Star Tribune Editorial Board recognizes Augsburg College’s equity and inclusion work

Minneapolis Star Tribune - logoPresident 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.

Augsburg breaks ground April 29 for new academic building

State-of-the-art Hagfors Center a living demonstration of College commitment to equity, diversity

Exterior of the front of the Hagfors Center for Science, Business, and ReligionMINNEAPOLIS — Groundbreaking for Augsburg College’s state-of-the-art, interdisciplinary Norman and Evangeline Hagfors Center for Science, Business and Religion is Friday.

More than 350 alumni, faculty, students, donors and friends of the College are expected to celebrate the groundbreaking for the Hagfors Center, designed to foster intersections among areas of study, support active learning, and connect the College to the community.

View of the Hagfors Center for Science, Business, and Religion from the current Science Hall“The Hagfors Center is a living demonstration of the College’s dedication to interdisciplinary student learning, urban placemaking and thoughtful stewardship. Our commitment to equity and intentional diversity – our pledge to prepare students of academic ability to solve the most complex problems of our world – will be on view Saturday when we celebrate the success of students from Minneapolis and Rochester, including a traditional undergraduate class with more than 42 percent students of color,” said Augsburg College President Paul C. Pribbenow.

“The new Hagfors Center, which will create learning at the intersections of science, business and religion, is a commitment to our Lutheran heritage and identity. It’s also a promise to explore diverse viewpoints, rich faith traditions, socioeconomic backgrounds, gender expressions, military commitments, learning styles and more.”

In the 10 years since Pribbenow has led the institution, Augsburg has more than tripled the percentage of persons of color in the full undergraduate student body – growing from 11 percent in 2006 to 33 percent in 2016.

Continue reading “Augsburg breaks ground April 29 for new academic building”

Pribbenow discusses commitment to higher education achievement equity with U.S. Department of Education

Augsburg College President Paul Pribbenow is the tenth president of the college.WASHINGTON, D.C. — Augsburg College President Paul Pribbenow participated in a high-level meeting with the U.S. Department of Education in Washington, D.C., last week focused on highlighting successful strategies for increasing equity in college access and graduation rates for students eligible for the Federal Pell Grant Program.

One recent strategy deployed by Augsburg, in partnership with Minneapolis Community and Technical College and with Saint Paul College, is the Auggie Plan. The thoughtfully and carefully constructed Auggie Plan, which is customized to the student profile of each partner institution, creates a clear, attainable, predictable, and efficient path from an associate’s degree to a liberal arts degree. The Auggie Plan is slated to be in five community and technical colleges by 2017.

“As a college located in one of the most diverse ZIP codes in the region and with a traditional undergraduate population comprised of 40 percent Pell-eligible students, Augsburg is deeply familiar with the work that a commitment to inclusion entails,” Pribbenow said. “We also know how rewarding it is when we get it right — which, admittedly, is not every time and not as often as we’d like. But the fact that there is still work to be done in no way deters our commitment.

“At Augsburg, we do this work because it is both right and necessary. It’s right and necessary for students — enriching our learning community with questions and ideas from a vast array of bright minds. It is right and necessary for businesses and nonprofits — marshaling the talents and perspectives of all our people to address our region’s most pressing needs and opportunities. It is right and necessary for Minnesota as a state that offers a lifestyle we cherish and wish to sustain. “

U.S. President Barack Obama, since the beginning of his administration, has worked to ensure more U.S. residents have the opportunity to earn a quality, affordable higher education.

“For us to thrive as a diverse democracy and for individuals to achieve their dreams of success, higher education must fulfill its promise of providing opportunity to all students, regardless of their race, gender, or income level,” said U.S. Under Secretary of Education Ted Mitchell.

“That opportunity means access, but getting into college is not enough. It’s getting in and getting through that matters. There are remarkable institutions around the country succeeding at making access and success a reality for low income students. We need to learn from their leadership and spread the word about practices that work.

Martin Olav Sabo ’59 leaves indelible mark on Augsburg College community

Martin Olav Sabo
Congressman Martin Olav Sabo ’59, left, stands with Augsburg College students at a celebration of scholarship. Sylvia Sabo, center, and wife of the Congressman, also is shown. The Sabos guided and shaped the formation of Augsburg College’s Martin Olav Sabo Center for Democracy and Citizenship.

