Chilstrom Named Interim Director of Arboretum

Posted on July 8th, 2009 by

Former Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and longtime St. Peter resident Herbert Chilstrom has been named Interim Director of the Linnaeus Arboretum at Gustavus Adolphus College. Chilstrom takes over for Cindy Johnson-Groh who is teaching and conducting research in Tanzania for a year on a Fulbright Scholar grant.

Chilstrom was the first elected presiding bishop of the ELCA and he served that post from 1987 until his retirement in 1995. Prior to that he was bishop of the Minnesota Synod of the Lutheran Church in America beginning in 1976. From 1970 to 1976 he served as pastor of First Lutheran Church in St. Peter. Chilstrom also served on the Gustavus Board of Trustees for nearly two decades and was chair of the search committee that hired the College’s 11th president, Edward Lindell, in 1975.

Chilstrom earned his undergraduate degree in sociology from Augsburg College in 1954. He then graduated from Augustana Seminary in Rock Island, Ill., in 1958. He later went on to earn his master’s degree from Princeton Seminary and his doctorate from New York University.

Chilstrom has had a lifelong interest in gardening and took a course at the University of Minnesota to become a master gardener. He has volunteered many hours at the Linnaeus Arboretum over the past decade and has helped to develop the vegetable garden near the Borgeson Family Cabin and the plants and flowers around the Melva Lind Interpretive Center.

Chilstrom and his wife Corinne live in St. Peter.


Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication JJ Akin


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