Class of 2006
January 2008

Dear Gusties,

Happy 2008 everyone!  I hope this New Year has brought good things for each of you.  I’m just writing to say hello to everyone and encourage you all to send in your life updates to your class agents and the alumni office by emailing: so that we can all keep tabs on each other.  As usual, the updates we know about are attached to this letter.  It is hard to believe, but we are nearly two years out of college.  We class agents are going to try to plan a Class of 2006 event this summer sometime, so keep your eyes peeled for that.  If you have any suggestions for an event, please email us at the above address.

As you all know, colleges need dollars.  And although many of us are pinching every penny we have as young college grads, I want to take this time to bring to your attention two recent news stories:

Story #1:  Recently, at Yale, a controversy erupted over how much of the endowment (a gigantic pot of money used to run the school) goes toward financial aid for students.  Critics alleged that the school was spending way too much money on research, professors, etc. and not enough on helping students afford the sky-high tuition rate.  With the media, the students and alumni putting the school under the microscope, Yale eventually bowed to the pressure and made an announcement that it would put more money towards financial aid, making it possible for more kids to receive assistance.

Story #2:  The Star Tribune recently reported that an anonymous donor gave a $50 million gift to the University of St. Thomas.  St. Thomas, as you may have heard, has recently opened a business school to compliment its relatively new law school.  This $50 million will help get the business school on its feet.  Remarkably, this anonymous gift is the third $50 million gift the school has received.  Amazing, I know, that someone would contribute so much money and refuse to take credit for their generosity.

Why do I bring up these stories?  Because Yale’s massive endowment made assisting these students possible.  Because St. Thomas’s gargantuan endowment will facilitate the big things they want to do with their new business school.  How about Gustavus?  Gustavus has a much smaller endowment than Yale, obviously, but it is also much smaller than St. Thomas’s.  Smaller than Macalester, Carleton and—gasp!—even St. Olaf’s!  To put things in perspective, take a look at some of the numbers:

$34,634,906,000  Harvard         ---      $22,530,200,000  Yale

$17,164,386,000  Stanford        ---      $15,787,200,000  Princeton

Obviously we aren’t Ivy Leaguers, but what about the rest of the schools we might consider our peers?

$321,063,000  St. Olaf              ---      $675,987,000  Macalester

$359,350,000  St. Thomas         ---      $663,600,000  Carleton

How much does Gustavus have in their endowment?  Nearly 1/6 of what Macalester and Carleton have, less than 1/3 of what St. Thomas has and about 2/5 of what St. Olaf has.  Gustavus has an endowment of about $114,000,000.

It should be unsurprising that schools with the reputation of having better academics also have larger endowments.  A large endowment helps attract the best faculty with better pay and better funding for research.  It attracts the best administrators.  The best high school students can be drawn in with scholarships.  New academic buildings, sports facilities and dormitories are all possible with a large endowment.

On the other hand, it is also unsurprising that schools who have worse academic reputations than Gustavus have smaller endowments.  Hamline, Augsburg and Concordia Moorhead all can’t keep up with wealthier schools.  Compare U.S. News’s college rankings with the ranking of endowments and you will see an unsurprising correlation that I think Paul Estenson would agree is statistically significant.

This is my point:  If we want to be as proud of our alma mater 30 years from now as we are right now, our school needs money.  If we want Gustavus to remain competitive with the best schools in our state—or in the country—our endowment must grow.

To be clear, I’m not asking that you give $50 million like that anonymous St. Thomas donor.  In fact, I’m not even asking that you give $100 (although that would be nice).  What I would like, and Gustavus would like, is for each member of our class to just give.  The amount doesn’t matter.  $50, $25, or even $10 is good enough.

Giving to Gustavus is easy.  Just do one of the following:

·                     Give online at (it only takes 30 seconds).

·                     Pledge a gift when a student calls you at home.

·                     Set up a direct deposit gift on your paycheck at work (ask your human resources department how to do this―it’s really easy)

So as you start this New Year off, I hope you make a small contribution.

