Class of 2001
April 2008

Dear Classmates,

Happy spring!  As per usual we don’t have as many updates of classmate activities compared to other times of the year, but there continue to be career changes and other happenings that warrant a mention.  Keep us updated with any activities that are happening this spring and summer and I’ll be sure to add them to the fall class newsletter.

I have made a slight change to the categories with classmate information.  When I first started writing the letters I thought “Future Gusties” was a cute enough title to welcome new additions to your family.  The humor has since declined in its repetitiveness (and I am not so presumptuous as to think ALL of our children will only want to attend Gustavus and nowhere else) so I changed to the title to “New Additions to the Family.”  Additionally, I think this will be more encompassing than labeling it as births for those in our class that add members to their family through adoptions.

Text Box:

Anyone else on Facebook?  Since the last class letter, even more classmates have been added to the group.  We started a “Gustavus 2001” group on Facebook and there are currently 66 of us in the group.  If you happen to use Facebook as well, please join us!  Also, please feel free to add pictures to the Facebook site.  We don’t have the space to accommodate many photos with this class letter, classmates would love to see a photo of your wedding, graduation, children, vacation photos, or anything else you would like to post.

Sean O’Brien recently sent me a picture (right) of his new daughter, Quinn Margaret (in a three crowns hand-knit sweater his wife made-wow!) to go along with the update that she had been born.  Great picture!  Sean, maybe you want to join Facebook and add them there.

And finally, a special thank you to all of you who have donated to the Gustavus Fund this past year.  Last year, 8,000 Gustavus alumni donated over $2,000,000 to the Gustavus Fund, the first time in the school’s history that we have given over two million dollars to the college.  About 20% of our class continues to support Gustavus on a yearly basis with gifts ranging from $20 up to $500.  During our five-year reunion, our class donated nearly $6,000 to Gustavus.  (But, not to be outdone, the Class of 2002 was recognized this year, as they celebrate their 5-year reunion, for donating close to $15,000 as a challenge to their classmates to beat our class in giving.)  Thank you for helping to support those students who follow us.

Go Gusties!

Class NewsText Box:


This photo was taken at the wedding of  Elise Kahl and Geoff Knobloch ’00 on June 4, 2005.  Pictured are:  Jacob Thorius, Karla Berquam Monson ’00, Oliver Major ’00, Kristin Johnson Knutson ’02, Greta Haugland ’06, Matt Thomas ’00, Aaron Kahl ’00, Nathan Kahl ’06, Paul Whitney ’00, Geoff Knobloch ’00, Molly Pedersen Thomas ’00, Anne Staples ’02, Kirsten Dumke ’06, Travis Dahlke ’00, Wes Boll, Tim Sundby, John Youngdahl ’00, Elise Kahl Knobloch, Charlie Wilfahrt ’00, Emily Sunwall ’06.


April Hicks married Kris Vaos on June 9, 2007.

New Additions to the Family

  • Ray Joseph to Raymond and LaDawn (Tyrrell) Delgado on October 14, 2007.
  • Jade Kelly to Jennifer Plath Dierkhising and John Dierkhising ’99 on November 19, 2007.
  • Maddeline Joan to Josh and Molly (O’Keefe ’02) Kramer on January 19, 2008.
  • Kiera Elizabeth to Skip and Erika Houtz Mennerick on August 5, 2007.
  • Ashlyn Grace to Timothy and Kelly Devine McGeary on January 14, 2008.
  • Quinn Margaret to Sean O’Brien and Ellie O’Brien on February 7, 2008.
  • Zuri Yasu to Graziela Tanaka and Cleipson Martins on December 17, 2007.

