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Remembering John N. Schwartz ’67

John Schwartz headshotIt is with a heavy heart that we share the news that Regent John Schwartz ’67 passed away on February 29 surrounded by loved ones.

John was an invaluable member of the Augsburg University community from the time he enrolled as a student. He had transformative experiences singing in the choir, including getting the opportunity to tour Norway, Denmark, and Germany during his sophomore year. John graduated with a degree in business administration and went on to earn a degree in hospital administration from the University of Minnesota. He had a thriving career as a healthcare executive for 40 years in Milwaukee, Oregon, Montana, and Chicago until his retirement in 2010.

John’s passion for choral music and Augsburg’s impact stayed with him throughout his life. He continued to sing after retirement, including with the Apollo Chorus of Chicago. Always thinking of others, John gave back in extraordinary ways. He showed support for Augsburg music students through his incredible generosity and philanthropy. His most significant gifts were made during the Great Returns: We’re All In campaign, which included the Leland B. Sateren ’35 professorship and chair of music and the John N. Schwartz professorship of choral leadership and conducting. His latest gift established the John N. Schwartz School of the Arts. In addition to those endeavors, he and his husband James Mosley created the John N. Schwartz and James A. Mosley scholarship.

“It was one of the joys of my presidency to know John Schwartz, who was a remarkable human being,” Augsburg President Paul C. Pribbenow remarked. “As an Augsburg graduate, John exemplified our mission in his professional and personal lives. When we sat together in 2023 to establish the Schwartz School of the Arts, I was moved and inspired by John’s humble generosity. We have lost a good friend.”

In 2019, John joined the Board of Regents and served on the advancement, finance, and audit committees. He also was part of Augsburg’s Music Advisory Council. “John brought his years of leadership and business expertise to the Board of Regents as well as his love for Augsburg and its music tradition,” shared Board Chair Dennis Meyer ’78.

“John’s passion, vision and generosity in creating the Schwartz School of the Arts ensures that the arts will be accessible for all and continue to transform students’ lives at Augsburg,” said Paula O’Loughlin, provost and senior vice president for academic and student affairs. “I am grateful to have known such an amazing man. He will be deeply missed.” 

John firmly believed in the power of a liberal arts education and its ability to set up students for a successful career and a meaningful life. His legacy at Augsburg will be remembered for generations.

Funeral services will be held in Chicago on Saturday, April 27, at 10:30 a.m. at Alice Millar Chapel, Northwestern University, 1870 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL and in Minneapolis on Saturday, May 4, at 2:00 p.m. at Augsburg University, Hoversten Chapel, 2211 Riverside Avenue Minneapolis, MN 55454.

Read John’s full obituary

Augsburg’s Inaugural Auggie Entrepreneurship Cup a Success!

George Dierberger talking with studentsOn December 6, 2023, Augsburg held its inaugural Auggie Entrepreneurship Cup. The goal of the Auggie Cup is to help students develop their entrepreneurial skills and prepare them for a successful future. This is done through core curriculum, collaboration between undergrad and MBA students, incubator experiential learning, and mentorship with successful local business leaders. 

A total of 21 students were divided into three groups of undergraduate business, MBA, and graphic design students. The graphic design students developed the branding, logo, and marketing materials. Each group presented their projects in front of a panel of judges. They were graded on 5 criteria: mission/vision/value/situation analysis, graphic design, marketing plan, financial plan, and overall presentation. 

After a “shark tank” style day of presentations, the judges determined first, second, and third place winners and awarded cash prizes. Around 100 students, parents, faculty, staff, regents, business advisory board members, and donors attended the award ceremony and reception. “The event exceeded everyone’s expectations and there was wonderful synergy and teamwork!” shared George Dierberger, MBA Director, and Thomas and Karen Howe Endowed Professor for Entrepreneurship.

Learn more about the student projects below!

 

Picture of first place winners1st Place Winners

Vaske

A proposed AI Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for business owners to use to boost their brand visibility and online presence. 

Team Members

Phil Holt, MBA, 2024

Emmanuel Jean, MBA, 2024

Brynn Hostettler Marketing, 2025

Isabella Barrientes, Graphic Design, 2024

Erick Jaramillo, Graphic Design, 2024

Valerie Yang, Graphic Design, 2024

 

Second place winnersSecond Place Winners

Prairie Port

A proposed product to provide accessible electronic vehicle (EV) charging solutions to underserved communities.

