Augustana College has been located in Rock Island, Ill., since 1875. This historic town is just off Interstate 80, almost midway between Chicago, 165 miles to the east, and Des Moines, 176 miles to the west. Airline and bus connections are located near campus.
Rock Island once was the home of a Native-American population estimated at 40,000: the Sac and Fox tribes under the leadership of Keokuk, Black Hawk and Wapella. In 1816, 13 years after the Louisiana Purchase, Fort Armstrong was built on the island of Rock Island in the Mississippi River. During the Civil War, the federal government established the Rock Island Arsenal on the island, and along with it, a major prison for Confederate soldiers. The ﬁrst railroad bridge across the Mississippi was built at Rock Island in 1856.
Rock Island is one of several cities in the metropolitan area known as the Quad Cities. The other principal municipalities are Moline and East Moline, Ill., and directly across the river, Davenport and Bettendorf, Iowa. The total population of the area is more than 400,000, making the Quad Cities the largest population center between Chicago and Des Moines.
Many recreational, cultural and learning resources are available in this metropolitan center. Augustana has a strong network in the Quad-Cities community, with cooperative programs in many areas. Centennial Hall on campus is host to tens of thousands annually for concerts, lectures and art exhibitions. Excellent schools, businesses, non-profit organizations, churches and community centers actively join in support of the college enterprise through internships, service-learning opportunities, student teaching and research assignments.