Class of '95
October 2007

Dear Class of 1995,

Fall is back after a beautiful summer in Minnesota!  Sara Tollefson Currell and I (Amy Seidel) were back on campus a couple weekends ago for the annual Volunteer Leadership meeting (formerly Class Agents’ Day), and the campus looks great.  There were lots of students walking around, dining in the caf (if only the caf had been that cool when we were there!) and enjoying the new football stadium.  The new football stadium will allow the campus to use the space where the old stadium stood to open a green space and expand classroom and other campus facilities.

So, how good is the food in the caf these days??

According to Wikipedia:  “The Gustavus campus features state-of-the-art science facilities, several computer and language labs, and a large, new dining facility which has improved the cafeteria food from that endured by previous generations of students.”

And, in 2006, Gustavus was ranked 9th in the nation for Best College Food by The Princeton Review.

While I’ve often thought that it would be fun to be back in college again, I can’t say I’ve spent much time daydreaming about the food, but maybe I should be…


Thanks to everyone who donated to the 2006-07 Alumni Fund!  Our class donated $15,600 to Gustavus, and 24.4% of our classmates made gifts!  A list of our classmates who donated can be found on the Gustavus website at  Thank you!

But, there is much more work to do in order to give the “Gustie experience” to future classes of students.  We have now kicked off the 2007-08 Alumni Fund and we are particularly focused on increasing the number of donors from our class.  Now that we are more than 10 years out, most of us have settled our financial situation a little better, and this is a great time to start giving if you haven’t done so before.  It doesn’t take much―every donation of even $20 or $50 helps.

It is easy…just go to:  You can also find out whether your current employer will match your gift so you can really put your dollars to work.


