This is Truly Great News

Mike Good 5115 announcement for webGreetings Augsburg alumni and friends,

Today I send you this special edition of Good News because we have truly Great News to share with you.

This morning, the Augsburg Board of Regents gathered on campus, along with faculty, staff, students, and alumni, to hear us announce:

We’ve met—indeed, we’ve exceeded— our capital campaign goal to raise $50 million for the Center for Science, Business, and Religion!

You can read President Paul Pribbenow’s message to the entire Augsburg community announcing this marvelous news here

The journey of this campaign began years ago with a big vision for the future of Augsburg College. Along the way we’ve relied on the faith and belief of so many. You’ve heard me say many times “all things are possible for them who BELIEVE!” We have stayed true to our belief and have reached our target!

We set out, unwavering, in our intention to secure the financial support that would assure the completion of this distinctive new facility, creating a place where students and faculty will come together in cross-disciplinary inquiry and prepare to meet the future, inspired and committed to serve their neighbor in a changing world.

With the most recent gifts, our total secured for the campaign now exceeds $50 million. A truly magnificent accomplishment!

Sally celebrating for webThis campaign has become the most broadly supported fundraising effort in the College’s history, with contributions coming from almost 1,000 alumni, faculty, staff, and friends of the College. This truly has been an all-out Auggie effort!

Along the way we asked God to use his great power to work through us in sharing this compelling Augsburg story with others. We asked Him to open people’s hearts to a special calling to support this transformational campaign with their prayers, support, and financial resources.

John Wooden, famed UCLA basketball coach, has said, “It’s amazing how much can be accomplished if no one cares who gets the credit.” This is true of all who contributed their time, talent, and treasure to this campaign … it was a great team effort.

I thank you all:
•    Board of RegentsRegents1
•    Alumni
•    Faculty and Staff
•    Students
•    Parents and Friends of the College
•    Campaign Action Team and Development Staff
•    President Pribbenow and Cabinet Members

However, it would be contrary to the very foundation of our belief system for us to simply claim this victory as our own. This week, reading in my Daily Bible, I revisited Psalm 115, whose opening words ring loud and true today as they did in ages past:

“Not to us, oh Lord, not to us. But to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness.”

These words remind us to rejoice in what we have accomplished together … but above all to give God the glory and thanks for the success of this campaign.

Now we have the opportunity to keep it going! Even as we celebrate this remarkable achievement, we invite everyone who cares for Augsburg to add your support to this special campaign. Wouldn’t it be great if every Auggie could say that they helped build this transformational facility?

We have more to do. The costs for construction have risen. Your gifts, added now, will help us meet this challenge. In the tradition of good stewardship, we want to take on as little debt as possible, and your additional gifts will assure as small a debt load as feasible.

We offer many ways to make your gifts: checks, pledges over years, appreciated securities, paid-up insurance policies, estate giving with documented gifts through your will. You can buy a brick and honor someone special to you.

Today my heart is full of gratitude for all that has led us to this great moment … this celebration of the power of belief. Thanks to all who have walked with us. Thanks to all who continue to believe in the spirit that is uniquely Augsburg.

I look forward to the celebrations yet to come, when we break ground, start construction, open the doors, and walk into this beautiful new facility and into an even brighter future for Augsburg!

Mike Good ’71

CSBR National Campaign Chair

An Exciting Announcement from the CSBR Campaign

President Paul C. Pribbenow shared the following message with the Augsburg College community this morning in celebration of an impressive milestone for the history of the College.

Dear Faculty and Staff,

CSBR announcementThis morning, with a contingent of students, faculty, and staff present, Mike Good ’71, national campaign chair for the Center for Science, Business, and Religion, announced to the Board of Regents that we have reached the $50 million goal for the CSBR campaign!

Since the campaign passed the $45 million mark in late March, numerous donors have made gifts to the CSBR, building on the generosity of our two $10 million donors and allowing us to raise the final $5 million in a relatively short time. So many people were involved in getting us to this successful milestone that it’s not possible to fully express my gratitude for this amazing effort. I’m grateful for the more than 900 donors—including alumni, staff, faculty, regents, and parents–who have made gifts in support of this project. I’m grateful for the Board of Regents, whose leadership and commitment were the foundation of this campaign. I’m grateful for faculty and staff members whose advocacy energized the campaign, and for the Institutional Advancement team, whose work with our generous donors built the campaign’s momentum. And I’m grateful for Mike Good’s generous leadership as our volunteer campaign chair. Mike’s faith in this effort was matched only by his vision and tireless work in making it a success.

I’m profoundly grateful because the CSBR exemplifies the unique type of education Augsburg offers—where academic work at the intersections of today’s most important ideas and challenges is combined with hands-on learning experiences in labs, across campus, and in the communities we serve. As our signature academic building, the CSBR represents our commitment to be faithful to our mission and Lutheran identity and, at the same time, highly relevant to today’s students, who are a more diverse group of learners than ever before. It is a key element in our Augsburg2019 strategic plan and embodies our vision to be small to our students and big for the world.

