A Royal Affair Raises $500,000+ for Library, ScholarshipsSaturday night's biennial gala featured entertainment by emcee Peter Breitmayer '87 and Grammy-winning jazz singer Kurt Elling '89.
Posted on November 13th, 2019 by

Attendees hold up bidding numbers during A Royal Affair's live auction.

Attendees hold up bidding numbers during A Royal Affair's live auction.

Over 600 alumni and friends of Gustavus Adolphus College gathered last Saturday night at the JW Marriott Minneapolis for the biennial fundraising gala “A Royal Affair.” The event raised over a half million dollars to benefit the College’s library endowment and scholarships for first-generation students.

Actor Peter Breitmayer '87 served as the emcee at A Royal Affair.

Actor Peter Breitmayer ’87 served as the emcee at A Royal Affair.

This year marked the 42nd anniversary of the founding of the Gustavus Library Associates. Launched in 1978, the Friends of the Library-Gustavus Library Associates is an award-winning organization of volunteers that supports development of the Folke Bernadotte Library.

This year’s A Royal Affair set a record for giving, surpassing the 2017 gala by more than $100,000.

The emcee for this year’s gala was actor Peter Breitmayer ’87, who has appeared in numerous theater, film, and television productions, including the J.K. Rowling film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and the critically acclaimed FX series Fargo. As emcee, Breitmayer brought laughs with stories of failed geology exams and long choir trips from his student days.

Breitmayer was serious in explaining the importance of donor-funded scholarships, noting that he could not have attended Gustavus without support. “Without the aid Gustavus offered, I would never have been able to attend those four years and be guided, sometimes kicking and screaming, through an intellectual, artistic and personal evolution unlike anything in my previous 18 years––and in many ways, the years since.”

The evening’s featured performer was Grammy-winning vocalist Kurt Elling ’89. One of the most acclaimed artists in contemporary jazz, Elling took time for A Royal Affair before leaving for a tour date in Tokyo. In between two sets of standards, Elling visited with former classmates and friends from his days in the Gustavus Choir.

While Elling was the evening’s headliner, it was the current students in the Gustavus Choir who stole the show. Their performance of the hymn “I Need Thee Every Hour,” featuring soloists Rachel Soukup ’22, Holly Fitterer ’21, and Aleah Felton ’20, brought everyone to their feet.

Along with the night’s entertainment, guests bid for dozens of donated items in silent and live auctions. Among the most popular auction items were a hunting trip and farm-to-table dinner prepared by an award-winning chef with President Rebecca Bergman and a one-of-a-kind piece (Adore Knocker, 1969) sculpted by Paul Granlund ‘52. Auctioneer Glen Fladeboe also led a fund-a-need giving event to raise money for the A Royal Affair Promise Scholarship for first-generation students. Guests pledged gifts from $100 to $25,000 in support of the scholarship fund.

President Bergman reminded guests that this year’s gala was part of the Show the World comprehensive campaign. The largest fundraising campaign in Gustavus history, Show the World has a goal of $225 million for the College’s endowment, campus facilities, designated current use, and the Gustavus Fund. With the public launch in September, the campaign has now raised more than $156 million.


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


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