Class of '99
March 2004

Dear Class of 1999,

At the end of January, the Gustavus Choir began its 2004 Tour with a concert at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in St. Paul.  As an alumnus of the choir, I took advantage of the opportunity and rounded up a bunch of old Gustie choir friends and made plans to attend the concert.  I took special interest in this concert not only because of my connection to this group, but because Gloria Dei Church is where Gustavus' First Lady, Susan (Pepin '65) Peterson, serves as senior pastor.  President Peterson '64 was slated to speak at intermission in addition to hosting a reception after the concert, so I was looking forward to seeing some friendly faces.

It was a cold, cold night, and I wasn't sure how many people would brave the elements to attend this event.  However, upon reaching the church, it became clear that I was wrong.  In fact, I could barely find a place to park.  Being my normal self, I was running a little late that night, so managed to walk in just as the choir was getting in place for their entry to the sanctuary.  As I entered the church, the enthusiasm in the air was contagious and my mind immediately drifted back to my time with this group and the utter excitement and anticipation of the first concert of the tour.

The concert was excellent.  Dr. Peterson made some nice remarks at intermission, and the reception after the event was ever-so Lutheran, complete with an assortment of bars, cookies, and a "real nice lady" pouring coffee out of a silver urn.

That night, as a gentle snow fell, it occurred to me that the Promise of Gustavus is something that is special and different for everyone.  For me, it was the chance to re-live the thrill of the first concert of the Choir tour.  For others it's attending Nobel Conference or cheering on the basketball team.  Whatever it may be to you, I encourage you to make a concerted effort to experience first hand the Promise of Gustavus.  Trust me…you're gonna LOVE IT!

Phil Eidsvold

1999 Co-class Agent

A Note from Jesse~

Before we start the updates, I must apologize for the delay in getting this information to you.  I know that in my last letter, I promised this information in November.  I also know that you are probably not interested in excuses, but with the peak time of year at work on top of very busy holidays…the letter slipped off of the top of my list (though this must be better than waiting over a year for the updates…I think we are getting a little better!)  I just want to let you know that I take full responsibility, but hope that you will enjoy all of these updates, despite them arriving "late."  Please continue to send updated information to  It is truly an honor to keep you up-to-date on our classmates; please send more information to share!

