Class of '97
June 2002


Would you believe that it has been five years since we said our good-byes to Gustavus?  Now it’s time to say “hello” again!  Our 5-YEAR REUNION is fast approaching!!  Book the weekend of September 20 & 21, 2002 for gathering with classmates and having lots of fun!  Come join us―find out what’s new, stroll down memory lane, and create some new stories.

Friday September 20th:  Minneapolis―Grandma’s Saloon & Grill (7 Corners)

Saturday September 21st:  St. Peter, Gusties vs. Carleton Football – picnic, class gathering and more.

We’re looking forward to a great fun-filled weekend!

Campus newsA monthly e-mail newsletter from the Alumni Association is now online.  To subscribe, contact:  Some campus news from that newsletter includes:

Evelyn Young, Director of the Food Service 1949-1981 celebrates her 90th birthday at an event at Mount Olivet Lutheran Church on July 25.  No cost.  All are welcome.  Please call (800-487-8437) or email the alumni office ( to reserve.

Gustavus graduates largest class.  On June 2, 609 students received Bachelor of Arts degrees making this the largest class to graduate in the school's 140-year history.  There were loud cheers during the Baccalaureate Service when it was announced that the Commencement ceremony would be held outside.  Unfortunately, an isolated and brief thunderstorm moved through St. Peter just as the graduates were to process onto Hollingsworth Field, causing the graduates to move into Lund Arena for a shortened ceremony while standing as family and friends watched on big-screen televisions around campus.  Max Hailperin, associate professor of mathematics and computer science won the Edgar Carlson Award for Distinguished teaching.

On-line Community called "Hello Walk" is up and running.  For the rest of June it's a discussion with Chris Gilbert, Associate Professor of Political Science, on such topics as:  third parties, urban vs. rural issues, redistricting, and, the Minnesota Hot Button subject, Will Jesse Ventura run for another term?

If you're up north.  On July 9 an alumni gathering will be held in Walker, MN, with naturalist (WCCO's own) Jim Gilbert ’62.  More details to come or contact the Alumni Office.

 And now, without further delay, here’s what your classmates are up to…

Driving in Rush Hour:

  • Marti Anderson is an account executive with HotJobs, Inc., Montevideo, MN.
  • Mary Babel, is working as an AIDS Activist in Pittsburgh, PA.
  • Ryan Benson is manager of First State Bank of Bayport, Oak Park Heights office.
  • Neil Bentley is a sales representative for BASF, St. Charles, IL.
  • Chris Brady works with computers at General Company, Madison, WI.
  • Alison Rucinski Goodwin is an advanced tax analyst at 3M.
  • Lana Bauer Hanson is a loan coordinator with Bell Mortgage, MN.
  • Shawn Kirsch is an environmental, health and safety manager for the Optical Systems Division at 3M.
  • Heather Crosbie Krier works in self-esteem and leadership fulfillment at the YMCA of St. Paul.
  • Amy Lavin is a buyer at Best Buy Headquarters, Eden Prairie, MN.
  • Josh Leal was named the head coach to the South Suburban Steers of the Minnesota Junior Hockey League.
  • Jill Rydberg Lesseig is a stay at home mom and a weekend labor and delivery RN, Anchorage, AK.
  • Matt Lindberg is a veterinarian with Village Animal Hospital, Minneapolis, MN.
  • Melissa Dahlke Maltman is a pastor at St. John Lutheran Church in Morgan, MN.
  • Jenny Gould Marshall is a plant accountant at 3M.
  • Amy Nokes works for Target Corporation, St. Paul, MN.
  • Kari Wagener Palazzari is a strategic consultant, Kari Palazzari Consulting, Pittsboro, NC.
  • Elaine Nelson Peik is a Scandinavian specialist at Borton Overseas, Minneapolis, MN.
  • Justin Peik is a math teacher at Katahdin Alternative School, Minneapolis, MN.
  • Julie Buerkle Radniecki is a school counselor at Menahga Elementary School, Menahga, MN.
  • Antony Sargent is working as a server engineer for AvantGo, Inc. in San Mateo, CA.
  • Laura Selby is a web editor for Xcel Energy, Minneapolis.
  • Kathy Schiltz is pursuing a master’s in marriage and family therapy.  Currently, she is interning as a therapist, at Compass Health in Edmonds, WA.
  • Scott Tricker is employed with Winstar Communications as a senior account executive for voice, data, and Internet business solutions, Parker, CO.
  • Jennifer Vickerman is a profit enhancement team manager with Musicland Group.  She is moving to Atlanta, GA in April.
  • Amy Moeller Walz is a research associate with R&D Systems, Minneapolis, MN.
  • Holly Wangsness is a marketing coordinator for Steven Fabrics, Minneapolis, MN.
  • Adam Westrum is a technical representative, with Metro Sales, Minneapolis, MN.
  • Jessica McGregor Wittig is an athletic activities/phy-ed teacher in the Greenfield School District, Greenfield, WI.

