Monday Moments with President Bergman: October 8, 2018

Gustavus President Rebecca M. Bergman shares her thoughts with College employees each week.
Posted on October 8th, 2018 by

President Rebecca M. Bergman

Community matters. Everything about the last week’s events reinforces the importance of community at Gustavus and the myriad ways that visitors and alumni appreciate our dedication to excellence.

Nobel Conference 54 is in the history books. While I received many compliments on the conference from both attendees and our speakers, I was particularly struck by a thank-you note sent by Dr. Rattan Lal, Professor of Soil Science at Ohio State University and member of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. He noted that the conference was “meticulously organized and a role model in terms of the academic quality.” Among other compliments, he cited that the inclusion of music, theatre, dance, and fine arts was a unique and impressive feature. He also stressed how much he appreciated the kind and generous hospitality extended by faculty and student hosts.

Wow. I am delighted that we made such a positive impression on someone who has the distinction of being on a team that won the Nobel Peace Prize. That says a lot about Gustavus!

On Friday night, I had the opportunity to attend the Alumni Association Awards Banquet and listen to the accomplishments of ten amazing alumni, two honorary Gusties, and one celebrated organization. It was incredibly inspiring to hear the stories of these honorees and how they consistently linked their success to the people they met at Gustavus and the experiences they had here on the hill. The same was true on Saturday night, when I attended the Athletics Hall of Fame Banquet. Eight talented athletes and one former administrator were inducted into the Gustavus Hall of Fame. Once again, powerful stories were told, repeatedly emphasizing the positive influence of coaches and the lifelong friendships formed with fellow athletes. Throughout these stories, the value of community came up over and over.

On Saturday afternoon, we had over 3,700 attendees at the Homecoming football game against Concordia (which we won!). It was great to see a such a large turnout for all Homecoming festivities. Alumni families engaged in activities all across campus, from athletic events, to a reunion of the Eppies, to fun and music in the Homecoming tent. This is the extended Gustavus community in action – people coming back to campus to catch up with friends and enjoy reminiscing about their college days.

Behind the scenes, countless people were hard at work making sure that all our guests were well-fed, found venues clean and ready for the next event, and received a generous dose of gracious hospitality throughout the day. We do this “community” thing really well, and I am enormously proud and grateful for all your efforts.

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

With respect,



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