Class of 2002

October 2012

10-Year Reunion ― October 12-14, 2012

Hello Class of 2002!

Just two weeks from now many of us will gather for our 10 year reunion!  If you haven’t registered yet, please visit the Homecoming 2012 Registration website and do so!  I am looking forward to seeing all of your smiling faces October 12-14 both in the Twin Cities and on campus.

Your Class Officers have a few thoughts to share about what excites them about our reunion and what they enjoyed about Gustavus in the fall.

Tobias Stalter, Recruitment Chair

I am excited to return to campus for Homecoming and look forward to catching up with everyone.  Fall on campus brings back a lot of memories including football games with the pep band, capture the flag matches around Christ Chapel, voter registration drives in the dorms, and preparing intensely with the music ensembles for Parent's Weekend and Nobel Conference concerts.  As the class recruitment officer, I encourage everyone to reach out to current Gusties while on campus.  I always enjoy hearing what has and hasn't changed since our time on campus.

Katherine Medbery-Oleson, VP/Reunion Co-chair

When I think about our 10-year reunion, I am most excited about seeing classmates, many of whom I have not seen since our 5-year reunion or even graduation.  I have so many fond memories of relationships and interactions with classmates from our time at Gustavus that I'm looking forward to the opportunities to reconnect in October.

In addition to moving back to campus, my favorite fall activity on campus as a student was the Welcome Back BBQ held right before classes began.  I vividly remember being a freshman and watching returning students reconnect during the BBQ; they looked genuinely excited to be gathering back together on campus.  I looked forward to the potential for that to be my experience, and the next three years it happened every fall at that BBQ.

Karen Warkentien Oglesby, VP/Reunion Co-chair

I’m most excited about our Friday night event at Rare.  Or maybe it's just that I'm hungry as I write this.  I also look forward to seeing many of you and hearing what's new as I stare at you as I try to remember your name!

Fall was always my favorite time of the year at Gustavus.  Everything was just getting started on campus while summer was gorgeously winding down outside.  I'm looking forward to the colorful drive to campus for our reunion!

Betsy Starz, President

When I think about our ten-year reunion, there are many things that get me super excited!  I love getting to reconnect with classmates I haven’t seen for a long time at both Friday night’s event at Rare Steak and Sushi and on campus Saturday.  I am recently engaged and my fiancée hasn’t been to Gustavus yet (how is this possible?), so I am excited to give him the full tour of the place that helped to shape me into the person I am today.  There have been lots of changes and updates to campus since the time we graduated, and I am excited for all of you to see Gustavus again!

Fall at Gustavus is filled with so much energy, renewal and craziness!  My favorite part of fall was returning to campus early as a volleyball player and seeing the school’s beauty before the rest of the students arrived.  Being on campus with my team without the pressure of balancing class, homework, volunteering, music, and volleyball was lots of fun!

Mike Wilken, Annual Fund Chair

I am really excited for our 10-year reunion and listening to all the stories people will have to share.  Whether it’s about their kid(s) and the trouble they get into, the trips they’ve taken, the work they have done and are currently doing or how much they miss getting together with the old gang from Gustavus, all the stories will be great to hear.

As for my favorite fall activity, does anyone else remember how awesome it was to have two days off in the middle of the week for Nobel?  I’ve been trying to implement that at my office for ten years, but no one will bite on it.  Besides Nobel, I was always a big fan of playing ultimate Frisbee, going to the football games, and trying to get in a couple last rounds of golf before the snow arrived.

Our “Gustie Glimpses” series continues this month with our classmates Sarah Kruse and Ellie Roscher.

Sarah Kruse currently lives in Zumbrota, MN, and works for Boldt Construction.

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

A: My gray long-sleeve Gustie t-shirt from freshman year.  I am a little embarrassed that I have a shirt that is 14 years old, it usually only gets worn on Saturday mornings around the house.  I think it is time to go shopping at the BookMark.

Q: Do you still look through your Grib from time to time?

A: I have not looked at the Grib since senior year, but I think I still have one floating around the house.

