Class of '98
January 2000

Hey Gusties! Happy New Year!

Hopefully you had a great holiday season. My name is Matt Kusilek ’98, I was a communication studies major, which serves me quite well in the world of sales. I sell advertising for ComputerUser and Twin Cities Business Monthly in Minneapolis and have been doing so since graduation. I see quite a few of you in the skyways downtown, and if not there at some of the local establishments.

I was honored when CloEve Anderson Demmer asked me to be the first to greet you this year. These class letters are a great way to keep everyone up to date. It seems like the longer we are out of school, the harder it is to stay in touch with all the people that were so important to our daily existence just a few years ago. Hope all is well with all of you, good luck in 2000.

The Alumni Office has sent me a heap of information on many of you. If you don’t see you name, but have news to share, please feel free to contact the Alumni Office at Here’s what everyone is doing:

  • Christian Gilbert is teaching 8th grade geography at Bayview Middle School in Waconia.
  • Brad Hanzel is working for Carver County Environmental Services in Chaska.
  • Sarah Young works as a study abroad assistant with the Global Campus at the University of Minnesota.
  • Erin Gillespie is a full-time realtor at ERA-Gillespie in Owatonna.
  • Keegan O’Brien completed her master’s of arts in teaching and teaches second grade in Black Forest, Colorado.
  • Jeremiah Zaayer is a stock broker for Olde Discount Brokers
  • Jennifer Smith married Cory Hoernemann on August 28, 1999 and is currently employed by Montgomery-Lonsdale Public Schools as a first grade teacher.
  • David McAndrews is now working for Morgan, Stanley, Dean Witter.
  • Cari Navara married Brent Lundell on July 10, 1999, she is currently employed by Taylor Corp., in Mankato.
  • Rebecca Moen works for Fair Isaac in St. Paul.
  • Bohdan Vadis is enrolled at Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary.
  • Dawn Durre married Zach Nye ’97 on Oct 9, 1999, they are living in Chaska.
  • Amy Knutson married Jonathan Zabel on Nov 23, 1999.
  • Haley Anderson married John Elvecrog on August 14, they are living in St. Paul.
  • Kelle McManus married Trent Steenblock on July 3.
  • Angie Dudeck was wed to Todd Bowlby on September 11, 1999.
  • Jesse Christianson married Kelli Tolzmann ’00 August 28, 1999.
  • Andrew Widen married Teresa Neusis on August 7th 1999.
  • Shawn Reid married Anna Hemberger on August 28, 1999.
  • Stacey Olson is working in the marketing department with the Vikings.
  • Alicia Cordes works in public relations for the Science Museum of Minnesota.
  • Kira Showalter works for the Minneapolis Foundation.
  • Brent Staples is working with the Staples Oil Company.
  • Francisca Cifuentes is a human resources strategy consultant for Deloitte & Touche LLP.
  • Brian Lien and Cade Hammerschmidt are both employed by the MN DNR, St. Paul Conservation Corp.
  • Corey Sanborn is working with Anderson Consulting.
  • Kristofer Zemek is teaching elementary education in the Rockford School District.
  • Lindsey Anderson is in the Masters Program in the School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota.
  • Mark Fierst is an education director at Huntington Learning Center.
  • Sara Smith married Brad Ihrke on July 3, 1999 in Owatonna, she teaches kindergarten in Ellendale MN.
  • Jacob Johnson is a portfolio banker at Norwest Bank.
  • Kelly Torfin works for Made-in-the Shades Optical.
  • Megan Gregor is teaching English and journalism at Waconia High School.
  • Melissa Bisek is a police officer in Burnsville, MN.
  • Jeremy Schmidt works for Lloyds Barbeque in Minneapolis.
  • Sara Huntley is working with Price Daniel Communications in Colorado.
  • Raphaela Dohm is completing her second year of the Masters of International Business Program at Pepperdine University at the European Business School, Oestrich-Winkel, Germany.
  • Julie Austrums is working as a costume shop stitcher for the Guthrie Theater and Minnesota Opera in Minneapolis.
  • Nate Saul is working as a scenic carpenter for various theaters in the Twin Cities area.

