Class of '96
March 2006

10-Year Reunion ― October 6 & 7, 2006

Dear Class of 1996,

Straight from the “red carpet” of Hollywood; it is your beautiful, intelligent, dedicated, did we mention, “good looking,” 10-year class reunion committee:

● Leslie Anderson                                ● John Bower

● Chris Enstad                                      ● Mathew Eppen

● Kristin Paap Genet                            ● Shawn Mayfield (Communication Chair)

● Sara Mayfield                                    ● Allie Vogt Newman (Giving Chair)

● Laura LeVander Peters                     ● Betsy Brandl Rippentrop

● Amy Dewey Westbrook                    ● Melissa Hallberg Windschitl

● Jill Peterson Wright (Event Chair)

We are excited to share with each of you this dedicated group of ’96 Gusties who have been diligently preparing for the 10-year class reunion this fall.  The goal for our reunion is simple:  “each of us has an amazing Gustavus story to share, and we want to provide an opportunity to remember that Gustie spirit that will eternally live inside each one of us.”  There are 520 alumni from the class of 1996 spread across the country and the world, and we are hoping for a solid representation to join us on October 6-7, 2006.  Here are the details that have been confirmed so far:

Friday; October 6, 2006: Fine Line Music Café, Minneapolis (6:00-9:00 p.m.)

            ●  The evening will be geared towards alumni and spouses/guests/partners

            ●  Appetizers, drinks, prizes and entertainment will be provided

            ●  Cost TBD (approximately $25-$35)

Saturday; October 7, 2006: Gustavus Adolphus College

  • Numerous activities, seminars, athletic events, etc.
  • Party tent outside of the Football stadium dedicated to the class of 1996 (complete with an assortment of “adult” beverages, prizes, etc.)
  • Cost TBD (hopefully FREE – did you ever think Gustavus and the word FREE      would be in the same sentence?)
  • Family oriented
  • As part of the reunion festivities we are collecting a variety of “give-aways” that can be distributed at the event.  These can be big or small―and perhaps even tax deductible!  If you have something that you would be willing to donate please contact Allie Vogt Newman at  More details on the event will be coming in the next couple of months―but mark your calendar today!

As part of our Gustavus legacy, the reunion committee has set a goal of raising $16,000 from 200 donors.  Many of us have benefited tremendously over the past 10 years from our Gustavus experiences and this will be a symbol to the current students who are continuing the rich, Gustavus tradition.  As a sly marketing campaign, we are seeking out gifts that end in the numerical pattern of 1996:  $19.96, $196.00 or even $1,996.00.  To date, we have received gifts in each of these amounts and are currently at a total of approximately $ 8,383.  As you consider your charitable giving for 2006, please consider a 10-year reunion gift to Gustavus.

Campus News

The Alumni Board met on campus in February and made the final selection for the Alumni Awards:

Greater Gustavus Award:  Gustavus Library Associates, for providing financial resources for Folke Bernadotte Library, and engaging and introducing alumni and friends in the mission of the College.

Distinguished Alumni Citations:  Karen Bossart Rusthoven ’66, St. Paul, MN, founder and principal of Community of Peace Academy, St. Paul; Susan Semple-Rowland ’77, Gainesville, FL, professor of neuroscience, University of Florida and director, Neuroscience IDP Graduate Program; and Magnus Ranstorp ’85, St. Andrews, Scotland, chief scientist at the Centre for Asymmetric Threat Studies, Swedish National Defense College; and a Senior Honorary Research Associate and former Director of Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland.

First Decade Awards:  Rebecca Konrad ’96, Washington, DC, investment officer, global transaction team, The World Bank International Finance Corporation; and Milo Martin ’96, Philadelphia, PA, assistant professor, Department of Computer and Information Sciences, University of Pennsylvania. 

The awards will be presented on Commencement Weekend or Homecoming Weekend depending on the recipient’s schedule.

