Class of 2005
February 2010

Greetings Class of 2005!

Gusties are everywhere in my life.  They run rampant in the skyways of downtown Minneapolis, I have clients who are Gustavus alumni, I run into Gusties at Target, my gym is basically like being in Lund Center (I just love running into people I know when I am all gross and sweaty) and I even share a backyard with a group of Gustie girls.  For many of you who live out-of-state, I’m sure these “run-ins” aren’t as frequent, but still happens.

While many of us have lost touch with college acquaintances, we all share a unique bond.  I didn’t realize this so-called-bond until after I graduated.  In talking with co-workers, neighbors and other non-Gustie friends, I realized that, while they enjoyed their experience in college, many of them didn’t share the same sense of school spirit and pride.

It’s almost unbelievable how long we’ve been out of Gustavus.  I’ve been working for the same employer for about the same time period that I was a student at Gustavus.  Many of you are well into your careers, or have even dabbled in a few different ones, and many are just beginning after pursuing additional degrees after Gustavus.  Whatever the case, hopefully you feel like Gustavus prepared you for your journey.

We now have the opportunity to give this Gustavus experience to someone else.  As we’ve mentioned in past class letters, our class has started an endowed scholarship.  We would love your help in raising $25,000 over the next year.  Gustavus makes giving simple as ever.  For example, I have an auto-payment system set up every month in order to spread it out throughout the year.  It’s easy, just go online to

Finally, I hope you are all getting excited for the festivities leading up to and during our 5-year reunion.  It will be great to see all of you!

Annie Michaletz Viljaste

2005 Co-class Agent


Remember, we love hearing your news.  Shoot us a note via e-mail/Facebook and we’ll make sure it’s included in the next class letter or send an email to and your class agents and the Alumni Office will receive it.

Karolina Konczyk married Alexander Hoerl on January 2, 2010.

Lesli Huettl Sutor received her master of art’s in education from St. Mary’s University of Minnesota and continues to teach 4th and 5th grade music in the Spring Lake Park School District.

Renee Donahue and Josh Carlson got married on June 20, 2009.

James Gempeler and Kelsey Gordon ’06 were married on August 15, 2009.

Liz Englund Weisbrich is a registered nurse in oncology at MeritCare Hospital in Fargo.  Her daughter, Morgan Lee, was born on August 11, 2009.

Brandon Gillette is in his fourth year in the Ph.D. program at the University of Kansas in Lawrence.  He completed his master’s degree last spring and is currently teaching ethics.

Nate Lund is working his way through an endodontic residency at Fort Bragg with the army after returning from a tour in Afghanistan.  Nate was one of the first people to respond to the 35W bridge collapse and was named (with his wife) as one of ABC’s people of the week.

Kris Storvick graduated from University of Minnesota Law School in the spring of 2009 and is now working as a patent attorney at 3M.

Gemma Soderholm Storvick graduated with master’s of science from the University of Minnesota School of Nursing and is now working as a gerontological nurse practitioner at Stillwater Medical Group.

Heather Meyers graduated with honors from Hamline University School of Law in May 2009 and recently passed the Minnesota bar exam


Gustavus Announces Major Building Projects

At its Monday, Jan. 25 meeting, the Gustavus Adolphus College Board of Trustees voted unanimously to move forward with three major building projects.  The College will erect a new 125,000 square foot academic building with a large 3-story atrium at the center providing natural light to many of the spaces.  It will qualify for a “gold LEED” qualification as a green building.  This will develop a mall extending west from its iconic Christ Chapel.  It will house the largest departments on campus (economics and management, psychology, and communications).  Also, plans are under way to renovate A. H. Anderson Social Science Building.  Construction timelines for the projects are not yet finalized, but the College expects to break ground on the new academic building late this spring.