Team Members

Mohamed Elshobery, MBA, 2024

Sibille Okadjo, MBA, 2024

Simon Tewalt, Business, 2024

Ikram Barre, Business, 2024

Estefaney Pina, Graphic Design, 2024

Shah Hasan, Graphic Design, 2024

Casey Kreie, Graphic Design, 2024

Ana Pena, Graphic Design, 2024

 

Third place winnersThird Place Winners

Point B

A proposed service that provides a unique array of sustainable and accessible outdoor experiences for adventure lovers.

Team Members:

Allen Davis, MBA, 2023

Sadia Mohamed, MBA, 2024

Sasha Ortiz International business, 2024

Lauren Damgaard, Graphic Design, 2024

Katie Strombeck, Graphic Design, 2024

Andre Ziemer, Graphic Design, 2024

Blake Carpenter, Graphic Design, 2024

 

Thank you to the 2023 sponsors of the Auggie Cup:

Tom ’72 and Karen Howe

Mike Nathan

Modulate Capital

Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation

SPIRE Credit Union

 

For more information on sponsorship opportunities, please contact Director of Corporate Partnership and Engagement Catherine Hurley at hurleyc@augsburg.edu.

Inspiring Others to Give

Hans and Kristin WiersmaOnce again, Kristin Dragseth Wiersma ’91 and her husband, Augsburg associate professor of religion Hans Wiersma, are leading the way with their three-year, $1,000 annual commitment to the Augsburg Fund. As participants in the Great Returns: We’re All In campaign, they are not only making their own commitment to Augsburg’s future, but also focusing on the “we” by inspiring others to do the same.

Kristin transferred to Augsburg in her sophomore year, after deciding that the party vibe at her first choice, the U. of Wisconsin, did not suit her. Augsburg was a much better fit. She thrived on the personal touch a small campus could provide and appreciated being able to integrate her campus ministry involvement with her studies. She also joined the volleyball team, and the senior year she spent living in a decrepit house with her eight teammates delivered indelible memories.

The house is gone now, but the friendship bonds remain. The teammates used to get together often, at least once a month, and still meet frequently, now with their families in tow. They share camping trips and enjoyed a vacation in Costa Rica last fall. With Kristin’s encouragement, they have also begun giving back, each in their own way.

“We’ve all had life-changing experiences, and we all love Augsburg. The way we met and grew—that’s been really fun. We’ve all known each other since we were 18, and now we’re in our 50s, but we really solidified our values and trajectory together at Augsburg,” explains Kristin, who earned her degree in social work, supplemented it with advanced leadership degrees, and now works with organizations to keep them healthy and on track with their goals.

With kids in college, she acknowledges, no one has a lot of cash to play around with. Her goal is to reacquaint her teammates with their alma mater and nurture their philanthropy in whatever form it takes. She has invited them back to campus on several occasions, often for homecoming, but also to tour the facilities, admire the new academic buildings, and recognize how education has changed. They even got to sit in the chairs like students and learn what today’s “upside-down” classroom is like.

“In the olden days, you’d go hear a lecture, then do the reading, then write the paper. Now the data dump is all on your own, with podcasts, books, media, etc. It’s quite diverse. Then you come to the classroom and apply the theory,” she explains.

Kristin and Hans are contributing to the Augsburg Fund, which provides academic scholarships for those in need. “You can do lots of cool things with endowments, but this one is the heavy lifter,” she says. Education today is expensive, and recognizing how hard students have to work to be in college at all, especially if they are first-generation, is important.

Some of her teammates are giving in new ways. Because women’s sports were so important to them in those early days of Title IX, together they supported a locker room rebuild. One, an avid golfer, made a major contribution to the golf locker room. “I want them to get closer to the University, whatever that means to them. I’m glad when they give—it’s just exciting,” Kristin says.

She notes that some potential donors may wrestle with what they perceive as a “crazy, liberal, progressive direction” that can feel alien to the traditional values they hold dear. But Augsburg, she argues, is “the ultimate place to learn about diversity.” It has amply demonstrated how it is possible to cling to core values while inviting others along on the journey, shifting just enough to support new populations. Hans, for example, still teaches religion—every kind of religion. He and Kristin want to ensure that others “appreciate the adaptation that Augsburg has made in response to a new day. It is working really hard to give everyone a solid education in a complex and ambiguous world. Providing the skills to navigate that ambiguity is the hardest part,” says Kristin. “Justice for me is creating access to education, giving students a chance to reach their potential and get a footing in this world. I want to be part of anything that helps people do that.”

