Skip to main content

Gustav Andreen and family papers

Identifier: MSS 4

Scope and Contents

The Gustav Andreen and family papers, 1835-1964 and undated, includes presidential papers from Andreen’s time as president, correspondence, notes, degrees and awards, newspaper clippings, speeches, biographical accounts, financial records, and vital campus information. Also included are his family papers, journals and diaries, scrapbooks, genealogical papers, cards, books, and personal correspondence.


  • Creation: 1835-1964 and undated


Language of Materials

English, Swedish, French, and Greek

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on the use of this collection.

Conditions Governing Use

Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from Augustana College Special Collections and the copyright holder.

Biographical / Historical

Gustav Andreen was the fourth president of Augustana College, serving from 1901 to 1935. Andreen was born in Baileytown, Indiana, 13 March 1864, making him the first Augustana College president to be born in the United States. His parents were Rev. A. Andreen and Hilda Esping Andreen. Gustav Andreen entered Augustana College at a very young age (11 years) and graduated at the top of his class in 1881, having just turned 18. He began teaching at the college in 1882, then studied at Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kansas, and Yale University, receiving his Ph.D. in Scandinavian languages and literature in 1898. He was called to the presidency after the death of Augustana's third president, Olof Olsson, in 1900. As a graduate of Augustana and of Yale University, Andreen was the first president to be an alumnus and to have earned his university degree in America. Andreen was also the first President to be elected to Phi Beta Kappa and the first to serve more than 30 years.

Andreen was known for his affable personality (students affectionately referred to him as "Prexy") and his fundraising abilities. He was the first president to mount an organized fundraising campaign to establish a college endowment. By 1935, the endowment amounted to well over $1 million. Under Andreen, a formal geology department was created in 1929 and, with financial support from Marie Wallberg, the building of Wallberg Hall was initiated. Andreen also facilitated the creation of the Woman's Building (now Evald Hall) with the Women's Missionary Society and Emmy Evald in the 1920s. Andreen resigned the presidency in 1935 and died in 1940.

Andreen married Maria Augusta Strand (1870-1948) of Junction City, Kansas, 7 August 1890. The couple had seven children: Paul Harold (1891-1936), Marion Albert (1894-1941), Esther Miriam (1896-2001), Gustav Strand (1901-1963), Margaret Dorothy (1903-1906), Signe Marie (1904-1906), and Carl Oscar (1906-1978). In 1935, the Andreen family was featured in Ripley's Believe it or Not! for its educational attainments; four members of the family received doctorates in different fields (Gustav in Swedish language and literature, Paul in theology, Marion in medicine, and Carl in dentistry).


58.6 Cubic Feet (/ 151 boxes, 1 oversize box, and 2 oversize folders)


Gustav Andreen was the fourth president of Augustana College as well as its longest-serving president, having held office from 1901 to 1935. Andreen was the first Augustana president to be born in the United States, to have graduated from Augustana, and to serve more than 30 years. Andreen was also responsible for creating an organized fundraising campaign to establish a college endowment. During his time at Augustana, Andreen created a formal geology department, raised over $1 million for the college, and built several notable campus buildings. This collection contains papers created by Andreen and members of his family. Papers include correspondence, honorary degrees and awards, documents pertaining to the college and outside community, textbooks, biographical accounts, genealogical papers, cards, newspaper clippings, scrapbooks, dairies, and memorabilia.


Original order has been maintained. Original folder titles have been retained when possible.

Other Finding Aids

An older finding aid for this collection is available at

Custodial History

Collection originally housed as MSS 4 and MSS 4af. Collection rehoused in May 2017.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Immediate source of acquisition of most materials unknown. Daybooks, translation of daybook, and psalm book received from Greta and Paul Fryxell on behalf of Esther Andreen Albrecht, August 2005. 1921 Seminary building and endowment fund scrapbook received from Jeff Jenson on behalf of Gustavus Adolphus College, December 2014. Top hat received from Joan Fryxell, September 2022.

Related Materials

MSS 80 Esther Andreen Albrecht papers and printing plates

Processing Information

Processed by Elena Leith, May 2017. Updated by Micaela Terronez, 2022.

Gustav Andreen and family papers, 1835-1964 and undated
Elena Leith
April 2017
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Augustana College Special Collections Repository

639 38th Street
Thomas Tredway Library
Rock Island Illinois 61201 United States