Class of '95
January 2007

Happy New Year Fellow Gusties!

Greetings to the class of 1995!  I hope all is well with you and your respective families.  It is hard to believe that we are embarking on another year as true “adults.”  Were we considered “adults” at Gustavus???  For many of us, I don’t think we made that “classification” based on our various “characterizing actions” throughout the four years!  I know that at the time, we definitely thought we were adults!  Anyway…

As another year ticks by, I find myself reflecting about the past, present and future.  Each of these time segments triggers different emotions, feelings, and thoughts about individual experiences in our lives.  Some are good, some bad, some happy, and some sad.  They may relate to family, friends, high school years, college years, jobs, significant others, achievements, lack of achievements, life, death, the environment, world conflict, children and their futures, retirement, and many others.

Being a life-long Gustie is one experience that we can all relate to.  For me, and I know for others, Gustavus is embedded into each of these time segments with much emotion and feeling.  Below are random thoughts that come to mind when I think of the past, present, and future in regard to the impact Gustavus has had and will continue to have on my life.

The PastGustie Greeters, North Side, South Side, the “tundra”, Co-ed, dance parties, house parties, barn parties, fraternities, sororities, the Dive, CAB, “the Brar,” meeting great people, the great education, volunteering to help clean up and rebuild Gustavus after the devastating tornadoes, the “Arb,” Wahlstrom Hall, Seven Gables, Red Door, “Old” College View….

The PresentMemories of four great years at Gustavus, continued friendships with some of the greatest people I have ever met, 11th consecutive year of getting together with 8-10 Gustie couples for a holiday party and summer lake event, making financial decisions that will provide my future children the option to experience Gustavus life, if desired…

The FutureGive back to Gustavus by volunteering time or providing financial assistance, hope that I may be a father of a Gustie someday, continue to wear my Gustavus ring  (I know how “corny” this may sound, but I run into someone frequently who is a Gustie or knows one and it generally initiates a great conversation!  Last week a new grad from Hamline approached me after spotting my ring…we exchanged some MIAC pleasantries!), show up at all of the future reunions!  (Everyone should do this!  It is a great opportunity to catch up with old friends.)

For many of us, once you are a Gustie, you are always a Gustie.  Continue to treasure those memories of good times with great friends up on the big hill.  Prepare now for your future connection to Gustavus, because I know that the “Nine-month Party--All you can drink, $14,800 cover” as my old freshman year t-shirt said, won’t “cover” much for our children!

Wishing you a happy and healthy 2007!

Go Gusties!

Brian Norelius

aka “Corny”

1995 Guest Letter Writer


  • Jenna Peik Peters and her husband, Greg, had a baby girl, Ava, on November 8, 2006.
  • Roxy Wagener Myhre and her husband, Derek, had a baby girl, Jenna Mae, on February 24, 2006.  Roxy is a health teacher at Eden Prairie High School.
  • David Graham and his wife, Gretchen, had a baby boy, John David, on October 30, 2006.  David is an English teacher and girl’s soccer coach at Prior Lake High School.
  • Justin Hoff, and his wife, Michelle, have two kids, a boy named Alex, born July 27, 2004, and a girl named Kate, born December 17, 2005.  Justin is a chiropractor.
  • Christina Williams recently completed her master’s degree in English and American Literature at Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI.  She is currently in the Ph.D. program at Marquette.
  • Clinton Swenson and his wife, Jennifer, had a baby girl, Caroline, on April 19, 2006.
  • Charles Zemek and his wife, Heidi (Block ’94), had a baby boy, Benett Charles, on March 10, 2006.
  • Jamie Kagol is chief meteorologist and main weather anchor at Local News 8 in Idaho Falls, Idaho.  He received his master’s in meteorology from St. Louis University.  His bio says that he studied the Halloween Snow Storm from 1991―I’m sure we all remember that one!!
  • Rebecca Romsdahl is an assistant professor at the University of North Dakota.
  • Paige Tierney Sullivan and her husband, Casey Sullivan, had a baby girl, Parker Eagan, on September 13, 2006.  Paige lives in Anchorage, Alaska!
  • David Ecklund is a pediatrician with the Southeast Permanente Medical Group in Atlanta, Georgia.
  • Nels Pierson, III and his wife, Nicole, had a baby boy, Nels Daniel Pierson IV, on October 8, 2005.
  • Amy (Haberman) Abercrombie, and her husband, Daniel, had a baby girl, Matilda Jane, on June 6, 2006.  Amy completed her MBA in finance and marketing from the Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota, in December 2005.  Amy works at Target Corporation as a senior manager for regulatory accounting and compliance.
  • Todd Klemmensen is a contract representative for Alliant Techsystems, advanced weapons division.  Beth Weber Klemmensen is an application sales representative for Oracle Direct.  Todd and Beth have two children, Annie Lee, born on February 18, 2005, and Brady Jerry born on July 29, 2002.
  • Kari Gillespie married Jason Mitchell on September 2, 2006.
  • Amy Oberdeck Chalupnik works as a consumer loan officer at Klein Bank.
  • Amy Tartaglia Johns and her husband, Mathew, had a baby girl, Delaney Kate, on March 1, 2006.
  • Katy Merrick Overtoom and her husband, Matt, had a baby boy, Marek Vincent, on August 9, 2006.
  • Rachel (Vandersteen) and Michael Hennies had a baby boy, Soren Michael, on July 20, 2006.
  • Nicole Leonard is an attorney at Beveridge & Diamond, P.C. in San Francisco, CA.


