Class of '94
April 2009

15-Year Reunion ― October 9 & 10, 2009

Greetings Fellow Gusties!

Early last November, I met with a few of our classmates at Stella’s to scout the joint out for our upcoming 15 Year Reunion.  We were getting caught up, making some preliminary plans, and trying to figure out who would contribute what to the cause.  I figured I was going to be dead weight over the next few months as I am the head boys’ basketball coach at Northfield High School and our season was about to begin.  So, I volunteered to write the April 2009 class letter as a guest writer.  It made sense; I am an English teacher.  What’s the point of this lengthy intro?  It’s simple:  if I can find a way to get involved with our 15 Year Reunion, so can anyone!

Please don’t take that the wrong way.  I’m by no means saying that I am so busy that I couldn’t possibly have the time.  We’re all busy:  work, family, friends, etc.  Whether it is through a monetary contribution, an appearance at the reunion (Friday and Saturday, October 9 and 10), an email to a classmate you haven’t stayed in contact with very well, checking out the Facebook page (I haven’t, but it sounds cool), texting your old roommate (c’mon – everyone is doing it!) or even spending a little time on the Gustavus web site―we can all find a way to maintain or re-establish a connection.

For me, 15 years seems like a long time.  I’ve lost touch with quite a few folks I knew pretty well while we were at Gustavus.  I teach mostly 9th grade now, which means most of my students were born the year we graduated from Gustavus!  My main hope in serving as the “guest writer” (beyond simply hoping a few people actually read this!) is that it might spur just a few more people into getting involved with our 15-Year Reunion plans.  Below you will see a couple ways to get involved, as well as updates on some people from our class.

Mark Ensrud

1994 Reunion Committee Member

Get it on your calendar if it’s not already there!  Friday, October 9, starting at 6:30 p.m. at Stella’s Fish Café (1400 West Lake Street in Minneapolis) will be our class party.  Saturday, October 10, starting at 11:00 a.m. on campus will be our 1994 Class Tent.  Will there be other events?  Of course!  Keep up to date via

Participation with a gift to either the Class of 1994 Endowed Scholarship or to the Annual Fund are both great ways to show your pride in Gustavus and to celebrate our 15-Year Reunion.  The purpose of the 1994 Class Endowed Scholarship Fund is to provide encouragement to young men and women who desire a Gustavus education.  It is the intent of the class donors that the 1994 Class Endowed Scholarship be awarded to students wishing to participate in a registered Gustavus J-Term study abroad program, but for whom financial aid is essential in order to permit them to participate.

Like a little competition?  The class of 1993 raised $20,790 in gifts last year during their reunion with 34% (167 classmates) participation.

Class News

  • Christina Potthoff Rahm and Tracy Rahm had a baby boy, Elias Carl, on 4/29/08.
  • Leah Chernivec Larson and Scott Larson had a baby boy, Connor James, on 9/26/08.
  • Shannon Springston Rosati and Rick Rosati had a baby girl, Harley Elizabeth, on 8/31/08.
  • Cory Larson and Megan Larson have two boys, Alec and Jack.  Cory is a principal in the Sauk Centre Public Schools.
  • Michael Hopman and Bethany Hopman had a little girl, Adelaide Judith.
  • Mark Petersen has joined the commercial real estate group of Gurstel, Staloch & Chargo, P.A.
  • Becky Meyer Neve is now working at State Farm Insurance.
  • Peter and Jenny (Bisek) Otterness live in New Ulm.  Becky is a medical technologist at the St. Peter Clinic-MHS and Peter is an environmental health specialist for Blue Earth County.
  • Carrie Wagner Fraser is an account executive at IN Foods Marketing and Design.
  • Kris Koehler is a certified health education specialist and works as an employer health improvement consultant for Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Minnesota.

And sadly, we lost a classmate last year.  Aaron Lee died after a personal watercraft he was operating on Lake Minnetonka last summer (late August 2008) collided with one that his friend was operating.  Aaron is survived by his wife, Eve; two daughters Gabriela and Matti; his parents and three brothers including Nathan ’93 and Jared ’05.  Our sympathy to his family.

Campus News

Update on Commission Gustavus 150

Recently posted to the Commission website is a summary of the common issues and “big ideas” discussed at the first nine National Summit meetings regarding the College’s five core values (Excellence, Faith, Justice, Service, and Community).  The participants were asked how the College might ensure that the core values would be lived out in the lives of alumni, faculty, staff, and students.  The summary is being shared with all members of the eight task forces of Commission Gustavus 150.  The common issues and big ideas will help shape the recommendations made by the Task Forces to the Gustavus Board of Trustees and ultimately form the basis for the College’s long-range strategic plan.

Gustauvs Forensics Team Wins State!

Congratulations to the Gustavus Adolphus College Forensics Team, which won its second straight Minnesota Collegiate Forensics Association State Championship on Sunday, Feb. 22.  Gustavus finished with 446 points to beat out Minnesota State University, Mankato (408 points) and Concordia College, Moorhead (213 points).  Gustavus placed first in 6 of 13 events and placed four individuals in the top seven of the individual sweepstakes standings.  First-year student, Chloe Radcliffe, placed first in the individual sweepstakes and senior, Tasha Carlson, will represent Minnesota at the 2009 Interstate Oratorical Association National Contest―the oldest speaking competition in the country―on April 25 in Oxford, Mississippi.

Hockey Finals

The men’s hockey team made its first appearance in the NCAA Division III Championship game at Herb Brooks Ice Arena in Lake Placid, N.Y., on Saturday, March 21.  They lost a great game to Neumann College, 4-1.  The women’s hockey team lost 2-1 to UW-River Falls in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament.

“Come on You Gusties” Breakfast

Join us for a cup of coffee, breakfast, and great conversation.  This month our featured presenter is Steve Wilkinson, men’s tennis coach.  All Gusties are welcomed and invited to the breakfast, Wednesday, April 15, 8-9:30 a.m. at the Doubletree Hotel, Minneapolis-Park Place, 1500 Park Place Boulevard.  Cost is $10 at the door.  Reserve your spot by calling Don Swanson ’55 at 763-533-9083.

Linnaeus Symposium

The Linnaeus Symposium is scheduled for Wednesday, April 22, 2009 and will include Dr. Margaret Lowman, a tree ecologist and Gustavus alumnus, Gail Johnson Speckmann ’73, whose water color art display will premier during the conference; and there will be a special choreographed dance production on the theme of trees.

MayDay!  Peace Conference

“Tiananmen + 20 Years” is the topic of Gustavus Adolphus College’s 29th annual MAYDAY! Peace Conference to be held Wednesday, April 29, 2009 on the college campus.