Get to Know a Gustie: Hubert Ngabirano ’18 Posted on April 22nd, 2019 by

Current Company/Organization: Treehouse (Chaska, MN)

Job Title: Youth Outreach Associate

Grad Year: 2018

Major: Political Science

Hometown: Bujumbura, Burundi

Current City: Saint Louis Park, MN

What is your first Gustavus memory?

My first memory was receiving an e-mail about Gustavus in December 2013 and marveling at the idea that I could one day attend such a prestigious institution.

What was your favorite class and/or professor and why?  

Organizational Behavior is always my instant response. It was taught at the time by Kathi Tunheim, who is a phenomenal mentor. Taking the class lit up a passion in me for the business world and intentional relationships with others. While I was taking the class, I switched majors from Chemistry to Political Science. The class was a game changer for me. 

In my Political Science major, I remember taking the class of International Relations and feeling the excitement of an international perspective on political matters and an exceptional energy to the classroom brought by the one and only Richard Leitch. Leitch was not only my academic advisor but also a mentor in many other areas of my life. I’m still in touch with him and I know our relationship is one of a lifetime.

What do you miss most about your time as a student?

The convenient accessibility and proximity to my college friends.

What brought you to campus the last time you visited?  

Taxes. Jeff Anderson, in the International Student Office, has assisted me (along with others) in filing for taxes as an international student and he is excellent at what he does. He made my journey at GAC smooth. But, I’ve been on campus many other times. It’s just one hour away. I have no excuse for not visiting.

How has your Gustavus experience most impacted your life beyond the Hill? 

Two big things that come to mind are critical thinking and intentional relationships.

Being in “the real world” now, I haven’t lost the critical thinking that a liberal arts education like Gustavus’s provides. I see it when I’m analyzing phenomena in the culture and chatting with friends about it. Whenever I’m reading my Bible or reading other books, I pause to ponder and it makes my intellectual experience more thrilling and sharpened than if I was taking everything at face value.

The proximity to my classmates allowed me to grow my relationships on the hill quickly and the intentional nature I learned through that continues to flow in maintaining those relationships. That means sending a text to check in with a friend, putting a coffee date on the calendar, asking hard and loving questions, or inviting them to an event. Though the spatial proximity is not like before, the proximity of hearts remains and that is priceless.

As time passes, I discover continuously that I’m part of a community of people who care about their alma mater. A community of Gusties who don’t forget each other after graduation but instead keep cultivating those relationships. I would even say that I’m closer to some friends now that I barely knew on campus. This excitement is easily transmitted to those I tell about Gustavus. My sister will be attending this fall as a first year and I’m thankful that she gets to share in this Gustavus joy with me and thousands of other alumni.


One Comment

  1. Wayne Swenson says:

    SO exciting to read about your great experiences at GAC … and SO happy you are now at TreeHouse! Go Gusties!