 

Fostering Diversity in the Classroom

John WelckleWhen John Welckle ’57 pledged $100,000 to create an endowed scholarship for underrepresented teachers, his cash gift represented not only gratitude to Augsburg for his education, but also appreciation for the transformative worldview he shares with his alma mater.

In his 87 years, Welckle has become part of the social history he used to teach to students at Burnsville High School, St. Olaf College, and other schools throughout his career. He grew up an only child on a small farm in Wood Lake Township, where diversity was marked by cattle, pigs, and sheep as well as row crops, flax, and alfalfa. His dad planted with horses before buying a tractor in 1940.

“As a child, my big issue was whether the rows were straight,” says Welckle, who was doing the plowing by the time he was 12. “When you get to work that early in life, you have experiences that are remarkably challenging in retrospect.”

He had planned to join the Navy after graduating with his Hanley Falls senior high class of 10, but the Navy rejected him for flat feet and poor eyes. A friend suggested Augsburg instead. He had never heard of it, but he applied and, despite a “very provincial background” and lack of academic prowess, was accepted.

“To be thrust immediately into what I thought was a pretty large environment was bewildering and confusing. It took some time to get my feet on the ground, but I eventually came around,” he says. He played baseball, studied hard, majored in business administration, and graduated.  Out in the world, he found a job he didn’t care for, so he returned to Augsburg for a teaching certificate. In 1961, Burnsville High School hired him to teach social studies.

Welckle’s reflections on his past inform his donor decision in myriad ways, affecting not only his reasons for giving but also how his gift might best be used. Spotting a religion column in the New York Times that featured a “small college in Minnesota” hiring an imam (“big news” then), he sensed that change was afoot on campus. He began paying attention to the statewide disparity between staff and students, noting that Augsburg, 99.9% white when he entered, is now 44% white. Burnsville High was smaller and just as homogenous then; now only 37% of its students are white.

“Two institutions very important to me have transformed radically in my lifetime, and I know how important it is for students to have teachers who look like them,” Welckle says. “Making a contribution to an institution like Augsburg that is making a dramatic and genuine effort to adapt to the demographic change taking place made sense to me. Here’s a place where I could help, be useful, and share some of my own good fortune.”

Welckle also takes note of “settler colonialism,” a term that describes his heritage on a family farm located within 20 miles of native land and six miles from the Dakota Conflict’s last encounter, the Battle of Wood Lake. “I came along 85 years after that treaty, and we were able to create a life of stability, generating enough wealth and an amazing experience. But as I get older, attend events, and listen to reminders that we are on indigenous land, I begin to feel that I can’t ignore that,” he says. “How do we live with the harm we cause others? That, to me, encapsulates neatly and succinctly the moral issues I’ve been wrestling with. It’s hard to avoid what’s happening around you.”

Augsburg’s Great Returns campaign provides the opportunity to do something positive with the rewards of a life well-lived, one that provided not only generous income but also more opportunities than Welckle had ever imagined. He is thrilled to see how the now-University is no longer the “rather conservative, myopic place” he first encountered in 1951, and instead displays an openness “consistent with their mission throughout history: to be a college of the community. As the community has changed, Augsburg has changed, too. 

“Their commitment to transform the institution is genuine, true, and honest. It can be grounded in scripture, I’m sure, but that’s not my field. It certainly can be grounded in social policy and democratic living,” Welckle adds, the catch in his voice underscoring his passion for meaningful change. “I am truly grateful.”

Justin Grammens ’96 Helps STEM Students By Giving

Justin smalls for the photo in front of a blurred backgroundJustin Grammens ’96 is a mathematics major who grew up in Minneapolis. His mother was a teacher for Minneapolis public schools, and his father worked as a doctor at Fairview Riverside, located across the street from Augsburg.

Grammens said he was familiar with the area and Augsburg, and one aspect that drew him to the school were the small class sizes which gave him a better connection to his classmates and instructors.

“My original plan was to start at a liberal arts school [Augsburg], then transfer to an engineering school,” Grammens said. “But when I transferred from Augsburg, I was sitting in a classroom with hundreds of other students and being taught by a TA, and I felt like why am I here?”

He ended up transferring back to Augsburg and completing his degree. But Grammens said it wasn’t just the small class sizes that inspired him to return to Augsburg, it was also the urban environment and the abundance of diversity that Augsburg offers.

At Augsburg, Grammens was able to build relationships with many different people that he maintained after graduation. He has even come back to campus on multiple occasions and spoken with students majoring in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields about his career.

Grammens is an adjunct professor at the University of St. Thomas, teaching a class for their masters of software engineering program. He said that he is proud to bring the skills that he learned at Augsburg and share them with his students.

“A lot of the classes at Augsburg were exploratory and non-traditional,” Grammens said. “It was really about thought process, application, collaboration, and problem solving.”

Around 2006, he started a company that was one of the first in the Twin Cities to develop mobile apps for major companies, and that’s when he said he felt like he had the income to give back.

“It breaks my heart if somebody is kicking butt in math, chemistry, or physics, and they know they want to be an engineer, but the barrier is just that they don’t have the money,” Grammens said. “I’m passionate about giving to STEM programs because those students are working with technologies that are changing our lives, and I want to support that.”

Grammens continues to make a positive impact on the lives of Augsburg students with annual donations to STEM programs, and you can too.

Donate to STEM programs and support Augsburg students as they conduct research with faculty, attend and present at national conferences, and hear from leading researchers.

Any gift made to any program will automatically count towards your class’ total for the Alumni Class Challenge!

Learn more ways to give.

Lewis Nelson ’00 Encourages You to Get Involved with Giving

Over one thousand miles away Lewis Nelson ’00, a history major, sat in front of a map in his office, which was posted behind him on the wall, meticulously pinned with various places he had visited.Lewis Nelson kneels on a football field with football and a helmet posing for the photo

Graduating high school from a small town in Wisconsin, Nelson reflected on why he initially chose Augsburg University–because of the urban environment, sense of community, and football.

But during his freshman year, Nelson, like many freshmen, felt the struggle of adapting to the new environment at first.

“And then, I started meeting more people,” Nelson said. “I began to participate in activities and student organizations, and I just got more involved on campus.”

His pitch rose with excitement, speaking about how he became an orientation leader and joined the Augsburg Student Activity Council.

Once he was fully immersed in the culture, Nelson said he was enamored by Augsburg’s diversity, and through it he learned that he could get along with anybody from anywhere.

Not long after graduation, Nelson joined the U.S. Army, where his experience at Augsburg gave him a leg up on his peers, he said.

“Augsburg helped me cultivate vital skills such as critical thinking and leadership,” said Nelson. “Skills that continue to serve me today, and that’s why I give.”

Lewis in a cap and gown holding his diploma poses for a photo under a tree with his mom.Nelson’s giving journey began when he received a call from a student about the Augsburg Fund. Since then, Nelson has made a habit of giving.

He said giving to Augsburg gives him a sense of pride and keeps the legacy alive, and upholds the value of a degree that has meant so much to all the students that attend Augsburg University.

“The feeling of giving back to the place that made me who I am today not only gives me personal pleasure, but it brings joy to other people’s lives’,” Nelson said. ”I encourage anyone to give what they can.”

You can donate to the Augsburg Fund and/or student organizations like the ones that made such an impact on Nelson’s life by visiting Augsburg’s giving page.

Any gift made to any program will automatically count towards your class’ total for the Alumni Class Challenge!

Donnie McCarthy ’09 Gives back to URGO

When it comes to Augsburg’s Undergraduate and Graduate Opportunity (URGO) program, things have really comeDonnie smiles for the picture in front of trees and wearing a suit full circle for Donnie McCarthy ’09. One of the program’s first student researchers, Donnie is now the first URGO alumnus to serve as a sponsor, making the same experience he had as an undergraduate possible for current Augsburg students. “I’m thrilled that I can help someone–and hopefully, help a lot of people over the years–get access to that kind of experience,” he says.

Donnie was one of the first Augsburg students to participate in URGO in the summer of 2008. It was his first experience undertaking research, working alongside now-retired Biology professor Ralph Butkowski. “It was really my first exposure to doing biological research; my first exposure to doing research in a lab setting, and really got me excited about that concept—being able to carve into the unknown a little bit,” says Donnie.

Donnie also went on to undertake asthma research with Biology professor Jennifer Bankers-Fulbright, sparking an interest in pharmacology and immunology. “My experiences at URGO were career-influencing and what resulted in me going to graduate school to do basic research. I was fascinated by the idea of asking questions and experimentally answering them. To be at the frontier of our understanding of a biological pathway seemed akin to being an explorer, albeit of the molecular type,” he says.

While a student at Augsburg, Donnie developed time management skills as he juggled school, a six-day work week, research, and playing on the men’s soccer team–another pivotal experience for him. “Coming from Michigan, not really knowing anyone at Augsburg, getting thrown into the first pre-season training session, you create a family away from your family, and that was super valuable to me, getting really close with the whole team.” 

