Class of 2003
September 2008

5-Year Reunion ― October 3 & 4, 2008

September 2008

If this were a few years ago, it would have been around this time in August when I would begin getting my belongings together for the big move back to campus.  At least, I would start thinking about gathering my stuff.  This was an exciting time.  I never really moved back home during the summers, and most of my stuff was sitting in my parents’ garage—untouched from the state it was in 2.5 months prior when I “moved” home—while I lived on a Lakota Indian Reservation in South Dakota, went westward on a horse or toured with singer/song writers (yeah, I had a lot of fun in the summer).

So packing was a pretty easy task, and didn’t take me very long.  Mainly, it was just my clothes and my stereo which needed packing.  I had an old white on red ’84 3/4-ton Chevy Silverado with dual exhaust and no power steering; in the bed of which I would throw my whole material life  and start the journey from Cambridge, MN to St. Peter along Hwy 169, through the metro area, Belle Plaine, Le Sueur, passing all the apple orchards, the OK Corral, huge motorcycle manufacturing building (which was still for sale the last time I was at Gustavus), helicopter ride place, the “fighter jet on a stick,”  the good ol’ Jolly Green Giant welcoming me into the Minnesota River Valley, and finally into St. Peter.  A right on College Avenue and there was Old Main looking down at me as I made my way up the hill.  I knew I was in a place that made me feel good, a place I knew I had friends, a place I was respected, a place I was maturing.  I knew that I was home.

Nowadays, I have a different home, and my life looks a little differently.  My wife, Audrey (not a Gustavus relationship!) and I live in South Minneapolis, in the armpit of Hwy. 62 and Cedar Avenue, just Southwest of Lake Nokomis, near the 5-8 Club and Fat Lorenzo’s, two of the best restaurants in the area.  Sometimes, this proximity to two restaurants has threatened our good health.  I try to run around the lake a few times a week.  We have a nice modest home of which we are very proud and a back yard my wife likes to call “the secret garden” because of the high wooden fence and the vines and other flowers that grow on and around it.  We have a garden that supplies us with tomatoes, peppers, carrots and green beans.  I don’t know what happened to our watermelon.  We’ve been married and living here for just over a year, in July.  We do not plan on having any children for at least three years, so we can spend some quality time getting to know each other as a couple without kids, but we’ll see what happens.

I work at Jacob’s Well, a church for people who don’t like church, and I’m the full-time Music and Band Leader, so I get to use my Religion degree a little.  I lead nearly 30 musicians, who rotate weekly.

I’m learning that faith in God is a constant struggle that brings me to a new and exciting understanding of my direction in life.  I’m finally learning to manage my money wisely (Audrey has helped me with that).  I drive a 2003 galactic-blue VW Jetta that is almost paid off, after five years.  I have a solid community of friends and family surrounding me (us), and it feels so wonderful.  The hope and determination in the Olympic Games has continued to amaze me.  I’ve seen The Dark Knight three times (so far).  I am planning a work-trip to India with my wife in March as part of a medical mission that she is documenting.  At the moment, life seems really good.

ATTENTION:  Our 5-year reunion, October 3-5, is coming up quickly.  Don’t miss it.  There are going to be a number of different events to choose from, so look over the enclosed registration form and register today!  You can register online at:  The chance to see some of you again is very exciting.  Our committee is putting together a slideshow for an event at Brit’s Pub, so please send your soon-to-be-famous pictures to with the subject being ’03 class reunion pictures.  For all of you Facebook fans, check out the “Gusties of 2003” group and see what’s going on.  Don’t miss out on any of the fun.  Participate in whatever way you can.  Thanks a lot!

Nate Bergengren

2003 Guest Letter Writer

Hello ’03 Gusties!

As I rode the bus on my way home from work today I found myself reminiscing as we drove through a college campus.  It reminded me of our dear old GAC.  Memories of groups of friends walking home together after class, students playing Frisbee and study groups meeting came flooding back.  At times like these it’s hard to believe that we are actually approaching the festivities of our five-year reunion.

I am realizing now that a whole lot has happened in those five years.  Directly following our graduation I had an internship with an organization that provided social activities for lonely and isolated senior citizens.  I worked with some awesome senior citizens and I got paid to socialize all day!  After my internship ended I began work as a program coordinator at an adult day center ―once again working with seniors.  I can assure you I am all too familiar with singing the oldies now.

After a lot of thought and playing one too many games of bingo, I made the decision to head back to school.  I attended the Minnesota Paralegal Institute and received my paralegal certificate in the spring of 2005.  I have been a paralegal with the law firm of Best & Flanagan for three years specializing in commercial real estate and commercial lending.  With the troubled real estate market I have had the opportunity to explore several different areas of law and am continually amazed at the new information I am gleaning.

Along the way I met a former Gustie via the Yahoo! personal ads.  We quickly figured out we had many overlaps in both activities and social circles at Gustavus yet we NEVER met while at school.  I played oboe with his choir, many of his friends are my acquaintances and vice versa.  We even share a common family history, being the only children in our respective families to be born in the USA, as both of our families herald from the British Isles.  Chris Huizinga ’02 and I were married this past January on a balmy 30 degree day surrounded by family and friends, some of whom, of course, wore kilts.  Several members of our wedding party were Gustie grads, and we had many generations of Gusties in attendance at the wedding.  We were married at our home church of Gethsemane Episcopal in downtown Minneapolis and classmate, Christine Anderson, (of Christine’s Floral Touch) provided the beautiful flowers.

