GACAC Awards

The Covenant Award

The Gustavus Adolphus College Association of Congregations recognizes individuals "who have made distinctive contributions which have strengthened the partnership between Gustavus Adolphus College and member congregations of the Association." The Association, through this award, celebrates the efforts of individuals, on-campus and off-campus, who creatively encourage this partnership.

Covenant Award recipients

  • Ervin Gerber (2017)
  • The Rev. John D. Hogenson-Rutford (2016)
  • Katherine (Katie) Brown Sayre '80 (2015)
  • The Rev. Wayne B. Peterson '77 (2014)
  • The Rev. Craig E. Johnson '69 (2013)
  • Marie Schafer Benson '53 (2012)
  • Bishop Jon V. Anderson (2011)
  • The Rev. Terry R. Morehouse (2010)
  • The Rev. Gary F. Anderson '63 (2009)
  • Dr. Paul F. Tillquist '63 (2008)
  • The Rev. Dr. Darrell Jodock (2007)
  • Jim Gilbert '61 (2006)
  • The Rev. Ronald H. Koch '61 (posthumously) (2005)
  • The Rev. Dr. Clair Johnson (2004)
  • The Rev. Dennis Johnson '60 (2003)
  • Chester O. ("Chet") Johnson (2002)
  • Barb Eckman Krig '52 (2001)
  • The Rev. Paul M. Youngdahl '59 (2000)
  • Denise Floe '82 (1999)
  • Pete Levander '37 (1998)
  • Ronald S. Christenson (1997)
  • Lutheran Brotherhood (1996)
  • Shelley Reed (1995)
  • The Rev. Roger Eigenfeld (1994)
  • Florence Sponberg (1993)
  • The Rev. Robert Esbjornson '41 (1992)
  • Dr. John Kendall (1991)

The Gustavus Service Award

The Gustavus Service Award recognizes alumni and former students of Gustavus Adolphus College "who have made distinctive commitments and contributions to the service of others." The College and the Association celebrate the efforts of members of the College community who participate in service activities through volunteer work, involvement in the church, and extraordinary professional accomplishments.

Citation for Gustavus Service Award 2018

The Gustavus Adolphus College Association of Congregations Board of Directors in partnership with the Gustavus Alumni Association Board of Directors annually awards the Gustavus Service Award to recognize alumni and former students of Gustavus Adolphus College who have made distinctive commitments and contributions to the service of others.

The recipient of the 2018 Gustavus Service Award is Dr. Jean Bjorling Young ’70. 

Dr. Young is recognized for her life of Christian service to needy communities in rural Ghana through medical mission outreach. 

For more than 30 years, Dr. Young has dedicated her time, talents and resources to building a stable resource for critical medical care in rural Ghana, Africa. She currently serves as a Surgical Specialist at Saboba Medical Centre in Saboba, Ghana a position she has held since 2004. Recently the hospital was renamed the Assemblies of God Hospital, Saboba.

Located on the border between Ghana and Togo, the Saboba Hospital serves the poorest of the poor in what is a remote part of northeastern Ghana. The majority of the patients are peasant farmers who live from one harvest to the next and desperately depend upon the center for all their health care needs.

Dr. Young’s leadership has had a large impact on the Saboba Hospital and greater Saboba region. In the early 1990’s Dr. Young helped transform Saboba from a struggling health care outpost to a small district hospital, establishing in the modest space a 37 bed care facility handling 900 outpatients visits each month with an active laboratory, capable of providing blood transfusions and a regular program of surgical operations. It is incredible that such a transformation took place at all but is even more amazing to note that Dr. Young accomplished this health care transformation during a very tense period of ethnic conflict in the region. While others fled the region, Dr. Young remained.

Dr. Young was named Medical Superintendent for the Saboba Medical Centre in 2004, a position she held for more than a decade. During that period Dr. Young was the only doctor serving the greater Saboba area of rural Ghana. Thanks to Dr. Young’s leadership the Saboba Hospital is today a 100 bed care facility that serves a catchment area of about 90,000 people and provides direct care for over 30,000 outpatient visits a year with a monthly average of 40-60 major surgical cases each month.

It is not surprising to learn that in 2009 the Ghana Ministry for Women and Children named Dr. Young as the Outstanding Female Doctor of the Year. 

Dr. Young’s vision is that the Saboba Hospital will be built into a center of excellence and that every district of the northern region will have a vibrant district hospital. A woman of deep faith, her fervent prayer is that the hospital is a place of God’s praise, a place of God’s glory, a place of health, a place of help, a place of hope, a place of healing, a place of holiness, and a place of Shalom. 

Dr. Young, and her husband Bob live in rural northeastern Ghana. The biblical verse that guides their lives is Matthew 20: 28 “For the Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Service Award recipients