Class of '99
March 2006

Class of 1999,

Greetings!  I am writing to you from my local Starbucks here in southwest Minneapolis, where I spend too much money on my caffeine fixes.  I’m sure many of you can relate to this problem.  The weather seems to finally be changing to spring; temperatures are climbing into the 40s and we are getting rain instead of snow.  Despite most people being thankful for a mild winter, I think we are all ready for warm weather and sunny days.

Well, once again I must recognize that it has been too long since our last letter.  I would take you through my list of excuses (including, but not limited to:  a crazy six months at work, trying to keep up with friends, periodic travel for work or vacation, commitments to watch too many reality shows), but I’m sure you would rather hear about other things.  I know we are all busy with similar things in our lives, but I want to assure you that keeping you all up-to-speed on Gustavus and our classmates is still very important to me.

I want to write to you about a couple of great things that I have experienced since the last time I wrote to you.  First, I was back to campus a few months ago for a recruiting event for Target.  I went down to St. Peter just a bit early so I could drive around town and campus for a few minutes prior to the event.  I hadn’t been back for about six months, and several things were new, but most things still felt comfortably familiar.  Though I have not lived in St. Peter for over five years, it still feels like home when I go back.  Driving around Ring Road, I passed Rundstrom Hall, my home for two years at Gustavus.  I was reminded of so many things:  making mac-and-cheese in the “kitchen,” watching 90210 in the lounge, pulling all-nighters due to procrastination, getting talked into joining a fraternity by a wily upperclassman (Tom Matchinsky ’98), getting to know the ins-and-outs of my quirky and perpetual roommate (Josh Preiss), making great friends with new neighbors, and struggling up the icy sidewalk on the hill to go to dinner in the Caf.  Johnson Hall was gone after The Tornado, but now Wahlstrom Hall is gone, too.  The “temporary” dorm, Prairie View, is still there, as is a similar model known as Mattson Hall.  The new International Center gleams over the football field, and across the road from that (near the rugby pitch) is the new Southwest Hall.  Many of you probably saw the profile in a recent issue of the Quarterly, and I can vouch that it is VERY nice.  I’m sure that the current crop of Gusties is busy making their own memories as you read this.  Though the buildings and landscape may change, Gustavus is still in many ways the same place as it was for us.  It remains a place to learn, grow, think, explore, and discover yourself, and it still has a place for each of us, no matter how long we may have been gone.

The second thing I want to tell you about is a wedding that I attended a few months back.  Our classmate, Jarrod Johnson, finally met his match, and was married in New York City in October.  Many of us from Gustavus were able to converge in NYC for the weekend events, and it could not have been more fun and special.  It was great to see Jarrod, Josh Preiss, Tom Iverson, Tom Matchinsky ’98, Dave Kuster, Laura Hauschild, and Eric Thorne.  We stayed just off of Times Square and spent much of Friday exploring and reacquainting prior to the rehearsal dinner held that evening on the rooftop of the Hudson Hotel.  There, we caught up with the groom and his family, as well as more Gusties.  The wedding was beautiful the next day, followed by a wonderful reception in Central Park.  Our friends came from all over to celebrate with Jarrod and his new wife, and though many of us had not seen one another in quite some time, it was great to catch up on our lives and then just pick up where we left off.  I think that is the mark of the friends that I made at Gustavus; though time and miles separate us, and our lives have taken different paths, we still have so much in common and can appreciate the time we have together.  Too often in the past, I have felt guilt or pressure to “sufficiently” stay in touch with friends from the past; I have learned that I would rather cherish the memories, and devote my energy to enjoying the time we actually do spend together.  I hope you will grant me the same:  though I haven’t gotten you a letter in awhile (and I will do my best to do better…), I hope you enjoyed a couple of my stories that conjure up Gustavus memories for me, and I hope you will enjoy the updates I am about to share.  Take a moment out of your busy day and think about your Gustavus memories…


(as usual, some of these are more dated than others…apologies from the Staff…)

