Monday Moments with President Bergman: March 9, 2020

Gustavus President Rebecca M. Bergman shares her thoughts with College employees each week.
Posted on March 9th, 2020 by

President Rebecca M. Bergman

Two of our student-led organizations celebrated major anniversaries last week. On Friday, Gustavus Women in Leadership (GWIL) held its 10th annual Conference, called “Her Journey to the Future: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.” On Saturday, Gustavus hosted the 25th Annual Building Conference on “Climate Justice: Unearthing the Climate Crisis as an Issue of Human Suffering.” Both conferences were rich learning opportunities for all who attended. I am always impressed with the quality and breadth of the brilliant minds we are able to connect with our students, and the keynote speakers for the two events were no exception.

The Gustavus Women in Leadership Conference featured award-winning journalist and first-ever gender editor at the New York Times Jessica Bennett and Kerri Murray, the president of ShelterBox, a non-profit organization that provides emergency shelter to people affected by disasters and humanitarian crises around the world. At the Building Bridges Conference, we heard from global Indigenious Peoples’ rights leader and former tribal chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe David Archambault II and Nnimmo Bassey, the director of the ecological think-tank Health of Mother Earth Foundation, winner of the Right Livelihood Award, and author of several books.

All of these speakers provided powerful testimony about their work in acting on the great challenges of our time. When I reflected on their thoughtful words and the impact they are making in the world, I kept coming back to one of the things that Nnimmo Bassey said: “Knowledge is not enough to change the world. We need to combine knowledge with wisdom.”

And that is exactly what we seek to do at Gustavus. Through the power of the liberal arts, we can take information from various sources, consider it from different angles, and find interdisciplinary solutions to the problems that face our world. By pairing the passions of our students with good data and analytic skills, we are equipping them to act on the great challenges of our time.

We can be very proud of our students. They are thinking deeply about the need for justice and are committed to equity and inclusion. Thank you to all of you who mentor our students, help them learn, encourage them, and support them in their leadership journey.

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

With respect,



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