Rebecca M. Bergman Named 17th President of Gustavus Adolphus College Posted on February 28th, 2014 by

Rebecca M. Bergman will be the 17th president in the 152-year history of Gustavus Adolphus College.

Rebecca M. Bergman will be the 17th president in the 152-year history of Gustavus Adolphus College.

The Board of Trustees of Gustavus Adolphus College has elected Rebecca M. Bergman to be the College’s 17th president. Bergman is the first woman in the 152-year history of the College to be named president and will succeed Jack R. Ohle, who is retiring after serving as president of the College since July 2008. Bergman will officially take office July 1, 2014.

Bergman, who has served on the College’s Board of Trustees since 2007, has spent the past 26 years at Medtronic, Inc., including the last 14 years as a senior executive. She currently serves as Vice President of Research, Technology, and Therapy Delivery Systems for the company’s Cardiac Rhythm Disease Management (CRDM) business, where she leads a research and development team of scientists and engineers. She previously served as Vice President, CRDM New Therapies & Diagnostics as well as Vice President, Corporate Science and Technology, where she directed biomaterials and biosciences R&D, new therapy development, and information management initiatives.

“Becky is a proven leader as demonstrated not only by her successful 26 years at Medtronic, but also by her seven years of service on the College’s Board of Trustees,” said Warren Beck, Trustee and Chair of the Presidential Search Committee. “Her leadership skills, ability to collaborate and effectively communicate, and knowledge of the College’s strengths and challenges make her uniquely qualified to lead Gustavus at this pivotal time in the College’s history. I couldn’t be more pleased that she will be our next president.”

Bergman earned her B.S. degree in chemical engineering from Princeton University and undertook graduate study in a Ph.D. program in chemical engineering and material science at the University of Minnesota. Bergman has received a number of Medtronic’s highest technical and leadership awards during her tenure with the company. She was elected as a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering in 2001, and elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2010. She serves as a member of the Board of Directors of Sigma-Aldrich, on the Board of Directors of The Bakken Museum, and on a number of academic advisory boards. She previously served on the National Advisory Council of the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering of the National Institute of Health and the St. Catherine University Board of Trustees.

“Gustavus Adolphus College is a special place. It has been an extraordinary experience for me to have the privilege to be a member of the Gustavus Board of Trustees and to get to know the campus, the people, and the culture of the institution,” Bergman said. “I have prized the opportunity to work with an institution so strongly committed to education and discovery. I look forward to participating in the next phase of the Gustavus story in whatever ways can best foster the future success of the College.”

Bergman is married to Thomas A. Bergman, M.D., Chief of Neurosurgery at Hennepin County Medical Center, a Senior Partner with Neurosurgical Associates, and Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Minnesota Department of Neurosurgery. The couple has four children including Matthew ’07, Andrew, Laura ’14, and John.


Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication Luc Hatlestad



  1. Coco says:

    Congrats Gustavus! I’d like to hear more about what President Bergman intends to do to push a campus wide equity agenda

  2. Jon Young says:

    This is GREAT news. Congratulations, Becky! Congratulations, Gustavus.

  3. Rev. Daniel B. Carlson says:


  4. Kristin Bahner '95 says:

    Congrats to Rebecca and to Gustavus. It will be a pleasure to see what this means for the undoubtedly bright future of Gustavus. Best wishes to Rebecca as she prepares to take on her new role. I look forward to great things to come.

    Kristin Bahner ’95

  5. Roy Gulliford says:

    Look out academia, here comes Becky, the quiet kid who has taken one giant step after another.Sure you’ll make a difference at GA as you have at every step along the way. Just thought of a great idea–the 1971 Mini staff could all come out for your inauguration. Just think of how impressed those mid-westerners would be with Navel, Strachan’s indian night costume, Bonnie’s swim suit,and Nastey’s patient mothering skills. Lombardi could never get all that hair again, but I bet I could find some old bell bottoms and Jef could get them all to share his special way to welcome the equinox.
    Happy for you and fear not, most of that staff are now grandparents–some even Republicans.

  6. Steve Larson '63 says:

    Great to have a female leader. I hope she can find a focus on economic and racial diversity on campus.

  7. Ellen Boler says:

    Congratulations…..Mrs. Bergman ….a real winner for Gustavus….and nice to have such a talented woman…no less.

  8. Bruce Gray says:

    Becky, congratulations on becoming our new President. The Grays have been in St. Peter since 1958 and have been connected with the College the whole time. We look forward to your arrival and our work with Diversity. It is our passion. Sue ’13 & Bruce ’61 Gray