Class of '97
June 2005

Happy Spring!

This time of year always brings fond memories of Gustavus to mind.  Skipping classes in favor of a nap on a sunny, green hill (don't you wish you could do that now?); cramming for finals; making plans for summer jobs or interviewing for life after Gustavus; the great anticipation of graduation.

And how about moving out of our tiny dorm rooms and meager off campus bedrooms?  Remember how much work it was?  No doubt we have all expanded our space and moved several times by now.  It's funny to think about how easy it all was during our college days!

Speaking of dorms...the College is busy working on many building projects, including future residence halls.  Southwest Residence Hall is located across the Campus Drive from the arboretum on the west side of the campus and will consist of apartments and suites for students.  Wahlstrom Hall, a longstanding landmark, will be a sweet memory as of August, when it will be razed to make way for a new residence hall.  During reunion weekend there were tours of Wahlstrom for alumni and a "decommissioning" ceremony.  Old Main renovation has included the interesting discovery of a cistern and an old stairway in the middle of the building.  Work should be completed by August.  Newly erected Mattson Hall is located on the south side of campus and houses education and nursing faculty and classes.

There are always exciting things happening at Gustavus, some things familiar and some not, but it will always feel like an old friend.  If you haven't visited in a while, make a trip soon.  You'll be glad you did.

Here's what your classmates have been up to lately...

  • Stacy (Dunekacke) and Joe Retka had a baby boy, Zachary James Retka on January 30, 2004. 
  • Joanna Gaines is an academic advisor at Walden University.  She is also studying at Carlson School of Management.
  • Jina Faurot and Andy Hagen were married on October 18, 2003.  Jina is a genetic counselor at Park Nicollet.
  • Eric Gilbertson is a foot and ankle surgeon in Bemidji, MN. 
  • Kristine Morrell is an assistant vice president at Merrill Lynch Capital in Chicago, IL.
  • Mary Babel and Bob Tzucker were married on 7.26.03.  Mary is a full-time student at the City University of New York studying nursing.
  • Kate (Melchert) and Aaron Langer had a baby boy, Evan, on December 8, 2003.
  • Mike Reed is a police officer with the Plymouth Police Department.
  • Shelly Wagner and Phil Kruse were married on November 9, 2003.
  • Melanie (Jacobs) Schmidt is the special education coordinator at Three Rivers Head Start in Red Wing, MN.
  • Andrea Cordes is a second grade teacher at Redwood Day School in San Francisco, CA.
  • Kimberly Miller is a law student at the University of San Diego. 
  • Angela Carlson is a loan processor at Full Spectrum Lending in Roseville, MN.
  • Alex Hill is a senior scientist at Medtronic.
  • Dawn Quast and Paul Kratzke were married on February 7, 2004.
  • Matt Dahmen is a national account manager at Student Assistance Foundation in Montana.
  • Jennifer Carlson is a medical sales representative at Vascular Solutions.
  • Chris Choukalas is a student at the University of Minnesota Medical School.
  • Dania (Spies) and Adam Kamp welcomed daughter, Abigail Ann, on January 10, 2004.
  • Tarek Lada’a and Jill Baker were married in October 2002.
  • Dyno Waisanen is an owner of Pizza Flame in Coon Rapids, MN.
  • Marsha (Pinney) and Jim Sullivan welcomed baby girl, Emily Grace, on December 29, 2003.
  • Josie (Skovgard) Beckstrom is a labor and delivery nurse at St. Peter Community Hospital.
  • Terri (Carlin) and Joel Mikolich welcomed baby boy, Matthew Shea, on August 23, 2003.
  • Eric Larson is a graphic designer at Red Door Creative.
  • Betsy (Dornan) Bauler is a manager at Applebee’s Bar & Grill.
  • Toby Hatlevig is head coach of women’s cross-country at Hamline University.
  • Carl Hokanson received a master’s degree in social work from Augsburg College and is a transitional care social worker at Martin Luther Manor.
  • Natalie Spilde Hokanson is director of youth and family ministry at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church.
  • Joel Jensen is a Ph.D. student in architectural theory at the University of Colorado, Boulder.
  • Eric Larson and Toni Larson had baby girl, Erin Joy, on January 17, 2004.
  • Adam Westrum recently graduated from Brown College Radio Broadcasting School.
  • Jill Buhse Anderson is employed by Lions Gate Films as a national sales director.
  • Jennifer Brekke and Barton Adams welcomed their second child, Lydia, on June 2, 2003.
  • Karla Ash Lien is a paralegal at Johnson Law Firm P.A.
  • Anna Plocher is an assistant underwriter at Insurance Corporation of Hannover in Chicago, IL.
  • Gabe Bell is attending Harvard Law School.
  • Jennifer (Holmstoen) and Nathan Lee welcomed daughter, Maya Lee, on April 5, 2004.  Lee is a marketing manager at Deluxe Corp.
  • Stacey Pauling Lauseng is an accounting manager at the Berquist Company and has welcomed a daughter, Julia, born August 14, 2004.
  • Mike Stuedemann is employed by Medtronic as a principal information technology business system analyst.
  • Heather Vinar Ordal is a sales associate at Cable Connection and Supply.
  • Julie Buerkle Radniecki is a part-time elementary counselor at Menahga Elementary School and a part-time stay-at-home mom.
  • Shanda Reinke is a genetic counselor at the Mayo Clinic.
  • John and Aimee (Linson) Hawes welcomed son, Wyatt Arthur, on July 17, 2004.

