view from summit avenue:
a message from president stephanie herseth sandlin
Greetings, Augustana alumni and friends. Spring has finally arrived in Sioux Falls and soon we’ll be seeing green everywhere as trees bloom all over campus. And, of course, we have commencement right around the corner and hundreds of graduates to celebrate!
Throughout the course of the past year, our students and alumni have demonstrated academic excellence and take full advantage of their Augustana education.
For example, I am proud to share that 697 Augustana students made the Dean’s List last fall. That’s nearly 39 percent of our undergraduates. The Dean’s List recognizes full-time students who have a minimum of 12 credit hours with a grade-point average of 3.5 or above. Of those 697 students, 201 are student-athletes. And 32 of those student-athletes had a perfect 4.0. This speaks volumes to our students’ ability to be successful in everything they do – both in and out of the classroom. In fact, in this issue, you’ll read about one of our student-athletes who has literally run away with awards and accolades, as well as a recent alum who added Rhodes Scholarship winner to his resumé.
In addition, among the myriad benefits of a liberal arts education are diverse and global experiences. During J-Term, 187 students took advantage of the transformational opportunity to study abroad and participate in one of 19 courses. Travel spanned across the globe from South America to Europe and Asia. Some of our students have shared their journal entries with us and you can read about their reflections in the article on page 4. The Augustana Band also performed its way across China, while friends and family received a first-hand account of the experiences thanks to a daily blog.
On a different note, Augustana is close to completing the Horizons 2019 strategic plan. I am excited to announce, at the time this magazine went to print, we have raised 98.6 percent of the total fundraising goal for Horizons 2019. Thank you to everyone who has supported these efforts! Your generous philanthropy has allowed the university to launch or enhance many initiatives such as student scholarships, new academic programs and facility improvements, including the renovation of the Fryxell Humanities Center, which will be complete by the start of the next academic year.
As you know, beginning last year, Augustana has been celebrating its 100-year anniversary in Sioux Falls. Since our founding, the university has prepared students to be leaders who explore, create and boldly discover what’s possible. There’s no better time than the present to assess how we will continue our important mission for the next 100 years and to plan for our future in an ever-changing higher education marketplace.
In December 2018, the Augustana Board of Trustees unanimously and enthusiastically approved the aspirational goals outlined in Vision 2030. You can read all about the vision, the goals, the strategic planning process and timelines on page 20. I encourage you to follow our progress by visiting augie.edu/vision.
Over the last two years, many alumni and readers like yourselves have shared their Augustana stories with me. The stories I’ve heard are powerful, and the overall sentiment is that their Augustana experiences, or those of their family members, have shaped their understanding of others and their outlook on life. Augustana invested in them and challenged them to dream big and act boldly. Augustana served as the foundation of their success and of their commitment to service.
Now, many of them are ready to invest in Augustana and its future. We hope you are too. Together, we will discover what’s possible, unleash even more potential, prepare even more servant leaders, and ensure a bold and bright future for the very special place that is Augustana University. Thank you for your ongoing dedication to Augustana. We certainly have much to look forward to in the years ahead!
President Herseth Sandlin