Class of '98
April 2002

Dear Classmates,

Thanks to all of you who submitted news about yourselves and others!  Please remember to email or call if you have something to report — or 507.933.7951.  Remember, to friends and classmates who haven't seen you in awhile, your pets, jobs, hobbies, vacations and families are VERY INTERESTING, so don't be shy about letting me know what's up with you! 

Before I launch into the newsy parts of the letter, I'd just like to update y'all on our class giving.  The goal, as you'll recall, is 40% class participation, or 209 givers.  Currently, we're at 71 donors, which is 14% of our class.  So, if 102 of you can see your way clear to give in the next month, that would be wonderful.  The Gustavus fiscal year ends on May 31, so please, please, please help us reach our goal (and surpass it, perhaps) by giving before then!  You can give online, and any amount is GREAT.  Visit as soon as possible.  Thanks.

Faculty Notes

In the last class letter, I asked you to write me with the names of faculty about whom you'd like to receive news.  Thanks to those of you who wrote or phoned in suggestions!  These folks would love to hear from you if you have time to write them a quick note — they were very humbled that you thought of them. 

For the next class letter (Fall of 2002), I'd be happy to hunt down information on more faculty members, as well as other staff or administrators you're curious about.  Just write in!  For now, here's the news I was able to collect:

Jennifer Ackil, psychology, writes: There have been a few changes around the psychology department since you were graduated:  Dr. Marie Walker, a social psychologist from Western Ontario University, joined the department a few years ago (when Dr. Miriam Goldstein left) and has quickly become a great friend and colleague to faculty and students alike.  Dr. Kelly Champion recently left the department for a job in Arizona.  And we are currently searching for a new physiological psychologist to help lighten Dr. Robinson's load as he now serves as the director of the Nobel Conferences.

On a more personal note, I was recently granted tenure (many thanks to all of you who wrote letters of support on my behalf) and am currently enjoying a sabbatical which has afforded me uninterrupted time to work on my research and writing and to take some fun trips out of Minnesota.  Some of you might also be interested to know that my husband, Brian Koeneman, recently joined the Gustavus career center as the director of internships.  My most exciting news by far, however, is that we are expecting a baby in May.  S/he could arrive any day now!  In the meantime, I always enjoy hearing about your latest endeavors, so drop me a line sometime and tell me what you're up to.  []


Florence Amamoto, English, writes:  The year after your graduation, I had a sabbatical, but instead of studying Cather and Jewett as planned, I was side-tracked by the opportunity to be part of a Japan Seminar―which included 3 weeks in Japan!  I came back as the director of curriculum II and have also been involved with the new Center for Vocational Reflection.  But teaching and working with students continue to be my deepest pleasure so it's been especially fun to see those of you who have come back for visits or otherwise kept in touch.  Best wishes to you all!  []


Claude Brew, English, writes:  Truly recovering from the tornado took a while.  Having lost thirteen of twenty trees (I love trees) from our yard, we have now replanted twelve and will add another this summer―an Ohio Buckeye (Horse Chestnut), the closest to a true chestnut that will thrive in this area.  Our eldest son is now a professor too:  of American literature at Northland College (Ashland, WI).  I have been enjoying concentrating more and more on my earlier love of nineteenth-century British literature, teaching regularly, in addition to the survey, courses in Romanticism, the Victorian Age, and the British novel.  Last summer I fulfilled a long-time dream and bought an old, used, 17' sailboat.  I love to hear from former students.  []


Eric Eliason, English, writes:  How flattering that folks from 1998 wonder what I'm up to.  Spring 1998 was an exciting time and I'm afraid life has gotten more ordinary since then.  What's not ordinary, though, is how much I still like doing the things I get to do here: read good books, talk with bright students.  I'm back living on my old lot on Grace Street, but in a new house.  I'm balancing new administrative roles―department chair, for instance―with more reading for the sheer joy of it, so I'd be glad for people to send me recommendations for books.  Maybe I'll run into some Gusties up in the Boundary Waters this summer.  []


Patricia Freiert, classics, writes:  Having decided that this will be my last year of full-time teaching I am realizing how much I will miss the Gusties and my classes.  This was my second year to teach historical perspective I, and I loved it.  This time Eric Dugdale, who will be replacing me, taught it with me and we had a lot of fun.  Next year I will continue to teach, but on a limited basis:  a first term seminar and a J-term shibori course with a service component.  This past J-term the shibori class produced very impressive results, many of which will eventually be on the shibori page of my web site.  My own shibori work flourished somehow in spite of everything else―I finally made it in the Minnesota Crafts Fair at St. Catherine's and will be there again this year, the last weekend of June.  I do not know yet about Uptown and Fiber/Metal Fairs.  A studio is next on the agenda and I hope to have the time and space to try more than scarves.  Care of my mother is continuing to occupy much of my time, but she is now in a nursing home and has just survived another crisis.  She and I went back to Indiana together last spring to where she was raised and I spent my childhood, and it was a wonderful trip full of memories and lots of new information about my family and past―I found out that I am part Italian!  After years of thinking that I was half English and half German, it added some spice to the mix!  []


