Caring, Sharing, and Impact

Pam MoksnesHow many times in our lives do we have the chance to make a truly transformational impact?

I hope that, for you, this brings to mind some very meaningful experiences when you felt part of something larger than yourself.

Did you feel the smiles and gratitude for your help or involvement? And, perhaps, love and generosity in return? During February, a month known for expressing our caring and love for others, I invite you to join in another of those transformational life experiences.

As fellow Auggies, we each hold special memories of Augsburg. For me, Augsburg College fostered values that aligned with mine: faithfulness, excellence, inclusion, opportunity and hope for the future—values we held as we embarked on our pathway of living and serving in the world. Today, Augsburg’s core values remain the same. They live today through the students in even more significant, global ways.

Just a few weeks ago, many of us attended a Summit gathering for the Center for Science, Business, and Religion (CSBR) on campus. More than 250 alumni and friends joined with the Board of Regents and faculty to hear the good news that this planned, signature, first-of-its-kind facility will truly transform the campus.

I felt the joy of reconnecting with alumni from my class and others, amazement with the excellence of faculty and students who “lead on” in this world, and love for Augsburg College, still standing boldly to educate students in world class programs. Each of us were encouraged to become part of this tremendous project, the Center for Science, Business, and Religion.

The really good news is that this is not a dream; it will happen and be built with the involvement of you and me and so many others. We have already raised more than $40 million in commitments toward the $50 million goal.

I invite you back to campus to take time to learn more about the impact of this top-tier signature facility. Augsburg is receiving positive feedback both locally and nationally from civic officials and business leaders regarding this interdisciplinary approach.

As you read the stories included in this news update, you will also find another way to participate. You can add your very tangible support by purchasing a brick that will be included in the new building. This link takes you to more information about how to make a gift that will make visible the legacy of generosity growing among us.

Even if you have already made your gift to the CSBR, please consider adding a memorial brick, or even two, in honor of your family, former student, or someone else who made a difference in your experience at Augsburg.

With your caring and sharing, the impact for the students, the community, and for Augsburg will be truly transformational through the new Center for Science, Business, and Religion.

We are almost there! Please join us! We want everyone to be part of the excellence of Augsburg going forward!

Pam Moksnes ’79

Class Challenge Leader

Board of Regents


Exciting New Announcement for the CSBR

I have very exciting news to share with you regarding the Center for Science, Business, and Religion!

On the heels of another successful Summit, on January 30 we announced to the Board of Regents and to the faculty and staff that Augsburg has received a transformational $10 million gift that has lifted us above the $40 million mark in our campaign to raise $50 million to build the CSBR.

The name of the donor, a current member of the Board of Regents, will be announced in the near future when we can recognize and honor the family in a most appropriate way for their naming-level gift. The gift is to be given in cash before the end of 2015, which means that conversations will now begin as to when groundbreaking can be considered.

Thanks to each and every individual and family who has contributed to the campaign’s success and our growing momentum. We can now see the finish line ahead. We still have $10 million in pledges to secure in order to achieve our goal, and I ask all of you for your continued prayers and support.

I BELIEVE that we can finish the campaign this year! If we do that, we will be able to begin construction on the entire building instead of staging the construction in two phases. This would save the College several million dollars in construction costs.

Crossing the $40 million mark is a great accomplishment. I ask you to join us in celebrating this new milestone and giving thanks to God for the generosity of this family who has been so faithful to Augsburg. I also give thanks for all the volunteers, donors, and staff who continue to work for the completion of this campaign.

Thanks for BELIEVING! All things are possible for those who believe.

With gratitude,
Mike Good ’71
National Campaign Chair
Center for Science, Business, and Religion

* There is still important work to be done in order to reach our $50 million goal and break ground in May 2016. I look forward to sharing more about how we can work together to complete this effort. To learn more about this project, visit

Transformational News for the CSBR

Mike Good '71“For we walk by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5-7

Today I write with news that is more than good … it’s transformational!

When I said I BELIEVE in Augsburg and this campaign to build a signature academic building—where the disciplines of science, business, and religion will be housed in a first-of-its-kind new facility—I had faith in the generosity of Auggies.

On January 31, we announced to the Board of Regents and to the faculty and staff that Augsburg has received a transformational $10 million gift that has lifted us above the $40 million mark in our campaign to raise $50 million to build the CSBR.

