Class of '96
October 2002

Hello to all!  Happy Fall!  What's new with you?

Matt and I just celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary and are expecting our 3rd mini-Gustie in April.  Grace is 3 and Grant is 1 ½ and there is really never a dull moment at our house!  Enough about me tho, here's what 's going on with our classmates! 

Dum dum de dum...

  • Tammy Rademacher and Thad Heltmes were married June 30, 2001.
  • Meilan Smith and William Freda were married on July 14, 2001.
  • Shalayh Swain and Brad Hested were married July 14, 2001.
  • Edward McIlveen just celebrated his first anniversary with his wife, Jill Lindsey.  They were married on August 18, 2001.
  • Scott Lauinger and Jamie Embretson ’97 were married on March 23.
  • Kevin Grussing and Jessica Matthews were married on April 13 in Scottsdale AZ.
  • Jane Haase and Christopher McGinty were married May 11.
  • Angela McCoy and Thom Dahle were married May 18.
  • Kayan Lewis and Marc Simpao were married June 8.
  • Heather Botten and Chris Dahlberg were married June 29.
  • Vince Breza and Elizabeth Sprang tied the knot September 8.
  • Kimberly Myers and Matthew Kleczka were married on September 15 at the Myers family farm in West Albany, MN.
  • Melissa Hagelin and Bryan Hutchison were married September 23.  Steph Resch was a bridesmaid!
  • Michelle Baker and Brent Newman were married on September 29 in Kerkhoven, MN.

Working 9-5...

  • In May, Dr. Viktoria Davis volunteered in Moldova, the former Soviet Union.  She, along with a group of 10 other eye doctors, found owners for 6,000 donated eyeglasses.
  • Steph Helmers is an area coordinator at Appalachian State University.
  • Stephen Henderson moved to Osaka, Japan in June 2001 and is employed as an English teacher and a carpenter.
  • Dr. Michelle Lund has returned to St Peter as a dentist at Dahleen & O'Brien Dental Clinic.  In addition she and her husband, Kevin ’95, adopted a baby boy, Elias Luis, from Guatemala on December 12, 2002.  His birthday is April 20, 2001.
  • Rebecca Ostrom is the full time manager of the Warden's House Museum in Stillwater, MN.
  • Molly Otting is a supervisor at McGladrey & Pullen in Minneapolis.
  • Christian Pederson is the COO of and
  • Kristin Smith is a developmental studies instructor at Durham Community College.  As for wedding or birth announcements―her comment was "Yeah, right!"
  • Michael Zenk is working as an ER nurse at Fairview Ridges in Burnsville, MN

Future Gusties...

  • Libby Mensing Esterle and husband, Ken, are the proud parents of Harper Kelly Esterle, born February 14.
  • Brandon Lichty and his wife, Colleen, had a baby girl named Morgan Elizabeth on February 21.
  • Jack and Ewa Sikora had a baby girl named Victoria on April 12.
  • Dani Maas Tucker and her husband, Brian, had a baby boy named Gavin Scott on April 20.
  • Jeff and Beth Ross had a baby girl named Madeline Jane, born May 16. 
  • Nancy Peterson and Jeff Wilhelmi ’98 had a baby boy, Henry Carl, on May 28.

A few weeks ago, I was on campus for class agent’s day.  Wow!  I can't believe how much things have changed.  Especially the caf―there are so many choices now!  Don't worry, the rocks are still there, and appear to be still used by the young and brave!

I also had the opportunity to listen to a couple of current students tell about their Gustavus experience―a musician and an athlete.  Can you believe Gustavus actually has an NFL hopeful?!  In any case, it was apparent to me that Gustavus is still helping students aspire to great things.  It was also made clear to me that our help is needed.  Making a difference in people's lives isn't exactly cheap!  How about giving back to good 'ol GAC.  Last year our class participation was only 27%!  That's only 139 people.  We can do better than that!  The goal is to have 50% participation!  That would mean 119 more people would have to give for a total of 258 givers.  Can we do it?  I think we can…I think we can…I think we can…

Gusties will shine tonight! (and hopefully every night―with our help!)

Michele Goodwin Dahlen

1996 Co-class Agent

P. S.  Now for some news from campus:

Welcome Class of 2006

Approximately 690 new students arrived on campus this fall keeping the total student enrollment just over 2500.  There are many interesting opportunities for first year students even before school starts with a community service immersion experience in the Twin Cities, a cultural study in Paris and a wilderness experience in the Boundary Waters.

Gustavus named a “Best Buy”

The Fiske Guide has again named Gustavus one of forty-three “Best Buys” in the country.  This is based on an exceptional investment of tuition money for an exceptional education.

Hello Walk Online Community is featuring several discussions this fall including Nobel Conference Director Tim Robinson discussing nature vs. nurture, and Political Science Professor Don Ostrom discussing the upcoming elections.  Join the conversation by going to <>

Gustie students start new community service initiative called the AMIGOS program.  The 65 Spanish speaking volunteers serve the growing Chicano-Latino population in St. Peter by providing after-school tutoring, teaching ESL classes to adults and serve as big partners.  This program is in addition to the other on-going and one-time service opportunities that 75% of students participate in while at Gustavus.

Building a Great Gustavus Campaign was launched to the public on Saturday, September 7.  Since the tornadoes of 1998, the campaign has raised $77 million toward a $100 million goal.  The focus of the remainder of the campaign is on funding renovations in Old Main, growing endowment, and increasing gifts and participation in the Gustavus Alumni Fund.  Your personal financial support and your leadership are needed and greatly appreciated.

Minnesota Legislature Cuts Financial Aid

Due to cuts with the Minnesota State Legislature, Gustavus lost $400,000 in money for student employment.  The college continues to work hard to meet financial needs of students since nearly 80% of Gustavus students receive financial assistance.  This includes $14 million from the college’s own budget.  Your support of the annual fund goes directly to help these students and is especially needed to help make up the financial gap for these current students.

Upcoming Events

Here are some dates you may wish to keep in mind:

  • Boston Chapter                      November 1
  • Los Angeles Chapter             November 16 (with Gustavus Football Game vs. Azusa Pacific)
  • Christmas in Christ Chapel   December 6, 7, 8
  • St. Lucia Festival                   December 12

For more information go to the Gustavus calendar at: