Class of '99
November 2008

Hello Class of 1999!

I’ve heard a lot of talk lately about how this year’s Thanksgiving celebrations will be diminished as a result of the global economic crisis.  And I agree…times really are tough.  How many of you have been affected by a layoff or know someone that has been laid off?  It’s a gloom and doom environment and with each passing day, the outlook seems to get worse.  We’ve been through a recession before, but this one is different.  This time there is so much more at stake for us.  We have husbands, wives, partners and children to think about.  We are accountable for the well-being of other people…and that’s a lot of responsibility and a lot of stress!

So how can we weather this storm?  What can we do to lessen the stress and focus on the positive?  For me, I often turn to my best memories and close friends.  And lately, I’ve been reminded that Gustavus plays a large part in finding my “happy place.”  Think back to the carefree days of our time at Gustavus.  Gosh, it was so easy, simple and fun!  Remember what we thought was stressful when we were in college?  Compare that to today and I’ll gladly take that killer mid-term over today’s challenges.

Take a minute and think about the people that are in your life today because of your time at Gustavus.  If you’re anything like me, these people conjure up a sense of warmth and nostalgia.  It’s kind of like comfort food.  Lately, I’ve been craving meatloaf and pot roast for dinner…something familiar and delicious.  I’ve also been spending more time with my friends from Gustavus.  They are familiar, warm and nostalgic, too.  I am thankful for that.  And I would be willing to bet that you are, too.  So this year, when times are tough and there may be more negative than positive in our world, take a minute to remember our time together and how we can harness that positive energy to make today a little better.

Maybe the experts aren’t right after all.  Maybe we will all dig a little deeper to remember those things that mean the most to us.  I am ready to give thanks this week and hope you are, too.

-Phil Eidsvold ’99


Some of these updates are obviously older than others, but we wanted to include all of the updates that have not yet been shared.  We certainly apologize that some of these “new babies” have celebrated their second birthdays…

