Major Gift Committee Helping Campaign Gustavus Reach Goal

Campaign Gustavus

When Gustavus announced its newest fundraising campaign and its ambitious goal of raising $150 million over the next four years, questions like “How will the College go about achieving these goals?” and “Who is working on behalf of the College to secure major gifts?” probably came to the forefront of many people’s minds.

It should come as no surprise that a College built on nurturing relationships and encouraging people to make their lives count is utilizing an influential pool of leaders to help secure the resources necessary to build a strong foundation for its future.

Made up of more than 25 members of the Gustavus community who are deeply committed to changing the philanthropic history of the College, Campaign Gustavus’s Major Gift Committee will play a central role in enabling the campaign to reach its goal.

“The committee is a super-dedicated group of people who are supportive of and loyal to Gustavus Adolphus College,” said Board of Trustees member George Hicks ’75, who is chairing the Major Gift Committee. “We all recognize that we’re at an important juncture in the College’s history, and we have a chance to take a great institution and advance it forward.”

The committee consists of five teams of four to seven people. Each has a captain and a coach. Captains include Scott Anderson ’89, Paul Batz ’85, Diane Mickelson Brady ’70, Cathy Villars Harms ’85, and Rob Linner ’74. The coaches are members of the Institutional Advancement staff who work full time as gift planners.

According to the College’s Vice President for Institutional Advancement, Tom Young ’88, who has utilized this structure for previous fundraising campaigns, it’s a great way to blend volunteer and staff expertise.

“There’s always been a lot of debate about whether campaigns should be staff-driven or volunteer-driven. I believe they can be both,” said Young. “The Major Gift Committee combines volunteer ownership and enthusiasm with support and guidance from experienced staff. It’s the best of both worlds, and I think it gives Campaign Gustavus a unique credibility.”

Each member of the Major Gift Committee has already made a significant contribution to Campaign Gustavus.

“Over the course of the next three years, this group of volunteers will be leading the College’s outreach to constituents who have historically supported Gustavus,” Hicks said. “They will be explaining the vision of Campaign Gustavus to individuals and couples who can help the campaign ultimately reach its goal and put the College on a firm foundation for its future advancement.”

The level of participation, leadership, and enthusiasm from the members of the Major Gift Committee is unprecedented at Gustavus compared to past capital campaigns. However, it does build on the past work of alumni, parents, friends, students, and faculty who all participated in Commission Gustavus 150. “The amount of time our volunteers and donors have invested in ensuring students will have the opportunity to receive a world-class education and engage with world-class faculty in a nurturing environment is certainly unique,” said Young. “By broadening the level of involvement from motivated constituents who care deeply about this institution we hope to inspire a new level of philanthropy for this campaign.”

Thanks to our volunteers on the Major Gift Committee: George Hicks ’75, Paul Batz ’85, J.C. Anderson ’82, Mark Bergman ’79, Charlie Kelley ’75, Russ Michaletz ’74, George Torrey ’55, Kathi Tunheim, Mike LaFountaine ’81, Diane Mickelson Brady ’70, John Bold ’59, Bruce Ensrud ’90, John Hallberg ’79, Kay Rethwill Moline ’56, Katie Brown Sayre ’80, Cathy Villars Harms ’85, Scott Gilyard ’83, Sandy Shaw Kerrigan ’79, Paul Koch ’87, Marcia Page ’82, Rob Linner ’74, Dennis Anderson ’74, Brad Hanson ’76, Jan Eiffert Hoomani ’62, David Jaeger ’81, Bob Peterson ’58, Mark Scharmer ’77, Scott Anderson ’89, Denise Connly Fleming ’81, Susie Björling Heim ’83, and Peter Nyhus ’60.