Class of 2011

May 2011

Dear Classmates of 2011,

Welcome to the first of many class letters!  Class letters are a great way to stay in contact with other classmates, share news and events from on campus and off, as well as share your news:  new jobs, travel adventures, weddings, births, etc.  As your new class officers, we wanted to take a moment to introduce ourselves.

Hello Class of 2011!  My name is Emma Strand and I'll be serving as your class president.  I’d like to be among the first to welcome you to the Gustavus Alumni Association!  Our hard work over the last four years has paid off and it is time to enter the next phase of our lives.  How exciting (and perhaps a bit scary)!  A little bit about me:  at Gustavus I have kept busy as a communication studies major, Gustie Greeter, member of the Gustavus Choir, and Big Partner Little Partner coordinator among other things. While I’m not certain what life holds for me after graduation, I am hoping to work at a college or nonprofit for one year and head to graduate school in the fall of 2013.  I’m very excited to keep our class connected to the college and one another.  Please don’t hesitate to send me your news and ideas−and congratulations on your graduation!

Hi everyone!  My name is Bergit Nerheim and I’m a communication studies major and your class vice president and reunion chair.  During my time here, I was a Gustie Greeter and a member of the Gustavus Choir, along with many other activities.  This summer I’m working part time as a wine tasting room professional at Parley Lake Winery.  Then, like most of us, I’ll be trying to find a full time job.  I’m really looking forward to planning reunions for our wonderful class.  Feel free to send your ideas my way!

Howdy Y’all.  I’m Phil Helt, and I’ll be your annual fund chair.  Next year I’m working with Teach for America in Kansas City, teaching special education classes.  I’ve been involved with forensics, GACTV, Student Senate, SAE and Bib Partner/Little Partner.  I’m excited to continue serving you all!

Hi!  I’m Haley Carpenter and I am a senior health fitness major and dance minor from Lincoln, Nebraska.  I am currently a member of the Gustavus Dance Company, Gustie Greeters, Career Center Hosts, lead coordinator for the Movin’ & Groovin’ after school program, personal trainer for faculty, and a member of Health Majors Club.  I have been highly involved with the theatre and dance department during my time at Gustavus by participating in many dance concerts and choreographed for the Spring Dance Concert, Shared Space and the Choreographer’s Gallery.  This past April I put on a senior honors show with fellow classmates Amy Hassenstab and Leah McEllistrem entitled Embrace.

We recently put out a call to alumni from the past 10 years asking what we should be sure to do before graduation.  We heard a lot of advice, and wanted to share some of the highlights for you here.

Honestly, drink it all up.  You can sleep after graduation.  Savor your final days with the campus you have grown to love and the friends you have shared your laughter and tears with over the past four years.  Walk barefoot through the beautiful lawns, let your mind rest from all of the knowledge you have been constantly accumulating, and TAKE PICTURES!  I truly had the time of my life while I was a student at Gustavus.  Unfortunately, I didn’t realize that until I was gone.  It is my hope that the current seniors take the time to reflect and realize how great Gustavus is while they can still relish the awesomeness of the place and the people.  So what are you waiting for?  Go outside, walk over to your friend’s place instead of texting them to set up a meeting time and place, kick off your shoes, and live it up!  (Class of 2009)

My advice is simple.  Make the time in the midst of the senior chaos to take in the final moments as a Gustavus student.  It’s wonderful to be able to recollect the campus, the people and the atmosphere at that awesome time after you’ve been removed from it for a few years.  (Class of 2004)

Enjoy the time with your friends.  Say thank you to the professors and staff who have helped you on your journey.  Don’t worry about packing your car and cleaning your room and getting ready to leave−there will be plenty of time for that after the graduation ceremony!  Savor the things that make Gustavus special to you because in a few years, you are going to find yourself reflecting on the great time you had and wishing it could be those “good old days” again.  Congratulations Class of 2011 and all the best!  (Class of 2004)

Sneak onto the football field, walk by the goal post and thrust your triumphant fist into the air like Judd Nelson in Breakfast Club.  Preferably have “Don’t You Forget About Me” playing while this is happening!  (Class of 2010)

You can read more advice online at the Alumni Blog…

A few notes from the Office of Alumni Relations….welcome to the Gustavus Alumni Association!  We are so excited to welcome the Class of 2011!  Don’t forget to update your information including address, email address, schooling and employment.  You can e-mail us at  We would prefer to send class letters via e-mail, so don’t forget to either forward your @gustavus email or let us know your new email address.  You can also submit your news and photos to:  It is a great place to share your wedding, baby, and random Gustie encounter photos.

Finally, there will be Gustavus picnics this summer in Mankato, Rochester, Sioux Falls, Moorhead, St. Cloud, Madison, the Twin Cities, Duluth, Grand Rapids, and Brainerd!  We would love to see you at one of these events─check the college calendar for more details or watch for a postcard in the mail (yet another great reason to keep your address up to date).

As you drive down the hill as graduates in just a few short days, take a moment to reflect on the last four years and all of the good memories you’ve created.  They say that these are the best four years of our lives, so cherish it!  Although for many of us graduation is bittersweet, our education and opportunities have prepared us to take that next step, regardless of whether that is graduate school, a job, or even just taking some time off.  Whatever the future holds, we look forward to hearing your updates!  Let us know what is going on in your world so we can share it with your classmates and the College.  And, be sure to check out our very own class website–  It’s a big change going from a student to alumni, but the real world is ready and waiting.  In the words of the great Dr. Seuss, “Today is your day!  Your mountain is waiting.  So…get on your way!”

Congratulations Class of 2011!

With Gustie Pride,

Your 2011 Class Officers