Class of 2003

September 2012

Greetings fellow Gusties,

It is hard to believe that our ten year reunion is almost here.  It seems like yesterday I was moving into North Hall 2Z with Brock Peterson trying to figure out who was going to get the top bunk (me).  With him being a Saint Peter native, it was great for me to be able to get some advice about what to expect.  It is amazing for me to think how much has happened since we all scattered after commencement on that sweltering day back in June 2003 – I lost the rest of my hair, accumulated massive amounts of educational debt, and fled the state.  Brock, on the other hand, not so much.

Well, it’s not all bad.

After graduation, I moved up to Minneapolis to attend medical school at the University of Minnesota.  While there, I met my wonderful wife Jenn.  We were married in May 2008 and moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan for our residencies – mine in internal medicine, hers in neurosurgery (it’s definitely not rocket science).

After finishing my residency in 2010, I joined the faculty at the University of Michigan Medical School and have been working as a hospitalist ever since.  The following year, I was given the opportunity to start and lead the hospital medicine program at Ann Arbor, VA.  We finally got everybody hired and began taking care of patients this past July.  It has definitely been an adjustment going from permanent student (24 years…) to having actual responsibility – I don’t think I took a single day off from May until mid-August!  I have to say, though, it has been a blast solving problems and figuring out how to provide the best care in the world for our Veterans.  In addition, being at a place like the University of Michigan has been incredibly rewarding.  I’ve been able to collaborate with some of the best researchers and clinicians in the world.  I was reminded of former Dean Mark Anderson’s (ʼ66) words to me during the summer of 2002:  “Always try to surround yourself with the type of people you want to become.”  I have been so fortunate to have been able to heed these words from my days at Gustavus onward.

Ann Arbor has been amazing.  For a town of 110,000, it has an incredible breadth and depth of activities.  Being the home of the University of Michigan, fall means football, and there really is nothing else like Saturday home games here in Ann Arbor.  It reminds me a lot of Gustavus…well, not so much.  The helmets have the same winged pattern at least.  We’ll see if Ben Spilseth gets confused and tries to suit up when he and his wife, Sara, come out for Michigan’s homecoming game this October; they’ll be visiting from Rochester where Ben is a radiology fellow.  Ann Arbor is vibrant and diverse, with a wealth of concerts, museums, restaurants, and outdoor activities that Jenn and I have really enjoyed exploring.  If anyone else comes out this way, let me know; there always seem to be extra football tickets floating around if that’s your type of thing.

I was able to sneak away for two days in June for Jesse Brekke’s wedding.  He and Debbie (Huss) were married at Mayowood in Rochester.  The ceremony and setting were incredible and everybody had a fantastic time.  Jesse and Debbie were generous enough to let Dave Newell and I reprise our Drop-22 days and play a few songs for the ceremony.  The reception was just teeming with Gusties – a mini-reunion of sorts.  There may or may not have been a slow clap and the Gustie rouser once or twice.

Jenn and I are expecting our first child this October and have been trying to get everything ready before the big day.  She is in the lab doing research for the next year and a half, so things are a lot easier for her now that she’s not operating for 16 hours a day.  We finally have the nursery ready, the car seat fits, and we’ve got a Sophie the Giraffe and a Sleep Sheep (whatever those are).  Now all we need is a baby.  We were able to get away in August to New Jersey for Jenn’s baby shower and even found time to take in a Yankees game at the new Yankee Stadium (having been to both, I can say confidently that Target Field is much better).

Speaking of baseball, I got a text message out of the blue this summer from Hans Sviggum from the Red Sox-Twins game at Fenway.  He and Rachel (Schwingler ’04) are out in Boston while he completes an obstetrics anesthesia fellowship at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (Hah-vahd) before moving back to Rochester.  He sent along pictures of their two kids – I can’t believe how quickly they’re growing!

Later in August, we made it back to Minnesota for the annual Baum’s Away weekend at Kendall Baumgartner’s cabin in Pequot Lakes Minnesota.  I know Kendall and her husband, Josh, were happy to escape the Dallas heat, where Kendall is a nurse practitioner in the pediatric ICU.  Jesse and Debbie were able to make it, as was Derek Nelson.  The weather was absolutely perfect, and we had a great weekend of wakeboarding, golfing, swimming, and general revelry.  Brock and Erin (Elling) Peterson were able to make it up for our last night; they have a baby on the way, as well.  In fact, Erin and Jenn are due within a week of each other.  Since this will be Brock and Erin’s second kid, it was nice to be able to get some advice for what to expect.

I guess the more things change, the more they stay the same.


Andy Odden

2003 Guest Letter Writer

P.S. We’ve added Carmen Mayo and Drew Hasty as Class of 2003 Class Officers.  They will join Leslie Wilcox Rosedahl organizing class letters, our Quarterly news, and our upcoming reunion.  If you’re also interested in helping write a class letter or other activities, please contact them at

Campus News

Alumni Career Exploration

Where Dreams Meet Reality: Alumni Networking and Transition” will be offered again with support from Thrivent Financial for Lutherans and Catherine Beyer Breet (  This program is designed for anyone who is unemployed, underemployed, or unhappily employed.  It takes participants through the process of naming gifts, talents, and passions and finding where to use them in the world.  This event is scheduled at St. Mary’s University this fall on Tuesdays Sept. 25, Oct. 9 and 23, and Nov. 6, from 6–8 p.m.  This four-part classroom series includes full access to the Online Job Hunt Coaching System.  The series is being offered for $199 (Gustavus alumni $149).  Live outside the Twin Cities metro area?  The series will be offered in webinar format for $149 (Gustavus alumni $99).  Register at:

Nobel Conference – “Our Global Ocean”

October 2-3 – Nobel Conference 48 examines, “Our Global Ocean” as a source of inspiration, danger, and knowledge.  The conference will examine our oceans as a source of inspiration, danger, and knowledge.  We know less about our own oceans than we do about the surfaces of other planets hundreds of millions of miles away.  Top researchers in biogeochemistry, oceanography, deep-sea biology, molecular genetics, and coral ecology will discuss the most relevant topics concerning our mysterious oceans.  Tickets for this year’s Nobel Conference are available at:

The Royal Visit

Their Majesties King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden will visit Gustavus in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the founding of the College by Swedish immigrants in 1862.  The Royal Visit to Gustavus will be Friday, October 5, 2012.  For the full schedule of the day’s events, visit visit.  Many events require tickets.

Hall of Fame

The Gustavus Adolphus College Athletics Department has selected nine individuals for induction into its Athletics Hall of Fame.  The 2012 class of inductees include Rhonda Gorseth Alberts ’93 (Gymnastics), Brian Brekke ’95 (Football),Kara Bloomquist Drekonja ’96 (Cross Country),Brett Gross ’96 (Track & Field),Brock Guettler ’92 (Basketball),Mark Kruger ’86 (Tennis),Jason Lesteberg ’96 (Hockey),Scott Stoneking ’96 (Soccer), and Donald Swanson ’55 (Benefactor).  This group will be honored at the Athletics Hall of Fame Banquet, which will be held in Alumni Hall at 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29, following the Hall of Fame football game between the Gusties and Hamline University, which is set to take place at 1 p.m. at Hollingsworth Field.

Homecoming 2012

October 12-14 – Homecoming 2012 will include the Sesquicentennial Closing Dinner, reunions, a football game, a performance by The Bend of the River Big Band, and more.  For information on reunion registration and the entire homecoming schedule, visit

Alumni Travel Opportunities

2013 Friends of Music Salzburg choral Tour

Gustavus Friends of Music has arranged for a Gustavus Alumni choir tour to Munich, Salzburg, Vienna and Prague June 23 – July 5, 2013.  Singers and non-singers alike are welcome.  Once in Salzburg, the singers will join the Mozart International Choral Festival and perform Mozart’s Coronation Mass in the Salzburg Cathedral on June 29.  Not a singer?  There is space available for non-performers as well.  For more information contact Jackie Neeck Peterson ’77 at or 800-726-6192.

2013 Pearls of Central Europe

Experience Central Europe with Gustavus professor emeritus of history Dr. Tom Emmert from September 10—21, 2013.  This 12-day Gustavus study tour combines learning, exploring, leisure, lecture, food, and arts with special touches, all led by a faculty expert.  The journey is focused around three showpiece cities of Central Europe:  Prague, Vienna, and Budapest.  For more information, contact Tom Emmert at

Gustie Breakfasts - Twin Cities – New time and place

Engage with other alumni and learn something new about your alma mater at the monthly Twin Cities Gustavus alumni breakfast.  Please join us at the American Swedish Institute (2600 Park Ave, Minneapolis), on the third Wednesday of each month at 7:30 a.m.  Cost is $10.  Gustie breakfasts are also being held on campus the second Wednesday of each month.

October 17 – Nobel Conference Recap

November 21 – Donald Ostrom – November elections

December 19 – Terry Morrow – Minnesota Vikings stadium

Upcoming Chapter Gatherings

National Chapter events for alumni, parents and friends are scheduled for the 2012-13 academic year and will focus on the College’s pillar of “Teaching and Learning.”  Please save the date for the event in your area.  Tim and location details will be forthcoming

Nov. 8 – New York City

Nov. 10 – Boston

Nov. 10 – Dallas

Nov. 11 – Houston

Nov. 13 – Washington, DC

Jan. 29 – Phoenix

Jan. 31 – Tucson

Feb. 3 – Los Angeles

Feb. 4 - Palm Springs

Feb 13 – Tampa

Feb. 15 – Naples

Feb. 28 – Seattle

Mar. 2 – San Francisco

Mar. 9 – Madison

Mar. 12 – Denver

Mar. 14 – Chicago

Apr. 11 – Atlanta