Service Award

Church Relations

The Dahlke brothers believe that giving one’s time in ways that help other people is often the most valuable thing that a person can give. Not only do they believe there is great value in serving others, it is where they place their hope for changing the world. Motivated by a vision to build community and care for our neighbors in need, Travis and Nathan are an inspiration to many for the way they seek to live a life of leadership and service. The recipients of the 2010 Service Award are Travis ’00 and Nathan ’02 Dahlke.

Following their graduation from Gustavus, both Travis and Nathan pursued careers in the area of information technology. While living in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area, Travis and Nathan continued to return weekends to their family’s 175-acre farm in Green Isle, MN to help with the farming. In 2009, Travis earned a master’s degree in theological studies from Bethel Seminary in St. Paul. During this time of study, Travis was inspired to combine his love of farming with his desire to bring people together to serve. The product of this combination became “Hands for Harvest.” The process began. Travis and asked their parents for one acre of farmland to grow potatoes so they could grow a harvest to give away. They recruited volunteers from their church, family members, friends and the greater community. And they formed a board of directors to lead the newly-formed nonprofit venture.

In 2009, “Hands for Harvest” volunteers worked to plant, tend and harvest more than 6 tons of potatoes to share with five different food shelves. More than 200 volunteers helped with the planting and harvesting. Travis and Nathan repeated their efforts during 2010, and this year “Hands for Harvest” netted more than 5 tons of produce, including 4 tons of potatoes and another 1,000 pounds of carrots and onions, which were donated to 8 different locations.

As they look to the future for “Hands for Harvest,” they hope to develop smaller garden locations in the Twin Cities metro area so more volunteers and local youth development programs can participate in the planting, tending and harvesting to serve even more area food shelves. Lots of volunteer hands will continue to be needed for planting, cultivating and harvesting as “Hands for Harvest” moves forward.

The Association of Congregations Service Award recognizes alumni and former students of Gustavus Adolphus College who have made distinctive commitments and contributions to the service of others.

Service Award Recipients

Year Name
1992 Rev. Thomas Neilson, '73
1993 Claire Hobart, '35
1994 Rev. James Wiberg, '61
1997 Joanna (Lundgren) Kuehn, '64
1999 Marjorie (Knudson) Olson, '42 & (the late) Robert Olson, '41
Mark W. Monson, '76 (posthumous)
2005 Jean-Paul Bigirindavyi '00
2006 Mary K. Nelson '61
2007 Ellen Ruiters '97
Donn Escher '50 (posthumous)
2008 Mary Ellen (Torsden) Kitundu '65
Dennis Lofstrom '51
2009 Susan J. Alexis '71
2010 Travis Dahlke '00
Nathan Dahlke '02
2011 The Rev. Gerald (Jerry) Hoffman '59
2013 Dr. Daniel Dewey '93