With the $50 million campaign fundraising milestone achieved, the Board will vote this afternoon on a resolution to proceed to the next stage of architectural design. This stage involves the selection of an architect to work with our builder, McGough Construction, to develop detailed construction documents. This engineering and design work is needed in order to establish a guaranteed maximum price and a financing model for the project, which will be presented to the Board next year prior to approval of groundbreaking. More information about the Board’s action will be included in the summary from Board Chair, Dr. Paul Mueller ’84, in early May.

In the meantime, let’s celebrate this landmark milestone for Augsburg College! What a terrific addition to our commencement weekend, as we recognize our students’ accomplishments and anticipate the great things they will achieve next.

Yours faithfully,

Paul C. Pribbenow


The Band Plays On

Earl and Joyce Hauge '63In 1960, the 50-member Augsburg Concert Band, led by Director Mayo Savold, went on a six-week, 10,000-mile tour of Canada and Alaska that culminated at the Alaska Music Festival. The intrepid musicians traveled by bus, plane, and ship, and even made a vinyl record that was marketed nationally by Schmitt Music Company. Percussionist Joyce (Gustafson) Hauge ’63 celebrated her 20th birthday on the trip. Fifty-five years later, she remains friends with her former band mates, and she and her husband Earl are loyal Augsburg donors. Their gifts have supported the Center for Science, Business, and Religion, scholarships, and more. “It’s wonderful to give back to a college that has given me so much,” says Hauge, referring to the lifelong friends and career preparation she gained at Augsburg. “We’re happy that we are able to do it.”

A Close Community

Hauge grew up near Hanley Falls in southwestern Minnesota. With a high school graduating class of 12, she was attracted to Augsburg’s small size, its Christian foundation, and the fact that it was in Minneapolis, where there would be more career opportunities in her chosen field of elementary education “The city was a real calling card with me,” she explains.

Hauge had known she wanted to be a teacher since the first grade. “In the summer we would spend hours on our porch playing ‘school,’ whether my sisters wanted to or not,” she laughs. At Augsburg she became part of the first graduating class in elementary education. “Martha Mattson started the program at Augsburg while I was there, and she did a wonderful job preparing us to start our careers.” Hauge went on to spend the majority of her 28-year teaching career educating first graders, mostly in Glenwood, Minn., where she and husband Earl still live. “I love working with children,” she says.

Making Friends and Music

unnamed(1)“You kind of felt you were family at Augsburg. It was a really good feeling, coming from a small community where you knew everybody.” Hauge says she has wonderful memories of going to games, performing in the band, and singing in the Cantorians women’s group. “Music was a big part of my college life.” She worked as a switchboard operator and senior counselor in the girls’ dormitory, a secretary to Mayo Savold, and a cashier in the dining hall. “Everyone has to eat, and I saw all the kids going in and out of the dining hall,” she remembers fondly. After graduation she worked in the office of Gerda Mortensen, dean of women, before starting her first teaching job. Hauge married Earl in 1963, and they have lived in Glenwood for the past 40 years. Continue reading

Celebrating Excellence and Providing Opportunity with Gift to CSBR

RebekahDupontLSAMPGrads14“One of the most exciting things about being an educator is seeing former students come back,” says Rebekah Dupont, Augsburg professor of mathematics, director of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Programs, and a donor to the Center for Science, Business, and Religion (CSBR). She’s looking forward to welcoming alumni and other volunteers to the CSBR and thrilled that Augsburg will have a STEM learning environment that reflects the excellence of its students and faculty. “The CSBR is exciting on a lot of levels,” she says. “I can’t wait!”

Welcoming STEM Alumni Back to Augsburg

131031 calc class 315(1)In the 20 years since Dupont joined the Augsburg faculty, she’s seen a lot of students come and go – and come back again. “It’s engrained in Augsburg alumni to give back,” Dupont says. Alumni help prepare students for high-paying, meaningful STEM careers by mentoring students, visiting classes, and arranging for site visits, research opportunities, and internships. “I’m passionate about being able to watch the journey of alumni and work with them collaboratively,” Dupont says. By helping students, alumni also help educate greater numbers of qualified STEM graduates to meet workforce demand and diversify the workforce. Part of faculty, staff, and alumni’s shared work is to ensure that first-generation college students and others master both the technical skills and the “soft skills” they will need to excel in the workplace. “If we can support these students, we’re benefiting them, their kids, their parents, and their families.”

CSBR Will Open Doors to STEM Careers

RebekahDupontConferenceThe design of the CSBR will facilitate both formal and informal interaction between students, alumni, and faculty in different fields. “This interaction will feed their careers,” says Dupont, who helps students discover career paths they may not have considered. “Jobs in STEM sectors are the highest paying and have the highest job satisfaction and security rates of any sector,” she explains. Increasingly, she says, scientists with advanced degrees are going to work for corporations, rather than colleges and universities, so interaction with business students and faculty in the CSBR will be valuable to students as they discern their vocations. As an example, Dupont points to significant growth in the need for highly analytical graduates who have the ability to work with “big data,” the unprecedented volume, velocity, and variety of information available to businesses today. “A STEM degree in a larger liberal arts context helps them understand the implications, ethics, and creativity of their work,” Dupont says.

