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$25 Million Grant Creates Gustavus Adolphus College Center for Career Development

SAINT PETER, MN – Gustavus Adolphus College will launch a new and expanded career development program thanks to an extraordinary $25 million grant, College President Rebecca M. Bergman announced recently. In addition to funding the endowed Center for Career Development, the grant will also provide extensive funding for scholarships, financial aid, and capital projects on campus.

The anonymous grant is from a donor advised fund established by an alumni couple with a strong history of engagement with the college and is made in support of the Gustavus Acts Strategic Plan, the college’s bold, 10-year vision to equip students to lead purposeful lives and to act on the great challenges of our time through an innovative liberal arts education of recognized excellence.

Coming just months after the Saint Peter liberal arts college announced a $40 million gift this July, the new grant will include $10 million to endow the Gustavus Center for Career Development in support of student vocation and career readiness, a $10 million endowment for scholarships and financial aid, and $5 million for capital projects on campus.

The structure of the grant is distinctive in that it aggressively targets several areas of high priority within the college's new Gustavus Acts Strategic Plan.

"College access and graduate outcomes are two key factors in higher education today. This multimillion dollar grant for funding scholarships and supporting career development will directly impact our students in these important areas," Bergman says.

The $5 million designation for capital improvements will go towards the Nobel Hall of Science renovation project and athletics facilities updates.

The endowment for the Center for Career Development will dramatically enhance the college's already-strong career curriculum by integrating post-graduate preparation into the academic and co-curricular life of Gustavus students and continuing to build intentional mentorship, internship, and career experiences for all students. By 2025, the college intends for all students to engage in an in-depth four-year career development process, participate in at least one career-relevant engaged learning experience, and develop a working relationship with a career specialist in one of seven career interest clusters.

"This transformational grant will make possible the college's goal for career staff to work one-on-one with all Gustavus students over the course of their four-year experience," Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students JoNes VanHecke says. "We envision a three-pronged approach highlighted by opportunities to explore, experience, and successfully transition from college to career. We will also build a robust employer outreach program in alignment with the career interests of students."

"We are excited by the vision described in this generous grant and look forward to putting our plan into action," Bergman says. "The grant will open the doors to learning by providing scholarships and financial assistance, ensuring top-notch facilities, and equipping our students for successful career outcomes after graduation."

Gustavus Adolphus College is a private liberal arts college in Saint Peter, MN. that prepares 2,300 undergraduates for lives of leadership, service, and lifelong learning. Fully accredited and known for its strong science, writing, music, athletics, study-away, and service-learning programs, Gustavus hosts a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa and is internationally recognized for its annual Nobel Conference.

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