BABIES!  Congratulations to a LOT of new Gustie parents…                                          

  • STEVE and KATIE (OSTHUS) TUTHILL:  baby girl, McKenna Marilynn, on 1/7/2005.  Both Steve and Katie are employed by Minnetonka Public Schools and have both received graduate degrees in education from St. Mary’s University.
  • CAROL BURT REICHEL:  baby girl, Lidia Grace, on 4/12/2005.  Carol works as a nurse at Immanuel St. Joseph’s, and lives in Madison Lake, MN.
  • GREG CHOPP and wife, Carmen:  twin girls, Cameron and Quincy, on 5/18/2005.  The Chopp Family (which doubled in size) lives in Commerce City, CO.
  • DIANE LENTZ SNOW and husband, Lincoln:  baby boy, Jacob, on 12/8/2004.  Diane is living and working in Cambridge, MA.
  • GRETA WALLGREN McKEAND and husband, Matthew ’96:  baby girl, Maren Kay, on 12/16/2004.  Greta is working for Marshall Field’s in Minneapolis and lives in Shakopee.
  • RYAN and KAMI (WRASPIR) BOUTWELL:  baby boy, Zach Ryan, on 4/8/2005.  The family is living in Plymouth, MN.
  • KIRSTEN BLAND WALTERS and husband, Scottbaby boy, William Jakob, on 3/9/2005.  They are living in Eagan, MN.
  • ERIN JOHNSON CONNELlY and husband, Steventwin girls, Aryel & Caitlyn, on 10/25/2004.  They live in Tualatin, OR, and Erin works for US Bank.
  • HEATHER BEISELL SCHILD and husband, Nathan:  baby girl, Ahna Vivian, on 2/14/2005.  The family lives in Chatfield, MN.
  • SARAH CAMPBELL LEUWERKE and husband, Darren ’00:  baby boy, Liam Alexander, on 1/25/2005.
  • ANDY CARIVEAU and wife, Sandi:  baby girl, Nora Katherine, on 8/9/2005.  Andy is working for Target Corporation in the Twin Cities.
  • HEATHER RAWAY VOIGHT and husband, Brent ’00:  baby girl, Kylie Anne, on 9/16/2005.  The Voight family lives in Stillwater, MN.
  • KATIE GRANT HANSEN:  baby boy, William Charles, on 6/29/2005.  Katie is working for C.H. Robinson International in Eden Prairie.
  • BECKY NELSON FEYDER and husband, Andrew ’97:  baby girl, Belén, on 12/30/2004.  (**This was the name of Becky’s “host sister” when she and I studied in Madrid!)  Becky is working in the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office.
  • BECKY CARLSON BRAND and husband, Brian:  baby girl, Bella Joy, on 6/28/2005.  The family is building a new home near Lucan, MN.
  • MARK and KARI (CARLSON) NEWELL:  baby boy, Parker, on 7/29/2005.
  • AMY HERO JONES and husband, Zachary:  baby boy, Aiden Hero, on 5/25/2005.  The family is living in Minneapolis.
  • CHRIS and ALICIA (HUBBARD) BARNICK:  baby girl, Annabelle Rose, on 5/31/2005.  This is the third child for the Barnick Family!
  • LAURA NICKERSON BIRKMAIER and husband, Douglas:  baby girl, Rachel Alice, on 8/30/2005.  The Birkmaiers are living in West Fargo, ND.
  • HADDIE HEITKAMP OEBSER and husband, Scott:  baby girl, Isabelle Ann, on 6/20/2004.  Heidi is a meteorologist with WISC-TV in Madison, WI.
  • GRIFFIN and CHRISTINA (McANDREW) GEISLER:  baby boy, Patrick McAndrew, on 11/27/2005.  The Geislers are living in Shakopee, MN.
  • JOHN and AMY (BERGMAN) KOPP:  baby boy, John (Jack) Robert, on 8/25/2005.  The Kopp family lives in Rochester.
  • JANELLE MANNO CARBAJAL and husband, Antonio:  baby girl, Alicia, on 1/31/2005.  This surely bilingual family is living in Chicago where Janelle is a design coordinator for Closets by Design.


  • ELIZABETH MUSKE married Richard Sherva ’98 on 9/10/2005.  The Shervas live in Minneapolis.
  • NICOLE WOOD married Chad Erickson on 8/27/2005 in Minneapolis.  The Ericksons have since purchased a home in Bloomington, MN.
  • MEGAN HALVORSEN married Leif Peterson on 6/18/2005.  Megan is a merchandise-planning manager at Target.
  • TARA FERGUSON married Tom Lopez on 8/20/2005, and the couple lives in St. Cloud, MN.
  • KIRIL AVRAMOV married Dr. Edit Harangozo, and the couple has a daughter, Eliza, born on 4/29/2004.  Kiril is an assistant professor of political science at the University of Sofia in Bulgaria.
  • ANDREA KVAMME was married to Greg Anderson on 6/25/2005.  The couple lives in Eau Claire, WI.
  • STEPHANIE DeFRANCE married Matthew Schmidt on 7/23/2005.  Stephanie is an ESL teacher at the Adams Spanish Immersion Magnet School in St. Paul.

  • IVO GUENOV married Tressa Gipe on 9/17/2005, and the couple is living in Washington, DC.
  • SCOTT SMYSER was married to Kara Heryla on 10/29/2005, and currently lives in Rogers, MN.
  • MATT JOHNSON was married to Briana Ceder on 8/8/2005.  Matt is a senior IT specialist at IBM.

