Meet Spirit of Augsburg Award Winner Grace Kemmer Sulerud ’58

Grace Kemmer Sulerud '58Grace Kemmer Sulerud ’58 has displayed faithful service to Augsburg University across her time as a graduate, librarian, faculty member, and alumna. She personifies Augsburg’s deep sense of calling to humbly serve others in a variety of ways, with joyful dedication.

As a dedicated volunteer, her nominators say, “You will find her wherever an extra hand is needed.”

Determined to gain a full education, Sulerud worked and saved money to go from her hometown, Williston, North Dakota, to Augsburg, as it was the college of the Lutheran Free Church. Sulerud’s Augsburg education and excellent professors prompted her to experience life in the Twin Cities, exploring the state capitol and fine arts like symphony concerts and plays. She made lifelong friends and enjoyed being on the staff of the student newspaper, The Echo.

After graduating from Augsburg in 1958, she was an elementary librarian and junior high English teacher in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. From 1961 to 1964, she was an elementary librarian in U.S. Air Force Department of Defense Schools in Tokyo, Japan; Tripoli, Libya; and Wiesbaden, Germany. This gave her an opportunity to travel around the world with a stop in India to visit a friend, Maxine Berntsen, another distinguished alumna of Augsburg. After returning to the United States, Sulerud studied for a master’s degree in Library Science (1968) and later received a master’s degree in English (1970), each from the University of Minnesota.

During her many years as Augsburg’s Collection Development Librarian and faculty member, she was committed to the learning of students. She served two terms as the treasurer of Augsburg Associates, from 2003 to 2007 and 2011 to 2017, ensuring they raised funds for Augsburg student scholarships. Her interests and energy lead her to participate in travels to Cuba with the Delegation For Friendship Among Women, and to Ethiopia supporting the efforts of REAL, Resources for the Enrichment of African Lives, an organization that helps girls stay in school.

In Minneapolis, Sulerud is a member of Trinity Lutheran Congregation located on Riverside Avenue, a congregation associated with the founding of Augsburg, where she sings in the choir, leads the monthly quilter’s work session and has participated in activities with Metropolitan Interfaith Council on Affordable Housing.

With her late husband Ralph, long-time Augsburg biology professor, Sulerud has remained a supporter and enthusiast for all things Augsburg. Though she retired from Augsburg in 2003, she continues to stay involved at important university events: the recent grand opening of the Hagfors Center for Science, Business, and Religion; Homecoming festivities; Velkommen Jul; and Advent Vespers.

Sulerud lives out the Spirit of Augsburg Award and exemplifies Augsburg’s historic mottos consistently: “Education for Service” and “The Truth Shall Make You Free.” Her loyalty, dependability, and generosity enable Augsburg to carry forward with hearty conviction, intellectual rigor, and relational connectedness.

Lefse, Waffles and Friendship: Velkommen Jul 2017

Augsburg celebratedPicture of Lefse the holiday period in true Norweigian style, and nearly fifty Augsburg Associates volunteered at the 2017 Velkommen Jul festivities on December 1. Many volunteers were busy putting in extra days to make special Norwegian treats, and arrived early to help butter bread and lefse, and ensure that the event was a huge success.

There was exceptional student participation, including the Associates scholarship students who served waffles to hungry patrons. The event celebrated long-standing Augsburg Three ladies browsing the items for sale.friendships, and encouraged guests to create new friendships from our diverse community. Guests expressed their appreciation with kind words and contributions, and the scholarship baskets gathered a superb $1190.

