Class of '96
July 2006

10-Year Reunion ― October 6 & 7, 2006

Dear Class of 1996,

Question:  Why should I attend the 10-year reunion?  It seems like I just graduated yesterday – nothing has changed.

Answer:  Reality check – everything has changed!  You have changed, the world has changed, Gustavus has changed, and your annoying freshman roommate may have even changedJ.  If you still think it is 1996, here are some facts to demonstrate what the world was like in 1996 compared to 2006.

1996 Major Events:

  • O.J. Simpson trial begins
  • Princess Diana and Prince Charles were officially divorced
  • Olympic Park bombing in Atlanta
  • Academy Award Best Picture:  "Braveheart"
  • Grammy’s Male Vocalist of the Year: Eric Clapton... "Change the World"
  • Super Bowl XXX:  Dallas Cowboys vs. Pittsburgh Steelers Score:  27-17
  • Gustavus graduates 520 undergraduates.  Gustavus tuition (plus room and board): approx. $19,000.
  • World population:  5.76 billion
  • Approximately 45 million people are using the Internet, with roughly 30 million of those in North America.
  • Cell phones?  How many students did you know who had a cell at Gustavus?

2006 Major Events:

  • It is estimated that more than 375 million digital songs will be purchased in 2006 – digital songs and iPods didn’t event exist in 1996
  • 922 million to 1032 million:  the estimated number of unique individuals who will use the Internet in 2006
  • World population:  over 6.5 billion
  • Gustavus graduates 596 undergraduates.  Gustavus tuition (plus room and board):  $32,710.

Gustavus and the world have definitely changed since 1996 – and we have too.  Personally, in the past 10 years I have lived in 3 different countries, had 9 different addresses, 7 different jobs (only 3 real ones), married an amazing Gustie, been blessed with a future Gustie, developed some grey hair, put on a couple (only a couple) of pounds, and more.

In short, each of us has a unique story to share, and I hope you invest a weekend of your precious time to join us at the reunion.  Here are the specifics:

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 $30

·        Registration forms will be mailed from Gustavus soon―so don’t forget to send yours in!

Saturday; October 7, 2006: Gustavus Adolphus College

·        Numerous activities, seminars, athletic events, etc. (complete with a cash bar for purchase of “adult” beverages)

·        FREE to attend– 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!  It’s not too late if you have something to donate - please contact Allie Vogt Newman at

Let’s talk about money…

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.  Since we set this goal in September 2005, we have received gifts in each of these amounts and are currently at a total of approximately $16,421 from 117 donors.  We’ve reached our dollar mark; now let’s reach our goal of 200 donors!  As you consider your charitable giving for 2006, please consider a 10-year reunion gift to Gustavus.

Campus News

Continuing their tradition of innovative and competitive admission policies and practices, the Gustavus Admission Office announced this spring that applicants for the Class of 2011 can choose whether or not to submit their standardized test scores for consideration in the admission process.  Gustavus’ high admission standards have not changed; this policy emphasizes that the College’s application-review process focuses on the abilities and experiences of the whole person, not just one number.  As the first MIAC college and Phi Beta Kappa institution in Minnesota to allow this option, Gustavus is receiving very positive feedback from prospective students and has received excellent coverage in local and national media.

Gustavus Legacy Award

New Gusties enrolling next fall have a new financial aid opportunity.  Awards of $2,500 are given to students whose siblings are current Gustavus students or graduates or whose parents or grandparents are Gustavus alumni.  Scholarship recipients must have a grade point average of at least 3.5, or an ACT of 26, or an 1170 on the SAT.  The Gustavus Legacy Award expands upon the previous Alumni Scholarship by recognizing and awarding students who have Gustie siblings.  By applying for admission, students are automatically considered for this scholarship and awarded if they qualify.