“Faith does not need to push the river because faith is able to trust that there is a river. The river is flowing. We are in it.” —Richard Rohr

All of my life experiences—including my time on the Augsburg wrestling team, as an executive building new companies, as a member of the Board of Regents, and now as chair of the CSBR Campaign—have taught me that you need to believe in and visualize a new future before you can create that new future. (Watch the Believing is Seeing video here.)

As you increase your own belief in Augsburg, you’ll also see what the power of your belief creates. Today we celebrate this marvelous sign, this amazing gift, that we are on our way to completing this campaign … I invite you to turn your belief into action and investment. We still have $10 million to raise to reach our goal. Each and every one of you can make a real difference in our success.

In every meeting I hold, in every correspondence, I ask you to consider three things:

  • Prayerfully consider your own stretch gift. Could you confirm your estate plan with us? Or add to your existing pledge? Or advance your cash payment plan?
  • Think of others who you know who should hear our “Augsburg Story.” Who has not heard about this directly from one of us?
  • Consider being a Class Leader (See our Class Challenge news for more details).

With your belief and action, we can complete this campaign in time for the May, 2015 Board of Regents meeting. I am eager to hear from you. Thank you!

All things are possible for those who Believe!

Mike Good ’71

Alumni Couple Look Back with Appreciation, Pay Forward with Conviction

Erickson photoDenny and Mary Lou (Ervin) Erickson, both ’64, first read about plans for the Center for Science, Business, and Religion in an annual fund correspondence. They’d also heard about the Center from Chris Kimball, a former Augsburg provost and dean and current president of California Lutheran University, where Denny is serving his third term on the Board of Regents. But it wasn’t until Keith Stout, assistant vice president of major gifts, drove down from Denver to northern New Mexico to spend a few hours in their Los Alamos living room that the CSBR vision came into focus.

“That visit explained the project in a way that gelled our thinking and commitment,” Denny says. “The creative inspiration that brings these three mainstream disciplines together in one place can only happen at a faith-based institution. The synergy they create is one of the underlying thrusts of our culture, and that will be even more important as we go forward into the future. It’s going to be dramatic.”


Shaping a world view and a lifetime

Denny credits his Augsburg education for not only his esteemed physics career at Los Alamos National Laboratory but also a broad worldview that serves him well. He credits an inspirational pastor at what is now Abiding Savior Lutheran Church in Mounds View, where he and Mary Lou were active in the Luther League, with introducing them to Augsburg. LuVerne ‘Red’ Nelson was an Augsburg and Augsburg Seminary graduate who promoted his alma mater every chance he got.

“In those days we didn’t think too much about leaving home and going across the world to get educated, so for us it made sense. And once it got us, we never looked back,” Denny recalls.

He’d considered starting out at Augsburg, then transferring, but once on campus, he quickly reconsidered. “That’s when Ted Hanwick captured me,” Denny says. “I became one of his protégés, and he put me on a life track that I never got off. He was one of those few wise individuals I’ve been lucky to come across in life, especially in my young life. He understood the beauty and rigor of physics, and he recognized—I now know in retrospect—my aptitude for science. He kept feeding and pushing and inspiring me, and at the end of my junior year, he helped me get a summer appointment at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.”

Continue reading

Believing is Seeing: The CSBR Summit Video

A new video made its debut at the Campaign Summit for the Center for Science, Business, and Religion on January 29. This video, Believing is Seeing, articulated the vision that Mike Good has shared since he began in the role of volunteer Campaign Chair for the CSBR: all things are possible for them that believe. Thank you to all the many participants and students who made this video possible!


Believing is Seeing screen shot

Augsburg receives $10 million gift to name the Center for Science, Business, and Religion

The message below was shared with Augsburg faculty and staff on Friday,  January 30, 2015. We know you will rejoice in this good news with us!

Dear colleagues,

This is the kind of news that college presidents love to share: Today, we are making a preliminary announcement of a $10 million naming-level gift to the Center for Science, Business, and Religion. We will not be announcing the name of the donor today because we are working on a formal announcement event that we hope will be meaningful and include the donor’s family. You will hear more about that celebration in the coming months as plans are confirmed.

The CSBR naming gift brings the total funds we have raised for the campaign to more than $40 million! And, in the interest of moving toward ground-breaking for the new building, the donor will make this gift in cash this year. I am truly humbled and inspired by the generosity and leadership of this donor, whose confidence in this project, I know, will inspire generosity in others throughout the final stretch of this campaign.

As I said this morning when we shared this news with the Board of Regents, the success of the campaign for the CSBR is the result of this entire community’s commitment. At the core, it is critical to have strong leadership from the Board of Regents – because our goals are so ambitious and because we not are not only seeking to raise the needed funds but also to create a culture of philanthropy. Our Board has embraced this challenge.

