Class of 2005
April 2008

Dear Classmates,

As I sit here writing this letter (a little late of course), I look down and notice that I am wearing my “Life for Gusties, Gusties for Life” shirt from Senior Week.  I can’t help but to smile and think back to the most amazing four years of my life.  We have all been so blessed with a wonderful education and amazing friendships.  Every experience we have encountered has helped shape us to who we are today.  Can you believe that it’s been almost three years since we’ve been on the Hill?  It feels as though just yesterday we were attending classes, football games, and the weekly parties at the Boathouse, the Barn, and the Dog Pound.  It’s crazy how fast the time goes by.  People are in graduate school, married, and buying houses.  We have all grown up!

I figure this is a good transition to remind you all to give back to Gustavus.  It doesn’t have to be a large amount.  After all, every little bit counts and your gift shows support to the College.  You can give here by clicking on this link:

I am still working at News America Marketing and loving my job.  I am an account director and consultatively sell advertising and promotional solutions to companies, most of them being consumer packaged goods companies.  Since I have started here, there have been five more Gusties that have joined the News America family.  I do have to say that the Gustie Rouser has become quite a familiar song in our office.

Class News

Here are some updates about what our fellow classmates are doing:

Tiffany Clark graduated from the International Center of Photography in NYC in June 2007 and is now a freelance photojournalist in NYC.  I was lucky enough to see some of her work on KARE 11 a few months back…nice job Tiff!

Ben “Biggie” Eklo is working for SecureHorizons which is a part of UnitedHealth Group in Minnetonka.  Jessica Prody earned her master’s in communication studies from the University of Minnesota in June.  She is now working towards her Ph.D. in communication studies and living in St. Paul.

Tara Peterson recently got a new job with Paychex after being with Ikon for three years.  Kelsey Hanson and I currently live together in Plymouth.  Kelsey is engaged to be married to Andy Granowski in October and currently works at the Minnesota Autism Center as an intake coordinator.

Amber Wilson is living in Eden Prairie with Christa Harrison and Christie Rossow.  She is working for PLUS Relocation Services.  Christie Rossow is working in Burnsville at Mackin Library Media in the Customer Communications Department.  Amy Beightol is living in Washington, DC and is assistant to the president of the National Housing Trust.  She works with the public policy teams on affordable housing issues at the federal level.

Becky “Beackman” Crump and Matt “Chuck” Volenec are engaged to be married in May and living in Marshfield, WI.  Becky is a Title I reading teacher and Matt is working as a research associate for the Marshfield Clinic.  Melissa “Melba” Gniffke married Mark Bang ’02 in September.  Melissa is currently working at Target in marketing.

Sean “Dolla Bill” Smith, Isaac Sieling, and Karl “Grande” Spilseth all live together in Bloomington.  Sean is in business development at First Financial Capital and Karl works for Lawson Software.  Isaac is still working for Stockamp and Associates and is based out of Dallas during the week.  Gina Mueller married Cole Lieser last August and currently lives in Spicer, MN.  She works for the United Way of Kandiyohi County. 

Rachel Kvanli is engaged to be married to Scott Dickinsen on May 3.  She is a registered nurse at Minnesota Gastroenterology and living in Shoreview.  Kelly Semenkewitz is living in Minneapolis and is attending medical school at the University of Minnesota.

We have another lovely lady in medical school…Sue Dailey.  Sue is attending the University of Minnesota Medical School-Duluth and engaged to be married to Doug Espenson in August.  Anyone remember when Jerad “Buck” Buckingham tried to show Doug up in basketball?  Speaking of Buck, he is living in Hopkins and works for Wells Fargo as a Personal Banker.

Caitlin Severinson works at Wayzata High School and lives in Eden Prairie.  She is engaged to be married to Jon Johnson in August.  Angie Crowley and Steve Chismar married last September.  They currently live in Plymouth.  Angie is a claims specialist at Assurant Employee Benefits and Steve is a marketing representative for Federated Insurance.  I still give credit to myself for setting them up…first night back, sophomore year, at Corky’s???  :-)

Macey Furstenau married Jay Boseck in August 2007.  They now live in Indiana where Macey is currently a teacher’s aide at a local high school.  She is finishing her Masters degree with the University of Phoenix.

Ben Brueshoff is working as an account manager for Miele, Inc. which is a German luxury appliance company.  He is living in Apple Valley and tries to travel as much as he can.  Austin Sponsel still owns the Minnesota Harvest Apple Orchard in Jordan, MN.  She is an MBA student at Notre Dame Mendoza College of Business and will graduate in 2009.

Laura “Styp” Stypulkowski, is currently living in White Bear Lake while she finishes up her final months of graduate school.  She will receive a doctorate of physical therapy degree from the Mayo Clinic and is engaged to be married to Kent Kramer in August.

Owen Anfinson is still studying geology.  He is finishing up his master’s degree at Washington State and has been accepted into the Ph.D. program at the University of Calgary.  Linden Zakula is in Washington, DC working for Senator Klobuchar as her press secretary.



The Alumni Office received this picture of enthusiastic Gusties taken at the wedding celebration of Nick Sonsteby ’04 and Kate Riggs on September 5, 2007. 

Emily Conlin is a senior fitness specialist at Park Nicollet HealthSource and living in St. Paul.  She is engaged to Tom Westlund and they will marry in October.  Jessica Nelson, another Class Agent continues to sell real estate in the Alexandria, MN area.

Kirsten Mickelsen graduated from the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University with a master’s of public affairs and a master’s of science in environmental science concentrating in water resources.  Erin Keefe is living in Arlington, VA and working as a technical recruiter for Inserso Corp. which is an information technology staff augmentation company.  She has been there for the past two years.

