Recently I moved from Minneapolis to Ohio to take on new responsibilities with Morgan Stanley. Making a new home farther away from my roots has given me a chance to see the places I have called home in a new light.
When I returned to campus on a very cold winter night for the Regents Summit, I noticed several things. First, the turnout was spectacular. Foss Chapel was full. The atmosphere was one of collective support for the College and this special campaign for the Center for Science, Business, and Religion (CSBR). It reminded me of a basketball game I attended just the other night in Cincinnati at Xavier University, where the student enrollment is about 4,000. Fourteen years ago, the school built a new arena (the Cintas Center) paid for by alumni donations. The arena was full of alumni and students wearing blue shirts, their school color. Back at Augsburg, sitting around the tables at the Summit dinner, I saw lots of maroon and gold. I realized the fabric of the College has grown stronger!
Another thing I noticed is that it is easy to watch what is happening on campus from afar, thinking that someone else will make the CSBR happen. As if it will take care of itself.
That is counterintuitive to my experience at Augsburg where we felt like family. In a family, we must each step up and take turns making sure the essentials get done so that the whole family thrives.
This is the essence of the Class Challenge effort I am helping lead. It’s like having the soccer team reunite and win the MIAC division again—a team effort.
I decided to help lead the Class Challenge effort to secure at least $1 million from each graduating class in gifts to the CSBR and Augsburg because I am motivated by others whose gifts helped build the college we enjoyed during our times there. Now I want to return that support. I want each of us to do everything we can to demonstrate our commitment to the next generation of students. Then we’ll know we gave them a competitive advantage in the world of academia and also in the real world. I want as many of us as possible to take pride in saying, “We had a hand in that!”
The CSBR is one very important way we can help those coming up behind us. Through our gifts, we will open doors to our shared future.
As you read more of this newsletter you will meet some great people who have “owned” the future of Augsburg. Once you finish reading, please reach out to someone else you know who needs to hear the story of the Augsburg we are building for tomorrow! I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Chris Ascher ’81