A Friendship to Last a Lifetime

Auggie Friendships Forever

Mike Scott ’71 admits that talking about friendship isn’t his strongest point, but he’s more than happy to acknowledge that his Augsburg friendships were the best part of his Augsburg experience. Mike and four of those Auggie friends—Larry Stewart ’72 , Tim Casey ’71, Mike Good ’71, and Bruce Santerre ’71—have maintained communication since graduation, and their friendship has survived the test of time. As a group of five, the men have put a priority on keeping in touch; they have celebrated marriages together, consoled each other in difficult times, and gotten to know each other’s children. As far as friendships go, these men share a connection so strong they consider themselves ‘almost’ family.

When Four Became Five

The five men pulling their infamous pose.

In the fall semester of 1967, the academic year was pushed back for a short period of time to accommodate the completion of Urness Tower. All non-commuting football players were accommodated in Memorial Hall until the semester started and they could be placed in permanent residence halls. It was there that Mike Scott met his very first college roommate, Larry Stewart, as well as Tim Casey and Bruce Santerre, who roomed next door. Besides playing football, the men shared another common thread; they were all from rural out-state. The four men connected as teammates, as neighbors, and by their rural upbringings—and they became friends. When the fall semester eventually started, the four were moved to Mortensen Hall where they would be living on a full-time basis. As chance would have it, on moving day Mike Scott encountered a familiar face and an old acquaintance, Mike Good. The young men had met years earlier through coincidence, when Mike Good was visiting family in Mike Scott’s hometown of Renville.  If this was not surprising enough, the men discovered that Mike Good had been assigned to be Tim Casey’s roommate. This sealed the deal; the initial group of four quickly became five and a friendship blossomed that would span the course of the rest of their lives.

Say Cheese

As the delayed academic year trickled into summer, on one lazy afternoon when they were feeling bored and desperate for entertainment, the five men, along with some fellow Mortensen Hall buddies, decided to take a hilariously posed photograph where they flexed their arm muscles or “guns.” Little did they know at the time that this photograph would be the start of a picture-taking tradition that would mark the significant times of their lives, like weddings and reunions.

Throughout college, the five either lived together, or within one house of each other. As life took them on their individual journeys, they continued to support each other and strengthen their friendship.  From babysitting one another’s children, to taking on important duties for each other (Larry is the godfather of Mike Scott’s son, Kelley), to incorporating spouses and ‘special’ friends – their friendship has never wavered.

Today, although the friends are not physically together (due mainly to career paths that led each to his own location), the group continues to share an incredibly strong bond. At the 2017 Augsburg University Homecoming in October, the five men reunited for another photograph. Although time has changed the faces in the photographs, the deep friendship of these funny freshmen who were inspired by boredom to take a silly photograph in 1968, lives on.

The four friends posing with their arms in gun (L-R Tim Casey, Mike Scott, Bruce Santerre, Larry Stewart and Mike Good)
Reunited at Homecoming 2017 (L-R Tim Casey, Mike Scott, Bruce Santerre, Larry Stewart and Mike Good)

WILD about Augsburg!

Celebrate and respect our veterans and our men and women in service by joining the Augsburg University Alumni Association for the 6th Annual Minnesota Wild Beyond The Yellow Ribbon Awareness Night at the Xcel Energy Center on Thu, Nov 2 at 7:00 p.m.!

The Wild take on the Montreal Canadiens in a game that shouldn’t be missed… tickets include a new custom designed Grunt Style T-Shirt and entry into a raffle for autographed items.

Ticket collection will take place in the lobby of the Xcel Energy Center at 6:00 p.m on Thursday, November 2. Tickets cost $40 and can be purchased at: http://www.augsburg.edu/alumni/events/

 

Join the Augsburg Alumni Board

19 members of the Augsburg Alumni BoardThe Augsburg Alumni Association is looking for volunteers to serve on the board of directors. All alumni are welcomed and encouraged to apply. The Alumni Board guides the alumni office in serving the valued alumni, families, and friends of Augsburg by providing resources and opportunities to engage alumni with the college and each other through consistent communication, inclusive programming, and intentional relationship building. All alumni are welcomed and encouraged to apply. To apply or find out more, contact Alumni Director Katie Koch ’01 at kochk@augsburg.edu.

