Class of 2002
July 2010

Greetings classmates of 2002!

We hope that you had a safe and fun 4th of July holiday weekend and that the summer is going well.  Perhaps you have enjoyed time with family, spent a weekend at the lake, read a good book, reveled in a 30th (or maybe 31st) birthday, taken your children to the pool, eaten a lot of tasty ice cream on warm summer evenings, and/or made time for a picnic.

With picnics in mind, please make sure to check out some Minnesota Gustie picnics at the end of July.  You can see details at the following site:

The July picnics include the following:

  • July 21 – Mankato Picnic
  • July 22 – Twin Cities Picnic
  • July 25 – Twin Cities Picnic
  • July 26 – St. Cloud Picnic
  • July 27 – Fargo/Moorhead Picnic
  • July 28 – Willmar Picnic

Also be sure to check out the online calendar for a variety of other upcoming alumni events throughout the summer and fall.

We hope that you’re able to make some Gustie connections this summer─in person or online.  As a friendly reminder, you can check out and join the Gustavus Alumni group on Linked In at the following site:

For our fall class letter, we’d like to highlight Gustie connections from the summer (or from this last year).  Maybe you’ve run into another alum at a county fair (or the State Fair), hiking across Europe, at the airport, at a coffee shop, or elsewhere.  We’d also like to hear about all of the interesting things everyone is up to lately.  While jobs, graduate school, marriages and births will be included in class letters and in the Gustavus Quarterly, we’d love to include other updates in our class letters!  Updates like volunteer activities, vacations, family news, Gustavus memories, funny experiences, wild adventures, and so on, are always welcome.  Please keep us in the loop via e-mail:  

As always, there are class updates and news from Gustavus below.  Enjoy!

Blessings to each of you,

Katherine Medbery Oleson  and Karen Warkentien Oglesby

2002 Co-class Agents

On the Home front…


  • Jennifer Grabow Hummel is a dentist at a practice in Eden Prairie, MN, and also at a kid’s clinic in Minneapolis.
  • Brita Hansen Burke is an RN on the intermediate ICU at Stanford University Hospital in California.
  • Julia Stein Dittberner is an associate at Crowe & Dunlevy in Oklahoma City, OK, working in Aviation/Aircraft.
  • Heidi Miller Windmiller is an account executive at a package design firm, Semmer Group, in Minneapolis.
  • Katherine Medbery Oleson is chair of the Communication Studies Department at Bellevue College in Bellevue, WA.
  • Katie Beck Foss is a professor at Middle Tennessee State University.
  • Britta Olson Lindberg recently graduated from the University of Wisconsin Law School and is working in the legal department at Epic Systems Corporation in Verona, WI.


  • Todd Sauer married Lindsay Lewis on October 9, 2009.
  • Brita Hansen married Benjamin Burke on October 3, 2009, in Squaw Valley, CA.
  • Lindsey Burg married Thomas Douty on January 24, 2009, in St. Paul, MN.
  • John Gilbert married Leah Amundson ’06 on May 1, 2010, in Alexandria, MN.

Tiny little Gusties…

  • Grant Vincent born on December 15, 2009, to Randy and Leigh (Kunelius) King.
  • Avalee Birkett born on June 22, 2009, to Mark and Abby (Roen’03) Flores.
  • Isabel Quinn born on December 3, 2009, to Dan and Emily (Brekke) Thery.
  • Molly Ann born on January 19, 2009, to David and Amber Benson.
  • Sebastian Thomas born on April 20, 2010, to Carlos and Courtney (Grant) Martinez.
  • Kaitlin Ann born on April 3, 2010, to Charlie and Karen (Warkentien) Oglesby.

On the Hill…

2010 Commencement

On Sunday, May 30, 593 seniors became Gustavus graduates.  They received their diplomas from the faculty chair in their respective major, a tradition that began in 1973.  Also at the ceremony, Leila Brammer, associate professor of communications studies, was awarded the Edgar M. Carlson Award for Distinguished Teaching.  Mary Cunningham ’10 gave a fantastic senior student speech.

GLA Membership

All of us remember the Folke Bernadotte Memorial Library.  It was a place for study and, depending on your era, finding a “coffee date.”  But, in the 21st century, it has become much more.  It is a technology-rich laboratory for learning and a storehouse of culture and recorded knowledge.  It must constantly be strengthened to ensure excellence in education.  The Gustavus Library Associates (GLA) provides financial support for the library and a program of events to its members.  Join this year and immediately make a difference.  Whatever membership gift level you choose, 100% goes directly to the library’s acquisition budget.  Join today at!!!

Admission News

Applications for next year are ahead of where they were last year at this time which made Mark Anderson ’66, the former director of admission, very happy.  We graduated two very large classes in the last two years so we need to have somewhat larger classes in order to maintain our enrollment at about 2,500.  Mark Anderson retired at the end of the academic year and Thomas Crady was hired as vice president of enrollment management and started mid-July.

Rare Corpse Flower Set to Bloom Again

A Titan Arum, or Amorphophallus titanum, otherwise known as a Corpse Flower is showing signs that it will bloom again in mid to late July at Gustavus.  The Corpse Flower is a rare flowering plant that is only found naturally in the tropical rainforests of Sumatra, Indonesia.  With the largest unbranched inflorescence in the world, the Corpse Flower’s name comes from the repulsive scent it emits during the hours after it blooms.  When the Gustavus Corpse Flower last produced an inflorescence in May of 2007, more than 7,000 people came to see the rare plant, which was the first of its kind to bloom in the state of Minnesota.

Health Insurance Available through Alumni Association

During this time of economic uncertainty, many of our alumni, new graduates, and their family members are in need of health insurance.  Short-term and permanent health insurance options are available through the alumni insurance program.  The program is typically promoted to new grads just before and after graduation, but in response to the rising unemployment rate and in an effort to help all of those in need, we’re spreading the word more broadly this year.  This is also perfect for children of alums who are graduating (even if they did not attend Gustavus Adolphus College) and aren’t yet covered under an employer’s health plan.  For more information, individuals can contact the alumni office or contact the program manager directly or 800-635-7801.

Former President Peterson Honored

James L. Peterson ’64, who served as the 15th president of Gustavus Adolphus College from 2003 to 2008, was awarded the Royal Order of the Polar Star at a special, private luncheon  on April 29, on campus.  The honor was bestowed by the Swedish crown in appreciation and recognition of Dr. Peterson’s service to Gustavus and his continued work to foster relationships with individuals and organizations to strengthen ties with Sweden.

“Come on You Gusties” Breakfast

Once a month, Gusties gather for coffee, breakfast, and great conversation along with a campus speaker.  All Gusties are welcomed and invited to the breakfast, third Wednesday of the month, 8-9:30 a.m. at the Doubletree Hotel, Minneapolis-Park Place, 1500 Park Place Boulevard.  Cost is $10 at the door.  Upcoming speaker for July 21 will be the summer programs staff.