No matter what you want to learn about Gustavus—the tornado of 1998, the streakers that once bolted through the cafeteria or the history of diversity on campus—Gustavus A-Z probably has something to say about the subject.
Dave Kenney has compiled the highlights of Gustavus Adolphus’ 150 years of history into one glossy book. Photos, old cartoons, Market Place menus, quotes from old Gustavian Weeklys… all are in Gustavus A-Z, now available in the Book Mark.
Some of the facts are interesting. For instance, did you know that both the Beach Boys and John Denver performed here during the ’70s? Others are plain weird, like when during commencement in 1971, a graduate handed President Frank Barth a live duck!
Some of the quotes about the old Market Place food suggest a little (well, maybe a lot) of discontent with the quality.
“This weekend when our parents are here [for Parents’ Weekend], the food will probably be quite good so that our parents will say ‘I think this food is good. How can you kids complain so much?’ A good answer to this question is to tell them to make a surprise visit for the Friday evening meal.”
First-years, be thankful it isn’t 1950 anymore. Back then, first-years had to wear green beanies all the time (yes, even in the shower) and do whatever upperclassmen told them to—or face trial by kangaroo court. That’s been replaced by Gustie Greeters, who are here to help.
Gustavus A-Z follows an alphabetical scheme—something rather obvious from the title—with entries like L (landmarks) and I (idealism).
Scattered in between quotes, facts, photos, cartoons and historical objects are blocks of introductory text that provide background for the entries. The quotes and facts are varied and interesting, the cartoons and photos are funny and illuminating, while the text explains the history of different facets of Gustavus.
Overall, I really enjoyed reading Gustavus A-Z. It was well-organized and the layout was varied without being cluttered. It was really interesting to learn about Gustavus history, and the cartoons and quotes brought that history to life vividly.