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Augsburg University Statement on Violence in Israel and Palestine

Augsburg University grieves for those who have been caught up in the escalating conflict in and around the Gaza Strip, following the recent Hamas-led attacks in Israel. We lament the violence, terrorism, and human rights abuses that continue to claim innocent lives and undermine security in Israel and Palestine. Together with our partners in the ELCA and members of the Augsburg community with personal ties to the region, we pray for justice, reconciliation, and a durable peace.

Augsburg’s Center for Global Education and Experience values its programming in Israel and Palestine in collaboration with Dar al-Kalima University in Bethlehem, whose mission is to bring about social change in this historically and religiously significant region through the awareness that art and civic engagement can bring to society. No Augsburg personnel or students are currently participating in CGEE programming in the area.

Star Tribune Highlights River Semester as Students Prepare to Set Sail

Star Tribune logoThe Star Tribune visited campus last week to spend some time with Associate Professor Joe Underhill and a handful of River Semester students as they sanded, primed, and assembled boats, part of final preparations to set sail down the Mississippi in early September. 

“Instead of traveling to a foreign country, they’ll study on the Mississippi River, sailing, paddling, camping, taking classes and conducting research. The program, which launches this week, is open to college students across the country, and instructors say they know of no other quite like it,” reported the Star Tribune.

“The students will stop in places like St. Louis, Memphis and New Orleans, meeting a wide variety of community organizers, researchers and other local residents along the way. They’ll talk about climate change, test water quality and measure biodiversity. They’ll learn how politics and racism affected development along the river — and how similar events are playing out today.” 

River Semester is a program of Augsburg’s Center on Global Education and Experience, which also operates Augsburg University study centers in Africa, Europe, and Latin America with an emphasis on social justice and community engagement. CGEE provide global experiences for students, institutions for higher education, non-profit organizations, businesses, churches, and others.

Read the full article: “Forget study abroad. These college students will spend the semester on the Mississippi River.”

MPR Highlights ‘Changemaker’ Cameron PajYeeb Yang ’18

MPR News logoMinnesota Public Radio and the Sahan Journal recently featured Cameron PajYeeb Yang ’18 as part of a series celebrating transgender and nonbinary Minnesotans throughout LGBTQ+ Pride Month.

A self-described “lifelong storyteller,” Yang spoke with MPR about growing up in St. Paul, organizing for police accountability, and cultivating relationships within the Hmong queer trans community. They are currently pursuing a PhD at the University of Minnesota with a focus on education equity for marginalized students and families. 

Read or listen to the full story via MPR: “ChangeMakers: Cameron PajYeeb Yang is an activist for the Hmong community”

Great Returns Campaign Exceeds Goal

White text on maroon background reads "Great Returns," with smaller orange text beneath that reads, "We're All In"Today Augsburg University announced the close of its Great Returns: We’re All In comprehensive fundraising campaign. The largest campaign in Augsburg’s history, Great Returns raised over $128.8 million, surpassing the campaign goal of $125 million.

“I have had the privilege of meeting many Auggies during my time as chair of this campaign and it’s evident how much people love Augsburg,” said Regent Emeritus and campaign chair Paul Mueller ’84, MD. “The investments made by Great Returns benefactors will yield transformational results for Augbsurg students and faculty for generations to come.”

Nearly 15,000 alumni and friends of the university made more than 55,000 gifts over the course of the campaign. Campaign priorities included endowed funds for scholarships, teaching and programs; campus improvements; athletics; and unrestricted operating support to provide flexibility in responding to students’ needs in an ever-evolving higher education landscape.

Campaign highlights include:

  • Creation of the John N. Schwartz ’67 School of the Arts, an interdisciplinary hub for the visual and performing arts
  • More than 150 gifts of $25,000 and above to endowed scholarships
  • Six new endowed professorships and chairs in music, interfaith studies, business, entrepreneurial studies, and sociology
  • Improvements to athletics facilities, including the Donny Wichmann ’89 Weight Room and Patricia Piepenburg ’69 Women’s Locker Room
  • Gifts totaling over $10 million to endow the StepUP® collegiate recovery program
  • $6.1 million raised to support diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives
  • $1.6 million raised for the President’s Strategic Fund

“We are humbled and grateful for the extraordinary show of support for Augsburg’s mission and vision from the thousands of alumni and friends who participated in the campaign,” said Augsburg President Paul C. Pribbenow. “These investments will transform the lives of our students, who go on to lead and serve in their communities and throughout the world. From all of us at Augsburg: thank you.”

Augsburg University Honored for Supporting Community College Transfer Students

Gold and black round badge with text reading: Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society: Transfer Honor Roll 2023Augsburg University is one of 208 colleges and universities nationwide that have been named to the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society 2023 Transfer Honor Roll. Based on key metrics related to the support and success of transfer students, the Transfer Honor Roll recognizes excellence in the development and support of dynamic and innovative pathways for community college transfer students. Some of the metrics taken into consideration are cost and financial aid, campus life, admissions practices, and bachelor’s degree completion rates.

“The goal of most students attending community college is a bachelor’s degree, but few do because of financial barriers and the complexities of the transfer process,” said Dr. Lynn Tincher-Ladner, President and CEO of Phi Theta Kappa. “We are proud to recognize the exceptional colleges and universities that go above and beyond to create accessible pathways to bachelor’s degree completion for community college transfer students.”

Learn more about transfer admissions here.

Augsburg Direct Admissions Promotes Relationships, Says Inside Higher Ed

Inside Higher Ed recently interviewed Robert Gould, vice president for strategic enrollment management, about the shift in admissions counselors’ role under the Augsburg Applies to You platform and its direct admissions approach. Augsburg will welcome its first class admitted fully through direct admissions this fall.

