Class of 2003
February 2010

Greetings Gustavus Class of 2003:

Greetings from Normal!  Yes, that is really the name of the town.  (I will now pause for jokes….)  This past year has seen some big changes for me.  In July I moved from St. Paul, MN, where I had been living and directing/teaching theatre since I graduated from Gustavus, to Normal, Illinois to pursue my MFA (Masters of Fine Arts) in directing at the School of Theatre at Illinois State University.  Being a student again has brought its share of challenges, but wow, do I love it!  I am currently directing Proof by David Auburn, taking a wide range of directing courses, and TA-ing an undergraduate theatre course.  I have to send a big shout out to the folks in the Theatre and Dance Program at Gustavus for helping me get where I am today.

Since this is a three year program, Central Illinois will be my home for a while longer.  I didn’t think I would run into many people who knew about Gustavus, but as it turns out one of my colleagues is married to one:  Erica VandeWall Wagoner ’99.  Other fellow Gusties are also not too far away.  Becca Anderson is only a few hours away in Indianapolis, IN working hard in her third year of her residency in the internal medicine/pediatrics program at Indiana University.  She was recently named future head resident for the upcoming year.  Congratulations to Becca!!  Audra Mueller also recently moved to Indiana and is preparing to take the Indiana Bar exam later this month.  It is nice to have both Becca and Audra close enough to make a weekend trip.  All of us will be making a trip back to Minnesota this coming May to participate in Lindsay Wright’s wedding to Zach Atherton-Ely.  Katie Bradley will be home from her adventures in Seoul, Korea by then and Amy Hiscock Daly will be taking a break from capturing son, Brody’s many milestones to be at the wedding as well.

I hope this letter finds all of you doing well.  I encourage all of you to send your updates to Gustavus so we can all keep up on one another’s lives.

Spring is coming soon….


Emily Gill

2003 Guest Letter Writer

Class News


  • Nicole Polanco was married to Trent Larson ’04 on October 10, 2009
  • Jenny Thomas was married to Alexander Post on June 27, 2009
  • Semonti Mustaphi was married to Scott Stevens on May 23-24, 2009
  • Andrea Tessar was married to Jesse Rients on September 19, 2009
  • Lindsay Larson and Erik Abraham ’02, married on December 1, 2009.

Future Gusties:

  • Nathan and Jaime (Haugen) Annis welcomed Lucy Marie to the family on April 14, 2009.
  • Phil and Anna (Knoblauch) Bromeland welcomed Jake Daniel to the family March 23, 2009.
  • Chris and Jamie Stavenger welcomed Kendall Rae on December 23, 2009.
  • Jason and Elise (Getter) Howard welcomed son, Luke McClellan born on July 15, 2009.
  • Matthew ’02 and Beth (Kasid) Wakefield welcomed, Maxwell Vincent, on June 14, 2009.

Career/Education Updates:

  • Sarah (Grimsby) McQuade is working as the marketing manager for the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
  • Greg Nix is working as a juvenile probation officer.
  • Ryan Hoag made the opening day roster for the New York Sentinels of the United Football League.
  • Sarah Nerland Sparks is aquatics director for Minnesota Valley YMCA in Burnsville, MN.
  • Chad Custer completed his Ph.D. in cell biology from Duke University and began a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Michigan.
  • Kelley Conley Reiter received the 200910 building teacher of the year nomination from Prior Lake-Savage Area School District.  Kelley is an English teacher at Win Oaks Middle School in Prior Lake.
  • Andrew Meyer graduated in May 2009 from the University of Colorado at Boulder with a Ph.D. in economics and is now an assistant professor of economics at Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware, OH.

Campus News

Gustavus Announces Major Building Projects

At its Monday, Jan. 25 meeting, the Gustavus Adolphus College Board of Trustees voted unanimously to move forward with three major building projects.  The College will erect a new 125,000 square foot academic building.  It will develop a mall extending west from its iconic Christ Chapel.  Also, it will renovate its A.H. Anderson Social Science Building.  Construction timelines for the projects are not yet finalized, but the College expects to break ground on the new academic building late this spring.

