The Augsburg College Alumni Board is pleased to announce this year’s alumni award recipients. All awards will be presented at the Homecoming Convocation on Friday, September 27, at 10 a.m. in the Hoversten Chapel.
The First Decade Award honors Augsburg graduates of the last 10 years who have made significant progress in their professional achievements and contributions to the community, and in doing so, exemplify the mission of the College to educate students to be informed citizens, critical thinkers, and responsible leaders. This year’s first decade award will be presented to Alexa Halford ’03.
Following graduation Halford went on to receive a Masters in Astronomy and Planetary Sciences from University of Colorado at Boulder and a Ph.D. in Physics at the University of Newcastle. Shortly after completing her Ph.D. work, Halford won a highly competitive “Visiting Young Scientist” fellowship from Dartmouth College. Since then she has served as a Lecturer and Postdoctoral Researcher in Physics at Dartmouth, and is a member of the scientific team for a NASA-funded scientific balloon experiment project called BARREL (Balloon Array for RBSP Relativistic Electron Losses).
The Spirit of Augsburg Award honors alumni and friends of the College who have given exceptional service that contributes substantially to the well being of Augsburg by furthering its purposes and programs. This year’s Spirit of Augsburg Awards will be presented to Alfred Reesnes ’58 and Alan Rice.
Reesnes taught high school music in Minnesota for 33 years, developing fine choirs noted for high quality performance and literature. He was a charter member of the Augsburg Centennial Singers and assistant director from 1993-2001. For the past 12 years he has served as the director for the group.
Rice, an Olympic athlete and Olympic coach, is one of the most respected and honored men in US Greco-Roman wrestling and a member of the US Wrestling Hall of Fame. He has been a long-time friend of the College and supporter of the Augsburg Wrestling program. Through his generocity, the Alan and Gloria Rice Wrestling Center, a world class wrestling room, is one of the centerpieces of the Kennedy Center.
The Distinguished Alumni Award honors Augsburg College alumni in recognition for significant achievement in their vocation, for outstanding contribution to church and community, and for a life that exemplifies the ideals and mission of Augsburg College. This year’s Distinguished Alumni Awards will be presented to H. Theodore Grindal ’76, Clayton McNeff ’91, and Roselyn Nordaune ’77.
Grindal, former member and chair of the Augsburg College Board of Regents, is a partner in the Minneapolis law firm of Lockridge Grindal Nauen P.L.L.P. He has been recognized as one of the top eight lobbyists in Minnesota by the Star Tribune newspaper and more recently, an article in City Pages named him “One of the 10 Most Influential Lobbyists in Minnesota.”
McNeff is vice president of research at SarTec, Ever Cat Fuels LLC, Mcgyan Biodiesel LLC, McNeff Research Consultants and ZirChrom Separations in Anoka, Minnesota. He is widely known as the co-creator of the “Mcgyan” process for using non-food sources, such as algae, to produce biodiesel.
Nordaune, founder of Nordaune & Friesen law firm, is recognized in the broader community for her work in family law. She is a former member of the Augsburg College Board of Regents and has been instrumental in the Augsburg Women Engaged program dedicated to engaging Augsburg alumnae in the philanthropic priorities of the College.