The Augustana: Autumn 2011

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

Like millions around the world, I was saddened to learn of the recent death of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs.

Following his death, Jobs was hailed as a visionary – the leader of “… a cultural transformation in the way music, movies and mobile communications were experienced in the digital age …” according to the New York Times.

As I read the various eulogies of his life, my thoughts fell to early 2010, when Jobs – clad in his classic black shirt, blue jeans and sneakers – introduced a new device called the iPad during a high-profile product launch.

As he greeted a room filled with anxious reporters, analysts, investors and tech gurus, he stood on a stage before two street signs – one read “Liberal Arts,” the other read “Technology.”

Features in the Autumn 2011 issue:

The Cartoonist

He got his start drawing comics for The Mirror, Augustana’s student newspaper. Today, David Wolter, class of 2004, is a story artist with Dreamworks. Read it.

Re-inventing the Family Farm
Meet John Peterson, class of 2003. He combined technology, advertising and a sheer-genius sales strategy to revolutionize his family’s 70-year-old farm. Read it.
Significant Speakers
2011 Marks the 16th Year of the Boe Forum on Public Affairs, an annual event designed to bring to the College a speaker to address a topic of importance to the region and the nation. Read it.

The Man Who Captures Memories
Paul Harmel was just 28 years old when he joined the company now known as Lifetouch. Little did he know that one day, he would become the organization’s CEO, leading its 32,000 employees and managing its $1 billion in annual sales. Read it.

Goodbye Good Friends

This summer, the Augustana community mourned the loss of long-serving contributors Bob Aldern, Tracy Riddle, Dianne Hammrich and Dr. Harold Foss. Read it.

Field and String

When sophomore nursing major Maren Werth finishes the soccer season, she'll play the harp with the Augustana Orchestra. Read it.

Viking Athletics 2011 Hall of Fame

The members of the 2011 Class of the Augustana Athletic Hall of Fame have achieved national and international recognition. Read it.

Teaching for Change

Third grade teacher Heather Hemeyer, class of 2008, isn't just teaching math, reading and spelling at St. Joseph's Indian School in Chamberlain, S.D. She's teaching children the skills they need to build a better tomorrow. Read it.

Viking Days 2011

From Coronation to the reunions, the parade, Varieties, the game and the Blue & Gold Gala, the campus was in a "Viking State of Mind" in celebration of the 83rd annual Viking Days. Even Ole the Viking joined in the fun! Read it.

Greatest Hits

Viking Days 2011 included a concert featuring the Augustana Orchestra with rock legends KANSAS at the Washington Pavilion. Read it.

Alumni News

A message from the Alumni Association president, Class Notes, Family Ties and more. Read it.

Apple, he argued, ‘stood at the intersection of the liberal arts and technology.’

At the time, his remarks caused me to think about the idea of “intersections,” and how they relate to what we do at Augustana. In the wake of his death, I thought about it even more.

I believe that Augustana sits at the intersection of the liberal arts and life – unbinding, absolute, passionate, all-consuming life. What we do here – the broad-based knowledge our talented professors provide; the support and guidance offered by our seasoned residential life teams; the exposure and perspective gained through international travel; and the ideas that swell from a culturally and ethnically diverse campus – define the liberal arts. After their time at Augustana, we believe that our graduates are well-suited to contribute and thrive in virtually any field because their foundations are strong – constructed with the materials deemed most durable for success in today’s world: faith, history, science, literature, language and service.

This issue includes features on Augustana graduates who illustrate the idea of “intersection” in action – they are individuals from every generation who all say that, because of the foundation they received here, they have been successful in pursuing their professional passions.

John Peterson, class of 2003, is a great example.

A business communication major, he worked for Augustana as an admission counselor before returning home to Cannon Falls, Minn., to revolutionize his family’s 70-year-old turkey farm.

He made the leap of faith – and has been successful in his venture, he says – because of what he learned during his time on campus.

“…I learned to think critically, problem-solve, work with people to make decisions and deal with a lot of information at the same time.”

I’m curious – have you, too, found yourself at an intersection where your education in the liberal arts has allowed you to persevere? I’m certain we all have – and for that, we can be thankful.

Enjoy this issue!

Yours, for Augustana,
Rob Oliver


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