Monday Moments with President Bergman: May 20, 2019

Gustavus President Rebecca M. Bergman shares her thoughts with College employees each week.
Posted on May 20th, 2019 by

President Rebecca M. Bergman

This time of year, the campus is full of energy and life, with students spreading out across our beautiful acres to study, toss a Frisbee, or relax in a hammock. As faculty and staff, we join together almost daily to celebrate at gatherings big and small, saying “congratulations” for all our accomplishments and “thank you” to the colleagues who have given us so much as they prepare for retirement or their next big adventure. Over and over again, my thoughts turn to gratitude.

Gratitude is what I saw on the faces of nearly 150 alumni who came to campus on Saturday to sing with the Gustavus Choir and thank Dr. Greg Aune and Dr. Michael Jorgenson. Gratitude is what I feel for our students who advocate so passionately for environmental sustainability, encouraging us to tackle one of the great challenges of our time by starting right here on campus. I also want to express my gratitude to the faculty and the Board of Trustees, who have worked faithfully and diligently to help govern this institution and chart its bold path for the future.

And gratitude filled the room on Friday night at the annual Celebration of Philanthropy dinner. Philanthropy is a word we hear a lot, it seems, but not necessarily one that we spend much time thinking about. Merriam-Webster’s definition is simple–“goodwill to fellow members of the human race,” and “an act or gift done or made for humanitarian purposes.” As our donors filled the room, bringing with them their different backgrounds, experiences, and means, they all shared something special: a deep belief in the people and community that make Gustavus unique and an abiding commitment to providing scholarships so the next generation of students can experience our transformational education.

The Rev. Dan Buendorf ’60 opened the philanthropy dinner with a blessing and his words struck me as ones we should all carry with us as we close the year.

“We gather to rejoice with each other–to reconnect and to remember the times we had here. We have touched the world and the world has touched us. We have made a significant difference in the lives of many people.”

This week, let us rejoice, reconnect, and remember the good work we have done together. I am grateful for your engagement, your passion, and your service to our students and to the College’s mission.

Yours in community,

Becky

 

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