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.

Harry Boyte examines the role of citizen professionals

Huffington-PostHarry Boyte, senior scholar in public work philosophy for Augsburg’s Sabo Center for Democracy and Citizenship, described the importance of citizen professionals in a recent article for the Huffington Post. Boyte explained that places like Augsburg College are ripe with students preparing to become “citizen nurses” and “citizen teachers” who will serve as change agents in their future careers.

Read, “Hope and Higher Education — The Role of Citizen Professionals” on the Huffington Post website.

Harry Boyte talks special education and civil rights

Huffington-PostIn his latest Huffington Post article, Harry Boyte, Augsburg’s Sabo Senior Fellow, discussed special education and how it has become part of a “new” civil rights movement.

In the article, Boyte says that Augsburg College is a school that has gotten it right.

“The Augsburg special education program, dedicated to changing the entire special education profession from an approach which seeks to fix “problem kids” to an empowering pedagogy called Public Achievement which develops their public skills, is an outstanding example,” Boyte wrote in the article.

Read “The march is not over yet: a different education for the 21st century,” on the Huffington Post news site.

Harry Boyte writes for Huffington Post

Huffington-PostHarry Boyte, co-director of Augsburg College’s Center for Democracy Citizenship and Sabo Center, recently published the article “Civic Science — Renewing the link between science and democracy” on The Huffington Post. In the article, Boyte discusses work to strengthen the connection between science and democracy. Read the story online.

Auggies pitch in to help tornado victims

tornado_reliefOn the evening of Sunday, May 22, residents of the north metro were caught in the path of a tornado that took two lives, displaced residents, and caused more than $166 million in damage to the area.

On Monday, Brian Noy and Mary Laurel True of Augsburg’s Sabo Center for Citizenship and Learning sat down and started brainstorming about ways to help—because that is what Auggies do.

“Actually,” True said, “President Pribbenow called and asked what we were going to do for North Minneapolis.” The two decided to organize clean-up groups to go to the area Wednesday and Thursday afternoon (see details below). Continue reading “Auggies pitch in to help tornado victims”

Augsburg establishes new Centers

centersThrough the dedication of our generous donors and the good work of many members of the Augsburg community over the past year, the College is beginning a new phase in the development of the Centers of Commitment that have been established to lift up Augsburg’s core values and live out our institutional vocation. It is with gratitude and great anticipation that we announce the creation of the Clair and Gladys Strommen Center for Meaningful Work and the expansion of the Martin Olav Sabo Center for Citizenship and Learning. The Strommen Center is the newest of the four Centers of Commitment that include the Augsburg Center for Faith and Learning, Center for Global Education, and Sabo Center. Continue reading “Augsburg establishes new Centers”