If you attend football, basketball, hockey, or baseball games at Augsburg College, you likely will see Leroy Nyhus ’52 in the stands, supporting the team. Living in suburban Minneapolis gives him easy access to home games and some away games.
Supporting the team is one way he demonstrates his appreciation for Augsburg. Another important way is supporting the educational mission financially. He gives annually and also has established charitable gift annuities (CGAs), providing him with fixed income for life.
Leroy set up a charitable annuity some years ago at Augsburg. Recently he decided to create another, supporting the Center for Science, Business, and Religion (CSBR), a facility that will enhance cross-disciplinary work.
1949 is 64 Years Ago!
“A new facility for science would be a real plus,” Leroy says. “I started Augsburg in January 1949. The current science building opened the next fall and now it is 64 years old. It is outdated. I toured the building recently and learned of the science instructional opportunities offered and the scientific research being done by students and faculty. Augsburg is well known for its quality science department. A new science facility will enhance instruction and research, and attract new students.”
He chose a gift annuity as his way to support the CSBR. “Getting tax benefits and a lifetime fixed-income stream at above-market rates doesn’t hurt. The rate of income I receive is much higher than I could get now through a CD at a bank. But the reason I give is my appreciation for Augsburg,” he explains. “Augsburg College gave me my teaching career, my beloved wife, and a circle of friends for life. I want to give something back for all that Augsburg has done for me.”
Badminton Was the Start of a Beautiful Relationship
Leroy met Betty Lee Munson, now deceased, one day when she was playing badminton her sophomore year at Augsburg. He later asked her to join him at an Augsburg football game. It was the start of a beautiful relationship. They married in 1953 and had three daughters, one of whom, Ruth, also graduated from Augsburg in 1981. Betty Lee attended Augsburg for two years, later finishing her B.A. at the University of Minnesota after raising their daughters.
Leroy majored in mathematics and minored in chemistry. After graduating, he taught 9th and 10th grade math plus a science class in Perham, Minn. for one year. Then he attained a master’s degree in education from the University of Minnesota. Afterward, Leroy signed on with the Mounds View School District, teaching and later counseling students for a total of 31 years.
From Homemaker to National Church Leader
Betty Lee, a homemaker for many years, later became Director of Stewardship for American Lutheran Church Women. When the Evangelical Lutheran Church was formed in 1988, Leroy and Betty Lee moved to Chicago. She was named the first Executive Director of Women of the ELCA. Later she was the ELCA Director of Stewardship and Mission Giving.
She also served on the board of directors for Lutheran World Relief (LWR). She traveled to Calcutta in 1987 to meet Mother Teresa, who wanted to thank LWR for a gift of 75,000 quilts. Leroy keeps a photo of Betty Lee’s meeting with Mother Teresa on his bookshelves. He thinks often of his love for her and of their shared Christian values, which included finding ways to be stewards of God’s many gifts.
Betty Lee relished a quote from Mother Teresa: “Rejoice that once more Christ is walking through the world in you and through you, going about doing good.”
Doing More Good!
Leroy ponders this quote each time he considers the good that Augsburg College is doing in the world and the many ways he and each one of us can help further that good.