Class of 2004
January 2009

5-Year Reunion ― October 9 & 10, 2009

Class of 2004,

It’s hard for me to imagine that it’s been almost five years since we said goodbye to Gustavus as students and bolted our way into the real world.  In that time we’ve been updated through these class letters on how our alma mater has prepared us for big things:  grad school, new jobs, promotions, life changes.  When we walked for graduation, I had a hard time believing that the place I went for college would play such a large role in my life.  After getting married, living in Arizona, living in Washington, DC, moving back to Minnesota, and starting a business, I never imagined that somehow Gustavus would factor into all of these major life changes.  Curious of how?  Luckily this fall we will have our five-year reunion coming up where I can explain.  In October we will have an opportunity to share the many stories we’ve collected over these years.  I look forward to receiving updates from many of you and catching up.  At the same time we’ll finally have a chance to gather and show our collective appreciation for all we’ve gained from being Gusties.

In our time away from Minnesota, my wife, Stephanie Flinn Beckmann ’03 and I ran into Gusties quite often.  The amount of Gustavus graduates across the country was surprising, but more unexpected was other’s awareness of our school and the character of its graduates.  The amount of people outside the Midwest who knew Gustavus truly says something about how special our school is; it makes me appreciate the education I received and the lessons I learned during my tenure in St. Peter.  Back in Minnesota, it has been a real treat to be able to see Gusties on a regular basis.  Running into other alums regularly during business meetings, in the store, or simply on the street has been an adjustment, but I enjoy the common connection we share and the almost immediate camaraderie.  As you have your own run-ins with Gustavus connections, I encourage you to think back of how our alma mater has played a role in your life.  I hope that these occurrences make you feel the same appreciation that I do.  In hard economic times like these, Gustavus continues to invest in its students through the annual fund, which is supported by gifts from alumni.  Please consider a gift (even a small one) to help Gustavus give current students the same opportunities that were made available to us.

Mark your calendars, October 9 and 10 ― I look forward to seeing you all at the reunion.

Brian Beckmann

2004 Guest Letter Writer

Five Year Reunion Planning!

Currently, the reunion committee is in the process of planning various events for the big weekend.  We are also busy planning events for months leading up to the reunion.  The committee thought it would be fun to give the Class of 2004 as many opportunities to catch up with familiar faces as possible.  We will make sure to keep you posted about the events as they approach.  Our reunion will be October 9th and 10th.  Please contact Amanda Frie ( if you want to help with planning or join our Facebook group – search “Gustavus Homecoming 2009.”

Wedding Bells, Employment, School and Babies!


  • Tera Brown and Charlie King – June 14, 2008
  • Jodi Clark and Kent Cook – September 19, 2008
  • Nick Tibesar and Lindsey Christensen ’03 – July 18, 2008
  • Nicole Meyer and Jon VanderMeulen - September 13, 2008 in Saline, Michigan; they now live in the Seattle, Washington area.
  • Tracy Larson and Ray Ogren – August of 2008


  • Marcus Maynard, St. Paul, works at Verizon
  • Jennifer Johnson Bottke, Lake City, is a nurse manager in the ICU at Mayo Clinic
  • Kathy Stauble, Burnsville, is a math teacher at Olson Middle School
  • Rachel Seely Ward, Stillwater, is a legal assistant at Eckberg, Lammers, Briggs, Wolff & Vierling
  • Libby Harren, St. Paul, is a senior merchandise specialist at Target Corp.
  • Amber Retzlaff, Mankato, is a member services representative at HealthPartners Insurance
  • Tasha Genck, Eden Prairie, is an associate pastor of community life at St. Andrew Lutheran Church in Eden Prairie
  • Johan Eriksson, Minneapolis, is a financial advisor at Morgan Stanley
  • Andrew Cramblit, Mankato, is a sales and design specialist at Greater Landscape
  • Leah Neal Renne, Holmen, WI, graduated from the University of Minnesota, College of Veterinary Medicine and is a veterinarian in Onalaska, WI
  • Chris Renne, Holmen, WI, is a medical lab technician at Community Memorial Hospital in Winona
  • Kate Molitor, Minnetonka, is a partnership marketing manager at the Target Center


  • Evan Alexander, to Jonathan and Sheri (Rickabaugh) Dack on October 15, 2008
  • Gwenyth Grace, to Andrew and Heather (McGregor) Hermanson on September 2, 2008.  Heather and her family live in Urbandale, IA where she is an account executive at McCormick Sales Communications Professionals.
  • Jacob, to Jon and Jamie (Regenscheid) Bruemmer on August 30, 2008

A Word from Gustavus

Haugen Named Head Football Coach

Peter Haugen was named the new head football coach in mid-December.  Haugen posted a 111-44 record in 15 years at Washburn High School.  He is the 17th head coach in the 93-year history of Gustavus football.  Haugen started the second week of January.

