The Augustana Magazine: Summer 2017



view from summit avenue:
a message from president stephanie herseth sandlin

Dear Vikings near and far,

I’m writing this message with both enthusiasm and humility. Augustana University is an institution I’ve long admired for its commitment to excellence, its foundation in the liberal arts, and its dedication to helping young people build lives of meaning and purpose. The opportunity to serve as its president is both exciting and incredibly humbling.

For my husband, Max, my son, Zachary, and me, it’s a great honor to join a community dedicated to preparing students for the world — encouraging them to pursue their ambitions with zeal, to be servant leaders in their chosen professions, and to be engaged citizens in communities either near or far from their upbringings. As Max and I continue to meet faculty and staff , students and their families, Augie alumni and friends, I am affi rmed in my belief that Augustana is a place enriched by a vast community, all grounded and inspired by God’s love and the teachings of Christ.

The opportunity to lead Augustana is, for me, a way of coming back full circle to higher education. When I was in law school more than 20 years ago, political philosophy and constitutional law were my passions, but I believed education would be my vocation. This was to be my path, or so I thought in my mid- to late-20s. The call to public service interrupted that plan, but I believe the 10 years I spent in public life and the past six years in the private sector have equipped me with knowledge and skills that will be assets for me in this new role.

I’m honored to accept the reins from Rob Oliver, someone who has been an exceptional and transformational leader for Augustana. I’ve known Rob for nearly 10 years and have great admiration and respect for him and all that he has accomplished. He has truly left his mark on Augustana and I will be forever grateful for the wisdom and advice he has passed on to me throughout this presidential transition.

As I begin my new role, I want you to know I pledge to use my God-given talents and abilities to their utmost potential to serve this great place — a place that does good and important work; a place so many hold dear.

Like Rob, I, too, am excited to share this issue of The Augustana with you. The pages that follow illustrate why I respect and revere Augustana, and why I am so honored to have the chance to be part of it. This is a place dedicated to making a positive impact on the world in a tradition guided by the Christian faith. From Augustana, graduates receive foundational teachings designed to do good and serve humankind — teachings that also provide strength and inspiration over the course of a lifetime.

So thank you for entrusting me with your Augustana. I’m looking forward to working with you as we begin a new chapter and write new pages of possibility for future generations of Vikings.

Yours, for Augustana,
Stephanie Herseth Sandlin