Gustavus Announces Three New Endowed Positions

Posted on August 28th, 2013 by

Gustavus Adolphus College President Jack Ohle recently announced that the College has established three new endowed teaching positions. President Ohle announced the news to the campus community at the College’s annual President’s Colloquium on Wednesday, Aug. 28.

Two of the three endowed positions support faculty and will be housed in the departments of economics and management and mathematics and computer science. Dr. Bruce Johnson has been named the inaugural Marcia Page and John Huepenbecker Endowed Professor in International Business and Entrepreneurship, while Dr. Thomas LoFaro has been named the inaugural Clifford M. Swanson Professor in Mathematics. The third endowed position supports the Head Men’s Tennis Coach Tommy Valentini ’02, who will teach sports ethics in addition to his coaching responsibilities.

“The College has now established six of the 10 fully funded endowed department or program positions recommended by Commission Gustavus 150,” President Ohle said. “These positions are important to the College because they strengthen our faculty and staff, provide for better learning opportunities for our students, and allow for added flexibility in the College’s budget.”

Marcia Page and John Huepenbecker Endowed Professor in International Business and Entrepreneurship

Dr. Bruce Johnson

Dr. Bruce Johnson

Marcia Page ’82 and John Huepenbecker ’80 established this endowment fund in 2012 to encourage and reward excellence in teaching and learning at the College. They intend the endowment to be utilized to ensure the next generation of entrepreneurs and global business managers have the leadership and skills as well as the ethical and moral foundation they need to succeed.

The inaugural holder of the position, Dr. Bruce Johnson, joined the Gustavus faculty in 1986. He earned his undergraduate degree from Minnesota State University, Mankato, his master’s degree from Indiana University, and his Ph.D. from the University of Houston. In addition to serving as Chair of the Department of Economics and Management, Dr. Johnson has led 13 January Interim Experience programs to Europe, been part of a faculty exchange program in Sweden, and spent a fall semester with students in Brussels, Belgium. He has been faculty adviser to the Gustavus Student Investment Club since the club’s inception and has also built a popular hands-on marketing research course for senior students.

Clifford M. Swanson Professor in Mathematics

Dr. Tom LoFaro

Dr. Tom LoFaro

Clifford ’32 and Delores ’32 Swanson established this endowment fund in the 1990s through a planned estate gift that ultimately has provided resources for faculty teaching mathematics within the College’s department of mathematics and computer science.

The inaugural holder of the position, Dr. Thomas LoFaro, joined the Gustavus faculty in 2000. He holds both a bachelor’s and master’s degree from the University of Missouri, as well as a Ph.D. in mathematics from Boston University. Dr. LoFaro’s research interests include nonlinear dynamical systems and their applications to mathematical biology. He has published papers in a wide variety of biological disciplines including neuroscience, population dynamics, and genetics. Dr. LoFaro also has a long history of involvement in differential equations education issues. He was the Principal Investigator of the National Science Foundation (NSF) supported IDEA project, has written for and reviewed several differential equations textbooks, and is currently involved in the NSF funded CODEE project.

Gustavus Men’s Tennis Coach and Sport Ethics Instructor

Tommy Valentini

Tommy Valentini

Tommy Valentini ’02, who has served as the College’s head men’s tennis coach since 2009, will now be supported by the Gustavus Tennis and Sport Ethics endowment fund. The fund was established in 2013 through principle gifts from Dr. Stephen and Barbara Wilkinson and other friends of the College who wanted to provide ongoing support for the men’s tennis coach position and enhance instruction of sport ethics in the academic curriculum.

Valentini is currently finishing his doctoral studies in sport ethics and moral development through sport at the University of Minnesota’s School of Kinesiology. Valentini was an assistant men’s tennis coach at the College from 2006 to 2009 before being named head coach upon the retirement of Steve Wilkinson. As a student-athlete at Gustavus, Valentini was a four-year letter winner, team captain, Arthur Ashe Award recipient, and two-time Academic All-American on the men’s tennis team.

“Bruce Johnson, Tom LoFaro, and Tommy Valentini are excellent examples of individuals who are committed to providing students with a first-class education at one of the finest liberal arts colleges in the country,” President Ohle said. “On behalf of the College, I would like to thank the donors and their families for their vision and willingness to support the College’s faculty, staff, and students at such a significant level.”

Anyone interested in establishing an endowed position at the College in an area of their passion can contact Vice President for Institutional Advancement Thomas Young ’88 at 507-933-7577 or


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


One Comment

  1. Chaplain Rod Anderson says:

    Congrats x 3…Good News multiplied is such a great way to start the year!! Thrice thanks to God also…and for the Good Stewardship of those gifts!

    The Lord be with us TODAY…that’s the way God makes our life COUNT!
    Pastor Rod and Julane Anderson