Class of 2003
May 2004

Dear Classmates,

It's time again for your Gustavus Class Letter informing you of happenings at Gustavus and new things with your classmates.

Greetings from Wisconsin!  Yup, I am living the good life in La Crosse, Wisconsin.  But I still refuse to ever wear any piece of clothing representing a Badger!  Sorry Amanda Mubarak and Meredith Godfrey!  I know you two love to cheer on the Wisconsin Badgers!

Living in La Crosse I don't see many Gusties.  So I was very surprised when I ran into some Gusties at the Red Carpet Bar in St. Cloud last weekend.  Liz Barth told me about her fabulous job in marketing.  I also saw classmate Kari Vickerman's fiancé Nick Taintor '02.  Nick was very excited to inform me that Kari and Nick had just bought a house!  Congratulations!  Nick and Kari are also planning a wedding on July 17th.

Weddings defiantly seem to be the trend with our class this spring and summer.  Sarah Horner and Mike just got married on April 24th.  Danielle Cole and Jeff will be getting married on July 24th.  Eric Nerland and Lindsay Parker will marry this October in Plymouth.  Justin Hanson and Lindsey Price are planning a wedding on August 14th.  Nikki Martinson and Matt Francek were engaged on Nikki's Birthday.  Congratulations! 

An update on our NFL classmate, Ryan Hoag.  I would like to wish Ryan good luck with the Giants.  He signed a two-year contract with New York back in November.

And once again, a report from Mik:

Hi all! It's spring here at Dear Old GAC (as if it's a different season anywhere else) and that means a few things, the most important being the end of the fiscal year.  Year-end giving is looking promising as the Gustavus Fund has nearly 600 more donors and over $100,000 more than last year.  Our class has 99 donors (so far) who have given nearly $3,500.  Thanks to those of you that have made a gift to the College this year.  It's much appreciated.  For those of you that haven't made a gift yet, there's still time.  And listen closely:  EVERY GIFT COUNTS!  I'm not lying.  Of course we'd love to have $100 from each and every alum―but we realize that not everyone is capable of that.  Gustavus would much rather receive 100, $1 gifts than one, $100 gift.  Heck, we'd rather receive 75, $1 gifts than one, $100 gift.  That's how important participation is.  It helps send a message to the world that Gustavus is a place worthy of support.  So send a check of any size to The Gustavus Fund, 800 West College Avenue, etc. or give online at  Give me a call at (866) 487-3863 if you'd like more info or if you'd just like to chat (I can't promise I won't ask for money, though).  Back to Jade.

Mik Gusenius

2003 Co-class Agent

P.S. Oh yeah, can't forget our list of donors.  Thanks!

  • Katie Ackert
  • Aaron Allar
  • Christine Anderson
  • Jordan Anderson
  • Michelle Anderson
  • Kurt Apfelbacher
  • Andrea Arnold
  • Jade Bakke
  • Jill Batalden
  • Anna Battisti
  • Joe Beer
  • Jenny Lingle Beer
  • Dave Bernhardson
  • Anne Beschnett
  • Nick Brase
  • Erik Brekke
  • Laurie Brown
  • Valerie Bukstein
  • Eric Carl
  • Erik Christenson
  • Ian Christenson
  • Brian Collins
  • Elizabeth Danks
  • Erin Elling
  • Brooke Fails
  • Joel Fischer
  • Carlee Fox
  • Elise Getter
  • Meredith Godfrey
  • Phil Graeve
  • Elizabeth Grant
  • Mik Gusenius
  • Sigrid Gustafson
  • Angie Hanske
  • Ryan Hanson
  • Becca Harrington
  • Allison Hawley
  • Jessica Heiden
  • Ryan Hoag
  • Beth Jorgenson
  • Sarah Keiser
  • Sara Kilby
  • Mike Koolen
  • William Kunze
  • Julie Langenfeld
  • Nikki Lavin
  • Jamie Lind
  • Danielle Lindeman
  • Jane Loosbrock
  • Alicia Lunde
  • Jessica Lundquist
  • Jay Manske
  • Beth Marinac
  • Emileana McClish
  • Ambryn Melius
  • Julie Menard
  • Ginny Miatech
  • Nathan Morse
  • Adam Moseley
  • Jen Moses
  • Sarah Nerland
  • Brice Norton
  • Kali Ofstehage
  • Katie Pelleymounter
  • Kristen Peterson
  • Jared Phillips
  • Katie (Josephson) Ploog
  • Nicole Polanco
  • Annie Potts
  • Tom Ramy
  • Kira Rice            
  • Adam Roberts
  • Heidi Sands
  • Meghan Severson
  • Tracy Shimek
  • Stephanie Siekman
  • Amanda Smith
  • Aeleah Soine
  • Sonja Spande
  • Steph (Larsen) Staples
  • Kassie Stecker
  • Scott Stephens
  • Dan Suedbeck
  • Andy Sveen
  • Ann Svehla
  • Hans Sviggum
  • Lauren Swanstrom
  • Annie Tessar
  • Megan Trapp
  • Emily Tremain
  • Kari Vickerman
  • Andrew Walter
  • Jerry Washington
  • Nathan Watters
  • Leslie Wilcox
  • Steph Winter
  • Chris Wold
  • Jennifer Wood
  • Kristin vanWyngeeren

