Class of '99
Class of 1999,
Our 10 Year Reunion is sneaking up on us! I hope you will all be able to join us for a great evening at the W Minneapolis at The Foshay on Friday, October 9th. It is a beautiful location that will be perfect for catching up with classmates and reminiscing about our time at Gustavus. This letter is the first in a series that you will receive throughout the summer and early fall prepping for the reunion. Be sure to watch for registration information later this summer!
This letter features a guest writer, Ann Miller. We hope you enjoy hearing from her, and of course, the latest class updates are included at the end of the letter. Please send your updates to the College so we can include them in future letters…send them to the Alumni Office or to the e-mail address below. Also, a special request: if you have photos of friends and fun times at Gustavus, we would love to have you send them to: firstname.lastname@example.org. We are working on a slideshow for the reunion and would like to include as many photos as possible. Enjoy!
Jesse & Phil
I’m delighted to have the opportunity to write to all of you this note. On behalf of the Class of 1999 reunion planning committee, I sincerely hope that each of you will be able to make the trip back to Gustavus for our 10-year reunion this coming fall. For some of you, it may be a short trip down from the Cities; for others, it may require a flight from one of the coasts. In any case, I think it would be a worthwhile trip—a chance to reconnect with some of the people and the place that made a lasting impact on our young lives.
I enjoyed having a preview of our reunion when I attended the Class of 1998 reunion last fall with my husband, Dave Johnson ’98. It was our first time back to campus since we were married at Christ Chapel in 2001. The reunion was held in conjunction with homecoming on a beautiful, crisp fall day—my favorite kind. We parked in front of the corner where the Brick House used to be prior to the tornado and were surprised to find the lot still empty. We soon discovered that while Gustavus had not built on that lot, they had focused their energy on multiple other building and renovation projects. The campus center has been totally revamped but still managed to maintain that feeling of an intimate meeting place where you can run into all of your friends at the PO boxes or the BookMark. The new football field, Hollingsworth Stadium, where the homecoming game was taking place that day, is impressive. There are several new buildings, including the Carlson International Center and some new dorms, and at times, I had to refer to my campus map to see where I was and what these new buildings were. But along with the new, many of the buildings and places we remember from our days at GAC remain. I enjoyed visiting the recently renovated Old Main, where I remember taking Biblical Tradition with Jack Clark my first semester in college (and being more than a little scared of him); talking with one of my favorite professors, Doug Huff; and gathering with the Gustavus Choir to prepare for concerts in Christ Chapel. The Chapel, centrally located on campus, is likely central to many of our memories of Gustavus. For me, I remember daily chapel services (especially Morning Praise on Wednesdays), performing in Christmas in Christ Chapel, and most recently, our wedding. Many of the dorms where we all lived during some of our four years at Gustavus are still there, but some (Johnson, Wahlstrom) are gone now. The letter sculpture is still spinning outside the library, and I spotted former student body president, Bradley Peterson ’98, teaching his kids how to spin it. The library has been updated since our time with new chairs and the like, but it still looks like you could take a good study break (nap) in them. I didn’t go into Nobel Hall but thought of the many hours I spent in that building taking science classes, labs, and doing independent research, and how those experiences led me to my career path. Today, I have a Ph.D. in biochemistry and am a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Dave and I brought our six-week-old daughter, Grace, along with us to the reunion. When I think of her future, I can only hope that she’ll be lucky enough to have a college experience as good as mine was, whether it’s at Gustavus or somewhere else (we did buy her her first Gustavus sweatshirt just so it’s on the radar from an early age). The knowledge and experience I gained from my coursework and from the activities I took part in at Gustavus gave me an excellent and broad foundation. Equally important were the relationships I formed while at Gustavus. Of course, I met my husband at Gustavus, but also I met a dear group of girlfriends, and we have kept in touch as we’ve scattered across the country and the world. We gather for weddings; to see each other’s new babies; and to catch up with our friend, Käri Twedt Thompson, who’s been living in Thailand and Singapore, whenever she’s in the states. When I see pictures in the back of the Quarterly of friends gathering many years after their graduation, I think; that will be us someday!
So, I hope you’ll come to the reunion this fall. Mark your calendars now, and start talking with your friends about making plans to attend. The time we actually spent at Gustavus was fleeting, but the relationships we formed, the memories we made, and the connections we still feel to the people and that place are lasting. I hope to see friends I’ve kept in touch with these last 10 years, and I especially look forward to catching up with old friends I’ve fallen out of touch with over the years.
I hope to see you there,
1999 Guest Letter Writer
- JAKE GRANRUD has started his own company, Versa View Windows! Jake is living in Stillwater, MN.
- JEFFREY SKISTAD is marketing director for Krengel Technology, and lives in Madison Lake, MN, with his wife, Ahmelie.
- JONATHAN HUNDT is now associate pastor at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Gaithersburg, MD. Jon and his wife, Jennifer, live in Ellicott City, MD.
- DEBORAH KOSKI MEESTER is the higher education sales manager for Atomic Learning. She and her husband, Aaron, live in Little Falls, MN.
- NICOLE WOOD ERICKSON is a business analyst at Katun Corporation. She lives in Bloomington, MN with her husband, Chad.
- MATT LONG is living in Bloomington, MN and works as director of information services at Globe University.
- KIMBERLY GILL is a special education teacher in Prior Lake, MN. Kim is also the coach of the varsity hockey team.
- BEN SANDIN is senior pastor at King of Kings Lutheran (ELCA) Church in Shelby Township, MI.
- MOLLY JUNTUNEN is leadership development pastor at Lutheran Church of Hope in West Des Moines, IA.
- CAROL BURT REICHEL and her husband, Matt, had a baby boy! Jude joined the family on January 30, 2008. The Reichels live in Madison Lake, MN.
- AMY UHLENBRAUCK WILKINSON and husband, Kurt, welcomed Keagan to their family on December 28, 2007. The family is in Green Bay, WI.
- NATE OTTO and his wife, Stephanie (Jensen ’00) had a daughter named, Nora Grace Marie, on May 9, 2008.
- KRISTY HOWELL ANTILLA had a daughter, Evangeline Lenora, on August 16, 2007. Kristy lives with her husband, Bradley, in Kingsford, MI.
- ROSS SCHERMER has more to smile about! He and his wife, Jaime (Peterson ’01), welcomed Lillian Grace, into their family on August 21, 2008. The Schermers live in Springfield, VA.
- NAOMI BOWMAN GRAVES gave birth on October 22, 2007, to daughter, Rachel Marjorie. The Graves family lives in Steen, MN.
- CHANDA WALKER HALL and husband, Brent, welcomed Cordelia Mae to their family on October 9, 2008. The Halls live in Portland, OR.
- JOY JOHNSON-MCGRATH and husband, Mark, have a new baby boy! Colin James was born on April 7, 2008.
- PATRICK WATSON and wife, Jennifer (Thomsen ’00), also have a new son! On February 15, 2009, Maxwell Thomas joined the Watson family.
Below are a couple of wedding pictures that were sent into the Alumni Office. Somehow they have been missed in letters prior, but it’s always fun to see these.
This photo was taken at Brian Choc and Kelda Furbush wedding on 4/1/2006.
This photo was taken at
Aaron Smith and Kristin Petersen ’04 wedding on September 15, 2007.