Tracy Riddle, Associate Dean of Students, Dies at 54

Tracy Riddle, Augustana’s long-time associate dean of students, died this morning at Sanford Hospice after a two-year-long battle with cancer. She was 54.

“Today we mourn the loss of a dear friend and colleague who touched the lives of countless students, families, faculty and staff members with her passion for life, tenacious spirit and gentle compassion,” said Rob Oliver, president. “Our thoughts and prayers are with Tracy’s family and friends during this difficult time.”

A native of El Centro, Calif., Riddle received her bachelor’s degree from the University of the Pacific in Stockton, Calif., and her master’s degree from Azusa Pacific University in Azusa, Calif. She joined Augustana in 1990 and was instrumental in leading the College's student housing program. She was also involved in significant ways with developing Augustana’s co-curriculum.

In April, she received the Augie Pride award in recognition of her exceptional contributions to the College.

“Tracy never stood before a chalkboard or lectured behind a podium; yet, to our students, she was one of Augustana’s most treasured teachers. She taught the entire campus community about the importance of advocacy, acceptance, friendship, dedication and kindness. At the same time, she worked tirelessly to ensure that each and every student had what they needed in order to succeed socially and academically,” said Dr. Jim Bies, vice president for Student Services and dean of students. “Even as she battled pain and sickness, she continued to place her concern for our students above her own. She was one-in-a-million and we will be forever grateful for the countless contributions she made to the College and for the precious life lessons she taught us.”

In a recent entry on her CaringBridge page, an online journal for those battling health-related challenges, Riddle wrote about the important place Augustana students held in her heart.

“Students are my passion and they get me out of bed in the morning, even in the summer. I am blessed to have such a clear vision of what my calling on earth is.”

Riddle is survived by her mother, Phyllis Jopes, and her brother, Gene Riddle.

A memorial service and celebration of Riddle’s life is planned for 2 p.m. on Tuesday, July 26, at Augustana’s Chapel of Reconciliation.

A memorial fund has also been established in Riddle’s name at Augustana.

Kelly Sprecher
Director of Communications & Media Relations