  • JENNIFER CHALGREN was married to Nathan Pedersen on 7/30/2005.  Jen is a family practice resident in Duluth, MN. 
  • SARAH BERG was married to Nathaniel Kreykes ’96 on 4/2/2005.  Sarah is a registered nurse in ICU at Regions Hospital, and Nathaniel is a resident surgeon at the University of Minnesota.
  • STEPHANIE MARTHALER was married to Joshua Friesz on 5/20/2005.  The couple lives in Montrose, MN.

EMPLOYMENT UPDATES                                                                                               

  • SHANTEA SNIDER is the assistant director of social services for the Renaissance at Hillside in Chicago.
  • JOEL STOLTENOW is teaching seventh, eighth, and ninth grade English and religion at Lincoln Lutheran in Lincoln, NE.  He is also the boys varsity basketball coach and middle school football coach.  Joel is engaged to Lindsay Freed and is getting married in June.
  • AMY VALEK is a first grade teacher in Faribault, MN.  Amy was also a nominee for 2005 Minnesota Teacher of the Year.  Congratulations!
  • NATHAN HANEL specializes in customer care and employee development for Midwest Wireless in Mankato, MN.
  • ERIN KLAERS teaches first grade at Minnewashta Elementary School and is the recipient of the 2005 Minnetonka School District’s Minnetonka Award for Child-Centered Excellence in Teaching.
  • BOB DeVEYRA is a project manager with Technical Leed Commissioning Development in Arlington, VA.
  • KRISTIN BEARD recently moved back to Minneapolis from Mankato, and is working as the associate art director for the Rake Magazine.
  • ROSS SCHERMER is a researcher in the Optical Sciences Division of the US Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, DC.
  • LINDSEY HAYDEN is a property manager with Wellington Management in St. Paul.
  • JACQUE GRAHAM is an international analyst with Thomson Corporation in London.
  • JENNIFER SLAUGHTER is a marketing and publicity manager with Aspen Filmfest in Aspen, CO.
  • TRICIA TURK is director of client services and business development for Saxton-Ferris International in Minnetonka, MN.  Tricia recently moved to south Minneapolis. 
  • CHRISTA HAYS-ESCOBAR and her husband, Marco, recently moved to Charlottesville, VA.  Christa is a speech-language pathologist in an elementary school.  She is also doing consulting work with bilingual and Hispanic children who have speech or language disorders.
  • ANDREA ZARATE is employed as an architecture technician at Opus Architects & Engineers in Minnetonka, MN.
  • DEREK KAUFMAN is a teacher at Loudoun County Public Schools in Ashburn, VA.
  • MIKE KAULS is a social studies teacher and assistant basketball coach in the Mounds View School District.
  • MARSHALL LICHTY is major gifts director for Northern Star Council/Boy Scouts of America in St. Paul.
  • LAURA SONNEE is store manager at Coach and is living in Woodbury, MN.
  • MICHAEL RYAN is deputy prosecuting attorney for Thurston County, WA. 
  • JILL PETERSON is an attorney with Hellmuth & Johnson in Eden Prairie.  Jill is living in St. Paul.
  • SARA LEADHOLM RETKA is a sports medicine instructor and works as athletic trainer for Hastings High School,
  • THOR and MICHELLE (COURTRIGHT) BJORK have been busy!  Thor is a senior GIS analyst at Xcel Energy.  Michelle recently started an online gift retail business called  On top of work, the Bjorks keep busy with their daughter, Ella Marley.
  • JONATHON and LISA FROEMMING HENNEN, Alexandria, MN.  Jonathon is a 6th grade teacher at Lincoln Elementary in Alexandria.  Lisa is a nurse at the Alexandria Clinic; she earned her master’s from the University of Minnesota, and specializes in health promotion and patient education in women’s health, gynecology, infertility and adolescent care.  They have one son, J.D.

