Grace Dyrud Honored by Alumni & Faculty

Grace smallerEarly in life, Grace Dyrud tested seven standard deviations above the mean on a measure of endurance, she joked at her retirement reception in May. Dyrud began teaching in the psychology department at Augsburg in 1962, and in more than five decades at Augsburg she exemplified not only endurance but a deep commitment to her students. Her areas of research include gambling risk and attitudes toward the environment.

At the reception, attended by psychology faculty and alumni from every decade of her career, Dyrud thanked Keith, her husband of 49 years, as well as her children, students, and colleagues. All six of her children are Auggies. Lars Dyrud ’97 and Lara (Dyrud) MacLean ’90—a music major who played the violin at the reception—were in attendance and shared words of support and admiration for her long career. Alumni stood to thank Dyrud for encouraging their path to vocation, speaking truth to power, and supporting feminism at a time when it was unpopular.

Neil PaulsonNeil Paulson ’77, a psychology graduate, initiated an effort to honor Dyrud on her retirement from Augsburg with a scholarship for a female psychology student.

“I remember Dr. Dyrud as a caring instructor who was always willing to talk with her students. For many of her 52 years at Augsburg, she led the psychology department as chair. Through her published research, we have a better understanding of addictions like gambling. Dr. Dyrud represents what was and is still today special about Augsburg—student-centered faculty who excel in their field,” Paulson says.

To date, the scholarship has received $6,000 toward the $25,000 goal. Continue reading “Grace Dyrud Honored by Alumni & Faculty”

Record-Breaking Year in Grant Seeking

Dr. David Hanson
Dr. David Hanson, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, has mentored 19 undergraduate student researchers and serves as an investigator on three active research studies.

On May 21, faculty and staff gathered to celebrate a record-breaking year in grant seeking at Augsburg.

At Augsburg, grants are used to support faculty-led research, scholarship, and inquiry; enhance and extend student learning, inside the classroom and out; and support a number of programs on campus and in our community.

In fiscal year 2015, Augsburg submitted 29 new  proposals for funding. This is five more than what was submitted in FY2014, and almost double what was submitted in FY2013. These proposals originated from 12 different departments on campus.

At the close of the fiscal year on May 31, Augsburg had received 13 new grant awards totaling $2,075,009, up from $1.6MM the previous year. The College maintained 48 active grants, 10 more than last year.

  • 18 of these projects support student learning or provide supportive services
  • 20 of these projects provide paid learning experiences, such as research or internships, to undergraduate students.

In total, it is estimated that these grants touch approximately 350 students each year.

Dr. David Hanson, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, reflected on how grants have supported his research and provided opportunities for his students to learn in his laboratory. Dr. Hanson’s current research on particle formation is important for urban air quality and global climate issues. Dr. Hanson has mentored 19 undergraduate student researchers and serves as an investigator on three active research studies—two funded by the National Science Foundation and one by the Department of Energy.

15 Give to the Max Secrets You Can’t Give Without

Give to the Max logo 2014November 13 is nearly here, and it’s already time to schedule your gift for Give to the Max Day. Let’s repeat last year’s outstanding effort, in which 837 Auggies gave $313,639 in just 24 hours—more than any other Minnesota college and university. We’re going to see this success again.

In honor of what’s going to be another great day in Auggie history, we are counting down the 15 Reasons to Give to the Max on November 13. We’re looking to reach 1,001 Auggies this year. Every gift counts! Why are you Giving to the Max for Augsburg?

  1. Give … in honor of an Auggie you love … an Auggie who was there for you,Student Support
  2. A professor who saw a little something more,5892309503_0242efc5f9_z
  1. A team that made you believe.volleyball
  1. The school that was there for you is there for 3,500+ students today. It is part of their work here on campus to give back.Bonner

Continue reading “15 Give to the Max Secrets You Can’t Give Without”

Honors NOW Newsletter

Honors students Elise Hitchings ’16 and Mary Klecker ’16 are excited to share with you the first edition of Augsburg’s new Honors newsletter, “Honors Now.” Designed and written by current Honors students, the newsletter will provide news of the current Honors Program, with the twofold intent of staying in touch with Auggie Honors alumni, and connecting with prospective Honors students.

Winter 2014 NOW

Physics Department Update, June 2013

Dear Physics Alumni and Friends of the Department,

Greetings from Augsburg College where we are once again starting our summer research programs. On behalf of the Physics Department at Augsburg I’m writing to share news about our students, alumni involvement and important changes underway. As an Augsburg alum and member of the faculty, I believe it is especially important to keep you informed and connected to our department.

Physics Graduates 2013

Last month we graduated a group of nine Physics Majors. The department has grown steadily to one of the strongest undergraduate Physics Departments in the region. Our reputation grows with the success of our alumni. Thank you for helping us attract students and support their efforts.

I have three areas to which I’d like to draw your attention:

A stronger physics program requires a stronger network of alumni

We would like to expand the amount and the ways that you, our valued alumni, are involved in the physics program and with our students. To help us explore new opportunities we have developed a short online survey. Please take a few minutes and let us know how and how much you would like to be involved.

Center for Science, Business and Religion Fundraising Challenge

Alumni have been supportive this year and we want you to know how much we appreciate it! Over 50 alumni from our department returned to campus for the annual Sverdrup Lecture. The next day we hosted a “Physics Alumni Summit” for Physics majors interested in learning more about the Center for Science, Business and Religion.

Physics Alumni Summit

One outcome of the Physics Alumni Summit is a challenge gift to name the new Intro to Physics Labratory in honor of Ted Hanwick. Our goal is to raise $500,000 and so far we are at $265,000 thanks in large part to Dan Anderson ’65 who made the first gift to this effort. Add your name to the plaque that will go outside this room by making a gift online or by contacting Vice President for Advancement Heather Riddle at or 612-330-1177 (or feel free to contact me). You may also want to attend one of the future Alumni Summits (register here) to see the difference this new academic building will make for all of our students.

Big changes in the department!

This will be a year of meaningful transitions for our department because both Mark Engebretson and Jeff Johnson will be retiring. As we enter a new era for Physics at Augsburg, Ben Stottrup has moved into the role of Department Chair. We are looking for help in planning appropriately extravagant celebrations of Jeff and Mark’s outstanding years of service! Please email me if you would like to be involved.

The summer is an especially good time to visit campus. We have a strong group of roughly 20 students conducting research in the space physics and biophysics labs. They would welcome the opportunity to meet you and talk about their work.

If you are going to be on campus, please let us know. It would be a pleasure to visit in person and we welcome your engagement, input and advice.

I look forward to sharing more updates later this summer. Thank you for staying in touch.


David Murr ’92

Associate Professor of Physics