Celebrating Donna McLean’s Retirement – December 12

Donna McLeanAfter 34 years, four positions, seven fundraising campaigns, 12 office moves and thousands of conversations with alumni, parents, and friends, Donna McLean has decided to retire from her work at Augsburg. Her last day will be December 20. Her time at Augsburg will be celebrated with a reception on December 12 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. (program at 4:15) in the Arnold Atrium, Foss Center. All are welcome to attend.

“I have been extremely fortunate to participate in the exciting growth and development of this special place over the last 30 years,” Donna said. “It has truly been a privilege for me to serve Augsburg. I continue to be impressed by all that is Augsburg of today. I’ve had a most rewarding vocational journey here – the mission has always been my passion and the people my inspiration.”

Donna began her career at Augsburg as the assistant registrar in 1985. A year later she moved into the role of director of annual giving and held this position until 1990 when she became director of alumni and parent relations. She came back to fundraising in 1997 as the director of the Augsburg Fund and has held a number of positions in the advancement office since. Most recently, as a director of leadership gifts, Donna has had the opportunity to work with generous donors who wish to carry on the mission of the University through their philanthropy.

“In her 30+ year tenure at Augsburg, Donna McLean has had countless relationships with donors and alumni and has made a lasting impact through giving her time, talents and treasures to the University,” President Pribbenow said.

“At any Augsburg event, Donna probably knows half the guests and has made family connections with the other half,” said Martha Truax, director of leadership gifts. “Thanks to her incredible ability to build relationships and her genuine, contagious enthusiasm for Augsburg’s mission, she has helped donors create meaningful gifts that have transformed this campus.”

In 2011, she led a team of Auggie women who created AWE – Augsburg Women Engaged. This initiative serves as a catalyst for tapping the potential of Auggie women to connect, learn and give. This impressive group of women has generously supported several of Augsburg’s fundraising campaigns and most recently created the AWE Scholarship Endowed Fund that currently supports two AWE scholars.

One of her most rewarding experiences while working at Augsburg has been raising funds to support the StepUP Program, for students in recovery.  Donna wished to provide a legacy of support to the work of StepUP and in 2016, she established an endowed scholarship named the Donna Demler McLean Endowed Fund, in honor and memory of her son, Matthew, to provide financial support and encouragement to Augsburg students participating in the StepUP Program.

A meaningful way to thank Donna for her years of service to Augsburg would be a special gift to her scholarship fund.

We are collecting photos of Donna and her Auggie friends over the years for a slideshow at her retirement gathering. Please email any photos you would like to share to Martha Truax at truaxm@augsburg.edu by Monday, December 2.

150 Sesquicentennial Norway Arts & Culture trip in May 2020

Led by Darcey Engen ‘88 & Luverne Seifert ‘85

About five years ago, I fell in love (again) with Henrik Ibsen. As an Augsburg graduate, theater artist and Professor, I’ve been reading his plays for over 30 years, but after re-reading An Enemy of the People, my passion for Ibsen’s plays gave me a big mid-life boost. 

It happened shortly after hearing about the Flint Michigan’s water cover-up. My husband, Luverne Seifert who is also an Auggie and a professional actor in the Twin Cities said: “do you remember that play about contaminated water that Ibsen wrote”? Sure enough, after reading our little weathered paperback version, we were forever changed. Turned out that Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People had an uncanny similarity to the contaminated water problem that occurred in Flint Michigan. 

For those of you who need a little reminder, Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People 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. 

The re-read inspired us so much that we created our own adaptation and produced it. Supported by the MN 

State Arts Board, our Sod House Theater Company (Luverne and my theater company we formed in 2011) has performed our unique bluegrass music-infused adaptation to over 15 communities in greater MN. 

Our renewed love of Ibsen also spurred our interest in traveling to Norway in order to experience not just Ibsen’s artistry but all the arts that Norway has to offer!  We are so delighted to be asked to lead the 150 Sesquicentennial Norway Arts & Culture trip in May 2020! Both Luverne and I, as Augsburg Theater graduates (’85 and 88’), find it so meaningful to have the chance to explore our institution’s origins. Both Luverne and I had life-changing experiences at Augsburg—we, like you, had professors that significantly influenced who we are today.  We’re humbled to be leading this trip, for Augsburg, together. Full circle. 

We’d love for you to join us in experiencing all of the amazing activities we have planned in Norway! We’ll visit The National Theater, the Ibsen museum, the incredible Opera House that seems to emerge from the ocean, The Viking Ship Museum, a Stave Church and celebrate Syttende Mai Festival! Come join us in the land the inspired one of the greatest playwrights of all time.  

