Class of '94
January 2001

Dear 1994 Classmates:

Cameron and Amy Zenk James have decided that they are far too tired from looking after their new little one to write the first class letter of the true new millennium. Therefore, they have asked me, Mark Petersen, to do it. The problem is, I really haven’t kept up with many of you, so I have to make a bunch of stuff up. Some of what follows is true, some is not. Your challenge is to distinguish between the two. There is a bit of truth in all of it.

New Birth Spurs Colorado Licensing Law

Justin and Michelle Pals, Denver, had their first child, a boy, on November 6, 2000. Much to the relief of Michelle and the baby, Justin lost the naming argument and Westin Daymon was introduced to the world. In other news, Colorado legislators have introduced a bill to require parental licensing.

Burnsville Ten Year Reunion

Like most of you, I had my ten-year reunion last year. As most of the Burnsville High School class of 1990 promptly enrolled at Gustavus, it was kind of like a six year Gustavus reunion as well. Here’s the news of the members of the Burnsville class of ’90 that were also ’94 Gusties. Sorry if some of this may be old news, as it is new to me. Also, sorry if I forgot anyone.

  • Neda Falak Olson is a dentist living in Burnsville, practicing in Eagan and married to Chad Olson, a dentist practicing in Prior Lake (and I assume also living in Burnsville). I have thought Neda has nice teeth since I met her in eighth grade.
  • Katie Berdan wasn’t at the reunion, but reportedly is in a Ph.D. program at the University of Iowa. No report on the subject area, but I am sure it is very complicated.
  • Kim Lindell is teaching English at the School of Environmental Studies in Apple Valley. Go figure. Another Flour Binner makes good.
  • I was surprised to see Jake Knaus at my reunion until I learned he had married Burnsville grad Heidi Aspengren in July 1999.
  • High school classmate, Anna Delmoro, informed me that she is intent on marrying Nick Peterson. I don’t know that a date has been set, but trust me when I tell you that Nick is a lucky guy. Anna was one of the best people in my high school class, and darn good looking too.
  • Christina Potthoff married Tracy Rahm on October 20, 2000 and is now Christina Rahm. They live in Newport, Minnesota, which unlike Newport, Rhode Island does not host an annual jazz festival. With the marriage, I assume that I am no longer her "cross to bear."
  • Eric Hendrikson, Rosamaria Buntjer-Little, Diana Eck and Jeff Doherty were conspicuously absent from the reunion.
  • Alecia Cerwick Daugherty is living in Colorado and married to another Daugherty whose first name I can’t recall. She looks great as usual.
  • Karen Nisius was in attendance, but we only said hi, so I have no news.
  • Brian Dwyer and his wife, Jennifer Bailey, are expecting a child. He wasn’t there either, so I was unable to confirm this rumor first hand.

A Swede Moves Back East

In an email to the alumni office, Jesper Goransson reports he has taken a job as associate art director at Crain’s New York Business. Just so you know that’s not why he left Minneapolis. I┬áran into Jesper by the hole in the ground that was Block E. He told me he was chasing a love interest to New York.

Even Democrats Shop at Macy’s

I was feeding my daughter outside of Macy’s, Mall of America, when Ben and Sarah Johnson-Markve came strolling by. Ben had a cool job that I can’t recall right now and Sarah is an account manager (as opposed to an assistant manager) at Northwestern Incentive Services. Apparently there is quite a difference, and NIS is not a Holiday Station Store.

Getting Smarter

  • Trish Madden is a student at The Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago.
  • Susan Haddox is working on a Ph.D. in Hebrew Bible at Emory University. She is married to Victor Lee.
  • Nathan and Meena (Sharify ’96) Funk are living in Syria. Nathan received his Doctorate in May 2000 in conflict resolution from the International School of The American University.
  • Ryan Ware recently received his Ph.D. from the University of New Mexico in horticultural studies. He is employed as a plant medicine researcher in California, specializing in discovering medicinal uses of otherwise harmless plants, I guess.
  • Brian Stanley received his Master's of Social Work from Yeshiva University and is employed by the Storefront Group, Minneapolis as a therapist.
  • Sarah Boehlke has been accepted to Northern Arizona University where she intends to get a Master's in choral conducting. She received a teaching assistantship for 2001-2 and was also awarded by ACDA of Minnesota with the Outstanding Young Choral Director of the Year.
  • Cynthia Belt is a third year resident in family practice and psychiatry at the University of Minnesota.
  • Edmund Hurrican is studying Slavic languages in Turkey.

Getting Paid

  • Jenelle Olson is an assistant director at Greater St. Paul RSVP.
  • Travis Monson is teaching eighth grade science at Rosemount Middle School.
  • Gregory Sandoval is employed as a program coordinator at ArtPlace.
  • Beth Oberg Else is a certified pediatric nurse at P.A.C.E. Pediatric Clinic. She is married to Ryan Else ’96, who is a resident physician at Abbott Northwestern Hospital.
  • Kim Kramer is the manager of dining operations at the Dillon Dam Brewery in Dillon, Colorado. (I have recently submitted my application to be manager of beverage testing.)
  • Matt Lockhart is an assistant manager at Domino’s Pizza in Zimmerman, Minnesota.
  • Steve and Becky (Wilson) Meisel are employed as an athletic trainer and teacher at Fairfield Central High School and gymnastic coach at Carolina Gymnastics Center, respectively. They live in Columbia, South Carolina.
  • Xavier Torres is a karate instructor in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He and his wife, Beverly, have three boys.
  • Bryan "Cully" Cully is working at CH Robinson.
  • Rob Crowell is a project manager at RZ Solutions.
  • Leo Furcht is working in the strategic alliances division for American Express Financial Group. Last time I saw him he was waiting for a bus on Nicollet Mall, about to move to San Diego. Too hot there for ya?
  • Greg Munson is a (from what I hear, really good) real estate attorney at Fredrikson & Byron in Minneapolis. When he was recruited to Leonard, Street and Deinard (where I work), he considered the fact that he had spent four years at Gustavus and three years of law school with me, and stated emphatically, "I am not going to work there if Petersen stays!"

