Category Archives: Good News

Augsburg Moved Online in Many Ways

Visit to take an online campus tour.

One month ago Governor Walz issued our “shelter in place” order beginning a long stretch of isolation and changes that previously were unthinkable. All of us are adapting to this new, challenging reality.

Thanks to quick moving faculty and staff, Augsburg classes are now online. Most of our students left campus with the exception of about 200 who didn’t have other good living options. We’ve provided laptops and emergency aid to students in need while we continue to do everything we can to help them finish the year strong and on track to get the degrees they seek. We are deeply grateful to everyone who has helped make this transition including hundreds of donors who have given more than $385,000 to support emergency needs.

In addition to online classes, a number of other activities and events are happening via the internet for example:

All Student Juried Art Show

Daily Chapel

Music Rehearsals

The Auggie Awards Ceremony recognizing student athletes

Campus tours for high school students

Commencement on Friday, May 29

Click on the links above and join us online to check out the new ways we are connecting with students, alumni, and the community.

Work in our Advancement division continues too. Over the last couple of weeks a primary concern has been announcing and working through lay offs and transitioning responsibilities. We appreciate all the ways you and others have offered support to those impacted by these sudden and heartbreaking changes. Sustaining the mission of Augsburg and supporting the thousands of students who depend on us is critical and still, even when we know financial realities require reductions, it is hard.

We’ve launched a new series of live Facebook events which you can join in real time or watch when it in convenient for you on our Augsburg Alumni Association Facebook page.

We’ve canceled, postponed, or moved online all Advancement events and meetings for the foreseeable future including the Sesquicentennial All-School Reunion which is postponed until Homecoming 2021, all upcoming reunions and gatherings which are postponed until future notice, and I expect the next Alumni Board meeting in June will be held via Zoom. We had a number of international travel programs planned for this summer which have all been canceled. And our gift officers who normally are out meeting alumni and other donors are staying in touch by phone. video calls, and email.

As we move forward I’m sure we will find lots of new and interesting ways to build connections online. I’ll keep you posted!

Augsburg Moves Up in Rankings

This is the time of year when US News & World Report and many other publications release rankings of colleges and universities. The July/August issue of Trusteeship from the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges has a very good article titled “Demystifying Rankings and Ratings” that is worth reading if you are interested. It points to a study by an organization affiliated with Stanford’s Graduate School of Education that basically concludes “most rankings tell you primarily how famous a school is.”

That said, we just took a nice jump up in the rankings so I hope you’ll let me brag a bit!

This year, Augsburg is ranked 13th in the Best Regional Universities – Midwest category. Last year, Augsburg was ranked 20th, and in 2018 Augsburg was ranked 29th.

New rankings for Augsburg this year in the Regional Universities Midwest group include #8 in Best Colleges for Veterans, #6 for Most Innovative Schools (up from #14), #9 in Best Undergraduate Teaching, and #4 in Top Performers on Social Mobility. Good news, right?

Your philanthropy plays a big role in college rankings. 20% of the overall calculation looks at class size, faculty salary, faculty with the highest degree in their fields, student-faculty ratio and proportion of faculty who are full time. 10% of the ranking formula looks at institutional financial resources–the average spending per student on instruction, research, student services, and related educational expenditures. Alumni giving is 5% of the formula. We’ve made gains in these areas and others thanks to donors who support Augsburg’s mission. Thank you!

Welcome to the Class of 2023

This is a big year at Augsburg! The first-year class is the largest in our history by an increase of nearly 50%! For the third year in a row, the majority of our students are students of color. And once again, the academic profile of our student body has gone up. The dorms are full. The cafeteria is loud. The Hagfors Center is buzzing.

And parking is worse than ever which I don’t even mind because maximizing what Augsburg can offer students and our community is worth it.

Here is the first photo of the Class of 2023! A great looking group to kick off our next 150 years.

2013—A Year for Augsburg Breakthroughs, A Time for Thanks

Already, it’s been a great start to a new year, but before we get much further into January, I want to invite you to join me in celebrating some remarkable moments for Augsburg from 2013. Many of you know that I found myself agreeing to dedicate myself to the campaign to bring a new center to the heart of the Augsburg campus—the Center for Science, Business, and Religion.


I am always amazed by what happens when we set our attention on what Jim Collins, the best-selling business writer, calls a BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal). Everything starts to point toward achieving that goal.


