Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

December 9, 2023

Augustana Now and Old Main’s new look

Many people around campus have been working for the betterment of the college through the Augustana Now campaign.
“Augustana Now is a $125 million campaign to secure the future of the college,” President Steve Bahls said. “There are three components of Augustana Now. One is our annual fund, which provides operating dollars for Augustana generally, for the margin of excellence. The second would be the major gift campaign, and the major component to that is to improve and expand our buildings at Augustana. Then the third part would be endowment. Endowment is really a contribution to the Augustana savings account; the interest of which goes for student scholarships.”
Wednesday, Oct. 10 in Wallenberg Hall was the beginning of the public phase of the Augustana Now campaign, where students were invited to the “dress rehearsal” to the main launch event. A multimedia presentation was given by Bahls to explain the goals of the campaign: to improve affordability, to prepare students for careers and graduates who are ready for the world, to offer integrating learning experiences and to promote diversity, equality and inclusion.
While explaining the video that was used, Greg Armstrong, the digital communications specialist in the Office of Communications and Marketing said, “We tied those four themes into who we were talking to. We started with alumni. We wanted to get a wide variety to get their story and talk to them about some of these themes and how it connected with them.”
Armstrong also said that they found students to speak, who also highlighted the goals of Augustana Now: “We were able to find Yemurai Maprisa, Adam Gronewold and Emily Mason. All had a variety of different backgrounds: where they were from, what they were coming to Augustana for, but also in their differences in what they discovered here. All of them had inspiring stories. All of them emotional ties to what this college has meant to them, what it is doing for them right now and what it will do for them when they soon graduate.”
“[The video] is able to tell the students’ stories, and it’s able to tell why the campaign is important and what the campaign can do for students. It gives you that visual reminder of how students are impacted here every day and how they are impacted leading up to graduation, and what they do after they graduate,” Armstrong said.
Students escorted the Board of Trustees, donors and alumni to the official kickoff dinner on Thursday, Oct. 11, which the students also joined. The kickoff also included the video shown on Wednesday, mingling in the Brew by the Slough with live entertainment by the local band Minus Six and the presentation of the new Old Main dome lights which turned blue on the evening of Oct. 11.
“This campaign is really a chance to give back and make someone else’s dreams a reality,” Adam Gronewald said. “Whether that is helping fund the Brodahl expansion, the Hanson expansion, an endowed scholarship, or the refurbishing of our music facilities, it makes an indescribably large impact on the lives of students.”
The kickoff events concluded on Friday, Oct. 12 in the Gävle Rooms. Faculty and staff gathered for a presentation of the campaign while listening to Minus Six.
As Armstrong said, “It’s a way for faculty and staff from across campus to come together, maybe take an hour break from our busy schedules, and be able to come together and find out what the campaign is about.
“And just to connect and realize that there is a big campaign maybe outside our offices, that we may not see it every day. We may not talk about it every day, but for the next two years, it’s there and hopefully we are raising the money that we want to get in order to keep our projects, keep our students, keep this college going in the right direction and being successful.”
With the Augustana Now campaign in full force, President Bahls is looking to the future. “If you see the president is not around a lot in the next year,” he said, “it’s because I’m on the road telling the Augustana story and raising money for the campaign. The best thing I can do for Augustana right now, is to secure its financial future.”
In hopes to reach the campaign goal in two years, President Bahls and his wife will be conducting 25 or more receptions throughout the country.
Until the $125 million goal of the campaign is met, a blue Old Main dome will adorn the Augustana horizon. Once the goal is met, the lights will shift from blue to gold, according to Bahls.
“Augustana Now is a campaign that shows how much Augustana helped all of us students who really needed the help to be successful. I think situations are different, and Augustana Now has been the gap that closes what’s not possible to what is possible,” senior Yemurai Mepurisa said. “That’s what Augustana Now means to me, and letting people know that it’s possible to be successful with all these donors and everyone else who really sees the potential – even if you might not have enough resources to make your dream come true – there’s some people that see the potential in you.”

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All Augustana Observer Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Activate Search
Augustana Now and Old Main’s new look