  • March 20, 2006 – daughter, Leah Elizabeth, to Emily Henderson Boylan and husband, Shannon.  The Boylans live in Fallbrook, CA.
  • April 28, 2006 – daughter, Grace, to Dan Elling and his wife, Sonya.  The Ellings live in Alexandria, VA.
  • May 31, 2006 – daughter, Aliya Mae, to Allie Werner Freidrichs and husband, Troy.  The family lives in Gibbon, MN and Allie is the Sibley County public health director.
  • September 11, 2006 – daughter, Iris Annabel, to Allison Finkenbinder and husband, Brent Crick.  They live in Boulder, CO.
  • September 12, 2006 – daughter, Meredith Ruth, to Melissa Cronin Kusilek and husband, Matt ’98.  The family lives in Waconia, MN.
  • October 24, 2006 – daughter Marisol Adeline, to Matt and Elizabeth (Reed) Eden.  The family lives in Arizona where Liz is a nurse educator at Phoenix Children’s Hospital and Matt is a vice president at JP Morgan Chase.
  • October 26, 2006 – daughter, Suyin Chee Howard, to Terri Chee and David Howard.
  • November 8, 2006 – son Nicholas, to Amanda Wright Elfstrum and husband, Geoff.  Amanda is working as a healthcare economics manager at Medtronic.
  • November 8, 2006 – son, Benjamin Patrick, to Crystal Laurvick O’Connor and husband, Aaron.
  • November 16, 2006 – daughter, Kallyn Jae, to Aaron Grove and his wife, Breck.
  • November 24, 2006 – son, Willem Grant, to Ryan and Maree (Klatt ’98) Pesch.  The family lives in Pelican Rapids, MN.
  • December 1, 2006 – son, Weston James, to Tamara Knudson Schult and husband, Clint.
  • December 24, 2006 – son, William, to Jenniver Marohn Haas and husband, Chad.  The family lives in Rockford, MN.
  • December 30, 2006 – son, Dominic John, to Joy Johnson McGrath and husband, Mark.
  • December 31, 2006 – daughter Lilia Grace, to Matt Grabow and his wife, Michelle (Pekel ’02) Grabow.
  • January 8, 2007 – son, Blake Logan, to Jared Chester and his wife, Holly (Peterson ’00) Chester.  The family lives in Eden Prairie, MN.  Jared is a portfolio manager at Associated Bank.
  • January 10, 2007 – son, Mitchell Bennett, to Stephanie Marthaler Friesz and husband, Joshua.  The family lives in Montrose, MN, and Stephanie works in human resources at St. Jude Medical.
  • January 24, 2007 – son, Micah Robert, to Melissa Miller Dols and husband, Aric.  The Dols family lives in Maple Grove, MN.
  • January 30, 2007 – daughter, Hope Marie, to Tricia Otterblad Kohanski and husband, Noel.  The family lives in Hermantown, MN.
  • February 2, 2007 – son, Wyatt Richard, to John ’00 and Kadie (Stone) Davis.  The Davis family lives in St. Peter, and Kadie is a customer care consultant for Hickory Tech in Mankato.
  • February 22, 2007 – daughter, Ashley Ann, to Nicole (Garms) Pudwell and husband, Scott.
  • February 23, 2007 – daughter, Veda Jean, to Bobbi Miest Baumann and husband, Craig.  The Baumanns live in Chanhassen, MN, and Bobbi is a first grade teacher in Eden Prairie.
  • February 25, 2007 – daughter, Jenna Anne, to Brent ’00 and Heather (Raway) Voight.  Jenna is the couple’s third child!  Heather is assistant director of event and brand marketing for The Hartford.
  • March 1, 2007 – daughter, Olivia Marie, to Lisa Bauer Millin and husband, Matt.  Lisa is a chiropractor in Platteville, WI.
  • March 3, 2007 – daughter, Gabriella, to Kiril Avramov and wife, Edit.
  • March 5, 2007 – son, Benjamin Adam, to Adam and Gretchen (Hagemann) Haisman.  Adam teaches 8th grade science in Bloomington, and Gretchen is a school psychologist in Shakopee.
  • March 6, 2007 – son, Maxwell Julius, to Tiffany Oslund Richter and husband, Jason.
  • March 8, 2007 – daughter, Addison Ann, to Torunn Allen Harty and her husband, Pat.  Torunn is also singing in the National Lutheran Choir, and works as the director of Christian education at House of Hope Lutheran Church in New Hope, MN.
  • March 9, 2007 – daughter, Alana Lauren, to Laura (Buckner) Graham and husband, Todd.
  • March 19, 2007 – daughter, Quinne Ysabella, to Tara Ferguson Lopez and husband, Thomas.  The family lives in St. Cloud where Tara works as the assistant county attorney for Mille Lacs.
  • March 19, 2007 – daughter, Lauren Elizabeth, to Nesa Myers Black and husband, Tom.  The Blacks live in Delano, MN.
  • March 22, 2007 – daughter, Lydia Marie, to Megan (Halvorsen) Peterson and husband, Leif.  The family lives in Minneapolis.
  • March 29, 2007 – daughter, Annika Catherine, to Bob and Sara (Schonrock) Southworth.  The Southworths live in St. Peter.
  • April 6, 2007 – son, Johnathan Daniel, to Ryan Vick and his wife, Katie Lovas Vick ’01.
  • April 12, 2006 – son, Gavin James, to Allison Berry and Melinda Stapley.  The family lives in Tomball, TX.
