Class of 2000
January 2010

10-Year Reunion ― September 24-25, 2010

Hello Class of 2000!

I have a confession:  As I type this letter, I am being sucked ever further into the vortex of inanity that is Jersey Shore, which is playing on my television.  In a feeble attempt to improve my perceived “low-brow” reputation, I should add that my Web browser is on, where I’ve been mourning the profiles of those missing as a result of the earthquake in Haiti.

If ever a greater dichotomy existed in terms of social contributions to the world, I’d like to know; Jersey Shore and the crisis in Haiti offer patently different examples of “tragic” when talking about social impact.

Since it is the start of another calendar year, social impact is at the forefront of my mind… aren’t we all inclined to think about our societal contributions in 2010 at this time of year?  A desire to make the world a better place seems to be the tie that binds us as Gustavus alumni, as illustrated in the College’s new tagline:  “Make Your Life Count.” (Check out the branding video:

Back in the late 1990s, life on “the Hill” was full of a delightful blend of messages about and experiences in quaint community and global citizenry.  Fast forward 10 years and, if you’re like me, you might be questioning just what type of impact you’ve made in the world.  As we look to our 10-year class reunion, this type of questioning becomes even more meaningful.  Throughout the passing years, we’ve likely become smarter, more accomplished, weighted with greater responsibility, perhaps fatter, and generally happier.  And with classmates moving to all corners of the world in a range of personal and professional pursuits, our collective impact is inspiring.  At the same time, the fact that we have four years of a shared experience makes this all the more interesting.  An appreciation of these things—in ourselves and others—seems to be one of the most compelling reasons to participate in our 10-year reunion.

So, yes, I’ll be at the reunion.  I hope you’ll join me.

And I promise I won’t mention Jersey Shore.

Meghan Krause

2000 Co-Class Agent

P.S. Looking ahead to our 10-year reunion weekend, here is preliminary information about the schedule of events, alumni giving, the first installment in our guest letter series, and class updates.


DATES: September 24–25, 2010

Friday in Minneapolis: there will be drinks and appetizers at this evening, adults-only event.

Saturday in Saint Peter:  there will be family-friendly daytime events, followed by an evening “bar crawl.”

More details coming soon─in the meantime:

  • Join our class page on Facebook: “Gustavus Class of 2000”

The Fundraising Committee, co-chaired by Kara Bunde and Josh Neugebauer, will be reaching out to all of you amazing classmates via phone very soon (if they haven’t done so already).  Goals for our class contribution to the Gustavus Annual Fund are as follows:

  • Raise a total of $25,000.
  • Secure a participation rate of at least 50%.  (At the moment, our participation is LESS than the current senior class.  Yikes!  We can do better.)
  • Have 100% participation from all reunion committee members.

To donate:

  1. Visit the Annual Fund website:
  2. Call the number listed to donate by phone:  866-487-3863.
  3. Send an e-mail to the following address:


If someone told me as a graduating senior 10 years ago that I’d be living and working in Oxford, England, I would have said they were mad!  (Er, “crazy” in American English.)  But with our 10-year reunion year approaching, I look back on how my experiences at Gustavus helped launch my life’s direction.  I landed in Oxford due to our classmate and my hubby Brian Smith (physics/mathematics).  His route as an academic, post-Gustavus, has taken us to Eugene, Oregon, and now to the United Kingdom.

Living on the hill in sleepy Saint Peter, I think exposure to the international world was somewhat limiting.  Perhaps it was because while we were students, we were so focused on the great opportunities available right in front of us.  However, I did travel to London for a J-term (fell in love with the city as a sophomore!) and worked in the Office of Admission as a student assistant recruiting international students to attend Gustavus.  What an eye opener to learn about all of the countries represented at our beloved alma mater!  Now in my current role in the Alumni Relations Office at Oxford University’s Saïd Business School, I meet and talk with students and alumni living all over the globe.  The world doesn’t seem so big anymore.

I am definitely an alumna who enjoys reading the Quarterly cover to cover the minute it lands in our flat (apartment!).  Reading what my classmates are up to and the latest news at Gustavus really helps me continue to feel connected to campus and my Gustie friends.  And now that I work in alumni relations in higher education, I take even greater notice of how and why the Gustavus Alumni Office moves forwards with their communication and event initiatives.  For instance, I loved the postcards they sent this past Valentine’s Day to all married Gustie couples!)  Not only is keeping in touch with Gustavus personally fantastic, but professionally rewarding as well.

Even though I live “across the pond,” I still keep in touch with my close Gustie friends via all of these newfangled social media platforms and the good, old-fashioned channels (phone and cards).  I really miss being able to meet up with friends for a drink in the Twin Cities, or visit all the new babies that keep springing up.  But when I do, it’s wonderful to reconnect with my lifelong friends from Gustavus!


