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Augsburg receives $1.25 million grant from Lilly Endowment

Augsburg UniversityAugsburg University has received a renewal grant of $1.25 million from Lilly Endowment Inc. to further develop the work of the Christensen Center for Vocation and its Riverside Innovation Hub initiative. The Riverside Innovation Hub helps congregations build new connections with young adults at the intersections of their faith and their public lives and works with congregations towards becoming public churches. 

This work is being funded through Lilly Endowment’s Young Adult Initiative, which aims to help congregations develop and strengthen ministries that build relationships with young adults, nurture their religious lives, and foster their engagement with religious communities.

Augsburg’s Christensen Center for Vocation is eager to deepen its capacity to accompany congregations and young adults discerning their call, in relationship with their neighborhoods. We are grateful for the Lilly Endowment’s continued support of these efforts as Augsburg lives into a new imagination of congregational relations for the 21st century,” said Paul Pribbenow, Augsburg University president.

In 2017, Augsburg received $1.5 million from Lilly Endowment’s Young Adult Initiative to enable the creation of the Riverside Innovation Hub. The Riverside Innovation Hub has partnered with 25 congregations along two overlapping pathways. Sixteen congregations were accepted into a 3 ½-year partnership with RIH, which included working with an innovation coach toward experiments that were supported by grant funding. Another nine congregations have participated in learning events, taking key insights and questions from the larger experiment into their own contexts. They have been learning at the periphery from the main cohort of congregations and contributing their voices and experiences to the shared learning of this project. Thanks to a Thriving Congregations grant from the Lilly Endowment, RIH launched a second learning community of local congregations focused on the call to be public churches in the summer of 2021.

In phase two of Lilly’s Young Adult Initiative, Augsburg will work with young adult leaders to write a manifesto to the church, articulating their hopes and dreams for the church; create a national network of ministry leaders and congregations who are interested in the idea of public churches; and design training modules for this work.

To learn more about the Christensen Center for Vocation and its work, visit Augsburg’s Christensen Center for Vocation website

About Lilly Endowment Inc.
Lilly Endowment Inc. is an Indianapolis-based private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by J.K. Lilly Sr. and sons Eli and J.K. Jr. through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly & Company. Although the gifts of stock remain a financial bedrock of the Endowment, it is a separate entity from the company, with a distinct governing board, staff and location. In keeping with the founders’ wishes, the Endowment exists to support the causes of religion, education and community development. The Endowment funds significant programs throughout the United States, especially in the field of religion. However, it maintains a special commitment to its hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana. The principal aim of the Endowment’s grantmaking in religion is to deepen and enrich the lives of Christians in the United States, primarily by seeking out and supporting efforts that enhance the vitality of congregations and strengthen their pastoral and lay leadership. 

About Augsburg

Augsburg University offers more than 50 undergraduate majors and 11 graduate degrees to approximately 3,200 students of diverse backgrounds at its campus in the vibrant center of the Twin Cities and nearby Rochester, Minnesota, location. Augsburg educates students to be informed citizens, thoughtful stewards, critical thinkers, and responsible leaders. An Augsburg education is defined by excellence in the liberal arts and professional studies, guided by the faith and values of the Lutheran church, and shaped by its urban and global settings. Learn more at Augsburg.edu.

Augsburg University Is a 20-Year Top Producer of Gilman Scholars

Gilman Scholar 20-Year Top Producer BadgeAugsburg University was recognized today by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs for having produced the most Gilman recipients over the past 20 years in the “small institutions” category. Sixty Augsburg students have used Gilman awards toward a study abroad experience since 2001; this number does not include scholarship winners who did not end up studying abroad for different reasons, including the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Gilman Scholarships are a priority for Augsburg University because they help us fulfill our mission to be ‘small to our students, big for the world,’” said Andrea Dvorak, associate director of off-campus study at Augsburg’s Center for Global Education and Experience. “Our work helping individual students prepare their essays is intimate and personal—we get to learn from our students’ stories and gain a deeper understanding of their lives. The result is twofold: our staff expand our ability to work with more and more diverse students, and our students bring their lived experience into the wider world. We know this has a lasting impact on their own lives, their study abroad host communities, their academic field and future professions, and even their home communities here in Minneapolis.”