Augsburg Associates Highlight Alumni Travel Program at Spring Brunch

Kathy Swanson standing near a fence, feeding two young elephants on the opposite side
Kathy Swanson on the Augsburg alumni tour to Thailand and Cambodia.
Lori Moline smiles with a cliffside chateau in the background
Lori Moline ’82 of Seminars International

All Augsburg alumni are welcome to attend the annual spring brunch sponsored by the Augsburg Associates on Saturday, May 6, in Hoversten Chapel. From Velkommen Jul to fundraising for student scholarships, the Associates have been a volunteer-led support for Augsburg for more than 30 years. The theme for the annual brunch is Bon Voyage – Augsburg’s Alumni Travel Program. Katie Koch, director of alumni and constituent relations, will share her experiences and photos from the recent trip to Germany, which celebrated the 500th Anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation. Professor Kathy Swanson, who led the January 2017 trip to Thailand and Cambodia, will highlight her travel stories and photos. Lastly, Lori Moline ’82 of Seminars International will talk about the history of the alumni travel
program and trips on the horizon that are now in the planning stages.

The event will be held in Hoversten Chapel and begins with registration at 9:30 a.m. and the program beginning at 10 a.m. A delicious brunch will accompany the program. The cost of this event is $30 per person. There is also an opportunity to sponsor a student for $30. Friends, family, and all Augsburg alumnae welcome!

Briana Ekstrom
Briana Ekstrom ’18

Register now at augsburg.edu/alumni/events. You may also call Becky Waggoner at 612-330-1085 and provide your credit card number for payment. A parking permit will be emailed to guests prior to the event and will be available at the door to guests without email. If you are not able to attend, please consider making a donation to the Associates‘ scholarship fund at augsburg.edu/giving and THANK YOU!

Your donations to the Associates’ Scholarship Fund help to support students like Briana Ekstrom ’18, of Chaska. Briana is majoring in vocal performance, with a minor in music theater. Her goal is to become a vocal coach, and she is already thinking about graduate school.

Velkommen Jul is December 2

 

Velkommen Jul 2015Velkommen Jul is an annual celebration at Augsburg, presented by the Augsburg Associates, to welcome the Advent and Christmas seasons.

Join us in the chapel for our annual Velkommen Jul service –  A Scandinavian Christmas Celebration – on Friday, December 2, at 10:40am, in Hoversten Chapel. We welcome Nordic musicians Erik Rydvall and Olav Luksengård Mjelva, who play traditional Scandinavian instruments in new ways. We will also sing Swedish, Danish, and Norwegian carols together. Wear your Norwegian sweater and join the fun!

At 11 a.m., join a festive celebration in the Commons with Scandinavian treats, including lefse, krumkake, and coffee, prepared by the Augsburg Associates. Shop the boutique in the Christensen Center lobby for unique gifts and goodies. All proceeds benefit student scholarships, and donations are accepted at the buffet by Augsburg Associates holding gift baskets.

Continue the celebration by attending the Advent Vespers worship service on Friday evening at 5 p.m. or 8 p.m., or one of three services on Saturday, December 3. See more information about Advent Vespers and reserve your seating envelope.

 

Join AWE & the Augsburg Associates for an Augsburg Women’s Event

AWE_Associates-Email-Invite-Header (2)Augsburg women of all generations are invited to a morning of engaging conversation, laughter, and inspiration.

Saturday, May 9
9-9:30 a.m. Registration
9:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m. Program
Hoversten Chapel, Foss Center at Augsburg College

Cost: $25 per attendee

Add $25 to your registration to sponsor a student

Augsburg Women Engaged (AWE) and the Augsburg Associates are teaming up again this year to continue the conversation.  Attendees will get a glimpse into the life stories of Augsburg women through music, art, drama, writing and the spoken word. Together, we will come to a better understanding of how we can find peace and confidence in measuring up amid life’s challenges and rewards.

Auggie women of all ages are invited to attend!

Hear stories from: Kari (Eklund) Logan ’82, Kristin Eggerling ’89, Tara Sweeney, & Becky Shaheen ’11

For more information:

612-330-1085 • alumni@augsburg.edu

Meet a Super Velkommen Jul Volunteer

Lee FurmanYou might know Lee (Dyrud) Furman ’61 from her time teaching in the social work department at Augsburg, or you might recognize her as one of the delightful Augsburg Associates dressed up in a bunad or traditional Norwegian costume at Velkommen Jul each year. She’s also the recipient of an Augsburg Distinguished Alumni Award in 1989. Furman is among the many fantastic Associates volunteers you will see if you stop by campus on Friday, Dec. 5. Velkommen Jul begins with chapel service at 10:40 a.m. and moves to the Christensen Center from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Furman fondly remembers the beautiful singing and enthusiasm of chapel, and the fellow alums she has known through the years. She has been a part of the Augsburg Associates for approximately 12 years, since she moved back to Minneapolis for the first time since college. She still remembers going to Velkommen Jul when she was a student. “It was quite splendid. I was very much in awe,” she says. Continue reading “Meet a Super Velkommen Jul Volunteer”

Volunteer for Velkommen Jul

Velkommen Jul volunteersThe Augsburg Associates are looking forward to hosting Velkommen Jul on Friday, December 5th on the Augsburg campus. It’s a busy day for us, preparing and serving our guests. If you are available to volunteer this year, please contact Lennore Bevis ’66 at 612-789-9458. Buttering lefse and breads, setting up the boutique and bake sale, pouring coffee and greeting guests are some of the areas where your help is needed. Thank you for considering this opportunity to not only be of service to the Associates, but to the entire Augsburg community!

Calling All Norwegian Sweaters!!

Choir of SweatersWe like to think of Velkommen Jul at Augsburg College as the largest gathering of Norwegian sweaters in Minnesota. This traditional festival to usher in the Christmas season brings campus together around a lovely, historic tradition that features Scandinavian yuletide music, tasty treats including krumkake and lefse, Norwegian bunads, a bake sale of holiday goodies, and a visit from St. Nicholas during chapel. Donations are accepted and welcomed in support of student scholarships.

We love gathering together each year for this event that welcomes students from all backgrounds and faiths into long-cherished Augsburg traditions. But as we all know, these beautiful, long-wearing sweaters are not inexpensive.

Here is where you can help! Please consider donating any older or unworn Norwegian sweaters for our students to wear for this wonderful event and throughout the Christmas season. Sweaters must be clean and in reasonably good condition.  No matter who you are or your background, let’s share the wealth of Norwegian sweaters that is so proudly displayed here in Minnesota winters.

Please make your sweater donations by Wednesday, November 26 at noon. Please call 612-330-1085 with any questions. Sweater donations may be mailed or delivered to the Alumni and Advancement office at:

Oren Gateway Center
Suite 300
Augsburg College
2211 Riverside Avenue
Minneapolis MN 55454

 

Augsburg Associates Celebrate 30 Years

stortz
Marty Stortz, Augsburg Professor of Religion & Vocation, will speak on “Women Who Serve.”

The Augsburg Associates celebrate 30 years of fundraising and fellowship during Wednesday of Homecoming week with their annual meeting and afternoon tea. Mistress of Ceremonies Marty Stortz, Bernhard M. Christensen Professor of Religion & Vocation, will speak on the theme of “Women Who Serve.” The event is open to all.

Augsburg Associates, 90 members strong, serve the college and the people they assist by hosting estate sales. For their efforts in organizing, cleaning, pricing, and selling the household items, the Associates receive one-third of the sale proceeds. With three to six sales per year, they generate good will and resources, while raising funds to provide scholarships to Augsburg students.

In addition to the funds raised through estate sales and Associate membership fees, the Associates raise funds by annually hosting the Velkommen Jul brunch and Scandinavian boutique the first weekend in Advent, as well as a tea in the spring.

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Current president of the Augsburg Associates, Lennore Bevis ’66

In 1996, the Associates set up an endowed scholarship fund. Earnings from the endowment provide a scholarship each year, and additional dollars raised throughout the year sponsor the Christensen Scholars.

Associates are graduates and/or friends of the College who may be family members of graduates, faculty, or staff, or who are simply impressed by the spirit of giving and want to be a part of it.

Social time begins on Wednesday, September 24, at 1:30 p.m., followed by the annual business meeting and afternoon tea at 2 p.m. in Hoversten Chapel and Arnold Atrium. Register for this event on the Homecoming Registration page by Sept. 12.

