Class of 2003
April 2008

5-Year Reunion ― October 3 & 4, 2008

Hello ’03 Gusties!

I can’t believe it has already been five years!  It seems like just yesterday I was attending Delta meetings on Monday nights, going to rugby practice at the pitch behind Bjorling, and enjoying a fine Schell’s beer at Patrick’s on the weekends (and sometimes weekdays!).

After graduation I went back to my illustrious job in retail at a department store.  After deciding that my biology degree really wasn’t being put to use helping shoppers decide what duvet cover would work best for their bedroom, my father helped me get a job as a health unit coordinator at Region’s Hospital ER, thank you nepotism.  It was then that I decided to enroll in the College of St. Catherine’s post-baccalaureate nursing program.

I graduated this past December and landed my first nursing job at St. Cloud Hospital.  For the past three months I have been caring for the surgical patients of central Minnesota.  I work on a surgical floor where I tend to patients who have had procedures ranging from appendectomies to amputations to bilateral salpingoopherectomies (say that three times fast!).  Not taking into consideration all of the bodily fluids I get on my scrubs on a daily basis, working as a nurse is amazing.  I get to put my science background I received at Gustavus to work along with caring and supporting people when they are at their most vulnerable.  I facilitate healing and I love it.

Besides working and schooling, I have been known to get a little crazy.  I love to spend my free time with my favorite people:  Erin Colon Koolen, Carlee Fox, Kimmi Morri, and Katie Bradley.  For instance, just recently, my boyfriend and I got together with Erin, her husband, Mike Koolen, and Katie for a wild night of Wii Sports and Catch Phrase.  We know how to have a good time.

Erin is working as a career counselor and college instructor at the College of St. Catherine and as a career specialist at the University of St. Thomas…busy girl!  Mike works as a GIS technician at Xcel Energy.  They recently bought their first home in southwest Minneapolis, which is the perfect place for playing Wii and beer drinking.  The two of them will be traveling to Scotland this summer to relive studying abroad there during their Gustie years.

This summer I have the pleasure of being the personnel attendant to Anne Beschnett as she weds Josh Becker on June 14th.  I get to do all the fun wedding things without too much responsibility…perfect job for me, thanks Anne!  Other Gusties that will be in attendance include:  Leslie Carlson Pietila, Dave Kuehn, Kaari Erickson ’04, Sara Rannetsberger, Jake Svard, Mary Rosener Swiggum and Mike Swiggum.  Anne is working at the University of Minnesota Biomedical Library as a library assistant.  She graduated from St. Kate’s in December 2006 (yeah Gustie/Kates!) with a master’s in library and information science.  Josh is graduating from the University of Minnesota medical school on May 2.  He will be doing his residency at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in internal medicine.  Thanks for keeping Anne in Minnesota, Josh.

Speaking of doctoring, another Gustie near and dear to my heart, Andy Hamp will also be finishing medical school shortly, in Milwaukee, or as I like to call it, Mil-walkin-on-sunshine.  He just found out he will be starting his residency at Hennepin County Medical Center in June…I’m so excited he will be back in ’Sota!  He has been hanging out with Matt Zust, Bethany Mueller, and Ambryn Melius in the little spare time he has had.

And how crazy is this:  Anna Battisti Arnebeck, my old roomie, and her husband Jay are working on renovating their newly purchased house in Cottage Grove.  Anna says they live next to the nicest neighbors ever.  Those neighbors just happen to be the people who funded my Gustavus experience, my parents, Joe and Carol Keiser.  It’s such a small world!  Anna finished her master’s from St. Mary's last spring and is working as a math teacher at Simley High School in Inver Grove Heights.

We are a close knit family, we Gusties are.  I have found over the past five years that almost everyone has a Gustavus connection of some sort whether it their granddaughter currently attends or their brother’s, uncle’s, cousin graduated back in ’88.  The friends I made and the knowledge I gained at Gustavus has been invaluable to me.  Going to Gustavus was definitely, without a doubt, the best decision I have ever made.  I am ecstatic about our upcoming reunion and cannot wait to catch up with everyone.

I will be enjoying the beautiful Minnesota weather this upcoming summer and will see everyone in October!

