Class of 2004
February 2006

Greetings Class of 2004!

After being back in Minnesota for less than a week from Washington, DC, I was offered a job at Gustavus and found myself moving back out of my parents house and down to Saint Peter.  Being away for so long, I didn’t remember how comforting and nurturing this community is.  Returning to Gustavus as a professional did take a little getting used to, and it is amazing to me the changes that occurred in the year I was away.  Old Main is now one of the most beautiful and impressive buildings on campus.  Southwest Hall, the new residence hall, opened its doors to eager students at the beginning of the year.  One thing hasn’t changed―that intangible Gustie spirit!  It was felt when Hailey Harren won the NCAA Division III cross country title and the Men’s Soccer Team took second in the nation this past fall, when the entire community came together to discuss the future of this place in the Campus Conversation in January and in President Peterson’s semester opening address yesterday in Chapel.

Wherever you are, I hope this letter finds you doing well.  Please remember to send in your updates, check out some of the Gustavus happenings (a redesigned website is coming soon!) and make your gift to the Alumni Fund, as you are able.  With tax returns starting to come in the mail, I sincerely hope you consider giving back to this place that gave you so much during your four years here.  Your undesignated gift will support scholarship funds for current Gusties.  And remember, there are convenient options for online giving or becoming part of the Cec Eckhoff Society (give any amount for five or more consecutive years.)  If you haven’t seen your name in any recent letters or the Quarterly, please feel free to contact the school or any 2004 class agent with this information.  Same applies if your information is out-of-date and/or incorrect―let us know!

Here is what our classmates are up to:

  • Liz Anderson is going to school at Saint Kate’s for physical therapy.
  • Kristi Beck Wahlman is a staff accountant at Boulay, Heutmaker, Zibell and Company.
  • Elizabeth Bockman is living in Nebraska and is an 8th grade science teacher.
  • Teresa Brown started a new job in December and is a recruiter for HR functions.
  • Candice Cosens is a music teacher at Shakopee Public Schools.
  • Bryan Cupka is living in Wauwatosa, WI and is a medical student at the Medical College of Wisconsin.
  • Rhonda Fischer works in accounts payable at Integrated Resource Group.
  • Sarah Hanson married Dan Brown on July 1.  Sarah is a graduate student at the University of Chicago Divinity School.
  • Lindsey Hedlund and Charlie Woodrow were married in October.  Lindsey works as a legal advocate at Alexandra House and is studying Law at Hamline.  Charlie is an assistant manager at Sherwin Williams.
  • Nikki Hinds is studying natural resources science and management at the University of Minnesota.
  • Toshihito Hirota is working at Alpine Electronics.
  • Joe Katzenmeyer is pursuing a Ph. D. in chemistry at the University of Minnesota.
  • Amy Krochalk is in the Navy.
  • Megan Kaiser and Shawn Barta were married April 9, 2005.
  • Martha Kvitrud and Timothy Douglas were married in June and are living in Saint Louis, MO.
  • Anah Huggenvik and Paul Sellers ’03 were married in Ocotober.
  • Theresa Lauer joined the Peace Corps and is in Malawi.
  • Julie Lorentz and John Cook were married in October.  Julie is a secondary math teacher at Isle Public School and John is an elementary music teacher at Crosslake Community School and Emily Charter School.
  • Emily Lloyd spent three months in Thailand helping with tsunami relief in a fishing village.
  • Andrej Maczka works at American Express in Minneapolis as a business systems analyst.
  • Brooks Maki and Christina Johnson ’05 were married in October.
  • Sarah Nelson is engaged to Corey Conlon.  Sarah is an accounts manager at Carlson Craft in Mankato.
  • Nate Orpen is in law school at William Mitchell.
  • Abby Peterfeso is studying community counseling at the University of Northern Colorado and living in Loveland.
  • Angie Peterson Potts is a 7th grade teacher at New Prague Middle School.
  • Jamie Regenscheid and Jon Bruemmer were married in September.  Jamie is a program specialist at Kindercare and Jon is a consumer lender at TCF Bank.
  • Kate Sandvig is an 8th grade math teacher at Minnetonka Middle School.
  • Jen Skalko and Jerod Klava are busy planning their wedding coming up this summer in August.  Jen is a nurse at Methodist Hospital and Jerod is attending dental school at the University of Minnesota.
  • Molly Shelton is working at Capella Education Company.
  • Pam Skroch is in Sweden and will be back soon.
  • Becca Smith is back living in Austin (go Longhorns!) and is the interim field associate at The Appleseed Foundation.
  • Julie Proehl Sonnek is a middle school teacher in Coon Rapids and is still pursuing that master’s degree in ESL.
  • Carley Thompson went on a mission trip to Tanzania during October and November of last year.  She is working at Abbott Northwestern in the cardiac telemetry unit.
  • Kimberly Thompson is at MSU-Mankato pursuing a degree in urban and regional studies.  She’s also a planning consultant in Golden Valley.
  • Kayla Thorson and Scott Jones ’02 were married last April.
  • Denise Volk married Andrew Carey on October 1.  The couple is now living in Rosemount.
  • Diana Wichmann is living in Alden and works as an accounting specialist at South Central Veterinary Associates.
  • Ellie Young is nearing completion of the physician assistant program at UW-La Crosse.