The effort is a significant early implementation step of Commission Gustavus 150, an innovative, constituent-based strategic planning process that has engaged hundreds of alumni, students, faculty, staff, and other stakeholders over the past year.  “These projects will greatly enhance learning and teaching, student recruitment, and institutional advancement for many years to come,” said President Jack R. Ohle.

Alumnus, Kurt Elling ’89, Wins Grammy Award

Kurt Elling, a 1989 graduate of Gustavus Adolphus College, took home his first Grammy Award Sunday, Jan. 31 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, Calif.  Elling won the “Best Jazz Vocal Album” category for his album Dedicated to You: Kurt Elling Sings the Music of Coltrane and Hartman.  This year marked the ninth time Elling was nominated for a Grammy.

Elling typically performs annually at Gustavus and did so most recently on Oct. 10, 2009 in Jussi Björling Recital Hall.  He has also had the distinct honor to perform in front of President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama and their 350 guests at the White House State Dinner on Nov. 24, 2009.

Wind Orchestra Tour

The Gustavus Wind Orchestra traveled through Eastern Europe from Jan. 21 to Feb. 4, 2010. They will perform a home concert on Saturday, Feb. 13 at 2 p.m. in Christ Chapel.

Health Insurance Available through Alumni Association

During this time of economic uncertainty, many of our alumni, new graduates, and their family members are in need of health insurance.  Short-term and permanent health insurance options are available through the alumni insurance program.  The program is typically promoted to new grads just before and after graduation, but in response to the rising unemployment rate and in an effort to help all of those in need, we’re spreading the word more broadly this year.  This is also perfect for children of alums who are graduating (even if they did not attend Gustavus Adolphus College) and aren’t yet covered under an employer’s health plan.  For more information, individuals can contact the alumni office or contact the program manager directly or 800-635-7801.

New “Make Your Life Count” Website and Facebook Page

Gustavus has created a new “Make Your Life Count” website that includes a variety of feature stories exemplifying the College’s new brand position launched last month.  The stories celebrate Gustavus students, alumni, faculty, staff, programs, events, and organizations.  The website may be accessed from the Gustavus homepage by clicking on the “Make Your Life Count” brandline (in the upper right hand corner) or by visiting  The “Make Your Life Count” stories are also posted on a new Facebook page.  Become a fan and share your own Gustavus story.  When new feature stories are published, they will be communicated on the Gustavus News Twitter, and you may also subscribe (on the Make Your Life Count website) to receive e-mail updates.  To submit a “Make Your Life Count” story suggestion, click on the “Submit your story” link or e-mail the Gustavus Office of Marketing and Communication at

Winter Sports Update

Winter sports are well under way!  Men’s hockey is currently #1 in the MIAC and women’s hockey is #3 with 7 straight wins.  Women’s basketball is #1 and men’s basketball is #2.  Visit the Athletics website at for more news and information.

“Come on You Gusties” Breakfast

Once a month, Gusties gather for coffee, breakfast, and great conversation along with a campus speaker.  All Gusties are welcomed and invited to the breakfast, third Wednesday of the month, 8-9:30 a.m. at the Doubletree Hotel, Minneapolis-Park Place, 1500 Park Place Boulevard.  Cost is $10 at the door.  Upcoming speakers:  Doug Minter ’79 Director of Student Financial Aid and Kirk Carlson ’95, Associate Director of Student Financial Aid – Feb. 17.

Upcoming Events

  • Feb. 17 – Twin Cities Breakfast – Gustavus Financial Officers
  • Feb. 19 – Tucson Chapter Event – Warren and Donna (Gabbert) Beck ’67 ’66 residence
  • Feb. 20 – Phoenix Chapter Event – Larry and Deone (Nordquist) Cartford ’59 ’59 residence
  • Feb. 27 – Reunion Committee Winter Retreat
  • Mar. 6 – Breakfast with the Easter Bunny
  • Mar. 14 – Naples Chapter Event – Naples Grande Beach Resort
  • Mar. 19 – Seattle Chapter Event – Bellevue Club
  • Mar. 21 – Los Angeles Chapter Event – Jet Propulsion Laboratory