Augsburg Names Inaugural Professor of Choral Leadership and Conducting, Advancing Music Education in a Pluralistic World

Kristina Boerger head shot
Kristina Boerger

Augsburg University has named Kristina Boerger the inaugural John N. Schwartz Professor of Choral Leadership and Conducting, beginning fall 2018.

The Schwartz Professorship supports Augsburg’s 21st century choral program—combining music reflective of a pluralistic society, superior choral performance standards, and the University’s commitment to civic engagement and inclusion. Boerger, who most recently served as director of choral activities at DePauw University, will lead a creative and visionary program that honors Augsburg’s legacy of engaging music majors and students from across campus, forging innovation in choral music education.

“Kristina Boerger has collaborated with leading composers and artists in creatively advancing the field of choral study and performance,” said Augsburg University President Paul C. Pribbenow. “Her work has garnered national recognition, and we’re excited to have her join Augsburg this fall.”

Boerger holds degrees in music education and conducting from the University of Illinois; has worked in public school, collegiate, and professional settings; and spent a number of years working in New York, where her work received favorable reviews in The New York Times. In addition to conducting, she’s performed with numerous groups as well as being a soloist. Boerger also has founded choirs and is deeply committed to the values of inclusion, access and equity, musics of diverse cultures, and commissioning original works.  

Augsburg undertook an international search to fill the Schwartz Professorship. Named for alumnus John N. Schwartz ’67, the professorship will initially be supported by an operational fund that provides for creative choral activities. Like many Augsburg choir alumni, Schwartz was not a music major. He majored in business but found meaning in the choir and has been singing his entire life.

Augsburg Mourns Campus Pastor Emeritus Dave Wold

Pastor Dave in a suitPastor Dave speaking at commencementAugsburg Campus Pastor Emeritus Dave Wold passed away on Thursday, April 12. Following is the message sent this morning, Friday, April 13, from Augsburg President Paul C. Pribbenow.

Dear Friends,

It is with great sadness that I share the news that Pastor Dave Wold passed away last night. Pastor Dave served Augsburg for three decades — 1983 until he retired at the end of the 2012-13 academic year — and was named Campus Pastor Emeritus by the Augsburg Board of Regents in recognition for his many contributions to our campus life and faith community.

One of Pastor Dave’s gifts was that he knew everyone’s name. He knew each of us. It’s hard to imagine how he was able to personally connect with so many people, but he did, and the breadth of his pastoral care strengthened and supported generations of Auggies. He touched thousands of lives and is beloved by alumni and Augsburg community members around the world.

Pastor Dave was also quick witted and loved to craft words and music. I’m sure everyone who knew him can recall how he loved to share jokes as a way of engaging with people. He lent those talents for words and music to the leadership of our Advent Vespers services over the years. He also wrote hundreds of light-hearted parodies, using familiar tunes as a unique means of sharing messages about faith.

Of course, we all know Pastor Dave’s passion for athletics and for working with young people. He was director of youth ministries for the American Lutheran Church (prior to the formation of the ELCA), founded the Holy Hoops congregational basketball league, and supervised many intern pastors. And, while the number of athletic games and matches he announced may not be known, our memory of his distinct announcer voice will not fade.

Our prayers and sympathies go out to Cathy Wold, Dave’s wife, and his family. Pastor Dave was a fiercely committed husband, father, and grandfather. We will share information about memorial services once those plans are confirmed. This morning, those on campus are invited to gather in Hoversten Chapel following our daily chapel service (10:55 a.m.), for a brief time of remembrance, prayer, and song.

I was honored to work with Pastor Dave for seven years, to sing with him before many an athletic contest, and to have him as my pastor on campus.  I join Dave’s many friends and colleagues in mourning his death and the loss of a good and faithful servant.

Faithfully yours,

Paul

 

Moody’s revises Augsburg University’s outlook to stable and affirms Baa3 credit rating

Moody’s Investor Service today revised Augsburg University’s outlook to stable from negative and affirmed the University’s Baa3 credit rating.

Moody’s cited Augsburg’s improved liquidity, effective fiscal oversight, successful fundraising, diverse program offerings, and urban Twin Cities location as strengths supporting its credit opinion. The report also noted that Augsburg continues to operate in a highly competitive student market and has moderately high debt relative to cash and investments.

“This favorable outcome is a great accomplishment, and one we’ve worked hard to achieve,” said Augsburg President Paul C. Pribbenow. “It’s a reflection of Augsburg’s competitive strengths — including our distinct market identity and diverse enrollment — as well as our intentional, sustained efforts driving dramatic improvements in liquidity.”

See the April 5, 2018 Moody’s news release.

City water line leak disrupts water service January 13, 2018, to Christensen Center

Update: Water service was restored to Christensen Center before 6 p.m. Saturday, January 13.

