Alumni Association History

The Alumni Association of Gustavus Adolphus College was organized in 1890 with membership dues of $1. With strong alumni support for more opportunities to participate in alumni affairs, the Alumni Association was reorganized into the Greater Gustavus Association in 1944. This organization of alumni was to be strong and active, not only as a source of financial support, but also with a body of public opinion and a "voice" for College officials to consider. The more information its members received concerning the College, the more constructive the efforts would be in its behalf. Since November of 1944, the Gustavus Quarterly has been published to inform alumni about the College and each other.

The purpose of the Greater Gustavus Association was set forth in the Preamble to the Association’s constitution:

We, the alumni, former students, and friends of Gustavus Adolphus College, in order to unite our efforts for the well-being of our College; to create a medium of expression of our united opinions; to foster and perpetuate the loyalty and devotion which every true Gustavian feels toward his/her College; to weld our mutual friendship, do hereby adopt our Constitution.

A class agent program began in 1954, modeled after a program at Dartmouth College. The purpose of the class agent program was two-fold:

  1. to weld the class together into an active cohesive group, and
  2. to be a liaison between classmates and the College administration.

Class agents assist in gathering and disseminating news about classmates and the College and promote and help plan class reunions. The Greater Gustavus Association board also voted to adopt the “Dartmouth Plan” of annual alumni support through general mailings, class letters, and the Quarterly. The first annual Gustavus Fund of 1954 raised $32,321 from 1,307 donors (32.4%). Since then, the Alumni Association has received 16 national awards in recognition of distinguished achievement (participation percentage) in alumni giving.

In January of 2011, at the recommendation of the Classes Committee of the Alumni Association Board of Directors, the Board formally adopted a new class leadership structure to build on the class agent program that began in 1954.  At a meeting of newly-elected class officers at the Edina Country Club on February 26, 2011, the Gustavus Alumni Association introduced a new class leadership structure to serve the current and future needs of the College and its alumni.  The new program officially launched September 30, 2011, during Homecoming Weekend―a date that also coincides with the College’s Sesquicentennial Celebration. The new Class Officer model is specifically designed to substantially increase and sustain alumni engagement, participation, and support for mission-central work of the College. Class officer positions include president, communications chair, annual fund chair, reunion chair/vice president, and student recruitment chair. 

Ren Anderson ’34 was the first head of the Alumni Association, followed by Cecil Eckhoff ’56, who served as vice president of alumni affairs from 1963 to 1994. Randall Stuckey ’83 began serving in alumni relations in 1985 and became director of alumni relations upon the retirement of Eckhoff. In the summer of 2013, Stuckey became the inaugural director of athletic fundraising and engagement. Glen Lloyd was named the College's Director of Alumni and Parent Engagement in December 2013.

Today the Alumni Association numbers more than 26,000 graduates and former students who take pride in and believe in the values and mission of the College and choose to maintain close contact with and support their alma mater.

For more history of Gustavus, see Songs of Thy Triumph.