Gordon Odegaard ’52 Leaves $2.5 Million Gift to Augsburg

Gordon Odegaard never sought attention from Augsburg College. He entered Augsburg in 1948 (Class of ’52). Gordon left quietly after one year. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1951, spending three years assigned to the Army Security Agency, as an instructor and manual writer.

Born March 6, 1930 in Thief River Falls, MN to Morris and Gladys (Vigness) Odegaard, he was baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran faith. He graduated from Lincoln High School in 1948.

Following his discharge from the Army in 1954, Gordon returned to the University of Minnesota and, in 1955, Gordon graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree, with distinction.

For the next 10 years, Gordon worked as an insurance agent, as a salaried employee and proprietor of his own business. In 1965, he became employed with the Federal Department of Defense and retired from that service in 1995, as a senior operation staff officer.

Gordon also worked as a tour guide at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. He was an avid reader and did a lot off traveling to many countries. He enjoyed all music and played piano for his own enjoyment.

Gordon chose to maintain a quiet ongoing relationship over the years with Augsburg College. He consistently supported the College with modest gifts, but declined all direct contact. Like many Auggies, he simply lived a life of worth and service. However, his one year at Augsburg College must have been a year that highly impacted his life. Gordon passed away in January 2012. Gordon’s love for Augsburg and his generosity shine ever so brightly after his death. Augsburg College was remembered by Gordon with an estate gift in excess of $2.5 million.

Gordon’s generosity to Augsburg leaves a legacy that will impact generations of Auggies to come. That legacy of generosity will be honored by a named classroom in the new Center for Science, Business, and Religion.