Monday Moments with President Bergman: October 29, 2018

Gustavus President Rebecca M. Bergman shares her thoughts with College employees each week.
Posted on October 29th, 2018 by

President Rebecca M. Bergman

This morning, I drove the Rev. Åke and Kristina Bonnier to campus. The Rev. Bonnier serves as the Bishop of Skara in the Church of Sweden, is a former member of the Gustavus Board of Trustees, and together with Kristina, has been a generous donor to the College — endowing the Bonnier Chair in Jewish Studies and providing funding for the Bonnier Multifaith Center.

Their legacy at Gustavus and at home in Sweden embodies the Lutheran values of loving and serving the neighbor, upholding the dignity of all people, and building bridges of understanding across religious difference.

As we welcome the Bonniers to campus and celebrate their contributions to our pursuit of peace, faith, and community, we recognize that in our world not everyone embraces the ideals of love and compassion. Acts of violence and hate like those at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh this weekend give urgency to our interfaith and justice work both on campus and stretching beyond the hill.

We teach our students to think globally, to question and stretch their intellect, and to use their knowledge to act in the interest of peace and for the betterment of all. I am proud that we have an endowed chair in Jewish Studies at Gustavus, as this is just one way in which we can share a diversity of perspectives, seek intercultural and inter-religious understanding, and equip our students for the realities of the world.

These ideals of peace, love, and inclusion start here on campus and spread through the work of our staff and the accomplishments of our students to impact the world we live in.

This week, as you go about your important work, ask yourself how you are spreading a message of love, justice, and inclusion. Ask yourself how you are encouraging your students to work for the benefit of all.

Our hearts go out to those affected by the tragedy in Pittsburgh and all who grieve for an attack on our shared humanity.

With respect,

Becky

 

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