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Advisory: Augsburg celebrates last commencement as a college on April 29

On September 1, school officially becomes ‘Augsburg University’

(MINNEAPOLIS)  The Augsburg community on Saturday, April 29, will celebrate the last graduating class of Augsburg College when 503 day, undergraduate students are conferred their degrees. Earlier this spring, Augsburg’s Board of Regents and the Augsburg Corporation approved the institution’s name change to “Augsburg University” effective September 1.

“It’s a historic moment for Auggies and a time for our community to celebrate nearly 150 years of educating young people and adults for lives of service,” said Augsburg President Paul C. Pribbenow. “As we send off our last class of Augsburg College students, we do so on the eve of becoming Augsburg University and of our sesquicentennial, and we do so knowing that these Auggies are prepared to use their gifts and talents to serve our world’s greatest needs.”

In the afternoon, the school will recognize more than 469 adult undergraduates, graduate and doctoral students, 50 of whom studied at the College’s Rochester site.


When: 9 a.m., Saturday, April 29

Where:  Ceremonies in Si Melby Hall located on 23rd Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN 55454 (Rain plan: Students will line up in Si Melby’s lower level and process up stairs, into gym.)


9:30 a.m. – Student Processional, Christensen Center. Group proceeds, led by drummer, from Christensen Center down South 7-1/2 Street to Si Melby Hall. Faculty, in academic dress, line the streets and clap as students pass. Students carry flags representing home countries represented in student body.

10 a.m. – Invocation and Welcome

    • Commencement Speaker: Michele Norris, former host, National Public Radio’s All Things Considered.
    • Student Speaker: Eron “Winnie” Godi, of Rochester, Minnesotawill graduate with majors in international relations and gender, sexuality, and women’s studies, with a minor in peace and global studies. She maintained a 3.79 grade point average while juggling full-time work and full-time school, while also being integrally involved in the Augsburg community. At Augsburg, she was president of the Pan Afrikan Student Union and a past Peace Scholar. As an Augsburg LEAD Fellow, she has created an online magazine focused on celebrating the African diasporic arts and culture in Minnesota and the surrounding community. Off campus, Godi was a 2015-16  Museum Fellow at the Minnesota Historical Society and a finalist for the Princeton in Africa program, which matches recent college graduates with non-governmental organizations in Africa. She was also a finalist for the Humanity in Action Fellowship.
    • Honorary Degree Recipient: Beverly Daniel Tatum, President Emerita, Spelman College. Tatum is a nationally recognized authority on racial issues.
    • Conferring of Degrees
    • Recessional: Students exit Si Melby. Students, families gather in Murphy Square.


Augsburg College has been part of the rapidly growing and diversifying city of Rochester for nearly 20 years. The main campus is set in a vibrant Minneapolis neighborhood at the heart of the Twin Cities, and offers more than 50 undergraduate majors and nine graduate degrees to nearly 3,600 students of diverse backgrounds. Augsburg College educates students to be informed citizens, thoughtful stewards, critical thinkers, and responsible leaders. The Augsburg experience is supported by an engaged community committed to intentional diversity in its life and work. 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.

Dave Conrad shares workplace advice in national publication

Screen Shot 2015-05-05 at 10.51.05 AMU.S. News & World Report recently published an article detailing common missteps among top employees, and one of the issues was identified by Augsburg’s own Dave Conrad, assistant director of the Augsburg College Master of Business Administration program at Rochester and associate professor in Rochester and Minneapolis.

Conrad noted that it can be detrimental for an employee to be overly negative, which potentially could signal that the employee isn’t right for the company.

Dave Conrad discusses when to let an employee go

PostBulletinDave Conrad, assistant director of the Rochester MBA program, wrote in his latest column for the Rochester Post-Bulletin about the ins and outs of firing an employee.

Conrad suggests a checklist, of sorts, to weigh the options when deciding whether or not to dismiss an employee.

“Because terminating someone is such a big decision, it helps to have an unemotional and objective way to measure the impact of the decision,” Conrad said.

To read the article, visit the Post-Bulletin news site.

Adjunct faculty member receives prestigious award

Augsburg College’s Rev. John Matthews, an adjunct faculty member at the Rochester location, was awarded the prestigious Charles H. Hackley Distinguished Lecture Award on May 8. Matthews is a founding member of the ELCA Consultative Panel for Lutheran-Jewish Relations whose work is part of a permanent display at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. Read “Local pastor receives award” in Sun ThisWeek.

Augsburg celebrates 10 years in Rochester

rochester10Augsburg College will celebrate the tenth anniversary of the founding of its Rochester program with an open-house reception on Tuesday, Oct. 28 from 6:30-8:00 p.m. at the Rochester location in Bethel Lutheran Church, 810 3rd Ave. SE. A short program will begin at 7 p.m. with comments from Augsburg College President Paul Pribbenow, Barbara Farley, dean and vice president of academic affairs, and Rick Thoni, the founder of Augsburg’s Weekend College and Rochester programs.

At the suggestion of Augsburg regent, Ruth Johnson, Thoni started a satellite location in 1998 in Rochester to offer a degree completion program to nurses at Mayo Hospital. Thoni said Rochester, the second largest urban area outside the Twin Cities and also one of the ELCA synod seats, had unmet educational needs that Augsburg was prepared to meet, particularly in the area of adult education. “Augsburg is an urban college with a model that was created for working adults,” Thoni said. Continue reading “Augsburg celebrates 10 years in Rochester”

Zero-cost consulting creates valuable experience

roch_mba For many graduate programs, the last hurdle between students and their diplomas is a massive thesis paper that demonstrates all that they’ve learned. Augsburg’s Master of Business Administration (MBA) program in Rochester has a different hurdle for its students: complete a management consulting project for a local business or non-profit organization.

For free.

“We use a team approach, because in the real world, that’s how business works,” says Dave Conrad, assistant director of the MBA program in Rochester. The teams of students are selected by the faculty to provide a balanced mix of different skills and specialties that are best suited for each “real-world” partner. Continue reading “Zero-cost consulting creates valuable experience”

Rochester location holds first-ever convocation

roch_convoThis month, the Augsburg Rochester location will hold its first convocation featuring John M. Perkins, a minister, speaker, and teacher. His address, titled, “When the Foundation is Destroyed, What Can the Righteous Do?” will be given at Bethel Lutheran Church on Tuesday, May 20 at 7 p.m.

John M. Perkins is a sharecropper’s son who grew up in Mississippi amidst dire poverty. In 1960, after his conversion to Christianity, Perkins returned to his boyhood home to share the gospel of Christ and to work in the civil rights movement. Despite dropping out of school in the 3rd grade, Perkins received recognition for his work with seven honorary doctorates from Wheaton, Gordon, Huntington, Geneva, Spring Arbor, North Park and Belhaven colleges. He is an international speaker and teacher on racial reconciliation, leadership, and community development. Continue reading “Rochester location holds first-ever convocation”