Class of 2008
November 2010

Class of 2008,

I hope this letter finds you in good spirits.  For me and other Minnesotans reality has set in and took us by storm as a downpour of snow (6-10 inches in some areas) reminded us that winter is finally here.

Watching our first snowfall outside my window this weekend brought me back to a memory freshmen year which most Gustavus Southside students dreaded and what I referred to as the Gustavus mile.  The Gustavus mile was the commute (sidewalk along Confer/Vickner and Chapel) that residents from the Southside of campus had to make to get to the library or cafeteria.  During the cold winter months this walk seemed like an eternity because lets face it, it really was a long haul.  It also didn’t help that the wind and snow was always blowing into your face.  I guess that is the physics for building a college campus on top of a hill.  Furthermore, anytime someone left our dorm floor for the cafeteria one of us would take food orders so others could bypass the glacial walk.  This may be a frosty campus memory, but those are the experiences I miss when I think of my four years at Gustavus.

In addition, this last summer was action packed since it seemed to get the ball rolling on many engagements and marriages for the class of 2008.  Congratulations to everyone who made those big steps and I am sure we will see more to follow.  Please keep your class agents posted on any marriage news!

The holiday season is upon us and many students will experience their first winter on campus.  Many of them get to experience Gustavus because of generous giving of past alumni.  I encourage all classmates to make a pledge as we would like to see 50% of our Class of ʼ08 participate on some scale of giving and beat last year figures of 12.4% participation.  We also thank the classmates that have made a commitment to give as your financial efforts are deeply appreciated.

Safe travels this holiday season,

Ben Ollila

2008 Co-class Agent

Marriage Updates:

  • Sean Wharton ‘05 and Meghann Scott married on March 3, 2010 at the Guthrie in Minneapolis.
  • Mark Stuckey and Breanne Staples ʼ07 married on July 10, 2010 in Christ Chapel.
  • Elliot Saltzman and Jennae Gyllen ’09 married on August 14, 2010 in St. Paul.
  • Tim Ornell and Michelle Anderson Ornell were married in Chaska on October 1, 2010.
  • Thomas McMillan ’07 and Taylor Granlund were married on June 9, 2009.
  • Jared Wiklund and Kari Reed were married on October 10, 2009.
  • Donald Bechtle and Jenna Miller were married on September 18, 2010.

Career Updates:

  • Mark Stuckey is a second year medical student at Des Moines University in Des Moines, IA.
  • Cara Carlson working in Alexandria, VA with Quad/Graphics’ DC sales office.
  • Nhung Le is working for Maine Pointe, LLC as a supply chain management strategist.
  • Andrew Twiton is attending Luther Seminary in St. Paul where he begins his calling to become an ordained minister.
  • Andrea Astrup is attending Des Moines University to obtain my doctor of physical therapy degree.
  • Laura Baratto is working for Tempworks Software as the director of public relations and marketing.
  • Missy Jones is attending William Mitchell with a focus on criminal defense.
  • Ashley Helgerson is currently working as an account associate at News America Marketing in Minneapolis.
  • Ben Ollila is currently working as a financial associate at Thrivent Financial in Roseville.
  • Kari Reed Wiklund is working as a registered nurse at Fairview Southdale Hospital.
  • Amanda Gustafson is attending Indiana University and getting her graduate degree in library science.
  • Nick Malm is currently working at Kohl’s.
  • Casey Johnson is working as a service representative at the Department of Veteran Affairs.
  • Jessica Gehrke is a music teacher at Bold High School.
  • Andrew Jensen is a band teacher at Lincoln High School in Wisconsin Rapids, WI.

Do you like cheap food and drinks?

Who doesn’t?  Class of 2008, it has been nearly three years since many of us have seen each other on that beloved hill in Saint Peter.  So what better reason to reunite with fellow classmates of 2008 then deals on food and drinks?  Stop by The Independent in Uptown Minneapolis from 5:00−7:00 p.m. on Thursday December 16th for:

2 for 1 and mixed drink (including premium)

$3 Selected taps and house wine

$5 Specialty martinis

$5 Happy hour appetizers

If you have any questions regarding this reunion event please e-mail

The Independent

3001 Hennepin Avenue

Minneapolis, MN 55408-2889

(612) 378-1905

Stay in Touch!

Take a moment to update us with any news, announcements, or exciting new developments in your life by going online to:

Or email us your news at:  Your announcements will be listed in our tri-annual class letters and the Gustavus Quarterly.  We look forward to hearing from you, and knowing what you’re up to.

Campus News

150th Anniversary Commemorative Alumni Directory

The Gustavus Alumni Association is bringing together about 25,000 Gusties to celebrate the College’s 150th anniversary.  In partnership with Publishing Concepts, Inc. (PCI), Gustavus will produce the 150th Anniversary Commemorative Alumni Directory.  Over the next couple of months, PCI will be contacting Gustavus alumni via phone, mail, and e-mail to request that you update your information.  We know you don’t want to provide your information to just anyone, so we want you to be aware of this project and encourage your participation.  For more information, call the Office of Alumni Relations at 800-487-8437.

Nobel Conference

What is Good Food?  The Nobel Conference® 46, Making Food Good, was held October 5-6.  It explored the many levels of this question.  From our seven distinguished panelists we considered varied and various conceptions of goodness and the challenges involved with the way they intersect with each other.  Contemporary food issues like community food security; the local foods movement; food crops as fuel crops; school lunches; genetic modification of food plants and animals; molecular gastronomy; and protecting genetic diversity of plants and animals were considered.  You can hear the talks online at:

Athletics Hall of Fame

Gustavus inducted new members into its Athletics Hall of Fame at a banquet on Saturday, October 9.  Inductees for 2010 are:  Evie Cieslar Erdman ’73, benefactor; Duke Paluch ’84, tennis; Erik Allen ’92, basketball; Peter Anderson ’92, golf; Leigh Stocker Berger ’92, volleyball; Angela White Vick ’92, track and field; Heidi Rostberg Carlson ’93, tennis; Erik Hendrikson ’94, hockey, football; Paige Tierney Sullivan ’95, soccer; and the Hall of Fame Moment−1990 Women’s Tennis National Championship.

“Come on You Gusties” Breakfast

Once a month, Gusties gather for coffee, breakfast, and great conversation along with a campus speaker.  All Gusties are welcomed and invited to the breakfast, third Wednesday of the month, 8-9:30 a.m. at the Doubletree Hotel, Minneapolis-Park Place, 1500 Park Place Boulevard.  Cost is $10 at the door.  Upcoming breakfasts include: Neal Hagberg ’81 and Leandra Peak ’83, musicians, on Dec. 15; and the winter sports coaches on Jan. 19.

Christmas in Christ Chapel Tickets

Tickets for Christmas in Christ Chapel 2010, “A Renaissance Nativity,” are available online.  Service dates are Friday, Dec. 3 at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, Dec. 4 at 3:30 p.m. and 7: 30 p.m.; and Sunday, Dec. 4 at 3:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.  Tickets are $17.50 each and available online via credit card at:  If you do not have access to the Internet, tickets are available by calling the Office of Marketing and Communication at 507-933-7520.