Class of 2002
October 2006

5-YearReunion ― October 12 &13, 2007

Happy Fall!

Last month we went to Gustavus for a Volunteer Leadership Day―a time set aside for class agents, the alumni board, and reunion planning committee members to gather, reconnect, and plan for the year ahead.  Since our class will be celebrating our 5-year reunion (can you believe it, already?!) the weekend of October 12-13 of 2007, we started making plans.

We have a wonderful committee, made up of our classmates who were involved in activities across the board during our tenure at Gustavus.  Beginning in January of 2007, we will be contacting you individually to invite you to the reunion.  (This is a plug for you to send in current contact information to the Alumni Office so that we can speak with you.)  We do hope that you’ll be able to attend the weekend events next fall.

Throughout the next year, class letters written from various individuals’ perspectives will be arriving in your mailbox (or virtual mailbox).  This is an exciting time; there are so very many changes and updates from each of our lives.  Please send your updates, and see those from the past six months or so at the end of this letter.  It is our hope that as we approach a reunion year, we will each be able to reconnect with old friends and acquaintances.

Many of you probably received an e-mail in July telling of the tragic news that another classmate, Alicia Golembeski, had passed away.  We wanted to share some words about her, compiled by a classmate.  Alicia L. Golembeski, age 26, of Boulder, CO, formerly of Waconia, MN passed away accidentally in Alamosa, CO on July 22, 2006.  Alicia is a 1998 graduate of Waconia High School and graduated Phi Beta Kappa and Magna Cum Laude in 2002 from Gustavus Adolphus College.  At Gustavus, Alicia was an all-star golfer, earning all-conference honors her four years as a competitor and all-state honors three years as a competitor.  She was the first woman from Gustavus to win the MIAC golf championship, finished in 4th place in NCAA 2002 Division III tournament, and was selected to the All America Team.  Alicia moved to Boulder in 2002 to pursue her Ph.D. in mathematics at the University of Colorado at Boulder and worked at Indian Peaks Golf Course.

To honor her memory, current and former coaches and players have established a yearly award to be given to the Gustavus golfer best exhibiting Alicia’s talents.  The award will be given to the golfer demonstrating the best all-around performance both on the golf course and off the course in academic pursuits, highlighting ability, improvement throughout the year, effort to achieve academic excellence, faithfulness in practice, sportsmanship, and proven inspiration and leadership to her team.  A plaque will be kept in the Gustavus Athletic Department trophy case to showcase recipients of the award and to honor Alicia’s legacy as a Gustie athlete.

We hope all is well with you as we move into this fall season.


Karen Warkentien and

Katherine Medbery Oleson

Campus News

Honor Roll of Donors

If you haven't had a chance to find yourself online, please go to to check out the 2005-2006 Honor Roll of Donors. The Honor Roll of Donors recognizes those who made gifts to Gustavus between June 1, 2005, and May 31, 2006. To find your name or check your class results, just point and click from your home or office computer. For those who do not have access to a computer, you may call toll-free 866/487-3863 to receive a copy in the mail (supplies are limited).

Obtain Life Insurance at Group Rates

September is Life Insurance Awareness Month.  According to a recent national survey, 68 million Americans have no life insurance.  Fortunately, the Alumni Association sponsors a life insurance plan, Life for Life, with exceptional features and low initial rates.  Maximum coverage is $2 million and insurance can increase repeatedly even if your health fails and you become uninsurable.  Obtain information online with the Alumni Association partner, or call 800-635-7801 for more information about this and other sponsored insurance.

Gustavus Alumni Professional Apparel

Check out the two new oxfords on sale online through the Gustavus Book Mark.  The Book Mark is offering a women’s and men’s long sleeve shirt in a variety of colors and sizes.  The shirt features an embroidered three crowns and Gustavus.  A great idea for holiday shopping for your favorite Gustie.  Check them out online only at

Gustavus Legacy Award for Gustavus Admission

Mark Anderson, Vice President of Admission and Student Financial Assistance, is pleased to announce the Gustavus Legacy Award for new students beginning with the incoming class of 2007.  Renewable awards of $2,500 per year are given to new students whose siblings are current Gustavus students or graduates or whose parents or grandparents are Gustavus alumni.  Scholarship recipients must have a high school grade point average of at least 3.5 or an ACT of 26 or an 1170 (Critical Reading + Math) on the SAT.  For more information contact the Admission Office at 800/GUSTAVU(S) or email



  • Amber Grefe to Dr. Jeremy Adam on June 17, 2006
  • Angela Muck to Scott Davis on May 16, 2006
  • Cory Quammen to Sandra Valnes ’03 on June 11, 2005
  • David Benson to Amber Banark on June 17 in Omaha, NE
  • Erin Halligan-Hanson to Adam Tait on June 10, 2006
  • Leigh Kunelius to Randy King on June 3, 2006
  • Phil Royer to Vanessa Folz on September 2, 2006
  • Tiffany Alstead to Evan Molde ’01


Our apologies for an error that was printed in a recent issue of the Gustavus Quarterly. Kristin Joy (KJ) Johnson was recently married and attained a new job position, rather than Kristin Marie Johnson as was printed.  Thought we’d get the record straight.

Tiny little Gusties…

  • Ethan Adam, born July 5, 2005 to Laura Hanson Spanier and Chad Spanier.
  • Taryn Riley, born June 13, 2006 to Robyn Borre Winner and Matthew Winner.

The other stuff…

  • Ali Fugleberg is a patient placement coordinator for Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis.
  • Allison Opay graduated from Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans in May and is doing her residency in family medicine at the University of Minnesota/St. John’s Hospital.  She also recently became engaged Jimmy Wong and is planning a May 2007 wedding.
  • Angela Muck Davis is pursuing a doctorate of physical therapy at University of Nebraska Medical Center.
  • Angela Ziebarth recently graduated with an MD from the University of South Dakota and is at the University of Wisconsin, Madison as a resident in obstetrics and gynecology.
  • Brady Finnern graduated from Concordia Seminary in May and is the pastor at St. John’s Lutheran Church in North Prairie, WI.
  • David Benson is employed as a financial/investment consultant with Wells Fargo Bank in Omaha, NE.
  • Erica Schmidt is a registered nurse at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis.
  • Erika Carls Johnston is a science teacher at Vessey Leadership Academy in St. Paul.
  • Jaime Quam Winchell is a fourth grade teacher at Cannon Falls Area Elementary School.
  • James Matheson is assistant director of development at Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs.
  • Jenni Bean-Lopez has received her early childhood education from the Montessori Training Institute in July.
  • Jennifer Brandenburg is a candidate for a doctor of pharmacy degree from the University of Minnesota in May 2007 and is currently completing her rotations in a variety of areas of pharmacy practice.
  • Jenny Grabow is a second year dental student at the University of Minnesota.
  • Joshua Rinas is attending Yale Divinity School.
  • Julia Stein Dittberner is attending Oklahoma City University School of Law.
  • Katie Thompson received her master’s degree (in education, I believe) from St. Mary’s University.
  • Kjersten Holmquist Everling is employed at Ryan Partnership as a program manager.
  • Krista Fuerstenberg is living in the Twin Cities and is a manager of training  for the North Central Region at vaccine manufacturer Sanofi Pasteur.  She is engaged to Chad Thomas and is planning an April 2007 wedding in Playacar, Mexico.
  • Kyle Allen received a doctor of medicine degree from the Tulane School of Medicine in May.
  • Laura Hanson Spanier is teaching 9th grade special education in Alexandria.
  • Leah Knutson Anderson is working as an RN in the neonatal intensive care unit at MeritCare in Fargo, ND.
  • Leigh Kunelius King is employed with Trane in La Crosse, WI.
  • Marcus Schmidt is a night trader at Wells Fargo.
  • Megan Ploog is studying nursing and health care systems administration at University of Minnesota.
  • Michael Hom is a dentist at BrookPark Dental in Brooklyn Center.
  • Mike Adkins is teaching at Trinity School at River Ridge and is pursuing a master’s in Catholic Studies at University of St. Thomas.
  • Pete Nerothin is dominating diabetes and sharing the love.  He’s using the knowledge he’s gained as an athlete (a word we don’t use lightly here―he’s competed in an Ironman and climbed Kilimanjaro) with Type 1 diabetes to help others.  Pete and two other athletes have founded a non-profit group call “Insulindependence” which aims to show young diabetics how to lead active lives while managing their disease.  He’ll head to Peru this fall to lead six teens with Type 1 diabetes on an adventure trip.
  • Pierce Harrington is a physical education teacher and is working towards a M.Ed. in physical education from the University of Minnesota.
  • Robert Burns is director of education at Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Long Island, NY.
  • Sarah Watson is attending graduate school at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy.
  • Scott Davis is employed at CSG Systems in Omaha, NE as a technical writer.
  • Sharene Gossen is working as a physician assistant in endocrinology in Boise, ID.
  • Toby Stalter is a congressional analyst for the Embassy of Japan.
  • Tommy Valentini received a master’s of theological studies from the Candler School of Theology, Emory University in May.

Send us your updates!  Jobs, graduate school, marriages and births will be included in class letters and in the Quarterly.  We’d also love to include your other updates like volunteer activities, vacations, family news, Gustavus memories, funny experiences, wild adventures, etc. in the class letters.  You can even send pictures (wedding pictures will only be printed in class letters)!