A recent report airing on KARE 11 television noted that, “Augsburg College is located in the heart of Minneapolis in one of the most diverse zip codes in the city.” And, the College’s graduating class reflects that diversity.
As the story explained, “Under President Paul C. Pribbenow‘s leadership, the college has more than tripled the percentage of minorities in the full undergraduate body. In 2006, there were 11 percent compared to 33 percent in 2016.” The traditional undergraduate graduating class of 2016 is comprised of more than 42 percent students of color — a record achievement for the institution.
Pribbenow said Augsburg has been committed to attracting and supporting students from minority populations for more than a decade and has partnered with college readiness programs to achieve its success.
The broadcast report also included an interview with Robert Harper ’16, an alumnus who described why he values his college experience and the diverse makeup of his graduating class.
Read and watch: Augsburg graduates most diverse class in history on the KARE 11 website.
The Star Tribune recently covered the start of construction on the Norman and Evangeline Hagfors Center for Science, Business, and Religion — Augsburg College’s much anticipated interdisciplinary academic building scheduled to open in January 2018. The article notes that the capital campaign for this building project was the most successful in the College’s history and so far has generated $54 million, which is eight times more than Augsburg has ever raised.
The story also acknowledges the generosity of the building’s lead donors, describing Norm Hagfor’s career success and the decades-long connection the Hagfors family developed with Augsburg.
Read Augsburg College starts construction on business-science-religion complex on the Star Tribune website.
The Minneapolis Star Tribune recently included a statement by Sam Graves ’16 in an article covering a large donation to the PACER Center, which specializes in creating technology designed for children and young adults with special needs. The $1 million donation was given by the Otto Bremer Trust.
Graves, a recent Augsburg College graduate who lives with cerebral palsy, credits the Center’s library of software and adaptive devices as part of his educational success. “Without technology, I wouldn’t be able to be independent,” he said.
Graves graduated with honors April 30 and was awarded the first-ever Youth Leadership Award by the Otto Bremer Trust later that evening.
Read PACER Center awarded $1 million by Otto Bremer Trust on the Star Tribune site.
The Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal recently published an article covering the revelation that a previously unidentified $10 million donation toward the naming of the Hagfors Center for Science, Business, and Religion had been given to Augsburg College by Norman and Evangeline Hagfors.
The donation originally was announced in early 2015, with the donors remaining unnamed until the recent groundbreaking ceremony. In a statement Evangeline Hagfors said, “Adding our name signals that we stand with Augsburg. We support the CSBR project and the many benefits it will provide faculty, students, and the Augsburg community.”
Read Augsburg identifies mystery donor who gave $10M cash for new center on the Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal site.
Sports news site The Post Game recently included former Augsburg College basketball player and legendary coach Lute Olson ’56 in an article about notable athletes from North Dakota.
Olson was born and raised near the Minnesota-North Dakota border before attending Augsburg. After graduating, he went on to become the head coach of the University of Arizona men’s basketball team. As the article points out, Olson’s teams made it to the Final Four a total of five times, winning the national title in 1997.
Read 9 Notable Athletes From North Dakota: Carson Wentz, Phil Jackson And More on the Post Game site.
St. Paul-area newspaper Lillie News recently profiled Koua Yang ’99, a social studies teacher and tennis coach at Harding High School. Yang was one of 11 finalists for the 2015 Minnesota Teacher of the Year Award.
Yang was assigned to Harding High School as a student teacher in 1999 while he was an education major at Augsburg College. He was so loved by his students that they petitioned the school’s principal and asked him to hire Yang. The principle told Yang that a job would be waiting for him the following school year.
Yang’s family immigrated to the U.S. in 1980 when he was 4 years old.
“I know what it was like to struggle as a student. I knew what it was like to not be proficient in a language — a foreign language,” Yang said. “Sharing that path, that navigation piece is absolutely crucial. It also gives them hope. Because then they realize, ‘Hey somebody went through it, too; somebody like me went through it and they were pretty successful at it. I can do it, too.'”
Read ‘I’m not afraid to be vulnerable’ on the Lillie News site.
Three Augsburg College students and a recent alumnus sat down with KARE 11 reporter Adrienne Broaddus to discuss “bathroom bills” that are popping up across the U.S. concerning transgender rights. In Minnesota, proposed legislation would define which restrooms transgender people could legally use.
Jens Pinther ’15 and Duina Hernandez ’16 expressed the importance of gender-neutral bathrooms, and the story described Augsburg’s intentionality in offering these facilities on campus.
Watch Students at Augsburg College talk gender neutral bathrooms on the Kare 11 site.
The Minneapolis Star Tribune recently interviewed former Augsburg College basketball player and retired NBA star Devean George ’99 about the upcoming retirement of legendary Los Angeles Lakers player Kobe Bryant. George, who retired in 2011, played his first seven seasons in the NBA alongside Bryant.
George said that he knows Bryant is ready to retire from professional sports because he has seen familiar signs from his own retirement. “What I’ve seen him go through this year, you can see the flame is not there and he knows it’s time,” he said. “It’s the old cliché: Father Time, no one can beat it. There comes a time where no one wins. Basketball is a young man’s sport. It’s that simple.”
Read George: When it’s time, it’s time on the Star Tribune site.
The Minnesota Daily recently covered the Cedar Riverside Community Traveling Basketball program, which provides coaching, practice, and competition for six teams of local boys and girls ranging from sixth to 10th grade.
The program was founded by Augsburg College alumna Jennifer Weber ’11, who recognized a need for such programs. “The kids here in the neighborhood need more quality programming,” she said. “The kids want it. They go to open gym all the time.”
Another need Weber recognized dealt with a lack of functional athletic attire that was culturally acceptable for the many Muslim girls in the program.
Luckily, design students from the University of Minnesota had already been working to solve that problem. Working with the players and other partners, the students designed uniforms with adjustable hijabs, knee-length skirts and breathable leggings. A grant from the Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station provided funding to donate the completed uniforms to the program.
The article concludes with a statement from coach and co-founder Muna Mohamed ’16, an exercise science senior at Augsburg who grew up in the neighborhood.
“These girls are getting an opportunity to have culturally appropriate clothing, at the same time … [as] enjoying sports,” she said. “They don’t have to worry about fixing their scarves. They don’t have to worry about ‘How can I play basketball and also respect my culture?'”
Read For girls, new uniform opens gym on the Minnesota Daily site.
The St. Paul Pioneer Press recently published an article about real estate leader Ted Bigos ’74 and the current climate of urban living in downtown St. Paul. Bigos owns five buildings in the area and many others across the state.
“I put a lot of my back into those buildings,” Bigos said. With the help of his father, Bigos began purchasing, renovating, and reselling apartment buildings at age 19 while he was a student at Augsburg College. Eventually, he retained some of the renewed properties and began renting them to tenants himself.
About the current state of the downtown area, which has seen many development projects in recent years, he said, “In all the years I’ve been in St. Paul, it’s never felt as good as it feels today.”
Read: Ted Bigos: ‘I think the city has really come into its own’ on the Pioneer Press site.