Presidents Who Served Through the Years

Presidents of Augustana

Learn more about the 22 individuals who have served Augustana through its 157-year history.

1860-1863 Rev. Lars Esbjorn is the first president when Augustana Seminary opens in Chicago on September 1, 1860.

1863-1869 Rev. Tuve N. Hasselquist, the second president, convinced the church that the College should be moved to Paxton, Illinois to take advantage of a land offer by the Illinois Central Railroad.

1869-1870 Rev. August Weenaas served only one year as the school's third president in Marshall, Wisconsin, leaving with his seminary students. He eventually became the first president of Augsburg College in Minneapolis.

1870-1876 John J. Anderson was actually the principal of Marshall Academy but has historically been considered the fourth president.

1876-1884 Rev. David Lysnes was the fifth president who served in Marshall, Wisconsin and then in Beloit, Iowa.

1884-1889: Professor Matthew D. Miller was the sixth president of the school when it moved to Canton, South Dakota.

1889-1890 Rev. Christian S. Salvesen serves as the seventh president for only one year.

1890-1916 Rev. Anthony Tuve became the eighth president of the College at age 26. He served for 26 years, the longest of any president.

1916-1918: Dr. Paul M. Glasoe assumed the presidency during the last two years in Canton as the College’s ninth. Prior to his arrival, he served as professor of chemistry at St. Olaf College. He had also served several years as president of Spokane College in Washington.

1918-20: Professor Hans S. Hilleboe serves as the tenth president during the College's first two years in Sioux Falls. During the 1917-1918 academic year, he was president of the Lutheran Normal School.

1920-1928: Rev. Dr. Charles Orin Solberg is the eleventh president. Before he came to Augustana, Rev. Solberg was president of the English Association of the Norwegian Lutheran Church of America.

1928-1929: Rev. Dr. H. J. Glenn was on the Board of Directors of the Colllege and agreed to serve as the twelfth president for only one year. He then returned to his previous position as pastor of First Lutheran Church, downtown Sioux Falls.

1929-1932: Rev. Dr. Ove J. H. Preus was president number thirteen. Prior to Augustana, he served as president of the Eastern District of the Norwegian Lutheran Church.

1932-1943: Rev. Dr. Clemens Granskou was Augustana's fourteenth president, having previously served in the same capacity at Waldorf Junior College in Forest City, Iowa.

1943-1965: Rev. Dr. Lawrence Stavig was the fifteenth president. Prior to Augustana, he served as pastor of St. John Lutheran Church in Northfield, MN.

1965-1980: Dr. Charles Balcer served as the College's 16th president. He came to the College from St. Cloud State University where he was Dean of Academic Administration.

1980-1986: Dr. Bill Nelsen was the College's seventeenth president. Dr. Nelsen came to Augustana from St. Olaf College where he was Vice President and Dean of the College.

1986-1987: Dr. Sidney Rand served as the College's eighteenth president and returned as the twentieth during 1991-1992. Dr. Rand was president emeritus of St. Olaf College prior to his stints with Augustana.

1987-1992: Dr. Lloyd Svendsbye was the nineteenth president of the College. Prior to Augustana, Dr. Svendsbye was president of Luther Northwestern Seminary in St. Paul, MN.

1993-2000: Dr. Ralph Wagoner was the College's 21st president. Before Augustana, Wagoner was president of Western Illinois University for six years.

Dr. Bruce Halverson '66, was the College's 22nd president from 2000-2006 and the only alumnus to serve in this capacity. He came to Augustana from Florida State University where he was Dean of the School of Theatre.

2006-present: Rob Oliver is Augustana's 23rd president. President Oliver was the chair of the Business Department for two years and, before that, was a regional president with Wells Fargo.