Gustavus Offers New Study Tours Program

Posted on February 28th, 2013 by

A night view of the Chain Bridge over the Danube River in Budapest.

A night view of the Chain Bridge over the Danube River in Budapest.

Alumni, parents, and other friends of Gustavus Adolphus College now have the same opportunity many Gustavus students have: to tour beautiful and unique destinations all over the world under the guidance and direction of faculty experts. The President’s Office has initiated a new Study Tours program that will begin this fall with a mid-September tour to Central Europe and a late-October tour of important U.S. Civil War battlefields.

The 2013 Pearls of Central Europe Study Tour will be led by Gustavus Professor Emeritus of History Dr. Tom Emmert. The tour will visit the cities of Prague, Budapest, and Vienna from Sept. 10-21. Tour participants will visit museums, palaces, cathedrals, and attend concerts, learning about the historical significance of this part of the world, which is famous for its beauty, architecture, and music.

Dr. Tom Emmert

Dr. Tom Emmert

“Since the end of communism, Prague and Budapest have joined Vienna once again as vibrant centers of a revived Central European culture. These cities have been an important part of my life as a professor of Central and Eastern European History, and I am very pleased to have the opportunity to share my knowledge of this beautiful part of Europe with Gustavus alumni and other friends of the college,” Emmert said. “Educational travel is such an important part of the Gustavus liberal arts experience; and, therefore, it is very exciting to help inaugurate a program of travel study as a part of our commitment as a college to lifelong learning.”

Emmert joined the Gustavus History Department in 1973 and retired in 2011. Trained as a specialist in medieval Serbia, Emmert prepared his doctoral dissertation in Belgrade as a Fulbright Scholar. At Gustavus, he taught the European history survey, as well as courses on both Imperial and modern Russia, the Ottoman Empire, 19th century European intellectual and cultural movements, and Balkan nationalism. During his years at Gustavus he directed two semester-long programs in Zagreb, Croatia and two others in Wittenberg and Berlin, Germany.

2013 U.S. Civil War Study Tour

On October 20-26, 2013, Gustavus will offer a U.S. Civil War Study Tour under the direction of Pulitzer Prize-winning Civil War Historian Dr. James McPherson ’58. This seven day experience will begin in Washington, D.C., and from there the group will travel to some of the most famous battlefields and inns of the Civil War including Shepherdstown, Harper’s Ferry, Antietam, and Gettysburg.

Dr. James McPherson '58

Dr. James McPherson ’58

A native of St. Peter, Dr. McPherson graduated magna cum laude from Gustavus and went on to earn his Ph.D. in 1963 from Johns Hopkins University. He eventually earned the title of George Henry Davis 1886 Professor of American History at Princeton University, where he taught for 42 years. While he wrote and published seven books from 1964 to 1985 on topics including the abolition of slavery and Abraham Lincoln, he is best known for his 1988 book Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era. The book broke ground in combining the complexities of the war while maintaining the narrative that made it appealing to the American public. It helped launch an unprecedented national renaissance of interest in the Civil War and was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1989.

For more information about Study Tours at Gustavus, including cost and registration information, visit If you have questions about the program, contact Assistant to the President for Special Projects Barb Larson Taylor at 507-933-7515 or


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


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