2014 Year in Review

Posted on December 23rd, 2014 by

Old Main at Night Blue SkySo much happens on a college campus in just a week’s time, so you can only imagine the number of noteworthy events that take place in a calendar year at a residential liberal arts college like Gustavus. Classes, research, lectures, concerts, recitals, exhibitions, athletic events, dedications, awards, scholarships, conferences, rankings, and more. The events and people featured in these stories contribute to the unfolding story of Gustavus Adolphus College, which continues to prepare students for lives of leadership and service.


Diane Nash, a key figure during the nonviolent and civil rights movements of the 1960s, delivered the 2014 Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Lecture on Jan. 20 in Christ Chapel. Nash’s talk was titled “Reflections on the Civil Rights Movement.”

The 68-member Gustavus Adolphus College Wind Orchestra embarked on a 16-day,five-country European concert tour from Jan. 22 through Feb. 7.

Gustavus students Elizabeth Johnson ’14, Ellen Krueger ’14, and Will Metcalf ’15 spent the month of January interning in Sweden as the College’s first Wallenberg Scholars. The program provides an opportunity for Gustavus students to study, research, and intern in Sweden. During the summer months of 2014, Nate Paulsen ’15 and Lindsay Rothschiller ’15 also spent time in Sweden as part of the program.

Biology student Erin Clark ’14 spent the month of January interning for World Altering Medicine, a non-profit organization co-founded by Gustavus alumnus Dr. Dan Dewey ’93.

Alumnus Eric Butorac ’03 advanced to the finals of the men’s doubles draw at the Australian Open–one of four major tournaments on the ATP Tour Calendar.


Rebecca M. Bergman, 17th President of Gustavus.

The Gustavus forensics team captured its third straight Minnesota State Collegiate Forensics Tournament championship on Feb. 16.

The Board of Trustees announced on Feb. 28 that it had elected Rebecca M. Bergman to become the College’s 17th president.

Anderson Theatre presents HAIR the Musical, directed by Amy Seham.

Student David Lim ’15 wins the 12th annual Immanuel Lutheran Church Organ Competition in Evanston, Illinois.

Alumnus Dr. Nathan Kreykes ’96 is named a 40 Under 40 honoree by Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal.

The women’s swimming and diving team won its fifth straight MIAC championship and went on to finish a program-best seventh place at the NCAA Championships.


A large group of Gustavus students and administrators  traveled to St. Paul on March 18 for the College’s annual Day at the Capitol event. Attendees met with state legislators to show continued support and appreciation for the Minnesota State Grant Program.

The 19th annual Building Bridges Conference is held on March 8 and is titled “Disposable Communities? Demanding Environmental Justice.” The Conference featured keynote speakers Van Jones and Alexie Torres-Fleming.

For the second time in the Gustavus Choir’s 82-year history, it received an invitation to perform at the American Choral Directors Association North Central Division Conference.

The biennial Gustavus Music Showcase event, featuring performances by the Gustavus Choir, the Gustavus Symphony Orchestra, the Gustavus Wind Orchestra, and the Gustavus Jazz Lab Band took place March 16 at St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church in Mahtomedi.


Beck Academic Hall is now a LEED Platinum certified building.

Beck Academic Hall is now a LEED Platinum certified building.

Gustavus alumnus and English professor Matt Rasmussen ’98 won the Minnesota Book Award for Poetry on April 5 for his debut collection of poems titled Black Aperture.

The Gustavus forensics team earned its best ever finish at the American Forensic Association’s National Individual Events Tournament, when it placed sixth in the Team Sweepstakes on April 7.

The Center for Servant Leadership hosts the College’s first ever TEDx event on April 12 in Wallenberg Auditorium. The conference was titled “Creative Innovations to Address Complex Problems” and featured seven live speakers.

The College announced that Campaign Gustavus had reached the $125 million mark toward its ambitious $150 million goal.

Alumnus Kelsey Kennedy ’13 received a Fulbright Grant to teach English in Brazil.

The College announced that Beck Academic Hall had earned LEED Platinum certification–the highest rating attainable–from the U.S. Green Building Council.

The men’s tennis team secured its 26th consecutive MIAC regular season championship.

The Rev. Wayne Peterson ’77 received the 2014 Covenant Award at the 27th Annual Meeting of the Gustavus Adolphus College Association of Congregations on April 26.

Gustavus hosted its 34th annual MAYDAY! Peace Conference on April 30. The conference was titled Tibet: Finding Hope in Exile. 


Thirty-nine seniors and 11 juniors were inducted into Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s oldest and most prestigious academic honor society on May 1.

Brandon Dean, Assistant Professor of Music and Conductor of the Choir of Christ Chapel and Lucia Singers, received the 2014 Swenson-Bunn Memorial Award for Teaching Excellence at the College’s Honors Day convocation on May 3.

The Star Tribune recognized the College’s Hillstrom Museum of Art as the “best unexpected place to find great art” in its Best of Minnesota 2014 special section.

Gustavus announced the creation of the Martin, Robinson, and Simpson Endowed Professor of Psychological Science.

