Class of 2003
October 2003

Dear Classmates,

It was great to see so many of you at Homecoming a few weeks ago.  I'm sure it was both exciting and strange for you first-time returnees to "come home" to Gustavus.  It was the 91st time I've returned to Gustavus since graduation and it's still a little strange for me.  That's probably because the rest of the Gustavus staff confuses me for a first-year student and the students confuse me for "administration."  Well, they're both right.  I am part of "administration" now as the assistant director of the Gustavus Fund.  But I'm also taking a class (for free, what a great deal!), participating in Pound Pals and the Big Partner/Little Partner program, playing some rugby, and I've joined a frat.  No longer a GDI; I'm the new advisor for Nu Upsilon Gamma (the Greys).  Adam Moseley, Chris Kimmel, and Kevin Whipple are crying somewhere.

Enough about me, here is what I know about the rest of our class.  Mike Koolen is a meteorology graduate student at Minnesota State-Mankato and has the coolest roommate in North America (that's me!).  Mike is studying weather patterns, El niño, and how to use a Magic 8-Ball two minutes before he goes on the air.  Speaking of roommates, let's check in with my formers.  Scott Stephens is studying physics as a graduate student at the University of Delaware (Go Blue Hens!).  Jason Flohrs is economically developing Moldova in the Peace Corps.  Colin Cram is coaching the National Rugby Team of Togo.  Okay, so he's not coaching any rugby team, but he is in Togo on a two-year Peace Corps stint.  What is it with me and former roommates leaving the country?  Even though she wasn't my roommate, Danielle Dryke lived directly beneath me during my junior year and she has joined the Peace Corps and gone to Mali.  Maybe this should tell me something…or maybe it should tell my fiancé Heidi Sands something.  Mike, Scott, Jason, Colin, and Danielle are all nodding in agreement as they read this.

"After driving it for seven hours, it smelled like a restaurant.  Like the food at school.  I was getting hungry."  No, Phil Graeve was not talking about his new job delivering Bosco sticks to the Gustavus Marketplace.  He was talking about the 1981 Volkswagen Rabbit diesel pickup truck that he and Aaron Crowell converted to run on deep fat fryer grease this summer.  The duo will be heading out west for a road trip this fall, stopping at every White Castle, Taco John's, and Long John Silver's along the way.  To read more about Aaron and Phil's greasy adventures, visit the Pioneer Press or Duluth News Tribune websites and search for "The Crisco Kid." Seriously, type it in.  I'm not joking.

In sports news, Team Ball and Chain lost to Team Tau Psi Omega in the Football Alumni Golf Tournament in August.  Team Ball and Chain members included:  Mike Van Patten (married to Nicole (Guimond) in June, 2003), Andy Traetow (engaged to Michelle Welshons), Phill Stewart (practically married to Zach Linde) and me (engaged to the afore-mentioned Heidi Sands).  Team Tau Psi Omega members included Ryan Watkins (who holed a 75-yard wedge for eagle), Brad Arndt, Zach Zimmer, and some ringer who recently passed Q-School and is joining the PGA tour.

Well, that's enough gossip.  Down to business.  This is your first 2003 Class Letter.  There will be many more to follow telling you which classmates got jobs, got into grad school, got married, had kids, bowled a 300 game, got stuck to the right field wall at a Saints' game, and other exciting news.  And if you don't keep up with it on your own, we'll also let you know what's going on at Gustavus.  It's also our chance, and I'd lose my job if I didn't do this, to invite your support of The Gustavus Alumni Fund.  We had 40% participation in the Senior Class Gift last year, let's try and get 50% to participate in the Alumni Fund this year.  Gifts of all sizes and frequencies are welcome and encouraged.  A quote from former Gustavus President Edgar Carlson '30:

            "the amount isn't nearly as important as the fact that you are reporting in. If you do that regularly, you are likely to see to it that the sample is one which does you justice."

You're not expected to make $1,000 gifts…yet.  But please participate in the Alumni Fund at a level you're comfortable with and capable of.  This could be $5, or $50, or even $50 a month.  I strongly suggest monthly giving deducted right from your checking account or charged to your credit card.  It's an efficient, convenient way of giving the gift of Gustavus to current and future Gusties.  And that's really what you're doing.  Your gift helps to give a Gustavus education to a student.  Even if you paid full tuition, someone did it for you.  Net tuition alone only covers 56% of what it costs to run this place.  Without alumni support, a Gustavus education (including your diploma and resume) would be far less valuable.  You will receive periodic mailings from Gustavus inviting your support of The Gustavus Fund or you'll possibly receive a phone call from a classmate participating in Phonorama.  Phonorama runs from October 12 - October 26.  If you would like to participate by calling our classmates, sign up online at:  While online, make your gift to The Gustavus Alumni Fund at:

So there's my appeal for the Gustavus Alumni Fund.  Here's some more news about classmates:

  • Joe Beer is studying geology at the University of Minnesota-Duluth.
  • Amanda Peterson is in the geography Ph.D. program at Wisconsin-Madison.
  • Kirsten Hall is in medical school at the University of North Dakota.
  • Nick Arth is in law school at the University of Minnesota.
  • Sowmya Gandham moved to Australia for the summer and is a world traveler.
  • Matt Ewert is studying computer science at Creighton University in Omaha, NE.
  • Chris Vaubel is studying biology at the University of Minnesota.
  • Jenny Lingle is an income development coordinator with the American Cancer Society.
  • Jade Bakke is working in residence life at Viterbo University in LaCrosse, WI.
  • Ben Novak is in medical school at the University of Minnesota-Duluth.
  • Jeremiah Jazdzewski is an engineer with LHB Corporation in Duluth, MN.
  • Eric Hauge and Kristen Swanson were married in June in Rice Lake, WI.
  • Maria Von Arx is working in residence life at Cardinal Stritch University in Milwaukee, WI.
  • Sam Henschen was a game presentation assistant coordinator for the Minnesota Twins.  Now he's watching the rest of the playoffs with a tear in his eye.
  • Kassie Stecker is a registered nurse at Fairview Southdale Hospital.
  • Erin Nerland is attending law school at Michigan State University in East Lansing, MI.
  • Tom Scott is a real estate advisor for Edina Realty.
  • Danielle Lindeman is a reporter for The McLeod County Chronicle.
  • Alison Doppelhammer joined the Peace Corps and is doing environmental education in Macedonia.
  • Kali Ofstehage is a fitness specialist at the Health Fitness Corporation at Best Buy.
  • Craig Horak owns Tire & Auto Lodge in Grand Marais, MN.
  • Nicolette Martinson is teaching at Eagan High School.
  • Leslie Wilcox and Dana Langer work for the Senate and Meghan O'Neil and Carmen Mayo work for the House, all at the Minnesota State Legislature at the Capitol in St. Paul.  Wow, what great Republican women!
  • Kelli Swanson is getting her graduate degree in urban planning at the University of Minnesota.
  • Erin Sapp just started graduate school at the London School of Economics for social policy and planning.
  • Emily Steffel is working in the marketing department of the law firm of Rider Bennett, LLP.
  • Elizabeth Danks and Becca Smith are contract writing analysts and Joe Johnson, Adam Britz, Tom Hilden, and Lindsay Zumbrunnen are broker analysts at the Bloomington office of Benfield Inc., an international reinsurance intermediary and risk advisory organization.
  • Jessi Lundquist and Jill Pitzen just ran the Twin Cities Marathon!
  • Semonti Mustaphi is in Washington, D.C. working for the Gephardt for President Campaign.
  • Becca Boesen is living in Denver, CO for a year, volunteering at a women's shelter.
  • Jennifer Wood is on a synchronized swimming team that will compete at a national competition later this month in Ohio.

And for some news about Gustavus:

College opens 142nd Academic Year -- More than 700 new students, including transfer students and international students, joined the Gustavus community this fall, keeping the total student population around 2,515. The retention rate of students from the first to second year remains at 90 percent. These students will be taught by 198 full-time and 55 part-time faculty. Gustavus was again ranked in the top third of the 214 national liberal arts colleges by the U.S. News and World Report.

The Alumni Fund Turns 50 -- On June 30, 1954, the first Alumni Fund officially closed with 1,204 donors (32 percent) and $26,013, under the direction of the executive committee of Dr. Hobart Johnson '21, Dr. Edgar Carlson '31, The Rev. J. Millard Ahlstrom '34, and Ren Anderson '34.  Dollars and donors continued to grow and, under the leadership of Cec Eckhoff '56, alumni participation continually exceeded 50% each year, making Gustavus a national leader recognized with 17 national awards. Alumni contacting alumni has been the hallmark of success; we depend on Phonorama volunteers to make the difference. Help the alumni fund again reach over 50% participation by contributing before May 31, 2004, or by volunteering to make calls during Phonorama, October 12-16 and 19-23.  Do your best to participate in the Alumni Fund to continue the Gustavus tradition of strong alumni support and return the College to national recognition.

Sculptor Paul Granlund '52 dies -- Paul Granlund died on September 15, 2003, the same day his exhibit Retrospective opened as scheduled in the Hillstrom Museum of Art on the Gustavus campus.  He was sculptor-in-residence at Gustavus from 1971-1996.  His figurative bronze sculptures are found in private collections and public installations nationally and internationally, including 30 bronze works on the Gustavus campus.  Retrospective will be displayed until November 9.

