Class of '96
April 2005

Dear 1996 Classmates,

Spring is in the air!  I don’t know about the rest of you, but I am so relieved that Spring is here.  Even though we had a fairly mild winter, the sunshine and fresh air make all the difference in the world.  I hope you all have had plenty of time to get out and enjoy yourselves.

I’m sorry this letter is so late in coming.  Having a child sure changed things for me.  What used to be sipping drinks on the patio somewhere out on the town is now pulling a Burley behind our bike and hanging out―you guessed it―at home!  Even though, I’m not so sure where the time goes.  It seems like the older we get, the more time flies.  We’re approaching our 10-year reunion next spring, can you believe it?

I did have a chance this past week, however, to enjoy some of my Gustie girlfriends for a night out at Redstone.  I had such a blast with them and was reminded once again about what a great gift attending Gustavus was for me.  Some people, from larger universities, never have the chance to make, none-the-less maintain, lifelong friendships.  Even though it had been a couple of months since I saw the girls, just being around them laughing and joking made me feel like it was just yesterday that we were hanging out together down at school…and it wasn’t just the Mojitos!  Somehow, we start right where we leave off and those SAME topics keep coming up!  I am looking forward to a fun summer vacation where 10 or so of us Gusties will gather in the mountains for a girls’ getaway.

I encourage you to take advantage of spring and contact some of those college friends you haven’t seen in a while and just get a date on the calendar for some fun.  Go sit out on the patio of some new hot spot and then write in and tell us about it.  If you host the gathering and feel like making Mojitos yourself, here’s the recipe (it’s good – I’m addicted and have been making them all weekend since last week):

Allie’s Mojitos


3 fresh mint sprigs

2 T. sugar

3 T. fresh lemon juice

2 T. fresh lime juice

1-1/2 oz. light rum


Club Soda


In a tall glass, crush part of the mint with a spoon on the side of the glass.  Add the sugar, lemon and lime juices and rum and stir thoroughly.  Fill most of the glass with ice.  Top off with chilled club soda.  Add a lime slice and serve!

For those of you who do not regularly give to the Gustavus Fund (the annual fund that goes toward the operating budget and financial aid, remember?)…did you know that the cost of just ONE Mojito from all of you would significantly make a difference for our college?  Seriously, we have done such a great job increasing our giving just a little each year, but we have lots more room to grow!  From all of my phoning I think I’ve heard just about every excuse, but I still don’t understand how it will hurt you to donate the cost of one large latte for you and a friend.  It’s so important to the health of the college and having been out almost 10 years, I know we can all afford to give just a little.  Speaking as someone who still pays back loans as a family for our Gustavus education, I see the benefits of my Gustavus education each and every day (in fact, I wake up next to daily snoring from the biggest one).

What’s in it for me, you ask?  First of all, it’s tax-deductible.  Just like when you give to church or another organization and claim it on your taxes, you can deduct any gift to Gustavus.  Second, just the great feeling you get from helping a place that really mattered to you who truly needs the money (whatever amount you are comfortable giving) each and every year.  Third, other foundations that give grants to the school, look at the level of alumni participation when deciding whether and how much they will give.  Your gift (no matter the size) helps increase the amount they will give.  Lastly, the feeling of knowing that you have helped the school give another scholarship just like the one you or your friend received!  I look at each of my little brother and sister-in-laws and am so thankful that Gustavus was able to offer them financial aid because they would not have otherwise gone to college.

How does it work?  A couple of ways…first, you can send back your info and money in the enclosed gold envelope.  Otherwise, you can head to and click the Gustavus fund link.  The secure website will allow you to pop in your credit card – it takes about one minute and is totally secure.  And, if you call the Alumni Office, you can arrange to have it automatically withdrawn just a little each month, if that helps.

I once read a poster that went something like this…your thoughts lead to actions, your actions lead to habits, your habits lead to your reputation and your reputation leads to your legacy.  OK, I’ll get off my soapbox but I hope that giving to others becomes a habit for us all!