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

A: I was on vacation in Alaska last June and ran into a Gustie.  I was in the old mining town of Kennicott in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park.  I am feeling old because I cannot remember his name, but he was two years behind us at Gustavus.  He worked for the guide company that led tours of the Kennecott Cooper Mill.

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

A: Every time we had a Jolly Homemaker get together - who doesn’t love eating and crafting? - and also the ones that have continued after graduation.

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

A: A few years ago I quit my job as a naturalist and worked as a construction laborer for a year while I decided what I wanted to do.  I then went back to school at Dunwoody College of Technology (in Minneapolis) and received an Associate of Applied Science in Construction Supervision, focusing in green/sustainable construction.  I am able to combine my biology degree from Gustavus and construction.  I now work with Boldt Construction while getting to enjoy naturalist activities as a hobby and nature center volunteer.


Ellie Roscher lives in New York City and is attending graduate school.

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

A: I have this great pair of bright gold sweatpants with Gustie and the three crowns running down the left leg.  They are huge and fuzzy on the inside, with pockets.  Sometimes at work, I daydream about those sweatpants.  They are glorious.

Q: Do you still look through your Grib from time to time?

A: No, can’t say that I do.  I have not thought about the Grib in a decade.  Yikes.

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

A: About a month after starting to date my then boyfriend now spouse, I was invited up to Lutsen with his family to celebrate his birthday.  Understandable, I was a little nervous to be closed in a ski lodge to meet Danʼs family for the first time.  When I walked in, I did a double take.  Andy Mulder, who I hadn't seen since studying pre-med with him at Gustavus, was standing there with his wife, Dan's sister.  It was fabulous to have a familiar face there on that first night.  It has continued to be a gift to have such an amazing Gustie brother-in-law.

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

A: Junior year, I lived with Courtney Walker, Shelly Hochhalter and Karen Warkentien in College View.  I have such fond memories of Thursday shake night.  Courtney would put on some music, break out the chocolate bon-bons and make the meanest shakes you have ever tasted.  They were so good, in fact, that Daryn Collins ate them every Thursday despite his intolerance to lactose.  I am still amazed at the community Courtney could build around those shakes.

My senior year at Gustavus, we hosted the Regional Gymnastics Competition in the Lund Center.  I remember taking a moment to look around at my teammates, and then scanning the student section of the bleachers, and being overwhelmed at how much love and family was built in that place over those four years of my life.  The women I competed with, my friends who came to support us, those are still some of my very best friends in the world.  I had the best meet of my career, and we upset our rivals from LaCrosse to win the meet and qualify for Nationals.  But the meet results came second to the realization of the abundance of genuine friendship in my life.

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

A: Opening an envelope to find my first book contract was a defining moment for me as a writer.  It validated my work, and encouraged me to continue to use my voice in the world.

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 consider my mind, body and spirit to be three gifts, and living a life that balances and celebrates those gifts has always been important to me.  Gustavus Adolphus College was a community that encouraged me to grow in mind, body and spirit.  I loved being on the gymnastics and softball teams.  I loved studying religion and being active in the faith community.  I loved studying medicine and history on the third floor of the library.  By continuing this three-fold growth as an adult, I hope that I am making my life count and doing Gustavus proud.

I strive to use my gifts and passions to address injustice in the world.  Most recently, that has looked like spending several weeks in a slum in Nairobi, Kenya, at a free girls’ high school.  I am using my skills as a writer and interviewer to compile the inspiring stories of these young women and the school to share with the larger community.  I hope that the story will add to the growing conversation around the necessity to offer affordable education to girls and boys around the world to eradicate poverty and address gender inequality.  By using my privilege and passion in such a way, I am hoping to make my life count.

Thanks so much, Sarah & Ellie! Be sure to check out next month’s glimpses!

Recent Class News:

Kelly Wavrin is a librarian at the University of Minnesota and Hennepin County Library.

Rob and Jennifer (Boorman) Schurrer traveled to China to visit Jennifer's mom who was teaching there.

