Class of 2004
February 2008

Dear Classmates,

            Happy New Year! I hope that 2008 has started out positively for each of you.  As you read the updates below, it is evident that 2007 was a great year for many of our classmates.  Some of us were married or engaged, earned new positions at work, completed a graduate degree and some started a family.  I hope that 2008 continues to be a year of success and new, memorable experiences.

            In addition to looking forward to a great year, a new year also creates an opportunity to look to the past year and to seek change if necessary.  With the coming of the New Year, some of us might have made goals to find a better balance between personal and professional life, reconnect with friends and make time to connect with new friends.  Hopefully 2008 has also afforded you an opportunity to reconnect with Gustavus and the exciting events happening at the College.

            One of the greatest events for the College in 2007 would have to have been the opening of the new football stadium on campus.  I was at Gustavus for Homecoming this year and was impressed by the new stadium and the energy of all those around me.  I wanted to be a student once again; attending games, dancing on the field and spending time with members of my “Gustavus family.”  As I left, I was excited as I remembered that the Class of 2004 FIVE YEAR REUNION was quickly approaching and I would soon see many of my classmates who I had not seen since graduation.  Planning for the reunion is under-way and I look forward to a great event!

            Returning to campus also reminded me how lucky I am to be a graduate of Gustavus!  I was reminded of the importance of giving to the College so other students will be able to have the same opportunity that I had.  After speaking with Josh, Amanda and Guthrie, we have come up with a brilliant idea to spark contributions to our class fund this year―in the form of a competition.  The classmate who gives the greatest contribution before May 31, 2008 will win a gift certificate to the restaurant of their choice compliments of Amanda, Josh, Guthrie and me.

            We look forward to hearing from each of you.  Below you will find updates from our classmates―causes for celebration!  Please continue to stay in contact with the College and contact us with your updates if you have not done so already.

Best Wishes for a Great 2008!

Take care,

Marnie Nelson

2004 Co-Class Agent


  • Jonathan Moody works for the State of Wisconsin as a pharmacy budget and policy analyst.
  • Shannon Faloon works for Comverse Kenan Software, Inc. as an accountant.
  • Toshihito Hirota is working for Daikin Industries, Inc. as an accountant in Osaka, Japan.
  • Meghan Donohoe works for The Hartford as an ability analyst.
  • Travis Christensen is working for the First State Bank in Le Center.  He is an assistant vice-president.  He also recently married Tricia Kiecker in November 2006 and is working on completing his MBA from Minnesota State University, Mankato.
  • Ann Humburg is a registered nurse at the Mayo Clinic.  She is also working on a master’s in nursing at Minnesota State University, Mankato.
  • Andrea Kleven Croaston is working for Mounds View Schools as a pool instructor.
  • Betsy Lueck is working as an employee events and activities coordinator for enterprise Rent-A-Car in Saint Louis, Missouri.
  • Jesse Meyen is teaching within the Beverly Hills Unified School District as a 7th grade math teacher.
  • Nicole Hinds is working with the National Park Service as a Park Ranger.
  • Jill Noren-Kelsey is working as a communication specialist with BASF Building Systems.
  • Amy Koskela Gullikson is working as a financial underwriter with Blue Cross Blue Shield.
  • Crystal Gildea is teaching modern problems to senior students at Wayzata High School.
  • Jaclyn Bailey is in medical school at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.

Graduate School:

  • Emily Kofoed Brisse is enrolled at Vermont College in the writing program.
  • Megan Purcell is completing a master’s degree at Hamline University where she is studying to teach English as a second language to children.
  • Susie Harding is enrolled at Arizona State University where she is earning a doctorate in nursing practice.
  • Brett Pederson is working on a MBA at the Carlson School of Management.
  • Alison Thomas is working on a master’s in curriculum and instruction at National-Louis University.
  • Taimi Tuomie is enrolled at Hamline University.  She recently earned her teaching license and is working at Turtle Lake Elementary in Shoreview, MN as a learning resource teacher.
  • Amy Beckman is attending the University of New Mexico in pursuit of a master’s degree in exercise science.  She is also an assistant athletic trainer at the university.
  • Michelle McLean is attending William Mitchell College of Law.
  • Alison Cline is enrolled at Georgetown University where she is earning a master’s degree in sociolinguistics/language and communication.
  • Kelley Harris is attending Suffolk University where she is pursuing a master’s in business administration.  She is also working at Hill Holliday as a relationship marketing associate in Boston.
  • Lora Hopp is attending Drake University Law School.
  • Rachael Coady is enrolled at Portland State University where she is pursuing a master’s degree in social work.
  • Alison Dunn has completed a master’s of human resources from Loyola Graduate School of Business in Chicago.


