The president of Gustavus Adolphus College plans to donate $4 million — to her own college.
President Rebecca Bergman, a former Medtronic executive, announced the “unprecedented” gift this week along with her husband, Dr. Thomas Bergman, a neurosurgeon, the college said in a news release.
She has been president of Gustavus, a private liberal-arts school in St. Peter, Minn., since 2014.
Gustavus officials say this is the first time a sitting president had made such a large donation to the school, which has 2,300 students.
The funds will be used to create an endowed professorship in neuroscience, as well as to support undergraduate research, scholarships and the acquisition of state-of-the-art scientific equipment.
“Tom and I are making this investment to build on the strong tradition of excellence that exists at Gustavus,” she said. “We believe in our students and professors and we believe in the future of Gustavus.”
Bergman said that she and her husband decided to tailor part of the gift “to some investments in science because we both have had wonderful careers in science and engineering.” Before becoming the head of Gustavus, she was a biomedical engineer at Medtronic for 26 years.
Her husband is chief of neurosurgery at Hennepin County Medical Center. The couple, whose daughter is a student at Gustavus, said they plan to donate the funds over the next three years.