welcomed daughter, Abby, in September 2004.  Abby joins big sister Grace, and Jess, Kristen promises she is going to be in touch soon to apologize for not congratulating you on your new baby sooner!
  • Greg Sedgwick and wife, Joy, welcomed son, Charles Andrew, on February 12, 2004.
  • Jane Simonsen Augspurger and husband, Mike, welcomed daughter, Solon Magnolia, on August 12, 2004.
  • Jeff Stang and wife, Lisa, welcomed daughter, Eleanor Agnes, on November 16, 2004.
  • Shari Tyree Howell and husband, Keith, welcomed daughter, Brooke Kathryn, on January 21, 2004.
  • Denise Van Wormer Howard and husband, Chad, welcomed son, Mason Glen, on December 16, 2004.
  • Mikol White Montoya welcomed son, Connor George, on November 18, 2004.  He joins big brother, Patrick.
  • Jill Wissink McCurry and husband, Mark, welcomed daughter, Skylar Jill, on June 4, 2004.


  • Wendi Dressen Lundgren started her own business called A Full Plate in Savage, MN.
  • Jodi Haniwalt Krieser is a neonatal nurse practitioner at Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis.
  • Tom Hanka is owner/agent of Tri-Star Title in Oak Brook, IL.  He is also trying desperately to forget his old friends Kristen and Craig, so we are going to embarrass him by mentioning it here!  Let’s see if this prompts him to call one of us……
  • Marta Hemmingson Van Beek is currently employed as assistant professor of dermatology at the University of Iowa College of Medicine.
  • Dana Kallman is pursuing a specialist degree in administration at the University of St. Thomas and is coaching varsity boys’ basketball at Chaska High School.  Did you see him in the Star Tribune on 11/10/04????
  • Nic Olsen Sampson changed careers recently.  After teaching elementary school for 9 years, she is now an educational consultant with Macmillan/McGraw-Hill Publishers.
  • Matthew Scherer is a physical therapist with the United States Army, and works with amputees who return from Iraq and Afghanistan.
  • Shari Tyree Howell is an early childhood music teacher at East Metro Music Academy.

Campus News

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

  • 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

That’s all we have for now, folks.  Kirstin Sersland Beach is going to be our guest writer for the next letter, and she has a very interesting story to share.  We will all look forward to reading it!  If you have any news to share, please contact the Gustavus Alumni Office at <>, or one of your class agents at or <>.  Have a great Spring and don’t forget to send your donations to the Alumni Fund!


Craig Anderson and Kristen Lamont

Class Agents '93