CSBR David Murr ’92, Amy Gort, Leif Anderson, and Lori Peterson believe in the strength of Augsburg’s student experience.

Associate Professor of Physics David Murr ’92, Assistant Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of Arts and Sciences Amy Gort, Vice President and Chief Information Officer Leif Anderson, Assistant Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of Graduate and Professional Studies Lori Peterson believe student experience is at the heart of Augsburg’s mission. The CSBR will allow Augsburg to live into its dreams and take student experience to the next level.

Paulson Family Honored for $1 Million Gift to CSBR Campaign

Paul Pribbenow speaks at the Regent hosted dinner on October 3 to honor the Paulson family’s generosity.

On Thursday, October 3, 2013 members of Augsburg’s Board of Regents, Regents Emeriti, donors to the Center for Science, Business, and Religion joined faculty and student representatives in thanking the family of John Paulson for a leadership gift that was made in early stages of the campaign for the CSBR.

President Paul Pribbnow shared the following with over 140 attendees:

“You have all played a vital role in the rich history and present success of Augsburg College. The Center for Science, Business, and Religion is the future of the College! Many of you have supported this project financially and given generously of your time and resources. Early donors like the John and Norma Paulson whose lifetime gifts and commitments to Augsburg exceed $2 million. This includes the Atrium-Link between Sverdrup Hall and Lindell Library, and the new link between the library and the Center for Science, Business, and Religion.

Faculty members shared with guests their perspectives on the need for a new Center for Science, Business, and Religion.

On behalf of the entire Augsburg community I want to thank you all. Without your support we could not be where we are today – more than halfway to our goal to creating this transformative building that will engage future leaders in collaborative inquiry and, through them, shape our world.”

This gift from the Paulsons was previously announced in the Spring 2006 Augsburg Now. A .pdf of the article is available online and the text is also included here. Since this gift announcement John Paulson has passed away. His wife Norma and many members of his family were able to attend the event on campus to celebrate and be honored for their generosity.

“Paulson family makes major gift to the Science Center”

This is the Paulson family’s second major capital gift to Augsburg. In 2001, the family provided major funding to complete the enclosed skyway link from Lindell Library to the two-story atrium between Memorial and Sverdrup Halls. “One does not have to be on campus long to see what an important need was met by the Paulson Link,” said Stephen Preus, director of development. “This new, special gift by the Paulsons will provide for an equally important and highly attractive space.”

While Paulson is not an Augsburg alumnus, three of his children and a son-in-law graduated from the College — Mary Jo (Paulson) Peterson ’80, Laurie (Paulson) Dahl ’76, David Dahl ’75, and Lisa Paulson ’80. The motivation behind the Science Center gift, however, may date back much farther than his family’s education.

Paulson served in the Second Infantry Division during World War II and was part of the Allied invasion landing on D+1 at Omaha Beach, Normandy, France, in June 1944. He was a frontline soldier until July 28, 1944, when he was wounded during the St.-Lo breakthrough. Among the awards Paulson received were the Combat Infantry Badge, Bronze Star, and the Purple Heart.

In June 2004, Paulson and his wife, Norma, traveled to France to take part in the 60th anniversary commemoration of the event that proved to be the turning point of the war. The festivities brought together thousands of people—war veterans, military officials, local people and tourists, as well as Hollywood celebrities whose acting roles had recreated the battles on movie screens. Standing in his Army uniform, wearing medals depicting D-Day service, Paulson enjoyed the commemoration.

Following the ceremony, however, he noticed lines of French citizens forming to shake hands and request autographs from the U.S. veterans. Puzzled, Paulson finally asked someone why he wanted a soldier’s autograph. “Don’t you understand,” the
Frenchman told him, “you saved our country.”

Paulson recounted how vivid an impression these words made. When he thought about the statistics—the staggering numbers of soldiers who were killed or wounded during the invasion— he realized that he was, in fact, a survivor. And with that realization also came the insight that he had been blessed with many gifts in his life that should be shared with others. “I believe it is important to leave this world in better condition than it was when we arrived,” Paulson said, “so contributing to Augsburg and other worthwhile organizations is part of this process.”

The Science Center gift is provided in memory of Lois V. Paulson, Rose E. Paulson, and Johnny E. Paulson, by the Paulson family—John R., Sr., and Norma Paulson, John Reid Paulson, Mary Jo Peterson ’80, Deborah Stansbury, Laurie Dahl ’76, and Lisa Paulson ’80.