Ruth Robinson is currently a doctoral candidate at Palo Alto University and has completed two master’s programs (MA counseling psychology, University of St Thomas; MS clinical psychology, Palo Alto University).  Her dissertation pertains to the levels of mindfulness experienced when engaging in physical exercise.

Jennifer Lopez has moved back to Minnesota and is now living in Mora where she is trying to influence two members of the High School Class of 2013 to apply to Gustavus.

Melanie Kelly McIvor is an elementary music teacher in Minnetonka Public Schools.

Sarah Hovland Spanier is a second grade teacher in St. Michael-Albertville School District.

Joy Reese married Josh Drinkall in Christ Chapel on May 19, 2012.  Josh is an '03 graduate of Winona State and is head assistant men's basketball coach and director of intramurals and club sports at Gustavus.

Finally, please consider making a donation to honor and remember all of our classmates who have passed away.

Undesignated Gift to the Annual Fund

The Gustavus Annual Fund helps bridge the gap between what it costs to attend Gustavus and what students can afford to pay.  It provides need-based financial assistance to approximately 70 percent of students and can also be used to support campus improvements, operational needs, and program support.

Gifts to Current Scholarship

These funds will be going to the annual fund, providing need-based financial assistance to students.  Approximately 70 percent of Gustavus students need and receive some type of financial aid.

Jennie Kinneberg Memorial Scholarship Fund

This scholarship fund was started by Jennie’s family and friends shortly after her death.  The scholarship is awarded to students for whom financial aid is essential in order to permit them to attend Gustavus, with preference given to a junior or senior student majoring in English, and with an interest in creative writing, specifically poetry.

Giving online is easy at  However you give, make a note that you would like your gift to go to your area of choice.  Give to your passion at Gustavus.

If you haven’t done so already, please mark your calendar for October 12-14 for our 10-year class reunion weekend and go to to let us know you’re attending.

Hope to see you soon!

Betsy, Toby, Mike, Karen & Katherine

2002 Class Officers

Campus News

Alumni Career Exploration

Where Dreams Meet Reality: Alumni Networking and Transition” will be offered again with support from Thrivent Financial for Lutherans and Catherine Beyer Breet (  This program is designed for anyone who is unemployed, underemployed, or unhappily employed.  It takes participants through the process of naming gifts, talents, and passions and finding where to use them in the world.  This event is scheduled at St. Mary’s University this fall on Tuesdays Sept. 25, Oct. 9 and 23, and Nov. 6, from 6–8 p.m.  This four-part classroom series includes full access to the Online Job Hunt Coaching System.  The series is being offered for $199 (Gustavus alumni $149).  Live outside the Twin Cities metro area?  The series will be offered in webinar format for $149 (Gustavus alumni $99).  Register at:

Hall of Fame

On September 29, the Gustavus Athletics Department inducted nine new individuals into its Athletics Hall of Fame.  The 2012 class of inductees included:  Rhonda Gorseth Alberts ’93 (Gymnastics), Brian Brekke ’95 (Football), Kara Bloomquist Drekonja ’96 (Cross Country), Brett Gross ’96 (Track & Field), Brock Guettler ’92 (Basketball), Mark Kruger ’86 (Tennis), Jason Lesteberg ’96 (Hockey), Scott Stoneking ’96 (Soccer), and Donald Swanson ’55 (Benefactor).

Upcoming Chapter Gatherings

National Chapter events for alumni, parents and friends are scheduled for the 2012-13 academic year and will focus on the College’s pillar of “Teaching and Learning.”  Please save the date for the event in your area.  Time and location details will be forthcoming

Nov. 8 – New York City

Nov. 10 – Boston

Nov. 10 – Dallas

Nov. 11 – Houston

Nov. 13 – Washington, DC

Jan. 29 – Phoenix

Jan. 31 – Tucson

Feb. 3 – Los Angeles

Feb. 4 - Palm Springs

Feb 13 – Tampa

Feb. 15 – Naples

Feb. 28 – Seattle

Mar. 2 – San Francisco

Mar. 9 – Madison

Mar. 12 – Denver

Mar. 14 – Chicago

Apr. 11 – Atlanta