Alumni stepping up in big ways

Augsburg made a real commitment to leadership, placing first among colleges and universities in Minnesota for the Give To The Max Day (November 14), and fourth overall. We reported the results in detail in our previous newsletters.


Since our Regent-sponsored Leadership Summit on October 3, more than 200 alumni, friends and supporters have added more than $570,000 to the campaign totals. Most of these new gifts to the CSBR have been donated by alumni. With the closing of the financials for 2013, the campaign has currently raised $26.1 million. Our next very important target is to secure a total of $34 million by the end of April. Each of you reading this newsletter already knows why this date is so important. The Regents will use our progress toward that number as a guidepost for determining a “shovel in the ground” date to begin building the center, thus setting in motion the process of bringing it from idea to reality.


It’s the people who make all the difference

As important as all these numbers are in helping us track our progress and momentum, it is the people who generously make their commitment to Augsburg and its future, and the students and faculty working each day on the task of teaching and learning, that inspire us as we keep our eyes on the target.


People like you

As you read through the profiles of generosity that follow here, I hope you will also identify with their stories. As I have said before, I invite you to do three things:

  • Prayerfully consider a stretch gift to the campaign
  • Think about who you know who needs to hear the story of this special place
  • Become a class leader and join the effort to raise $1 million or more per class


Thank you to every one of you who shares our vision, who believes in the importance of investing in the Augsburg of today and tomorrow. I can feel the energy growing, growing toward our vital destination.


Mike Good ’71
National Campaign Chair

It’s a Great Time to Give Thanks to Augsburg

Each year I welcome this season of Advent. It’s a time for inward reflection and anticipation of the coming of the Light of the world. Augsburg celebrates this season with remarkable music and varied celebrations as we enter the holy season and celebrate in the spirit of Christmas. For all of us who care about Augsburg, it is also a great time to give thanks for this College.

When I consider all that happened for Augsburg in 2013, it is a robust list of achievements including:

  • The largest freshman class in our history
  • Significant research grants to fund faculty work, especially in the sciences, and
  • The largest single philanthropic gift—$10 million—given by an anonymous alumnus.

Auggies also came together to set a record for Give to the Max Day, placing the College in the enviable #1 spot among all Minnesota colleges and universities and #4 among all Minnesota nonprofit organizations in total gifts received ($313,639 from 837 donors).

We have surpassed one of our benchmark campaign goals with total gifts and pledges to the Center for Science, Business, and Religion exceeding $25.5 million. Surely groundbreaking will be just around the corner as more and more alumni, friends and supporters commit to make Augsburg the strongest College we can be.

We enter 2014 with renewed faith and vision of the completion of a new academic building that will serve all our students and faculty. This transformational facility will position us to achieve the goals set forth in the Augsburg 2019 Strategic Vision.

Included in this issue of Good News are more stories of alumni and friends who have made their commitment to this bright future. Thank you for joining us, and for your generosity.

Another example of the College’s commitment to interdisciplinary dialog around the intersection of Science, Business, and Religion is the annual Peace Prize Forum. We were honored two years ago to be given the opportunity to host this event every year on Augsburg’s campus in partnership with the University of Minnesota and our fellow Norwegian colleges and universities.

The Nobel Peace Prize Forum is a unique civic learning experience. This dynamic, global event brings Nobel Peace Prize winners, civic leaders, and scholars together with students and other citizens. As the Norwegian Nobel Institute’s only such program or academic affiliation outside of Norway, the Forum has a special mission: to inspire peacemaking by celebrating the work of Peace Prize winners. Please plan to attend the 26th annual Peace Prize Forum March 1 and 7-9 in Minneapolis, on the campuses of Augsburg College and the University of Minnesota West Bank.

Have a blessed Christmas!

Mike Good ’71
National Campaign Chair

CSBR Campaign Hits New Milestone, Offers New Opportunities

When you fear or doubt, have faith

Early last month I shared my Believe story with 150 guests of the Regents at a Leadership Summit for the Center for Science, Business and Religion. I have told so many of you how I doubted myself and the call from President Pribbenow asking that I lead the Campaign to bring together three disciplines under one crossroads facility in the CSBR. But I turned my fear and self-doubt into faith and belief. Now I am even more clear that our shared belief is turning into a remarkable momentum for Augsburg’s future.