Sarah Keiser

2003 Guest Letter Writer

Class News

  • Amy Peterson Albrecht currently lives in White Bear Lake with her husband of 2 1/2 years, Mark.  This is her fifth year teaching at Mahtomedi Middle School, where she teaches 7th grade math.  In May of this year she will graduate from the College of St. Catherine with a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction.
  • Danielle Cole Burnett just returned to her job as an account executive at ECM Publishers after taking a year off to spend with her 14-month-old son, Cole, who is too cute!
  • Carlee Fox has been working at General Mills as a vendor inventory analyst for frozen foods for the past five years.  She has been quite the traveler, visiting Chicago; Florida; Jamaica; Boston; Washington, D.C. and Las Vegas, with her favorite being, Austin, TX!  This is where her boyfriend, Pat, currently lives.  They have a lot of catching up to do after his 15-month deployment to Iraq.  She keeps busy drinking wine with her good Gustie friends Erin Colon Koolen, Kimmi Morri, Sarah Keiser, Katie Bradley and Amy Tillges and getting monthly updates from the Zoo girls.
  • Todd Hedberg is a marketing consultant/graphic designer at Starkey Laboratories in Eden Prairie.  He is enrolled in master’s of business communications at St. Thomas University and currently living in Minneapolis.
  • Nadine Lysiak is finishing up her dissertation (on the migration behavior of North Atlantic right whales), and is defending it at the end of May, which will hopefully be a successful endeavor.  Then she will be Dr. Nadine!  She is looking for jobs right now.  Nadine attended a Mason Jennings show in Minneapolis this past December and ran into Paul Rohde; they rocked out.
  • Jamie Lind MacFarlane is expecting her first baby on June 24th with husband, Clint.  She is living in Two Harbors running her family resort, Castle Haven Cabins, and her Pampered Chef business.
  • Sonja Spande Menard received her master’s of education from St. Thomas last year and is now teaching 6-8th grade English at Eagle Ridge Academy in Eden Prairie.  She and her husband, Dana ’01, bought a house in St. Louis Park and have a puppy named Grumbly Guinness.
  • Kimmi Morri is working at St. David’s Child Development and Family services.  She received her master’s in counseling psychology from St. Thomas.  She is currently working on her post-master’s certificate for marriage and family therapy.
  • Bethany Mueller volunteered with the Lutheran Volunteer Corps (LVC) for one year after graduation at Nativity House, a day-center for the homeless in Tacoma, WA.  She stayed there an additional year and worked as the program director.  Then she was back in Minneapolis for half-a-year, working for the Minneapolis Public Schools.  She lived with Matt Zust, Allie Hawley and Lonnie Ellis.  Most recently, she was a staff coordinator at Holden Village (a remote retreat center in the North Cascade Mountains) in Washington for a year and a half.
  • Presently, Bethany and Ambryn Melius are volunteering at Visthar, outside of Bangalore, India.  Visthar coordinates the social justice, peace, and development program they both participated in 2001, fall of their junior year.  They have returned as interns and have been assisting with various conferences, and events such as a gender, conflict and disaster in South Asia Conference and International Women’s Day events here at Visthar, in Bangalore, and in North Karnataka.  They are part of a team coordinating creative workshops for high school students in the month of April, leading up to a festival of Just Peace in early May.  After they leave there, they are going to travel around India, heading to Kerala and Goa, the Ganges at Varanasi, Delhi, Agra (the Taj Mahal), and the Himalayas.
  • Mary Rosener Swiggum is a day treatment therapist for Lifespan Youth Transition program in Burnsville.  She is also working part time as a family therapist and parent educator at the Family Enhancement Center in south Minneapolis.
  • Nick Tollefson is working for Washington Mutual as a business loan officer and is living in Denver, CO.
  • Ryan Hoag signed as a wide receiver with the San Jose SaberCats, the 2007 ArenaBowl champions.  Hoag played three seasons in the NFL, and in the NFL Europa, where he was a member of the Berlin Thunder and caught 8 passes for 131 yards.
  • Scott Witty is working as an associate attorney focusing on business law for Hanft Fride in Duluth.
  • Rachel Lohn is working for the American Cancer Society in Mendota Heights as a patient service specialist.
  • Amanda Peterson Kolpin is working on her Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
  • Adam Long and Janelle had their first child, Cooper Adam Richard.  Cooper was born February 27, 2008.  Adam, Janelle and Cooper live in Duluth.
  • Matthew and Rebecca (Kaczrowski) Sonnek had their first child, Jonathan.  Jonathan was born February 3, 2008.  They live in Millville, UT, and Rebecca is attending graduate school for combined psychology at Utah State University.
  • Jared and Sarah (Holm) Pospisil had their first child, Addison Marie.  Addison was born November 15, 2007.  They live in La Porte City, IA.
  • Charles and Mara (Oien) Thiele had their first child, Grace Louise.  Grace was born February 8, 2008.
  • Chris and Emileana (McClish) Graupmann had their first child, Jordan Thomas.  Jordan was born January 30, 2008.
  • Beth Worley and Chris Huizinga 02 were married January 26, 2008.
  • Andrew Walter and Alexandra Curran were married November 2, 2007.  Andrew is working for the Connecticut Supreme Court as the assistant reporter of judicial decisions.  They live in Simsbury, CT.