Now for the fun news about classmates.  If you're not listed and/or have updates on what you've been doing lately, please email one of the class agents (see addresses below) or contact the Alumni Office at Gustavus (  It's great to keep connections with Gustavus and each other!

  • Nathan Annis works for the Nation Innovative Technology and Mission Assurance center at the Naval Surface Warfare center.
  • Andrea Arnold is working as a project and research coordinator at In House Advertising Agency at the Billy Graham Association.
  • Anna Battisti is a math teacher at Smiley High School in Inver Grove Heights.  (Correction from the last class letter J)
  • David Bernhardson is purusing a Ph.D. in organic chemistry at Yale University.
  • Katie Bradley is working at Target Financial in the In-House Recoveries Department.
  • Laurie Brown is a math teacher at Richfield High School (her alma mater!).
  • Dawn Carlson is an account operations specialist for General Mills, Inc.
  • Leslie Carlson is attending Minnesota School of Business for paralegal program.
  • Lindsey Christensen is working as an intern for Marquette Partners (UK) Ltd. and traveling around Europe until June.
  • Jessica Cunningham is an art teacher and coaches volleyball and softball.
  • Danny Dietl is working as a financial advisor with Morgan Stanley in St. Paul.
  • Stephanie Flinn is student teaching at Southwest High School.
  • Carlee Fox is an account operations specialist at General Mills.
  • Sue Halverson is working in customer service at Cellular One in Alexandria.
  • Sarah Handahl is pursuing her Ph. D. degree at the University of Minnesota in biomedical engineering.
  • Todd Hedberg is employed at Amplifon USA in customer service.
  • Laura Hickson is working at Federated Insurance in the claims development program.
  • Beth Jorgenson is employed at Minneapolis Children's in the neo-natal intensive care unit as a registered nurse.
  • Andrew Kampa works for C.H. Robinson with produce sales.
  • Karen Katzenmeyer is working on her master's in education at Minnesota State University-Mankato.
  • Jessica Knapp is purusing a career in acting.
  • Lindsay Larson is employed as an editor for Thomson-West.
  • Nicole Lavin is a registered nurse at Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare.
  • Jamie Lind is working as an accountant for Nystrom, Inc. in Minneapolis.
  • Jared Mays is in graduate school at the University of Wisconsin, Madison in pharmaceutical sciences.
  • Ambryn Melius is working for Lutheran Volunteer Corps, Debra's Place.
  • Molly Nelson is an area hall coordinator for Beloit College in Beloit, Wisconsin.
  • Jesse Pearson is an environmental engineer with the U.S. Army Reserve at Fort Snelling where he is helping to develop GIS systems.
  • Katherine Josephson Ploog is employed with Integrated Resource Group.
  • Nicole Polanco is a registered nurse at Abbott Northwestern Hospital.
  • Annie Potts is servering AmeriCorps at the Mankato Family YMCA.
  • Adam Roberts is a business manager at Anchor Iron Company.
  • Stephanie Siekman is a staff auditor for Bouley, Heutmaker, Zibell & Company, P.L.L.P.
  • Vanessa Schrandt Larson is an accountant for Blanski, Peter, Kronlage & Zoch P.A.
  • Lucas Speltz is a registered representative at Woodbury Financial.
  • Ann Svehla is working as a real estate mortgage auditor for TenA Companies.
  • Mary Rosener Swiggum is employed as a behavioral intervention specialist in Forest Lake School District.
  • Kyle Tollefson is substitute teaching at Spring Grove and Houston Public School and working as tour guide with Hawkeye Stages in Decorah, IA.
  • Kevin Warkentien is employed at Northwest Mutual-Financial Planning.
  • Lyle White is a fields sales representative for 3M Industrial Business in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Campus News