Augsburg’s Sesquicentennial Gala – Join the Waitlist

Update: This event is now sold out. If you are interested in being added to the waitlist, please follow the registration link and add your name. We will let you know as soon as possible if we have ticket(s) available!

Join us for a once-in-a-lifetime event. On Friday, September 27, 2019, we kick off Augsburg’s sesquicentennial with a gala in downtown Minneapolis. This gala will acknowledge our history of pursuing the calling to serve the community, and it will rally our energetic support for the next 150 years of Augsburg University.

During this unprecedented evening, we will share stories of gratitude and hope for the future. We will celebrate with friends who have been a part of the community: alumni, parents, faculty, and staff. We’ll enjoy moments to reflect, share, and give while surrounded by the relationships that have always been at the heart of Augsburg.
We look forward to seeing you there.

—Darcey Engen ’88 and Jeff Swenson ’79
Sesquicentennial Committee co-chairs

Event Details

Friday, September 27, 2019

4:30 p.m. Reception, 6 p.m. Program

Renaissance Minneapolis Hotel, The Depot

225 3rd Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN 55401

This event will likely sell out. Order today to reserve your place.

Learn more about the Sesquicentennial and subscribe to our calendar.

Sad news about Jeroy Carlson ’48

Jeroy CarlsonWe are deeply saddened to share the news that Jeroy Carlson ’48 passed away yesterday. Jeroy spent more than 60 years at Augsburg. He was a student, parent, grandparent, volunteer, alumni director, and a senior development officer for Augsburg. Known as “Mr. Augsburg,” he spent much of his life inspiring, connecting, and mentoring Auggies.

Jeroy embodied everything about Augsburg and knew its history by heart. His dedication to the University was seen most in the way he connected to its students and alumni. During his long tenure here, he helped countless students get their careers off the ground by picking up the phone and calling someone he knew.

He built relationships with hundreds of people through Augsburg and raised millions of dollars to help build the chapel, library, fitness center, football field, and theater, to name just a few. Carlson’s efforts can be seen all over campus and his legacy along with his wife, Lorraine, was recently honored through the dedication of the new Jeroy ’48 and Lorraine Carlson Religion Department Home in the Hagfors Center for Science, Business, and Religion.

Jeroy Carlson as a studentSports were always a passion for Jeroy. He played baseball, basketball, and football as a student at Augsburg and was part of four MIAC championship teams. After graduating, Jeroy spent 15 years teaching and coaching. During this time, he served on the Augsburg Alumni Board before returning to his alma mater as the alumni director.

Our prayers and sympathies go out to Lorraine “Ainy” Carlson and their family. Jeroy was a beloved husband, father, and grandfather.

Visitation and Funeral

A visitation will be held at 10 a.m. with the funeral following at 11 a.m. on Dec. 13 at Mount Olivet Church, 5025 Knox Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55419.

Meet Spirit of Augsburg Award Winner John R. Holum

Dr. John Holum
Dr. John Holum and his daughters, Kathryn and Ann

John R. Holum, Ph.D., is a beloved Augsburg University retired professor whose legacy spans over 30 years as faculty. He is a prolific writer who has published dozens of books and peer-reviewed papers, which have inspired not only generations of students who read his chemistry textbooks, but also thousands of researchers and teachers around the world.

One nominator says this of Holum in a letter of support: “In his life and work he embodies the very ethos of Augsburg’s commitment to the education of the whole person…Dr. Holum’s approach to pedagogy was both engaging and inspiring…he made the material accessible to all and exciting to learn. He was articulate and patient.”

After serving in the Army, where he enjoyed a community of fellow scientists, Holum briefly taught chemistry at Pacific Lutheran University on the West Coast. Drawn to Augsburg in 1957 because it was at the center of population density for Lutheran students in the United States, Holum had a vision to empower the next generation of science and medicine students to be faithful Christian witnesses in a variety of industries and locations.

He came to Augsburg with a Ph.D. in organic chemistry and began to teach chemistry to nurses and pre-med students. Holum continued to work at Augsburg until his retirement in 1993, also teaching advanced organic chemistry and environmental chemistry, which students said should be required for all their classmates.

The more students he got to know—including one exemplary Augsburg student, Peter Agre ‘70, who later won a Nobel Prize for chemistry—the more he realized the caliber of their character, intelligence, and diligence. This deepened sense of appreciation for his students transformed into a drive to write textbooks that better suited the needs of students learning in his classrooms and others studying the alluring complexities of chemistry. Through discussions with traveling textbook salespeople and a summer of long days researching with a grant from the National Science Foundation, his creation of a single textbook developed into a successful writing and publishing career that complemented his teaching in the classroom.

