Rev. Richard Q. Elvee, a fixture at Gustavus Adolphus College for 38 years from 1962 to 2000, will return to the College for a weeklong stint as Chaplain in Residence April 16-22. It will be his first extended visit to campus since his retirement.
As the College’s first full-time chaplain, Rev. Elvee became an admired figure on campus thanks to his ability to connect with students, faculty, staff, alumni, parents and friends of the College through his ministry and the inter-disciplinary dimensions he brought to his sermons and homilies.
Besides his duties as Chaplain, he taught courses in 19th century intellectual thought as well as Luther, Bonhoeffer, and biblical literature. He served as director of the Nobel Conference for 19 years, before earning the title of Director Emeritus. He led the first Christmas in Christ Chapel worship services in 1972 and then proceeded to serve as Pastor and Artistic Director of the annual tradition for 27 years. He was also an adamant supporter of theatre, arts, and athletics during his time at Gustavus. In 2001, Gustavus honored Rev. Elvee with the Greater Gustavus Award – the highest award given by the Gustavus Alumni Association.
“Most notable of all, it was said that no one avoided Rev. Elvee’s invitation to Chapel worship,” Interim Senior Chaplain Rev. Rodney Anderson said. “He was prophetic in his preaching, profound in his thinking, and approachable and personable in his pastoring.”
The theme of Rev. Elvee’s weeklong residency will be “Looking Back.” He will be involved in a number of events throughout his week on campus.
At 7:30 p.m. on Monday, April 16, Rev. Elvee will give a presentation in Anderson Theatre titled “A Portrait of the Times (1962-1985) and the People Who Embodied Them,” where he will tell stories about key Gustavus figures from the past including Evelyn Anderson, Edgar Carlson, Robert Esbjornson, Cecil Eckhoff, Moose Malmquist, and others. The event is free and open to the public and will conclude with a reception in Rev. Elvee’s honor.
Rev. Elvee will also have a significant role in Christ Chapel worship services during his week on campus. On Thursday, April 19 and Friday, April 20 he will preach at 10 a.m. daily chapel on the themes of “Looking Back at a Chapel” and “Looking Back at This Year’s Easter.” On Saturday, April 21 at 10:15 a.m., he will give the homily at the morning worship ceremony at the Gustavus Adolphus College Association of Congregations Convention. He will conclude his weeklong residency by delivering the sermon, “Remembering Jesus Christ,” on the Third Sunday of Easter, April 22, at 10:30 a.m.
“We are very much looking forward to Rev. Elvee’s arrival on campus,” Chaplain and Director of Church Relations Grady St. Dennis said. “It is my hope that this week with Rev. Elvee will initiate a program that welcomes other Chaplains in Residence with frequency.”
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