MPR offers readers a glimpse into Augsburg College life

Alex Friedrich, Minnesota Public Radio’s higher education reporter, visited Augsburg College’s campus to experience a day in the life of an Auggie. Friedrich spent Dec. 5 blogging about his experiences and found that Augsburg College has a wide variety of traditions and experiences to offer to its students, faculty, staff and alumni, and also to its neighboring communities, as well.

Read and watch his posts on the “On Campus” blog here:

  • The man leading a changing Augsburg – Meet President Paul C. Pribbenow and his passion for bow ties, commitment to Augsburg students, and vision for the College’s future

Augsburg holiday traditions focus on heritage, sharing our gifts

Kransekake (ring tree cake) is a Danish and Norwegian dessert traditionally eaten on special occasions.
Kransekake (ring tree cake) is a Danish and Norwegian dessert traditionally eaten on special occasions.

This week, as students begin working on final papers, projects, and exams, many at Augsburg are looking forward to two holiday traditions that highlight the College’s Scandinavian heritage and share the gifts and talents of the Augsburg community with others. These two annual events are the traditional Scandinavian Velkommen Jul celebration hosted by the Augsburg Associates on November 30, and Advent Vespers, a service of music and liturgy which features the musical talents of Augsburg’s instrumental and choral ensembles on November 30 and December 1.

Velkommen Jul begins with chapel service at 10:20 a.m. and moves to the Christensen Center from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event, rumored to be one of the largest gatherings of Norwegian sweaters in the country, includes Scandinavian music and foods such as krumkake (a Norwegian waffle cookie) and lutefisk (dried whitefish prepared with lye and butter), handcrafted items, and a visit from St. Nicholas. Continue reading “Augsburg holiday traditions focus on heritage, sharing our gifts”

The journey of a sweater

sweater_storyOn any given day in the winter at Augsburg, especially around the Christmas holidays or during our annual Velkommen Jul celebration, one can be sure to spot a Norwegian sweater. The traditional Norwegian lusekofte (“lice jacket”), also called “setesdalgenser” (setesdal sweater), is a design that dates back to the early 18th century.

Augsburg’s Mary Laurel True of the Center for Democracy and Citizenship has a Norwegian sweater with an interesting history. She writes:

Several years ago I bought what I thought might be a Norwegian sweater at Savers second hand store so that I would have appropriate attire for the celebration of Velkommen Jul at Augsburg College. Continue reading “The journey of a sweater”

Velkommen Jul ushers in Christmas season

velkommenAugsburg’s strong Norwegian heritage shows, especially during the holiday season. Once again, it is time for the traditional Scandinavian Velkommen Jul celebration hosted by the Augsburg Associates on Dec. 5, starting with Chapel service at 10:20 a.m. and moving to the Christensen Center from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Velkommen Jul is an annual Christmas celebration you don’t want to miss. The event will feature Scandinavian Yuletide music, tasty treats including krumkake and the ever-popular yet odious lutefisk, handcrafted items, Norwegian bunads, and a visit from St. Nicholas during chapel.

The Augsburg College Associates, who number around 100, are a service auxiliary of volunteers whose mission includes fundraising for special projects and scholarships in support of Augsburg College. In the nearly 20 years since their founding, the Associates have given to Augsburg more than a half million dollars from their fundraising. They host Velkommen Jul as a service to the Augsburg community and as a way to celebrate its Norwegian heritage.

Velkommen Jul: escorting in the season

jul06Augsburg’s strong Norwegian heritage shows, especially during the holiday season. Once again, it is almost time for the traditional Scandinavian Velkommen Jul celebration hosted by the Augsburg Associates on Nov. 30, starting with Chapel service at 10:20 a.m. and moving to the Christensen Center from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Velkommen Jul is translated as “Escorting in the Season,” and it is an annual Christmas celebration you don’t want to miss. The event will feature Scandinavian Yuletide music, many tasty treats, handcrafted items, Norwegian bunads, and a visit from St. Nicholas during chapel.

The Augsburg College Associates, who number around 100, are a service auxiliary of volunteers whose mission includes fundraising for special projects and scholarships in support of Augsburg college. In the nearly 20 years since their founding, the Associates have given to Augsburg more than a half million dollars from their fundraising. They host Velkommen Jul as a service to the Augsburg community and as a way to celebrate its Norwegian heritage.

Silje Bjelland, a current Augsburg student from Norway, remembers all the different preparations they make back home that lead up to Christmas Eve. “We have an Advent calendar to mark the days,” she recalls. “For each day, you open another door in the calendar and some like to have little present or a chocolate there.”

“We also start baking cakes and cookies, which should be seven different types,” Silje explains. “They are cookies such as ‘kvite kakemenn,’ ‘pepperkaker,’ and ‘lussekatter’ to share with friends and neighbors. ‘Julekake,’ a popular Christmas bread filled with raisins and candied fruit, is also baked at Christmas.”

Despite starting their Christmas preparations with Advent, Silje says that some of the fun is saved for the very end. “Many families, as a tradition, decorate their Christmas tree on Dec. 23, which is the ‘little Christmas Eve,'” she says.  “Christmas Eve is the big day, where the families gather for Christmas dinner in the evening, and after the dinner, we open presents.”

Advent Vespers and Velkommen Jul

vespersFor over a quarter century, Augsburg College has observed the beginning of the Christmas season with Advent Vespers, a joyous celebration of the holidays. On Friday, Nov. 30 and Saturday, Dec. 1 the College will mark this 28th annual event with services highlighting the theme “That All May Have Light.”

This event takes place in the remarkable neo-Gothic sanctuary of Central Lutheran Church in downtown Minneapolis, with a ceiling that soars 65 feet and large stained glass windows similar to those of London’s Westminster Abbey. More than 350 musicians, liturgists and banner carriers will participate in this dramatic and uplifting event. Continue reading “Advent Vespers and Velkommen Jul”