Class of '97
February 2006

Hello from your “guest writers” in the latest edition of the 1997 Class Letter.  In trying to come up with a fun theme for this letter, we sat and sat, and debated over what makes the letter fun to read with each new quarter.  Would it be an interesting puzzle?  Would it be a fun trivia game?  Would it be a good old Gustie Q&A to test your GAC knowledge and remind you of the tests you pulled an all-nighter for at Perkins?  (Were we nuts???  Can you even imagine pulling an all-nighter at the age of 30?)

Then it hit us, what makes the letter so fun to read is because Gusties are everywhere.  We know, corny as it sounds, it is true.  Refer to it as ‘Gustie Sightings.’  That is what you call it when you see another Gustie randomly out and about.  Be it in an airport, at a Vikings game or on the front page of the newspaper, we have come to the conclusion that Gusties are everywhere and it’s fun to let other’s know whom you run into out there.  For example, did you know that Nickie Kromminga gave a fabulous performance in West Side Story at the Chanhassen Dinner Theater this winter?  Sitting in the audience, I recognized her name in the program and said to everyone at my table – “I went to school with her; she was in my acting class!”  (And by the way, she really was great in the show!)  How about when you see a Gustie in passing and can’t place his or her name?  The next day you are on the phone or email to your friends saying “remember that guy, he was a CF our freshman year and lived in Co-Ed…” Suddenly you are digging out the old Grib (if you have one packed away) and are going through the corners of your brain until you come up with a name.

Isn’t it fun to think what almost 10 years has done to the classmates you knew so well and also those you knew by name or face recognition only?  We are a lucky bunch of individuals who will always have the bond of Gustavus in common.  No matter where we go in life or what we do, there will always be another Gustie out there with some of the similar stories, memories or images in common.  Keeping that in mind, let’s check in with some of our classmates to see what exciting things are keeping them busy:

Can’t Get Enough School

Study and cram, just try to stay cool, it’s an every day challenge to keep on with school.  Our applause to those continuing on with their education.

  • Brian Rolig graduated from the University of St. Thomas in December 2005 with his master’s of arts/teacher education.
  • Sonja Glumich is studying MS information technology at the University of North Carolina Charlotte.

Everybody’s Workin’ for the Weekend

Bills to pay and jobs to do use your talents and work on through.  Here’s how some Gusties are making their way.

  • Brian Rolig is a lead teacher/language arts teacher at Sobriety High School.
  • Scott Tricker is the national sales director of Landscapes Golf Group and is also a PGA Apprentice in Omaha, NE.
  • Kristen Ganyo Larson is a teacher of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing at the Minnesota River Valley Special Education Cooperative in Jordan, MN.
  • Heather Ford Autey in employed at Pioneer Press in St. Paul, MN.
  • Travis Sletta is employed at Gustavus as an adjunct professor of choral music.
  • Jed Folkens works at U.S. Bank managing their reserve line collections teams.
  • Robert Cramer is an accounting assistant at Middleton Community Bank.
  • Jennifer “Kate” Peterson is a librarian at St. Cloud State University.
  • Angela Carlson is a senior loan specialist at Countrywide Home Mortgages in Woodbury.
  • Sarah Ulwelling Nguyen is a MOST program coordinator at Mayo Clinic in Rochester.
  • Amy Yilek is a nurse practitioner at St. Paul Radiology.
  • Ashley Baker Owens is the owner and president of MO Properties, LTD in Ocala, FL.
  • Shannon Siefken is employed by 3M as a manufacturing engineer.
  • Jeana Ruehling Wibstad is a 2nd grade teacher at Gaylord Public Schools.
  • Rachel Buboltz Kehagius is a kindergarten bilingual teacher at Juanamaria Elementary in Ventura, CA.
  • Amy Henningsgard Panek is a registered nurse at Osceola Medical Center.
  • Luke Panek is the president and CEO of Midwest Vinyl Systems.
  • Jill Steinhorst Schrupp is a case manager at the National Marrow Donor Program.
  • Timothy Schrupp is a therapist at the Lino Lakes Correctional Facility.
  • Jessica Lobben Nybakken is a chemotherapy nurse at Brainerd Medical Center.
  • Shelley Wagner Kruse is an account administrator at Cottin, Ham and Butler.
  • Joy Bierbaum Rundell is a senior sales executive at Pitney Bowes Inc.
  • Jocelyn Brekke Grant is a stay-at-home mom.
  • Marsha Pinney Sullivan is a registered nurse at Immanuel Saint Joseph’s – Mayo Health System.
  • Heather Duggan Anderson is a domestic goddess, a.k.a. a homemaker.

