Class of 2006
January 2007

To the Class of 2006:

Happy New Year everyone!  We hope 2007 brings great things to you all. By now, a lot of our classmates have landed jobs, are getting comfortable at grad school and are getting so sick of their parents that they are finally contemplating moving out. This is our second letter to you since commencement and from this point forward we’ll be sending out three per year.

Still need a New Year’s resolution? We have an idea for you:  like many other classmates, we all need to understand the importance of giving back to Gustavus. Hear us out; below are just a few reasons why you should consider making a pledge:

  1. If our school has more money, it gives its students a better education, which in turn gets students better jobs, which in turn makes YOUR degree worth more, which in turn makes it easier for you to get a job, which in turn makes your paycheck bigger.  Basically, giving to the school isn’t just altruistic; it is in your best interest.
  2. Other Alumni helped fund our education.  Be a good person and pay them back by helping future Gusties.
  3. Don’t like something about Gustavus?  Your complaint to our school is probably taken a lot more seriously if you give the big bucks.
  4. Tuition only pays for 13% of the Gustavus budget.  Actually we made that up, but point aside, tuition does not pay for everything.  Unless you want Gustavus to run on $2 a day and you want your degree to be worth as much as one of those degrees you get from some online university that advertises on daytime television, give back!
  5. Give back now otherwise tuition will cap $1,000,000/year by the time you are shipping your children off to Gustavus (again, just a hypothetical).

Alright, enough of that.  Now for the LONG list of class updates.  Please don’t try to hold your breath, we can’t be held responsible for what happens.  What follows are a slew of updates that were submitted to the Alumni Office over the past several months.  Additional updates are listed in the Gustavus Quarterly.

Three of our classmates, Sarah Hawkins, Josh Boertje, and John Zeiler, were featured in Mysterious Bruises, a play written by Gustavus faculty member Amy Seham.  The play premiered at the Minnesota Fringe Festival this past August.



  • Jeff Aasness is a credit manager at Wells Fargo Financial and lives in Moorhead.
  • Austin Aho is in bloody London, working for Northern Trust.  He works with DRIPS/SCRIPS.  He’d be glad to explain what that is.
  • Leah Amundson is studying at William Mitchell School of Law.
  • Chris Anderson worked on the Paul Hodes congressional campaign in New Hampshire.
  • Julia Anderson is a graduate student in geosciences at Idaho State University.
  • Andrew Arlt is a student at UW-Madison studying ecology.
  • Joe Atkinson is a staff auditor at Boulay, Heutmaker, and Zibell.
  • Sonja Aune is teaching kindergarten at Thurgood Marshall Elementary outside of Chicago.


  • Gina Baratto is a materials management coordinator for Thomson West in Eagan.
  • Rose Baumann helped elect Amy Klobuchar to the U.S. Senate this fall and is now employed in Senator Klobuchar’s Minnesota office as a constituent advocate.
  • Barbie Bexell is living it up in Palo Alto, CA, working for the Ronald McDonald Foundation while nannying for a family.
  • Blythe Bittman is obtaining a teaching licensure at Minnesota State University – Mankato.
  • A. J. Bouquet is an associate at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester.
  • Caleb Bousu is an actuary at Thrivent Financial.
  • Ryan Braski is a CPA working for Deloitte & Touche.
  • Tara Brown is a 1st Grade Teacher at Richfield Centennial Elementary School in Richfield.
  • Roy Bryan is enrolled in medical school at the University of Minnesota.
  • Becky Butler is employed at Wells Fargo in Rochester.


  • Joe Cady is working in web design and advertising at Saturn of Minneapolis.
  • Jonathan Carlson is working at Open Arms of Minnesota with the Lutheran Volunteer Corps.
  • Melisa Chial is a server at Bricco di Vino and a promotions associate at the St. Croix River Review.
  • Alyssa Cox is a network competitiveness analyst at United Health Care.
  • Rachel Crane is changing the world, teaching 6th and 8th grade science in Brooklyn, New York.
  • Joe Cupka just finished up working for the Minnesota DFL Coordinated Campaign.


