Froiland Dedication and Open House

Outside the Froiland Science Complex

Event Details


Date: September 23, 2016

Times: 4 p.m.

Location: Froiland Science Complex, Augustana University campus

Ticket Info: This event is free and open to the public.

Augustana's Froiland Science Complex, a 125,000-square-foot facility representing the largest and most complex building endeavor in the University's 156-year history, will be ready to show off this fall.

Join us at 4 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 23, for its dedication, followed by tours. We will gather on the west side patio, which faces the campus green. (In case of inclement weather, we will hold the event inside.)

Can't make it to the event? Watch live from our Facebook page.

About Dr. Sven Froiland

Born in Astoria, S.D., in 1922, Froiland attended Clear Lake High School and graduated from South Dakota State University in 1942. He earned his master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Colorado. Additional study included work at the University of Minnesota; a visiting scholar appointment at the University of Arizona; and work at the National Science Foundation Institutes at the Universities of Michigan, Indiana and North Carolina. He was awarded a honorary doctorate in the humanities from Luther College.

Froiland entered the U.S. Army immediately upon graduating from SDSU in 1942. He served four years and was wounded in the second wave of the Normandy invasion in 1944 and was awarded a Purple Heart. He was honorably discharged from the Army at the rank of captain in 1946.

Froiland began his teaching career at Augustana in 1946 as a biology instructor. He moved through the faculty ranks to full professor in 1958 and served as chairman of the biology department for 17 years until 1970 and the Division of Natural Sciences for 20 years until 1976. He was also heavily involved in the Center for Western Studies, serving as its executive director on a part-time basis from 1976-1983 and full-time from 1983-1987.

During his academic career, Froiland was active in other positions, including the Research Association with the USDA Forest Service and served as director of the Black Hills Natural Sciences Field Station. He was recognized as South Dakota Conservation Educator of the Year in 1976, named to American Men of Science, Outstanding Educators of America, Who’s Who in American Education, Faculty-Administrator of the Year in 1976 and received the 125th Anniversary Award from Augustana in 1986. He was inducted into the South Dakota Hall of Fame in 1987 as an “Outstanding Educator.”

Veteran and retired professors and administrators at Augustana always identify Froiland as the driving force behind biological research at the University and the construction of Gilbert Science Center. At the critical juncture when the decision to build a new science building was reached, President Lawrence Stavig, content that the funding for a new facility was secured and plans were approved, retired. His successor, Dr. Charles Balcer, also felt that being new precluded him from making decisions on the new building and assigned the final planning and supervision of the construction to Froiland.

Froiland has been identified as one of the true giants who served Augustana with distinction. He influenced the lives of thousands of future physicians, nurses, researchers, educators and business leaders. Athletic coaches sought him out to meet with talented student-athletes who desired to pursue careers in medicine.

His love for his family; hunting, fishing and the Black Hills; history; and Augustana were core to his being. His legacy lives on in the lives of those he taught; those with whom he served; and has been a major influence on those who teach and learn at Augustana today.