Class of '95
October 2003

Dear Class of 1995,

It's Fall and time for another Class Letter.  I was back on campus in September for the Class Agent meeting and things are looking great!  Classes were back in session and students were running all over!  The new President, Jim Peterson '64, spoke at the meeting and expressed much enthusiasm for his position and the coming year at Gustavus.  At the meeting, we also exchanged stories with class agents from other years and had to share a story about one of our most memorable experiences at Gustavus and I got to hear from Bob Krig (Class Agent for the Class of '53) about the time they brought a cow into the Chapel!  (Unfortunately Bob went first, which made it hard for everyone else at our table to beat his story!)  I also ran into Kirk and Britta (Ramseth) Reierson and their daughter (and future Gustie!?!) Annika on campus.  Being back on campus made me realize that our 10-year reunion is only 2 years away!!!

Change in Class Agents

A big thanks to Amy Haberman Abercrombie for serving as a Class Agent for the Class of 1995 for the past 8 years!  Amy decided to retire as class agent this year.  Amy was married on September 20, 2003 to Daniel Abercrombie (an Aussie!) -- check out their engagement picture included in this letter.  They were married at The Church of St. Edward in Bloomington and held their reception at Bearpath Golf and Country Club in Eden Prairie.  Amy has been busy working at Target Corporation as the manager of external financial reporting.  She is also starting to work on her MBA!  Amy -- thanks so much for all of your work as Class Agent!!

And, we welcome a new Class Agent!  Sara Tollefson Currell will be joining me as a Class Agent for the Class of 1995.  Sara and her husband, Dan '94, and their daughter, Annika, have been living in the Washington D.C. area for the past several years.  As we speak, they are house-hunting in the Twin Cities and hope to move back in the near future before Sara has their second child!  Welcome Sara!

News from Spring Phonorama

I had a fabulous time talking to many of you last Spring at Phonorama and thank everyone in our class for their donations to the Alumni Fund.  It was fun to hear what everyone is up to -- Jen Churchich is pregnant and due this month, Lisa Nelson was busy working in her yard when I happened to catch her and Alec Walker was planning a wedding (he was married in Sept.).  Thanks to everyone who took the time to talk to callers from Phonorama and for sharing news with us to print in the Quarterly and the Class Letters.  And, thanks to everyone who made a donation to the Alumni Fund.  Our class ended up 3 donors short of our goal and raised a total of $9,084.75!!!  Thanks for your generosity -- your donations make it possible for current and future generations of Gusties to share the Gustavus experience.

Fall Phonorama

With the 2003 fund year behind us, we are now raising money for the 50th anniversary of the Alumni Fund.  Fall Phonorama starts on October 12th, so you can expect to hear from me, another classmate or a Gustavus student in the coming months.  Please take a moment to update your information -- this is an easy way to provide updated address information and news about your job, weddings and children.  Please consider making a gift to the Alumni Fund this year.  We are more concerned about getting a large percentage of classmates to give than we are about the size of your gift, so every $10 helps!  You can also make your contribution on-line at <>.  Also, if you are interested in spending an evening at the Minnesota Valley Country Club in Bloomington calling classmates, please call (866) 487-3863 to register!  Phonorama runs Sunday through Thursday evenings the weeks of Oct. 12th and 19th from 6-9 p.m., with a social hour following each evening.


A new feature of this Class Letter is a page of photos (mostly engagement photos) of classmates!  Please send photos to the Alumni Office or, if you can send the picture electronically, please send it to, for publication in future class letters.

We have a lot of wonderful to news to share about our classmates:

  • Peter Wahl and Sara Wahl are both attorneys at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP in Dallas, TX and had a baby girl, Hannah, on October 1, 2002.
  • Thor Nelson and Staci Nelson had a baby boy, Myles Lawrence, on June 14, 2003.  Thor and Staci live in St. Peter where Thor is the Nicollet County Deputy Sheriff, a fire arms instructor and a member of the Tactical Response Team.
  • Craig Steffen appeared on national TV in July 2003 to discuss the supercomputer work he is doing with PS2's. 
  • Cory Overland married Karen Kennedy on December 28, 2002.  They live in Honolulu, HI where Cory is a choral director at Punaho School.
  • Matt Walson and Julie Walson had a daughter, Candace Linnea, on July 2, 2003.
  • Greta Gerlach Schetnan and Judd Schetnan '94 had a boy, Lewis Judd, on April 21, 2003.
  • Susan Harstad graduated in May with a master's in art history from the University of St. Thomas.  In January, she had been on a research trip in Finland.
  • Susan Lothner Fletcher and Gregory Fletcher had a baby girl, Clara, on March 30, 2002. 
  • Stacey Vogt Larson and Keith Larson had a baby girl, Hanna, on June 28, 2002.
  • Elizabeth Johnson is an ordained minister in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America serving two rural congregations in southeastern South Dakota -- First Lutheran of Wakouda and Pleasant Valley of Vermillion.
  • Sara Jacobson Dregney and Jim Dregney had a baby boy, Kyle James, on April 17, 2003.
  • Brian Norelius married Katherine Ross on January 18, 2003.  Brian is in sales at Sterling Supply Inc. and Katherine is a nurse at Fairview University Medical Center.
  • David Reynolds married Debra Johnson on April 19, 2003.  They were married at Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas, NV and now live in Blaine.
  • Lisa Stone is a communications associate for Guidant Corporation.
  • Aaron Smith married Melissa (Missy) Worner in July 2003.  Aaron is employed with CB Richard Ellis in Edina and Melissa is a 10th grade science teacher at Centennial High School in Blaine.
  • Jason Mahn married Laura Evans on May 17, 2003.  Jason is a Ph.D. student (Religion) at Emory University and Laura is the director of outreach and inreach at Sandy Springs Christian Church.
  • Shannon Sutton is a medical legal associate at EvaluMed in Edina.
  • Kari Nelson Isaacson and Dave Isaacson had a baby boy, William, on December 21, 2002.
  • Matthew Nelson and Sarah Hanson were married on May 10, 2003.  Matt is a financial analyst for Kroll Ontrack in Eden Prairie and Sarah is a web developer for Select Comfort in Plymouth.
  • Scott Moe and Sarah Garrison Moe '02 had a baby boy, Logan Scott, on November 27, 2002.
  • Nels Pierson and Nicole Pierson had a daughter, Sonja Esther, on April 30, 2003.
  • Nikki Plocher is a recreational program manager at Xtreme Gymnastics in Scottsdale, AZ and is getting married in October 2003 to Greg Peacock.
  • Kariin Berkland works in human resources for the City of Woodbury, MN.
  • Candyce Sieling Penteado married Fred Penteado on June 28, 2003.  They live in New York City where Candy works as a trainer/facilitator for leadership programs with General Electric and Fred is a product manager for JP Morgan Chase Bank.
  • John Goodpaster married Mindi Kensinger on September 27, 2003.  John is a director for the Mental Health Association of Montgomery County, MD.
  • John Anderson is a clinical pharmacist/Diabetes educator at Paynesville Area Health Care System in MN.
  • Amy Martin married Ronald Hvinden on August 2, 2003.
  • Heather Teune Wigdahl married Matt Wigdahl on September 14, 2002.
  • Brandi Sharp is engaged to marry Shawn Vieths on October 11, 2003.  Brandi also recently completed her master's of education from Hamline University.  Brandi returned to live in her hometown of Owatonna, MN and is teaching at St. Mary's School.
  • Amy Tartaglia Johns and Matt Johns had a daughter, Mia Ruth, on August 18, 2002.  They live in Parker, CO. Amy is the administrative and communications coordinator for the Town of Parker.
  • Kari Kreul married Kevin Smith on July 25, 2003.  Kari is a staff family physician at Osceola Medical Center in WI.
  • Nathan Anderson and Lori Anderson had a son, Justin, on March 11, 2003.
  • Matt Kissner is engaged to marry Neena Sooch on October 18, 2003 at Christ Chapel.
  • Paul and Lisa (Scott) Buenger had a boy, Nicholas James, on December 5, 2003.
  • Ben Grimstad and Padrin Lundquist Grimstad '96 had a son, Gus, on February 5, 2003.  Ben is the president of the Decorah Bank & Trust Co. in Decorah, IA.
  • Darcy Whitcomb Frederickson and Ted Frederickson had a son, Jack Douglas, on April 28, 2003.
  • Bryan Flattem and Renee Flattem had a daughter, Emily Brynn, on January 12, 2003.
  • Karin Miller Wagner and William Wagner had a daughter, Kieda Marie, on March 14, 2003.
  • Christine Larson Ringen and Chad Ringen had a daughter, Madeline Ann, on January 11, 2003.
  • Amy Oberdeck Chalupnik and Jason Chalupnik had a son, Daniel James, on February 10, 2003.  Daniel joins big brother Thomas Louis, who was born on September 27, 2001.
  • Elizabeth Potts married Evan Dellon on October 20, 2002.
  • Todd Andrix and Kristen Andrix had a daughter, Annika Paige, on January 8, 2003.
  • Chad and Pam (Thorn) Fitterer had a daughter, Emily Paige, on September 27, 2002.