  • April 21, 2007 – daughter, Olivia, to Ann Melchert Meverden and her husband, Ryan.  Ann is a senior benefits manager at Microsoft.  The family lives in Redmond, WA.
  • May 2, 2007 – daughter, Marit Elizabeth, to Matt ’97 and Laura (Horstman) Gennrich.
  • May 7, 2007 – daughter, Hannah, to Angela Weinzettel Corbett and husband, Patrick.  The family lives in Mendota Heights, MN, and Angela teaches 7th and 8th grade language arts at Friendly Hills Middle School.
  • May 19, 2007 – daughter, Anissa Kate, to Kimberly Olson Wimmer and husband, Trent.  The family lives in Littlefork, MN.
  • May 30, 2007 – son, Evan John, to Warren Stoltman and his wife, Amanda.  The Stoltmans live in Elk River, MN.  Warren is a doctor of optometry at the Buffalo Eye Clinic in Buffalo, MN.
  • May 30, 2007 – son, David Allan, to Laura Nickerson Birkmaier and husband, Douglas.  The family lives in Hibbing, MN.
  • June 9, 2007 – daughter, Malin Emma, to Steve and Alyssa (Malinski) Erickson.
  • June 20, 2007 – son, Frank Andrew, to Andrew ’97 and Becky (Nelson) Feyder.  The Feyders live in St. Paul, where Becky is a Medicare compliance manager with Ovations, a UnitedHealth Group company.  She is also a birth doula in the Twin Cities.
  • July 11, 2007 – son, Alexander Corey, to Paul Andresen and wife, Molly.
  • July 18, 2007 – daughter, Laynie Rose, to Erin Bye Olson and husband, Christopher,
  • July 29, 2007 – daughter, Kate, to Peter Arneson and his wife, Karen.
  • August 6, 2007 – son, Dylan Ryan, to Ryan and Jessica (Skelton) Swenson.  The family lives in Minneapolis.
  • August 7, 2007 – daughter, Lauryn Elizabeth, to Sara (Rohr) Eckloff and husband, Bill ’95.  The Eckloffs live in St. Louis, MO.
  • August 9, 2007 – daughter, Kylie Rece, to Kristin Knutson Kajer and her husband, Rece.  The Kajers live in Cottage Grove, MN.
  • August 16, 2007 – daughter, Evangeline Lenora, to Kristy Howell Antilla and husband, Bradley.  The family lives in Kingsford, MI, where Kristy works as a services specialist for the State of Michigan.
  • August 20, 2007 – son Perrin Daniel, to Ryan and Carrie (Johnson) Larson.
  • August 27, 2007 – son, Joseph Craig, to Travis and Sara (Jones) Rippie.
  • September 3, 2007 – son, Harry, to Elin Ahlden and her husband, Anders Ullstrom.
  • September 5, 2007 – son, Gabriel, to Eric ’96 and Callie (Braun) Armstrong.  The family lives in Marshall, WI.
  • September 7, 2007 – daughter, Eleanor Marie, to Faith Thiesse DeChristopher and husband, Mark.  The family lives in Amissville, VA.
  • September 8, 2007 – daughter, Isabel Clara, to Miles ’98 and Kathryn (Heins) Wurster.  The Wursters live in New Ulm, MN.
  • September 12, 2007 – daughter, Madeline Ruth, to Megan Bayrd and Paul Horvath.  The family lives in Portage, MI.
  • September 29, 2007 – son, Luke Scott, to Scott Gramstad and his wife, Iliana.  The Gramstads live in St. Michael, MN.  Scott is senior consultant at Kinetic Solutions.
  • October 4, 2007 – daughter, Zoe, to Eric Haas and his wife, Erica (Slusser ’00).  The Haas family lives in Montgomery, IL.
  • October 6, 2007 – son, Wardell, to Rebecca (Carlson) Haywood and husband, Wardell.  The family lives in Stillwater, MN.
  • October 9, 2007 – daughter, Isabel, to Janelle Manno and her husband, Antonio Carbajal.  The family lives in Chicago.
  • October 23, 2007 – son, Roman Scott, to Sarah Berg Kreykes and her husband, Nathaniel ’96.
  • November 23, 2007 – daughter Alyssa Grace, to John and Amy (Bergman) Kopp.  The family lives in Green Bay, WI.
  • November 25, 2007 – TWINS!  Steven Robert and Betsy Ann, to Sara Prihoda Gillette and husband, Ryan.
  • November 29, 2007 – son Ryan Patrick, to Steve Liguori and his wife, Sarah.  The family lives in Mesa, AZ.
  • December 11, 2007 – MORE TWINS!  Kaylee Ann and Kiersten Jean, to Deborah Koski Meester and her husband, Aaron.
  • December 18, 2007 – son, Andrew Douglas, to Emily Johnson Coleman and husband, Patrick.
  • December 19, 2007 – daughter, Madeline Claire, to Thor and Michelle (Courtright) Bjork.  The family lives in Minneapolis.
  • December 31, 2007 – son, Luke Thomas, to Tammy Williams VanDeGrift and husband, Tom.
  • January 2, 2008 – daughter, Finley Adele, to Amy Hero Jones and husband, Zachary.  The Jones family lives in Minneapolis.
  • February 29, 2008 – LEAP YEAR BABY!  Ella Marie, to Matt Dammeyer and Danelle Sweeney ’00.  The family lives in Grand Forks, ND.
  • April 2008 – son, Zachary Owen, to Andy and Stephanie (Houk) Sheetz.
  • April 13, 2008 – son, Martin Eligio, to Andrea Zarate Roman and husband, Brad.
  • May 9, 2008 – son, Nathaniel Oscar, to Todd Walden and his wife, Corrie Lundeen Walden ’00.
  • May 27, 2008 – son, Malcolm Roy, to Tom and Brenda (Matheis) McHugh.


