Class of 2002

July 2012

10-Year Reunion ― Oct. 12-14, 2012

Hello from your Class President, Betsy Starz!

This past year Gustavus began celebrating the Sesquicentennial year of the college’s life.  As a part of the Sesquicentennial celebration, the college tagline, “Make Your Life Count,” is popping up everywhere.  As Gusties, each of us finds a way to make our lives count in such individual and creative ways.  Those who were nominated for the First Decade Award this year have blown the socks off the Alumni Board with their accomplishments!

First presented in 1968, the First Decade Award was established to recognize one male and one female for early professional achievement by graduates of the 10th anniversary class.  Criteria for selection includes the difficulty of the accomplishment; quality, creativity and distinctiveness of performance; recognition by professional peers; and lasting contribution to the world of ideas and affairs.

Our First Decade Award winners are:  Amy Brown, Pittsburgh, PA, neonatology fellow at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, and Michael Bland, St. Louis, MO, postdoctoral associate, earth and planetary sciences, Washington University.  These two fellow classmates are truly making their lives count in amazing ways!

At the end of August you will receive the next issue of the Gustavus Quarterly.  This is where you will find updated class news in the future.  Not receiving the Quarterly?  Be sure to email the Alumni Office with your updated mailing address!  They can be reached at

You can find Gustie factoids, college history and upcoming Sesquicentennial events across the country here:  Some obvious events of note:

  • October 5, 2012 The King and Queen of Sweden will be visiting Gustavus!
  • October 12-14, 2012 Homecoming and our 10 year reunion!  See below for details. You can also check our class page for additional information and to report your marriage, birth of a child, job change, random note, etc.

From Tobias Stalter, our Student Recruitment Chair:

Greetings!  This is the time of year when many future Gusties are making commitments to attend Gustavus.  News from the Admission Office shows another great group of students for the class of 2015 with 4,821 applications for an anticipated first-year class of 732 students.  There are plenty of opportunities for you to help prospective students in the recruitment process, including the Gustavus Recruitment Network.  Whether it’s making phone calls congratulating students on their acceptance or encouraging students to apply, the process is easier than ever with videos provided by the Admission Office to help you catch up on what is happening at the College now.  Please consider participating, especially as you reflect on your time at Gustavus in our 10th Anniversary year.

Greetings from Katherine Medbery Oleson & Karen Warkentien Oglesby – your co-communication & co-reunion chairs.  First up:  some communication.

If you have not already, please join the 278 of your classmates already in our Facebook group.

As this is our 10-year reunion year, we decided to do something a little different – provide what we like to call “Gustie Glimpses” of some of our classmates in a question and answer format.  We’ll be hearing from several classmates over the next few months leading up to our reunion in October.

Our first “Gustie Glimpse” is of Marne Gulley.  Marne currently resides in Colorado with her two daughters.

Q:  What’s your favorite Gustie gear to wear?

A:  Every Wednesday is "College Wednesday" at the high school where I teach, so I proudly sport an array of Gustie gear, chuckle as my very non-Midwestern students try to pronounce "Gustavus," and then tell them that I’m not being cliché when I believe college is one of the absolute greatest times of a person’s life.

Q:  What’s a random Gustie encounter you’ve had in the last few years?

A:  While I occasionally connect with random Gusties, thanks to our car bumper stickers or sweatshirts, a more frequent and meaningful friendship is that with classmate Amy Sommer, who teaches Latin at a high school very much on the other side of the tracks from my school.  Regardless, we seem to have a bond from our common past…and our new tradition of meeting for margaritas and fish tacos.

Q:  What’s a significant memory about your time at Gustavus?

A:  Dinner in the caf after the first day of classes freshman year, when conversation with the girls from my dorm floor was no longer awkward and it was apparent that we were going to be friends out of choice, not just due to circumstance.

Q:  What’s a significant life event that you’ve experienced in the last five years?  How has that impacted you?

A:  I have had the privilege of adopting two little girls (now ages 5 and 9).  My daughters have taught me about the importance of cuddle time, band aids and kisses for owies, dancing like crazy, complimenting people’s new clothes, and helping those who are less fortunate.  They have also opened my eyes to more profound realities, that perhaps, only children could recognize with their unbridled faith; for they believe and live, knowing there is always hope, beauty, and joy, even in seemingly dark places.

Q:  How have you made your life count?  How do you hope to do so in the future?  What does the Gustavus theme, "Make Your Life Count" mean to you?

A:  I value continuing to learn and grow each day as a teacher, mother, friend, and person.  I am in awe when I talk to my Gustie friends and realize how successful, happy, and thoughtful they all are.  It is apparent that each of us left college prepared, determined, and poised to make our lives count in diverse yet meaningful ways.

Thanks, Marne, for that glimpse into your life.  We look forward to future Gustie Glimpses.  We’ll also be posting some prompts on our class reunion Facebook page to get everyone engaged in some great memories of our time at Gustavus and our lives that have unfolded over the past ten years.

Next: reunion details!

We have a wonderful committee for our 10-year reunion and the details are shaping up already.  Take a moment now to mark your calendar for Reunion Weekend, October 12 – 13.  We’ve got a great line-up of events planned – you’re sure to find something to fit your interests and schedule!  Online registration begins in August, but here are some details in the meantime:

Friday, October 12th @ 7:30 – Cost: under $20

Join our class at Rare Steak and Sushi in the Grand Hotel for heavy appetizers (traditional and sushi).  For an early start, take advantage of their happy hour (ending at 6:30) prior to our event.  Menu:

Saturday, October 13th – Cost: Free (lunch on your own)

After our Friday event in Minneapolis, join the mass migration to St. Peter.  In addition to the many all-class activities already planned for the weekend, our class will share Alumni Hall with the class of 1997.  We plan to have kid-friendly activities, including a bounce house, snacks, coloring pages and a face-painter.  Adults can enjoy coffee, tea and treats from the Caf.

We are planning a late-morning memorial service for our classmates who have passed away.  There will also be a display remembering these individuals at our Friday evening event.  If you would like to participate in putting this service together, please contact us.

Enjoy lunch at the Caf or stop by the concessions at the game.  We thought it would be fun to give you a chance to enjoy an old Caf favorite while on campus so we’re taking requests.  Let us know if there is something from the Caf that you loved and we’ll try to get as many things included in the day’s menu as we can!

Stick around after the game to take in a little more of the things you enjoyed during your time at Gustavus.  Gather informally at Patrick’s, hit up the Mankato Perkin’s at 1 a.m., toss around a Frisbee or sit in your favorite library cubicle until they kick you out.

See you there!

We hope you are each having a wonderful summer,

Class of 2002 Class Officers

Campus News

Nobel Conference 48 – October 2 & 3, 2012

The oceans have long been a source of fascination, from the tales of Sinbad to the popular Blue Planet documentary.  The marine world provides us with necessities like seafood and medicines, fertilizers and petroleum.  But the oceans are also associated with danger, from the devastating hurricanes we face each year to the under-reported facts of the oceans’ roles in climate change.  Nobel Conference 48 examines “Our Global Ocean” as a source of inspiration, danger, and knowledge.  To order tickets online go to: or call the Office of Marketing/Communications at 507/933-7520.

Sweden’s King and Queeen to visit Gustavus – October 5

Their majesties King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia will visit Gustavus on Friday, Oct. 5, 2012 and American Swedish Institute on Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012.  The visit will commemorate the sesquicentennial at Gustavus and the opening of the new Nelson Cultural Center at ASI.  It comes after a long period of planning by both parties.