This fall, Augsburg College hosted alumni, faculty, staff, and community members for an international travel experience that took participants to the Czech Republic and Germany, which is in the midst of a tourism boom accompanying the anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. The travelers visited Wittenberg, the long-time home of Reformation catalyst Martin Luther, and ventured to historic sites to learn about the origins of the Lutheran faith from Augsburg College Religion Department faculty members Hans Wiersma and Lori Brandt Hale.
Star Tribune reporter Jean Hopfensperger and photographer Jerry Holt accompanied the group to chronicle how Minnesotans are observing the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in the “Land of Luther” in addition to the “Land of 10,000 Lakes,” given that religious, arts, and cultural organizations across Minnesota are planning special events and exhibits to mark the occasion.
As Hopfensperger wrote, “Luther’s legacy is particularly deep in Minnesota, and not just because of his followers’ enduring embrace of hymn fests — often followed by Jell-O and hot dish. One in four residents trace their namesake faith to the monk from Wittenberg.”
In a Star Tribune story, Augsburg alumnae Carol Pfleiderer ’64 and Kathleen Johnson ’72 described their excitement with the trip itinerary and the ways it reflects and builds upon their understanding of their faith.
The Rev. Mark Hanson ’68, the College’s Executive Director of the Christensen Center for Vocation, was among other alumni quoted in the article. He described some of the ways the Lutheran church is using the Reformation anniversary to foster Lutheran-Catholic dialogue and to make the church accessible to all people.
Read, “Minnesota Lutherans at forefront of new Martin Luther revolution” on the Star Tribune site.
“You’d never expect to find a leafy arboretum in a high-density, high-diversity, high-traffic neighborhood,” says MinnPost writer Jay Walljasper. “But that’s exactly what Augsburg College is planning for its unmistakably urban campus in the heart of Minneapolis, which borders Fairview Riverside Medical complex, the high-rise Riverside Plaza towers, two freeways, two light rail lines, busy shopping districts on Franklin Avenue and Cedar Avenues, plus one of the largest Somali communities outside of Africa.”
Walljasper, a senior fellow for the Sabo Center for Democracy and Citizenship, described Augsburg’s ambitious plan to transform its campus into a living laboratory in a recent article on the history of the urban college, its intent to plant native Minnesota species, and its brainstorming and decision-making processes for the landscape design project.
Read: “Augsburg College looks to transform its campus into an urban arboretum” on the MinnPost site.
President Paul Pribbenow met with leaders of the Minneapolis Star Tribune editorial board to discuss Minnesota’s educational achievement gap among children and youth of diverse backgrounds. The state has one of the largest achievement gaps in the nation, and Augsburg is working to ensure all students of academic ability have access to higher education. The College’s pledge to this work includes limited debt pathways to graduation, setting aside dedicated housing for homeless students, increasing financial aid literacy, supporting faculty in creating inclusive classrooms, and increasing access to course materials.
The College was applauded for this leadership through a compelling editorial, “Augsburg College leads the call for campus equity,” written and published by the Star Tribune editorial board on Aug. 30.
The editorial explained that Minnesota is rapidly diversifying, but increasing student diversity on college campuses involves more than waiting for more nonwhite Minnesotans to enroll. “As Augsburg College is demonstrating, academic institutions can do much to adapt their own policies and practices to educate what previously has been an underserved share of the state’s population,” the editorial explained.
Augsburg has sought to reduce barriers to college success that often impede students of color, and the College aims to not only to enroll a larger share of nonwhite students, but also to see them through to graduation.
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 / 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 on the Hagfors Center website, 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.
The Star Tribune recently published an overview of the forthcoming Norman and Evangeline Hagfors Center for Science, Business, and Religion. Augsburg College will break ground on this new academic building featuring classrooms, offices, and laboratories in April.
The article said, “The inclusion of scientific and religious disciplines within the same building is meant to express ‘a firm belief in the intersections and fluidity of boundaries’ on Augsburg’s campus.”
Learn more about Augsburg’s campus improvements in Hot Property: Hagfors Center for Science, Business and Religion in Minneapolis on the Star Tribune site.
The Minneapolis Star Tribune recently published an article covering the life of Koryne Horbal, political activist and former United Nations ambassador for women. Horbal co-founded the Minnesota DFL’s feminist caucus and was an early champion of still-debated issues such as the Equal Rights Amendment, sexual slavery, reproductive choice, and workplace equity.
The article notes Augsburg’s Koryne Horbal Lecture Series in which the College welcomes prominent feminist speakers including Gloria Steinem, Jane Fonda, Winona LaDuke, and The Guerilla Girls. Horbal has been a consultant for the Women’s Resource Center at Augsburg and was awarded an honorary doctorate from the College in 2008.
This year, the lecture will take place on March 9 and feature Nekima Levy-Pounds, president of the Minneapolis chapter of the NAACP. More information on the event is available on the Convocation Series website.
Read “Minnesota political pioneer Koryne Horbal looks back” on the Star Tribune site.
The Star Tribune’s Neal St. Anthony on Sunday, September 27, wrote a profile about Augsburg College Regent Emeritus Mike Good ’71 and his exemplary leadership as chair of the College’s successful capital campaign for the Norman and Evangeline Hagfors Center for Science, Business, and Religion.
St. Anthony reported that Good retired early in 2012 to “take on for Augsburg’s Board of Regents what Good considers a challenged that transcended his athletic and business career.” Under Good’s leadership, the capital campaign met its goal by exceeding $50 million.
Read “St. Anthony: Retired CEO Mike Good was the All American behind Augsburg’s business building.”
The St. Paul Pioneer Press mentioned that Augsburg College was among 92 higher-education institutions nationally to be recognized for excellence in diversity by the magazine Insight Into Diversity.
Read, “Education notes: News from schools near you” on the Pioneer Press site.
Augsburg College was mentioned by the Twin Cities Daily Planet as a result of the traditional powwow held annually by the college.
The event, which was sponsored by the Augsburg American Indian Student Association and American Indian Student Services, featured traditional Native American dancers, drummers, singers, and food.
To learn more about Augsburg’s annual powwow, visit the Twin Cities Daily Planet news site.