  • June 3, 2006 – Corey Eilers married Robyn Wyatt in Owatonna, MN.  Corey graduated from the University of Minnesota Law School and practices in the Twin Cities.  The couple lives in Bloomington, MN
  • July 29, 2006 – Tom Fleming married Kristen Cairl.  The wedding was held at Tom’s parents’ home in White Bear Lake, MN.
  • September 16, 2006 – Elizabeth Schneider married Patrick Dunn, and now lives in Boston, MA.
  • October 13, 2006 – Angela Schuette married Rory Meagher in Edina.  Angela teaches fourth grade at St. John the Baptist Catholic School in Savage, MN.
  • November 4, 2006 – Mike Hoolihan married Kelley Walker in Minneapolis.
  • December 30, 2006 – Joanna Josephson married Robert Roberg at Gethsemane Lutheran Church in Dassel, MN.  The couple lives in Fargo, ND.  Joanna also graduated with her pharmacy doctorate from North Dakota State University in May 2007.
  • April 28, 2007 – Kristin Beard and Luke Harper were married in Minneapolis.
  • June 16, 2007 – Kerry Eisenbarth and Alex Feyder were married.  The couple is living (and laughing) in St. Louis Park.
  • August 25, 2007 – Amy Tezak married Jeffery Rodrigue in Joliet, IL.  Amy graduated from the Arcturus Rudolf Steiner Teacher Education Program in May 2007.
  • September 15, 2007 – Aaron Smith married Kristin Petersen ’04.
  • September 15, 2007 – Jason Hovland married Jody Hornik.  The couple lives in Coon Rapids, MN.  Jason is support staff supervisor for the Hennepin County Library System.
  • September 22, 2007 – Joel Koepp married Leanna Denoma.  The couple lives in St. Paul.


