We Are Authentic

Dr. Sandra Looney (English) discusses the seasons at Augustana University.

We are an authentic, unpretentious campus community where students, professors and staff care deeply about each other. We welcome students of all faith traditions and promote community in academic and co-curricular learning experiences.

What does authenticity mean for students?

We asked a nationally-recognized higher education marketing firm* to conduct research that would help us illustrate the distinctive nature of the Augustana community.

According to the study, Augustana University is:

  • An honest, authentic and unpretentious campus community.
  • A community that displays an unusual sense of caring for one another and the environment.
  • A lively, relevant atmosphere of spirituality and church-connectedness.
  • A collection of engaged students and faculty in the process of teaching and learning where academic rigor is acknowledged and celebrated. Covenant relationships between students and faculty — geared toward student success — is central to the academic experience.

"There’s something remarkable about this place, something I haven’t seen at other schools. Students and faculty really seem to enjoy one another’s company. For instance, our department hallway is like an informal lounge where students hang out and study together. The students seem to feel at home in our offices, and that’s a good thing, because so much learning happens outside the classroom. I love the fact that my students here are more concerned with learning what they don’t know than with pretending to be wiser than they are. They aren’t trying to impress anyone; they’re just interested in learning. The fact that they feel free to do so says a lot about this place. We take our Lutheran heritage seriously, and the surprising effect of doing so is that this helps us to take others’ faith traditions seriously as well. As colleague Dr. Murray Haar says so eloquently: the chapel is in the center of our campus, visible from every vantage point, but it doesn’t overshadow anything."

Dr. David O'Hara
Assistant Professor of Philosophy & Classics

Additional studies



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*The Lawlor Group, Minneapolis, MN