wedding 1

Various Gustavus alumni gathered in Winona, MN, on August 7, 2004, for the wedding of Scott Hoss ’95 and Emily Botten ‘97. Alumni traveled from NE, WA, OR, CO, CA, WI and MN to attend the event. Pictured are:

Front Row: Pete Peterson ’97, Kari Fletcher ’97, Melissa Stadley ’97, Sara (Behrens) Charvat ’97, Sarah (Motzko) Seldon ’97, Emily (Schlough) Hamilton ’97, Karissa (Wicklander) Kirvida ’97, Brian Buckley ’95, Molly (Swenson) Cox ’95, Heather (Slack) Dexheimer ’95.

Middle Row: Heather (Botten) Dahlberg ’95, Noah Rouen ’97, Keri Engel ’98, Joanna Gaines ’97, Sarah Lobland ’97, Sara Bergan ’97, Emily Botten ’97, Scott Hoss ’95, Derek Kuehl ’97, Karl Dexheimer ’95, Mark Benson ’95, Tara (Frana) Weisbrodt ’95, Ray Peterson ’95, Christina Thomas ’95.

Back Row: Rachelle (Cadwallader) King ’97, Adam Chose ’97, Nicole (Engel) Chose ’97, Jason Bever ’95, Tom Mason ’96, Doug Thielen ’95, Todd Whalen ’95, Brock Peterson ’95, Stacie (Rosen) McKeehan ’95. 

  • W. Scott Heath and Michelle Beissel were married on August 21, 1999.
  • Tara (Pals) and Charles Cadenhead welcomed daughter, Ella Marin, on July 16, 2004.
  • Amy Dragland and Christopher Johnson were married September 25, 2004.
  • Erik and Jessica (Hansen ’98) Wood welcomed son, Miles William, on July 29, 2004.
  • Darin Tysdal is working at American Spirit Graphics as a vice president of finance of adminstration.
  • Jody Olson ’96 and Jon De St. Hubert were married on August 21, 2004.
  • Carl Hokanson is a transitional care social worker at Martin Luther Manor.
  • Molly Gordon and Mark Calkins were married on November 11, 2004.
  • Amber Shockey Nurmi is the owner of Healthy Pet in West Linn, Oregon.
  • Sarah Ulwelling Nguyen is a nutritional education coordinator at Child Care Resource and Referral.
  • Geoff Sproat is a product/application designer in Omaha, NE.
  • Ryan Basye started his own company, BREC Financial Investments.
  • Susie Rodenkirchen is pursuing a master of arts in elementary education at the University of Phoenix, Hawaii campus.
  • Christopher Donaldson is a sales and marketing executive for the Minnesota Timberwolves.
  • Nicholas Wallrich and Marissa Santos were married in August 2004.
  • Michelle Langner is emcee, singer, and member of board of directors at Lili’s Burlesque Revue.
  • Kara (Pauly) and Brian Breeggemann welcomed son, Keegan, on May 24, 2004.
  • Sarah Motzko Seldon is a guidance counselor in the Osseo School District.
  • Paul Mueller and Kate Huetteman were married on June 12, 2004.
  • Karen Daas is an assistant professor at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, TX.
  • Elaine (Nelson) and Justin Peik welcomed son, Alexander Nelson, on October 18, 2002.
  • Betsy (Dornan) and Eric Bauler welcomed son, Gabriel, on January 24, 2003.  Gabriel joins big sister, Taylor, born June 29, 2000.
  • Joy Bierbaum and Edwin Rundell welcome son, Edwin Albert Rundell V, on June 30, 2004.
  • Jessica (McGregor) and Matt Wittig  welcomed daughter, Alexandra, on October 29, 2004.
  • Keith ’98 and Rochelle (Carlson) Fredrick welcomed son, Andrew Lawrence¸ on September 20, 2004.
  • Megan (Cronin) and Rolf Simonson welcomed son, Andrew Michael, on June 23, 2004.
  • Heather (Vinar) and Jeff Ordal welcomed son, Hogan Vance, on May 12, 2004.
  • Joel Jensen and wife, Evenstar, welcomed Amasa Jens Evensen in October 2003.  Joel is pursuing his Ph.D. in architectural theory.
  • Damon ’96 and Tracy (Prin) Klaphake welcomed baby girl, Chelsea Elizabeth, on May 11, 2004.
  • Michael Gooderum is working with Alaskan native children at South-Central Foundation.
  • Tom Rydland and Karena Erickson ’01 were married on November 20, 2004.
  • Jennifer (Johnson) and Matt Cords welcomed their son, Tyler Allen, on July 21, 2004.

wedding 2

This photo was taken at the wedding of Elizabeth Haugen and Thomas Todd in Hutchinson, MN on October 9, 2004.  Family and friends present include:  Jamie Haugen Dewitte ’00, Kathryn Knoll Gantriis ’92, Pete Gantriis ’92, Sonja Mortenson ’03, Sarah Schuette ’99, Jane Simcox Schuette ’71, Jim Timmerman ’98, Sonja Roiger Timmerman ’98, Marissa Dwiewior, Julie Brouwer Dvergsten, Jody Diers Schendel ’96, Denise Pulis Petrich, Tara Rowe, and Gretchen Nelson.

  • Britta (Peterson) and Michael Ferrell ’96 welcomed twin daughters, Winnie Anne and Vivian Ella, on September 1, 2004.
  • Sara (Nelson) and Alex Perfetti welcomed son, Joseph Alexander, on December 22, 2004.
  • Nancy (Kewitsch) and Russ Prososki were married on November 6, 2004.
  • Darcee (VanHouten) and Jason Brinkman welcomed son, Jameson, on August 18, 2004.
  • Luca Nickerson is serving in Baghdad with the United States Army.
  • Teresa Gienapp is the associate director of development for The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra.
  • Chris and Andrea Cagle welcomed their daughter, Zoe, in December 2004.
  • Jill (Kirzeder) and Shawn Rasmussen welcomed daughter, Julia Rita, on December 2, 2004.
  • Shawn Kirsch is employed by 3M in St. Paul, MN.
  • Anna (Radjenovich) and Adam Holmes welcomed son, Hugo, on January 20, 2005.
  • Marti Anderson is working in advertisement sales at The Arizona Republic newspaper.
  • Angela (Bauer) Erickson is a kindergarten teacher in the Hastings Independent School District.
  • Melissa (Dahlke) and Tom Maltman welcomed daughter, Tess Eva, on January 25, 2005.
  • Angela Sands is an analyst at Northwest Airlines.

Campus News:

The Gustavus Alumni Association has announced 2005 award recipients.  The Greater Gustavus Award to George Torrey ’55 for his lifetime volunteer service and philanthropy to the College. Distinguished Alumni Citations to G. Barry Anderson ’76, Apple Valley, MN, associate justice, Minnesota Supreme Court; Deanna Nelson ’64, Cary, NC, president/founder, BioLink Life Sciences, Inc.; Rick Webb ’73, Edina, MN, owner of Ciao Bella, Zelo and Bacio Restaurants; and John Wirth ’75, Pacific Palisade, CA, writer/executive producer, Paramount Studios.  First Decade Awards to Joe Gaugler ’95, Lexington, KY, assistant professor, Department of Behavioral Science, University of Kentucky College of Medicine; Debbie Lightly Mascaro ’95, Fargo, ND, research scientist, North Dakota State University Center for Nanoscale Science and Engineering.

Extraordinary Students

Senior Rachel Batalden, a double major in mathematics and secondary education with a 3.898 grade point average and two-time MIAC All-Conference selection at setter for the women’s volleyball team, has been selected as one of 56 student-athletes from across the country to receive a $7,500 NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship.

Senior Paul Fraser, a music and computer science major has been selected as the winner of the second annual Caltech-Occidental Composition Contest for new music for concert band. The contest drew entries from all over the world, and as the winner, Paul will receive a cash award and a recording of the world premiere of the work at a concert by the Caltech-Occidental Concert Band in Pasadena, Calif., in May.

Upcoming Events

  • Garden Tour - June 25
  • Gustavus Heritage Partnership Luncheon - September 24
  • Nobel Conference - September 27 & 28
  • Class reunions for 1960, 1965, 1970, 1975, 1980, 1985, 1990, 1995, 2000 - October 7, 8, 9
  • Homecoming - October 8
  • Family Weekend - October 7, 8, 9
  • Black Student Organization/Pan Afrikan Student Organization Reunion - October 14 and 15
  • A Royal Affair “ First Frost” - October 29

That is all of the news for now!  Continue to send us your updates – we love to hear from you!

Please remember to keep Gustavus on your list for charitable donations.  The college has thrived over the years on its support from such a strong alumni base, and in order to keep the quality of the education and the quality of the experience strong for incoming students, the college needs your support.  As class agents our goal has always been to see the Class of 1997 have high participation in the alumni fund.  By giving, it isn’t the amount that is critical, but the fact that you give what you can as a way of saying thanks for the experience that you had at Gustavus!

Take Care,

Josh, Stef, Melissa, and Jon

1997 Co-class Agents