The move reflects “a culture shift and a new operational model at the institution,” according to Inside Higher Ed. “Admissions counselors, traditionally the spokespeople for the university in enticing a student to apply and enroll, are shifting from their role from transactional to more of a student success coach.” This includes multiple touch-points after a student has been admitted to identify and prioritize financial and academic goals, provide personalized support, and build relationships.

Read the full article on Inside Higher Ed: Augsburg Direct Admissions Promotes Relationships for Incoming Students

Angel Young ’24 Honored as Newman Civic Fellow

Angel Young ’24 is among the 154 student civic leaders recently named to the 2023-24 cohort of Newman Civic Fellows by Campus Compact. 

Campus Compact is a national coalition of colleges and universities committed to the public purposes of higher education. The Newman Civic Fellowship recognizes students who stand out for their commitment to creating positive change in communities locally and around the world. Fellows are nominated by Campus Compact member presidents and chancellors, who are invited to select one outstanding student from their campus each year.

A psychology major with a minor in sociology, Angel is involved in a number of activities and student groups on campus, including Augsburg’s Bonner Community Leaders Program, through which she works at the American Indian Student Services office on campus. She has held internship roles at Brooklyn City Hall and the Brooklyn Bridge Alliance for Youth, and has worked with the Children’s Defense Fund. 

“As a child, I never dreamed that I would be someone with the power and voice to make a difference in the world,” said Angel in a personal statement. “I realize now that I make a greater impact with my words and actions as an adult with a voice than I ever imagined.”

Campus Compact provides Newman Fellows with a year of learning and networking opportunities that emphasize personal, professional, and civic growth. Each year, fellows participate in numerous virtual training and networking opportunities to help provide them with the skills and connections they need to create large-scale positive change. The cornerstone of the fellowship is the Annual Convening of Fellows, which offers intensive in-person skill-building and networking over the course of two days. The fellowship also provides fellows with pathways to apply for exclusive scholarship and post-graduate opportunities.

“From a young age, Angel has sought to find her voice and agency to make change in the world and help those around her,” wrote President Paul C. Pribbenow in his nomination letter. “Angel hopes to make a positive difference for young people by influencing public policy and creating awareness.”  

“We are honored to recognize such an outstanding group of community-committed students,” said Campus Compact President Bobbie Laur. “One of the best parts of the Newman Civic Fellowships is the richness of students’ perspectives, experiences, and backgrounds—and how these varied stories all led to their passionate engagement with the social, political, and environmental issues impacting our world. These students will be the catalysts for change on many levels, and we are privileged to help empower them to create that change.”

Learn more about the Newman Civic Fellowship and about Angel Young on Campus Compact’s website.

TPT Almanac Features Professor Michael Lansing’s History of Policing Project

Professor Michael Lansing recently appeared on TPT Almanac, where he and Dr. Yohuru Williams discussed their project on the history of policing, “Overpoliced & Underprotected in MSP.”

This public history project combines archival research, oral histories, and the insights of scholars to engage and learn from local communities—with special attention to how people of color have experienced policing in the Twin Cities.

“The idea is that we as historians take our expertise and try to think about how we can do public-facing work that contributes to community conversations,” said Lansing. “That’s what “Overpoliced & Underprotected in MSP” is really all about. We’re interested in recovering, collecting, and sharing stories of unjust policing, as well as forms of community resistance to unjust policing, with the hope that it makes this contribution to the very important community conversations that are happening right now about public safety.”

“We’re fond of saying that history doesn’t repeat itself, it echoes,” said Williams, who is a professor of history and director of the Racial Justice Initiative at the University of St. Thomas. “What you’re seeing in something like the [George] Floyd murder, the inability to hold officers accountable, are the echoes of the past. If we go back and recover that history, we have a basis to talk about what real change would look like—not simply professionalization, but actual reform, and a move from policing to public safety.”

In addition to the project website and a documentary short produced last year with TPT, Lansing and Williams are working on an oral history project, planning public events, and continuing to gather community stories. The project will culminate in an archive held at a local institution.

Augsburg Named a Top Producer of Fulbright Scholars for 2022–23

The U.S. Department of State announced today that Augsburg University has been named a Fulbright Top-Producing Institution for U.S. Scholars. This designation recognizes the U.S. colleges and universities that had the highest number of applicants selected for the 2022–23 Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program.

Each year, this elite program selects approximately 900 faculty members or administrators from across the country to lecture, conduct research, or pursue short- or long-term professional projects abroad.

In the 2022–23 academic year, Augsburg faculty members George Dierberger, associate professor of business administration, and Joseph Erickson, professor of education, were named Fulbright Scholars. Dierberger’s Fulbright took him to Letterkenny, Ireland, while Erickson is spending the spring in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

The Fulbright Program has been a cornerstone of international education and cultural exchange for the United States since 1946. The purpose of the program is to inspire, innovate, and contribute to finding solutions for communities and the world.

Fulbright alumni work to make a positive impact on their communities, sectors, and the world and have included 41 heads of state or government, 62 Nobel Laureates, 89 Pulitzer Prize winners, 78 MacArthur Fellows, and countless leaders and changemakers who carry forward the Fulbright mission of enhancing mutual understanding.

For more information about the Fulbright Program, visit

Congratulations to Auggies Named to the 2022 Fall Semester Dean’s List

Augsburg University SealMore than 870 Augsburg University undergraduate students were named to the 2022 Fall Semester Dean’s List. The Augsburg University Dean’s List recognizes those full-time students who have achieved a grade point average of 3.50 or higher and those part-time students who have achieved a grade point average of 3.75 or higher in a given term.

View the 2022 Fall Semester Dean’s List.

Students who wish to notify their hometown newspapers of their achievement can do so at their discretion using a news announcement template.