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Bergman said the question surprised her and “sat inside” her for a while. “It was not on my dream list,” she said of the job. “It is now.”
The daughter of a Lutheran pastor, she said the presidency is a “call to serve,” an opportunity to provide a liberal arts foundation and inspire students with the core Gustavus values of excellence, community, justice, service and faith, Bergman said.
Bergman has a chemical engineering degree from Princeton University and studied in a doctorate program in chemical engineering and material science at the University of Minnesota.
For Bergman, the job will be a geographic adjustment; she’ll live in St. Peter on weekdays.
Her husband, Thomas, is a Duluth native, chief of neurosurgery at Hennepin County Medical Center and part of the University of Minnesota faculty.
The couple have four children ranging in age from 21 to 28. The two younger children are at home and all are supportive, she said.
The family lives in North Oaks, where the Bergmans are able to walk out their front door and enjoy hiking, biking and skiing trails. Bergman said she enjoys bird hunting with her husband, playing Bach on the piano and reading, most recently the novel “Finn” by Jon Clinch (she said she mixes classics with modern fiction and nonfiction). Weekends mean time with family in Duluth, Pennsylvania or at the couple’s cabin north of Hinckley.
The Bergmans hunt with their black Labrador retriever, Mia. They also have two cats, Tucker and Bella.
“Everyone’s smiling in my household, and that means a lot to me,” she said of her new role.
Star Tribune staff writers Nancy Olsen and Paul Walsh contributed to this report. Rochelle Olson • 612-673-1747 @rochelleolson