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Gustavus Adolphus College

Undergraduate School

Mailing Address
800 W College Ave
St Peter, Minnesota 56082
(507) 933-8000
Email address
School Information
"Gustavus Adolphus College is a highly selective, private, coeducational, residential liberal arts college affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). Founded in 1862, it has valued its Lutheran and Swedish heritages throughout its history. The college is guided by five core values: excellence, community, justice, service, and faith." The college enrolls over 2,200 students and has over 220 faculty, as well as offering 46 majors and 15 pre-professional programs. (Source:
General Information
Gustavus Adolphus College took the symbolic step of adopting a resolution in support of racial justice. The Board of Trustees unanimously passed a resolution affirming the College's commitment to “Racial Justice and Inclusion and outlined a three-year vision for work related to diversity, equity, inclusion, and antiracist efforts”. See developments below:

Actions Taken

Admissions Policies
  • The Office of Admission at Gustavus "works to recruit a diverse class of incoming students each year believing that our community and the learning on campus is strengthened through different perspectives and cultures."
  • On June 9, 2023, the college's President issued a statement in anticipation of the Supreme Court's ruling on affirmative action which reads in part as follows: "As we await this outcome, I want to reaffirm to the entire Gustavus community that the College remains committed to expanding our diversity and being accessible and welcoming to all students, regardless of background...We admit and support students from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds not only as a moral duty, but because it’s a vital element of a first-rate liberal arts education...Although this decision may alter some admission and enrollment processes, I’m confident we have the necessary ingenuity and resilience to fulfill our mission and promote and defend diversity, whatever the new laws may be."
Anti-Racism, Bias, and Diversity Training
  • One of the college's student organizations, Building Bridges, "focuses on educating and informing community members on issues relating to social justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion." Each year the organization holds a conference which "aims to educate the community through keynote speakers, a series of workshops and other interactive elements" on social justice issues.
  • The college published its "Racial Justice and Inclusion" 2020-2023 Planning Document which states that it would "educate all College employees, students, and trustees about Racial Justice and Inclusion by May 31, 2021, and create a plan for ongoing antiracism learning and development by May 31, 2022." The documents also states that the college would "enact changes to Gustavus policies and practices to ensure the advancement of Racial Justice and Inclusion by May 2023."
Curriculum Changes and Requirements
  • The History Department committed to an, "Intentional focus on examining our curriculum and syllabi for ways we can improve topics, readings, content, and assignments with anti-racism in mind."
  • The History Department said that, in 2011, the "new history major curriculum required all majors to take a course that emphasized social constructions of race, class, and/or gender."
Disciplinary Measures
  • The college has a "Bias Response Team" and links to its online reporting form.
  • A speaker during the 2022 MLK Jr. Day programming brought " critical historical perspectives to anti-racism interventions in science, medicine, and public health" and "contributed to institutional efforts to diversify STEM, including anti-racist pedagogy and curricula."
  • The library offers a "Black Lives Matter" resource guide.
  • One of the "areas of expertise" for Gustavus Faculty member Jaren Crist is Critical Race Theory.
  • The college provides an extensive resource list on the topics of diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging which includes: "New York Times – 26 Mini-Films for Exploring Race, Bias and Identity with Students," "Learning for Justice," and the "How to Be An Antiracist - discussion guide."
  • The Diversity Leadership Council at Gustavus is a "collection of over 20 student organizations and 7 executive members that advocate for on-campus diversity initiatives by abiding to our core values of community, equity, transparency, and intersectionality."
  • One of the functions of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee is to "support faculty activities around teaching, professional development, and service that contributes to diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging in the academic program in coordination with the Kendall Center."
  • On October 8, 2020, the college's Board of Trustees published its "Resolution on Racial Justice and Inclusion," which states "the Board of Trustees affirms that a liberal arts education of recognized excellence should include diverse voices and viewpoints, and that in order to offer such an education, a college must take concerted steps to include voices and viewpoints otherwise missing from consideration, including, and in particular, those held by people from marginalized communities."
  • The college's 2023-2024 Academic Bulletin includes a course titled "Race and Space in the US" which is described as follows: "Geography plays a crucial role in reproducing unequal racial relations in the U.S.. [sic] Geography, too, is fundamental in the fight toward racial justice in the U.S. This course explores the various ways in which struggles over space and place—such as access to affordable housing and public space, suburbanization, border control, and urban policing, among other topics— reveal the contested meanings and effects of race and racism in the United States. Drawing on historical and contemporary examples, the course also explores the geographies of anti-racist struggles to reflect on the possibilities of a racially just and equal U.S. society."
  • The college's 2023-2024 Academic Bulletin includes a course titled "Human Relations in Education" which is described as follows: "This course examines theories and strategies for teaching in racially and culturally diverse classrooms. Topics include the experiences of diverse social and cultural groups in education; the impact of racism, sexism, and other forms of oppression on educational pedagogy and institutions; the influence of individual social identities on the teaching and learning experience; and strategies for teaching from a multicultural, anti-racist perspective."
Symbolic Actions
  • Board of Trustees unanimously passed a resolution affirming the College's commitment to “Racial Justice and Inclusion and outlined a three-year vision for work related to diversity, equity, inclusion, and antiracist efforts”.
  • The History Department committed to providing, "An open forum with majors and minors to hear about the kinds of events that would benefit their understanding of race, racism, white supremacy, and contemporary events."
  • On October 8, 2020, the college's Board of Trustees published its "Resolution on Racial Justice and Inclusion," which states "the current national and global movement for Racial Justice and Inclusion has increased awareness among the College’s entire community including trustees, administration, faculty, staff, students, and alumni for the need to further elevate and advance the necessary work."
Last updated May 15th, 2024
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