Class of 2011

November 2011

Greetings Class of 2011!

Welcome to the first of many class letters!  We hope that this letter finds you well, whether you are back in school, beginning a new job, traveling, or embarking on other adventures.

In early October, four of us made our way back to Gustavus for the First Annual Class Officer’s Day, where we met Gusties from the class of 1940 to 2010.  Although these people have been living off the hill for many years, they remain connected to their classmates from Gustavus through letters, reunions, and events.

Spending the day with such inspiring alumni reminded us of a few important things.  First, our graduation does not mean our time at Gustavus is done.  We met one man who had been planning reunions and class events for over fifty years.  Five decades after graduation, he still considers himself a Gustie and regularly attends events at the college, donates to the Annual Fund, and writes to his classmates.

Second, it is important to remain in each other’s lives.  As we watched classmates from years past share stories, laughing hysterically as they remembered their time in college, we realized that the bond we share is a special one.  Although our lives are changing, we will always have the four years we spent together.  For many of us, those years shaped who we are and who we will become.

We are excited to begin what we hope will be a lifelong class tradition.  Our class letter will be published each fall and spring to share news about the college and the Class of 2011.  We will also share information about reunions and upcoming class events.  It is our goal to feature all members of our class in letters—but we need your help!  Please share your photos, stories, and ideas with us so that we can include them in future letters.  We hope that you share our excitement and look forward to learning more about your lives as a Gustavus graduate.


Your Class Officers,

Bergit Nerheim, Emma Strand, Haley Carpenter, Justin VerMeer, and Phil Helt

Submit Your News!

As your life changes, we hope you will keep our class (and current Gustavus students, staff, and other alumni) updated.  Here is how to share your news:

Go to and click on the Alumni tab.  Under “Contact Us” click on “Tell Us Your News.”  Here, you can share information about careers, graduate school, engagements, weddings, births, volunteer work, and travel.  This news will be published on the Class of 2011 page ( and in the Gustavus Quarterly.  Or you can email pictures, stories, and general Class of 2011 news to: your news will then go to your class officers and to the Alumni Office.  Or send it to Emma at for publication in the next class letter.

Class Events

We’ve been Gustie Grads for six months (can you believe it?!) and want to bring the Class of 2011 back together!  We are in the process of planning our first class event and hope to host a gathering in Minneapolis, St. Paul, or St. Peter in the next few months.  We are looking for:

A team of volunteers to help us plan, publicize, and staff the event

Ideas for a location, date, and time

Connections—do you know someone at a restaurant, bar, or event space who you could talk to?  Connections will help us plan a fun event on a tight budget.

If you are interested in helping with the event or have ideas to share, please contact Bergit at  As the event draws closer we will provide you with more information!

Class Giving

Our Challenge:  $20.11 for 2011

As a new grad, money is tight.  We have entry-level jobs, student loans, and rent checks to pay.  We realize that it’s a difficult time to think about giving.  However, if each member of our class gives a little, we can make a generous and important contribution to our alma mater.

Our opportunities at Gustavus were made possible by the support of alumni just like us.  If each member of our class donated just $20.11, we could raise $13,654.69 for Gustavus!  That is seven times the amount we gave during our senior year.  Think of it this way - $20.11 is a new shirt, a few lattes at Starbucks, or half a tank of gas.  Could you give up one of these things?

There are many ways to give!

“Giving back to the college” doesn’t just mean donating money.  Giving your time and support also makes a difference.  Here are a few ways to give a different type of donation:

  • Encourage a high school student to learn more about Gustavus and refer them to the Admission Office  (Visit a Prospective Gustie or contact Justin at
  • Celebrate “Gustie Fridays” and wear black and gold or Gustavus apparel.
  • Attend a basketball game, Christmas in Christ Chapel, or another event at the college.
  • Volunteer to have an informational interview with a current Gustie who is interested in your field.
  • Help to plan a class event, reunion, or write for a future class letter.
  • Update your e-mail address and contact information with the Office of Alumni Relations so they can keep in touch with you.

Classmate Corner

Description: ::Desktop:Group Photo.jpg

Smiles at the sign: (L to R) Front:  Katie Winkelman.  Middle:  Katie Myers and Seth Kuck.  Back:  Mark Petersen, Jennifer Van Osdel, Craig Nordquist, Quentin Ebner, Elise Fitzgerald, Michael Reitz, Katie Kaderlik, and Kyle Nicholson.

Description: Paul and Leigh Ann

Up North: Leigh Ann Mason and Paul Bakalich pose by a Gustavus advertisement while visiting Duluth, MN.

Contact Us

Emma Strand, President:

Bergit Nerheim, Vice President and Reunion Chair:

Phil Helt, Annual Fund Chair:

Haley Carpenter, Communication Chair:

Justin VerMeer, Student Recruitment Chair:

Office of Alumni Relations:

Class of 2011 Page:

Campus News

Campaign Gustavus Announcement

At the Sesquicentennial and Campaign Kickoff Dinner held on campus on Friday Sept. 30, Board of Trustees Chair Mark Bernhardson announced the official kickoff of a comprehensive fundraising campaign, Campaign Gustavus.  The financial goal of the campaign is to raise $150 million by the end of 2015 to fund the strategic initiatives of Commission Gustavus 150.  The focus of Campaign Gustavus is to ensure the College has the resources to continue providing opportunities for teaching and learning in a caring community.

2011 Athletics Hall of Fame

Gustavus inducted new members into its Athletics Hall of Fame at a banquet on October 15.  Inductees for 2011 are Owen Sammelson ’58, benefactor; Amanda Murdock Diehl ’92, gymnastics; Jay Klagge ’92, basketball; Bryan Ripken ’94, swimming; Todd Anderson ’95, soccer; Tracy Erickson McMorrow ’95, tennis; Scott Moe ’95, golf; Laura LeVander Peters ’96, softball; and Colleen Barland Sherman ’96, soccer.  The Hall of Fame Moment is the 1991 Women’s Gymnastics National Championship, won with the final routine of the meet.

Christmas in Christ Chapel

As the College’s Sesquicentennial Christmas in Christ Chapel, Julljus:  Light from the Old World, Light to the New brings us to the celebration of Christ’s light—to Sweden in the Middle Ages; to Minnesota in the 19th century; and to our fractured and darkened world today.  Tickets for Christmas in Christ Chapel 2011 are on sale online at  If you do not have access to the Internet, please call 507-933-7520 to place your credit card order.

Gustie Breakfasts

Join your fellow Gusties for breakfast and to learn something new about your alma mater at the monthly Gustie Breakfasts.  November speaker will be Rob Gardner, interim artistic coordinator for Christmas in Christ Chapel and December’s speaker will be Dick Kenney, author of two Gustavus Sesquicentennial books.  The St. Peter Breakfasts are held in the banquet rooms on campus at 7:30 a.m. on the second Wednesday of the month and the Twin Cities Breakfasts are held at the Doubletree Hotel in Minneapolis at 8 a.m. on the third Wednesday of the month.  RSVP by calling 800-487-8437 or e-mail  Hope to see you bright and early!