Earlier post:

A leak in the city water line that feeds Christensen Center was discovered around 10 p.m. Friday, January 12. Augsburg Facilities crew worked with the City of Minneapolis Water Department to shut the water off until the pipe can be repaired. As a result, there is no water service in Christensen. As of Saturday morning, January 13, we are still awaiting information about the timeline for repair, but there may not be water in Christensen for the weekend.

As a result, the following adjustments have been made to affected operations on January 13:

  • A’viands has made some menu and beverage modifications and adjusted its sanitation operations to ensure that students will continue to have quality foodservice in the Commons.
  • Nabo will be closed Saturday, January 13, so that A’viands can use that location for food preparation and dishwashing for the main dining facilities in Christensen Center.

 

Augsburg Works to Help McNally Smith Students Complete Degrees

McNally Smith College signFollowing the mid-December announcement that McNally Smith College of Music would be closing this December, Augsburg University teams have swung into action to support McNally Smith students seeking to transfer in order to complete their degrees.

Recognizing the urgency many McNally Smith students, including international students, are facing, Augsburg will enroll transfer students as quickly as this spring semester, which begins January 8.

“We will do our very best to assist students through this process as quickly as possible,” said Augsburg University Registrar Crystal Comer.

Augsburg and McNally Smith have an existing articulation agreement — a formal agreement that establishes transfer policies for specific courses or programs. Augsburg also is committed to carefully reviewing students’ courses that are not included in the articulation agreement for possible credit transfers.

Augsburg staff will be on site at McNally Smith this week to help student understand their options. McNally Smith students also are encouraged to schedule an appointment with a transfer counselor at Augsburg via the web site: www.augsburg.edu/transfer.

According to Augsburg Interim Vice President of Enrollment Management Nate Gorr, many McNally Smith students have already scheduled appointments. Students also can call or email questions to the Augsburg transfer team at transfer@augsburg.edu or 612-330-1001.

“People from across Augsburg — including faculty, academic advisors, admissions and housing staff, the registrar’s team, and student affairs — immediately began working to see how we could help McNally Smith transfer students when the announcement was made last week,” said Augsburg University President Paul Pribbenow. “Our hope is that our efforts and those of our sister schools will support all of McNally Smith’s remaining students in accomplishing their educational goals.”

 

KARE 11 discusses the legacy of discriminatory housing policies with the Mapping Prejudice Project

Three researchers seated in a long room with file cabinets and tables.
Kirsten Delegard and other Mapping Prejudice researchers talk with KARE 11 about their project.

In a conversation with KARE 11 Reporter Adrienne Broaddus, Kirsten Delegard, Augsburg University scholar-in-residence and director of the Mapping Prejudice project, discussed the lasting impact of historically discriminatory housing policies in Minneapolis.

“People think that because we didn’t have segregated water fountains or waiting rooms that we didn’t have segregation in Minneapolis,” she said, “but racial covenants determined who could live where … We are still living with the legacy of these policies. We can point to all kinds of disparities especially in area of home ownership that we are living with today because of these polices enforced over the last century.”

The Mapping Prejudice project, once complete, will be the first comprehensive map of racial covenants for a U.S. city. Watch the KARE 11 report about the project.

 

Minnesota Daily features the Mapping Prejudice Project’s work to uncover Minneapolis’ discriminatory housing past

Three researchers looking at a paper map of Minneapolis
Researchers in the Mapping Prejudice project review a Minneapolis map. Photo: Minnesota Daily

Under the Mapping Prejudice Project, scholars from the University of Minnesota and Augsburg University have analyzed over 1.4 million historic Minneapolis housing deeds, finding racist language in more 20,000 documents. These racial covenants forbidding the sale of property to people of color are no longer legally enforceable, but researchers hope documenting this side of the city’s history will influence urban planning in years to come.

This article describes the methods that the Mapping Prejudice researchers use to conduct their work and discusses the motivations for the project with project director and Augsburg scholar-in-residence Kirsten Delegard.

The research group plans to map Minneapolis by the end of 2017 and all of Hennepin County next year.

Read the full story at the Minnesota Daily News site.

Star Tribune talks to President Pribbenow about Mapping Prejudice project in South Minneapolis

Map of Minneapolis with color coding for regions with discriminatory residential policies
Screen shot of a time-progression map showing the growth of racially restrictive real estate covenants in the early 20th century.

Augsburg President Paul Pribbenow talks with the Star Tribune’s Randy Furst about how the Augsburg House — and much of South Minneapolis — were once governed by discriminatory housing policies. While the historical covenants are no longer legally binding, Augsburg is seeking a method to nullify the prohibition while still preserving the historical record, “so that we never lose sight of the actions that have segregated and repressed many,” Pribbenow said.

The findings about residential properties in South Minneapolis are part of the Mapping Prejudice project, led by a team of researchers from Augsburg and the University of Minnesota. For more information about the project, see Mapping Prejudice. Go to the Star Tribune article for information about other South Minneapolis homes, a perspective from a Minneapolis real estate lawyer, and an interactive map showing the growth of racially restrictive deeds across Minneapolis from 1910 to 1955.