Established in 2001, the U.S. Department of State’s Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program has made study abroad more accessible and inclusive by providing scholarships to outstanding U.S. undergraduate students who, due to financial constraints, might not otherwise participate. Since the program’s inception, more than 34,000 Gilman Scholars have studied or interned in more than 155 countries. 

To learn more about Gilman Scholarships, visit gilmanscholarship.org. The Gilman competition is administered at Augsburg through the Center for Global Education & Experience.

About Augsburg

Augsburg University offers more than 50 undergraduate majors and 11 graduate degrees to 3,400 students of diverse backgrounds at its campus in the vibrant center of the Twin Cities and nearby Rochester, Minnesota, location. Augsburg educates students to be informed citizens, thoughtful stewards, critical thinkers, and responsible leaders. An Augsburg education is defined by excellence in the liberal arts and professional studies, guided by the faith and values of the Lutheran church, and shaped by its urban and global settings. Learn more at Augsburg.edu.

The Forum on Workplace Inclusion Launches Professional Development Labs

The forum on Workplace inclusion and Augsburg University logosThe Forum on Workplace Inclusion, a program of Augsburg University, is launching a new learning opportunity: Professional Development Labs. Each PDL is a half-day mini conference that focuses on a specific industry or topic, and participants will come away with a goal-oriented action plan.

The first PDL, “Engaging Religious Diversity in the Workplace: Building Your Interfaith Strategy and Skillset,” will be 12-4 p.m. Central on Monday, November 8. This online PDL, created in conjunction with Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC), will help participants learn why engaging religious diversity matters in the workplace, identify concrete skills to engage religious diversity and enhance workplace culture, and create a customized action plan for how to engage religious diversity productively in the workplace. Participants can choose from three action planning breakout sessions: Simple First Steps to Engaging Religious Diversity in Your Workplace; What Happens When Conflict Arises?: Addressing Challenging Religious Diversity Scenarios at Work; or Formalizing Interfaith Engagement: Creating an Interfaith Employee Resource Group in Your Workplace. The presenters will include Eboo Patel (IFYC), Farah Siddiqui (Salesforce), and Megan Hughes Johnson (IFYC). More information and a registration link are available on this PDL’s webpage.

Two additional PDLs on topics yet to be determined will be scheduled for 2021-22.

Announcing El-Hibri Endowed Executive Directorship for the Interfaith Institute

Nancy and Fuad El-Hibri
Nancy and Fuad El-Hibri

Augsburg University announces that a significant gift has been made for a new leadership position: the El-Hibri Endowed Executive Directorship for the Interfaith Institute.

This new role is thanks to a gift from Fuad and Nancy El-Hibri. They first learned of Augsburg while researching higher education options for their son Karim, who was in recovery from substance issues. The family has been actively engaged with the university since then and Karim has meanwhile graduated from Augsburg’s StepUP program.

In 2019, Augsburg University established Interfaith at Augsburg: An Institute to Promote Interreligious Leadership. This program illustrates the many ways in which our commitment to interfaith learning and leadership can shape our work on campus and in the wider community, and this work requires a strategic leader and distinguished scholar to provide direction.

Learn more.

American Indian OIC Receives $10,000 for Youth Programming from Augsburg University

Augsburg University contributed $10,000 to American Indian OIC to support its youth education programming. AIOIC was founded in 1979 as a practical resource and response to the considerable education and employment disparities faced by American Indians living in and around south Minneapolis. 

President Paul Pribbenow said the gift is the result of conversations between Augsburg and AIOIC about finding ways to work together to overcome educational disparities and encourage Native youth and others to pursue their academic journeys. The two organizations also are discussing ways to strengthen ties through shared research, teaching, and community engagement.

