The Top AU Stories of 2021

2021 Top Stories

December 31, 2021

Written by Public Relations & Communications Strategist Jill Wilson


As 2021 comes to a close, we look back at the top stories from Augustana University over the last year. 



Midco Commits $1.35 Million Gift to Augustana University

Augustana announced that Midco committed $1.35 million to enhancing its long-standing strategic partnership with the university, investing in Viking Bold: The Journey to 2030.



Augustana University Releases Class of 2020 Outcomes Report

Despite the ongoing pandemic, an Outcomes Report by Augustana showed that 97 percent of 2020 graduates found employment in their major or chosen field.

Delman Family Donates $500K to Benefit Augie Access Program

Augustana announced a $500,000 gift from Eric and Danae (Smith) Delman ‘77 of Alexandria, Virginia, designated to benefit the Augie Access Program within the Sharon Lust School of Education.

Donation Creates Pilot Beacom Research Fellows Program at Augustana University

Augustana announced a donation from Miles and Lisa Beacom of Sioux Falls, which created a 2-year pilot of Augustana Research Institutes' Beacom Research Fellows Program.



Augustana's Endowment Fund Surpasses $100 Million

For the first time in its 161-year history, Augustana announced that the university’s endowment fund surpassed $100 million.



Augustana University Student Named 2021 Goldwater Scholar

Augustana announced that Elizabeth Kiffmeyer ‘22, of Woodbury, Minnesota, was named a 2021 Goldwater Scholar by the Barry Goldwater Scholarship & Excellence in Education Foundation via a press release on Mar. 26.

Augustana’s Diversity Advocate Certification Program Named National Award Winner

Augustana announced that the National Association for Campus Activities (NACA) awarded the university’s Diversity Advocate Certification Program with The Outstanding Diversity Achievement Award.

Augustana’s Bowden Field Set for Complete Renovation

Augustana’s Athletics Department announced the renovation of Bowden Field — home of Viking Softball.



Augustana Announces 2021 Covenant Award Recipients

Five Augustana students received a 2021 Covenant Award in a virtual ceremony held on May 7 — lifting up those who exemplify the university’s core values: Christian, Liberal Arts, Excellence, Community and Service.

Augustana University Breaks Ground on $50 Million Project for New, Improved Housing

Augustana announced a $50 million housing plan focused on new and enhanced facilities that will serve the educational, spiritual and holistic needs of its students and staff, as well as inspire others in the community who utilize its campus. 

NCLEX Results Highlight Nursing Department's Legacy of Excellence

Augustana's nursing program has increased its NCLEX pass rate by 4% since 2018, positioning the university at the top of South Dakota’s Bachelor of Science in nursing programs. 



Augustana’s School of Music and South Dakota Symphony Orchestra Formalize Artistic Partnership

Augustana’s School of Music (SoM) announced that it is the proud artistic partner of the largest arts organization in the state — the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra (SDSO).



Augustana Announces Plans for Campus in Costa Rica

Augustana announced that the university will offer a semester-long study abroad program in Central America with a physical location in Costa Rica.



An Augustana First: Nursing Alumni, Faculty Emeriti Receive DAISY Lifetime Achievement Award

Drs. Joyce and Margot Nelson were named recipients of the DAISY Lifetime Achievement Award — a first for Augustana. 

Augustana Announces Inaugural Deans for School of Health Professions, School of Business

Dr. Matt Volansky was named the inaugural Dean of the School of Health Professions and Dr. Marcia Entwistle as the inaugural dean of the School of Business.



Augustana University Ranked Top 10 Regional University by U.S. News & World Report

Augustana was named a top regional university for the third year-in-a-row by U.S. News & World Report’s 2022 Best College Rankings.

AU Welcomes 2,000+ Students in Academic Year 2021-22

A total of 2,022 students — including part- and full-time undergraduate and graduate students — chose to embark on a bold future at Augustana.

First Beacom Research Fellows Reflect on Learning Opportunities

A generous donation from Lisa and Miles Beacom in February allowed Augustana students the chance to conduct impactful, hands-on research while better serving the Sioux Falls community.

