“It was a little mustard seed of an idea,” said Gladys (Boxrud) Strommen ’46, remembering the early days of the Augsburg College Associates, which this fall celebrated three decades of service to the College, resulting in about $1 million in total giving.
From their earliest days, the Associates focused on making connections, hosting events to raise awareness of Augsburg, and providing fundraising and volunteer leadership. Between 1985 and 1996, Trash and Treasure Sales brought in hundreds of thousands of dollars for the College. Since then, the Associates have devoted countless hours to organizing, cleaning, pricing, and selling household items at estate sales that have raised funds for large-scale projects.
Associates’ gifts shape campus
Take a walk around Augsburg’s Minneapolis campus, and you will see the impact of the Associates’ work on nearly every corner. Enjoy the sound of the Dobson Organ in Hoversten Chapel? You can thank the Associates’ $250,000 contribution for that. Walk through Christensen Center, and see the welcome desk, Augsburg Room, and Marshall Room, which were supported by the Associates.
Down the street, the renovation of the Ailene Cole Green Room in Foss Center and the Special Collections Room in Lindell Library were made possible by the Associates’ generosity. And, when the new Center for Science, Business, and Religion opens, the Adjunct Faculty Suite will be named in recognition of the Associates’ $50,000 gift to the building.
The Associates’ dedication and generosity also includes funding scholarships that total about $120,000.
Krumkake and Bunads – the Associates’ hospitality
In 1996, the Associates became involved with Augsburg’s annual open house, Velkommen Jul, a celebration of Norwegian culture replete with traditional foods—such as lefse and krumkake—and folk costumes—known as bunads. In 2010, the group started the Kaffe Stuga booth, providing traditional Norwegian coffee at the signature Taste of Augsburg event during Homecoming—as well as the annual Spring Tea.
When Their Majesties King Harald V and Queen Sonja of Norway visited Augsburg in 2011, Associates wearing traditional Norwegian attire greeted Their Majesties. In 2012, the organization received the Spirit of Augsburg award.
For 30 years, the Associates’ fellowship, fun-loving spirit, and dedication to the College have remained true. As current president Lennore Bevis ’69 said, “The whole attitude of our organization is members giving of themselves and serving the community.”