Campus News:

The Gustavus campus is in the midst of January term with over 20% of the student body away from campus this month participating in internships, study abroad programs, student teaching or studying at other domestic institutions. On campus there are many unique classes being offered such as Archeology and the Bible and Analyzing Japan in addition to numerous classes and programs around a J-Term 2000 theme - Focus on Women's Studies. Next year January Term will focus on environmental studies. Winter sports, fine arts and extra-curricular activities are also in full swing. Even though there is little snow at Gustavus the new Nordic Ski Team is preparing for competition. The band and choir are preparing for southern tour destinations—the band to Florida and the choir to Texas.

Construction on campus continues as the new Campus Center will be finished in February with the completion of renovating the former dining service building. Many offices will then move to their new location in the Campus Center including Admission, Dean of Students, Student Activities and Residential Life. Construction of the new International House-Swedish House, a new residence hall/international center to replace Johnson Hall and the Swedish House that were destroyed in the March 1998 tornado, will begin this spring. Construction on an outdoor track and new soccer field stadium will begin this summer. If you have not been back to campus lately, you are encouraged to make a visit to see these exciting changes.

If you can not make it back to campus, but want to stay connected, check out the Internet site at The college is thrilled to recently have hired a web coordinator who has been busy updating the Gustavus home page. Look for more changes to alumni services on the web coming this spring.

You are invited and encouraged to attend these upcoming alumni events:

  • Naples gathering February 5 (Marco Island gathering cancelled)
  • Tucson Chapter gathering February 7
  • Phoenix Chapter gathering February 8
  • Sun City Chapter gathering February 9
  • Seattle G.I.V.E. project February 19 and Seattle Chapter gathering on March 2
  • Bay Chapter gathering March 4
  • Los Angeles Chapter gathering March 5
  • San Diego Chapter gathering March 6

Helen and Paul Baumgartner, Gustavus music faculty will perform two piano recitals in the Twin Cities on March 19, 7:00 p.m. at Wayzata Community Church and on April 9, 10:00 a.m. at Cross of Glory Lutheran Church, Brooklyn Center.

50th Anniversary Class and 50 Year Club reunions - May 27-28

A reminder that all other reunion classes (1955, 1960, 1965, 1970, 1975, 1980, 1985, 1990 and 1995) will have their reunions at Homecoming on September 29-30.

A new method of giving to the College is now available! Lutheran Brotherhood created a highly successful and popular program for Lutheran churches called Simply Giving and has just extended this opportunity to Gustavus and other Lutheran colleges. Simply Giving is an automatic bank draft program that allows you to make regular monthly gifts from a checking or savings account to the College. You do not need to be Lutheran to participate, there is no cost to you or the College for this service, and you can make changes at any time. For so many people, it is much easier to give $50 a month than to write a $600 check once a year. Please call Heather Nancarrow at (800) 726-6192 or (507) 933-7518, or e-mail her at to request more information.

Complimentary Life Insurance Offer for Gustavus Alumni

The Gustavus Alumni Association has sponsored group life and short-term medical insurance as a service to alumni for many years. Now the Alumni Association will provide complimentary life insurance as an introduction to this program.

Through a mailing in January, the Alumni Association is offering alumni ages 28 through 49 the opportunity to enroll for $10,000 term life insurance underwritten by New York Life. Coverage is at no cost to them for one year, if they can complete an enrollment card that includes a statement of good health. A year later, those who enrolled will be eligible to convert to $25,000 of paid coverage through the Gustavus Alumni Insurance Program, with no further evidence of insurability.

This "no strings attached" introductory offer, available for a very limited period, is designed exclusively for alumni not currently covered for life insurance through this Alumni Association program. For further information, please contact Meyer and Associates at 800-635-7801. Life insurance underwritten by New York Life Ins. Co., NY, NY 10010.

MEMBERS OF THE NEW MILLENIUM: Knowing that we are in a technological age, we want to encourage all alumni to get involved and get online. If you have access to a computer and the internet, we hope you will check out the Gustavus Alumni Association homepage regularly. We publish information about upcoming events, post class letters, provide information about the Alumni Office, list e-mail addresses of alumni and more. Check us out under the alumni section at

We are planning on corresponding on a regular basis with all alumni who have e-mail addresses. Please send a message to so we can get you on the list. (Be sure to keep us posted on any e-mail address changes, also.)