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Augsburg College

Augsburg College
Augsburg College Seal
Motto Education for Service
Established 1869
Type Private liberal arts college
Religious affiliation
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Endowment $33 million[1]
President Paul C. Pribbenow
Provost Karen L. Kaivola
Students 3,822
Undergraduates 3,015
Postgraduates 807
Location Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
Campus Urban
Colors Maroon and Gray          [2]
Athletics NCAA Division IIIMIAC
Nickname Auggies
Mascot Eagle

Augsburg College is a private, coeducational liberal arts college located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It was founded as Augsburg Seminary in 1869 as a Norwegian-American Seminary. Its first college class entered the fall of 1874. The college enrolls approximately 3000 undergraduate students and 800 graduate students. The school is known for its service learning where volunteering in the community is both an instructional strategy and a requirement of a student’s coursework. In 2010 Augsburg College was one of six higher education institutions in the nation to receive the 2010 Presidential Award for Community Service.


  • History 1
    • Nobel Peace Prize Forum 1.1
  • Academic life 2
    • Academic offerings 2.1
    • Awards and Rankings 2.2
  • Campus 3
    • Residence halls 3.1
    • Other buildings 3.2
    • Future expansion 3.3
  • Student life 4
    • Campus organizations 4.1
      • The Echo 4.1.1
      • KAUG 4.1.2
      • Women in Film 4.1.3
  • Mission 5
  • Church affiliation 6
  • Presidents of Augsburg 7
  • Notable alumni 8
  • Athletics 9
    • Conference championships 9.1
  • See also 10
  • Notes 11
  • References 12
  • External links 13


Augsburg was the first seminary founded by Norwegian Lutherans in America, named after the Augsburg Confession, the confession of faith presented by Lutherans in Augsburg, Germany, in 1530. Augsburg opened in September 1869, in Marshall, Wisconsin, and moved to Minneapolis in 1872. Undergraduate classes first began in the fall of 1874 with the first class graduating in the spring of 1879. In 1893, Augsburg leaders formed the "Friends of Augsburg", which became the Lutheran Free Church in 1897. Women were first admitted to the college in 1921. The school was officially known as Augsburg Seminary until 1942 when the name was changed to Augsburg College and Theological Seminary although that name had been informally used since the 1910s. When the Lutheran Free Church merged with the American Lutheran Church in 1963 Augsburg Seminary merged with Luther Seminary in Saint Paul and the name of the school officially became Augsburg College. There was also a high school level Augsburg Academy on campus until it closed in 1933.

Norwegian Lutherans to minister to immigrants and to provide such "college" studies that would prepare students for theological study.

In 1874 they proposed a three-part plan: first, train ministerial candidates; second, prepare future theological students; and third, educate the farmer, worker, and businessman. The statement stressed that a good education is also practical. Augsburg’s next two presidents also emphatically rejected ivory tower concepts of education. This commitment to church and community has led to Augsburg’s theme of over 130 years: Education for Service.

Hillary Clinton campaigning at Augsburg College, two days before Super Tuesday 2008.
Flags fly at Augsburg College, during the 25th annual Nobel Peace Prize Forum (2013).

This attitude began to change after World War II, Augsburg leaders made vigorous efforts to expand and improve academic offerings. Now the College was a larger part of the institution than the seminary and received the most attention.

As a result, Augsburg added departments essential to a liberal arts college, offering a modern college program based on general education requirements and elective majors. The seminary moved to Luther Theological Seminary (now Luther Seminary) in St. Paul in 1963 when the Lutheran Free Church merged with the American Lutheran Church. Augsburg continues to reflect the commitment and dedication of the founders who believed an Augsburg education should be preparation for service in community and church. Providing an education grounded in vocational calling, that provides students both the theoretical learning and the practical experience to succeed in a global, diverse world.[3]

Nobel Peace Prize Forum

In 2012 and 2013, Augsburg College housed the Nobel Peace Prize Forum. This event brought members of the world's most exclusive club— Nobel Peace Prize Laureates to the Augsburg College campus. It provided an opportunity for students and staff of Augsburg to interact with people who have fundamentally made a large change in the world.[4]

Academic life

Augsburg College is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. In the past 5 years, Augsburg students have earned honors including Rhodes Scholarships, Fulbright Scholarships and many other awards and grants.[3]

The student-faculty ratio at Augsburg College is 16:1, and the school has 64.4 percent of its classes with fewer than 20 students. The most popular majors at Augsburg College include: Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services; Education; Health Professions and Related Programs; Communication, Journalism, and Related Programs; and Social Sciences.[5]

Academic offerings

Augsburg strives to educate both traditional and non-traditional students, offering undergraduate degrees in over 50 major areas of study. The College also grants eight graduate degrees:

  • the Master of Arts in Education,
  • the Master of Arts in Leadership,
  • the Master in Business Administration,
  • the Master of Social Work,
  • the Master of Arts in Nursing,
  • the Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies,
  • the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing, and
  • the Master of Music Therapy

Augsburg offers one postgraduate degree:

Awards and Rankings

In 2010 Augsburg College was one of six higher education institutions in the nation to receive the 2010 Presidential Award for Community Service, the highest honor in the annual President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.[3][6]

U.S. News & World Report named Augsburg as one of the best colleges for service-learning, which includes 31 schools across the country where volunteering in the community is both an instructional strategy and a requirement of a student's coursework. According to the U.S. News & World Report rankings, Augsburg College is 23th in its Regional University Midwest Ranking.[7][1]

U.S. News & World Report also consistently ranks Augsburg College as a Tier 1 institution for its Physician Assistant program. In 2013, Augsburg ranked #70 in the nation.[8] Augsburg shares the #70 rank with the following institutions: University of Southern California, Western University of Health Sciences, and the University of New England.[9] Consequently, it is ranked #1 in Minnesota.

On 27 June 2015 at the United International College's 7th Graduation Ceremony in Zhuhai, Augsburg College's President Dr Paul C Pribbenow was rewarded with the Honorary Fellowships.[10]


Old Main of Augsburg College
Location 731 21st Ave., S., Minneapolis, Minnesota
Area less than one acre
Built 1901
Architect Omeyer, Didrik A.; Thori, Martin P.
Architectural style Renaissance Revival
Governing body Private
NRHP Reference # 83003653[11]
Added to NRHP October 6, 1983

Residence halls

Oren Gateway Center, Augsburg College
Urness Tower, Augsburg College
  • Urness Hall is the first-year building. It has 9 floors of traditional-style residence hall rooms (plus two other floors), with one co-ed floor. Each floor is led by a Resident Advisor (RA).
  • Mortensen Hall (known as Mort) is connected to the Urness lobby and has 13 floors of apartment-style housing (eight apartments on every floor). It is the tallest building on the campus. Mortensen Hall is named for Gerda Mortensen, Dean of Women at Augsburg College between 1923 and 1964.[12]
  • Anderson Hall is a four story building with four different styles of housing available. These include single person suites, four person apartments, eight person townhomes (two floors), and 15 person floorhouses.
  • Martin Luther Residence Hall (also known as Luther Hall and formerly known as New Hall until October 1, 2007) was built in 1999 from state funding (because of this there was no major contributor to name the hall after). As it is no longer the newest building with the completion of Oren (see below), the old name of New Hall is misleading.[13] Luther Hall has studios, two bedroom and four bedroom apartments. The apartments all consist of single or double person rooms and have a full kitchen.
  • The Oren Gateway Center is a substance-free residence hall and houses students in the StepUP program, as well as other students who choose sober living and has rooms for 106 students.

Other buildings

  • Old Main is the oldest building on campus and is still in use today. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[11]
  • The Christensen Center contains admissions offices, the cafeteria, a coffee shop, computers, an art gallery, and until August 2007, the bookstore (after which the bookstore moved to the Oren Gateway Center). On March 28, 2008, a student lounge opened in the former bookstore space. It is connected by skyway to Urness Hall/Mortensen Hall.
  • Sverdrup Hall (formerly known as Sverdrup Library until the completion of the Lindell Library in 1998) contains the Enrollment Center and Registrar's Office as well as several class rooms and computer labs on the upper level.
Entrance to Lindell Library
  • The James G. Lindell Library has four levels containing approximately 190,000 items. With the new addition of a computer lab, Academic Advising will soon relocate from Sverdrup to Lindell before 2012.[14] The library is connected to Sverdrup Hall and the Oren Gateway Center by skyway.
  • The Oren Gateway Center is the newest building on campus and has six classrooms, an art gallery, and housing for 106 students.[15]
  • The Foss, Lobeck, Miles, Center for Worship, Drama, Communication contains the chapel, a theater, and several classrooms.
  • The Sverdrup and Oftedal Memorial Hall contains offices for the college's professors.

Future expansion

Several new facilities are currently planned, including the Center for Science, Business, and Religion, a new residence hall to replace Urness Hall, a parking ramp, and other buildings.[16][17]

Student life

Augsburg’s student body totals approximately 3,800 students representing some 40 states, more than 40 foreign countries, and 24 tribal nations/reservations. The main campus newspaper is the Augsburg Echo with a circulation over 1000. The college is a nationally recognized leader in providing services to students with physical or learning disabilities, and to students in recovery through its acclaimed “StepUP Program”. StepUP is Augsburg's nationally acclaimed program for students in recovery from drug and alcohol abuse. The program provides a sober environment for about 60 students in the Oren Gateway Center (see below). The program has an excellent success rate: 84% abstinence over 538 people between 1997 and 2007.[18]

This on-campus diversity is enhanced by Augsburg's location in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood, the Twin Cities' most culturally diverse neighborhood. The largest concentration of Somali immigrants in the U.S. is located throughout the Augsburg neighborhood, and one of the largest urban Native American populations is within one mile. Augsburg is also located in the heart of a major theater center. The College has been designated as a Minnesota Indian Teacher Training Program site. The College's location also provides access for all of Augsburg's students to participate in community service, such as through Campus Kitchen, and internship experiences that not only enhance their classroom learning but also prepare them for life's work in a multi-cultural society.

