Four Augustana Alums to be Honored During Viking Days

SIOUX FALLS – Dr. Maria Bell, Rev. David Johnson, Bob Thimjon, and Sayra Siverson Salter will be honored during Viking Days 2009.

Bell, class of 1984, Johnson, class of 1956, and Thimjon, class of 1974, will receive the Alumni Achievement Award. Siverson Salter, class of 1995, receives the Horizon Award.

They will be honored October 17 at the Blue and Gold Gala beginning at 6:00 p.m. in the Morrison Commons Ordal Dining Room on the Augustana campus.

Dr. Maria BellDr. Maria Bell — Bell specializes in gynecologic oncology at Sanford Health in Sioux Falls, and is a professor and director of Gynecologic Oncology at USD’s Sanford School of Medicine. In addition, she is part of the worldwide mission “Medicine for Humanity” to decrease mortality from cervical cancer. She is recognized internationally as a leader in robotic gynecologic surgery, has developed new surgical techniques for cancer patients, and teaches robotic surgery to physicians around the world. Dr. Bell and her husband, Delf Schmidt-Grimminger, are the parents of two children and live in Sioux Falls.

Rev. David JohnsonRev. David Johnson — has distinguished himself as a pastor, historian, author, and artist. He has served congregations in Colorado, Sioux Falls, and Watertown, and was a campus pastor at the University of Kansas and the University of South Dakota. He is the author of Prairie Parables and The Rose and Other Prairie Parables. In addition, his realistic carvings of song birds are popular at the annual Augustana Athletic Club auction. He is currently serving as assistant pastor at First Lutheran Church in Sioux Falls. Rev. Johnson and his wife, Glenice, live in Sioux Falls.


Bob ThimjonBob Thimjon — Thimjon, an accomplished Sioux Falls businessman, in the Chief Financial Officer for Ramkota/Regency Inns. He has been recognized by Junior Achievement of South Dakota as an exceptional volunteer and leader, served on the Sioux Falls School Board from 1994 to 2001, and has served in several leadership positions as a member of the Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce. He also serves on the executive leadership team of Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Sioux Falls. Thimjon and his wife, Joan, are the parents of three adult children and live in Sioux Falls.


Sayra Siverson SalterSayra Siverson Salter — Siverson Salter is in her eighth year as conductor of the Albuquerque Youth Orchestra and taught for eight years in the Albuquerque Public Schools. She has been a guest conductor with the University of New Mexico Symphony Orchestra since 2005. She has served as substitute trumpet with the Santa Fe and New Mexico Symphony Orchestras, and was a member of the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra from 1980-2005. A native of Canton, SD, Sayra and her husband, Marc, are the parents of two children and live in Rio Rancho, NM.

Bruce Conley
Director, News Information
Phone: 605.274.5526
Fax: 605.274.4903