Augsburg Associates Give Back–Together

Augsburg Associates Report Having “Too Much Fun” While Raising Significant Support for Scholarships

Sometimes a treasured possession gets hidden away and forgotten. Sometimes we don’t even realize how special that treasure is and what finding it might do to help others. With a goal to raise funds for Augsburg College, the Augsburg Associates conduct estate sales. One family, whose belongings were being sold, told the Associates to include in the sale a bag stored for years in the family’s garage. Peeking in at the top, nothing looked valuable—just wrinkly, outdated baby clothing.

An Augsburg Associate took the bag home to launder the contents and discovered a beautiful baptismal gown. She carefully ironed it and showed it later to the daughter in the family, who exclaimed: “I recognize that gown from pictures. It is my baptismal gown. This means so much to me. I would love to purchase it and keep it.” She was delighted, and the Associate was delighted to have preserved a treasure for the family.

Two Augsburg AssociatesAssociates Take Pride in the Service They Provide to the College and Community
Augsburg Associates, 90 members strong, serve the college and the people they assist by hosting estate sales. According to Lennore Bevis ’66, president of the Associates: “We serve the larger community by being very respectful of the people for whom we conduct sales—of their homes, and of their belongings, and by conducting sales in a positive, friendly, caring way.”

For their efforts in organizing, cleaning, pricing, and selling the household items, the Associates receive one third of the sale proceeds. With three to six sales per year, they generate a lot of good will and resources.

Sylvia Lee Sabo and Joyce Hauge with scholarship recipientsWorking Together for Higher Education, Velkommen Jul Brunch Adds to Fundraising Totals
Additional fundraising occurs through Associate membership fees, hosting the Velkommen Jul brunch and a Scandinavian boutique the first weekend in Advent, and hosting a spring tea.

The Associates raise funds to provide scholarships to Augsburg students. Liz Horton, a longtime Associate whose son Christopher graduated from Augsburg in 1981, says: “We feel we are doing something important to help. When we see students on campus, we know how important it is to help them get an education.”

In 1996, The Associates set up an endowed scholarship fund. Earnings from the endowment provide a scholarship each year, and additional dollars raised throughout the year sponsor the Christensen Scholars.

The Associates also Gave $50,000 to the Center for Science, Business and Religion.

Giving Back in Meaningful Ways, Individually and Collectively
“The whole attitude in our organization” Bevis explains, “is members giving of themselves and serving the community. We like to share what has been given to us. We give back in meaningful ways by working together. The generosity of our group sometimes leads individual members to make their own personal gifts to the college.”

Kathleen Gabrielsen ’79, a longtime Associate, recently established an endowed scholarship fund in memory of her husband, Dr. Stephen “Gabe” Gabrielsen ’63, now deceased, who taught music at Augsburg throughout his entire career. She said: “Gabe gave everything of himself to Augsburg College, including teaching extra classes without pay when he was young. Later I graduated from the college, and both of our children are Auggies: Elizabeth ’89 and Joseph ’91. We are an Augsburg family. Being an Associate is a way to continue with the Augsburg community, enjoying friendships and supporting the college.”

Bevis says that Associates are graduates and also friends of the College who are family members of graduates, faculty, or staff, or who are simply impressed by the spirit of giving and want to be a part of it. She says: “Before my husband Roger ’63 became ill and died, he enjoyed helping with Associates volunteer projects. Men can be members or affiliated members.” She said they decided to volunteer together as a couple because “we wanted to give both our time and our money to Augsburg College. What appealed to us about the Associates was the service aspect.”

“The People are my Favorite Thing”
Barbara “Bunny” Larson ’63, an Associate for almost a decade, says: “The people are my favorite thing. I like my fellow volunteers. We have so much fun together. I have never been around a group that is so supportive. And I hope that the Associates will attract newer members and continue in the next generation.”

Liz Horton adds: “What we do is have way too much fun. It’s fun to be with people who want to make a difference.”