  • Aimee Gapinski is a science teacher at Columbia Heights High School.
  • Colleen Kyce Johnson is a consultant at Holstadt & Associates, Inc.
  • Jeff and Jennie (Hainlin) Lindstrom welcomed their second son, Brady Michael, on January 19, 2007.
  • Brian Norelius is vice president at Acme Tuckpointing & Restoration.
  • Jay Anderson is an assistant scientist at the University of Wisconsin.
  • Nels Pierson is a sales manager at Rochester Toyota.
  • Kirsten Vedell Hanninen and Christian Hanninen ’97 welcomed their new baby, Bodie Propser, on July 21, 2007.
  • Stephanie Shearer White and her husband, Mike, had a baby boy, Paul Raymond, on February 8, 2007.
  • Bill Eckloff and Sara (Rohr ’99) Eckloff, had a baby girl, Lauryn Elizabeth, on August 7, 2007.  They live in St. Louis, MO.
  • Jessica Bohn Kottke and her husband, Doug, welcomed their third child, Lauren Jessica on March 6, 2007.  She joins big sister, Annabella, and big brother, Joey.
  • Brett Mitchell and his wife, Ericka, had a baby girl, Kenna Maryn, on February 19, 2007.  Brett is an assistant professor of medicine―nephrology and hypertension at Texas A & M Health Science Center.
  • Elisabeth Potts Dellon, and her husband, Evan, welcomed a baby girl, Hannah, on June 2, 2007.
  • Jen Borer Bayley is the district manager for Mothers Work Inc. in Edina, MN.
  • Cindy Bartel Cox is a school counselor at John Marshall High School in Rochester, and had a baby girl, Olivia Grace, on February 13, 2007.
  • Lori Biederman completed her Ph.D. program in rangeland ecology and management at Texas A & M University in May 2007.  Husband, David Peterson, is an assistant professor in the political science department at Texas A & M.
  • Traci McNelly Lowman, and her husband, Rick, welcomed baby girl, Madison Jo, on October 10, 2006.  Madison joins big brother, Hunter Dean.
  • Per-Johan ’93 and Caren (Parmer) Berger had a baby girl, Isabella Diane, on January 2, 2007.
  • Ray Peterson, and his wife, Sarah, welcomed a baby boy, Kyle, on March 27, 2007.  Ray was named a partner at the law firm of Maki & Overom in Duluth, MN.
  • Mark Umbreit was featured in an article in the Faribault Daily News, along with his father and grandfather, when their family business, Tower Liquor, closed after selling its liquor license to Wal-Mart.  The business had been in the Umbreit family for 77 years.  The story reported that Mark and his wife, Jennifer, have two children, Jonah (age 4) and Meredith (age 1).
  • Michelle Nikels is an assistant professor of internal medicine at the University of Colorado Health Science Center in Denver, CO.
  • Erin Cunningham Dueber is associated with the Miller Institute for Basic Research in Science at the University of California, Berkeley, where she was awarded a fellowship for molecular and cell biology for three years (2004-2007).
  • Brett Richards is the general manager of Richards Wood Products, Inc. & Timber Mill Homes, Inc.  Brett and his wife welcomed twins―Maxx Greyson and Maya Grace―on December 29, 2006.
  • Jamie Kagol is the chief meteorologist (the “weather guy”!) on Local News 8, the ABC affiliate, in Idaho Falls.  You can read more about him at  His biography starts out:  “If you are having trouble placing Jamie’s accent, it is a Minnesota accent.”  I guess they don’t use as many “yah, sure, ya’ betcha’s in Idaho!
  • J. D. Anderson and his wife, Holly, had their second child, Connor John, on May 12, 2006.
  • Ellie Merritt Zeiger and her husband, Matt, had a baby girl, Caroline Ella, on January 17, 2007.
  • Nikki Plocher Peacock and her husband, Greg, welcomed their first baby, a boy named Carson Jeffrey, on June 23, 2006.
  • Deb (Dorn) and Karl ’96 Erickson had their third child, Elisa Rose, on September 20, 2006.  She joins big brother Ethan and big sister Emma.
  • Nancy Fleischer is a health coach at Health Fitness Corporation in Bloomington, MN.
  • Kari Carlson Takahashi graduated from the University of Minnesota in May 2007, earning a master’s of education degree in adult education.  She is also finishing a master’s certificate program in human resources development through the University of Minnesota.
  • Gretchen Michlitsch married Allen Hillery on June 23, 2006 at Sylvan Lake in the Black Hills of South Dakota.  She is a professor of English at Winona State University.
  • Kevin Lund played the role of Professor Fumblemore, the long-bearded Headmaster of Pigpimple’s School of Magik in a play called Barry Wotter:  Son of a Witch (a spoof on Harry Potter).  The play was put on by the St. Peter community with the assistance of various people associated with Gustavus’ mathematics and computer science department.  Kevin’s son, Koleman, also appeared in the play.

Reminder:  Our class letters are only as good as the news you send us!  Keep it coming.  Your classmates love hearing what you are up to!  You can email class news to us at  We love the flurry of news that comes in shortly after each letter is sent.


HeadlinesYou gotta laugh at the headline story from the online version of the Gustavus Weekly on the day I wrote this letter:

“I found your iPod”

In a creative attempt to capture student attention, Student Senate Co-President, Tony Spain ’09 sent an e-mail titled “I found your iPod!” to inform the student body that no one had applied to run for ten positions on Student Senate.  Extending the deadline, Student Senate offered students the opportunity to enter the race late in hopes of filling some of the vacancies.

“We had an immediate response from juniors and seniors.  We had a little more trouble with sophomores and first-years,” said Student Senate Co-President, Chris Edelbrock.

However, with the elections on Monday, all seats were successfully filled.

by Amy McMullan ’10

Weekly Staff Writer

President Peterson:

As you may have heard, President Peterson announced his plan to retire as president of Gustavus at the end of the 2007-08 school year.  Here’s an excerpt from the Gustavus Weekly reporting on this news:

The Board of Trustees [has] chartered a search committee.  Composed of Gustavus staff, students, faculty and members of the Board, the committee will be responsible for the hunt for Gustavus’ next president.

Peterson, who will finish his fifth year as Gustavus’ president this spring, cited two main reasons for the timing of his retirement.  The first reason he gave is more personal; Peterson wishes to spend more time with his wife and family.  “We live apart most of the time, so it will be nice for us to spend more time together, and I have two pretty special grandchildren that I would like to spend more time with,” said Peterson.