The Campus Activities Board welcomes Mike Stud and Timeflies for a spring concert in Lund Center.

Professor of English Elizabeth Baer was invited to speak at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian in New York City on May 22.


More than 550 students made up the class of 2014.

More than 550 students made up the class of 2014.

The College’s commencement ceremony took place June 1 inside Lund Arena. More than 550 seniors received their degrees, seniors Victoria Clark and Valentina Muraleedharan delivered the commencement address, and Associate Professor of Classics Matt Panciera received the Edgar M. Carlson Award for Distinguished Teaching.

The Board of Trustees announced that the recently developed West Mall would be named the Annexstad Family Mall in recognition of Al and Cathy Annexstad for their years of support of the College.

The Gustavus Sports Information Department announced that senior football player Jeffrey DuBose and senior swimmer Alissa Tinklenberg were named 2013-14 Student-Athletes of the Year.

Students Amy Christiansen ’15 and Alexa Peterson ’16, along with Associate Professor of Chemistry Amanda Nienow, travel to France for an herbicide photochemistry research project.


Rebecca M. Bergman began her duties as the 17th President of Gustavus Adolphus College on July 1.

The College hosted a number of camps and summer programs, including the popular Tennis and Life Camps and the Summer Speech Institute.


Gustie Greeters welcome the Class of 2018 to campus.

Gustie Greeters welcome the Class of 2018 to campus.

Kathy Lund Dean, the Board of Trustees Distinguished Chair in Leadership and Ethics, is awarded a Visiting Erskine Programme Fellowship for the 2015 spring semester by the University of Canterbury in New Zealand.

Student Daniel Venn ’15 is featured by the Mankato Free Press after he was named one of the most influential college students in the country by the website degreesource.com.

Gustavus welcomes the class of 2018 to campus on first-year student move-in day on Aug. 29.


Gustavus moves up 12 spots to No. 76 on U.S. News & World Report’s 2015 Best National Liberal Arts Colleges list.

Kelsey Timmerman, author of the College’s two Reading in Common books for the 2014-15 academic year, spoke on campus on Sept. 10.

President Bergman is one of 84 women recognized by the George Family Foundation at its first-ever “Celebrating Twin Cities Women Leaders” event on Sept. 16 at the Guthrie Theater.

Alumnus Nick Atkins ’12 is featured on KARE-11’s ongoing series Land of 10,000 Stories.


President Bergman after being officially introduced as the 17th President of Gustavus Adolphus College (Photo by Nate Long '16).

President Bergman after being officially introduced as the 17th President of Gustavus Adolphus College (Photo by Nate Long ’16).

Rebecca M. Bergman is inaugurated as the College’s 17th President on Oct. 3. Governor Mark Dayton and Senator Amy Klobuchar are among the speakers at the inauguration ceremony.

Gustavus hosts its 50th annual Nobel Conference, titled “Where Does Science Go From Here?” The panel features 11 invited speakers and three Nobel laureates.

Gustavus is awarded a three-year, $100,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support the development of January Term courses for students in their second year.

The magazine The Analytical Scientist named Dwight Stoll to its Top 40 Under 40 Power List.

Dr. Stephen Zunes delivered the 2014 Wallenberg Lecture on U.S. Middle East policy.

Anderson Theatre presents Tony Kushner’s Angels in America: Part One: Millennium Approaches.

Employees Max Hailperin, Dana Lamb and Kirk Carlson are honored at the recipients of the College’s annual outstanding employee awards on Founders Day, October 31.


The College’s Athletic Department inducted nine individuals into the Gustavus Athletics Hall of Fame on Nov. 1.

Provost Mark Braun received the 2014 Council of Independent Colleges Chief Academic Officer Award on Nov. 1.

The men’s soccer team defeated St. John’s 2-0 in the MIAC Playoff Championship to advance to the NCAA Division III Men’s Soccer Tournament.

More than 450 donors gave $133,296 for the College’s Annual Fund on Nov. 12 during the annual Give to Gustavus Day event.

Gustavus received the 2014 Tekne Lifetime Achievement Award from the Minnesota High Tech Association on Nov. 13 for its work and ongoing commitment to the Nobel Conference.

Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science Max Hailperin received the National Association of Secretaries of State Medallion Award on Nov. 21.


Christmas in Christ Chapel, December 2014.

Christmas in Christ Chapel, December 2014.

James Patrick Miller, the Douglas Nimmo Professor of the Gustavus Wind Orchestra, is nominated for a GRAMMY Award in the Contemporary Classical Composition category.

Gustavus live streams Christmas in Christ Chapel for the first time in the 42-year history of the event. More than 7,000 people around the world tune in.

Sophomore Janet Jennings of Inglewood, California, was crowned St. Lucia for 2014 on Dec. 11.

Gustavus announced a $1 million gift from Bob “Stick” Peterson ’74 and his wife Cindy that will create an endowed scholarship fund intended to attract and retain National Merit Scholars to the College.

Kiplinger’s Personal Finance named Gustavus the 16th best college value in the Midwest and the 42nd best value among liberal arts colleges in the country on Dec. 17.


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


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