Class of '96
January 2011

Dear Class of 1996:

Happy New Year to our friends and classmates near and far!  We hope you had a memorable holiday season!  As you get ready to make some New Year’s Resolutions for 2011, we hope you will save the date and resolve to join us on September 30 – October 1, 2011, for our 15-Year Class Reunion!

(Who can believe it’s been 15 years since we ate chicken Kiev at every “formal” function, went to Ruttles for the honor of eating the Rama-Lama-Ding-Dong and got your name on the wall, participated in Earth Jam, crammed all night in the study lounge, and attended the inaugural Mayday conference?)

Our reunion year just so happens to coincide with the College’s Sesquicentennial—the 150th anniversary of the college—and a huge anniversary party is already in the works, which means our reunion will be bigger, better and more exciting than any other in the history of Gustavus…and the planning has already begun!

15th Class Reunion Planning Team

The 15th Class Reunion Planning Team so far includes:

Jennifer Krempin Bridgman (Alexandria, VA)

Chris Enstad (Crystal, MN)

Lance Hampton (Washington, D.C.)

Shawn Mayfield (Eagan, MN)

Kristin Paap Genet (Minneapolis, MN)

Chad Peterson (Chicago, IL)

Lisa Nelson Smith (Ham Lake, MN)

Jennifer Pagel (Des Moines, IA)

It’s a great start, but we would love more help!  As the old saying goes, many hands make light work!  The experts in the Alumni Office tell us ideally we’d have 25 people on the committee, and we are requesting that all volunteers commit to helping do three things:

  •  Plan to attend the Reunion.
  •  Make a donation to the Class Gift (more about this later).
  •  Recruit one other person to join you on the committee.

Of course, if you want to get more involved we’d love it.  However, if all you did were these three things, you would be considered a successful member of the Reunion Planning Team.  We want a diverse group, with representatives who were involved in athletics, music, Greeks, geeks, North-side and South-side—a virtual “united nations” of the Class of ’96.  If you want to help, contact any of us:

Andrea Solomon (Fundraising Co-chair) at

Jennifer Krempin Bridgman (Communications Co-chair) at

Jennifer Pagel (Event Co-chair) at


Reunion Weekend

Plans are currently under way to create an action-packed weekend on campus with a little something for everyone so you can bring the kids or ditch the kids (yours or other people’s), stay overnight or commute from the Twin Cities, and dress it up or dress it down.  For now, the schedule looks something like this:

Friday, September 30, 2010

5-6:30 p.m. – Class Reunion Reception

7 p.m. - Gustavus Sesquicentennial Celebration Banquet (we’ll have tables reserved for the Class of 1996).

Saturday, October 1, 2010

All Day - Homecoming Events (Chapel, homecoming parade, campus tours, kids’ activity tent)

1:30 p.m. - Football Game

6 p.m. - Cocktail party and reception in the atrium of the new academic building (adults only, on-campus babysitting available)

Class Gift

As part of the reunion year, it is tradition for the class to set a goal for a class gift.  Through reunion giving, we will support current and future generations to continue the legacy of Gustavus.

Your classmates on the Reunion Committee would like to recommend two giving opportunities:  (1)  A gift to the Gustavus Annual Fund and/or (2)  A gift to a class-endowed scholarship fund to honor the Class of 1996 in perpetuity.

Your class gift to the Gustavus Annual Fund will help prepare students for lives of leadership and service in society.  Your gift makes a Gustavus education possible for current students, so that they may continue the tradition.  Since June 1, 2010, 61 classmates have given $10,371 to Gustavus.  Thank you if you are one of those classmates!

Your gift to the Class of 1996 class-endowed scholarship will help the College provide an outstanding educational experience for students from broad backgrounds—now and into the future.  An endowed scholarship requires us to raise $25,000.  Last year, the Class of 1996 collectively gave over $19,000−so, while it may seem like a lot, this is an achievable goal.  If you would like to designate part of your dollars to the 1996 Class Endowed Scholarship, please write this on your check, in a note, or in the comments field when making your gift online (

Our Reunion Class Giving timeframe is from June 1, 2010 until the reunion, October 1, 2011— and there are over 500 of us in our class—so let’s show Gustavus what our class can do!  A giving card and envelope are enclosed for your convenience.

News from The Hill:

It’s a big year on campus as the sparkling new academic building starts to take shape on the Mall!  Remember how the basement of Social Science Center felt like you were a rat in a maze, and how it was always a pain to get stuck on the “stairs to nowhere?”  Well, for all you history, psychology majors who labored in that dark, dank building, this one is for you:  A new academic building, with Level Gold LEED certification!

Call for Distinguished Alumni Citation Nominees

Each year the Gustavus Alumni Association presents Distinguished Alumni Citations.  The Distinguished Alumni Citation recognizes outstanding and exceptional professional achievement, such as to bring unusual honor to the individual in his or her field of endeavor.  Criteria appropriate to selection shall include the difficulty of accomplishment; quality, creativity, and distinctiveness of performance; recognition by professional peers; and lasting contribution to the world of ideas and affairs.  While the citation is a professional award, humanitarian achievements may also be weighed.  Nominees are now being accepted by the Alumni Board of Directors; please e-mail a resume or curriculum vitae to Randall Stuckey ’83, director of alumni relations, at .  For a complete list of past recipients, view the awards website .

