The Augustana Magazine
view from summit avenue:
a message from president stephanie herseth sandlin
Dear Vikings near and far,
Since 1860, Augustana has been the place great thinkers come to dream big dreams — it’s the place young and curious minds come to explore and discover great ideas, to discern their vocations, and to build lives of meaning, purpose and service.
But we all know that Augustana is much more than a place.
It is a community of minds — a living, breathing microcosm of all that is good in the world today. Here, revered scholars teach, compassionate mentors guide, and young minds transform, and continue to transform again and again as together, this campus community works to achieve a common goal: to make tomorrow’s world even better than today’s.
I’m certain that if you think back to your time as a student, you can recall the professor who changed how you see the world and your place in it — someone who made a di erence in the course of your life, who inspired you to pursue a new path, or who listened and cared when you needed it the most.
In this issue, as we share plans for the future of the Humanities Center, we also pay tribute to three outstanding Augustana professors whose care and teaching has shaped the lives of generations of students.
Many of you may remember Drs. Don and Lucy Fryxell, two legendary English professors who dedicated more than three decades to serving Augustana and its students.
As you’ll see in the pages that follow, we are excited to share renderings for the Fryxell Humanities Center, named in their honor, in gratitude for Don and Lucy’s extraordinary service and countless contributions.
The Fryxells taught, mentored and cared for thousands of students during their time at Augie, including our own Dr. Sandra Looney ‘62, professor of English, who is retiring this spring after more than five decades of service.
While many of you may remember the Fryxells, I’m guessing even more of you will recall the time you spent with Dr. Looney. Dr. Looney — she is, as you know, simply, one in a million.
We asked a few others to share their thoughts about Dr. Looney, as well:
Dr. Murray Haar, professor of religion, called Dr. Looney a “rare professor who does not just teach a subject. She teaches from her soul and models for students what it means to love learning and to love literature.”
Nancy Davidson, vice president for enrollment, called Dr. Looney’s impact on Augustana immeasurable.
“She has inspired dreams, shaped futures, and changed lives. Her exceptional teaching has extended far beyond the classroom — she has modeled for us all how to live and lead with integrity, grace, humility and generosity. I will forever cherish the opportunity to experience the warmth of her smile, the twinkle in her eye, the spring in her step, and her endless passion for teaching and learning as she led students in classroom discussions and throughout India,” she said.
When Dr. Janet Blank-Libra, professor of English and journalism, came to Augustana for her employment interview 30 years ago, Dr. Looney gave her a tour of campus.
“That short walk was our first great adventure, the precursor to Ireland, England, Scotland and India. I don’t remember what we talked about on that day, but I said to my husband, Ross, when I returned home that I had met a most amazing woman, and that I knew that if I were so lucky as to work with her, I would be the luckiest person in the world. Today, I know the truth of those words,” Dr. Blank-Libra said.
Dr. Don Fryxell. Dr. Lucy Fryxell. Dr. Sandra Looney — these are names that will be forever etched in Augustana’s history. They are among the people who have helped make Augustana the amazing place it is today, and whose impact will continue to guide our future. May God continue to bless our university and each of you and your families. Enjoy this issue!
Yours, for Augustana,
Stephanie Herseth Sandlin