Monday Moments with President Bergman: April 29, 2019

Gustavus President Rebecca M. Bergman shares her thoughts with College employees each week.
Posted on April 29th, 2019 by

President Rebecca M. Bergman

One of my family’s favorite ways to relax is by getting outdoors. Whether it is at our cabin up north or on the annual camping and hiking trip that I take with my husband, I have always found that spending time in nature is both invigorating and revitalizing.

Last Monday was Earth Day, and the week on campus included several wonderful events that highlighted the Gustavus community’s commitment to environmental sustainability.

Dr. David Montgomery, who presented at last fall’s Nobel Conference and is back on campus this spring as the Rydell Scholar-in-Residence, spoke at Daily Sabbath on Tuesday. His message discussed two Bible verses (Genesis 1:28 and Proverbs 13:22) that touch on humankind’s relationship with the earth. He argued that while people have been effective in dominion over nature, we have too often neglected our stewardship of the natural world. “Consider how little we know about the natural world,” he said, “despite how much we have learned about it.”

Yesterday, 13 campus organizations joined together to host a Discover the Outdoors event in the Linnaeus Arboretum that invited youth and others in the community to explore nature activities. Through a wide variety of focus areas, such as Fly Fishing Club, Environmental Action Coalition, and Chemistry Club, the students offered activities that engaged children in the beauty of the outdoors, providing a fun learning environment while showcasing and encouraging sustainability and conservation.

I am constantly impressed with the passion of our community as students, faculty, and staff put their values in action by advocating for what they believe in. From Discover the Outdoors to Groundswell Day to professor Jeff La Frenierre’s groundbreaking research to the individual advocacy of first-year student Nathan Baring, I am proud of the ways in which our community continues to put environmental sustainability at the forefront of our work.

The Gustavus Acts Strategic Plan calls for us to work together to achieve environmental sustainability. This week I invite you to reflect, in the words of Dr. Montgomery, “on your personal role in environmental degradation or rejuvenation” and consider the ways that you can help care for this home that we all share.

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

With respect,



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