A Message from President Ohle

Posted on December 1st, 2008 by

President Ohle delivered the following message to the Gustavus Community on December 3.

Thanksgiving break has given me an opportunity to examine how the College is doing in light of the economic uncertainty in our country. These are extraordinary times, and we must be mindful of the present global financial turmoil. I am pleased to report that Gustavus continues to be able to deal with the complex and ongoing economic realities from a position of strength and confidence.

As a private, residential, undergraduate, church-related college, Gustavus relies on a mix of revenue streams, including student tuition and fees, philanthropic support, and a modest annual distribution from our endowment earnings. Undoubtedly, some of our students will be affected by family job losses and asset declines. In the near term, we feel charitable giving and the strength of our endowment may be affected by continued Wall Street volatility.

These are some of the variables in play as we forecast cash flow for the current fiscal year and begin preparing next year’s operating budget. I am working with members of the Gustavus Board of Trustees, the President’s Cabinet, and the College’s budget committee. As good stewards, we expect to manage the adversity of our economic environment with minimal impact on the College’s core programs and constituents. We will continue to keep students at the center of all we do, upholding our core values of excellence, community, justice, service, and faith.

Meanwhile, we will continue our planning for the College’s 150-year (sesquicentennial) anniversary in 2012 and our exciting work with hundreds of Gustavus alumni, students, and friends, as we envision the College’s future through Commission Gustavus 150. The Commission will forge ahead propelled by characteristic Gustie energy and optimism.

At such times as these, we can be thankful. We are grateful for our talented and energetic students; for our Board of Trustees, our faculty, administration, and staff who have led us ably throughout the years; for our alumni and their unending love for their College; for our donors, including some who will be able to increase their support during these difficult times; and for the strength in faith that makes possible all that we do. For 146 years, the stewardship, generosity, and service of alumni and friends have defined Gustavus.

Kris and I want to thank you for welcoming us warmly into the Gustavus community. Thank you also for your creative and spirited involvement with Gustavus, and for your encouragement and prayers as we work together to ensure the College’s bright future.

With warm wishes for a Blessed Christmas and a joyful holiday season.

Jack R. Ohle
President

 

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