Monday Moments with President Bergman: March 4, 2019

Gustavus President Rebecca M. Bergman shares her thoughts with College employees each week.
Posted on March 4th, 2019 by

President Rebecca M. Bergman

From the Nobel Conference to the Rydell Scholar-in-Residence program to the Moe Lecture to the Lindau Residency in Conservative Thought, the College provides incredible opportunities for students and other members of the community to learn from experts who visit our campus. One of the events that I am particularly proud of is the annual Building Bridges conference, which took place on Saturday and focused on immigration experiences and policies.

The Building Bridges conference is unique in that it is led by students. The student committee chooses the topic for the conference, selects the speakers, and organizes the daylong event. Built around social justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion, the planning and execution of the conference provide hands-on learning for our students as they put these values in action.

The students would be the first to recognize that they don’t do it alone. They are supported by faculty, staff, and alumni who work behind-the-scenes to help execute the event. In this way, Building Bridges is a great example of how we surround our students with support — we guide them as they grow, help them back to their feet when they falter, and cheer for them when they succeed.

And they do succeed, like Irma Marquez Trapero ’12 and Julio Zelaya ’12. Both were involved in the Building Bridges conference as students. On Saturday they were back as experts, with Marquez Trapero representing the Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota and Zelaya representing the ACLU. Their time at Gustavus helped prepare them to make a difference.

This week, think about how your work empowers our students to put their values in action. In all that we do, let us remember that our ultimate responsibility is to provide an educational framework that both stretches and supports our students as we equip them to go forth and address the great challenges of our time.

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

With respect,



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