Class of '99
September 2009

10-Year Reunion ― October 9-10, 2009

Dear Class of 1999,

Our reunion weekend is getting ever closer!  With that in mind, we wanted to give you some more information about the event, talk about giving, and send along the last installment in our summer guest letter series.  Enjoy!


With less than a month before our reunion weekend, your registration for our celebration festivities is very important!  Pre-registration is critical as it allows us to project our revenue and budget for each planned event.  We want to make our reunion experience amazing, so please go to: to register for your choice of reunion activities.

Our Friday night gathering at the fabulous W Hotel in Minneapolis is sure to knock your socks off!  Located in the historic Foshay Tower, we will celebrate the night away in an art-deco setting.  The party will be from 7:30-11:30pm.  Recommended attire is dressy casual/cocktail attire.  Come for a bit or stay the entire time…it’s totally up to you.  Heavy appetizers, one drink ticket and a commemorative reunion gift are all included in the ticket price of only $35.  Note that reunion gifts will be ordered based on pre-registrations, so be sure to visit the registration site today!  It takes less than 5 minutes to register!


Join us at the NEW football stadium at 11:00 a.m. and stay for the game against Pacific Lutheran at (1:30 p.m. game time)!  There will be a tent set up for our class with snacks and refreshments.  Come by to watch the game and chat with friends!  Via the registration site, you may sign up for boxed lunches and a post-game party.  If you haven’t been to campus in awhile, this would be a great day to see many of the new buildings and the beautiful fall foliage.


I’m looking forward to seeing everyone in a few short weeks!  As a reminder, we’d really like to encourage class participation toward giving a gift to the college from the Class of ’99 in honor of our reunion.  You can make your donation online during the registration process, at, or in person at the reunion.  Whether you can afford $100 or just $5, every dollar counts toward helping new students afford the Gustavus experience.  Our goal for this gift is not total dollars raised, but class participation, so please consider giving something―it will take a few dollars off the tab of a poor college student (as alumni once did for us!).  Again, looking forward to seeing everyone soon and hearing stories of new families, children, travel and careers!

Michelle Courtright Bjork

1999 Co-class Agent

Guest Letter by Marshall Lichty

So, I’ve got a confession to make:  despite my having graduated with a Religion major from our alma mater — one of the country’s premier church-related liberal-arts colleges — I have for quite some time been agnostic on certain matters.  Specifically, but not exclusively, I’ve been agnostic on the issue of reunions.  This is not, I assure you, the result of any evidence I’ve gathered.  Indeed, I have managed thus far to neglect every single reunion for every single school from which I managed to graduate.  More likely, my agnosticism has been a function of a life I thought too eventful, too distracting, or too easily crowded for quaint affairs with folks I hardly remember.

Lately, though, I have developed this sense that our 10-year reunion at Gustavus is interesting in some meaningful way.  I’m sure this is in part due to nostalgia inherent in the relentless march of time:  we’re all older and, for better or for worse, more or less fat, more or less happy, more or less successful, and more or less fulfilled than we were 14 years ago when we first stepped foot on campus.  (14 years?  Seriously?).  An appreciation of these things, in ourselves or in others, may just, for some if not all, make the trip to old San Pedro this October a worthwhile one.

But I think there’s something else brewing, too.  We are now the crops sprung forth from the seeds planted in those hallowed halls way back when.  And as our lives round out and fill, and our layers grow deeper and more complex, we can just now begin to see a picture develop of our collective potential yield.  It’s a picture that shows folks having spread to vastly different corners of the globe, doing vastly different things with their lives, and having vastly different impacts on their local, state, national, and world communities.  That we can share four years’ worth of common experience is, to me anyway, spectacularly interesting.  So I’m going.  You should, too.