Education & Career Updates

  • Scott Arnold is an elementary music teacher in Bloomington school district.
  • Steph Pheifer Busho is a circulating and PACU nurse at District One Hospital in Faribault, MN.
  • Jeremiah Depta is chief resident at Cleveland Clinic and lives in Brooklyn, OH.
  • Roy Heilman is a self-employed classical singer in the Twin Cities area.
  • Tara Anlauf Hupton is a middle school teacher in the Mounds View school district.
  • Callista Brown Isabelle is associate university chaplain at Yale University in New Haven, CT.
  • Cameron Kelly is a transactional real estate attorney for Eckberg, Lammers, Briggs, Wolff & Vierling PLLP.
  • Jess Stewart Madsen works in the operating room at Fairview Southdale Hospital.  Husband, Thomas Madsen is a CPA for Lewis, Kisch & Associates.
  • Tony Meyers is an associate vice president with RBC Wealth Management.
  • Karen Mohrlant is an associate attorney at F. Clayton Tyler, P.A.
  • Heather Nierengarten Nienow is a behavioral counselor at Mayo Clinic.
  • Brent Olson is a dentist in Mankato, MN.  His wife, Katie (Kortuem) Olson is a stay at home mom to Emmett and Ella.
  • Kevin Ost-Vollmers is the director of development, Upper Midwest Region, for The George Washington University and lives in Minneapolis.
  • Linda Cowan Pack is an RN in the neonatal ICU at St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester, MN and mother to three children:  Rachel, Ethan, and Seth.
  • Kati Olson Pownell graduated from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse/Franciscan Skemp Nurse Anesthesi program in August 2008 and works as a CRNA for Marshfield Clinic in Chippewa Falls, WI.
  • J. P. Prenevost is a financial advisor at Morgan Stanley.
  • Jason Stockwell was named to the RE/MAX Platinum Club and RE/MAX International’s Hall of Fame for top sales amongst the company’s 2000+ associates.
  • Melissa Hummel Thomas is an RN at Avista Hospital and lives in Westminster, CO.
  • Charlie Vacek is a broker at Craig Hallum Capital Group.
  • Corrie Lundeen Walden is a veterinarian at Banfield Pet Hospital.


  • Rhiannon Tokarz married Chad Bigalke on 8/9/08
  • Shelly Bishop married Ryan Bormann on 7/25/09
  • Kelly Harms married Josh Wimmer on 7/12/09
  • Laura Peterson married Alan Sommervold ’02 on 8/16/08
  • Jill Lubbers married Dustin Thomas on 4/4/09

wedding This picture was sent in by Sonya Gee Calgren.  Front row: Karen Heidesch Weber ’01, Amelia Weber, Chris Weber, Jason Holgers.  Back row: Robin Stennes Bartell ’04, Rich Bartell ’01, Dan Ekrem, James Matheson ’02, Matthew Barrett, Sonya Gee Calgren, Kevin Calgren, Ryan McAnnany ’01, Jennifer Johansen ’04.

Future Gusties

  • Nora Grace Marie to Nate ’01 and Stephanie (Jensen) Otto
  • Anders Jacob to Elise von Luhrte-Neugebauer and Josh Neugebauer
  • Wilson David to Jacob and Laura (Berg) Menden
  • Brenna to Stephanie & Dustin Haedt
  • Jacob to Aaron and Jennifer (Wendt) Mackie
  • Norman to Khoa and Heidi (Wegner) Ha
  • Ethan Patrick to Susan (Sultvedt ’01) and Larry Engelhardt
  • Ben to Jess (Stewart) and Tom Madsen
  • Lauren to Brian and Steph (Phiefer) Bush
  • Amelia to Kadie (Stone ’99) Davis and John Davis
  • Linden to Sacha (Rodman ’99) Kelly and Cameron Kelly
  • Jack to Scott ’99 and Heather (Nierengarten) Nienow

Campus News

Gustavus gets High Rankings

Gustavus Adolphus College is listed as the 33rd best liberal arts college in the country according to a new set of college rankings released on Thursday, September 3, by Washington Monthly magazine.  The publication states on its website that schools were ranked based on their contribution to the public good in three broad categories:  social mobility (recruiting and graduating low-income students), research (producing cutting-edge scholarship and Ph.D.s), and service (encouraging students to give something back to their country).

Gustavus once again ranked among the top 100 liberal arts colleges in the nation in U.S. News and World Report’s annual college rankings.  Gustavus moved up eight places from last year’s rankings to 80th on the magazine’s “Best Liberal Arts College’s” list.  Gustavus is one of six Minnesota colleges that placed in the top 100 in this year’s rankings.  One of the measures used to capture the various dimensions of academic quality at each college is alumni giving percentage; therefore, participating in a giving program at Gustavus, regardless of amount given, is important to the College.

Health Insurance Available through Alumni Association

During this time of economic uncertainty, many of our alumni, new graduates, and their family members are in need of health insurance.  Short-term and permanent health insurance options are available through the alumni insurance program.  The program is typically promoted to new grads just before and after graduation, but in response to the rising unemployment rate and in an effort to help all of those in need, we’re spreading the word more broadly this year.  This is also perfect for children of alums who are graduating (even if they did not attend Gustavus Adolphus College) and aren’t yet covered under an employer’s health plan.  For more information, individuals can contact the alumni office or contact the program manager directly or 800-635-7801.

New “Make Your Life Count” Website and Facebook Page

Gustavus has created a new “Make Your Life Count” website that includes a variety of feature stories exemplifying the College’s new brand position launched last month.  The stories celebrate Gustavus students, alumni, faculty, staff, programs, events, and organizations.  The website may be accessed from the Gustavus homepage by clicking on the “Make Your Life Count” brandline (in the upper right hand corner) or by visiting  The “Make Your Life Count” stories are also posted on a new Facebook page.  Become a fan and share your own Gustavus story.  When new feature stories are published, they will be communicated on the Gustavus News Twitter, and you may also subscribe (on the Make Your Life Count website) to receive e-mail updates.  To submit a “Make Your Life Count” story suggestion, click on the “Submit your story” link or e-mail the Gustavus Office of Marketing and Communication at

“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:  Doug Minter ’79 Director of Student Financial Aid and Kirk Carlson ’95, Associate Director of Student Financial Aid – Feb. 17.

Upcoming Events

  • Feb. 9 – Destin, Florida brunch – Another Broken Egg Cafe
  • Feb. 17 – Twin Cities Breakfast – Gustavus Financial Officers
  • Feb. 19 – Tucson Chapter Event – Warren and Donna (Gabbert) Beck ’67 ’66 residence
  • Feb. 20 – Phoenix Chapter Event – Larry and Deone (Nordquist) Cartford ’59 ’59 residence