Class of 2003

December 2011

Dear Gustavus Classmates of 2003:

Greetings!  If any of you are like me, you’re asking yourselves “how can it possibly be the end of 2011 already?!”  I don’t know about you, but for me, this year has flown by.  The biggest reason for this is that I spent the first half of the year planning my wedding!  After 10+ years of friendship, in May of 2010, Nate Mitchell ’02 and I figured it was probably a good idea to give dating a try.  A little over a year later, on June 25th of this year, we tied the knot on a beautiful day in my hometown of Duluth, MN.  Our wedding was a blast and since part of my job of writing this intro includes dropping some names, I’ll mention that fellow ’03 Gusties Annie Tessar Rients, Emily Dahlquist Laughlin, Jacki Christopher, Pam Mertens Shepley, and Jon Bergstrom were in attendance and helped to make our day all the more special!  After our wedding, Nate and I enjoyed a relaxing honeymoon in Maine and now live with our sweet golden retriever, Daisy, in South Minneapolis.  And, in case anyone is wondering, without question my favorite wedding gift we received was an immersion blender.  I use it weekly and recommend it to any of you who create a future gift registry.  You’ll love it.

In other news, I am thrilled to have just started a new job last week in the ESL Department at a small diverse charter school in Northeast Minneapolis.  So far so good!  It is a K-12 school and I have the privilege of working with just about every grade.  It really is pretty great to spend one hour working on ABCs with kindergarteners and then the next hour reading Beowulf with 12 graders.  I am even getting to draw on my Gustavus classics minor during 10th grade history as we discuss Greek gods and goddesses.  It’s about time I used it, right Maggie Chambers?!  My job is definitely something I am thankful for as I reflect during this holiday season, realizing that there are currently too many who are unemployed and underemployed.  What is it that you are thankful for this season?

All in all, I am full of gratitude for the many new changes and blessings this year has brought.  As I look back on this year, I also think of Annie Tessar Rients and her husband, Jesse, as they welcomed their adorable little girl, Penelope, in September and Tom Ramy and his wife, Brenna, as they welcomed Tessa in October.  I am also reminded of Maggie Chambers as she received a well-deserved promotion at work.  Looking ahead, I think of Robbi Palombi Mondati and Emily Dahlquist Laughlin, and I’m sure many others, as they prepare to welcome new babies in 2012.  There is always much to look forward to!  I hope that each and every one of you has had an enjoyable 2011 and anticipate many good things in 2012.

Before I close, I want to include a quick message from our lovely Class Agent, Leslie Wilcox Rosedahl.  “The Gustavus Alumni Association has updated the Class Agent system – and I’m DESPERATELY SEEKING additional class agents (now class officers) – no fundraising required.  If you can help – or even think I can talk you into writing a class letter, please email me directly at if you can help.  Thank you!”  I know Leslie would love to hear from you if you’d be willing to participate!

Wishing all of you a lovely Christmas and joyful New Year!

Lauren Swanstrom Mitchell

Gustavus Class of 2003

P. S.  Before I get to the latest news about our classmates, here is the Alumni Office’s report (from their closet in the basement of the Edgar M. Carlson Administration building):

Campus News

Campaign Update

Great news―since the campaign announcement on September 30, Gustavus has secured an additional $5 million in commitments.  We are now over $76 million toward our $150 million goal.  Thank you to everyone who has contributed. Everyone can participate with your annual fund donation this year and be included in the overall total

National Sesquicentennial Celebrations

Throughout the coming year, Gusties are gathering across the country to reflect on Gustavus’s past, celebrate 150 academic years, and engage for the future.  In conjunction with the celebrations on campus, the College invites all alumni, parents, and friends for a celebration in an area near them.  Here is a list of some upcoming chapter events.  You can view them all and register for an event at

Tuesday, January 17, 2012 -  Dallas: Lawry’s Prime Rib

Thursday, January, 19, 2012 -  Houston: The Remington Restaurant at St. Regis Houston

