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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

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

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.

Alumni Night at the MNUFC vs. Augsburg FC Soccer Game

International Friendly MNUFC vs Augsburg FCWhen the alumni office found out that Minnesota’s MLS team Minnesota United FC would be playing Augsburg FC in an international friendly on May 27, we thought this was an opportunity we couldn’t pass up to host an alumni night!

Join your fellow Auggies and buy tickets to the MNUFC vs. Augsburg FC match on Wednesday, May 27 at 7 p.m. A limited number of tickets are available at a discounted rate for $30 a ticket. Tickets will go very fast so we recommend buying as soon as possible.

The first 100 buyers will also be able to participate in a group photo on the field after the game. An MNUFC rep will email you the week of the game if you are the first 100.

These tickets cannot be resold. All sales are final. No refunds or exchanges.

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!

Art at Augsburg Celebration Sponsored by AWE: February 13

art at AugsburgJoin Augsburg Women Engaged (AWE) to celebrate a Sesquicentennial Project that lifts up the rich and beautiful history of the Art Department at Augsburg on Thursday, February 13 from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Gage Gallery of Oren Gateway Center.

As a theater major who was also very involved in the music department one department I didn’t cross over with at all as a student was the Art Department (I had all of the arts requirements that one student could ever need). But I always remember classmates and friends talk about how much they loved their art courses, especially Kristin Anderson’s Art History Class.

Fast forward to my work now at Augsburg one of the best parts of my role with the Sesquicentennial has been the opportunity to dig deeper and work closely with people and departments who celebrate their place in the history of Augsburg. One of those people is Kristin Anderson, her dedication to sharing and preserving Augsburg’s history, it’s stories and artifacts has been really exciting to witness. That’s why the show Art at Augsburg, celebrating the Augsburg Art department is a visual and emotional celebration of Augsburg and this department. 

The Augsburg Women Engaged (AWE) leadership board fell in love with the idea of this show, some were art majors, some art lovers, all Augsburg lovers and wanted to support this show and make sure that all Auggies were encouraged to attend. 

So on that note! We hope that you will join us Thursday, February 13. Art at Augsburg is featured in both the Gage Gallery of Oren Gateway Center and the Christensen Center Gallery. Welcome at 6:30 p.m., please RSVP your attendance to this event. 

At the event, you will have the chance to hear from Curator Kristin Anderson and Professor Emeritus Norman Holen and gather with Auggies to enjoy this beautiful show.

To learn more about the event you can check out this video or this announcement.

Experience “Kos” in Norway on the Sesquicentennial Arts and Culture Trip

Darcey and LuverneThis May, I and my husband, Luverne Seifert ‘84, will be leading the Augsburg Sesquicentennial Arts and Culture trip to Norway. All are welcome on this excursion, especially those with Augsburg ties. Among many destinations, we’ll visit such sites in and around Oslo as the Viking Ship Museum and a stave church, even stopping at a festival to celebrate Syttende Mai.

Luverne and I are theater people – he’s a professional actor in Minneapolis and I’m chair of the Augsburg Theater Department — so we’re particularly excited about seeing Oslo’s National Theater and amazing Opera House, as well as the museum devoted to playwright Henrik Ibsen, where we plan to share some of our insights on Ibsen’s work.

While doing a little research, I ran across a Norwegian word: Kos. I don’t speak Norwegian, but from what I can gather it’s pronounced “coosh” and describes all things that make you feel warm inside. It can literally mean a hot drink or the feeling that you get from spending time with dear friends or engaging with something you love like theater and art.

I’m embracing kos as a way to describe how I feel about this wonderful opportunity to travel to Norway. It’s always kos, I would argue when you get to travel, learn and meet new friends along the way. Personally, kos could describe how Luverne and I feel about Augsburg. As alums, Augsburg brought us together 32 years ago and introduced us to lifelong friends whom we still see regularly today.

For example, this past summer, I joined a group of my fellow 1988 Augsburg theater graduates for a reunion at a house in the country, near Alma, Minnesota. We traveled from all over the country for a week of reconnecting. We’ve all stayed in touch in various ways through the years, following each other’s life changes, families, marriages, career choices and, well, everything. Together in Alma, we danced, cooked, walked, swam and sat in a large screened-in porch till the wee hours of the morning reliving the most beautiful, funny and poignant memories from our time together at Augsburg. This event and all those dear Augsburg friends embody the definition of kos for me.