Read more about current members of the alumni board.

16 Ways Your Give to the Max Day Gifts make Augsburg (and the World) a Better Place

With so many amazing things are happening at Augsburg, it may be helpful to have a little guidance about just how much is happening this year for the 35 Augsburg groups raising funds this year.

How can you support these initiatives? Read on! We’ve collected some examples of how your gifts this Thursday can make a huge impact in the lives of Augsburg students, faculty, and community members. Thanks for your support!

You can see all of Augsburg’s Give to the Max Day projects, and make your gifts now.

  1. Your gift to the Augsburg Fund helps ensure that Augsburg continues to provide financial aid and scholarships for more than 95% of our student body, keeping access to education for all a priority on campus. 

2. Your gift to the Augsburg Health Commons means members of our Cedar-Riverside community who are struggling to provide for their families don’t have to worry about the cold winter ahead.

3. Your gift to Augsburg Campus Kitchens helps expand and improve our campus gardens, where students and community members work together to grow healthy food and integrate green practices into our cities. Watch the video here.

4. Your gift to Augsburg’s Biology Department supports cutting-edge research on issues affecting Minnesota’s agricultural sector, including the health of soybeans. Watch the video here.

5. Your gift to Augsburg’s Chemistry Department gives students like Zach Swingen ‘16 the chance to work closely with Minnesota schools to build new curriculum that gets kids excited about science. Watch the video here.

6. Your gift to Augsburg’s Baseball and Softball teams gives our student-athletes a chance to train in Tucson, Arizona. It also gives Auggie Eagle a little break from the cold weather… watch the video here!

7. Your gift to Augsburg’s SMART group will help raise awareness and advocate for issues related to sexual violence and recovery in the Augsburg community.

8. Your gift to the Augsburg Theater Department’s Production Fellowship helps fund students of color who are exploring a career in artistic production, making the industry more representative and giving future generations of creative people new role models.

9. Your gift to Augsburg’s Peace Scholars Fund helps support the motivated, global-minded group of students who are Augsburg Peace Scholars. Watch the video here.

10. Your gift to Augsburg’s StepUP® Program creates opportunities for students in recovery to spread their message of hope and acceptance throughout the Twin Cities in speaking engagements, activities, and community events. 

11. Your gift to the Sabo Center’s Sabo Scholars continues that work that Augsburg alumnus Martin Olav Sabo ‘59 believed in and spent his life achieving—equipping young leaders to move beyond the classroom to listen, value, and support democracy in every facet of community life. 

12. Your gift to Augsburg’s Women’s Volleyball program provides our 2016 MIAC Champions with the chance to take their game abroad, as they challenge themselves against tougher opposition and experience new cultures, all while proudly representing Augsburg..

13. Your gift to Augsburg’s Minnesota Urban Debate League program gives young people across the metro area the chance to build their communication skills and confidence, giving them the tools to be successful leaders in their community.

14. Your gift to Lindell Library support an expanded collection of local, Minnesota authors and a speaker series that honors the many contributions our residents have made to the stories of art, architecture, history, literature, politics, and native and immigrant groups.

15. Your gift to any of four Augsburg projects count double. Donations to AWE for Emergence, the Peace Scholars Program, STEM, Biology, and Chemistry will be matched for every dollar, thanks to generous donors willing to help us all do more, together,

16. Your gifts help Augsburg win the Colleges and Universities category that earns the College a $10,000 prize—and each hour on Give to the Max Day, one Golden Ticket of $1,000 will be awarded through a random drawing of all donations transacted during the previous hour. Additionally, two Super-Sized Golden Tickets of $10,000 each will be awarded randomly.

With 36 Augsburg programs participating in Give to the Max, it’s easy to choose the Auggie causes that speak to your heart. Just don’t expect to be satisfied with just one!