Alumni Starring in The Cherry Orchard

The Department of Theatre and Dance is celebrating 75 years of theatre at Gustavus this year with two featured events:  Theatre Reunion May 11-12 and a gala performance of The Cherry Orchard followed by admission to the cast party on February 10.  The Cherry Orchard will be Professor Rob Gardner’s final directing work before retirement.  A cast of professional theatre alumni will join the student actors for this very special production.  The alumni cast includes:  Peter Breitmayer ’87, Karen Esbjornson ’80, Kevin Kling ’79, Scott Novotny ’75, and Michael Glenn (Waldhauser) ’97.  A sold-out performance is expected for this unique celebration, so order your tickets soon.  For more information and to order tickets, go to the Cherry Orchard site from <>

Lindau Symposium brings Richard John Neuhaus to campus

The Rev. Richard John Neuhaus, a well-known conservative Catholic intellectual, will address “Religion in American Public Life” at the inaugural Lindau Symposium at Gustavus on Tuesday, May 8, 2007, 7:30 p.m. in Alumni Hall.  A gift to the College from Phil ’58 and Nancy Lindau, given prior to Phil’s death last April, established the symposium at Gustavus that bears his name.  Lindau, a commodities broker and executive who served Gustavus as a board member, campaign chair, and longtime volunteer leader, was passionate about the faith-life intersection and the church-relatedness of his alma mater.  The symposium, which the Lindau family and College officials anticipate will be an annual event, aims to provide a forum in which diverse intellectual voices and mainstream beliefs and values can be brought together in a liberal arts environment.

Gustie Pages

Looking for a dentist, doctor, lawyer, pastor, Realtor, or other professional?  Make it a Gustie!  Look in the Gustie Pages, an online database of Gusties who have submitted information about their profession.  Use the Gustavus network to meet your needs, or submit your professional information if you would like other Gusties to become your customers.  Go to the Gustie Pages at the alumni website at:  <>.

Career Connections with Students

Sign up now for the 2007 Gustavus Career Connections Reception.  The reception will be Monday, February 19, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Minneapolis Hilton.  The gathering allows Gustavus alumni to provide advice, encouragement, and career networking opportunities to Gustavus students seeking internships and career opportunities.  Alumni are invited to attend and assist current students in their career search.  You do not have to be hiring at your company to attend – just willing to share your experience.  E-mail the Career Center at or call 507/933-7586 if you can attend or want more information.

Give Every Year to Gustavus?

Do you give to Gustavus every year and plan to give every year in the future?  Then you should become a member of the Cec Eckhoff Society.  Members of the Cec Eckhoff Society simply make the public commitment that they plan to give financially to Gustavus every year.  It does not matter how much you give and this is not a formal pledge for a certain amount of money.  Cec Eckhoff ’56 led the alumni office from 1963-1994.  Cec believed that part of being an alum of Gustavus was to give monetarily each year to the College.  To become a member of the Cec Eckhoff Society, please call The Gustavus Fund office toll-free at 866/487-3863 or e-mail <>.  Thank you for your support of Gustavus!

Summer Sport Camps at Gustavus

Gustavus’ strong athletic tradition is evident with numerous summer sports camps featuring knowledgeable coaching staffs, acclaimed athletic facilities, and quality dining service and housing accommodations.  Camps offered this year include: golf, hockey, basketball, tennis, volleyball, soccer, throwing, and swimming.  For more information go to <> or contact the Athletic Department at


Upcoming Music Tours

This year nearly 300 students will participate in music tours as members of the Gustavus Wind Orchestra, Gustavus Choir, Gustavus String Orchestra, Gustavus Jazz Lab Band, and Choir of Christ Chapel.  The Gustavus Choir will tour Spain and Portugal January 11-30.  Performances are scheduled for Lisbon, Seville, Malaga, Grenada, and Madrid.  The Wind Orchestra will tour Minnesota, Madison and Milwaukee, WI and Chicago.  The String Orchestra will be in Nebraska, Kansas, and South Dakota.

Upcoming Alumni Events

  • The Cherry Orchard Gala Performance – February 10
  • Orlando Gustie Gathering – February 13
  • Tampa Bay Gustie Gathering – February 15
  • Naples/Marco Island Gustie Gathering – February 17
  • Tucson Gustie Gathering – March 16
  • Phoenix Gustie Gathering – March 17
  • Sun City Gustie Gathering – March 18
  • Celebrating 75 years of Theatre Reunion – May 11-12