In a mere 30 days since that exciting Summit, alumni and friends have made new gifts and pledges to the campaign exceeding $600,000, enough to put the campaign over $25 million! We are grateful and inspired by the generosity and support coming from all parts of the Augsburg community. Please read this full press release about the campaign’s important milestone, what comes next and how you can join us.

Max out your Giving to Augsburg on November 14

There is so much good news to share and so many ways to join in the fun. In just a few days, all of us can join with other alumni and friends in our effort to expand giving across Minnesota to Augsburg and many special projects.

Thursday, November 14, is Give to the Max Day, and this year, more than 25 Auggie faculty, staff, and alumni from all over campus are creating their own Give to the Max Day fundraising projects to help Augsburg come in 1st place among all Minnesota colleges and universities.

There’s a project for everyone—from Chemistry to Volleyball and Wrestling, Medieval Studies to Campus Kitchens. Check out all the projects at You can even indicate your giving plans and make sure you get it recorded on November 14, Give to the Max Day in Minnesota.

Great Giving to Class Challenges, including the Class of 2015

You have also heard about the Class Challenge effort led by co-chairs Wayne Jorgenson ’71 and Chris Ascher ’81. The goal is for every class to give at least $1 million to the college and the campaign. (As Wayne and Chris point out, with such a comprehensive and successful giving effort, the campaign for the CSBR will be complete!)

This effort is motivating so many great responses. Indeed, Chris and Wayne report that the classes of 1948-2015 have all contributed to the campaign! Of these, 43 classes have contributed at a $25,000 level or greater. This month the class of 1948 has joined the challenge with two $25,000 gifts.

Encouraging action today!

I appreciate the many ways Auggies are stepping forward. By adding their special contributions, in so many different ways, we are all making sure Augsburg students and faculty will experience a remarkable place for learning–a place designed to stimulate ideas and solutions to the challenges of a complex world.

Please contact me with any questions or suggestions, and to help you make your own gift to support Augsburg for a great future. I can be reached at


Mike Good ’71
National Campaign Chair for the Center for Science, Business, and Religion

2002 Alumnus Makes Leadership Gift

Greetings and thanks for taking time for some Good News!

When the world offers distractions and difficulty, what do you do to renew your focus, energy and optimism?

In last month’s Good News I shared my personal story about my experience of turning doubt toward belief and my decision to lead Augsburg’s campaign for the new Center for Science, Business, and Religion (CSBR) and the positive ripple effects of that commitment.

Recently I found myself in the company of an Auggie whose genuine enthusiasm and sense of purpose reminded me again how one person can renew our excitement!

2002 Alumnus Makes Leadership Gift

In my role as campaign chair, I spend much of my time with alumni and friends of Augsburg who have been out of college for more than 20 years. They’ve had time to establish their lives making a home, career and family. Less often I get to spend time with loyal Augsburg people who are younger, more on the upswing in their lives.

Nick Slack ’02 is one of those people you feel fortunate to get to know. Nick shares my background in two ways, as a wrestler (Nick wrestled and has coached for Augsburg) and as a business man (Nick founded and runs his own sales and marketing company—Nick Slack Sales). Just last week I spoke with Nick at the Regents Leadership Summit where we celebrated donors to the CSBR and discussed ways to encourage more people to add their support to the effort.

Nick has converted his enthusiasm for Augsburg into a leadership gift of $25,000. Plus he won’t stop there. He is also sharing his belief in the college with others, inviting them to join him with their own gifts to bring this vitally important facility from plans to reality.

Next week you will read more about Nick when we profile him in the upcoming Class Challenge Newsletter. I am sure you will find his story exciting and motivating.

Asking You to Do Three Things

So many people inspire me to keep my faith and optimism and to know that with the support of many, with everyone adding what they are inspired and able to do, our goal comes closer to completion and fulfillment.

And, as you are filled with that inspiration, I invite you to remember the three things I ask each of you to do:

  • Prayerfully consider becoming a significant donor to the campaign.
  • Think about who you know who needs to hear the story of this special place.
  • Become a class leader and join the effort to raise $1 million or more per class.

Thanks for your continued interest in Augsburg and its commitment to its students, to prepare them for a life of leadership and service. With your support, we can keep transforming lives for good.


Mike Good ’71

CSBR Believe – Print Your Own

Augsburg’s Capital Campaign Chair Mike Good ’71 has shared with many people his personal story of transforming his belief in the importance of the CSBR Campaign into commitment and action.  The Office of Institutional Advancement has received many requests for copies of the CSBR Believe sign. Download and print your own from this link to a .pdf file.  Watch this short video to learn more about the inspiration for this image.

Building Toward Belief

Greetings and thanks for taking time for some Good News!

As Augsburg welcomes its largest freshman class in its history, I am remembering what helped me decide to become a student at Augsburg and the ways my experiences on campus turned me in a direction that shaped the rest of my life. It’s a decision I know was right for me.

Now, these many years later, I have had a chance to embrace my student experiences, understand how they led me to a career that took me to places I had only imagined, and offered me the opportunity to come full circle so I can give back to the place that gave me so much.

I invite you to take a few minutes to hear a bit more of that story by watching a short video. It will show you what happens when you focus on a goal, let yourself detach from the outcome, and believe. You will see, while some things are not always clear, when you allow yourself to listen and connect to what really matters to you, the answers are right there all along.

After you hear my story, please remember my ever present request—that you join me in the great work of bringing the Center for Science, Business and Religion to the heart of the Augsburg campus. Join me and help move Augsburg forward.


Mike Good ’71

A Campaign To Blow The Lid Off Augsburg

Making Forward Movement

In the past few weeks I have been lucky to visit with several groups of Auggies. They are taking time out from summer activities to reconnect with Augsburg, participate in one of several leadership summits held on campus, and learn first hand about the campaign to build the new Center for Science, Business, and Religion. In these intimate gatherings we have shared stories of our times on campus, met friends, toured the current outdated science building (built in 1949), and heard from faculty and alumni leaders about the urgent need for this unique building.

At each summit I have been impressed with the energy and talents of the people gathered, their curiosity about Augsburg today, and their eagerness to hear more about the distinctive and engaged way Augsburg science faculty work in partnership with their students.

Blowing the Lid Off for Good

One of the moments that stands out for me is when math Professor Tracy Bibelnieks offered an analogy about Augsburg today. She said so many great things are happening: the college mission, the collaborative work involving students, the strong connections among departments and now, the prospect of a distinctive center for the campus. She compared the college to a soda bottle, shaken by activity, but with the cap still on. The new Center for Science, Business, and Religion will explode and “blow the lid off this great college!”

Jim Agre and the Agre Family Believe the Time Has Come for the CSBR

A few days after the recent Chemistry Summit, I received a special phone call from Jim Agre,’72 who had joined us for that gathering. Jim is one member of a large family with close associations to Augsburg. His father, Courtland, came to Augsburg in 1959 to serve as distinguished professor of chemistry, recruited from Berkley by Bernard Christensen. Of his five siblings, Jim and three others graduated from Augsburg, three of them with chemistry majors. And one of them, Peter, ’70 went on to gain the remarkable distinction of winning the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. As a recent graduate, Jim stayed involved with the college for many years by coaching the Augsburg soccer team.  Today Jim works just across the street from Augsburg as a member of the medical staff at the University Medical Center, Fairview.

A few days after the recent Chemistry Summit, Jim contacted his brothers Peter, Mark ’81 and his sister Annetta (Agre) Gardner ’69, suggesting it is their time to act on the values they have carried with them from their family and from Augsburg–to give back to the place where they found and began following their vocations.

The Agre Family was especially moved to support this campaign because of the Agre Challenge, to honor Courtland Agre’s legacy by naming a room in the CSBR.  Steve Larson ’71 has announced that he has made a leadership-level gift toward this effort.  The goal is to reach $250,000 before the end of 2013. In addition to an Agre family donation, Peter has contacted the Nobel Prize offices to request that a replica of his Nobel metal be made to be displayed in the completed building. Not many places can point to such achievement in science.

Join Us

Because of people like these, our work is gaining momentum. So many believe in the power of an Augsburg education to make great discoveries, to change lives, to serve and improve our communities.

As you read on, please remember my three requests:

  • Prayerfully consider making a personal stretch gift to the campaign.
  • Think about who you know who needs to hear the story of this special place.
  • Become a class leader and join the effort to raise $1 million or more per class.

Thank you for being one who can take this movement to the next level. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Mike Good ’71

Campaign Chair