Last summer we bought our first house in the Como Park area of St. Paul.  I quickly realized a dream had come true when we adopted a 5-year-old cat.  His name is Huizley (it’s the combination of “Huizinga” and “Worley”), after the name “Worzinga” lost out in a close vote.  A second cat, our adopted stray, Merlin, now joins him.  We adore our house and its wonderful arts and crafts style character.  Our neighbors have been a huge gift to us and have become very close friends of ours.  Many late night games of Scrabble have been played!

I’ll be starting my 6th season with Encore Wind Ensemble, which is a community-based band.  Fellow Gusties Leslie Carlson Pietila and Greg Rischmiller are members with me.  It’s not the same as the Gustavus Band, but it’s a very nice substitute.  There are numerous Gusties of various ages in the ensemble and it’s wonderful to see people continuing their passion of music.  I find comfort in knowing that the talents fostered at Gustavus haven’t trailed off.

As our five-year reunion approaches I still am in disbelief that we have been out in the “real world” for so long.  Wasn’t it just yesterday that we were moving into our freshman dorms?  So many of the friendships that formed at Gustavus are still going strong today and I look forward to catching up with people at the reunion in October.  See you there!

Beth Worley Huizinga

2003 Guest Letter Writer

Class News

  • Christine Anderson is continuing to flourish with her floral business, Christine’s Floral Touch (  She was also featured on KARE 11 job swapping with reporter, Rena Sarigianopoulos, in May.
  • Dawn Carlson has been working for General Mills for five years and is at St. Thomas working on her MBA, which she should complete in a year.  She also bought a house in Maple Grove.
  • Danielle Dryke married Tarek Assy on February 3, 2008.  Danielle is a self-employed research consultant.  She graduated from the University of Amsterdam with her master’s in international development studies in March 2008.
  • Sowmya Gandham is working on her medical degree at the University of Sydney, Australia and is at the end of her third year.
  • Elise Getter married Jason Howard on June 14, 2008 in Charlotte, NC.
  • Alison Doppelhammer Gorsevski and husband, Alex, recently welcomed Philip Johan into the world on July 27, which was 2 ½ weeks early and 5 days before his mother was schedule to sit for the Colorado Bar Exam.  Alison and Alex also recently purchased their first home.
  • Andy Hamp is two and a half months into his medical internship at HCMC in Minneapolis where there is never a dull moment.
  • Sarah Lorentz Hendley and her husband, Dave, welcomed Linnea Hendley into the world on May 27, 2008.  Sarah is a school psychologist at Waseca Area Schools.
  • Nate Kennedy is living near Dinkytown and going to the University of Minnesota for his master’s in music theory.  He has a teaching assistantship and has been teaching private piano lessons on the side.  He also finished his master’s in piano performance at UW-Madison in December 2004.
  • Amanda Peterson Kolpin is continuing her graduate studies and is playing with the Minnesota State Band with husband, Garrett ’04.
  • Luke Magnuson married Samantha Logiudice on May 30, 2008.
  • Emily Johnson Mamun is living in Prior Lake and finished her MLIS from the Dominican University in May 2007.  Baby Mamun is due in January 2009!
  • Sarah Sanford Monson is working on her master’s degree in anthropology at Minnesota State University, Mankato and is still saving the world one periodical at a time at the Gustavus library.
  • Audra Mueller and William Mueller (same last name before the big day!) were married in June.  Congratulations!
  • Dan Plagens married Svetlana Trotski on June 14, 2008.  Svetlana is a recent immigrant from Russia.

Campus News

Presidential Inauguration

Gustavus Adolphus College will inaugurate Jack R. Ohle as its 16th president at 3:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 3 in Christ Chapel.  The public is invited to celebrate this event along with a reception on Eckman Mall that will follow the ceremony.  On Homecoming, Saturday, Oct. 4 Gustavus will celebrate with an Oktoberfest; buffet-style dinner immediately following the Homecoming football game in the Lund Center Forum.  Cost is $7 per person.  For more information about Inaugural Week events, contact the Office of College Relations at 507-933-7520.

Gusties Gather!  The Reason to Connect with Other Gusties

Gusties Gather! is a day for Gusties across the country to have an opportunity to connect or re-connect with other Gusties in their area.  It is a time to build Gustavus friendships and networks and is in no way a fundraiser.  Most gatherings are on Sept. 28.  Watch for gatherings in your area or check out the Alumni website for a location near you.

Twin Cities Gustie Breakfasts

The Twin Cities Gustie Breakfast for September will feature Jay Schoenebeck ’80, football coach, and Al Molde ’66, athletics director.  Join other Minneapolis/St. Paul area Gusties for a morning cup of coffee and breakfast while getting an update on Gustavus.  The group meets the third Wednesday of each month.  Future presenters include Tim Robinson ’65, director of Nobel Conference 2008, in October and in November Tom Young ’88, vice president for institutional advancement.

Doubletree Hotel, Minneapolis-Park Place, 1500 Park Place Boulevard (Hwy. 394 & Hwy. 100)

Third Wednesday of the month - 8-9:30 a.m.

Cost is $10 per person.  Reserve a spot by calling Don Swanson ’55 at:  763-533-9083.

Nobel Conference ― Who Were the First Humans?

Nobel Conference XLIV is scheduled for Oct. 7 and 8, 2008 and is focusing on the first humans.  Presenters will consider the full range of recent evidence about the first modern humans going beyond archaeologists and paleoanthropologists to the work of biologists, climatologists, geneticists, mathematicians, and psychologists who have been adding to the scientific database.

Upcoming Alumni Events

  • Gustie Breakfast with Jay Schoenebeck and Al Molde - Sept. 17
  • Gusties Gather! - Sept. 28
  • Presidential Inauguration/Homecoming/Family Weekend - Oct. 3-4
  • Nobel Conference - Oct. 7-8