Purpose and History

Lindau Symposium

With generous funding from Phil and Nancy Lindau and the Lindau family, Gustavus Adolphus College has established the Lindau Endowed Symposium.   The goal of the Symposium is to encourage dialogue among Gustavus faculty, staff and students and to promote broad-based intellectual rigor and appreciation of all viewpoints in order to cultivate a campus-wide respect for civil discourse for future generations.  The Symposium will ensure that Gustavus students are given the opportunity to examine the pressing issues of the day from a variety of viewpoints and that a conservative voice will always be represented and heard on the Gustavus campus. 

Liberal arts colleges are a microcosm of the entire marketplace of ideas, and those ideas must be clearly articulated and debated. Often, more liberal social, philosophical, economical and theological viewpoints create an environment on campuses today that is less tolerant and civil toward conservative values and views.  Thoughtful evaluation of competing world views is a critical component of a liberal arts education, leading students and those involved in campus life to assess the value of ideas based on merit rather than on prevailing public opinion.  Presenting and discussing intellectual and philosophical differences is crucial to any institution pursuing the ideals of a liberal arts education, and is a critical component in preparing college students to be engaged, thoughtful leaders in a civil society. 

The Lindau Endowed Symposium will not only support the College’s core values of excellence, community, and justice, but ensure the free flow of ideas and open dialogue on the campus.

History of Lindau symposium speakers


Phil Lindau

Phil Lindau '58 devoted many years of his life to help ensure the future success and advancement of Gustavus. He served the College as a member of both the Alumni Association Board and the Board of Trustees, which he chaired from 1992 to 1995. Lindau also chaired the Building a Greater Gustavus Campaign following the 1998 tornado and was awarded the Greater Gustavus Award in 2003 for his commitment and generosity to the College.