Monday Moments with President Bergman: May 9, 2022

Vice President for Thomas W. Young '88 shares his thoughts with College students, faculty, and staff.
Posted on May 9th, 2022 by

This spring, members of the Gustavus Cabinet will write guest posts for Monday Moments. This week, I’m pleased to share thoughts from Tom Young ‘88, our vice president for advancement. – Becky

Let me begin this edition of Monday Moments by quoting President Bergman:

Great institutions thrive by leaning on their strengths, and, at the same time, responding to the needs of their stakeholders and the challenges of their time. Great institutions set bold goals, successfully achieve them, and stay true to their values and principles.  

These sentences may sound familiar to many of you. They are from the opening words in the Gustavus Acts Strategic Plan. These two sentences, I feel, best articulate what we do as an Advancement Team as we build relationships and raise funds for the benefit of Gustavus. We do this work with purpose, with a vision for the future, in accordance with our mission, and always in partnership with our campus community.  

What we also know in our professional industry is that good strategic plans drive great philanthropic efforts.  

I chose to write the Monday Moments for this week because last Thursday, May 5, the College hosted its annual Celebration of Philanthropy Dinner. Celebration of Philanthropy is the occasion we set aside for the campus community to say “thank you” in person to our most generous donors and our very loyal volunteers. This event celebrated their investments in Gustavus.    

The event started on the STEAMery Plaza, where we publicly and formally rededicated the Nobel Hall of Science and its connection to the Schaefer Fine Arts Center. After the formal ceremony, we moved to the Evelyn Young Dining Room for a lovely dinner where President Bergman, on behalf of our whole community, shared a collective expression of thanks.   

Since 1862, the College has enjoyed and relied upon the generous financial support of the communities that hold it dear. This was true at the time of our founding in Red Wing, when we moved to East Union, and when the College arrived here in Saint Peter in 1876.  

Today, this generous financial support is global. Alumni, parents of current students, parents of alumni, friends of the College, corporations and foundations – all these donors who love this place now number in the thousands and we remain as deeply grateful for their kind generosity as campus leaders did at our founding.    

Our current comprehensive campaign, the largest thus far in our history, is entitled Show The World and we will soon crest our $225 million goal. As a result of the two most recent comprehensive campaigns, nearly $400 million of philanthropic support has been directed to the College. This combined generosity has:

  • provided $50 million of the $70 million total for the renovation and expansion of the Nobel Hall of Science;

  • completely funded the $29 million Phase I of the renovation and expansion of Lund Center, which opened to our on-campus community last week;

  • facilitated the construction of Beck Academic Hall, including the installation of the Annexsted Family Mall and Cone Flower Prairie;

  • underwritten the entire rebuilding of Anderson Hall including the Bonnier Multifaith space;

  • funded the construction of the Gardner Laboratory Theatre;

  • funded the creation of the spacious new lobby for Anderson Theatre that includes The STEAMery Café and STEAMery Plaza; and

  • funded the construction of the new baseball field, created the Drenttel golf center, and renewed the Swanson Tennis Facility and Wilkinson Tennis Complex.

Beyond the enhancement of the campus physical plan, our donors fueled the incredible growth of the Gustavus endowment from a recession-induced low in 2008 of $78 million to nearly $300 million today.  

Growth in our endowment is critical to our success, yielding more permanent scholarship support for deserving students, adding endowed faculty professorships and chairs which allow us to recruit and retain the finest faculty, and fueling our mission by adding nearly $10 million in direct budget support each year.  

Donors also give out of love and trust to the Gustavus Fund each year, and for this we are so very grateful.

The partnership we enjoy with our donors is a living legacy and a cornerstone of our success. May it be always so!


Thomas W. Young


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