Class of '98
March 2007

I hope the New Year finds you all well!!

I had the opportunity to attend an alumni function this past month and it was great.  I went to the Theater and Dance production of “Cherry Orchard.”  Afterwards there was a gathering of Gustavus alumni and supporters.  There was plenty of opportunity to catch up on what is going on and meet new Gustie friends.  What a great way to see former classmates and other Gustie alums!  I know many of you would like to chat with former classmates, professors or other Gustavus staff.  I encourage you all to participate in the activities at Gustavus, whether it is a sporting event, fine arts event or a conference that is being held on campus.  You would be surprised at how many familiar faces you may find as well as the incredible changes that occur on campus.

Class participation is awesome and we will continue to stress that point as we approach our ten-year class reunion.  Remember we need help planning the reunion and we can always use help with class letters, so let us know what you would like to do!

-Gigi Wait Dobosenski

1998 Co-class Agent


Many exciting things are happening to members of our class.  It is possible that some are missed.  We want to hear what is going on in your lives!  If you have something you want to add, please visit the alumni page on the Gustavus website or email us at:

New weddings:

  • Erin Gillespie married Justin Ohnstad on June 10, 2006.
  • Ryan Hagemeier married Stacy Cantrell on August 5, 2006.
  • Timothy “TJ” Kudalis married Amanda Gordon on July 15, 2006.  The couple currently resides in Minneapolis, MN.
  • Christine Nelson married Tom Karki on August 5, 2006.  Christine currently performs in the area premier of “Funny Business,” a new musical at Hennepin Stages in Minneapolis.
  • Jennifer Breutzmann married Michael Fournier on July 15, 2006.
  • Sheryl Filby married James Williams on September 15, 2006.  The couple resides in Duluth, MN.
  • Christina Coleman married Ryan Montgomery on October 14, 2006.  The couple resides in Plymouth, MN.
  • Thomas Kelsey married Hope Dahl on October 27, 2006.  The couple resides in St. Paul, MN.
  • Shannon Dolan married Brian Bell on June 6, 2006.  Shannon also graduated from the University of Minnesota with a master’s of science in occupational therapy, December 2001.
  • Joe Wahlberg married Katie Rykkeli on September 23, 2006.  Joe works at St. John’s hospital in Maplewood, MN.
  • Jennifer Robe married John Reiland July 8, 2006.  Jennifer is an optometrist for Dr. J.J. Marsh in Oshkosh WI.
  • Ben Reitan married Emily Hemstreet on April 29, 2006 in San Diego CA.  The couple currently resides in Chaska, MN and Ben practices law at the Reitan Law Offices in Mankato and Chaska.
  • Kristi Pettis married Mark Osterlund on August 4, 2006.  The couple currently lives in Billings, MT.

New babies:

  • Matt and Melissa (Hultgren) Engel had their second child, William Arthur, on October 18, 2006.
  • Pete and KellyAnne Eklund had their first child, Peyton John, on February 5, 2006.  Pete is a personal trainer at Life Time Fitness and is attending school at Argosy University to be a cardiac sonographer.
  • Matt Weier and Kira (Showalter) Weier had their second son, Ian Xavier, on September 25, 2006.  They currently reside in Minneapolis, MN.
  • Brian Carlson and Jennifer (Seel) Carlson had twin daughters, Julie Grace and Cameron Lees, on January 12, 2006.
  • Heather McClelland and Todd Gienapp had a daughter, Caroline Kaye, on November 1, 2006.
  • Paul Tarnowski and Heidi Tarnowski welcomed a new daughter, Aurora Grace on September 10, 2004.
  • Terra Shockman and Blake Larson welcomed a daughter, Elsa Rose on July 21, 2006.  Terra also began as a family practice physician at the Health East Roselawn Clinic in St. Paul November of 2006.
  • Kristi (Shuck) and Benjamin ’97 Kiehne welcome Jayce Kiehne, born July 10, 2005.  They currently reside in Harmony, MN.
  • Heidi Engman Lindh and Eric Lindh welcomed the birth of their son, Isaac Anderson, November 7, 2005.

Professions and degrees:

  • Jen Hedin Gorney is a director within Best Buy’s Resource Group.  She currently resides in Carver, MN.
  • Chris Sjoberg is a nurse practitioner splitting his time between orthopedics and emergency department of Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, WA.
  • Matt Weier is technical director at Pixel Farm Interactive.  Kira Showalter Weier is a nurse midwife at Park Nicollet in the Twin Cities.
  • Aaron Juhl is the elementary music specialist and gifted and talented coordinator of Chilton School District, WI. 
  • Stacy Dieckman Juhl is the 5th grade band director for Hortonville School District in Hortonville, WI.
  • Kristin Crawford started a wedding design company called “The Dazzling Details” and currently resides in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
  • Dawn Skilbred completed a master’s of education in school counseling at Lynchburg College in May 2006 and currently works as a school counselor for Oak Grove Middle School (Bloomington Public Schools).
  • Carrie Nordlund completed a Ph.D. in political science from Brown University in May 2006 and is an assistant professor at Dickinson College in Pennsylvania.
  • Melissa Seitzer is working on the HBO program “Entourage” as a costumer.
  • Duane Buck is a sales coordinator for Packaging Inc.
  • Becca Pyle is a clinical research assistant at Exelixis, Inc.
  • Molly Milinkovich Wengler works for the Minnetonka School District as a 4th grade classroom teacher.
  • Heidi Anderson Bonner is attending the University at Albany, SUNY working on a Ph.D. in criminal justice.
  • Megan Gregor-Grossman received her master’s in English curriculum at the University of Minnesota in May 2006.  She is currently a language arts teacher for Waconia School District, Waconia, MN.
  • Jessica Hansen Carr is a kindergarten teacher for Minneapolis Public Schools
  • Grady and Tiffany Tharaldson Hollenbeck had a baby girl, Chloe Violet, June 2006.  They also have an optometry clinic in Redmond WA.
  • In May 2006, a front page article in Minnesota Women’s Press features Maura Shuttleworth as a competitor in the International Powerlifting - World Bench Press Championship.  She is also an assistant county attorney in Washington County.
  • Matt Engel was selected as a Minnesota Rising Star Lawyer designating the top 2.5% of young lawyers for 2007.  He was featured in the Minneapolis/St Paul Magazine, Minnesota Law & Politics and Twin Cities Business Monthly- December 2006 issues.
  • Clinton Dietrich is currently pursuing a master’s of history at the University of Manitoba.