We’re sad to share with you the news of the passing of our classmate, Todd Brown.  He passed away unexpectedly on September 9, 2007.  Todd Brown was a great man.  He was a great father, husband, son, brother and friend.  No matter what he was doing, golfing, playing cards or spending time with friends and family, he had a smile on his face that was infectious.  When you were with him it was hard not to have a good time.  He always greeted you with that smile and was genuinely happy to see you.  He could be having a bad day and you would never know it.  Todd was pretty laid back.  He took everything in stride and he made the most out of any situation.  Todd was the guy you would call first if you wanted to get together for drinks or watch the game.  It is no surprise that he had so many friends.  He was the type of guy that if you only met once, you would remember him.  We have a lot of great memories with Todd.  We are grateful that we knew him and honored to call him our friend.


Ryan Swenson

Rod Swenson


  • Shantea Snider Wilson received her master’s of education from Capella University, and is the assistant director of social services for Renaissance at Hillside in Chicago.
  • Julie Landreman Sulamoyo received her master’s of arts in teaching from Cardinal Stritch University in May 2007.
  • Stephanie Endsley is a professor of chemistry at South Seattle Community College.
  • Erin Frick Finnes is a CRNA at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester.
  • Jessie Johnson is a paralegal for Legal Aid of Western Missouri in Kansas City, MO, specializing in public benefits.
  • Jill Peterson is an attorney at Hellmuth & Johnson in Eden Prairie, MN.
  • Chris Barnick is member relations manager at Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union in St. Paul.
  • Derek Kaufman is a technology resource teacher with Loudoun County Public Schools in Potomac Falls, VA.
  • Todd Roudabush is teaching 7th grade science at Hopkins West Junior High, and is a master teacher for the Hopkins School District.  He has been a presenter at several national conferences on education and literacy.
  • Jesse Torgerson is a senior buyer in apparel and accessories at Target.
  • Erin Schadt is communications manager at the Gage Academy of Art in Seattle.
  • Thor Bjork is a utility innovations analyst at Xcel Energy.  Michelle Courtright Bjork is owner of the The Romeo and Juliet Shop.
  • Mike Thiede is a chemist with Cargill.  His wife, Stephanie Johs Thiede ’98 is a physical therapist at Park Nicollet Health Services.
  • Diane Lentz Snow works for Live Nation Entertainment and lives in Upton, MA.
  • Corey Robideau is a commercial lending officer with First Minnesota Bank.
  • Heather Boyd Marx is an associate attorney with Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP in Minneapolis.
  • Griffin Geisler is a wealth management consultant for RBC Dain Rauscher.  His wife, Christina McAndrew is a property manager for General Investment & Development.  They live in Shakopee, MN.
  • Jennifer Midthun Schommer is a Spanish and English teacher with the Baldwin School District in Baldwin, WI.
  • Sarah Osgood Hustoles is a project manager with Tiger Oaks Publications.  She lives in St. Louis Park, MN.
  • Sarah Bouska is a law enforcement ranger for Olympic National Park.
  • Heather Nielsen works for the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps and lives in Burlington, VT.
  • Beth Collins Wedge is a 5th grade teacher in Gilbert, MN.
  • Molly Christensen Swenson is a mental health practitioner and lives in Atwater, MN.
  • Jenelle Montoya is resource development coordinator for Community Human Services in Monterey, CA.
  • Cory Klecker is a social studies teacher at Jefferson High School in Jefferson, WI.
  • Juliet Lund Holder is a teacher at the Minnesota Renaissance School in Anoka, MN.
  • Erica VandeWall Wagoner is a teacher and library/media specialist at McEver Elementary School, and lives in Flowery Branch, GA.
  • Nathan Hanel works in technical support for Alltel, and lives in Mankato.
  • Shawn Gudahl is the owner of Gudahl Flooring, and lives in Blue Earth, MN.
  • Matt Long is the director of tech communications for the Minnesota School of Business, and lives in Bloomington, MN.
  • Kirsten Bland Walters works in research and sponsored programs at the College of St. Catherine in St. Paul.  Kirsten received her master’s of American studies from the University of Iowa in May 2008…GO HAWKS!
  • Allison Adrian received her Ph.D. in musicology/ethnomusicology at the University of Minnesota in May 2008, and is now part of the music faculty at the College of St. Catherine.
  • Chanda Walker Hall is the founder of Staged! Musical Theater Company in Portland, OR.  Last fall, Chanda’s company produced “The Secret Garden,” starring Katie Harmon, Miss America 2002.
  • Caitlin Christensen is senior interactive media planner at MRM Worldwide, and also volunteers at Pet Haven Inc. of Minnesota.
  • Ron Davis is deputy sheriff for the Cook County Department of Corrections.  Ron lives in Chicago.
  • Wade Gustafson works as manager, guest insights for Target.
  • Kirsten Olson Armstrong is a 3rd grade teacher at Chatfield Elementary School in Chatfield, MN.
  • Sarah Hammar Herzer is an organist and choir master at Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany.

Congratulations to Debbie Lang for being included in Who’s Who in Criminal Defense for Minnesota Attorneys!  In addition to Debbie’s practice with the Caplan Law Firm, she is an adjunct professor at Hamline University.

