Class of 2002
September 2005

Greetings class of 2002!

The summer is coming to a close, and the year of 2005 is rounding the bend as well.  We were at Gustavus last weekend and things seem to be going quite well – the 700 plus students that make up the class of 2009 had moved in, there is a new dorm, Wahlstrom is gone, the Old Main renovations are nearly complete, and Minnesota’s September weather is setting in.

It seems that this year has been filled with difficult situations in our personal lives, our nation, and our world.  We would like to dedicate this class letter to the remembrance of three classmates who have passed away this year:  Jamie Michalsky, Courtney Walker, and Brian Westland.  We are also mindful of those individuals so deeply affected by Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita.

Jamie Michalsky was killed on October 23, 2004, in a bombing attack at a marketplace in Kabul, Afghanistan.  She was working as a Russian translator with a private U.S. contractor in Uzbekistan where her hand was injured in a jeep rollover.  She traveled to Afghanistan to see a doctor and was shopping with friends when grenades were set off near a military jeep.  Jamie served with the Army Reserves and, after being trained in their intensive Russian language program, was on active duty for nine months during 2003 in Afghanistan.  Jamie attended Gustavus for a year with the intention of studying sports medicine or veterinary science.  “She lived a wild, hard and diligent life,” her mother, Lissa Michalsky, told The Pioneer Press.

Courtney Walker passed away on August 18, 2005, after a brave battle with cancer.  She touched many of our lives with her friendship, her gift of music, her unmistakable laugh, and her own unique vibrancy for life.  Courtney was one of our roommates at Gustavus and a great friend.  She was a blessing to all around her.

Brian Westland passed away on January 3, 2005.  He is remembered for possessing one of the most outgoing personalities in the class of 2002.  His infectious smile and positive attitude are greatly missed by his close friends, family and the entire class.  All those who knew Brian for even one minute were likely greeted with a hug and his sometimes overbearing enthusiasm for life.  His passion for the ice led him to excel as a four-year member of the Gustavus varsity hockey team and his tenacity earned him the title of captain during his senior year.  If you ever visited Fourth and Nassau, you could not mistake seeing Brian since he was quite often the center of attention.

We invite anyone to send a short memory, story, or thought about Jamie, Courtney, and/or Brian to share with the class in a subsequent letter.


Katherine Medbery Oleson and Karen Warkentien

2002 Class Agents

Noteworthy Gustavus happening:

A special invitation has been extended to us from the class of 2005 to a BBQ in Swede Park following the Homecoming football game (1:00 p.m.) on Saturday, October 8, 2005 at 1p.m.  The class of 2005 is hosting this event for all recent graduates, and it sounds like a great chance to gather with classmates and other Gustavus friends.  If you have more specific questions, please contact Anne Michaeltz (2005 co-class agent) at .

Class updates (a.k.a. What is everyone up to?!)


  • Carly Eichhorst to Matthew Lee ’01 on June 18, 2004, in Minneapolis.
  • Diane Moberg to Carter Aikin on April 23, 2005.
  • Susan Schumacher to Kurt Steinke on July 9, 2005.
  • Isaac Johnson to Marit Hall on May 14, 2005.
  • Brent Nelson to Amy Jansen on June 12, 2004.
  • Melissa Vierling to Coley Grostyan on August 6, 2005.
  • Ryan Kath to Carla Corban on June 18, 2005 in Boston, MA.

Future Gusties (Class of ’26?)

  • Elijah Bruce Sorenson born December 7, 2004 to Anna Garbisch Sorenson and Jacob Sorenson
  • Jadan Aaron Winchell born February 9, 2005 to Jaime Quam Winchell and Aaron Winchell.


  • Ryan Schommer is living in Chicago, IL and graduated the past spring from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago with an MFA in interior architecture.  He is now working as an intern for the city of Chicago, Central Services.
  • Logan Mitton is a transportation analyst at Valspar in Minneapolis.
  • Zach Takle is working in auditing at CIT Corp in Tempe, Arizona.
  • Dena Kill works in the marketing department at the law firm of Faegre & Benson, LLP in Minneapolis and is coaching girl’s hockey.
  • Nikki Norton Ehrich is a first grade teacher at Blue Heron Elementary in the Centennial School District.  She is also pursuing her master’s of art in education at Hamline University.
  • John Gilbert is a financial analyst for Arizant, Eden Prairie.
  • Anna Garbisch Sorenson is attending Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia where she is pursuing a master’s of sacred theology.
  • Jaime Quam Winchell is a special education contracted substitute in Goodhue County.
  • Amber Grefe works as a youth development specialist for AmeriCorps – Team, Greater Wausau Area.
  • Diane Moberg Aikin graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a master’s in organ performance in May, 2004
  • Tim Stoub attended fire academy in June and will attend paramedic school this fall.  He works as a firefighter/paramedic for the village of Hoffman Estates, IL
  • Amanda Webb is in medical school at the Medical College of Wisconsin.
  • Cory Quammen is studying computer science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
  • Sarah James Rice is a merchandise coordinator for Target Corporation.
  • Erin Kommerstad is a corporate wellness representative for Pure Fitness.
  • Jennifer Bean-Lopez works at Clemson Montessori Schools as an early childhood intern.
  • Alex Sonsteby graduated from the School of Library and Information Science at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
  • Amy Jansen Nelson teaches sixth grade in Fergus Falls and her husband, Brent Nelson, is teaching physical education in Underwood.
  • Misti Koop, teaching beginning band to fifth graders in Shakopee and both performs in and directs children’s drama camps in East Grand Forks, MN.
  • Kevin Chun graduated from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA with a degree in transportation design.  This summer he has been interning with Toyota’s Satellite Studio, Calty Design Research, Inc., in Newport Beach, CA.
  • Allison Kramer is attending physician’s assistant school at Nova Southeastern University in Naples, FL.
  • Jennifer Messner Bland and Michael Bland are both attending University of Arizona – Michael for a Ph.D. in planetary science and Jennifer for an M.Ed. in school counseling and guidance.
  • Sarah Garrison Moe is assistant women’s hockey coach at Gustavus.
  • Bria Ekstrand Shea is enrolled at William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul.
  • Brian Bergstrom is the assistant head coach and defensive coordinator for the Crown College football team.
  • Lea Howard is attending the School of Public Health/Community Health Education at the University of Minnesota.
  • Ryan Kath is a reporter at KTTC-TV in Rochester, MN.
  • Jeff Brown is an environmental health specialist/sanitarian for Hennepin County.
  • Anne Freier is a residential instructor at Pine Ridge School.
  • Christopher Wagener graduated from Wartburg Theological Seminary in May with an M.A. in youth, culture and mission and is now the director of youth ministries at Mount Calvary Lutheran Church.
  • Tracy Vicory works at the Third Way Network as volunteer and events coordinator.
  • Ellie Roscher received a master of art degree in urban ministry from Luther Seminary in May and is now volunteering in Uruguay with the Global Mission Division of the ELCA.
  • Amanda Larson is assistant director of anatomic pathology at University of California/Davis Medical Center.
  • Christine Carlson graduated from University of Missouri in May and is now working for SEH in St. Paul as an environmental geologist.
  • Chris Huizinga is a youth minister at Christ Lutheran Church and is pursuing a master’s in youth and family ministry at Luther Seminary.
  • Matthew Schoeppner graduated in May with a Masters in Economics at the University of Maine.
  • Becky Potter is working at Tappe Construction Company as a trim carpenter.
  • Sarah Wolter is a recipient of the 2005 ICA-IDD outstanding teaching by a graduate student award.  She graduated with a master’s in communication studies from Minnesota State University-Mankato.  Sarah is currently an adjunct professor at Gustavus.

(Your Name Here) is doing (insert really cool or even slightly boring thing here).  Yes, you too can be listed in this section!  Just send us your information or update the Alumni Office.  You can even do it online!

