Class of 2004
April 2006

Greetings Class of 2004:

I love reunions.  I love seeing friends I have not seen since graduation and hearing about their adventures out in the “real world.”  It is fun to laugh and remember the good times we all shared during our four years on the hill.  It is also fun to spend time with and catch-up with friends I have remained close to since graduation.  It is a comfort to be reminded that the Gustavus community exists beyond the borders of Saint Peter.

This spring will bring reunion opportunities for many of our classmates.  Some of us will be getting together to celebrate weddings, engagements, new jobs, graduations from universities with advanced degrees and even the births of the next generation of Gusties.  I recently reunited with Renee Morrison at her home outside of New York City during my Spring Break trip to NYC with Heidi Steinhilber.  Like other members of our class, she is planning a wedding for early June 2007.  I also visited with Britta Johnson Bergland (formerly Britta Johnson who married Jesse Bergland this past February) when I bumped into her at Easter Services at Mount Olivet Lutheran Church in Minneapolis.  Finally, I recently attended Katie Dorn’s bridal shower in preparation for her marriage to Josh Thimjon on May 27, 2006.  Big things are happening in the lives of our classmates!

Listed below are the accomplishments and celebrations of many of our classmates.  I am currently teaching Spanish at Concordia Academy, a small private high school in Bloomington.  This past fall I went back to Spain and earned my TEFL certificate to teach English abroad.  I hope to use this certificate this summer!  As you all reunite with our classmates, please remember Gustavus and the wonderful adventures you had while you were there.  Your gifts will not only help to fund scholarships for future Gusties, but will also help to create an even Greater GustavusWith generous gifts from extraordinary people like you, Gustavus will continue to flourish to become an extraordinary place.  You can contribute gifts to Gustavus on-line or contact the Alumni Office directly.

I wish you all the best of luck in the coming year and hope to bump into many of you soon!  Go Gusties!

Best Wishes,

Marnie Nelson

2004 Co-Class Agent


  • Sarah Hanson and Daniel Brown who were married on July 1, 2005 (See photo, right.)  Thanks for sending us the picture! 
  • Emily Sharpsteen and Jason Osnes will be married on June 11, 2006.
  • Laura Hruby married Andrew Cleveland on December 17, 2005.
  • Amanda Giles married Joe Jordan in July 2005.  She is currently employed with the Target Corporation.
  • Jeni Kilby will marry Paul Wojahn ’03 in October 2006.
  • Ryan Gillespie Jirele married her “hometown love” Jeremy Jirele last July.  She is now teaching dance through the Dance Conservatory of Southern Minnesota and has started her own wedding and event planning business called An Air of Flair.
  • Jodi Clark is now a human resources manager at Panera Bread.
  • Betsy Anderson is teaching second grade in the Stillwater District.  She recently became engaged to Charlie Anderson and plans for a July 2007 wedding are underway.
  • Kelli Gardner is teaching first grade at Sibley East.  She resides in Gaylord, MN.
  • Erica Olson is teaching sixth grade language arts and social studies in the Robbinsdale area school district.
  • John Karnofski was elected to Kelso City Council (Washington) in November 2005.
  • Jenny Yang is working as an advocacy initiative director at the Southeast Asia Resource Action Center in Washington, D.C.
  • Kyrstin Gustafson is the director of youth ministry at Faith Lutheran Church in Forest Lake, MN.
  • Korine Boyenga Petersen is now the office manager at McCrossan Boys Ranch in Sioux Falls, SD.
  • Meagan Phillips is an actuarial analyst for Minnesota Life/Securian Financial Group.
  • Billy Holmquist is a senior associate/client reporting at RBC Dain Rauscher.
  • Erin Ropes is living in Boston, MA where she is a product photographer for and is an assistant for Stephen Sherman.
  • Meghan LaVelle is a registered nurse at Woodwinds Health Campus.
  • Birabwa Mutebi is a nanny in the Minneapolis area.
  • Martha Hansen is working at Barnes and Noble.
  • Katie Swenson is a program specialist at ProAct, Inc.
  • Katie Dorn is a first grade teacher in the Minnetonka School District.
  • Emily Helliwell is a graduate student at Purdue University in the botany and plant pathology department.
  • Lindsay Rude is a graduate student at the University of Minnesota in arts education.
  • Kathleen Johnson is in her final year of a European business MBA program at Jean-Moulin University in Lyon, France.
  • Chris Holsworth will graduate from Saint Cloud State University this June in Sports Management.
  • Erinn Danielson is working on a master’s degree in music therapy at the University of Minnesota.  A June 2007 graduation is expected.  She will be interning at the University Good Samaritan Center in Minneapolis beginning in July.
  • Rachel Swanson is a graduate student at the University of Saint Thomas for elementary education.

