Highlights featuring His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama and keynote speaker, Sister Helen Prejean, a strong advocate of eliminating capital punishment, were the featured presenters the first day of the 26thNobel Peace Prize Forum, “Crossing Boundaries to Create Common Ground”, hosted by Augsburg College, the University of Minnesota Humphrey School of Public Policy, and the University of Minnesota School of Public Health.

A week prior to March 1st the event had already sold out, at 3400 tickets. Upon arrival at 7:00am, the atrium of the Minneapolis Convention center was packed with streams of people waiting in line to hear the Dalai Lama. Participants arrived from all over the world, experienced the only event that celebrates Nobel Peace Prize Laureates and inspires peacemaking. In addition to many sponsorships that made this event possible, Google + is also sponsoring the event and live streaming all the workshops and speakers online. To connect digitally the Forum can be found on Google +, Facebook, and Twitter. Audience engagement whether near or far is what makes the Forum successful and meaningful for all involved. Thank you for your support!

There are still tickets available for Law & Business Day, Health & Science Day, and Global Day. Please consider joining us for the following Forum days, March 7, 8, & 9th www.nobelpeaceprizeforum.org.
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Book Describes Augsburg Professor’s Heritage as Norwegian Immigrant

Author Phillip Formo’s new book Papa: A Life Remembered describes the experiences of his grandfather, Andreas Helland, a Norwegian immigrant and a long-time Augsburg College professor. In the book, Formo shares memories and insights about Helland’s teaching and commitment to the Church. The book was described in a recent News-Record article, which notes that proceeds from the sale of the book will go to an Augsburg student scholarship in Helland’s memory.

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Auggies Ride, Tour de Cure


A message from Alumni Board Member Jill Watson ’10:

At the spring Alumni Board meeting in 2013, Janeece Oatman ’05, Tour de Cure Twin Cities Ride Director, was our guest speaker.  At this meeting, I learned about the Tour de Cure, a fundraising event held in 44 states nationwide to benefit the American Diabetes Association.  Immediately, I knew I wanted to ride.  My mom has type II diabetes, a childhood friend has type I diabetes, and oddly enough, my small department of seven people has three type I diabetics, and this is probably just a small group of people in my life living with diabetes that I know about.

In 2013, I rode the 27-mile route, though I was hesitant at first because it was by far the farthest I’ve ever gone on a bike, but it was wonderful!  I met some amazing people along the way, and two of the ladies I met while chatting before the ride remembered me (and my name!) when I saw them at another bike ride in the fall!  The scenery was gorgeous throughout Minneapolis and I found trails I never knew existed.  The riders with diabetes stand out, on purpose, in their red jerseys, and everyone there is cheering for them, and they know it as you ride by and yell “go red rider!”  The atmosphere was electric as everyone there was there for a cause.

Jill Watson ’10

I ride in honor of my family, friends, and coworkers; I ride to help put an end to diabetes; and I ride to support fellow Auggie Janeece and her amazing work with the American Diabetes Association. Out of all the events I participated in throughout 2013, Tour de Cure was by far my favorite and I can’t wait for the 2014 ride when I plan to tackle the 43-mile route!  I hope you’ll consider joining Team Auggie Accelerators where you’ll see the sights of Minneapolis and St. Paul, while supporting all those with diabetes.

Auggie students, alumni, staff, faculty, friends, and family are all welcome on team Auggie Accelerators!

To join our team, donate to the cause, or find more information, please see our team page at http://goo.gl/e1Ik7L.

Jill Watson ’10 MBA

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Nursing and P.A. Alumni Invited to Science & Health Day

The Augsburg Alumni Association, in partnership with the Nursing and Physician Assistant programs, invites all nursing and P.A. alumni to Nobel Peace Prize Forum’s Health & Science Day on Saturday, March 8, 2014.

Health and Science Day will feature Honored Laureate Doctors Without Borders and Dr. William Foege, in addition to breakout sessions on topics such as Native American health disparities, infectious disease and its impact on peace, Doctors Without Borders fieldwork, and the role of nursing in international relief.

