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.

Chester Nelson (Inducted: 1991)


Chet Nelson rode the wave of gymnastics success at Gustavus in the 1930's. After following Milt and Bump Gabrielson from Minneapolis Roosevelt High School to Gustavus in 1934, Nelson was a key member of the 1937 squad that won the Northwest Area Championship. In 1938, Nelson distinguished himself as the first Gustie to participate in a national men's gymnastics meet, where he finished third in the all-around.

Since leaving Gustavus, Nelson has enjoyed a varied and interesting career path. After several years of teaching, Nelson served more than 25 years as chief of rehabilitation for the neurologic and psychiatric handicapped at the Veteran's Administration Hospital in Minneapols. Nelson also spent 11 years on the physical education faculty of Augsburg College in Minneapolis. In his last position, Nelson worked as a rehabilitation consultant in Minneapolis. Nelson also served in the Air Force and Reserves, retiring as a lieutenant colonel after 35 years.

Chet and his wife, Elizabeth, have three married daughters: Jann, Lore, and Kris.