Similarly, Luverne has many friends whom he met through Augsburg theater productions of the early ‘80s. For the last 20 years, a group of us have gathered three or four times a year for what we’ve deemed “Dinner Club,” where we choose a culinary theme and gather at one of our houses in the Twin Cities area to cook and enjoy a meal together. When we began, we’d bring along diaper bags, babies and toddlers. Now our children are grown and off living their lives. Still, our “Dinner Club” evenings renew us, ground us and give us the feeling of kos.

Our years at Augsburg were such a significant time for Luverne and me. As first-generation college students not really knowing what the college experience might be like, we graduated with expert preparation for our fields, enjoying deep relationships with friends and with each other. We’re happy to say that two of our dear “Dinner Club” friends — Jenny Nordstrom Kelley and her wonderful husband, Kevin Kelley — will be joining us on this trip, which should bring extra Kos to the journey. Please join us! Together, we’ll make new friends, have our own late nights, experience the beauty and inspiration of Norway together, and cultivate a whole lot of kos!

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

The Augsburg Associates Fall Event: High Tea

All Augsburg Associates and those who are interested in joining the Associates are cordially invited to a High Tea on October 19 from 1 to 3 p.m. in the Hagfors Center for Science, Business, and Religion, Room 150.

This event will feature guest speaker, Minnesota’s First Lady Gwen Walz, who will share her initiatives in correctional education. Following her presentation will be a High Tea and brief annual meeting.

Please RSVP by October 11 on our events page or by mailing in a $20 check to Augsburg University indicating your reservation.

Check-in for the event begins at 12:30 p.m. in Hagfors.

About First Lady Gwen Walz

Gwen Walz is Minnesota’s 39th First Lady. As a lifelong Minnesotan, she is excited to work on behalf of all Minnesotans. Gwen was born in Glencoe, Minnesota, and grew up in western Minnesota. Alongside her three sisters, Gwen was raised by her parents, Val and Linn, who were educators and small business owners. She has received degrees from Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter and Minnesota State University in Mankato. Gwen began her English teaching career in western Nebraska, where she met Tim Walz. Soon after they met, Gwen and Tim established a summer trip to China for their students and traveled there nearly every summer through 2003. In 1994, Tim and Gwen married and even “honeymooned” on one of these trips, with 60 students in tow.

Educating Minnesota’s children is one of Gwen’s passions. Throughout her career, Gwen has taught in public, alternative, and migrant schools; this has shaped her vision. For more than two decades, Gwen served as an administrator/coordinator in the Mankato Area Public Schools, working to eliminate the achievement gap and strive for more equity and access within education systems. Gwen knows that a strong public education system, encompassing birth through senior citizens, is critical to empowering every Minnesotan to succeed.

Celebrate Augsburg’s Gospel Quartet Tradition with the Centennial Singers

The Augsburg Centennial Singers, a senior men’s, 50-voice chorus, would like to invite alumni and friends to attend their fall concert series.

Carrying on the rich tradition of quartets from Augsburg’s past, The Centennial Singers were founded in 1993 to celebrate the centennial of the first singing tour of Norway by an Augsburg College Gospel Quartet. Centennial Singers concerts feature well-known gospel music, spirituals, folk, and patriotic songs, familiar hymns, sacred selections, and a barbershop tune or two.

Centennial Singers 2019 Fall Schedule

Saturday, September 21 at 6:30 p.m.
United Redeemer Lutheran Church
560 West Third Street, Zumbrota

Sunday, September 22 at 3 p.m.
Bethel Lutheran Church
810 Third Avenue SE, Rochester

Saturday, September 28 at 10:30 a.m.
Augsburg Homecoming Chapel

Saturday, October 5 at 6:30 p.m.
St. Philip’s Lutheran Church
1401 15th Street W., Hastings

Sunday, October 6 at 4 p.m.
Christ the King Lutheran Church
1900 7th Street NW, New Brighton

Sunday, October 20 at 7 p.m.
House of Prayer Lutheran Church
7625 Chicago Ave S., Richfield

Sunday, October 27 at 1 p.m.
Normandale Hylands United Methodist Church
9920 Normandale Blvd., S., Bloomington

Saturday, November 2 at 7 p.m.
Oak Grove Presbyterian Church
2200 Old Shakopee Road, Bloomington

Sunday, November 3 at 3 p.m.
St. Philip the Deacon Lutheran
17205 County Road 6, Plymouth

A free-will offering is received at each concert to defray expenses and advance our mission of encouraging our listeners to establish and deepen their personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

You can find more information about the Augsburg Centennial Singers on their websiteTo arrange an appearance by the Singers, email manager, Mike Walgren at