Honoring Faculty, Students and Alumni with CSBR Gift

Dupont recalls a recent conversation with a 1965 alumni couple who shared how Augsburg faculty challenged them to do their best, but also supported them and gave them the confidence to succeed in their careers in mathematics. She loves to hear stories like theirs. “Our faculty give their all to their students,” she says. “And they’re resilient and resourceful! When you look at the level of work being done, the amazing amount of undergraduate research, and the limited resources and facilities the faculty have, it’s very impressive.” In a way, she says, her financial support of the CSBR is in honor of Augsburg faculty. “This facility will allow them to take their students to even higher levels.”


Science, Business, and Religion Keystone Course Inspires Vocation

At Augsburg College, Russell Kleckley, in the religion department, and Larry Crockett, in computer science, developed a keystone course for students to explore the intersections between science, business, and religion. Illustrator Timothy Foss visited the class and saw Augsburg College students making connections between disciplines and finding vocation at the core of their real-world implications.

CSBR Gifts Support Auggie Success on the Mat and in the Lab

Jeff Swenson with distinguished alumni wrestlers at Homecoming 2014

Jeff Swenson ’79 with distinguished alumni award recipients (and wrestlers) Dean Kennedy ’75 and Mike Good ’71 at Homecoming 2014.

“Anytime that Augsburg does something spectacular, it’s time to celebrate,” says Augsburg Athletic Director Jeff Swenson ’79. Whether it’s making the dream of the Center for Science, Business, and Religion (CSBR) come true or winning the 2015 NCAA Divison III National Championship in Wrestling, it’s all good for Augsburg. “There’s a lesson to be learned for all of us,” Swenson says of the wrestlers’ victory. “You’re never out of it. You never give up. Many people had counted the team out, but the team never counted itself out. They believed anything was possible.” Swenson also supports another one-time underdog, the CSBR, as a donor and fundraiser. Like campaign leadership, fellow alumni and benefactors, he believes in the CSBR.

First Impressions Matter

“I took classes in our current science building in 1975, and it was old then,” Swenson says, pointing out the simple truth that Augsburg doesn’t have enough labs and science classrooms to meet students’ needs. He admits that coaches hoping to recruit student athletes often skip the science building on tours for fear that it will make a bad first impression. If facilities are inadequate, some students assume that the institution doesn’t care about a particular academic discipline or activity. That couldn’t be further from the truth in the case of science at Augsburg. “There’s some incredible work that goes on in that science building,” he says.

40 Years of “School”

Swenson says he’s gone back to school—not work—at Augsburg every fall since 1975. He keeps learning how to make the student-athlete experience a little bit better every day. “That’s what fuels me,” he says. “It might have to do with providing them with more coaches, or better-lit facilities, or more locker rooms. Whatever the project is, we always want to be moving forward.”

His job is about much more than athletics, though; it’s about Augsburg’s mission. “At Augsburg, we’re preparing our students to be future leaders. Once you’ve been a student athlete and you’ve managed classes, studying, practices, and competitions, then everything else is easy.” Continue reading

Untying the Colt: The Beauty of Generosity

Mike Good '71Our Augsburg capital campaign received some very good news this past month. We’ve been notified of a multimillion dollar estate gift from one of our alumni, who recently passed away unexpectedly.

We’ll share details with you about this magnificent gift very soon. Meanwhile, because it comes to us as something of a surprise, I’m drawn to explore the beauty and mystery of such generosity. For me it connects with the way a special holiday can lead us to see things in a new way, to hear a story and understand it in a new light.

That’s what happened to me on Palm Sunday.

I’ve been spending some time in Florida with my wife Ann and our daughter Mandy, my son-in-law Joe (both Auggies), and our two granddaughters. They attend the Sun Coast Community Church in Sarasota. It’s a non-denominational big box church and the first half hour consists of the congregation standing and singing along with the musicians to (loud) gospel rock music. Then the “teaching pastor” gives an inspiring sermon, many times using video to support his message.

That morning a song caught my ear. It’s by the News Boys, off their CD called “Restart.” The lyrics that stayed with me are:

“We believe in the resurrection.

So let our faith be more than anthems

Greater than the songs we sing.

In our weakness and temptations, 

We believe, we believe!”

Since most of you reading this message know me pretty well by now, you’re probably not surprised that these lyrics truly spoke to me. I hope you’ll listen to it in its entirety.

On Palm Sunday, the pastor had a message that caused me to reflect about giving and our campaign for the new Center for Science, Business, and Religion … and how we are getting so close to its successful completion.

The Lord needs it

The story he shared with us that morning is the familiar Palm Sunday story from Luke 19: 28-42. But this time, the Pastor shared a new way of looking at the first part of that jubilant ride into Jerusalem. It gave me an insight that I’d never really thought about.

His first point was this: “When challenged with our resources, remember the phrase, the Lord needs it.” (v31) Continue reading