More details are available in the press release from AIOIC.

About Augsburg

Augsburg University offers more than 50 undergraduate majors and 11 graduate degrees to 3,400 students of diverse backgrounds at its campus in the vibrant center of the Twin Cities and nearby Rochester, Minnesota, location. Augsburg educates students to be informed citizens, thoughtful stewards, critical thinkers, and responsible leaders. An Augsburg education is defined by excellence in the liberal arts and professional studies, guided by the faith and values of the Lutheran church, and shaped by its urban and global settings. Learn more at Augsburg.edu.

Augsburg University Celebrates Juneteenth as an Official University Holiday for the First Time

Augsburg University added Juneteenth (June 19) to its list of official university holidays. For the first time, the university will observe Juneteenth on Friday, June 18. The holiday is a time of mixed emotions, both celebrating the end of legal slavery in the United States and offering time to reflect on continued racism since then. 

Juneteenth originated in 1865 as Union General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, to announce the end of the Civil War and to enforce the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863. Learn more about this celebration and its history in this New York Times article.

Jenn Luong, pastoral intern in Augsburg’s Campus Ministry, has composed this reflection and prayer to mark this year’s celebration.

About Augsburg

Augsburg University offers more than 50 undergraduate majors and 11 graduate degrees to 3,400 students of diverse backgrounds at its campus in the vibrant center of the Twin Cities and nearby Rochester, Minnesota, location. Augsburg educates students to be informed citizens, thoughtful stewards, critical thinkers, and responsible leaders. An Augsburg education is defined by excellence in the liberal arts and professional studies, guided by the faith and values of the Lutheran church, and shaped by its urban and global settings. Learn more at Augsburg.edu.

Augsburg University Joins the COVID-19 College Vaccination Challenge

Vaccine Champion UniversityAugsburg University has signed up to be a part of the COVID-19 College Vaccination Challenge, which has been organized by the White House and U.S. Department of Education. The challenge is part of President Biden’s effort to make sure that 70% or more of Americans have at least one vaccine dose by July 4.

Schools that join this challenge make three commitments:

  1. Engage every student, faculty, and staff member: Make sure every member of the campus community knows they are eligible for a vaccine and has resources to find one.
  2. Organize the college community: Lead the way by identifying champions for vaccine efforts across campus and implementing a plan to get as many members of the campus community vaccinated as possible.
  3. Deliver vaccine access to all. Meet the campus community where it is: bring vaccines on-site, and make it easy for students, staff, and faculty to get vaccinated at sites nearby this summer. 

By participating in this challenge, Augsburg is doing its part to protect our students, faculty, and staff; their families; and our community.

Augsburg is offering walk-in vaccine clinics on campus in Oren Gateway Center this summer starting June 14 during new student orientation. In addition, the university is right across the street from the People’s Center Cedar Riverside Clinic, which also offers vaccines. You can find more information about COVID-19 vaccines at our COVID-19 Planning website.

About Augsburg
Augsburg University offers more than 50 undergraduate majors and 11 graduate degrees to 3,400 students of diverse backgrounds at its campus in the vibrant center of the Twin Cities and nearby Rochester, Minnesota, location. Augsburg educates students to be informed citizens, thoughtful stewards, critical thinkers, and responsible leaders. An Augsburg education is defined by excellence in the liberal arts and professional studies, guided by the faith and values of the Lutheran church, and shaped by its urban and global settings. Learn more at Augsburg.edu.

Advisory: Augsburg celebrates Class of 2021 with virtual and in-person commencement

Augsburg University will host a virtual commencement ceremony Monday, May 3 to celebrate the Class of 2021, the most diverse graduating class in our history. An in-person celebration will follow on June 8.Augsburg University logo

The virtual commencement ceremony consists of a prerecorded ceremony that will be streamed online and graduates, families, and friends can watch and chat together in real time.