The second reason had to do with the stage of planning currently in progress at Gustavus.  “We have a terrific leadership team in place, and we have a plan that’s emerging now, the Strategic Plan, so we have our directions set,” said Peterson.  He added that the Strategic Plan, which is currently a statement of values and directions for the college, will turn into a campaign at some point, but this process is likely to take four or more years.  “It’s probably best for someone new to come in now than for me to decide to leave in another year or two,” said Peterson.

by Eliza L. Swedenborg ’09

Features Editor

New football stadium opens

On September 8, the football team played its inaugural game at the College’s new football stadium.  The synthetic-surfaced field is recessed below ground level and features an earthen berm surrounding the entire field.  The field will continue to be named Hollingsworth Field after the late Lloyd Hollingsworth, who served as the College’s football coach from 1942-1960 and athletic director from 1961-1978.

Athletics Hall of Fame Induction

On Saturday, November 3, Gustavus will induct the following people into the Athletic Hall of Fame: Tim DeJarlais ’91 (golf), John Erickson ’81 (hockey), Dave Hultgren ’92 (baseball), Craig Miller ’91 (cross country), Mindy Mayerchak Oosten ’88 (softball & soccer), Mike Schumacher ’91 (football), Ann Sommerness Simms ’92 (swimming), and Ryan Skanse ’92 (tennis).

Twin Cities Gustie Breakfasts

Join other Minneapolis/St. Paul area Gusties for a once-a-month morning cup of coffee and breakfast while getting an update on Gustavus. The group meets the third Wednesday of each month at the Doubletree Hotel, Minneapolis-Park Place, 1500 Park Place Boulevard (Hwy. 394 & Hwy. 100), 8:00-9:30 a.m., $10 per person.  Reserve by calling Don Swanson ’55 at 763/533-9083

Wednesday, October 17

Professor Jeff Jeremiason, recap of Nobel Conference

Wednesday, November 21

Winter sports coaches – Jon Carlson ’88 (men’s and women’s swimming & diving), Mark Hanson ’83 (men’s basketball), and Brett Petersen (men’s hockey)

Wednesday, December  19

Margaret Kelliher ’90, speaker of the Minnesota House of Representatives

Inaugural “A Royal Affair” Online Auction

“A Royal Affair,” the biennial fundraiser for the Gustavus library, is October 27.  New to A Royal Affair this year is an online auction that will be activated the week of October 22. This online auction will have unique items available only for bidding online and not at the evening event.  These items can be viewed through the Gustavus website and bidding will close prior to the October 27 Razzle Dazzle*A Royal Affair.  Also, the online auction is open to everyone – parents, alumni, students, faculty, and friends of Gustavus – even those unable to attend Razzle Dazzle*A Royal Affair.  Watch the Gustavus Library Associates website at for up-to-the-minute details on the online auction.

Alumni Fund

The 2008 Alumni Fund has a goal of $2 million from 8,000 donors.  Continue a Gustie tradition ― join other alumni to reach the goal with your participation in the 2008 Alumni Fund.

Refer a Gustie

As the school year starts, many high school seniors are getting serious about their college selection. If you know of high school seniors or juniors who may be a good fit at Gustavus, please send their names to the Office of Admission at Gustavus to help recruit the next generation of Gusties.  Contact the Admission Office at 800/GUSTAVU(S).

Calendar of events:

  • October 13                  Homecoming & Family Weekend
  • October 27                  Razzle Dazzle*A Royal Affair, Gustavus Library Associates
  • November 3                 Athletics Hall of Fame Induction Banquet
  • Nov. 30, Dec. 1-2        Christmas in Christ Chapel
  • December 6                 St. Lucia Day celebration on campus

For more information on other college events, go to the calendar at

Enjoy the fall―take a trip to Gustavus to see the leaves changing along the Minnesota River Valley if you can fit it into your schedule!  Go Gusties!

All the best,

Sara Tollefson Currell and Amy Seidel

1995 Co-class Agents