HIGHER EDUCATION                                                                                                      

  • MEGHAN ALLEN received her master’s of education from Harvard University in May 2005.  She is currently Torch Program Coordinator at Northeastern University in Boston.
  • ALLISON BERRY received her master’s of education from Sam Houston State University in December 2004, and now lives in Tomball, TX.  Allison teaches seventh grade in Houston.
  • RYAN KAPLAN graduated from William Mitchell School of Law in 2005.  Ryan works in the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office and lives in Woodbury, MN.
  • CANDY MAGNUSON BARTON completed her master’s in health education at Montana State University in Bozeman, and is teaching at Bozeman High School.
  • TODD ROUDABUSH completed his master’s of education program at the University of Minnesota in May 2005.  Todd teaches seventh and eighth grade science at Hopkins West Junior High School, and is also the assistant coach for the boys and girls tennis teams at Hopkins High School.
  • JULIET LUND HOLDER received her master’s of education from the College of St. Catherine.  Juliet lives in Jordan, MN.
  • BRIAN NORTH received his master’s in biomedical sciences at the University of California at San Francisco in October 2005.  Brian is now a research fellow in pathology at Harvard Medical School.
  • SARA STEVENSON is pursuing a degree in arts management from City University in London.
  • DAN STRATTON is working toward a Ph.D. in political science at the University of Arizona and lives in Tucson.
  • STEPHANIE WALDMAN is enrolled in the School of Public Affairs and Environmental Sciences at the University of Indiana.  She is pursuing a master’s in public affairs, and is living in Bloomington, IN.
  • UDOM HONG is pursuing his master’s in global environmental policy at American University in Washington, DC.
  • KIM GILL is working toward a master’s in special education at Minnesota State University at Mankato.  Kim is working at Staywell in Eagan, MN.
  • ALISON TREXLER is in medical school at Mercer University and is living in Atlanta.


The Alumni Board met on campus in February and made the final selection for the Alumni Awards:

Greater Gustavus Award:  

  • Gustavus Library Associates, for providing financial resources for Folke Bernadotte Library, and engaging and introducing alumni and friends in the mission of the College.

Distinguished Alumni Citations:  

  • Karen Bossart Rusthoven ’66, St. Paul, MN, founder and principal of Community of Peace Academy, St. Paul;
  • Susan Semple-Rowland ’77, Gainesville, FL, professor of neuroscience, University of Florida and director, Neuroscience IDP Graduate Program; and
  • Magnus Ranstorp ’85, St. Andrews, Scotland, chief scientist at the Centre for Asymmetric Threat Studies, Swedish National Defense College; and a Senior Honorary Research Associate and former Director of Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland.

First Decade Awards:  

  • Rebecca Konrad ’96, Washington, DC, investment officer, global transaction team, The World Bank International Finance Corporation; and
  • Milo Martin ’96, Philadelphia, PA, assistant professor, Department of Computer and Information Sciences, University of Pennsylvania. 

The awards will be presented on Commencement Weekend or Homecoming Weekend depending on the recipient’s schedule.

Gustavus Checks

Show your Gustavus pride every time your write a check.  You can now order checks with Old Main, Three Crowns, or the Gustavus football helmet at:


Nordic Ski Team senior Erich Ziegler had a first-place finish among collegiate skiers in the15K freestyle at the NorAm SuperTour stop at Telemark Resort in Cable, Wisconsin.  Ziegler’s win was the first by a Gustavus skier in an NCAA/CCSA qualifier.  Men’s hockey continues to win, with a 7-1 record in the MIAC.  Men's swimming is 7-0 on the season and recently set two Lund Center pool record times.  Brad Hanson ’08 was victorious in the 1000 freestyle in a pool-record time of 9:51.46, and Matt Stewart ’09 posted a pool-record time of 1:44.49 to win the 200-freestyle. 

Upcoming Alumni Events

  • Gustavus Library Associates’ “Breakfast with the Easter Bunny” at Mt. Olivet Lutheran Church in Minneapolis — March 25
  • MAYDAY! Peace Conference on AIDS — April 19
  • Gustavus Association of Congregations Meeting — April 22
  • Gusties In Volunteer Endeavors (G.I.V.E.) Day of Community Service in Minneapolis — April 29

Well, those are the updates!  I hope you enjoyed reminiscing for a few minutes.  If you have a story about an event with Gusties or an experience that reminds you of Gustavus, please send it to  I would love to include some of your stories in upcoming letters.  As always, please send your updates, comments, or recommendations to the same address.  Also, help ensure that current and future students have the same opportunities that you did:  sacrifice a couple of lattes per month and give the $10 to Gustavus.  It couldn’t be easier…just go to and click on Alumni, then go to Giving.  You can have a monthly donation taken from your credit card, and it only takes about three minutes to set it up.  Even though you might not miss the money, I assure you that the students who will benefit from those dollars will appreciate it very much. 

Best wishes to each of you in your busy, caffeinated lives.


Jesse Torgerson

1999 Co-Class Agent

P. S.  Here is a picture sent in to the Alumni Office taken at the wedding of Andrea Kvamme and Greg Anderson who were married on June 25, 2005.  All the ladies pictured have remained close friends ever since they first met their freshman year when they all lived in Norelius (Co-ed) Dorm in 1995.


  Pictured L to R:  Becky Carlson Brand, Erin Johnson Connelly, Andrea Schmidt Crane, Andrea Kvamme Anderson, Kristin Knutson Kajer, Alicia Hubbard Barnick holding Annabelle Rose Barnick and Kari Pedersen Severson.