Visit YouTube.com/AugsburgU to watch the commencement broadcast at 6 p.m. Central. To request or learn about accommodations see our accessibility statement.

You can follow the celebration through the hashtag #AuggieGrad on all social media platforms, where students will be sharing images of their virtual celebration. Visit Augsburg’s commencement site for more details.

Find more details about the in-person commencement set for 6 p.m. June 8 at U.S. Bank Stadium. The Class of 2020 will have an in-person ceremony in May, 2022, but members of that class are able to participate in the June 8 ceremony instead if they prefer.

The 2021 day graduating class is our most diverse graduating class with 45.6% students of color. Over three years, Augsburg has seen this number increase by more than 20%.

About Augsburg
Augsburg University offers more than 50 undergraduate majors and 11 graduate degrees to 3,400 students of diverse backgrounds at its campus in the vibrant center of the Twin Cities and nearby Rochester, Minnesota, location. Augsburg educates students to be informed citizens, thoughtful stewards, critical thinkers, and responsible leaders. An Augsburg education is defined by excellence in the liberal arts and professional studies, guided by the faith and values of the Lutheran church, and shaped by its urban and global settings. Learn more at Augsburg.edu.

Augsburg University Cancels Classes as Verdict is Expected

Augsburg University LogoAugsburg University classes are canceled immediately for the remainder of Tuesday afternoon and evening as a result of this afternoon’s verdict in the State versus Derek Chauvin trial,

Additionally, all campus activities and athletics, except those below, are canceled tonight and Lindell Library will be closed. 

There will be an Augsburg staff person on hand in each location to support students. Please wear face coverings and maintain social distancing. Space is limited, so we ask that faculty and staff attend only the vigil.

  • 5 p.m. vigil in the quad – all students faculty and staff are invited to attend
  • Late night breakfast – 8 to 10 p.m. in the Dining Commons

In the event of a curfew, Augsburg will suspend campus operations as we have done in the past week. Resident students are still able to leave their residential unit to go to the Dining Commons for the evening meal. 

For the rest of the week (Wednesday and Friday), all scheduled courses will move to remote learning modalities.  As a reminder, courses meeting on Thursday this week were previously canceled.  

View the different levels of response that have been coordinated with Residence Life, Public Safety, and Day Student Government.

Augsburg Cancels Classes, Suspends Operations Thursday

Given all that is happening in the Twin Cities community this week, including closing arguments in the Chauvin murder trial Monday, the likelihood of a verdict being reached in the coming days, increased police presence, and Daunte Wright’s funeral on Thursday, Augsburg has canceled classes and suspended operations on April 22. 

“We recognize that one day is not enough, but it is clear that this pause offers space that our community needs, in particular our Black students, faculty, and staff,” said Paul Pribbenow, president of Augsburg University. “On Thursday, please do what you need to do to take care of yourself in the manner that is meaningful for you,” he told students, staff, and faculty. 

This time of grief and anxiety comes during a pandemic that has changed how we study, live, and work, and makes the challenges of this moment even more difficult for students, faculty, and staff to navigate. Many at Augsburg will want to take time to mourn Daunte Wright, remember George Floyd, and engage in the important work of anti-racism. 

Essential operations will continue Thursday. Normal class schedules and our COVID-19 modified operations will resume on Friday, April 23. During this time, Augsburg continues to monitor and communicate as needed based on developments in the trial and in our community.

About Augsburg
Augsburg University offers more than 50 undergraduate majors and 11 graduate degrees to 3,400 students of diverse backgrounds at its campus in the vibrant center of the Twin Cities and nearby Rochester, Minnesota, location. Augsburg educates students to be informed citizens, thoughtful stewards, critical thinkers, and responsible leaders. An Augsburg education is defined by excellence in the liberal arts and professional studies, guided by the faith and values of the Lutheran church, and shaped by its urban and global settings. Learn more at Augsburg.edu.