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Augsburg Facebook Live Events: 4/6 – 4/10

Facebook live speakers Leon van Eck, Ray Yip and campus pastorsThis week on the Augsburg Alumni Facebook page we have a terrific lineup of speakers for you. On Monday, April 6 at 3 p.m., you can take a tour with Leon Van Eck, assistant professor of biology of the amazing Hagfors Center Greenhouse. See the saved video here.

On Thursday, April 9 at 2 p.m., Dr. Ray Yip ‘72 will give a presentation hosted by President Paul Pribbenow on “COVID-19: What have we learned so far? And where do we go from here?” Dr. Yip is an international public health leader who has had a significant positive impact on global health. While in his retirement, he is advising numerous companies as well as state and local governments on the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. Yip has held positions with UNICEF, the CDC, and most recently the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, focusing on public health efforts in China. Dr. Yip has made an impact on public health in the areas of HIV, TB, tobacco, and lowering child mortality rates in China. Ray is board certified in pediatrics and pediatric hematology and oncology.

You may submit any questions live during the broadcast or in advance by emailing Katie Code ‘01 at codek@augsburg.edu.

We end this week of Holy Week, by sharing with you the Good Friday daily chapel from Campus Ministry on Friday, April 10 at 10:40 am. You can find all daily chapel services on the Augsburg University Campus Ministry Facebook Page or on their YouTube Channel.

Last week, Renee Most, Director of the StepUP Program reminded us that even our virtual meetings and gatherings are important because they offer us some human connection and a glimpse into someone’s life.

I hope that you have found these Facebook live sessions helpful for your mind and soul. We enjoy creating them and wish you and your family peace and health during this time. Please don’t hesitate to reach out with your thoughts and ideas, we would love to hear from you.

-Katie Koch Code ‘01

Join the Augsburg Community Virtual Town Hall March 31 at 1 p.m.

Augsburg is hosting a series of virtual town halls on COVID-19 for the Augsburg community. All panels are open to the entire community, but a special panel geared toward answering questions from our alumni, friends, and donors is scheduled for Tuesday, March 31 at 1 p.m.

Panelists for this town hall include President Paul Pribbenow, Karen Kaivola (Provost and Chief Academic Officer), Alicia Quella (Associate Professor and Program Director for the Physician Assistant Program), Heather Riddle (Vice President of Advancement), and Rebecca John (Vice President and Chief Operating Officer).

Join the webinar at augsburg.zoom.us/j/931502799

Once you have joined the virtual zoom webinar, you will be able to send in your questions in the Q&A box and hear from our panelists.

The Forum on Workplace Inclusion: 32 Years of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Training

President Pribbenow speaking at The Forum conferenceOn March 11, Augsburg’s President Paul Pribbenow spoke at The Forum on Workplace Inclusion’s 32nd annual conference, “Facing Forward.” The session was called Hospitality is Not Enough: An Institutional Journey from Diversity to Inclusion to Equity.

Pribbenow shared the story of Augsburg’s journey with our many concrete implications for policy and practice, including efforts to make higher education more accessible to diverse students, internal work to build intercultural competencies, and governance strategies that position Augsburg as a thought and practice leader in the DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) space.

“Augsburg University is one of the most diverse private colleges in the Midwest and proud to partner with The Forum to help expand diversity, equity, and inclusion skills, so our students can fully participate and succeed in the workforce,” said Pribbenow. “We’re on the front edge of what education will look like in the 21st century.”

people speaking at the Augsburg booth during The ForumA record-setting 636 undergraduate first-year students started at Augsburg last fall. The Class of 2023 marks the third year in a row in which the majority are students of color. Augsburg now has 2,159 students in the traditional undergraduate program, which is also a record for our university.

“People were really impressed with Paul’s presentations at the opening general session and his Hospitality is Not Enough session. A lot of people came by Augsburg’s booth and talked about Paul’s presentations. They didn’t know about Augsburg, didn’t know about all of our impressive work,” said Lee George, Executive Director of the Strommen Center for Meaningful Work.

This year’s conference focused on equipping the workforce and workplaces with the diversity, equity, and inclusion skills needed to sustain businesses into a forward-facing future that is innovative on both local and global levels.

George, along with other Augsburg volunteers, talked with employers and Human Resource representatives about our recruitment practices over the last ten years. “Augsburg had to think through our recruitment and expand, now employers are looking at how to elaborate to reflect our global economy. Augsburg really resonated for employers,” said George.

the Augsburg booth during the forumForum participants were invited to engage with our 2023 student class picture, which had quotes from students about their hopes and fears for the future. Participants wrote responses to be shared with the students.

