Class of '94
September 1999

Dear ’94 Gusties:

So now that we’ve had five years to forget what we learned in four, it’s time for our official 5-Year reunion. Events are planned for Friday, October 1 in Minneapolis, and for Homecoming day, Saturday, October 2, in St. Peter. Mark this down:

Friday, October 1

    • The Hillcats will be playing at 7 p.m. at The Fine Line in the warehouse district of Minneapolis. (October couldn’t make it due to a wedding in Turkey. Seriously. Don’t ask, I can’t imagine why either.)
    • ’94 Gusties will have a bird’s eye view of the proceedings, since our industrious class representatives got us the entire upstairs level at the Fine Line that night.
    • The low, low price for all this revelry is $10, which includes the Fine Line cover and an all-you-can-eat lutefisk buffet.
    • RSVP to the alumni office at (800) 487 8437. If you don’t RSVP, Barb Larson-Taylor, Assistant Alumni Director, will send her enforcers after you.

Saturday, October 2

    • 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Feast in the new Evelyn Young Dining Room. Sample culinary delights ranging from a salad bar with no chickpeas to chicken strips available every day. Yes, every day. Also, please note that there is no South Side to the new Caf. South-Siders, be brave. Just go. Everything will be OK.
    • 1 p.m.—3 p.m.: Marvel at the Gusties as they beat up on some unwitting opponent. Sing the rouser every time this happens.
    • After the Game: All New! Party with your classmates and bask in the glow of victory during the 5th Quarter behind Lund Center. The live band Temporary Heroes will play. No cover, but no free lutefisk, either.

So I should admit that this class letter is being written by an interloper—indeed, someone who has not been reprogrammed by the alumni office. Hey, labor markets are tough all over.

Gates of Heaven / Flames of Hell:

Pastors and Lawyers of GAC ‘94

Short version: So far, nobody’s been elected bishop, and nobody’s in jail. Yet.

Long version: Greg Munson married an Olie lawyer and is happily practicing transactional law at Fredrikson & Byron in Minneapolis. Kari Wraspir practices commercial litigation at Oppenheimer, Wolff & Donnelley in Minneapolis, and she professes to love every second. Mark Petersen practices some sort of complicated law at Maun & Simon in Minneapolis, and has been known to sick recruiters upon his classmates, including Dan Currell, who practiced law at Winthrop & Weinstine until he quit. More on that later.

 Chris Harmoning recently clerked for a judge on the Minnesota Court of Appeals, and James Ranheim is studying law at Hamline. Kellie Johnson is in her final year of a joint law & public policy program at the U of M; she plans to work in D.C. after taking the bar next summer. In the career-change department, Jill Dirnberger Timm is starting law school at William Mitchell this fall after five years of nursing. She hopes to practice in the health care area.

Many of our classmates are practicing law in exotic, far-flung destinations such as Kris Hinds MacLean in Syracuse, New York; Chris Gerke, Michael Mertz and Jason Bloom in Chicago; Anissa Mediger Mulrooney somewhere in Nevada; and Matt Cheney in North Carolina. Michael Fischer is attending law school at the University of Denver, and Jon Westlund is in law school at the New York Law School. The hands-down winner in the exotic category, however, is clearly Rachel Witty, a St. Peter native now practicing law in the Virgin Islands. She claims to be "pretty happy with things," since she’s "soaking up as much scuba diving, sea kayaking, and sailing" as possible. Come to think of it, I like to go sea kayaking after work, too, but unfortunately most of the local sea kayaking joints are closed by midnight. A lawyer’s life in the Islands appears to be different all around . . .

Turning to the God Squad, our class boasts a small but dedicated cohort of pastoral types. Jason Niemi has finished his studies at Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary in Berkeley and is currently serving a parish in California. Rebecca Ninke went to Wartburg Seminary in Waverly, Iowa, spent some time in Namibia along the way, married someone named Dave, and now serves an inner-city church in Phoenix. Julie A. Smith was nearly sucked into the vortex of the Chicago Synod after graduating from Luther, but she narrowly escaped an urban call and is busily saving the good people of Swede Home Lutheran Church in Clarkfield, Minnesota, among others. Emily Hegener Rova has graduated from Luther and is working in the admissions office there while Mr. Rova finishes his degree. Erick Thompson has also graduated from Luther and is doing a chaplaincy internship at Bethesda Lutheran Hospital in St. Paul.

Shannon Bauer has graduated from Wartburg Seminary and now serves a parish in Johnsonsville, Pennsylvania, and Reggie Denton, too, has finished seminary and is serving a church in Thomasboro, Illinois. Richard Cogill is surely doing the Lord’s work somewhere, but I’m not really sure where.

Most of the lawyers discussed above will finally cave and go to seminary in their late-40’s after prolonged orgies of expensive clothes and useless condominiums, but Susan Haddox—never a lawyer to begin with--had the good fortune to see the light early after wallowing in the empty promises of . . . plant biology at Stanford? Yes, you heard it here first, folks. Susan wins the prize for most interesting post-graduate journey, since she finished her Masters in plant biology and had defended her dissertation proposal when the local saint saved her from certain death at the hands of a violent storm . . . OK, that was Luther, but however it happened, Susan left Stanford and enrolled as an M.Div. candidate at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, California. Susan will start a biblical studies Ph.D. after she finishes her M.Div. next spring. She is married to fellow Stanford grad Victor Lee, and they live in Santa Clara with their cat, Maggie.

In the near-miss department, Johanna Olson is neither a pastor nor a lawyer, but she took the LSAT, bailed on the idea of going to law school, and subsequently found employment at the head office of the ELCA. Johanna is responsible for administering Lutheran Disaster Response, so if you are ever hit by a tornado or otherwise run over by something large, chances are she’ll fly out to chat with you and have a little lunch.

As for me, Sara Tollefson Currell (’95) and I are moving to D.C. where I will work for an economic consultancy and she will continue on with Andersen Consulting. In fact, we’ll be missing Homecoming this year. So party a little extra for us.

Dan Currell, ’94