Class of '95
January 2006

Happy New Year, Class of ’95!

I hope this letter finds you well and your new year is off to a great start.

It was so fun to see many of you at the Ten-Year Reunion.  For those who missed it, you were missed!  Catching up with old friends in Bloomington at the Friday night event was so neat that I couldn’t resist changing my plans to attend the Gustavus football game the next day.  In the following days, I thought about lots of people I haven’t seen since graduation…and wondering what you are up to.

Isn’t it amazing how quickly time has passed without seeming like it?  At a recent family gathering, I wore a t-shirt that says, “La Universidad de Sevilla.”  My brother said, “Cool t-shirt.  Where’d you get it?”  A few minutes later my sister asked, “Hey, were you able to find that t-shirt on the Internet?”  My response, “Uh, no…I bought it in Spain.  Remember I lived there for six months during college?”  They were pretty surprised it wasn’t a new t-shirt.  I was puzzled by their surprise.  Then I realized…Oh…that was 1994.  I’ve been wearing this shirt for eleven years!

Do you have an “old” t-shirt you’re still wearing?  Maybe it’s time to put it on.  Then pick up the phone to call a Gustie you haven’t talked to in a while (or since graduation).  You don’t need to wait until the next “reunion” to catch up with friends and classmates.  Make up your own!  Some suggestions:  Celebrate the 13th Year Anniversary of Surviving Calculus or the 11th Year Anniversary of your Unforgettable Spring Break Trip.  Enjoy your reunions―whatever they commemorate!

On to less philosophical topics―What’s happening at Gustavus and Class News.  Remember to keep everyone updated on births, new careers, and other exciting news!  Email Amy and Sara at: with any updates!


