Recognized for Excellence

Posted on September 1st, 2009 by

Being named a 'Best National Liberal Arts College' by U.S. News and World Report, is one of several accolades Gustavus has received in recent months. (Photo by Tom Roster)

Being named a 'Best National Liberal Arts College' by U.S. News and World Report, is one of several accolades Gustavus has received in recent months. (Photo by Tom Roster)

Excellence is one of five core values at Gustavus Adolphus College. It is a value that is lived but also recognized by others, including those who annually rank colleges and universities for college guidebooks and magazine or website features. In August, the College was recognized for excellence in several areas by some well-known annual college rankings.

Most notably, Gustavus was named a “Best National Liberal Arts College” by U.S. News and World Report. Gustavus was once again among the top 100 liberal arts colleges in the nation for overall quality.

By definition, Gustavus is categorized as a National Liberal Arts College because it emphasizes undergraduate education and awards its degrees in the liberal arts fields of study. Liberal arts, by the way, has nothing to do with politics—even in a presidential election year. It has to do with a curriculum that requires students to take a variety of courses that includes a mixture of the arts and sciences. Gustavus awards only bachelor of arts degrees as opposed to bachelor of science degrees, which are more specialized.

“We are pleased that Gustavus Adolphus College is ranked among the best liberal arts colleges in the nation,” said Gustavus President Jack R. Ohle. “We strive to sustain and build an undergraduate program of recognized academic excellence and we seek to prepare our students for lives of leadership and service.

Gustavus was also one of 368 top schools in the nation, according to The Princeton Review in its annual guidebook of best colleges. In this ranking Gustavus was also recognized for excellent food. Gustavus ranked 10th on the best food list—an especially impressive feat as the placement was based on input from students. Gustavus operates its own dining service at a time when schools are increasingly outsourcing their food services to vendors.

“The food here is really wonderful,” said Gustavus student Jake Seamans. “There is a variety of options and there are new items each day. There’s always something for everyone.”

Furthermore, in a new Princeton Review category, Gustavus received high marks for its green initiatives by being named among the list of environmentally conscious schools in Minnesota. Gustavus was also named as having an exemplary program in the National Wildlife Federation’s 2008 Report Card on Sustainability in U.S. Higher Education. This report card was also released in August.

There’s still more. In yet another ranking released in August, ranked Gustavus in the top 20 percent of its America’s Best Colleges for 2008. The new ranking included 569 undergraduate institutions that were selected based on the quality of the education provided and how much their students achieved. This new ranking also placed Gustavus on a list called “30 Surprises,” which included prestigious schools such as Cornell University and Duke University.

“When put together these rankings it attempted to put itself in a student’s shoes,” said President Ohle. “Gustavus prides itself on delivering a positive college experience to its students and that is reflected in these rankings. Students come to Gustavus Adolphus College because of our outstanding faculty and high-quality programs. We continually strive to provide our students with the best overall experience that they expect and deserve—from academics to student life,” Ohle said.


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