  • Peter Dahlberg is studying to become an urban planner at the Humphrey Institute.
  • Heather Danckwart is a medical student at the University of Minnesota, Duluth.
  • Cristina Diaz was the field director for (now) State Senator Kathy Sheran’s campaign.  She is now Senator Sheran’s legislative assistant.


  • Erica Ellefson is employed at Trimble and Associates Law Office in Hibbing.
  • David Engelhard is employed at St. David’s Child Development and Family Services in Minneapolis.
  • Dan Etzel is an account executive for commercial construction insurance at Cobb, Strecker, Dumphy, and Zimmerman.


  • Katie Fillius is pursuing a master’s of music in vocal performance and pedagogy at Colorado University-Boulder.
  • Scott Fitzloff is residing in Minneapolis and recently founded a video production company, Prime Productions with Gusties Ryan Taylor ’05 and fellow classmate Ryan Braski.
  • Matt Forbes finished up on the DFL Coordinated Campaign in November and is now working for an architecture firm in St. Paul.
  • Mary Furlong is a fitness specialist at Courage Center and lives in Mound.


  • Nik Georgacarakos is a graduate student studying the history of 17th century literature at the University of Mississippi.
  • Amie Gerhardson is a law student at University of North Dakota.
  • Lesley Grant is a graduate student in forensic science at George Washington University.
  • Becky Graupmann-Sullivan is a veteran’s service representative for the Department of Veterans Affairs.
  • Tim Gruenisen is living in Madison, WI and attending Marquette University School of Law.


  • Jen Harry is merchandise planning business analyst at Target Corp.
  • Brad Hammer is the organizing director for Minnesota Public Interest Research Group.
  • Molly Hassler is a catastrophe risk analyst at Benfield.
  • Sarah Hawkins works at a public relations firm in Minneapolis.
  • Katie Haynes is a medical student at the University of Minnesota, Duluth.
  • Dennis Heaton is an athletic trainer for Ridgeview Medical Clinics.
  • Karin Hedstrom is a graduate student at the University of Washington.
  • Kee Her is a graduate student in the physician’s assistant program at University of South Dakota.
  • Lauren Hittle is a graduate student in secondary education at Hamline University.


  • Dana Johnson is a commercial insurance underwriter at Federated Insurance in Owatonna.
  • Dayna Johnson is employed as a development coordinator for the Minnesota/Dakotas chapter of the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America in St. Paul.
  • Ellen Johnson and Sally Johnson (yes, it’s just coincidental that they have the same last name) coached a junior high volleyball team this past fall in Ellendale.  Sally is also a special education teacher at New Richland Elementary.
  • Christy Kafka is a staff accountant at Target Corp.
  • Jamie Kaiser is a student in graphics production at South Central Technical College.
  • Justin Kalemkiarian is living in Minneapolis and working for the Cafesjian Family Foundation, a firm involved in direct investment to Armenia; he continues to hate bureaucracy.
  • Stacy Spreng Katkov is a lab technician at Schroeder Company in Maplewood.
  • Gina Kilchenman works as a PBX Operator at the Sheraton Bloomington Hotel.
  • Bobby Kroog is working at Unity Business Networks in Minneapolis.
  • B. J. Kuhns lives in Minneapolis and is currently attending University of St. Thomas School of Law.


  • Adam Langenfeld is on track to obtain his M.D./Ph.D. from the University of Illinois.
  • Deanna Leverson is a business analyst at Target Corp. and a part-time law student at William Mitchell College of Law.
  • Kirsten Lilleness is a yield management analyst at Alaska Airlines.
  • Matt Lindner is working at The Protomold Company as a software developer in Maple Plain.
  • Chris Lofgren is working for Liberty as an associate surety underwriter.  Ask him what surety is; he loves explaining it.
  • Christine Loos is an occupational therapy student at St. Kate’s.
  • Heather Luth is living it up valley-girl style in Los Angeles, working in Film Marketing for Sony Pictures Entertainment.