Jenny Pearson is living in Chaska and working for UnitedHealth Group as a Human Capital Consultant.  Peter “Pener” Swanstrom owns a house in Minnetonka with Chris VanHoven.  Peter is working for Oracle in Eden Prairie as a support engineer.  Chris, aka Hoven works at Northwest Airlines as an analyst.

Kelly Keith is attending graduate school at Colorado State University for a master’s in nutrition.  She lives in Fort Collins and coaches club soccer.  Lindsey Toppin married Erik Severinson (’03) in June 2007.  She is currently working at Wilson’s Leather.

Amanda Cody is currently attending law school at The George Washington University Law School in Washington, DC.  She will be working at the law firm of Sonnenschein, Nath and Rosenthal this summer.  Courtney DeClercq has been teaching 7th grade math in Arizona since August.  She will be moving back to Minnesota at the end of the school year.

Meghan Lynch Heldman teaches first grade in Minnetonka.  She married Dave Heldman ’04 last August and is working on her master’s of education through St. Mary’s University and living in Richfield.  Shawn Zellman and Katie Aplin were married in December and live in Waconia.  Katie is working at Wells Fargo as a mortgage specialist and Shawn is working with the Donaldson Company as a buyer.

That’s all the class news I have!  Or more like it, that’s all I could conjure up from Facebook.  Remember to keep Gustavus posted on any changes in your life…you can be featured in the next class letter!

In case you don’t receive the monthly newsletters, here’s an update with what’s going on at Gustavus.

Campus News

Since 1989 Gustavus students have organized Spring Break Work Trips, where students travel to other cities to help with service projects, including helping build homes and working in shelters.  More than 100 students went on this year’s trips, to help in the ongoing Hurricane Katrina clean-up efforts.  During the week-long relief effort, the volunteers worked eight hours a day on as many as 30 houses at two different sites.

A Gustavus dance “Vigorous Incubation” was one of three performances chosen from entries from more than 30 colleges and universities to be performed at a biennial national college dance festival in New York City in June.  The entire Gustavus ensemble was also nominated for a national outstanding student performance award, usually reserved for an individual performer.  Extraordinary dance has been happening at Gustavus for many years.  The first professor of dance was hired in 1979 and in 1989 the Department of Theatre and Dance was created.

MAYDAY! Conference Focuses on Water

“Troubled Water” is the topic of Gustavus Adolphus College’s 28th annual MAYDAY!  Peace Conference to be held Wednesday, April 30 on campus.  Dr. Aaron Wolf, department of geosciences at Oregon State University and a leading expert on international water politics, opens the daylong conference and the afternoon keynote speaker is Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food and Water Watch, a consumer advocacy organization in Washington, D.C.  The conference, an annual event designed to educate the campus community and beyond about issues related to peace, human rights, and social justice, is open to the public at no charge.

Gustie Breakfasts

Join other Minneapolis/St. Paul area Gusties for a once-a-month morning cup of coffee and breakfast while getting an update on Gustavus.  The group meets the third Wednesday of each month 8-9:30 a.m. at the Doubletree Hotel, Minneapolis-Park Place, 1500 Park Place Boulevard (Hwy. 394 & Hwy. 100) $10 per person.  Reserve a spot by calling Don Swanson ’55 at 763-533-9083.  Next date:  May 21 - featuring Sports Information Director, Tim Kennedy ’82

Gustavus Library Associates proudly presents Minnesota political activist Arvonne Fraser as this spring’s Author Day speaker at 10 a.m. on Wednesday May, 14 at the Edina County Club.  She will discuss her recently published, spirited memoir, She's No Lady:  Politics, Family, and International Feminism.  Fraser was heavily involved in the growing movement of American women to gain political influence and secure rights for themselves.  She turned her skills to the international arena, as well, capping her dynamic career as U.S. ambassador to the UN Commission on the Status of Women.  Her story will inspire and encourage anyone―male or female―who seeks a full personal and professional life.  Reservations for the brunch and presentation at a cost of $20 can be made by calling the Gustavus Office of College Relations at 507-933-7520.

Alumni Awards Announced

The Alumni Association announces the following 2008 awards selected by the Alumni Board of Directors.

Greater Gustavus Award - Given to those who by deed, have notably advanced and aided Gustavus Adolphus College:

  • Jim and Susan (Pepin) Peterson ’64 ’65 

Distinguished Alumni Citations - Recognizing outstanding and exceptional professional achievement:

  • Craig Johnson ’69, bishop, Minneapolis Area Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
  • Talmadge King ’70, chair, Department of Medicine, University of California San Francisco School of Medicine.
  • Barbara Berry Leonard ’63, nursing professor, University of Minnesota.

First Decade Awards - Recognizing early professional achievement:

  • Miho Ihara, senior consultant, CPCS Transcom Limited.
  • Jason Smerdon, Barnard Environmental Science/Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Environmental Science, Barnard College.

The Greater Gustavus Award and Distinguished Alumni Citations will be presented at the Alumni Banquet on Saturday, May 31 and the First Decade Awards will be presented during Homecoming Weekend, Oct. 4.

Upcoming Alumni Events

  • MAYDAY! Peace Conference focused on water - April 30
  • Author Day with Arvonne Fraser - May 14
  • Gustie Breakfast - May 21, featuring Sports Information Director, Tim Kennedy
  • Class Reunions - for 50-Year Club, 1958, and 1963 - May 30 and 31

That’s all folks…thanks for reading.  Have a wonderful summer and until next time, remember the saying of my t-shirt…Life for Gusties, Gusties for Life.

All the best,

Anne Shipley

2005 Co-class Agent