(MINNEAPOLIS) — U.S. Representative Martin Olav Sabo ‘59, who passed away at age 78 on March 13, 2016, was a lifelong public servant who exemplified the progressive approach and personal integrity that were modeled in his Lutheran upbringing and education.

His commitment to public service will leave a lasting legacy at Augsburg College through his work to create and guide the Martin Olav Sabo Center for Democracy and Citizenship, the Sabo Scholars program, and the annual Sabo Symposium. 

One year after graduating cum laude from Augsburg College, at age 22, Sabo was elected to serve in the Minnesota House of Representatives. During Sabo’s tenure in the Minnesota Legislature, he became the first member of the Democrat-Farmer-Labor party to serve as Speaker of the House, a post he held from 1973-78. He went on to serve for 28 years as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, retiring in 2007.

At the same time that Sabo served in Congress, he volunteered 12 years to Augsburg College as a member of the Board of Regents. He was named an Augsburg Distinguished Alumnus and received the first honorary degree ever conferred by the College.

Sabo and his wife, Sylvia, guided Augsburg in the creation of the Martin Olav Sabo Center for Democracy and Citizenship. The goals of the Center are to create opportunities for civic experiences and skill-building—inside and outside the classroom—for students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community members—and to carry forward the Sabos’ and the College’s important commitment to public service.

“The creation of the Sabo Center for Democracy and Citizenship gives Augsburg the ongoing opportunity to celebrate the life and work of our dear friend and distinguished alumnus,” said President Paul C. Pribbenow.

“Congressman Sabo’s life-long commitment to public service is an inspiration to all of us. As we live out our mission and vision here at Augsburg, we, of course, are deeply engaged in helping our students to understand the electoral political process, which Congressman Sabo so ably served.”

Congressman Sabo and Sylvia Sabo are parents of Auggies Karin Mantor ‘86 and Julie Sabo ‘90. 

Sabo was distinguished in all he undertook, and in 2006 was appointed Commander of the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit for outstanding work and dedication to Norwegian-American relations.

Learn about the Sabo Center for Democracy and Citizenship at augsburg.edu/sabo.

Lilly grant expands vocational, theological reflection

$447,000, three-year award supports Youth Theological Institute

2014 Youth Theology Institute Seniors
The Youth Theology Institute each year celebrates the accomplishments of its senior class. Here, YTI celebrates the 2014 senior cohort.

(MINNEAPOLIS) — A grant of more than $445,000 was awarded by Lilly Endowment Inc., in a highly competitive grant process, to Augsburg College’s Youth Theology Institute. The award means the Youth Theology Institute can, among other things, develop a fellowship program for youth ministers, including from multicultural and ethnic-specific congregations, and expand participation in the program among youths, congregations, and synods.

“This grant supports Augsburg’s continued commitment to intentional diversity and to modeling what it means to be a Lutheran college of the 21st century, located in the heart of one of the nation’s most diverse zip codes,” said Augsburg College President Paul Pribbenow.

“It equips young people with theological and vocational skills and helps them learn what it means to practice their faith, with its commitments to education, radical hospitality and serving your neighbor.” Continue reading “Lilly grant expands vocational, theological reflection”

River Semester students to land Oct. 31 at St. Louis Gateway Arch

Augsburg College students have paddled nearly 600 miles since Sept. 1

River semester canoes with gear and an Augsburg flag(MINNEAPOLIS) – After nine weeks living, studying and traveling on the Mississippi River in 24-foot voyageur canoes and paddling nearly 600 miles, a group of Augsburg College students is slated to land on Saturday at the St. Louis Gateway Arch.

The students, who departed St. Paul on Sept. 1 as part of their semester-long journey to the Gulf of Mexico, will land in St. Louis just as that city is discussing the grade of D+ given on the Mississippi River Basin “report card” by a consortium of environmental organizations and as the city celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Gateway Arch.

“Students on this trip are seeing and learning first-hand some of the reasons communities along the river are grappling with a watershed grade of D+. The river is used for many purposes and this puts a strain on the ecosystem, the infrastructure, and recreation,” said Joe Underhill, associate professor of political science and creator of this high-impact learning program.