  • Kate Maillette is a volunteer with Lutheran Volunteer Corps in Saint Paul.
  • Seyward Mattson is a student at Luther Seminary.
  • Cassie Mayne is a staff accountant at Target Corp.
  • Darin Mays is a consulting associate at Stockamp & Associates.
  • Bill McCarthy is a fiscal technician at the University of Alaska – Anchorage.
  • Colin McGuire lives in Saint Paul and teaches violin lessons at the St. Joseph School of Music.
  • Samantha Mediger is working for General Mills in Golden Valley as an account operations specialist.
  • Marla Menne is a student in interior design at International Academy of Design and Technology.
  • Nate Miatech is a commissioned officer, second lieutenant for the U.S. Army.
  • Zach Mitchell is a chiropractic student at Northwestern Health Sciences University.
  • Mary Moilanen is working as an underwriter at St. Paul Travelers.


  • Emily Najjar is a self-employed piano teacher and accompanist.
  • Jillian Natwick is an R.N. at Abbott Northwestern Hospital.
  • James Paul Nelson, III is a project service coordinator for Eschelon Telecom.
  • Heidi Newbauer is a communications specialist for Affiance Financial.
  • Courtney Noecker volunteered for two weeks in a treatment center for economically impoverished children in Quito, Ecuador this past summer.
  • Joni Nordberg is a graduate student in physics at the University of Minnesota.
  • Johanna (JJ) Nowicki is a staff accountant at CBIZ Accounting.


  • Jess Olson (another Class Agent) is a merchandise coordinator for Target in Minneapolis.
  • Kristine Overson is a member of the Lutheran Volunteer Corps.  She is a social service worker with the Howard Area Community Center in Chicago.
  • Ashley Palm is working for BAX Global in Eagan.
  • Nick Palmer is a home mortgage consultant for Wells Fargo in Saint Paul and just released a new record with our favorite Gustavus band, The Organ Donors.
  • Jeffrey Pearson is a graduate student at William Mitchell College of Law.


  • Corey Reagan is a money mover (a.k.a. financial advisor) for Morgan Stanley in Minneapolis.
  • Alana Reetz is a public records researcher at The Wackenhut Corporation in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida…sounds rough.
  • Lindsey Reimnitz is a rural community health volunteer with the Peace Corps in Benin, Africa.
  • Matt Royer is a graduate student in mechanical engineering at the University of Minnesota.
  • Dorea Ruggles is working towards her PhD in architectural acoustics at Rennselaer Polytechnic in Troy, New York.
  • Jenna Ruhl is an accounting assistant at CB Richard Ellis.


  • Ryan Schmitz is a production manager at Sunny Fresh Foods.
  • Rosemary Shultz is a reporter for KEYC Television in Mankato.
  • Kate Sheehan is living in St. Louis Park, working at University of Minnesota Children’s Hospital.
  • Josh Siebell is a neurological/spinal intensive care unit nurse at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago.
  • Katie Siebert is a coronary critical care nurse at University of California-San Diego Medical Center.
  • Emma Siedschlag works for HDR and DM&E Railroad in Sioux Falls, South Dakota as an environmental scientist.
  • Chantell Siltman is a graduate student at Luther Seminary.
  • Teal Slivik is a server and sales associate at Briacco di Vino and a carpenter at Lucky Moon Properties.
  • Lena Solyntjes is teaching 4th grade at Robert Lunt Elementary School in Las Vegas, Nevada.
  • Megan Strom is studying applied linguistics at Universidad de las Americas, Puebla in Cholula, Mexico.
  • Marit Sviggum is a graduate student in the college of pharmacy at the University of Minnesota.
  • Javen Swanson is a student at Yale Divinity School.
  • Matt Swenson (a fellow Class Agent) just got a promotion.  He is now one step closer to taking over the world, working as a communications specialist/writer for the MN DFL House Caucus.
  • Steve Swenson is an organization leader at Southwestern Company.