Congratulations to Rod Swenson for being named to the New Ulm American Legion Baseball Hall of Fame!  Rod currently works for US Bank in Minneapolis.

Send in more news to share―we hope to have many more class letters this year prior to our reunion!


SAVE THE DATE!! ― OCTOBER 9-10, 2009 is the weekend planned for our 10-year reunion.  If you would like to help out with the planning, please contact us at: or give the Alumni Office a call at:  800-487-8437.

We would love to see everyone participate in the class giving this year―Gustavus doesn’t expect tons of money from us―just our participation in the annual fund which shows our support of the College and helps with receiving grants and donations from other corporations and foundations, not to mention the influence it has on the college ranking in the US News and World Report.  Let’s show our love to our alma mater by participating with at least a $10 gift this year in honor of our 10-year reunion!  There’s a reunion giving card included to do so when you are able.  Your name will appear in our class donor listing if you make your gift by May 31, 2009.

Now, how many of you have experienced the Facebook phenomenon?  If you’re like me, you’re absolutely amazed at how this social networking tool has reconnected you with a ton of amazing people!  In fact, I’ve connected with many of you via this tool.  That said; I’m encouraging you to get out there and create a Facebook account.  We’ve created a Gustavus Class of 1999 Group site and will be using this forum not only to reconnect as a class but to send updates and information regarding our 10-Year Reunion, which will be the weekend of October 9-10, 2009.  We would love to get your feedback and ideas for the reunion to make it fun and appealing to all.  I am looking forward seeing you out there!

Happy Holidays!

Phil Eidsvold and Jesse Torgerson

1999 Co-class Agents

Campus News

Presidential Inauguration

Gustavus Adolphus College inaugurated Jack R. Ohle as its 16th president on Friday, Oct. 3 in Christ Chapel.  Various inaugural events were held over a four-day period.  On Homecoming Saturday, Oct. 4 the celebration was capped-off with an Oktoberfest; a buffet-style dinner immediately following the Homecoming football game with about a thousand Gusties in attendance.

Twin Cities Gustie Breakfasts

Join other Minneapolis/St. Paul area Gusties for a morning cup of coffee and breakfast while getting an update on Gustavus.  The group meets the third Wednesday of each month.  December’s presenter will be Steve Kjellgren ’86, director of dining services.  Here are the details:  Doubletree Hotel, Minneapolis-Park Place, 1500 Park Place Boulevard (Hwy. 394 & Hwy. 100).  Third Wednesday of the month - 8-9:30 a.m.  Cost is $10 per person.  Reserve a spot by calling Don Swanson ’55 at:  763-533-9083.

Need medical insurance?

Are you between jobs?  Self-employed?  Not covered by an employer health plan?  If you need health insurance you can find the right coverage for yourself and your family through the alumni association.  Whether you need temporary or permanent coverage, please visit to learn more about the range of coverage options available.

The Linnaeus Arboretum's 2009 calendar is available now for purchase

The calendar features the photography of Anders Björling ’58 and phenological notes by naturalist, Jim Gilbert ’62.  You can purchase your copy for $16 ($15 for current members of Friends of Linnaeus Arboretum).  Please add $3 per calendar for shipping and handling.  Checks should be payable to Linnaeus Arboretum Calendar and mailed to:  Linnaeus Arboretum Calendar, Gustavus Adolphus College, 800 West College Avenue, St. Peter, MN  56082.  (Contact Shirley,, 507-933-6181 with questions.)

Legacy Award for Gustavus admission

The Gustavus Legacy Award was created for new students whose siblings are current Gustavus students or graduates or whose parents or grandparents are Gustavus alumni.  Renewable awards of $2,500 per year are given to scholarship recipients who have a high school grade point average of at least 3.5 or an ACT of 26 or 1170 (Critical Reading + Math) on the SAT.  For more information, contact the Admission Office at 800/GUSTAVU(S).

Upcoming Alumni Events

  • Christmas in Christ Chapel – Joyeux Noel – December 5-7
  • St. Lucia Day – December 11
  • Twin Cities Gustie Breakfast, Steve Kjellgren ’86 — Dec. 17