Class of 2002
September 2003

Greetings from Washington state! It is that time of year when a class letter goes out to update you on what's happening with those individuals we graduated with from Gustavus (over a year ago already!).   This class agent gig has its definite perks….I get to find out what everyone in our class is doing and share these updates with each of you.

On the unique side, I found out that Rob Williams is allegedly a marketing technician at Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. Rob wants everyone to know that he organizes and maintains the cosmetic and toiletry sections for the two Wal-Mart stores in Pollard County, KS.  Andrew Bussey was working for Doerrie Unisex Hair in Driggs, ID, but now is in the Peace Corp.  I also found out several wonderful things that warrant congratulations, including Mike Wilken and Erin Holloway's engagement. Christine Weber is engaged as well.  Laura Borning and Pete Marston were married this summer. Pete is in the United States Army, currently in Iraq, as may well be other classmates of ours that are serving in one of the many military branches. Please keep him, his family, and others in your thoughts and prayers.

Our classmates seem to be involved in really interesting endeavors in their jobs, schooling, travel, and their personal lives.  At the end of this letter is a long listing of what many of our classmates are up to.  If you are not listed and have updates on yourself, please feel free to e-mail me or contact the Alumni Office at Gustavus <>.  It is good to keep connections with Gustavus and each other.

One way to maintain these connections is to visit the campus - for a sports event, concert, or to say hello to friends and/or professors who are still there.  One major upcoming campus event is Christmas in Christ Chapel (December 5-7).

Donations are yet another way to maintain your relationship with Gustavus.   An important upcoming Gustavus event is Phonorama (October 12-16, 20-23).  I have contacted several of you to help in calling alumni.  If others are interested, please contact the Alumni Office ASAP.  You are all probably aware of the 50% by 50 challenge for the Gustavus Alumni Fund.  We are approaching the 50th year anniversary of the Gustavus Alumni Fund, and still have a ways to go to get 50% of the alumni participating in some capacity.  In 2002, our class had 86 donors (20 more than the class of 2001 I might add).  That is about 12.7% of our class. I challenge each of us to make a donation, amount not mattering, in order to get our class participation, as well as all alumni participation, up.

Please consider making a gift so that another student may experience Gustavus the way you did. What a great opportunity to share Gustavus. At our recent Class Agents' Day I had the opportunity to meet older alumni and hear several of their memories from their days at Gustavus.  This reminded me of the great memories I made there over the four years that now seem to have passed so quickly.  I trust that my donation to Gustavus will help future students have many of the same, and improved opportunities, that we each had.  If you receive this letter in print form, please note the envelope for your convenience of sending in news about yourself or a donation. Please participate in this celebratory year!

I leave you with a few strange things that I have experienced over the past year of teaching undergraduate courses in Public Speaking at the University of Washington.

3.  A student told me he was sick with pneumonia and could not come to class.  An hour later, I saw him at the bus stop going downtown to a museum for another class. He didn't know how to get there, so I had to give him directions.

2. My officemate had a student come in after class to pick up an ax, his visual aid from the day's speech round.

1. I actually had a student say, "I have a test on Friday in another class, and I'm wondering if I could skip your class so I could either sleep or study." 

Sometimes I just have to shake my head and chuckle.  It is always an adventure!

I hope all is well with each of you.


Katherine Medbery Oleson

Below are several updates. Please feel free to contact the Alumni Office <> if you have an update to share.

School, school, and more school! A great number of our classmates are continuing their education in an array of fields.

  • Jen Brandenburg is in a pharmacy program at the University of Minnesota-Duluth.
  • Jess Behrends is at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in a clinical social work program.
  • Leslie Brandt is at the University of Minnesota in an ecology, evolution & behavior program.
  • Sharene Gossen is in a master's program for physician assistant at Oregon Health and Science University.
  • Jenny Grabow is at the University of Minnesota in dental school.
  • Emily Johnson is in a master's in education leadership program at NDSU. She also works at NDSU as a hall director.
  • Rena Hartman is at NYU-Graduate School of Arts & Science in interdisciplinary studies.
  • Jake Heilman is a law student at Hamline Law School.
  • Kristin Hoffman is in the A.B.S.-Nursing program at Loyola University-Chicago.
  • Ryan Schommer has been working in Minneapolis, but now is in the MFA interior architecture program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
  • Ellen Anderson is a medical student at Stanford University School of Medicine.
  • Sonja Strampe is attending paralegal school.
  • Anne Staples is a graduate student at St. Thomas.
  • Alec Sonsteby is at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in a library and information science program.
  • Laura Owen is a graduate student in the materials science department at Washington State University.
  • Denae Schuldt is at New York University studying Latin American and Caribbean studies.
  • Chris Wagener is at Wartburg Theological Seminary, in a master of divinity program.