On 26 August 2014, some students from Augsburg College went to BNU-HKBU United International College to be interns.[19]

Campus organizations

Augsburg students have opportunities for involvement in more than 50 clubs and organizations, including student academic societies, publications, Student Government, Augsburg Business Organization, Augsburg Asian Student Association, Campus Ministry, Augsburg College Pre-law Society, Pan-Afrikan and Pan-Asian Student Union, forensics, cheerleading, Amnesty International, Intertribal Student Union and the Hispanic/Latino Student Association.

The Echo

The Augsburg College Echo
Type Student newspaper
Owner(s) Augsburg College
Publisher Print Group Midwest
Editor-in-chief Becki Iverson
News editor Dave Madsen
Staff writers appx. 20
Founded 1896
Language English
Headquarters Christensen Center 1G
Augsburg College
731 21st Ave. S. CB 148
Minneapolis, MN 55454
Circulation 1000
ISSN 0004-7945
OCLC number 1518618

The Echo is the student-produced newspaper for the College.

The Echo consists of 8 pages divided into five sections: News, Opinions and Editorials, Sports, Arts and Entertainment, and Features. The paper is printed in black and white on tabloid-sized paper.[20] The faculty advisor is Boyd Koehler.[21]

As of 2014, all known issues of the Augsburg Echo have been scanned and made available at

In 2006, the Echo won Organization of the Year. The Echo is printed by Print Group Midwest on recycled paper.


KAUG is Augsburg's student radio station, based in the Auggies' Nest in the basement of Christensen Center. KAUG streams 24 hours-a-day online through their website[22] and can be heard on the airwaves on 91.7 FM within a 2-mile radius of the campus.

KAUG provides a venue for a number of DJs, which play several genres of music and talk radio. The organization prides itself in giving students a medium to let their voices be heard and in giving students hands-on experience in the studio.

Women in Film

Women in Film is a student group dedicated to the advancement of women in the film and television industry. The group discusses the depiction of women on the screen and their roles behind the camera. [23]


Augsburg College educates students to be informed citizens, thoughtful stewards, critical thinkers, and responsible leaders. The Augsburg experience is supported by an engaged community that is committed to intentional diversity in its life and work. An Augsburg education is defined by excellence in the liberal arts and professional studies, guided by the faith and values of the Lutheran church, and shaped by its urban and global settings.[24]

Church affiliation

Church Years
Scandinavian Evangelical Lutheran Augustana Synod in North America 1869–1870
Conference of the Norwegian-Danish Evangelical Lutheran Church of America 1870–1890
United Norwegian Lutheran Church of America
also Friends of Augsburg 1893–1897
Lutheran Free Church 1897–1963
American Lutheran Church 1963–1987
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America 1988–present

Presidents of Augsburg

Number Name Years Notes
1st August Weenaas 1869–1876
2nd Georg Sverdrup 1876–1907
3rd Sven Oftedal 1907–1911
4th George Sverdrup 1911–1937
son of the first
Henry N. Hendrickson 1937–1938
5th Bernhard M. Christensen 1938–1962
6th Leif S. Harbo 1962–1963
7th Oscar A. Anderson 1963–1980
8th Charles S. Anderson 1980–1997
Not related to the first
9th William V. Frame 1997–2006
First non-Norwegian
10th Paul C. Pribbenow 2006–

Notable alumni

Former NBA Player Peter Agre, M.D. '70, 2003 Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry and faculty member at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
  • Jill Billings, Wisconsin State Assembly
  • Rev. Mark Hanson, '71, Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
  • Roger Huerta, former wrestler, mixed martial artist once competing in the Ultimate Fighting Championship and Bellator Fighting Championship
  • Rev. Herbert W. Chilstrom, '54, Retired (and the first) Presiding Bishop of the ELCA.
  • Martin Sabo, '59, former U.S. Representative.
  • Janet Letnes Martin and Suzann (Johnson) Nelson, '68, authors and winners of a Minnesota Book Award.
  • Paul Mikelson, '70, President and CEO, Lyngblomsten Care Center.
  • Richard Green, '59, (Deceased) Minneapolis and New York City school superintendent.
  • Syl Jones, ’71, playwright, author and newspaper columnist.
  • James Pederson, '30, played in the National Football League from 1930-32 with the Minneapolis Red Jackets, Frankford Yellow Jackets and Chicago Bears.
  • Gene Hugoson, '67, Minnesota Commissioner of Agriculture.
  • Dave Stevens '91, amputee athlete born without legs, who played college football. Only congenital amputee to ever play college sports.
  • National Basketball Association player for the Los Angeles Lakers, the Dallas Mavericks and the Golden State Warriors.
  • Lute Olson, basketball coach at University of Iowa and Arizona, coached Arizona to a national championship.
  • Nathan Johnson, Professional mixed martial artist currently fighting in the Ultimate Fighting Championships in the lightweight division.
  • Anne Panning, '88, writer, winner of 2006 Flannery O'Connor Award for Super America
  • Jim Pederson, American football player
  • Marcus LeVesseur, '07 4-time Wrestling National Champion (2003–05, 2007), 4-time Minnesota State High School Wrestling Champion (1998–2001). LeVesseur is the first Division III wrestler with four national titles. He is only the second college wrestler ever to finish his career unbeaten and untied, with a 155–0 career record (Cael Sanderson was the first). LeVesseur is currently competing in Mixed Martial Arts.
  • Oscar S. Paulson, Wisconsin State Senate
  • Jane Jeong Trenka, activist, author, and winner of a Minnesota Book Award.
  • Athletics

    Augsburg Auggies logo adopted in 2005

    The Augsburg Auggies are a member of the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC). Augsburg College participates in NCAA Division III Athletics. The wrestling team has won twelve NCAA Division III National team wrestling champions: 1991, 1993, 1995, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2005, 2007, 2010 and 2015. The men's hockey team had won 3 NAIA national ice hockey championships in 1978, 1981 and 1982.

    • Men's Varsity Sports (9): baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, ice hockey, soccer, track & field, wrestling
    • Women's Varsity Sports (10): basketball, cross country, golf, ice hockey, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming, track & field, volleyball
    Edor Nelson Field at Augsburg

    Conference championships

    MIAC Championships
    Season Sport Number of Championships Year
    Fall football, men's 2 1928c, 1997
    Fall soccer, men's 4 1973, 1974, 1975, 1980
    Fall golf, men's 1 1995
    Winter hockey, men's 8 1928, 1977c, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981c, 1982, 1998c
    Winter hockey, women's 2 1999c, 2000c
    Winter basketball, men's 13 1927, 1946c, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1975c, 1976, 1977, 1980, 1984, 1985, 1998, 1999
    Winter wrestling,* men's 31 1961, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003
    Spring baseball, men's 10 1931, 1943, 1947, 1948, 1959c, 1961, 1963, 1973, 1975, 1987
    Spring softball, women's 3 1982, 1983, 1984
    Spring tennis, men's 3 1948 doubles, 1951 single, 1968 doubles
    Total 77
    • c co champions
    • *Wrestling is no longer a MIAC sponsor sport
    • Auggies athletics webpage
    • Auggie football records
    • Frank Haege current football coach

    See also


    1. ^ As of June 30, 2009.
    2. ^ Augsburg Graphic Identity Standards, Augsburg College Marketing and Communication. Retrieved March 16, 2010.
    3. ^ a b c 1. Retrieved June 9, 2012.
    4. ^ [2]. Retrieved September 12, 2013.
    5. ^ 1 1. Retrieved June 9, 2012.
    6. ^ [3]. Augsburg College News Archives. Retrieved September 11, 2013.
    7. ^ 2 1. Retrieved September 11, 2015.
    8. ^ [4]. Retrieved September 11, 2013.
    9. ^ [5]. Retrieved September 11, 2013.
    10. ^ UIC holds 7th Graduation Ceremony and Honorary Fellowship Conferment
    11. ^ a b
    12. ^ Chrislock, Carl H. "From Fjord to Freeway." Augsburg College, 1969, p. 228.
    13. ^
    14. ^ accessed November 7, 2010. Retrieved June 9, 2012.
    15. ^
    16. ^
    17. ^
    18. ^
    19. ^ UIC welcomes 20 international interns aboard
    20. ^ “About Us” April 29, 2008 29 April 2008
    21. ^ “Campus Organizations” 2008 29 April 2008
    22. ^ KAUG website. Retrieved June 9, 2012.
    23. ^
    24. ^


    • Chrislock, Carl H. "From Fjord to Freeway: 100 years, Augsburg College" (Minneapolis: Augsburg College 1969)

    External links

    • Augsburg College Website
    • Augsburg College Athletics Website
    • Augsburg College Alumni Website
    • Augsburg College "Homemade" Website
    • Access to Excellence Campaign
    • Inside Augsburg
    • Augsburg College Echo
    • All previous issues of the Augsburg Echo
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