The Augustana Magazine: Fall 2020


It’s our pleasure to share with you this latest edition of The Augustana. Within these pages are stories of Augustana alumni and faculty who are making an impact through leadership, service, generosity, and innovation. These change-makers of today are, indeed, creating bold futures.
While uncertainty remains, we live in faith and hope — adapting to new ways of living, learning, and interacting. We are especially grateful for the relationships which sustain us and for those renewed and strengthened in these times of great challenge.

With even more joy than usual (and honestly, a bit of anxiety), we welcomed our new and returning students to campus for the fall semester. The Viking Flex Plan is being fully implemented and we proceed with optimism that we can provide our students with a safe and excellent academic and campus life experience in the months ahead. I am incredibly grateful to all members of our academics and operations working groups, our dedicated faculty, and all members of our campus community who have worked diligently throughout the summer to ensure we could safely deliver the face-to-face experience our students so clearly prefer.

While Augustana students were not physically present for the final weeks of the spring semester, they were fully engaged in learning and committed to academic excellence. I am proud to share that 891 students were named to the Spring 2020 Dean’s List. Among the many additional awards and recognitions, one student has been named the recipient of the prestigious 2020 Truman Scholar Award and two students have been awarded NCAA Postgraduate Scholarships. We also celebrate the 237 student-athletes named Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) All-Academic honorees for the 2019-20 academic year, the highest number in the NSIC.

The value of an Augustana degree continues to be affirmed through national recognition. Career site Zippia ranked Augustana University No. 2 in the nation for post-graduate employment. We continue to be blessed by our location in Sioux Falls, a city that receives national recognition for job opportunities and a healthy economy.
As you’ll discover on page 20 in this edition of The Augustana, we continue to make significant strides in Viking Bold: The Journey to 2030. The generosity of alumni and friends has helped us achieve important goals identified in Phase I of the plan. On July 29, we announced the Sharon Lust School of Education. The $2 million naming gift was given by John ‘90 and Jeanelle (Robson) Lust ‘91 in honor of John’s mother, Sharon Lust. This fall, we also launched the School of Music and the Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree.  Most recently, we announced the School of Business and the School of Health Professions. Two new programs have been added to our undergraduate academic offerings — medical humanities and society, and environmental studies. You’ll also read about initiatives fostered by the Center for Excellence in Teaching & Scholarship (CTS), supported by our generous alumni, along with IT infrastructure improvements, which have proven critically important in delivering our academic programs safely and with excellence in the midst of the health crisis.

Our students enter to learn, and, as alumni, they leave to lead and serve. On page 8, you’ll read about Aaron Dang ’13, a passionate educational leader. On page 7, Kari Marshall ‘93, shares how she’s living her dream. And, on page 21, see how Kate (Knudson) Wolters ’02, is providing leadership in her role with the U.S. House of Representatives.

This fall, we will all be called to continue to grow through new ways of thinking, doing, and being. Especially in these times, our enduring commitments and shared core values of Christian faith, liberal arts, excellence, community, and service bind us together in strength for the journey ahead. We are all in this together, for Augustana.
May you and your family have a blessed, healthy, and safe season ahead.

Stephanie Herseth Sandlin