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Many Voices, Bold Visions

What power can an individual have in a world of 6.7 billion people? Augsburg encourages us all to consider the power of vision in a world of tension. The Convocation Series offers a time to hear from outstanding leaders and visionaries who join us in great conversations that contribute to making the world a better place for future generations.

The Bernhard M. Christensen Symposium

Gracia Grindal ’65

Composer, Luther Seminary professor of rhetoric

Sunday, October 3, 4 p.m

Gracia Grindal ’65 is a professor of rhetoric at Luther Seminary. She is a poet, translator, noted hymnodist, and creator of Luther Seminary’s annual Reformation Festival, which grew from the “Singing the Faith” Reformation Day services. She received her BA from Augsburg, MFA from University of Arkansas, and MA from Luther Seminary.

Martha E. Stortz

Bernhard M. Christensen Professor of Religion and Vocation

Monday, October 4, 10 a.m.—Inauguration

Martha E. Stortz is a distinguished theologian whose scholarship includes work in historical and systematic theology, ethics, and biblical studies. She received her BA from Carleton College and her MA and PhD from the University of Chicago.

The Fine Arts Convocation


Innovative choral group directed by Philip Brunelle

Tuesday, October 19, 11 a.m.—Performance

Founded in 1969, VocalEssence is recognized internationally for innovative exploration of music for voices and instruments. VocalEssence champions choral music of all genres, celebrating the vocal experience through innovative concerts, commissions, and community engagement programs.

The Anne Pederson Women’s Resource Center

The Guerrilla Girls

Feminist masked avengers, authors, activists

Friday, November 5, 5 p.m.

The Guerrilla Girls is a feminist group following the example of anonymous do-gooders like Robin Hood, Wonder Woman, and Batman. They expose sexism, racism, and corruption in politics, art, film, and pop culture with facts, humor, and outrageous visuals.

The Martin Luther King Jr. Convocation

Freedom Fellows, Sunflower County Freedom Project

Monday, January 17, 1 p.m.

The 23rd annual Martin Luther King Jr. Convocation features the performance of “Five Feet Four Inches Forward,” an original play by Sarah Myers, assistant professor of theatre arts at Augsburg. The piece celebrates the life of voting rights activist and civil rights leader Fannie Lou Hamer and will be performed by the Freedom Fellows. Augsburg will also honor recipients of the 2011 Spirit of MLK award.

The Center for Counseling and Health Promotion Convocation

Malidoma P. Somé

Author, West African elder, professor

Friday, February 11, 3:30 p.m.

Saturday, February 12, Noon

Malidoma Somé is an initiated elder in his village in Dano, Burkina Faso, W. Africa. He travels throughout the world carrying a message of hope, healing, and reconciliation through the powerful tools of ritual and community building. He holds a PhD from the Sorbonne in Paris and from Brandeis University.

The Batalden Seminar in Applied Ethics

Christian Scharen

Author, Luther Seminary professor of worship and theology

Friday, March 11, 10 a.m.

Saturday, March 12, Noon

Christian Scharen is an ordained ELCA pastor and assistant professor. He holds a BA from Pacific Lutheran University, MA from the Graduate Theological Union, MDiv from Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary, and a PhD from Emory University.

The Sverdrup Visiting Scientist Lecture

Barbara Baird

Horace White professor of chemistry and chemical biology and chair, Cornell University

Monday, April 11, 7:30 p.m.

Tuesday, April 12, 11 a.m.

Barbara Baird has served on the council of the NIH National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and on scientific advisory/review committees for several institutions. She is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She received her BA from Knox College and a PhD from Cornell University.

The Rochester Convocation

Tony Campolo

Eastern University professor emeritus of sociology, founder and president Evangelical Association for the Promotion of Education

Tuesday, May 17, 7 p.m.

Bethel Lutheran Church

810 3rd Avenue SE, Rochester, MN

Professor Tony Campolo has worked to create, nurture, and support programs for at-risk children in cities across North America and has helped establish schools and universities in several developing countries.