Project IGNITE set to launch

Discover Italy with fellow Auggies

“WAS IT IN SHORT, EVER TO BE ELSEWHERE WHEN ONE COULD BE IN ITALY” —EDITH WHARTON

You are invited to join the fellowship of other Augsburg alumni and friends on a journey of discovery to Italy in early November. Travel among the medieval hill towns of Tuscany, discovering history along with the beauty of the surrounding vineyards and olive groves. In Florence, the birthplace of the Renaissance, learn and understand how art pulled Europe out of the Dark Ages. In Umbria, where art is prayer, visit the town of Assisi that stands out for its inspiration and reflection. Find an education in history and a tapestry of art, architecture, and culture woven over thousands of years in the Eternal City of Rome, one of the founding cities of Western civilization and a significant place in the story of Christianity. All along the way enjoy the delights of the Italian people and cuisine.

The details of this custom-created travel experience are being finalized. Contact the Office of Alumni and Constituent Relations at 612-330-1085 or alumni@augsburg.edu to learn more about this unique travel opportunity.

Many Augsburg graduates stay connected with the College through the years. They come to events or games on campus, they volunteer, and they donate to The Augsburg Fund. But there are others who just don’t stay connected.

That’s something the College—thanks to a nearly $230,000 grant from the Thrivent Financial for Lutherans Foundation— hopes to change over the next three years.

Project IGNITE (which stands for Involving Graduates Now In Thoughtful Engagement) will work very directly and personally with alumni. Over the next year, Augsburg students will conduct face-toface visits with more than 500 alumni to ask them about their views on Augsburg and their interest in volunteer opportunities with the College. The hope is that more than 1,600 alumni will receive visits in the next three years, mostly those alumni living in and around the Twin Cities metropolitan area.

“For a college, our alumni are a strategic advantage and if you don’t use that, you’re missing an opportunity,” President Paul C. Pribbenow said. “This gives us an opportunity to link current students and recent grads with alumni of all ages. Your current students and recent graduates are often your best spokespeople for what’s really happening.”

Student representatives have been hired and trained by the Office of Alumni and Constituent Relations, and visits to alumni are already underway.

Alex Gonzalez ’90, a senior financial adviser for Thrivent Financial for Lutherans and an Augsburg regent, said the grant is part of the mission for the not-for-profit organization.

“Our goal is to help grow Lutheran communities and Lutheran institutions,” Gonzalez said. “It’s not just the money, these dollars will help grow engagement. It will help get alumni engaged into giving to the school.”

The grant is part of the foundation’s Lutheran Grant Program, designed to help Lutheran institutions and organizations take advantage of unique growth and service opportunities. It also supports the interests and needs of the Lutheran community. In 2007, the program distributed approximately $5 million through 100 separate grants.

Project IGNITE is designed to become a model program for alumni programs in other ELCA colleges. For additional information, contact Kim Stone in the Office of Alumni and Constituent Relations at 612-330-1173 or stonek@augsburg.edu.

Called to Lead – Professionals Moving from Success to Significance

Augsburg College admits a diverse group of established alumni and friends each year for the Called to Lead program. Six weekly seminars give you an opportunity to examine your life and work. The seminar is co-sponsored by the Center for Faith and Learning, and the Center for Leadership Studies at Augsburg.

Called to Lead is designed to expand the skills and knowledge of individuals who have demonstrated leadership within their profession and the community. Through collaborative and interactive experiences, participants engage with each other and their facilitators as they explore their own call to lead.

Augsburg College accepts applications and nominations for the Called to Lead program from a diverse group of alumni and friends, including business leaders, professionals and academics, directors and staff of community service organizations and civic associations, managers from government agencies and community activists. For more information contact Norma Noonan in the Center for Leadership Studies, at 612-330-1198 or noonan@augsburg.edu.

Thrivent rewards your volunteer time

Your volunteer hours for Augsburg can count even more through the Giving- Plus program at Thrivent Financial for Lutherans. Thrivent will give Augsburg $25 for your volunteered hours for Augsburg (25 or more per year) working on projects or activities, or participating on committees, boards, and task groups. Report your volunteer hours on the Thrivent matching form and make your time even more valuable. To find out about volunteer opportunities, e-mail volunteer@augsburg.edu.

Posted in Alumni News