Auggie Alumni in the Classroom: Bill Koschak ’91

Bill Koschak Auggies are everywhere, including back in the classroom!  Last week, Bill Koschak ’91 came back to speak to the seniors in the Business and Religion Keystone class led by Lori Lohman & Josh Miller. His topic? To speak about his vocational journey, his career path, and advice he would give students today.

Koschak had much to share about his journey from entry level job to partner at KPMG, to vice president of finance at General Mills, and now chief financial officer at YA Engage (formerly known as Young America). He noted he was especially thankful for his adviser, business professor Stu Stoller who first encouraged him to look into public accounting. Koschak made sure Stoller would be in attendance so that he could personally thank him.

Additionally, Koschak shared that he has had three strong mentors in his career who were instrumental to his career growth. These mentors were workplace leaders he admired for their management style, ethical behavior, and focus on work-life balance. He made a point to engage with these leaders and check in with them regularly. What started as occasional meetings turned into mentoring relationships that opened up many doors. He challenged the students to seek similar relationships as they start their careers.

Koschak is one of many alumni who have been invited to share their experiences with current students. If you are interested in speaking in classrooms or sharing your stories, contact Volunteer & Alumni Engagement Manager Katie Radford ’12 at radford@augsburg.edu.

The Auggie Alumni Board Wants You

alumni-board
Back Row [L to R]: Adrienne (Kuchler) Eldridge ’02, Sarah Grans ’01, Howie Smith ’80, Jay Howard ’03, Rick Bonlender ’78, Greg Schnagl ’91, Nick Swanson ’09, Patricia Jesperson ’95 Front Row [L to R]: Marie (Eddy) Odenbrett ’01, Hannah Dietrich ’05, Jill Watson ’10 MBA, Meg (Schmidt) Sawyer ’00, Melissa (Daudt) Hoepner ’92, Chris Hallin ’88, Adriana Matzke ’13, Rachel (Olson) Engebretson ’98, Chau “Tina” Nguyen ’08, Mary Prevost ’12 MBA Not Pictured: Cyrus Batheja ’08, ’10 MBA; Sharon Mercill ’09; Jordan Moore ’12 MBA; Brent Peroutka ’02; Nick Rathmann ’03; Tracy (Anderson) Severson ’95.
The Augsburg Alumni Association is looking for volunteers to serve on the board of directors. All alumni are welcomed and encouraged to apply. The Alumni Board is a governing body of the Alumni Association. The board exists to guide the Office of Alumni and Constituent Relations of Augsburg College in serving the valued alumni, parents and friends by providing resources and opportunities to engage alumni with the College and each other through consistent communication, inclusive programming, and intentional relationship building. To apply or find out more, contact Katie Koch ’01, Director of Auggie Engagement, at kochk@augsburg.edu.

Helping the Young to Do Better and Be Better

Joshua HarrisGrowing up in Chicago, Josh Harris ’08 hadn’t heard of Augsburg before, but when Auggie Coach Aaron Griess recruited him to play basketball, he discovered a smaller school in a big city, diverse, with a sense of community—and it all appealed to him. What he ended up taking with him upon graduation, however, was beyond his expectations.

Today, Harris is working with other community leaders in Baltimore on many initiatives, including one to build a network of individuals, businesses, and organizations who can provide internships, scholarships, and mentorship opportunities for high school students, many of whom may be less than hopeful about their future. He believes that young people who have already enjoyed some level of professional success are those who can best effect change in the likelihood of success for other young people, particularly African-Americans.

Working primarily through Alpha Phi Alpha, a community-service-oriented fraternity, Harris serves as managing editor of The Sphinx, the APA’s journal about what is happening in the African-American community, and how their members impact the world around them. APA has 703 chapters worldwide (both undergraduate and alumni). The fraternity is noted as historically the first inter-collegiate fraternity founded by African-American men. Harris joined while still a student at Augsburg. The fraternity claims alumni such as former Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and currently has eight members in Congress. Continue reading “Helping the Young to Do Better and Be Better”

Velkommen Jul is December 4

Velkommen Jul scholarshipVelkommen Jul is Augsburg’s annual Christmas celebration for all. Attend Chapel featuring Scandinavian Christmas music at 10:40 a.m. At 11, head to the Christensen Center lobby to shop in the boutique for unique gifts and goodies. All proceeds benefit student scholarships. Join us for a festive celebration in the Commons with Scandinavian treats, holiday music, and traditional Norwegian costumes and sweaters. Gift baskets will welcome donations for Augsburg scholarships. Add to the celebration by wearing your Norwegian sweater! 

