A recent South Washington County Bulletin article featured incoming Augsburg College student Mark Lukitsch‘s accomplishments and high school experience. The story describes Lukitsch as one of Park High School’s most well-known students. He has congenital muscular dystrophy, which the article said “limits his fine-motor skills but not his ambition.”
Lukitsch was influential in creating positive changes to a local stadium’s wheelchair-accessible seating options, and he chose to continue his education at Augsburg College, in part, because of the urban campus features tunnels, above-ground links, and a wheelchair-friendly layout that make it more accessible. He plans to pursue a communication studies degree and will continue to study alongside Avery, his service dog who can open classroom doors and perform other tasks that allow him to live more independently.
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.
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.
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.
The Hastings Star Gazette newspaper recently interviewed Abby Schultz ’17, a member of the Augsburg Choir who performed with singer Barry Manilow at the Xcel Energy Center last month. In addition to singing in the choir, Schultz also serves as its manager.
“It’s an experience I will always remember, not only because I got to perform with Barry Manilow, but as the choir manager I got to be interviewed by KARE 11 and FOX 9,” Schultz said. “I’m glad it happened when I was in the choir, for sure.”
The article also notes that Schultz will be performing with a mixed choir in Italy this summer. “I don’t know when I’ll get another opportunity to do this,” she said of the trip.
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.”
Neal Karlen, a mentor in Augsburg College’s Master of Arts in Creative Writing program, described the unlikely friendship he developed with music icon Prince in a recent Star Tribune column. Karlen is among an elite group of writers granted in-depth interviews with Prince in the mid-1980s. Over time, discussions between the print writer and the songwriter developed into something akin to friendship, according Karlen.
“I always told Prince I knew he really didn’t consider me a friend, but as one of the few people in Minneapolis who was probably awake, like he always was, in the middle of the night, and was ‘Willing and Able,’ as my favorite song of his is titled, to talk about loneliness and death,” Karlen wrote.
The Sun Current newspaper recently covered Augsburg Choir’s performance with Barry Manilow at the singer’s Xcel Energy Center concert on April 7. The article notes that Eden Prairie High School graduate Kaia Markovich ’17 was one of 30 choir members who joined Manilow on stage for his encore. Markovich is a chemistry major who sings alto in the choir.
Read Eden Prairie graduate performs with Barry Manilow on the Sun Current site. For more information about the performance, visit the News and Media blog.
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.
The Hudson Star-Observer, a newspaper in Hudson, Wis., recently interviewed Augsburg College student and choir member McKenna Selissen ’18 about her experience performing with the Augsburg Choir as they joined Barry Manilow at the Xcel Energy Center.
“It was unbelievable to share the stage with someone so well respected and well known in the music world,” Selissen said. “I am amazed how many hit songs he’s had and with all the commercial jingles he’s wrote; he is extremely talented.”
The students who performed with Manilow were each given a pair of complimentary tickets to the concert. Selissen, a music therapy major, happily gifted her tickets to two of her clients. One of the clients uses Manilow’s music extensively in his therapy sessions.
“He knows every song and all the words so it was such a coincidence when we were asked to do this. This client was beyond excited to not only go to his first concert, but to see his very favorite singer,” Selissen said.