Overcoming Adversity

After surviving an accident at a very young age, Pat Marcy ’72 believes he was given a second chance. Marcy was Augsburg’s first national champion in wrestling when he won the 150-pound weight class as a senior in 1972. Along with being a national champion, he was a three-time MIAC champion and twice was MIAC tournament Most Valuable Player. Marcy made the 1976 U.S. Olympic wrestling team and placed in the top 12 in three world championships. He treats every day like a miracle, but the path was not always easy.

At the end of his first year at Augsburg, he confronted his own feelings of failure and gave himself a second chance. “I just kept working,” he remembers.

He went on to win the national title in wrestling, getting closer all the while to his dream of becoming an Olympic champion.

His advisor shared with him the advice he followed and still remembers today: “Prepare, prepare, prepare.”

Murphy Square Anthology to Share Augsburg’s Literary History

Doug Green
Augsburg English professor Doug Green.

The history of an institution can be studied and celebrated from many different angles, one of which is its literary canon. Which Augsburg students and staff have been writing, about what, and when? What do these works say about its past, its character, and its evolution?

“We have been publishing Murphy Square, Augsburg’s student-run literary journal, for more than 40 years,” says English professor Doug Green, who has taken charge of the English department’s contribution to the sesquicentennial celebration. “We had been talking about putting together a collection of poetry by John Mitchell, a popular professor who died about 10 years ago. That got me thinking, and I’m not alone in this, about whether we could put something together about what literature has looked like at the College. Why not an anthology? Murphy Square represents the start of an ongoing tradition.”

A Shakespeare, literature, and creative writing professor for 28 years, Green writes poetry and creative nonfiction and has advised the annual literary journal on occasion. Like his colleagues, he has been published in it. But never has it undergone systematic review. Continue reading “Murphy Square Anthology to Share Augsburg’s Literary History”

Enemy of the People planned for sesquicentennial

102015_Darcey-Engen_0017-2When Augsburg celebrates its sesquicentennial year, Associate Professor and Theater Arts Department Chair Darcey Engen ’88 will have dual roles. She and Athletic Director Jeff Swenson ’79 will co-chair the entire celebration, from the opening gala at Homecoming 2019 to the final wrap at Homecoming 2020. She will also oversee her own department’s contribution to the festivities. Though the main events are still years away, it’s already obvious that the veteran actor and director relishes playing both parts.

“It’s not quite on the radar yet, but people are starting to get excited. And I am grateful and excited to be part of that process,” Engen says.

She and Swenson have embarked on their mission with minds wide open, first collecting research from other institutions, then, last fall, visiting each department personally. “It’s not about our personal vision, but about being expert communicators with our constituents—faculty, staff, students, friends, advisors. We’re gathering our vision as a group. And we’re just beginning,” she says.

Celebration goals are multifaceted. “We’ll be welcoming alums back, but we’ll also be instilling in current students what a special time this is, and how lucky we are to be around for this monumental event. We want to capture the essence of what that means for each department and its current students as well as former students who are now professionals in their fields. That’s the recipe people are wrestling with,” adds Engen. Continue reading “Enemy of the People planned for sesquicentennial”

Professors team with students to research and share College history

If you’re interested in the history of Augsburg College, you’re probably familiar with “From Fjord to Freeway,” a book published by long-time professor of history Carl Chrislock ’37 in 1969. The publication, which tells the story of the first 100 years of the College, is receiving renewed interest and attention as we approach the institution’s sesquicentennial in 2019.

But no history is complete. Phil Adamo, associate professor of history and director of the honors program, is authoring a new book with students to bring furtherhistory3-300x200 aspects of the impact and personality of the College to life. The project is a deeply collaborative effort, giving students opportunities to hone their skills in research and writing while producing a work for publication and being credited as contributors.

Another group of historians is making use of tools Chrislock could only have imagined in 1969—smartphone apps and the Internet—to share the broader history of Augsburg’s Cedar-Riverside neighborhood. Jacqui de Vries, professor of history and director of general education, and Kirsten Delegard, scholar in residence in the history department and creator of the Historyapolis Project, an endeavor to share the first narrative history of Minneapolis in more than 40 years that recently won the Alice Smith Prize for best public history project, are working with Anduin Wilhide, a doctoral student at the University of Minnesota, to develop a digital history tour of the area. The project will provide both a website and apps for iPhones and Android devices.

Learn more about both projects in the Fall 2015 edition of the Augsburg Now.