I would be remiss if I didn’t also share some of the things about which I am not agnostic:  1.) true love; 2.) the physical and mental-health benefits of tantric yoga; 3.) “Jon & Kate Plus 8” being the most contemptible societal blight since the debut of the Double Stuff Oreo cookie; and 4.) the absolute righteousness of making a meaningful financial contribution every year to Gustavus.  For the sake of relevance and brevity, I’ll elaborate here only on the last:  my wife Katie and I have made giving to Gustavus a priority.  We do it every month, and, by joining the college’s Cec Eckhoff Society, have actually pledged to give gifts to The Annual Fund forevermore.  Today, and as we begin to realize just how excellent the community of friends, colleagues, teammates, study buddies, brothers, sisters, roommates, lab partners, and band mates we shared has become, I encourage each of you to do two things:  1.) attend the reunion, Friday night in Minneapolis and/or Saturday in St. Peter; and 2.) give to Gustavus today to ensure the next generation of Gusties, bonded as ever in the quest for justice, faith, and service, can reach their full potential.  Just like we’re fixin’ to do.

Marshall Lichty

1999 Guest Letter Writer


Jesse & Phil

wedding pic

This picture was received from classmate, Amy Valek Zasoski.  Amy married Michael Zasoski on August 8, 2009.  The picture shows Gusties in attendance.  Front row L to R:  Jacquie Schultz ’98, Katie Hein ’02, Rita Schmitt ’01, Amy Valek Zasoski, Molly Walsh Christianson ’99.  Back row:  Jaime Quam Winchell ’02, Renee Schmitt ’02, Mary Dahmen Lundquist ’02, Katie Scheel ’02, Julie Wagner Petersen ’89 and Mark Petersen ’89.

Campus News

GLA Membership

All of us remember the Folke Bernadotte Memorial Library.  It was a place for study and, depending on your era, finding a “coffee date.”  But, in the 21st century, it has become much more.  It is a technology-rich laboratory for learning and a storehouse of culture and recorded knowledge.  It must constantly be strengthened to ensure excellence in education.  The Gustavus Library Associates (GLA) provides financial support for the library and a program of events to its members.  Join this year and immediately make a difference.  Whatever membership gift level you choose, 100% goes directly to the library’s acquisition budget.  Join today at!!!

Homecoming and Family Weekend – October 9 & 10, 2009

Join us for Homecoming and Family Weekend festivities this year!  Parents, alumni, and friends of the College are invited to return and reconnect on this great weekend.  Check out all the activities on the Gustavus alumni web site (

A Walk in the Arb

As part of Homecoming Weekend, the Linnaeus Arboretum will be hosting its annual Fall Fest on that Saturday, October 10.  Come enjoy a guided hike through the arboretum and browse its many beautiful flower gardens and tree collections.  Maple trees will be in their fall peak this weekend.  Master Gardeners and tree care experts will be available to address your questions and concerns, so bring a branch!  Bring your kids (accompanied by an adult) for a hayride through the arboretum.  Have a look at this year’s scarecrows around the Borgeson cabin!  Enjoy cookies and lemonade, purchase an arboretum t-shirt.  There will be books available for purchasing and signing by two local authors, Jan Dunlap (Birder Murder Mysteries) and Jim Gilbert (Minnesota Nature Notes).  Join Us!

“Come on You Gusties” Breakfast

Once a month, Gusties gather for coffee, breakfast, and great conversation along with a campus speaker.  All Gusties are welcomed and invited to the breakfast, third Wednesday of the month, 8-9:30 a.m. at the Doubletree Hotel, Minneapolis-Park Place, 1500 Park Place Boulevard.  Cost is $10 at the door.

Upcoming speakers:

President Jack R. Ohle – Oct. 21

Chaplain Brian Johnson ’80 – Nov. 18

Thomas Young ’88 – Dec. 16

Upcoming Events

  • Nobel Conference:  H²0 Uncertain Resource – October 6-7, 2009
  • Homecoming/Family Weekend – October 9-10, 2009
  • Athletics Hall of Fame – October 17, 2009
  • Gustavus Library Associates – A Royal Affair – November 14, 2009
  • Farewell for Steve and Barb Wilkinson, Minneapolis Hyatt - December 12

royal affair