Gustavus Choir Tour

The Gustavus Choir will embark on a tour of Italy this month.  The 57 student musicians, under the direction of Greg Aune, will travel to and sing at various locations in Italy Jan. 13-28.  As is the case with each Gustavus international music tour, it includes an educational component.  The students are learning about the Italian Renaissance in the month-long Cultures of Creativity course taught by Chaplain Brian Johnson ʼ80.  Joining the Gustavus Choir will be a companion tour of 15 Gustavus alumni, parents, and friends.

Gustavus Wind Orchestra Tour

Under the direction of Douglas Nimmo, the Gustavus Wind Orchestra will tour Minnesota and Wisconsin between the January Interim and Spring Semester.  All concerts are free and open to the public.

Saturday, Jan. 29, 7 p.m. – Tornstrom Auditorium, Brainerd

Sunday, Jan 30, 3 p.m. – Central High School Auditorium, Duluth

Monday, Jan. 31, 7 p.m. – Wausau East High School, Wasuau, WI

Tuesday, Feb. 1, 8 p.m. – Lawrence University Memorial Chapel, Appleton, WI

Thursday, Feb. 3, 7 p.m. – Schauer Arts and Activities Center, Hartford, WI

Friday, Feb. 4, 7 p.m. – St. Luke’s Lutheran Church, Middleton, WI

Saturday, Feb. 5, 7 p.m. – St. John Lutheran Church, Owatonna

The tour will wrap up with a home concert on Saturday, Feb. 12. at 2 p.m. in Christ Chapel.

“Come on You Gusties” Breakfasts

Engage with other alumni and learn something new about your alma mater at the monthly Gustie breakfasts.  New this month was the start of the breakfasts in St. Peter.  Minneapolis breakfasts are the 3rd Wednesday of the month, St. Peter breakfasts are the 2nd Wednesday of the month.

Speakers at the Minneapolis venue will be Brett Petersen, men’s hockey coach, and Mike Carroll, women’s hockey coach.  The event is Wednesday Jan. 19, 8–9:30 a.m., at the Doubletree Hotel Minneapolis-Park Place, 1500 Park Place Blvd. Cost is $10 at the door.  Reserve your spot by e-mailing the Office of Alumni Relations at or by calling 800-487-8437.

The St. Peter speaker for February will be Thomas Crady, vice president for enrollment management.  The breakfast will be Wednesday, Feb. 9, 7:30–9 a.m. in a campus banquet room in the C. Charles Jackson Campus Center.  Cost is $8 per person, or $15 for two, payable at the door.  Reserve your spot by e-mailing or by calling 507-933-7512.

Upcoming breakfasts include; Kate Knutson, political science professor, in March; and Warren Wunderlich, director of the physical plant, in April.

Chapter Gatherings

This year President and Kris Ohle have many travel dates planned in order to reach out to all of our alumni and bring them an update from the College.  Please mark your calendar if you live in or near one of these locations:

Seattle – January 27

Tucson – February 8

Phoenix – February 10

Denver – February 11

Boston – March 2

New York – March 4

Washington, DC – March 5

Jacksonville, FL – March 26

Orlando – March 28

Tampa – March 29

Naples – March 30

Chicago – April 2

Class News

And now, finally, for the part you really care about, here are few updates from your fellow classmates:

Employment news:

Robert Ohle (Denver, CO) - Qwest Communications

Mark Haglin (Fairport, NY) - Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, launch manager.

Alexander Johnson (Victoria, Australia) is a lecturer at the School of Botany, University of Melbourne, Australia.

John Kolden was named vice president for agent services of Network F.O.B, a nationwide third-party logistics firm headquartered in Eagan, MN.

New babies:

Toon Xiong (St. Paul, MN) - baby girl, Jordan, on 11/29/2009.

Kara Tomczik Pederson (Bloomington, MN) - baby boy, Calvin, on 10/1/2010.

Jeffrey ʼ97 and Lisa (Bengtson) Gustafson (Anoka, MN) - baby boy, Broder, on 2/9/2008, and baby girl, Fiona, on 3/6/2010.

Julie Schuelke Trierweiler (St. Michael, MN) - baby girl, Mia Noelle, on 7/28/2010.

Mea Culpa About Missing News…

With the Class Agent position being vacant for awhile and with Andrea Solomon only recently assuming the role, it is impossible to catch up on all the news that has been missed in these letters.  In fact, if we waited to type up all the great class news that has accumulated, you wouldn’t see a class letter until our 20th Reunion!  So, we will beg your forgiveness and make a promise that news you submit from here on out will show up in this letter.

…But Where Can You Catch Up on Other News

This is the age of instant communication, though, and Gustavus is on it.  We didn’t know about the Gustavus Blog until we were talking with the Alumni Office and wanted to be sure you all knew about it, too.  You can find it at  You can submit news and photos with this link:

Also, for real-time information about the college and reunion planning be sure to “join” the Class of ’96 Facebook page by searching “Gustavus Alumni 1996.”

ʼTil next month!

Andrea Solomon
Class of ’96 Class Agent and Reunion Planning Team Co-Chair – 206-523-9124

Jennifer Krempin Bridgman

Alumni Board Member and Reunion Planning Team Co-Chair – 202-641-8840

Jennifer Pagel

Reunion Planning Team Co-Chair – 515-778-7715