Class of '96
September 2005

Dear Class of 1996,

Where does the time go?  It’s already fall and time for another class letter.  We’re hoping you all had a great summer enjoying friends and family.  We’ve been pretty thankful for this awesome Midwest weather, though our thoughts have been with the folks in the south who battled both hurricanes.  If we have Gusties out there who were affected, we’d love to hear that you’re okay and we’d love to hear how we, as classmates, can help if you need it!


Speaking of classmates, we hope you are all gearing up for our upcoming 10-year reunionPLEASE MARK YOUR CALENDARS FOR OCTOBER 6 – 7, 2006.  Though it seems far away now, we know that time will continue to fly by and it will be here before we know it.  A few of us headed down to Gustavus last month to begin planning our reunion.  For those of you who took the time to take the online reunion survey, we wanted you to know that we listened!  The two most important things to you were:

  1. Talking with your classmates
  2. Seeing the campus again

Therefore, we’re planning an adult-only, casual event in the cities on Friday night and then another picnic-type event down at Gustavus for Saturday.  One idea we had was a family-friendly tent in Swede park complete with beer for the adults and games for the kids prior to the game and on-campus events in the afternoon.  If you have ideas or would like to help in any way, please let us know!  If you’d like to contact the reunion committee members, please let us know that too–we’d be happy to connect you.

We are proud to announce (and THANKFUL for) our awesome 10-year reunion committee:

Overall Reunion Coordinator:     Allie Vogt Newman 952-884-7487 - 

Steering Committee:                   Shawn Mayfield 952-807-4114 -                                                    Michele Goodwin Dahlen  515-279-1276              

Event Chairperson:                     Jill Pearson Wright 952-686-9963

Communication Chairperson:     Shawn Mayfield

Giving Chairperson:                    Allie Vogt Newman

Committee Members:                  Leslie Anderson, John Bower, Chris Enstad, Matt Eppen, Kristen Paap Genet, Laura LeVander Peters, Betsy Brandl Rippentrop, Amy Dewey Westbrook and Mel Hallberg Windschitl

I know you hate this part…so brace yourselves.  Don’t forget―‘Tis better to give than to receive!  Just like when we graduated, our big reunion years are also big pushes for a class gift.  Some of you haven’t given since graduation and we’d really like you to consider changing that pattern.  For those of you who have continued to give, THANK YOU, THANK YOU – Gustavus needs it.  We have been doing awesome as a class and we hope to continue that tradition.  Please thoughtfully consider your best gift – remember to think about the tax benefit you’ll get and the gift you’ll be giving to a student on financial aid or program in need.  Lastly, no matter what the gift, it all counts – alumni participation is critical to receiving grant monies that Gustavus depends on.  In the next 12 months, we’re shooting for a class gift of just over $16,000.

Here’s how we can do it – but remember, please don’t feel obligated to these categories.  Give more or less – give in between – whatever you’d like.  This is just one way we hope to do it.  We need at least:

2 gifts @ $1,996.00 = $3,992.00

20 gifts @ $199.60 = $3,992.00

30 gifts @ $99.60 = $2,988.00

60 gifts @ $60.00 = $3,600.00

100 gifts @ $19.96 = $1,996.00

Click on to be done with it!  It’s quick, easy and completely secure.


We’re hoping to make a networking journal to hand out at our reunion.  Please send one of the committee members your bios so we can compile them.  We’d also like then and now pictures.  Send us pictures of you at Gustavus and then send us updated pictures of your family.  Thanks!

Six months later and the results are finally in!  Hopefully the anticipation has not caused you too many sleepless nights.  After numerous responses, the results from our winter 2005 survey have been compiled and listed below are the winning alumni in each category―remember…the results only represent those alumni who responded to the survey in the last class letter.  Depending on the response, perhaps we will think of some new categories for the class reunion―with prizes!

Still has not had a full-time job since graduation (excuses are accepted).

  • Luckily no one responded to this question!  However, just because you spent over $80,000 on your degree, you should not feel obligated to get a job J

Most children

  • Keith Schroeder “I think I can give everyone a run for there money…I have four (4):  Christian, 8; Payten, 6; Joel, 4; and Amaya, 3.
  • Michelle Deitz Lund - We have 4 children, 2 birth children and 2 adopted from Guatemala.