Jesse Torgerson

1999 Co-class Agent 

  • KRISTI MECHELKE KRAMER and her husband, Mark, celebrated the birth of their first child!  Abbie was born on June 16, 2003.
  • JOY JOHNSON received her master's degree in occupational therapy from Western Michigan University.  She is currently working as an occupational therapist for the Laurel's HealthCare Company, and lives in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
  • MICHAEL OLDEMEYER lives in Minneapolis and is working as an energy scheduler at NRG Power Marketing.
  • ERIN BYE OLSON married her husband, Christopher, on October 29 in 2002.  The couple is living in North Branch, MN, and Erin is the communications coordinator for Family Pathways, a regional social services non-profit organization.
  • BEN HALLBERG was married to Sarah Jorgenson '02, in October of 2002.  They now live in Grand Marais, where Ben is an insurance agent for MSI Insurance and Country Insurance and Financial Services.
  • DIANE LENTZ SNOW is currently living outside of Boston with her husband, Lincoln, and their two-year old daughter, Hannah.  Diane is working for Clear Channel Entertainment's Concert Promotion Division.
  • AMY BERGMAN married JOHN KOPP on July 15, way back in 2000!  Amy is a kindergarten teacher at St. Charles Elementary School.  John works for IBM as a service planner.  The couple lives in Rochester.
  • DAN ELLING is living in Washington, DC, and is a legislative assistant in health policy for Congressman Jim Ramstad.  Dan is also pursuing a master's degree in political management at George Washington University.
  • CHRISTOPHER MENSING was married to Gretchen Blink in December of 2003.  He is currently employed as a biologist for the United States Fish & Wildlife Service in East Lansing, Michigan.
  • JILL WINDSCHITL DOCKTER married husband, Blaine, in October 2002.  Jill is an administrative coordinator at Microsoft Corporation.  The couple lives in Duvall, Washington.
  • JESSICA JOHNSON is editor of two (TWO!) weekly newspapers in northern Illinois:  The Mendota Reporter and The Amboy News.  Jessie was recently honored by the Illinois Press Association with an award at the Better Newspapers Contest in Fall 2003. 
  • AMY BENSON HEILMAN and her husband, Roy '00, are living in Boston while Amy pursues her master's degree to become a physician's assistant.  They plan to move back home to Minnesota in September 2004, just in time for our 5-year reunion!
  • ALLISON ADRIAN recently completed her master's degree in ethnomusicology at UCLA.  She is currently pursuing her doctorate in the same field at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities.  Alli and her fiancé, Spencer Gerberding, are planning their wedding that will take place in June 2004. 
  • RYAN WENDLANDT is living in Hoyt Lakes, MN.  He is a secondary school English teacher for Mesabi East Schools in Aurora, MN.
  • ROSS SCHERMER is a Ph.D. candidate in electrical engineering at the University of Minnesota.  He was recently married to Jaime Peterson '01 in October 2003 in Bird Island, MN.  The couple currently lives in Roseville.
  • DEBORAH KOSKI MEESTER married husband, Aaron, in October 2003.  Deborah is an Escrow Closer for Larson Abstract.  The couple lives in Little Falls, MN.
  • AMY EGGERS DUNLOP married husband, Steve, in July 2003.  Amy is a therapeutic specialist at Augustana Health Care Center in Minneapolis.  Amy and Steve are living in Lauderdale.
  • CORY MEHAN is living in Minneapolis and is working as a confidential specialist in the Property Management Department of the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority (phew!).
  • SHARI KOENTOPF married Jeffrey Solheim in September 2003.  The couple lives in Belle Plaine, and Shari is a children's mental health case manager for LeSueur County.
  • NATHAN BANNICK is a senior loan officer for Tradition Mortgage.  He is also [more importantly] the proud father of Willem James who was born on December 6, 2002!  Nathan currently lives in Carver, MN.
  • KRISTY HOWELL is proud to announce that she and fiancé, Brad Antilla, were married in September of 2003!
  • ALYSSA MALINSKI and STEVE ERICKSON were also married in September 2003.  Alyssa is working in marketing for QRS Diagnostic.  She and Steve live in Minneapolis.
  • ALLISON BARDOLPH HILTNER gave birth to a daughter on August 6, 2003!  India Steven Hiltner weighed in at 8 pounds, 7 ounces.  Allison, husband Nathan, and little India are living in Baxter, MN.
  • GREGORY CHOPP was married to Carmen Hopkins on July 5, 2003, in Chicago.  Greg and Carmen are living in Denver.
  • BRIDGET SEAMANS was married to Dan Iliff in July 2003.  She is working as a 3rd grade teacher at Plymouth Creek Elementary, and lives in Plymouth.
  • REBECCA CARLSON married Brian Brand in July 2003.  She is currently an algebra teacher at Cactus Shadows High School in Anthem, AZ.
  • KATHARINE SCHOENROCK married Eric Husband, on June 22, 2003.  The couple currently lives in Edina.
  • JOSHUA RYSTED is living in Minneapolis, and works as a communications associate at the Tubman Family Alliance, one of the largest providers of domestic violence services and prevention programming in the U.S.
  • MELISSA CRONIN married Matthew Kusilek '98, in August 2003.  The couple is living in Waconia, MN. 
  • TARA FERGUSON is working as an associate attorney at the Larson Law Office in Little Falls, MN.  She is living in Clear Lake, MN.
  • STUART GRANDE recently started the master's program at the Indiana University School of Public Administration.  Stuart is majoring in mediation and negotiation.
  • ROB WILLIAMS is working as a varsity line coach for the Aitkin High School football team and coaches 9th grade basketball.  He and his wife, BRITTA (ERIKSEN), had a son, Jaelend Robert, born on August 6, 2003.
  • SUZY FRANKE is majoring in theology and social work at the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago.  She is expecting to complete her studies in the spring of 2005.
  • KERRY EISENBARTH is working as an upper primary English and social studies teacher at International Schule Frankfurt-Rhein-Main in Frankfurt, Germany.
  • JENELLE MONTOYA is living in St. Paul and is working as a marketing assistant for Coit Services in Bloomington, MN.
  • JOEL KOEPP is living in Minneapolis, and is a research fellow at the Design Center for American Urban Landscape.  He is handling geographic information systems for a Twin Cities walk ability study.
  • MICHAEL THIEDE is working as a research chemist for Cargill, Inc.  He is living in Oskaloosa, Iowa.
  • CHRISTINE LARSON is a U.S. postal inspector in Seattle, Washington.
  • KARI ERICKSON WHITLOCK and husband, Anthony, celebrated the birth of daughter, Macey Ann, in May 2003!  You can see all of the Whitlocks in their hometown of Brainerd.
  • LISA BAUER MILLIN and husband, Matthew, had a little boy in June of 2003!  Nathan Jeffrey was born on June 28.  The family is living in Davenport, Iowa.
  • ANN MELCHERT was married to Ryan Meverden in September 2003.  Ann is currently a program manager for Stay-Well Health Management in St. Paul.  Ryan is a sergeant with the Washington County Sheriff's Office in Stillwater…so watch out…