Our 10-Year Reunion will be here next year!

It’s time to be thinking about what we’re going to do for our 10-year reunion.  One part of the weekend is spent in the Twin Cities, and the other part is spent down at Gustavus.  As your class agents, it’s up to us to plan the Twin Cities events.  We want your ideas!!!  What would you like to do and what would ensure your attendance?  Where do you want to go?  I would also love to have door prizes for the events – if any of you who own businesses would be willing to donate (there I go again) any prizes, please let us know.  Just email Shawn, Michelle or me.

Classmate News

This is what is new with your classmates.  Don’t forget to send us YOUR news!

  • Michael and Britta (Peterson ’97) Ferrell have twin baby girls born September 1, 2004.  We are glad Winnie Anne and Vivian Ella arrived safe and sound!
  • Alison a.k.a. Al Kagol married Erik Anderson in October and lives in St. Louis Park.  They both teach in Edina.  She also earned her master’s!
  • Alicia (Gunderson) married Thomas Pickard last March.  Congrats!
  • Kenneth Feer lives in sunny California and is a Ph.D political science candidate at Claremont.
  • Tim (why haven’t you written) Belmore is the University of North Dakota assistant football coach.  Go Bels!
  • Michael Zenk is a staff nurse in the U.S. Air Force.  Luckily, I think he is stationed stateside in Wyoming.
  • Deanna (Kozitza) Mason is a professor of nursing at St. Kate’s.  That’s awesome.
  • Kerstin Forstrom (here you are―we missed you at our roomie reunion!!!!!) is also in sunny California as a grad student at UCLA.  I can totally see you out there…hope you are doing well.
  • Jonelle (Rehse) Intihar has a baby, Morgan, who is now 15 months old.
  • Tim Hoheisel is also a Ph.D candidate in American history at Kansas State University.  He’s also the director of the Cass County Historical Society and Museum.
  • Jenniper (Stelter) and Jochen Hylbert are living in Madison and have two children, Julia and Jordan.  Jochen is at the University of Wisconsin-Madison for kinesiology and health education…he owns his own personal training company, Advantage Personal Training.  Jenniper owns her own Home Organization company called SOS.  I see some great 10-year reunion prizes coming our way???
  • Aaron Tank works in the music industry teaching guitar and working with CDs in Bemidji.
  • Molly (Otting) got married this past fall to Anthony Tellijohn.  Congrats, Molly.  I would never have known how good a roast beef sandwich with BBQ sauce was if it weren’t for you.
  • For all you fellow band geeks like me―this makes me smile.  Erika Olson is now a veterinarian and is engaged to be married to Peter Eckman who is the chief internal medicine resident at the U of M and will be doing his cardiology fellowship at the university in July.
  • John Wernz was promoted to chief advertising officer and partner at Marketing Architects in Minnetonka and just celebrated their son Tyler’s 1st birthday.
  • Jack Sikora now has two master’s degrees and works at American Pharmaceutical Partners, who make injectable drugs for cancer patients.  I was just looking through our Europe photos and remembered the fun times in Poland!
  • Pong Vang and Amelia (Chan ’98) had twins in November 2003 named Eli and Luc.
  • Kimberly Baudy got married last November to Carl Patterson, who is a sales representative for Budweiser.  Now I REALLY see raffle prizes.
  • OK, what is going on here…Ed a.ka. Eddie Sbertoli and his wife, Tara, ALSO have twins – boys named Lane and Chase―and have a big brother Jimmy who is 4.  Wow…lots of boys…that’s awesome!
  • Amy (Larkin) and Aaron Lee are also in Madison.  Amy is an environmental project manager and Aaron is the sports director at the Madison West YMCA and also a high school soccer coach.  Not swimming???
  • Nathan Kreykes and Sarah (Berg ’99) got married last October in Christ Chapel. 
  • Jen (Houchens) and Derek Birznieks had another little one this past December.  Her name is Britta and I bet she’s cute!  Hope you guys are surviving the spring snow storm that just hit Colorado.
  • Ed McIlveen has a new son named, David, born last May.  They live in Brookfield, WI.