Holum’s lifelong passion for academic excellence and support of students on their educational journey reflects Augsburg’s anchoring principles of robust liberal arts and professional studies, guided by the faith and values of the Lutheran church. Generations of students can attest to the transformational power of learning embedded within Holum’s life and career. He was kind and generous as a professor, and is a man who lives a life of faith and service beyond the classroom.

Augsburg University Associates Host Their Annual Fall Brunch

On Saturday, Sept. 15, the Augsburg University Associates hosted their annual fall brunch. The Associates conducted their business meeting, heard Leif Anderson give greetings from the University, got an update on admissions from Devon Ross, and enjoyed fellowship together. They also welcomed new board members and thanked members who are ending their time on the board.
View an album of the brunch below:
Augsburg Associates Fall Brunch 2018
Later this fall, the Associates are looking forward to welcoming new members and hosting Velkommen Jul!

Follow the Alumni Instagram for Work Study Wednesday

One of the many Augsburg students who shared on our Instagram a bit about their on-campus jobs.

Alumni often reminisce about their student jobs, co-workers, and bosses. Augsburg parents are interested in what their students are experiencing.  Because you are interested, we want to share how on-campus work at Augsburg has evolved, and, how it hasn’t really changed at all.

On-campus jobs play a meaningful role in preparing students for future positions; not only do they help financially, but they help students network and learn valuable skills they can take with them into their jobs outside of Augsburg.

As we enter the new school year, The Augsburg Alumni Instagram will be taken over by students…in a good way! See for yourself by following Augsburg Alumni on Instagram.

Check out our Augsburg Alumni Instagram posts from:

April Johnson ’18  from admissions

Bridget Donovan ’20 from the grounds crew

Justice Jones ’20 from the art department

Destyn Land ’19 from residence life

Make sure to connect with us at Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

 

Land of 10,000 Loves: A History of Queer Minnesota

A portrait of Stewart Van Cleve
Stewart Van Cleve

Stewart Van Cleve is a librarian and digital archivist at Augsburg University’s Lindell Library, where he is responsible for Augsburg’s Digital Archives (library.augsburg.edu/archives). His passion for archiving began while studying toward a degree in Urban Studies at the University of Minnesota when he had a student position working with the renowned Tretter Collection in GLBT Studies. The Tretter Collection is a vast collection of books, photographs, films, and other historical artifacts that Van Cleve calls “one of the most comprehensive accounts of international queer history in the world.” After receiving his master’s in urban studies from Portland State University, Van Cleve decided to pursue a master’s degree in library and information science at St. Catherine University, in St. Paul.

In 2012, Van Cleve published his book, Land of 10,000 Loves: A History of Queer Minnesota, a wide-ranging illustrated history of queer life in Minnesota. The book contains more than 120 historical essays exploring the earliest evidence of queer life in Minnesota before the Second World War—from Oscar Wilde’s visit to Minnesota, riverfront vice districts, protest and parade sites, bars, 1970s collectives, institutions, public spaces, and private homes. This rich history is illustrated in more than 130 examples, including images of annual “pride guides,” a number of archival photographs, and advertisements from local queer bars.

Having worked at Augsburg for nearly a year, Van Cleve says he loves the “student-centric” nature of the University. On Thursday, April 5, he will be joining the Augsburg Alumni office at its Auggies in the City: Kinky Boots, pre-theater event to discuss his book, and to provide more details on the history of queer life in Minnesota.

For more information on Augsburg alumni events please visit www.augsburg.edu/alumni/events.

 

Auggie Alumnus Named to Florida High Tech Corridor’s 2018 “Faces of Technology”

Amanda Stramer ’12

Amanda Stramer ‘12 was named recently to the Florida High Tech Corridor’s 2018 “Faces of Technology,” which represents more than 252,000 scientists and technologists. Stramer earned this distinction through her innovative work in the development and commercialization of cancer immunotherapies.

For three years, Stramer has worked at Iovance Biotherapeutics in Tampa, FL. Currently a process development associate scientist, she works to develop immuno-oncology therapies, called tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs), to fight aggressive cancers.

Stramer says she chose to study at Augsburg because it was the most diverse private school in Minnesota*, and was small enough to provide for enhanced learning that can result from significant relationships with professors and classmates alike. Stramer graduated with a BS in Biology and Philosophy and was a lead volunteer at the Campus Kitchen. She has found that she can thrive in a small and intimate work environment, such as the one at Iovance Biotherapeutics, thanks to the study habits she developed at Augsburg.