  • Kirsten Kaufmann is engaged to Ryan Morse.  The couple will be married on May 31, 2008.  She is working as a registered nurse at Children’s Hospital of Minnesota.  Kirsten is also enrolled at the University of Minnesota where she is pursuing a master’s of science in nursing.  Ryan is working within the treasury department at U.S. Bank.


  • Robin Stennes married Rich Bartell ’01 on October 6, 2007.  She is an English and theater teacher at Lake Junior High in Woodbury, MN.
  • Kari Bess married Matthew Gunderson on October 20, 2007.  They reside in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
  • Lindsey Penn married David McGree on August 25, 2007.

wedding photo


This photo was taken at the wedding of Aaron Smith ’99 and Kristin Petersen on September 15, 2007.  Pictured L to R:  Ellen Graef, Nick Kroshus ’06, Jesse Harvey ’02, Jill Redebaugh Harvey ’00, Kristin Petersen Smith, Aaron Smith ’99, Tona Schmidtke Speltz, Luke Speltz ’03, Ron Davis ’99, Drew Quitschau ’99.  Front L to R:  Laura Haugen, Jen Klohs Reynolds, Mike Miller ’03, Bill Ties, Katie Hoeschen.

Kristin is working at Dakota Meadows Middle School in Mankato as a health and physical education teacher.

  • Cassie Nielsen Lind married Nicholas Lind on September 8, 2007.  She is currently enrolled at Argosy University where she recently earned a master’s degree of clinical psychology and is working on her doctorate.
  • Laura Young Brown married Tim Brown ’05 on August 25, 2007.  She is employed at Target Corporation in the merchandise planning and organization department.
  • Rachel Swanson married Joel Walgenbach on August 4, 2007.
  • Katie Swenson married Robert Mark ’03 on August 17, 2007.
  • Molly Shelton married Kevin McLain on September 29, 2007.
  • Erin Buster married Joseph Thorman on August 3, 2007.  She is working as an associate attorney with Oberman Thompson & Segal, LLC.
  • Allison Wold married Joe Fewer on September 8, 2007.  She is a clinical therapist for Catholic Charities.  He is a compliance analyst for The Hartford.
  • Greg Floren married Chelsea Ebert on September 22, 2007.


  • Jonathan and Brenda Westerbur Gill gave birth to Abigail Carin Gill on August 11, 2007.
  • Jeremy and Ryan Gillespie Jirele gave birth to Jayden on November 13, 2007.

Campus News

Alumni Insurance Programs

The Alumni Association sponsors insurance products for alumni, spouses, children, and parents.  Products include life insurance, auto, home and renters insurance, and short-term medical insurance to fill temporary needs of new alumni without insurance after graduation and others who may have gaps due to unemployment.  For information about life and short-term medical insurance, call 800-635-7801.  For information about auto, home, and renters insurance, call:  800-524-9400, (800-328-0705, ext. 552 in the Greater Twin Cities area).

Gustavus Music Showcase

The three international touring music ensembles at Gustavus Adolphus College — The Gustavus Choir, the Gustavus Symphony Orchestra, and the Gustavus Wind Orchestra —  will perform at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 9 at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis.  Tickets for the concert are on sale through the Orchestra Hall box office and may be purchased in-person, online at:, and via fax or phone at 612-371-5656.  Tickets are $22 for adults and $12 for children ages 6-18 and current Gustavus students with a valid I.D.

College Relations blog

Gustavus College Relations staff has introduced a new blog that will offer commentary and news on a variety of topics pertinent to the campus community as well as some photography, video, and audio content.  During the month of January the blog featured the Gustavus Symphony Orchestra’s China tour and observations of several January Interim classes.  The new blog can be read at:

Upcoming Alumni Events

  • Twin Cities Gustie Breakfast – March 19
  • Gustavus Music Showcase – March 9
  • Gustavus Library Associates, Breakfast with the Easter Bunny – March 8
  • For more information on alumni events, go to: