Get Fit with Auggie Alumni

Auggie Pride fieldMark your calendars for the next great alumni event! On August 6, Auggies Get Fit is a great chance to shape up and explore a new fitness routine, or just get together for a good time with fellow alumni on Nelson Field.

The Young Alumni Council is calling all Auggies to get fit with Augsburg alumni on Saturday, August 6on campus. If you have not yet registered for Auggies Get Fit, it’s not too late! The first 15 to register get an Auggie collapsible water bottle.

We will be taking over Edor Nelson Field with a morning of yoga followed by a CrossFit-inspired boot camp. Yoga begins at 9 a.m. and will be led by Auggie alumna Jill Watson ’10 MBA. Boot camp begins at 10:30 a.m., led by Auggie grads Tyler Reiter ’10 and Dane Bates ’11. Come to one or both sessions. All levels of fitness and experience are welcome!

What: Auggies … Get Fit!
When: Saturday, August 6, 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.
Where: Edor Nelson Field, Augsburg campus
Cost: $15, all proceeds support the Augsburg Athletic Fund

Register now at the Alumni Events page.

Homecoming registration is now open

Homecoming planning is underway for a full weekend of activities on Sept. 22-24, 2016. The Alumni Association looks forward to hosting reunions for the classes of 1966, 1976, 1991, and 2006. If you’re a member of a reunion class, and you’d like to be involved as a reunion leader, you can help coordinate plans and activities for your class. Join your reunion committee by contacting alumni director Katie Koch ’01 at

New events this year increase the fun for everyone, including a host of themed Auggie Talks. Join us for 30-45 minute insightful sessions presented by professors and fellow alumni on topics spearheaded by class reunion groups. Check out the full schedule of events.

In addition, look forward to celebrating the awesome Auggies being honored at Homecoming this year:
•  Karim El-Hibri and Kyle Loven ’06 will receive the First Decade Award.

•  Norm & Evangeline Hagfors and Dr. Robert (Bob) Stacke ‘71 will receive the The Spirit of Augsburg Award.

•  Ron Nelson ’68, Lee Roper-Batker ‘88, and Dr. Ray Yip ’72 will receive the Distinguished Alumni Award.

Register now

Financial Update for Parents

The Fall 2016 billing statements were electronically sent to all registered students on July 7. To ensure that all financial aid has been applied for, and correct amounts are owed, please make sure your student has turned in all necessary documents to the Student Financial Services Office. Students can see what documents are missing, and their financial aid award letter once it is finalized, by logging into their Augnet account and clicking on ‘Records and Registration’ and then ‘Track My Financial Aid.’

Students are encouraged to give parents/guardians access to view their billing statements. Students must log in to and select ‘Make a Payment/Account Activity’ on the right hand menu. Click ‘View your online student account’ and follow the instructions under ‘Parent/Third Party Access Instructions – Make a Payment.’

All students are eligible to enroll in Augsburg’s Online Payment Plan; enrollment opened on July 7. Students must log in to and select ‘Make a Payment/Account Activity’ on the right hand menu. Click ‘Payment Plans and Discounts’ and follow the instructions under ‘Augsburg Online Payment Plan.’ To ensure 5 monthly payments, the application must be completed by July 26.

Students must have completed the online ‘Information Release’ form in order for our office to communicate with anyone besides themselves. The student must log into their Augnet Account at or and click on ‘Records and Registration.’ Under ‘Information Release’ they need to ‘Add an Authorization.’ They will enter the full name and email address of the party/parties they are giving permission for future communication. Next, select ‘Financial Aid/Finances Release’ and then click ‘Save.’ Please note that we will be unable to speak with any parent/guardian that has not been authorized by the student.

Rochester Alumni Gathering is July 17

Rochester Auggies are EverywhereCalling all Rochester Auggies!
Please join us on Sunday, July 17, from 4-6 p.m. for a first-ever alumni family picnic in Rochester with hot dogs, hamburgers, fix-ins and sides at Soldiers Field Park. We’ve rented a shelter—please bring lawn chairs and lawn games to enjoy! The gathering is free, but please register all guests so we can plan appropriately for food. Hosted by Alumni Relations, the Alumni Board, and Rochester campus staff.

Auggies Win at the Twins

Auggie Night at the Twins was a rousing success on June 22. Tickets in the Auggie block above home plate sold out for the event jointly sponsored by the Augsburg Alumni Board and Young Alumni Council.

The annual night out at the ballpark began with a pre-game reception at the nearby Kieran’s, with a short program hosted by Nick Rathmann ’03 and featuring Robert Grace ’98, who operates Be Graceful Bakery, with a concession booth at TCF Bank, Target Field, and the new US Bank Stadium. Then 75 Auggies watched the Minnesota Twins take on the Phillies and WIN. Special thanks to Nik Linde ’15 for taking the photos.

Measured Impact

Frank Grazzini ’96.

Growing up with an entrepreneurial father planted the seed in his mind that running his own business could make a lot of sense—and was doable. But the idea really took root in his adult life, when Frank Grazzini ’96 realized, after 12 years of working for larger corporations, that this work wasn’t a very good fit for him. He’d much rather create something new than fine-tune an existing structure. So he switched gears. In fact, starting a new business seems to have become a way of life for him, and he sees himself as a serial entrepreneur of sorts. He is now involved in his fourth early-stage business (his third technology start-up), with the potential to scale into a much larger business. The down side? He’d much rather start a new remodeling project than mow the grass!

At Prevent Biometrics, his latest venture, Grazzini is working with two other co-founders and the Cleveland Clinic to commercialize a groundbreaking technology to monitor and measure the force of head impacts to athletes (both male and female) in sports such as football, lacrosse, hockey, and soccer. He says that if a concussion is treated early, it usually results in a full recovery; if not, there is a much greater risk the athlete will suffer permanent neurological damage, even CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) or Second Impact Syndrome, which can cause death.

In spite of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s estimate that over half of all sports-related concussions in the U.S. (approximately 3.8 million each year) are never identified, response has been slow. But now, there finally seems to be a growing awareness that the problem must be taken seriously, as indicated by laws in all 50 states, as well as recent statements by professional sports league representatives. Though some would make the case for ending football altogether (most notably, Dr. Bennet Omalu, whose exposure of the widespread consequences of NFL injuries was dramatized in the recent film, Concussion), Grazzini believes that better monitoring of injuries, plus a few changes to the rules, would likely be sufficient to keep football a healthy sport for kids.

PreventBio graphicPrevent’s head-impact monitor, currently being tested by athletes, has been in development for six years and is expected to be officially released for sale in December 2016, though various inquiries to the company have already been made by researchers in the military and the NCAA for earlier sales. Continue reading “Measured Impact”

Why Travel with Auggies?

Thailand-WebDan Cherryhomes, class of ’73, and his wife, Pat, saw promotional material for the Augsburg trip to Thailand and Cambodia in January 2017 and decided to go to the on-campus information session.

Both Dan and Pat had thought about different ways to travel and tour in retirement, had looked at tours, but had never given serious thought to any group package.

“We had  the opportunity to try out the idea in an orientation meeting with some of the people with whom we would likely travel. It was not so surprising to us that as part of the extended Augsburg family, we share the same values and hopes for the trip as a number of the participants. When we met the hosts, English professor Kathy Swanson, and her husband, Jack, we also learned they had spent time as Peace Corps volunteers in Thailand.”

Dan’s parents were missionaries, and he spent his first four years in Thailand. Jack talked with Dan about where he had lived and offered that they could make a brief side-trip one day in Bangkok to the place where Dan had lived.

Dan Cherryhomes '73 in Prague, 2014.
Dan Cherryhomes ’73 in Prague, 2014.

“This was something we didn’t expect  in a group tour—the willingness of our host to help make the experience more personally meaningful to us. We left the orientation and decided that the trip was not only something worthwhile, but that this was the best opportunity we would ever have to travel with people willing to share a similar experience.”