Tuesday, February 7, 2012 - Naples, FL: Naples Beach Club and Hotel

Thursday, February 9, 2012 -  Tampa: Malio’s Prime

Saturday, February 18, 2012  - San Francisco: Hs Lordship

Sunday, February 19, 2012  –  Los Angeles: The Paley Center

Monday, February 20, 2012  - Palm Springs: Escena Golf Club

Tuesday, February 21, 2012  - Sun City: Briarwood Country Club

Tuesday, February 21, 2012  - Phoenix: Rita’s Kitchen

Friday, February 24, 2012  - Tucson: Warren and Donna Beck’s Residence

Friday, March 16, 2012-Seattle:  The Swedish Cultural Center

Sunday, March 18, 2012 - Denver: Three Tomatoes Steakhouse and Club at Fossil Trace

Gustie Breakfasts

Join your fellow Gusties for breakfast and to learn something new about your alma mater at the monthly Gustie Breakfasts.  December’s speaker will be Dick Kenney, author of two Gustavus Sesquicentennial books.  January will feature Jeff Owen, professor of economics/management.  The St. Peter Breakfasts are held in the banquet rooms on campus at 7:30 a.m. on the second Wednesday of the month and the Twin Cities Breakfasts are held at the Doubletree Hotel in Minneapolis at 8 a.m. on the third Wednesday of the month.  RSVP by calling 800-487-8437 or e-mail  Hope to see you bright and early!

Join Gustavus Library Associates

“Whether you went to the college library to study, do research, meet a hot date, or create (or look for) a library prank, the library was an almost daily stop during our college years.  What better way to acknowledge that important relationship than by joining the Gustavus Library Associates (GLA)?  GLA's mission is to promote literature, learning, and the Folke Bernadotte Memorial Library at Gustavus Adolphus College.  All of its membership dues go directly to the annual acquisitions budget of the Library; income from the Royal Affair, Books and Bloom, and other major fundraisers goes to the Library’s endowment.

With this in mind, I encourage you all to become GLA members.  You can find the application form on the web at:  You’ll find all the news about the organization’s events and the membership forms along with a list of membership options.

Class News

Now for the fun news about classmates.  I received some newspaper clippings from the Gustavus Alumni office in addition to replies to my email solicitations for updates.  I hope I didn’t mistype anything or include any really old information.  If I did−apologies!  If you’re not listed and/or have updates on what you’ve been doing lately, you can send one email that will go to each of the class officers and the Alumni Office by sending it to:  If you wish to contact us individually, please see addresses at the end of this letter.  It’s great to keep connections with Gustavus and each other!

Arranged by topic…kind of… beginning with the many babies!


  • Troy and Stephanie Witty Anderson, who are still in Arlington Virginia (follow Stephanie on Twitter at @switty23, had daughter Ella Witty Anderson, on March 23, 2011.
  • Tom Scott and Amy Nida Scott ’02 had new baby, Matthew Scott, born on February 13, 2011.  They are residing in Shakopee.
  • Mike and Nicole Guimond Van Patten have a little baby, Crosby Van Patten, born June 30, 2010.  They’re living in Long Lake and Nicole is working in pharmacist sales for Daiichi Sankyo, and Mike is an autism teacher in Minneapolis.
  • Eleanor Rose Gabler was born to Jody Anderson Gabler and Philip Gabler on September 3, 2010.
  • Nate and Annie Johnson Selander are in Eagan.  Nathan graduated from the University of St. Thomas program in May of 2010.  They have a new baby, Karyn Elise Selander, born November 7, 2010.
  • Beth Worley Huizinga and Chris Huizinga ’02 welcomed Sean Allan Huizinga on December 15, 2010.  Beth works in the Cargill Law Department as a real estate paralegal.
  • New baby, Brynn Ploog, was born on April 27, 2011 to Katie Josephson Ploog  and Troy Ploog.
  • Gina Sehnert Burmeister and Brandon Burmeister ’02 welcomed Ethan Carl Burmeister into their family on December 26, 2010.
  • Congratulations to Hans Sviggum and Rachel (Schwingler) Sviggum ’04 who welcomed Thor Steven Sviggum on June 2, 2011.  (Hans also notes that Thor was delivered by Gustie, Jennifer Tessmer-Tuck, ’93).  An All-Gustie delivery!
  • Jane Loosbrock Cornell welcomed baby Jackson Bryan on March 21, 2011 with her husband and they currently live in West St. Paul. She’s entering her 7th year teaching high school science and 3rd year as head volleyball coach at South St. Paul High School in South St. Paul, MN.
  • Isaac Joshua was born on February 21, 2011 to Josh and Beth Eisenmenger Omang, joining big sister, Julia.  Beth is a category manager for Navarre Distribution Services in Minneapolis.
  • Becca Boesen Anderson and husband, Tom, welcomed daughter, Evelyn Eileen Anderson on October 21, 2010.
  • Mike Ryan and his wife, Tricia, welcomed new baby Logan Henry Ryan, on April 16, 2011.
  • Tom and Kira Rice Hilden had a little boy, Bennett Thomas, in February of 2011.


