Class of '94
January 2006

Hello Classmates!

Happy New Year!  Wow, its 2006!  Can you believe it?  I’ve always been one of those people who have a hard time adjusting to writing the New Year on checks and documents, etc…  And for some odd reason, on more than one occasion recently, I’ve found myself writing “1995” as the year.  What’s up with that?  If anyone has had a similar experience, please let me know so I don‘t feel so alone and brainless.  Or, if any of the psychologists/doctors in our class can diagnose this specific type of “aging”disorder (so that I can get treated accordingly), it would be much appreciated.

The beginning of a new year always brings about a time for reflection…  What did I do last year?  What didn’t I do last year?  Well, I can tell you one thing I DIDN’T do―write the fall class letter.  Big Oops!  Too busy, never enough time right?  A very popular excuse these days.  So, on that note, let me introduce myself as one of the new Class Agents.  And as my first order of business, I must apologize to you all for my delinquency.  Sorry!  Lo Siento!

Anita Stockwell Ripken, Gretchen Anderson Zinsli and I (Renae Munsterman) committed to being class agents last summer.  We are excited to be representing our class and will try our best to keep our class connected with each other and of course our Alma Mater!

My second order of business is to thank the previous Class Agents for their many, many years of wonderful service.  They have worked very hard to keep the class of ’94 in touch and informed.  THANK YOU Cameron and Amy (Zenk) James and Mary Crippen Miklethun!  BRAVO!

Now, onto my favorite part of the letter…the newest Class of ’94 Gustavus gossip!


  • Justin Pagel is vice president and investment executive at Northland Securities.
  • Liisa Maki Gilbert is ELL lead teacher for Chaska School District.  Her husband, Andrew Gilbert ’93 also works in the Chaska School District as Dean at Pioneer Ridge Freshmen Center, and coaches football and track!
  • Heidi Block Zemek is a second grade teacher in Chaska.  Her husband Chuck Zemek ’95 also teaches in Chaska!  He teaches third and fourth grade and coaches volleyball.
  • Holly Lipelt is teaching biology at Wayzata High School.  She is in good company with two other Gusties also teaching at the same school, Brad Olson ’95 and Mike Schumacher ’91.
  • Shannon Eliason Thorsell is an employee relations representative for Guidant Corporation in Arden Hills, MN.
  • Kari Helling works in marketing and massage therapy for Juute Salon and Spa.
  • Edward Anderson was named “Minnesota German Teacher of the Year” in October of 2005.
  • Barb McFadden is an associate attorney at the Velde Law Firm, Ltd. in Alexandria, MN.
  • Erick Thompson is now lecturing in religion at Thiel College in Greenvillle, PA.
  • Susan Haddox is an assistant professor of philosophy and religious studies at Mount Union College in Ohio.
  • Tina Hallberg Lukanen resides in St. Michael, MN and was recently promoted to lean production specialist in primary care leadership for Park Nicollet.


  • Dr. Laresa DeBoer married Marc Terhaar on November 5, 2005 at the McNamara Alumni Center on the University of Minnesota campus.  Laresa and Marc are proud parents of two kitty cats (Abby and Tasha) and currently call Chaska their home.
  • Trish Madden married Thomas Baik on August 20, 2005, and currently live in Galesburg, IL.
  • Gretchen Anderson married Marty Zinsli on August 20th in Albert Lea, MN where they now reside with daughter, Emma, and dog, Stanley.
  • Jennifer Meese and John Green exchanged their vows this past summer in Faribault.
  • Sarah Boehlke married Jon Gilbertson on July 16, 2005 and now resides in Chaska, MN.
  • Amy Rouleau and Brant Munson tied the knot on May 28, 2005.  They have settled down in Bismarck, ND.


  • April Sherren Larson and husband Darren were blessed with twin girls, Vivienne and Genevieve last July.
  • Tracie Butler-Kurth and partner, Koren, welcomed Jasper Quinn last November.
  • Jason Tatge and Kerine Allendorf Tatge welcomed Kyra Joy on March 16, 2004.
  • Jennifer Ryan Geibig and husband, Mark, welcomed Connor Ryan on January 27, 2005, and they currently reside in Columbia, MD.
  • Kevin Overgaard and wife, Stacy, welcomed Connor Grant on September 8, 2005.
  • Jill Dirnberger Timm and Craig welcomed Grace Ellen on Oct. 2, 2005.  They live in Lindstrom, MN.
  • Maria Thrall Suppogu and husband, Prem, welcomed Gracia Shobha on May 11, 2005.
  • Karri Brix Holman and husband, Will, welcomed their first baby, Hailie Austin, on October 24, 2005.
  • Kimberly Wabner Noll and husband, Troy, gave birth to their first child on August 4, 2005, Tanner Douglas.
  • Michael Mertz and wife, Vicky, welcomed Elizabeth Kaylynn on June 2, 2005.
  • Jennifer Heintz Spencer and husband, Larry, welcomed their first child, Elise Anne on August 10, 2005.  They currently reside in Crest Hill, IL.
  • Sheldon Wagner and Faith (Handevidt ’96) welcomed Alexander Paul on November 12, 2005.
  • Lisa (Telander) and Kevin Lukis welcomed their second child, Christian Gustav on August 19, 2005.  (Hey, that’s my birthday too!)
  • Jessica O’Connor Crone and husband, Cody, welcomed Jack on February 2, 2005.
  • Kris (Wempen) and Matt ’96 Drevlow adopted Justin Roger in May of 2005.


Study Abroad Leader

Gustavus continues to be a leading institution for the number of students studying abroad, according to an annual ranking recently released by the Institute of International Education (IIE).  Consistent with its mission of giving students an education that is international in perspective, Gustavus was ranked seventh in the "Top 20 Baccalaureate Institutions" list of the institute’s "Open Doors 2005" report.  Gustavus was one of four Minnesota private colleges to make the list of 20.  The report was based on study abroad statistics from the 2003-04 academic year.  Gustavus students engage in international learning through various programs in more than 100 locations throughout the world, ranging from Australia to India and Ecuador to Sweden.  In recent years, 50 percent of Gustavus graduates have participated in at least one study-abroad experience.

New Carnegie Classification for Colleges and Universities

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching released a new classification system for institutions of higher education.  Gustavus’ classification is Arts & Sciences plus Professions, indicating that 60 to 80 percent of Gustavus students complete a traditional liberal arts major, such as political science, classics, or biology.  The new classifications describe five aspects of colleges and universities: instructional programs, enrollment profile, undergraduate demographics, size, and setting.  Undergraduate instructional programs are now designated as Arts & Sciences Focus, Arts & Sciences plus Professions, Balanced Arts & Sciences and Professions, Professions plus Arts & Sciences, or Professions Focus. 

Insurance Programs

The Alumni Association, in partnership with Meyer and Associates and Liberty Mutual, offers an insurance program to alumni and their families.  Products include insurance policies for life, short-term medical, auto, home, and renters.  For life and short-term medical insurance call Meyer and Associates at 800-635-7801 or visit  For auto, home, and renters insurance call Liberty Mutual at 800-524-9400 or visit

Gustavus to Perform at Orchestra Hall

The Gustavus Music Showcase will be Sunday, March 12, at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis.  The Gustavus Choir, Gustavus Symphony Orchestra, and Gustavus Wind Orchestra will perform.  This is a unique opportunity to hear three premier ensembles from Gustavus in one concert.  This showcase also allows prospective students, parents, and alumni from the area to meet and connect.  For tickets, call the Orchestra Hall box office at 800/292-4141.  Tickets are $20 for general admission, and $10 for students 18 and under.


Two big stories from the fall sports are that Hailey Harren won the national NCAA Division III cross country title and the men’s soccer team became the first MIAC school to play in the national championship game and finished second, losing 1-0 to defending national champion Messiah.  For the second consecutive year, men's soccer coach Larry Zelenz has been named Coach of the Year in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America/Adidas NCAA Division III West Region.  The men's hockey team is unbeaten in conference play, outscoring their opponents 28-5 in four games.

Upcoming Music Tours

This year nearly 300 students will participate in music tours as members of the Gustavus Wind Orchestra, Gustavus Choir, Gustavus Symphony Orchestra, Gustavus Jazz Lab Band, and Choir of Christ Chapel.  The Gustavus Wind Orchestra will tour Eastern Europe Jan. 14-30.  Performances are scheduled for Germany, Czech Republic, Poland, and Austria.  The Gustavus Choir will tour Jan. 27-Feb. 11 (see schedule below), with performances in Minnesota and Wisconsin.  The Gustavus Symphony Orchestra, Gustavus Jazz Lab Band, and Choir of Christ Chapel will tour during Spring Semester.

Gustavus Choir Tour Schedule

  • January 27 at Augustana Lutheran Church, West St. Paul, 7:30 p.m.
  • January 28 at St. Joseph's Catholic Church, Grand Rapids, 7:30 p.m.
  • January 29 at Zion Lutheran Church, Grand Rapids, 8:30 a.m. morning service
  • January 29 at Concordia Lutheran Church, Duluth, 3 p.m.
  • January 30 at Bemidji High School Auditorium, Bemidji, 7 p.m.
  • January 31 at First Lutheran Church, Morris, 7 p.m.
  • February 2 at Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church, Marshfield, WI, 7:30 p.m.
  • February 3 at St. Francis Catholic Church, Brainerd, 7:30 p.m.
  • February 4 at Central Lutheran Church, Winona, 7 p.m.
  • February 5 at Faith Lutheran Church, Winona, 8 a.m. morning service
  • February 5 at First Lutheran Church, Red Wing, 2 p.m.
  • February 11 at Christ Chapel, Saint Peter, 7:30 p.m.

Upcoming Alumni Events

  • Tucson, AZ Gustie Gathering - February 10
  • Phoenix, AZ Gustie Gathering - February 11
  • Sun City, AZ Gustie Gathering - February 12
  • Gustavus Music Showcase at Orchestra Hall - March 12
  • Atlanta, GA Gustie Gathering - March 26

Looking into the future, we hope to implement some fun new features/events to keep our class connected with each other and the college between our class reunions.  For example:

OUT AND ABOUT/CALLING ALL PHOTOS:  Tell us who you’ve run into recently and where!  It can be someone in our class, another class, member of faculty etc…  Just drop one of us a quick email!  Send us your photos of your surprise or planned get-togethers and we will try to feature them in our newsletters.  Send wedding photos or family photos, we’d love to see how grown up we’ve all become!  (Bonus:  You have much better chance of being featured in the newsletter than you do in the Quarterly!)

CASUAL ALUMNI GET-TOGETHERS in the Twin Cities area for the class of ’94 and any of our other Gustavus friends.  More details to come…

A NEW ALUMNI WEBSITE WITH CLASS SPECIFIC PAGES is currently being developed and will launch later this year.  Stay tuned for more updates on the progress.

GUSTAVUS GIFT GIVING MADE EASY!  We will strive to find ways to make giving back to Gustavus convenient and pain-free.  (i.e.  Did you know that you can easily make a gift to the Gustavus Alumni Fund online?  It’s so simple and it’s secure!  Do it on your own time, even in your pajamas!  Check it out the next time you are surfing the web:

Anita, Gretchen and I are very open to hearing your ideas and feedback.  So, PLEASE feel free to contact any or all of us at any time with your questions, concerns and updates!  You can send news to us and the Alumni Office at the same time by emailing: or you can email any/each of us personally at the emails listed belowBest wishes for a healthy and happy 2006!

All the best,

Renae Munsterman

1994 Co-class Agent