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 2017, 313 individuals (289 athletes, 15 coaches and 9 benefactors) have been elected to the Hall of Fame.

The beautiful 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 was donated by the family of former football coach and Hall of Fame member Jocko Nelson, who passed away in 1978.

Harold Sponberg

Football

Inducted: 1989

The Sponberg name is a familiar one to the Gustavus Hall of Fame. Ray was inducted in 1983, and Ade in 1985. This year, we are proud to add our third Sponberg--Harold. A member of the 1938 and 1939 Gustavus football teams, Sponberg was voted to the all-MIAC team his senior year for his play at the guard position. Sponberg's achievement is all the more remarkable, given that he was one of the football players injured in the 1939 bus accident that killed Coach George Myrum and two students.
Harold Sponberg's greatest achievements, however, came after he graduated from Gustavus in 1940. After obtaining his master's degree from the University of Minnesota in 1942 and serving in the Navy during World War II, Sponberg was hired as an assistant professor of English at Michigan State University, where he earned a Ph.D. in history and the philosophy of education in 1952. He served as vice president bf Northern Michigan University from 1956-1961, president of Washburn University from 1961-1965, and finally as president of Eastern Michigan University from 1965 until his resignation in 1974.
At the time of his death in 1975, Sponberg was assistant to the president for corporate affairs at Michigan Technological University. Sponberg and his wife Grace, who now lives in Florida, were the parents of five children: Arvid "Gus," 45; Mary, 42; Eric, 40; Ingrid, 36; and Karl, 30.