Donnie has also been a supporter of the men’s soccer team over the years and admires head coach Greg Holker’s dedication to create a strong sense of community among students and alumni. “[Holker] really requires excellence, has a really strong standard for being a person–he really does foster a fantastic environment,” says Donnie.

After Augsburg, Donnie studied at Albany Medical College before receiving his doctorate in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of New York. If he hadn’t participated in URGO, Donnie says, he would have been at a disadvantage with his fellow graduate school classmates. “Having an idea of not just the scientific process, but being able to read and interpret scientific literature–there’s really no other way to get good at it, so having done it before (in URGO) definitely helped,” he says. 

Today, Donnie works at Samsara Biocapital in San Francisco, where he serves as Vice President. In his work at Samsara, Donnie works with both company creation and more traditional investing in life sciences companies, helping companies developing early-stage drugs, take an interesting idea and how it might translate into a therapeutic concept, how it will position relative to things that are already out there. His URGO research provided the skills necessary to thrive in his career–“doing research is an excellent way to learn how to think about something critically.”

Donnie believes that a program like URGO sets Augsburg apart. “It truly does differentiate from most other small liberal arts schools–it’s not an opportunity you get at every place, for sure, and enriches the overall experience for students. It was just that impactful for me, and if I can help one person in my lifetime have that same sort of experience, I’ll do it a hundred times over.” 

URGO is just one of many ways to give back, and any gift made to the program will automatically count towards your class’ total for the Alumni Class Challenge. Join the Challenge!

Learn more ways to give. 

Dennis ’78 and Bev (Ranum) Meyer ’78 Welcome the Challenge

Dennis and Bev stand next to each other smiling for the photoBev (Ranum) Meyer 78, who graduated with a degree in mathematics, paused to collect her thoughts before recounting memories of when the Augsburg Choir practiced in the Old Main Chapel, back when fans took the bus to Parade Stadium to watch Auggie football games, and students lived in the big old houses on campus before they were all torn down. 

“When I think of our era at Augsburg, I think about how much this University has evolved since then,” said Bev. “And even though many aspects have changed, much of what we appreciated about Augsburg still remains.”

Dennis Meyer 78 majored in communications and social work and is the co-chair of the Alumni Class Challenge. He and Bev met each other at Augsburg during their undergraduate studies, and both of them experienced the benefits of grants, scholarships, and the power of generosity. 

Dennis and Bev began giving back to Augsburg in 1978 when they signed up for the Senior Challenge, which encouraged them to give a small gift every year. They became even more invested in giving when their son chose to attend Augsburg. 

“There are many reasons people give,” Dennis said. “For us, we want to pay back a place that provided us with many opportunities, experiences, and lifelong friendships.”

They mentioned the importance of paying it forward and their hope that others will have a chance to experience Augsburg for themselves and create their own memories. 

The Meyers continued to ensure their dream became a reality by contributing to the Jeroy and Lorraine Carlson Atrium Lounge, a designated space in the Hagfors Center where the Augsburg community can gather, foster relationships, and build community. They also gave contributions to the Beverly Durkee Mathematics Scholarship. 

Dennis noted there are multiple ways to give such as endowments, the Augsburg Fund, professorships, and numerous other programs.

Currently, Dennis and Wayne Jorgenson 71 are on the Board of Regents, and co-chairs of the Alumni Class Challenge, which is a part of Augsburg University’s Great Returns Campaign. The Almni Class Challenge kicks off at the All-School Reunion on Friday, Oct. 7, 2022, and will last for three months. 

The goal of the larger campaign is to raise $125 million. The Alumni Class Challenge is a competition to see which class will have the highest participation rate with the winning class receiving bragging rights. A gift of any amount is appreciated and counts toward that class’ total. 

Learn more ways to give.

A Real Game Changer

Patricia Piepenburg headshotBasketball has played an important role in Patricia (Patty) Piepenburg’s ’69 life. In her small hometown of Grove City, Minnesota, Patty discovered her natural athleticism. “I grew up pre-Title IX, so the only exposure I really had to sports were through intramurals and gym class,” she shared. Her high school team was organized through the Girls Athletic Association (GAA) where she and her teammates had to work hard to find other teams to play. They eventually convinced their advisor to play a neighboring town. In Patty’s words, it could be more accurately described as “scheduling a time two schools could get together and do intramural activities.” At the time, the rules were completely different for women’s basketball. It was played on half the court and each team had 6 players. Nonetheless, Patty fell in love with the game. 