Regent Paul S. Mueller ’84 and Spouse Nancy Mackey Mueller ’85 Give Study Area in CSBR

Chemistry and physics majors delight in helping Augsburg’s future science students

Paul S. Mueller ’84 and Nancy Mackey Mueller ’85 met during physics tutoring sessions that Nancy led as a student. Science plays a major role in their lives, and now they are giving both current and estate plan gifts to support the Center for Science, Business, and Religion. Through their gift, which includes 25% of their estate, they will name a study area in the new building.

Augsburg prepared the family well for scientific careers

Paul has served as an Augsburg College regent since 2005. He is a staff consultant and division chair in General Internal Medicine at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. He is a Professor of Medicine and of Biomedical Ethics in Mayo Clinic’s medical school. Nancy teaches physics at Mayo High School in Rochester, and earlier taught chemistry and physical science. She has a master’s degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Maryland. Early in her career, she helped design submarines. They have three children. Their eldest son Luke graduated from Augsburg last spring and will pursue a graduate degree in biostatistics.

Prospect of the new center excites the Muellers

Nancy says: “We feel that the new CSBR is a long time in coming. The departments are so strong academically, but they don’t have the facility to match that quality. We are missing a lot of potential students because of facilities. We are very excited that this new center will be built.”

2002 Alumnus Makes Leadership Gift

Greetings and thanks for taking time for some Good News!

When the world offers distractions and difficulty, what do you do to renew your focus, energy and optimism?

In last month’s Good News I shared my personal story about my experience of turning doubt toward belief and my decision to lead Augsburg’s campaign for the new Center for Science, Business, and Religion (CSBR) and the positive ripple effects of that commitment.

Recently I found myself in the company of an Auggie whose genuine enthusiasm and sense of purpose reminded me again how one person can renew our excitement!

2002 Alumnus Makes Leadership Gift

In my role as campaign chair, I spend much of my time with alumni and friends of Augsburg who have been out of college for more than 20 years. They’ve had time to establish their lives making a home, career and family. Less often I get to spend time with loyal Augsburg people who are younger, more on the upswing in their lives.

Nick Slack ’02 is one of those people you feel fortunate to get to know. Nick shares my background in two ways, as a wrestler (Nick wrestled and has coached for Augsburg) and as a business man (Nick founded and runs his own sales and marketing company—Nick Slack Sales). Just last week I spoke with Nick at the Regents Leadership Summit where we celebrated donors to the CSBR and discussed ways to encourage more people to add their support to the effort.

Nick has converted his enthusiasm for Augsburg into a leadership gift of $25,000. Plus he won’t stop there. He is also sharing his belief in the college with others, inviting them to join him with their own gifts to bring this vitally important facility from plans to reality.

Next week you will read more about Nick when we profile him in the upcoming Class Challenge Newsletter. I am sure you will find his story exciting and motivating.

Asking You to Do Three Things

So many people inspire me to keep my faith and optimism and to know that with the support of many, with everyone adding what they are inspired and able to do, our goal comes closer to completion and fulfillment.

And, as you are filled with that inspiration, I invite you to remember the three things I ask each of you to do:

  • Prayerfully consider becoming a significant donor to the campaign.
  • Think about who you know who needs to hear the story of this special place.
  • Become a class leader and join the effort to raise $1 million or more per class.

Thanks for your continued interest in Augsburg and its commitment to its students, to prepare them for a life of leadership and service. With your support, we can keep transforming lives for good.


Mike Good ’71

CSBR Believe – Print Your Own

Augsburg’s Capital Campaign Chair Mike Good ’71 has shared with many people his personal story of transforming his belief in the importance of the CSBR Campaign into commitment and action. The Office of Institutional Advancement has received many requests for copies of the CSBR Believe sign. Download and print your own from this link to a .pdf file. Watch this short video to learn more about the inspiration for this image.

Augburg Faculty Awarded Over $695,000 In National Science Foundation Grants

As we kick off Homecoming week I want to take a moment to share some exciting news regarding faculty research and applaud the ongoing scholarly and creative activities of faculty and staff that are vital to our vision to be “small to our students, big for the world.”

Three Augsburg faculty, Mark Engebretson, David Hanson, and Ann Impullitti, have been awarded competitive research grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF). These grants, totaling $695,087, will support discrete research projects in physics, chemistry, and biology, and provide opportunities for undergraduate student learning and engagement in research..

Leading In The State of Minnesota

These awards demonstrate our strength in scholarship and build on the momentum of our past successes in securing grant funding. As I mentioned in last week’s State of the College address, Augsburg ranked third in Minnesota for the total dollar amount awarded by NSF in 2012. This positioned us as the leader in NSF funding among every private college in the state!

As we celebrate this great achievement, I want to also recognize the hard work and dedication of all faculty and staff. Your efforts have built and sustained the programs, supported the students, and established the relationships that make these awards possible.

To those of you who have taken the time to engage in research, scholarship or creative activities–Thank You. To those who have engaged or facilitated student participation in research, scholarship, or creative activities–Thank You. To those of you who have written proposals, received grants, mentored students, or mentored faculty–Thank You. You create the vibrant, inquiry driven environment that supports our students and the community. You make Augsburg small to our students and big for the world.

Award Details

Dr. Mark Engebretson, Professor of Physics, was granted a three year, $185,940 award from NSF’s Division of Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences for his project, “Collaborative research: Continued study of ultra low frequency (ULF) waves at cusp latitudes on Svalbard to probe earth’s space environment.” This project builds on a longstanding partnership between Augsburg and the University of New Hampshire (Dr. Marc Lessard) in an effort to better understand the dynamics of Earth’s magnetosphere and its interaction with the solar wind and interplanetary magnetic field (IMF).

Svalbard, Norway is the only place in the northern hemisphere where polar cusp field lines can be observed for extended periods in darkness at noon, making it an ideal location to carry out observations of ionospheric phenomena (including dayside aurora) on magnetic field lines that map to the outer boundary of the Earth’s magnetosphere. Funding will support the continued operation of an array of four search coil magnetometers (induction antennas) located in Svalbard and the analysis of magnetometer data for studies of ULF waves and associated phenomena in Earth’s space environment.

The data from the magnetometers are valuable for a number of space physics studies, and will be made available to the scientific community through the NASA Virtual Observatories. Additionally, this project will provide undergraduate student researchers with education and training opportunities in space physics and data analysis.

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. AGS-1202267.

Dr. David Hanson, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, was awarded $386,163 from NSF’s Division of Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences. The three year project, “Nucleation studies with sulfuric acid (H2SO4) and Nitrogenous Bases,” will test models for nucleation rates that can be incorporated into global climate models.

Nucleation is the driving force for new particle formation in the atmosphere. Newly formed particles affect clouds that greatly influence climate. The investigation of nucleation with the atmospherically important species sulfuric acid, water and amines is the focus of this project. The project will: 1) provide measured nucleation rates over a wide range of experimental conditions and 2) develop computation fluid dynamic (CFD) simulations of the experiments. The comparison of laboratory results to CFD simulations will yield the free energies of formation of small molecular clusters, which are the smallest of the small particles.

The results of this project will improve the representation of particle formation processes in climate models and increase understanding of the sources of particulate matter dangerous to human health. Additionally, eight undergraduate research students will be supported over the life of the project, providing opportunities to develop technical expertise, critical thinking skills, and confidence, in addition to supporting NSF’s goal to develop a diverse, globally competitive STEM workforce.

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. AGS-1338706.

Dr. Ann Impulitti, Assistant Professor of Biology, received a $122,684 Major Research Instrumentation Grant from NSF’s Division of Biological Infrastructure, and a $52,400 from the LiCor Environmental Education Fund (LEEF). The funds will be used to purchase a suite of instruments for plant ecophysiology research. Dr. Impulitti and her Co-Principal Investigators, Dr. John Zobitz, Associate Professor of Mathmatics, and Dr. Dean Malvick, University of Minnesota, will use the instrumentation to investigate the physiology of economically important plants infected by fungi and study mathematical modeling of ecophysiological processes. Research activities will explore: 1) the physiology and productivity of economically important plants colonized by pathogens that do not cause symptoms of disease; 2) the functional role of endophytes in plants; 3) the impact of sublethal infections by soil-borne pathogens of roots on plant productivity; and 4) the measurement of leaf-level physiological processes to parameterize ecosystem models of carbon cycling.

The instruments will be used for faculty research and undergraduate research in plant biology, environmental science, and mathematics. Students interested in research will have opportunities to be involved in quantitative data analysis in biology and mathematics, and research in a field and/or lab. The instrument will also improve collaborative and interdisciplinary research projects with faculty at the University of Minnesota. Results from these collaborations will improve our understanding of plant-fungal interactions, and will be applied to improving soybean yield and productivity, an important model plant due to its economic importance and growth throughout the U.S.

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. DBI-1337582.

If you are interested in learning more about securing grants for your research, scholarship, or creative activities, please visit http://inside.augsburg.edu/grants/ or contact Erica Swift at swift@augsburg.edu.


Regent Curt Sampson Sponsors Conference Room

U of MN graduate and racetrack entrepreneur Curtis Sampson and spouse Marian contribute a conference room for the Center for Science, Business, and Religion

An interest in physics research and a personal relationship with Augsburg leadership helped Curtis and Marian Sampson decide to make a major gift to the Center for Science Business and Religion. The Sampsons recently gave $150,000 to name a conference room in the building.

Curt’s love for Augsburg College runs deep, though he graduated from the University of Minnesota. His father was a classmate of Augsburg’s President Bernhard Christensen, who once visited their home when Curt was a boy. He can still visualize the black coupe President Christensen drove that day.

Feels good to increase support

Their gift honors family members who attended Augsburg Academy or Augsburg College: Curt’s father Selmer B., his uncle Alvin, his brothers Aldin and Selvin (all now deceased), and his living brother Wayne Sampson ’51. “President Christensen knew our family couldn’t give much then,” Curt says. “It feels good that we can support Augsburg today.” The Sampsons have been generous Augsburg donors over many years, with both their time and money. Recently Curt rejoined the Augsburg Board of Regents.

Inducted into the Twin Cities Business Hall of Fame, Curt built a series of telecommunications companies headquartered in Hector, Minn., including Communications Systems, Inc. In 1994 he purchased and revitalized Canterbury Park in Shakopee, Minn.

Taking pride in a small college’s excellence

He is proud that the Augsburg College Physics Department conducts geophysical research in the Antarctic with other research institutions across the world. When asked why others should support the Center for Science, Business and Religion, Curt says: “Donors have a chance to be part of a small Minnesota college being recognized globally. We can help students who want to pursue science access a premier facility for teaching and research.”

What Is It About Augsburg? The President’s Perspective

Greetings from Augsburg College where we have just begun our 145th academic year. We are excited that our first-year class will be one of the largest in the Colleges history and our returning students represent some of the most successful we’ve had the pleasure to teach. We are humbled by the multitude of gifts, passions, personal stories, and ambitions that these students bring to our campus. We are honored that these remarkable students have chosen Augsburg to pursue their education.

What is it about Augsburg that is attracting students today?

Last month, I was asked to speak on behalf of my presidential colleagues from Lutheran colleges and universities at the 2013 ELCA Churchwide Assembly. My remarks focused on the vitality of the 26 colleges and universities of the ELCA. As I explained at the Churchwide Assembly and have mentioned in past editions of the Presidents Perspective, I’m deeply concerned about and committed to the relevance of Lutheran higher education. Our core commitments as institutions of learning are unique and particularly relevant in the 21st century. ELCA colleges share five gifts of the Lutheran tradition that form a common identity and character, and these gifts highlight the synergy between what it means to be faithful to our core Lutheran values while at the same time relevant in the 21st century. These gifts include a focus on:

(1) vocation,

(2) critical and humble inquiry,

(3) engaging others in diverse communities,

(4) serving our neighbors, and

(5) semper reformanda—a belief in the value of reform, innovation, and new ways of approaching our work.

As you may know, in the past several years, students and parents have become highly focused on the role that higher education plays in the pursuit of secure, valuable careers. Families are seeking evidence that their college investment will yield a return in the form of successful post-graduate employment. In fact, career advancement now ranks as the No. 1 reason people choose to further their education.

Here at Augsburg, we are keenly aware that students and parents expect us to prepare graduates for successful lives and careers, and, I am pleased to say, we are uniquely positioned to deliver on that promise. We equip our students for vocational journeys that take them down many different pathways – and we do it by offering an educational experience unlike any other!

