Class of '95
April 2007

Dear Class of 1995,

This year, my husband Dan Currell ’94 and I are serving as Co-Chairs of the Alumni Fund.  As Alumni, we give money to Gustavus to show our appreciation for the education, activities, and people that have shaped our lives. As Co-Chairs we’re reaching out to you to join us in supporting Gustavus through the Alumni Fund.

We support Gustavus not only because of what it has done for us but what it can do for future Gusties. We both got the chance to pursue our dreams at the college of our choice because Gustavus was financially supported by alumni who loved it very much. Because of the cost of higher education, some students will only get the chance to attend Gustavus if we continue the College’s tradition of strong alumni financial support. 

The end of the fiscal year for the Alumni Fund is May 31st. We’re rallying to raise our class giving total!  Currently our class has given $7,884.80.  Compare that to the 1994 class above us whose total is $30,177.65.  And then there is the younger 1996 class below us at $15,683.95.

You can make a gift to the Alumni Fund in a couple ways:

1)      Online at Click on “Giving to Gustavus” under the “Information About” heading. On the Giving to Gustavus page click on “Make a Gift” and you’re all set! 

2)      By phone: please call 800/726-6192

Can you help raise the total for our class?  If you’ve already given this year, thank you so much for your dedication to Gustavus. If you haven’t made a gift to Gustavus this year please consider doing so before May 31st!  Your support is very much appreciated!

Thank you for your consideration,

Go Gusties!

Sara Tollefson Currell ‘95


  • Colin Hirdman sold his business, Vencio Inc. and is now an independent contractor.
  • Jenny Merrick married Steven Borovsky on Feb. 10th, 2007 in Pine City, MN.  She is a math teacher and coach at St. Paul Academy and Summit School.
  • April Kukuck Spence, her husband John, and big sister Emma welcomed Wade David on February 4, 2007.  April is a veterinarian at Sesser Animal Hospital.
  • Craig Steffen is currently a senior research scientist at NCSA, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
  • Alec Walker and his wife welcomed baby Elise on January 4th, 2007.
  • Markus Silpala married Tricia Johnson on September 9, 2006.  He works as an independent software consultant in the Twin Cities.
  • Erin Lees Kraker and her husband, Daniel, welcomed Lydia Maeve on April 29, 2006.  Erin completed a Bachelor in science in nursing from Northern Arizona University in December of 2006.
  • Brandi Sharp Vieths and her husband, Shawn, welcomed Tucker Shawn on September 9, 2006. 
  • Greta Johnson Petrich is the editor of the Osakis Review newspaper.
  • Kirsten Vedell Hanninen is a fitness instructor at Dakotah Sport and Fitness.
  • Sheila Piippo is the children’s program director at the Minnesota Literacy Council.
  • Suan Hanson married John McElwaine in November 2006 in Jamaica.   They now live in Jalalabad, Afghanistan. Suan is working on a local governance and community development project there.
  • Kristi Berg Schuck and her husband Wes ’96 welcomed their third child, Kiya Rae Nevaeh, on August 3, 2006.  She has two big sisters Keely and Kobi.
  • Erin Cunningham married John Dueber on August 4, 2006.  They live in Oakland, CA.
  • Jennifer Bevis Svatos and her husband, Steve, welcomed baby Nolan on March 6, 2006.  She is an account executive at JPG communications.
  • Jodi Holley Hudson and her husband, Jon, welcomed baby Joshua in November of 2006.  She is a financial and technical coordinator at Daimler Chrysler, Inc.
  • Kristine Anderson Gerkin and her husband, David, and big brother Zachary welcomed baby Nicole Kelly on March 30, 2006. 
  • Amy Tartaglia Johns and her husband, Matthew, welcomed baby Delaney on March 1st, 2006.  Amy is the administrator and communications coordinator for the city of Parker, CO.

If you have news you’d like to share with the class, please email it to  We’d love to hear from you!



Alumni Awards Announced

The Alumni Association announces the following 2007 awards selected by the Alumni Board of Directors.  Greater Gustavus AwardGiven to those who, by deed, have notably advanced and aided Gustavus Adolphus College:  Russ and Jan (Ledin) Michaletz ’74 ’74

Distinguished Alumni CitationsRecognizes outstanding and exceptional professional achievement

Paul Peterson ’94, principal, St. Peter High School, Minnesota State High School Principal of the Year.

Margaret Anderson Kelliher ’90, house speaker, Minnesota House of Representatives.

First Decade AwardsRecognizes early professional achievement

Jennifer Pleuss Spande ’97, diplomat, Political and Economic Section, U.S. Embassy, Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Alexander Hill ’97, senior scientist, Medtronic, Inc.

The Greater Gustavus Award and Distinguished Alumni Citations will be presented at the Alumni Banquet on Saturday, May 26, and the First Decade Awards will be presented during Homecoming Weekend, October 13.

Linnaeus Symposium Celebrates Birth of Carl Linnaeus

In celebration of the 300th anniversary of the birth of Carl Linnaeus, Gustavus will host its second Linnaeus Symposium, Linnaeus @ 300, on Wednesday, April 25, 2007. The daylong conference will feature presentations by ethnobotanists Mark Plotkin and Paul Alan Cox, and Linnaean scholars Hans Odoo and Paula Robbins. The day will also include tours of Linnaeus Arboretum, a special photography exhibition by Anders Bjorling, music, dance, and a Scandinavian feast. Visit <> or call 507/933-6181 to learn more.    

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 trader 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.

“Community Food Security” is Theme of MAYDAY! Peace Conference

"Community Food Security" is the theme for this year's Gustavus MAYDAY! Peace Conference, to be held on May 2.  This is an annual conference, devoted to a topic relating to human rights and social justice.  Among other events, the daylong conference will feature presentations from author Janet Poppendieck, who wrote Sweet Charity?: Emergency Food and the End of Entitlement, and Mike Hamm, Ph.D., chair of sustainable agriculture at Michigan State University.  For more information call the Office of College Relations at 507/933-7520.

Gustavus Choir Reunion to Celebrate 75 Years

Alumni and friends of the Gustavus Choir are welcome to attend a reunion on Saturday, May 5.  The day will include an alumni choir rehearsal, a banquet for past and current members of the choir, and a full concert with both the alumni choir and the Gustavus Choir.  For more information, contact the Office of Fine Arts Programs at 507/933-7013.

Celebrating 75 Years of Theatre at Gustavus

The Department of Theatre and Dance celebrates 75 years of theatre at Gustavus with a reunion on May 11 and 12.  Highlights of the weekend will include an afternoon program sharing memories and monologs from the past 75 years and viewing the performance of The Tempest in Anderson Theatre.  For more information and to register, go to the theatre reunion section of the Alumni website at <> or call the Alumni Office at 800/487-8437.

Upcoming Alumni Events

  • Brainerd Lakes Area Gustavus Gathering – April 20
  • Linnaeus Symposium - April 25
  • Gustavus Association of Congregations – April 28
  • MAYDAY! Peace Conference: Community Food Security - May 2
  • Celebrating 75 years of the Gustavus Choir - May 5
  • Lindau Symposium – May 8
    Celebrating 75 years of Theatre Reunion  - May 11-12
  • Class of 1962 - 45th Anniversary Reunion – May 25 & 26
  • Class of 1957 - 50th Anniversary Reunion – May 25 & 26
  • 50 Year Club Reunion – May 26