Maroon & Silver Society Donor Reception: Tuesday, September 17

On Tuesday, September 17, President Paul Pribbenow and Abigail Crampton Pribbenow will host a reception honoring Maroon & Silver Society donors. The College is grateful to these generous donors who support The Augsburg Fund with $84 or more monthly, or $1,000 or more annually. It’s thanks to donors like these who help provide more than 90% of Augsburg students with financial aid, unique class offerings, and student research opportunities. Membership in the Maroon & Silver Society has grown by 11% since fiscal year 2008.

Maroon & Silver Society donors will receive an invitation to the reception in the coming weeks. For more information about joining the Maroon & Silver Society, or questions about the event, please contact Martha Truax, Director of Annual Giving, at 612-330-1652 or

Auggies Present Summer URGO Research Findings

On July 30 and 31, thirty-two Auggies participating in the College’s URGO (Undergraduate Research and Graduate Opportunity) Summer Research Program presented their initial research findings to the campus community. Each summer, these students conduct 10-week research programs led by faculty mentors, exposing them to unique research opportunities that range from medieval studies to biopsychology.

“Doing research is a fantastic opportunity that not a lot of college students get,” says Enrico Barrozo ’14, a biology major from Plymouth, MN. “Here at Augsburg, we get to do research that usually is an experience that only graduate students get….it really just opens your eyes to the possibility of things like [grad school and medical school]. It’s a good way to spend your summer.”

Check out some of the research URGO students are doing here:

2013 Alumni Award Recipients

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.

Augsburg Hosts Ninth Annual Courtland Agre Summer Science Symposium

The summer after Peter Agre ’70 received his Nobel Prize in Chemistry the first Augsburg/St.Olaf Summer Science Symposium for summer research students was held at St. Olaf College and has become an annual event alternating between schools.  Augsburg was host this year for the ninth annual symposium held on July 12, 2013 with about 130 attendees, the largest since the symposium began.   

Augsburg and St. Olaf have a shared past as the undergraduate schools emerged at the same time from  Augsburg Seminary of the old Norwegian Lutheran Synod, and in addition Dr. Courtland Agre was a pre-eminent professor first at St. Olaf and then at Augsburg.  The symposium is one more example of many ties between the schools.  Each year the symposium has a prominent alumnus of the host school as the featured speaker.  When Augsburg hosts a career panel is also featured.  Dixie Shafer and Arlin Gyberg have co-chaired from Augsburg over the years working closely with Peter Agre on the planning.

This year’s feature speaker was Dr. Paul Mueller ’84, Chair of the General Internal Medicine Department of Mayo Clinic,  whose talk was in regard to ethics in the practice of medicine.   The  career panel members were  Dr. Rachel Hendrickson Julian ’71 (psychiatry), Dr. Phil Ditmanson ’83 (radiology), Dr. Paul Reicho ’87 (emergency medicine), and Mahad Minhas ’12 who had just completed a degree in MPH at Dartmouth.

After Dr. Mueller’s talk the panel members gave brief introductions of their work and along with Dr. Mueller were in an active discussion including members of the audience. As usual students and other attendees were quite enthusiastic about the experience.

Arlin Gyberg

New Minneapolis Restaurant Opened by Auggie Couple

For Auggies Jasha Johnston ’00 and Carrie McCabe-Johnston ’02, being history and English majors turned out to be the perfect recipe for opening one of Minneapolis’ most popular new restaurants, Nightingale. Opened in October 2012, the restaurant, in the Whittier neighborhood of Minneapolis, features small plates and an extensive late-night menu.

“It’s a chef-driven restaurant focusing on high-quality, local, sustainable ingredients, trying to do interesting food, but keep the prices accessible to the community,” says Johnston, who met McCabe-Johnston during her first year at Augsburg.

“We met at Augsburg, and fell in love in Urness Tower,” said Johnston. After Augsburg, “her dad put me to work in a bar, so I bartended, using my history degree quite well behind the bar, and my sociology studies helped in that as well. My philosophy and religion minors didn’t hurt either! My liberal arts education definitely helped me throughout life.”

Nightingale is open Tuesday-Saturday from 4 pm-2am, and open for brunch on Sundays from 10 am-2pm. For more information, check out

Augsburg's Medieval Minnesota camp reveals real Middle Ages

An unusual summer camp at Augsburg College offers high schoolers a glimpse into the real Middle Ages. While most classrooms strictly prohibit weapons, the College welcomed six sword-wielding students for Medieval Minnesota, a weeklong ­summer camp. From Renaissance dance classes to medieval costuming to classes about old texts, high school students got a taste of life in the Middle Ages. Read more…

Augsburg Welcomes New VP of Enrollment William Mullen

As the College’s chief enrollment officer, William Mullen will lead a team of 30 admissions and student financial services staff in building enrollment and leveraging financial aid strategies for Augsburg’s undergraduate, adult undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs. Mullen will report to Augsburg College President Paul C. Pribbenow and will serve as a member of the President’s Cabinet.

“Augsburg is excited to have William join our leadership team and spearhead the work of attracting talented, diverse, and engaged learners who value the distinct educational experience Augsburg offers and who will be successful in their work at Augsburg and beyond,” said President Pribbenow. “William has proven experience in enrollment management, an innovative and collaborative approach to recruiting and retaining students, a strong financial aid background, and a demonstrated commitment to the community. All of these factors position him well to help us advance our mission and to support the College’s continued success in this increasingly competitive higher education environment.” Read more…


Augsburg College Offers New Graduate Program

This Summer, Augsburg College launched its new Master of Fine Arts degree. The MFA offers four genres: fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, and screenwriting. A fifth genre, playwriting, will be added in 2014. A national book prize and concentrations in publishing, teaching and translation will also begin that year.

“An Augsburg MFA leverages our distinguished faculty and the strength of our undergraduate programs while delivering things no other program in Minnesota or the surrounding states offers, including a book prize, a screenwriting track, and low-residency programming for all four of our genres,” said Augsburg College President Paul C. Pribbenow. “The program and its format show the ability of our school to meet marketplace demand and to use technology to increase accessibility and contain costs.”

The Augsburg MFA includes three 10-day summer residencies, complemented by online coursework as well as individualized mentorship semesters. During the residency, students will participate in daily workshops, readings, and mini-courses focused on literary craft, career skills in teaching, editing, publishing, book arts, advertising, translation, adaptation, and new media.

Trena Bolden Fields ’00, is returning to Augsburg to pursue an MFA degree. “I am excited about this program as it gives writers an opportunity to specialize in a genre as well as gain exposure in another genre of their choice,” said Bolden Fields. “I believe the program will give me the academic grounding I need and want as a creative writer. I look forward to connecting with other writers and being able to finish my next book!”

Learn more on the MFA admissions website.

Auggies are Helping Improve the Success Rate of Small Businesses in Minnesota!

Buffie Blesi ’90, MAL ’97 is on a mission.  For the last five years she has been coaching small businesses as an AdviCoach franchises and along the way she has learned a few things about what makes them tick and what holds them back.  And through this experience, she realized that the conversations surrounding small business were not telling the real story – that the challenges these small businesses faced were bigger than taxes, access to capital and regulation.  She also realized that millions of dollars and thousands of hours of effort were being dedicated by non-profits, government organization, chambers and the like to help them be successful, but no one was working together.

Thus was born AccelerateMN, a collaboration of businesses and community leaders committed to Come Together, Work Together and Stay Together.  AccelerateMN believes that we can significantly improve our economy and get more Minnesotans hired by concentrating on education and the commitment of each business to take small steps that lead to hiring just one person.  On August 14, Augsburg will be the host the keystone event the 2nd Annual AccelerateMN Let’s Get Growing 2013 Small Business Conference.  

This commitment to small business growth and support of Augsburg  includes her own organization.  More than half of Blesi’s team are  Auggies: Denielle Johnson ’11- Marketing and Administrative Support Coordinator, Ward C.Schendel ’74- Business Coach and Zebo Tursunova’13– intern working on AccelerateMN. They are a very diverse team engaging in our small business community by bringing together business partners, community leaders, and business owners by facilitating conversations, providing opportunities to share knowledge and ideas, and encourage small businesses to provide job opportunities. 

Come support your fellow Auggies at AccelerateMN as they continue the College’s missions of educating to “be informed citizens, thoughtful stewards, critical thinkers, and responsible leaders.”  Learn more at and get a 25% discount on tickets by using the promo code AUGGIES25.