Monday Moments with President Bergman: April 6, 2020

Gustavus President Rebecca M. Bergman shares her thoughts with College employees each week.
Posted on April 6th, 2020 by

President Rebecca M. Bergman

Greetings from my home office at the President’s house, where I have set up a work space in the living room, overlooking the backyard. I can see my bird feeder and a variety of wildlife, including four deer who regularly meander through the yard. My “new normal” includes lots of video and telephone meetings, daily check-ins with the Cabinet, and walks around campus and the Arboretum. If you are working from home, I hope that you have found a good routine and are successfully juggling your Gustavus work and other family responsibilities. For those of you who have on-campus duties, thank you for your flexibility and careful approach to our essential day-to-day operations.

Congratulations to our faculty for completion of their first week of online instruction! I tip my hat to all of you for your willingness to tackle this challenge with enthusiasm and a “can-do” attitude. I know our students will take their cues from you, and I am confident that you will continue to be engaging, supportive, and, at the same time, insistent on their active participation and demonstration of learning. Thank you for your diligent efforts to ensure that our students can complete their spring coursework.

Remember that social distancing does not mean social isolation. Find creative ways to connect with colleagues, friends, and others in your social circle. Share tips for working effectively at home, invite your friends to share favorite recipes, provide a recommendation for a great book or movie, or cheer up an elderly relative with a funny pet photo. Whenever you go out for a walk, greet people you see with a warm hello and a big smile.

Community is one of our Gustavus core values, and it is a well-known strength of our institution. Relationships are at the center of a strong community and are a powerful antidote to feelings of loneliness or isolation. Be empathetic and encouraging to your colleagues who may be experiencing particularly difficult circumstances in their lives. Write a note of gratitude to someone who you know is going above and beyond the call of duty during this stressful time. And, please be sure to pay attention to your own wellbeing by getting sufficient rest, eating healthy foods, and finding activities that are life-giving for you. Nurture your spiritual side by reading a daily devotional, tuning in to Daily Sabbath’s Morning Praise or other daily programming, linking to online worship offered by your own religious affiliation, or engaging in meditation or other contemplative practices.

Wherever you are and however your days look, please continue to follow the now-familiar recommendations for social distancing, handwashing, and the various ways we can all contribute to slowing the spread of COVID-19.

We will get through this together. Take care of yourselves, Gusties.

Yours in community,



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