Viking Life Magazine
viewpoints: a message from president Stephanie herseth sandlin
Sioux Falls is the ultimate location for Augustana University. Strategic partnerships, invaluable internship opportunities, worldclass research, a global health system, successful non-profit organizations, countless possibilities for service learning, and abundant choices for recreation and entertainment top the long list of reasons we are so grateful to have our students live, learn and launch here. In my second year as president, I have been extremely proud and honored to join our students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community in celebrating Augustana’s first 100 years in this great city. In 1918, upon formal consolidation of Augustana College and the Lutheran Normal School, 195 students were enrolled; students who I’m sure were filled with the same hopes and dreams as our students today. And, if my first year was any indication of things to come, there’s no doubt that together we will seize the opportunities and overcome the challenges of the century ahead.
Augustana University has established a strong foundation built on academic excellence. We will continue to attract top students and create tomorrow’s servant leaders and innovators, while instilling our timeless core values that will serve them so well throughout their lives: Christian, Liberal Arts, Excellence, Community, and Service.
With our ongoing commitment to offer immersive, best-inclass academic, cultural, athletic, and social opportunities for students, we’ve achieved record-breaking annual enrollment and retention.
Our full-time students represent 29 states and 36 countries. On a national scale, Augustana was one of only four institutions to receive the 2018 Noel-Levitz Retention Excellence Award.
As educators, Augustana remains committed to adding value to every student experience, which is the driving force behind every decision we make. It is our commitment to embrace and drive change, continuously working to innovate and improve our programs and services for all students. This has led to recent enhancements to our physical campus including renovations of classrooms and the Hamre Recital Hall in the Fryxell Humanities Center. We’re also preparing for the construction of an outdoor track and field complex, which will be completed next fall.
We also recognize the need to adapt to change in our academic programs. Our desire to be as transformative as the students who represent us in this global climate has inspired the expansion of our academic offerings, including the recent additions of a Master’s in Special Education, a Master’s in Athletic Training, and a 4+1 option for our Master’s in Sports Administration and Leadership. We’ve also added a major and a minor in Data Science.
Augustana continues to evolve to meet the changing needs of our students and community. Augustana received a six-figure grant to help us launch a campus-wide sustainability initiative, including the advancement of a campus-wide strategic plan to integrate sustainability into the curriculum, co-curricular activities, and campus operations.
Our performing and visual arts programs are having an outstanding year. New faculty have re-energized the Augustana Orchestra and the Northlanders Jazz Band with dynamic performances and opportunities. The Augustana music department presented Christmas Vespers 2018 in both Sioux Falls and Minneapolis. The Augustana Band navigated its fifth international tour to China in January 2019.
Our student athletes continue to make us so proud! Vikings baseball won the Division II College World Series National Championship. Women’s basketball earned the 2018 NSIC Tournament title, and for the fourth consecutive season, the team landed inside the top-25 of the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Academic Team Honor Roll. Augustana Women’s Golf and Women’s Tennis earned conference titles for the eighth and ninth consecutive years, respectively.
On a personal note, I’m honored and humbled to lead this great university, and I look forward to the bright future ahead. I invite you to Be a Viking and join us in this great adventure that is AU!
Stephanie Herseth Sandlin