Five Alumni Honored at Viking Days

2015 Alumni Achievement Recipients

2015 Alumni Achievement Award recipients (left to right): Ashley Ballou-Bonnema ‘09, Dr. LuAnn Eidsness ‘75, Rev. David Lerseth ‘64, Russell Greenfield ‘57, and Nick Jackson ‘08. 

Five Augustana alumni were honored for outstanding contributions to their fields of endeavor and for exemplifying the University’s values of Christian faith, excellence, the liberal arts, community and service last weekend during Viking Days.

In recognition of their efforts to serve, inspire and improve our world, the following individuals were presented with Alumni Achievement Awards:

Rev. David Lerseth ‘64 worked in the church throughout his career and continues to serve today in his retirement. Beginning as a parish pastor in 1968, Lerseth has held many roles with the ELCA including assistant to the bishop for Iowa and the ELCA director for global mission support in Chicago. He founded Friends of Madagascar Mission in 2009 and continues to serve as president for this growing nonprofit ministry. Lerseth is class agent for the Augustana Class of 1964 and led the campaign in 2014 for a class scholarship totaling more than $60,000.

Dr. LuAnn Eidsness ‘75 is a physician and professor. She was the first female chair of internal medicine at the University of South Dakota School of Medicine, a position she held for 14 years. She is known for her compassion and dedication to developing palliative medicine and the ethics curriculum at the School of Medicine. Eidsness played a key role in creating a four-year bioethics curriculum for medical students at USD. Her professional accomplishments have been honored on numerous occasions on a state level.

Russell Greenfield ‘57 is both a professional and civic leader. Serving as a senior partner with the law firm of Boyce, Murphy, McDowell & Greenfield, he is an expert in his field. Outside the office, he has served on numerous committees and foundations in Sioux Falls dedicated to developing the city and helping its citizens. He was one of the first members of the Sioux Falls Development Council, which brought EROS and Citibank to the city. Additionally, Greenfield served on the Augustana Board of Trustees from 1989 to 1993.

Ashley Ballou-Bonnema ‘09 is a recipient of the Augustana Horizon Award, an honor recognizing the rising careers of young alumni (less than 15 years after commencement). Since graduating from Augustana, Ballou-Bonnema has shown dedication to her multiple vocations as a performer, a teacher, and a fundraiser for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, working to cure a disease she has battled her whole life. She inspires all through her message of strength, bravery and hope on her popular blog, Breathe Bravely, and works tirelessly to raise funds to find a cure. Learn more about about Ballou-Bonnema.

Nick Jackson ‘08 is also a recipient of the Augustana Horizon Award. Jackson has proven to be an outstanding classroom teacher and a visionary for the future of education. While teaching at State College Friends School in Pennsylvania, he worked toward certification from Columbia University to become a school administrator. Jackson will realize this goal as he opens a new charter school in the fall of 2016 as head of school for The Boys School in Denver, Colorado.

View a list of past award recipients.