Gustavus Begins 160th Academic Year

The College commenced the 2021-2022 academic year with an Opening Convocation celebration in Christ Chapel.
Posted on September 7th, 2021 by

The bells above Christ Chapel chimed 16 times this morning, one for each decade of Gustavus Adolphus College’s history as the campus community marked the beginning of its 160th academic year. It was a sunny, breezy morning on campus when Opening Convocation began at 10 a.m., just two hours after classes officially commenced for the 2,250 students enrolled at Gustavus this fall.

“Today we celebrate a new beginning, and we do so with enthusiasm and dogged determination to moving forward in the safest and best way we can, ever mindful of the fact that we are still coping with and responding to a global pandemic,” President Rebecca Bergman said during her remarks to the assembled students, faculty, and staff.

The ceremony began with a procession of faculty members representing the College’s academic departments, followed by a land acknowledgement by Chaplain Siri Erickson and a reading of the Gustavus Adolphus College mission statement by Provost and Dean of the College Brenda Kelly. Following President Bergman’s remarks, Chaplain Maggie Falenschek gave a blessing to begin the year and included a special call out to faculty and staff celebrating Rosh Hashanah. Cantor Chad Winterfeldt provided music for the processional fanfare and recessional.

Attendees at the convocation wore masks in accordance with the College’s COVID-19 policy to begin the year as Gustavus students, faculty, and staff seek to recapture a sense of normalcy on campus amidst the continuing pandemic.

“As you go forward today, do so with both confidence and humility, courage and caution, mindful of traditions and open to new ideas, and always rooted in our mission,” President Bergman said to close her message. “I wish for each of you gathered here today the fullness of wellbeing and wholeness, an abundance of joy, and the blessings of grace and peace.”


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


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