Becky Bergman was surrounded by blossoming college students as she celebrated her first year as President of Gustavus Adolphus College.

Becky Bergman was surrounded by blossoming college students as she celebrated her first year as President of Gustavus Adolphus College.

One of the true joys in life is watching teenagers grow into young adults in the garden of undergraduate college. It takes a rare individual to thrive as a college president…someone who enjoys digging into the fertilizer.

That’s why I’m so pleased to introduce you to Becky Bergman, the first woman president of Gustavus Adolphus College. She’s the speaker at the Good Leadership Breakfast this Friday – will you join us?

The tenure of college presidents has been in rapid decline over the past 20 years, because running a college these days is tricky business. It’s a complex web of intellectual rigor and sociological experimentation teetering on a fragile economic model. It’s the business of art, social work and innovation. Where do you find a leader who can/will thrive on that tightrope?

Becky Bergman is a voice of experience as a mother, board member, innovator and business executive.

Becky Bergman is a voice of experience as a mother, board member, innovator and business executive.

As a parent who has spent more than $100,000 sending my own kids to private college, I’m impressed with Becky Bergman as the president of Gustavus. She’s a feisty and strong-minded pastor’s daughter who has been carving her own path for decades. “I have a history of ‘being the first woman’ on my journey,” she explains. That includes college at Princeton, Chemical Engineering at the University of Minnesota, more than a dozen professional association boards, and research and technology leadership roles at Medtronic.

She wasn’t looking for a new job when Gustavus came calling. “I loved the fast pace and the constant pressure to innovate in therapy delivery at Medtronic,” she smiled. “My love for the college first grew as a parent of a Gustie student, and then as a member of the college’s Board of Directors. When the search committee called, I had this special feeling of calm and excitement that told me it was time for another ‘first’ in my life!”

“I believe this is the right growth challenge for me at this time in my life,” she added. “I understand both sides of the college equation: the rigor and empathy required to help students grow, and the fragile business equation of innovation and doing more with less. It’s exciting and the stakes are high – as society is pushing back on the costs, leaders at places like Medtronic are also calling out for more leaders with a liberal arts background.”

Goodness Pledge Spark - Goodness pays because goodness grows“I’m excited and honored to speak at the Good Leadership Breakfast because my job is all about faith and future,” she foreshadowed. “We have to work together – public and private, individuals and families – to help the leaders of tomorrow grow.”

Good leaders answer the call to make their lives count in new ways. And they embrace the delicate balance of art and economics to help others grow.

Will you please join us for breakfast this Friday?