Class of 2003
April 2005

Hello Class of 2003,

I hope everyone had a great time bringing in the New Year in January.  I sure did!  My fiancé, Ben Rowland, and I went down to watch the University of Minnesota pounce on the Alabama Crimson Tide in the Music City Bowl in Nashville.  It was a great game!

I received the updates on our classmates and a few of them are earning advanced degrees at the University of Minnesota.  My freshman year roommate, Becca Anderson will begin her rotation in surgery soon.  Also fellow Sorenson hallmate, Megan Backer is attending Law School.  Rhiannon Fermoyle is also attending the U’s Law School.  Adam Bezdicek is at the University of Minnesota.  Sean Hosein is going for his PhD.  And Sarah Handahl is studying biomedical engineering at the University’s Medical School.

I also had a great time bringing in the New Year with former hall mates from first floor Sorenson.  Meredith Godfrey, Becca Anderson, Danielle (Cole) Burnett, Kari (Vickerman) Taintor, Rachel Lohn, and I enjoyed a relaxing lunch at the Southdale Mall.  Another hall mate Amanda Mubarak was not able to meet with us because she was moving into her new house in Roseville!  

It’ll be busy this summer with weddings again.  Nikki Martinson and Matt Franscek will be tying the knot in June.  Also Emileana McClish and Chris will be getting married in July.  Meredith Godfrey and Bob will wed in this fall.  Ben and I will take our vows July.  Erica Wenger will also be getting married in July.  Katherine Nolan will be marring fellow Gustie Andrew Nelson ’04.  Kim Lutz will also marry fellow Gustie Neal Boeder ’01 in August.  Amy Peterson is engaged to Mark Albrecht.  Others will be celebrating their one-year anniversary this summer.  Congrats to classmates Carla (Kern) Betchwars, Kari (Vickerman) Taintor, Gina (Sehnert) Burmeister, Emily (Steffel) Bari, Sarah (Horner) Durfee, Danielle (Lindeman) and Josh Hill ’04, Lauren (O’Connor) and Nick Dwyer ’02, Sarah (Grimsby) McQuade, Nick Teigland to name a few. 

Now for the latest gossip, er news, on our other classmates!

  • Joshua Granlund is a visual arts specialist at Northwest Integration School District #6078.
  • Kate Hittle is employed at George F. Maruska CPA as a payroll accountant/bookkeeper.
  • Jonathon Stang is employed at Louis XIII Expo.
  • Kevin Whipple is a tennis pro at White Bear Racquet while coaching at Roseville High School.
  • Brandon Wright is attending law school at Hamline University.
  • Hans Sviggum is attending medical school at Mayo School of Health Sciences.
  • Jen (Walter) Odegard works at Minneapolis Children’s Hospital and she just had a baby girl!
  • Sarah (Nerland) Sparks gave birth to a baby girl, Kalle Jane, in December!
  • Megan Backer is attending law school at the University of Minnesota.
  • Sonja Spande is completing her master of arts in teaching at University of St. Thomas while working at Creekside Children’s Place as an assistant teacher.  
  • Ben Raines is still attending grad school at the University of British Colombia. 
  • Greg Nix is employed as the manger at Alternatives Center for Family Based Services.
  • Jenny Lingle Beer is the grants, marketing, and special event coordinator for the School of Fine Arts at the University of Minnesota, Duluth. 
  • Emily Tremain is studying museum studies at the University of Kansas.
  • Amanda Smith is a triage technician at Affiliated Emergency Veterinary Science. 
  • Courtney Kuehn is working as an E-Commerce data collector for the Target Corporation.
  • Nikki Lavin is employed at Gillete Children’s Specialty Healthcare.
  • Andrew Hasty is teaching at Rockford High School.
  • Katie Ackert is a student advocate/business liaison.
  • Matt Boeke is employed at the Young Life Castaway Club as a waterfront director/guest services.
  • Jessica Rye is earning her master’s degree in industrial/organizational psychology at Minnesota State University, Mankato.
  • Jade Bakke is a college recruiter at the Rochester Community and Technical College.
  • Lindsay Larson is a senior editor at Thomson West.
  • Sarah Bakken recently joined the PR Agency Carmicheal Lynch Spong as an associate.
  • Cala (Kern) Betchwars is attending Bethel Seminary for marriage and family therapy.
  • Adam Long is employed as an adventure coordinator for Audubon Center of the North Woods.
  • Jill Pitzen is working in pediatric rehab at Gillete Children’s Hospital.
  • Kristen O’Connell is attending Argosy University for her master’s in business administration.
  • Chris Vanjoske is a teacher for Anoka-Hennepin School District.
  • Rachel Lohn is completing her masters in community counseling, marriage and family therapy at St. Cloud State University.
  • Miranda Gilmore is studying clinical psychology at Pepperdine University.
  • Matthew Ewert is earning a master’s of computer science at Creighton University
  • Alicia Jacobs is an audit associate at KPMG, LLP.
  • Chris Stavenger is attending Le Moyne College for physician assistant.
  • Amanda Reiser is a project coordinator for Jostens.
  • Danielle (Cole) Burnett is an account executive at ECM Publishers.
  • Andy Vu is a planning analyst at the Target Corporation.
  • Aaron Crowell is a member of the Lutheran Volunteer Corps in Washington working for a government accountability project. 
  • David Newell is working for as an Americorps service learning coordinator in Washington.
  • Nicki Shay is studying at the University of Iowa.
  • Aaron Dickson is living in Chili.
  • Jennifer Snyder is employed with Aim Healthcare Services.
  • Adam Britz is a sales representative for Surgical Concepts, LLC.