Bill Heidcamp, biology, writes:  I'm not sure what kind of news alums are interested in, private or professional.  So I'll start with the private stuff.  My wife of 32 years, Fina, passed away in November of ’98 from uterine cancer.  That was extremely hard.  Two years ago I married Jean Jacobi (Pallo) who some may remember from either the chaplain's office or the academic dean's office.  I am expecting my third grandchild in August (a girl this time) and Jean has 7 grandchildren, which keeps us constantly aware of the calendar―in fact today is the first year birthday for Michael.

On the professional front, I just returned to the department after a semester leave during which I began writing a text on the use of image analysis in teaching cell biology.  The text will be in rough draft form by next January when I intend to use it for a J-term course (and make use of the students as editior/reviewers).  I am back in the chair of the department for awhile and continue my work with students on mouse melanoma metastasis.  In short, it has been a busy four years since your class graduated and promises to be even busier in the years to come.

Gustavus and the biology department have never been in better shape.  We have a lot of new talent and a program that most alums would want to come back to and do it all over again.  []


Lisa Heldke, philosophy, writes:  I'm on sabbatical, exploring what my "next big project" will be, finishing an anthology on racism and sexism, and hoping to be finalizing the publication of my book which may or may not finally be called Exotic Hunger:  Ethnic Foods And The Quest For Authenticity.  Other sabbatical activities include much work on the St. Peter Community Garden.  []


Mark Johnson, geology, and his wife are the proud parents of Ellen Elisabeth Johnson, born on January 12, 2002, in Sweden.  [I have no current contact information, but I believe he'll be returning to the U.S. and Gustavus this fall.]


Dick Martin, psychology, writes:  I am in the process of completing a textbook titled, Adult Development and Aging and hope to have it published in the next year if everything goes according to plan.  The idea for a textbook grew out of the adult development course I have taught for many years; a course that has been my favorite to teach since I was able to get to know students so much better than in any other course I taught in the department.  Some of you knew that I drove a ’66 Corvette which I loved to "tool around" in.  I sold that last year and am hoping to buy a newer model.  So far I have been able to purchase a black cap with the Corvette symbol on it.  I am enjoying my department as much as ever, and feel lucky to have been associated with so many great members of the department and interesting student majors.  []


Carolyn O'Grady, education, writes:  Okay - latest exciting news:  I threw myself into teaching this year and had a great time (so former students who had me when I was burned out will be happy to know I'm a better teacher this year!).  The education department moved Human Relations out of student teaching and put it into the regular course sequence, so I have been teaching that as a multicultural ed. class this year.  It still needs work, so I'll redesign it for next year.  I'm still teaching social foundations.  Deb Pitton has taken over most of secondary methods and I do only the reading in the content areas part (and I make students read up to 400 pages of books that aren't required for ANY class.  They hate it while they're doing it, but love it when it's done.)  Chaplain Brian and I are still plugging along on our book project on faith-based service learning (it's slow but steady progress — look for it in a couple of years at this rate).  []


Joyce Sutphen, English, writes:  I became an officially tenured member of the Gustavus faculty on April 19, 2002.  April then, was NOT "the cruellest month" for me, especially since I also learned that I'd been awarded a Loft-McKnight Award in poetry and had poems chosen by both Billy Collins and Garrison Keillor for recent compilations.  My most exciting news, however, is that I now have TWO amazing grandsons (Connor and Nathan), children of the equally amazing Alicia (Sutphen) and Mark Schimke.  []

Through the Grapevine

I know that some of the updates below aren't exactly cutting edge news — lots of year 2000 weddings and graduations to report, for example.  But I think you'll enjoy reading them anyway, so without further ado, here are our Class of 1998 updates!


