Bishop Mark Hanson to Keynote Sesquicentennial Event Celebrating 150 Years of Faith

Posted on March 28th, 2012 by

Presiding Bishop of the ELCA Mark S. Hanson

Gustavus Adolphus College students, staff, alumni, and friends of the College are invited to a Sesquicentennial celebration of 150 years of faith at the College on Saturday, April 21. The day’s events will include speaking appearances by the Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) Rev. Mark S. Hanson and longtime Gustavus Chaplain Richard Q. Elvee.

Bishop Hanson’s keynote address will take place at 11 a.m. in Christ Chapel and is titled “The Future of Lutheran Higher Education.” Hanson was elected presiding bishop in August 2001 and installed in October 2001 at Rockefeller Chapel in Chicago. Before his election, Bishop Hanson served as bishop of the St. Paul Area Synod. He also served as pastor of three Minnesota congregations including Prince of Glory Lutheran Church in Minneapolis, Edina Community Lutheran Church in Edina, and University Lutheran Church of Hope in Minneapolis. Bishop Hanson earned his bachelor’s degree in sociology from Augsburg College and his master of divinity degree from Union Theological Seminary in New York.

Bishop Hanson’s keynote address will be preceded by a 10:15 a.m. morning worship ceremony featuring Rev. Richard Elvee as homilist. Rev. Elvee served as Chaplain at Gustavus from 1962 to 2000. He was the College’s first full-time chaplain and was well known for the inter-disciplinary dimensions he brought to his sermons and homilies. He served as director of the Nobel Conference for 19 years and provided leadership for the annual Christmas in Christ Chapel worship services for 27 years. A native of Holland, Mich., Rev. Elvee attended Bob Jones University and Northwestern Seminary (now Luther Seminary). His appearance at the GACAC Convention is part of a week-long residency (April 16-22) at the College.

After a short window for lunch (12-12:30 p.m.), attendees can choose to participate in a food packing service-learning event from 12:30-3 p.m. in association with the Christian non-profit organization Feed My Starving Children. The event is part of a year-long goal of the College to engage more than 4,000 volunteers to pack more than 800,000 meals. These events on April 21 are free and open to the public. Registration is required if you plan on eating lunch and volunteering for the food packing event. Registration can be done by contacting Marilyn Beyer in the Office of Church Relations at 507-933-7001 or Registration is not required if you plan to only attend the worship service and/or Bishop Hanson’s keynote address.

The previously mentioned events are being held in conjunction with the 25th annual convention of the Gustavus Adolphus College Association of Congregations (GACAC). Pastors and delegates from the more than 540 ELCA congregations from the state and across the country that are current member congregations of the association will hold their annual business meeting and elections over breakfast at 8:30 a.m. Marie Schafer Benson ’53 will also receive the Association’s annual Covenant Award for significant and distinctive contributions toward strengthening the partnership between Gustavus and member congregations.

For more information about the April 21 events associated with the Sesquicentennial celebration of 150 years of faith or the Association of Congregations Convention, visit or contact Marilyn Beyer in the Office of Church Relations at 507-933-7001 or


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


One Comment

  1. Pastor Rod and Julane Anderson says:

    Matt, Marilyn, Grady,

    Great announcement for the website today!! Thanks for the hard work, collaboration and coordination!

    Can’t wait!!

    The Lord be with you today…that’s the way God makes our life COUNT,
    Pastor Rod