Campus Briefs

Gustavus has been known for its strong tradition of alumni participation in annual giving.  Gusties support their Alma Mater in many ways and show their pride with their gifts.  All alumni and current students have benefited from previous and current support.  Gustavus will be as strong as its alumni want it to be.  The 2005 Alumni Fund closes May 31.  Make sure you are included with many members of your class and other alumni that have chosen to keep Gustavus strong.  Three easy ways to give – send your check to the Alumni Office (by using the enclosed envelope), call 866-487-3863, or on-line at

Alumni Awards

The Gustavus Alumni Association has announced 2005 award recipients. 

The Greater Gustavus Award to:

  • George Torrey ’55 for his lifetime volunteer service and philanthropy to the College.

Distinguished Alumni Citations to:

  • G. Barry Anderson ’76, Apple Valley, MN, associate justice, Minnesota Supreme Court;
  • Deanna Nelson ’64, Cary, NC, president/founder, BioLink Life Sciences, Inc.;
  • Rick Webb ’73, Edina, MN, owner of Ciao Bella, Zelo and Bacio Restaurants; and
  • John Wirth ’75, Pacific Palisade, CA, writer/executive producer, Paramount Studios. 

First Decade Awards to:

  • Joe Gaugler ’95, Lexington, KY, assistant professor, Department of Behavioral Science, University of Kentucky College of Medicine;
  • Debbie Lightly Mascaro ’95, Fargo, ND, research scientist, North Dakota State University Center for Nanoscale Science and Engineering.


The Gustavus women’s hockey team finished third at the NCAA national championship after winning the MIAC title, the men’s basketball team won the MIAC regular season title and conference tournament and advanced to the NCAA national tournament, the men’s swimming and diving team won the MIAC title and placed seventh at the NCAA national tournament and had seven swimmers earn All-America honors and the women’s team had four swimmers earn All-America honors.

Extraordinary Students

Senior Rachel Batalden, a double major in mathematics and secondary education with a 3.898 grade point average and two-time MIAC All-Conference selection at setter for the women’s volleyball team, has been selected as one of 56 student-athletes from across the country to receive a $7,500 NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship.

Senior Paul Fraser, a music and computer science major has been selected as the winner of the second annual Caltech-Occidental Composition Contest for new music for concert band. The contest drew entries from all over the world, and as the winner, Paul will receive a cash award and a recording of the world premiere of the work at a concert by the Caltech-Occidental Concert Band in Pasadena, Calif., in May.

Bricks and mortar

Southwest Residence Hall is being constructed across the Campus Drive from the arboretum on the west side of the campus and is scheduled to be finished by June.  The L-shaped facility is configured with apartments for four and six and will accommodate nearly 200 students.  A hostel space for summer programs and confirmation retreat groups is included in the residence’s plans.

With the new Southwest Residence Hall coming on-line, the College will be taking down Wahlstrom Hall to make way for future residential construction.  Crews will start the dismantling process in July with asbestos abatement, and the Kasota-stone residence hall will be razed in August.  Alumni returning for reunion and commencement festivities on May 27–29 will be able to take a last tour through the building’s public areas, stairwells, and walk-through sections following a “decommissioning” ceremony to be held on Saturday morning, May 28.

Construction crews working on the renovation of Old Main discovered a cistern under the basement flooring in March.  Gutting the interior has provided evidence of layers upon layers of remodeling done over the years, including an old stairwell in the middle of the building and what appears to be an attempt to raise the third-floor ceiling.  The Old Main project, which includes the installation of an elevator in the northwest corner of the building, is scheduled to be completed in August.

The education and nursing departments have been relocated to the newly erected Mattson Hall, which is sited just west of the Schaefer Fine Arts Center and Prairie View Residence Hall, on the south side of the campus.  These departments will remain there until a new social science center is built at some point in the future.

Upcoming Events

  • Association of Congregations Meeting – April 23
  • G.I.V.E. Community Service Day – April 30
  • Class of 1955 and 50-Year Club Reunions – May 27 & 28
  • Commencement – May 29
  • Alumni Fund closes – May 31
  • Reunions on Homecoming – October 7 & 8
  • Nurses Reunion – October 8


Jade Bakke

2003 Co-Class Agent