Monday, January 14, 2013
A Message from Rob Oliver, President
I often say that my official title is “president.” But, my unofficial title, and one that I prefer much more, is “storyteller.”
Ultimately, my job is to tell the Augustana story – to share the amazing things that happen on our campus and to describe the inspiring outcomes that we are lucky enough to help create. By telling the story, hopefully we can inspire others to support our mission of providing an education of enduring worth ... an education that helps our students chart their course.
I’m happy to tell you that even in her 152nd year, our Augustana continues to produce great stories to tell.
For the fall semester, our total student enrollment was 1,839. Our campus is home to students from 35 states.
In September, we welcomed our largest-ever class of international students — 131 students from 42 countries.
For Interim-2013, 165 students traveled to 32 countries around the globe from New Zealand to India to Cuba, Greece, Thailand and others, studying everything from culture to religion to architecture.
Last summer, 69 students participated in scientific research projects on- and off-campus through the College’s Undergraduate Summer Research Program.
Despite a still-challenged economy, 97 percent of our graduates reported accepting a job related to their major or chosen field. In addition, 75 percent of our 2011 grads remained in South Dakota, adding to the talented reservoir of innovative professionals who contribute to our state’s economy.
Augustana is ranked fourth among NCAA Division II schools and 28th amongst 1,066 active NCAA member schools in the NCSA Athletic Recruiting power rankings, an assessment of the academic and athletic standards of all NCAA athletic programs across the country. Augustana is the only school listed in the overall top 100 from South Dakota or North Dakota. Fewer than six percent of colleges and universities earned a spot in the NCSA top 100 for 2012, Augustana is in this elite class.
We’re proud to say that all our hard work is being recognized. We’re ranked among “America’s Top Colleges” by Forbes, Washington Monthly, The Princeton Review and US News.
Augustana’s 2011 fiscal year closed on July 31, 2012, with promising advancements:
- Annual giving closed at $1.4 million, inclusive of gifts to the Augustana Fund, the Center for Western Studies, Augustana Library Associates, the Performing and Visual Arts Fund and the Athletic Club.
- The $120 million Momentum Augustana Campaign, the largest fundraising effort in the history of the College, made significant strides, most notably a $20 million challenge grant from Sanford Health in support of our science project.
- Total cash gifts received topped $6 million.
Today is, indeed, an extraordinary time at Augustana. I’m proud to tell you we’re making a difference in the lives of our students, recording breakthroughs in our scientific and social research, enriching the hearts and minds of thousands through the performing and visual arts, and forging strong connections in our community.
This fall alone, we announced plans for a new $30 million science facility, the largest building project in our 152-year history, brought home athletic championships, climbed in influential national rankings and strengthened our connections abroad.
Yes, it is an extraordinary time, indeed. Yet, it’s important to note that none of these achievements would have been possible without your support.
You, dear friends, are the wind beneath our wings.
In this report, we celebrate the generosity of our many alumni and friends who have invested in Augustana through their charitable giving during our last fiscal year (August 1, 2011, through July 31, 2012).
I want you to know that your efforts to “pay it forward” will live on for generations through countless students who will come to our campus to explore and discover important concepts in order to create an even better world tomorrow.
We are honored, humbled and grateful for your generosity and we remain hopeful that you will continue to think prayerfully about ways in which you can continue to support the important mission and vision of our Augustana.
From the bottom of our hearts, thank you and God bless you.
Yours, for Augustana,