Best Wishes,

Matt Forbes

2006 Class Agent

Class News

  • Tara Brown is a 1st grade teacher in Richfield Public Schools.
  • Jonathan Carlson is a graduate student at Michigan Technological University for his master’s in International Program in Forestry.  The MI program combines graduate studies with Peace Corps service.
  • Kristina Anderson Carlson is an R.N. in surgical services at the Mayo Clinic and works at the Gonda Outpatient Procedure Center.
  • Chris Cornwell is working for Wensel Financial services.
  • Alicia Deadrick is a graduate student at San Jose State University for ancient affairs.
  • Kirsten Dumke is living in Montevideo, Uruguay and is employed with the ELCA Youth - Adult Global Mission.
  • Erica Ellefson is a graduate student at Argosy University for her master’s in family and marriage therapy.
  • Kelsey Feldmann is working as a family support specialist for Living Links.
  • Ben Galbrecht is living in Minneapolis and is a business analyst for Target.
  • David Garfunkel completed a hike of 2500+ miles of the Appalachian trail from March to July of 2007.  He has since left for the Dominican Republic were he is serving as a Peace Corps volunteer for the next two years.
  • Alex Glitsos is living in Minneapolis and is an import coordinator for Target.
  • Dennis Heaton is a graduate student at Wichita State University.
  • Matthew Hentges is a graduate student at Des Moines University, studying podiatric medicine.
  • Peter Hillman is currently serving as an officer with the Storm Lake Police Department.
  • Peter Hughes still has his blue coat and works for Aurora Medical.
  • Amy Janssen is a music teacher at Bruce Randolph School in Denver, Colorado.
  • Gina Kilchenman is the catering sales manager at the Sheraton Bloomington Hotel in South Minneapolis.
  • Mike Leonard is a physical education teacher in Burnsville.
  • Melissa Kittock MacMillan is working for the University of Minnesota Children’s Hospital.
  • Meghan McCarthy is working for the Anoka Hennepin School District.
  • Nate Miatech is serving in the United States Army in Afghanistan.
  • Alex Nelson is living in Savage and working for Metro Sound and Lighting.
  • Kristen Nelson is a graduate student at William Mitchell College of Law, for her juris doctorate.
  • Mollie Peterson is a graduate student at Luther Seminary in St. Paul obtaining her master’s in divinity, and is working as the Youth Director at Mount Olivet Lutheran Church, West campus.
  • Christine Rasmussen is the restaurant manager of the River Rock Café in St. Peter, MN.
  • Dorea Ruggles completed her master’s of science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and is now starting her Ph.D. in biomedical engineering at Boston University.
  • Heather Schrunk is working for the Marshall Public School District.
  • Kathryn Sheehan is an RN working in pediatric ICU at the University of Minnesota Medical Center at Fairview.
  • Emily Siedschlag is an environmental scientist for HDR Engineering, Inc. in Minneapolis.
  • Teal Slivik is a traffic coordinator for Happy Monday, Inc.
  • Lena Solyntjes is a 3rd grade teacher at the Kaposia Education Center in South St. Paul.
  • Javen Swanson is a graduate student at Yale Divinity School for a master’s in divinity.
  • Matt Swenson is a graduate student at Hubert Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs.
  • Dan Treiman is living in Round Rock, Texas and is the co-founder of Gendai Games.
  • Andy Tschida is a geospatial analyst at Continental Mapping Consultants, Inc. and is an assistant swim coach for Sun Prairie High Schools woman’s team.
  • Katy Warren is a grad student at Luther Seminary, working toward her Masters in       Divinity.
  • Rebekah Wedge is a graduate student at Union Theological Seminary, for her master’s in theology and the arts.
  • Ross Welte is living in Coon Rapids and is working for Farmers Insurance and Financial Services.


  • Erin Greenlee and Travis Young married on July 7, 2007.  They embarked on a world-wide backpacking trip in September and anticipate traveling for one year before graduate school.
  • Meghan Brummer and Jonathan Bjork ’05 married on August 4, 2007
  • Kristina Carlson and Greg Carlson ’07 married on August 25, 2007
  • Natosha Christoffer and Ben Boline ’05 married on June 16, 2007
  • Alicia Deadrick and Ryan Ike married on July 28, 2007.
  • Samantha Engh and Matthew Chadwick married on August 11, 2007
  • Jennifer Flitter and Jimmy Pinter ’05 married August 11, 2007
  • Amie Gerhardson and Trevor Ascheman married on July 7, 2007
  • Lauren Hittle and John Kraemer married August 18, 2007
  • Melissa Kittock and Michael MacMillan married on August 4, 2007
  • Matt Lindner and Liz Jaede ’07 married July 7, 2007
  • Molly McGovern and Aaron Wills married on August 10, 2007
  • Michelle Ohman and Brandon Bass married on June 23, 2007
  • Jennifer Rieke and Dustin Groehler married July 22, 2006
  • Josh Spitzack and Melissa Anderson ’07 married on June 15, 2007

Text Box:  We thank Jill Hiscock ’05 for sending in the following news and photo of Kalee Schrupp Nuest’s first baby.

On January 3, 2008 at 8:48 p.m. Kalee Schrupp Nuest and her husband, Chad welcomed their first child, Abigail Jo, into the world!  She was the illustrious “New Year’s Baby” in Morris, MN so there are lots of freebies coming her way!  Abby Jo was 5 lbs. 4 oz. and 19 inches.






Campus News

Forensics Team Continues Excellence

The Gustavus forensics team continues the tradition of excellence, with major team and individual wins this season.  Last season the team ranked in the top 20, which is impressive since 14 of the top 20 schools are “Division I” schools that have more funding and more coaching staff.  While many schools have several full-time forensics coaches, the Gustavus coach also is a full-time professor.  So a unique aspect of the Gustavus program is the team meets weekly for peer coaching, a technique the team has found to be very successful. 

Twin Cities 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 at the Doubletree Hotel, Minneapolis-Park Place, 1500 Park Place Boulevard (Hwy. 394 & Hwy. 100), 8:00-9:30 a.m., $10 per person.  Reserve by calling Don Swanson ’55 at 763/533-9083.  Upcoming speakers:

February 20 – Hank Toutain, Dean of Students

March 19 – Mary Morton, Provost and vice President of Academic Affairs

April 16 – Cindy Johnson-Groh, Executive Director, Linneaus Arboretum

May 21 – Tim Kennedy, Sports Information Director

Gustavus Dancing With the Profs

Inspired by the popular television show Dancing with the Stars, a standing room only crowd of students, faculty, and St. Peter community members filled Alumni Hall on November 2 to watch Gustavus students and faculty/staff members swing dance to raise money for the St. Peter United Way.  The event, “Dancing with the Profs 2,” featured six teams of one Gustavus student and one faculty/staff member.  In preparation for the evening competition, the Gustavus Swing Club gave the teams dance lessons, while members of GAC-TV documented the learning to provide a video showcase on each couple

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 will feature the Gustavus Symphony Orchestra’s China tour and observations on several January Interim classes.  The new blog can be read at:

Upcoming Alumni Events

  • Twin Cities Gustie Breakfast – February 20
  • Music Showcase – March 9
  • Breakfast with the Easter Bunny – March 8

For more information on alumni events, go to:

Best wishes to you all this New Year,

Mollie Peterson, Matt Forbes, Anders Eckman, Katie Parks, Jess Olson, and Matt Swenson

2006 Class Agents