  • Thomas Nelson Laird and Connie Nelson Laird '94 moved to Bloomington, IN.  Tom is finishing his dissertation in higher education at the University of MI and has already started working for the National Survey of Student Engagement at Indiana University
  • Sarah Cox Bowman and Trent Bowman had a son, Reid Isaac, on June 1, 2003.
  • Kristi Berg Schuck and Wes Schuck '97 had a daughter, Kobi Cassidy Grace, on May 9, 2003.
  • Stacey Rieckenberg Ryan and Tom Ryan had a son, Jacob Thomas, on August 1, 2003.
  • Catherine Stamps Berger is a 5th grade teacher at Eisenhower Elementary in Hopkins, MN.
  • Mike Mason and Deanna Kozitza Mason '96 live in Northfield with their two daughters.  Mike works in Minneapolis at ING.  (I went to lunch with Mike a few weeks ago and saw pictures of their adorable daughters -- Mike is a very proud father!)
  • Matt Cadwell is working on his Ph.D. in Anglican theology at Trinity College and the Toronto School of Theology at the University of Toronto.
  • Michelle Heilman married Clinton Muench on July 26, 2003.  Michelle will complete her residency in ophthalmology at the University of Texas, Southwestern, in Dallas, TX in June 2004.
  • Janelle Peterson Trueblood completed her residency training in family practice and joined her husband and seven other family practice physicians at the Riverwood Health Care Center in Aitkin, MN.
  • Mark Benson and Joanne Benson had a baby, Meghan, on October 8, 2002.  They live in Modesto, CA and Mark works at Gallo Wine Company.
  • Geoffrey Hansen and Jennifer Hansen had a son, Bryce, on January 17, 2003.  Geoffrey is an investment manager for Community Bank Chaska.
  • Mark Umbreit and Jennifer Umbreit had a son, Jonah, on February 5, 2003.
  • Kris Magnusson and Amy Swenson Magnusson '97 had a son, Gustaf, on April 18, 2002.
  • Rachel Lacher Anderson and Yankten Anderson had a son, Riely John, on December 16, 2002.
  • David Flom and Nancy Flom had a daughter, Sophie Lorraine, on December 5, 2002.  David is the new assistant men's basketball coach at Gustavus.
  • Brett Mitchell received a Ph.D. in physiology from the Medical College of George in May 2003 and has accepted a cardiovascular staff scientist position with USRA/NASA at Johnson Space Center.
  • Michelle Dugan Oas and Michael Oas had a daughter, Rebecah Kristine, on March 22, 2002.  Michael built his first new house in Eagle Lake, MN in early 2003.
  • Christopher Piela and Melissa LeVesque-Piela '97 had a daughter, Lauren, on December 9, 2002.  Chris is the vocal music director at Valley View Middle School and Melissa work at Coldwell Banker Burnet Realty.
  • Daniel Berg is a trails worker for the National Park Service in MT.  He and his wife, Deana Malony, live in the house Dan built!
  • Andrew McCurdy and Jennifer McCurdy had a son, Noah, in August 2002.
  • Robin Frederick Hendrickson and Brent Hendrickson had a son in 2001.  Robin is a human resources administrator for Soft Brand Manufacturing.
  • Deedra Halverson Holdhusen and David Holdhusen '96 had a daughter, Annika, on October 4, 2002. 
  • Heather Bakke is teaching middle school in Selawik, Alaska.  Selawik is a native village 3 miles north of the Arctic Circle!
  • Karl and Heather (Slack) Dexheimer had a son, Benjamin, in June 2002.
  • Jennifer Churchich Cook and Paul Cook are expecting a baby in October 2003.
  • Eric DeMaster is an attorney at Merchant & Gould in Minneapolis.
  • Alec Walker married Patricia De Vera in Washington D.C. in September 2003.  Alec is in technical consulting at mPortal.
  • Jane Marie Patchin married Thomas Lalim on March 29, 2003.  Jane works in the academic advisory center at Gustavus and Thomas works for the Minnesota Historical Society, Fort Snelling Site and the City of Richfield, Public Works.
  • Greta Johnson Petrich is the editor for the Osakis Review newspaper.
  • Jennifer Bevis married Steve Svatos on September 20, 2003.  Jennifer is an account executive for the JPG Group in Virginia and Steve is a manager at Radio Shack in Ely.
  • And the award goes to . . . Joseph Gaugler, Ph.D., assistant professor in the department of Behavioral Science in the University Kentucky College of Medicine, was awarded the 2003 Springer Early Career Achievement Award in Research on Adult Development and Aging, which is granted annually by the American Psychological Association to honor a psychologist whose work has made significant early career contributions to understanding critical issues in adult development and aging.  Joe's research focuses on three areas:  longitudinal ramifications of family care for older adults with chronic disabilities, the effectiveness of community-based and psychosocial services for disabled adults and their care giving families, and the social integration of older adults in residential long-term care settings.

Fall Alumni Events

  • October 13-16 and 20-23, 2003 -- Fall Phonorama
  • November 4, 2003 -- JFK:  The Mystery and Legend, MVCC, Bloomington
  • November 15, 2003 -- A Royal Affair . . . pa rum pum pum pum, fund-raiser for the Gustavus Library Associates held at the Radisson Hotel South in Bloomington, MN
  • December 5-7, 2003 -- Christmas in Christ Chapel

Don't forget to keep us updated on your engagements/marriages/births/job changes/graduations, etc.  You can submit your information at or send us an email at

All the best,

Amy Seidel