A New Year Begins

The 144th academic year began September 7 with 2,600 students and approximately 710 new students, the largest enrollment and new class in college history.  Some changes in the general education curriculum were implemented this year, including a foreign language requirement for graduation.

Evelyn Sponberg Young, one of Gustavus' best ambassadors of goodwill, hospitality and spirit, and friend of many, many Gusties through the years, died at her home on September 29, at the age of 93.  Evelyn graduated from Gustavus in 1933 and taught English in several schools in southern Minnesota.  She returned to campus in 1949 as director of the College's dining service, serving the College 32 years until her retirement in 1981.  A memorial service will be held at Gustavus Adolphus College, Thursday, December 8, 2:00 p.m., followed by a reception in the Evelyn Young Dining Room.

Wind Orchestra Tour

Join Gustavus alumni and parents on a companion tour with the Gustavus Wind Orchestra to Eastern Europe January 17-27, 2006.  The trip includes visits to the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, and Austria and will be hosted by Tom Emmert, professor of history, and Jon and Anita (Thomsen) Young ’77 ’77.

Announcing the Gustavus 2006 Alumni Fund Campaign

“When you get your invitation in the mail or receive a call from a Gustie student or classmate, commit to making your gift to the Alumni Fund this year,” encourages Jan Michaletz ’74, alumni board member, class agent, and 2006 Alumni Fund Chair.  The Michaletz family―Russ ’74, Mara ’02, Annie ’05, and John ’08―have agreed to chair this year’s alumni fund drive.  The 2006 Alumni Fund goals are to achieve 9,000 donors and $1,185,000 dollars in alumni giving.  The 2006 fiscal year began June 1, 2005 and ends May 31, 2006.  Gifts to the Alumni Fund will immediately support current Gusties in the classroom, in labs, on the playing field, in the library, and more.  Tuition does not cover the real cost of educating students today, nor did it when you were a student at Gustavus.  Since its inception in 1954, the goal of the Alumni Fund has been to help keep the Gustavus educational experience accessible for current students.  Give the gift of Gustavus to a current Gustie by making your Alumni Fund gift this year.

The 2004-2005 Honor Roll of Donors is now available online at:  The Honor Roll of Donors recognizes those who have made gifts to Gustavus between June 1, 2004 and May 31, 2005.  To find your name or to check out your class results, point and click from your home or office computer.  To have your name included in the 2005-2006 Honor Roll of Donors, go to to make a gift online.

Nobel Conference

The College’s 41st Nobel Conference, The Legacy of Einstein, was held September 27-28.  The panel consisted of scientists in the areas of statistical physics, relativity, cosmology, and unified theories, who discussed current work in the areas of Einstein’s greatest contributions.  In addition, a historian of science explored the impact that Einstein’s discoveries and his social and political views have had on science and humanity.  Also, a play, Clockworks:  Einstein Time, was premiered, the Physics Force group performed, and a symphony orchestra concert celebrated Einstein through music.

Alumni Directory

In partnership with Publishing Concepts (PCI), a comprehensive alumni directory is being produced and will be released in 2006.  PCI will be contacting alumni to get current information.

Athletics Hall of Fame

On Saturday, September 24, Gustavus inducted the following people into the Athletics Hall of Fame:  Holly Brodmarkle Cervin ’87, track and field; Marc Illies ’85, baseball and football; Marc Iverson ’89, football; Gretchen Koehler, coach; soccer; Rich Skanse ’84, tennis; and Dick Walters ’75, hockey.  Jay Rooker ’85 and Mary Mansour ’85, softball, have also been selected but will be inducted Fall 2006.

Campus Progress

Whether it’s planning for brand new buildings or renovating old ones, the Gustavus campus is always changing.  A new web site has been designed to keep you updated on the changes taking place on campus.  Check it out at:

Upcoming Alumni Events

  • A Royal Affair * First Frost — October 29
  • Christmas in Christ Chapel ― December 2-4
  • St. Lucia Day ― December 8
  • Wind Orchestra Companion Tour to Eastern Europe — January 17-27