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Notes from President Pribbenow

Semper reformanda—the gift of reformation

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President Paul PribbenowI am writing these notes on Reformation Day—October 31—the occasion on which we celebrate the legacy of our Lutheran Christian tradition and the ways in which that legacy has shaped the sort of college Augsburg has become. There are many gifts of our Lutheran heritage that are worth noting—the concept of vocation, our commitment to serve the neighbor, the call to critical and humble inquiry—but these days I’m especially focused on the gift of semper reformanda, the reminder that we must always be open to change, to reform, and to imagining better ways to do God’s work in the world.

A year ago, the Augsburg College Board of Regents affirmed our strategic plan, Augsburg2019, with its bold vision that we will be “a new kind of student-centered urban university, small to our students and big for the world.” And then they charged the Augsburg community—faculty, staff, students, and alumni—with the work of making our vision a reality. That is the meaningful and urgent work we are now pursuing on campus and in the world.

As we undertake this important work, we are keeping the gift of semper reformanda firmly in mind as a lens for deciding how we will achieve our vision. Across campus and beyond, we are thinking about how we can be innovative and entrepreneurial. Three simple ideas are guiding our thinking and action:

  • We innovate out of abundance, the belief that we can do more together than we can do alone. We share our individual gifts so that the good of all might be served.
  • We innovate in community, the sense that there is wisdom and experience within our community that needs to be engaged to ensure a vibrant future for Augsburg.
  • We innovate for the world, affirming that what we do as a college ultimately serves our call to serve the neighbor.

In these three ideas—innovation out of abundance, in community, and for the world—we have the markers of our daily life at Augsburg.

In this issue of Augsburg Now, you see glimpses of this innovation in all corners of our community. Start with the remarkable work of staff photographer, Stephen Geffre, whose photo-documentary of 24 hours in the life of Augsburg reminds us of all the gifts we enjoy as a community. Celebrate with us the various recognitions and awards we have received as a college—research and cultural grants, top rankings for our academic and co-curricular programs, 40 years of music therapy, 30 years of the Augsburg Associates, and fundraising success on many fronts! And then listen to the voices of Auggies on campus and around the world—young alumni, Auggie football players, our 2014 Homecoming alumni award recipients, and alumni from our global education programs; you’ll hear the poetry of a college community boldly moving toward its 150th anniversary, faithful to its heritage and at the same time relevant to the needs of the world.

Finally, please take a moment to review our annual report to alumni and donors—as well as our results from the November 13 Give to the Max Day. I am deeply grateful for all of you who have joined with us to support the important work of our college. May semper reformanda be our rallying cry as we live into our ambitious vision.

Faithfully yours,


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