New Uniquely Augsburg Travel Info Sessions Added

Berlin-WebAugsburg alumni, parents, and friends of the College are all welcomed to be a part of the Uniquely Augsburg Travel programs in 2016 and beyond, including a celebration of Lutheran heritage in Germany and Prague that coincides with the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. Curious to learn more? A special information session will answer all your questions. Join Sally Daniels Herron ’79 and religion professors Mark Tranvik and Hans Wiersma on Sunday, October 11, at 2 p.m. in Oren Gateway Center (OGC) 100. This is your chance to get on board for this historic trip happening October 27-November 6, 2016. Find cost information, registration details, and a full itinerary here.

In January, 2017, English Professor Kathy Swanson and her husband, Jack, will lead an educational trip through Thailand and Cambodia, visiting Bankok, Chiang Mai, and Siem Riep along the way. Learn more at the information session scheduled for Sunday, November 8, 2015, at 2 p.m. in Oren Gateway Center (OGC) 100. Don’t miss these thoughtful and educational tours customized specifically for Augsburg alumni, parents, and friends!

To RSVP for either information session and secure your parking pass, contact Sally Daniels Herron ’79 at  For more information, visit the Uniquely Augsburg Travel page or contact Sally via email or phone at 612-330-1525.

Homecoming Convocation Honors Exceptional Auggies

Homecoming is the time to honor alumni and friends of the College who have contributed to Augsburg or who have made significant accomplishments since their graduation. This year at Homecoming Convocation at 10 a.m. in Hoversten Chapel, we honor Dan Anderson ’65, Grace Herr ’57, and Harvey Peterson ’52 with the Distinguished Alumni Award in recognition of significant achievement in vocation, for outstanding contribution to church and community, and for a life that exemplifies the ideals and mission of Augsburg College. Physics professor Mark Engebretson and longtime manager of the Centennial Singers Mike Walgren ’64 will receive the Spirit of Augsburg Award, which 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. Keme Hawkins ’05 will receive the First Decade Award, which is presented to Augsburg graduates of the past 10 years who have made significant progress in their professional achievements and contributions to the community, and in so doing exemplify the mission of the College. Continue reading

StepUP® Program Gala Recognizes Jill and Robert Thomas

Gala Web Banner_2Two leaders in the addiction recovery community will be recognized for their commitment and generosity to Augsburg College’s StepUP® program for students in addiction recovery.

Jill and Robert Thomas, residents of Tulsa, Oklahoma, will receive the Toby Piper LaBelle Award at the Augsburg College StepUP Program Gala on October 24.

Thomas familyStepUP program alumni and families are invited to a special program, brunch, and open house to begin the Day of Gratitude at 9:30 a.m.

Alumni, parents, and friends are invited to an evening of inspiration, entertainment, and fellowship at the StepUP Program Gala celebration in Si Melby Hall on the Augsburg College campus at 5:30 p.m.

Married more than 30 years, Jill and Robert Thomas are the proud parents of two daughters: Allie, age 28, and a 2014 graduate of Augsburg College and the StepUP program, and Olivia Jordan, age 26, currently serving as Miss USA 2015.

Robert Thomas co-owns Senior Star, a company that owns and operates senior living retirement communities throughout the Midwest. Jill and Robert are both graduates of the University of Tulsa, Robert with a BS degree in 1974, and Jill with a BS degree in 1977 and a JD degree in 1986.

They have both been actively involved in Alzheimer’s advocacy through the Alzheimer’s Association. Robert has served on the National Board and been the recipient of the Maureen Reagan award for outstanding Alzheimer’s advocacy in 2010. They are actively involved in several community organizations including the Mental Health Association of Oklahoma, Alzheimer’s Association, and the Tulsa Area United Way, to name a few.

The Thomas family has given significant time and resources to the College’s program, which is a leader and award-winning model for residential addiction recovery communities at campuses across the nation.

The Toby Piper LaBelle Award is given to a person or family that has consistently supported young people in recovery. It is named in honor of the first recipient, Toby Piper LaBelle ’96, for his insight and ability to advocate for the needs of recovering college students on a college campus. LaBelle was a lead advocate for students in recovery while he was a student at Augsburg College.

To attend the Gala, and to celebrate the contributions of the Thomas family, please register at

A-Club Golf Tournament Hosts a Record Number of Attendees

A great day of golf! Keith Stout, Augsburg Regent Curtis Sampson, former Augsburg College President Bill Frame, with Regent Norm Hagfors. Hagfors received a standing ovation at the Clair Strommen A-Club Golf Tournament dinner for his leadership in the Augsburg CSBR Campaign.