  • Dan Tengwall is a second lieutenant in the United States Army.  He is currently training down at Fort Sill, Oklahoma.
  • Andy Timmer recently organized a commemorative mark of the Henry Sibley walk from Traverse des Sioux near Saint Peter to Fort Ridgely.
  • Andy Tschida is pursuing a master’s in geographic information systems at St. Mary’s University in Winona.
  • Chris Van Fossen is teaching English in Kazakhstan for the Peace Corps.  No he does not know Borat.


  • Katy Warren is working with Lutheran Volunteer Corps.
  • Beka Wedge is pursuing a master’s in psychology and religion at Union Theological Seminary in New York, New York.
  • Dan Westlund is working for AmeriCorps and Habitat for Humanity in the Twin Cities, painting houses for the needy and less fortunate.
  • Eric Wilberg is a consulting associate in the health care industry at Stockamp & Associates.
  • Jackie Winfree is a park guide with the National Park Service.


  • True Xiong is a claims adjuster at Liberty Mutual.
  • Nate Zilka is an Americorps volunteer and a graduate student in intercultural communication at University of Maryland, Baltimore County.
  • Beth Zirbes is a graduate student in mathematics at University of Alaska – Fairbanks.

WEDDINGS & ENGAGEMENTS – Congratulations!!!

  • Mark Hulzebos and Ana Sietsema got married in September.  Mark is working at Medtronic and Anna is working as a substitute teacher.
  • Katie Johnson just got hitched to Andrew Rudeen and she took his last name, so update your address books!
  • Laura MacPherson married Loren Hansen ’05 on August 4.
  • Erin Crimmins is a medical student at the University of Minnesota and engaged to Jonathan Grimsby.
  • Sarah Schmidt was married to Andy Cramblit ’04 on August 26 in Mankato and is employed with LarsonAllen.
  • Jennifer Hanson married Jacob Yost on July 29.  Jennifer is the aquatic director at the Lake Crystal Area Recreation Center.
  • Jessica (Werner) McNamee married Jay McNamee this past summer.  Jess is employed at Best Buy in Richfield.
  • Gretchen Emich married Jose Bolivar in Grand Rapids, Michigan on June 10.
  • Nick Fox and Amy (Welshons) Fox were married June 24 in Hastings.
  • Marie Schrupp married Ross Stodola on July 15.  Marie is employed as an R.N. at St. Cloud Hospital.
  • Erich Ziegler married Chandra Daw on August 26.
  • Danielle Wright just got married to Benji Schirm.  They live in Boston and Dani works for Health Dialogue.
  • Tanna Tuomie married Brady Hoffman ’05 on October 20 and she works for Wells Fargo Financial.
  • Andrea Busch married Matt Lieser ’05 in good old Christ Chapel on July 8.  Andrea is working at the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs in St. Paul.
  • Dawn Gelhar married Phil Williams and they live in Durham, North Carolina.
  • Kalee Schrupp married Chad Nuest this past December.

WHEW! (For some reason that was still more pleasurable than writing a college term paper.)

Those are the updates we have.  For those of you who were not mentioned, please send in your news in order to get your info out to everyone.  Emails can be sent to or alternatively, you can visit the Alumni website at  Looking ahead, we’d like to try to arrange some sort of class get-together this summer.  If anyone has any ideas, talk to us, but look for an announcement about a BBQ or something from us.

In the meantime, good luck to everyone and keep in touch.  Every one of us is going through the awkward, sometimes crappy, sometimes sweet, but always difficult transitional phase that is post-college life.  We both hope to see you all sooner rather than later.  Keep us all updated.


