Class of 2002
April 2005

Greetings!  And Happy Spring!

It is a typical spring day in Seattle as I sit down to write this letter.  I hope that each of you had a blessed Easter and that life is treating you well wherever you may be.

Right before Christmas, my husband, Tim, and I decided to buy a dog as our gift to each other.  Tim had been on a dog kick for several years already, and so since we’d been keeping plants alive for over two years, we decided this was a good time to add a pet to our family.  We got the cutest (I’m partial) little golden retriever puppy from a lovely older couple north of Seattle.  We named him Cosmo (we’re big Seinfeld fans).  He is FULL of energy and eats pretty much everything in sight.  His favorites include most vegetation (especially pine cones and dandelions), wood, and paper.  I cannot even imagine trying to keep up with all of the things kids put into their mouths or chasing them around…they seem to have ten times the energy of a dog!  I’m sure many of you have experienced the joy of a pet being added to your household, either when you were growing up or since we’ve graduated and joined the world outside of Gustavus.  Pets are a change to one’s routine, a minor change after they have grown out of the initial puppy stage, but a change nonetheless.

Change is good, though, in many ways.  Most notably, I always welcome the changes of spring that we’re experiencing now.  I’m guessing that the snow is thinking about melting in the Midwest, probably just in time for one last surprising blast of snow in April.  Here the flowers and trees are blooming in vibrant shades of color and our neighbors are mowing their lawns.

There are changes occurring in each of our lives in some capacity.  Just to name a few, I see from our class reports that many are graduating from school, finding new jobs and volunteer opportunities, buying homes, getting married, and starting families (see details at the end of the letter).  Last June, I finished graduate school.  For the fall, I was hoping to teach at a local community college, but this fell through in mid-August.  Since I really wanted to teach, I decided to wait and hope for something to come up in the winter quarter (which it did, and I am learning so much teaching in the diverse community college setting).  In the meantime, I needed a job, so I applied and was hired as a barista by Starbucks, at a twenty-four hour drive-thru.  I had never had a job in the service sector before, nor had I started my workday at 5 a.m. each day.  This was a fabulous experience to have and my level of respect for this large sector of our society increased a great deal.  The coffee perks are sure nice, too.

Changes have been taking place on campus at Gustavus as well.  A new dormitory is being built and other significant improvements are also taking place.  If you have not been to campus lately, I’d encourage you to stop by for a visit.  Also, please consider making your yearly donation to the college to give back to what Gustavus provided you for four years.  Finally, below is some more specific campus news to peruse.

With warm wishes for many blessings in the spring and summer ahead,

Katherine Medbery Oleson

2002 Co-class Agent

Our class news to report is listed below.  Please remember to send in any updates of your own to the Alumni Office.

Continued education

  • LisaBeth Barajas recently graduated from the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota with a master’s degree in urban and regional planning.  She is currently working as a city planner for the Community Growth Institute.
  • Kevin Bergeson is attending Luther Seminary.
  • Sarah Bjornson graduated with her master of arts degree in nonprofit and arts management from the University of London.
  • Dylan Blumentritt is a graduate student in geology at the University of Minnesota.
  • Jon Dumpys is a graduate student at Lutheran School of Theology.
  • Amy Ellingson is in her third year of medical school at the University of Minnesota.
  • Scott Jones is pursuing his MBA at Minnesota State University, Mankato.
  • Angela Kirchner started pharmacy school at Chicago College of Pharmacy at Midwestern University.
  • Nissa Peterson is working on her physical therapy doctorate at St. Katherine’s.  Lycka till, Nissa!
  • Ruth Robinson is enrolled in the master’s in counseling program at St. Thomas.
  • Bryan Rolfes is working toward his master’s degree in applied psychology at Rosalind Franklin Graduate School.
  • Erik Tou graduated in June of 2004 from Dartmouth College with his master’s degree in mathematics.

