Class of '96
September 2001

Dear Class of 1996,

It was good to see many of you at our Five-Year Reunion at Jitter’s in Minneapolis!  I hope you took the opportunity to catch up with old friends and meet some new ones.  I also hope you travelled to Gustavus to see all the huge and positive changes on campus. 

As always I ask you to keep Gustavus updated on the changes in your own lives.  You can contact me or the Alumni Office directly at 

This year you will notice some major changes in how we seek to raise money for our College.  We have heard from you loud and clear that phone solicitation is not the best way for us to contact you regarding your charitable giving and so I ask you to look for us to be contacting you via email sometime in the next few months.  There will be a link in the email directing you to the secure giving page on the Gustavus website.  I encourage you to use that link as an easy way to support your alma mater.  Our participation level is at an all-time low and I cannot emphasize enough that it is not the size of the gift that matters...any gift is appreciated and the College receives many grants based on the percentage of alumni that give back to the school.  Please consider your own situations and give according to your means.

Campus News:

The Alumni Office is sending this class letter via U.S. Postal Service Mail and also e-mail to those alumni for whom we have an e-mail address.  Eventually class letters will be sent via e-mail only, when an address is available, unless you notify the Alumni Office that you prefer to continue to receive your letters via U.S. Postal Service.  Contact the Alumni Office at

As Gustavus enters its 140th academic year, the 2001-2002 year opened with an enrollment of 2,540 full-time students including 670 first-year students.  The Class of 2005, selected from a record number of applications (2,163), includes 18 National Merit Scholars and 18 international students, doubling last year’s number of nine international students.

Last year Gustavus athletic teams finished 18th out of 395 competing in the NCAA Division III national Sears Directors Cup Standings.  Standings are based on national tournament finishes.  The Gustie women athletes won the MIAC All-Sports title for the first time in its 18-year history.

Gustavus ranked among top colleges – Gustavus is ranked in the second tier and one of the top 114 best national liberal arts colleges by U.S. News & World Report magazine.  Gustavus ranked in the first tier in two categories, retention and graduation rates.  Gustavus’ first-year to sophomore retention rate of 92 percent ranks in the top 15 percent of all national liberal arts colleges and graduation rate of 76 percent ranks in the top 20 percent of all national liberal arts colleges.  Alumni giving ranks in the top 25 percent, down from the top five percent and a tier one ranking five years ago.  Raising the percentage of participation of alumni giving is of highest priority for the college and the offices of Alumni Relations and Gustavus Alumni Fund.

Gustavus named Best Buy... Gustavus has been named one of the best colleges in America and a Best Buy by The Fiske Guide to Colleges.  In the 2002 guidebook, the College is one of 300 best American colleges and one of 43 Best Buys nationwide.  Within Minnesota, Gustavus is among seven best colleges and is one of two private college Best Buys.  To determine which colleges make the annual Best Buy list, Fiske researchers combine cost data with academic and lifestyle information about each college and university.  Those institutions named to the Best Buy colleges list are said to offer “remarkable educational opportunities at a relatively modest cost.”  Gustavus is also included in The Princeton Review’s 2001 edition of The Best 331 Colleges.

Nobel Conference XXXVII, What is Still to be Discovered?, is October 2 & 3.  This year’s conference includes five Nobel laureates and three other experts who will give participants a foretaste of what the next big discoveries might be as we look toward the second Nobel century.  This year celebrates the 100th anniversary of the Nobel prizes and the conference will include the premier of Steve Heitzeg’s ’82 The Nobel Symphony, two art exhibitions in the Hillstrom Museum, and an exclusive 10-course banquet with a menu recreation of the Nobel dinner 100 years ago.  Alumni are invited to visit the Alumni Hospitality Room during the conference located in the Hall of Fame Room on the second level of Lund Center.  Conference information and registration material was inserted in the Fall Quarterly or call Office of Public Affairs at 507-933-7520 or on the web at

G.I.V.E. (Gusties In Volunteer Endeavors), a day of community service, is scheduled for Saturday, October 13.  Numerous sites have been identified in the Twin Cities and alumni in other cities around the country are participating in the event.  Contact the Alumni Office at 800-487-8437 or for more information or visit the events section of the alumni page at

Comprehensive alumni directory – In partnership with Publishing Concepts, the Gustavus Alumni Association is publishing its fourth comprehensive alumni directory.  Surveys were sent to all alumni in August and information will be used only for publication of the directory and updating database information in the Alumni Office.  The book is available for purchase only by former students of Gustavus.  Please correct or update any information and return to Publishing Concepts in the enclosed envelope provided with the survey.

New chaplain announced - The Rev. Rachel Larson has joined Rev. Brian Johnson ’80 in the Office of the Chaplain.  Larson will work in partnership with Chaplain Johnson and the other members of the Office of the Chaplain to provide spiritual guidance, worship, leadership, counseling, teaching, and other pastoral services to Gustavus students, staff, and their families.  Larson is a graduate of Augustana College in Sioux Falls, SD, and of what is now Luther Seminary in St. Paul.

Christmas in Christ Chapel, A Celtic Pilgrimage, is November 30 & December 1-2.  A ticket order form was inserted in the Fall Quarterly.  Contact Office of Public Affairs at 507-933-7520.

And now your favorite part... news from our class.  Please remember that the Gustavus Quarterly is the most up-to-date resource for class news so if I missed something here simply remind me or the alumni office and your news will hopefully appear here or in the GQ.


  • Kelle Sauer to Chris Anderson on December 2, 2000. 
  • Melissa Hagelin to Bryan Hutchison on September 23, 2000.
  • Tammy Rademacher to Thad Heltemes on June 30, 2001.
  • Colin W. Enssle on July 7, 2001 to Roberta Vassallo (of Genoa, Italy).
  • Kara Pagel to Greg Erchull on June 29, 2001.
  • Lynn Elsie Marie Cordes to Justin Kelly on May 19, 2001.

Work and Education:

  • Travis Westbrook is the site manager and staff ecologist for Prairie Restorations, Inc.
  • Paul Manley is a new parent with sleep in his eyes when he shows up for work as vice president of Institutional Equity Sales at Stifel, Nicolaus in Minneapolis.
  • Michael Beadle is senior network analyst at Minnesota Life.
  • Adam Nachand is now a doctor of pharmacy and is the staff pharmacist for Snyder’s Drug Stores in Minneapolis.
  • Adam Palazzari is resident physician at UNC Hospitals at Chapel Hill, NC.
  • Michael Zenk is nurse manager at Martin Luther Manor in Bloomington, MN.
  • Daniel Friesner is an assistant professor of economics and finance at University of Southern Indiana in Evansville.
  • Paul Ouradnik is evidently on walkabout in Australia.
  • Aaron Erdmanczyk is a doctor of optometry as of last May.
  • Eric Bjorklund completed his MBA at the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota.
  • Jennie English graduated from Luther Seminary, in St. Paul, with the Master of Divinity.
  • Rebecca Ostrom is the site manager of the Warden’s House Museum in Stillwater, MN and was featured in the Stillwater Gazette.
  • Jason Mischel is CEO of Great Companions (which he started while in college) and was featured in the Grand Forks Herald.
  • Todd Andrix completed his master's of educational leadership at Southwest State last May.

Congratulations to each of you as you continue to achieve meaningful goals and aspirations in your lives.  The values you impart on the world were formed in your years at Gustavus and I hope you will consider the students that are following your footsteps there today. 

I wish you all a safe fall season and hope you will often stay in touch with me and each other.


Chris Enstad ‘96