  • Lance Ahlers is a manager at a Big Bowl restaurant in the Chicago area.
  • In the last class letter, I wrote that Heidi Anderson was getting married on February 2, 2002, in North Lake Tahoe, California.  Indeed she did, and in case you were wondering, her husband's name is Marc Bonner.
  • Ryan Benedict is a specialist in preventative medicine with the U. S. Army stationed in Fort Hood, Texas.  He returned recently from a two-year tour in Germany and Kosovo.
  • Angela Forsythe Beu married Joshua Beu in June of 2001.  She received a juris doctor (J.D.) degree from William Mitchell College of Law in May of 2001.  While a student at William Mitchell, Angi was the recipient of a Twenty-First Century Scholarship and was on the dean's list.  At the time she graduated, Angi planned to practice law as an associate with Gislason and Hunter, Mankato.
  • Molly Bohn is a physical therapist at Physical Therapy Specialists Clinic in West Plains, MO.
  • Chris Boudreau is a marketing representative for Federated Mutual Insurance Company in Mankato, MN.
  • Beth Russell Brandt is an elementary teacher at ACORN Dual Language Charter School in St. Paul, MN.
  • Jennifer Breutzmann is living in Chicago (with Sarah Meyer and close to Rebecca Tyrpa― they see each other all the time).  She works in finance for Crate and Barrel headquarters in the suburbs.  Sarah works for Neil Enterprises, a photo-novelty company in the suburbs as well.  She's an import-export professional a la Art Vandelay from SeinfeldJ.  Becca ran the Chicago Marathon last October, and when Sarah and Jennifer went to watch it they also saw Erin Janes running.  Both Becca and Erin finished in under 4 1/2 hours!  Erin is an OTR practicing occupational therapy in the Denver, Colorado area.  She lives in Glendale, Colorado.
  • Lisa Broughten graduated from Shenandoah University in Winchester, Virginia, with a master of science degree in occupational therapy and is now an MS OTR at the National Rehabilitation Center in Washington D.C.
  • Kevin Conrad is a graduate student at the University of Wisconsin in LaCrosse.  He's in the human performance program.
  • Tasmin Cordie graduated from Logan College of Chiropractic in April, 2002.  She will be heading back to Minnesota this fall to practice.
  • Bruce Dahlman married Tricia Miller in April of 2001.
  • Tennille Davis is teaching 5th grade at Lincoln Edison Elementary School in Las Vegas, Nevada.
  • Matt Engel and Melissa Hultgren Engel were married in August of 2000.  Matt is an attorney for Sjoberg and Tebelius, P.A.  Melissa is an elementary teacher in the Minneapolis Public Schools.
  • Joe Gold lives in Denver, Colorado.
  • Kristin Slette Haaheim was the recipient of the wedding dress stitched by Julie Austrums Saul and mentioned in the last class letter.  She married Jason Haaheim (’01) last June in Anchorage, Alaska at her home church.  Some other Gusties who made the journey and were in their wedding were Melissa Cowart, Arno Merkle '01, Scott Arnold ’01, and Ben Lindberg ’01.  Julie (Austrums)and Nate Saul also made it for the event, besides just being invaluable in helping Kristin prepare for it.  They had a second reception in Chaska, MN the following month.  They honeymooned in Prague, and took a train to visit Sarah Hammar ’01 and her husband Thomas Herzer in Halle, Germany, where they play and study organ and church music.
  • In August Jason and Kristin drove their Ford Escort across the country to California, stopping along the way at a number of National Parks.  In the Grand Tetons of Wyoming, they learned why it is a good idea to plan your hike so you finish during daylight hours; that way you can see which large animals you might be sharing the woods with!  Fortunately they made it out with all their arms and legs still attached.  They live in Santa Barbara, CA, which is about 100 miles up the coast from Los Angeles.  They share this fair town with such notables as Oprah Winfrey and John Cleese, not that they've ever sighted either of them.  They are both full-time graduate students at University of California, Santa Barbara:  Jason is pursuing his Ph.D. in electrical and computer engineering, while Kristin is working on her master’s of music (M.M.) in bassoon performance.
  • Jeremy Hahn teaches at Centerville Elementary in the Centennial School District.  He lives in White Bear Lake, MN.
  • Jessica Hansen is living in Edina, MN and teaching fifth and sixth grade at Marcy Open in Minneapolis.  She's in her first year of the master’s in teaching and learning program through Saint Mary's.
  • Andrew Hemenway bought a house in Crystal, MN.  He works for First American Funds as a wholesaler.