And, finally, some news from Gustavus:

Study Abroad Leader

Gustavus continues to be a leading institution for the number of students studying abroad, according to an annual ranking recently released by the Institute of International Education (IIE).  Consistent with its mission of giving students an education that is international in perspective, Gustavus was ranked seventh in the "Top 20 Baccalaureate Institutions" list of the institute’s "Open Doors 2005" report.  Gustavus was one of four Minnesota private colleges to make the list of 20.  The report was based on study abroad statistics from the 2003-04 academic year.  Gustavus students engage in international learning through various programs in more than 100 locations throughout the world, ranging from Australia to India and Ecuador to Sweden.  In recent years, 50 percent of Gustavus graduates have participated in at least one study-abroad experience.

New Carnegie Classification for Colleges and Universities

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching released a new classification system for institutions of higher education.  Gustavus’ classification is Arts & Sciences plus Professions, indicating that 60 to 80 percent of Gustavus students complete a traditional liberal arts major, such as political science, classics, or biology.  The new classifications describe five aspects of colleges and universities: instructional programs, enrollment profile, undergraduate demographics, size, and setting.  Undergraduate instructional programs are now designated as Arts & Sciences Focus, Arts & Sciences plus Professions, Balanced Arts & Sciences and Professions, Professions plus Arts & Sciences, or Professions Focus. 

Insurance Programs

The Alumni Association, in partnership with Meyer and Associates and Liberty Mutual, offers an insurance program to alumni and their families.  Products include insurance policies for life, short-term medical, auto, home, and renters.  For life and short-term medical insurance call Meyer and Associates at 800-635-7801 or visit  For auto, home, and renters insurance call Liberty Mutual at 800-524-9400 or visit

Gustavus to Perform at Orchestra Hall

The Gustavus Music Showcase will be Sunday, March 12, at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis.  The Gustavus Choir, Gustavus Symphony Orchestra, and Gustavus Wind Orchestra will perform.  This is a unique opportunity to hear three premier ensembles from Gustavus in one concert.  This showcase also allows prospective students, parents, and alumni from the area to meet and connect.  For tickets, call the Orchestra Hall box office at 800/292-4141.  Tickets are $20 for general admission, and $10 for students 18 and under.


Two big stories from the fall sports are that Hailey Harren won the national NCAA Division III cross country title and the men’s soccer team became the first MIAC school to play in the national championship game and finished second, losing 1-0 to defending national champion Messiah.  For the second consecutive year, men's soccer coach Larry Zelenz has been named Coach of the Year in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America/Adidas NCAA Division III West Region.  The men's hockey team is unbeaten in conference play, outscoring their opponents 28-5 in four games.

Upcoming Music Tours

This year nearly 300 students participated in music tours as members of the Gustavus Wind Orchestra, Gustavus Choir, Gustavus Symphony Orchestra, Gustavus Jazz Lab Band, and Choir of Christ Chapel.  The Gustavus Wind Orchestra toured Eastern Europe Jan. 14-30.  Performances were scheduled for Germany, Czech Republic, Poland, and Austria.  The Gustavus Choir toured Jan. 27-Feb. 11, with performances in Minnesota and Wisconsin.  The Gustavus Symphony Orchestra, Gustavus Jazz Lab Band, and Choir of Christ Chapel will tour during Spring Semester.

Upcoming Alumni Events

  • Gustavus Music Showcase at Orchestra Hall - March 12
  • Atlanta, GA Gustie Gathering - March 26

With much Gustie love,

Amanda Frie

2004 Co-class Agent