Gustavus Completes Record-Breaking Fundraising Campaign"Show the World" helped the College raise $228 million to fund numerous capital projects and other initiatives.
Posted on May 15th, 2023 by

The campaign raised $228 million for a variety of projects and initiatives.

Gustavus Adolphus College announced the successful completion of Show the World, the largest comprehensive fundraising campaign in the College’s history.

At the annual Celebration of Philanthropy on Friday, May 12, the College announced that Show the World raised $228 million in new gifts and pledges toward major capital projects, endowed professorships and chairs, scholarship funds, and other initiatives focused on the academic and student experience and educational outcomes. “You see the future in our students,” President Rebecca Bergman told an audience of more than 400 Gustavus donors. “You believe in the excellence of our faculty and the stability of our management. And you want Gustavus to flourish, now and well into the future.”

Show the World launched publicly in September 2019 with a goal of $225 million, after having already raised $150 million in the campaign’s quiet phase. A highlight of the campaign was the largest gift in the College’s history: a $40-million donation made by an anonymous alumni couple in 2017. The record-breaking gift, one of the largest for any Minnesota liberal arts college, helped complete the expansion of the renowned Nobel Hall of Science and created vital scholarships for talented students.

The campaign funded major capital projects on campus, including the $70-million expansion of Nobel Hall, completed in 2020, and the 72,000 square-foot expansion of Lund Center athletics complex, which opened in May 2022. Other major gifts supported new initiatives in areas such as nursing education, student-faculty research, career development, and student counseling. Eight new endowed professorships and chairs were created during the campaign.

An important aim of Show the World was enabling Gustavus to meet the financial need of admitted students. Overall, the campaign raised more than $46 million for current and endowed scholarships. “We are profoundly grateful that donors continue to recognize the direct impact they have on our students,” said Thomas W. Young ’88, Vice President for Advancement. “Gustavus is the successful institution it is today because of our alumni and friends. Thanks to their partnership, the College will have the resources necessary to continue to thrive.”

The public phase of the campaign opened shortly before the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the global economy and temporarily closed the Gustavus campus to students, staff, and visitors. “The fundamental work of a campaign is building relationships with the College’s stakeholders. Without face-to-face visits, we had to find other ways to stay connected with alumni and friends of the college,” Young said. “In the end, we had a remarkable response to this campaign. Our community stepped up and helped with the emergency needs of students and the College.”

In her remarks at the Celebration of Philanthropy, President Bergman paid tribute to the broader Gustavus community for its steadfast commitment to the College.  

“Your gifts support us right now in what we fund, what we build, and what we can award in outright current scholarships,” Bergman stated. “But what campaigns really do is ensure our future.”

For common FAQs about the Show the World campaign, visit this link.


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


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