Class of '98
Happy New Year! It's been awhile since the last class letter. If I missed your information in this letter, OR got any part of it wrong, OR you haven't updated the Alumni Office with your latest contact info (address, phone, e-mail) in awhile, please get in touch with me! My contact info is email@example.com, 507.933.7951, 800 West College Avenue, St. Peter, MN 56082.
Yes, that's right, I'm still at Gustavus! I work in the Chaplains' Office and the Community Service Center coordinating programs, advising students and student groups, and dabbling in many different areas such as website construction, letter of reference writing, retreat planning—the list goes on. I'm also a Head Resident in Rundstrom Hall where I live with my dog, Stella, and about 96 undergrads. Gustavus is still attracting a lot of great people, and it is very much fun to watch them develop leadership skills, learn what is important and interesting to them, and, of course, play.
Before I go too much into current events at Gustavus though, here's the latest on some of our fellow ’98 graduates. Some of this is self-reported via e-mail, phone, even Christmas letters. However, the self-reporters reported much of it ABOUT other people, so make sure you read! You might find yourself in the mix.
Through the Grapevine
- Heidi Anderson is a program supervisor at the City of Sunnyvale in California, and she is also going to school part-time for a master’s degree in criminal justice administration. In non-work related news, she will be getting married February 2 in Lake Tahoe.
- Kristin Anderson is working on her master’s degree at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. At the time I'm writing, she's in Oregon with her fiancé.
- Julie Austrums and Nate Saul are married. Nate works for Vee Production Services where he's building sets and beginning to lead projects. He's also teaching himself to play guitar! Julie is a craftsperson at Costumes and Creatures, and she made a wedding dress for a friend in Alaska this summer.
- Sarah Behnken just moved to Edina where she lives in a townhouse with a friend from high school. She teaches 2nd grade at Tesseract School in Eagan.
- Betsey Bohline is a nurse, and she just accepted a new job at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in labor and delivery. She lives in Edina with Heather Lang and Kristina Johnson, both classmates, and Kristina's sister. Heather works in marketing for Heartland America, a catalogue company. Kristina works in communications for Stratis Health, a non-profit organization that investigates quality of care concerns for Medicare beneficiaries. She's working on her master’s degree in education at St. Thomas, even though she always said she didn't want to teach. Some things DO change
- Scott Brown is living in California now, according to the new tenants of the apartment he used to occupy. Drop me a line, Scott!
- Carolyn Christensen is doing marketing at Clear Channel Entertainment in the theatrical producing division. She spends quite a bit of time working on the websites for the shows. Right now, her company has The Producers on Broadway. The most exciting project she's working on is Sweet Smell of Success. Go check out www.sweetsmellthemusical.com if you'd like to see some of her work. The story is from a movie of the same name that came out in the 1950's. It's a pretty dark show about Walter Winchell, one of the first gossip columnists. Carolyn says that after working in the biz for three years, she's really starting to become a huge musical theatre geek! In life outside of work (and aren't we all glad there is such a thing!) Carolyn is living down in the East Village, New York City, with her boyfriend, Brian. She also actually spends a fair amount of time with Gustavus alumni despite being so far from home. Sten Severson ’95 and Chelsea Rohweder are both in the area now.
- Jayme Cruthoff lives in Idaho and is probably using her physics background to plan roads, taking into account traffic patterns, to ensure the best traffic flow possible. Not 100% certain about this, but it was the best available information at the time the letter went to print.
- CloEve (Anderson) Demmer is working at Luther Seminary as the Director of the Sustaining Fund.
- Gigi (Wait) Dobosenski graduated with a master’s in the art of teaching-life science from MSU last December. She is currently working at the Minnesota New Country School in Henderson as an advisor. The school is a charter school that was recently voted the "coolest school in America," and is a leader in education reform—an advisor is a teacher/administrator all in one. She and husband, Matt ’99, are enjoying son, Gavin, who is 16 months old!
- Pete Eklund lives in Burnsville, MN, and works as the personal training manager at Lifetime Fitness in Apple Valley.