Alumni Board members selected -- Seven alumni have been selected to serve a three-year term on the Alumni Board.  They are Liesl Batz '90, Minneapolis, senior vice president and director of marketing, Lakeside Investment Partners; Jan Eiffert Hoomani '62, Raleigh, NC, Realtor, JB Realty; Jim Malmquist '53, Scandia, MN, retired athletics director, Gustavus; Jan Ledin Michaletz '74, Edina, volunteer/homemaker.  Incumbents to serve a second term include Vivian Foyou '02, Mankato, graduate student, Minnesota State University, Mankato; Jason Sawyer '93, Plymouth, vice president, Cronin & Co.; and Dan Currell '94, Alexandria, VA, director of corporate leadership council, Corporate Executive Board.

2003 Hall of Fame inductees -- Nine individuals were inducted into the Athletics Hall of Fame on September 27. Inductees were Val Flom Ashland '87 (volleyball), Wendy Ericksen Bachman '87 (soccer), Karen Ahlstrom Bishop '86 (gymnastics), Jay Coatta '87 (basketball and golf), Marv Gunderson '53 (football), Jim Hearn '81 (tennis), Dave Najarian '82 (football), Betty Wannarka Ringeisen '84 (basketball and track and field), and Larry Shelhamer '76 (soccer).

Gustavus Finishes sixth in Director's Cup -- Gustavus finished sixth out of 395 Division III institutions for the 2002-03 Director's Cup announced recently by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics. The only all-sports competition in intercollegiate athletics, the award honors four-year institutions with the best overall athletic programs.  Last year Gustavus placed 10th.

Chapel Program -- The Gustavus Chapel program is one of the strongest in higher education averaging 350 students attending Daily Chapel.  In addition, there are many student-led programs including: Apprentice - students who are interested in being part of ministry and open to see where the Spirit might be leading; Christ Chapel Volunteers - assist in the ministry of Christ Chapel by ushering, carrying the cross and candles, reading lessons, writing and/or reading prayers, and serving as assisting ministers; Community Service Center Programs - one-time and on-going service programs; Fellowship of Christian Athletes - athlete or not, time for fellowship, worship, speakers, service projects and mission trips; Gustavus Youth Outreach - committed to sharing the Gospel and providing opportunities to serve by participating in off-campus youth ministry; Habitat For Humanity/Spring Break Work Trips - Habitat works locally and Spring Break Work Trip nationally to fundraise for and build affordable housing; Jewish Organization of Gustavus - for students, faculty and staff who were either Jewish or interested in the Jewish faith; Newman Center - dedicated to building a deeper understanding of the Catholic faith; Prepare - build a new generation of believers through mentors, mission trips, Bible study, prayer and worship; Proclaim - Bible-based contemporary worship and teaching; Taizé - a contemplative worship service of music, prayer, readings and silence; Wednesday Friends -- visits St. Peter Regional Treatment Center residents weekly.

Don't miss A Royal Affair . . . pa rum pum pum pum - Gustavus Library Associates is presenting their biennial benefit for our College's Folke Bernadotte Memorial Library on Saturday, November 15, at the Radisson Hotel South in Bloomington, Minnesota. If you have names for invitations (reservations are due by October 31), an auction item to donate (no later than October 15 please), volunteer time to offer, or if you wish to contribute financially to help defray expenses, we welcome your call today; Marty Penkhus, 507/388.5474 and Susan Wilcox, 952/944.5972, Co-Chairs.

Upcoming Events -- call the Alumni Office at 800/487-8437

  • Charlotte, NC, Gustavus Gathering - October 18
  • Phonorama -- October 12-16 and 19-23, Minnesota Valley Country Club, Bloomington
  • Our Story Conference, The Growing Gender Gap in the African American Community -- October 24-25, Campus
  • Reformation Festival featuring the Gustavus Choir, Central Lutheran Church, Minneapolis -- October 25
  • JFK Assassination 40 Years Later, presented by David Jones '83 and Political Science Professor Chris Gilbert at Minnesota Valley Country Club, Bloomington-- November 4
  • A Royal Affair, benefit sponsored by Gustavus Library Associates in the Twin Cities -- November 15

So that's what is going on around here.  Want more news?  Log on to and make sure to check out the alumni web page (we're alumni now…isn't that odd?).  Also, let me or one of the other Class Agents (Jade Bakke, Jenny Lingle, and Leslie Wilcox) know what's going on with you and we'll put it in the Quarterly or the next Class Letter in January.  Stop by the basement of Admin if you're ever on campus and say "hello" when you drop off your Alumni Fund check.

Go Gusties!

Mik Gusenius

2003 Co-class Agent