All football alumni and friends are invited to a Twin Cities reception to meet Peter Haugen.

Thursday, February 12 -- 5:00-8:00 p.m.

Doubletree Hotel Minneapolis-Park Place

1500 Park Place Boulevard (Hwy. 394 & Hwy. 100).

Reserve by Feb. 10 by calling the Alumni Office at 800-487-8437

President Ohle is on the Road!

Please join President Ohle, his wife Kris, and other Gustavus staff at a chapter dessert reception near you.  President Ohle will be visiting 11 cities around the country in the coming months and all alumni, parents, and friends of the College are invited to attend a reception.  Dates are listed below or check out the Alumni website to find out more details.

Mustaphi Named Michelle Obama’s Deputy Press Secretary

Semonti Mustaphi ’03 was recently named Deputy Press Secretary for First Lady Michelle Obama.  Mustaphi worked on the Obama campaign, and has also held communications positions for three senators.  Mustaphi graduated with a political science and communication studies double major, danced in the Gustavus Dance Company, and was an Anderson Scholar.

Gustie Breakfasts

Join us for the “Come on You Gustie” Breakfasts.  The breakfasts are held the third Wednesday of each month at the Doubletree Hotel, Minneapolis-Park Place, 1500 Park Place Boulevard (Hwy 394 and Hwy 100).  The breakfast runs from 8-9:30 and is $10 per person.  Reserve a spot by calling Don Swanson ’55 at (763) 533-9083.  February’s speaker will be Kris Kracht, communications; forensics head coach.

Alumni Insurance Programs

Are you in need of short-term medical insurance and between jobs?  Meyers and Associates can help with temporary medical insurance as well as life insurance.  For information about life and short-term medical insurance, call 800-635-7801 or visit Meyer and Associates.  Want to save money on your car insurance?  As a Gustavus alumnus you qualify for special group discounts through Liberty Mutual.

Gustie Pages

Want to support Gustie professionals?  In need of a doctor, pastor, or financial adviser?  Look in the Gustie Pages, an online database of Gusties who have submitted information about their profession.  Use the Gustavus network to meet your needs, or submit your professional information if you would like other Gusties to become your customers.  Go to the Gustie Pages at the alumni website,


Mark your calendars now for Homecoming 2009!  The Gustavus football team will face off against Pacific Lutheran University on Saturday, Oct. 10.  Watch for more information about tons of fun events the weekend of Oct. 9 and 10.

Music Ensemble Tours

Both the Gustavus Wind Orchestra and the Gustavus String Orchestra will be touring at the end of January and beginning of February.  The Wind Orchestra will tour mainly in the Denver area, but will also make two appearances in South Dakota.  The String Orchestra will travel from Stillwater through Iowa, Missouri, Tennessee, Ohio, Illinois, and Wisconsin.

Upcoming Alumni Events

  • 100th Anniversary of Gustavus Men's Basketball - Feb. 7
  • Twin Cities Gustie Breakfast, Kris Kracht, communications; forensics head coach - Feb. 18
  • Tucson Chapter Gathering - Feb. 19, Westward Look Resort
  • Phoenix Chapter Gathering - Feb. 20, Millennium Resort, Scottsdale
  • Los Angeles Chapter Gathering - Feb. 28, Art Director's Guild, Studio City
  • Boston Chapter Gathering - March 14, Hyatt Regency Cambridge
  • New York Chapter Gathering - March 16, New York Marriott East Side
  • Twin Cities Gustie Breakfast, Ken Westphal, vice president for finance - March 18
  • Seattle Chapter Gathering - March 21, Trinity Lutheran Church, Freeland, WA
  • San Francisco Chapter Gathering - March 23, Hotel Vitale
  • Twin Cities Gustie Breakfast, Steve Wilkinson, retiring men's tennis coach - April 15