I imagine a lot has changed for you in recent weeks. I hope you are well and finding some peace and balance in this new reality. When you have a moment, let me know how you are doing. Could we schedule a time to talk by phone or a video call? I would welcome that.
Augsburg’s President Paul Pribbenow sent an email yesterday sharing news from our campus related to the coronavirus and news of layoffs and furloughs. I’m writing to follow up with members of the Alumni Board, the AWE Board, the Augsburg Associates, the A-Club Board, All School Reunion volunteers and other leadership volunteers who have worked with staff in our division who were included in lay-offs or furloughed.
While these transitions are tough, I want to let you know that we are 100% committed to supporting you in your volunteer work. Building relationships between Auggies and between our alumni and the University means a great deal to all of us. While it may be a bit before we can get together for in-person meetings and events, there are many ways our work will continue over the coming months.
If you haven’t already, please add me to your address book. My mobile phone is 651-283-7949. Think of me as the primary contact in Advancement for your volunteer work. Please also feel free to send me thoughts and ideas. I’ll share regular updates with you by email and through my “good news” blog.
Where do we find good news in all of this?
The place where I find silver lining is that, unlike similar disasters experienced by humanity, this one strikes when we are at our strongest. If I can lean on my liberal arts background for just a bit… in the 14th century, a pandemic spread from East Asia to Britain in a span of 10 years and between 25% and 50% of the entire world’s population died. By the time the contagion was gone, no one had any idea what it was, what caused it, how it spread, or even how it could be stopped.
Today, however, humanity already knows what virus caused this outbreak, we’ve mapped its entire genome, and developed several ways of determining whether a person was sick or not.
Our response to this disaster is stronger thanks to places like Augsburg University and servant leaders like Paul Mueller ’84 at the Mayo Clinic, Ray Yip ’77 who worked for the Center for Disease Control and the Gates Foundation, Jean Gaudette ’14 who is a nurse manager at Fairview Hospital, Nick Gangestad ’86 who is the CFO at 3M, and thousands of Augsburg nurses, physicians assistants, doctors, researchers, logistics managers and more.
At times like this, the world depends on informed citizens, thoughtful stewards, critical thinkers, and responsible leaders. Thank you for being one of them. It is an honor to work with you and everyone to ensure that our mission continues.