College recognized for commitment to inclusivity and evidence of radical hospitality

Augsburg College has been nationally recognized for welcoming and supporting a wide range of students. These awards are a testament to the College’s commitment to intentional diversity in its life and work and evidence of our radical hospitality.

  • Augsburg College received the 2015 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine based upon the College’s commitment to intentional diversity and the level of student engagement and activism.
  • Augsburg was listed sixth of 50 institutions on a list of 2015 Rankings of the Best Christian Colleges and Universities published by the Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA based on academic reputation, financial aid offerings, overall cost, and success of graduates in the post-college job market.
  • For the second time since 2013, the American Indian Science and Engineering Society’s Winds of Change magazine selected Augsburg as one of the Top 200 Schools for Native Americans for the College’s American Indian support community and graduation rates.
  • College Magazine named Augsburg the No. 5 Most Transgender-Friendly College in the country for working to make campus feel like home for transgender students and for offering comfort, safety, and freedom to all students.
  • Again this year, Augsburg was one of five finalists named to the prestigious 2015 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction in the interfaith and community service category. Augsburg is the only college or university in the U.S. to be named as a finalist in both 2014 and 2015.
  • Augsburg was named a 2016 Military Friendly® School for going above and beyond to provide transitioning veterans the best possible experience in higher education.

Dimension 2, Goal 4, Strategy 4: Augsburg is a vibrant and diverse learning community, intentionally reflective of a complex, interconnected world.

Bridging a gap between two communities

Augsburg is known for maintaining strong relationships with nearby communities. Whether it be supporting local businesses or serving our neighbors, Augsburg students, faculty, and staff take full advantage of our urban location. However, connection to one nearby neighborhood is made more difficult by the the divide—both physical and perceived—created by I-94.  

Directly south of Augsburg’s campus on the other side of I-94 is the eclectic and vibrant Seward neighborhood. Despite its relatively close proximity to campus, Seward seems much farther away than it really is. The existing pedestrian bridge over I-94, located between 22nd Avenue and 24th Avenue, is narrow, dark, and hidden behind the freeway soundwall on both sides. It is also disconnected from the street grid. It feels remote and unsafe and, as a result, diminishes the connection between Seward, the Augsburg campus, and the broader Cedar-Riverside neighborhood.

Augsburg College and Seward Redesign (a nonprofit that provides community development services) are partnering to pursue the design and construction of new pedestrian bridge that will provide an inviting, safe, accessible, and visible connection between the two neighborhoods.

In addition to activating economic, social, and environmental growth for the two areas, the bridge will also serve as a tangible example of an anchor institution like Augsburg, partnering with a community development corporation on a project of shared value.

The benefits of a new, pedestrian-friendly land bridge over I-94:

  • It will strengthen Augsburg’s connection to the Seward neighborhood for service-learning opportunities at local organizations such as Bethany Lutheran Church, Seward Montessori School, and Northern Clay Center, among others.
  • It will provide convenient access to the Seward neighborhood’s many amenities, such as restaurants, retail shops, arts and community organizations.
  • It will encourage greater use of Murphy Square Park by Seward residents, as the closest public park in an area without much green space.
  • It will draw more people into the Seward neighborhood for business and retail transactions, which will help support the neighborhood economy.
  • It will help provide Seward residents with easier access to services and jobs at Augsburg, Fairview Health Services, and the University of Minnesota.
  • It will create a model for how neighborhoods that have been divided by freeway construction can reestablish physical connections over the freeway to build community, stimulate economic development, and improve pathways for pedestrians and bicyclists.

Crossing boundaries to pursue design and construction of a cutting-edge bridge

Oslund and Associates and Linda Figg of FIGG Engineering, have been retained to complete a feasibility assessment for a new bridge, including a conceptual design. In February, a design charrette was held with community stakeholders to inform the planning and design process. In addition to providing a wider pedestrian and bicyclist crossing, the bridge may feature green elements such as plants and vines, innovative lighting features, gathering space, and an iconic structure visible from the freeway to serve as the gateway into Minneapolis. It would be accessible and inviting to all.

The concept of a new pedestrian/bike bridge has been endorsed by the Seward Neighborhood Group, Seward Civic and Commerce Association, West Bank Community Coalition, and the Cedar-Riverside Partnership, and is widely supported by the community.

Dimension 3, Goal 7, Strategy 7: Engage anchor partnerships in developing, improving, and sharing resources that serve Augsburg, our neighborhood, and our wider community.