Gustavus Celebrates Commencement for the Class of 2022

The 556 graduates received their degrees on Saturday, May 21, in a triumphant end to college life amid a global pandemic.
Posted on May 23rd, 2022 by

The Class of 2022 processing into Hollingsworth Field

Underneath cool, cloudy skies, the 556 members of the Gustavus Adolphus College Class of 2022 celebrated the completion of a college experience like no other class before them as they walked across the Commencement stage on Saturday, May 21. 

Family and loved ones laid hands on their graduates during the baccalaureate blessing.

The morning began with two baccalaureate services in Christ Chapel, where attendees received words of inspiration from student speaker Nora Hagestuen ’22 and blessings from Gusties across many faith traditions. After a commencement buffet, photos with friends, and nostalgic walks around campus, the graduates processed into Hollingsworth Field, where faculty applauded from either side and loved ones filled the stands.

To a class whose sophomore, junior, and senior years took place under the shadow of a global pandemic, an in-person Commencement ceremony wasn’t something to take for granted. Students smiled and waved at their cheering friends, family, and classmates before taking a seat as President Bergman gave her introductory remarks. 

“When you arrived at Gustavus, you had no idea that COVID-19 was coming, or the changes in your college experience that would come with the virus,” said Bergman. “Nevertheless, you have fought through this pandemic since March of your sophomore year, and you have won the battle.”

Senior Regina Olono Vidales also touched on the pandemic during her Commencement address. As co-president of Student Senate and an active member in multiple campus organizations, she was uniquely equipped to speak on the ways that COVID-19 impacted her classmates’ college experience.  

“We are not the same people we were before,” she acknowledged. “Every single person here has gone through something that changed them.”  

This year’s Commencement marked a triumphant end to college life amid a global pandemic.

But this class also knows that change, even in turbulent times, can lead to tremendous growth. “We know we can get through adversity with energy, love, and kindness through our community,” said Olono Vidales.

Soon, the time came for graduates to cross that long-awaited stage, shake hands with President Bergman, embrace their faculty members, and sit back down with their hard-earned degrees in hand.

“Hold your degree with integrity,” Bergman instructed them. “Your story is now a permanent part of the Gustavus story, and you a part of the Gustavus family.” 

In addition, Bergman acknowledged this year’s retiring faculty members who have left their permanent mark on the Gustavus story, as well as all the Gustavus faculty members who guided this year’s graduating class through college in a global pandemic. Psychological science professor Lauren Hecht, the winner of the 2022 Edgar M. Carlson Award for Distinguished Teaching, was presented with her award by Kate Knutson, the 2020 Carlson Award winner.

After singing the final notes of the Gustie rouser, the graduates flung their caps high above Hollingsworth Field in celebration of their time on the hill and excitement for the unique journey that lies ahead. 

The archived 2022 commencement ceremony can be watched online. Photos of the day are available in the Gustavus SmugMug gallery

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Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication JJ Akin
jakin@gustavus.edu
507-933-7510

 

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