Class of '96
January 2000

Dearest Gusties,

Last weekend I had the pleasure of travelling to the Upper Peninsula with three of my dearest friends…Gusties, of course; Sara Puotinen, Michele Thieman, and Becca Konrad. With my Explorer filled only with me, my dog, cross-country skis, and a weekend bag, I left Cedar Rapids for St. Paul. I arrived safely at T-man’s home and packed her, her dog, her cross-country skis, an overnight bag, and a few bags full of food…ah…into the truck. And Puots arrived…bringing with her several bags of food, a blender, a waffle iron, skis, a bag of clothing, and thank goodness not another dog. And we set off for Becca’s, where we discovered more skis, more food, more luggage. My eyes and disbelief grew larger and larger with every piece of extra equipment and every additional bag of food that was shnooked into the overflowing truck. It reminded me of college. Not because I ever packed my car in such a haphazard fashion. Those that know me are aware that even when fully packed, one could still safely see out the back window of my dear sweet Taurus, Ira, God rest her soul. A product of being the daughter of Mr. Safety. Despite my moanings and furrowed brows, we shoved off toward the 80-acre farm in northern Michigan. The trip north was uneventful, barring the occasional dog leaping into the backseat on top of an unsuspecting passenger and causing muffled mutterings and mild whimpers. The weekend at the turn of the century Finnish farmhouse was incredible. We enjoyed good food (I admit, it was worth the discomfort on the drive up…though I held the driver’s seat most of the way), various spirits (necessary for warmth and pain absolution inherent in cross-country skiing), and incredible conversation. How blessed I am to have these women in my life…those that continue to grow with me past graduation from dear Gustavus…that inspire me to take crazy trips…that continue to challenge me intellectually and warm me emotionally…ah Gusties. How different my life would be without them.

I have the fine good fortune to work at a liberal arts college in Cedar Rapids, IA, where a few, but mighty Gusties live (check out your donor directory…hope you have yours). I know now, firsthand, of the labor of love it is to participate in the life a college from "the other side." I hold a much greater appreciation for the faculty and staff at Gustavus than I held previously. Too, I know of the pride with which an institution looks upon its alumni as they strive to make a difference in this world. Higher education institutions are indeed special places. From my humble perspective, I think Gustavus is one of the best.

I wish you all well in your endeavors. May your challenges be rewarding and your lives be fulfilling. I do indeed look forward to upcoming reunions. How wonderful it will be to see all of you and hear your stories. Let’s keep in touch.

