Skip to main content
Cole Bathje
More Than I Imagined Seniors reflect on accomplishments and look ahead

Cole Bathje

Graduation year: 2022

High school: Rockford East High

Hometown: Rockford, Ill.

Majors: Multimedia journalism and mass communication; communication studies

Minor: Political science

Activities: Student Life Programming Board, Greek Council, Campus Ministries, Fishing Club, Rho Nu Delta fraternity, Welcome Week

Internships: Fundraising and special projects intern for Angie Normoyle for Congress; Our Saviors Lutheran Church (Rockford) multimedia content intern

Post-grad plans: Fundraising and community engagement director for Rockford Promise

Why Augustana?

Augustana has given me so much more then I could have imagined. It made me into a leader and showed me how I could have the best four years of my life, while also learning and growing in many ways.

Are you where you thought you'd be when you first came to campus?

Absolutely not. Never in a million years did I think I would be where I am now. The opportunities that I have been able to experience are so unique to Augustana. I have become a better person, while finding out who I am.

Who helped you get to where you are now?

Working in the OSL [Office of Student Life] with student programming and Greek life have made me the leader that I am. It has given me a passion and mission to believe in and to become the best person I can be. Ken Brill and Tia Fuhr, as well as the Augie students, helped me.

All of the work that goes into events in the OSL is so students can enjoy their time at Augustana, Playing a role in that and getting to see the smile on kids' faces after a successful program make me ecstatic.

Peak experience?

Planning Welcome Week this year and knowing that even though I’m a senior and I’m leaving, the events and programs that I did for the freshmen — and seeing their reactions — will continue to make Augustana amazing.

What surprised you?

How time goes so fast. Augustana has so much to offer that it's important to be involved in as much as you can because being busy and taking advantage of everything have allowed me to grow in different ways.

How did you use your Augie Choice?

I used Augie Choice while I worked in the OSL office during the summer and planned programs for the school year.

What will you miss the most?

The Augustana community — everyone being so close with one another.

Advice for the Class of 2026?

Get involved with everything you can. It is so important and will allow you to make friends and make connections.

"When I first met Cole, I assumed he was an Eagle Scout. Cole is a true servant leader with a strong set of values and the wisdom one might expect from a grandparent. His confidence is contagious, and he used his charm and charisma to engage his peers in the 'life of the college.' The Office of Student Life was fortunate that Cole found a home here early in his college career. I am confident that he will lead a life of service in the support of others and continue to have a very big impact on the communities he serves."

– Ken Brill, associate dean and director of the Office of Student Life and Leadership