Welcome to the Moved-In Class of 2021

They hail from 35 states and 14 nations, and 20 percent earned a 4.0 or higher in high school.
Posted on September 2nd, 2017 by

President Rebecca Bergman, Gustie Greeters, and the whole Gustavus community welcomed the Class of 2021.

On Friday, September 1, during one of the most beautiful days of the year, Gustavus Adolphus College welcomed the 613 new Gusties who are the Class of 2021.

The Gustavus football team helped students into their residence halls.

Students and their families entered campus to the wild, welcoming cheers of Gustie greeters. With the help of Gustie football players, they unloaded vehicles, unpacked clothes and snacks, and met new roommates in Pittman, Sohre, and Norelius (Co-Ed) Halls.

“There are so many people helping,” said Herbert Slaughter, from Opelika, Alabama. (His son is Class of 2021). “The football players—that’s got to be their workout for the day.”

Once students (mostly) settled into their rooms, thoughts turned to the real work—a first year at Gustavus. “I’m honestly excited for the classes,” said Rebecca Steffen ’21, from South St. Paul. She plans on studying physics and dance. (“We have no doubts about her,” said her mom.)

For professor Alisa Rosenthal, Move-In Day buzz sets a great tone for the rest of the year. “The excitement, the energy, the students anticipating their college experience—I love being here for it,” she said.

A buffet lunch was held in the Lund Center. After, Gustie families continued to help new students arrange their rooms. They stopped by the Gustavus sign for commemorative move-in day photos (available at flickr.com/photos/gustavusadolphuscollege). Then it was on to Old Main to mingle over ice cream and grab a selfie with President Rebecca Bergman.

Shortly after, at Convocation in Christ Chapel, President Bergman said to parents, “Soak in the beauty of this place and this moment. You have brought these students to this moment in their lives, and I know what this day means.” (Bergman herself is a proud mom to two Gustie grads.)

Convocation ended with a blessing of the new Gustavus students.

To the students, Bergman said, “Stay on top of your homework, eat only healthy foods, brush your teeth twice a day, and never wear flip flops in the snow.” (She was joking, a little bit.) She went on with a more earnest message: “I expect you to make good choices and to help others do the same. And don’t forget your parents are out there cheering for you.”

And don’t forget that your future in-laws may be in the room, noted associate vice president and dean of admission Rich Aune. Also in the room: fourth-generation Gusties, and first-generation college students. “Don’t panic,” Aune told all of them. “You belong here. We want you here. We want you to do something great.”

Aune then presented the Class of 2021 to JoNes VanHecke, vice president for student life and dean of students, who reiterated the two universal truths of college: “It is fun, and it is challenging.” Provost and dean of faculty Brenda Kelly then invoked a piece of the College’s new vision, telling students that Gustavus will prepare them “to act on the great challenges of our time through an innovative liberal arts education of recognized excellence.”

Like a lifetime of purposeful action, “Being a Gustie is not something that only lasts four years. It does not fade,” said presenter and alum Matthew Timmons ’15.

And now, said President Bergman, “that famous Gustie spirit is working its way into your heart.”


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



  1. Barb ('64) and Dave ('63) Baumann says:

    The GA staff and volunteer students did it right over 30 years ago when we brought our two to their first day and it has done right again when our daughter and son-in-law brought our granddaughter to her first day as they did two years ago when they took our grandson to his first day as a Gustie. It is absolutely true: ‘You are a Gustie forever.’ Our closest and dearest friend today are the result of friendships developed at Gustavus–over 50 years ago.

    Way to go staff and volunteers. Our kids said it was a great job done by all.

  2. Jace Riggin says:

    Welcome to GAC! We are happy to have you! 🙂

  3. Cathy Waldhauser ('71) says:

    Brings back memories of 50 years ago. Some things never change. Although I have no grandchildren to send, I will be cheering for every new Gustie and look forward to their return to our communities as educated, interesting and curious servant leaders and followers.

    Best president’s photo ever!