Gamelin Endowment Fund to Bring Educator to Gustavus Posted on October 25th, 2008 by

Dr. David W. Vikner

Dr. David W. Vikner

Gustavus Adolphus College will welcome international scholar David W. Vikner to campus for a residency to honor initial use of the Gamelin Endowment Fund for China Studies.

Vikner will be in residence at Gustavus from Sunday, Oct. 26 through Wednesday, Oct. 29. He will present a public lecture at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 28 titled “The Church in China: Where it has Been and Where it is Going,” in Wallenberg Auditorium, located in the Alfred Nobel Memorial Hall of Science. During his residency, Vikner will also visit many classes and speak in Christ Chapel during the College’s 10 a.m. daily worship service.

Vikner’s visit also enhances the College’s new campus-wide themed learning program “Gustavus Global Insight.” This new program enables students, faculty, and staff to focus on one country, region, or global issue during the academic year and this year’s focus is on China.

Completing his undergraduate studies at Upsala College in East Orange, NJ, Vikner went on to earn a master’s degree at Yale Divinity School. Later he earned a certificate in the teaching of English as a second language at the University of Michigan and a Doctor of Education degree in comparative education, with an emphasis on China from Teachers College and Columbia University.

Vikner spent his early years in China and Japan and has worked in Asia for nearly 15 years, serving in various capacities. He taught English at the Lutheran Middle School in Hong Kong and subsequently became its headmaster. For four years he was on the faculty of National Taiwan University and later taught English for one year at Central China Normal University in Wuhan. From 1984 to 1986 he served as China consultant for the Lutheran World Federation in Hong Kong.

From July 1989 to Oct. 2000, Vikner was president of the United Board for Christian Higher Education in Asia, an autonomous agency related to nine protestant denominations in North America. The United Board works with more than 80 colleges and universities in Burma, Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, the Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam. Vikner is currently the President of the Japan International Christian University Foundation, a post he has held since April 2002.

The Gamelin Endowment Fund for China Studies was established in 2000 to provide support for students and/or faculty to study in or about China, its culture, economy, politics, and/or international relationships, and to disseminate their learning to Gustavus and to a wider community.

The Gamelin Fund was started by Dr. Theodore and Helen Gamelin to honor his parents, Dr. Francis C. Gamelin ’38 and Ruth Vikner Gamelin ’37 whose interest in that part of the world goes back to Ruth’s early years as a child of missionary parents in China.

David Vikner’s lecture on Oct. 28 is free and open to the public. For more information on Vikner’s week-long residency at Gustavus, contact the Chaplain’s Office at 507-933-7446


Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication Luc Hatlestad


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