Nobel Conference

The Nobel Conference at Gustavus Adolphus College is the only education conference in the United States to be authorized by the Nobel Foundation in Stockholm, Sweden. Core endowment funding for the conference was permanently secured through the generosity of the late Adeline and the Rev. Drell Bernhardson. The Nobel Conference is also supported by major legacy gifts and annual contributors.

In 2008, the Reverend Drell and Adeline Dekko Bernhardson began the process of funding the core endowment for the Nobel Conference. The Bernhardson's recognized and celebrated the historic relationship between the Nobel Foundation in Stockholm, Sweden and Gustavus Adolphus College. By establishing this endowment, they have secured the core funding for the success of the Conference and established a platform on which the conference can expand its reach and impact. 

The Bernhardson family has deep roots at Gustavus, dating back to the late 1950s when the Rev. Drell Bernhardson, along with many other local Augustana Lutheran Pastors in Minnesota, raised money for the building of Christ Chapel. 

The Bernhardsons, parents of four Gustavus alumni, have a long history of generosity toward the College. In the late 1950s Reverend Bernhardson was among those who led efforts to raise funds to build Christ Chapel.

In addition to their support of the Nobel Conference, in 1996 a major gift helped to establish the first fully endowed chair at Gustavus, the Bernhardson Chair in Lutheran Studies, the first of its kind, which has now been emulated by several of our Lutheran collegiate institutions. They also gave to to endow the Kendall Center for Engaged Learning with its emphasis on student and faculty scholarship, learning, and research and the Department of Education Department. Other gifts made by the Bernhardsons have supported the Christ Chapel endowment, Church Relations programs, and a scholarship fund. In 2015, a major gift was directed to the renovation of the A.H. Anderson building home of the Education Department in the Adeline (Dekko) and Carol '68 Bernhardson Education Center.

In 1997 the college recognized them with the Greater Gustavus Award – the highest honor given by the Alumni Association to those “who by deed, have notable advanced and aided Gustavus Adolphus College.” At the 2008 commencement ceremony, the college conferred on both of them the degrees Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa.

The Nobel Conference Endowment Fund also includes gifts from Russell and Rhoda Lund; the Mardag Foundation, in memory of Edgar B. Ober, and the UnitedHealth Group.

For information on sponsorship, please contact the Office of Advancement at Nobelconference@gustavus.edu  or 507-933-7520.

You may also make a direct gift to the support the Nobel Conference.

2020 Conference Sponsors
Heroic Productions