Augustana Athletics to Add Women’s Lacrosse in 2023-24 Academic Year

Continuing with Augustana University’s strategic plan — Viking Bold: The Journey to 2030 — Augustana Athletics announced the addition of women’s lacrosse beginning in the 2023-24 academic year. 

Augustana’s Journey Scholars Program Sees Significant Growth, Empowers First-Year Students of Color

In only its third year at Augustana, the Journey Scholars Program has seen significant growth. A total of 46 prospective students applied, and among those students, 27 committed to the program — more than double the number of students who participated last year.



Augustana University Formally Announces Addition of Men’s Hockey Program, Breaks Ground on Midco Arena

Augustana officially announced on Oct. 5, that it will be home to the Viking Men’s Hockey program — set to take the ice in the fall of 2023.

Augustana Crowns Afzal, Ziems as 2021 Viking Days Royals

Augustana students Taha Afzal and Becca Ziems ‘22 were crowned the 2021 Viking Days Royals at coronation on Oct. 4. 

Augustana’s Health Sciences Makes Move to Virtual Cadaver Technology: ‘The evolution of educational methods has been amazing’

Augustana announced that it has an Anatomage Virtual Cadaver table — one of only two known tables in South Dakota and one of only a few in the region.

Augustana Develops Model to Promote Students’ Overall Well-Being

Augustana developed a model integrating the key dimensions of well-being, and highlighting the interdisciplinary connections to success.



Augustana and its Alumni Reflect on Band’s 125th Anniversary

A celebration of the Augustana Band’s 125th anniversary took place on Thursday, Nov. 11. The concert at the Washington Pavilion entitled “A Prairie of Voices,” featured the All City Middle School Honor Band, as well as a commissioned piece by Dr. James M. David — an internationally-recognized composer.

The 2021 NCAA Woman of the Year, Kendall Cornick

Kendall Cornick, an All-America softball player at Augustana, who majored in biology and psychology at Augustana, is the 2021 NCAA Woman of the Year. She was announced as the winner on Nov. 9, during a streamed awards show celebrating the Top 30 honorees.

Augustana's Svenningsen Chosen as First South Dakota Professor to Conduct South Dakota All-State Chorus

Dr. Russell Svenningsen, Augustana School of Music director of vocal studies and associate professor of music, was the first South Dakota professor to have conducted the 69th Annual South Dakota All-State Chorus, hosted by the South Dakota High School Activities Association (SDHSAA).

Vietnam Veteran Bestowed Honorary Degree: 'It's an honor that Augustana would recognize me'

Augustana conferred on Nov. 11, an honorary Bachelor of Arts degree to Sgt. Gene Murphy. When Murphy enrolled at Augustana in 1972, he had already been a veteran for more than three years. In 1979, just 16 credits shy of meeting graduation requirements at the time.

Augustana Recognized as 2021 Call for Code University Engagement Award Winner

Augustana was recognized with the 2021 Call for Code University Engagement Award — recognizing organizations that have exhibited a deep commitment to Call for Code.

‘A golden opportunity’: AU Students Named Global Finalists in 2021 Call for Code University Challenge

Augustana students Onajite Taire ‘22 and Gedion Alemayehu ‘22 were part of a team that was named a global finalist for the 2021 Call for Code University Challenge.

AU Becomes Only College in South Dakota to Earn Holistic Nursing Program Endorsement

Augustana nursing program within its School of Health Professions was officially endorsed as a Holistic Nursing Program by the American Holistic Nurses Credentialing Corporation (AHNCC) — the only college in South Dakota and one of only 17 schools in the nation to earn this accreditation.



Augustana University Becomes Avid Learning Partner

When Augustana launched the School of Music in the spring of 2020, its key initiatives included establishing a new multimedia entrepreneurship major with the Avid Learning Partner (ALP) program at its core.

Four New Members Elected to Augustana University’s Board of Trustees

On Dec. 3-4, the Augustana Board of Trustees installed four new board members. Joining the Board of Trustees for 3-year terms, beginning in January 2022, are Manaal Ali ‘20, Cheryl Collins, Andrea DeGroot-Nesdahl and Damien Fair ‘98.

Media Inquiries: Contact Jill Wilson, public relations & communications strategist.

Share this Page