Sweet Wedded Bliss

Exchange the rings with wedded bliss; state your vows and seal with a kiss.  Congratulations to the newlyweds!

  • Brian Rolig married Kristy Anderson on 7/16/05.
  • Melissa Stirn married Erik Johnson on 10/1/05.
  • Robert Cramer married CarLee Hoffman on 10/8/05.
  • Emily Botten married Scott Hoss ’95 on 8/7/04.
  • Alicia Johnson married Mel Manley on 9/3/05.
  • Heather Ford married John Autey on 6/24/05.
  • Jed Folkens married Nicki Koenig in October 2003.
  • Sarah Lobland married Eric Johnson on 10/15/05.
  • Rachel Buboltz married Joey Kehagius on 7/2/05.

Oh Baby

Tiny toes and tiny shoes, its fun to decorate in pinks and blues!  Congratulations to all the new parents out there.  It is our pleasure to introduce the future Gusties.

  • Beth Berquam Schmoll and her husband, Dale Schmoll, welcomed son, Nathan, on 6/17/05.
  • Christie Chlian Converse and her husband, Sam, welcomed son, Colton John, on 6/11/05.
  • Elizabeth Bomier Irish and her husband, Joshua, welcomed son, Thomas McCarron, on 10/13/05.
  • Kristen Ganyo Larson and her husband, Mike, welcomed son, Carter Allan, on 7/26/05.
  • Prinna Lundquist Boudreau and her husband, Chris Boudreau ’98, welcomed daughter Annabelle Renee on 9/6/05.
  • Kristy Petersen Paulsen and her husband, Kirk, welcomed son, Evan Gerald, on 5/17/05.
  • Siri Hanson Campbell and her husband, Neal Campbell ’98, welcomed son, Finn Jonathan, on 5/11/2000.
  • Jed Folkens and his wife, Nicki, welcomed daughter, Meg Elizabeth, in February 2005.
  • Sarah (Peterson) and Alex Hill welcomed daughter, Alicia Adele, on 4/26/05.
  • Julie Brouwer Dvergsten and her husband, Steven, welcomed daughter, Sophia Elaine, on 6/26/05.
  • Kristopher Newman and his wife, Kelly, welcomed son, Miles Kristopher, on 6/19/05.
  • Kari Binning and her husband, Joshua Lang ’98, welcomed daughter, Lilian Kathleen Binning, on 10/26/04.
  • Rich Johnson and his wife, Holly, welcomed daughter, Carly Lola, on 6/28/05.
  • Jim and Amber (Shockey) Nurmi welcomed son, James Daniel, on 6/25/05.
  • Stacey Pauling Lauseng and her husband, Andy, welcomed daughter, Julie Roxanne, on 8/14/04.
  • Ashley Baker Owens and her husband, Randy, welcomed son, Trevor Jeffry, on 9/21/04.
  • Rachel (Brekken) and John ’96 Urosevich welcomed son, Jack Robert, on 8/9/05.
  • Holly Hecker Aldridge and her husband, Daniel, welcomed son, Austin Daniel, on 10/8/04.
  • Tara Pals Cadenhead and her husband, Charles, welcomed twin sons, Evan Charles and William Charles, on 6/27/05.
  • Mike and Erin (Augustine) Stuedemann welcomed son, Raymond, on 9/4/05.
  • Barb (Freimuth) and Shannon Siefken welcomed son, Emerson Charles, on 8/4/05.
  • Jeana (Ruehling) Wibstad and her husband, Clint, welcomed son, Davis, on 9/5/02 and daughter, Jacquelyn, on 4/28/04.
  • Anne Schauer Rood and her husband, Lee, welcomed son, Braden, in June 2005.
  • Rachel Buboltz Kehagius and her husband, Joey, welcomed daughter, Amelia, on 11/7/04.
  • Luke and Amy (Henningsgard) Panek welcomed sons, Ethan on 5/29/98, Bauer on 2/19/02 and Simon on 10/14/03.
  • Alissa Midthune Maloney and husband, Mark, welcomed son, Owen Thomas, on 9/26/05.
  • Sherri Long Madison and husband, Jason, welcomed son, Cameron, on 8/12/05.
  • Jill Steinhorst Schrupp and husband, Timothy Schrupp, welcomed twin boys, Connor and Ryan, on 4/7/05.
  • Jessica Lobben Nybakken and her husband, Brent, welcomed son, Tyler, on 5/16/05.
  • Shelley Wagner Kruse and her husband, Phil, welcomed son, Brett, on 10/11/05.
  • Joy Bierbaum Rundell and her husband, Edwin, welcomed son, Edwin Albert V, on 6/30/04.
  • Marsha Pinney Sullivan and her husband, Jim, welcomed daughter, Anna Kay, on 10/12/05.
  • Heather Duggan Anderson and her husband, Kyle, welcomed daughter, Lucia Sandra, on 9/10/05.