Hana Dinku, Augsburg’s Director for the Pan-Afrikan Center, hosted multiple sessions at The Forum. “I was pleasantly surprised at The Forum,” she said.

One session Dinku hosted stood out to her: Journey Beyond the Comfort Zone: Designing and Facilitating Transformative Learning Experiences for Leaders. “The session was about how to be aware of people’s stress levels when doing diversity training. It was interesting to look at this through an emotional lens, how to be effective and aware of people’s stress and stop them from shutting down,” said Dinku.

The conference featured more than 70 sessions, three general sessions, more than 180 presenters and speakers from around the world, along with the Marketplace of Ideas exhibitor space. The DEI Coaching Center was also available, where DEI professionals provided coaching for attendees to apply when returning to the workplace.

Steve Humerickhouse, Executive Director of the Forum on Workplace Inclusion, spoke with the Star Tribune about how the Twin Cities is becoming one of the largest hubs for workplace diversity and inclusion.

“Part of it comes from our belief in Minnesota exceptionalism. Maybe it’s in the water here. It’s something about commitment to issues of diversity and equity. This is why refugees come here, why international adoption began here. This is a place where people feel deeply about issues,” said Humerickhouse. “At the Forum, we’re about workplace inclusion, but there is nothing that happens in the workplace that isn’t affected by society at large. We talk about people who have committed felonies and what that means in terms of hiring when they get out of prison. We talk about unconscious bias. It’s easy to exclude people because we’re tribal. We are the way we are for a reason, but how do we overcome that?”

About The Forum

For 32 years, The Forum has served as a convening hub for those seeking to grow professional leadership and effectiveness skills in the field of diversity, equity, and inclusion by engaging people, advancing ideas, and igniting change. The annual conference is HRCI and SHRM Continuing Education Credit (CEU) eligible.

Augsburg University became the new home of The Forum on Workplace Inclusion in July of 2019. We have been on a journey during the past decade to become an institution that embraces diversity, works at inclusion, and seeks equity. It is a journey with lessons for other higher education institutions, as well as other organizations.

A Sweetheart of a Sale – February 11 and 12

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, join the Augsburg Associates for a “Sweetheart of a Sale” on February 11th and 12th from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Christensen Center. With vintage jewelry, Valentine-themed gifts, and more it will be a great opportunity to pick out unique and special treats for Valentine’s Day! Love is in the air… see you there!

Attend Augsburg Weekend at Central Lutheran Church

“Augsburg is linked to ministry in the city.” – President Pribbenow

vespers at Central LutheranGather with fellow Auggies on October 19-21, 2019, for special services with music from Augsburg choirs and guest preachers President Paul C. Pribbenow and University Pastor Justin Lind-Ayres.

“Augsburg University’s long partnership with Central Lutheran Church will be celebrated during this special Augsburg Weekend,” said Mark Sedio, Director of Masterworks Chorale and Cantor at Central Lutheran Church. “2019 marks not only Augsburg’s Sesquicentennial but also Central’s centennial, as well as the 40th anniversary of Advent Vespers which has always taken place in Central’s sanctuary. The intertwining of history goes back five decades with the Augsburg Choir holding its annual home concerts in Central’s sanctuary, the founding of the Augsburg Central Health Commons, and many other programming initiatives.”

Saturday, October 19

5 p.m. – preaching by President Pribbenow; music by Cedar Singers

President Pribbenow’s message will explore how Augsburg’s mission is a version of helping students to “wrestle with angels,” playing off the story of Jacob wrestling with the angel in Genesis.

Sunday, October 20

8:30 a.m. – preaching by President Pribbenow; music by Riverside Singers

10:30 a.m. – preaching by President Pribbenow; music by Augsburg Choir

President Pribbenow’s message will explore how Augsburg’s mission is a version of helping students to “wrestle with angels,” playing off the story of Jacob wrestling with the angel in Genesis.

Monday, October 21

11 a.m. – preaching by University Pastor Justin Lind-Ayres

Augsburg students will also be involved in the congregation’s Monday morning worship with the Restoration Center.


Stop by the Pop-Up Bookstore

Browse and buy special edition sesquicentennial swag, books by Augsburg faculty, and a variety of items to show your Auggie pride and celebrate 150 years of Augsburg.

Donate to Augsburg University Health Commons

The Health Commons at Central Lutheran is a nursing-led drop-in center. Their mission is to promote health and healing in marginalized populations. Please help them in their efforts by making a monetary donation to the Health Commons Fund which supports the purchase of a variety of health-related items distributed to persons seeking assistance and support at the Health Commons. You may also donate needed heath-related items including diapers, socks, and hygiene supplies. If you have any questions, please contact Katie Clark at centralhealthcommons@augsburg.edu

Augsburg’s Youth Theology Institute Invites Alumni and Friends to Nominate High School Students for This Summer’s Science & Theology in Action Program

Do you know a high schooler who would enjoy exploring science and theology in action this summer?

Augsburg – Youth Theology Institute from Augsburg University on Vimeo.

Through Augsburg’s Bernhard Christensen Center for Vocation, the Youth Theology Institute (AYTI) seeks to reach out to 9th through 12th graders and invite them to campus for a summer program that has been called “a year of spiritual growth concentrated into one faith-filled week.” Aligned with Augsburg’s mission of being guided by the faith and values of the Lutheran church and ability to aid with vocational discernment of young people, AYTI is a valuable and exciting experience that we are proud to host on campus.

About Science & Theology in Action

Scholars at this year’s AYTI will develop leadership skills and put creation care theology and science knowledge into action. The world and neighborhoods we live in are a series of complicated yet beautiful systems and networks. Therefore, we’ll practice thinking in systems–both ecologically and vocationally within spheres of community, home, congregation, and school. We will use faith-based environmental STEM curriculum to practice problem-finding and problem-solving and then apply STEM to greening our churches, homes, and communities. With the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood as our classroom, we will identify our strengths and explore how our gifts and talents meet the needs of the world.

The deadline for applications is April 15. Nomination a high schooler for the program or share the AYTI website with a high school student or parent you know.

Grab Your Norwegian Sweaters for Velkommen Jul!

Velkommen Jul
Treats abound at the Velkommen Jul buffet.

As we near the holiday season, Co-Chair of the Augsburg Associates Jessica Wahto has a special message to share about an Augsburg favorite tradition:

Remember the days of walking into grandma’s kitchen at the holidays, and the smell of cardamom and sugar wafting through the air. Recall that trip you took to Norway and Sweden. The beauty of the Fjords, the colorful knit sweaters and the delicate embroidery on their bunad’s. Think of your exchange student who visited from Denmark and all the laughs you shared. Enjoy these memories and make new ones at Velkommen Jul!

Please join us and kick off your holiday season at Velkommen Jul on Friday, Nov. 30! Augsburg University’s annual Christmas celebration is open to all. Attend chapel and worship featuring Scandinavian Christmas music at 10:40 a.m. in the Hoversten Chapel. Then head to the Christensen Center at 11 a.m. Here you will find our Velkommen Jul boutique, offering unique Nordic gifts and treats.

After you have claimed your treasured gifts, join us for a festive celebration in Augsburg’s commons with music and traditional costumes and sweaters! Reminisce with friends and make new introductions while enjoying a smorgasbord of Scandinavian treats. Don’t worry; there will be plenty of coffee as well! You can add to the celebration by wearing your Norwegian sweater or Bunad! Velkommen means Welcome, and here at Augsburg you always are! We hope to see you there!

*All proceeds from the boutique as well as donations gathered at the smorgasbord go to help fund student scholarships.

Volunteers Needed for Advent Vespers

Vespers concertJoining us at Advent Vespers this year?

We are looking for as many as 20 volunteers for each Vespers service to help usher and work at the will-call table. Central Lutheran Church has recently added a beautiful addition to their building and there is a need for extra hands this year to help direct attendees.

Vespers services will be held:

Thursday, November 29 at 8 p.m. (Dress Rehearsal)
Friday, November 30 at 5 & 8 p.m.
Saturday, December 1 at 2 & 5 p.m.

Volunteers should plan to arrive at Central Lutheran Church in downtown Minneapolis (333 S. 12th St.) 60-90 minutes prior to each service. The service lasts approximately 90 minutes.

Please contact Kia Burton (burton@augsburg.edu, 612-330-1329) if you are able to volunteer.

About Augsburg’s Advent Vespers:

For more than three decades, Augsburg University has ushered in the Advent and Christmas seasons with Advent Vespers, a magnificent experience of music and liturgy, focusing on the theme of preparation and culminating in the joyful celebration of the Incarnation. Advent Vespers is set in downtown Minneapolis in the majestic sanctuary of Central Lutheran Church, soaring 65 feet high with large stained-glass windows.

