Why I Give: Steve Lindquist '11

Meet Steve Lindquist, class of 2011. A native of Sioux Falls, Lindquist was a business administration and philosphy major at Augustana and currently serves as a financial advisor for Merrill Lynch.

We caught up with him to learn why he supports Augustana, how his gifts are maximized through his employer's Company Match benefit, and to find out more about his life and career.

Q. Why do you give to Augustana? What inspired you to make this gift?

A. Clearly, I have a lot to thank Augustana College for – my love of learning, travelling the world, 15-25 extra pounds, lasting friendships, and most importantly my wife. I give to Augustana College because even today I’ll drive the extra couple of minutes out of my way to go down 33rd Street, Grange Avenue, or Summit Avenue and reflect on my time at Augustana. If my gift can help the next generation of students – one of which ideally has my daughter, Madeline, in it – make those memories, how can I not give?

Q. Your gift was increased thanks to a matching gift program provided through your employer. How did you find out about this program? And, how does it feel to know that your gift has an increased impact thanks to this program?

A. Most large companies offer some form of matching gifts to 501(c)(3) classified organizations – often to a cap of $5,000 a year. I found out about mine through my human resources department. Personally, my wife and I struggled early on with giving back to Augustana because we didn’t think our gift would have enough impact to be worthwhile, but because of my company match, even the small gift that I can give has twice the impact.

Q. How did Augustana help prepare you for your career?

A. My business background helped prepare me through a deeper understanding of finance, my philosophy and classics background helped prepare me through an ability to think critically and to better understand other people’s views and thought processes.

Q. Favorite Augustana professor?

A. It's impossible to choose just one. Jason Harris (business administration), for his guidance and honesty through the years (and for grading on a curve). Dr. David O’Hara (philosophy), for teaching me new ways to think and look at the world (and for sharing an unlimited supply of tea with his students). Dr. Rocki Wentzel (classics), for for helping me struggle through three semesters of independent study on Latin, her enthusiasm, and for delivering an exceptional Capstone. Dr. Sandra Looney (English) for teaching me to write my voice, to be compassionate, to have passion, and for seeing and expecting more from myself. And also for letting me drool on her shoulder when I fell asleep on that bus ride in Ireland.

Q. What's a typical work day like for you?

A. A “typical work day” is highly variable. When I’m in the office in Sioux Falls, it starts early. I like to catch up on news and research that impacts our clients' portfolios prior to the market opening. Early morning is either spent researching prospective clients, coordinating with my team, implementing a change in our portfolios, or in meetings with clients, where we review their financial goals and how we can best assist them in achieving them. Lunch is always a working lunch, in meetings or at my desk. After market hours I’m often out in the community – volunteering or meeting with clients/prospective clients.

Q. Greatest professional accomplishment so far, and why?

A. I’ve assisted companies going public through the IPO process, and selling themselves in the private marketplace. These are things that don’t just happen by chance, but by long-term relationship building and being prepared when circumstances arise. Augustana helped me create the skill set and discipline required to be able to handle these types of complicated transactions.

Q. Best memories from Augustana?

A. Without question, my best memories are of J-term! Freshman year J-term saw me taking economics and going on the first of many dates with Nicholle Sogn – now Nicholle Lindquist. Sophomore J-term I spent in Ireland studying the Irish literary revival with the amazing Dr. Sandra Looney and Dr. Janet Blank-Libra (English and journalism). Junior J-term I traveled to Australia with  six of my friends and roommates to study global economics with Dr. Kevin Buell (economics) and Dr. Reynold Nesiba (economics).

On campus I loved the sense of community – the events in the Back Alley, Augieholics tailgating and watching the Vikings Days parade from our lawn outside the Valhalla House.

Q. Were you involved in extracurricular activities while a student here? If so, can you tell us about your experiences?

A. I was involved in The Augustana Choir, Viking Ultimate Frisbee Club (VUFC), Augustana Student Association (ASA) and New Student Orientation (NSO).

Freshman year I had the privilege of travelling to Italy with the The Augustana Choir under the direction of Dr. James Johnson. We performed, most notably, in the Basilica of St. Francis and St. Peter’s Cathedral. There is something incredibly spiritual that I always felt singing with the choir, but in those spaces it was near overwhelming.

VUFC let me chase Frisbees – something that you usually only see dogs do. My sophomore year we travelled to regionals in Ames, Iowa.

In ASA, I served as a student senator my junior year and as secretary in my senior year.

I was also an NSO counselor. For me, the NSO experience was a huge part of the freshman year Augustana experience. Many of the first friends I made at Augie were through my NSO group. I wanted to give that back if I could to the incoming freshman class of 2013.


Have you been inspired to support Augie through a financial gift? We want to hear about it! Share your story of "Why I give" with us so we can inspire others to support Augustana. Share your story.