Go Viking: Summer 2011

View from Summit Avenue
A Message from Rob Oliver, President of Augustana College

The great Walt Disney once said: "When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way, implicitly and unquestionably."

Augustana scholars have always believed in the importance of science and embody the very essence of what Disney was talking about. They believe – all the way, implicitly and unquestionably – that advances in science have the power to cure disease, improve health, enhance processes, and yes, even drive healthy economies.

Scholars like Dr. Sven Froiland, Dr. Roy Kintner, Dr. Arlen Viste, Dr. Lee Johnson, Dr. V.R. Nelson, Dr. Maureen Diggins, Dr. Margot Nelson and countless others pioneered and set the culture of discovery that continues every day inside the labs and classrooms of the Gilbert Science Center. Over the course of decades, the faculty members of the Natural Sciences Division have dedicated their lives to teaching future scientists and health professionals with one goal in mind: to make tomorrow's world even better than today's.

We are lucky enough to see the results of their hard work and exceptional dedication in our graduates. In this issue, you'll learn about members of the class of 2011, including Rachel Hurley, who is proceeding on to medical school; future Ph.D. student Bethany Jochim, who recently had her fifth physics research article published; and Spirit Lake, Iowa, native Nicole Lindsey, who found that at Augustana, she could combine her love of art and her passion for biology into a career in scientific illustration.

As I think about the countless amazing professionals who got their start inside Gilbert, I can't help but think about a phrase I used a lot in my former profession. Prior to joining Augustana, I spent the majority of my career as a banker. In the process of helping families and businesses reach their financial goals, I spent a great deal of time analyzing the acronym "ROI," or return on investment.

When GSC was dedicated in 1966, the facility's total price tag was a bit over $2 million. Forty-five years later, think of the ROI on that investment! Countless healthcare professionals, scientific and medical researchers, computer engineers and science educators all working to make a difference on this planet – all are using their God-given gifts in service to others producing a return that is impossible to calculate – but that we know is huge!

As you navigate your way through the college search process, I'm hopeful that, together with your family, you're thinking about ROI as well. By choosing to invest in your education, you will be investing in yourself – in your future. As a college graduate, your opportunities will be limitless. What you learn during your four years of undergraduate study will not only prepare you to enter the world, it will prepare you to change the world – to make it an even better place than it is today. 

Yours for Augustana, 
Rob Oliver