Meet Spirit of Augsburg Award Winner Orville “Joe” Hognander

Joe Hognander
Orville “Joe” Hognander

By following his family’s values of faith, dedication to building community, and applied philanthropy, Orville “Joe” Hognander has improved the lives of many.

Joe has deep Augsburg roots that extend back over 100 years to when his grandfather, Rev. Lars R. Lund, graduated from Augsburg Seminary in 1912. Later it would be at Augsburg where his parents first met during their freshman registration for the class of 1936. During their Augsburg years, Gertrude Lund and Orville Hognander shared their love of choral music through the newly created Augsburg Choir, where Orville became the first announcer and business manager and Gertrude was the piano accompanist. Of note, Orville created a weekly radio show on WCCO called the Hour Melodious, which featured the choir with Orville providing the spoken word. He also arranged the choir’s first tour of 20 concerts throughout the Midwest.

Fellow Augsburg classmates remained lifelong friends of the Hognander family. Leland Sateren ’35 was best man at Orville and Gertrude’s wedding and went on to become a prolific composer, director of the Augsburg Choir, and chairman of the music department. Likewise, Oscar Anderson ’36, became Augsburg’s president from 1963 to 1980. It was during his tenure that Gertrude received Augsburg’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 1973.

After graduating from high school, Joe Hognander left the Twin Cities for college, graduate school, and work. While employed by Black & Decker in Dallas, Texas, he received notification from his draft board that he would soon be called, so he immediately applied for Naval Officer Candidate School and was accepted. While on active duty, he had varied and challenging assignments including one as head of the translation division for the U.S. military command located in Saigon during the period just prior to the withdrawal of all military forces from Vietnam.

Following retirement from the Navy, Joe returned to the Twin Cities, where he cared for his parents during their final years. Part of this assistance involved helping his parents fulfill their philanthropic interests, which included support of institutions and organizations that had been significant in their lives. The Orville and Gertrude Hognander Endowment for music students was a direct outcome of this.

Today Joe conscientiously carries on the family tradition of support for work in the arts, sciences, music, charity, and education. As one person noted, “He has the heart of a philanthropist and the head of a businessman.” Scores of organizations doing good work have had their public service magnified because he approaches needs in the community with an Auggie spirit of responsible leadership and stewardship.

Augsburg Theater Alumni Featured in a Sod House Theater Production

Come and see some Augsburg University Theater alumni from several generations perform this incredibly fun and evocative production!

An Enemy of the People written by Henrik Ibsen adapted by Darcey Engen and Luverne Seifert with music by Brian Laidlaw and Ashley Hanson, will be presented by Sod House Theater and tour eleven rural cities in Minnesota from July 25 – August 26, with a run in Hastings early September (TBA), 2018. The Sod House is teaming with local talent that includes a number of Augsburg University alumni!

This classic play examines how a community responds when a local doctor threatens to expose that the water it relies upon for tourism is being poisoned. The play questions how far a community will go to protect their town’s secret in order to avoid financial ruin. It will be performed at site-specific locations that are important to the historical narrative of each community.  Performance locations include town halls and river parks. “We’ve chosen communities to perform with that have recently experienced water pollution issues and whose lakes and rivers are a major contributor to their tourism economy,” said Luverne Seifert, co-artistic director of Sod House Theater. After each performance, water experts from local organizations will facilitate conversations centered on local water issues in hopes that the play and community dialogue will inspire water conservation.

 

About Sod House Theater:

Sod House Theater is a Minneapolis based theater whose mission is to perform in venues that serve historical significance in small-town communities. The works they choose to perform are relevant to the small-town atmosphere. Their goal is to be interactive in the communities by performing with local actors and at historical sites. They have been touring greater Minnesota since 2011.

Tickets for “An Enemy of the People” are $15 for adults; $10 for Children, Students, and Seniors.

Tickets are available at www.sodhousetheater.org. For show information call 612-414-2032.

Alumni who are leading the project:

Co-Artistic Director, Luverne Seifert ‘83; Co-Artistic Director, Darcey Engen ‘88; Production and Tour Manager Del Logeais ‘18.

Alumni who are performing in the Taylors Falls Production:

Peter Skjervold ‘83, Jenny Nordstrom Kelly ‘84, Lisa Pestka Anderson ‘86, Ali Fitzpatrick ‘11

Current students performing in Taylors Falls:

Madeleine Rowe ‘19, Hannah Dyson ‘20