Official News Release: Augustana College Becomes Augustana University
SEPTEMBER 1, 2015 — Augustana College is now Augustana University.
The decision to change the name of the institution follows action by the Augustana Board of Trustees after nearly two years of analysis and strategic planning, investments in academic programming, the introduction of new centers for undergraduate and graduate students, and significant physical growth on campus.
The term “university,” officials say, speaks of the breadth of learning already happening on campus for both undergraduate and graduate students, with an emphasis on cutting edge research and leadership, and the direction charted for the institution by its strategic plan.
“Augustana has been serving students since 1860 and our goal is to continue to do just that,” said President Rob Oliver. “Yet, at the same time, we also recognize that the wants, needs and expectations of higher education are changing.”
“We’ve spent a great deal of time thinking about how to take the Augustana experience to the next level – to inspire undergraduate and graduate students from around the world, to serve the needs of a changing society and a growing city, and to continue producing graduates who not only have the skills necessary to build meaningful careers, but who will go on to live lives of purpose and service."
— President Rob Oliver
"As we studied economic and industry trends, and analyzed information gathered from faculty, staff, alumni, students, parents, community members and business leaders, it became obvious that in order to serve the needs of today’s students and meet the demands of a workforce hungry for entrepreneurial and thoughtful professionals, we needed to invest in change, in growth, and in our ability to serve others.”
“This name change to Augustana University is an illustration of that investment – an effort to complement Augustana’s 155-year-old mission to provide an education of enduring worth that challenges the intellect, fosters integrity, and integrates faith with programs and initiatives designed to serve the needs of 21st century students and the world we call home,” Oliver said.
Becky Blue '81, chair of the Augustana Board of Trustees, said the name Augustana University is a "more apt term to describe who we are and and what we do here."
"The opportunities we provide for post-graduate work currently, and even more in the near future, are consistent with the term 'university.' The high level of research happening here in multiple fields is certainly worthy of the university name," Blue said. "Finally, our location and role in this vibrant city of Sioux Falls is fitting of the name Augustana University. The strategic partnerships we have forged in the areas of science, business, education, faith, and service also bring university-level internship and research experiences to both our undergraduate and graduate students."
Augustana University will offer:
- Enhanced offerings, services, and experiences for undergraduate students, such as the Student Success Center, a hub designed to help students succeed on campus and after graduation, an innovative First Year Experience initiative for freshmen, and new athletic programs.
- Increased graduate and continuing education offerings, beginning with new programs in genetic counseling and professional accountancy. These join the University’s existing graduate programs in education and sports administration and leadership. Augustana’s graduate and continuing education programs will be led by Dr. Jerry Jorgensen.
- A growing focus on research, experiential learning opportunities and leading edge internships.
- The recently announced Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, an initiative designed to build strategic partnerships with industry leaders, business heads and curators of creativity led by Dr. Pam Homan ’81.
- New facilities, including:
- Under construction now: The Froiland Science Complex, Augustana’s new state-of-the art science facility.
- Future plans: A new, 125,000-square-foot Student Activities Center on the corner of Grange Avenue and 33rd Street across from the Elmen Center. This new facility will feature the city’s only eight-lane, 200-meter indoor competition track, an expanded fitness center with modern and technologically advanced equipment, academic spaces, a retail center, a multi-purpose recreational area and practice spaces.
- The Augustana English Language Center, a new partnership through a global initiative designed to enable more students from around the globe to achieve their dreams of higher education.
As Augustana plans its next fundraising campaign, University officials are outlining enhanced campus life, enriched teaching and learning, and additional scholarships for students as key priorities.
Preliminary plans include:
- The Student Activities Center project, along with additional enhancements to campus facilities, including plans to renovate Kresge Recital Hall and other music spaces inside the Humanities Center, an extensive renovation and expansion of Morrison Commons, and plans to build a new student apartment complex on Summit Avenue.
- A goal to grow the endowment – an effort to provide even more student scholarships and effectively ease the financial burden of higher education.
“Today we are Augustana University, the place for possibilities – 155 years strong in history and tradition and ready to chart a new course for our future, a future where we will challenge ourselves, our students, and our world to blaze new pathways to possibility,” Oliver said.
“It is, indeed, a great day to be an Augustana Viking!”