Discontinuing their Personal Ads (a.k.a. Off The Market):  

  • Carrie Bauer and Fredrick Schliep were married on October 6, 2001.  They reside in Alexandria, MN.
  • Lana Bauer and Matthew Hanson were married on October 27, 2001.  Lana and Matt are living in Savage, MN.
  • Ryan Benson and Brenda Swenson were married on December 15, 2001and now reside in Stillwater, MN.
  • Chris Cagle and Andrea Week were married September 29, 2001, New Brighton, MN.
  • Terri Carlin and Joel Mikolich were married on October 6, 2000.  The couple is living in Otsego, MN.
  • Jermie Cullip and Carolyn Jones were married on November 24, 2001.  They are living in Douglassville, PA.
  • Melissa Dahlke and Tom Maltman were married on June 30, 2001.  Melissa and Tom are living in Morgan, MN. 
  • Heather Duggan and Kyle Anderson were married on August 26, 2000.   Kyle and Heather are currently living in Canby, OR.
  • Stacy Dunekacke and Joe Retka were married on November 10, 2001.
  • Jenny Gould and Aaron Marshall were married on August 11, 2001.  The couple resides in Stillwater, MN.
  • Amy Hebert and Mats Leval were married on May 12, 2001.  Amy and Mats reside in Sundbyberg, Sweden.
  • Shawn Kirsch and Lena Jacobson are engaged to be married on November 2, 2002.   They will reside in Oakdale, MN. 
  • Jill Kirzeder and Shawn Rasmussen were married on August 24, 2001.  They are residents of Roseville, MN.
  • Amanda Marine is engaged to Jeremy Johnston.  They will be married on June 29, 2002 in Powell, WY. 
  • Jennifer Mull is engaged to Steve Daskal.  They will be married on July 6, 2002. 
  • Kevin Myers and Becky Vanderwerf ’98 are engaged to be married on October 12, 2002 at Christ Chapel.
  • Michelle Newcomb and Craig Brill were married on September 2, 2001.  Michelle and Craig live in Salisbury, MD. 
  • Yukiko Nitta and Shinichi Nishitani were married on October 8, 2001.  Yukiko and Shinichi are living in Japan.
  • Kara Pauly and Brian Breggemann were married on August 3, 2001.  The couple is living in Jordan, MN. 
  • Kelly Peterson and Kevin Huang were married on August 25, 2001.
  • Natalie Spilde and Carl Hokanson were married on December 30, 2001.  Carl and Natalie live in Hastings, MN.
  • Shelley Wolfgram and Jose Sanchez were married on September 15, 2001.  The couple lives in Plymouth, MN.

Rushing to the Hospital:

  • Sara (Williams) and Thomas Balster had a baby girl, Chloe Marie, on December 16, 2001. 
  • Brian and Josie (Skovgard) Beckstrom, welcomed baby boy, Soren Shields, on April 25, 2001. 
  • Tonya (Edelbrook) and Michael Forbrook gave birth to daughter, Emersyn Marie, on October 26, 2001. 
  • Jocelyn (Brekke) and James Grant had bouncing baby boy, Taylor James, on November 2, 2001. 
  • Rich and Holly Johnson welcomed Lucas James Johnson on January 25, 2002. 
  • Jill (Rydberg) and Jeff Lesseig brought daughter Isabel (Izzy) into the world on March 1, 2001. 
  • Matt and Angela Lindberg gave birth to daughter, Mary Elizabeth, on February 6, 2002. 
  • Kari (Moody) and Paul Schumaker had a little girl, Emma Kay, on February 7, 2002.

SCHOOL:  Aren’t you done yet??:

  • Kathryn Anderson is a student at Emporia State University studying for her master’s in library science.
  • Erica (Ciesielski) Chaikia is attending the University of Houston full time to complete a master’s of Art Education and certification to teach. 
  • Alison Rucinski Goodwin is pursuing a master’s degree in taxation at the University of Minnesota-Carlson School of Business.
    Amy Lavin is graduating in May with a MBA in marketing from the University of St. Thomas.
  • Christopher Lloyd is attending graduate school at the University of Minnesota.
  • Martha Malinski has started graduate school in education at Goddard College. 
  • Jim Nurmi attends the Oregon Graduate Institute where he hopes to receive his Ph.D. in Bioremediation in 2003. 
  • Amber (Shockey) Nurmi is completing her MA in psychology at Lewis and Clark. 
  • Kristi Reidt completed her Master’s degree in counseling from St. Mary’s University. 
  • Tom Ryland is a student at Bethel Theological Seminary.
  • Melissa Stirn received her master’s of public policy from the Humphrey Institute at the University of Minnesota in May 2001.

If you would like to be included in this news in the future, please send your updated information to the Alumni Office, and we’ll be sure to include your news!  Additionally, if you’d like to update your e-mail addresses, please inform the Alumni Office at the GAC home page at:

It’s been fun, it’s been real, see you on the flip side.  (Or at Grandma’s on September 20th and Gustavus on the 21st!!!!!)

Melissa LeVesque Piela                                                Jon Swanson                                                         

Josh Peterson                                                               Stef Tucker                               

Alumni Office