Matt Forbes and Anders Eckman

2006 Co-class Agents


Alumni Starring in The Cherry Orchard

The Department of Theatre and Dance is celebrating 75 years of theatre at Gustavus this year with two featured events:  Theatre Reunion May 11-12 and a gala performance of The Cherry Orchard followed by admission to the cast party on February 10.  The Cherry Orchard will be Professor Rob Gardner’s final directing work before retirement.  A cast of professional theatre alumni will join the student actors for this very special production.  The alumni cast includes:  Peter Breitmayer ’87, Karen Esbjornson ’80, Kevin Kling ’79, Scott Novotny ’75, and Michael Glenn (Waldhauser) ’97.  A sold-out performance is expected for this unique celebration, so order your tickets soon.  For more information and to order tickets, go to the Cherry Orchard site from <>.

Lindau Symposium brings Richard John Neuhaus to campus

The Rev. Richard John Neuhaus, a well-known conservative Catholic intellectual, will address “Religion in American Public Life” at the inaugural Lindau Symposium at Gustavus on Tuesday, May 8, 2007, 7:30 p.m. in Alumni Hall.  A gift to the College from Phil ’58 and Nancy Lindau, given prior to Phil’s death last April, established the symposium at Gustavus that bears his name.  Lindau, a commodities broker and executive who served Gustavus as a board member, campaign chair, and longtime volunteer leader, was passionate about the faith-life intersection and the church-relatedness of his alma mater.  The symposium, which the Lindau family and College officials anticipate will be an annual event, aims to provide a forum in which diverse intellectual voices and mainstream beliefs and values can be brought together in a liberal arts environment.

Gustie Pages

Looking for a dentist, doctor, lawyer, pastor, Realtor, or other professional?  Make it a Gustie!  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 at:  <>.

Career Connections with Students

Sign up now for the 2007 Gustavus Career Connections Reception.  The reception will be Monday, February 19, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Minneapolis Hilton.  The gathering allows Gustavus alumni to provide advice, encouragement, and career networking opportunities to Gustavus students seeking internships and career opportunities.  Alumni are invited to attend and assist current students in their career search.  You do not have to be hiring at your company to attend – just willing to share your experience.  E-mail the Career Center at or call 507/933-7586 if you can attend or want more information.

Give Every Year to Gustavus?

Do you give to Gustavus every year and plan to give every year in the future?  Then you should become a member of the Cec Eckhoff Society.  Members of the Cec Eckhoff Society simply make the public commitment that they plan to give financially to Gustavus every year.  It does not matter how much you give and this is not a formal pledge for a certain amount of money.  Cec Eckhoff ’56 led the alumni office from 1963-1994.  Cec believed that part of being an alum of Gustavus was to give monetarily each year to the College.  To become a member of the Cec Eckhoff Society, please call The Gustavus Fund office toll-free at 866/487-3863 or e-mail <>.  Thank you for your support of Gustavus!

Summer Sport Camps at Gustavus

Gustavus’ strong athletic tradition is evident with numerous summer sports camps featuring knowledgeable coaching staffs, acclaimed athletic facilities, and quality dining service and housing accommodations.  Camps offered this year include: golf, hockey, basketball, tennis, volleyball, soccer, throwing, and swimming.  For more information go to <> or contact the Athletic Department at 507/933-7617.

Upcoming Music Tours

This year nearly 300 students will participate in music tours as members of the Gustavus Wind Orchestra, Gustavus Choir, Gustavus String Orchestra, Gustavus Jazz Lab Band, and Choir of Christ Chapel.  The Gustavus Choir will tour Spain and Portugal January 11-30.  Performances are scheduled for Lisbon, Seville, Malaga, Grenada, and Madrid.  The Wind Orchestra will tour Minnesota, Madison and Milwaukee, WI and Chicago.  The String Orchestra will be in Nebraska, Kansas, and South Dakota.

Upcoming Alumni Events

  • The Cherry Orchard Gala Performance – February 10
  • Orlando Gustie Gathering – February 13
  • Tampa Bay Gustie Gathering – February 15
  • Naples/Marco Island Gustie Gathering – February 17
  • Tucson Gustie Gathering – March 16
  • Phoenix Gustie Gathering – March 17
  • Sun City Gustie Gathering – March 18
  • Celebrating 75 years of Theatre Reunion – May 11-12