Within a week of graduating from Augsburg, Stramer was offered a job. She immediately moved to Florida, where she started her career as a microbiologist at a small biotech company in Sarasota.

When asked if she could offer any advice to current Auggies, Stramer said, “Although there is always talk about academic careers following STEM programs, the science industry is so huge and versatile; Auggies should never fear to branch out.”

Stramer is a fantastic example of an Auggie making a difference, and Augsburg can take pride in its diverse alumni base, which includes a wide range of professions and accolades.

Do you know a great Auggie who should be in the spotlight? Let us know by emailing alumni@augsburg.edu.

 

*Augsburg University was the most diverse private school in Minnesota at the time of Stramer’s application.

16 Ways Your Give to the Max Day Gifts make Augsburg (and the World) a Better Place

With so many amazing things are happening at Augsburg, it may be helpful to have a little guidance about just how much is happening this year for the 35 Augsburg groups raising funds this year.

How can you support these initiatives? Read on! We’ve collected some examples of how your gifts this Thursday can make a huge impact in the lives of Augsburg students, faculty, and community members. Thanks for your support!

You can see all of Augsburg’s Give to the Max Day projects, and make your gifts now.

  1. Your gift to the Augsburg Fund helps ensure that Augsburg continues to provide financial aid and scholarships for more than 95% of our student body, keeping access to education for all a priority on campus. 

2. Your gift to the Augsburg Health Commons means members of our Cedar-Riverside community who are struggling to provide for their families don’t have to worry about the cold winter ahead.

3. Your gift to Augsburg Campus Kitchens helps expand and improve our campus gardens, where students and community members work together to grow healthy food and integrate green practices into our cities. Watch the video here.

4. Your gift to Augsburg’s Biology Department supports cutting-edge research on issues affecting Minnesota’s agricultural sector, including the health of soybeans. Watch the video here.

5. Your gift to Augsburg’s Chemistry Department gives students like Zach Swingen ‘16 the chance to work closely with Minnesota schools to build new curriculum that gets kids excited about science. Watch the video here.

6. Your gift to Augsburg’s Baseball and Softball teams gives our student-athletes a chance to train in Tucson, Arizona. It also gives Auggie Eagle a little break from the cold weather… watch the video here!

7. Your gift to Augsburg’s SMART group will help raise awareness and advocate for issues related to sexual violence and recovery in the Augsburg community.

8. Your gift to the Augsburg Theater Department’s Production Fellowship helps fund students of color who are exploring a career in artistic production, making the industry more representative and giving future generations of creative people new role models.

9. Your gift to Augsburg’s Peace Scholars Fund helps support the motivated, global-minded group of students who are Augsburg Peace Scholars. Watch the video here.

10. Your gift to Augsburg’s StepUP® Program creates opportunities for students in recovery to spread their message of hope and acceptance throughout the Twin Cities in speaking engagements, activities, and community events. 

11. Your gift to the Sabo Center’s Sabo Scholars continues that work that Augsburg alumnus Martin Olav Sabo ‘59 believed in and spent his life achieving—equipping young leaders to move beyond the classroom to listen, value, and support democracy in every facet of community life. 

12. Your gift to Augsburg’s Women’s Volleyball program provides our 2016 MIAC Champions with the chance to take their game abroad, as they challenge themselves against tougher opposition and experience new cultures, all while proudly representing Augsburg..

13. Your gift to Augsburg’s Minnesota Urban Debate League program gives young people across the metro area the chance to build their communication skills and confidence, giving them the tools to be successful leaders in their community.

14. Your gift to Lindell Library support an expanded collection of local, Minnesota authors and a speaker series that honors the many contributions our residents have made to the stories of art, architecture, history, literature, politics, and native and immigrant groups.

15. Your gift to any of four Augsburg projects count double. Donations to AWE for Emergence, the Peace Scholars Program, STEM, Biology, and Chemistry will be matched for every dollar, thanks to generous donors willing to help us all do more, together,

16. Your gifts help Augsburg win the Colleges and Universities category that earns the College a $10,000 prize—and each hour on Give to the Max Day, one Golden Ticket of $1,000 will be awarded through a random drawing of all donations transacted during the previous hour. Additionally, two Super-Sized Golden Tickets of $10,000 each will be awarded randomly.

With 36 Augsburg programs participating in Give to the Max, it’s easy to choose the Auggie causes that speak to your heart. Just don’t expect to be satisfied with just one!