Summer Reading

Each summer, incoming Gustavus students are asked to complete a "Reading in Common" that will be discussed during New Student Orientation and, for some students, during their First Term Seminar course.  The Reading in Common selection for 2006-07 is Honky by Dalton Conley.  This intensely personal and engaging memoir is the coming-of-age story of a white boy growing up in a neighborhood of predominantly African American and Latino housing projects on New York's Lower East Side. Dalton Conley will give a campus lecture on Wednesday, September 20, in Christ Chapel.  Feel free to join us in this common Gustavus experience.

Gustavus Library Associates Minnesota Centennial Showboat Event

Join Gustavus Library Associates for an evening of dinner and theatre on August 1 aboard the Minnesota Centennial Showboat in St. Paul. Social hour begins at 6 p.m. with dinner following at 6:30 p.m.  The curtain rises for Forty-Five Minutes from Broadway at 8 p.m.  Tickets are $52 per person, and reservations may be made by calling the Office of College Relations at 507/933-7520.

Extraordinary Athletics

The National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) and the United States Sports Academy have announced the final totals for the 2005-06 Directors' Cup and Gustavus finished 10th out of 435 competing NCAA Division III institutions.  The Directors’ Cup, which is the only all-sports competition in intercollegiate athletics, is awarded to four-year institutions in the NCAA and NAIA with the best overall athletic programs.  In Division III, standings are based on national tournament finishes in 25 sports with points awarded based on the number of teams participating in each specific national championship.  Gustavus is one of only seven institutions in Division III to have posted top 10 finishes in four of the past five years and is the only school from the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference to place in the top 20 this year.

Upcoming Events:

  • Gustavus Library Associates dinner and theatre event-August 1
  • Football Golf Tournament, Shoreland Country Club -August 4
  • Gusties Gather! - August 6
  • Nobel Conference: “Medicine: Prescription for Tomorrow” - October 3 - 4
  • Homecoming/Family Weekend - October 7 - 8

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 is a research engineer at Bose.
  • Emilee Burow is the director of sales and catering for the Outback Steakhouse and Event Center in Bloomington, MN.
  • Thomas Ehrich is currently a law student at Northwestern University in Illinois.
  • Laura Norman Koga is president of the National Council of Japanese Language Teachers (NCJLT) 2005-2006.  She is currently teaching at Campbell Hall in North Hollywood, CA.
  • Jason Hiltner is employed as a principle engineer with Aeist Medical.
  • David Kamper is running for the county board in Sangamon County.  David is currently employed with the American Federation of Teachers as an organizer.
  • Shean McManus works for Malt-O-Meal as a lead systems analyst.
  • Ed Sbertoli is a special agent with the State of Iowa Department of Safety.


  • Eric Bjorklund and Melaina Thorson Bjorklund ’00 celebrated the birth of their first child, Callie, on February 20, 2006
  • Matthew Brown is the proud dad of his second child, Ryken, born August 15, 2005.
  • Dimitri and Kara (Bloomquist) Drekonja had a son, Andreas, born February 13, 2005.  Kara is a registered nurse with Guidant Corporation and Dimitri is a resident physician with the University of Minnesota Medical School.
  • 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!
  • Geoff Goodwin and Alison (Rucinski ’97) Goodwin were blessed with a new baby boy, Grady William, on March 27, 2006.
  • Josh and Heather (Senske ’97) Kinkeade celebrated the birth of their second child, Caroline, on March 29, 2006.  Josh is currently employed with eCapital Advisors as a management consultant.
  • Todd and Jonelle Rehse Intihar are the proud parents of their second child, Jade, born April 4, 2006.
  • Katherine Haugland Gatchell was blessed with a daughter, Madison Mary, born May 14, 2006.


  • Corey Christensen married Jodi Beckler on September 24, 2005.  The couple now resides in Spicer, MN.  Corey is an agriculture territory manager for Ziegler Cat.
  • Amy Larkin and Aaron Lee were married on December 15, 2005.  Aaron is now a service representative with Saris Cycling group.  Amy is an environmental project manager with the American Transmission Company.

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! 

See you in October…..

Shawn Mayfield

1996 Reunion Committee – Communications Chair