Got or Getting Married

  • Amy Durand Dudley married Tom Dudley. They live in Apple Valley.
  • Melissa Jarosh was married in May 2000. Will you please share the name of your spouse with the alumni office? I am sure he is a very nice guy.
  • Shannon Eliason Thorsell married Tobias Thorsell ’97 on February 12, 2000. Tobias did not take her name because "Tobias Eliason" sounds ridiculous.
  • Deborah Thomas married Todd Buzza on January 8, 2000.
  • Heather Krause Quiram married Dion Quiram on July 1, 2000. Heather is a high school counselor in Sleepy Eye Public Schools. Dion is a warehouse representative for Shelter Products. Apparently Heather is very excited about her marriage, as there were three separate notations of it in the package I received from the Alumni Office.
  • Bradley and Sarah Pearson Matala were married on July 1, 2000.
  • Lara Olson got married in October and is now Lara Olson Petersen. With that last name she will be eating pickled herring and dancing around the Christmas tree for years to come. She is a senior internal auditor at Marquette Financial Companies.
  • Lori Olinger Tarallo married Craig Tarallo on September 2, 2000.
  • Steve Zimmel is engaged to Jennifer Lammers ’95. A summer wedding is planned. Steve is an engineer at ADC Telecommunications. Jen just graduated from William Mitchell School of Law and is working for Wells Fargo. They have a cat and live in south Minneapolis.

Having Babies

  • Kelsey Erickson and his wife, Melissa Schmit Erickson, had twins boys, Mark and Karle, on April 14, 2000.
  • Brian Erola and his wife, Jolene, had a daughter, Danielle Irene, on August 5, 2000. Brian had been in Kosovo from November 1999 to June 2000 as part of Operation Joint Guardian II.
  • Noah James Frese was born to James ’95 and Laura Timm Frese on August 15, 2000.
  • Daughter, Alison, was born to Joe and Tara Tadewald Roiger on October 5, 2000.
  • And although it has already been in a class letter, Megan Kathryn Vidlock Petersen was born to Mark (me) and Karen Vidlock Petersen on April 23, 2000. She’s the cutest thing you’ll ever see.

That’s all the news that is fit to tell, or that I can make up.

Mark Petersen

1994 Guest Letter Writer

Campus News

The Gustavus campus is enjoying another busy and exciting January Term with 2300-plus students enrolled for credit! We are offering over 100 January Term courses, including 16 travel courses (plus 36 international courses through our UMAIE consortium). There are also 15 courses on the special Environmental Studies theme for J-Term 2001. Some of these courses include, Chemistry in the Environment, The Literature of Winter, Geographical Issues in the Third World, Global Environmental Change, Amazonia: An Eco-Historical Perspective, GIS in Environmental Analysis, The Changing Face of Agriculture, and Environmental Journalism. Next year (2002) the January Term theme will be "Global Village" and will feature both international and domestic diversity focused courses. After that J-Term themes are planned for "Service-Learning" (2003) and "Undergraduate Research" (2004).

You are invited and encouraged to attend these upcoming national chapter alumni events. Invitations are sent to alumni in chapters. For more information, please call the Alumni Office at 800-487-8437 or look on the web at

  • Seattle Chapter, Gustavus Choir Concert, January 13
  • Portland Chapter, Gustavus Choir Concert, January 15
  • Bay Area Chapter, Gustavus Choir Concerts, January 17-19
  • San Diego Chapter, pre-concert dinner and Gustavus Choir Concert, January 21
  • Los Angeles Chapter, Gustavus Choir Concerts, January 22 & 24
  • Sun City Chapter, pre-concert dinner and Gustavus Choir Concert, January 25
  • Phoenix Chapter, pre-concert dinner and Gustavus Choir Concert, January 26
  • Tucson Chapter gathering on January 27
  • Albuquerque Chapter, Gustavus Choir Concert, January 28
  • Santa Fe Chapter, Gustavus Choir Concert, January 29
  • Denver Chapter, Gustavus Choir Concerts, January 30 & 31
  • Rapid City Chapter, Gustavus Choir Concert, February 1
  • Sioux Falls Chapter, Gustavus Choir Concert, February 2
  • Twin Cities Chapter, Gustavus Choir Concert, February 4, Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church, 12650 Johnny Cake Road, Apple Valley, 3:30 p.m.
  • Gustavus Band Home Concert, February 4, Christ Chapel, 7:30 p.m.
  • Gustavus Choir Home Concert, February 10, Christ Chapel, 7:30 p.m.
  • Marco Island gathering February 24
  • Vero Beach gathering February 25

Reunions 2001

50th Anniversary Class and 50-Year Club reunions will take place on campus, May 25-26 for the Class of 1951 and the 50-Year Club. Registration material will be mailed in April.

A reminder that all other reunion classes (1956, 1961, 1966, 1971, 1976, 1981, 1986, 1991 and 1996) will have their reunions at Homecoming on September 21-22. Class gatherings will take place in the Twin Cities at the DoubleTree Hotel, Minneapolis Airport at the Mall, on Friday, September 21. Homecoming activities will take place on campus on Saturday, September 22.

Will you help Gustavus remain strongly church related? Encourage your ELCA congregation to join the Gustavus Adolphus College Association of Congregations. There is no cost. For more information, call the Office of Church Relations at 800-726-6194 or e-mail Craig Johnson at