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


  • Nick Lindell is attending graduate school at the University of Wisconsin to be a school counselor.
  • Gretchen Michlitsch earned her Ph.D. in English from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in May of 2005.  She is now an assistant professor at Winona State University.
  • Shane Erickson is a school social worker in the Duluth Public Schools.
  • Tresja Denysenko works at the State Department in Washington DC.
  • Robert Freimuth is a senior scientist at Washington University in St. Louis.  He does research at the Siteman Cancer Center Bioinformatics Core.  His wife, Stacy McMurty Freimuth is a preschool teacher.
  • Tim Peterson is a marketing manager for the Minnesota Orchestra.
  • Mark Nechanicky is a sixth grade teacher in Albert Lea Public Schools.
  • Rachel Vandersteen Hennies is an information systems manager for Web and Integration Architecture software testing with Express Scripts, Inc. in Maryland Heights, MO.
  • Scott Moe, the Gustavus Men’s Golf Coach, helped the U.S. Junior National Team to its second consecutive win of the Toyota World Junior Cup Title in Toyota City, Japan in July of 2005.
  • Dawn Iacarella is a marketing manager at Baker and Hostetler, LLP in New York City.
  • AnDee Cowles Flohr is a vocational instructor at the Women’s Correctional Facility in Shakopee, MN.
  • Daniel Berg is a carpenter in Bozeman, Montana.  He lives there with his wife, Deana, and their daughter, Danielle.
  • Shannon Andreson is a freelance writer in Minneapolis.  She published an article entitled:  “The VIP:  Navigating the high-stakes world of celebrity event planning” in the fall 2005 issue of the Minnesota Meetings and Events magazine.
  • Jennifer Bonow Noble is a stay-at-home mom of two girls, Maleigh is 5 and Kennedy is 2.  She’s expecting baby number 3 in March!
  • Mike Schlagel is employed with GeoMap as a communication executive.  He is the proud father of Avry born August 28, 2002 and Allison born November 28, 2004.
  • Jennifer Vesper Snyder is the busy mother of four kids and is a teacher at the Classical Christian School in Mankato, MN.
  • Jen Borer Bayley is the assistant director of student services with the Anoka Hennepin School District.  The position combines her love for ESL students with her management background.  She married Aaron Bayley on October 17, 2003. 
  • Scott Hoss and Emily (Botten ’97) were married on August 7, 2004 in Lewiston, MN.  Scott’s an attorney at Bassford Remele practicing in the areas of civil litigation including insurance, product liability, construction, health care, FDCPA/FCRA and appellate law.
  • Kaaren Williamsen-Garvey and Fran Williamsen-Garvey celebrated their commitment in a marriage ceremony on October 1, 2005 in St. Peter and again on October 6, 2005 in Thunder Bay, Ontario.
  • Stacie Rosen McKeehan and her husband, John, welcomed Kaylee Louise on June 10, 2005.
  • Lars and Kristie (Peterson) Hammar had a baby boy, Karl Erik, on June 14, 2005.
  • Annie Robertson Rudolph and her husband, William, welcomed daughter, Lucy Mae, on November 12, 2004.
  • Julie Nelson Peterson and her husband, Jon, welcomed son, Jacob John, on June 12, 2005.
  • Kirstin Feig Schultz and her husband, Dan, welcomed son, Tanner Joseph, on June 29, 2005.
  • Jim Williams and Susan (Olson ’94) welcomed daughter, Jane Elizabeth, in January of 2005.
  • Wendy Wangerin Denton and Reggie ’94 welcomed son, Samuel Harry, on May 31, 2005.
  • Matt Walson and his wife, Julie, welcomed daughter, Nicole, on June 30, 2005.
  • Michelle Heilman Muench and her husband, Clint, had a baby boy, Carson Arthur on June 5, 2005.  She works at the Eye Clinic in Faribault, MN.
  • Kari Nelson Isaacson and her husband, Dave, welcomed daughter, Anna, on April 10, 2005.
  • Greta Johnson Petrich and her husband, Michael, welcomed son, Jack Anthony, on June 22, 2005.  Greta is the editor of the Osakis Review newspaper.
  • Stacy Dirnberger Smallfield and her husband, Ted, welcomed Andrew William on June 28, 2005.
  • Mandy Fluegge Schwarzrock and her husband, Scott, had their third boy, Zachary Robert, on November 4, 2004.  Zachary joins his big brothers, Drew and Devon.  Mandy is an RN in the outpatient oncology department at the New Ulm Medical Center.
  • Susie Boeder Hoheisel and her husband, Jess, welcomed daughter, Jenna Marie, on August 23, 2005.
  • Marc Solberg and his wife, Mary Kay, welcomed daughter, Alynn Paige, on May 24, 2005.
  • Heather Huovie Heil and her husband, Bob, welcomed their son, Tyler Robert, on December 3, 2004.  Heather owns her own dental practice in Freedom, WI and lives with her family in Appleton, WI.
  • Tim Kohls and his wife, Sara Martin, adopted Tobias Joo-Seong in 2005.
  • Hakan Carlsson and Ella (Farmer’94) adopted Samira Alexandra in December of 2005.
  • Jennifer Bucheck Beumer and her husband, Chris ’92, had a boy, Tyler Christopher, on June 15, 2005.
  • Heidi Hoffman Pautsch and her husband, Michael, had a girl, Annabel Eliese, on August 22, 2005.
  • Jennifer Hanson Bunn and her husband, David, had twins, Payton Lorraine and Parker John on July 8, 2005.
  • Jodi Eveslage Benson and Andrew Benson had twins, Leo Hobbs and Violet Ann, on December 21, 2005.
  • Drew Tarara and Jennifer (Olufson ’96) had twins, Natalie Julianne and Samuel Andrew on August 17, 2005.
  • Steve Strege married Aimee Lake in San Diego on April 9, 2005.
  • Jody Svensson Christiansen has been working at ProStaff for ten years and was promoted in December 2004 to group managing director.  She manages the Chanhassen and Minneapolis offices.
  • Jeff Holmberg is the assistant principal at Independence Elementary School in the Big Lake Public School District.
  • Holly Grefe married Craig Andrus of Layfayette, LA on February 5, 2005.
  • LaNay Koralesky received her master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling from Minnesota State University-Mankato in December 2004.  She is working as a rehabilitation counselor for the State of Minnesota Rehabilitation Services in Blaine, MN. 
  • Nicole Paulson Rapp received her master’s in education from Boise State University.  She is an elementary teacher in Fairfax County, Virginia.
  • Michael Hepperlen and his wife, Renee (Borleske ’93), had a baby girl, Anna Marie, on March 29, 2005.  Anna Marie joins her brother Thomas.
  • Sabina Panth is a gender and social inclusion advisor for the Canadian International Aid Agency in Kathmandu, Nepal.
  • Sara Jacobson Dregney and her husband, James, had a baby boy, Jay Fisher, on February 22, 2005.
  • Jeff Christensen and Alexis (Peterson ’96) had a baby girl, Elizabeth Paige, on February 21, 2005.  Elizabeth has a big brother, Ethan Peter. 
  • David Flom and his wife, Nancy, had a baby boy, Joseph, on October 7, 2004.  Joseph has an older sister, Sophie.  David is the assistant men’s basketball coach at Gustavus.
  • Roxanne Hagen Ruffenach and her husband, Shane, had a baby boy, Isaac Anthony, on January 25, 2005.
  • Yoshiaki Makino is a political officer for the United Nations Policy Division in Tokyo, Japan.
  • Ray Peterson and his wife, Sara, had a baby girl, Mary Catherine, on December 23, 2004.  Ray is an attorney at Maki & Overom in Duluth.
  • Anastasia Kitsul lives in San Juan, Puerto Rico, after 10 years that included working in family planning at Johns Hopkins University, while studying for her MBA at the Yale School of Management, working at Procter & Gamble, and receiving accreditation as the Honorary Consul of the Russian Federation in Puerto Rico.  She is working in a volunteer role that allows her to contribute in a small way to building a bridge of understanding between Russia, the U.S. and Puerto Rico.
  • Matthew Kissner graduated from his general surgery residency in June 2005, in Detroit, MI.  He joined the group Specialists in General Surgery, Ltd., who practice in the northwest suburbs of Minneapolis including Unity and Mercy Hospitals and North Memorial Medical Center.
  • Amy Seidel was promoted to partner at the law firm of Faegre & Benson in January 2006.  Amy practices in the areas of corporate governance, securities law and executive compensation.

Wishing you and your loved ones a very blessed 2006!

Warmest Regards,

Tracey Loberg Westendorp

Note:  This letter was written by your classmate, Tracey Loberg Westendorp.  This month, Tracey and her husband, Chris, are celebrating ten years of marriage!  They have three daughters:  Madeline (7), Abigail (4), and Eloise (1).  Tracey’s a Realtor for RE/MAX in Maple Grove, MN.