Gustavus Adolphus College Board of Trustees Chair Mark Bernhardson announced the official kickoff of a comprehensive fundraising effort called Campaign Gustavus on Friday, Sept. 30. Bernhardson, a 1971 Gustavus graduate, made the announcement at the College’s Sesquicentennial and Campaign Kickoff Dinner in Lund Arena in front of more than 750 alumni and friends of the College.
“Campaign Gustavus will fund the initiatives of the College’s strategic plan, Commission Gustavus 150, and put the College on a firm foundation for its future advancement,” Bernhardson said. “At its core, it’s a campaign about people. It’s about providing the opportunity of a Gustavus education for future generations of Gusties, promoting the student and faculty interactions that lead to great teaching and learning, and preparing students to live lives of leadership and service in their community.”
Chair Bernhardson announced that Warren ’67 and Donna ’66 Beck will serve as Chairs of Campaign Gustavus. He also announced that the Becks made a lead gift toward the College’s new academic building and that the Board of Trustees has named the building the Warren & Donna Beck Academic Hall. The Beck’s gift is the largest received in the College’s history.
Mr. Beck then shared with those in attendance that the overall goal of Campaign Gustavus was set by the Board of Trustees at $150 million. He said, “Donna and I feel called at this time in our lives to lead this transformation endeavor – Campaign Gustavus. We see ourselves as partners in this collective effort. It is up to all of us to seize this opportunity to enable future generations of Gusties to learn how to pursue lives of leadership and service and discover how to make their lives count.”
The alumni, faculty, staff, students, church leaders, and friends of the College who served on one of the eight task forces of Commission Gustavus 150 were thanked by Chair Bernhardson. He told the group that the College benefitted from their hard work, dedication, and deep affection for the College. He went on to say that the 263 recommendations outlined by the task forces became the foundation upon which Gustavus has planned for its future, the College’s Sesquicentennial, and Campaign Gustavus.
The Commission Gustavus 150 recommendations form three “pillars” that support the objectives of Campaign Gustavus – Opportunity, Teaching and Learning, and Community. A successful Campaign Gustavus will create opportunities for students to experience Gustavus through academic scholarships; provide enhanced teaching and learning at the College from outstanding faculty, focused academic programs, and state-of-the-art facilities; and build upon the vibrancy and strength of the community, enabling Gustavus students to fully live out the College’s core values of Excellence, Community, Justice, Service, and Faith.
Chair Bernhardson made one final announcement when he said, “I am pleased to announce that with the Beck’s gift commitment and the other leadership gifts made in the early phase of the campaign, significant progress has already been made toward our goal. Gifts and pledges received by the College to the objectives of Campaign Gustavus as of today total $71,411,397.”
In closing the evening’s festivities, Gustavus President Jack R. Ohle thanked all who attended “a historic evening for the College,” and gave special recognition to the Board of Trustees, “who provide the vision, purpose, and direction for the College.”
President Ohle ended his remarks by acknowledging Warren and Donna Beck again. “They exemplify all that is good about Gustavus alumni. Warren and Donna are servant leaders whose primary purpose for leading is to serve others by investing in their development and well-being for the common good.”
Updated campaign reports will be sent to the College’s constituents and made available to the public on a semi-annual basis. The gift policies and information about the organizational structure of Campaign Gustavus will be listed on the College’s website at gustavus.edu/campaigngustavus, or for information about the campaign you may contact the Gustavus Office of Institutional Advancement at 507-933-7577. The overall Campaign Gustavus goal of $150 million is anticipated to be reached by May 31, 2015.
Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication Matt Thomas