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Women’s athletics celebrates 35 years of success

hpe_mainAugsburg is observing its 35th anniversary of the varsity women’s athletic program, as well as the rich history of women’s athletics prior to the Title IX era. Augsburg’s varsity women’s basketball and volleyball teams started in 1972, along with gymnastics and tennis.

On Sept. 28, a celebration of this anniversary was held, with a reception in the room named after Lavonne Johnson Peterson, a true pioneer of women’s athletics at Augsburg. Later, athletes and former athletes proceeded in a “Parade of Champions,” where official athletic “A” letters were presented to all women who participated in sports at Augsburg prior to 1988. Current women athletes cheered on their predecessors.

When asked about the changes in women’s athletics over the years, Joyce Pfaff, Professor of Health and Physical Education at Augsburg says, “We have come a long way from bake sales to pay our officials to sewing our own uniforms to breaking barriers. Augsburg women athletes have a rich history and a very bright future. It is the wins ON and IN (Title IX) the courts by our ‘foremothers’ some decades ago that has built the foundation for our student athletes and their success story.”

Though the varsity era of Auggie women’s athletics began in 1972, there have been women’s sporting activities at the University dating to the mid-1920s. From the 1940s to the 1970s, there were numerous intramural sports sponsored for women, including the famous “Auggiettes” basketball team, coached by Peterson. The Auggiettes competed in the Minneapolis Park Board league and compiled a 125-5 record in 15 seasons from 1950 to 1965.

During Homecoming this October, the unbeaten Auggiettes basketball team of 1956-57, celebrating its 50th anniversary, will be honored with induction as a group into the Augsburg Athletic Hall of Fame.

Another Auggie in Asia

OCTOBER 13, 2008

pfaff_chinaYet another Auggie has joined the ranks of those working and studying across the Pacific. Joyce Pfaff, associate professor of physical education at Augsburg, and her husband, Doug, make up the Augsburg Asia delegation withAshley Stoffers and Nou Chang in South Korea, and Marissa Machado, international admissions counselor who is currently recruiting in Vietnam and China. On September 2, the Pfaffs traveled to teach at United International College in Zhuhai, China for four months. Pfaff is maintaining a blog about their experiences.

In addition to teaching, the Pfaffs are setting up a fitness center for UIC staff and faculty and are organizing a “fitness challenge” between Augsburg and UIC. She writes, “The AUGGIES are in trouble since the Chinese do not like to lose. I know Carol Enke (Augsburg’s Faculty/Staff fitness coordinator) does not like to lose either so LET THE CHALLENGE BEGIN!”

The Pfaffs have been exploring the city and areas around Zhuhai. Those who know Joyce will not be surprised to learn that she and her husband are staying very active, biking around the city and hiking with a fellow Minnesotan (carrying sticks to fend off the monkeys) outside of Hong Kong.

Yesterday we ventured out to purchase new bicycles. We decided we could not live here for 4 months without wheels, so we made the big splurge. It cost us less than $100 for both of them. We had plenty of help and ended up with 2 very nice, brand new, single speed, fully loaded (basket, bell, lock and kickstand) bikes that have got to weigh 50 pounds each. We went for a 2-hour ride today and both agree that without our bikes we would never be able to see and explore many of the things our new home city of Zhuhai has to offer.

In an Oct. 12 message to her colleagues, Joyce wrote, “We begin our second week of classes today. We (Doug is my teaching assistant) have 2 Fitness classes. When I introduced Doug as my TA and also my husband all of the students laughed, so at least they understood some of what I was saying. I am working on talking slowly (not easy for me), repeating myself and using very simple terms that are easy to understand. I realized early on that I could not use words like “abdominal muscles” and need to say “stomach” instead. The students were listening very intensely but not understanding me.

The first day of classes my class list was printed in Chinese so I had no clue on how to take attendance. Luckily the only person in PE who can speak some English was free and he came in to help me take attendance. Since most of the students have English names, I was able to write those down so things should become easier. My students are actually very nice and extremely polite (as I had originally expected). There are 25 students in each class so that makes is easy.”

ABOUT UIC (from her blog)

UIC (United International College) is a 4-year liberal arts college founded jointly by Bejing Normal University and Hong Kong Baptist University. It is located in Zhuhai, China (just East of Hong Kong and North of Macau). All classes are taught in English. The school begins its fourth year in the fall of 2008 and will have approximately 3,300 students enrolled. This fall 1,200 new first-year students are expected, and they will be graduating their first class of 270 students in the spring of 2009.

At present, the majority of students come from mainland China, but the intention is to recruit more international students to realize a goal of about 50/50 (international/Chinese). The student body is approximately 60% female and 40% male. Although UIC has 13 different majors, 50% of the students are majoring in business.

New press box dedication Nov. 1

OCTOBER 31, 2008

press_boxAugsburg will formally dedicate the new press box at Edor Nelson Field during Saturday’s 1 p.m. football game against St. Thomas. A recognition ceremony for the donors will be held during halftime of the game.

The old press box had windows that didn’t open which prevented announcers from hearing the action on their field and made for an uncomfortably warm spot to watch the game. The new press box has windows which will allow announcers to hear the game better and also provide them with a breath of the fresh autumn air that often accompanies our football games.

The opening of the two-level press box formally completes the Kennedy Center addition to Si Melby Hall, which has provided new classroom, meeting room, office space, fitness facilities and additional locker room space for the entire Augsburg community. The press box serves Augsburg’s game administration staff, coaches and the media during events for the four sports that use Edor Nelson Field — football, men’s soccer, women’s soccer and softball. With the completion of the press box, Augsburg will now be able to utilize the third-floor classrooms overlooking the field for special receptions, as well as hospitality rooms during athletic events.

Augsburg thanks the following donors for their generous support for construction of the press box: E. Milton “Milt” Kleven ’47; Dick “Pork Chop” Thompson ’61; Gunnar and Mary Wick; Oliver Dahl ’45; John ’36 and Christine Haaland; Glen Person ’47; and the Augsburg Alumni A-Club.