Register Now!

Nobel Peace Prize Forum website
Health & Science Day flyer

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Event Recap: Dave St. Peter, Strommen Executive Series Speaker

Left to Right: Dave St. Peter, Prof. Kristen Anderson, and Bob Strommen ’74

Last month we welcomed Dave St. Peter to speak at Augsburg College about the “Business of Baseball”.  90 Augsburg students and alumni attended this engaging presentation.  If you were unable to join us for this event, please check out the video here. St. Peter delved into the history of Twins Baseball, the process of developing Target Field, and his core strategies for managing and leading a major Baseball League.  He had the audience laughing and engaged.  Many audience members had questions about Twins team specifics, such as how to support certain players, and the necessity for improving pitching for overall winning records.

Thank you to the Strommen family for sponsoring the Strommen Executive Speaker Series.  We look forward to seeing you at our next event, April 3rd at 5:00pm featuring Jon Campbell Executive Vice President, Director of Government and Community Relations Wells Fargo.  All are welcome, but please register at http://www.augsburg.edu/alumni/events/.

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Ron Nelson ’62: Sharing the Faith – and the Facility

Perhaps he sensed it as a child, spending the first nine years of his life in a Congregational church (in Genesee Depot, WI), then moving easily to a Lutheran church in a different community (Erskine, MN). But it became increasingly evident to Ronald C. Nelson ’62 that keeping one’s mind and faith open to the bigger ecumenical picture was an important choice, even an asset. Anyone reflecting on his service in Lutheran ministry would have to agree.

In January, Luther Seminary honored Pastor Nelson with a 2014 Faithfulness in Ministry Cross Award, which recognizes alumni who have demonstrated exemplary ministries as a symbol of the multitudes of Luther graduates who serve faithfully through the years wherever they are called.

Having served in Canadian parishes for his entire career, Nelson was called out of retirement in 1999 to serve part-time at Trinity Lutheran, a Winnipeg congregation established in the 1800s by and for German immigrants, facing challenges in dwindling membership. On his arrival, he found a congregation of about 30 members, already engaged in the community (hosting a monthly food bank and community lunch, and lending space to a refugee organization), but struggling financially and anticipating closure. Under Nelson’s leadership, the congregation began to ask themselves, “How might God be at work in our midst?” In the years that followed, they found ways to share their facility with various other faith groups in the community, requiring more than a little negotiation to arrange facility usage for all. They eventually decided to rename the church “Good Shepherd Place.” And inevitably, in 2013, Trinity handed over the church’s deed to one of its tenants, a Mennonite church, just months after Trinity had celebrated its 125th anniversary. The synod office stated, “We’re losing a congregation, but we’re proud of the legacy they leave.”

Reflecting on his student days at Augsburg, Nelson credits friend Orval Moren ‘57 for good advice on choosing a small faith-based college in the inner city, even though several other options would have been more convenient. On his first day at Augsburg, he met Lewis Sundquist ‘62 and many others like Orval and Lew who were older than him, and many of whom had served in the military/war efforts, often emerging with a renewed appreciation for God and Church “in this crazy world.” Nelson says he is glad that Augsburg has stayed in the inner city, continuing to teach people to serve wherever and however they are called to serve people. He is grateful for the professors who gave him a sense that they cared about him, and for the service requirements in the community that continue to this day. He says, “God works in many and varied ways through ordinary people, even the likes of me. Yes, it takes a village.”

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Celebration of Philanthropy

Did you know that 93% of Augsburg students receive financial aid? Or that student support services like tutoring, the Writing Lab, and the CLASS office are available at no extra cost? Financial aid, student support programs, faculty-student research and more are all made possible, thanks to generous donors to Augsburg. Each year, more than 2,400 alumni, parents, and friends give more than $1,000,000 to The Augsburg Fund. Philanthropy Week is an opportunity to teach current students about how their education is supported by donors, and thank current donors for their generosity.