Gustavus Checks

Show your Gustavus pride every time your write a check.  You can now order checks with Old Main, Three Crowns, or the Gustavus football helmet at:

Gusties Helping Hurricane Victims

A group of 23 students spent three weeks during January in Mississippi aiding in the clean-up and rebuilding efforts of a town hit hard by Hurricane Katrina.  The group was student-led and sponsored by Men’s Christian Fellowship at Gustavus and coordinated through Lutheran Disaster Response.  While there the students provided many services, including clearing houses to the bare structure, rebuilding homes, working in kitchens, distributing supplies, and working in pastoral care, child care, and medical clinics.  The group was housed and fed in a “tent city” on the grounds of Christus Victor Lutheran Church.  This was one of the several vocation month experiences from which Gustavus students had the opportunity to choose.


Nordic Ski Team senior Erich Ziegler had a first-place finish among collegiate skiers in the15K freestyle at the NorAm SuperTour stop at Telemark Resort in Cable, Wisconsin.  Ziegler’s win was the first by a Gustavus skier in an NCAA/CCSA qualifier.  Men’s hockey continues to win, with a 7-1 record in the MIAC.  Men's swimming is 7-0 on the season and recently set two Lund Center pool record times.  Brad Hanson ’08 was victorious in the 1000 freestyle in a pool-record time of 9:51.46, and Matt Stewart ’09 posted a pool-record time of 1:44.49 to win the 200-freestyle. 

Upcoming Alumni Events

  • MAYDAY! Peace Conference on AIDS — April 19
  • Gustavus Association of Congregations Meeting — April 22
  • Gusties In Volunteer Endeavors (G.I.V.E.) Day of Community Service in Minneapolis — April 29
  • And now here is an update on what your classmates have been up to lately – the list is a little shorter this time due to a large upload in the recent Gustavus Quarterly...  If you would like to update your e-mail addresses, please inform the Alumni Office at the Gustavus homepage at:


  • Geoffrey Bell is employed by Panasonic – a subsidiary of Matsushita Electronic Works.
  • Kenneth Feer is a committee analyst for the University of California system-wide Academic Senate.
  • David Kamper is busy running for the Sangamon, Illinois County Board in 2006.
  • Rebecca Konrad is an investment officer with the International Finance Corporation – the private sector arm of the World Bank.
  • Travis Lange is employed as a mechanical design engineer with Lawrence Livermore National Lab in Livermore, CA.
  • Melissa McCarthy is a Spanish teacher at St. Anthony Village High School.
  • Laura Norman Koga moved to Lake Balboa, CA and is teaching Japanese at Campbell Hall in North Hollywood, CA.
  • Paul Manley recently joined Northland Securities as an institutional equity sales representative.
  • Todd Mayer is a stay-at-home father.
  • Rachel Roberts Oppitz is a neuropathic physician in Billings, Montana.  Rachel and her husband, Chris Oppitz are the proud parents of a 4-year-old daughter as well.
  • Chad Peterson is the director of marketing at the Northlight Theater in Skokie, IL.
  • Valerie Ruha was recently promoted to director of buying operations at Novus Print Media.
  • Gina Benson Spoo is a second grade teacher in the Hopkins School District.


  • Kelle Sauer Anderson and Chris Anderson ’97 celebrated the birth of Betsy Anderson on January 1, 2005.
  • Chris and Carrie (Swanson ’97) Enstad celebrated the birth of Liv Eleanor Enstad on January 20, 2006.  Liv was 6 lbs. 3 oz., 19 inches long and three weeks early!  Everyone is doing great!
  • Kevin Grussing became the proud parent of Morgan Jo on November 2, 2005.  Kevin is employed with CardioTech International as the director of new business development.
  • Jason Kuerschner celebrated the birth of his daughter, Katja Deeanne, on June 19, 2005.
  • Kirsten Kimmel Reeck is the proud parent of Julia, born October 6, 2004. 
  • Hans Snyder was blessed with a second little boy, Joseph Bennet, on December 19, 2005.  Big brother, Jackson, is busy helping mom and dad.


  • Katherine Haugland married Dan Gatchell on May 21, 2005.  The couple currently resides in Eden Prairie, MN.

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 ten years! 

1996 Reunion Committee