Marty Stortz: Interpreting the Unknown, Episode 7 of The Augsburg Podcast

The Augsburg Podcast featuring voices of Augsburg University faculty and staff is one way you can get to know the people who educate our students to be informed citizens, thoughtful stewards, critical thinkers, and responsible leaders. Episodes of The Augsburg Podcast will be released periodically during the summer of 2018. Subscribe to the RSS feed or on iTunes.


Epsode 7: Marty Stortz: Interpreting the Unknown

Marty Stortz, Bernhard M. Christensen professor of religion and vocation, guides her students as they ask powerful questions and find neighbors in our world’s many faith traditions.




Hagfors Center Grand Opening: Ribbon Cutting

(L-R) Karen Kaivola, BK Kormah, Mayor Jacob Frey, Jeff Nodland, Mike Good, President Paul Pribbenow, Norman Hagfors, Evangeline Hagfors, Peter McLaughlin Abdi Warsame, Francesca Chiari and Lori Higgins ready to cut the ribbon.
(L-R) Karen Kaivola, BK Kormah, Mayor Jacob Frey, Jeff Nodland, Mike Good, President Paul Pribbenow, Norman Hagfors, Evangeline Hagfors, Peter McLaughlin Abdi Warsame, Francesca Chiari and Lori Higgins ready to cut the ribbon.

The Norman and Evangeline Hagfors Center Grand Opening reception cultivated the feeling of excitement with a formal ribbon cutting ceremony. The ceremony took place at 12:00 p.m. on January 27th, in the Hagfors Center Kennedy Learning Commons.

President Paul Pribbenow was joined in cutting the ribbon by the Hagfors Center Campaign Chair Mike Good, Board Chair Jeff Nodland, Provost Karen Kaivola, Student Body President BK Kormah, Student Body Vice President Francesca Chiari, Mayor Jacob Frey, City Council member Abdi Warsame, County Commissioner Peter McLaughlin, Alumni Board Member t Lori Higgins, and the eponymous Norman and Evangeline Hagfors.

Mayor Frey welcomed everyone to the building with remarks regarding his hopes to build connections to unify all citizens of Minneapolis. President Pribbenow offered thanks to every individual (including the 1,200 plus generous donors) who helped to make the Hagfors Center a reality and also discussed the promise of learning, development and student engagement the new building will present. Hagfors Center Campaign Chair, Mike Good, expressed his delight in leading such a successful campaign and the support received from “an army of believers” that created said success.


We’re Hiring: Temporary Annual Giving Assistant (Give to the Max Day)

Job Description

Institutional Advancement are hiring a Temporary Annual Giving Assistant to help out with Give to the Max Day. This position will be working alongside the Senior Director of Advancement, Advancement Communications Specialist and the Give to the Max Day fundraising project managers to make this Give to the Max Day our best one yet.

The position will involve:

  • Orchestrating one-on-one interviews with Augsburg faculty, staff and student leaders.
  • Serving as lead project coordinator for up to 20 projects.
  • Completing necessary marketing collateral for projects including website registration and design.
  • Editing and sending email and mail copy.
  • Setting fundraising goals for individual projects.
  • Manipulating spreadsheets with donor data.
  • Assisting in the planning and execution of donor recognition events in coordination with various project managers.

Think that you would make a great Annual Giving Assistant? You can apply here.

Required Qualifications

  • Minimum Associate’s degree required; Bachelor’s degree preferred
  • 1-2 years of administrative assistant or coordinator experience
  • Prior project management experience
  • Experience with website management/maintenance
  • Demonstrated competence in using multiple social media platforms to engage audiences, specifically Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn
  • Previous fundraising experience strongly preferred.



Augsburg College Mourns Passing of Edor Nelson ’38

Edor NelsonLegendary Augsburg College athlete, coach and instructor Edor Nelson ’38, who led the Auggie football and baseball teams during a four-decade span, died last week. He was 100. President Pribbenow shared news of Nelson’s passing with the campus community. We were sad to learn this news after having enjoyed such a wonderful celebration of his life on Aug. 18. The family released the details of the memorial service, and we wanted to share them with you.

The Athletics Department wrote a tribute to his life. We encourage you to share your memories of Edor Nelson on the Augsburg University Alumni Facebook page.Edor Nelson 100 Celebration - Courtney Perry, Special to the Star Tribune

A memorial for Nelson will be held on Friday, Sept. 5, at Nokomis Heights Lutheran Church in south Minneapolis (5300 10th Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN 55417). Visitation will be from 12 to 1 p.m., with the memorial service following at 1 p.m.

Join the MBA Alumni Advisory Board

The Augsburg Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) program is currently seeking alumni to serve on the MBA Alumni Advisory Board. All alumni are welcomed and encourage to apply.

In conjunction with the MBA Office, the advisory board provides resources and opportunities to engage alumni with the college and each other through consistent communication, inclusive programming, input into curricular design and content, and intentional relationship building.

To apply, please fill out the MBA Alumni Advisory Board application and return it to the Office of Alumni Relations via email at


Celebration of Philanthropy

Did you know that 93% of Augsburg students receive financial aid? Or that student support services like tutoring, the Writing Lab, and the CLASS office are available at no extra cost? Financial aid, student support programs, faculty-student research and more are all made possible, thanks to generous donors to Augsburg. Each year, more than 2,400 alumni, parents, and friends give more than $1,000,000 to The Augsburg Fund. Philanthropy Week is an opportunity to teach current students about how their education is supported by donors, and thank current donors for their generosity.

