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.

Rauha Rakola

Cross Country/Track & Field

Inducted: 2017

“When the going gets tough, the tough get going,” is a phrase that exemplified Rauha Rahkola’s style of long distance running for the Gustavus cross country and track and field teams in the mid-1990s. Rahkola’s long, loping strides and ability to bear down during the final stretch of distance races allowed him to become one of the finest runners Gustavus has ever produced. In the fall, Rahkola was a three-time All-Conference, and two-time All-Region performer. In 1995, he turned in one of finest individual performances in program history when he finished 19th at the NCAA Championships in a time of 24:50.2. His 19th place finish made him the second Gustavus cross country runner to earn All-America honors and his time of 24:50.2 is the third fastest time in program history. In the spring, Rahkola earned All-Conference honors five times while competing in the 1,000-meter, 1,500-meter, two-mile, and 5,000-meter races. In 1994, Rahkola set the school record in the 5,000-meter with a time of 14:44.23 and in 1996 he set the program record in the 1,500-meter at 3:54.55. Both marks still stand today.

After graduating from Gustavus in 1997 with degrees in physics and math, Rahkola earned his doctorate in experimental physics from the University of Oregon in 2006. He served as an adjunct professor of calculus, physics and astronomy at various institutions around the Portland metro area before becoming a senior software engineer for Nike in Beaverton, Oregon. Rauha and his wife Sarah (McCormick) ’98 live in Newberg, Oregon with their three children, Thomas, James, and Miriam.