The following wedding picture was received some time ago.  It was taken at the wedding of Ryan Boutwell and Kami Wraspir on July 27, 2002.



From left to right:  Richard Wanous, Bob Southworth, Chris Swansson, Ryan Boutwell, Ryan Britz '00, Mike Fogal '00 and Warren Stoltman.

Now the Alumni Office will add some campus news here:

Building a Greater Gustavus Reaches Target

Gustavus celebrates reaching the $100 million target for the Building a Greater Gustavus capital campaign.  The campaign includes reconstruction projects following the 1998 tornados, the creation of the Center for Vocational Reflection, growth of the Christ Chapel Endowment, the C. Charles Jackson Campus Center, the Curtis and Arleen Carlson International Center, the Barbro Osher Svenska Huset (Swedish House), the new soccer and track complex, and more than 100 new scholarships.  Efforts continue to raise funds for campaign projects, such as Old Main renovation, Gustavus Alumni Fund, and further endowment growth.  Special thanks! goes to the volunteers and donors who contributed their resources to assist current and future Gusties. 

New Gustavus Video

Have you been to campus lately?  Can you remember your first time seeing Gustavus? The Admission Office has created a new video/DVD for prospective students to take a look at the College. Take a look online if you wish at <>.

Fine Arts

The Gustavus Symphonic Orchestra took a 16-day concert tour to China performing in such places as Beijing, the Great Wall, and Tianjin.  The Gustavus Choir took a 10-day concert tour to selected cities in North Dakota, Colorado, Nebraska, and Minnesota and the Gustavus Wind Orchestra, formerly the Gustavus Band, also toured during Spring Break.

Extraordinary Place

Gustavus is among leaders in Academic All-Americans.  The College Sports Information Directors of America have recently released a list of institutions with the highest number of Academic All-Americans over the past three years. Gustavus ranks 14th out of all programs competing at the NCAA Divisions I, II, and III, and NAIA levels.

Extraordinary People

Peter Krause '87 returned to Gustavus in November to meet and conduct workshops with students.  Krause has been nominated for Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild and Emmy awards for his role as Nate Fisher in the critically and commercially acclaimed HBO drama, "Six Feet Under."  With the hope that the day would focus more on the students than on his newfound fame, Krause spent the afternoon doing acting work with classes and theatre and dance majors.

Great Teaching

In case you missed the note in the Fall 2003 issue of the Gustavus Quarterly, we are asking alumni to send in short reminiscences, tributes, and anecdotes about professors who made a difference in their education - "the teachers and mentors who have made a lasting impression, who have imparted life lessons, whom you remember for their wit, or their mastery, or their encouragement, or their exacting standards . . . or their idiosyncrasies." We are planning to focus an upcoming issue of the Quarterly on "great teaching" and would like to hear from those who experienced the classes of those great professors.  Send your paragraphs and stories to either Randall Stuckey '83, director of alumni relations (, or Steve Waldhauser '70 (, managing editor of the Quarterly, or in the mail to the College.

Upcoming Chapter Events

  • Sun City, Arizona, Gustavus gathering - March 19
  • Phoenix, Arizona, Gustavus gathering - March 20
  • Tucson, Arizona, Gustavus gathering - March 21