- Lindsey (Anderson) Fabian married Pete Fabian last July. They live in Mounds View, very close to both of their families. Lindsey earned a master’s degree in public health in September of 2000, and she is currently employed in the same department from which she earned her degree—the School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota. She works in behavioral epidemiology studying patterns of teen substance use and abuse—alcohol, tobacco and drugs. She gets to travel, work on federally funded research grants and speak at national conferences. Lindsey keeps in close touch with several Gustie friends—she'll be in classmate Adina Miller's wedding this May—and she sees other Gusties in passing occasionally. Can't swing a cat without hitting a Gustie! Not that either Lindsey or I advocate for the swinging of cats.
- Karol (Afdahl) Gilbertson lives in Washington, just south of Seattle. Her husband, Eric ’97, is in his medical residency there. Karol teaches first grade and is going back to school for a master’s degree in education.
- Jen (Hedin) Gorney is working as a senior consultant at Cap Gemini Ernst & Young. When she's home on the weekends (she travels full-time during the week), she enjoys spending time with her husband, Keith—it will be three years of marriage for them in 2002!
- Lisa Hinds works for the Better Business Bureau. Her boyfriend, Troy, is a corrections officer.
- Amber Heckman is engaged to fiancé, Chris.
- Mary Ann (Dodd) Hermansen is still teaching at Appleton North High School and working on her master's degree in curriculum and instruction at Marian College in Fond du Lac, WI.
- Sara Huntley is living in Denver, CO. A great vacation destination. Now you all know someone with whom you can stay for free! It would probably help if you actually knew Sara in college though. She is working for the National Renewable Energy Laboratory as a conference planner, which keeps her extremely busy!
- Jeremy Jensen is a music therapy intern at Scripps Hospital in San Diego, CA.
- Melissa Johnson is in her second year at Luther Seminary. She's on the youth and family ministry track, but also takes some M.Div. courses. She spent a month volunteering at Holden Village in Washington this August. Her apartment mates include her sister, Heidi, and fellow Lutheran Volunteer Corps alum and classmate, Ivy Borgstrom, who is also attending Luther Seminary.
- Carl Lockrem fundraises for Catholic Charities. He will marry his fiancé, Carlie, in June.
- Tom Matchinsky married Kathryn in November. They live in Saint Louis Park.
- Kyle and Melissa (Golberg) Molin just got new carpeting. The color is boulder tan. Melissa is teaching 9-12 grade English in Woodbury at a Charter School. She just got elected to the school board for a two-year term as well. She absolutely loves the school and her work. Kyle works for Lutheran Brotherhood in financial services. He spends a lot of time visiting with folks in their homes as they investigate the best ways to manage their money.
- Chris Nelson is in the musical Side Show at Park Square Theatre in Saint Paul. It was nominated for Tony Awards in 1998, and her director actually wrote the script and the song lyrics. Chris is in the chorus ensemble, and is an understudy to one of the two female leads. She'll be playing the lead in the January 31st performance, so grab tickets while you can! If you miss Side Show, you can catch Chris next in Summer in the Shadows at the History Theatre. It starts in March. Chris shares an apartment with classmate, Nickie Kromminga, who is choreographing like mad. She's done recent work for Youth Performance Company, Mounds Park Academy and Valleyfair. Nickie is also sharing a role in How to Talk Minnesotan―she's in half the performances. This past summer, Nickie and Chris worked on a show called You Betcha: The Making of a Minnesota Boy Band. Nickie choreographed the whole show and played the choreographer in the show. Chris played an obsessed fan. Not a real stretch for either of them, but surely tons of fun. The parody re-opens this spring, probably in the Loring Playhouse.
- Brad Peterson lives in Woodbury and works for the Greater Twin Cities United Way. He's in the process of applying to law schools right now as well. This August, he and classmate, Amy Miller, will marry. Amy is teaching English at St. Anthony High School.
- Emily Pohland moved out to Washington, DC in January of 2000 and is working in investment banking for Greystone Corporation, a commercial real estate firm.
- Alicia Sutphen Schimke, husband, Mark, and son, Connor, welcomed Nathaniel Jeffrey Schimke on November 6th. At his two-month check-up he weighed in at 14 pounds 4 ounces and measured 24 inches long. Alicia says he's a very mellow, sweet baby, unless he's getting shots! Alicia still works for Minnesota Life as a Systems Analyst. Mark works for Ambient Consulting as a computer consultant. He works with the Department of Corrections on computer systems in prisons right now. Connor is 2 1/2 years old, and is about to have his tonsils out. The Schimke cat, Bacchus, is very good with the kids and a lovable feline all around.
- Becky Vanderwerf is engaged to Kevin Meyers.
- Jennifer White was getting ready to take the Bar Exam this summer. Informants believe she passed.
- Katie Whitman signed on for a third year in the Peace Corps. She lives in Banjul, The Gambia, West Africa, and will soon marry a Gambian man. I talked with her brother, and he was going to e-mail more details, so maybe I'll have more to share in the next class letter!
You may be tempted to skip this part, but please read. Because money does matter for a couple of very important reasons.
Reason #1: Class Agents get PUBLIC RECOGNITION and REWARDS at the annual Class Agent meeting if their class does the best for their decade in either amount of money raised, percentage of donors who gave, or most improved class participation. Obviously this is VERY IMPORTANT.
Okay, so that may not be the most important reason for you to give. But here are some solid facts about why your money matters, how to give, and what alumni money is used for:
A Few Basic Facts
· Gustavus' fiscal year begins June 1st and ends May 31st, which is different from our fiscal years, which follow the calendar year. So, you still have time to give this Gustavus fiscal year.
· Gifts to Gustavus are tax deductible.
· This Gustavus fiscal year, the Alumni Office has set a goal of 40% alumni giving. For our class, that means we need 209 people to participate by giving a monetary gift. So we need everyone who gave last year (or the equivalent number of people) PLUS 105 people who haven't given before to participate. Let's do better than 40% though—help pick up the slack for classes that don't reach their 40% mark by showing them how it's done! Don't let the bystander effect keep you from making a donation as soon as you canJ
The Importance of Regular Participation
· Alumni participation percentage is very important. I think many of us are still in transition and don't have a lot of money to give, but regular giving of any amount is really the most important thing.
· That's because 1) Major corporations and foundations look at alumni participation percentage in making their decision to give grants to the college. 2) Alumni participation is one of the criteria that magazines like U.S. News and World Report use when ranking national colleges. Strong alumni participation helps keep Gustavus competitively ranked.
· The measuring of alumni participation percentage starts over every Gustavus fiscal year, so the regular giving piece is extremely important.
What Alumni Money Does
· The Gustavus Alumni Fund supports over 170 different student organizations, attracts and retains super faculty members, supports scholarships, and provides opportunities for students to study abroad. Contributions also help the college offer the many extracurricular activities that enhance the educational experience. By supporting The Gustavus Alumni Fund, we are helping to make it possible for others to achieve success, both in and out of the classroom, just as it was made possible for us, in part by the giving of alumni before us.
· Every dollar that you donate does make a difference in the quality of education and experience that students have at Gustavus. It's really true—I see it happen for the students I work with.
· Although general gifts to the Alumni Fund are encouraged because they allow administrators to use money where it is most currently needed, you can choose specific areas that you want your money to go toward. There's a place in the on-line form to note your choice, or if you mail in a check, you can include a note with it indicating your choice.
How to Give
· You can give on-line at https://secure.gustavus.edu/giving/giving.cfm. It is secure, easy, and there are a variety of options. I've used the form with no trouble, and if I can do it, really anyone with internet access canJ
· Mail a pledge or check to Gustavus
Gustavus Adolphus College
Office of Institutional Advancement (or the Alumni Office if you prefer)
800 West College Avenue
Saint Peter, MN 56082
Fun Examples of What Your Gift Might Do
· $5.00 a month to Gustavus and you could:
Help buy 1 keg (of root beer) and ice cream for floats by the Peer Assistants
Supply one season's worth of pucks for the hockey team
Buy one library acquisition
Buy a pair of waders for freshwater biology studies
· $10.00 a month to Gustavus and you could:
Pay a student's tuition, room and board for one day
Provide communion for one year in Christ Chapel
Help two students buy a passport to study abroad
Help buy sheet music for a new song for the Gustavus Choir
· $20.00 a month to Gustavus and you could:
Help hire the square dance caller for freshmen orientation
Pay for a student's half-hour music lessons for the semester
Pay for a round of golf for the golf team
Buy a micropipettor for cell/molecular biology
Hi! My name is Tracey Hanson. I’m a senior, double majoring in Communication Studies and Business Management. I’ve worked in the Alumni Office all four years and can hardly believe that I’m in the middle of my last J-Term! After a longer-than-usual Christmas break, it’s great to be back on campus. Instead of taking a class (and doing homework) this J-Term, I’m spending my time slaving away in the Alumni Office. It’s great to have the extra time to relax and do other activities that J-Term allows. Having unlimited time at home each night has made for some great cooking! And getting to watch “Friends” without worrying about the homework you should be doing instead is also a plus!
The campus is full of life and excitement. The theme for J-Term 2002 is "Our Global Village," and the month will be a celebration of cultural diversity as we grapple with social, political, economic and philosophical aspects of our ever-shrinking world neighborhood. Faculty are offering 29 different classes that tie into this global theme, many of which are travel courses. Examples include Islam and Culture, and Chinese Cooking and Culture. This year, 2319 students are enrolled in J-Term courses, with many studying abroad, participating in internships, student teaching or studying at other domestic institutions. I get very jealous when I read e-mails from my roommates who are studying in warm, sunny Australia. J-Term themes for the coming years include “Service-Learning” (2003) and “Undergraduate Research.” (2004).
Winter athletics are also in full swing! Gustie teams are off to a great start. The men’s basketball team leads the MIAC with a conference record of 6-1, 11-1 overall. They are also ranked in the top ten in the nation in the NCAA Division III Men’s Basketball Ranking. The women’s hockey team also posts an outstanding record. They are currently 6-0-0 in the MIAC and ranked fourth in the U.S. College Women’s Hockey Online Poll. It has been exciting to watch our sports teams compete this winter!
Gustie music ensembles are also very busy. The Gustavus Band will embark on an international tour this J-Term. The band is touring Sweden and Norway, presenting “Music from America.” The tour dates are January 16 through February 10. The tour concludes with a homecoming performance at 4 p.m. Feb. 10 in Christ Chapel. The Gustavus Choir is busy preparing for their tour of the Midwest during Touring Week in February, concluding with their home concert Feb. 16 in Christ Chapel. The Gustavus Orchestra will tour Minnesota, the Dakotas, Colorado, Kansas and Iowa.
You are invited and encouraged to attend these upcoming alumni events:
February 2 Chicago Chapter event - 6:00 p.m. dinner, 7:30 p.m.
Gustavus Choir Concert, Our Saviour's Lutheran Church, 815 S. Washington St., Naperville, IL
February 16 Naples Chapter event - Naples Beach Club, 851 Gulf Shore Boulevard, Naples
11:30 a.m. social, 12:30 p.m. luncheon
February 17 Vero Beach Chapter event - Dawn (Ekstrom ’67) and Ted Michael residence
2506 Ocean Drive, Vero Beach
12:30 p.m. social, 1:30 p.m. luncheon
March 7 San Diego Chapter event
March 8 Tucson Chapter gathering
March 9 Phoenix Chapter gathering
March 10 Sun City Chapter gathering
More information will be sent to alumni and friends in these chapter areas.
RSVP to Alumni Office at 800-487-8437 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
As I prepare to graduate in June, I find it increasingly hard to think about leaving this place. It hardly seems possible that four years have flown by, and that in six months I, too, will be considered an alum. I will always carry with me fond memories of my four years here. GO GUSTIES!!!
A Gustie Fun Fact: Feel Good About Gustavus Today Because. . .
…the College has donated three acres (with the promise of more if needed) of land to a Community Garden for the Saint Peter Community. This past growing season was the third year of the Garden, which gets more participants each time. The physical plant works the land every spring, and keeps a water truck full for community gardeners to use. The campus chapter of Habitat for Humanity donated a garden shed last year to keep seeds, soil, fertilizer and tools. The garden is important to the whole community, but especially to the Somali and Latino populations within the community. Many Somali and Latino refugees and immigrants to this community come from agricultural backgrounds, but often live in housing that doesn't have yard room for them to grow their own food.
That's it for this letter! Next time, I'll include a section with updates on any faculty or staff member you'd like to read about, so send requests to me via e-mail or snail mail by mid-March.
Thanks for reading, and for considering a gift before May 31st! Take care, all, and keep in touch.