Tour host Kathy Swanson promises a trip that will be Uniquely Augsburg. Travelers will visit sites that appear on most trips to Thailand and Cambodia: the temples, the Grand Palace, the night markets, the floating market, Angkor Wat. The tour will, however, also include items that are uniquely Augsburg such as a visit to an orphanage for Hill Tribe children, Augsburg guides who know the country well and speak some Thai, and a group of travelers who share a common background and interest in being citizens of the world.
Swanson and her husband are already looking forward to the trip. “With all of our trips to Thailand, we most enjoy sharing our love and knowledge of the place with others who are interested in various cultures and new experiences. Each time, we see the familiar through the new eyes of our travelers,” she said.
Who should take this trip? “Anyone who values expanding a world view, learning about a new culture, experiencing beauty (and fun!),” said Kathy Swanson. As Mark Twain wrote:
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things can not be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.” — from Innocents Abroad

The tour is open to all and now accepting reservations—just a dozen spots remain. Find a full itinerary and more details about the Thailand/Cambodia trip here. If you have questions or wish to register, contact Katie Koch at


Alumni Teachers May Qualify for Help with Student Loans

Education_HeaderTeachers working in designated teacher shortage areas in Minnesota may now qualify for help with their student loan payments. The Minnesota Office of Higher Education (OHE) recently announced an assistance program for teachers with student loans.
The Minnesota Teacher Shortage Student Loan Repayment Program, created in 2015, is intended to encourage teachers to teach in Minnesota in designated shortage areas by providing assistance with their student loan repayments.
In general, applicants must currently:
  • Hold a teaching license issued by the licensing division in the Minnesota Department of Education on behalf of the Board of Teaching
  • Be employed by a school district to provide classroom instruction
  • Teach in a designated teacher shortage area; and
  • Have outstanding qualified educational loan debt.
Qualifying teachers who apply by June 30, 2016, may be eligible for repayment assistance of $1,000 per year, up to a total of $5,000. OHE estimates that 194 awards will be made for the 2015-2016 award year, with as many as 1,940 annual awards made through 2019.
The Teacher Shortage Student Loan Repayment Program application is online here.
Please share this information with interested friends or colleagues. For more information, contact Sandy Connolly at 651-259-3902 or by email at

Financial Aid Update for Parents

The 2016-2017 financial aid awards are now being processed. Please make sure your student has completed the 2016-2017 FAFSA and turned in all necessary documents to the Student Financial Services Office; the priority deadline was May 1. Students can check which documents are missing and the status of their financial aid award, by logging into their Augnet account and clicking on Records and Registration and then Track My Financial Aid. This portal shows documents that may still be missing as well as the award letter, once it is finalized.

If all documents are turned in, your student will be emailed their financial aid award letter by July 7, 2016.

Homecoming Reunion Committee Meeting on May 19

Sally HC Save dateHomecoming planning is already underway for Sept. 22-24, 2016. The Alumni Association looks forward to hosting reunions for the classes of 1966, 1976, 1991, and 2006. If you’re a member of these reunion classes, we need your help!

We want this chance to reconnect and revisit the campus to be awesome. If you would be willing to serve as a reunion leader and help coordinate plans and invite classmates, please join your reunion committee! Members of all reunion classes are gathering on campus to discuss ways we can make our reunion meaningful for all of us. We would appreciate your input and invite you to join us.

Please be assured that the time commitment for you is minimal. The Alumni Relations department takes care of a majority of the details, but we need YOUR help deciding how to celebrate this important milestone. We also need your help finding former classmates and encouraging fellow classmates to attend.

Our first meeting is Thursday, May 19, at 7 p.m. in Oren Gateway Center, room 100. Please let the Augsburg Alumni office know if you would be interested in serving on the host committee. RSVP to or 612-330-1173. If you would like to be a part of your reunion host committee, but cannot attend the first meeting, please let us know.

In addition, look forward to celebrating the awesome Auggies being honored at Homecoming this year:

•  Karim El-Hibri and Kyle Loven ’06 will receive the First Decade Award.

•  Norm & Evangeline Hagfors and Dr. Robert (Bob) Stacke ‘71 will receive the The Spirit of Augsburg Award.

•  Ron Nelson ’68,  Lee Roper-Batker ‘88, and  Dr. Ray Yip ’72 will receive the Distinguished Alumni Award.