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King Harald V of Norway Receives Honorary Degree from Augsburg

King Harald V of Norway and President Paul Pribbenow smile side-by-side following the conferral of an honorary Augsburg degree on King Harald.
Photo courtesy of Her Majesty Queen Sonja of Norway

In a December ceremony in Oslo, President Paul Pribbenow conferred upon King Harald V of Norway the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa. 

“We are deeply grateful for Your Majesty’s abiding support of Augsburg University and our sister Norwegian-American colleges and universities throughout the more than three decades of your reign,” said Pribbenow in his ceremonial remarks. “We share both a common heritage and profound commitments to peacemaking and global citizenship.”

His Majesty King Harald V of Norway acceded to the throne January 17, 1991. The future king attended the Norwegian Cavalry Officers’ Training School and went on to finish his military education at the Military Academy in 1959. Upon completion of his military service, he attended Balliol College at Oxford University from 1960 to 1962, studying social science, history, and economics. He holds the rank of general in Norway’s army and air force, and of admiral in the navy. 

King Harald and his wife, Queen Sonja, visited Augsburg in 2011. The recognition—originally scheduled for 2020 but delayed by the pandemic—is part of Augsburg’s sesquicentennial anniversary celebration. 

The journey of a sweater

sweater_storyOn any given day in the winter at Augsburg, especially around the Christmas holidays or during our annual Velkommen Jul celebration, one can be sure to spot a Norwegian sweater. The traditional Norwegian lusekofte (“lice jacket”), also called “setesdalgenser” (setesdal sweater), is a design that dates back to the early 18th century.

Augsburg’s Mary Laurel True of the Center for Democracy and Citizenship has a Norwegian sweater with an interesting history. She writes:

Several years ago I bought what I thought might be a Norwegian sweater at Savers second hand store so that I would have appropriate attire for the celebration of Velkommen Jul at Augsburg College. Continue reading “The journey of a sweater”

King, Queen of Norway hosted Oct. 16 by Augsburg College

kingqueennorwayAugsburg College will host King Harald V and Queen Sonja of Norway on October 16 when Their Majesties attend a student worship service, peace pole dedication, and reception with Norwegian students from Augsburg and throughout the region.

“We are honored to have Their Majesties visit Augsburg College, given our Norwegian heritage and our deep commitment to peacemaking and global citizenship,” said College President Paul C. Pribbenow.

Nearly 300 Norwegian students from Augsburg, sister colleges and state universities will attend the invitation-only student worship service with Their Majesties at 11 a.m. in Hoversten Chapel. Rev. Anne Loyning of Norwegian Seamen’s Church will preside. Continue reading “King, Queen of Norway hosted Oct. 16 by Augsburg College”

Reflections on violence in Norway, U.S.

Photos courtesy of Frankie Shackelford: Spikersuppe is a downtown park and Storting (lion statue) is the national Parliament

Sonja Blackstone ’12 and professor Frankie Shackelford reflect on the violence in Norway which occurred this summer and its connections to Sept. 11, 2001. Blackstone and Shackelford were in Norway during the attacks for the Nobel Peace Scholars program.


By Sonja Blackstone

I was living two miles from downtown Oslo this summer, studying peace and conflict at the University of Oslo. On the afternoon of Friday, July 22 my friends and I were enjoying the beginning of our weekend when we thought we heard thunder. Twenty minutes later everything changed. Word of an explosion began murmuring through campus, students who had been downtown flooded back, scared, with stories of broken glass and people running. Continue reading “Reflections on violence in Norway, U.S.”

Auggies are everywhere

intl_auggies1Since the College’s early days, Augsburg has been welcoming students from around the world to live and learn. Some come for a semester or one year, such as the students from our International Partners schools in Norway, Finland, and Germany. Many other international Auggies come to complete their degrees here after hearing about Augsburg through recruiters who travel to their cities and through friends or family members who have studied here.

Even before they arrive in the fall, new international students work closely with Jim Trelstad-Porter, international student advisor, to ensure that they have completed all of the necessary steps to studying in the U.S. Continue reading “Auggies are everywhere”

Irvine receives Fulbright to rove in Norway

irvine_fulbrightFor several months, associate English professor Colin Irvine has listened to Norwegian language recordings during his daily commute between Northfield and Augsburg College as he hoped for good news.

It turned out to be a good decision.

That’s because Irvine was recently awarded a Fulbright Scholarship award and will spend the 2010-2011 academic year in Norway as a Roving Scholar in American Studies.

In the role, Irvine will prepare presentations on American studies topics and travel to schools across Norway to provide opportunities for Norwegian teenagers to learn about the United States. The schools will request the presentation that Irvine will give. Irvine, who will be based in Oslo with his wife and two children, will likely give between 250 and 300 presentations. Continue reading “Irvine receives Fulbright to rove in Norway”

Creating Christmas on Park Avenue

nordic_christmasIt’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, at least at the American Swedish Institute in the historic Turnblad mansion on Park Avenue.

The Institute recently opened “A Nordic Christmas,” a multicultural tribute to the Christmas holidays. The exhibit includes a room for each of the Nordic countries–Iceland, Denmark, Finland, Norway, and of course, Sweden.

The Norwegian exhibit, which was designed and created by the Augsburg Associates, features a holiday table setting with Farmers Rose China. An adjacent table shows the tools and creations of a Norwegian kitchen including krumkake and lefse. There’s also a Norwegian Christmas tree flanked by a bunad and a pastor’s robe with a ruff collar. Continue reading “Creating Christmas on Park Avenue”

Augsburg welcomes Norwegian Ambassador

ambassadorOn Wednesday, Ambassador Wegger Chr. Strommen will make his first visit to Augsburg College, where at least four generations of Norwegian-Americans who share the Strommen name have graduated.

After touring campus, Strommen will present a talk at 2 p.m., “Norway and United States in the 21st Century,” in the Christensen Center Student Art Gallery.

With a background in law, Strommen has practiced in that field both as an attorney and a judge. For the past 7 years, he has represented his country in various posts at the United Nations. He was appointed as Norway’s ambassador to the U.S. in October 2007. Continue reading “Augsburg welcomes Norwegian Ambassador”

Norwegian Vernepleier scholars visit Augsburg

Norwegian graduates of Augsburg and their families after commencement in 2002

From Feb. 11 – 14, Augsburg will be hosting 12 Vernepleier professors from Norway who will examine what the college and the local community have to offer prospective Norwegian students.

Vernepleier is a Norwegian term for a field of study that develops and delivers a holistic approach to working with persons with disabilities. Nadia Christensen, Augsburg’s Director of International Partners, describes Vernepleier as “similar to special education programs here in the U.S., but expanded to serve persons with disabilities beyond the learning environment.” Continue reading “Norwegian Vernepleier scholars visit Augsburg”