“We have students who, for their individual class projects throughout the trip, are taking water quality samples, looking at chemical concentrations in the river, water treatment and light pollution. Paddling and camping along the river, we have observed first-hand problems with water quality, runoff from farms and factories, and current state of the locks and bridges along the way. This is part of a complex set of political considerations around how to balance all these competing interests on the nation’s iconic river.”

Augsburg College President Paul C. Pribbenow will meet with the class in St. Louis on Sunday, Nov. 1 and Monday, Nov. 2. Continue reading “River Semester students to land Oct. 31 at St. Louis Gateway Arch”

Star Tribune writes about completion of CSBR campaign

Minneapolis Star TribuneThe Star Tribune’s Neal St. Anthony wrote about the College hitting it’s campaign goal for the new Center for Science, Business, and Religion. The story discusses key next steps in the process for the building, including that the Board of Regents resolved to proceed with architectural and construction design plans for the signature, interdisciplinary academic building. St. Anthony also took time to acknowledge the College as one of the most racially diverse in Minnesota. Read “Augsburg College hits $50M campaign goal a year early.”

Augsburg College hits $50 million campaign goal for new, signature academic building

Center for Science, Business, and Religion reaches goal a year ahead of schedule

Members of the Board of Regents, students, faculty, staff and alumni celebrate the successful campaign for the new Center for Science, Business and Religion.
Members of the Board of Regents, students, faculty, staff, and alumni celebrate the successful campaign for the new Center for Science, Business, and Religion at Augsburg College.
The Center for Science, Business and Religion will transform the campus.
The Center for Science, Business, and Religion will transform the campus.

(MINNEAPOLIS/Updated 4:06 p.m.) – Augsburg College today announced the successful completion of a $50 million capital campaign for a unique, interdisciplinary academic building that brings together science, business, and religion. The campaign, the largest in the College’s history, met its goal a year in advance of the original schedule.

“Succeeding in today’s world requires an ability to thrive in a world that no longer has fixed boundaries,” said Augsburg College President Paul C. Pribbenow. “That is why Augsburg College is building the Center for Science, Business, and Religion—a place that will support every student in their journey of vocational discernment and pursuit of careers in teaching, civic leadership, service to the church, scientific research, law, medicine, privately owned startup companies, and large corporations.” Continue reading “Augsburg College hits $50 million campaign goal for new, signature academic building”

Augsburg College receives $10 million cash gift to name
Center for Science, Business, and Religion

Faculty at CSBR Announcement
Augsburg faculty applaud at the announcement that the College received a $10 million cash gift for the Center for Science, Business, and Religion. From left are Bridget Robinson-Riegler, professor of psychology; Mike Wentzel, assistant professor of chemistry; and Matt Beckman, assistant professor of biology.

(MINNEAPOLIS) – Augsburg College is honored to announce that it has received a $10 million philanthropic gift to name a new, signature building on campus. This is the second gift of this size in the College’s history.

The donor’s generous cash contribution – which also is a naming-level gift – will support a new academic building that will house a number of the College’s academic programs including biology, business, chemistry, computer science, math, physics, psychology, and religion.

“Succeeding in today’s world requires an ability to thrive in a world that no longer has fixed boundaries,” said Augsburg College President Paul C. Pribbenow. “That is why Augsburg College is building the Center for Science, Business, and Religion – a place that will support every student in their journey of vocational discernment and pursuit of careers in teaching, civic leadership, service to the church, scientific research, law, medicine, privately owned startup companies, and large corporations.”

Continue reading “Augsburg College receives $10 million cash gift to name
Center for Science, Business, and Religion”

Star Tribune talks with Auggies about new thrift store

Minneapolis Star TribuneMary-Laurel True, director of community engagement at Augsburg, spoke with the Star Tribune about Augsburg College’s involvement in the development of a thrift store founded and operated by young girls in the East African community. True was instrumental in helping the store get off the ground through her work with Augsburg MBA students who developed a business plan for the store founders. President Paul Pribbenow and Bruce Batten, director of the MBA program, were quoted in the story. Read “Minneapolis thrift store offers retail experience, grass-roots style.”