Gustavus Adolphus College alumnus Bob Peterson ’74 and his wife, Cindy, will provide funding for the expansion and renovation of the Nobel Hall of Science, which will break ground this spring, along with dedicated endowment funds that will allow the College to pursue the strongest academic students in the nation.
This $10 million commitment will push Gustavus to over $75 million raised since July 2017 in support of the Gustavus Acts Strategic Plan, the College’s 10-year vision to equip students to lead purposeful lives and to act on the great challenges of our time through an innovative liberal arts education of recognized excellence.
The gift commitment will provide a $5 million challenge fund to help raise the final gifts needed for the Nobel Hall of Science expansion and renovation project. Once the dollar-for-dollar challenge is met, a second $5 million commitment will be remitted to an endowment to support scholarships for National Merit Scholars.
“The Petersons’ generosity and vision ensure that Gustavus will continue to attract the most talented incoming students and provide them with the facilities and support they need to become professional, civic, and scientific leaders who inspire transformational change in the 21st century,” Gustavus President Rebecca M. Bergman said.
“There’s a momentum at Gustavus right now that’s exciting,” Peterson said. “I see positive things going on there every day and we’re privileged to be in a position to be a part of it.”
The first half of the gift commitment will be directed to the Nobel Hall of Science expansion and renovation project, an ambitious $70 million undertaking that will nearly double the size of the College’s laboratory science building and create a connection to Anderson Theatre to emphasize Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM) learning.
Once the Nobel challenge is met with additional funding, the second $5 million will be directed to the Robert A. Peterson Distinguished Student Scholarship Fund, which the couple established in 2014 with a separate $1 million gift.
“This generous gift further solidifies our commitment to recruiting and supporting elite students,” Vice President for Advancement Thomas W. Young ’88 said. “Between top-tier scholarship funding and facilities that will be on par with the best in the nation, Gustavus will continue to prepare bright students for success well into the future.”
“We’re pleased to help close fundraising for the Nobel Hall project, but even happier to support high-caliber academics at the College through the National Merit Scholar program,” Peterson said. “To me, the Gustavus community is built around hardworking, dedicated faculty and staff with an overwhelming sense of commitment to students. Together, we can make a difference.”
Peterson, known by most of his Gustavus friends and classmates as “Stick” due to his slim build as an 18-year old freshman, graduated from Gustavus in 1974 with degrees in economics and environmental studies. After working for two years in the College’s business office, Peterson went on to earn his MBA in accounting at the University of Southern California. He worked for several years in public accounting, private bank management, and venture capital before entering the transportation industry. Since 1991, he has served as President and CEO of Melton Truck Lines, Inc., which started with 30 rented trucks and has grown to become one of the nation’s leading flatbed trucking companies, headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Gustavus Adolphus College is a private liberal arts college in Saint Peter, Minn., that prepares 2,200 undergraduates for lives of leadership, service, and lifelong learning. Fully accredited and known for its strong science, writing, music, athletics, study-away, and service-learning programs, Gustavus hosts a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa and is internationally recognized for its annual Nobel Conference.