  • MaryAnne Hoekstra is the director of Africa Programs at Mobile Outreach Ministry in St. Paul, MN.
  • David Johnson graduated from the University of Minnesota physical therapy program with a master’s of science degree in February of 2001.  He works as a physical therapist at Connecticut Orthopedic Specialists in Orange, Connecticut.
  • Gwendolyn Kelly graduated from Northwestern College of Chiropractic in January of 2002.  She received her license, incorporated and started her chiropractic business on February 1, 2002.  She lives in Minneapolis, MN.
  • Nathan Krause married Jennifer Jackson ’00 in September of 2000.
  • Christina Zarate Larson is working as a health fitness teacher and head athletic trainer for the Blake School District.  On March 1, 2001, she married Blake Larson.
  • Deena Krohn and Alex Lindstrom ’99 married in July of 2000.
  • Kate McFadden is senior editor for Sights on Service in Golden Valley, MN.
  • Heidi Pettis and Mitchel Meyer married in October of 2000.
  • Leslie Mondeel lives in Eden Prairie, MN, and is a Registered Nurse at Healthpartners Clinic in Uptown, Minneapolis.
  • Amy Black Monskey is the HR coordinator at Oakwood Worldwide in Los Angeles, California.  She graduated from California State University in December of 2002 with an MBA in management.
  • Morgan Niebur received her master’s degree in marriage and family therapy from the Minnesota School of Professional Psychology in 2000.  She is an adjunct professor of psychology at the University of Minnesota, Crookston.
  • Keegan O'Brien left the elementary school classroom to teach middle school science in Colorado Springs at Jenkins Middle School, where she's finally using her biology degree from Gustavus!
  • Erik Olson received his master’s of education degree from the University of Minnesota, Duluth, in May of 2001.  He works for the Minnesota Conservation Corps in the Duluth, MN area.
  • Jennifer Robe is a graduate student at the Illinois College of Optometry in Chicago.
  • Kate Whitman Sallah did email with more information after January's class letter went out.  She was married to Omar Sallah in the Gambia, West Africa, this winter.  She described no less than FOUR celebrations!  "To get married here is quite complex, especially if you are marrying a Gambian man.  We first had a blessing ceremony in his village of Kerr Cherno, where I have been working for the last two years as a science teacher.  Next we had a civil marriage at the justice department to make the whole thing legal in the eyes of the world.  Then when my parents were here we had a reception in Banjul, and then a traditional ceremony in the village of Kerr Cherno."  Kate continues to work in the Peace Corps in Banjul, the Gambia.
  • Sheila Schonrock married Bob Schultz in December of 2000.  Sheila teaches seventh grade physical education in the Bloomington, MN school system.
  • Nathan Slinde is a teacher in the Chaska School District and lives in Richfield, MN.
  • Jessica Halverson Solum is executive director of the Decorah Area Chamber of Commerce in Decorah, IA.
  • Nathan Stephens is a funeral director in Redwood Falls, MN.  Before moving to Redwood Falls, Nathan lived, went to school and worked in the Twin Cities Metro area, and spent a few seasons running flags for the Minnesota Vikings.
  • Stacey Scholz and Karl Sundquist married in December of 2000.  Stacey received a juris doctor (J.D.) degree from the William Mitchell College of Law in May of 2001.
  • Sonja Roiger Timmerman is a librarian at the new St. Peter Public Library.
  • Alecia Tromiczak is an admission counselor at Gustavus.  She is presenting at the Tri-State Conference for the Midwest Area Association of College Admission Counselors this May on behalf of the Minnesota Association of Counselors of Color.
  • Michelle Anderson married Tyson Twait in May of 2001.  Michelle is a reference librarian at Gustavus.
  • Tammy Warren is a real estate salesperson at Lakewood Realty in Madison, Wisconsin.
  • Kira Showalter and Matthew Weier were married on August 11, 2001, at Unity Unitarian Church in St. Paul, MN.  There were many Gusties in attendance, including Erik Kulke ’94, Erik Williamsen, Wes Stitt ’99, and Aneka Swanson.  Kira and Matt enjoyed their honeymoon in Amsterdam and the South of France before returning home to New Haven, Connecticut where Kira is in the midwifery program at Yale School of Nursing, and Matt is a 3-D computer animator and digital graphic artist.  View some of his work at
  • Andy Widen is a sales representative at Automotive Cooling Products, Inc. in Minneapolis.
  • Rebecca Rothermel Winther is an elementary teacher.  Her husband, Michael Winther, is a social worker for the U. S. Army.  They live at Fort Drum in New York.