A black and white photo of the Augiettes
The 1966 Auggiettes (Patty pictured 2nd row, third in from the left)

While she was a student at Augsburg, she participated on the Auggiettes women’s basketball team. During her four seasons, the team only lost four games, and were completely undefeated her junior year. She was also the leading scorer her last two years in school. A big part of the team’s success can be attributed to Patty’s coach at the time, LaVonne Johnson Peterson, or Mrs. Pete, more affectionately. “She was a great teacher and friend. She played a big factor in me staying at Augsburg all four years,” Patty shared. 

Patty shooting a basketball into the hoop during a gamePatty graduated with a degree in Physical Education in 1969. She taught and coached various grade levels in Atwater, Minnesota while also working double time to help her dad with their family farm. “There came a point where I was just burned out and couldn’t do both anymore,” Patty reflected on deciding to leave coaching and teaching after over 30 years. The family farm, conservation, and wildlife remain an important part of Patty’s life – she has even won awards for her conservation projects!

In 2011, Patty was inducted into Augsburg’s Athletics Hall of Fame. Although some of her teammates were inducted several years earlier, Patty wanted to be retired when she accepted the honor. “A hall of famer is someone who not only contributed to the sports while they were in school, but it should also reflect what they went on to do after college,” she said. “I felt like I needed to earn my place.”

Patty has given a generous gift to help update the Si Melby Women’s Locker room. The dedication will take place in October during Augsburg’s Homecoming Week and All-School Reunion, where Augsburg will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Title IX. When reflecting on what inspired this decision, Patty shared, “Trying to figure out your estate plans is difficult when you aren’t married and don’t have kids… you want to channel it to where you think someone made a difference. I chose the women’s locker room because I would love to see a legacy.” The advice Patty has for current and future generations of women athletes at Augsburg is, “Always be prepared, be yourself, and willingly accept opportunities for leadership.”

Support the University that Supported Her Daughter

Donor Betty Shaw with her daughter and son-in-law receiving a water droplet for her newly established endowed scholarship at Augsburg.
Betty Shaw, with her daughter and son-in-law, receiving a water droplet for her newly established endowed scholarship at Augsburg.

Augsburg is proud to announce a new endowed scholarship has been set up by Auggie friend Betty Shaw, in honor of her daughter: The Laura Shaw-Wright Scholarship for Students with Dyslexia and Reading Disabilities

Betty Shaw and her late husband, Earl, had four daughters. Their daughter, Laura (Shaw) Wright, attended Augsburg in the early 90’s, graduating with honors in 1996 with a B.A. in Studio Art, and a B.S. in Social Work. 

Laura has lived with severe dyslexia her entire life. She credits the supportive, affirming, and encouraging faculty, staff, and learning environment that she experienced at Augsburg, along with the support services provided by the CLASS office, as being integral to her positive, successful college education and experience.

It is for this reason that Bettywith the encouragement and support of Laura and her husband Alfonzo “Al” Wright ’97would like to establish The Laura Shaw-Wright Scholarship for Students with Dyslexia and Reading Disabilities. The goal of this endowed scholarship will be to help provide access to an Augsburg education for students who may be challenged with dyslexia or other reading disabilities. The scholarship will be awarded with preference given to those students with dyslexia who utilize the CLASS office to address the challenges that their reading disability may otherwise impose on their ability to successfully learn and achieve success in their academic endeavors.

Thanks to the supportive environment she found at Augsburg, Laura went on to a successful career teaching art in the Burnsville Public School District and then South Washington County in Woodbury. Laura and Al met at Augsburg their freshman year and are now married and have two daughters, Lilly and Stella.

Betty, Laura, and Al were presented with a Water Droplet in late October as a thank you establishing a new endowed scholarship. Augsburg is sharing these original Water Drop sculptures with the first 150 benefactors who choose to invest in an endowed scholarship, whether that investment is in a new endowed scholarship or a gift towards an established endowed scholarship.

Betty finds great joy in what she calls “paying it forward.”

“It makes me somewhat uncomfortable when people thank me for making a gift or supporting a cause,” says Betty. “I believe it’s a privilege to join in the work of a place like Augsburg, and it brings me great joy to know that I can help make it possible for future students to have the kind of education that Laura and Al had here at Augsburg. I truly believe that it is in giving that you receive…I have experienced that my whole life!”