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Leadership: Giving, teaching, and opening doors

Murry Gerber

The largest gift in our history – $40 million

Murry Gerber '75 has made a $40 million commitment to provide financial aid and scholarships to high-achieving students from families with lower incomes, many of whom will be the first in their family to attend college.

Andrea Talentino

Inauguration to highlight Homecoming

Andrea Talentino will be inaugurated as the next president of Augustana College on Saturday, Oct. 15, during Augustana’s Homecoming Weekend.

Steve and Jane Bahls

Founders Hall renamed in honor of Steve and Jane Bahls

The Augustana College Board of Trustees unanimously has voted to rename Founders Hall as The Steve and Jane Bahls Campus Leadership Center.

• Message from the President: Augustana’s best days are ahead

Young alumni leading the way

Haley DeGreve

Bringing mental health support to more schools

It started with posters and the hope of sparking mental health conversations on Augustana’s campus. Today, chapters of Haley DeGreve’s The Gray Matters Collective are springing up at schools across the Quad Cities and into Iowa.

Cameron Onumah

Advocating for his generation’s issues

Cameron Onumah’s penchant for seeking leadership roles got its start during his student days at Augustana. Today he is a thriving young professional who remains steadfast in his passion to lead and his appreciation for Augustana.

Nelly Cheboi

Teaching tech literacy to change children's lives

Nelly Cheboi’s goal for her nonprofit TechLit Africa is simple: expand the digital literacy initiative to 100 more schools to reach a40,000 more kids in Kenya. 

Seeing a need in Ukraine

Violinist Kamneev Rai ’16 is in Ukraine to connect volunteers with suppliers. She's also giving free music lessons to refugees.

Alumni leaders collage

For the Leadership issue of Augustana Magazine Summer 2022, we asked several alumni to explain what makes a good leader. (Read their complete comments)

Lee Selander ’72, retired executive vice president, The Northern Trust Company, Chicago. "Great leaders are 'servant leaders.' The true organizational structure is exactly the inverse of the physical organizational chart ..."

Michelle King ’93 Mayer, federal executive, Baltimore. "Four core competencies make a good leader: being decisive, a good communicator, resilient and authentic ..."

Aaron Wetzel ‘90, vice president, Small Ag and Turf Production Systems, John Deere, Moline, Ill.: "Communication, innovation and empathy ..."

Dr. Darrin Good ’87, president, Nebraska Wesleyan University, Lincoln, Neb.: "Positivity, transparency and personal connections ..."

Robert Mitchum ’75, retired president and CEO, Network Services Company, Schaumburg, Ill.: "'Good to Great' by Jim Collins — still the best 'business book' ..."

Alumni news

Dr. Robert Istad

What happens after you win a Grammy?

Ask Dr. Robert Istad ’98, part of the group of musicians that won this year’s Grammy Award for Best Choral Performance. A lot happened after that.

Remembering Dr. Tredway

Alumni, staff and friends of the college share memories of Dr. Thomas Tredway ’57, president emeritus, who died on April 10.

Dave Wrath

Wrath wins lifetime achievement award

Before the digital age dawned, CoSIDA Hall of Famer Dave Wrath ’80 found ways to remain connected, even installing a fax machine at his home. 

Class Notes

In memoriam

Paul Anderson

’65 grad pioneers sustainable clean energy

An expert in technologies that cleanly produce energy from organic material, Dr. Paul Anderson ’65 won two top prizes for his work.

Donors meet their scholars

Triple Vikings: grads, employees and parents of first-year VIkings

Campus news

Rendering of  new Sorensen Hall exterior

Major update to Sorensen Hall coming

Upcoming projects will include a $2.7 million update of Sorensen Hall, track and floor replacement in PepsiCo, new turf at Thorson-Lucken Field, and a new esports center space.

Class in Hanson Hall

New programs in health, film and new media

The college plans to add three new areas of study: a major in film and new media and two minors in integrative medicine and the humanities, and disability.

Dr. Adam Kaul, Dr. Dag Blanck, Dr. Lena Hann, Dr. Doug Nelson and Dr. David Thornblad

Blanck ’78 key to new partnership with Uppsala

Augustana has named Dr. Dag Blanck ’78 an honorary professor of Swedish-American studies to formally acknowledge his contributions to the academic field and to Augustana College.

Kat Kresbasch vault and carson eipers throw

Pole vaulter Kat Kresbasch '23 and Carson Eipers '23 in the weight throw.


• Women claim first CCIW swimming/diving title since 1997

• Pole vaulter Kat Kresbasch '23 and Carson Eipers '23 in the weight throw because our newest New All-Americans.

• First-year women's water polo team goes to the nationals

• Baseball Vikings hold on for extra-inning wins in regionals


Augustana among top schools helping low-income students

Augustana placed in the top 7% of 3,380 schools in the country for providing a high return on a college investment to Pell Grant-eligible students. 

• Prison Education Program receives $70,900 in grants

• Clock dedication to honor Professor Emeritus Meyer

Augustana Choir Director Dr. Jon Hurty and students outside Sanssouci Palace in Potsdam, Germany.

Taking the music abroad

Members of the Augustana Choir shared their love of music in Europe, performing six concerts during a post-graduation tour of Germany and the Czech Republic.

• Making music in new Bergendoff spaces

• First class of Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology graduates

• Accounting’s Schwartz wins state teaching award

• Augustana 10th in U.S. for experiential learning

Anna Triska ’22 in graduation robe and cap

Anna Triska ’22

More Than I Imagined

Every year, faculty nominate seniors who have taken advantage of the many opportunities Augustana offers for a series called “More Than I Imagined.”

 The students reflect on who they’ve become in the past four years, as a result of their academics, extracurriculars and relationships with peers and faculty. They describe themselves as thinkers and doers eager and prepared for their next adventure.

Anna Triska’s story is like so many: "I am surprised by how much I have grown as a person these last four years. Through every course, professor and person I met at Augustana, I was challenged in some way and have become a more confident person and leader than I ever thought I could be."

• See all the More Than I Imagined students from 2022 and previous years

Video, photo and thoughts from Commencement 2022

Graduates walking near Founders Hall

“It’s customary for commencement speakers to tell graduates: Don’t get discouraged when life throws you a curveball. Adapt! Persevere! 

I think we can dispense with that bit of advice. Class of 2022, you were babies on 9/11 … you lived through this century’s Great Recession as grade schoolers … and you earned your degrees in the middle of a global pandemic. 

You don’t need a lesson in resilience. You are a lesson in resilience — every one of you.

With the knowledge, the skills and the sense of purpose and community you take with you from your time at Augustana, you can be the problem-solvers and peacemakers our world needs. You can help us grow toward what we can and must be. We’re counting on you.”

 U.S. Sen. Richard “Dick” Durbin of Illinois,  2022 Commencement speaker