Warm regards,

Kristen Richardson

1996 Guest Letter Writer


  • Jody Frykman and Mark Nahlovsky are teaching English in Nagoya, Japan. They recently announced their engagement and are planning a November 2000 wedding.
  • Denise Kisely and Milo Martin have announced their engagement with intentions to marry on September 23, 2000.
  • Todd Andrix and Kristen Sonnichsen were married on August 7, 1999
  • Matt Brown and Joy Falkenburg were married on September 25, 1999.
  • William Burns and Jessica Hall were married on June 12, 1999.
  • Darren Carlson and Jessica Anderson were married on August 13, 1999.
  • Chris Enstad and Carolyn Swanson ’97 were married on July 10, 1999.
  • Brett Gross and Lynda Jo Schuurmans were married on July 31, 1999.
  • Nicole Hahn and Jason Dempster ’93 were married on September 11, 1999.
  • Mark Ohlmann and Heidi Whipple were married on October 9, 1999 at Christ Chapel.
  • Tanya Patrick and Timothy Jackson were married on August 20, 1999.
  • Scott Peterson and Karen Kenefick were married on September 11, 1999.
  • Maureen Reid and Marc Wosepka ’95 were married on September 25, 1999.
  • Aaron Sickman and Kari Karlstad were married on August 7, 1999.
  • Julie Tako and Nick Conzemius were married on July 10, 1999.
  • John Urosevich and Rachel Brekken ’97 were married on October 30, 1999 in Christ Chapel.
New Notes
  • Kara Bloomquist is an RN at United Hospital in St. Paul.
  • Scott Bonderohe is a corporate attorney at Aspect Communications in San Jose, CA.
  • Julie Breeden is an employment representative at New England Financial in Watertown, MA.
  • Lindsey Anderson Carlson is a physical therapist with Cornerstone Wellness Center in St. Peter.
  • Yee Won Chong co-director of Women Against Military Madness, won the Chrysalis Award on May 20 for the empowerment of women and families to make personal and social change.
  • Corey Christensen is in product management at AGRIS Corporation in Spicer, MN.
  • Becky Crosbie is working for Ft. Wayne parks and Recreation in Fort Wayne, IN.
  • Steve Davis is employed by Linguistic Technologies in St. Peter.
  • Vikki Larson Davis received her Doctor of Optometry from Pacific University in May and was selected as the Outstanding Clinician of the year. She is now an optometrist at Dr. Olson and Dr. Pinke in Madelia, MN.
  • Gia Smith Davison is a kindergarten teacher at Austin Public Schools in Owatonna.
  • Ann Delgehausen has received a promotion and is now production editor at Augsburg Fortress Publishing.
  • Amy Dewey has returned from the Peace Corp and is now substitute teaching in the Dundee, IL School District.
  • Beth Elise is an RN at Saint Paul Children’s Hospital.
  • Jennie English is the intern pastor at First Lutheran Church in Cresco, IA.
  • Colin Enssle is a graduate student in Environmental Science at Washington University in St. Louis, MO.
  • Christopher Enstad is a student at Luther Seminary in St. Paul.
  • Melissa Evans is a recruiter for Appleone in Thornton, CO.
  • John Feistner is a program development specialist at Sobriety High School.
  • Lisa Ferber is a student at the University of Vermont in the MA program in water resources.
  • Kris Fredrick passed the BAR Exam and was sworn in as an Intellectual Property Attorney on October 29, 1999 for Honeywell.
  • Jane Hasse is a manager at C.H. Robinson.
  • Jessica Hendrickson is an Associate Health Promotion Advisor with Health Partners – Center for Health Promotion in Hopkins, MN.
  • Eric King is enrolled in the Master of Science Program in Space Studies at UND.
  • Jennifer Krempin is a communications specialist at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics and a graduate student in English at the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul.
  • Sara Mattson left for the Peace Corps in August to serve as a rural community development volunteer in Suriname, South America.
  • Libby Mensing is a member of the account team at Dan Pinger Public Relations.
  • Allison Vogt Newman is director of Admission at Mounds Park Academy.
  • Justin Newman is teaching phys ed. and health at Chaska Middle School East.
  • Adam Palazzari is a medical student at the University of Minnesota.
  • Tanya Patrick is an educational consultant for the Institute for Academic Excellence in Madison, WI.
  • Sara Puotinen is a reference librarian at Rasmussen College.
  • Jeff Schroeder is the associate editor of the Quad Community Press and the Shoreview Press.
  • Keith Schroeder is serving in the US Air Force.
  • Jodi Shamblott is the director of research at Business Recruitment Worldwide in Plymouth, MN.
  • Julie Tako Conzemius is a music teacher at Mahtomedi Middle School in St. Paul.
  • Timothy Thoreen is employed by CH2M-Hill in Minneapolis.


  • Jenniper Stelter and Jochen Hylbert had a baby boy, Jordan Hylbert on June 1, 1998.
  • Amy and Jun Matsuoka announce the birth of their baby boy, Kiyoshi Vaillancourt Matsuoka, born on September 29 in Tokyo.

Campus News

The Gustavus campus is in the midst of January term with over 20% of the student body away from campus this month participating in internships, study abroad programs, student teaching or studying at other domestic institutions. On campus there are many unique classes being offered such as Archeology and the Bible and Analyzing Japan in addition to numerous classes and programs around a J-Term 2000 theme - Focus on Women's Studies. Next year January Term will focus on environmental studies. Winter sports, fine arts and extra-curricular activities are also in full swing. Even though there is little snow at Gustavus the new Nordic Ski Team is preparing for competition. The band and choir are preparing for southern tour destinations—the band to Florida and the choir to Texas.

