Monday Moments with President Bergman: February 19, 2018

Gustavus President Rebecca M. Bergman shares her thoughts with College employees each week.
Posted on February 19th, 2018 by

President Rebecca M. Bergman

One of the longstanding distinctions at Gustavus is our relationship with leading institutions, organizations, and leaders in Sweden. This is truly a unique part of Gustavus. The founding of the College as a Swedish Lutheran institution has both historic and contemporary relevance, and preserving both dimensions adds richness to the life of the College today and enhances the College’s international perspective.

As we begin the expansion and renovation of Nobel Hall of Science, it is a good time to reflect on the naming of this building. College leaders asked the Nobel Foundation in Sweden for permission to name the building the Alfred Nobel Hall of Science as a memorial to the great Swedish inventor and philanthropist. Permission was granted and the facility’s dedication ceremony in May 1963 included 27 Nobel laureates, a visit that laid the foundation for the creation of the Nobel Conference in 1965.

We are grateful for the many ways that our friends in Sweden have supported Gustavus. His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf has visited the College four times and we have had three prominent Swedes serve on our Board of Trustees in recent years. Currently serving is Mr. Jan Lindman, who is a member of the King’s Royal Court and serves as the Court’s Chief Financial Officer. Significant gifts from a former Board member, Bishop Åke Bonnier and his wife, Kristina, supported the new Multifaith Center in Anderson Hall and they have recently funded a $2 million Endowed Chair in Jewish Studies. The King himself has generously established a scholarship fund at the College and contributed to the recent restoration of the Borgeson Cabin. Our semester-long study away trip in Sweden has also been partially underwritten by generous Swedish philanthropist, Anders Wall. The Wallenberg Foundation is a major donor to the renovation and expansion of Nobel Hall of Science.

In June, the Board of Trustees will travel to Sweden to reaffirm and strengthen our international relationships and deliberate on the progress and goals for our current campaign. As with all activities of the Board, the College is making this trip as economical as possible. The majority of our activities are being sponsored by trustees or our Swedish friends and nearly all Board members are underwriting their own travel. I tell you this now so that there is full understanding of the intent and expected benefits of this trip and ask for your support as we seek to honor and further strengthen our Swedish connections.

Until next week, keep up the good work, Gusties!

With respect,

Becky

 

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