Monday (Tuesday!) Moments with President Bergman: May 11, 2021

Gustavus President Rebecca M. Bergman shares her thoughts with College students, faculty, and staff each week.
Posted on May 11th, 2021 by

President Rebecca M. Bergman

Congratulations, Gusties! Today, we conclude the 2020-2021 academic year. And what a year it has been! Looking back, it feels like the days were long and full of challenges, and yet, the weeks and months have flown by. In spite of the changes thrust upon us by the pandemic, and its associated stresses and hardships, our community has successfully navigated this historic year. To each of you, I say a heartfelt “thank you” for your patience, endurance, resilience, and goodwill.

When I stop and reflect, it is inspiring to think about all that we have accomplished. This was our first full year in the expanded and renovated Nobel Hall of Science. We increased our campus composting program to all residence halls in support of our work toward becoming a zero-waste campus. Our community has taken action on a series of racial justice and inclusion initiatives, including education for all students, faculty, and staff, relocating the Center for Inclusive Excellence to a larger and more welcoming space, and working to hire our first-ever Vice President for Equity and Inclusion. We shared our community’s events with the world through innovative webstreams of the Nobel Conference, Christmas in Christ Chapel, and the MAYDAY! Peace Conference. The College broke ground on the Lund Center expansion and renovation project, which will provide increased wellness opportunities for all members of the Gustavus community. We had a banner year for student success in winning competitive national and international fellowships. Even in a more “normal” year, this would be an impressive list of accomplishments.

But this was no normal year. While I’m proud of the achievements listed above, what stands out the most is that we were able to stay in person, living and learning on campus. This took all of us working together, adhering to public health guidelines, reporting symptoms and getting tested, and following quarantine and isolation protocols. In challenging circumstances, the Gustavus community once again pulled together like it has done at other pivotal moments in the College’s past. What we accomplished will be marked as one of the most extraordinary years in the history of Gustavus Adolphus College. Well done, Gusties.

The strength of a community is evident in its people and in the relationships among them. A strong community shares a commitment to a common vision, works together to set and achieve goals, demonstrates an eagerness to grow, learn, and address challenges, fosters positive and caring connections, encourages its members to express their beliefs and diverse viewpoints, and practices inclusion so that no one is left out or left behind. Gustavus will continue to strive to be a strong and positive community where everyone can thrive.

This week, please join me in congratulating the Gustavus Class of 2021 as they complete their final days as students on the hill. On Thursday morning, we will celebrate their individual and collective achievements at their commencement ceremony, after which our seniors will officially join the ranks of over 28,000 Gustavus alumni. Congratulations, seniors—we send you off with our collective best wishes for your success in all your future endeavors.

Yours in community,

President Bergman

 

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