Engagements & Marriages

  • Jennifer Boorman and Robert Schurrer were married on June 6, 2004, in Christ Chapel at Gustavus.  Beautiful venue…I’m a little partial.☺  Jennifer is a student at the University of Minnesota veterinary medicine program.  Rob is a consumer appeals advisor for Medica.
  • Michelle Borchart and Jeff Egge ’00 were married in August of 2004.
  • Brandon Burmeister and Gina Sehnert were married on June 19, 2004.
  • Erika Carls is engaged to Brendan Johnston ’05.  The couple is planning a July 16, 2005, wedding.
  • Katie Carlson and Matthew Schoeppner are engaged to be married.
  • Julie Christenson and David Oachs ’01 were married August 7, 2004, at Trinity Lutheran Church in Madelia, MN.
  • Lisa FitzSimmons and Justin Davis were married September 4, 2004.
  • Kara Fox and Dan Galvin were married on August 4, 2004.
  • Erin Holloway and Mike Wilken were married on October 16, 2004.
  • Joel Johnson and Elizabeth Schauff are engaged to be married on July 27, 2005.
  • Johnathan Juhl and Kirsten Hall ’03 were married on September 3, 2004.  The couple resides in Grand Forks, ND.
  • Marissa Kolander married Stanton Letscher on July 24, 2004, in Jackson, MN.  Melissa is also pursuing her master of divinity degree at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, CA.
  • Shannon LeMay and David Tupy were married December 27.  Shannon is employed by the Montgomery-Lonsdale School District.
  • Matt McCabe is engaged to Jennifer Scott.  They plan a November 26, 2005 wedding.
  • Kristi Montgomery and Kirk Walberg are planning to be married July 9, 2005.
  • Andy Mulder and Leslie Ruth were married on August 14, 2004, in Fairmont, MN.  Andy is a medical student at the University of Minnesota Duluth Medical School.
  • Cory Starkweather and Sarah Hansen were married January 8, 2005, in Christ Chapel.
  • Nick Taintor married KariVickerman ’03 on July 17, 2004, in Tracy, MN.
  • Christine Weber and Mark Anderson were married July 31, 2004.  It was an absolutely beautiful, classy wedding!  And (as I’m guessing many Gustie weddings are) a fun reunion with classmates!


  • Joshua Lorenz and Erin Lorenz are pleased to announce their son’s birth.  Evan Richard Lorenz was born October 30, 2004.
  • Joy Reese and Robert Ruffin are the proud parents of Lilly Lee Ruffin.

Employment & Volunteering

  • Tiffany Alstead is a sales representative for Takeda Pharmaceuticals.
  • Nichol Brausen is working in real estate for Counselor Realty in Wayzata, MN.
  • Brandon Cass is an account associate for Xiotech Corporation.
  • Beth McBroom Dinger is a pupil support assistant for the Intermediate School District 917.  She and Justin Dinger have two boys who are “growing up nicely and healthy!”
  • Burnedette Dybvik is employed by Power Products Marketing.  She also has been recently competing in the Miss Minnesota Pageant.
  • Michael Formas is a mutual fund accountant with Investors Bank and Trust in Boston, MA.
  • Sara Brigger Gleason heads the Greater Mankato Chamber and Convention Bureau.
  • Mark Haukoos is employed by UBS Mortgage.
  • Amy Holland is a physical education teacher in the Sioux Falls School District.
  • Justin Johnson is a staff geologist for The RETEC Group, Inc.
  • Misti Koop is an elementary band teacher in Shakopee, MN.  She is enjoying it very much.
  • Bob Logan is a trading service representative for Wells Fargo Institutional Trust Services.
  • Thor Lossen is employed at GM Basil Doc’s Pizzeria.
  • Paul Miller is an intern at First Lutheran Church in Cresco, IA.  Marie (Desaulniers) Miller is a naturalist at Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center.
  • Logan Mitton is employed by Valspar as an accounts payable coordinator.  Last year he took a three-month trip to Europe.
  • Diane Moberg is the music director at St. John the Evangelist Church.  She and Carter Aikin are engaged to be married.
  • Jake Morlock is a software engineer for IBM Corporation.
  • Rebecca Potter is working as a trim carpenter for Tappe Construction Company.
  • Ira Rasiwala works for Target Corporation as a senior retail analyst.
  • Tobias Stalter is a committee page for the Minnesota House.
  • Nick Taintor is an auditor for HLB Tautges Redpath, Ltd.
  • Tracy Vicory works for ThirdWay Network as a volunteer and events coordinator.
  • Kathryn Weiss is employed as a project accountant at Opus Corporation.
  • Kate Haschig Wright lives in Mahtomedi, MN and works for Edina Realty in St. Paul, MN.

