Bernhardson Named New Chair of the Gustavus Board of Trustees

Posted on June 14th, 2010 by

Mark Bernhardson '71

Mark Bernhardson, a 1971 alumnus of Gustavus Adolphus College and current City Manager of the City of Bloomington, was named the new Chair of the Gustavus Board of Trustees on Sunday, June 13.

“We look forward to Mark Bernhardson’s leadership as Chair. He brings not only many years of dedication to the College and its mission but also extensive leadership experience and expertise in his profession,” said President Jack R. Ohle.

Bernhardson graduated from Gustavus with a B.A. in Economics and later went on to earn his M.A. in Public Affairs from the University of Minnesota in 1984. He started his professional career by serving as an assistant city manager in Edina from 1977-1985. After spending six years as a city administrator in Orono, he accepted his current position with the City of Bloomington in 1991.

Bernhardson is a member of the International City Management Association, the Minnesota City/County Management Association, and the Metropolitan Area Management Association. He served on the Board of Directors of Group Dekko International from 2000-06, as well as serving as the inaugural chair of the Board of Directors at Hennepin Healthcare System, Inc./Hennepin County Medical Center from 2006 to 2009.

“It is a privilege to step into this role at a turning point for Gustavus,” said Bernhardson. “The next several years will be a time of great momentum at the institution, thanks to others who have paved the way through their hard work and commitment.”

James Gale '83

Bernhardson, who has served on the College’s Board of Trustees since 2002, replaces outgoing chair James H. Gale ’83.

“We are deeply grateful to Jim Gale for his leadership and service,” said Jack R. Ohle. “He presided over a time of exciting new directions for the College, including the Commission Gustavus 150 long-term planning process, groundbreaking on the new academic building, and, most recently, comprehensive review and restatement of the College Bylaws.”

Mark Bernhardson is married to Hennepin County District Court judge Ivy Schutz Bernhardson ’73, who served on the Gustavus board of trustees from 1989 to 1998, and was Chair from 1995 to 1998, the College’s first female Chair. and the couple has two children, Andrew and Jenna. The Bernhardson family has deep roots at Gustavus. His three siblings all graduated from the College. Bernhardson’s parents, the Rev. Drell and Adeline Bernhardson have been generous philanthropists to the College by establishing the Bernhardson Scholarship Program, the first endowed chair in Lutheran Studies in 1996 and by making an endowment gift of $2 million to support the Nobel Conference in 2008.

At its June meeting, the Gustavus Board of Trustees also installed two new members. Lori Swenson ’82 is Pastor of Ascension Lutheran Church in Green Bay, Wisc., and John O. Hallberg ’79 is chief executive officer of Children’s Cancer Research Fund in Minneapolis. Trustees Linda B. Keefe ’69 and Karin L. Stone ’83 were elected Vice Chair and Secretary, respectively.


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



  1. Cathy Waldhauser says:

    A good sign of continuing strong leadership and growth at Gustavus. Congratulations!

  2. A fine selection!