Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Gustavus Adolphus College
Gustavus Adolphus College is a private liberal arts college founded in 1862 by Eric Norelius and was originally named Minnesota Elementar Skola. In 1865 on the 1,000th year anniversary of the death of St. Ansgar, "the Apostle of the North," the college was renamed and incorporated as St. Ansgar's Academy . In May of 1873, the college was again renamed and reincorporated as Gustavus Adolphus Literary and Theological Institute in honor of the Swedish king, Gustav II Adolf. On October 16, 1876, opened as Gustavus Adolphus College in its new location in St. Peter, Minnesota. Gustavus is the oldest of Minnesota's several Lutheran colleges. It is affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
Gustavus consistently ranks high among U.S. liberal arts colleges, currently placed among the best 100 national liberal arts colleges by U.S. News and World Report. Gustavus students choose from over 50 major suject areas, ranging from physics to religion to Scandinavian Studies. The College is lauded for its Writing Across the Curriculum program, which fosters strong writing skills in all academic disciplines. Since the 1980s Gustavus has had a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the oldest and most prestigeous academic honor society in the United States.
The vast majority of Gustavus' 2400 students (Gusties) live in residence at the College, in traditional dormitories, College-owned houses, and theme areas, such as the International House and the Swedish House. Campus life is enhanced by the many musical ensembles which perform throughout the year, including the Gustavus Choir, Christ Chapel Choir, the Lucia Singers, the Gustavus Adolphus Symphony Orchestra, Gustavus Band, Jazz Band, etc. Theatre is a regular part of campus life. There are also two art galleries on campus.
The Gustavus campus features state-of-the-art science facilities, several computer and language labs, and a large new dining facility which has improved the caf' food from that endured by previous generations of Gusties. In the center of campus stands the College's majestic and striking Christ Chapel, which seats over 1000. Ecumenical chapel services are held each weekday and on Sundays. Attendence is voluntary. Gustavus' first building in St. Peter, Old Main, which orginally housed the entire college, is presently undergoing najor renovations to enable it to serve furture generations of Gusties. The campus is well-landscaped with every tree indigenous to Minnesota in the Linneaus Arboretum. It is further graced by a number of remarkable sculptures by the late well-known Minnesota sculptor Paul Granlund, an alumnus of the College who for many years was sculptor-in-residence.
The College's mission statement describes five core values:
According to urban legend, the campus is the home to numerous ghosts. Allegedly haunted sites include:
- Old Main (with 3 ghosts)
- The Dive entertainment center in the Jackson Campus Center
- The Anderson Theater
- The Fine Arts Center Arts Wing
- Bjorling Recital Hall
- Folke Bernadotte Memorial Library
- The Peterson House
- Rundstrom Hall
- Wahlstrom Hall
- Norelius Hall
Gustavus has been host to the annual Nobel Conference since the first conference in 1963. The conference generally has a focus on science topics such as "The Science of Aging" (2004), "The Nurture of Nature" (2002), "Virus: The Human Connection" (1998), and "The New Shape of Matter: Materials Challenge Science" (1995).
- On January 8, 1970, the Auditorium was completely gutted by a fire.
- In March 29, 1998, the College's campus was hit by a mile-wide F3 tornado that broke 80 percent of the windows, leveled nearly 2,000 trees, toppled the chapel's spire, and caused more than $50 million in damages.
The College's campus is located in St. Peter, Minnesota. Its mailing address is 800 West College Avenue, Saint Peter, Minnesota 56082.
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