Class of '97
September 2007

10-Year Reunion ― October 12 & 13, 2007

Dear Class of 1997,

Guess what?  Only 45 days and counting until we will all meet again for our 10 year reunion!  It’s still hard to believe it’s been 10 years.   We are really looking forward to the weekend and hope that you are too! So, since we’re closing in on the reunion, we wanted to give you:

Top 10 Reasons You’ll Want To Attend the Reunion

  1. How many of you would like to see your classmates dressed in something other than flannel shirts?
  1. Brit’s Pub is too nice a place to allow the likes of Tim Mahoney, Leep 27, Greazy Meal, or Mango Jam.
  1. Brit’s Pub has more beers than just “Busch Light” on tap.
  1. See how many classmates think they can “walk back to campus” from Downtown Mpls.
  1. Stick around until Sunday morning for “all you can eat chicken fingers”!
  1. Spend Saturday night cuttin’ a rug with all the freshmen in the Dive.
  1. You could go to the Bookmark and actually afford to buy one of the sweatshirts.  Heck, even try to return that accounting textbook from 1997.
  1. This visit will be way more fun than the Nobel conference.  You may not learn as much, but did you really understand what all those smart people were talking about anyway?
  1. Make the trek down the hill for a “photo-op” at the Gustavus sign.
  1. A chance to pick up where we left off 10 years ago from our days on the hill.

Here’s a run-down of the weekend festivities:

Friday, October 12th – 6 p.m.  The Clubhouse at Brit’s Pub, 1110 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis Gather for a casual evening of hors d’oeuvres, drinks, and socializing.

Cost: $30 per person – Register NOW at

Saturday, October 13th –11:30 a.m.  1997 Tailgate Picnic, Gustavus Campus, by Hollingsworth Football Field ― Catch up with friends, tour the campus, visit a professor or favorite hangout, watch the game (in a reserved section for our class in the new stadium).  Bring the little Gusties!  Kids’ Tent, including a jump house, activities, and snacks will be located by the football field. 

Cost: Free – A light lunch is available for $5 per person; Cash bar until 1 p.m.

We are so grateful for the Reunion Committee who has been working hard all year to plan our Friday evening and Saturday events.  Your time, dedication, enthusiasm, and creativity are tremendously appreciated. 

Reunion Committee Members:  Kari Binning, Trisha Danielson, Amy Dragland-Johnson, Andy Gunsaullus, Trisha Niemi Haapoja, Kristie Larson, Melissa LeVesque-Piela, Karla Ash Lien (Co-Chair), Martha Malinski, Sarah Ulwelling Nguyen, Josh Peterson, Noah Rouen, Barb Freimuth Siefken (Co-Chair), Shannon Siefken (Co-Chair), Jon Swanson, Stef Tucker, Erin Johnson Turner (Co-Chair), and Jennifer Vickerman (Co-Chair).

Special thanks to the fantastic guest writers!  Noah Rouen, Kari Binning, Kevin Myers, Tara Zahler, Shawn Kirsch, Antony Sargent, and Barb & Shannon Siefken – who shared their stories with us.  It was really fun to hear from you!

Really, who’s surprised by the fact that Kevin Vanderwerf Myers is doing YouTube videos― can you imagine how our college years might have been immortalized on the internet if Kevin had access to the World Wide Web?  Scary.  Speaking of internet, do you remember that our class was the first to have email addresses waiting for us when we arrived in college?  Many of us can probably remember telling our parents that we could e-mail them―if only they knew what that was!

  • And who’s shocked that Tara Zahler has been globe-trotting down to South America and back?  Many of us have barely left the state since college, yet she’s leavin’ on a jet plane.
  • As for Kari Binning, with all of her college visits to Eco-House, Swedish House, and Brick House, she could give Dr. Bungum a run for his money as a future “land-lord” in St Peter.
  • Caroline Jezierski, Seward, Alaska is part of the expedition staff at Lindblad Expeditions.
  • Jon Kujawa is an assistant professor at the University of Oklahoma.
  • Mike Reed was married to Angela Greer on April 10, 2007 in Scotland.
  • Josh ’96 and Heather (Senske) Kinkeade welcomed second daughter, Caroline, on March 29, 2006.
  • Noel Stout is an attorney with Aikan and Almanza in Austin, Texas.
  • Laura (Horstman ’99) and Matt Gennrish welcomed daughter, Marit Elizabeth to their family on May 2, 2007.
  • Sarah (McCormick ’98) and Rauha Rahkola had a baby boy, James Conrad, on April 22, 2007.
  • Tobias Thorsell is working for State Farm Insurance Company.
  • Brian Hansen is an investment representative with Edward Jones in Waseca, MN.
  • Melissa Stirn Johnson and husband, Erik, welcomed daughter, Solveig Renee, on March 15, 2007.
  • Sarah Ulwelling Nguyen and husband, Thang, had a baby boy, Maxwell Vinh Nguyen, on February 20, 2007.

What’s Happening On The Hill?

It’s late August on campus and all fall sports players and Gustie Greeters have returned to campus, incoming freshmen will move in this weekend.  Classes start on September 4.

Construction Update

Work on the new football stadium progressed at a quick pace and most major elements are now in place.  The stadium will be ready for the opening game on Saturday, September 8 when the Gusties host Willamette, OR.  It’s really awesome and will be a great place for Gusties to gather!  Take a daily peak at  Physical Plant crews were also busy constructing additional intramural and club sport fields west of the Swanson Tennis Center.  These fields will replace the fields that were previously on the stadium construction site.

Athletics Hall of Fame ― Gustavus will induct new members into its Athletics Hall of Fame at a banquet on November 3.  They are:  Tim DeJarlais ’91, golf; John Erickson ’81, hockey; Dave Hultgren ’92, baseball; Craig Miller ’91, cross country; Mindy Mayerchak Oosten ’88, softball, soccer; Mike Schumacher ’91, football; Ann Sommerness Simms ’92, swimming; and Ryan Skanse ’92, tennis.

Gusties Gather! – September 30

Gusties around the world are called to gather on Sunday, September 30.  The Alumni Board is designating this day as a way for Gusties to stay connected with each other.  In research among alumni, we know that Gusties already stay in contact with many alumni, and we know that Gusties have a strong interest in staying connected with other Gusties and with the College.  If there is a gathering in your area, we hope you will consider attending.

Upcoming Alumni Events

  • Gustavus Booth at Minnesota State Fair, Education Building, August 23-September 3
  • Twin Cities Breakfasts, September 19
  • Gusties Gather! – September 30
  • Nobel ConferenceHeating Up The Energy Debate - October 2 & 3
  • Homecoming/Family Weekend – October 12-14
  • A Royal AffairRazzle Dazzle, October 27
  • Athletics Hall of Fame Banquet – November 3
  • Christmas in Christ Chapel – November 30-December 2

 See you all October 12th and 13th – It won’t be as much fun without you!

Stef, Josh, Melissa, and Jon 

P.S.  There’s still time to send in your Gustie pictures for the video montage running Friday night.  Send them to Barb and Shannon Siefken at

Don’t forget to register for the reunion!  Log on to: to register or use the enclosed form/envelope to send in your registration by October 5.