The effort is a significant early implementation step of Commission Gustavus 150, an innovative, constituent-based strategic planning process that has engaged hundreds of alumni, students, faculty, staff, and other stakeholders over the past year.  “These projects will greatly enhance learning and teaching, student recruitment, and institutional advancement for many years to come,” said President Jack R. Ohle.

Alumnus, Kurt Elling ’89, Wins Grammy Award

Kurt Elling, a 1989 graduate of Gustavus Adolphus College, took home his first Grammy Award Sunday, Jan. 31 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, Calif.  Elling won the “Best Jazz Vocal Album” category for his album Dedicated to You: Kurt Elling Sings the Music of Coltrane and Hartman. This year marked the ninth time Elling was nominated for a Grammy.

Elling typically performs annually at Gustavus and did so most recently on Oct. 10, 2009 in Jussi Björling Recital Hall.  He has also had the distinct honor to perform in front of President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama and their 350 guests at the White House State Dinner on Nov. 24, 2009.

Admission News

Applications for next year are ahead of where they were last year at this time which makes Mark Anderson ’66, the director of admission, very happy.  We graduated two very large classes in the last two years so we need to have somewhat larger classes in order to maintain our enrollment at about 2,500.  Mark Anderson will retire at the end of the academic year so a search is going on to replace him.  Gustavus has had only three directors of admission since 1950 (Howard Holcomb ’49, Owen Sammelson ’58, and Mark Anderson ’66) which is quite an amazing track record.

Attend a Chapter Event Near You!

There will be Gustavus alumni chapter events in the following cities:  Tucson, February 19; Phoenix, February 20; Naples, March 14; Seattle, March 19; San Francisco, March 20; Los Angeles, March 21.  Other events in Boston, New York, Chicago, and Denver are still in the planning stages.  President Ohle will be attending all of those events so we hope that you will make an attempt to attend and hear what he has to say.  He is providing outstanding leadership!

Upcoming Events

  • Feb. 27 – Reunion Committee Winter Retreat
  • Mar. 6 – Breakfast with the Easter Bunny
  • Mar. 14 – Naples Chapter Event – Naples Grande Beach Resort
  • Mar. 17 – Gustie Breakfast – Amanda Nienow, assistant professor of chemistry
  • Mar. 19 – Seattle Chapter Event – Bellevue Club
  • Mar. 20 – San Francisco Chapter Event
  • Mar. 21 – Los Angeles Chapter Event – Jet Propulsion Laboratory

2005 "Unofficial” Reunion

To gear up for our official 5-year reunion, Homecoming Weekend (September 24th/25th, 2010), we would like to invite you all to Billy's on Grand in St. Paul on Saturday, April 17th, 2010, 6:00 p.m. for some relaxed fun where we can catch up with some old friends and make some new ones.  There is no entrance fee into this event, just what you plan on spending for yourself that evening.  You can also give your input on some things you would like to see at our actual reunion, or join one of the committees.  To be able to start “taking over” Billy’s, begin arriving between *5:00-6:00pm* or whenever you can get there.  If you have any questions, please contact:

Melissa Brasel at or

Jessica Nelson at

Hope to see you there!

  • Ben Boline
  • Melissa Brasel
  • Ben Brueshoff
  • Jen Cleveland
  • Kaela Poepping Cusack
  • Lyncee Davies
  • Ellen Dufresne
  • Alysen Farran
  • J.R. Friesen
  • Laura Gustafson
  • Meghan Lynch Heldman
  • Jillian Hiscock
  • Alex Kestly
  • Mia Langsjoen
  • Liz Zapetillo Lewis
  • Becky Neitzke
  • Jessica Nelson
  • Tara Peterson
  • Angela Rolle
  • Anne Shipley
  • Kate Riggs Sonsteby
  • Suzanne Temple
  • Brian Trussell
  • Kristi Schneider Trussell
  • Anne Michaletz Viljaste
  • Nick Weiler
  • Megan Wille
  • Josh Winter
  • Beth Wojahn

2005 Reunion Committee