Class of 2003
September 2007

5-Year Reunion ― October 3 & 4, 2008

C’mon you Gusties! Fight on, Fight on…

I just returned from the Gustavus Leadership Day, where planning for our five-year reunion begins.  I can not believe it’s been almost five years since I heard the Gustie Greeters welcoming us to Gustavus.  Driving up College Drive today I was reminded of the great times at Gustavus.  Sliding down Old Main Hill with ‘borrowed’ caf trays, climbing down the rocks to head to a party at the Endzone, waking up very early in the morning to paint the Rock, running through the Arb during Senior Week, Tuesday nights at BW3’s, cheering on the basketball team during playoffs, oh yeah, and the classes, too!

I invite you to gather with our classmates to celebrate your memories and stories of life on the hill.  Our Five-Year Class Reunion will be held during Homecoming - October 3 & 4, 2008.  The reunion committee will also be coordinating events leading up to the reunion.  If you have ideas or would like to join the reunion committee, please contact one of your class agents.  *You do not need to live in Minnesota to be committee member*  Thank you to Mik Gusenius, Katie Ackert, Emily Gill, Amanda Peterson Kolpin, and Audra Mueller for attending Leadership Day to begin planning for our reunion.

At Leadership Day, we heard a lot of “numbers.”  Here’s a few facts about the current student population:  economics and business are still the largest majors; the majority of the students are Lutheran; in the freshman class, students of color represent 12.5% of the student population (which is roughly equal to the state of Minnesota); the number of applications raised by 24% during the last admissions cycle; the female to male student ratio is evening out.

As a class agent, I encourage you to become a member of the Cec Eckhoff Society.  Simply stated:  Cec Eckhoff Society recognizes the individuals that make a lifelong pledge to give to Gustavus.  The amount you give does not matter; what’s truly important is that you make an annual commitment to give some amount of financial support to Gustavus.  We currently have 23 classmates that are members.  Please go to for additional information.

Class of 2003 is on MySpace & Facebook!  Our MySpace group can be found at  The Facebook group is called Gusties of 2003.  If you have any difficulty finding these groups, please let me know.

Enough of the business stuff, here’s the fun part: Our Class News:

Future Gusties!

  • Sarah Nerland Sparks and Tim Sparks had their second child.  Tyler Allen Sparks was born on January 4, 2007.
  • Katie Carver Zabel and Jeremy Zabel ’01 are proud parents of Adelyn Lucile Zabel born on February 8th, 2007.
  • Jen Walter Odegard and Barry Odegard are proud parents of Landon, born on December 24, 2006.
  • Sarah Horner Durfee and Mike Durfee are proud parents of William Michael, born on April 2, 2007.
  • Danielle Cole Burnett and Jeff Burnett had their first child, Cole James, on January 3, 2007.
  • Heidi Lindell Bracken and Corey Bracken had a baby boy, Maddox Corey, on October 24, 2006.
  • Joe and Meghan (Severson) Johnson had their first child, Ella Grace, on July 19, 2007.
  • Matt and Nikki (Martinson) Francek had their first born, Ellissa Courtney, on March 12, 2007.

Tied the Knot!

  • Erin Schumacher married Aaron Zondervan on October 7, 2006.
  • Kristen Peterson married Nicholas Juhlin on August 5, 2006.
  • Ryan Barnick was married to Jessica Wichmann on November 26, 2005.
  • Katie Schweer was married on September 2, 2006 to Shane Weckwerth.

Text Box:

This picture was sent in by Aaron Crowell who attended Monica Paulson and Greg Priebe’s wedding on May 27, 2007.  Front Row L to R:  Jodie Priebe Thompson ’01, Amanda Young, Mara Johnson-Groh, Sarah Crowell, Brian Collins, Deborah Collins, Paul Biederman.  Middle Row:  Isaac Thompson 01, Lonnie Ellis, Greg Priebe, Monica Paulson, Aaron Crowell, Cindy Johnson-Groh.  Back Row:  Phil Graeve, Paul Rohde, Joe Malkovich, Chris Vaubel, Aaron Dickson and Katie Biederman.