  • Craig Horak of Grand Marais married Ellen Andersen ’04 on May 14.
  • Deborah Tahlman was married this June 11, 2011 to Allison Basina.  She’s working for Teavena as the area manager for the East Central Region.
  • Amy Tillges Hejny recently married Justin Hejny in October of 2010 in Biwabik, MN and are currently living in Charlotte, NC.
  • Megan Backer Kelley married Ian Kelley in Sturgeon Lake, MN on May 21, 2011.
  • Becca Anderson of Indianapolis, IN, married Colin Campbell on Saturday, April 16.
  • Lauren Swanstrom married Nate Mitchell ’02 on June 25th, 2011 in Duluth, MN.


  • Greg and Monica (Paulson) Priebe are living in Gresham, Oregon where Monica is at graduate school at IU-Bloomington for her Ph.D. and Greg is in chiropractic school at Western States.
  • Melissa Radniecki is in the Air Force based in Maryland.
  • Cal Dickman left Missoula, MT and is now in Santa Monica, California working for Wedbush Security as a security trader.
  • Kirsten Hall Juhl is chief resident in internal medicine.  Her husband, John Juhl ʼ02 is at Aatrix Software Company doing software testing.
  • Paul Rohde is attending the University of Wisconsin.
  • Nick Novak of Minneapolis is now at Northland Securities as a fixed instrumentalist.
  • Katie Ackert Schroeder recently started working for Free Spirit Media as their development and operations director.  She’s based in Chicago, IL.
  • Ian Christenson is teacher for Hamamatsu Board of Education.  He’s based in Shizuoka-ken, Japan.
  • Allison Hawley March is the managing editor for Rainbow Rumpus children’s magazine ( and works in communications for the Minnesota Department of Health’s Office of Performance Improvement.
  • Tennis player, Eric Butorac, and his doubles partner (in May) were ranked #4 in the ATP world rankings and won the Estoril Open in Portugal.  This ranking might even be outdated, but Eric is doing really, really well!  Eric was featured on the Tennis Recruiting Network in an article about playing Division III tennis at Gustavus, and how he played in the 2011 Australian Open in a double’s match against the top doubles team in the world.  He’s engaged to former Dartmouth tennis player, Maggie Suydam and living in the Boston area.  He’s currently working as a volunteer assistant coach for the Harvard men’s tennis team when he is in town.
  • Kendall Baumgartner completed her master’s degree in nursing from the University of Pennsylvania in August of 2010 and then moved to Dallas, TX with her husband to start a new job and career as a pediatric critical care nurse practitioner with Children’s Medical Center, Dallas this past December.
  • Lyle White was promoted to U.S. product marketing manager with 3M, and will move back to Minnesota (St. Paul) from Florida.
  • Kathleen Batalden Smith and her husband have started their own company called Smiling Tree Toys.  They’re at  They’re also redesigning Country Road Woodworks with all new cutting boards and kitchen utensils at
  • Joanie Preiner Raiche is the curriculum coordinator at Stonebridge Community School in Minneapolis.  She and husband, Chad, welcomed new son, Charles Timothy Raiche, born in April 2011.
  • Stephanie Tuma of Northfield, MN is a senior operational trainer for OptumHealth of the UnitedHealth Group.
  • Joel Fischer of Minneapolis is at the Carlson School of Management.
  • Chris Stavenger is in Fargo, ND working as a physician assistant at Sanford Orthopedics and Sports Medicine.
  • Lindsey Price Hanson is a human resource specialist at CarVal Investors (Cargill) in Minnetonka, MN.  She recently earned a master’s degree in human resources and industrial relations from the University of Minnesota and completed Senior Professional Human Resources (SPHR) certification.