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College Community Mourns the Loss of Dr. Glenda Sehested

Dr. Glenda Sehested, a longtime faculty member of the Sociology department, passed away today following a battle with advanced pancreatic cancer.

A memorial service is set for 3:30 p.m. on Friday, May 3, in Augustana's Chapel of Reconciliation.

Sehested served Augustana for 39 years, joining the faculty in 1974. During her tenure, she taught a wide variety of sociology courses and multiple sections of the beginning Sociology course (Contemporary Society). Her most recent area of focus was on courses in the areas of Gender Studies (including Gender, Work and Family), Sociology of Religion, and Social Psychology. She served as the Program Coordinator for Augustana’s minor in Gender Studies, helping students add that area of minor concentration to a wide variety of majors. Her primary research interests focused on gender-related topics and she had recently developed new interests in the area of religious studies (including gender and religion). Dr. Sehested earned her master’s degree in sociology from the University of Iowa and her Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Colorado.

After receiving her diagnosis in fall 2012, she shared a letter with the campus community entitled "My Last Word, by Glenda Sehested." In it, she shared her reflections and memories of nearly four decades at Augustana:

"... What happened here is that I absolutely fell in love with teaching – with the joy of seeing the light come on in a student’s mind (in part because the classes were small enough to actually be able to really pay attention to each student). I think all of you can understand that joy."

"...one thing that led me to fall in love with Augustana was that people like me could be brash and still be valued as a colleague. Augustana is a family, not in the sense of being a place where disagreement is suppressed, but in the sense of being a place where 'they still love you even if you voice unpopular opinions.'"

Share your memories of Dr. Sehested.

The family suggests that you may designate gifts to Augustana for either a lectureship in sociology in Glenda's name or scholarships. Gifts may be given online or sent via mail to Augustana College, Office of Advancement, ATTN: Glenda Sehested Memorial Fund, 2001 S. Summit Ave., Sioux Falls, S.D., 57197.