Lived/worked or attended graduate school abroad

  • Betsy Brandl Rippentrop “You asked us to email you if we fit into one of the categories listed, and I happen to have lived and worked abroad since graduation.  My husband and I lived in Berlin, Germany for several months so he could learn a specific laproscopic surgery technique to take out prostates (fun, fun) at the Charite Hosptial in Berlin.  I didn't want to miss out on the adventure, so I took a leave of absence from my job, and came with him.  I have been working part-time as a visiting professor in a health psychology department at the Frei University in Berlin.”
  • Shawn Mayfield and Sara (Mattson) Mayfield - Peace Corps volunteers in Zambia and Suriname.
  • Leah Abraham - The rumors you have heard are in fact true.  I'm writing from Guatemala...moved here in the winter of 2005 to open a hospital.

 Spent the most time in jail (just kidding …I hope)

Once again, there were no responses luckily!

Lived in the most states/countries since graduation

  • Keith Schroeder - Texas, South Korea, Oman, and now living in the United Kingdom.

  • Colin Enssle - Since graduation, I've lived in the following places, in order:
    Bochum, Germany
    Munich, Germany
    St. Louis, MO
    Tuebingen, Germany
    Back to St. Louis, MO
    Berlin, Germany
    Fort Collins, CO
    Carlsbad, CA
    (Moved 8 times in less than 10 yrs!  Wow!)

Been married the longest (pre-graduation marriages accepted)

  • Michelle (Deitz) Lund and Kevin Lund ’95:  July 23, 1994 – 11 years!

Held one job (stayed with the same employer) the longest

  • Kathy (Scott) KochI have been teaching for the Minneapolis Public Schools since the fall after we graduated college.
  • Heather Sharp - Budget Truck Rental Headquarters (*previously Ryder Truck Rental) since June 1997.

Met a famous person

  • Kathy Scott Koch My boyfriend at the time, now my husband, and I were vacationing in San Diego.  We went to Sea World one day and were waiting in line to buy tickets.  When it was our turn to purchase the tickets my husband was speechless and I didn't understand why he didn't know what to say to purchase the tickets.  Finally he got the words out and we got our tickets and as we were walking away I looked at the people behind us, and I was staring at Magic Johnson and his family!!!  We are both big basketball fans and we turned all giddy!  We couldn't get more words out then "How's it going?"  But, we had to prove to our friends and family that we met him so we snuck around and video taped him!!!  No, we weren't stalkers.  Anyway, that was the neatest thing ever!!  Hope things are going well.
  • Keith Schroeder - I met Drew Carey.

Campus News:

A New Year Begins

The 144th academic year began September 7 with 2,600 students and approximately 710 new students, the largest enrollment and new class in college history.  Some changes in the general education curriculum will also be implemented this year, including a foreign language requirement for graduation.

Wind Orchestra Tour

Join Gustavus alumni and parents on a companion tour with the Gustavus Wind Orchestra to Eastern Europe January 17-27, 2006.  The trip includes visits to the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, and Austria and will be hosted by Tom Emmert, professor of history, and Jon and Anita (Thomsen) Young ’77 ’77.

Announcing the Gustavus 2006 Alumni Fund Campaign

“When you get your invitation in the mail or receive a call from a Gustie student or classmate, commit to making your gift to the Alumni Fund this year,” encourages Jan Michaletz ’74, alumni board member, class agent, and 2006 Alumni Fund Chair.  The Michaletz family―Russ ’74, Mara ’02, Annie ’05, and John ’08―have agreed to chair this year’s alumni fund drive.  The 2006 Alumni Fund goals are to achieve 9,000 donors and $1,185,000 dollars in alumni giving.  The 2006 fiscal year began June 1, 2005 and ends May 31, 2006.  Gifts to the Alumni Fund will immediately support current Gusties in the classroom, in labs, on the playing field, in the library, and more.  Tuition does not cover the real cost of educating students today, nor did it when you were a student at Gustavus.  Since its inception in 1954, the goal of the Alumni Fund has been to help keep the Gustavus educational experience accessible for current students.  Give the gift of Gustavus to a current Gustie by making your Alumni Fund gift this year.

The 2004-2005 Honor Roll of Donors is now available online at:  The Honor Roll of Donors recognizes those who have made gifts to Gustavus between June 1, 2004 and May 31, 2005.  To find your name or to check out your class results, point and click from your home or office computer.  To have your name included in the 2005-2006 Honor Roll of Donors, go to to make a gift online.

Nobel Conference

The College’s 41st Nobel Conference, The Legacy of Einstein, was held September 27-28.  The panel consisted of scientists in the areas of statistical physics, relativity, cosmology, and unified theories, who discussed current work in the areas of Einstein’s greatest contributions.  In addition, a historian of science explored the impact that Einstein’s discoveries and his social and political views have had on science and humanity.  Also, a play, Clockworks:  Einstein Time, premiered, the Physics Force group performed, and a symphony orchestra concert celebrated Einstein through music.

Alumni Directory

In partnership with Publishing Concepts (PCI), a comprehensive alumni directory is being produced and will be released in 2006.  PCI will be contacting alumni to get current information.

First Frost * A Royal Affair

Since 1977 Gustavus Library Associates has helped raise funds for the endowment of Folke Bernadotte Memorial Library located at Gustavus.  Over 1,000 guests will attend First Frost * A Royal Affair, the biennial gala dinner/auction benefit at the Sheraton Hotel in Bloomington on Saturday, October 29.  This year Evelyn Young ’33, a long-time GLA supporter, is being honored.  The program will feature tenor Mark Thomsen ’78 and will be hosted by former Miss America Gretchen Carlson and physician and Gustavus parent John Najarian.  Contact the Office of Public Relations at 800/726-6198.

Athletics Hall of Fame

On Saturday, September 24, Gustavus inducted the following people into the Athletics Hall of Fame:  Holly Brodmarkle Cervin ’87, track and field; Marc Illies ’85, baseball and football; Marc Iverson ’89, football; Gretchen Koehler, coach; Rich Skanse ’84, tennis; Dick Walters ’75, hockey.  Jay Rooker ’85, soccer and Mary Mansour ’85, softball have also been selected, but will be inducted Fall 2006.

Campus Progress

Whether it’s planning for brand new buildings or renovating old ones, the Gustavus campus is always changing.  A new web site has been designed to keep you updated on the changes taking place on campus.  Check it out at:

Upcoming Alumni Events

  • Washington, D.C. Gustavus gathering — October 23
  • A Royal Affair * First Frost — October 29
  • Wind Orchestra Companion Tour to Eastern Europe — January 17-27

And now, here is an update on what your classmates have been up to lately.  If you would like to update your e-mail addresses, please inform the Alumni Office at the Gustavus homepage at:


  • Kevin Bastyr received his Ph.D. in acoustics from Pennsylvania State University.  He is currently employed as an acoustic enginner at Bose.
  • Becky Sittlow Cunningham is a kindergarten teacher in the River Falls school district – she was also expecting the birth of her second child in early July – has the stork arrived yet?

  • Dr. Viktoria Larson Davis was the recipient of the 2005 Minnesota Young Optometrist of the Year Award at the recent Minnesota Optometric Association Annual Meeting.  This award is presented to a “doctor of optometry who has been in active practice fewer than ten years and who shows remarkable leadership skills and commitment in serving his or her patients, the community, and the profession of optometry.”
  • Sean Maguire is the assistant principle at Bonneville Elementary School in Orlando, FL.
  • Sara (Mattson) Mayfield is a recruiting manager with Wells Fargo Human Resources.


  • Darcie (Gilbertson) and Michael ’95 Jacobs are the proud parents of Sullivan Jacobs born October 29, 2004.

  • Jane Haase McGinty is excited to share the birth announcement of their daughter, Madeline Rose, on March 29, 2005.  Madeline was 6 lbs. 11 ounces.
  • Meilan Smith celebrated the birth of their daughter, Remy Mei, on March 22, 2005. 


  • Gina (Samarzia) Martin married Loren Martin on May 29, 2005.  The couple resides in New York.
  • Adam Nachand was married to Allison Cecil on August 20, 2006.
  • Aaron Willis married Melissa Naumann on July 24, 2004.  Aaron is currently attending graduate school at the University of Chicago; pursuing his master’s of social work/social service administration.

Please keep sharing with your classmates the wonderful personal and professional accomplishments each of you are achieving – it is amazing to hear about what has happened during the past 9 years! 

Michele Goodwin Dahlen          Shawn Mayfield                        Allie Vogt Newman

Here is a classmate’s wedding picture that was shared with us:


Gustavus grads get together in Dallas – March 27, 2004 for Mike Hanzel wedding.  Front L-R:  Adam Johnson, Jamie Harrington, Melissa Hallberg Windschitl, Gregg Sainsbury.  Second Row L-R:  Britta Peterson Ferrell ’97, Gabriela Hanzel (bride) and Mike Hanzel (groom), Mike Ferell, Char Peterson Senske ’66, Howard Senske ’66.  Back Row L-R:  Tim Klaus ’97, Josh Gullekson, Brad Hanzel ’98, Nate Shores, Dave Windschitl and Matt McKeand.