Class of 2009
September 2009

Dear 2009 Gusties,

I hope you all had a wonderful summer!  Fall is finally here and the leaves are starting to change, the nights are starting to cool, and the smell of the autumn harvest lingers in the air.

I’m sure many of you are remembering that nearly one year ago we began the journey of our senior year at Gustavus and I’m sure, just like myself, you all had many different thoughts going through your minds.  Your planners were likely filled to the brim with athletic events, fine arts performances, finals, midterms or the many other involvements you all undertook.  Although some of us were in denial, graduation was coming quicker than we had expected.  Yet here we find ourselves a year later remembering the good times and carrying the faces of our friends and mentors with us wherever we go.  But after going our separate ways and experiencing some new adventures, campus is alive and buzzing with new and returning students.

Campus News & Events

Gustavus Receives High Ranking

Gustavus Adolphus College is listed as the 33rd best liberal arts college in the country according to a new set of college rankings released in September, by Washington Monthly magazine.

The publication states on its website that schools were ranked based on their contribution to the public good in three broad categories:  social mobility (recruiting and graduating low-income students), research (producing cutting-edge scholarship and Ph.D.s), and service (encouraging students to give something back to their country).

Several other factors contributed to Gustavus’ high ranking including its outstanding graduation rate, its tradition of sending a high number of graduates to the Peace Corps, and the number of graduates who go on to earn a PhD.

Gustavus Moves Up Eight Places in U.S. News Rankings

Gustavus Adolphus College is once again ranked among the top 100 liberal arts colleges in the nation in U.S. News and World Report’s annual college rankings.  Gustavus moved up eight places from last year’s rankings to 80th on the magazine’s “Best Liberal Arts College’s” list.  Gustavus is one of six Minnesota colleges that placed in the top 100 in this year’s rankings.

Commission Gustavus 150 Update

The 439 Commission Gustavus 150 recommendations created by the eight Task Forces were reviewed with similar recommendations merged.  This resulted in 385 recommendations being grouped into seven substantive categories.  The level of importance gathered about these recommendations from faculty, administrators, staff, students, alumni and other Commission participants was attached to each recommendation.  The final approval of the recommendations and tiers was announced at the Commission Gustavus 150 Celebration Dinner on Friday night before Homecoming when the Board of Trustees met with the public announcement of recommendations.

“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 speakers:  Chaplain Brian Johnson ’80 – Nov. 18 and Thomas Young ’88 – Dec. 16.

Upcoming Events

  • Gustavus Library Associates – A Royal Affair – November 14, 2009
  • Christmas in Christ Chapel – December 4-6, 2009
  • Festival of St. Lucia – December 10, 2009
  • Farewell for Steve and Barb Wilkinson, Minneapolis Hyatt - December 12

Classmate News

Now that you are up to speed on what is happening on the hill, what about our classmates?

Katie Anderson was hired as a reporter for Lake Country Echo.

Ben Hilding was recognized by the ELCA and awarded a National Leadership Development Fellowship.


  • Ben Hilding and Alicia Blomquist ’08 were married on January 3, 2009.
  • Mark LaVoie was married to Kelli Jensen on March 14, 2009.
  • Ashley Martin was married to David Hubbell on April 18, 2009.
  • Laura Luce and Elliot Peterson were married on June 3, 2009.
  • Rachel Flohrs was married to Nick Janseen on June 6, 2009 at Christ Chapel.
  • Timothy McDougall and Erica Duin ’07 were married on June 20, 2009.
  • Amy Veerkamp and Lucas Rieke were married on June 27.
  • Win Moua was married to Chianline Lee on July 6, 2009.
  • Ashley Walburn will be getting married to Mike Cody on May 9, 2010.

Curious to know more about what everyone else is doing?  Well, so am I!  Be sure to submit any new information:  jobs, children, engagements, graduate school or anything else you want everyone else to know to  Log in using your Gustavus username and password.

If reading this letter has made you nostalgic for your time at Gustavus, then you are not alone.  We all made great memories and valued the time we spent together up on the hill.  Just remember that you’re always welcome to return to campus to visit and to try and stay in touch with friends via Facebook and Twitter and of course this class letter.  Wherever you may be, I hope this letter finds you well!

In Gustie Spirit,

Shawn Grygo

2009 Co-class Agent

royal affiar