  • Alicia Lunde and David Newell were wed in September 2006.
  • Kurt Habben was married on October 21, 2006 to Kara Torgerson.
  • Kira Rice and Thomas Hilden were married on September 30, 2006.
  • Adam Long married Janelle Wesley on November 4, 2006.
  • Ryan Watkins and Beth Marinac were married September 2, 2006.
  • Pamela Mertens and David Shepley ’02 tied the knot on August 28, 2004.
  • Adam Roberts married Michelle Horrigan on September 23, 2006.
  • Jill Severtson and Jeff Groves were married on August 5, 2006.
  • Cassandra Holst married to Jeremy Truelove on December 31, 2006.
  • Amanda Smith and David Gullickson ’00 were wed on May 22, 2007.
  • Rebecca Boesen married Thomas Anderson on April 21, 2007.
  • Nicholas Peterson was married in October 2006 to Kristina Glad.
  • Maggie Elliot and Kirk Overaas ’02 were married August 18, 2007.
  • Paul Wojahn and Jenny Kilby ’04 were married on October 20, 2006.
  • Mary Toomey-Snowdon and Brian Lanners wed on August 8, 2007
  • Vanessa Young married Tom Burton in May of 2007.
  • Berit Aune and Aaron Allar were wed in Christ Chapel at Gustavus on May 19, 2007.
  • Jenny Westmeyer and Sam Rodgers were married in September of 2007.
  • Zach Zimmer and Laura Odland ’05 were married on October 28, 2006 in Christ Chapel.
  • Jennifer Schmitz married Robert Barnes on November 14, 2006.
  • Beth Jorgenson married Matt Gissibl on May 27, 2007.
  • Christen Johnson married Ryan Herman on July 21, 2007.
  • Rob Mark and Katie Swenson ’04 were married on August 17, 2007.
  • Amanda Peterson and Garrett Kolpin ’04 were married at Gustavus on September 8, 2007.

Continuing Our Education

  • Erica Lindroth is attending University of Nebraska, Lincoln working towards a Ph.D. in entomology.
  • Abby Roessler Edgar graduated from the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse with a master’s in health science.
  • Kurt Habben is attending the University of Minnesota Medical School.
  • Laura Schultz graduated from the University of Minnesota Law School.
  • Benjamin Kooiker is a medical student.
  • Stephanie Nelson graduated from the University of Chicago with a master’s in social sciences.
  • Michael Will graduated from law school at the University of St. Thomas.
  • Megan Backer graduated from University of Minnesota Law School.
  • Vanessa Young Burton is attending the University Of Minnesota School of Dentistry.
  • Jennifer Moses Bailey is attending the University of Minnesota working towards a master’s degree in human resources and industrial relations.
  • Allison Hawley is working on a master’s in public health and administration at the University of Minnesota.
  • Kirsten Hall Juhl earned her medical degree from the University of North Dakota.

The Good Things We Do

  • Erin (Schumacher) Zondervan is employed by Children’s Home Society and Family Services in St. Paul.
  • Abby Roessler Edgar is the head athletic trainer at the College of St. Catherine.
  • Jenny Westmeyer Rodgers is an account manager for Quality Assurance Label.
  • Beth Jorgenson Gissibl is a registered nurse at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.
  • Melanie Poach, gymnastic coach at Henry Sibley High School, was named Coach of the Year in 2006 for both the Classic Suburban Conference and section meets.
  • James McHugh is the assistant county attorney for Buena Vista County.
  • Jason Flohrs is the director of government affairs for the Twin West Chamber of Commerce.
  • Emileana McClish Graupmann is a high school teacher at Northfield High School.
  • Jennifer Thingvold is a counterterrorism analyst with EUCOM JAC.
  • Andy Sveen is employed with the U.S. District Court as a law clerk.
  • Lonnie Ellis is the director of social justice ministry with the Church of St. Luke in St. Paul.
  • Joanie Preiner is a Fourth Grade Teacher at Eden Prairie High School.
  • Jennifer Walter Odegard is registered nurse at Fairview Oxboro Clinic.
  • Megan Backer is working for the Minnesota Court of Appeals.
  • Heidi Lindell Bracken is a registered nurse at United Hospital.
  • Christine Anderson is the owner of Christine’s Floral Touch.
  • Lindsay Larson is the senior editor at Thomas West Publishing.
  • Sarafina Rannetsberger is the court judicial assistant with the Denver District Court.
  • Adam Smith is a trader at CHS.
  • Ria Lindor Hedeen is a project manager for MedNet Solutions, Inc.
  • Sarah Engstrom Brinks is a stay at home mother.
  • Nicholas Peterson is employed as an environmental consultant by On My Mountain Inc. in Fairfield, California.
  • Kelli Swanson Matzek is the assistant city planner for Lake Elmo.
  • Semonti Mustaphi is the press secretary with Senator Amy Klobuchar.
  • Paul Wojahn is a senior account representative for John B. Collins Associates.
  • Aeleah Sonie-DeRonde is teaching World History at St. Olaf College.
  • Jen Walter Odegard is a registered nurse with Ridges Clinic/Fairview.
  • Whitney Mathers works for Mid-American Nazeran University in the Office of Major Gifts.
  • Anne Wenstrom is in Africa working with the Peace Corps.
  • Jennifer Moses Bailey is a compensation business partner with Target Corp.
  • Greg Nix is a specialist with child protection services.
  • Rachel Lohn is a senior member advocate, EAP at CIGNA Behavioral Health.

We love hearing from you!  Please send any news or updates of contact information to your class agents and the Gustavus Alumni Office at  Or contact a class agent individually; email addresses are listed at the end of this letter.

Remember to Save the Date:  Five-Year Reunion

October 3 & 4, 2008

Contact a Class Agent today to join the reunion committee…

Gusties Will Shine!

Jade Bakke

Class Agents:

Jade Bakke        

Jenny Lingle Beer

Mik Gusenius     

Leslie Wilcox                                       

Campus News

President Peterson Announces Retirement

President Jim Peterson ’64 announced in August that he plans to retire at the conclusion of the current academic year, capping a five-year term.  His early announcement will provide the Board of Trustees enough time to undertake a thorough search process and assist in a smooth transition to new leadership.  Peterson will serve through June 2008 and has offered to assist in an orderly transition beyond that date if needed.

New football stadium opens

On September 8, the football team played its inaugural game at the College’s new football stadium.  The synthetic-surfaced field is recessed below ground level and features an earthen berm surrounding the entire field.  The field will continue to be named Hollingsworth Field after the late Lloyd Hollingsworth, who served as the College’s football coach from 1942-1960 and athletic director from 1961-1978.

Athletics Hall of Fame Induction

On Saturday, November 3, Gustavus will induct the following people into the Athletic Hall of Fame: Tim DeJarlais ’91 (golf), John Erickson ’81 (hockey), Dave Hultgren ’92 (baseball), Craig Miller ’91 (cross country), Mindy Mayerchak Oosten ’88 (softball & soccer), Mike Schumacher ’91 (football), Ann Sommerness Simms ’92 (swimming), and Ryan Skanse ’92 (tennis).

Twin Cities Gustie Breakfasts

Join other Minneapolis/St. Paul area Gusties for a once-a-month morning cup of coffee and breakfast while getting an update on Gustavus. The group meets the third Wednesday of each month at the Doubletree Hotel, Minneapolis-Park Place, 1500 Park Place Boulevard (Hwy. 394 & Hwy. 100), 8:00-9:30 a.m., $10 per person.  Reserve by calling Don Swanson ’55 at 763/533-9083

Wednesday, October 17

Professor Jeff Jeremiason, recap of Nobel Conference

Wednesday, November 21

Winter sports coaches – Jon Carlson ’88 (men’s and women’s swimming & diving), Mark Hanson ’83 (men’s basketball), and Brett Petersen (men’s hockey)

Wednesday, December  19

Margaret Kelliher ’90, speaker of the Minnesota House of Representatives

Inaugural “A Royal Affair” Online Auction

“A Royal Affair,” the biennial fundraiser for the Gustavus library, is October 27.  New to A Royal Affair this year is an online auction that will be activated the week of October 22. This online auction will have unique items available only for bidding online and not at the evening event.  These items can be viewed through the Gustavus website and bidding will close prior to the October 27 Razzle Dazzle*A Royal Affair.  Also, the online auction is open to everyone – parents, alumni, students, faculty, and friends of Gustavus – even those unable to attend Razzle Dazzle*A Royal Affair.  Watch the Gustavus Library Associates website at for up-to-the-minute details on the online auction.

Alumni Fund

The 2008 Alumni Fund has a goal of $2 million from 8,000 donors.  Continue a Gustie tradition ― join other alumni to reach the goal with your participation in the 2008 Alumni Fund.

Refer a Gustie

As the school year starts, many high school seniors are getting serious about their college selection. If you know of high school seniors or juniors who may be a good fit at Gustavus, please send their names to the Office of Admission at Gustavus to help recruit the next generation of Gusties.  Contact the Admission Office at 800/GUSTAVU(S).

Calendar of events:

  • October 13                  Homecoming & Family Weekend
  • October 27                  Razzle Dazzle*A Royal Affair, Gustavus Library Associates
  • November 3                 Athletics Hall of Fame Induction Banquet
  • Nov. 30, Dec. 1-2        Christmas in Christ Chapel
  • December 6                 St. Lucia Day celebration on campus