Campus News

While keeping up with Gusties is one thing, keeping up with what’s happening on campus, is another.  Here is the latest news from on the hill.

Study Abroad Leader

Gustavus continues to be a leading institution for the number of students studying abroad, according to an annual ranking recently released by the Institute of International Education (IIE).  Consistent with its mission of giving students an education that is international in perspective, Gustavus was ranked seventh in the "Top 20 Baccalaureate Institutions" list of the institute’s "Open Doors 2005" report.  Gustavus was one of four Minnesota private colleges to make the list of 20.  The report was based on study abroad statistics from the 2003-04 academic year.  Gustavus students engage in international learning through various programs in more than 100 locations throughout the world, ranging from Australia to India and Ecuador to Sweden.  In recent years, 50 percent of Gustavus graduates have participated in at least one study-abroad experience.

New Carnegie Classification for Colleges and Universities

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching released a new classification system for institutions of higher education.  Gustavus’ classification is Arts & Sciences plus Professions, indicating that 60 to 80 percent of Gustavus students complete a traditional liberal arts major, such as political science, classics, or biology.  The new classifications describe five aspects of colleges and universities: instructional programs, enrollment profile, undergraduate demographics, size, and setting.  Undergraduate instructional programs are now designated as Arts & Sciences Focus, Arts & Sciences plus Professions, Balanced Arts & Sciences and Professions, Professions plus Arts & Sciences, or Professions Focus. 

Insurance Programs

The Alumni Association, in partnership with Meyer and Associates and Liberty Mutual, offers an insurance program to alumni and their families.  Products include insurance policies for life, short-term medical, auto, home, and renters.  For life and short-term medical insurance call Meyer and Associates at 800-635-7801 or visit  For auto, home, and renters insurance call Liberty Mutual at 800-524-9400 or visit

Gustavus to Perform at Orchestra Hall

The Gustavus Music Showcase will be Sunday, March 12, at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis.  The Gustavus Choir, Gustavus Symphony Orchestra, and Gustavus Wind Orchestra will perform.  This is a unique opportunity to hear three premier ensembles from Gustavus in one concert.  This showcase also allows prospective students, parents, and alumni from the area to meet and connect.  For tickets, call the Orchestra Hall box office at 800/292-4141.  Tickets are $20 for general admission, and $10 for students 18 and under.


Two big stories from the fall sports are that Hailey Harren won the national NCAA Division III cross country title and the men’s soccer team became the first MIAC school to play in the national championship game and finished second, losing 1-0 to defending national champion Messiah.  For the second consecutive year, men's soccer coach Larry Zelenz has been named Coach of the Year in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America/Adidas NCAA Division III West Region.  The men's hockey team is unbeaten in conference play, outscoring their opponents 28-5 in four games.

Music Tours

This year nearly 300 students participated in music tours as members of the Gustavus Wind Orchestra, Gustavus Choir, Gustavus Symphony Orchestra, Gustavus Jazz Lab Band, and Choir of Christ Chapel.  The Gustavus Wind Orchestra toured Eastern Europe Jan. 14-30.  Performances were scheduled for Germany, Czech Republic, Poland, and Austria.  The Gustavus Choir toured Jan. 27-Feb. 11, with performances in Minnesota and Wisconsin.  The Gustavus Symphony Orchestra, Gustavus Jazz Lab Band, and Choir of Christ Chapel will tour during Spring Semester.

Upcoming Alumni Events

  • Gustavus Music Showcase at Orchestra Hall - March 12
  • Atlanta, GA Gustie Gathering - March 26

That covers the updates for this round!  Continue to send your updates to either your class agents or to Gustavus―we love to hear from you!

Please remember to keep Gustavus on your list for charitable donations.  The college has continued to thrive over the years on its support from 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.  Remember that 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!

Best wishes to all for an incredible spring!

Holly Wangsness Dau and Jen Johnson Cords

1997 Guest Letter Writers