Career Moves

  • Adam Bell is a large law firm Inside Account Representative with Thomson West.
  • Jenny Schlief Bennett is a project assistant for Global Environment and Technology Foundation.
  • Sarah Fredericks is a visiting assistant professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology.
  • Elizabeth Grzechowiak is the executive director of the Phamous Group.
  • Shanna Holthaus works for Companion Housing in Minneapolis.
  • Erika Houtz Mennerick is a lecturer for the National University of Health Sciences.
  • Sean O’Brien was promoted to senior financial analyst at the SEH, Inc. engineering firm.
  • Randy Schmeling played the part of “Riff Raff” for the “The Rocky Horror Show” that was presented at the Ordway Center for Performing Arts last fall.
  • Johnny Stenson is a teacher/coach at the A-dan School.

Educational Endeavors

  • Sarah Fredericks graduated with a Ph.D. in religious and theological studies/science, philosophy and religion from Boston University.
  • Garret Zayic completed a Ph.D. from Anchorage, Alaska.
  • Katy Srnec Zeier enrolled in the doctor of pharmacy program at the University of Iowa.

Share your information

The information that is contained within this newsletter has been submitted either to Gustavus or to your Class Agent directly for publication.  If you have Marriage, Birth, Education, Career, or Miscellaneous updates that you would like us to publish in our next newsletter there are two methods of submission.  First, you can send the information to Gustavus via the web page ( by clicking on Alumni and then Your News, or you can e-mail or mail the information directly to your Class Agent at:  So, get on the web and send us your info!  Our next publication is scheduled for Fall 2008.  If you graduate this spring, get married this summer, enter a new educational program this fall, have new members of your family, made a career move, or did something else that is of interest to our class, please let me know!

Hal DeLaRosby

2001 Class Agent

Campus News

MAYDAY! Conference Focuses on Water

“Troubled Water” is the topic of Gustavus Adolphus College’s 28th annual MAYDAY!  Peace Conference to be held Wednesday, April 30 on campus.  Dr. Aaron Wolf, department of geosciences at Oregon State University and a leading expert on international water politics, opens the daylong conference and the afternoon keynote speaker is Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food and Water Watch, a consumer advocacy organization in Washington, D.C.  The conference, an annual event designed to educate the campus community and beyond about issues related to peace, human rights, and social justice, is open to the public at no charge.

Gustie Breakfasts

Join other Minneapolis/St. Paul area Gusties for a once-a-month morning cup of coffee and breakfast while getting an update on Gustavus.  The group meets the third Wednesday of each month 8-9:30 a.m. at the Doubletree Hotel, Minneapolis-Park Place, 1500 Park Place Boulevard (Hwy. 394 & Hwy. 100) $10 per person.  Reserve a spot by calling Don Swanson ’55 at 763-533-9083.  Next date:  May 21 - featuring Sports Information Director, Tim Kennedy ’82

Alumni Awards Announced

The Alumni Association announces the following 2008 awards selected by the Alumni Board of Directors.

Greater Gustavus Award - Given to those who by deed, have notably advanced and aided Gustavus Adolphus College:

  • Jim and Susan (Pepin) Peterson ’64 ’65

Distinguished Alumni Citations - Recognizing outstanding and exceptional professional achievement:

  • Craig Johnson ’69, bishop, Minneapolis Area Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
  • Talmadge King ’70, chair, Department of Medicine, University of California San Francisco School of Medicine.
  • Barbara Berry Leonard ’63, nursing professor, University of Minnesota.

First Decade Awards - Recognizing early professional achievement:

  • Miho Ihara, senior consultant, CPCS Transcom Limited.
  • Jason Smerdon, Barnard Environmental Science/Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Environmental Science, Barnard College.

The Greater Gustavus Award and Distinguished Alumni Citations will be presented at the Alumni Banquet on Saturday, May 31 and the First Decade Awards will be presented during Homecoming Weekend, Oct. 4

Upcoming Alumni Events

  • MAYDAY! Peace Conference focused on water - April 30
  • Author Day with Arvonne Fraser - May 14
  • Gustie Breakfast - May 21, featuring Sports Information Director, Tim Kennedy
  • Class Reunions - for 50-Year Club, 1958, and 1963 - May 30 and 31