Augsburg has a long tradition of preparing students for careers. In the early years of the College, we focused on education for service in ministry, teaching, nursing, social work, and other professions. The strength of our reputation in these areas is well known. What’s as impressive — though perhaps less well known — is that we’ve launched thousands of scientists and engineers into their careers during that time. We have a strong pipeline to medical, law, and other professional and graduate schools. Our alumni include small business owners and corporate leaders, actors and musicians, IT professionals, writers, and leaders in the nonprofit world. Thanks in large part to our location in the heart of the Twin Cities, our students are able to build professional relationships in the field of their choice through internships, hands-on research, and other opportunities.

Perhaps most compellingly, Augsburg prepares students best for their various roles in the world by bringing together a diverse student community from across Minnesota, the United States, and the world. Students regularly point to the diversity of the Augsburg campus as one of our most attractive qualities. In our rapidly changing world, relationships that cross traditional boundaries are essential for effective leadership, problem solving, and civic engagement.

To help you imagine what today’s students are bringing to our campus, let me tell you about three who stand out in my mind.

Hannah attended high school in rural Wisconsin and is the recipient of a President’s Scholarship, our highest merit-based award. She is passionate for musical and theatrical performance and has a record of exceptional academic achievement. As the fifth of her family’s five children to attend Augsburg, Hannah knows this is the right college for her.

Samuel attended high school in northern Minnesota and is a Regents’ Scholarship recipient. He started two-a-day practice with the Augsburg football team a couple of weeks ago, which was a great way for him to establish friendships before classes began. As a pre-med student with the additional rigor of participating in the College’s Honors Program, he is going to have a busy first semester.

Stephanie is a Twin Cities native. Her high school teacher—an Augsburg alum—encouraged her to apply to the College. Stephanie is planning to major in Special Education and is the first member of her family to attend college. She will navigate the college experience with assistance from AVID, a program dedicated to increasing student learning, completions, and success in and beyond college. Augsburg was one of the first colleges in the U.S. to pilot AVID for Higher Education, and we are fortunate to connect with smart, driven students like Stephanie because we remain the only four-year private liberal arts college in the Upper Midwest with AVID.

When Augsburg opened its doors in Minneapolis in 1872 the total population of the city was about 20,000 people. Norwegian Lutherans and educational reformers like Sven Oftedal and Georg Sverdrup believed in offering students a practical and useful education that was relevant to their time.

Today, Minneapolis offers our students exposure to global corporations, thriving nonprofits, citizenship and government in action, an internationally known arts community, beautiful lakes and parks, ethnic and cultural diversity, and more. In the midst of this great city, we hold fast to the reform-minded values of our founders. We educate students for careers and for life. Augsburg is a college of choice because it is both faithful to its past and relevant to today’s students.

As always, thank you for your continued support and for positively influencing the lives of our students.

Faithfully yours,

Paul C. Pribbenow

CSBR Mary Laurel True and Wayne Jorgenson ’71 believe Augsburg helps students develop a spirit of generosity

Director of Service Learning and Community Engagement Mary Laurel True and Board of Regents member Wayne Jorgenson ’71 believe Augsburg fosters a spirit of service by encouraging students to engage and serve in the local community. Likewise, Augsburg alumni recognize the generosity that made their educational experience possible and give back in order to allow future students to experience the same quality education at Augsburg.

Building Toward Belief

Greetings and thanks for taking time for some Good News!

As Augsburg welcomes its largest freshman class in its history, I am remembering what helped me decide to become a student at Augsburg and the ways my experiences on campus turned me in a direction that shaped the rest of my life. It’s a decision I know was right for me.

Now, these many years later, I have had a chance to embrace my student experiences, understand how they led me to a career that took me to places I had only imagined, and offered me the opportunity to come full circle so I can give back to the place that gave me so much.

I invite you to take a few minutes to hear a bit more of that story by watching a short video. It will show you what happens when you focus on a goal, let yourself detach from the outcome, and believe. You will see, while some things are not always clear, when you allow yourself to listen and connect to what really matters to you, the answers are right there all along.

After you hear my story, please remember my ever present request—that you join me in the great work of bringing the Center for Science, Business and Religion to the heart of the Augsburg campus. Join me and help move Augsburg forward.


Mike Good ’71