Leadership from within our campus community also has been central to this success. I was proud to name many faculty and staff members this morning when sharing with the Board the roster of those who have supported this effort, engaged in events, reached out to others, and inspired donors by providing outstanding educational experiences for our students. Each of you, truly, has made a difference in this campaign.

Finally, I acknowledge with a deep sense of gratitude the work of the team that has been on the ground (and in the air) keeping the momentum of this campaign going month after month. First is Mike Good ’71, who two and a half years ago moved back to Minnesota to take on the role of CSBR campaign chair. He has been on campus and visiting donors around the country every week since then. His commitment and drive have accomplished more than we could have imagined.

And then there is the Advancement staff, led by Heather Riddle, Vice President of Institutional Advancement. This team made significant shifts over the last couple of years to embrace a strategy of supporting a volunteer-led effort – one that is paying off not only for the CSBR campaign but also in Annual Fund growth, growth in funding for academic programs, and in a growing base for a future endowment campaign to support the academic success of our students. This team consistently gives the credit for their success to the donors they work with, but make no mistake about the effort and commitment they themselves bring to the table. It is extraordinary.

Together—and only together—we are going to build the Center for Science, Business, and Religion. And so, together, let’s celebrate this terrific news and the inspiring support of this leadership donor.

Yours faithfully,

Paul C. Pribbenow, Ph.D.

Augsburg College

Revealing my wishes for the future

Shelby AndressWith a new year come new intentions. Some of us use resolutions. Others look toward shifting habits and self-improvement. For me, this early January afforded me some special time with my children. It may surprise you that one thing we did together was to review my “Honoring Choices” advanced care directive statement with them.

Now that I am in my 80s, I realize time spent together is more precious than ever. I want my children to know my wishes for when something changes for me and my well-being.

Those of you who know me and my passion for Augsburg and its students won’t be surprised to hear one aspect of my directive to them. Even if my life gets smaller and smaller, I don’t want to give up relating to students at Augsburg. Somehow I need them in my life. I laughingly tell my family . . . “If the time comes that my world becomes smaller because of health issues, get me to Augsburg for my energy boost!” I always want to spend time there on campus, learning from its students, faculty, staff and alums. I NEED to be there!

My passion for this campus and its students grows each time I am there. I see the world in the faces who greet me. I also experience the same deeply held values that welcomed me and my classmates on our arrival as freshmen so many years ago.

Just the other day I spoke with a student as we walked out of the music building. I asked him about his experience: what does he find here?

He spoke of the dedication of faculty, and how stimulating the campus is to him. He finds his faculty seek to discover what is distinctive in each student and to draw more of that out in them. That the standards of excellence remain a baseline for all.

What I see at Augsburg today is that it is no stretch to believe we will exceed our ambitious goals for fundraising, especially the $50 million target to secure for the remarkable building of a new Center for Science, Business, and Religion. I am seeing already the interaction of students from multiple cultures moving out of the boundaries of disciplines to collaborate and find new paths forward. I see interrelationship and understanding between technical fields and the cultures of the world.

I see a building that was new 63 years ago when I arrived on campus ready for replacement. How can I not invest my financial and moral support for the promise of an even better Augsburg?

Please join me at the upcoming Summit where you can learn more about today’s Augsburg and the planned new building. See the full invitation here, and you may RSVP to Sonja Casperson at or 612-330-1171.

Join me as a believer of Augsburg’s brightest future. Join me in your support of our Class Challenge initiative. You’ll be glad you did.

Shelby Andress ’56

Welcoming all who seek and connect with the call

Mike Good '71

Mike Good ’71 Campaign Chair, Center for Science, Business, and Religion

“Augsburg is where I found my calling and where I decided I wanted to make the world a better place. I learned to apply the phrase ‘be true to thyself’ to me and I am grateful for it.”

So said Jacquie Berglund ’86 who received the Spirit of Augsburg Award during Augsburg’s 2014 Homecoming activities.

Welcoming all who connect with the call

You may know that each month I share the Good News with all who want to know the story of today’s Augsburg. It’s a growing number of alumni and friends of Augsburg who are actively increasing their connection and commitment to the very core of what it means to be an Auggie. That very meaning Jacquie discovered, too.

Jacquie’s story serves as a great example.

Augsburg is where Jacquie found her calling—to turn her entrepreneurial hunger into beer making and a successful social enterprise business that also produces food for the hungry.

How, you may ask, does that work? Continue reading