Athletic Hall of Fame

The Gustavus Adolphus College Hall of Fame was established in 1978 at which time 19 "Charter Members" were inducted either as coaches or as athletes. As of the fall of 2022, 348 individuals (321 athletes, 16 coaches and 11 benefactors) have been elected to the Hall of Fame.

The former Hall of Fame room on the second floor of the Lund Center was originally partially endowed by the families of both Dwight Holcombe's (the only father/son combination holding membership in the Hall). The hardwood plaque upon which the individual plates are permanently displayed, now in the Hall of Champions, was donated by the family of former football coach and Hall of Fame member Jocko Nelson, who passed away in 1978.

Karen Gustafson


Inducted: 2001

Karen Gustafson was a standout singles player for the Gustavus women's tennis program as women's athletics began to receive regional and national competition opportunities in the early '80s. Gustafson started her career as a key contributor on the program's first national tournament team in 1980. She then became the school's first women's tennis All-American in 1981 before playing #1 singles on the team that claimed the program's first MIAC Championship in 1982. She wrapped up her career by being the team's first qualifier for the NCAA Singles Championship in 1983. In addition to this impressive list of "firsts" for Gustavus women's tennis, Gustafson finished her career with a singles mark of 86-23, winning the AIAW Midwest Region #2 singles flight title in 1981, the MIAC #1 singles title in 1983, and the MIAC #1 doubles title in 1983. Her career singles win total of 86 still ranks seventh on the all-time win list despite having played at least 25 fewer matches than all of the individuals ahead of her on the list. In the spring of 1983, Gustafson received the Evelyn Young Scholar Athlete Award, which is given to the senior athlete with the highest cumulative grade point average.
A Phi Beta Kappa graduate with magna cum laude honors in biology and chemistry, Gustafson went on to receive her M.D. and Ph.D. in the medical scientist training program from the University of Minnesota. In 1997, she received the J. Jacob Kaplan Award from the University of Minnesota Medical School. In 1998, Gustafson accepted her current position as medical resident in pathology and laboratory medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Karen, who is single, currently lives in Philadelphia.