Gustavus Welcomes Class of 2023

671 new students will begin classes on Tuesday after a weekend of orientation activities.
Posted on August 31st, 2019 by

Gustie Greeters at move-in day.

They came from Ethiopia and Sweden and Minnetonka, each carrying their own history, each with their own voice, each of them chasing their owns dreams. They all traveled up the same sunlit hill rising above the Minnesota River Valley and joined together as the Gustavus Adolphus College Class of 2023.

It was a dazzling morning on campus as the new students and their families unpacked vehicles in front of Norelius, Pittman, and Sohre Halls, assisted by a welcoming “Gustie Move Crew” made up of current students, faculty, and staff. Earlier, as their cars turned off U.S. 169 and headed west up the hill, whistles, chants, and songs rang out as the Gustie Greeters–the College’s orientation leaders–cheered the arrival of each new student.

President Bergman spent the morning greeting new Gusties in the residence halls.

After meeting their new roommates, assembling futons and bed lofts, and getting the room arranged, the new Gusties and their families enjoyed a deli-style lunch in Lund Center. Afterwards, the families descended on Eckman Mall, snapping selfies with President Rebecca Bergman, taking traditional photos at the Gustavus sign on Old Main Hill, and eating ice cream treats provided by the Center for Career Development. Other Gusties took advantage of the afternoon to finish unpacking, explore the campus, or get to know their new classmates.

At 3 p.m., the bell above Christ Chapel rang in invitation, calling the Class of 2023 to a convocation service. After the students filled the pews and the opening hymn was sung, President Bergman welcomed the incoming students and their families.

“I invite you to take a deep breath, soak in the beauty of this space and the significance of this moment,” President Bergman said to the students. Then, turning to their parents and families, she continued. “You are entrusting your children to a place with a strong mission that is centered around education of the whole person, where academic excellence is expected, where we promise to stretch their minds, where they will be encouraged to get involved in a variety of activities outside of the classroom, and where we work very hard to prepare them to act on the great challenges facing our society and our world.”

Associate Vice President and Dean of Admission Richard Aune ’81 officially presented the incoming class to Provost and Dean of the College Brenda Kelly and Vice President for Student Life JoNes VanHecke. Then, admission counselor Daniel Lee ’16 welcomed the new Gusties on behalf of the 28,000 Gustavus alumni across the globe.

“Who you are today is not who you will be in four years, and that’s awesome,” Lee said. “You’re going to have every opportunity to succeed and to pursue your dreams.”

“Be bold, be open-minded, be open-hearted, and be yourself,” Aune told students.

After a blessing of the new students of the Class of 2023, students and families poured out of Christ Chapel onto Eckman Mall, embracing and saying their goodbyes, for now, as their next adventure begins.

Orientation weekend continues with a full slate of activities as the Gustavus Class of 2023 prepares for the first day of class on Tuesday, September 3.


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


One Comment

  1. Kristi Schuck (class of 95) says:

    My daughter, Keely, is one of the 671 celebrated yesterday with the incoming class of 2023. The Convocation was beautiful in its purpose for recognizing this amazing class, holding space for those of us, their loved ones, to pause just long enough to allow peace to seep into our being and somehow gift us all with the awareness that this new home will support this beautiful new beginning of their young adulthood.
    I never imagined my daughter a “Gustie”. I started making “my life count” 28 years ago with the class of 1995, and have always believed that 25 years ago meeting my husband (class of 1997) was the greatest thing I took away from those beautiful days on the hill. He wasn’t with Keely and me this weekend to help move her in and introduce her to the dorm he lived in as a freshman, as he died an untimely death at the age of 40, but, we got her here, and I could not be prouder.
    This community did not disappoint, from the President herself stopping by to recognize this Third Generation Gustie, (Wes’ mom, Mary Jane is class of 1971) to the infamous Gustie Greeters, to the professional BookMark staff and every moment in between, there is not a doubt, there is something very special in the air, blowing around on that hill, and yes, once again, taking my breath away… Let your light shine Class of 2023!!!