A Royal Affair Sparkles at JW Marriott Mall of America

The biennial gala hosted by Gustavus Adolphus College and the Gustavus Library Associates raised funds for first-generation students and the library.
Posted on November 16th, 2017 by

In a shimmering ballroom at the JW Marriott Mall of America, over 550 attendees gathered on Saturday, November 11 to “get their crown on” for an evening of food, drinks, music, dancing, and silent and live auctions with all proceeds benefiting Gustavus Adolphus College’s library endowment and scholarships for first-generation college students.

All told, the evening raised over $370,000 for student scholarships and the Folke Bernadotte Memorial Library.

“In the rapidly changing landscape of higher education, there is a positive momentum at Gustavus due to the dedication of our faculty and staff, the hard work of our students, the passion of our alumni and volunteers, and the generosity of our donors,” President Rebecca M. Bergman said.

After a cocktail reception and silent auction featuring Gustavus athletics apparel, College memorabilia, gift baskets, travel opportunities, events, and more, guests made their way to the ballroom and were greeted by Twin Cities media personality Carly Aplin Zucker ’07 and Gustavus communication studies professor Phillip Voight, who served as emcees throughout the evening.

Before the dinner of filet mignon and locally-sourced walleye, guests were serenaded by Jearlyn Steele, who regularly performs on A Prairie Home Companion and has recorded with artists such as Prince and Mavis Staples. President Bergman also presented the Founders’ Spirit Award to Kraus-Anderson Construction Company in honor of its close relationship with the College over the years and support following the devastating 1998 tornado. The Engelsma family, several members of which are Gustavus graduates, accepted the award on behalf of the company.

Following dinner, a live auction was punctuated by over 200 additional donations to support first-generation Gustavus students and the Folke Bernadotte Memorial Library.

Upon the conclusion of the evening’s program, attendees were encouraged to stay and take part in live karaoke with the Hurricane Karaoke Band, play ring toss for wine and other prizes, capture snapshots of the night in a photo booth, and enjoy tastings by Gustavus alumni-founded companies Bent Paddle Brewery, BET Vodka, Castle Danger Brewery, and the local Chankaska Creek Winery and Ranch.

“The world has great challenges and Gustavus remains committed to equipping our students to go into the world to act,” President Bergman said. “Thank you for all the ways that you support the College.”

A Royal Affair is a biennial fundraiser hosted by Gustavus Adolphus College and the Gustavus Library Associates that benefits scholarships for first-generation students and the College’s Folke Bernadotte Memorial Library.


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


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