Campus News

Now…here’s what’s new on the Hill.

Alumni Awards

The Gustavus Alumni Association has announced 2005 award recipients.  The Greater Gustavus Award to George Torrey ’55 for his lifetime volunteer service and philanthropy to the College. Distinguished Alumni Citations to G. Barry Anderson ’76, Apple Valley, MN, associate justice, Minnesota Supreme Court; Deanna Nelson ’64, Cary, NC, president/founder, BioLink Life Sciences, Inc.; Rick Webb ’73, Edina, MN, owner of Ciao Bella, Zelo and Bacio Restaurants; and John Wirth ’75, Pacific Palisade, CA, writer/executive producer, Paramount Studios.  First Decade Awards to Joe Gaugler ’95, Lexington, KY, assistant professor, Department of Behavioral Science, University of Kentucky College of Medicine; Debbie Lightly Mascaro ’95, Fargo, ND, research scientist, North Dakota State University Center for Nanoscale Science and Engineering.


The Gustavus women’s hockey team finished third at the NCAA national championship after winning the MIAC title, the men’s basketball team won the MIAC regular season title and conference tournament and advanced to the NCAA national tournament, the men’s swimming and diving team won the MIAC title and placed seventh at the NCAA national tournament and had seven swimmers earn All-America honors and the women’s team had four swimmers earn All-America honors.

Extraordinary Students

Senior Rachel Batalden, a double major in mathematics and secondary education with a 3.898 grade point average and two-time MIAC All-Conference selection at setter for the women’s volleyball team, has been selected as one of 56 student-athletes from across the country to receive a $7,500 NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship.

Senior Paul Fraser, a music and computer science major has been selected as the winner of the second annual Caltech-Occidental Composition Contest for new music for concert band. The contest drew entries from all over the world, and as the winner, Paul will receive a cash award and a recording of the world premiere of the work at a concert by the Caltech-Occidental Concert Band in Pasadena, Calif., in May.

Bricks and mortar

Southwest Residence Hall is being constructed across the Campus Drive from the arboretum on the west side of the campus and is scheduled to be finished by June.  The L-shaped facility is configured with apartments for four and six and will accommodate nearly 200 students.  A hostel space for summer programs and confirmation retreat groups is included in the residence’s plans.

With the new Southwest Residence Hall coming on-line, the College will be taking down Wahlstrom Hall to make way for future residential construction.  Crews will start the dismantling process in July with asbestos abatement, and the Kasota-stone residence hall will be razed in August.  Alumni returning for reunion and commencement festivities on May 27–29 will be able to take a last tour through the building’s public areas, stairwells, and walk-through sections following a “decommissioning” ceremony to be held on Saturday morning, May 28.

Construction crews working on the renovation of Old Main discovered a cistern under the basement flooring in March.  Gutting the interior has provided evidence of layers upon layers of remodeling done over the years, including an old stairwell in the middle of the building and what appears to be an attempt to raise the third-floor ceiling.  The Old Main project, which includes the installation of an elevator in the northwest corner of the building, is scheduled to be completed in August.

The education and nursing departments have been relocated to the newly erected Mattson Hall, which is sited just west of the Schaefer Fine Arts Center and Prairie View Residence Hall, on the south side of the campus.  These departments will remain there until a new social science center is built at some point in the future.

Upcoming Events

  • Association of Congregations Meeting – April 23
  • G.I.V.E. Community Service Day – April 30
  • Class of 1955 and 50-Year Club Reunions – May 27 & 28
  • Commencement – May 29
  • Alumni Fund closes – May 31
  • Reunions on Homecoming – October 7 & 8
  • Nurses Reunion – October 8

Allie Vogt Newman

1996 Co-class Agent