Come all you Gusties…as we all know the Gustavus Class of 2003 five-year reunion is rapidly approaching.  Even though Saturday, October 4, 2008 is just around the corner the reunion committee thought that there should be other opportunities scheduled for the class to gather and catch up.  The first Gustie gathering will take place on Saturday, August 2, 2008 as the Minnesota Twins take on the Cleveland Indians at 6:10 p.m. at the Metrodome.  The second Gustie gathering will take place on Friday, October 3, 2008 at Brit’s Pub in Minneapolis.  Finally, the official class reunion will take place on Saturday, October 4, 2008 at good ’ol GAC.  Look for how to sign up for the above mentioned events in the next class newsletter!

Another key part of the reunion year is making a gift to Gustavus.  So far this fiscal year (which ends May 31), 80 members of the Class of 2003 have given $9,925 to Gustavus.  That’s 12.7% of our class.  The Reunion Committee encourages everyone to make a gift in honor of our five-year reunion.  You can designate your gift to a specific department, music group, athletic team or other organization; or make an undesignated gift to the Gustavus Fund.  Gustavus Fund gifts support the general operating budget, including scholarships, technology, and all the other ‘stuff’ that makes Gustavus great!

Until next month,

Your Reunion Committee

Campus News

Gustavus has a new College President!  As you have previously heard, President Peterson is resigning this summer and the process to find someone to replace him has been underway since last fall.  On April 25 the Board of Trustees met and announced our new College President, Jack Ohle.  Jack is currently the president of Wartburg College since 2003.  He will take office here on July 1, 2008.  I’m sure we’ll be hearing more about this exciting development.

MAYDAY! Conference Focuses on Water

“Troubled Water” is the topic of Gustavus Adolphus College’s 28th annual MAYDAY!  Peace Conference was held Wednesday, April 30 on campus.  Dr. Aaron Wolf, department of geosciences at Oregon State University and a leading expert on international water politics, spoke at the daylong conference and the afternoon keynote speaker is Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food and Water Watch, a consumer advocacy organization in Washington, D.C.  The conference, an annual event designed to educate the campus community and beyond about issues related to peace, human rights, and social justice.

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 8-9:30 a.m. at the Doubletree Hotel, Minneapolis-Park Place, 1500 Park Place Boulevard (Hwy. 394 & Hwy. 100) $10 per person.  Reserve a spot by calling Don Swanson ’55 at 763-533-9083.  Next date:  May 21 - featuring Sports Information Director, Tim Kennedy ’82

Alumni Awards Announced

The Alumni Association announces the following 2008 awards selected by the Alumni Board of Directors.

Greater Gustavus Award - Given to those who by deed, have notably advanced and aided Gustavus Adolphus College:

  • Jim and Susan (Pepin) Peterson ’64 ’65

Distinguished Alumni Citations - Recognizing outstanding and exceptional professional achievement:

  • Craig Johnson ’69, bishop, Minneapolis Area Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
  • Talmadge King ’70, chair, Department of Medicine, University of California San Francisco School of Medicine.
  • Barbara Berry Leonard ’63, nursing professor, University of Minnesota.

First Decade Awards - Recognizing early professional achievement:

  • Miho Ihara, senior consultant, CPCS Transcom Limited.
  • Jason Smerdon, Barnard Environmental Science/Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Environmental Science, Barnard College.

The Greater Gustavus Award and Distinguished Alumni Citations will be presented at the Alumni Banquet on Saturday, May 31 and the First Decade Awards will be presented during Homecoming Weekend, Oct. 4.

Upcoming Alumni Events

  • MAYDAY! Peace Conference focused on water - April 30
  • Author Day with Arvonne Fraser - May 14
  • Gustie Breakfast - May 21, featuring Sports Information Director, Tim Kennedy
  • Class Reunions - for 50-Year Club, 1958, and 1963 - May 30 and 31