Gustavus News

Interim President Named: The Board of Trustees of Gustavus announced that it has selected The Reverend Dennis J. Johnson ’60 as the interim president of the College.  The Rev. Johnson succeeds Dr. Axel Steuer, the thirteenth president of the College, who announced January 21st that he was resigning at the end of the current academic year after having served as president for the last 11 years.

In 1985 he accepted the position as Vice President of Church Relations of Gustavus Adolphus College and in 1996 was named Vice President of College Relations.  During his tenure in the College Relations position, he twice served as interim Vice President for Development.  Previously, he served on both the Gustavus Board of Trustees and the Alumni Board.  He retired from Gustavus in 2000.  In the last year, he has served as the Bishop’s Associate for the Minneapolis Area Synod of the ELCA.  Dennis and his wife have two children.

Hello Walk On-line Alumni Community ( has been launched and Gusties of all ages are invited to join this meeting place for anything from small talk to debate to caring conversations.  Hello Walk at Gustavus is the sidewalk running from Uhler Hall on the north side of campus past the front of Old Main to Pittman Hall on the south side, which, for decades, was the main “artery” and gathering point on campus.  Even though the campus landscape has changed, the spirit of Hello Walk continues with you joining the conversation on the virtual Hello Walk.  Associate professor of political science Chris Gilbert will guest host a discussion on politics for the months of May and June.  Check it out at

Reunion Weekend for the 50 Year Club and Class of 1952 is May 31 & June 1.  A schedule of events and registration material was sent in April.

 he Gustavus Alumni Fund closes May 31 – help us reclaim 50 percent participation and our national recognition for alumni giving.  All gifts, no matter what the size are appreciated.

Homecoming 2002 & All Sports Reunion Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of Intercollegiate Athletics is September 21.  Homecoming Weekend will include reunion gatherings for classes of 1957, 1962, 1967, 1972, 1977, 1982, 1987, 1992, 1997 and 2002.  Class reunions will be held in Bloomington at the Radisson South Hotel Friday evening, and Homecoming events including class and all-sports reunion events will return to campus for activities Saturday.  A schedule of events and registration material will be mailed in August.  A schedule will be published in the summer and fall issues of the of the Quarterly.

It was an extremely successful winter sports season at Gustavus.  Women’s hockey won the MIAC regular season championship with an undefeated record and advanced to the Frozen Four National Tournament, finishing third in the nation. The men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams both won MIAC titles, the first time in Gustavus history.  The women’s Nordic ski team won its first MIAC championship.  Men’s basketball placed second in the MIAC during the regular season and MIAC playoffs, and advanced to the Sweet Sixteen before losing to number one ranked Carthage College.  Men’s hockey finished second in the MIAC regular season and playoffs.  Women’s basketball finished fourth in the MIAC and advanced to the conference playoff for the first time ever. The women’s indoor track team finished second and both the men’s Nordic ski team and men’s indoor track teams placed fourth in MIAC action.  The women’s gymnastics team advanced to the NCGA National Championships.  Five Gustavus coaches were named Coach of the Year in their respective sports – Jon Carlson (women’s swimming & diving), Mike Carroll (women’s hockey), Mickey Haller (women’s basketball), Scott Jerome (women’s Nordic skiing), and Brett Petersen (men’s hockey).

Evelyn Sponberg Young’s 90th birthday celebration

The Twin Cities Chapter of the Alumni Association invites all Gusties and friends of former Gustavus food service director and 2002 Alumni Fund Chair Evelyn Sponberg Young ’33 to her 90th birthday celebration on July 25, 2002 at Mt. Olivet Lutheran Church, 5025 Knox Avenue South, Minneapolis, at 6:30 p.m. with a 7:30 p.m. program.

Evelyn will be serving her famous red velvet cake and all guests will receive a loaf of her famous Swedish rye bread. A book of remembrance will be compiled as a gift for Evelyn.  Please send remembrances and stories of Evelyn to Alumni Office, Gustavus Adolphus College, 800 West College Avenue, St. Peter, MN 56082.  Reservations should be made with the Alumni Office at 800-487-8437, e-mail at or visit our web site at, alumni, events.

NOBEL CONFERENCE® XXXVIII, The Nature of Nurture – The Early Years, will be held on campus October 1 & 2.  The conference will explore the forces that are most important in shaping a child’s personality, gender identity, and language acquisition and learning ability.  History, discoveries, research, and clinical studies will all be surveyed to draw a better understanding of biological forces and environmental influences on brain development.

For more news and information about Gustavus, check out the web site at

In closing, a reminder that it won't be too terribly long until we're all together celebrating five years out — Homecoming weekend, September 26 and 27, 2003!  Until then, keep the news and updates rolling in, and have a fabulous summer. 

Remember to give a monetary gift before May 31 if possible, and thanks for all the ways you support Gustavus, through donations, recruitment of future Gusties, and positive words and thoughts.


Kari Lipke, 507.933.7951