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Program History

Scholastic Connections was started in 2001 in response to a prolonged and destructive hate mail campaign of an alumnus aimed primarily at multiracial couples. Created by Special Assistant to the President for Diversity and alumnus Syl Jones (’73), Scholastic Connections is unique in combining financial incentives and a networking community.

Alumni are drawn from the pool of individuals of color, providing them the opportunity to give back to the University in a unique and profoundly meaningful way and allowing them to reconnect with their educational roots.

Scholars are selected through an application process – about five new Scholars are selected each year.

In addition to the personal growth and development of the Scholar, career planning and development are expected outcomes of the work of the networking community. In this community, there is opportunity for scholars to seek mentorship from alumni volunteers.

There are two main prongs of the SC work:

  1. Alumni network – scholars working with alumni
  2. Large group work – we come together as a whole a number of times throughout the academic year to work and learn about each other.  We also partake in cultural activities. Because the program is about success it is necessary to celebrate success. By that, we have various programs including
    1. Multicultural Student Services Scholarship Recognition Dinner
    2. President’s House gathering – where graduating seniors are honored

Goal: To form a network community that recognizes, supports, challenges and inspires our students and ourselves.


  1. Support students as they continue at Augsburg University
  2. Frame the Big Questions: Who am I?  Where do I belong?  What are my gifts, skills and talents?  How can I best serve the world?
  3. Assist in discerning vocation
  4. Prepare students for life after Augsburg
  5. Come to know and support each other