Happy Graduation, From the Top of Old Main

Posted on May 22nd, 2016 by

Graduation Day on top of Old Main, prior to 1920.

“The young people that found and shall find inexhaustible treasures here, shall exhort their friends to come, seek, and find what they need for a happy life.”—Lars Lundgren, class of 1890

Somewhere in Gustavus history, prior to 1920, it is May and it is 12:30 p.m. Commencement will begin soon.

For the graduating seniors of 100 years ago, this will be a great time for brunch. On top of Old Main.

It was a breathtaking tradition considering the tableside views of the Minnesota River Valley. It was a bit of a dangerous one, too. (Do you like a stiff wind with your coffee? How about a three-story drop-off?)

Today, the Commencement Buffet is held in the safe and comfortable environs of the Evelyn Young Dining Room, far from three-story drop-offs and robust prairie winds.

Wherever you are this May 29 at 12:30 p.m. Central Time, look in the direction of Old Main and remember: You are a part of a long line of proud adventurers who left Gustavus and commenced with lives of passion and purpose.


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



  1. Larry Potts says:

    The picture was taken much earlier in the day. The clock didn’t work for the first 50 years of the building’s existence, and always read 12:30. Looks like faculty got to sit on the horizontal top, while students sat on an incline with a 30 foot drop. Thanks for posting!

  2. Stephanie Ash says:

    Thanks for that AMAZING detail about the clock, Larry!