President Peterson inaugurated

Dr. James Peterson '64 was inaugurated during a ceremony in Christ Chapel on Friday, April 16.  Other inaugural events scheduled April 15-18, included a symposium featuring Rev. Dr. Martin Marty, tree dedication, Gustavus Association of Congregations meeting, G.I.V.E. community service day in St. Peter, music concert, art exhibition, and an alumni reception preceding the Nobel Symphony Concert at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis.

50th Anniversary Alumni Fund Closes May 31

The 2004 Alumni Fund will close May 31 with a goal of 50 percent alumni participation. Thanks to everyone who has already participated with a gift.  If you haven't given, please think about sending a gift along with your news in the enclosed gold envelope. Gustavus alumni have a long tradition of strong alumni participation.  Help maintain our national ranking by participating in the 50th anniversary year of the Alumni Fund.

Scholarships and financial assistance at Gustavus

Did you know that scholarships and financial assistance for Gustavus students totals $18M, almost 25 percent of Gustavus' annual budget?  Alumni Fund gifts, including designated and unrestricted gifts, help enable students to receive a Gustavus education.  Gustavus offers two types of scholarships to students -- merit awards given to recognize academic achievement, and tuition grants are used to assist students with recognized financial need.  Endowed scholarships are an important part of the Gustavus grant program and currently nine percent of scholarship funds come from the endowment.

Alumni survey

An alumni survey was sent to 2,000 members of reunion classes.  Approximately 600 have responded as of April 1.  Questions on the survey consist of how well Gustavus prepared them for employment and graduate education, activities involved in while at Gustavus, personal growth skills, alumni events and services, and overall satisfaction with the College.  Results of the survey will be included in the Fall Quarterly.

Winter sports summary

Women's basketball finished third in the MIAC and advanced to the semifinals of the MIAC playoffs. Men's basketball won the MIAC regular season and playoff championship titles before losing to eventual national champion UW-Stevens Point in the NCAA national tournament. Men's hockey posted a third-place finish in the regular season and advanced to the semifinals of the MIAC playoffs. Women's hockey finished second in regular-season MIAC play, but won the post-season tournament and earned an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. Men's swimming won its third consecutive MIAC championship and completed their season by finishing ninth at the NCAA championships. Women's swimming won the MIAC championship and completed their season by finishing 13th at the NCAA championships. Men's Nordic skiing won its first-ever MIAC championship and finished fourth at the NCAA Central Region meet. Women's Nordic skiing claimed their third consecutive MIAC title and completed their season with a fourth-place finish at the NCAA Central Region meet. Gymnastics posted a 6-1 dual meet record and a second-place finish at the National Collegiate Gymnastics Association (NCGA) West Regional. The women's indoor track and field team finished second and the men fifth at the MIAC championships. 

Did you know . . .

  • Nearly 80% of Gustavus students graduate in four years, compared with 56% of students from other Minnesota private colleges; the national average is 17%.
  • There are seven choral ensembles and 23 instrumental ensembles, two jazz, four woodwind and three brass ensembles.
  • More than 40 percent of Gustavus students volunteer through the Gustavus community service center on a regular basis.
  • For student safety, the campus is well-lit, there is 24-hour Safety and Security patrol and escort service, residence halls are locked 24 hours a day, and there are blue light emergency phones throughout campus linked directly to Safety and Security.
  • And looking back -- during the college's early years, students were awakened by a bell at 5:45 a.m. and all lights had to be out by 10:30 p.m.

Upcoming events

  • Class of 1954 and 50-Year Club Reunions - May 28 & 29
  • Commencement - May 30
  • Alumni Fund closes - May 31
  • Class reunions on Homecoming & Family Weekend - October 1 & 2

Hope you all enjoy your summer!  If you are in La Crosse and want to hit one of the 180 bars in town, let me know!

C. Jade Bakke

2003 Co-class Agent

2003 Class Agents:

Leslie Wilcox:

Jade Bakke:

Mik Gusenius:

Jenny Lingle Beer: