Class of '94
April 2008

Hello Fellow Gusties!

Spring seems like it is finally here.  Now is the time to get our yards back in order, put away all of the cold-weather gear, and make plans for the summer and fall.  For me, spring is also a time to start new habits and make some good resolutions.  I will share my short list with you!

  • If it isn’t raining (or snowing) I will go for a walk or bike ride with my daughter every day.
  • Finish spring cleaning―today!
  • Write the class letter!

Last June, I started working as a RN on the medical surgical/organ transplant ICU at Mayo in Rochester.  My job is challenging in so many ways, but it is also very rewarding.  Along the way, I have met many interesting people from all over the world.  Even though I received my nursing degree from the University of Minnesota, I always tell people that I am a Gustie grad.

Gustavus is where I had my true college experience, made life-long friends, learned who I was, and just became a real person.  Our 15-year reunion is coming up in 2009.  I know it can’t be 15 years!  We can’t really be that old.  Mid 30s used to seem ancient, now it feels like I have really just begun to experience the good things in life.  However, thinking about those precious four years at Gustavus seems like ages ago.  As you can tell, I am a list maker.  So here are some Gustavus memories that come to the top of my mind:

§         Getting the Grib and trying to find people that you met in your classes.

§         Square dancing during orientation

§         Moving to Gustavus freshman year in a car and moving out senior year with a pick-up and trailer

§         Ice cream at every meal in the ‘caf’

§         The ever-changing rock

§         Not studying in the library

§         Scheduling classes around “Days of our Lives”

§         The Dive and the yummy mozzarella stix

§         The big Halloween snow storm of ’91 during sophomore year

I am sure that all of you share some of these experiences as well as many other fond memories.  What do you think of when you think about Gustavus?  What stories do you tell others about Gustavus?  Well, share those thoughts with an old friend.  Come to the reunion.  Even better, get involved!  Help us to plan the most memorable reunion ever.  We are now recruiting classmates to help with the organization of our 15-year reunion.  We’d love to get your feedback on what you would like to see/do for our reunion.  Watch for more info coming soon.  The reunion weekend is set for October 16-17, 2009.  Be sure to put it on your calendar!

Gretchen Anderson Zinsli

1994 Co-class Agent

P.S. One cool way that we have found to get in touch with old friends is Facebook.  Some of my younger friends convinced me to join and it actually is kind of fun!  I have found several classmates from Gustavus there.  Look into it . . . you might find some old friends too!

Class News

  • Mark Ensrud and Jan Brubakken were married on June 22, 2007.  Mark teaches English at Northfield High School and Jan teaches English at Northfield Middle School.
  • Jim and Becky (Pearson) Owens welcomed a baby boy, Brody, on June 1, 2007.  Congrats Becky and Jim!
  • Chad and Lara (Olson) Petersen welcomed their second child, Maxwell, on June 28, 2006.  Lara works at Mayo Clinic in Rochester as a financial operational audit manager.
  • Julie Zitnak Connolly is teaching third grade in Mounds View.
  • Vera Laine Stephenson is an RN at Colorado College in Colorado Springs, CO.
  • Paul and Kari (Knop) Peterson live in St. Peter, MN.  Paul was honored as 2007 Met Life/MASSP Minnesota Principal of the Year.  Congrats Paul!
  • Mary LaFollette Kleis is a member of the Austin Public Schools Board of Education.
  • Emily Rova-Hegener and her husband, Joel, are co-pastors of United in Christ Lutheran Church of Eveleth.  They have two sons, Nestor and Johan.
  • Darien Holznagel is a human resources director at Best Buy in San Francisco, CA.  Her territory includes 10 states on the West Coast and Pacific Northwest.  She was recently interviewed as an HR professional for Talent Management Magazine.
  • John “Jake” Jacobson works for Ryan Auto Mall in Buffalo.  He is the internet sales manager.  Jake also works with Youthworks mission trips.  He is the proud father of two girls:  Kiera and Kiely.
  • Kendall Larson is on the faculty at Winona State University as an academic librarian.  She also finished another master’s degree in art history from St. Thomas University.
  • Renae Munsterman got hitched this past September in Plymouth, MN to Ederick Lokpez!!!
  • Aaron and Karin (Nally) Amborn have welcomed a daughter, Grace, on January 24, 2006 and a son, Blake, on January 23, 2007 into their family.  Karin is a case manager for Minnesota Department of Corrections.
  • Scott and Leah (Chernivec) Larson welcomed a son, Jack, on March 24, 2007.  They are anxiously awaiting another child due in September.  Leah is a health and welfare benefits consultant at Hewitt Associates in Minneapolis.
  • Dan Carlson is a mortgage banker at Mortgage Source, Inc. in Minnetonka.  He is also a tennis director at Minnetonka Country Club in Excelsior.

Don’t forget―May 31 is the end of the fiscal year for Gustavus!  If you have the means, remember to share “a little something” with your Alma Mater!

Campus News

Gustavus has a new College President!  As you have previously heard, President Peterson is resigning this summer and the process to find someone to replace him has been underway since last fall.  On April 25 the Board of Trustees met and announced our new College President, Jack Ohle.  Jack is currently the president of Wartburg College since 2003.  He will take office here on July 1, 2008.  I’m sure we’ll be hearing more about this exciting development.

MAYDAY! Conference Focuses on Water

“Troubled Water” is the topic of Gustavus Adolphus College’s 28th annual MAYDAY!  Peace Conference held April 30 on campus.  Dr. Aaron Wolf, department of geosciences at Oregon State University and a leading expert on international water politics, opened the daylong conference and the afternoon keynote speaker was Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food and Water Watch, a consumer advocacy organization in Washington, D.C.  The conference, an annual event designed to educate the campus community and beyond about issues related to peace, human rights, and social justice.

Gustie Breakfasts

Join other Minneapolis/St. Paul area Gusties for a once-a-month morning cup of coffee and breakfast while getting an update on Gustavus.  The group meets the third Wednesday of each month 8-9:30 a.m. at the Doubletree Hotel, Minneapolis-Park Place, 1500 Park Place Boulevard (Hwy. 394 & Hwy. 100) $10 per person.  Reserve a spot by calling Don Swanson ’55 at 763-533-9083.  Next date:  May 21 - featuring Sports Information Director, Tim Kennedy ’82

Alumni Awards Announced

The Alumni Association announces the following 2008 awards selected by the Alumni Board of Directors.

Greater Gustavus Award - Given to those who by deed, have notably advanced and aided Gustavus Adolphus College:

  • Jim and Susan (Pepin) Peterson ’64 ’65 

Distinguished Alumni Citations - Recognizing outstanding and exceptional professional achievement:

  • Craig Johnson ’69, bishop, Minneapolis Area Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
  • Talmadge King ’70, chair, Department of Medicine, University of California San Francisco School of Medicine.
  • Barbara Berry Leonard ’63, nursing professor, University of Minnesota.

First Decade Awards - Recognizing early professional achievement:

  • Miho Ihara, senior consultant, CPCS Transcom Limited.
  • Jason Smerdon, Barnard Environmental Science/Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Environmental Science, Barnard College.

The Greater Gustavus Award and Distinguished Alumni Citations will be presented at the Alumni Banquet on Saturday, May 31 and the First Decade Awards will be presented during Homecoming Weekend, Oct. 4.

Upcoming Alumni Events

  • MAYDAY! Peace Conference focused on water - April 30
  • Author Day with Arvonne Fraser - May 14
  • Gustie Breakfast - May 21, featuring Sports Information Director, Tim Kennedy
  • Class Reunions - for 50-Year Club, 1958, and 1963 - May 30 and 31