$4 Million Gift to Create Two Endowed Faculty Positions at Gustavus

The gift from Bob '81 and Beth Sparboe '82 Schnell will create the positions in the Department of Economics and Management.
Posted on November 18th, 2016 by

A year after closing the most successful fundraising campaign in the institution’s history with over $170 million in gifts and commitments, Gustavus Adolphus College announced today that a new $4 million gift will create two new endowed faculty positions in the Department of Economics and Management. The announcement comes just days after Gustavus President Rebecca Bergman and her husband, Dr. Thomas Bergman, pledged $4 million to support the implementation of the new Gustavus Acts Strategic Plan.

The endowed faculty chairs are the result of a generous gift from Bob ’81 and Beth Sparboe ’82 Schnell, which will create new positions in economic systems and accounting.

Bob '81 and Beth Sparboe '82 Schnell.

Bob ’81 and Beth Sparboe ’82 Schnell.

“The College is grateful for the Schnells’ investment in our largest department, which serves nearly 20 percent of our student body,” Provost and Dean of the Faculty Brenda Kelly said. “These two endowed positions will allow us to continue to recruit and retain the best possible faculty members to work with and mentor our talented students.”

With the announcement of the two new positions, Gustavus has now created 12 endowed professorships in the last eight years. Five of these professors are housed in the Department of Economics and Management, which supports students as they seek majors in accounting, public accounting, economic analysis, financial economics, management, and international management.

In recent years, the department has developed an increased focus on internships and mentorships and partners closely with the Office of Career Development and the Gustavus Mentoring Program to provide opportunities for students.

“We offer a program of study that is based in the liberal arts and includes a global perspective,” department chair Sheng Yang said. “We encourage our students to take advantage of experiential learning such as internships, student-faculty research, and study away opportunities as they develop the skills to succeed in their vocational pursuits.”

The Schnells’ gift is the second sizable commitment from a member of the Board of Trustees in the past week and comes as the College begins implementation of the new Gustavus Acts Strategic Plan and will support its three goals, which call for diversifying and expanding the Gustavus community, delivering a distinctive and integrated liberal arts education, and achieving financial, institutional, and environmental sustainability. Beth Sparboe Schnell ’82 has served on the Gustavus Board of Trustees since 2006.

“When Board of Trustees members lead from the front, people notice,” Board of Trustees chair Rev. Dan Poffenberger ’82 said. “The Schnells’ commitment sends a strong message to the Gustavus community that they believe in supporting our students and the faculty members who work with them every day.”

“It has been remarkable to see the outpouring of generosity from alumni and friends of the College as we move boldly forward with the new strategic plan,” Vice President for Advancement Thomas W. Young ’88 said. “The Schnells will impact countless students with their gift, which reinforces the College’s focus on providing a rigorous academic experience as we deliver an innovative liberal arts education of recognized excellence.”

Visit the Gustavus business blog to learn more about the Gustavus students, alumni, and programs that are affiliated with the Department of Economics and Management. Contact the Gustavus Office of Advancement for more information about creating an endowed position for a particular academic department.


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


One Comment

  1. Amy Quarberg says:

    Thank you Bob and Beth for your generous gift to Gustavus!! You clearly have made good use of your education, gifts and talents in the world and have a generous spirit to give back. Such a huge gift and blessing to so many.

    In gratitude,
    Your fellow classmate,
    Amy Linner Quarberg