Class of 2013 Celebrates Commencement


Introducing: The Augustana Class of 2013 – 413 men and women who are the artists, entrepreneurs, educators, scientists, writers, religion scholars, doctors, philosophers, nurses, journalists and musicians of tomorrow. On Saturday afternoon, they celebrated their hard work and accomplishments at Commencement, held in the Elmen Center on campus. The event marked the first time since 1949 that Commencement has been held on campus.

The ceremony’s speakers included Dr. Peter Schotten, professor of Government and International Affairs and Social Science Division chair, and Molly Kokesh '13, a German and Government/International Affairs major, Political Philosophy minor, and Civitas honors student from Scotland, S.D. (pictured at right).

A series of faculty awards were also presented, including:

  • The Orin M. Lofthus Distinguished Professorship, presented to Dr. Craig Spencer, professor of Biology. The Orin M. Lofthus Distinguished Professorship is a three-year appointment with a stipend to support summer scholarly activities. Recipients of this award are faculty who are regarded as outstanding teachers, people who have made important contributions to the campus, and who have demonstrated the capacity to use the award to further their scholarly activities.

View photos from Commencement honoring the Class of 2013, held on Saturday, May 25.

  • The Vernon and Mildred Niebuhr Faculty Excellence Award, presented to Dr. Peter Schotten, professor of Government and International Affairs. The Vernon and Mildred Niebuhr Faculty Excellence Award was established to provide an annual award to recognize excellence in teaching. The selection process is based on votes from alumni celebrating their fifth anniversary and full-time faculty. The recipient is chosen for brilliance in classroom teaching. The award, provided by an endowment created by alumnus Dick Niebuhr, is named in honor of his parents, Vernon and Mildred Niebuhr, "...because they loved Augustana College dearly and because they were my first and best teachers."
  • The Stanley L. Olsen Chair of Moral Values, presented to Dr. Joel Johnson, associate professor of Government and International Affairs. Augustana established the Stanley L. Olsen Chair of Moral Values as a result of a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and matching money raised by the College. The Chair of Moral Values was named in memory of Stanley L. Olsen, longtime professor of philosophy at the College. The Chair is to provide leadership to the campus in the areas of ethics and moral values by challenging faculty and students alike to confront value questions in our society, in our campus community, and in our individual private lives. This three-year appointment goes to a tenured associate or full professor who enjoys a reputation of being an excellent teacher and scholar and who has a personal and scholarly interest in questions of meaning and value.

Nancy Dickenson, commencement 2013commencement 2013