Wanted:  Class Agent

·        Qualifications:  Gustavus graduate from the class of 1998

·        Responsibilities:  Re-connect with classmates by helping to plan our up-coming 10-year class reunion, helping to write class letters and helping with fundraising for the college.

·        If Interested:  Contact Erin, Gigi, or Barb Larson Taylor ’93 at the Alumni Office by emailing:

Hey guys―we would really like to find a third class agent to help with the class agent responsibilities.  While it is not time-consuming, with our 10-year reunion fast approaching, we need to add another person to the group.

Wanted:  Class members for the 10 year reunion committee

·        Qualifications:  Gustavus graduates or non-graduates from the class of ’98

·        Responsibilities:  Our last reunion was great and we want to make sure this one is too!

·        We’re looking for classmates to help plan and organize our 10-year reunion in the fall of 2008.  We’ll start planning this fall and would love to have your input and help.

If interested:  Contact Erin or Gigi

Contact Information

Erin Tripp Halverson
Gigi Wait Dobosenski
Alumni Office


Alumni Awards Announced

The Alumni Association announces the following 2007 awards selected by the Alumni Board of Directors. 

Greater Gustavus Award – Given to those who, by deed, have notably advanced and aided Gustavus Adolphus College: 

  • Russ and Jan (Ledin) Michaletz ’74 ’74

Distinguished Alumni Citations – Recognizes outstanding and exceptional professional achievement

  • Paul Peterson ’94, principal, St. Peter High School, Minnesota State High School Principal of the Year.
  • Margaret Anderson Kelliher ’90, house speaker, Minnesota House of Representatives.

First Decade Awards – Recognizes early professional achievement

  • Jennifer Pleuss Spande ’97, diplomat, Political and Economic Section, U.S. Embassy, Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
  • Alexander Hill ’97, senior scientist, Medtronic, Inc.

The Greater Gustavus Award and Distinguished Alumni Citations will be presented at the Alumni Banquet on Saturday, May 26, and the First Decade Awards will be presented during Homecoming Weekend, October 13.


Energy Wars

Minnesota colleges and universities competed during February in the Campus Energy Wars.  The Campus Energy Wars challenge was to see which campus conserved the most energy throughout the month.  Gustavus students and faculty made a concerted effort to change their behaviors by turning off unused lights in their dorm rooms or classrooms, unplugging appliances, and lowering thermostats to reduce energy consumption.  The culminating event was a campus competition to pedal stationary bicycles to see who could pump the most energy into an electrical generator supplied by the Minnesota Department of Commerce.

Linnaeus Symposium Celebrates Birth of Carl Linnaeus

In celebration of the 300th anniversary of the birth of Carl Linnaeus, the Swedish botanist who established genus/species used today, Gustavus will host its second Linnaeus Symposium: Linnaeus @ 300 on Wednesday, April 25, 2007.  The daylong conference will feature presentations by ethnobotanists, Mark Plotkin and Paul Alan Cox, Linnaean scholar and impersonator Hans Odoo, and author Paula Robbins, who has written about Pehr Kalm, one of Linnaeus’s “apostles” to America.  The day will also include tours of Linnaeus Arboretum, a special photography exhibition by Anders Bjorling ’58, music, dance, and a Scandinavian feast.  The festivities begin at 10:00 a.m. and close at 9:00 p.m., so save the date and join us at Gustavus this spring.  For more information, go to <> or call 507/933-6181.

Building Bridges Diversity Conference

The 12th annual student-led “Building Bridges” Diversity Conference is scheduled for March 10, 2007.  The conference is titled “Finding Your Voice: Putting Awareness Into Action.”  The Conference focuses on the power we have within our society, culture, and world to provoke and promote change.  The keynote speaker this year is Lisa Ling, special correspondent for the Oprah Winfrey Show, host of the award-winning documentary series Explorer on the National Geographic Channel, and contributor to the Oxygen Network.  For more information, go to:  <>.

Upcoming Alumni Events

  • Building Bridges Conference - March 10
  • Tucson Gustie Gathering - March 16
  • Phoenix Gustie Gathering - March 17
  • Easter Bunny Breakfast at Mt. Olivet Church in Minneapolis - March 17
    Sun City Gustie Gathering - March 18
  • Linnaeus Symposium - April 25
  • Gustavus Association of Congregations – April 28
  • MAYDAY! Peace Conference: Community Food Security - May 2
  • Celebrating 75 years of the Gustavus Choir - May 5
  • Celebrating 75 years of Theatre Reunion  - May 11-12 <>
  • Class of 1962 - 45th Anniversary Reunion – May 25 & 26
  • Class of 1957 - 50th Anniversary Reunion – May 25 & 26
  • 50 Year Club Reunion – May 26