Keith Stout, Augsburg Regent Curtis Sampson, former Augsburg College President Bill Frame, with Regent Norm Hagfors. Hagfors received a standing ovation at the Clair Strommen A-Club Golf Tournament dinner for his leadership in the Augsburg CSBR Campaign.

A record number of 160 golfers enjoyed a great day of golf on June 29 as Augsburg held its 52nd annual Clair Strommen/A-Club Golf Tournament at Oak Glen Golf Course in Stillwater.

Auggie alumni, staff, family, and friends gathered on the course and raised more than $42,000 to support student-athletes at Augsburg.

A notable absence this year was beloved Auggie Irene Steenson, who passed away in April at the age of 102. Steenson, who received an Augsburg Athletics Distinguished Service Award in 2002, served Augsburg College for more than 40 years, and continued to be an active Augsburg supporter long into her retirement. As the proprietor of the “On the Green with Irene” fundraiser, she sat at a tee box and handed out mint candies to golfers, greeting them with her charm and smile. Any golfer who landed their tee shot on the par three green won a sleeve of golf balls. The tournament continued to honor her this year with this same contest.

2015 sponsors of the event were Gladys and Robert Strommen. Tournament sponsors included Scott Anderson, Thom Berkowitz and Butch Raymond, Bruce Brekke, Rick Colvin, Rick Ekstrand, Twin Cities Orthopedics, and Anonymous. Prize sponsors were MECA Sportswear, Lee Olson, and Butch and Linnea Raymond. Hole sponsors included ADG Promotional Products, Advanced First Aid, Inc.–Norm Okerstrom, A’viands, Anixter, BR Direct Marketing–Bart Davidson, Continuum Construction, Inc., Oliver Dahl, Gamma Group, Jane Helmke, Tom Hofflander ’57, Greg Holker, Hunt Electric Corporation, Minnesota Coaches, Dan Meyers, NRG Energy Center, Thomas Oslund and Associates, Dick Pearson, Robert Strommen, and Jane Thompson.

See more photos from the event on the Augsburg College Auggies Facebook page.

Call For Alumni Bands for Homecoming Block Party

5812179230_06e638294f_zHey Auggie bands! The Alumni Association is seeking submissions for a band to play at the Homecoming Block Party on Saturday, October 10 from 3:30-6 p.m. Bands in the past have been comprised of Augsburg alumni who play cover a variety of hits from popular eras.  If you are interested, please contact Katie Radford in Alumni Relations at or 612-330-1329.

Journey to the Holy Land with Auggies

The Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem

The Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem.

Join Auggie guides Dr. Phil Quanbeck and Dr. Ruth Johnson ’74 on a tour of the Holy Land to explore its past, present, and people. January 4-17, 2016, your hosts will guide you through a customized and comprehensive tour of the biblical places of the Older and New Testament in Israel, Palestine, and Jordan. Stay two nights in Bethlehem where, along with the biblical sites, you’ll meet and dialogue with local community leaders and learn about the ministry of the International Center of Bethlehem.

Riding a camel on the Mount of Olives in 2012.

Riding a camel on the Mount of Olives in 2012.

Visit Jordan with two nights at Petra, featuring explorations of Madaba, Mt. Nebo, the ancient city of Petra and the recently opened baptismal site on the Jordan River. Fly into Tel Aviv on Delta Airlines and stay 12 nights, enjoying the hospitality and services of a professional, licensed Christian Palestinian guide throughout Israel and Palestine and a professional, licensed Jordanian tour guide in Jordan. Continue reading

Mike Newman Receives the Augsburg College Golden Bow Tie Award

Bow TieIn April, President Pribbenow invited Mike Newman, Vice President of Community Relations at Travelers Insurance, to celebrate five years as a partner institution with the Travelers EDGE® program, Empowering Dreams for Graduation and Employment. The cocktail hour and focused program on campus highlighted key aspects of the EDGE program:

  • Increase the pipeline of underrepresented students to Augsburg
  • Help underrepresented students graduate from Augsburg
  • Build awareness of careers in the Insurance and Financial Services industries

Newman is a true champion of education, and advocates strongly for access to higher education for all students. As a surprise to Mr. Newman, President Pribbenow presented Mike Newman with the Golden Bow Tie Award, which is bestowed upon a leader within the Augsburg Community who exemplifies outstanding contributions, embodies the core values of an Augsburg education, and inspires great pride for all Auggies. The award was named, playfully, after Paul Pribbenow’s daily ritual of wearing a bow tie, a tradition he started to initiate conversation with students. Along with a certificate, Newman also received bow tie cufflinks. Continue reading