Monday Moments with President Bergman: September 20, 2021

Gustavus President Rebecca M. Bergman shares her thoughts with College students, faculty, and staff each week.
Posted on September 20th, 2021 by

President Rebecca M. Bergman

Good morning, Gusties. I hope you all saw yesterday’s email that provided an update on our campus masking policy. Because of the low number of positive COVID-19 cases on campus, we have lifted the mask requirement for all residence halls. Masking is still required in all other indoor spaces. Criteria have been established for further changes in mask requirements that are tied to the number of positive cases among the campus community, the risk of transmission in the three local counties (Nicollet, Blue Earth, Le Sueur), and the rate of hospitalizations in Minnesota. Thank you, Gusties, for your diligence in following safe practices, and remember that it is always okay to wear a mask.

Did you take a few minutes to read the Gustavus Mission Statement last week? If you recall from my message last Monday, a mission statement should clearly state the purpose of an organization. It should answer the question WHY the organization exists. Our mission statement says that purpose of a Gustavus education is:

  1. To help its students attain their full potential as persons,
  2. To develop in them a capacity and passion for lifelong learning, and
  3. To prepare them for fulfilling lives of leadership and service in society.

These three statements describe what we intend to achieve as an educational institution. More specifically, it lays out three aspirations for our students. First, Gustavus aims to help its students attain their full potential as persons. What does this mean? And, how do we live out this goal at the College? For me, attaining my full potential as a person is a lifelong goal that is ever-evolving. Throughout every chapter of my life, I have been reaching for my full potential; discerning and discovering my dreams; exploring my passions, talents, and values; setting goals and having the courage to take action to achieve them. Each of us must discover and find our own path. At Gustavus, we get to do that in communitythinking, reading, writing, and talking. If our collective purpose is to help students attain their full potential, it begs the question, “Who are the helpers?” In a community, I believe the answer is “all of us.” Together we help each other as teachers and learners. We encourage each other to stretch our minds, challenge each other to think deeply about our convictions, comfort each other in times of hardship, and cheer for each big or small success.

On Saturday evening, we held the President’s Banquet for the Class of 2024, which they missed last fall. In my opening remarks, I told the students that I had two pieces of advice for them: (1) Participate…Get involved, try new things, be engaged in campus life while you are at Gustavus; and (2) Be your very best self every single day. It’s this second bit of advice that I believe is the key to achieving your full potential.

This week, I encourage you to think about how each day is an opportunity to take a positive step toward attaining your full potentialand to help others do the same.

Yours in community,

President Bergman


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