This fall, Augsburg was honored as Champion School of the Year by Special Olympics Minnesota. The award is given to a school or university that outperforms expectations in terms of student leadership, campus involvement, and unified sports—a program in which athletes with intellectual disabilities train and play sports together with partners without intellectual disabilities.
According to Devin Kaasa, competition and training manager for Special Olympics Minnesota, Augsburg was selected for the many ways it supported the Special Olympics organization in 2016–17, including:
- Participating in a unified rivalry with Hamline University, where the universities competed in flag football and unified basketball;
- Engaging in significant volunteer activity, including at the Fall Games, where the Auggie football team filled volunteer spots in bocce and softball;
- Holding a “Respect Campaign” and inviting Special Olympics Global Messenger Patrick Elmore to speak about his experience of school bullying;
- Hosting “Special Olympics Week at Augsburg” in January 2017 with multiple activities and events; and
- Taking the Polar Plunge at Bde Maka Ska (Lake Calhoun) to raise funds.
“Augsburg went above and beyond with its participation, and continues to exceed expectations with the program,” Kaasa said.