Nov. 7 Memorial Bench Dedication Honoring Lois Swenson

Lois-and-kids-photoOn Saturday, November 7, the family and friends of Lois Swenson, a resident of north Minneapolis and well-known local peace and justice activist, will be gathering at Augsburg College to remember Lois and give a handcrafted, wooden bench to the college in her memory. Amy Gort, Dean of the College, will be accepting the gift on behalf of the college.

Lois left her estate to Augsburg so that seminary students will be financially supported in their study abroad through the Center for Global Education and Experience. “My experience living in Central America opened my eyes to the real world and changed my life. I would like to provide similar experiences to seminary students who will be in a position to further educate people.”

The entire Augsburg community is invited to attend this brief ceremony and reception. Read more about Lois Swenson here.

Saturday, November 7, 2015
2 pm
Lindell Library, first floor
630 22nd Ave. S., Minneapolis

The handcrafted wooden bench, made by Wisconsin artist Edward Wohl will be placed on the first floor of Lindell Library so students will be inspired by and be reminded of Lois’ commitment and work for peace and justice. Inscribed on the bench is one of Lois favorite quotes, “Live simply so that others may simply live.” For more information, call Sherilyn Young, Donor Relations Coordinator at 612-330-1462.

Active ’69 Alumna Honored with State Award

Matty 21In her 37 year career as a coach and teacher at Shawano High School in eastern Wisconsin, Janis “Matty” Mathison ’69 made physical education into all that it could be. Like her mentors at Augsburg, she took her role in her students’ lives to heart. She knew she could give something back, and make life easier for someone else. She’s promoted health with vigor, enthusiasm, and integration in daily life in the years since she has retired.

“You make your own bed,” Mathison says, “and I really like the bed that I made.”

She had always been active in community life, but retiring gave her the opportunity to become more involved. “I find when I do something it’s pretty all-encompassing,” she says, and her involvement has been widespread and made a difference not only on individuals, but also on her community in Shawano County, Wisconsin.

matty 6 On Oct. 13, Mathison will be honored by the American Planning Association’s Wisconsin Chapter as its Citizen of the Year for the work she’s been doing in her whole life, particularly for her leadership since retiring. Her devotion to creating a healthy community comes organically, and her involvement has been widespread—from improving parks experiences, to promoting an anti-binge drinking campaign, planning safe routes to school, making school start times later, planning a regional bicycle ride, and helping to create a bicycle-and pedestrian-friendly master plan for the county. One of her nominators for the award, planner Ann Freiwald, calls Mathison a terrific instigator and motivator who leads local residents and works with planners to promote healthy living and active lifestyles in Shawano County.

Mathison serves as an Executive Board Member with Shawano Pathways, a community nonprofit tasked with planning for and facilitating the development, implementation and maintenance of a greenway and trails network within Shawano County. This year marks the third year of Bike the Barn Quilts, a supported bike tour of Shawano County that she led the effort to host. The ride attracts more than 200 participants.

Embracing All Abilities

When Mathison was growing up, she was not just a natural athlete, but a teacher as well. As the oldest of 9 children, Mathison remembers using a backyard playhouse as a play schoolhouse, and she was always the teacher.  Her parents instilled in her an ethic that may have been the best advice she’d ever received: “share, care, and play fair.”

Matty 20As a physical education teacher, gym with Mathison was as likely to involve spelunking, cross country skiing, rock climbing, and canoeing or kayaking. She designed curriculum in health and physical education to involve and challenge all students, regardless of ability or how much they liked competition or sports. Continue reading “Active ’69 Alumna Honored with State Award”