Here are a few ways to get involved:

  • Share what you love about Augsburg and why you support the College on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #auggiesgive.
  • Join us for a special Philanthropy Week lunch on Wednesday, April 2, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., to help thank donors for their support and encourage them to make a gift this year (RSVP to Ben Krouse-Gagne at 612-330-1179 or
  • Become a donor to Augsburg! Make your gift online at

Community Dream for Children Nears Reality

By spring 2015, Katie Lindenfelser ’02 hopes to break ground for Children’s Lighthouse Minnesota (CLM), the first children’s hospice and respite home in the Midwest, and only the fourth children’s hospice facility in a nation that has over 4,700 such facilities for adults.

Having chosen Augsburg for its Music Therapy program and the option to study abroad, Lindenfelser found an “incredible mentor” in Professor Roberta Kagin, who encouraged her interest in pediatric music therapy, and suggested she spend a semester in Melbourne, Australia. She did so, and fell in love with Melbourne. She also discovered that more of Australia’s music therapists worked in pediatric care than was true in Minnesota. Later, in her work as a music therapist in a Minnesota children’s hospital, she found herself repeatedly asked by parents about other places outside the hospital where they could take their child when exhausted and needing more support—a place to feel like a kid, to get a nice bath and a good night’s rest, and a place to meet other families in similar situations. Was there such a place in the region—a place for respite and end-of-life care, a sacred place for family when a child is dying? Basically, no.

She returned to the University of Melbourne to complete a Master’s in music therapy. While there, she also completed a study investigating bereaved parents’ experiences of music therapy while their child was dying, and connected with a pediatric palliative and hospice facility, Very Special Kids (VSK), to which she would return in 2008 to work. It became increasingly clear to her that VSK was the kind of facility thousands of U.S. families had been seeking.

Matt and Nadine Gregerson, Katie Lindenfelser, and Matt Christensen
Left to right: Matt and Nadine Gregerson, Katie Lindenfelser and Matt Christensen

When she returned to the U.S., her husband, Matt Christensen ’03, asked, “Why would you keep going to Australia to work at a children’s hospice? Why not just work at one here in Minnesota?” When she told him there was none, he said, “Let’s build one”—and the dream began to unfold. They, along with Matt Gregerson ’02 and his wife Nadine, did research on what, if anything, had already been done, and what would be required to build and sustain such a facility. They forged a relationship with Harmon Killebrew’s widow Nita, to join forces on an issue that had been dear to the heart of her late husband and baseball legend—a man who had been a grateful recipient of hospice care, and who felt deeply about dignity at the end of life. An advisory group for a CLM Fund in his honor—comprised of families with names such as Oliva, Molitor, Morris, Carew, Blyleven, Hays, Smith, St. Peter, Doepner and LeDoux—began helping to raise awareness and the $10 million needed to both erect a building (where families can stay without charge), and to fund the first two years of operations.

On May 17 (the third anniversary of Killebrew’s death), the Minnesota Twins will provide an opportunity to contribute, as they did last spring. By simply calling Luis at the Twins office (612-659-3575) to purchase tickets for the day’s game, you can mention CLM and $10 per ticket will benefit CLM.

Living in the Twin Cities with husband Matt and their son Daniel (and awaiting child #2), Lindenfelser welcomes wholeheartedly your leads on businesses, organizations, or individuals who may have interest in supporting this mission. Reach her at or at 763-587-1152.

Auggies Volunteer – Feed My Starving Children

Feed My Starving Children logoFeed My Starving Children – Augsburg Alumni Packing Session
Saturday, March 15, 2014
11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Join the Augsburg College Alumni Board at Feed My Starving Children to help pack meals for hungry children in 70 countries. Augsburg alumni, parents, staff, students, and friends may volunteer.Register online with the Augsburg Alumni and Friends group at (click “join existing group”).

Registration code: 436490

Feed My Starving Children are excited to have us, please take time to read their “what to expect” letter (Click Here).Chanhassen location is located at 18732 Lake Drive East, Chanhassen, MN 55317

For more information, call DJ Hamm at 612.330.1329 or email


Augsburg Associates Appoint Three Alumnae to Board

The Augsburg AssociatesThe Augsburg College Associates is a service auxiliary of volunteers whose mission includes fundraising for special projects and scholarships in support of the College. The Associates’ commitment to the College is evident in their ongoing support through fundraising events including estate sales, Velkommen Jul, and the Scandinavian boutique. The funds raised throughout the year support special projects and scholarships.

On Thursday, September 26, the Augsburg Associates Board elected three alumnae to its board.

Emily Crook ’07 of Duluth, Minn., graduated from Augsburg College in 2007 with a BA in psychology. While at Augsburg she participated in softball, worked in admissions, and served as an orientation leader welcoming incoming Augsburg students. Emily, a fourth grade elementary teacher, is currently finishing her thesis for her master of arts in education at Augsburg.

Kathleen Gabrielsen ’80 is part of an Augsburg family which includes her late husband, Stephen ’63, daughter Elizabeth ’89, an artist, and son Joe ’91, a computer programmer. She is a former preschool teacher and is an artist working in jewelry and clay sculpture. Kathleen, who has served on the board for six years before, is joining our board again in appreciation of her husband, “Dr. Gabe.” The Stephen “Gabe” Gabrielsen Memorial Scholarship is being established in 2013 to honor his memory and celebrate his life’s work.

Olivia “Livi” (Bylund) Smith attended Augsburg three years with the class of ’64. One of her three children, Heather (Wagner) Rand, is a 1985 Augsburg graduate. Livi was the children’s librarian in the Cloquet Public Library for 12 years. She has resided in the Cloquet and Duluth areas of Minnesota for the past 37 years.