Here are a few ways to get involved:

  • Share what you love about Augsburg and why you support the College on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #auggiesgive.
  • Join us for a special Philanthropy Week lunch on Wednesday, April 2, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., to help thank donors for their support and encourage them to make a gift this year (RSVP to Ben Krouse-Gagne at 612-330-1179 or krousega@augsburg.edu).
  • Become a donor to Augsburg! Make your gift online at www.augsburg.edu/giving.
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Inspired by Science, Music and Service

Senior Allison Zank ’14, recipient of the Pastor George J. Knudson Memorial Scholarship award this year, delivered a homily in daily chapel two weeks ago, entitled “Letting God Speak for Himself.”

Allison, a Chemistry major, shared how a scientific explanation of the expansion of the universe and how learning about the cosmological constant, a number which holds the universe in place, brought her to a new understanding of God and how he speaks to us.  She stated, “…he who has flung the stars into the universe is revealing himself to us through science and in fascinating ways if we only have ears to listen.”

Her experiences and path from “reluctant atheist” to her statement, “I am a Christian,” recall the conversion of her scholarship namesake, George Joakim Knudson, almost a hundred years ago.  George was born on a western Minnesota farm in 1903. At the age of 19, he had a spiritual awakening during a series of meetings led by the Augsburg Quartette.  George was confronted with the challenge of commitment to Christ and that of Christian ministry. Not able to find peace without it, he accepted this calling and worked to finance six years of higher education at Augsburg College and Seminary.  Pastor Knudson served God in Lutheran churches for fifty-six years.

George’s three daughters, Phyllis Seim ’58,  Audrey Boettcher ’54, and Irma Thorpe, endowed  the Pastor George J. Knudson Memorial Scholarship through their financial gifts in 1998. They created this fund in honor of their father, who served on the Board of Trustees of Augsburg College and whom they remember for his faith, his positive attitude, his graciousness and humility. Over the life of this fund, twelve awards have been given, the most recent to Allison Zank ’14, whose example reminds us that if we carry God inside us, he will speak through us to others.

PS:  The Augsburg Quartetes travelled to and sang in many small towns in the Upper Midwest to encourage and maintain a strong relationship between Augsburg and the congregations that support it, especially reaching out to youth.  Read more in a book that recounts the history of the Augsburg Quartets, The Augsburg Quartets: A Mission-Driven Tradition, written by Merton P. Strommen and David M. Larson.

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Sverdrup Visiting Lecture Series and Alumni Reception

Monday, April 7, 2014
Hoversten Chapel
5 p.m. – Alumni reception to celebrate the careers of retiring physics faculty Mark Engebretson and Jeff Johnson

7 p.m. – 2014 Sverdrup Visiting Lecture Series featuring Bonnie L. Bassler, PhD,
professor in molecular biology, Princeton University who will discuss Tiny Conspiracies: Cell to Cell Communication in Bacteria.

The Sverdrup visiting scientist lecture is part of the General Leif J. Sverdrup Visiting Scientist Program at Augsburg. There are two goals of the Sverdrup Visiting Scientist Program. First, to provide an opportunity for Augsburg students and faculty to interact on a personal basis with scientists of national stature. Second, the program provides an annual forum where Augsburg and the wider scientific community can expand their knowledge on a scientific topic of national significance.

RSVP for the alumni reception online at www.augsburg.edu/alumni/events.

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Am I Measuring Up?

“Am I measuring up?” This is a question that many women in our culture today ask themselves. The leaders of AWE (Augsburg Women Engaged) and the Augsburg Associates are teaming up to tackle this question in an inspirational event for Auggie women of all ages. Join alumnae and friends for brunch on Saturday, May 17, from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., for an interactive and engaging conversation, along with a panel discussion among Augsburg alumnae from across the decades, who will share what they have learned about being daughters, mothers, and grandmothers–and women in public leadership, in business, and as involved community members.

The cost is $25 and includes brunch. RSVP at www.augsburg.edu/alumnievents. For more information call 612-330-1085 or email alumni@augsburg.edu.

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