If you have information you would like to include in the next class letter, please e-mail us at:  We would love to hear from you!


The Alumni Board met on campus in February and made the final selection for the Alumni Awards:

Greater Gustavus Award:  

  • Gustavus Library Associates, for providing financial resources for Folke Bernadotte Library, and engaging and introducing alumni and friends in the mission of the College.

Distinguished Alumni Citations:  

  • Karen Bossart Rusthoven ’66, St. Paul, MN, founder and principal of Community of Peace Academy, St. Paul;
  • Susan Semple-Rowland ’77, Gainesville, FL, professor of neuroscience, University of Florida and director, Neuroscience IDP Graduate Program; and
  • Magnus Ranstorp ’85, St. Andrews, Scotland, chief scientist at the Centre for Asymmetric Threat Studies, Swedish National Defense College; and a Senior Honorary Research Associate and former Director of Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland.

First Decade Awards:  

  • Rebecca Konrad ’96, Washington, DC, investment officer, global transaction team, The World Bank International Finance Corporation; and
  • Milo Martin ’96, Philadelphia, PA, assistant professor, Department of Computer and Information Sciences, University of Pennsylvania. 

The awards will be presented on Commencement Weekend or Homecoming Weekend depending on the recipient’s schedule.

Short Term Medical (STM) insurance Available

Short Term Medical Insurance can fill the temporary needs of those without health insurance, usually at a lower cost than other alternatives.  Alumni and their families may apply.  This is perfect for children of alumni who are graduating (even if they did not attend Gustavus) and aren’t yet covered under an employer’s health plan.  Contact the program administrator at Meyer and Associates at:  800-635-7801 or about this and other sponsored life, medical, auto and homeowners insurance.

Gusties In Volunteer Endeavors (G.I.V.E.)

Gusties love to serve while they are students and after they graduate.  Gusties In Volunteer Endeavors (G.I.V.E.), the annual day of community service, will focus in the Twin Cities’ Phillips Neighborhood.  This 1.6 square mile section of Minneapolis has 3,100 families, and 31 percent of those families live below the poverty level.  This neighborhood also is home to the American Swedish Institute.  Come out to help make the community a little better.  To learn more about G.I.V.E. Day and to register, go to

Gusties Gather!

Gusties around the world are called to gather on Sunday, August 6!  The Alumni Board is designating this day as a way for Gusties to stay connected with each other.  In research among alumni, we know that Gusties already stay in contact with many alumni, and we know that Gusties have a strong interest in staying connected with other Gusties and with the College.  Ever think you want to do more to be connected with Gustavus?  Now is your chance, signup to host a Gusties Gather! event.  Complete event check-list, host kit, and details will be provided.  Sign-up via e-mail at <> or call 800/487-8437.

Upcoming Alumni Events

  • Gustavus Library Associates Author Day with Robert Alexander – May 3
  • Reunion for Class of 1956 and 50-Year Club – May 26-27
  • Commencement – May 28
  • Gusties Gather! – August 6
  • Reunions for the classes of 1961, 1966, 1971, 1976, 1981, 1986, 1991, 1996, 2001 – October 6-8

Wishing you all the best,

Amanda, Crystal, Josh, Marnie and Signe

2004 Class Agents