Construction on campus continues as the new Campus Center will be finished in February with the completion of renovating the former dining service building. Many offices will then move to their new location in the Campus Center including Admission, Dean of Students, Student Activities and Residential Life. Construction of the new International House-Swedish House, a new residence hall/international center to replace Johnson Hall and the Swedish House that were destroyed in the March 1998 tornado, will begin this spring. Construction on an outdoor track and new soccer field stadium will begin this summer. If you have not been back to campus lately, you are encouraged to make a visit to see these exciting changes.

If you can not make it back to campus, but want to stay connected, check out the Internet site at The college is thrilled to recently have hired a web coordinator who has been busy updating the Gustavus home page. Look for more changes to alumni services on the web coming this spring.

You are invited and encouraged to attend these upcoming alumni events:

  • Naples gathering February 5 (Marco Island gathering cancelled)
  • Tucson Chapter gathering February 7
  • Phoenix Chapter gathering February 8
  • Sun City Chapter gathering February 9
  • Seattle G.I.V.E. project February 19 and Seattle Chapter gathering on March 2
  • Bay Chapter gathering March 4
  • Los Angeles Chapter gathering March 5
  • San Diego Chapter gathering March 6
  • Helen and Paul Baumgartner, Gustavus music faculty will perform two piano recitals in the Twin Cities on March 19, 7:00 p.m. at Wayzata Community Church and on April 9, 10:00 a.m. at Cross of Glory Lutheran Church, Brooklyn Center.
  • 50th Anniversary Class and 50 Year Club reunions - May 26-27

A reminder that all other reunion classes (1955, 1960, 1965, 1970, 1975, 1980, 1985, 1990 and 1995) will have their reunions at Homecoming on September 29-30.

A new method of giving to the College is now available! Lutheran Brotherhood created a highly successful and popular program for Lutheran churches called Simply Giving and has just extended this opportunity to Gustavus and other Lutheran colleges. Simply Giving is an automatic bank draft program that allows you to make regular monthly gifts from a checking or savings account to the College. You do not need to be Lutheran to participate, there is no cost to you or the College for this service, and you can make changes at any time. For so many people, it is much easier to give $50 a month than to write a $600 check once a year. Please call Heather Nancarrow at (800) 726-6192 or (507) 933-7518, or e-mail her at to request more information.

Complimentary Life Insurance Offer for Gustavus Alumni

The Gustavus Alumni Association has sponsored group life and short-term medical insurance as a service to alumni for many years. Now the Alumni Association will provide complimentary life insurance as an introduction to this program.

Through a mailing in January, the Alumni Association is offering alumni ages 28 through 49 the opportunity to enroll for $10,000 term life insurance underwritten by New York Life. Coverage is at no cost to them for one year, if they can complete an enrollment card that includes a statement of good health. A year later, those who enrolled will be eligible to convert to $25,000 of paid coverage through the Gustavus Alumni Insurance Program, with no further evidence of insurability.

This "no strings attached" introductory offer, available for a very limited period, is designed exclusively for alumni not currently covered for life insurance through this Alumni Association program. For further information, please contact Meyer and Associates at 800-635-7801. Life insurance underwritten by New York Life Ins. Co., NY, NY 10010.

Members of the New Millenium: Knowing that we are in a technological age, we want to encourage all alumni to get involved and get online. If you have access to a computer and the internet, we hope you will check out the Gustavus Alumni Association homepage regularly. We publish information about upcoming events, post class letters, provide information about the Alumni Office, list e-mail addresses of alumni and more. Check us out under the alumni section at

We are planning on corresponding on a regular basis with all alumni who have e-mail addresses. Please send a message to so we can get you on the list. (Be sure to keep us posted on any e-mail address changes, also.)