Life abroad.

  • Jenny Kelly is spending time learning Swedish and learning about Swedish culture in Danderyd, Sweden.
  • Emily Weitz was in New Zealand until July of this past summer.
  • Toby Stalter is working for Nova Company, teaching English to Japanese students.
  • Andrew Bussey left for the Peace Corps in Nepal earlier this fall.
  • Scott Morris spent time this past spring and summer in Korea.

Hard at work.

  • Emily Brekke is working at Hermanson Dental Lab.
  • Alison Jones is a Habitat for Humanity volunteer with AmeriCorps.
  • Maggie Berndt is an extension 720 producer at WGN Radio in Chicago.
  • Brittany Miller ran the High Adventure Boundary Waters program again this year.
  • Tracy Vicory was involved with Lutheran Volunteer Corps. She was recently accepted as a community member at the Arc retreat center in Stanchfield, MN, where she began in August.
  • Jacob Cassady ran for a Ward 2 seat candidacy.
  • Heather Pearson is a nursing assistant. She is in medical school at the University of Minnesota.
  • Shelly Hochhalter is employed by Youth Works in Minneapolis.
  • Misti Koop was a substitute teacher in Albert Lea and spent the summer at Valleyfair as a  Berenstein Bear.  She just received a full-time music teaching position.
  • Brian Westland is a credit manager at Wells Fargo Bank.
  • Bob Logan is a customer service representative with Wells Fargo Retirement Plan Service.
  • Mike Gahlon is an assistant manager for GNC. He is also going to law school at the University of Minnesota.
  • Brad Mazer is a catcher with the Fargo Red Hawks, a minor league baseball team in Fargo, ND.
  • Chris Nelson is a financial associate for Thrivent Financial for Lutherans in Fairfax, VA.
  • Katie Katra is an assistant manager at Enterprise.
  • Owen Busse is employed by Midwest Mountaineering.
  • Andie Coates is a tutor at an elementary school as a part of Americorps in California.
  • Annie Holland works for Owatonna Community Education.
  • Cory Starkweather is an auditor for Deloitte & Touche, LLP in Minneapolis.
  • Mary Dahmen is a teacher at Kingsland High School.
  • Jamie Henderson is a teller at the Teacher Federal Credit Union.
  • Heather Morgan is working at Berkley Risk Association in Minneapolis as a claims administrator.
  • Emily Carney is an assistant manager at Intelligent Nutrients in Minneapolis.
  • Joe Carlile works for Congresswoman Betty McCollum as a healthcare policy liaison in St. Paul.
  • Vidya Sivan is a high school history teacher at The Academy of the Pacific Rim in Boston, MA.
  • Brita Hansen is an RN at Methodist Hospital in St. Louis Park.
  • Mary Moua is a fourth grade teacher at Highland Park Elementary in St. Paul.
  • Burnadette Dybvik works as an international marketing analyst at Power Products Marketing in Edina.
  • Laura Beres is an account operations specialist at General Mills.
  • Ryan Kath is a reporter for the South Washington County Bulletin.
  • Christine Weber is an account operations specialist at General Mills.
  • Jessica Krenik is an admissions counselor at Trinity University in San Antonio, TX.
  • Maggie Dalen is an account operations specialist at General Mills.
  • Brandon Cass is an account manager at Rimage Corporation in Edina.
  • Kevin Bergeson is the director of youth and family ministries at Salem Lutheran Church.
  • Heidi Miller is an account executive at Semmer Group, located in Minneapolis.
  • Ali Fugleberg works as a financial associate for Thrivent Financial for Lutherans.
  • Niki Schultz is a registered nurse at Fairview University Medical Center in Minneapolis. She is working in an adult oncology unit.
  • Leah Hansen is a reporter/weather anchor at KEYC TV in Mankato.
  • Meghan Harney is working as an operations tech at Abbott Northwestern Hospital.
  • Nicol Wind worked for the Penninsula Art School as a summer assistant to the program director.

It is certainly the wedding season. Congratulations to the following couples. May your marriage be full of blessings!

  • Cullen Nelson and Brie Stevenson were married on June 28, 2003. Both are teachers in Chaska.
  • Britta Olson and Ben Lindberg '01 were married on August 23, 2003 in Door County, WI.
  • Alison Vollmer and Tyler Krebs were married on July 5, 2003. Alison is a preschool teacher at the Country Garden Nursery in Burnsville and Tyler is a teacher and coach at Eastview High School.
  • Leah Langehaug and Richard Wong '00 were married on July 12, 2003 in Eden Prairie. Leah works as a special events account executive with Ridgeway International in Minneapolis.
  • Angela Fay and Jacob Kirchner were married on May 3, 2003. They reside in Plymouth, MN.
  • Keely Johnson and Mickey Pearson '01 were married on July 19 in Grand Rapids. They reside in Duluth where Keely is a graduate student in the water resources program at the University of Minnesota-Duluth.
  • Kjirsten Holmquist and Douglas Everling '01 are planning an October 11 wedding.
  • Kellie Kachelmeier and Adam Lockrem were married on May 23.
  • Shannon Swanson and Craig Severud were married on July 11 in Rice Lake, WI.
  • Jennifer Messner and Michael Bland were married on June 21 in Eagan. Jennifer is a children's counselor at Providence Corporation in Tuscon, AZ, and Michael is a graduate student in planetary science at the University of Arizona-Tucson.
  • Ann Plaetz and Derrick Jennings were married on June 28 at St. Anne's Catholic Church in Wabasso. Ann is employed in Vendor Services of U.S. Bancorp in Marshall, MN.
  • Anna Coulsey and Grant Wildgrube were married on August 23.  It was a beautiful wedding (I had the honor of being there) and there were tons of fun English relatives.
  • Dave Paulsen and Heidi Woller were married on June 8.  Dave is a graduate student in electrical engineering.
  • Jessica Reed and Chris Deegan were married July 26.
  • Anna Garbisch and Jacob Sorenson were married on May 24. Anna is at Princeton Theological Seminary.
  • Joe Pike and Melanie Wilbur were married on May 23.  Melanie is an intake coordinator at Fraser Child and Family Center.
  • Nikki Norton and Greg Ehrich were married on August 2. Nikki is teaching in Minnetonka.
  • Anna Larson and Ryan Weispfenning were married on June 21.
  • Karle Trethewy and Daniel Lewer were married on February 15.
  • Brian Emerick and Jennifer Kinneberg were married August 17, 2002. Both are employed by and attending graduate programs at the University of Iowa.
  • Brian Bergstrom and Kate Reiman were married on May 23 in Eden Prairie. Brian is a graduate assistant with the football team at St. Cloud State University pursuing a degree in sports administration. Kate works at Chaska Middle School West.
  • Jaime Quam and Aaron Winchell were married on May 9. Jaime is a kindergarten teacher at Goodhue Schools.
  • Lance Staples and Stephanie Larsen '03 were married on June 21. Lance is currently employed at Imagetrend, Inc., as a programmer.

Finally….congratulations on a new baby named Logan Scott (well, almost a year old now!) born to Sarah (Garrison) and Scott '95 Moe last November 27.

Campus News

College opens 142nd Academic Year -- More than 700 new students, including transfer students and international students, joined the Gustavus community this fall, keeping the total student population around 2,515. The retention rate of students from the first to second year remains at 90 percent. These students will be taught by 198 full-time and 55 part-time faculty. Gustavus was again ranked in the top third of the 214 national liberal arts colleges by the U.S. News and World Report.

Sculptor Paul Granlund '52 dies -- Paul Granlund died on September 15, 2003, the same day his exhibit Retrospective opened as scheduled in the Hillstrom Museum of Art on the Gustavus campus.  He was sculptor-in-residence at Gustavus from 1971-1996.  His figurative bronze sculptures are found in private collections and public installations nationally and internationally, including 30 bronze works on the Gustavus campus.  Retrospective will be displayed until November 9.

Gustavus Finishes sixth in Director's Cup -- Gustavus finished sixth out of 395 Division III institutions for the 2002-03 Director's Cup announced recently by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics. The only all-sports competition in intercollegiate athletics, the award honors four-year institutions with the best overall athletic programs.  Last year Gustavus placed 10th.

Upcoming Events -- call the Alumni Office at 800/487-8437

  • Charlotte, NC, Gustavus Gathering - October 18
  • Phonorama -- October 12-16 and 19-23, Minnesota Valley Country Club, Bloomington
  • Our Story Conference, The Growing Gender Gap in the African American Community -- October 24-25, Campus
  • Reformation Festival featuring the Gustavus Choir, Central Lutheran Church, Minneapolis -- October 25
  • JFK Assassination 40 Years Later, presented by David Jones '83 and Political Science Professor Chris Gilbert at Minnesota Valley Country Club in Bloomington-- November 4
  • A Royal Affair, benefit sponsored by Gustavus Library Associates in the Twin Cities -- November 15