Campus Briefs

Gustavus has been known for its strong tradition of alumni participation in annual giving.  Gusties support their Alma Mater in many ways and show their pride with their gifts.  All alumni and current students have benefited from previous and current support.  Gustavus will be as strong as its alumni want it to be.  The 2005 Alumni Fund closes May 31.  Make sure you are included with many members of your class and other alumni that have chosen to keep Gustavus strong.  Three easy ways to give – send your check to the Alumni Office (by using the enclosed envelope), call 866-487-3863, or on-line at

Alumni Awards

The Gustavus Alumni Association has announced 2005 award recipients. 

The Greater Gustavus Award to:

  • George Torrey ’55 for his lifetime volunteer service and philanthropy to the College.

Distinguished Alumni Citations to:

  • G. Barry Anderson ’76, Apple Valley, MN, associate justice, Minnesota Supreme Court;
  • Deanna Nelson ’64, Cary, NC, president/founder, BioLink Life Sciences, Inc.;
  • Rick Webb ’73, Edina, MN, owner of Ciao Bella, Zelo and Bacio Restaurants; and
  • John Wirth ’75, Pacific Palisade, CA, writer/executive producer, Paramount Studios. 

First Decade Awards to:

  • Joe Gaugler ’95, Lexington, KY, assistant professor, Department of Behavioral Science, University of Kentucky College of Medicine;
  • Debbie Lightly Mascaro ’95, Fargo, ND, research scientist, North Dakota State University Center for Nanoscale Science and Engineering.


The Gustavus women’s hockey team finished third at the NCAA national championship after winning the MIAC title, the men’s basketball team won the MIAC regular season title and conference tournament and advanced to the NCAA national tournament, the men’s swimming and diving team won the MIAC title and placed seventh at the NCAA national tournament and had seven swimmers earn All-America honors and the women’s team had four swimmers earn All-America honors.

Extraordinary Students

Senior Rachel Batalden, a double major in mathematics and secondary education with a 3.898 grade point average and two-time MIAC All-Conference selection at setter for the women’s volleyball team, has been selected as one of 56 student-athletes from across the country to receive a $7,500 NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship.

Senior Paul Fraser, a music and computer science major has been selected as the winner of the second annual Caltech-Occidental Composition Contest for new music for concert band. The contest drew entries from all over the world, and as the winner, Paul will receive a cash award and a recording of the world premiere of the work at a concert by the Caltech-Occidental Concert Band in Pasadena, Calif., in May.

Bricks and mortar

Southwest Residence Hall is being constructed across the Campus Drive from the arboretum on the west side of the campus and is scheduled to be finished by June.  The L-shaped facility is configured with apartments for four and six and will accommodate nearly 200 students.  A hostel space for summer programs and confirmation retreat groups is included in the residence’s plans.

With the new Southwest Residence Hall coming on-line, the College will be taking down Wahlstrom Hall to make way for future residential construction.  Crews will start the dismantling process in July with asbestos abatement, and the Kasota-stone residence hall will be razed in August.  Alumni returning for reunion and commencement festivities on May 27–29 will be able to take a last tour through the building’s public areas, stairwells, and walk-through sections following a “decommissioning” ceremony to be held on Saturday morning, May 28.

Construction crews working on the renovation of Old Main discovered a cistern under the basement flooring in March.  Gutting the interior has provided evidence of layers upon layers of remodeling done over the years, including an old stairwell in the middle of the building and what appears to be an attempt to raise the third-floor ceiling.  The Old Main project, which includes the installation of an elevator in the northwest corner of the building, is scheduled to be completed in August.

The education and nursing departments have been relocated to the newly erected Mattson Hall, which is sited just west of the Schaefer Fine Arts Center and Prairie View Residence Hall, on the south side of the campus.  These departments will remain there until a new social science center is built at some point in the future.

Upcoming Events

  • Association of Congregations Meeting – April 23
  • G.I.V.E. Community Service Day – April 30
  • Class of 1955 and 50-Year Club Reunions – May 27 & 28
  • Commencement – May 29
  • Alumni Fund closes – May 31
  • Reunions on Homecoming – October 7 & 8
  • Nurses Reunion – October 8